Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Excerpt from BITE ME

I cannot wait for this 2014 release . . . 
come on March!


Unable to resolve how her life had come to this, Livy ended up where she felt most comfortable in her office—under her desk. It was a small space under there because of the desk drawers, so it gave her the illusion of being in a nice burrow.
And that’s where Livy stayed until the smell of roses, lilies, and some other annoying flowers filled her sensitive nostrils.
She tried to ignore the smell but it kept getting more potent as someone moved in and out of her office. Repeatedly.
She sniffed the air, trying to ignore the flowers and center on the person.
Vic. It was Vic in her office. With flowers.
Confused and curious, Livy quietly crawled out from under the desk and peeked around the corner of it to see Vic Barinov bringing in another giant flower display as well as a large fruit basket.
Getting to her knees, Livy asked, “What are you doing?”
Vic stopped and looked at her. “Were you under the desk?”
“Are you always under the desk?”
“Not always.”
He shrugged, walked out, came back with another basket. This time filled with an array of cookies.
“We couldn’t agree.”
“Who couldn’t agree…what?”
“It’s Shen’s fault,” he complained, which really didn’t answer her question.
“First he said, you wouldn’t want flowers. Then today, he thought you might, although he had no empirical proof regarding the veracity of that belief.”
“Empirical proof?”
“Right. So I brought you flowers. And cookies.” He walked out of her office. “I also,” he said from the hallway, “got you a plant.” And he came in with a five-foot-tall standing plant that he put in a corner. Christ, Livy was only five-one.
“And,” he said, gesturing at two other baskets, “food.” He pointed at one basket. “Nuts and fruits, nuts being the emphasis of the overall basket.” He pointed at the other. “Fruits and nuts, with fruits being the emphasis.” Went back into the hallway and came in with another basket. “And meats and fish.”
He placed the baskets in front of her desk.
“And”—he walked out again and quickly returned with one more basket—“honey. European and American. They didn’t have any African bee honey.”
Glancing around the room, he finally settled on placing that basket beside the standing plant.
Resting back on her heels, Livy asked, “Why?”
“Why what?”
“Why are you bringing me anything?”
“It’s what people do when a friend suffers a loss.”
“We’re friends?”
“I just bought you all these baskets, so we better be.”


Vic had always found Livy…unusual. But why was she hiding under her desk? That seemed weird. Even for her.
Even worse, when he suggested they were friends, she just stared blankly at him. It kind of hurt his feelings.
“I brought you honey. You could at least pretend we’re friends.”
“Yeah. We’re friends. Just don’t know why you felt the need to buy me baskets of…stuff.”
“Because that’s what people do, Livy. It’s called empathy.”
“I’ve heard the word.”
Vic rolled his eyes. “Look, Livy, I know you’re this great photographer but—”
“Oh, yeah,” she suddenly cut in. “Great wedding photographer, maybe.”
Livy shook her head. “Forget it.”
“Livy, what’s going on with you?”
“Nothing.” She suddenly dropped down and crawled back under her desk.
Vic, not sure how to deal with this side of Livy, walked around her desk and crouched down so he could see her.
“Do you want to go somewhere and talk?” he asked.
“Because I’m so chatty?”
“No. But I understand that after the loss of a parent—”
“We weren’t close.”
“As you’ve already said. Still, we could go get some coffee.” He glanced at his watch. “Maybe get lunch.”
“You asking me out on a date?”
Without thinking, Vic leaned back a bit. “No.”
“You don’t have to look so horrified.”
“It’s not horror. It’s confusion. You’re confusing me. Which,” when he thought about it, “may lead to horror. But I simply don’t like being confused. So the horror wasn’t directed at you, so much as the confusion.”
“Well, when you put it like that…”
Copyright © Shelly Laurenston 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Audiobook Review: Duck the Halls

 photo duck_zpscc20ad94.jpg Duck the Halls 

by Donna Andrews
Series: Meg Lanslow #16
Publication date: 22 October 2013
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: my own copy
Date Read: 09 December 2013
Narrator: Bernadette Dunne
Length: 8 hours 17 minutes

A new side-splitting Meg Langslow mystery from award–winning, New York Times bestselling author of Six Geese A Slaying, just in time for the holidays

The brilliantly funny and talented Donna Andrews delivers another winner in the acclaimed avian-themed series that mystery readers have come to love. A few nights before Christmas, Meg is awakened when Michael is summoned to the New Life Baptist Church, where someone has rigged a cage full of skunks in the choir loft. The lengthy process of de-skunking the church requires its annual pre-Christmas concert to relocate to Trinity Episcopal, where Mother insists the show must go on, despite the budget-related protests of Mr. Otis, an elderly vestryman. Meanwhile, when Meg helps her grandfather take the skunks to the zoo, they discover that his boa has been stolen—only to turn up later during the concert slithering out from the ribbon-bedecked evergreens.

