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Christmas in July Giveaway Hop, July 22 to July 31, 2014

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Three New Winners for Seduced by a Highlander

Random.org has helped me pick THREE NEW WINNERS of Seduced by a Highlander by Paula Quinn as two winners had already won the book and one person has not replied.

Congratulations to:

Victoria, Elaing8<br>and Johanna

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Victoria, Elaing8 and Johanna will be sent the form which they are to complete within 72 hours.

Winners of Audiobook The Island by Elin Hilderbrand

CONGRATULATIONS 
TO THE WINNERS of the Audiobook  
by Elin Hilderbrand
The Island: A Novel

Chanelle, Emma
and Steve

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Thank you everyone for entering.
I will email the form to Chanelle, Emma and Steve. Winners please be sure to fill in the form and reply within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected.

Review and ARC Giveaway - A Hellion in Her Bed by Sabrina Jeffries

The fast, easy flow of this character driven story make it a sure fire bet to please!A Hellion in Her Bed (Hellions of Halstead Hall) by Sabrina Jeffries.

    A Hellion in Her Bed (Hellions of Halstead Hall)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star; Original edition (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439167540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439167540
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0

Product Description
Furious at his grandmother’s ultimatum to marry or lose his inheritance, Lord Jarret Sharpe wagers his luck—and his heart—at the card table against a most unlikely opponent.Mired in scandal after his parents’ mysterious deaths, notorious gambler Lord Jarret Sharpe agrees to tamely run the family brewery for a year if his Machiavellian grandmother rescinds her ultimatum that he marry. But the gambler in him can’t resist when beguiling Annabel Lake proposes a wager. If she wins their card game, he must help save her family’s foundering brewery. But if he wins, she must spend a night in his bed. The outcome sets off a chain of events that threatens to destroy all his plans . . . and unveils the secret Annabel has held for so long. When Jarret discovers the darker reason behind her wager, he forces her into another one—and this time he intends to win not just her body, but her heart.
Review: I was drawn into this historical romance and swept right along to the end.

Jarret is clearly tortured and withdrawn as the result of the accidental shooting and suicide deaths of his parents when he was just a boy. He loved working at the brewery business with his grandparents when he was thirteen. Then he was sent off to school where he was sneered at and taunted by the bigger boys. Now he is not willing to get close or care about anyone or anything, even the brewery he once loved.  If he doesn’t care then he can’t be hurt if it is taken away from him.  He lives the carefree, reckless lifestyle of a gambler, never committing to relationships or work.

Jarret makes a deal with his Grandmother while she is recuperating from illness. He will manage the family brewery for one year if she removes her ultimatum that he wed within a year.  No one is sure if he can really do the job and he isn’t sure how much of a commitment he wants to make as his Grandmother could take it back from him.  Even though he seems to be a scoundrel, Jarret has a warm heart hidden behind his mask of indifference.

Annabel is the type of historical heroine I really like. She is intelligent, determined and loyal. She is running her family’s brewery business in the absence of her brother although she is not well accepted as a woman in the industry.  But she will do what it takes to save the family business, even if that includes seeking the help of a competitor.  Of course she thought she would be dealing with another woman brewster, not the rogue gambling grandson.

Annabel approaches Jarrett with an interesting proposition - business that is. When he doesn’t take her serious she challenges him to his favorite pastime: a game of cards. He ups the stakes when he makes the bet very personal.  Now with a turn of the cards they are off to a match of wits and luck.

Jarret brings out a passion that Annabel has successfully suppressed for many years. She has lived her life expecting to remain a spinster. There are secrets she needs to keep hidden and that Jarrett wants to uncover. But if he finds out some of those secrets, all bets are going to be off.

I really liked these two characters and the unusual plot.  The dialog was fast with a good deal of warmth and underlying humor. There are some questions still open at the end of the book but that is part of the series and I will be happy to read more of this series and Sabrina Jeffries anytime as I can always count on a satisfying read.


Thank you to Nancy Berland PR who provided the ARC and the pack of A Hellion in Her Bed playing cards for a giveaway with the book!

