4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2011, Scot Harvath, SERIES, T

2011.57 REVIEW – Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor

Path of the Assassin
by Brad Thor

Copyright: 2003
Pages: 503
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 19– Sept. 25, 2011
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly Count: 57
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: After rescuing the President from kidnappers, Navy SEAL turned Secret Service agent Scot Harvath shifts his attentions to rooting out, capturing, or killing all those responsible for the plot. As he prepares to close out his list, a bloody and twisted trail of clues points toward one man – the world’s most feared, most ruthless terrorist, Hashim Nidal. Having assembled an international league of Islamic terrorist networks in an ingenious plot to topple both Israel and America, Harvath and his CIA-led team must reach Nidal before it’s too late. One problem remains – they have no idea what the man looks like. With no alternative, Harvath is forced to recruit a civilian – a woman who has survived a brutal hijacking and is now the only person who can positively identify their quarry.

Review: This was a very good book. It was fast paced and exciting. It definitely makes me look forward to the next book and seeing what happens with Meg and Scot. I enjoyed that Meg is such a strong female character. She is able to keep up with Scot so easily, it’s definitely refreshing to see such a strong female character. The only thing that I had trouble with was the Israel terrorist plot line. I’m not all that up-to-date or interested in Israeli terrorists and the like and so I find it difficult for me to read about. Other than that I found this to be a highly enjoyable book and am definitely looking forward to continuing this series with the third book.

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Book Giveaway Winners

Winner of We’re Not Leaving Giveaway

I am happy to announce that we have a winner in the We’re Not Leaving giveaway.

Using random.org, Amy of http://homeofaimala.blogspot.com/ has been selected as the winner.

I would like to thank everyone who signed up for the giveaway! I hope to be doing another one in the near future so check back 🙂

Meme, WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays, Sept. 28, 2011

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

* What are you currently reading?

  • State of the Union by Brad Thor

* What did you recently finish reading?

  • Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor (review will be up sometime tonight or tomorrow)

*What do you think you’ll read next?

  • I have a library book checked out that I need to read, The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (translated from Danish by Lisa Hartford).
5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2011, Review Book, U-V-W

2011.56 REVIEW – It’s Classified by Nicolle Wallace

It’s Classified
by Nicolle Wallace

Copyright: 2011
Pages: 325
Rating: 5/5
Read: Sept. 15– Sept. 18, 2011
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly Count: 56
Format: Print
Source: Review Book

Blurb: Charlotte Kramer, America’s first female president, is beginning her second term and is determined to make her mark on history though events do seem to be conspiring against her. Melanie Kingston, her best friend, just signed on as secretary of defense. Will their relationship survive? Dale Smith is the senior communications advisor to the vice president and knows a secret that could not only ruin her own career, but put the credibility of the White House on the line. Tara Meyers is the most popular vice president in recent history, but does her public image march her private life? When a classified terror threat is made public, all the weaknesses of this presidency are laid bare – and with the country’s safety at stake, someone in the White House isn’t taking any chances.

Review: I requested this book from Atria Books after seeing it offered in a glocalpen.com email. I was immediately intrigued by the description of the book. This sounded like a book that I would love. When I received the book in the mail, I will admit that I was a little disappointed to find that it was actually a sequel. I don’t normally like to read books out-of-order, so I was a little leery before I even began the book – was I going to be able to understand what was going on? Would my lack of knowledge from the first book hurt my opinion of this book? But I cleared my mind of those thoughts and began reading.

There might be some spoilers in this review, so proceed with caution 🙂

And read is just about all I did! From the first page I was absolutely hooked. Throughout reading I could tell that there were probably some things from the first book that would have been important for me to get a good understanding of what was really going on. But honestly, that didn’t have much of an effect on my opinion of this book.

Told in alternating chapters, the reader gets to see into the daily lives of Dale, the media liaison for the vice president; Tara, the vice president; and Charlotte, the president. When the book opens up on Dale being interrogated in some kind of legal proceedings, we immediately understand that something big has happened. But it takes awhile for the true story of what is going on with the vice president to emerge. But once it does, wow, is it a big revelation for the entire book. After the reader understands what is going on it’s just a downward spiral from there.

There are definitely some shady things going on within the Kramer White House. Secret affairs, cover-ups, leaks, mental breakdowns. It would definitely be an interesting place to work. But I must say that I was immediately suspicious when a certain staffer gained the trust of Dale so easily. He was …. slick. There was just something about him. And after finishing the book, I was immediately aware of how spot on I was about him.

