Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, October 31, 2011

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Monday is on tour, with October’s location being at Savvy Verse & Wit.

Well I got another Paperbackswap Box-of-Books trade in the mail this week. I’ve still got one more big one coming to me. After that I hope I’m done for a while, because I really need to start controlling myself, lol. Here’s what came this week:

 Tim Blake is an average guy. He sells cars. He has an ex-wife who’s moved in with another man. It’s not a life without hassles, but nothing will prepare him for what happens when his daughter, Sydney, vanishes into thin air. At the hotel where she supposedly worked, no one has ever heard of her. Even her closest friends seem to be at a loss. As he retraces Sydney’s steps, Tim discovers that the suburban Connecticut town he always thought of as idyllic is anything but. What he doesn’t know is that his every move is being watched. There are others who want to find Sydney as much as Tim does. And the closer Tim comes to the truth, the closer he comes to every parent’s worst nightmare – and the kind of evil only a parent’s love has a chance in hell of stopping.

 

 

 Dirk Pitt proved invincible in Raise the Titanic! Now, with the future of virtually every person in the world at stake, he is enlisted to spearhead his most daring mission yet – the rescue of a vital document for the United States. To an energy-starved, economically devastated America, possession of this document is worth billions. But to Great Britain, it’s worth a war. Pitt’s quest plunges him into a head-to-head confrontation with Britain’s most cunning secret agent – and into the throes of a torrid love triangle. As time runs out for a desperate America, Dirk Pitt races toward an underwater clash more terrifying than anything Clive Cussler has ever created.

 

 

 He’s no ordinary kidnapper. Not only does he strike again and again, but he collects the ransom, gets away safely, and leaves his hostages dead. Now, after months of eluding the best law enforcement can put against him, this monster is looking for a new challenge. He’s no ordinary cop. Lucas Jordan is a profiler in Noah Bishop’s Special Crimes Unit. But his uncanny ability to locate missing people comes at a tremendous personal price … and stirs mistrust among the hard-nosed cops he’s forced to work with. Now in Clayton County, North Carolina, where the latest in a string of kidnapping victims has turned up dead, Lucas, with the aid of carnival psychic Samantha Burke, is doing what he does best: hunt fear. But this time fear is hunting back.

 

 

 Anthony McCarran, one of the army’s most distinguished generals, was devastating by the loss of his longtime friend Jack Gallagher, who was killed in Vietnam. For years, the McCarran and Gallagher families have remained close, watching a new generation of soldiers face combat. Today, the general’s son Lt. Brian McCarran is back from Iraq. Traumatized by the experience, there’s only one person Brian wishes to confide in: Kate Gallagher. As the daughter of a fallen soldier, Kate understands the pain of war. But as the wife of Brian’s commanding officer, the volatile and shell-shocked Capt. Joe D’Abruzzo, there’s only so much Kate can do to offer comfort – and only so many secrets Brian can share… Tragedy strikes when Brian shoots and kills D’Abruzzo on their army post in Virginia after a bitter confrontation. Now, in a high-profile court-martial, Brian must face old demons and new enemies as he fights to prove his innocence with the help of Paul Terry, one of the army’s most accomplished lawyers; Terry’s co-counsel, who happens to be Brian’s sister, Meghan; and Kate’s unwavering support. But before the case is over, Brian will learn that families, like war, can break the sturdiest of souls – and hardest of hearts.

 When beautiful advertising executive Maddie Fitzgerald is attacked in a New Orleans hotel, she thinks that she’s a victim of random, senseless violence. FBI agent Sam McCabe thinks otherwise – that she’s the target of a serial killer who’s eluded the FBI for weeks. He also knows that there’s only one way to catch him: use Maddie as the enticing bait. But as McCabe’s intimate protection ignites irresistible passion, Maddie finds herself in greater danger than she believed possible – and closer to the killer than she ever imagined…

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Bout of Books

Bout of Books Progress

I decided to keep all of my Bout of Books progress in one sticky post. Edited to add: I’ve re-formatted how I’m keeping track.