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY FOR THE ARC and Playing Cards:

1. Visit the author's website and tell me something fun that you found there.  Good for One Entry.
See if you can find William Shakespeare. :) 
Alternative comment:  Comment on the review or tell me if you have every toured a brewery. Good for One Entry.
Please leave your e-mail!

2. For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

3. For another entry, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

(Four total entries possible.)
It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.

* This contest is open to US and Canada only.
* No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons.
* This contest will close 10:00 PM (Central) on October 22, 2010. The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
CymLowell

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Review: Two Lethal Lies by Annie Solomon

This story will keep you turning pages to find out how it ends!

Two Lethal Lies by Annie Solomon

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Forever; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446178454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446178457
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4.5 of 5

Product Description
A love to die for...

On the run since his daughter was born, Mitch Turner has concealed a truth so dangerous, its discovery could jeopardize both their lives. But when a series of shocking murders hits their newfound home, the trail leads straight to Mitch. With the police out for blood and his daughter ripped from his arms, he has nowhere to turn--until a beautiful stranger offers her help.

Neesy Brown has made mistakes in her life, yet she refuses to believe this mysterious man is a killer. There's a strength in his broad shoulders that draws her to him and a weariness in his eyes that she longs to ease. As the murders tear her small town apart, she vows to help Mitch find his missing child. But a cunning predator is pulling them deeper and deeper into his fatal game. And the price of losing is the child--and the future--they could both share...
Review: This was wonderful suspense that kept my attention from beginning to end. The romance was heartfelt and added to the story which I liked as a change from some books with sexual scenes that are too long and distract attention from the mystery.

Mitch Turner is a reluctant hero. He is on the road with his 12 year old daughter and stops to rescue another young girl who jumps from a bridge. It is clear that Mitch doesn’t want to stay in town and doesn’t want any attention. It is also clear that his daughter, Julia, is anxious to stay in one place, near a new friend and go to a regular school for a change. Julia is a good character as a precocious and gutsy girl who wants some roots and is at an age to use a bit of threats and pushing boundaries.

Nessy is a curvy waitress at the diner where Mitch takes a grill cook job. She has a history of picking the wrong type of men. Even though she has sworn off men she finds it hard not to be interested in Mitch, especially after she watches him step in between an abusive husband threatening his very pregnant wife.  Nessy is sure that Mitch has to be a good guy considering the way he takes such care of his daughter and helps others too.

Even though Mitch is in a small town the local journalist gets a picture out that starts trouble. When the murders start it isn’t long before Mitch is suspected and arrested. No one wants to listen when he begs them to protect Julia. Nessy can’t believe that this nice guy is guilty of murder and kidnaping. Even though she has agreed to take Julia home with her, Nessy has no choice but to let her go with the movie star gorgeous man who shows up with an Order of custody.

Now Mitch and Nessy have only each other to stave off the loneliness they have experienced for years and to search out and rescue Julia.  The search runs them from Chicago to Florida and finally to Mitch’s home place in New York, always one step behind the deceiver who has Julia. I liked how the author used some interesting settings including the underground tunnels at Disney World and a gothic like mansion in New York.

The mystery is built one level at a time; first in tension and then as the truths are slowly revealed exposing the pieces of the puzzle. The last 50 pages are all out suspense and action as you come face to face with the danger and fear that Nessy, Julia and Mitch may not survive the monster. If you like good suspense this is one you should read!
xxx
Thank you to Hachette for supplying the book for review and giveaway!  Please visit the author's guest post on Suspense!
CymLowell

Giveaway - Five Copies of Two Lethal Lies by Annie Solomon

You'll find lots of suspense and a down to earth hero and heroine, who are not "model beautiful", trying to protect a child from a an evil killer in Two Lethal Lies by Annie Solomon.



Book Cover

Author Photo and Bio

Facebook

Visit AnnieSolomon.com

Previous title: ONE DEADLY SIN

THANK YOU TO HACHETTE FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPONSOR THIS GIVEAWAY.
TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY:

1. For your main entry Check out the Author's Five Fun Facts OR check out the Author's website - there is some really COOL and FUN info there! Tell me something you found interesting.
Make sure you leave your e-mail address!

2. For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

3. For another entry, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

4. For TWO extra entries comment on the review post.

5. For another THREE extra entries comment on the guest post

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.

