Go buy this book!

Hey everyone!

I wanted to post about an upcoming book my favorite author is releasing. So am shamelessly promoting her work.

This is a continuation of Lynsay Sands’ long running Argeneau series, which if you’ve read my previous posts you know all about by now. This one comes out Tuesday and I’ll definitely be picking up my copy before work at the wonderful Target.

Do you love Lynsay Sands? I’m always on the look-out for any recommendations you may have for me.

A proper posting will follow within the next couple of days. I should (hopefully) finish Dragonfly in Amber by Sunday night and will be starting a new fluffy book called The Miss Fortunes.

Book Review: Outlander

“Claire Randall is living a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another…”

I want to take the time and do a review for Outlander while it’s still fresh on my mind. Let’s start with the summary, shall we? I own one of the earlier prints of the book and the quote above (that is written inside the front cover) is actually not entirely accurate.

Claire Randall is a former combat nurse back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–it’s been six years since they’ve seen each other. The year is 1945 and they’re enjoying their vacation in Scotland when Claire wanders between two ancient boulders and is suddenly hurdled back in time.

Here it is the year 1743, little over two hundred years into the past. Immediately, she has a run in with a man who looks so much like her husband, Frank and yet when she looks closer to him she knows it is not the same man. This man is a terrible, evil man that happens to be Franks ancester and the villian of this book. A clan of Scotsmen save (kidnap) her from Jack Randall (Frank’s look-alike bad guy) and thus begins her whirlwind adventure. Here she meets James Fraser; a young Scots warrior and outlaw whom she must marry in order to continue to stay safe from Randall.

I have to admit that it is increasingly difficult to summarize this 900 page book without giving too much away. The book sees Claire and Jamie face different obstacles in different settings throughout. There are chapters dedicated to Claire’s doctoring to the people of Castle Leoch where the first half of the book takes place. There are chapters dedicated to Claire’s being accused of witchcraft. There are chapters about Jamie and Claire’s journey to Jamie’s home, Lallybroch. Readers meet Jamie’s sister Jenny and her husband Ian. There’s even an escape from prison and the book finally ends in France.

Who doesn’t love a man in a kilt?

This was my 2nd time reading Outlander and I had the same thought throughout the book. Did I really read this before?Everything was so fresh and exciting for me. This isn’t just a romance book. In fact, I don’t even think I’d be inclined to categorize it as a Romance. It had romance in it, of course, and Jamie and Claire’s relationship is the main ingredient to this saga. But it was so much more than that. Action, intrigue, sex, mystery, violence, romance, heroism….and more! The list goes on.

The book itself is written in first person point of view, with Claire telling the story. In a book this large, there are always many characters but Gabaldon paints a detailed picture with every page written. Every character is incredibly well described and you feel like you know each and every one of them.

I’ve read many books and a handful of books as long as this one. Not one of them has ever made me want to keep reading on. Generally, the longer the book is, the more monotonous it gets. Not so with Outlander. Gabaldon switches the setting up frequently and is constantly changing pace.

If I go on, I may just tell you the entire story and that wouldn’t be good for anyone seeing as how you are going to have to read this yourself to find out!

Final review: 5/5 stars.

Where do you find your books?

I really wanted to take some time and dedicate a post to where I find my books. I’ve mentioned a couple of my favorite websites in passing but here is a concise and organized post on it! I know that while I read a lot of Romance themed books, that may not be everyone’s favorite genre so here’s where you can get yours (no matter what it is!):

1. Bookmooch

This site is really great. It’s a fun and cheap way to share the books you’ve read with others and vice versa. Sign up and for every book you add to your inventory to give away, you get 1/10th of a point. With 1 point you can mooch a book from someone else. If someone mooches a book from you, you get 1 point in return. I’ve been on this site for a couple of years now and go here first if I’m looking for a particular book because I don’t have to pay for it! Tip: add a handful (I usually will add 5-10 books) at a time. Messages get sent to every bookmooch user that has requested, favorited or wishlisted a book you add so when you initially sign up you may get a few bookmooch requests at a time.

