Friday, September 12, 2014

REVIEW - DINO VICELLI PRIVATE EYE

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"Dino Vicelli Private Eye" by Lori Weiner

Product Description[Amazon.com]
This story transports the reader to an alternate-reality version of New York City, in which talking dogs interact regularly with humans. The hero, Dino Vicelli, is a private investigator who just happens to be a sharply dressed Italian greyhound with a great fondness for cigars. He takes on what initially appears to be a routine missing person case but soon finds himself in the midst of a sinister plot that involves kidnapping, murder, and bizarre scientific experiments aimed at controlling the world. As he investigates this strange case, Dino repeatedly encounters mortal danger, while also finding romance with a beautiful blonde Afghan dog.

With its unusual twists on the traditional detective story genre, this book blends elements of humor, suspense, and fantasy into a truly unique and entertaining tale.
# Paperback: 98 pages
# Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc. (June 8, 2009)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 1434902943
# ISBN-13: 978-1434902948



MY THOUGHTS: This is a very unusual book, as it has it's main character as a dog. It really reminded me of the old movie's of the P.I. from the 40's and 50's. With humor thrown in. Very good murder mystery along with the humor of it being a dog. The dogs intermingle with the humans. Dino, Jezebel, and the cops are all dogs. They are trying to catch someone that killing people. First a missing woman then the bodies start piling up around Dino. He is soon the suspect in all the murders. But he keeps on going until he catches the really guy. Well, maybe he didn't catch him or maybe he did. That's about all I can say without giving away the plot of the book. Really good book. If you have a chance, pick it up. It's only 98 pages long, but lots of mystery are packed into that 98 pages. Not to mention it's got a great cover, don't you think so!

MY RATING: 5

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review: The Iron Hunt by Marjorie Liu

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Well, it was bound to happen. I have seen lots of reviewers debate whether or not to review a book they could not finish, and now it's my turn.

I tried to power my way through this book. I really did. But I literally got a headache fighting the urge to chuck it across the room. This book irritated me that much.

I'll try to tell you what "The Iron Hunt" is about-- but frankly, it isn't really coherent enough to say it's about anything. The idea is this: Maxine Kiss is a demon hunter. She is covered in tattoos, from her neck to her feet, that are in fact demons who sleep by day on her skin and come off at night and act as bodyguards of sorts. The little demons on her body, "the boys" as she calls them, are symbiotic little creatures who will die if Maxine dies and therefore strive to keep her alive. During the day the tattoos are an invincible armor but when they come off, Maxine is vulnerable so the "boys" have to protect her from harm. The demons pass from mother to daughter and when Maxine has a daughter that is of age to take on the responsibility, the demons will abandon her in favor of her child.

Maxine has been living with her boyfriend Grant, who runs a homeless shelter, and trying to form something akin to family ties since she has been so isolated her whole life. Two detectives show up wanting to ask Maxine some questions about a private investigator who was killed while trying to find Maxine. She doesn't know anything about the P.I. but while trying to find out what's going on finds a man who may be her grandfather.

Okay, that part of the story is fairly clear. In fact, for the first 80 pages or so, I thought this was going to turn out to be a fairly good book. But after that, it just all fell apart.

Maxine tracks down the guy who might be her grandfather and tries to ask him some questions. But all she gets are a bunch of cryptic answers along the lines of I know it's really important that you know what's going on, but I can't tell you because I made some obscure promise to your great-great-great-great grandmother. Oh, and I can't tell you why I'm way older than I look because it might actually help you understand what's going on.

Then Maxine tries to ask the "boys" what's going on but they won't tell her because they made a promise to some great-great-great-great grandmother that they wouldn't reveal--- I don't know what or why. I know it makes no sense, which is why I wanted to chuck the book. Then Maxine tries to ask the woman who was married to the P.I. what's going on, but she's won't pass on any information because... hell, I don't know the answer to that either. At this point the book is just maddening. Supposedly Maxine's mother and grandmother knew all the mysteries that got the P.I. killed but they didn't want Maxine to know anything either-- for no apparent reason.

This goes on for about 100 pages and every time I thought the story might get moving again it just keeps stalling out. There's some nonsense about a "veil" between our world and the demon world falling and then the zombie queen, "Blood Mama," arranges a meeting with Maxine but doesn't reveal anything either.

