Your Imagination Is Always Better

Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1)Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Category: Romance – Paranormal
Series: Book 1 of The Hollows
Setting: Future in Cincinnati, Ohio
Author Website: http://www.kimharrison.net

“What are you?” I rasped.
It smiled. “Whatever scares you.”

This quote always makes me smile because my husband has a theory about comedy that off-screen action is funnier that what you see on screen. I think the same theory applies to horror.  Whatever you come up with is going to be ten times scarier than what the author could have written because it will be personally frightening for you.

When authors leave something up to the reader’s imagination they are encouraging readers to be an active participant in the story.  What a wonderful gift!

Learn about other books in this series:

  • Dead Witch Walking, published July 2004 (Book #1)
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, published January 2005 (Book #2)
  • Every Which Way But Dead, published June 2005 (Book #3)
  • A Fistful of Charms, published June 2006 (Book #4)
  • For a Few Demons More, published March 2007 (Book #5)
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How to Entice an Earl

How to Entice an Earl (Ugly Ducklings, #3)How to Entice an Earl by Manda Collins

Release Date: January 29, 2013
Category: Romance – Historical
Setting: Regency, England
Series: Book 3 of Ugly Ducklings

Author Website: http://www.mandacollins.com/

I’ve been looking forward to this third and final book in the Ugly Duckling series. I’m a sucker for underdog stories! This series has been a joy to read as the plain Janes of the London season finally get their turn on the dance floor of love.

In this final book, Lady Madeline “Maddie” Essex is the last of the “ugly” girls to find love and I’m sure that Christian, the new Earl of Gresham, is going to be a perfect match for her. Maddie has been a loyal supporter of her friends in the previous two books so it will be wonderful to see her heart filled with love.

Learn about other books in this series:

NIV Women Of Faith Study Bible

Niv Women Of Faith Study Bible

Niv Women Of Faith Study Bible by Anonymous

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This review assumes that you are religious in some faith and looking to study the Bible. I’m planning another post later to explain why I think every writer should read the Bible, but that is not my point of this review. Nor will I be trying to convert anyone to Christianity; your religion is your business and I don’t want to force my religious preference on anyone. That being said, if you are a Christian and particularly a woman who is struggling to balance her religious role with her family and professional life I believe this is the study guide for you.

What makes this Bible unique is that it provides introductions to each book of the Bible outlining the author, history, key topics, and the role women played in that book. The left and right margins are filled with explanations of passages, religious hymns and poems, and additional reference materials. I found the text in the margins very helpful and looked forward to turning the pages to see what the commentary would be.

For those who keep a diary and journal this may be the perfect companion as it asks some very thought provoking questions to deepen your faith and expand your understanding. For those who want to read the Bible in a year this study guide offers weekly essays that reference passages that answer some of the toughest questions Christians ask themselves about God and the church.

There were only two things I found lacking in this study guide but neither will truly prevent you from enjoying and learning the Bible. First, I wish this book has Jesus’s words in red text. I have always found that a helpful highlighting in a Bible. Second, I discovered that many of the map references are incorrectly labeled throughout the book. There are several maps in the back of the book that provide excellent references for Jesus and the Apostles travels, but unfortunately the references often list the wrong map number. Fortunately, all the maps have titles, so just look at the titles and you’ll find the map you want. (Note: I bought my version in 2002 so later printings may have fixed the map references.)

I have to say that this is one book which is better appreciated the slower you read it. I started this book in May of 2002. It has taken me ten years to finish reading the Bible cover-to-cover. I’m proud to say I finished it and I feel that I have gotten more out of this study guide than I ever hoped to discover when I started. If you are looking to read the Bible I recommend this printing and hope you find everything you are looking to find.

View all my reviews

Wicked Comedy Romp Thru New England

Wicked Business (Lizzy & Diesel, #2)Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Have you ever wanted to do a walking tour of Boston? Or maybe drive through Vermont on a crisp autumn day? All you have to do is read Janet Evanovich’s Wicked Business, the second book in the Lizzy & Diesel Series.

In the romantic comedy, Evanovich has her pastry chef heroine, Lizzy, and her magical hero, Diesel, on another scavenger hunt throughout Boston and the North Shore looking for hidden stones that could destroy the world with their powers of Seven Deadly Sins.

This offering involves all the wacky characters readers met in the first book. While you could easily skip the first book and still enjoy this second offering you’d miss the evolution of Lizzy and Diesel’s association. Let’s just say it’s a complicated relationship. There is passion in this book, but you won’t walk away with any undying love just yet. There are five more stones to be found, and Lizzy and Diesel haven’t even gotten to the good part of their association yet.

Evanovich is definitely building toward something in this book but already it is reminding me of the love triangle in the Stephanie Plum series. That series has already been stretched to nineteen books and while they are enjoyable, I think readers are looking for a resolution in the romance.  I’m happy that this series seems to have a fix length of seven books, but I hope we don’t have to wait that long to get an actual romance going between the main characters.

Also see of Lizzy & Diesel stories:

  • Wicked Appetite, published August 2010 (book #1)

Read other Janet Evanovich books:

Robb’s In Death Series Still Going Strong

Promises in Death (In Death, #28)Promises in Death by J.D. Robb

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Release Date: March 24, 2009
Category: Fantasy – Mystery
Time Period: Future – late 2050′s

This is a good solid murder mystery from J.D. Robb and another winner in the “In Death” series. This book stays mostly focused on the case however there is still plenty of interaction with the secondary characters and Dallas/Roarke romance to give it a nice glow. There is also a great meeting of the “In Death” Smart Women that makes me want to call all my best friends and get together because this book makes you feel like you can rule the world, even when that world is dark and cruel in some places.

Also see:

 

Remember Rooster Cogburn

True GritTrue Grit by Charles Portis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rooster Cogburn: I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned. Or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker’s convenience. Which will you have?

Lucky Ned Pepper: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man! 

Rooster CogburnFill your hand you son-of-a-bitch!

I like this quote because you can’t help but immediately get the image of John Wayne sitting on his horse with an eye patch. Some images from your childhood stay with you forever. I hope I never forget this one.

Also see:

Cinder’s Next Adventure Includes Scarlet

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: February 5, 2013
Category: Sci-fi
Setting: Future, New Bejing

Author Website: http://www.marissameyer.com

Being an amputee I am drawn to any book where the main character has a prosthetic. This second book in the Lunar Chronicles series will be expanding the story with an additional hero and heroine but we’ll still see Cinder and continue her battle against the evil Lunar Queen.

Books in the Lunar Chronicles series:

  • Cinder, published January 3, 2012 (book#1)
  • The Queen’s Army, published November 23, 2012 (ebook #1.5)
  • Scarlet, coming February 5, 2013 (book #2)

Also don’t miss out on the illustrated story:

  • Glitches, published December 5, 2011 (book #0.5)