Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday – Jan. 31, 2011

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Monday is still on tour, with January’s spot being at Rose City Reader.

This week has been good 🙂 On Tuesday I received 6 books! Five were from a PBS Box-of-Books, and the other was an ARC courtesy of Simon & Schuster UK as a welcome to the Book Chick City’s Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2011!

From Simon & Schuster UK:

In his first hour back from a six-month leave of absence, Detective Jacob Striker’s day quickly turns into a nightmare. He is barely on scene five minutes at his daughter’s high school when he encounters an Active Shooter situation. Three mean wearing hockey masks – Black, White, and Red – have stormed the school with firearms and are killing indiscriminately. Striker takes immediate action. Within minutes, two of the gunmen are dead and Striker is close to ending the violence. But before Striker can react, Red Mask flees – and escapes. Against the clock, Striker investigates the killings for which there is no known motive and no suspect. Soon his investigation takes him to darker places, and he realizes that everything at Saint Patrick’s High is not as it appears. The closer he gets to the truth, the more dangerous his world becomes. Until Striker himself is in the line of fire.

From the PBS BOB:

Every Move She Makes by Robin Burcell
Gruesome slasher murders are spreading terror in San Francisco. The pressure is on the police force to track down the killer before another young woman is found, throat cut, body abandoned. Homicide Inspector Kate Gillespie is picked to lead the search with her partner, old-timer Sam Scolari. This is the case that could make Kate’s career. But the next victim stops her in her tracks – and all evidence points to her partner. He goes underground, leaving Kate alone to prove his innocence, or guilt. Kate has to find the killer before the cops find Sam. Complicating matters is Mike “Torrid” Torrance, the sexiest Internal Affairs officer ever to carry a badge. He’s watching Kate, an assignment that brings them far closer than they expected. Without a partner she can trust … with a killer and a cop watching her every move … can Kate find the truth before it’s too late?

Messiah by Boris Starling
The first victim was found hanging from a rope. The second, beaten to death in a pool of blood. The third, decapitated. Their personal backgrounds were as strikingly different as the methods of their murders. But one chilling detail linked all three crimes. The local police had enough evidence to believe they were witnessing a rare – and disturbing – phenomenon: The making of a serial killer… Investigator Red Metcalfe has made national headlines with his uncanny gift for tracking killers. Getting inside their heads. Feeling what they feel. He’s interviewed the most notorious serial killers in the world. He knows what makes them tick. But not this time. The killer’s motives and methods are so elusive, so brilliant, that Red is forced to search the darkest corners of his own soul – and face the guiltiest secrets of his past – to see the truth. This time, the life he saves could be his own…

The Devil’s Footprints by Amanda Stevens
In 1922 a farmer in Adamant, Arkansas, awakes to a noise on his roof and finds his snow-blanketed yard marked with thousands of cloven footprints. The prints vanish with the melting snow … only to reappear seventy years later near the gruesome killing of Rachel DeLaune. Years after her sister’s unsolved murder, New Orleans tattoo artist Sarah DeLaune is haunted by the mysteries of her past. Sarah has always believed that her sister was killed by a man named Ashe Cain. But no one else had ever seen Ashe. He had “appeared” to Sarah when she needed a friend the most, only to vanish on the night of her sister’s murder. The past bleeds into the present when two mutilated bodies are found near Sara’s home, the crime scene desecreated by cloven footprints.

Cold as Ice by Anne Stuart
The job was supposed to be dead easy – hand-delivery some legal papers to billionaire philanthropist Harry Van Dorn’s extravagant yacht, get his signature and be done. But Manhattan lawyer Genevieve Spenser soon realizes she’s in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that the publicly benevolent playboy has a sick, vicious side. As he tries to make her his plaything for the evening, eager to use and abuse her until he discards her with the rest of his victims, Genevieve must keep her wits if she intents to survive the night. But there’s someone else on the ship who knows the true depths of Van Dorn’s evil. Peter Jensen is farm more than the unassuming personal assistant he pretends to be – he’s a secret operative who will stop at nothing to ensure Harry’s deadly Rule of Seven terror campaign dies with him. But Genevieve’s presence has thrown a wrench into his plans, and now he must decide whether to risk his mission to keep her alive, or allow her to become collateral damage…

Until the Day You Die by Tina Wainscott
When Maggie Fletcher’s sister is murdered, presumably by stalker Colin Masters, Maggie is left devastated – and furious. There isn’t enough evidence to prove that Masters did it – unless Maggie falsely claims, under oath, that she saw him leaving the scene of the crime. Maggie’s testimony puts Masters behind bars – but also wrecks Maggie’s life. When she and her son moves to a small New Hampshire town to start a new life, Maggie can’t help but feel that she’s being shadowed. Someone is slowly, stealthily invading every part of Maggie’s world, turning everything and everyone against her. Now Maggie fears that a faceless, merciless pursuer wants to make her pay for her lie -with her life.