I sincerely hope that the author writes another book with these characters. It will be interesting to see what happens to Charlotte Kramer as she continues in her second term as president. She has promoted the abovementioned slick guy to a position extremely close to her. And someone has tipped Dale to the fact that the fundamentally accepted version of events might not have been the way things occurred. It would definitely be great to see what else happens.

All in all, I would highly recommend this book who enjoys a strong line of female characters and a great storyline with superb writing.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, Sept. 26, 2011

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Monday is on tour, with September’s location being at Amused by Books.

Well I’ve been MIA since the 21st. Sorry about that. It’s been kind of hectic here at my place. The hubby’s gallbladder is shot. We have a consultation with a surgeon tomorrow. So I’ve been having to go to the doctor with him, twice last week. And then tomorrow’s appointment. Hopefully they will schedule him soon because he’s miserable. Then over the weekend we went up to St. Louis to see the Cards/Cubs games on Saturday and Sunday. The Cards won both games! Woo! Plus the Braves lost yesterday so now, if I’ve got this right, we’re only 1 out from the Wild Card race. Exciting! And today ….. I would like to wish my husband a very happy 27th birthday! So there’s all my news. Well at least all I can share with everyone right now 🙂 On to the books.

I only got two in the mail this past week. Both came from Paperbackswap, using points, helping me to round out a series I’m working on right now:

 Scot Harvath’s counterterrorism career has just crashed and burned – thanks in part to a ruthless senator with her sights set on the White House. But when the war on terror takes a chilling turn, the president has no choice but to secretly bring Harvath back inside. Deep beneath an Alpine glacier, an ancient weapon designed to decimate the Roman Empire has been unearthed – and a shadowy organization intends to use it for America’s downfall. Racing across Europe, Harvath must secure the ultimate instrument of destruction before it brings the United States and the rest of the world to its knees.

 July 4th weekend, New York City: As thousands of holiday travelers make their way out of Manhattan, a flawlessly executed terrorist attack plunges the city into a maelstrom of panic and death. Amidst the chaos, an elite team of foreign soldiers is systematically searching for one of their own, a man so powerful that the U.S. government refuses to admit he even exists and will do anything to keep him hidden. Now, with the world’s deadliest enemy upon America’s doorstep, counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath must fight his way through the burning city streets to take down an invisible terrorist mastermind with the means to unleash hell on a global scale.

Meme, WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays, Sept. 21, 2011

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

* What are you currently reading?

  • Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor

* What did you recently finish reading?

*What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve made an agreement with myself that I would get back to my spontaneous mood reading ways. So I have no idea where my reading will go next.
Miscellaneous Ramblings

I hate making decisions…….

Okay, so I really don’t hate making decisions. But the truth is that I am a compulsive decision maker. By that I mean that  I can and will make a decision in the blink of an eye. Without really thinking things through. That’s just who I am. I’ve always been that way.

But here lately I’ve really been contemplating a lot of things. And these things have to deal with my blog. One day I’m ready to throw in the towel and close my blog completely. The next day I want to buy a domain. I just don’t know what I want to do anymore.

On the one hand I love my blog. Obviously I love to read and share my thoughts about the books that I read. I love interacting with the people who read my blog and the other bloggers out there. I enjoy tweaking my blog and making changes and making things look better and more creative. But then it’s also a lot of work. And I’m not all that well-known in the book blog-o-sphere. In a recent post to one of my Yahoo reading groups, I likened myself to someone being lost in the middle of New York City. And that’s honestly how I feel sometimes. I have been blogging since 2008 when the book blog world was still relatively small. Now it’s booming and I just feel like I’m lost with no place to go. I feel torn about this.

I have made some great connections with different publishers/publicists. I enjoy receiving ARCs for books that I would never have found on my own. But at the same time, I don’t have all the connections that a lot of people have. I don’t get pitched some of the really good books that I would die to get.

I have some really great loyal followers who I love interacting with. They are usually the smaller bloggers like myself and I know immediately who they are when I get the notification email that I have a new comment waiting for me.

I like hosting giveaways but I tend not to because I have such low participation. I have tried to publicize myself in every way that I can possibly think of, but I am starting to run out of ideas. I don’t necessarily want to have so many readers/commenters that I can’t keep up, but I would like to be able to host a giveaway and have more than a handful of people sign up.

