Sunday, December 30, 2012

Discarded: Pygmy and The Darlings

Rarely do I ever take the time to write about books I've discarded, but this time, I'm making an exception, especially since Penguin sent me a copy of The Darlings for review.

It's not like these books are terribly written, or lack creativity - it's just that they aren't for me.

If you've read either of these titles and disagree with me, share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Best Reads of 2012

The year has finally come to a close (we survived the fake apocalypse!) and so of course it's that time to review a list of the best books I read during 2012.

I ended up reading a total of 68 books this year - and those are only the ones I stuck with from beginning to end, not including those I discarded (of which there were actually a lot!). 68 books is not my best book count by far, but I certainly kept busy this year with a wealth of projects and new business ventures, so I guess it all evens out!

Not every book in this list was published this year - some of them are review copies, and some of them are from my personal collection.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle

www.coffeehousemysteries.com
Released: November 2009

Holiday Grind (a title that actually sounds more like a "porn" mystery than a "cozy" mystery, haha!) is the eighth book in the Coffeehouse series by Cleo Coyle. With a festive Christmas theme, Holiday Grind is the perfect, cozy mystery read for cold winter nights - best served with a latte or cup of coffee on the side!

In Holiday Grind, Village Blend coffee shop owner Clare Cosi is tasked with investigating the death of Alfred Glockner - the local jolly Santa Claus - after stumbling upon his body in a deserted alley. In addition to performing some amateur sleuthing into Alf's death (is Clare still considered an amateur sleuth considering we're on book 8?), Clare deals with a new outspoken "do-rag" detective on the police force, and the fact that her hottie detective boyfriend Mike Quinn might be cheating on her.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Secret of the Nightingale Palace by Dana Sachs

www.danasachs.com
Release date: February 2013

The Secret of the Nightingale Palace takes readers on a cross-country road trip adventure from New York to San Francisco with 35-year-old Anna and her grandmother, the eccentric and fashionable Goldie Rosenthal. An artist who recently lost her husband to leukemia, Anna is surprised when she receives a phone call from her estranged grandmother Goldie, requesting that Anna meet her in New York to discuss an important opportunity.

Curious and intrigued by her grandmother's sudden request, Anna drops everything in Memphis and meets Goldie in New York, who ends up convincing Anna to driving her across country to San Francisco so she can return a priceless collection of Japanese art to its former owner. Desperate for a change in her unexciting, dreary life, Anna agrees to Goldie's proposal, and they begin to head west.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November by Georges Simenon

www.Amazon.com
Released: 1970

I first discovered Georges Simenon in 2005, when a fellow reader sent me a copy of The Cat. Unexpectedly, The Cat wildly impressed me, so I became borderline obsessed with Simenon, and embarked on a mission to obtain and read every other book he'd written that I could get my hands on. Which leads me to this review for November, which is just one of numerous novels by this prolific writer.

November is named accordingly because (duh!) its events take place during the month of November. But don't let this commonplace title sway or deter you from this fun and awesome book.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nursing Home Ninjas by Al Stevens

www.alstevens.com
Release Date: February 2013

Nursing Home Ninjas is the latest cozy mystery novel by Al Stevens. Although Stevens is largely known for writing computer programming tutorials, he has also written and published a number of fiction novels.

87-year-old Marvin Bradley lives in a nursing home, but still has his wits about him. In fact, Marvin is so perceptive that he's noticed that many of the other nursing-home residents are starting to sport bruises and other noticeable injuries. Since nobody on the nursing-home staff takes Marvin seriously regarding his suspicions that the residents are being abused, Marvin begins to investigate.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It Takes Two to Strangle by Stephen Kaminski

www.damonlassard.com
Released: September 2012

It Takes Two to Strangle is Stephen Kaminski's first novel, featuring amateur sleuth Damon Lassard as the "Dabbling Detective" in this new mystery series.