But the thing is, it wasn't even the storyline that bothered me the most. What really irritated me was the whole showing and telling aspects of the story. You know how you hear that an author is supposed to show not tell when they write? Well, there's a lot of both that goes on in "The Iron Hunt" and neither side seems to know what the other is doing.

Like a lot of paranormal fiction the story is written in the first person. Maxine tells us how much of a badass she is throughout the story but when it comes time to prove it, she falls short. For a woman who has little demons on her body, Maxine seems uniquely incapable of handling anything unusual that comes her way. When she finds out that her "grandfather" is not entirely human her world falls out from under her. Literally every time something unexpected happens, she all but swoons from the shock. Um, hello.. little demons on your body?

And as far as the little demon tattoos go.... There really wasn't any significance to them either as far as I could tell. It was an interesting plot device that wasn't utilized at all. They had names and descriptions, but didn't do anything during the part of the book I read. I kept waiting for the little guys to do something but as far as I got, it was like Maxine had some really interesting little pets with razor sharp skin. Other than that....nothing.

I got about two-thirds of the way through the book before I had to give it up as a bad job. I just couldn't take anymore. So I don't know if the story ended up offering any explanations that made sense, and frankly, I don't care. I'm just glad to be done with this headache inducing book

REVIEW - THE ROOK

This book is for 5 of my reading challenges.
The Christy Awards Challenge
100+ Challenge
52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge[Wk. 5]
Suspense & amp; Thrillers Challenge[Spy Thriller]
Monthly Mixer Melee Challenge



"The Rook" by Steven James
Product Description[Amazon.com]
A baffling fire rips through a top-secret Naval research facility, and Special Agent Patrick Bowers is called in to investigate. His unique ability to pinpoint the time, place, and spatial factors of any crime tells him that the arsonists were going after something very specific-and they have succeeded. Now, with a device of unimaginable lethal power in the wrong hands, Bowers must stop a criminal mastermind from enveloping him and those he loves in a trap from which there is no escape...
# Paperback: 464 pages
# Publisher: Onyx; Reprint edition (December 1, 2009)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0451412818
# ISBN-13: 978-0451412812

MY THOUGHTS: I had no idea when I picked this book from the list that it was a series of books. This is the 3rd in the series. But it was a good stand alone book. I am sure some of it would have made more sense if I would have started with book 1 The Pawn, instead. Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. The writing is great, there is lots of clues, evidence, suspects, and lots of things for your imagination to conjure up while reading this book. This is also a spy thriller in the sense that the guy behind all this used to be a spy for the U.S. and now is a spy for someone else. Another country maybe? You'll have to read the book to find out. You can find the list of 2009 Christy Award winners here.

MY RATING: 5

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

TUESDAY BOOK MEMES

Raidergirl over at An Adventure in Reading is the host for It's Tuesday, Where Are You? and MizB over at Should Be Reading is the host for Teaser Tuesdays. Go and check them out. All of my info today comes from the book "13 LIttle Blue Envelopes" by Maureen Johnson.



It's Tuesday, Where Are You?


I am currently in Rome, Italy in front of the Vestal Virgins.


Teaser Tuesdays



She grabbed the button that Beppe had been reaching for and yanked it from her shorts. She leaned over the metal bar that kept people back from the statues and tossed it onto the ground between two of the most complete ones.
"Here," she said, "From one virgin to another." P. 154 13 Little Blue Envelopes - Maureen Johnson

Don't forget to head over to Raidergirl's place and MizB's place to check out all the folks participating this week.

WEDNESDAY BOOK MEMES

A - Z Wednesday is over at Reading At The Beach and Wondrous Words Wednesday is over at Bermuda Onions place. Go check them out. You might find your next book there.

A - Z Wednesday



The letter this week is "B". My book is "Burn" by Ted Dekker


The past Janeal thought had burned away is rising from the ashes.

