Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Won - Ghosts of Manhattan by Douglas Brunt

Title: Ghosts of Manhattan: A Novel
Author: Douglas Brunt
Publisher: Touchstone
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Pages: 288 (Hardcover)
Date Won: July 31, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads


Delve into the world of high-stakes trading with this wry, comic debut about life on Wall Street and one man too hooked on the money to get out--even as his career threatens to ruin his marriage and corrode his soul.It's 2005 and the living is easy. Nick Farmer is thirty-five years old, in peak condition, and thriving as a successful bond trader with the seemingly unstoppable investment bank Bear Stearns. His nightlife has been a swirl of liquor, hookers, and cocaine. He clears seven figures every year and has become fiercely addicted to his annual bonus. But the lifestyle is taking a toll on him--and his marriage.

When a nerdy analyst approaches him with apocalyptic prognostications about the imminent decline of Bear's high-flying mortgage-backed securities trading, Nick is presented with the kind of ethical dilemma he's spent a lifetime avoiding. Throw in a seductive financial journalist who seems to be more interested in Nick's physical assets than in the percolating financial Armageddon, along with the prospect that his own wife may have found a new romantic interest of her own, and you have the recipe for one man's personal and professional implosion.

In this gripping debut novel, Wall Street insider Douglas Brunt offers an in-depth look at the banking crisis and the reach of its personal impact. By turns hilarious and harrowing, "Ghosts of Manhattan" takes you to the seedy underbelly of the finance world and into the rarified lifestyle of a charming but flawed character as he struggles to find the right path in a complicated urban heart of darkness.

Won - Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding

Title: Burning Embers
Author: Hannah Fielding
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 269 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 31, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads


Burning Embers is a contemporary historical romance novel set in 1970s Kenya. It tells the story of the developing love and passion between Coral, a naive, young English girl returning to the place of her birth, and Rafe, the handsome but tortured womanizer to whom Coral is inextricably drawn.

It's a story of long, hot African days and sultry nights; of slumbering beasts and awakening desires; of intrigue and darkness; of journeys beginning and ending; of growing up and letting go; of falling in love, and following your heart.

Won - What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

Title: What I Didn't Say
Author: Keary Taylor
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: April 30, 2012
Pages: 336 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 31, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads


Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.

His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Won - The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields

Title: The Age of Desire
Author: Jennie Fields
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Release Date: August 2, 2012
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Date Won: July 30, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads


For fans of The Paris Wife, a sparkling glimpse into the life of Edith Wharton and the scandalous love affair that threatened her closest friendship.

They say behind every great man is a woman. Behind Edith Wharton, there was Anna Bahlmann—her governess turned literary secretary, and her mothering, nurturing friend.

When at the age of forty-five, Edith falls passionately in love with a dashing younger journalist, Morton Fullerton, and is at last opened to the world of the sensual, it threatens everything certain in her life but especially her abiding friendship with Anna. As Edith’s marriage crumbles and Anna’s disapproval threatens to shatter their lifelong bond, the women must face the fragility at the heart of all friendships.

Told through the points of view of both women, The Age of Desire takes us on a vivid journey through Wharton’s early Gilded Age world: Paris with its glamorous literary salons and dark secret caf├ęs, the Whartons’ elegant house in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Henry James’s manse in Rye, England.

Edith’s real letters and intimate diary entries are woven throughout the book. The Age of Desire brings to life one of literature’s most beloved writers, whose own story was as complex and nuanced as that of any of the heroines she created.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Won - Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Rainshadow Road
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series: Friday Harbor, #2
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Pages: 308 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 29, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads


Lucy Marinn is a glass artist living in mystical, beautiful, Friday Harbor, Washington, with a boyfriend, Kevin, who she believes is her soul mate. She has always had a magical side - a gift that finds its way into the breathtaking glasswork she creates - and she struggles to keep it contained. But when Lucy is blindsided by the most bitter kind of betrayal, she questions many of her choices. Her boyfriend leaves her and his new lover is none other than Lucy's own sister. Lucy's bitterness over this devastation is multiplied buy the fact that she has constantly made the wrong choices in her romantic life.

Meanwhile, facing the severe disapproval of Lucy's family, Kevin asks his friend Sam Nolan, a local vineyard owner on the San Juan Island, to "romance" Lucy so that she can more easily move on. But when Sam and Lucy begin to feel real sparks between them, Lucy must ask herself if she can easily risk her heart again.

