Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday! 7.29.14

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the The Broke and the Bookish. Every week she posts an idea for a 'Top Ten' list relating to books, and encourages other book bloggers to respond and participate. All the details are listed on her site.

This week's question: Top ten authors of which we own the most books

These aren't in any particular order, and since I'm not home, I can't actually count how many of each author I have. These are just educated guesses (: Plus it makes me realize that other than these authors, I don't own a ton by the same person! 

1. Jodi Picoult 
One of my absolute favorite authors! I own all of her books and can't wait for her next to come out! 

2. Sandra Brown 
When I was younger, she's pretty much all I read (: 

3. James Patterson 
I'm addicted to his work! I have probably half of them, but if you know him, that's still so many books! I probably have over 20 

4. JK Rowling 
I own all the HP books, as well as Fantastic Beasts and Quidditch Through the Ages

5. Anita Shreve 
I've read a few, but have so many more to go! 

6. Joanna Campbell
I own 7 of the first Thoroughbred series! I was obsessed as a kid! 

7. Nora Roberts 
Again, when I was younger, I mostly read her and Sandra Brown 

8. Jane Austen 
Sad that I haven't actually read any of hers, but I own them all!  

9. Lisa Gardner
I own about 5 of hers and really enjoy them! I still need to read a few of them, but I'm working on it!

10. Nicholas Sparks
I LOVE his books and I think I own them all! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

[Review] Hawthorne by Sarah Ballance

Hawthorne by Sarah Ballance 
Publisher: Sarah Ballance
Publishing Date: February 2014
Format: free ebook
40 Pages
Links: Amazon | Goodreads


After a terrifying encounter with the unexplained, it takes ten years and the news of her grandmother’s passing for Emma Grace Hawthorne to return to her childhood home. She seeks peace in saying a proper goodbye, but what she finds is an old love, a sordid family history, and a wrong only she can right. 

Living in the shadow of Hawthorne Manor, Noah Garrett has never forgotten about Emma Grace. In a house full of secrets, his search for missing documents reveals a truth that can cost him everything. What he finds gave Emma the freedom to walk away from the mansion, her heart free and clear, but at what price to Noah?

My Review 

I found this short story on Amazon when the Kindle edition was free, so I just downloaded it on a whim. I finally read it today on my Kindle - it's a quick read, so it didn't take too much time from my other books. This is a short story about ghosts, old mansions and romance. I can't say I've ever really read a ghost story before, but I liked this one! This book didn't suck me in immediately, but once I was about halfway through, I was hooked. And the ending?! All I can say is "wow." I wasn't expecting that at all. It really makes me want to go back and reread the story since I'm sure I'll pick up on a few other things now! It also really makes me want to visit (or live in!) an old house like the one described so beautifully in this book. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mysteries: Do You Know Whodunit?

The other day I was reading Love You More by Lisa Gardner (review here) and I was thinking about what could have possibly happened in the story, who might have been the killer, who abducted the little girl, etc. It made me think about how some people claim that mysteries are too predictable, that they can always figure out "whodunit" before the story is over. I haven't found this to be true in most of the stories I've read. 

Am I the only one that rarely knows "whodunit" before the ending? 

As I read these stories, I don't always try to dissect every sentence about each character to figure out who the killer/kidnapper/etc. might be. Sometimes there are clues, and I think I know, and I'm right. Other times, I think I know and I'm completely wrong. But that's what I enjoy about these stories! I want to be wrong about who I think committed the crime! It shows that the author did a really good job of creating the mystery and throwing in twists and turns that I didn't expect! I read these type of books for entertainment, not to hone in my detective skills. Like I said, I'm often surprised by the ending and didn't see it coming. I love the twists and turns; I love not knowing until the very end what happened or who the suspect was. That's what's the most entertaining for me. I find that if I constantly try to pick things apart and figure out who it is, then I lose the story a bit and don't enjoy it as much. I'm not entirely sure why this is; maybe because I'm not paying attention to how the character is handling it and I'm more focused on my thoughts and ideas. Regardless, I like not being able to figure it out. 

I'm curious to find out if other readers are genuinely surprised by a lot of endings, or if everyone figures out "whodunit" before the end of the book and I'm in the minority.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday! 7.25.14

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community. If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers. But you have to know, the point of this hop is to follow other blogs also. I follow you, you follow me. 

The general rules are: 
- Follow the Feature and Follow Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read)
- Follow the Featured Bloggers
- Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts. 
- Grab the button up there and place it in a post. This post is for people to say hi and that they are now following you in your comments. 
- Follow, Follow, Follow as many as you can. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Don't just follow, comment and say hi in the post! Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say 'hi'
- If someone comments and says they are following you, please follow back! 

This weeks question: What is your favorite TV series that you can watch over and over again on Netflix? 