(Eight total entries possible.) MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL! Five winners!
* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on October 20, 2010. The winners will be randomly selected from all entries. 

Building Suspense - Guest Post by Annie Solomon

As reviewers, when we sign up for the Hachette blog tours we get to suggest Guest Post topics if we want to host a Guest Post. I am thrilled that Ms. Solomon is posting on one of my suggested questions. I figured it was a perfect topic for an author known for her wonderful romantic suspense novels. Thank you Ms. Solomon for sharing some author insight with us today!

DO YOU HAVE A FORMULA FOR BUILDING SUSPENSE?


Building suspense can be tricky in any novel—suspense or otherwise. It’s a matter of finding ways to create tension and to keep the stakes high. So, I wouldn’t say I have a formula, but I do have techniques.
One way is to hint at information but withhold it at the same time. Take the beginning of in Two Lethal Lies where the hero, Mitch Turner, performs a dangerous rescue. The circumstances would normally require a call for an ambulance, but Mitch has no cell phone and wouldn’t call even if he did. Right away the reader knows something’s up with him. The tension comes because there’s a gap between what the reader suspects and what she knows.
Another tried and true way is to throw bodies at the reader. Sounds grim, or does it sound glib? Either way, it works—unexpected death, especially of likable character, creates an aura of danger and menace. In Two Lethal Lies, I begin with the murder of a dog. And not just any dog. I went out of my way to create a dog that was loveable and heroic. Of course neither the readers or the characters know for sure how the dog died. Survival of the fittest or something more sinister? I hint at the answer but withhold anything definitive.

Throwing bodies at a story also helps keep the stakes high. I start with a dog but the next murder is of a secondary character. The stakes automatically rise. And, of course, the fear is that the killer will strike again, even closer to the characters we’ve come to love. 

 Atmosphere is another way to create suspense. The master of this is Daphne du Maurier in Rebecca. Although I wouldn’t put myself in the same class as du Maurier, I do use setting to heighten suspense. Hanover House, the ancestral home of Mitch and his brother, Dutch, gave me a chance to create a weirdly gothic New York mansion. As the heroine, Neesy Brown, explores it, she finds dark back hallways and empty rooms, a spider-infested attic, and other horrors. But she’s never threatened outright—until it’s too late.

Of course, all the technique in the world is only as good as the writer who uses them. I hope I’ve done a good enough job to give my readers Goosebumps now and again!

Be sure to read my review and enter the Giveaway for a chance to win the book!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Giveaway - Three Copies The Postcard Killers Audio Book by James Patterson and Liza Marklund

A fast paced thriller.
The Postcard Killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
Read by Katherine Kellgren, Eric Singer and Reg Rogersy

 
Start Reading Online

Watch the Video or listen to an excerpt. 

THANKS TO HACHETTE FOR PROVIDING THREE AUDIO CD BOOKS FOR GIVEAWAY.
TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY:
1. I'll give you a choice for the entry Comment: you can do any ONE or all if you wish -comment on any single a) - d) = ONE entry; comment on any one of a) - c) PLUS comment on d) = TWO entries.

a) Listen to an Excerpt  and leave a comment about that; OR
b) Visit Patterson's website and tell me something you found there of interest. OR
c) Check out information on author Liza Markland and tell me something about her. 

d) Tell me an artwork you think the killers might imitate for their photo art. ( I know it's macabre but I thought it would be interesting to see if anyone would be brave to answer this one.)

2. For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

3. For another entry, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

4. For two extra entries comment on my review.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Six total entries possible.) MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL!
 

THERE WILL BE THREE WINNERS!

* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on October 15, 2010. The winners will be randomly selected from all entries.

Review: The Postcard Killers by Paterson and Marklund

Scenic Postcards announce the killers in the community but the gruesome murders seem to be unstoppable.
The Postcard Killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
    The Postcard Killers
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (August 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607883821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607883821
Genre: Crime Thriller
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
Product Description
NYPD detective Jack Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him--he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each restaurant through a killer's eyes.

Kanon's daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have become victims of the same sadistic killers. Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Dessie Larsson. Every killing is preceded by a postcard to the local newspaper--and Kanon and Larsson think they know where the next victims will be. With relentless logic and unstoppable action, THE POSTCARD KILLERS may be James Patterson's most vivid and compelling thriller yet. 