It’s clear that some serious holiday pranksters are on the loose, and Meg is determined to find them. But before she can, a fire breaks out at Trinity, and Mr. Otis is discovered dead. Could this be a bit of nasty revenge from the now deposed Pruitt family? Or harassment from the Evil Lender? As Meg searches for answers she also races to finish all of her Christmas shopping, wrapping, cooking, caroling, and decorating in time to make the season jolly for Michael and the twins.

Guaranteed to put the "ho ho hos" into the holidays of cozy lovers everywhere, Duck the Halls is a gut-bustingly funny mystery, the latest from the award-winning Donna Andrews.

My thoughts: I generally enjoy cozy mysteries. They have a kind of fantasy, over-the-top feeling as I am sure these situations just do not creep up on you in real life. And more often than not, some of these situations make you want to laugh out loud. I love that!

Unfortunately I chose book 16 to enter into this chaotic Christmas mess that is the Langslow family. I wish I started at the beginning . . . I am usually very particular about starting a series at the first book but this time, this one just crept up on me and I wanted to enjoy the Christmas setting. This was a mistake. I am sure that I would have enjoyed it all much more if I had come to know the family and their friends and felt invested in what happened in their lives.

There is no time wasted introducing the family characters as I am sure everyone is loved by regular readers already. This unfortunately made me feel like an outsider looking in and not part of the story at all. I am not sure if this is the way that a small town act but it did seem a bit far fetched at times.

There is a big religious feel to the book as well. I felt some of the church activities was a bit of a clique and I could not imagine that it bore any resemblance to reality but then again this is fiction. And maybe if you live in a small town . . .

The main character, Meg, did not endear herself to me either. In fact I thought she was overly protective of her husband who is a volunteer firefighter. I am sure my husband would not have appreciated it if I acted like Meg at some of the crime scenes.

Having said all of the above, I still enjoyed the light hearted sillyness of this book but I would recommend starting at the first book . . . 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Long Walk

 photo longwalk_zps6bebba25.jpg  

The Long Walk 
by Stephen King

Publication date: 01 April 1999 (first published 1979) 
Genre: Science Fiction; Dystopia; Horror 
Source: my own copy 
Date Read: 09 August 2013 
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne 
Length: 10 hours 40 minutes 

Every year, on the first day of May, one hundred teenage boys meet for an event known throughout the country as "The Long Walk." Among this year's chosen crop is sixteen-year-old Ray Garraty. He knows the rules: that warnings are issued if you fall under speed, stumble, sit down. That after three warnings... you get your ticket. And what happens then serves as a chilling reminder that there can be only one winner in the Walk - the one that survives...

My thoughts: 
When I was younger, I was a huge Stephen King fan and read anything with his name on it. As I have become older, I have read less and less of his novels as I have gradually lost interest in his writing style. I have found a few gems here and there but overall I have been disappointed.

Then I came across this audio copy of The Long Walk. I read it quite a few years ago and it was a happy surprise as I remembered the creepiness of it. I was not disappointed in this “re-read”, it held the same creep factor that I remembered loving from his earlier titles.

The Long Walk is about winning a race that will mean all your dreams coming true – for the rest of your life. So it is quite an honor for the 100 boys that is chosen from the lottery draw. Unfortunately only one boy can win and that means that 99 other boys will die. I cannot
imagine someone being eager and excited about this possibility but these teenage boys all seem to think they will live forever.

In this dystopia television extravaganza, warnings are given for any “infringement” of the rules . . . if your pace becomes too slow, you get a warning. If you sit down to rest your bleeding feet, you get a warning. If you try to leave the race in any way, you get a warning. Every warning can only be erased by walking an hour without any incident. And if you receive three warnings in an hour, you get your ticket – delivered by a gunshot. Your race is terminated – forever, while the spectators cheer.