Former professional baseball player Damon Lassard has recently settled into the small, fictional community of Hollydale in Arlington, Virginia, to be near his single mother. Having no major need for a job after his baseball career left him financially secure, the 31-year-old handsome lothario keeps busy with a number of activities that include volunteering at the local library, serving as president of the Hollydale Citizens Association, and pining over his crush, the beautiful local weather girl Bethany Krims.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

With Apologies to Mick Jagger, Other Gods, and All Women by Jane Rosenberg LaForge

www.amazon.com
Released: August 2012

Jane Rosenberg LaForge has written and published a number of short stories and personal essays, in addition to poetry. Upon receiving "With Apologies..." and browsing the poem titles in the table of contents, I just knew I would enjoy it - especially after seeing the title, "Before Elton John Was a Faggot." I thought to myself that a poet with the boldness to conjure up such a title and poem couldn't possibly hold back when it came to transferring her darkest and most intimate thoughts and feelings onto paper.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Castaways by Brian Keene

www.briankeene.com
Released: February 2009

Brian Keene first managed to catch my eye with The Conqueror Worms in 2006. I even remember the first time I saw this novel; I was walking down the center aisle of my local Barnes and Noble, and there it was, chillin' on the round center display that houses newly released mass-market paperbacks. The book's cover featured an image of scary-looking killer worms devouring an entire city. After visiting Barnes and Noble several more times that spring, I finally gave in and bought a copy. I was hooked on Brian Keene's novels from that day forward.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Katya's World by Jonathan L. Howard

fantasticfiction.co.uk
Release Date: November 2012

Katya's World is the first novel in Jonathan L. Howard's new science-fiction series Russalka Chronicles, featuring heroine and protagonist Katya Kuriakova. Howard has also written the Johannes Cabal series, which begins with The Necromancer.

Before I go too far into writing the review for this book, I would like to mention that I did NOT finish this book. Not because it was bad, or terrible! But because as hard as I try, it's almost impossible for me to get into and enjoy science-fiction novels. I'm constantly on the search for that one science-fiction novel that will just hook me on the genre indefinitely, but it seems like an infinite, never-ending search.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie

www.catherinemckenzie.com
Release Date: October 2012

Emma Tupper has a promising future as an attorney, but when her mother passes away and leaves Emma with a plane ticket to Africa, she feels obligated to honor her mother's wishes. Shortly after arriving in Africa, Emma suffers a devastating illness and survives an earthquake, which ultimately cuts her off from work, her friends, and her boyfriend back home.

When Emma finally returns home six months later, it's to find that her life is over on paper, as everyone assumed she had died in Africa. Emma is then faced with rebuilding her life and determining the parts of her life that are worth saving, and the parts she can cut out for good (like her boyfriend, or maybe her career!).

Monday, September 10, 2012

True Love Way by Nancy Scrofano

www.nancyscrofano.com
Released: April 2012

True Love Way is Nancy Scrofano's debut novel - a romantic comedy that could also be classified as "chick-lit," or contemporary mainstream fiction.

If you ever met her at a party, Marlo Spencer is one of those women who would most likely refer to herself as being "born during the wrong era." Marlo loves all things vintage and retro - from Shirley Temple, to The Twilight Zone, to Mork and Mindy, and to all things 80s and 90s.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Glasswrights' Journeyman by Mindy L. Klasky

www.mindyklasky.com
Released: June 2002

The Glasswrights' Journeyman is the third book in Mindy L. Klasky's Glasswrights' Guild series, featuring smart and resourceful heroine Rani Trader.

It's been three years since glasswright apprentice Rani Trader saved hundreds of children from the evil Sin Hazar in The Glasswrights' Progress. Now at the age of 18, Rani is more than ready to rebuild her beloved guild from the ground up, especially considering her guild was destroyed and disbanded years ago after King Hal's brother was assassinated.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Latter-Day of the Dead by Kevin Krohn

www.goodreads.com
Released: March 2012

Latter-Day of the Dead is Kevin Krohn's third novel. Krohn is also the author of the Severed Ties thriller series.

On a seemingly calm night, a man with a developmental disability named Benjamin (in real-life, I would say "retarded," but this is the Internet so shhhhhh!) crosses the Utah border into Arizona to visit a strip club. Benjamin is from an isolated, polygamist, Mormon compound, so visiting a strip club is absolutely forbidden, and of the utmost taboo.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Semper by Peter Dudley

www.peterdudley.com
Released: January 2012

Semper is Peter Dudley's first published novel.

