Friday, December 30, 2011

Moonlight and Oranges by Elise Stephens

Release Date: November 2011

Moonlight and Oranges is Stephens' debut novel about a modern-day romance based on Greek mythology's very own Cupid and Psyche.

Beautiful, 20-something Lorona Connelly attends a raving Halloween party with her best friend, but feels instantly out of place outside of her usually sheltered and bookish environment. Shortly after arriving to the party, Lorona is confronted by sexy ladies' man Kestrin Feather, who feels mysteriously compelled to protect this fragile, bookish girl from a throng of seemingly vindictive party-goers. After sharing a vodka screwdriver, Lorona and Kestrin kiss, and sparks fly.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Best Reads of 2011

Here it is...*drumroll*...a complete list of the best books I read during the year 2011!

Although most of them were not published this year, I am honored to have stumbled upon these amazing books that I highly recommend to readers and book-lovers everywhere.

Click on the links for each book to read the book review in its entirety.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (2009)
Intelligently written with a combination of history and fantasy, Howe's debut about a family legacy of witchcraft will make you wish the novel never ends.


Black and White by Dani Shapiro (2007)
One of the most intimate writers I've ever known, Shapiro will have you in tears - even if you cannot relate to its devastating subject matter of estranged family.


Roasting in Hell's Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay (2007)
An honest and humble autobiography by one of the most renowned chefs in the world, Gordon Ramsay's memoir will most likely inspire you to quit your dreadful job and pursue your true passion.


Altar of Bones by Philip Carter (2011)
An intriguing suspense novel that will have you hooked from the get-go, Altar of Bones touches on one of the most notorious conspiracy theories of all time.


The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst (2010)
One of the most creative writers I've ever come across, Parkhurst will stun you with her beautiful verse in this novel about a haunted author who desperately tries to rekindle a relationship with her famous son.


Catfish Alley by Lynne Bryant (2011)
Bryant's debut novel explores racism and segregation in 1930s and present-day Mississippi, unfolding a mystery that will keep you guessing until the end. Keep a box of tissues nearby.


The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (2009)
Always tons of controversy where Dan Brown is concerned, but let's face it: he's entertaining. In the style of The Da Vinci Code and the National Treasure movie franchise, The Lost Symbol is set in the United States and explores the intriguing field of noetics.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bayou Bodyguard by Jana DeLeon

Released: July 2011

Bayou Bodyguard is a follow-up to DeLeon's The Secret of Cypriere Bayou (March 2011). DeLeon is currently contributing to Harlequin's Intrigue series.

Justine Chatry has been hired to research a collection of historical documents and journals to pinpoint the location of valuable emeralds that have been hidden for years at laMalediction, a vacant mansion nestled deep in Louisiana bayou country. Assigned to accompany Justine for the duration of her project is a bodyguard named Brian Marcentel, an incredibly sexy and alluring man whom Justine has recognized from her traumatizing childhood. Determined to keep their connection secret should Brian learn of her true motive for accepting the project at laMalediction, Justine riskily attempts to uncover the truth about her family's legacy, despite the violent events that continue to transpire around her. With danger surrounding Justine and Brian, the pair must also confront and deal with the undeniable chemistry and attraction between them that spices up their adventure together.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve

Release Date: October 2005

A Wedding in December is by esteemed novelist Anita Shreve, also the author of The Pilot's Wife (1998).

During the December of 2001 after the World Trade Center event, a group of old high school friends reunite for the first time in decades to attend a wedding between 2 of their classmates. Over the course of a weekend, we learn about the internal struggles within a few of the troubled adults; especially those affected most by the death of their beloved classmate who died years ago shortly before their high school graduation. By the end of the weekend, each character has experienced a revelation of their own that helps them to have a better perspective on their lives.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Joy to the World: A Victorian Christmas by Hart, Grossman and Dunhill

Release Date: January 1990

Joy to the World is what I like to call a coffee-table book, and is more or less a scrapbook filled with Victorian artwork, images, and antique collectibles, and accompanied by text that outlines the history of Christmas.

As seen in the photo snapshot above, the cover of Joy to the World as well as the similar content inside is aesthetically pleasing to the eye for those with an interest in Victorian paraphernalia or scrapbooking. From a reading standpoint however, the text in the book that outlines the history of Christmas is dry and reads too much like a textbook to be remotely engaging.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Spongebob Squarepants: Christmas with Krabby Klaws by Erica David and Heather Martinez

Released: October 2010

Author Erica David has written numerous children's books based on the Nickelodeon television series' "Spongebob Squarepants" and "Go, Diego, Go." Christmas with Krabby Klaws is illustrated by Heather Martinez, who has illustrated numerous other Spongebob Squarepants children's books.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lady of the Glen by Jennifer Roberson

Released: April 1996

Jennifer Roberson's Lady of the Glen (originally titled Glen of Sorrows) is an historical novel about the Massacre of Glencoe, which occurred in the Scottish Highlands in the year 1692. Roberson is best known for her numerous fantasy novels in addition to few historical-fiction novels.