I would like to think that I have found my niche. I have always been completely, 100% true to who I am on this blog. I have not tried to represent myself as someone who I’m not. For the longest time I never really tried to bump up my readership to the massive amounts that some people get. Why? Because that’s not who I am. But this year I have been participating in more memes and commenting more. But I’m still kind of unknown. Heck, I don’t even have a completely original blog title anymore for there’s actually a few others out there that are so close to mine it’s kind of scary.

Do you want to know how the book blogger world sometimes feels to me? It feels like a popularity contest. And that’s not what I’m here for. That’s not what I want out of this.

I wish I knew what I wanted to do. But I just don’t. I keep wondering to myself how long the book blogs are going to last. When are they going to run their course? I know it’s going to happen someday, it’s just a matter of when.

Because here’s the deal: I don’t see myself still doing this in a few years. Next year, definitely. But after that? Who knows. One thing that I have contemplated is to start a new blog that encompasses everything about me, not just the book reviews, and transferring all of my old content. Because I also have a life outside my blog … I enjoy cooking and sharing recipes. I have the cutest dog in the world (okay, that’s my biased opinion!) that I could share funny stories about. I hope that I will eventually be embarking on a pregnancy journey.

But the down side to changing blogs is that I will lose a lot of the connections that I have already made. I will alienate a lot of people who are just here for book reviews. Can you see why I’m so torn about this?? I have considered just starting to implement all those things here on the blog, but as I said earlier: I’m worried about alienating the few readers that I already have. I have also considered just changing the title of my blog to be more all-encompassing, but keeping my current site address, although I have thought that doing so would make things confusing.

So my question to you, dear readers, is this: have you contemplated where you see your blog going? In a year? Two years? Five? What about registering a domain if you haven’t already? And what do you think about me saying that the book blogger world feels like a popularity contest? Do you agree or disagree? Let’s start a discussion!!

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, Sept. 19, 2011

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Monday is on tour, with September’s location being at Amused by Books.

Only one book this week, but it’s one that I requested for review. I must add that I have already read this book and LOVED it! The review will go live on the publication date, 9/27 so watch for it 🙂

 Charlotte Kramer, America’s first female president, is beginning her second term and is determined to make her mark on history though events do seem to be conspiring against her. Melanie Kingston, her best friend, just signed on as secretary of defense. Will their relationship survive? Dale Smith is the senior communications advisor to the vice president and knows a secret that could not only ruin her own career, but put the credibility of the White House on the line. Tara Meyers is the most popular vice president in recent history, but does her public image match her private life? When a classified terror threat is made public, all the weaknesses of this presidency are laid bare – and with the country’s safety at stake, someone in the White House isn’t taking any chances.

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I need blog button advice….

So I made a blog button this morning. It’s probably something that I should have done AGES ago. I got it posted on the right sidebar. Everyone should see it now. But my question is, how do I get a grab button box? Am I not able to do this because I’m not self-hosted? It’s the only thing I can think of as to why it’s not working for me. I mean, I have tried a gazillion different ways this morning. I googled how to do it and came up with LOTS of different blogs that offered step by step instructions, but nothing seems to work. Any ideas?

Sunday Wrap-Up

Sunday Wrap-Up, September 18, 2011

It has been such a long week for me. It hasn’t been very much fun. I spent most of Tuesday at the doctor’s office with my husband. We thought it was his gall bladder, but the tests said that it’s not that. We have a follow-up on Monday, so hopefully we will find out what else could be going on. Then on Friday we had my mother’s birthday party. A few hours with the entire immediate family. I’m sure most people can feel my pain on that, lol. It’s not that bad, but it is very tiring. Oh and through all of this I’m still stuck without a fully functional computer at one location. But, Geek Squad is supposed to be coming between 8 and noon on Tuesday to diagnose and hopefully fix the problem. It’s something with the network, but it’s above our IT guy (who is really my uncle in his spare time). So I was definitely glad for the weekend. But the next two weekends are going to be busy for us. Next weekend we go up to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play the Cubs for my dad and husband’s birthdays. Then the weekend after that we have tickets to a concert in Nashville, which was my gift to Nathan. I need a staycation!!!!!!

This past week on the blog:

I posted three reviews:

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  2. The Blue Edge of Midnight by Jonathon King
  3. The Guardian by Robbie Cheuvront & Erik Reed