Hundreds of years in the future, when Earth is left near-barbaric due to a technology implosion, a young man named Dane is dreading the duties and responsibilities his sixteenth birthday promises. On Dane's birthday, he will become "Semper" - the new leader of the Southshaw people - and will be forced to choose a wife. While hunting near his community, Dane encounters an alluring mutant-girl, whom he witnesses being captured by ghost people - a people rumored to slaughter children and eat them alive.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Shadow Man by Mark Murphy

shadowmanblog.com
Released: July 2012

The Shadow Man is Mark Murphy's first novel. Murphy has a background in gastroenterology, which he extends to Malcolm King - his protagonist in The Shadow Man.

For those of you unfamiliar with gastroenterology, it's the medical field that deals with intestinal and digestive issues. For example, if you've had your gallbladder removed for indulging in too many fatty fried foods (shame on you!), you probably saw a gastroenterologist. Yep.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rule of Three by Kelly Jamieson

www.KellyJamieson.com
Ebook Release: February 2012
Paperback Release: January 2013

To all fans of erotic romance: You'll really dig Kelly Jamieson's Rule of Three! I personally enjoy the occasional erotica novel here and there, but this author's style is so hot, I've already got her other titles added to my reading wish list.

The book cover for Rule of Three suggests that a woman (who's got to be no other than the infamous actress Hayden Panettiere, although this info hasn't been published anywhere online yet) is involved with two men in a threesome triangle.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Iced Chiffon by Duffy Brown

www.duffybrown.com
Release Date: October 2012

Iced Chiffon is the first book in a new cozy mystery series by Duffy Brown. The series takes place in Savannah, Georgia, with the theme of "Consignment Shop," and features amateur sleuth Reagan Summerside.

Reagan is working hard to financially recover from an ugly divorce that left her with nearly penniless, with the exception of a bundle of designer clothes and high-end goods. Only 32 years old, Reagan is feeling bitter toward her showy, realtor ex-husband Hollis Beaumont, who left her for his "Cupcake" - a ditzy woman half his age and with an eye on his pocketbook. In an effort to pull her life back together, Reagan turns a portion of her home into a consignment shop.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel

http://kristinharmel.com
Released: August 2009

Renowned journalist and travel expert Kristin Harmel has written a total of seven novels as of this writing - Italian for Beginners is Harmel's fifth novel.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Thirty-four-year-old Cat Connelly has always been consistent and careful with her lifestyle, especially since her mother ran off years ago and left Cat with the responsibility of helping her father raise her younger sister and run the household. After Cat's mother had returned home years later, then passed away shortly after, Cat can't help but feel that something major is still missing from her life.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Busy Body by M.C. Beaton

FantasticFiction.co.uk
Released: October 2010

M.C. Beaton (AKA Marion Chesney) is the author of the acclaimed Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series. Busy Body is the twenty-first novel in Beaton's Agatha Raisin series.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

It's Christmas time once again, and Agatha Raisin has fled her cozy Cotswold town of Carsely to enjoy a "perfect" Christmas holiday in peace. As Agatha traipses around in Corsica attempting to enjoy her holiday, an officer from the Health and Safety Board named John Sunday is terrorizing Agatha's neighbors back in Carsely. Apparently, the residents' Christmas decorations and activities have been deemed too dangerous by the Scrooge-like Sunday, and Christmas in Carsely has all but come to a halt.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fighting Fate by Louise Clark

http://louiseclarkauthor.com
Released: April 2012

Louise Clark is the author of six historical and contemporary romance novels, all of which will soon be re-released into e-book and print formats. Fighting Fate is Clark's seventh novel.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Faith Hamilton is a beautiful, young, and dedicated office worker who spends much of her spare time with her mother and sister. In addition to these very attractive qualities, Faith has another special, secretive ability - one that allows her to draw her family's ancestors from the past and into the present. Aware that her unique ability may cause her to seem freakish and rejected by the men she dates, Faith sticks to her solo lifestyle.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Everything Must Go by Elizabeth Flock

www.elizabethflock.com
Released: November 2006

Elizabeth Flock is the bestselling author of the acclaimed Me and Emma, and is soon releasing its follow-up entitled What Happened to My Sister in August 2012. Everything Must Go is Flock's third novel.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Henry Powell leads a comfortable, though predictable and mostly unsatisfying life. Residing in the sleepy Connecticut town he grew up in, Henry has been spending his days as a salesman in Baxter's clothing store, which has kept Henry employed dating back to his teenage years. Lacking a love-life and taking care of his alcoholic mother on a daily basis, Henry consistently daydreams of better days - back when his family was a real, happy family, and when he was the star of his high school football team.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Photo by Amazon.com
Released: February 2011

