Feature & Follow

Feature & Follow

feature-and-follow

Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  The primary goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.

This week’s topic is:

Ten book blurbs that got you hooked

Here’s my list, in no particular order.

  1. The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine AllredSweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans—everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix sweet gum treetreats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever.  Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick’s abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.
    Suddenly, Nick is gone—leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick’s abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she’s starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her business is booming, and she’s content if not happy—until the day she looks up and sees Nick standing across the counter. He’s back…and he’s not alone.  Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she’s built around her emotions—the truth about Frank Anderson’s death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well as heal.
  2. Wallbanger by Alice ClaytonThe first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly wallbangerlethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…
  3. Defending Jacob by William LandayAndy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow defending jacobstudent.  Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own–between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.
  4. The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd.  Someone gives you a dangerous puzzle to solve, one that may kill you or someone else, and you’re about to fail… and there is no other option. No one who can help.  No one but the Bricklayer. The Bricklayer is the pulse-pounding novel introducing Steve Vail, one of the most charismatic new heroes to come along in thriller fiction in many years. He’s an ex–FBI agent who’s been fired for insubordination but is lured back to the Bureau to work a case that has become more unsolvable — and more bricklayerdeadly — by the hour.  A woman steps out of the shower in her Los Angeles home and is startled by an intruder sitting calmly in her bedroom holding a gun. But she is frozen with fear by what he has to say about the FBI — and what he says he must do…A young agent slips into the night water off a rocky beach. He’s been instructed to swim to a nearby island to deposit a million dollars demanded by a blackmailer. But his mission is riddled with hazardous tests, as if someone wanted to destroy him rather than collect the money…Vail has resigned himself to his dismissal and is content with his life as a bricklayer. But the FBI, especially Deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon, needs help with a shadowy group that has initiated a brilliant extortion plot. The group will keep killing their targets until the agency pays them off, the amount and number of bodies escalating each time the FBI fails. One thing is clear: someone who knows a little too much about the inner workings of the Bureau is very clever — and very angry — and will kill and kill again if it means he can disgrace the FBI.  Steve Vail’s options — and his time to find answers — are swiftly running out.
  5. Body Movers by Stephanie BondCarlotta Wren’s life hasn’t turned out as she’d planned. She didn’t plan for her parents to skip bail for a white-collar crime, leaving her to raise her brother. She didn’t plan on having the silver spoon ripped from her mouth and body movers1forgoing college to work retail. She didn’t plan on her blue-blood fiancé dumping her. And she didn’t plan on still being single ten years later, working at Neiman Marcus, with no idea where her fugitive parents are.

She’s coping. Until…
…her lovable brother is arrested, and the hunky cop decides to reopen her parents’ case.
…her brother becomes a body mover for the morgue and his sexy boss gets Carlotta involved.
…her former fiancé’s wife is murdered, fingering Carlotta.

With three men in her life, Carlotta has added motivation to help bag a murderer to keep her own well-dressed body from being next on the list!

6.  Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.  Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard: the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no winter gardencomfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time – and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.

7.  Heartsick by Chelsea Cain.  Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who heartsickcaught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of another kind—addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off his mind. Archie’s a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she’s right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only he can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth—he can’t stay away.  When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer, and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen, once and for all. Either way, Heartsick makes for one of the most extraordinary suspense debuts in recent memory.

8.  The Templar Legacy by Steve BerryThe ancient order of the Knights Templar possessed untold wealth and absolute power over kings and popes . . . until the Inquisition, when they were wiped from the face of the earth, their hidden riches lost. But now two forces vying for the treasure have learned that it is not at all what they thought it was–and its templar legacytrue nature could change the modern world.  Cotton Malone, one-time top operative for the U.S. Justice Department, is enjoying his quiet new life as an antiquarian book dealer in Copenhagen when an unexpected call to action reawakens his hair-trigger instincts–and plunges him back into the cloak-and-dagger world he thought he’d left behind.  It begins with a violent robbery attempt on Cotton’s former supervisor, Stephanie Nelle, who’s far from home on a mission that has nothing to do with national security. Armed with vital clues to a series of centuries-old puzzles scattered across Europe, she means to crack a mystery that has tantalized scholars and fortune-hunters through the ages by finding the legendary cache of wealth and forbidden knowledge thought to have been lost forever when the order of the Knights Templar was exterminated in the fourteenth century. But she’s not alone. Competing for the historic prize–and desperate for the crucial information Stephanie possesses–is Raymond de Roquefort, a shadowy zealot with an army of assassins at his command.  Welcome or not, Cotton seeks to even the odds in the perilous race. But the more he learns about the ancient conspiracy surrounding the Knights Templar, the more he realizes that even more than lives are at stake. At the end of a lethal game of conquest, rife with intrigue, treachery, and craven lust for power, lies a shattering discovery that could rock the civilized world–and, in the wrong hands, bring it to its knees.

9.  The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz.  Meet Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors — but the upshot is she’s good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people’s privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes spellman filesnaturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman.  Part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry, Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee. Duties include: completing assignments from the bosses, aka Mom and Dad (preferably without scrutiny); appeasing her chronically perfect lawyer brother (often under duress); setting an example for her fourteen-year-old sister, Rae (who’s become addicted to “recreational surveillance”); and tracking down her uncle (who randomly disappears on benders dubbed “Lost Weekends”). But when Izzy’s parents hire Rae to follow her (for the purpose of ascertaining the identity of Izzy’s new boyfriend), Izzy snaps and decides that the only way she will ever be normal is if she gets out of the family business. But there’s a hitch: she must take one last job before they’ll let her go — a fifteen-year-old, ice-cold missing person case. She accepts, only to experience a disappearance far closer to home, which becomes the most important case of her life.