If you want to check out my current inventory, have at it! http://bookmooch.com/meghanirene

 

2. Thriftbooks

www.thriftbooks.com is the website I frequent the most for my book purchasing. I’ll usually go here second if I can’t find what I’m looking for on bookmooch or if I am looking to purchase several books at once. Most of the mass market paperbacks are right around $4.00 on this site and it’s FREE shipping to anywhere in the US! How can you go wrong?? Plus, every book you order from the same warehouse is $0.50 off. I can usually purchase 4-5 books for less than twenty dollars. The site itself has been running a little slow for me lately and I’m not sure if it’s my computer or the server but it hasn’t stopped me from shopping there. Just put an order in for a few books, actually!

Here’s Mister Linky!
www.thriftbooks.com

 

3. Amazon

I purchase a lot off Amazon but try to stay away from buying books off the site. I haven’t yet tried ordering used books from them (Have you? How is it?) so any book I buy from Amazon is brand new. I’ll purchase brand new only if I want to add to a favorite author’s collection of mine or if the book can’t be found elsewhere. However, I do purchase all my Kindle books from Amazon. My ratio of actual books to e-books read is probably somewhere around 80:20 so I really purchase a lot less off Amazon. It’s great to use if you love the Kindle though because any newly released book usually has a great sale price for the Kindle. I ordered Wicked Business the day it released for about $12.00 and it came with some cool bonus features which the $25 hardcover didn’t come with.

If you live under a rock and don’t know the web address for Amazon, here it be:
www.amazon.com

 

4. The Book Barn

I had to throw my all time favorite bookstore on this list. Now, if you live outside CT, you probably won’t ever get to visit the fabulous book barn but if you DO happen to live in CT, visit now! It’s located in Niantic, CT and I usually make the trip every couple of months to enjoy a day by the shore at the book barn. This bookstore is literally what its name implies. Barns full of books! Hundreds upon thousands of books! Every size, genre, and author imaginable! After hitting up the main store, drive about a mile up the road to the smaller Downtown and Midtown book barn stores. If you ever have a chance to stop here for a few hours, it’s quite worth it. They do buy books but are a bit picky with romance and seeing as how they have barns full of only romance, you can’t blame them. Mass market paperbacks are $1.00 each so grab a bag or bring a wagon and go to town!

They have a website!
http://www.bookbarnniantic.com/

 

So there you have it, my prime sources of bookery! What are your favorite bookstores or book websites? I’m always on the lookout for a good book-themed site so if you know of any, lead the way!

PS. In other news, I’m about 500 pages into Dragonfly in Amber and will be reviewing Outlander shortly. I’d also like to know if you have any suggestions/requests for books that I should be reading and reviewing.

 

Historical Thoughts

Well hello there to my many readers! I have just updated the WIRN (What I’m Reading Now) page and have continued on with Diana Gabaldon’s time travel series. Reading these books remind me of the historical romance that I used to devour when I first started reading. I thought I’d take the time to put my two cents in about the genre in general and share with you a few of my favorite historical romances.

Now, a lot of people roll their eyes at the mention of historical romance and I have to admit, I’ve become one of them. However, I give praise where it’s given and even though the majority of the genre has become a bit monotonous, there are a few books that I’ve enjoyed so much that I do go back to them time and again to re-read.

 I was in 8th grade when I read my very first novel. It also happened to be a historical by the name of Highland Princess. The book itself isn’t anything too incredible, but it does hold a special place in my heart. For this is the first book I devoured, the first book I couldn’t wait to open, the first book that literally made me giddy with excitement just to read even a page of. I still love the feelings that come over me when I know I’m reading an incredible book. Highland Princess is set in Scotland and stars a Princess named Bera, only sister with twelve warrior brothers. When her brothers are imprisoned in enemy dungeons, Bera takes it upon herself to rescue them, disguising herself to sneak into the fortress. It’s here that she meets Curran, a mercenary and a man to match her for everything she is.

