Monday, December 31, 2012


In 2012 I read 110 books.  One of the things I wanted to see was my percentage of digital vs paper.  62% of the books read were paper, 34% were digital either by kindle or Adobe X, and 4% were audio.  I have discovered some authors new to me this year that I will continue to read:  Brad Meltzer, Ruth Reid, Cliff Graham, and kathy Reichs.  Of course there are a few that I already know and love that I read this year too:  Lee Child, David Ellis, Beverly Lewis, and Jennifer Weiner.  Here are my best of 2012 awards:

Best nonfiction
All around:  Travels With Charley (you really must read that one)
War:  The Liberator and Band of Brothers
Historical:  Conversations about JFK

Best Fiction
All around:  Raylan
Romance:  Whither Thou Goest, I will Go
War:  Johnny's War and Yellow Birds
Historical:  Wettest County in the World

Best author: John Steinbeck.  yes, he's been around awhile and he is dead.  But his book was the best one I read of the year. Gotta go to him.
Best discovered author:  Kathy Reichs
Best audio:  Red Queen


December.  Merry Christmas and all that.  I had a busy December.  Band, basketball, christmas, books.  I read 11 books in fact.  Four were digital and seven were paper.
Guilty Wives- James Patterson
Shadow Queen- Rebecca Dean
Biggest Brother- Larry Alexander
The Orphan King- Sigmond Brouwer
Goldberg Variations- Susan Isaacs
Full Disclosure- Dee Henderson
Rare Earth- Davis Bunn
Amish Romance Boxed Set- Becca Fisher
Lethargica- Edward Carpenter
The Liberator- Alex Hershaw
The Affair- Lee Child
The best of the month would go to The Liberator.  Shadow Queen was also a good one.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Liberator Revew

"The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau" by Alex Kershaw is the story of Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment- Thunderbirds, journey from Italy to the concentration camp, Dauchau.  The Thunderbirds fought the longest to defeat Hitler than any other regiment in Europe.  They missed out on the headlines, but were viable to winning the war. 
The e-book follows Sparks and focuses on him as they fight. It starts with Sparks' childhood, follows through his war career, and then briefly follows his lawyer years and fight to change gun laws in Colorado.  He pushed to make it illegal for a child to carry a gun in whatever way he chooses, anywhere.   Unfortunately, Hershaw didn't get inside Sparks' persona until about a third of the way through the book.  The first third reads like a text book, very informational but not entertaining.  The rest of the book gets a little more into Sparks and becomes much more emotional.  I really liked this book.  I would recommend this book to anyone interested in WWII in any way.  I recieved this e-book for free from

Friday, December 21, 2012


It is 1914, World War I, France; an American Volunteer soldier is desperately looking for a way home.  He has stopped receiving any word from his wife and knows he needs to go to her.  His wife has what is called Lethargica, which is a mysterious disease that was randomly claiming victims during the WWI and Spanish flu days.  Lethargica is when the victim can hear and feel everything, but cannot move, answer or perform basic functions (blinking, toilet, etc).  This is a love story as well as a history lesson on the unusual.  At first it comes off kind of stuffy and overly-descriptive.  I even looked up to see if it was going to get any better.  I saw lots of stars and rave reviews.  So I kept reading.  After the first 3 or 4 pages the reader will fall into a rhythm with it and fall in love with it.  Wonderful, yet heartbreaking story.  I received this e-book for free from

more amish

In November, I read and reviewed "Heavenly Temptation" a short story by Becca Fisher.  Today I have finished "Amish Romance Boxed Set 1-4" by Becca Fisher courtesy of  The boxed set is a collection of short stories; Heavenly Temptation, being one of them.  Heavenly Temptation is story 2, about Allison, an Amish girl who finds love outside of the faith and brings it into the Amish community.  The other three stories in Romanced Boxed Set, are the stories of her two sisters and then the summary of the three coming back together.  As a short story each story is fine on its own.  The romances are a lot rushed, but they have to be short, so whatta gonna do?  However, as a collection they run on to boring.  Each story has pretty much the same storyline.  They also use the word 'hunk' a lot.  Which bugs me.  The romances when grouped together are awkwardly rushed and seem too unreal.  Almost like they saw each other for the first time and said "hey, wanna fall in love and get married?"  "yeah, sure, I got nothing else going on."  No romance really to be had.  I would recommend the stories be interwoven into one novel and maybe change up the dilemma that is each one.  The whole "leave the community" thing is a bit over done.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