10/24
Pages read today: 80 pages
Books read today: Finished off Envy by Gregg Olsen
Total pages read for the week: 80
Total books completed for the week: 1
Today #insixwords: Had to push myself to read.

10/25
Pages read today: 73 pages
Books read today: The Confession by John Grisham
Total pages read for the week: 153
Total books completed for the week: 1
Today #insixwords: John Grisham is a genius, period.

10/26
Pages read today: 33
Books read today: The Confession by John Grisham
Total pages read for the week: 186
Total books completed for the week: 1
Today #insixwords: I’m not pleased with 33 pages.

10/27
Pages read today:
Books read today:
Total pages read for the week:
Total books completed for the week:
Today #insixwords:

10/28
Pages read today:
Books read today:
Total pages read for the week:
Total books completed for the week:
Today #insixwords:

10/29
Pages read today:
Books read today:
Total pages read for the week:
Total books completed for the week:
Today #insixwords:

10/30
Pages read today:
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Today #insixwords:

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, October 24, 2011

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Monday is on tour, with October’s location being at Savvy Verse & Wit.

Well after missing last week’s edition because I didn’t have any books come in the mail, my mailbox was bursting this week! Now if only I could get out of my reading slump! Here’s what I got:

From Paperbackswap Box-of-Books:

In the world of high power and big business, Project Peace was anything but cash efficient. That’s why the President was targeted for assassination and his daughter kidnapped. That’s why presidential publicist Matt Boyle was putting his life on the line, playing the most dangerous game in the world – where winner takes all … and losers die.

 

 

 

 A man burdened by his past, former top homicide cop Justin Westwood has retreated to a small-town Long Island police force. Drowning his troubles in mindless traffic duty and lots of scotch, he’s awakened to action when a young woman journalist is brutally murdered. She had recently made some errors in the obituary of a man from a local retirement home, but that’s not the kind of mistake that brings professional hit men to your door – or the FBI to town. Attempting to unravel the puzzle, Justin finds that everyone – the cops, the FBI, and one of the strangest professional killing teams ever seen – seems to be one step ahead of him, disposing of witnesses and setting him up for the fall. But this reality check is just what Justin needs, and he’ll stop at nothing to discover the true meaning of “Aphrodite” – and maybe save himself.

 

 Two young drifters, Nate and Cat, are forced by stress and circumstance to give up their infant daughter Willa for adoption. For seventeen years, Willa has lived in elegant prosperity with Joe and Candace Golding, her adoptive parents, in the Massachusetts Berkshires, where she attends the elite, private Pioneer School. But the Goldings have fled a mysterious past, and when a cleaned-up Nate arrives at Pioneer to teach English, the well-varnished facade of an idyllic small town begins to crack.

 

 

 For Danny Cray, a struggling artist and part-time private investigator, the offer is too good to be true. A wealthy, enigmatic lawyer, Jude Belzer, would like to retain Danny for a little damage control. Belzer’s client, an elusive billionaire, is the target of a vicious campaign by the Italian press that threatens to destroy his reputation. Belzer wants Danny to find out who is responsible – and he will pay handsomely. But the more Danny probes, the more apparent it becomes that nothing is what it seems. From the powerful world of Washington, D.C., to the ancient grandeur of Rome, from the mysteries of Istanbul to the high-stakes drama of Silicon Valley, Danny is suddenly embroiled in a conspiracy that is dark, far-reaching, and unsettling.

 

 

 Journalist Katherine Nikulasson’s father, Gustav, noted historian and archaeologist, has been killed in a plane crash. Some of his papers, now missing, lead Katherine to question the veracity of the accident report and the loyalty of her father’s longtime friend, Sheppard Wilde. A search for the truth takes Katherine to Wilde’s estate in England where she uncovers a conspiracy that shakes her to the core. Unaware she has now become a pawn in that conspiracy, an unwitting Katherine is kidnapped by Enrique Quisette, leader of an art smuggling syndicate, a man who will destroy anyone who stands in the way of what he wants. Wilde knows what Quisette wants. And he knows he must find Katherine before she’s of no further use to Quisette. Using every resource from the lust underworld of smuggling to the grimy back streets of Athens, Wilde begins a race against time. It is not his only challenge. For three powerful people, each risking his life, once signed an extraordinary agreement. Its intent: Protect the heritage of an ancient people, one of the world’s richest remaining treasures. Now Wilde must not only rescue Katherine but uphold the secret he has sworn to protect in…