Sunday Wrap-Up

Sunday Wrap-Up, Jan. 30, 2011

It’s been a good week for me. I managed to get a lot done on my blog. I was able to clean up some of my pages that needed cleaning desperately. I also finally activated a new blog format. I had been wanting to do that for quite some time, but was just nervous about taking the plunge and making the change. I personally find this new format to be a lot cleaner and nicer. I hope my readers enjoy it as much as I do. Anyways, here’s what went on here at the blog, in case you missed it:

I posted two reviews:

And I participated in two memes this week:

3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2011, READING CHALLENGES 2011

2011.5 REVIEW – Alex Cross’s Trial by James Patterson

Alex Cross’s Trial
by James Patterson

Copyright: 2009
Pages: 380
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Jan. 24 – , 2011
Challenge: TBR Dare
Yearly Count: 5
Format: Print

First Line: A few months after I hunted a vicious killer named the Tiger halfway around the world, I began to think seriously about a book I had been wanting to write for years.

Blurb: From his grandmother, Alex Cross heard the story of his great-uncle Abraham and his struggles for survival in the era of the Ku Klux Klan. Now, Alex passes the family tale along to his own children in a book he’s written – a novel called Trial. A lawyer in early-1900s Washington D.C., Ben Corbett fights against oppression and racism – and risks his family and his life in the process. When President Theodore Roosevelt asks him to return to his hometown to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan there, he cannot refuse. In Eudora, Mississippi, Ben meets the wise Abraham Cross and his beautiful granddaughter, Moody. With their help, Ben discovers that lynchings have become commonplace. He vows to break the reign of terror – but the truth of who is really behind the killings may break his heart.

Review: This is not your typical Alex Cross book, so if you’re looking for that, this installment might not be your cup of tea. First of all, this particular book is actually a book within a book. It starts out with a brief introduction from Alex Cross about how there’s a story in his family history that he’s always wanted to tell, and that the subsequent book is that story. Then the reader is taken back to Mississippi in the early 1900s. Lynchings have become a way of life in the small town of Eudora. But the President, Teddy Roosevelt, wants all of the violence to stop. Unable to step in because of his role as President, he sends Ben Corbett down as his “spy.” Ben then embarks upon an unforgettable journey. This is the story that Alex tells of, Ben Corbett’s time in his hometown of Eudora, trying to fight all the racism and violence. I was a history major in college, so the Civil War era and anything to do with racism, Ku Klux Klan, slavery, etc., will immediately attract me. That being said, this book will not be for everyone. The violence experienced by the black people of Eudora is not at all sugar-coated or covered up in this book. I found it to be a good historical story. But as I stated above, if you’re looking forward to another good Alex Cross book, you might want to skip this book.

Friday Fill-Ins, Meme

Friday Fill-Ins, Jan. 27, 2011

I haven’t participated in a Friday Fill-Ins in ages. Since I had nothing else to post today, I decided to give this a go again. Here goes:

1. Up is a good direction to go in.

2. The flu is going around (my office).

3. Coats and scarves, mittens and boots: oh my! I’m so thankful that we don’t get a lot of snow around here.

4. I don’t really care for getting a nice back rub.

5. I’m thinking about not wanting to take the dog outside because it’s cold.

6. I’ll be his, forever.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to doing a whole lot of nothing, maybe watch a movie with the husband, tomorrow my plans include going to Evansville to watch the Salukis play the Aces and Sunday, I want to catch up on my sleep!

Meme, WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays, Jan. 26, 2011

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?

  • Just started Alex Cross’s Trial by James Patterson

* What did you recently finish reading?

*What do you think you’ll read next?

  • I don’t know. I might pick up the next Alex Cross book on my shelf (I, Alex Cross) simply because I don’t’ want to start a new-to-me series until I get caught up with one and this is one that I’m the closest to catching up on.
Miscellaneous Ramblings

Random Tuesday Ramblings

So this week instead of participating in the Top Ten Tuesday (because this is the second week in a row where the topic just didn’t speak to me), I want to line out some things that I hope to accomplish on this blog in the next couple of weeks. I was unable to participate in the Bloggiesta this year because I was out of town (very disappointing to me). But I really do need to clean some stuff up on this blog and get it back into tip-top shape. So the next few weeks I’m going to be working on some things around here that will help me make the most out of my blog.

