Thursday, December 1, 2016

When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 2016, Berkeley

About the Book

When Charlotte's step-sister goes missing and the women in her investment club start dying, Charlotte joins forces with a private investigator to find answers. Max and Charlotte discover that the investment club is just a front for the women and their activities to right wrongs done against them and other women. 

It looks like someone has discovered them and are now being hunted and killed but who can it be?

A good mystery and a bit of romance, When All the Girls Have Gone was an entertaining read. I enjoyed the suspense, the twist and turns. The romance was believable... A bit quick, but believable. I look forward to reading another book by Krentz. This was the first book of hers I have read but won't be my last. 

I also really love the look of this cover. Don't you?

About the Author

The author of over 50 consecutive New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 30 million copies of her books in print. 

She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California. Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.

Ms. Krentz is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book Club Reads in 2016

This year's Book Group reads have run the gamut from Sci Fi to classics to popular fiction. We have read it all. Here's a list of all our books this year.

Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar (Interesting read)
Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell (slow, but great imagery of the horrors in war)
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (my favorite)
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (scary look at our future)
The Best of Connie Willis by Connie Willis (did not read)
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson (enjoyed this non-fiction)
The Dinner by Herman Koch (disturbing, unlikeable characters, good)
Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks (dnf)
A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (currently reading)

Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Current Read: When All the Girls Have Gone by Jane Ann Krentz

Jayne Ann Krentz, the New York Times bestselling author of Secret Sisters, delivers a thrilling novel of the deceptions we hide behind, the passions we surrender to, and the lengths we’ll go to for the truth...
Look for my review on December 1st.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Current Read: Doctor Sleep

I have been reading some Stephen King this month. Perfect for Halloween. It has been a busy month with school volunteering, and the house remodel, though, so my reading time has been a bit limited. So this book will be going into November. Really enjoying it.

Happy Reading!

Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween has been influencing my lettering practice this month. Hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Current Read: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Enjoying this third book in the series. Another quick read and fun, interesting mystery.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti

The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti
304 pages, paperback
Published September 2016, Atria Books
Source: Provided by publisher for review via NetGalley.

I could not put this book down. 
Once I started I wanted to get to the end right away.

Zoe has just gotten married to a rich widower and has left her old life behind. No longer scraping to make ends meet, Zoe is now showered with gifts and fine clothes and is heading charity events. It is around this time that her past starts to catch up to her. Her apartment gets broken into, she is almost hit by a car. Could the men that she testified against in her previous life have found her?

Lots of suspense, and many possibilities...this book kept me interested throughout and had me yelling at Zoe to smarten up a bit. It is amazing how quickly she went from the luckiest girl to the least. Should she have seen this coming?

About the Author

Kate Moretti lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog. She’s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life.

She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn’t get to do those things as much as she’d like.

Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passageway.
Happy Reading!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cover Reveal: Renegade Red



*Want to look closer? Check out the large-size cover graphics at the end of this post.

RENEGADE RED, the sequel to the award-winning novel SHATTERED BLUE will be available in THREE special edition covers, in both Hardcover and Paperback, in March 2017! Distribution from online sites and into bookstores will be random, so you have a chance to collect them all— the POET EDITION, the WARRIOR EDITION, and the very exclusive TRAVELER EDITION. Happy hunting, and learn more at!
Featured in USA TODAY!
Join Lauren and Zoe Cope, the designer of all three covers, for a live Twitter chat at 10am PST/1pm EST Thursday 9/22
Reckless, desperate, and distraught, Noa Sullivan leaps into a collapsing Portal in the explosive finale of Shattered Blue— the jaw-dropping, award-winning first installment in The Light Trilogy— in wild hope of rescuing her little sister Sasha. Now Noa and the Fae brothers who love her—Callum and Judah Forsythe—must find a way to survive not only across worlds but between them, in places so treacherous and deceptive their own minds are twisted against them. As the three fight to survive their passage, they battle not only enemies but themselves, and their darkest, most difficult secrets.
Surviving, however, is only the beginning: Noa needs to find Sasha. That means becoming a warrior herself, one just as fierce as the magical brothers battling for her love. Across broken cities, underground labyrinths, rushing floods and endless skies; in the face of legions of armies, horrifying tyrants, and the most deceitful of friends, can Mortal Noa rescue her sister—and understand her own heart—in time to escape the most deadly of magic realms?
Add to Goodreads:
Request an ARC now:
Silver Medalist
"Must-read romances of 2015… I guarantee you'll be hooked and anxiously awaiting the next book in the series”
“Anyone who’s ever fantasized about kissing a Fae will enjoy Noa and Callum’s first sexy kiss...Romantic sparks concise”
- Kirkus Reviews
"A fantastical tale of love and betrayal...colorful world-building...more than enough emotion and angst to keep any romance-loving teenager glued to the pages, and the promise of a trilogy will keep them eagerly anticipating the next book...VERDICT Librarians with a large fantasy readership should invest in the print version of this title.” - School Library Journal
“A book to fall for”
“Not your average fairy tale… will have you clamoring for more of a story that you didn’t see coming…new and surprising."
“Magic, action and a really, really attractive love interest… what more could you want?"
“A love story you won't soon forget… A story of of protection sacrifice and love"
A "Book To Lean On When The Going Gets Tough"
A "Book for All Ages"
Sign up for The Light Letter here:
For Noa and Callum, being together is dangerous, even deadly. From the start, sixteen-year-old Noa senses that the mysterious transfer student to her Monterey boarding school is different. Callum unnerves and intrigues her, and even as she struggles through family tragedy, she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Soon they are bound by his deepest secret: Callum is Fae, banished from another world after a loss hauntingly similar to her own.
But in Noa’s world, Callum needs a special human energy, Light, to survive; his body steals it through touch—or a kiss. And Callum’s not the only Fae on the hunt. When Callum is taken, Noa must decide: Will she sacrifice everything to save him? Even if it means learning their love may not be what she thought?
Barnes and Noble:

Lauren Bird Horowitz, screenwriter and novelist, has won an enthusiastic following for her innovative, lyrical poetic voice. Her debut novel Shattered Blue: Book One of The Light Trilogy, won the 2016 Independent Publishers' (IPPY) Silver Medal for Young Adult Fiction, as well as Finalist honors in the 2016 USA Book Awards for Best New Fiction and Best New Fantasy, the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction, and the 2016 International Book Award for Best Fantasy. It was also listed as one of USA Today's top romances of 2015, and selected as a notable book by BuzzFeed, Popsugar, Hypable, San Francisco Book Review, Glitter, The Culturalist, Teen Reads, Maria, Bustle and others.
Bird studied writing at Harvard University with novelist Jamaica Kincaid, where she won several prizes including the Edward Eager Memorial Prize for fiction and Winthrop-Sargent Prize for writing. She’s a proud member of the Writers Guild of America. Bird lives in Kauai and Los Angeles.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Apprentice in Death

Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb
384 pages, Hardcover
Published September 2016, Berkeley

Source: Provided by publisher in exchange for review through NetGalley.

So, this is book #43 of Robb's In Death series. Just so you know, I have not read any of the previous books in the series. I went into this read with no background on the characters, on the writing style, etc. It sounded like an interesting police procedural and I did know that Robb is a pseudonym for Nora Roberts. A teacher I used to work with loved these books, so I was excited to give one a try.

Eve Dallas is a lieutenant with the NYPSD and is investigating deaths at an ice skating rink that were committed by a sniper. The suspects are identified and hunted by the entire department in an attempt to attain them before other deaths occur.

The plot was good, the pace quick and the suspense high throughout. I had a hard time with this one only because I had not read these books before. I was unfamiliar with the fact that these books are set in the near future, so the tech mentions were confusing. Didn't let it bother me too much and continued to enjoy the story.    

Happy Reading!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Current Audiobook: The Fireman by Joe Hill

Slowly getting through this one. How long ago was the RAL? I am a little behind. Need some more alone time in the car so I can listen to it. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The French War Bride by Robin Wells

The French War Bride by Robin Wells

432 pages, paperback
Published August 2016, Berkeley 

Source: From Publisher in exchange for review, NetGalley

My Review

Jack O'Conner left his small town of Wedding Tree, Louisiana to join the allies in France during WWII as a medic.  He also left a fiance, Kat, anxiously waiting for his return. Unfortunately, for her, when he does return he is not alone. With him is a French bride and a baby.

Many years later, Kat finds Jack's widow Amelie, in her retirement home and asks to hear her account of how she and Jack met and became married. Amelie's story is gut wrenching and tragic and also full of "adventures", as Kat describes them, that no one would actually want to experience. 
The history of the Nazi Occupation, the workings of The French Resistance and the incredible horrors and losses during this time is seamlessly intertwined with the story of Amelie. It was a book that I had a hard time putting down and got completely invested in also learning her story.

The French War Bride is the second book in Wells' The Wedding Tree series. I have not read the first book, but had absolutely no problem in reading this one as it reads as a stand alone book, but I will be locating a copy for myself very soon. 

About the Author

When Robin Wells sold her first romance novel in 1995, her family celebrated at a Chinese restaurant. Robin’s fortune cookie read, “Romance moves you in a new direction.”

And it certainly has! Robin has since written sixteen critically acclaimed novels that have been translated into eighteen languages. Her books have won the National Golden Heart Award, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Award of Excellence, the Golden Quill, and the Holt Medallion. Robin’s latest book, Still the One, was nominated for a Rita Award, the highest award the National Romance Writers of America gives an author, at the RWA national conference last July.

Robin was born in Waco, Texas and holds a B.A. in liberal arts from the University of Oklahoma. Before becoming a full-time writer, Robin worked as an advertising and public relations executive for a major hotel chain. She loves working with new writers and teaches a course called “How to Write a Novel” at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Mandeville campus. 

Robin lives with her husband, two daughters and a very spoiled dog named Winnie the Poohdle in Mandeville.