I know it sounds totally corny. But hey, as a first book, I can’t help but still love it. If not because it’s a genuinely good historical romance because with it began my obsession and love of books.

The second book that I wanted to mention is called The Bride and the Beast by Teresa Medeiros. It stars Gwendolyn Wilder, a villager who is cruelly sent off as a sacrificial offering to the beast of Weycraig. But the beast is just a man, Bernard MacCullough, recently returned to his broken down castle. Again, this one is pretty typical. And I just realized also set in Scotland. Must be something….

In fact, since I’m lingering on The Bride and the Beast, I’ve enjoyed most of Teresa Medeiros’ books. She has some wonderful storylines and who doesn’t love a “happily ever after” in between Urban or Paranormal Fantasy, a long Non-Fiction, or even in the middle of a saga?

I read a lot of historical romance for a long time so to think off the top of my head of my favorite ones are a bit hard. I average about one book a week now but back when I was flying through historicals taken from the library, I could easily read thru 5-6 in a week. Julie Garwood was a favorite of mine and since her historicals have been published, she’s ventured into modern day mystery, intrigue, and romantic suspense. I also loved Johanna Lindsey, always good for a great plot, action and adventure.

I will end this for now, but was happy to give you a little further insight onto my bookshelf. Historicals may not be my first choice these days but you can’t ever knock a good historical. They are the best books for taking you away from the monotony of life and transporting you to far away worlds involving pirates, cowboys, nobility, you name it.

What are your favorite historical romances? What are your opinions on the genre in general?

WIRN July 17, 2012

WIRN (What I’m Reading Now)

I thought after finishing Outlander that I might start and finish a lighter, “fluffier” book. By the time my fingers flipped to the last page, I couldn’t wait to read on. I was wary of starting Dragonfly in Amber because it begins with Claire and her grown daughter in 1968. No more Jamie Fraser?? No more 18th century Scotland?? However, I forged ahead and very quickly became enveloped in the modern day storyline. Claire (now Randall again) brings her adult daughter Brianna to Scotland in order to tell her the truth. Little over 20 years ago, Claire was hurled back thru time and into the arms of a twenty-three year old Scottish outlaw–Brianna’s real father.

I found myself almost a little distraught that after Part One ended, Part Two picked up Claire and Jamie’s story from back in the 18th century, now in France and trying to put a stop to the inevitable final battle at Culloden where many lives will be lost. My disappointment lasted only several pages, as I found myself overjoyed to once again become a spectator of Claire and Jamie’s private moments and new adventure in France.

Now on page 165, I can’t wait to see what happens in the 18th century…and also what will happen in the 20th. I had previously read Outlander years ago but never continued the series and I’m excited to find out where it will go. I’m going to try to read a fluffy book after this one, but I can’t promise anything. We’ll see how great the story gets from here!

Book Review: Darkfever

Darkfever
By Karen Marie Moning

“My Philosophy is pretty simple–any day nobody’s trying to kill me is a good day in my book. I haven’t had many good days lately.”

Darkfever is the first book in a series about Fae; the light and the dark, the Seelie and the Unseelie. But let’s back up a bit: MacKayla Lane is living a fairly normal life when she learns that her sister (whilst studying abroad in Ireland) is viciously murdered. She turns her life upside down after listening to a mysterious message left by her sister right before her murder. Intending to investigate her sister’s murder and find out the truth, she soon discovers much more than she bargained for.

For in Ireland, Mac discovers that she has a unique ability. She can see beyond the world of man and into the dangerous world of the Fae. Mac is a Sidhe-Seer; she can see both factions of the Fae- the light and the dark. Both groups are mysterious and dangerous. Of course it doesn’t just end here. Mac quickly meets Jericho Barrons, a mysterious bookstore owner that enlists Mac’s help to find the elusive Sinsah Dubh, a dark and all-powerful book that may help solve her sister’s murder. Can she trust him?