As Lucy questions her beliefs about love, loyalty, and old patterns, mistakes, and new beginnings, she explores the possibility that some things in life - even after are being broken - can be re-made into something beautiful. And that is the only by discovering who you really are that you can find the one who truly deserves you.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Won - God Believes In Love by Gene Robinson

Title: God Believes In Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage
Author: Gene Robinson
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Pages: 208 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 28, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads

From the Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church, the first openly gay person elected (in 2003) to the historic episcopate and the world's leading religious spokesperson for gay rights and gay marriage—a groundbreaking book that lovingly and persuasively makes the case for same-sex marriage using a commonsense, reasoned, religious argument, made by someone who holds the religious text of the Bible to be holy and sacred and the ensuing two millennia of church history to be relevant to the discussion, equally familiar with the secular and political debate going on in America today, and for whom same-sex marriage is a personal issue; Robinson was married to a woman for two decades and is a father of two children and has been married to a man for the last four years of a twenty-three-year relationship.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Won - Brave Fish by Vincent H. Chough

Title: Brave Fish: Identity, Love, Faith
Author: Vincent H. Chough
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: December 20, 2011
Pages: 175 (ebook)
Date Won: July 27, 2012
Received: From Author via e-mail


For anyone who seeks courage despite their frailty... there is Brave Fish.

An early spring afternoon... a life altering spiritual encounter. Opening with a story about doing anything for acceptance, including starving himself down to 105 pounds, this bold account follows the author's experience which leads to a lucrative career as a physician that he later abandons.

Brave Fish is an unrestricted exploration of betrayal, hypocrisy, addiction and coming of age in the 80´s in America. Eventually Chough leaves everything behind and moves to Argentina to find his mission in life. In the end healing, truth and love triumph.

Here are a few excerpts:

"It would be easy for me to dismiss the indulgences of my youth. I only sowed my wild oats as so many young people do. But I did not stop there. I then reaped the oat harvest, mashed it into mush and brewed the mush into thick beer full of sediment. Drunk and fat on what I had sowed, I pickled myself thoroughly completely drying out any last juices of the excuse of youth. My fangs sank deep into the smooth, translucent ivory neck of innocence, and I sucked deeply."

"ON crisp autumn days Simon and I would plunge down on our bicycles into the valley behind his home. Our thick knobbed tires rolled and bounced us along into a wooded paradise. Joyfully his dog would surf the descent along side us leaping over trenches in the dirt path with her tongue flapping from between her teeth. Leaves carpeted the valley and reflected the sunlight breaking through a canopy of red, yellow, rust and lime, and the floor shined like liquid gold illuminating upward our cathedral of brotherhood. I never wanted those days to end."

"Is not joy, expressed at its most profound level, nearly indistinguishable from sorrow? We shed tears of pain and joy as our biology employs the same conduits for this expression.
The Man upon the cross. Exquisite joy, triumphant sorrow.
At this moment I do not waver, and I exercise tremendous courage, not from myself but from a higher source within me. If I were to execute this explanation on my own terms, a beautiful soliloquy of betrayal would have been woven into a tapestry already thick with lies. This night, however, I claim victory over my pettiness, over my need to save face, and over the fear of exposing my true self. I finally begin to walk in the sweet pastures of truth and light."

Won - Resurrection Express by Stephen Romano

Title: Resurrection Express
Author: Stephen Romano
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Pages: 416 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 27, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads


A cutting edge storm of white-knuckle action and suspense—the year’s most exciting debut thriller!

Meet Elroy Coffin. He’s a twenty-first century high-tech thief with deadly hands. Trained from his youth to be the best there is at what he does. There is no code he can’t break, nothing he can’t hack, no safe he can’t crack. But even the best can fall. Sold up the river after a job by a depraved Texas mob boss, Coffin has spent the past two years incarcerated in a maximum security hellhole, driven to near-madness by the death of his beloved wife. When a mysterious “concerned citizen” arrives at the prison one morning with evidence that Coffin’s wife is still alive, and offers him the chance to find her in return for cracking the most deadly security system ever designed, Coffin knows something big is going down. Back on the street and relentlessly hunted by the same man who left him to rot in jail, Coffin is drawn into a breakneck maelstrom of action, betrayal and intrigue that will test the limits of his skills, and puts him in the center of a death-defying escape through the criminal underworld. But what he doesn’t know is that the men who hired him are running the deadliest game of all time—an endgame that could spell the death of billions, altering the very course of human history. And Elroy Coffin holds the key to it all.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Won - My Not-So-Ordinary Life by Christine Rice

Title: My Not-So-Ordinary Life: An Autobiography
Author: Christine Rice
Publisher: Christine Rice
Release Date: January 19, 2012
Pages: 42 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 26, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads

“My Not-So-Ordinary Life” is an autobiography that tells the author's life story up to age 28. It was composed based on instinct and memory. It shows what the author went through growing up, how she was interested in writing, and how she got through challenging experiences to live the positive life that she lives today. The message of the book is: life may have its ups and downs but, ultimately, you will be okay - and maybe even good - in the end.