  1. Find a new theme! I’m sick of this layout. I prefer the three-column set-up, but I kind of feel as if a two-column layout would be neater. This is definitely a priority, but not an immediate one. COMPLETED 1/24/11
  2. Clean up my blog roll. I don’t think it’s necessarily out-of-date, but it’s definitely not as extensive as it should be. I’m contemplating getting rid of the sidebar blog roll, and instead making a whole new page for it. Haven’t decided yet. (Also need to go through my Google Reader.)
  3. Clean up my book series pages. I have them separated into three different pages, one for ones I’m working on, one for ones I’m unsure about, and one for ones that I want to try. I need to try and condense more and make it neater. I’m not sure where I want to go with this just yet, but I need a new direction for it. COMPLETED 1/26/11
  4. Clean up my past reading challenges pages. I’ve got them separated by year, and I like the way that I’ve done that, but I don’t really like the format that I’ve used, I need to tweak that a little bit. COMPLETED 1/25/11
  5. Find out how to get buttons. For Facebook, Twitter, PBS, you get the point. Right now I’ve just got links, I want the cute buttons everyone has!
  6. Tackle the TBR list. Oh my. I need to re-organize my shelves anyway, so I’m going to take an inventory as I go and then re-do my list on the blog.
  7. I want to tweak my past year’s reading logs. I’ve evolved it over the past couple of years, but I need something new. I love seeing other people’s blogs with all the book covers included in their reading lists. I need to figure out something new.

Well there it is, I have 7 things that I really want to work on in the next couple of weeks to make my blog not only more user-friendly for others to navigate, but also nicer to look at. I have no idea where this will take me, but I’m definitely looking forward to spending some time with my blog and really getting it set up more the way that’s in my head than what’s on the site 🙂


New Blog Design

So I finally took the plunge. I activated a new design today. Feel free to give me any feedback on what you all think of the new design. I find it to be a lot cleaner. I’m still working on the custom menu options, so those will probably change in the near future. But I’m still trying to get the hang of the new design. Hope you all like it!

3/5, Alex Cross, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2011, READING CHALLENGES 2011, SERIES

2011.4 REVIEW – Cross Country by James Patterson

Cross Country     
by James Patterson 

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 403
Rating: 3/5
Read: Jan. 17 – 23, 2011
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense Challenge; TBR Dare
Yearly Count: 4
Format: Print

First Line: Georgetown, Washington, D.C. The surname of the family was Cox, the father a very successful trial lawyer, but the target was the mother, Ellie Randall Cox.

Blurb: Detective Alex Cross pursues the most ruthless killer he’s ever encountered – to a land of sheer terror and back. It’s the worst crime scene Alex Cross has ever seen, and then more killings, each one more ruthless than the last, quickly follow. After one death comes terrifyingly close to home, Alex realizes he’s chasing a horrible new breed of killer. Digging deeper into the case, Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, uncover a shocking Washington, D.C., underworld: a gang of teenage thugs headed by a warlord known only as the Tiger. When the Tiger’s elusive trail turns up in Africa, Alex knokws that he must follow. Unprotected and alone, can Alex manage to both survive and catch the killer?

Review: Okay, I’m not going to lie, this was not my favorite Alex Cross book at all. In fact, I actually considered putting it aside at one point. The entire portion of the book in which Alex was in Africa was not my cup of tea. I was a little sick of how cocky Alex got when he was in Africa. I mean, the guy is in a foreign country, not at all wanted there, and yet he goes around thinking that just because he’s a police officer in Washington D.C. will actually mean anything in Africa. It doesn’t work that way in foreign countries. Yet, Alex didn’t seem to comprehend that whatsoever. There is a lot of violence in this book, just a warning to anyone easily offended. I also felt like it was just a little too political for a fiction book. It just really wasn’t all that great in my opinion. I hope that the next book in this series is better, because this installment has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Sunday Wrap-Up

Sunday Wrap-Up, Jan. 23, 2011

So I just realized as I was looking back at my format for last week’s Sunday Wrap-Up, that I actually titled it with the wrong year! Oops! I’m still writing 2010 on most everything (checks, blog posts, EVERYTHING!) and I probably will continue to do so until at least March. So if you see any other incorrect years, please ignore them 🙂

This past week I was in Las Vegas for the World of Concrete convention. (And a little gambling and good eating, too!) So my participation on this blog was a little lacking. I only scheduled one post:

And I had one review:

Oh and I have one more tidbit to add. Two years ago today, my “baby” was welcomed into this world. That was the week that western Kentucky was hit really hard by an ice storm. He was the runt of the litter and the breeder almost lost him due to power outages and not really being able to get him the proper veterinarian care due to the weather. Needless to say, I’m very glad that he pulled through, because he makes us smile EVERY day! (Even when he’s being as obnoxious as he possibly can). The past two years have been a big experience for my husband and I. We had pets growing up, but neither one of us ever had a pet that was completely our responsibility. So I would like to wish my Buster a happy second birthday!

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, Jan. 17, 2010

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Monday is still on tour, with January’s spot being at Rose City Reader.

Secret Lives of the First Ladies: What Your Teachers Never Told You About the Women of the White House by Cormac O’Brien (PBS)

       With chapters on every woman who’s ever made it to the White House, Secret Lives of the First Ladies tackles all of the tough questions that other history books are afraid to ask: How many of these women owned slaves? Which ones were cheating on their husbands? And why was Eleanor Roosevelt serving hot dogs to the King and Queen of England? American history was never this much fun in school!

I received this book off of my wishlist on PBS after receiving Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents late last year. Looking forward to reading both of these books.