 New York’s trendy magazines are a source of peril when a killer enacts a bizarre dance of death, using the personal ads to lure his victims. After college, best friends Erin Kelley and Darcy Scott move to the city to pursue exciting careers. Erin is a promising jewelry designer, Darcy finds success as a decorator. On a lark, Darcy persuades Erin to help their TV producer friend research the kinds of people who place personal ads. It seems like innocent fun … until Erin disappears. Erin’s body is found on an abandoned Manhattan pier – on one foot is her own shoe, on the other, a high-heeled dancing slipper. Soon after, startling communiques from the killer reveal that Erin is not the first victim of this “dancing shoe murderer.” And, if the killer has his way, she won’t be his last. Next on his death list is Darcy.

 

 Between December 1968 and October 1969 a hooded serial killer called Zodiac terrorized San Francisco. Claiming responsibility for thirty-seven murders, he manipulated the media with warnings, dares, and bizarre cryptograms that baffled FBI code-breakers. Then as suddenly as the murders began, Zodiac disappeared into the Bay Area fog forever and was never brought to justice. After painstaking investigation, and more than thirty years of research, Robert Graysmith finally exposes Zodiac’s true identity. With overwhelming evidence he reveals the twisted private life that led to the crimes, and provides startling theories as to why they stopped. America’s greatest unsolved mystery has finally been solved.

 

 

 The end of her high-profile broadcasting career came too soon for TV journalist Alison Reynolds – bounced off the air by executives who wanted a “younger face.” With a divorce from her cheating husband of ten years also pending, there is nothing keeping her in LA any longer. Cut loose from her moorings, Ali is summoned back home to Sedona, Arizona, by the death of a childhood friend. Once there she seeks solace in the comforting rhythms of her parents’ diner, the Sugarloaf Cafe, and launches an on-line blog as therapy for others who have been similarly cut loose. But when threatening posts begin appearing, Ali finds out that running a blog is far more up-close and personal than sitting behind a news desk. And far more dangerous. Suddenly something dark and deadly is swirling around her life … and a killer may be hunting her next.

 

 Mary Bergen is a clairvoyant, able to foresee murders that will happen in the near future, but unable to prevent them from taking place. But, now she is up against a power stronger than her own, a power that is taking over her and trying to kill her before she can identify it.

 

 

 

 

 Once the prosecutor was a young law student. Once the dead man was an honest lawyer. Now Stella Marz stares at the body of her former lover, hanging from a doorway in a gruesome tableau. For Stella Marz, the search for Jack Novak’s killer leads into another bizarre homicide case, back through her own past and through the city where she was born and where now – a good Catholic girl turned career woman – she is in exile. Somewhere in this city an unholy alliance of big money, big plans, and dark secrets is fueling a great American revival. And somehow Stella Marz will bring the darkness into the light – no matter what it reveals, no matter who it destroys…

 

 

 In Copenhagen a suspicious bookstore fire propels Commander Gray Pierce on a relentless hunt across four continents – and into a terrifying mystery surrounding horrific experiments once performed in a now-abandoned laboratory buried in a hollowed-out mountain in Poland. In the mountains of Nepal in a remote monastery, Buddhist monks inexplicably turn to cannibalism and torture – while Painter Crowe, director of Sigma Force, begins to show signs of the same baffling, mind-destroying malady … and Lisa Cummings, a dedicated American doctor, becomes the target of a brutal clandestine assassin. now only Gray Pierce and Sigma Force can save a world suddenly in terrible jeopardy. Because a new order is on the rise – an annihilating nightmare growing at the heart of the greatest mystery of all: the origin of life.