For more information about the book and the author visit her WEBSITE.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

So, has it been long enough since it came out to discuss Book 8? 

I was talking to my sister last week, who has read the book three times already, about it. As you can guess, she absolutely loved it. I was a little more lukewarm in my response to it.  I liked it, I read it in about 4 hours straight. There was just something about it that made it not quite stand up to the other books. Not sure if it was the script format, or the fact that it was co-written.  I don't know.

The characters were all there, older - but their personalities and quirks were still there. The new characters were believable and fit in to the HP Universe just fine. The storyline was plausible, but there were some things that happen that just didn't seem to align with the other books. I did like that we got to revisit some long lost characters and see how the world may have turned out had Voldemort not been defeated.

Okay, so I tried to review without giving anything away. Hope I succeeded. If you love HP, this is a must read, no matter what. I love the "where are they now" aspect to it. It was nice to get a Rowling approved look at what Harry, Ron, and Hermione went on to do.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Quick Review: Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

Ramona the Pest  

The  5 year old has given this book only one star. 

She only "likes it a little bit". She thought Ramona wasn't being a good girl. She liked Beatrice because she's older. She had to plug her ears many times when Ramona was up to no good and was about to get in trouble. It actully took her a couple weeks after starting it to want to finish listening to it.She said it was too scary.

As for me, I loved it. Just as much as I loved it as a kid. This book had me laughing as much as the little girl was cringing. Ha. I liked that as she is getting older, Stockard Channing has made Ramona's voice a little less whiny.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Influenster Vox Box

I decided to try out Influenster. Have any of you tried it?

You review products to get free products to review which in turn gets you qualified to review more products. Thought it would be fun.

So far it has. 

My one concern was bombarding my friends and family with reviews. I have really been trying to spread out my posts on social media so no one gets annoyed with them. Hopefully I have been successful in doing that. 

The latest box, is the Bonita Vox box. 

It came with five different free samples to review. Some lipstick, a nail polish, a FiberOne bar, witch hazel and some hair products. It is always interesting to see what comes in the box. Check them out below. 

Fiber One Brownies
Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick
Madame CJ Walker Beauty Culture
Dickinson's Witch Hazel Toner.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lettering by Mari

I have recently become obsessed with getting better at lettering. Check out my progress on Instagram. @letteringbymari

Friday, July 22, 2016

Quick Audiobook Reviews

Alice in Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #1)

This was a great listen for the entire family. We listened to it twice on our road trip this summer and were completely entertained. My 5 year old loved it. Scarlett Johansson did a fabulous job reading. She used different voices for all the characters and just brought the whole story to life. 

Seriously, this was perfect for entertaining a young kid on a very long drive. 

Beezus and Ramona (Ramona, #1)Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

I purchased the audio collection of this series of books to take along with us on a road trip with our five year old. She loves books and I thought she would love these as I once did. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its reading by Stockard Channing. One critique, though, I wish she hadn't given Ramona such a whiny voice.

The little girl enjoyed it but definitely got sad and upset when Ramona did some of her worst things.

We have yet to finish Ramona the Pest, due to some uncomfortable situations for the little girl. She doesn't like when Ramona is going to get in trouble. 

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer In pictures...

Strawberry picking
Davenport, CA

The Exploratorium
San Francisco, CA

Red Rocks
Sedona, AZ

Rio Grande Gorge
Taos, NM

The Grand Canyon
Williams, AZ

Giants-Diamondbacks game
Chase Field
Phoenix, AZ

The Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, CA

Happy Summer!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Since She Went Away by David Bell

Since She Went Away by David Bell
432 pages, Paperback
Published June 2016

Source: From publisher in exchange for review, NetGalley

The Diamond Mom. 

Celia disappears after heading out to a park in the middle of the night to meet up with an old friend. Has she been murdered, kidnapped or has she run off and left her husband and daughter for another man? 

The mystery of what could have happened to this woman haunts Jenna Barton for she was the one that invited Celia out to meet her. She waits nervously every day waiting to hear if she has been found. She visits online chatrooms hoping to find clues to what happened. I believe she has the detective-in-charge's number on speed dial.

Questions, family secrets, murders and suspicious newcomers months after her disappearance quick start the investigation and send Jenna, her son and Celia's family reeling when the truth to what happened is revealed. 

About the Author

David is the writer of Cemetery Girl, published by NAL, a division of Penguin Random House. Cemetery Girl (2011) went on to win the prestigious Prix Polar de Cognac in 2013. Since then, David has published five more novels with NAL: The Hiding Place (2012), Never Come Back (2013), The Forgotten Girl (2014), Somebody I Used to Know (2015), and Since She Went Away (2016) as well as a novella, Rides a Stranger (2013), with Mysterious Press. When he is not teaching or writing, David watches lots and lots of movies and reads lots and lots of books. He also enjoys walking in the cemetery near his house with his wife, writer and blogger Molly McCaffrey.

For more information about the author and book visit his WEBSITE.

Happy Reading.