Thursday, September 26, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Help for the Haunted by John Searles

Title: Help for the Haunted
Author: John Searles
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: Sept. 17/2013
Adquired: Print ARC provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

It begins with a call in the middle of snowy February evening. Lying in her bed, young Sylvie Mason overhears her parents on the phone across the hall. This is not the first late-night call they have received, since her mother and father have an uncommon occupation, helping "haunted souls" find peace. And yet, something in Sylvie senses that this call is different than the rest, especially when they are lured to the old church on the outskirts of town. Once there, her parents disappear, one after the other, behind the church's red door, leaving Sylvie alone in the car. Not long after, she drifts off to sleep only to wake to the sound of gunfire.

Nearly a year later, we meet Sylvie again struggling with the loss of her parents, and living in the care of her older sister, who may be to blame for what happened the previous winter.

As the story moves back and forth in time, through the years leading up to the crime and the months following, the ever inquisitive and tender-hearted Sylvie pursues the mystery, moving closer to the knowledge of what occurred that night, as she comes to terms with her family's past and uncovers secrets that have haunted them for years.

Monday, September 23, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

Title: The Cutting Season
Author: Attica Locke
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: Sept. 18/2012
Adquired: Print ARC provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

The American South in the twenty-first century. A plantation owned for generations by a rich family. So much history. And a dead body.

Just after dawn, Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug up by the fence bordering the sugar can fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long afterwards, he calls her to say it's something else. Something terrible. A dead body. At a distance, she missed her. The girl, the dirt and the blood. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn't know. As she's drawn into the dead girl's story, she makes shattering discoveries about the future of Belle Vie, the secrets of its past, and sees, more clearly than ever, that Belle Vie, its beauty, is not to be trusted.

A magnificent, sweeping story of the south, The Cutting Season brings history face-to-face with modern America, where Obama is president, but some things will never change. Attica Locke once again provides an unblinking commentary on politics, race, the law, family and love, all within a thriller every bit as gripping and tragic as her first novel, Black Water Rising.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I feel like I've conformed, and I want to apologize..

Lately, I've been feeling like a guest in my own home..

I run and maintain this blog. I paid for, and therefore own, my domain name..but lately, my posts haven't been reflecting the fact that a real, live person is behind them. I haven't written a review for a book that I actually bought myself, or borrowed from the library, in the longest time. I've been READING them, I just haven't put any reviews up =(. I feel like I'm letting all of YOU down, like I've strayed so far away from why I started this blog in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE blog tours, I get the chance to promote books by authors I adore, and some by authors that have become my new favourites.

I just...want to make this blog feel more personal again..

I want to start posting interesting things about my reading life, my thoughts on book related things. I've been going to some AMAZING book events lately, and have so many more lined up for the next 2 months..yet I've posted about NONE of it. I have this amazing outlet at my disposal, and I haven't been using it the way I want to.

I need to stop pressuring myself. I need to stop feeling like I have to post certain things to get "noticed" by the big guns. Like I should have fancy graphics, and some kind of designed heading for EVERY post. I wanted this blog to be the start of some HUGE things for me, but I think I've been hurting my mental state in the process. I'm overwhelmed with this need to make everything perfect, to read all of the popular books as SOON as I can, and sometimes..I just want to let go. I'm going to start letting go..

I'm heading to the annual Word on the Street book festival here in Toronto tomorrow, and I can't wait to share my experience with you all on here! It will be step 1 in my blog refresh goal. Yes, that's what it will be..=)

Friday, September 20, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan

Title: The Panopticon
Author: Jenni Fagan
Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: William Heinemann
Release Date: Sept. 13/2011
Adquired: Print ARC provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car. She is headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can't remember what’s happened, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and Anais’s school uniform is covered in blood.

Raised in foster care from birth and moved through twenty-three placements before she even turned seven, Anais has been let down by just about every adult she has ever met. Now a counter-culture outlaw, she knows that she can only rely on herself. And yet despite the parade of horrors visited upon her early life, she greets the world with the witty, fierce insight of a survivor.