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf is the first book in the "Naked Werewolf" series by Molly Harper. Harper is also the author of the "Nice Girls" series and several other romantic paranormal comedies.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Mo Wenstein has recently moved from her hometown in Mississippi to Grundy, Alaska, for a fresh, new start after a failed engagement. Although Mo is feeling a bit skeptical about her decision at first, she is intent on turning her small log cabin into a home, and making friends with the local residents.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett

robertjacksonbennett.wordpress.com
Released: February 2012

Robert Jackson Bennett has won multiple awards for his novels; including the Shirley Jackson Award, the Sydney J. Bounds Newcomer Award, and the Edgar Award. The Troupe is Bennett's third novel.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

George Carole is a talented, 16-year-old pianist searching for a father he has never met after having lost his mother at the time of his birth. In an effort to locate his father - a man he believes to be the infamous vaudeville troupe leader Heironomo Silenus - George joins the vaudeville industry to bring him one step closer to a reunion with his long-lost father.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Glasswrights' Progress by Mindy L. Klasky

Photo from www.mindyklasky.com
Released: July 2001

The Glasswrights' Progress is the 2nd book in the "Glasswrights' Guild" series by Mindy L. Klasky. Klasky is also the author of the Jane Madison "Witchcraft" series, and several other romance and fantasy novels. 

Dreamworld's Synopsis

It's been 2 years since former glasswrights' apprentice Rani Trader has moved into the royal palace in the kingdom of Morenia. Feeling happy and secure for the first time in a long time, 15-year-old Rani has plans to rebuild the glasswrights' guild that had dissipated after the previous heir to the throne was assassinated by a secret brotherhood. However, Rani's dreams are swiftly put on hold when she is kidnapped by King Hal's younger brother Bashi, and taken to another land under the reign of the very sick, twisted, and demented King Sin-Hazar.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Concubine's Gift by K. Ford K.

Photo: www.kfordk.com
Released: December 2011

The Concubine's Gift is the first novel by indie author K. Ford K.

Dreamworld's Synopsis 

In the small Nevada town of Valentine, a very proper and shy 39-year-old wife and mother of two named Bernice Babbitt lives vicariously through her secret collection of antique, erotic sex toys. Living in a town known for its history of prostitutes and a bordello, Bernice can't help but be drawn into the taboo world of erotica.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard

Photo: Amazon.com
Released: February 2010

Robert Goddard is a prolific mystery and suspense novelist, and has been nominated for the Edgar Award. Long Time Coming is his 21st novel.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

For over 30 years, Stephen Swan's uncle, Eldritch Swan, has been wasting his life away in an Irish prison. Upon his release in 1976, Eldritch informs his nephew Stephen that he was innocent of the crime for which he was accused. Eldritch then shares with Stephen the story leading up to his imprisonment that began at the beginning of WWII, and involves the disappearance of some very invaluable art by Picasso.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Firefly Beach by Meira Pentermann

www.meirapentermann.com
Released: March 2012

Firefly Beach is Meira Pentermann's second novel. Her first novel, Nine-Tenths, was released in September 2011.

Dreamworld's Synopsis 

Following a divorce from her husband, and her mother's recent death, Beth LaMonte is looking forward to a fresh start when she moves from Albuquerque, New Mexico to a small coastal town in Maine named Virginia Point. Shortly after moving into her new place, Beth notices a firefly flitting about in and out of her home, which becomes aggravating and slightly terrifying. However, Beth's curiosity wins over, and she follows the firefly down to the nearby beach. It is there that Beth discovers an old diary written by a young woman years earlier in 1975.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

FantasticFiction.co.uk
Release Date: June 2012

This is Not a Test is the 4th novel by young-adult novelist Courtney Summers.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

In the near future, teenager Sloane Price is ready for her life to end. Her mother has died, her older sister Lily has abandoned her, and her father is an abusive, violent monster. Sloane is nearly relieved when a zombie apocalypse threatens to wipe out the rest of the living humans in her town, yet is compelled to flee for safety. Sloane then spends the next several weeks locked inside of her high school with 5 other students hiding from zombies. It is there inside the high school that Sloane realizes that she still has reasons to fight for survival.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