Won - The Woman Reader by Belinda Jack

Title: The Woman Reader
Author: Belinda Jack
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: June 30, 2012
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Date Won: July 26, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads

This lively story has never been told before: the complete history of women's reading and the ceaseless controversies it has inspired. Belinda Jack's groundbreaking volume travels from the Cro-Magnon cave to the digital bookstores of our time, exploring what and how women of widely differing cultures have read through the ages.Jack traces a history marked by persistent efforts to prevent women from gaining literacy or reading what they wished. She also recounts the counter-efforts of those who have battled for girls' access to books and education. The book introduces frustrated female readers of many eras—Babylonian princesses who called for women's voices to be heard, rebellious nuns who wanted to share their writings with others, confidantes who challenged Reformation theologians' writings, nineteenth-century New England mill girls who risked their jobs to smuggle novels into the workplace, and women volunteers who taught literacy to women and children on convict ships bound for Australia.Today, new distinctions between male and female readers have emerged, and Jack explores such contemporary topics as burgeoning women's reading groups, differences in men and women's reading tastes, censorship of women's on-line reading in countries like Iran, the continuing struggle for girls' literacy in many poorer places, and the impact of women readers in their new status as significant movers in the world of reading.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Won - One Night Rodeo by Lorelei James

Title: One Night Rodeo
Author: Lorelei James
Publisher: Penguin Group
Series: Blacktop Cowboys, #4
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Pages: 304 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 20, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads


"All it takes is one night to change a cowboy's life..."

Barrel racer Celia Lawson knows better than to tangle with bull rider Kyle Gilchrist. The sexy cowboy's love 'em and leave 'em ways have earned him a reputation on the rodeo circuit, and he's always seen her as his best friend's kid sister. But after one wild, tequila-fueled night, Celia wakes up to find out she's gotten herself hitched--to a man she never should have married

When Celia insists on an annulment, Kyle has no good reason to say no--except he isn't ready to let go of his new bride. But then Kyle inherits a sprawling Wyoming ranch, and seizes the opportunity to enlist Celia's help. She agrees to lend a hand--with two conditions: He has to get up to speed as a rancher within six months; then they'll get a divorce. And their marriage will be in name only.

Kyle gives in to Celia's demand, yet he's ready to prove to her he has what it takes to turn their one night rodeo into a lifetime of love....

Friday, July 20, 2012

Won - Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay

Title: Trust Your Eyes
Author: Linwood Barclay
Publisher: NAL Hardcover
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Pages: 496 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 20, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads


The NAL debut and must-read thriller from #1 international bestselling author Linwood Barclay.

Thomas Kilbride is a map-obsessed schizophrenic so affected that he rarely leaves the self-imposed bastion of his bedroom. But with a computer program called Whirl360.com, he travels the world while never stepping out the door. That is until he sees something in a street view of downtown New York City. Thomas's keen eyes have detected an image in a window...an image that looks like a woman being murdered.
Thomas's brother, Ray, takes care of him, cooking for him, dealing with the outside world on his behalf, and listening to his intricate and increasingly paranoid theories. When Thomas tells Ray what he has seen, Ray humors him with a half-hearted investigation. But Ray soon realizes he and his brother have stumbled onto a deadly conspiracy.
And now they are in the crosshairs...

Won - January First by Michael Schofield

Title: January First: A Child's Descent Into Madness And Her Father's Struggle To Save Her
Author: Michael Schofield
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Pages: 304 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 20, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads


A brilliant and harrowingly honest memoir, January First is the extraordinary story of a father's fight to save his child from an extremely severe case of mental illness in the face of overwhelming adversity.

At six years old, Michael Schofield's daughter, January, was diagnosed with one of the most severe cases of child-onset schizophrenia that doctors had ever seen. In January's case, she is hallucinating 95 percent of the time that she is awake. Potent psychiatric drugs that would level most adults barely faze her. January, "Jani" to her family, has literally hundreds of imaginary friends. They go by names like 400-the-Cat, 100 Degrees, and 24 Hours and live on an island called "Calalini," which she describes as existing "on the border of my world and your world." Some of these friends are good, and some of them, such as 400, are very bad. They tell her to jump off buildings, attack her brother, and scream at strangers.