Anais finds a sense of belonging among the residents of the Panopticon – they form intense bonds, and she soon becomes part of an ad hoc family. Together, they struggle against the adults that keep them confined. When she looks up at the watchtower that looms over the residents though, Anais knows her fate: she is an anonymous part of an experiment, and she always was. Now it seems that the experiment is closing in.

Named one of the best books of the year by the Times Literary Supplement and the Scotsman, The Panopticon is an astonishingly haunting, remarkable debut novel. In language dazzling, energetic and pure, it introduces us to a heartbreaking young heroine and an incredibly assured and outstanding new voice in fiction

Thursday, September 19, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Swimming in the Moon by Pamela Schoenewaldt

Title: Swimming in the Moon
Author: Pamela Schoenewaldt
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: Sept. 3/2013
Adquired: Print ARC provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

From the author of When We Were Strangers comes a uniquely American story-a tale of deep, shifting ties between a determined daughter and her gifted, wounded mother in the early 1900s, framed by bitter union strikes, the thrill of vaudeville and a young woman's struggle to find her place.

Lucia D'Angelo's voice is nothing like her mother's. She's no nightingale with the gorgeous tones, tender and passionate, peaking and plummeting as dramatically as her moods. Yet in the rough world she's chosen, Lucia's words may truly change lives.

In 1904, fourteen-year-old Lucia and her young mother Teresa are servants in a count's lush villa on the Bay of Naples. Between scrubbing floors and polishing silver, Teresa soothes the unhappy countess with song until one morning's calamity hurls mother and daughter to America, exchanging their gilded cage for icy winds off Lake Erie and Cleveland's taut immigrant neighborhoods. Lucia blossoms and Teresa wins fleeting fame on the tawdry stage of vaudeville until old demons threaten their new life. In factories and workhouses, Lucia finds her own stage, giving voice to those who have given her a home. As roles reverse, mother and daughter reshape their fierce and primal bond.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Quantum Entanglement (Interchron #2) by Liesel K. Hill

Title: Quantum Entanglement (Interchron #2)
Author: Liesel K.Hill
Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian Fiction
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: Sept. 17/2013
Adquired: E-ARC provided by author
Goodreads: ADD
Purchase: Amazon/Smashwords

Five months after traveling to a post-apocalyptic future where collectives reign supreme and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper was returned to her own time until the threat to her life could be neutralized. She thought Marcus and the others would return for her within a few weeks, and now she’s beginning to worry.

When travelers from the future finally show up to collect her, it’s not who she expected. With the return of her memories, she wants more than ever to see Marcus again, but a snake-like woman whose abilities are a perfect match for Maggie’s, an injured Traveler, and decades of civil unrest to wade through all stand in the way of their reunion.

Meanwhile, Marcus and Karl traipse through the countryside, trying to neutralize Colin, who’s promised to brutalize and murder Maggie if he can get his hands on her. When a collective woman is left for dead, Marcus heals her, hoping she’ll be the key to killing Colin and bringing Maggie back. But she may prove as much a hindrance as a help.

The team struggles to get their bearings, but things happen faster than they know. The collectives are coalescing, power is shifting, and the one called B is putting sinister plans into action. If the team can’t reunite and get a handle on the situation, their freedom and individuality—perhaps their very identity—will be ripped away before they can catch their breath.

Monday, September 16, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Painted Hands by Jennifer Zobair

Title: Painted Hands
Author: Jennifer Zobair
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: June 11/2013
Adquired: Print ARC provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Muslim bad girl Zainab Mir has just landed a job working for a post-feminist, Republican Senate candidate. Her best friend Amra Abbas is about to make partner at a top Boston law firm. Together they’ve thwarted proposal-slinging aunties, cultural expectations, and the occasional bigot to succeed in their careers. What they didn’t count on? Unlikely men and geopolitical firestorms.

When a handsome childhood friend reappears, Amra makes choices that Zainab considers so 1950s—choices that involve the perfect Banarasi silk dress and a four-bedroom house in the suburbs. After hiding her long work hours during their courtship, Amra struggles to balance her demanding job and her unexpectedly traditional new husband.