Photo: www.wileycash.com
Release Date: April 2012

A Land More Kind Than Home is Wiley Cash's debut novel. Cash is a native of North Carolina, where this novel takes place.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

On a hot, lazy afternoon in the small town of Marshall, North Carolina, 9-year-old Jess Hall and his mute, older brother Christopher witness the pastor of their church cavorting with their mother - in their parent's bedroom. Their one brief, tiny glimpse of this episode changes the lives of both boys forever, especially when Pastor Chambliss attempts to "heal" Christopher of his muteness, but ends up killing him instead.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spencerville by Nelson DeMille

Photo courtesy of tower.com
Released: October 1994

Former Army lieutenant Nelson DeMille is the bestselling author of numerous series and novels. Originally published in 1994, Spencerville is DeMille's latest stand-alone novel.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Keith Landry has just retired after spending 25 years doing espionage work for the United States government. With his high school sweetheart - Annie Baxter - fresh on his mind, Keith is deciding to return to and settle down in his hometown of Spencerville, a small Ohio farming town. However, once Keith arrives in town, he realizes that Spencerville has become poisoned over the years thanks to the town's corrupt, local police force. Even worse yet, the man in charge of the police force is Sheriff Cliff Baxter - Annie's husband.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Heir to the Shadows by Anne Bishop

Photo: www.annebishop.com
Released: April 1999

Heir to the Shadows is the 2nd book in the Black Jewels series by the award-winning Anne Bishop. Bishop is also the author of the Tir Alainn and Ephemera series.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Picking right up where we left off in Daughter of the Blood, the Realms' Witch - Jaenelle Angelline - awakens from her deep slumber more powerful than ever. With her dearest friends and guardians by her side, Jaenelle works on strengthening her powers and helping those in need throughout the Realms - including kindred in the form of wolves and unicorns.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Furnace by Timothy S. Johnston

Photo courtesy of BN.com
Released: September 2011

The Furnace - a "locked-room" sci-fi murder mystery - is Timothy S. Johnston's debut novel.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Set far in the future in the year 2401, homicide investigator Lt. Kyle Tanner commutes from planet to planet in our solar system tracking down the universe's most pretentious killers. His latest assignment is to investigate a perplexing murder and post-death mutilation on SOLEX One, a remote space station that orbits only kilometers away from the Sun.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Wicked Wives by Gus Pelagatti

Released: July 2008

Gus Pelagatti is an experienced trial lawyer with years of experience trying criminal and civil cases. The Wicked Wives is his first novel.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Based on a true story, The Wicked Wives is a fictionalized account of a major murder scandal that took place in 1936 Philadelphia, in which 17 women were taken into custody on suspicion of murdering their husbands. At the heart of the scandal is Georgia DiSipio, a handsome and seductive man who convinces many of the women to take out insurance policies on their husbands before murdering them. Investigating the scandal is assistant district attorney Tom Rossi, a man intent on ensuring the selfish and murderous women get what they deserve - a lifetime behind bars.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Wish I Never Met You by Denise N. Wheatley

Photo courtesy of app.downloadatoz.com
Released: August 2004

Narrated in the first-person by a nameless woman, I Wish I Never Met You is a novel comprised of short stories about horrific dating experiences.

From "Doug the Heinous Dragon" to "Bubba the Bogus-Ass Baller" and beyond, each short chapter is about the woman's experiences dating different men. Just like the novel's title, every dating story except the last story in the book describes the shortcomings of every man that this woman has hung out with, but wishes she had never met.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Undead and Undermined by MaryJanice Davidson

Photo courtesy of fantasticfiction.co.uk
Released: July 2011

Undead and Undermined is the 10th book in the Undead Queen Betsy series by MaryJanice Davidson. Davidson is the author of several paranormal romance series, including the Wyndham Werewolf and Jennifer Scales series.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

In the 10th installment of the Queen Betsy series, the undead Betsy Taylor, Queen of Vampires, wakes up in a Chicago morgue in present-time after taking a major time-traveling trip years into the future. Upon returning home to her mansion in St. Paul, Minnesota, Betsy learns that her time-travel excursion has changed many things in the present - including the living statuses of some of her close and recently-deceased friends.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hotwire by Alex Kava