This book is very entertaining even if it all takes place on a highway during a few days' stretch. We meet a few of the characters and not all of them are very likeable . . . The ending is somewhat strange. I have read a few reviews that speculate about the real meaning of the ending but I thought it was perfect just as it was. I recommend this for all dystopia lovers.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Cuckoo's Calling

 photo cuckoo_zpsc7294e1b.jpg The Cuckoo's Calling 

by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) 
Series: Cormoran Strike #1 
Publication date: 18 April 2013 
Genre: Murder Mystery Detective Novel 
Source: gift 
Date Read: 20 August 2013 
Narrator: Robert Glenister 
Length: 15 hours 53 minutes 

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

A war veteran, wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike's life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . .

A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London - from the hushed streets of Mayfair, to the backstreet pubs of the East End, to the bustle of Soho - The Cuckoo's Calling is a remarkable debut. Introducing Cormoran Strike, it is a classic crime novel unlike any other book you will read this year.

My thoughts: 
This was really a great surprise for me. I am not a Harry Potter fan and the first adult novel by JK Rowling (Casual Vacancy) did not blow me away although I felt compelled to finish it.

I was not sure if I should be giving it another shot, maybe JK Rowling just wasn't for me.  But I love detective novels, so I decided to give it another go.  And The Cuckoo's Calling hit the right spot at the right moment. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery.
Our hero detective is Cormoran Strike Together with titbits from his temporary secretary, he tries to solve all the conflicting leads in this twisting murder mystery when he is hired by the victim's brother to find out the truth about her death.

Cormoran has all the usual hangups that we have come to expect from our favorite detectives but this just makes him seem more human and easy to like. He is a disabled military veteran and I hope to see a lot more of him (and his secretary) in future. The ending gave us an inclining that this might be the first of a series . . . 

I enjoyed this detective murder mystery and would recommend it for a nice and relaxing holiday read.  I look forward to future cases in Cormoran Stike's career.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Program

 photo program_zps2bc9380d.jpg

The Program
by Suzanne Young 

Source: my own copy 
Publication date: 30 April 2013 
Genre: Dystopia Sci-Fi Young Adult 
Date Read: 26 December 2013 
Narrator: Joy Osmanski 
Length: 10 hours 56 minutes 

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories. 

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

My thoughts:
I loved the beginning of The Program. I could not stop listening to the fabulous Joy Osmanski introducing me to Sloan and James and all their friends.

It was strange to think of suicide being a sickness of epidemic proportions. In this future world, suicide is contagious and more and more young people are dying every day. The powers-that-be try to cure this rising tide by erasing the flagged teenagers' memories. So everyone is on edge, trying to not be noticed by hiding all emotions and completing the daily questionnaire by stating that they feel happy and contented. It is smiles all around.

Even with this hard-to-believe concept, I soon gave in to the story's buildup and enjoyed
Sloane's experience in the program. It was definitely fast paced and scary, with a few icky characters making an quick appearance.

Unfortunately when she was released back into the normal world, things started to grate on my nerves. The control that was enforced into all aspects of life was especially hard to take even when I tried to remind myself that that was the point of the story. Sloan's parents was especially irritating and I think the author did an excellent job of us just having to hate them. On the other hand, I can't imagine that Sloan would not want to distance herself from them.

The love story between Sloan and James was very intense for a YA title but I found their re-discovering of their love sweet and heartwarming. Their relationship is just as perfect as we want our fictional romances to be.

I enjoyed some parts of this book and but unfortunately there were stages where I wish I could just fast forward toward the end and the obvious conclusion. I would even go as far to say that if I have not been invested in Sloan and James “finding” each other again, I would have given up. Thinking back, I do not see the point of the introduction of some of the characters and can only imagine that they will feature in the future books.

I liked the story but unfortunately I am not invested in Sloan and James enough to look out for the sequel. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Super Six Sunday: My favourites of 2013

Super Six Sunday is an original bookish meme hosted at Bewitched Bookworms You can see the weekly schedule of themes here. 

I did not have a good year and the reading was not so much better.  I do not have any five star reads and only a few four star reads.  Very disappointing . . . 

My favorite ones, in no order . . .  

 I love horror stories.  This is the second in the parallell world trilogy by SL Grey (a South African duo).  The Ward is not your typical horror and I really enjoyed it.  The first book was sent in a shopping mall.  This one is in a hospital and the third in the series (already waiting in my TBR pile) is set in a boarding school.