Review: This was a really good audio mystery with grim, scarey villains, hapless guardia, a drunken NY detective and a pensive, clever reporter. I don't think the first part of the "product description" is accurate until halfway through the book but when Dessie, not Jacob, puts together the connection between the postcards and the locations. 

The serial murders are gruesome and staged by the twisted killers who are smart, creative, and precise so that they leave no evidence. Detective Jacob Kanon is determined to hunt them down since they killed his own daughter. He has good instincts but would do a better job investigating and analyzing the few clues that exist if he could keep his head out of the bottle.  He is pretty much of a drunk when he first meets Dessie and it is convenient that he manages to clean up pretty fast  ... at least his drinking if not his rumpled, appearance.

Dessie became the real investigative force using her journalistic skills as well as basic common sense to uncover clues piece by piece. She is the person to study the postcards and crime scene photos - the ones sent by the killers - till she sees a pattern connected to famous art works in each city. She is an interesting character with some surprisingly helpful family members.

I felt bad for the portrayal of the Stockholm Guardia (police) as petty and inept. Since the co-author is a Swedish crime writer I hope this isn’t an accurate representation.  There seemed to be no thought to looking for the trail of stolen goods and credit cards, nor checking the backgrounds of the suspects like Jacob did.

I liked the narration done in alternating voices of male and female. Although there were a few slow areas, for the most part the story moved with good intensity.  The climax was very intense and heightened by audio sounds of cars honking, people knocking on windows and gun shots. The problem was I was driving and I had to pause the disc due to the tension created which was distracting in traffic!

If you look with a critical eye you could probably find lots of weak and contrived plot and character issues in this story:  the ineffective police, the quick sobering of Jacob, a few characters (other reporters) uselessly cluttering the story without really getting their comeuppance, and the convenient help from Dessie’s family to catch the killers before they cross the border.  But I was listening for entertainment and not for great literary value or deep crime procedures. I found I could easily follow along and catch the clues while driving and I enjoyed the audio, flaws and all.
 xxx
Thank you to Anna at Hachette for the opportunity to listen to this audio book and for providing three copies for Giveaway.
If you want to listen to this one yourself, enter the Giveaway for a chance to win!
CymLowell

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mailbox Monday September 27, 2010

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week.

This Meme started  with Marcia at The Printed Page but is on blog tour and for September the host is Bermudaonian's Weblog.
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I have not had a chance to do a Mailbox post since August so I have quite a number of "Won" books. Maybe next week I'll post the books I purchased this month.... I actually did purchase some!

Loves Me, Loves Me Knot In early September I received a signed copy of Loves Me, Loves Me Knot by Heidi Betts. I have been wanting to read a book from her knitting series! I got this from a win a AuthorIsland. I used to visit every day but have been too busy and some of the books are more erotic than I am interested in. I just happened to stop by on a day when this was featured!  Thank you DeNita and Ms. Betts.


 *********************
I won books 1-5 of the 39 Clues series!  Then I won books 1-6 and I also won 1-7 at different blogs! Since I had accepted the first announcement of 1-5 I relinquished the other two sets.  I won this at HighTechDad BlogThank you Michael and Author Patrick! I am hoping that Zane is old enough to enjoy these now.

The 39 Clues Book 1:The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
The 39 Clues Book 2: One False Note by Gordon Korman
The 39 Clues Book 3: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis
The 39 Clues Book 4: Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson
The 39 Clues Book 5: The Black Circle signed by Patrick Carman

*********************


Today I Found GodI won Today I Found God by Greg Long 
Thank you TCBR! 
I look forward to reading this with the Grandkids.



 

Ordeal*********************
I won these items at Blogfest:I won an eBook copy of Ordeal by T.K. Varenko from Ex Libris.
Thank you T.K. and Stella.





*********************
I also won a Blogfest package at Book of Secrets 
where I got this Paranormal Romance Package:
These book covers are wonderful!
And Warrior Ascended: The Sons of the Zodiac looks pretty good too!
Thank you Diana!

I didn't win any Blogmania but I still had a good September. :)

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