Photo courtesy of thebigthrill.org
Released: July 2011

Hotwire is the 9th book in the Maggie O'Dell series by Alex Kava.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

On one seemingly dull evening somewhere in Nebraska, a group of teenagers are hanging out in a forest clearing and experimenting with psychedelic drugs. Minutes later, the teenagers witness a mysterious fireworks and laser show that ends in electrocution, violence, and fatality for most of the teens involved. When FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell stumbles upon the incident while investigating cattle mutilation nearby, she is thrust into the middle of a conspiracy that she must resolve before more teens are killed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Love in a Carry-On Bag by Sadeqa Johnson

Photo courtesy of SadeqaJohnson.com
Release Date: March 2012

Love in a Carry-On Bag is Sadeqa Johnson's debut novel. Johnson is a former public relations manager and is currently a managing partner of the 12th Street Press publishing company.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Sexy, smart, and driven, successful publicist Erica Shaw loves spending time with her equally sexy boyfriend, Warren Prince - an intelligent and aspiring jazz musician by night, and computer engineer by day. When she can manage to escape her demanding job at a major publishing company, Erica meets up with Warren as much as time permits; however, living in New York City often presents difficulty attending dates and rendezvous with Warren, especially since Warren lives hours away in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Freakshow by Bryan Smith

Photo courtesy of fantasticfiction.co.uk
Released: April 2007

Bryan Smith's The Freakshow is a horror novel that falls within the "splatterpunk" sub-genre. For those of you unfamiliar with the term "splatterpunk," it means that books that fall within this sub-genre contain graphic and explicitly violent horror and pornographic scenes. My Bookcrossing book-relay trading buddies also referred to this genre as the "sick shit" genre before the term splatterpunk really caught on in a major way.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Glasswrights' Apprentice by Mindy L. Klasky

Photo courtesy of openlibrary.org
Released: July 2000

The Glasswrights' Apprentice is the 1st novel out of 5 in the "Glasswrights' Guild" fantasy series by Mindy L. Klasky. Klasky is also the author of the "Jane Madison" series, which starts with Girl's Guide To Witchcraft (2006).

Dreamworld's Synopsis

13-year old Rani Trader is a daughter in a typical merchant's family, but is currently serving as an apprentice in the Glasswrights' Guild; a guild higher in society than that of the Merchants' Guild, and one that promises future riches and higher respect for Rani and her family. When Rani is conspiratorially blamed for the death of the kingdom's successive prince, she has no choice but to flee for safety; not only because she was recognized at the scene of the crime, but also because her guild is being blamed for the prince's murder.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Winter's Kiss by Jennifer Echols & Catherine Hapka

Photo courtesy of FantasticFiction.co.uk
Released: January 2012

Winter's Kiss is an omnibus that contains 2 young adult novels: The Ex Games (2009) by Jennifer Echols and The Twelve Dates of Christmas (2008) by Catherine Hapka.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

The Ex Games
High-schoolers Hayden and Nick have built up quite the tension between them over the past several years; especially since the rich, handsome Nick was dared by his friends to take Hayden on a date back in the 7th grade. Now, 4 years later, the 2 ex-lovebirds consider themselves friends, but sparks still manage to fly when in each other's presence. When Hayden and Nick engage in a major snowboarding competition against one another, their friendly relationship suddenly becomes more heated than ever before, causing them to re-evaluate their true feelings for one another.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Four of a Kind by Valerie Frankel

Photo courtesy of Borders.com
Release Date: February 2012

Valerie Frankel has written several novels and series geared toward women and teenage audiences. Four of a Kind is her latest novel.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

While attending a routine "Diversity Committee" meeting for their children's private school in Brooklyn, New York, 4 bored women that couldn't be more different from one another size each other up and decide to lighten the mood by sharing a few drinks and playing a round of Texas Hold'em poker. However, once the women loosen up, traditional Texas Hold'em rules are thrown out the window and "Brooklyn Hold'em" is introduced; a game in which every player must gamble by revealing deep, dark secrets about themselves.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Photo courtesy of catherinemckenzie.com
Release Date: February 2012

Catherine McKenzie is the author of the international bestsellers Spin and Arranged, and is soon releasing her third novel, Forgotten.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

30-year old Kate Sandford's life-long career dream is becoming a writer for her favorite music magazine called The Line (the equivalent to our beloved Rolling Stone Magazine). When Kate lands an interview for her dream job, she becomes so ecstatic that she ventures out to celebrate her upcoming opportunity by drinking the night away - which also happens to be the night before her interview.