10.  Deception Point by Dan BrownWhen a new NASA satellite spots evidence of an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory…a victory that has profound implications for U.S. space policy and the impending presidential election. With the Oval Office in the balance, the President dispatches White House Intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton to the Milne Ice Shelf to verify the authenticity of the find. Accompanied by a team of experts, including the deception pointcharismatic academic Michael Tolland, Rachel uncovers the unthinkable: evidence of scientific trickery — a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy.
But before Rachel can contact the President, she and Michael are attacked by a deadly team of assassins controlled by a mysterious power broker who will stop at nothing to hide the truth. Fleeing for their lives in an environment as desolate as it is lethal, their only hope for survival is to find out who is behind this masterful ploy. The truth, they will learn, is the most shocking deception of all.

 What books are on your list?

Happy reading and have a good weekend.

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Feature & Follow

Feature & Follow

feature-and-follow

Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  The primary goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.

This week’s topic is:

Favorite book genres.

  1. Romance.  I love getting lost in another world, and forgetting about my own for a while.  This is always my go-to genre.
  2. Romantic suspense.  Romance + mystery = happy me.
  3. Mysteries.  I love a good mystery, and I’m usually terrible at figuring out “who the killer is” or whatever, so it makes it even more fun.

What are your favorite book genres?

Happy reading and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

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Feature & Follow

Feature & Follow #3

feature-and-follow

Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  The primary goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.

This week’s topic is:

Your 3 favorite heroines, books they’re in, and why you love them.

I’ve been reading some other posts on this, and so many people have put Katniss Everdeen as one of their favorites.  While I truly love Katniss, I thought I’d go in a different direction.  So here are my three favorite heroines.

Carlotta Wren, The Body Movers series by Stephanie Bond

Carlotta has had to take on a lot of responsibility at a young age – her parents skipped town as wanted criminals, leaving her to raiser her teenage brother.  Carlotta is a tough chick, she never whines (and her brother is a big trouble making dickhead sometimes) and she gets herself out of some sticky situations.  Plus she’s funny as hell.

Stephanie Plum, the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

Even though I stopped reading these books because I got sick of her not choosing between Ranger and Morelli, Stephanie is still a fantastic heroine.  She never takes herself too seriously, doesn’t freak out when her apartment gets blown up and does her job in the most awkward way, but she’s got a great family that is funny.

Fern Taylor from Making Faces by Amy Harmon

I know I’ve plugged this book so many times, but if you haven’t read it, you need to.  Fern is a waifish little redhead who is in love with the high school stud; but that stud goes off to war and comes back broken.  Fern is the one who fixes him.  She was so loving and loyal, and so real.  You’ll need the tissues for this book, but it’s so worth it.

Who are your favorite heroines?  Leave them in the comments below.

Happy reading and happy weekend.

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Feature & Follow

Feature & Follow #2

feature-and-follow

Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  The primary goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.

This weeks goal is sescribe the plot of your ten of your favorite books in 7 words each.  This proved to be really hard!!!  And I don’t have a list of favorite books, so I’ve done some of my favorites, not necessarily all time favorites.

Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley

Girl wins over her lifelong love interest

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Estranged sisters discover their mom’s secret past

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

Female serial killer torments male police officer

Sphere by Michael Crichton

Scientists discover alien spaceship on ocean floor

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Selfish woman loses fiancée to best friend

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie finally admits she loves Joe Morelli

Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Wounded vet reconnects with high school friend

Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn

Woman falls in love with her kidnapper

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Boy finds neighbor who went missing earlier

The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

Girl forgives boy who broke her heart

What’s on your list?

Happy reading and happy weekend!

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Feature & Follow

Feature & Follow Friday #1

feature-and-follow

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee.  The main goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.

This week’s topic is “Favorite Book Boyfriends”.  They asked for 3 book boyfriends.  The first two were REALLY easy for me – I struggled on the third, but decided finally it should be the first man I had a “book crush” on.  So here are my three “book boyfriends.”

Lee Nightingale from Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley

Lee Nightingale is seriously one of the coolest men I’ve ever read, anywhere.  He loves passionately, is very loyal to his friends and is really just an all around awesome guy.  He first appears in Rock Chick, but makes subsequent appearances in the following 7 novels; he even appeared in some other KA series.    Below are all the guys from the Rock Chick series (you’re welcome).

rock chick men

Matt Montgomery from Tied with Me by Kristen Proby

Matt’s book was the 6th book in the With Me series and Matt was BY far my favorite of the men in the 8 book series.  Matt was a cop and was one of the most gentle and loving (yet rough) guys I’ve ever read.  I read the ending of the book about 20 times because I loved it (and him) so much.  And look at the hot guy on the cover…..yum.

tied with me

Last but not least….

Alex Delaware from the Alex Delaware series by Jonathan Kellerman

The Alex Delaware series were one of the first series I read when I became a big reader, right after high school.  I LOVED Alex from the beginning.  He is a child psychologist who works with the LAPD solving crimes.  Alex was very loyal to his on/off girlfriend Robin (whom I detested; #jealousy), but Alex was a great guy.  I have stopped reading his books because they got mundane, but Alex Delaware will always be my first book boyfriend.

Who are your book boyfriends?

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