rare earth review

"Rare Earth" by Davis Bunn was given to me in exchange for an honest review by Bethany House.  "Rare Earth" is the second book in the Mark Royce series.  You do not need to have read the first at all to follow the second.  I really like his new series.  I have tried to read a few of Bunn's romances that he co-wrote but none of them held my interest.  This series is totally different from that.  It is about a man, Mark Royce, who is an accountant and widower.  He somehow gets tied into the White House and undercover work globewide through the UN to rescue the innocent and bring down international criminals.  The how he got tied into the White House part of the story is a little murky.  What's not murky is the research on the countries that Mark travels to and the knowledge of the land and cultures. In this novel he goes to Africa.  You will know by the end, you do not want to go to Africa. Royce is a Christan "James Bond" kinda guy so to speak.  There's a woman in every country, but she is always treated with respect and he never has sex with her.  The fights like a true soldier, but doesn't kill.  I would say this is a "guy" book, but enjoyable by women as well.  I hope he writes more of this series.  I'm a liking Royce.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

full disclosure review

"Full Disclosure" by Dee Henderson is a novel about two over achievers who meet while solving crime.  Falcon is an FBI agent in Chicago who is trying to solve an incredibly cold case about a murder-for-hire who has 30 murders under the belt.  She's not likely to get caught unless she wants to.  Ann is a cop Falcon meets and decides she is the wife he needs.  Ann is describes by her friends to Falcon as a this deep, complex woman.  In real life, she would be described as a little weird.  Falcon and Ann not only are trying to solve the Lady Shooter, but they are also trying to solve the conspiracy of a former Vice President of the USA and his kidnapping cover up. 
The edition I read is an unpublished manuscript dated May 2012 that I received this fall.  It was released in October.  I am assuming some of the discrepancies were fixed between the two.  For instance, there are a couple wrinkles in time.  An example would be that when Falcon, who is 39, was adopted at 9, the first thing his father gave him was a phone with all of his siblings programed in and the phone rang constantly. In 1983, no 9 year old had a cell phone, not even a rich one is Chicago.  Maybe he got a house phone, but then why would it be ringing when they were all in the same house?  There are also a lot of cases going on as well as a love story.  The book flows evenly between the romance and the cases, intertwining the story lines.  I really liked Falcon, but I thought Ann was a strange; I kept thinking she would wind up being one of the killers.  Anyway, I liked the writing, liked the story lines, didn't like the damsel in distress.  I received this book for review from courtesy of Bethany House.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

goldberg review

"Goldberg Variations" by Susan Isaacs, is a novel centering around Gloria Goldberg (Garrison) and her three estranged grandchildren, Matt, Daisy, and Raqual.  All three grandchildren are in their twenties and from New York.  Gloria lives in New Mexico and runs her own multi-million dollar company, Glory, which is a sort of portable beauty shop in the Southwest.  Gloria is a hag.  I could put it worse, which would be more accurate, but Amazon won't let people say the b-word on their site.  Her grandkids are a little like her, but a lot nicer.  As you get to know Gloria better, you keep thinking that there is some reason she's a hag, like something in her childhood, but no, she's just mean.  A real mean old lady. 
There really isn't much plot to be had here.  The three come to New Mexico to meet their grandmother and she wants one to take over the company.  They tell her no.  Each chapter takes a turn in each of the characters heads.  You basically go through their thoughts on each other throughout the weekend.  It seemed to drag towards the end, because even though the character development is phenomenal, there isn't a big ending to bring it together.  I love it till the end. Then I'm like, well....... I guess that's the end.  I received this e-book for free from

Friday, December 7, 2012

the orphan king reveiw

"The Orphan King" by Sigmund Brouwer is a young adult novel that starts the Merlin's Immortals series.  In "The Orphan King" Thomas begins a journey to take over Magnus, a village of sorts in England during the 12th century.  As he travels there with William the Knight; Isabelle, the girl; and Tiny John, the pickpocket; he is somehow involved with the centuries old battle of the Immortals vs the Druids.  This whole part of the story is left cloaked in mystery and it is never clear what they are fighting over or who is on which side.  Normally, this would annoy me to no end, but it is told in such a way that I am left wanting more.  I am intrigued and am left thinking about the book trying to figure it out.  The group fights bandits, dabbles in science (otherwise known as witchcraft), he escapes the abbey, and William teaches Thomas to be a man, a wise one, along the way.  It is a short book, read in a day.  I would say the age level would be 8th grade or higher.  It might appeal more to boys, but not necessarily.  I liked it. I received this book for free from