 

 On a cold winter night in a small Minnesota town in 1979, someone comes looking for Grace Meade. She is killed and her house is set ablaze. Incredibly, the prime suspect is her own daughter, Jillian. Rescued from the burning house, Jillian Meade is hospitalized, unable – or unwilling – to speak. After an attempt to take her own life, Jillian’s doctor gives her a blank journal to encourage her to write about her mother’s death. Unaware of what has happened, FBI Special Agent Alex Cruz comes to Havenwood, Minnesota, to interview Jillian. Two elderly women were found murdered in their homes in England, and Jillian, it seems, was the last person to see both women alive. When he learns that Jillian’s own mother met a similar fate, he realizes that there is far more going on than anyone ever imagined. When Jillian suddenly disappears, Cruz has only her journal to decipher the story of Grace and Jillian Meade. A story of a wartime heist of Nazi gold, of unforgivable betrayals and ruthless actions. A deadly secret from the past, Cruz learns, has surfaced. And if he doesn’t find Jillian soon, she, too, may be made to pay the ultimate price.

Bout of Books

Bout of Books … I’m in!

So I didn’t participate in the Read-a-Thon. Honestly, that kind of stuff just isn’t for me. However, I kept seeing the Bout of Books and didn’t really know what it was about. But when I read about it, I was intrigued. It seems like a more laid back event that I could participate in easily. So I’m signing up.

I don’t really want to be too specific in my goals. I intend on finishing the book I’m currently reading, Envy by Gregg Olsen. I would also like to finish one other book, yet to be determined, but I won’t be disappointed if I don’t make it. I hope to read at least 30 minutes per day. (I would say more but I’ve got a lot going on in my personal life … READ HERE … and I don’t want to commit to too much right now.)

I have yet to decide how I will be keeping track of what I read this coming week. Whether I will post individual daily posts to update my reading or if I will keep it all in one sticky post. But you will obviously be seeing daily updates. Oh and I will also be updating as I can on Twitter too, so find me there (@tarataylor7585).

That’s all I’ve got for right now. I look forward to participating and happy reading!!!

Sunday Wrap-Up

Sunday Wrap-Up, October 23, 2011

Well it’s been very quiet here at the blog the last couple of weeks. I’ve just had other things on my mind lately.

First of all, I’ve been really struggling with that pesky thing called … morning sickness 🙂 It’s still very early on, but I can’t keep it to myself anymore! I had to tell! I went to the doctor on 10/17 … we have a due date of June 4, 2012. (Told you, it’s still very early). I go back to the doctor on 11/14 and I can’t wait! So excited!

So when I haven’t been stuck on the couch or in bed trying my hardest not to move a muscle, I’ve been asleep. So my reading has definitely suffered. I haven’t finished a book since October 8th. I picked up a James Patterson (who is my go-to author when I need something mindless) and honestly couldn’t get into the book. So then I just didn’t read, at all, for like 5 days straight. Then I got the notification that I had Gregg Olsen’s “Envy” on hold at the library. I immediately went to get it and started it and then another 4 days went by before I picked it up again. I will finish this book because now I’m far enough in that I’m interested to see what unfolds, but it might take a while because my mind seems to be elsewhere. Imagine that!

I’ve got a mailbox full of books this past week, so definitely keep an eye out for my Mailbox Monday.

Other than that I might be hit or miss and I apologize for that. But I am still here and will update as I can.

Happy reading and have a great week everyone!

Meme, On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist, October 22, 2011

Another week and another edition of On My Wishlist! I always seem to have a ton of books on my wishlist. But this week I’m going to be spotlighting Stephen King’s latest:

 

  On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination – a thousand page tour de force.

Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment – a real life moment – when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students – a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane – and insanely possible – mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life – a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time. A tribute to a simpler era and a devastating exercise in escalating suspense, 11/22/63 is Stephen King at his epic best.

Sunday Wrap-Up

Just been one of those weeks….

You know, where you’ve done absolutely nothing but lay in bed and moan and complain.

No reading. No laundry. No cleaning. No cooking. Nothing. I’ve been useless this whole past week.

And unfortunately, it’s not likely to let up as it’s not exactly an illness that will be cured instantly. It could end tomorrow or it could be another, um…. 5-7 weeks. Read into that as you will 🙂 But for a small hint: I have a doctor appointment tomorrow that I’m actually looking forward to! And that’s all I’m going to say on this since it’s incredibly early, but I’m just so darned excited!