Years ago, the Gypsy Kumpania where Janeal Mikkado lived was attacked by outsiders. With her best friend about to be consumed by a fire, Janeal had two options: try to save her friend--at serious risk to her own life--or disappear with the million dollars that she had just discovered . . .
But the past is quickly coming back to haunt her. Both the best friend and the boyfriend that she was sure were dead have reappeared in her life, as has someone who knows about the money. There's a debt to be paid for the money she found, but there's an even greater debt she must face--and if the chaff isn't burned from her own heart, it will consume her.
Amazon.com
# Hardcover: 384 pages
# Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 12, 2010)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 1595544712
# ISBN-13: 978-1595544711


I reviewed this book here if you want to see my review. It was a very good book and you wouldn't believe the ending!

Wondrous Words Wednesday



My words come from "Cataloochee" by Wayne Caldwell



Misanthropes - They passed frame houses, some with banks of yellow and purple irises beside inviting porches, others facing away from the road like misanthropes.

mis⋅an⋅thrope - a hater of humankind.
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Trepidatious - I'm trepidatious to bed down here, there ain't nothing to hide behind.
trep·i·da·tion - A state of alarm or dread; apprehension.
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Loquacity - Except for a rare fit of loquacity, she was silent.

lo⋅quac⋅i⋅ty - the state of being loquacious; talkativeness; garrulity.
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Pone - The table, which old Levi had made years before from a chestnut log, held dishes of ham hocks in their own juice, pintos, a pone of corn bread, a bowl of applesauce, and another of kraut.

pohn - Also called pone bread. a baked or fried bread usually made of cornmeal.
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Catafalque - Mule and wagon with the supine clock reminded him of a catafalque.

cat⋅a⋅falque - 1.a raised structure on which the body of a deceased person lies or is carried in state.
2.a hearse.
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Don't forget to head over to Reading at the Beach and Bermuda Onion's place. Go visit all the folks with books and words to share.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Giveaway! The Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop

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Penguin Books has generously sent me a copy 3 copies! of "The Invisible Ring" by Anne Bishop to give away.

Anne Bishop is one of my all time favorite authors. If you haven't read her "Black Jewels" series then now is a great time to start. "The Invisible Ring" is part of the Black Jewels collection, though it is a stand alone book that is separate from her Black Jewels trilogy. It is also an old favorite of mine that has been re-released recently and that gives me the opportunity to share it with you.


From the back of the book:

Jared is a Red-Jeweled Warlord bound as a pleasure slave by the Ring of Obedience. After suffering nine years of torment as a slave, he murdered his owner and escaped--only to be caught and sold into slavery once again.

Purchased by a notorious queen, Jared fears he will share the mysterious fate of her other slaves--never to be seen again--and so prepares himself for death. But the Gray Lady may not be what she seems, and Jared soon faces a difficult decision: his freedom..or his honor.


To enter, the rules are the same as usual. Either comment here or send me an email at sqt1969(at)gmail(dot)com under the header "invisible" to enter. I will randomly pick a winner by Tuesday June 24th Monday June 30th. Make sure I can easily reach you. If I cannot reach the winner within 48 hours I will pass the book onto another entrant. Open to everyone.

Good luck!

When I think of a book I’ve reviewed, I think of this…

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Prompted by a little Twitter exchange I had with author John Avery the other day, I thought it would be fun to quote from each of the books I have reviewed this year. & nbsp;Some are funny, some sad, some great description and some, well, I just like.

"She looked back. & nbsp;He was watching as they walked. & nbsp;She looked back twice during the length of the ward. & nbsp;He was still watching. & nbsp;At the door, she turned fully. & nbsp;He was still watching. & nbsp;She lifted her arm high in the air and waved to him. & nbsp;He waved back. & nbsp;They turned the corner in silence and walked toward the lift." & nbsp;Dear Dee, Sue Uden

& nbsp;"This afternoon she went through everything in her wardrobe until she found something that looked OK, opting for an oversized white shirt and cropped blue jeans. & nbsp;A wide black eslastic belt pulls the billowing shirt in, and she's crimped and backcombed her hair so that it's just like Debbie Harry's." & nbsp;Hurry Up and Wait, Isabel Ashdown

"Turning around, she came face-to-face with a short man of Chinese origin….. He virtually jumped on Ruby.

& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;'Wuby, Wuby, Wuby, Wuby!' he sang loudly to the tune of the monumental Kaiser Chiefs' hit, and then carried on in the same loud vein. & nbsp;'So sorry to have kept you waiting. & nbsp;I am…' pause for effect or maybe to remember who he was …'Tony Choi. & nbsp;You will be sitting beside me for the next three weeks, whilst Julia, my usual partner in grime, is shagging her way round world wiv new husband.' " Working it Out, Nicola May

"As Harry headed towards her, Carmen's immaculately plucked and sculpted eyebrows rushed towards each other like two playful tadpoles, and her face darkened." & nbsp;Turning The Tide, Christine Stovell

& nbsp;"And he walked over to me and planted a chaste kiss on my cheek. & nbsp;"Well done," he said softly and Tim beamed gratefully, completely unaware that the comment was aimed solely at me. & nbsp;In fact, he seemed completely besotted by Dan's manly, famous presence." Sophie's Turn, Nicky Wells

"…Cleo had designed a traffic light system in the form of coloured crystals. The green crystal meant you could come in without knocking, the amber coloured crystal meant knock once and proceed with caution, the red crystal mean knock, stop and wait for instructions and the black crystal meant do not enter, knock or even breathe heavily on walking past the door or your life wouldn't be worth living. & nbsp;Samantha had named that particular cystral 'The Bonk'." & nbsp;Breaking the Ice, Mandy Baggot

"Then I heard the bleep of his phone from the dining room.

A text message.

My heart thudded. & nbsp;Was that her?

He'd heard it too because he subtly removed his arm from around my shoulders. & nbsp;But he didn't get up, he just carried on watching TV. The after a little stretch and a yawn, he reached for his glass and pretended to be surprised to find it empty. 'I need another drink,' he announced, getting up. & nbsp;'"Want one?'

I shook my head silently. & nbsp;Liar! He didn't need one at all, he was off to the dining room to check his phone!" & nbsp;His Other Lover, Lucy Dawson

"Martyn's face drained of all colour. & nbsp;She'd read that phrase in books, but she didn't think she'd ever witnessed it close up, a face turning perfectly white. & nbsp;He pulled out a kitchen chair and, slowly, as if he were ill, folded into it, his holdall dropping to the floor. 'Tell me you didn't agree.'" & nbsp;Love and Freedom, Sue Moorcroft

"Lucy shifted in her seat. & nbsp;She wasn't used to accepting compliments. Come to think of it, it wasn't often that she really received them. "Oh, stop," she said.

& nbsp; & nbsp; "Just say, 'Thank you, Jackson,'" he grinned.

& nbsp; & nbsp; She rolled her eyes. & nbsp;"Thank you, Jackson."

& nbsp; & nbsp; "That's better," he smiled. & nbsp;"You were never very good at taking a compliment. & nbsp;We need to work on that." Lucy giggled. "You look amazing," he said.

& nbsp; & nbsp; She started to roll her eyes again, but a look from Jackson sobered her. & nbsp;"Thank you, Jackson," she said. & nbsp;The erupted into giggles."" & nbsp;The One Who Got Away, Jessica Strassner

"Fixated on its movement, both of us wondering whether it would begin to spell out a name, it suddenly shot off the table with amazing speed, flew across the room and smashed within a few inches of where we stood, against the door.

& nbsp; & nbsp;'Shit!' screamed Lucy. & nbsp;'"what the hell was that all about?'

& nbsp; & nbsp;'An angry spirit, I suspect." " & nbsp;Discovery at Rosehill, Kathryn Brown & nbsp;

""We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto."" Three Days to Die, John Avery

"In a matter of seconds, he would have his answer. & nbsp;One word from her – one look, even – would tell him all he needed to know." & nbsp;Persuade Me, Juliet Archer

"She even managed to secure his old geography textbook and changed the way she wrote number sevens to continental style. & nbsp;Even her 'I's became loopy because of Johnny Ingleton. & nbsp;There is nothing like the obsession of a teenage girl!" & nbsp;Meeting Lydia, Linda MacDonald

"I also longed for the caveat that Bitch Rachel had gained three stone, grown thick, dark, facial hair (and would 'grown a penis' have been really sick?). & nbsp; Fat Girls & amp; Fairy Cakes, Sue Watson

& nbsp;"Quickly he bent to to give her a swift kiss, chaste but lingering a touch longer than he should have. 'Please don't come here again," he whispered. & nbsp;'I mean it. & nbsp;It's too dangerous for you. & nbsp;Trust me.'" & nbsp;Trade Winds, Christina Courtenay