Ohhh this is tough because I love watching so many shows, but I'd have to go with Friday Night Lights (: 

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

[Review] 7th Heaven by James Patterson

7th Heaven by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro 
Publisher: Grand Central
Publishing Date: Dec. 1, 2009
Format: paperback, purchased
400 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


A terrible fire in a wealthy suburban home leaves a married couple dead and Detective Lindsay Boxer and her partner Rich Conklin searching for clues. And after California's golden boy, Michael Campion has been missing for a month, there finally seems to be a lead in his case--a very devastating lead.

As fire after fire consume couples in wealthy, comfortable homes, Lindsay and the Murder Club must race to find the arsonists responsible and get to the bottom of Michael Campion's disappearance. But suddenly the fires are raging too close to home.

Frightened for her life and torn between two men, Lindsay must find a way to solve the most daunting dilemmas she's ever faced--at work and at home.

My Review

I really love this series and it keeps getting better with each one! In my mind, James Patterson can rarely go wrong in his storytelling. There's always something new going on in his work and twists and turns that I never expected. I especially love following the lives of Lindsay Boxer and her friends, Yuki, Claire, and Cindy. They all bring so much to the story and their characters are really well developed. 

7th Heaven is a fast paced story that sucked me in from the first page. California's golden boy has gone missing and the police don't have any leads... until an anonymous tip comes it. It sets off a whirlwind investigation and trial that keeps you on the edge of your seat. On top of all that, there's mysterious fires that are killing innocent families. What I loved about this book was that every couple chapters we read from Pidge and Hawk's point of view - and they're the ones setting the fires! It's not easy to figure out who they are or if they have any connection to the Michael Campion disappearance, but its sure interesting to try to find out! I highly recommend not only this book, but this entire series as well! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tell Me Something Tuesday 7.22.14

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings. Each week a new question is presented. Check out Heidi's blog for all the details :)

This week's question: What are some of your favorite reading spots?

I don't have any pictures of them, but my favorite spot is the couch in my living room. I usually read out there while my fiance plays video games. Its a nice way to be with each other while still doing our own thing. Plus, its right next to the fireplace, so during the winter, its so warm and cozy! We also have a lazy boy chair in the living room that's pretty comfy! So when I need to change up my spot, I just switch to that chair!

My other favorite spot to read is in bed. I jump in there with my two cats and can read the night away. Its perfect in the winter because its so warm, and in the summer, it's nice and cool. 

The last place I've been reading a lot lately is the car! I should clarify - I've been listening to a lot of audiobooks in the car (: I travel weekly for work, so having a book to listen to really makes the time go by much faster and its not such a burden to drive long distances anymore! (: 

What are your favorite places? 

Monday, July 21, 2014

[Review] Love You More by Lisa Gardner

Love You More by Lisa Gardner
Series: Detective D.D. Warren, #5
Publisher: Bantam
Publishing Date: Feb. 28, 2012
Format: paperback, purchased
412 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N



Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter? 


As the homicide investigation ratchets into a frantic statewide search for a missing child, D. D. Warren must partner with former lover Bobby Dodge to break through the blue wall of police brotherhood, seeking to understand the inner workings of a trooper's mind while also unearthing family secrets. Would a trained police officer truly shoot her own husband? And would a mother harm her own child? 

. . . TO SAVE HER?

For Tessa Leoni, the worst has not yet happened. She is walking a tightrope, with nowhere to turn and no one to trust. She has one goal in sight, and she will use every ounce of her training to do what must be done. No sacrifice is too great, no action unthinkable. A mother knows who she loves. And all others will be made to pay.

My Review

Lisa Gardner is an amazing storyteller and I love reading her books. I didn't realize that this book was part of a series, and I don't believe I've read them in order, but it doesn't seem to matter too much. It reminds me of James Patterson's Women's Murder Club books - yes, they're a series, and it helps to read them in order, but its not completely necessary and things aren't hard to figure out as you're reading it. 

This was a very fast-paced book that I had a hard time putting down. I constantly wanted to figure out what happened to Sophie and Brian. Was Tessa involved with Sophie's disappearance? Did she kill her family? Was it in self defense? So many questions that needed to be answered! It kept me hooked right up to the end! I also found out that this book, while the 5th in the DD Warren series, its the first in the Tessa Leoni series! I can't wait to find more of her other books and finish both of these! 

I love how this story alternated between Tessa's point of view, being told in first person, and DD's point of view, in third person. It added so much to the story and I really enjoyed getting to know the characters so much more. DD is a really good detective and I like reading the little things about her personal life. And Tessa appears to be a loving mother who will do anything she can to protect her child. These characters compliment each other well and they both learn from each other. If you haven't read anything by Gardner, do it now! She's so very talented!