 The Pride series is one of my all time favorites.   Wolf with Benefits is book #8 and you are missing out if you have not met this clan.  Start with the first book in the series and I promise you will not be disappointed.  This is the perfect series for holiday reading.

 This was a big surprise.  I enjoyed The Night Circus although I cannot exactly pinpoint why.  It was a very unique story and the narration just gave it that extra "oemphf".  

I enjoy Mira Grant and Parasite was the beginning of another great series.  I am looking forward to seeing where we go from here.

I am not a Harry Potter fan and did not read the books or see the movies.  But this detective series caught my attention and I will definitely be looking for the next in the series.  The Cuckoo's Calling was a pleasant surprise and PI Cormoran Strike was wonderful.

I started this book under the misconception that it would be a horror story - it is Stephen King after all.  But no, Lisey's Story was something in a category all on its own.  It has elements of horror and of fantasy . . . and of life . . .  

I am looking forward to see your favourites, so I can add them to my reading list.  I want 2014 to be more readable . . .

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Audiobook Review: Heart of Obsidian

 photo obsidian_zps40295d1c.jpg  

Heart of Obsidian 

by Nalini Singh 

Source: my own copy 
Publication date: 04 June 2013 
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Date Read: 20 November 2013 
Narrator: Angela Dawe 
Length: 13 hours 11 minutes 

Step into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh’s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling world… 

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred. A woman whose very existence has been erased. A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself. A deadly price that must be paid. The day of reckoning is here. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:
I have forgotten how much I enjoyed the Psy-Changeling series – it has been so long! 

I must admit that I love a strong alpha male in my stories and this book did not disappoint. Our hero is one of the strongest and most powerful Psy in the series.

Heart of Obsidian is all about the love between Kaleb and Sahara. They have known each other since they were young children. Sahara disappeared seven years ago and Kaleb has been on a mission ever since to find her.

Our story starts when Kaleb rescues Sahara and brings her to her new home. I don't want to reveal any spoilers but if you have been following the series, you are going to be shocked!  
But this is not only a love story. There are lots of action and the series moves along very rapidly in this book. 
There are some huge discoveries in this installment.

I enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to Psy-Changeling followers. If you have not followed the series, you will not be able to find all the surprises that is in store for you.   So I would suggest that you start at the beginning.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Audiobook Challenge 2014

The Audiobook Challenge is back for 2014! 

Join The Book Nympho and Hot Listens for the 2nd year of great audio books. 

Audiobooks are great for those times you want to read but can’t for some reason like driving, doing chores (makes them just fly past), sneaking the earbuds in while working, or going for medical treatments like I have to do for the next few months. 

When you find a great narrator, they can make the story even better. I would never have found some awesome stories if I did not find the audio books.  I am sure that the words on paper would have made me close the book!

Reading Challenge Details:
  • Runs January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014. You can join at anytime.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2014 than you did in 2013.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Shelfari, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.

  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
I am going to choose the Stenographer level - I am sure that I will be able to listen to at least one book per month.   

This will be the first time that I do an audio book challenge and if you want to join me, just click on the button above.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Audiobook Review: Bossypants

 photo bossy_zps8126b790.jpg Bossypants
by Tina Fey 

Source: my own copy 
Publication date:
05 April 2011 

Genre: Autobiography 
Narrator: Tina Fey 
Length: 05 hours 30 minutes 
Date Read: 22 November 2013

Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon—from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.(Goodreads)

My thoughts:
Biographies are not high on my reading list but I have heard good things about this one. And I was looking for gasping laughing out loud moments or even just wide smiles. 

Things started on a high note with a peanut joke that had me pausing the audio to share it with my husband. We love a good peanut joke! I was excited, this was going to be great!

Unfortunately it was not really funny after that. It brought a smile to my lips once or twice but overall it quickly became a one tone account of her life at Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock . I am not a SNL fan and have only watched the occasional episode of 30 Rock, so these parts did not hold my attention for long. Thinking back, I can only summarize these parts as the “I worked long hours” chapters.

These were a few spots of light – the fire on the cruise ship while honeymooning being one. Just imagine!

Overall, this was not an entire flop for me (I finished it after all) but I would recommend it only to die-hard Tina Fey fans. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Super Six Sunday: I am so glad I took a chance on . . .