So what have I been doing? Watching baseball! We are huge Cardinals fans so it’s been lots of fun!! My dad’s company buys season tickets every year, so I’m really hoping to be able to go to a World Series game! My husband and I were actually at the game they won the World Series in 2006 – talk about an awesome experience! I would love to be able to go to another World Series!! Although I’m not sure I want to face the Rangers, they’re pretty dang good this year.

Honestly, I didn’t even receive a single solitary book in the mail this past week, so you won’t be seeing a Mailbox Monday post tomorrow. However, my mailbox will soon be bulging because I’ve got like four Paperbackswap Box-of-Books trades going right now. *Embarrassing* because I have no self-control! Although, it’s really not my fault. My subscription was up for renewal and when you renew your name is prominent on the front page, leading to a lot of offers. That’s what I keep telling myself 🙂

Although I haven’t been reading anything this past week, I am excited that I finally got the email that I have a book on hold at the library – Envy by Gregg Olsen. I am a huge Olsen fan, I’ve read all of his adult fiction books (none of his true crime books though, I really should read those too) and I was a little unsure when I saw he had taken a step into the YA realm, but after seeing what the book blurb was, I immediately put myself on the waitlist. I hope it lives up to the expectation I have of it.

Speaking of adult fiction authors who are all of a sudden dipping into the YA genre. I’ve been really kind of curious about this recent trend. While I know this could be an entire post by itself, I only want to briefly touch on it. Harlan Coben, Gregg Olsen, John Grisham (I believe), James Patterson, the list goes on and on. Oh and I think I saw where Philip Margolin is coming out with a YA book co-written by his daughter. I just don’t get it. I don’t understand why all these authors are expanding to the YA market. It’s not necessarily that I have an issue with it, I just don’t see why all of a sudden it seems to be the cool thing to do. I mean I’m guilty of reading Coben’s Shelter, which I loved. And obviously I’m going to be reading Gregg Olsen’s Envy. I’m just not sure I understand why these successful adult fiction authors are changing directions into YA. Obviously they’re not giving up their original genres completely (or at least I hope they’re not!). Are these books just that much easier to write? Is that why they’re starting to dip into that market? I know that the YA market is booming, but is it really doing that much better than the adult fiction market? Has anyone else wondered about this lately, or is it just me? I’m just kind of curious.

Well, I think that’s probably all that I have for you guys right now. I’m off to watch the Cardinals (who are up 4-0 in the 1st!! Although there’s still a lot of baseball to play). Hope everyone has a good up-coming week and happy reading!

Meme, On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist, October 15, 2011

This week I’m sharing a book that is set to be released in my all-time favorite series. I can’t wait! Set to be published on November 14th:

 The President’s son and daughter are abducted, and Detective Alex Cross is one of the first on the scene. But someone very high-up is using the FBI, Secret Service, and CIA to keep him off the case and in the dark.A deadly contagion in the water supply cripples half of the capital, and Alex discovers that someone may be about to unleash the most devastating attack the United States has ever experienced. As his window for solving both crimes narrows, Alex makes a desperate decision that goes against everything he believes–one that may alter the fate of the entire country. KILL ALEX CROSS is faster, more exciting, and more tightly wound than any Alex Cross thriller James Patterson has ever written!

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, October 10, 2011

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Monday is on tour, with October’s location being at Savvy Verse & Wit.

Only one book this week, but a good one that I’m looking forward to!

     The world changes for Ethan Gage – one time assistant to the renowned Ben Franklin – on a night in post-revolutionary Paris, when he wins a mysterious medallion in a card game. Framed soon after for the murder of a prostitute and facing the grim prospect of either prison or death, the young expatriate American barely escapes France with his life – choosing instead to accompany the new emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, on his glorious mission to conquer Egypt. With Lord Nelson’s fleet following close behind, Gage sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. And in a land of ancient wonder and mystery, with the help of a beautiful Macedonian slave, he will come to realize that the unusual prize he won at the gaming table may be the key to solving one of history’s greatest and most perilous riddles: who built the Great Pyramids … and why?