And yet, that’s still not all: another man fae appears in Mac’s life. His name is V’lane, a ruthless alpha Fae that makes sex an addiction for human women. He closes in on Mac as the boundaries between the human and Fae world start to crumble. Who killed Mac’s sister? Who should she trust? All she knows is that if anyone is going to get their hands on an all-powerful book capable of controlling both worlds…it’s going to be her.

Darkfever is a book that I bought years ago, read a chapter of, put down. Picked it up again, read a chapter of, put it down yet again. And finally, just last year, picked it up and decided to just keep on reading. It wasn’t long at all before I was hooked. I think it took me so long to get into this book because I would certainly classify it as Urban Fantasy, which is in my opinion, generally too plot-filled, detailed, and long-winded for me. Not to mention usually a bit depressing for some reason. This was not the case with this book. I was sucked in after a couple of chapters.

Karen Marie Moning’s first series involved time-travel romance and was generally a lot more light-hearted and fun. One of the only authors I’ve read who can completely switch up genre’s and you wouldn’t even know it. This book had me flipping pages faster than I can explain. I was up all hours of the night, devouring it. The characters are well-developed and you quickly find yourself routing for Mac. The interesting part of this book to me is that instead of one love interest, there are two. Throughout the book the reader isn’t sure who’s the bad guy. Is it V’lane? Is it Barrons? Is it someone else entirely? Moning definitely keeps you guessing throughout the entire book- and no, she doesn’t end it there. Four more books follow this one and you bet your ass I went out and bought every single one right away. Each book lends something different to the ultimate storyline of the series. We’ll leave it at this one for now- I’ll be sure to review the rest of the books in the series as well. In the meantime, pick up Darkfever at the library, www.thriftbooks.com, or www.bookmooch.com.

When you arrive back from your trip to the Fae infested Ireland, let me know how it was!

Overall: 5/5 stars.

Book Review: Sign of Seven Trilogy

Sign of Seven Trilogy
Nora Roberts

“Every seven years, on the seventh day of the seventh month, strange things happen.”

The Sign of Seven trilogy begins with “Blood Brothers,” a tale of three young boys (Caleb, Fox, and Gage) who go on a camping trip to the Pagan Stone. Twenty-one years later, the boys have now grown into men and the evil that comes to the small town of Hawkins Hollow every seven years has progressively gotten worse. The books follow the three friends as they prepare for the upcoming battle and of course, fall in love along the way. “Blood Brothers” is Caleb Hawkins story. The modern day legend of the Pagan Stone draws reporter turned author Quinn Black to the small town to investigate and prepare for her upcoming novel. “The Hollow” stars lawyer, Fox, and Layla, a woman drawn to the town for reasons unbeknownst to her. Together throughout the book, she discovers her newfound ability to see into people’s minds and must lean on Fox for guidance and help. In the final book, “The Pagan Stone,” Gage Turner is a gambling man and a lover of spontaneaity. He doesn’t stay in one place long and tries to stay far away from the town he grew up in. He does, however, have to come back to Hawkins Hollow and reunite with his blood brothers for the final battle against the evil that has been brewing for the past twenty-one years. His love interest is Cybil, friends with Quinn, a woman whose fate is intertwined with the five others.

The books are really quite fabulous. I’m not at all a Nora Roberts fan (much to my surprise, even) but these three books were great. I picked up all three at the bookstore while browsing one day and had them read within just a couple of weeks. There is a love story in each book but it takes a back seat to the main ingredient of the trilogy, evil. All the characters appear in each book and the story-telling is so well done. Roberts does a great job of weaving characters, romance, mystery, intrigue, action, and horror into each book without it seeming overwhelming. While I’ve always been a fan of romance, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed these books. There’s a great supernatural element to them that isn’t “just there” but explained in detail using flashbacks and interesting finds on the characters parts. The books were a little scary, and as much as I would classify them as Mystery or Supernatural, I’d just as easily put them in the Horror section. I highly recommend these if you love a good story and a little scare.

Overall: 4/5 stars.