Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Out of Order

Don’t you just hate it when you are reading a series and somehow you manage to read book four before book three? That explains why earlier this week I was incredibly confused while reading a book in the Wicked Lovely series. Unfortunately, since I’m still waiting on my household goods to arrive, I can’t go back and read book three right now. Does this ever happen to you?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


They say the first step to beating an addiction is to admit that you have one. Well, I’ve tried that before and here I am, still addicted with no desire to give it up at all. And just what is my addiction? Well, if you know me at all, you won’t have any trouble answering that question. BOOKS! Yes, I’m a bookaholic and I’m proud of it.

I have been addicted to books since I discovered they were the perfect escape from an unhappy childhood.

When I’m depressed or angry, walking into a library or a bookstore immediately makes me feel better. I love the feel of books and I wish they made a scented candle that smells of books/libraries.

I don’t just like to read books. I like to own them. I even have collections with my collection. Even when I have a stack of books waiting to read, I find myself checking out more from the library or ordering more from Amazon. (I guess you could say that Amazon is my enabler.) It doesn’t help that I enjoy several different series and they often lead to other series that I can’t resist.

Here are just a few of my addictions:

  1. Mysteries: cozy, thrillers, and police procedurals.
  2. Young adult novels: fantasy, realistic, mysteries
  3. Chick lit
  4. Historical fiction
  5. Fantasy

I could list the series themselves, but we’d be here all day. And the latest James Patterson is calling to me. Not to mention my teenager wants me to read Gone so we can discuss it. Got to answer that siren call.

So what are your reading addictions?

Monday, June 28, 2010

A tasty new mystery - Sprinkle With Murder by Jenn McKinlay

Sprinkle With Murder is a delicious addition to the food themed cozy mystery genre. Melanie Cooper, along with her two best friends, Angie DeLaura and Tate Harper has just opened up Fairy Tale Cupcakes. All is sweet until Tate’s egomaniac fiancĂ©e, fashion designer Christie Stevens; demands Melanie create five unique cupcake flavors for the wedding. Did I mention that she also demands the sole rights to Melanie’s creation? Of course, it’s no surprise when Christie ends up dead with one of Melanie’s cupcakes nearby. Despite having an uncle on the police force, Melanie becomes the top suspect along with her friend Tate. Determined to clear herself and Tate as well as save her business, Melanie embarks on a long trail of suspects who had no love for Christie.

Though I figured out the culprit rather early (I pride myself on being an armchair sleuth and it’s rare when I don’t figure it out early – so why can’t I win at those murder mystery games? Sorry off topic.) I did enjoy watching Melanie work her way through the clues. I also found the rivalry between her and fellow baker Olivia Puckett comical. We all have at least one person in our life that irritates us beyond belief. It looks like Olivia is that person for Melanie and Angie. Olivia’s antics added comic relief to the plot.

McKinlay has created a sweet read. She even included recipes of some her delicious concoctions. My waistline will not thank her for that, but my taste buds will. Looking forward to the next installment.

I read several culinary mystery series (Diane Mott Davidson, Joanne Fluke, Virginia Rich, and Claudia Bishop, to name just a few.) I've actually tried several of the recipes. Sometimes I'm torn between shelving the books in my library or in the kitchen. Do you have a favorite culinary mystery series? Let me know.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Captivate by Carrie Jones

In Need, Zara and her friends trapped the evil pixie king and his minions in an iron protected house in the woods. They knew this didn’t solve the problem for good. In Captivate, this is made even more evident as the king’s needs grow more and more while in captivity and rival kings began arriving to take over his territory. Did I mention that Zara is half pixie and her father is the trapped king? Of course this only adds to the complications when one of the rival kings, Astley, turns out to be a rare breed of pixie – one supposedly on the side of good. Nick, Zara’s shape shifter boyfriend is not buying it and almost kills Astley. Zara is torn between wanting to trust this new king and wanting to protect her friends and the town from hungry pixies. This conflict within her has serious consequences. Through in a little Norse mythology and Captivate is a captivating read.

Fantasy fans will enjoy this sequel to Jones’ Need. There is sure to be at least a few bouts of Team Nick verses Team Astley. This is a faced paced novel that includes fantasy, good verses evil, teen angst and of course teen love. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber

This new installment in the Blossom Street series is about Dr. Michael Everett, a pediatrician who lost his wife to ovarian cancer. On the one-year anniversary of her death Michael receives a letter Hannah wrote before she died, telling him it is time for him to move on with his life and find a new love. She even provides him with the names of three women she thinks would be good candidates for the next Mrs. Everett.

This is a very quick feel good read as have been many of the other books that I have read in the Blossom Street series. However, the ending is very predictable. The characters do not have as much depth as I would have liked. I believe some of them appear in other Blossom Street stories and perhaps they are more developed in those stories. I would have liked to learn more about what makes one of the women on the list, Macy, tick. Instead I feel as though Macomber jus brushed off the reader with “that’s just the way Macy is.” If you are looking for a quick beach read that doesn’t require much thought, then this is the book for you.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A KILLER PLOT by Ellery Adams

As a young child Olivia Limoges left the coastal town of Oyster Bay, North Carolina after the mysterious disappearance of her fisherman father. Years later, still haunted by his disappearance, Olivia returns to her hometown. No longer the unhappy child found abandoned in a floating boat, Olivia is now a mysterious, sophisticate and wealthy woman working on her first novel. Olivia is convinced the only companion she needs is her faithful poodle, Captain Haviland. However, after joining the local writer’s group, Olivia begins to make friends only to have one brutally murdered. Devastated, Olivia and her fellow writers take it upon themselves to assist the police chief, Sawyer Rawlings (a potential love interest for Olivia) in solving the murder.

I’m a huge mystery fan of all kinds, but I’m particularly fond of cozy mysteries, especially those with a theme. I picked up A Killer Plot because Olivia is a writer. (Something I dream of myself.) It sounded just like the kind of book I would enjoy. I was not disappointed. Adams has created well-developed characters that the reader will enjoy getting to know. Each one is diverse and interesting, from feisty waitress Dixie, who insists on being referred to as “dwarf” rather than “little person” to Millay who changes her color highlights often and feels very protective of the rough and tumble fishermen who hang at Fish Nets, the bar where she works.

Often when a series debuts, the main character is not as well developed as Olivia. But Adams has created a character of great depth. There is more to Olivia than just her money, sophistication and aloofness. The fact that she is a woman of mystery is introduced early on and we get to see her grow. She is my favorite character and I’m looking forward to learning more about her.

One final reason I found this book so entertaining goes back to the theme: writers. I’ve read other stories where one or more of the characters are writers. Some have even belonged to writer’s groups just like the Oyster Bay Writers. What singles out Adams’ book from the others is that reader gets a glimpse of what it’s like to be a writer. We get to see some of the process and we get to see how a real writing group operates (though granted, most real life groups don’t get involved in solving crimes). I enjoyed reading their works in progress almost as much as the main story. This is a series that has a lot to offer and I can’t wait for the next one.