Monday, January 30, 2012

False Dawn by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Photo courtesy of OpenLibrary.org
Released: 1978

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is a prolific, long-time author of various horror, fantasy, and sci-fi novels and is best known for her Saint-Germain series. False Dawn is one of her many stand-alone science-fiction novels.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Set near the beginning of a post-apocalyptic 21st century in northern California, the novel opens immediately onto our heroine named Thea, who is running from a band of vagrant men known as "Pirates" - a league of highly violent and dangerous men on a mission to kill all remaining mutants in the region. Thea - a mutant woman in her 20s - is intent on traveling by foot eastward to a place known as Gold Lake, a place not unlike Eden and rumored to provide safe refuge to all mutants from the Pirates.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Too Wilde to Tame by Janelle Denison

Photo courtesy of Tower.com
Released: September 2005

Janelle Denison's Too Wilde to Tame is the 7th book in the Wilde series - a series in which each novel focuses on a member of the Wilde family. Although this novel is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

Mia Wilde lives up to her name in regards to being wild in various ways - by brandishing a sassy attitude to people constantly, dancing with strangers at the club, and joining wet t-shirt contests. However, although Mia puts on a front to make people believe she is wild, she is actually just a kind, sweet person and talented, aspiring stained-glass artist waiting for Mr. Right to come along.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Death of a Maid by M.C. Beaton

Released: February 2007

Death of a Maid is the 23rd book in the Hamish MacBeth cozy mystery series by M.C. Beaton.

Dreamworld Synopsis

When a nosy and annoying meddlesome maid named Mrs. Gillespie becomes the victim of a violent crime in the small town of Lochdubh nestled in the Scotland Highlands, constable Hamish MacBeth sets out to investigate and interview the local townies. Hamish soon learns that Mrs. Gillespie was very skilled in the blackmailing department, and her long list of "victims" is equal to the number of suspects he must interrogate for her murder.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

Released: March 1998

Daughter of the Blood is the first book in the "Black Jewels" trilogy by Anne Bishop; the world and concept of which has also spawned 6 additional books under the "Black Jewels" theme.

Dreamworld Synopsis

In a world with 3 different Realms, women rule as Queens and witches; whereas men are always secondary in hierarchy to women. One night, a fortune-teller in one of the Realms sees in her visions a witch rising to the status of Queen; however, this witch is to be known as Witch (with a capital W!), the most powerful woman the Realms may ever see in their lifetime.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy

Release Date: February 2012

The Legacy of Eden is Nelle Davy's debut novel, featuring the legacy of an estate named Aurelia - a farm in Iowa.

The novel opens in present-day New York, when Meredith Pincetti receives a letter about the settlement of the Aurelia farm, previously managed by her recently deceased cousin, Cal Hathaway, Jr. Meredith then contacts her sisters regarding the settlement of the estate, and leaves New York to revisit the Iowa farm and gather some of her family's belongings before they are sold. Although readers are under the impression that Meredith's return to Aurelia is highly stressful and upsetting, we do not learn fully why this is so until the end of the novel.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Released: January 2012

The Lions of Little Rock is the second novel by Kristin Levine, the author of The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had (2009).

When Marlee begins her first year of junior high in 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, in the midst of a time when segregation is causing numerous problems, she is desperate for a nice friend she can talk to other than her older teenaged sister, Judy. Finding a friend will be quite the challenge for Marlee, especially since her shyness prevents her from talking to most people.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Special Agent's Surrender by Carla Cassidy

Released: February 2011

Carla Cassidy is a prolific romance novelist who has had a number of books published under the Silhouette and Harlequin labels. Special Agent's Surrender is part of the "Lawmen of Black Rock" series.

On a cold, snowy evening in the middle of winter, the cute and sexy Layla West - a realtor and broker - is attacked by a man hiding in the back seat of her car. After she is able to escape from the serial killer with barely a scratch, Layla is exiled to a cabin hidden deep in the local woods until her stalker can be caught and executed.