In the middle of these never-ending delusions, hallucinations, and paroxysms of rage are Jani's parents, who have gone to the ends of the earth to keep both of their children alive and unharmed. They live in separate one-bedroom apartments in order to keep her little brother, Bohdi, safe from his big sister--and wage a daily war against a social system that has all but completely failed them. January First is the story of the daily struggles and challenges they face as they do everything they can to help their daughter while trying to keep their family together. It is the inspiring tale of their resolute determination and faith.

Won - Prepare by Geoffrey Germann

Title: Prepare
Author: Geoffrey Germann
Publisher: N/A
Series: Prepare, #1
Release Date: February 19, 2012
Pages: 314 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 20, 2012
Received: Author gave it to me on Goodreads

As a small boy, Darren Kiel was witness to his father's corruption and contemptible misconduct. As he grew, that experience gave rise to a seething need to atone for his father's crimes, to set the world aright, to enforce order. Now an adult, Darren is thrust into a world far more horrific than he could ever have imagined: The Orchard, a region inundated by crime, violence, poverty, decay, and desperation. With swelling intolerance, hardening resolve, and miraculous technology, Darren sets upon an obsessive crusade to correct what has gone wrong in this society's machine. As the campaign escalates, Darren sees the violence spread to every corner of his life and threaten or destroy everything he's worked for and everyone he holds dear. But is this truly Darren's war or is all this just a small part of a much larger design that he is only now beginning to glimpse?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Won - Agents of Change by Guy Harrison

Title: Agents of Change
Author: Guy Harrison
Publisher: N/A
Series: Agents of Change, #1
Release Date: February 13, 2012
Pages: 380 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 19, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads


In his debut, Guy Harrison writes a unique tale of corruption and espionage in what's been called "an exciting thriller with plenty of surprises" and "an exciting story packed with twists, disasters and suspense."

An amiable corporate manager by day and a matchmaker whenever he can get around to it, Calvin Newsome's new dream job falls into his lap when he's recruited by a secret worldwide organization whose agents use uncanny abilities to empower and influence everyday downtrodden individuals. Disaster strikes, however, when an elaborate scheme leaves Calvin as a prime murder suspect...and his new employer is presumably to blame.

With the authorities on his heels and his life left in ruin, Calvin uses his new powers to blend in until a journey for freedom becomes a quest for peace. As the agency's rival organization threatens the security of all of earth's inhabitants, he teams up with unlikely allies and battles surprising enemies hellbent on unleashing their power in a twisted version of justice, innocent lives be damned.

Other praise:

"Harrison's writing was non-stop action, and kept me turning pages beginning to end...the themes throughout the book were fantastic." --Underground Book Reviews

"Calvin is a strong character who drives the narrative well." --In Potentia, book blog

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Won - What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Title: What's Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles, #1
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Pages: 356 (Hardcover)
Date Won: July 17, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads


Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t…

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable–hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Won - Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman

Title: Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft
Author: Judy Gehrman
Publisher: Magic Genie Books
Series: Book 1
Release Date: June 30, 2012
Pages: 308 (ebook)
Date Won: July 15, 2012
Received: Author gave to me on Smashwords

Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Won - 9 Lives by George M. Moser

Title: 9 Lives
Author: George M. Moser
Publisher: iUniverse
Release Date: March 12, 2012
Pages: 364 (Paperback)
Date Won: July 14, 2012
Received: Giveaway on Goodreads

Michael Merlino lives a charmed life with a successful career, beautiful wife, and beloved son-until his dear father passes away; then things turn strange. Michael can't seem to shake this weird feeling, but maybe he just misses his dad, his mentor. He ignores the feeling that something is wrong.

One day, he accidentally kills a stray cat-a sad but everyday sort of accident; he doesn't give it much thought. When another cat appears in Michael's life, however, it makes him wonder whether the stray cat really died, and whether cats actually do have nine lives, as the saying goes. But this isn't your normal stray kitty. This cat is out for revenge. Its spirit wants something from Michael, but what?

When a man has everything to lose, however, it's much easier to make it happen-especially when that man is up against what appears to be a supernatural enemy. As Michael begins to face his own demons via a demon cat that won't die, his work begins to slide. His life at home gets more difficult, even with his wife there to support him. Then, there was that note his father left that told Michael to "drive it." What did the note mean? Could it possibly have been a warning? The mystery must be solved, as the reincarnated cat keeps getting bigger and meaner, threatening not just Michael's life, but his soul in the bargain.