Super Six Sunday is an original bookish meme hosted at Bewitched Bookworms You can see the weekly schedule of themes here. 

And this week, the theme is "I am so glad I took a chance on . . . "  Here are some of the books I would put in that category.

The Mall by S.L. Grey is the first in the trilogy of this strange parallel world - I have just gotten the third and final book and can't wait to start it.  Here is the blurb:

Dan is an angsty emo-kid who works in a deadly dull shopping mall. He hates his job.

Rhoda is a junkie whose babysitting charge ran off while she was scoring cocaine. She hates her life. Rhoda bullies Dan into helping her search, but as they explore the neon-lit corridors behind the mall, disturbing text messages lure them into the bowels of the building, where old mannequins are stored in grave-like piles and raw sewage drips off the ceiling. The only escape is down.

Plummeting into the earth in a disused service lift playing head-splitting Musak, Dan and Rhoda enter a sinister underworld that mirrors their worst fears. They finally escape, but something feels different. Why are the shoppers all pumped full of silicone? Why are the shop assistants chained to their counters? And why is a café called McColon’s selling lumps of bleeding meat?

Just when they think they’ve made it back to the mall, they realize the nightmare has only just begun...

Feed by Mira Grant was a surprise for me.  I started the ebook but could not really get into it. A while later, I started the audiobook on my long commute to work and I was hooked.  After that shocking ending, I never read the rest of the series - maybe it is time . . . 

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

NOW, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives-the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts was another surprise for me.  I found myself sneeking away as much as possible to read just another few lines.

Since the beginning of mankind, civilizations have fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs...and now us. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening: An ancient evil has been unleashed, and it's turning everyday people into hunters, killers, and crazies. This is the world Mason, Aries, Clementine, and Michael are living in--or rather, trying to survive. Each is fleeing unspeakable horror, from murderous chaos to brutal natural disasters, and each is traveling the same road in a world gone mad. Amid the throes of the apocalypse and clinging to love and meaning wherever it can be found, these four teens are on a journey into the heart of darkness--and to find each other and a place of safety.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.  I try to avoid teary books as far as I can - that I shy I have never even looked at a Nicholas Sparks book :)  I can't remember why I took a chance on this one but I am glad I did . . . 

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.

Fools Rush in by Janice Thompson was another strange choice for me.   I haven't read purely woman fiction/romances for a long time but for some reason I chose this one as a freebie on Kindle.  I loved it!  What a sweet and innocent love story.

Bella Rossi may be nearing thirty, but her life is just starting to get interesting. When her Italian-turned-Texan parents hand over the family wedding planning business, Bella is determined not to let them down. She quickly books a "Boot Scoot'n" wedding that would make any Texan proud. There's only one catch - she's a country music numbskull because her family only listens to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Where will she find a DJ on such short notice who knows his Alan Jackson from his Keith Urban?
When a misunderstanding leads her to the DJ (and man) of her dreams, things start falling into place. But with a family like hers, nothing is guaranteed. Can the perfect Texan wedding survive a pizza-making uncle with mob ties, an aunt who is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and a massive delivery of 80 cowboy boots? And will Bella ever get to plan her own wedding?

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson was something different.  Written as kind of a report, it held my attention.

In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication.

In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late.

When the Robot War ignites -- at a moment known later as Zero Hour -- humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years.

What surprised you?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Need some suggestions please

I need some audio book suggestions.  

I will be most probably be ill while I receive treatment in the next few months and I suspect that I will most probably want to stay in bed.  Please let me know your favorites so that I can build up my collection before it all starts.

I have been listening to the In Death series and the ABC is for . . . series, so I have a few of those already.  
Then The Ocean at the End of the Lane was recommended to me which I also got.  I haven't read Catching Fire yet, so I got the audio for that one too. 


What is your favorites?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Review: Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon

 photo lawn_zps8f088195.jpg Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon 

by Paul Tobin, Phillip Simon, Ron Chan 

Publication date: 19 November 2013 
Source: eARC received from NetGalley 
Date read:  07 October 2013

PopCap's immensely popular Plants vs. Zombies game finally gets the plant-filled, zombie-zapping comics treatment it deserves!

The confusing-yet-brilliant inventor known only as Crazy Dave helps his niece, Patrice, and young adventurer Nate Timely fend off a "fun-dead" neighborhood invasion in Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon!