Zainab has her own problems. She generates controversy in the Muslim community with a suggestive magazine spread and friendship with a gay reporter. Her rising profile also inflames neocons like Chase Holland, the talk radio host who attacks her religion publicly but privately falls for her hard. When the political fallout from a terrorist attempt jeopardizes Zainab's job and protests surrounding a woman-led Muslim prayer service lead to violence, Amra and Zainab must decide what they’re willing to risk for their principles, their friendship, and love.

The Namesake meets Sex and the City in this engaging and provocative debut novel about friendship and the love lives of American Muslim women.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Equilibrium by Lorrie Thomson

Title: Equilibrium
Author: Lorrie Thomson
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: August 27/2013
Adquired: Print ARC provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD
Purchase: Amazon

In the year since her husband died, Laura Klein's world has shifted on its axis. It's not just that she's raising two children alone--fact is, Laura always did the parenting for both of them. But now her fifteen-year-old daughter, Darcy, is dating a boy with a fast car and faster hands, and thirteen-year-old Troy's attitude has plummeted along with his voice. Just when she's resigning herself to a life of worry and selfless support, her charismatic new tenant offers what Laura least expects: a second chance.

Darcy isn't surprised her mom doesn't understand her, though she never imagined her suddenly acting like a love-struck teen herself. With Troy starting to show signs of their father's bipolar disorder, and her best friend increasingly secretive, Darcy turns to her new boyfriend, Nick, for support. Yet Nick has a troubled side of his own, forcing Darcy toward life-altering choices.

Exploring the effects of grief on both mother and daughter, Equilibrium is a thoughtful, resolutely uplifting novel about finding the balance between holding on and letting go, between knowing when to mourn and when to hope, and between the love we seek and the love we choose to give.

Monday, September 9, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Dark Remnants by Liesel K. Hill

Title: Dark Remnants (Street Games #1)
Author: L.K. Hill
Genre: Crime Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace (Self-Published)
Release Date: Sept 3/2013
Adquired: Ebook copy provided by author
Goodreads: ADD
Purchase: Amazon

In the most dangerous city in the country, one controlled by a sadistic gang called the Sons of Ares, Kyra Roberts is searching the deep places for someone…

Kyra has come to Abstreuse city to find someone she’s lost, but walking the underbelly—a dark alley system residents call the Slip Mire—even in disguise, is rife with dangers. Kyra must stay on her toes if she intends to live. After crossing paths several times with the same detective, she wonders if his work and hers might be connected.

Gabe Nichols has worked homicide in Abstreuse for three years. Dead prostitutes and gang violence are part of the night shift. When a woman who looks like a street junkie but acts like an intellectual saves his life, he’s intrigued. Another woman shows up at his crime scene, and Gabe’s instincts kick into high gear when she clams up. Two cases involving strange women who won’t tell what they know are too coincidental.

If Gabe and Kyra can’t find a way to collaborate, they may not live to see the sunrise. Doomed, like so many others, to become gray, unmarked graves in a forgotten fracture of the Slip Mire.

Friday, September 6, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Lowcountry Bombshell by Susan Boyer

Title: Lowcountry Bombshell
Author: Susan Boyer
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Release Date: Sept 3/2013
Adquired: Ebook copy provided by publisher 
Goodreads: ADD

Private Investigator Liz Talbot thinks she’s seen another ghost when she meets Calista McQueen. She’s the spitting image of Marilyn Monroe. Born precisely fifty years after the ill-fated star, Calista’s life has eerily mirrored the late starlet’s—and she fears the looming anniversary of Marilyn’s death will also be hers.

Before Liz can open a case file, Calista’s life coach is executed. Suspicious characters swarm around Calista like mosquitoes on a sultry lowcountry evening: her certifiable mother, a fake aunt, her control-freak psychoanalyst, a private yoga instructor, her peculiar housekeeper, and an obsessed ex-husband. Liz digs in to find a motive for murder, but she’s besieged with distractions. Her ex has marriage and babies on his mind. Her too-sexy partner engages in a campaign of repeat seduction. Mamma needs help with Daddy’s devotion to bad habits. And a gang of wild hogs is running loose on Stella Maris.

With the heat index approaching triple digits, Liz races to uncover a diabolical murder plot in time to save not only Calista’s life, but also her own.