Winner of over thirty "Game of the Year" awards, Plants vs. Zombies is now determined to shuffle onto bookshelves to tickle funny bones and thrill...brains.

Paul Tobin (Marvel Adventures, Falling Skies) and Ron Chan (The Guild, Husbands) join forces with a bevy of battling plants to deliver a hilarious, all-ages, action filled zombie romp to your neighborhood! (Goodreads)

My thoughts: 
Do you love the game, Plants vs Zombies as much as I do?  If so, you are going to be thrilled by this new offering by Paul Tobin.  

What fun as we get to see all our favorite characters (plants and zombies) interact with Crazy Dave, Patrice and Nate.   The beautiful and colorful pages are filled with witty dialogue that will keep you smiling until the last frame.

This is the perfect Christmas gift for anyone with a  Plants vs Zombie addiction. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

I love Audio Books

(photo from Hotlistens via Facebook)

I just had to smile when I found this photo on Facebook today! 

I have been listening to audio books on my daily commute and am loving it.  I have always enjoyed listening to drama and horror but this weekend, I started my first "paranormal romance".  

I have forgotten how much I love the Psy-Changeling series and Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh is really just hitting a nerve with me right now.  It is awesome!  

I am starting to wish for traffic jams!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Super 6 Sunday : My TBR list

Super 6  that are on my TBR list since more than 6 months (.. and I always forget I want to read!)  That is a difficult choice to make . . .I am always a bit behind :) And I have many wishes and many books waiting. 

The oldest book in my to-read list on Goodreads is Uglies.  Still sounds like something that I would like to read . . .

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license - for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.

The choice Tally makes changes her world forever... (Goodreads - added December 2009)

This book was added in February this year (don't you just love the cover?) 

Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can't remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn't charged. But Mallory still feels Brian's presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past.But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others.

In another riveting tale of life and death, Megan Miranda's masterful storytelling brings readers along for a ride to the edge of sanity and back again. (Goodreads)

Broken Destiny is definately still on my TBR pile.  It was written by a fellow South African, so I HAVE to read it (and soon!).

 Ava knows much more, and feels much more than she is allowed to. When she starts questioning her origins and the destruction of Earth, things go horribly wrong for her. She is saved by a Minoan boy from an attempted kidnapping on her life – the perpetrators are evil Zulus and their dark ancient magic. Humans and Minoans are forbidden to interact with each other, and as she is taken back to their village she finds out why – they know of her, her kind and her destiny to save a dying race. Ava must rid them from the Council’s ruling and free the galaxy of The Shadow. Her destiny is to rise above the fall, because within her soul is the key to an archaic weapon that has been missing in the mix of a genetic code since the time of the ancients. As the prophecy unfolds she learns of her bloodline – a bloodline that makes her less human than she could ever have imagined. She alone has the power to destroy or save, but the mind-shift is a horrible thing. Ava will become what she hates to save the ones she loves. Beaten, poisoned, possessed and betrayed by her own emotions, she has no choice but to rise above it all… for that is her Destiny. (Goodreads)

What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing. (Goodreads)

For Mina Singer, falling in love with a knight on a white horse was never part of the plan.

Finding herself catapulted into fairyland she discovers that the Real World is not quite what she thought and fairyland is not quite what she imagined.

The question is... who will come out alive? (Goodreads)

An intelligent computer game with a disturbing agenda.

When 16-year-old Nick receives a package containing the mysterious computer game Erebos, he wonders if it will explain the behavior of his classmates, who have been secretive lately. Players of the game must obey strict rules: always play alone, never talk about the game, and never tell anyone your nickname.

Curious, Nick joins the game and quickly becomes addicted. But Erebos knows a lot about the players and begins to manipulate their lives. When it sends Nick on a deadly assignment, he refuses and is banished from the game.

Now unable to play, Nick turns to a friend for help in finding out who controls the game. The two set off on a dangerous mission in which the border between reality and the virtual world begins to blur. This utterly convincing and suspenseful thriller originated in Germany, where it has become a runaway bestseller.

Ursula Poznanski is an award-winning children’s author. She lives in Vienna, Austria.

What are some of your forgotten books?

 Super Six Sunday is an original bookish meme hosted at Bewitched Bookworms
You can see the weekly schedule of themes here.