Uncategorized

Brief Update

Had Garrett’s two month appointment today. He now weighs 9lb 2oz and is 20″ long. I can’t believe how big he’s gotten in two short months. This really is going to fly by! It kind of makes me sad to think that he’s not going to be a tiny baby much longer. But at the same time I’m looking forward to him getting bigger. I’m ready to play!!! We changed his reflux medicine. I have noticed that the Zantac is starting to not work consistently anymore. So she’s changed us over to Prevacid. Hopefully this one will work better. I hate seeing my baby hurt. And talk about hurting, he had to have his first round of shots today at his appointment. He cried, but I honestly think that it hurt me more than it did him!!

Car shopping was finally successful. I ended up going with the Ford Explorer. I get it tomorrow and am sooooo looking forward to having more room. My little Buick Regal was okay when it was just me and Nathan but its not really big enough for a family car. 

I’m almost finished with the book that I’m reading now. I hope to finish it today or tomorrow and get a review up sometime this week.  I’m anxious to start a new book, but haven’t decided what I’m going to read next. That’s the hardest and most fun thing for me, haha!!

Well I just wanted to post a quick update and that’s really all I’ve got for right now. Hope everyone has a good week! 

Advertisements
4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, Review Book

2012.18 REVIEW – Sly Fox by Judge Jeanine Pirro

Sly Fox
by Judge Jeanine Pirro

Copyright: 2012
Pages: 289
Rating: 4/5
Read: July 9 – July 22, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012
Yearly Count: 18
Format: Print
Source: Review Copy from Hyperion Books

Blurb: In Westchester, New York, young assistant district attorney Dani Fox is investigating a series of brutal crimes against women and children, cases that male prosecutors don’t care about. It’s a man’s world in 1978, and as the only female prosecutor in the office, she’s shunned by her peers, dismissed by judges, and ignored by detectives. Using her legal acumen and razor-sharp wit, she outmaneuvers her critics both in and out of the courtroom.

Fox stumbles upon one of her most challenging cases when she goes after a successful businessman who has been secretly molesting his beautiful young daughter for years. While handling this politically tricky prosecution, she learns that the accused is hiding an even more sinister crime: the murder of his second wife. Her death was ruled a suicide at the time, but Fox uncovers evidence that suggests otherwise. Proving his guilt is tougher than she imagined, as even murderers have friends in unexpected places, and there are times when the legal system – her fellow prosecutors, judges, and the police – may not be on her side….


Review: I was contacted by Jonathan Bernstein, Social Media Manager of Hyperion Books, about the opportunity to read and review this book.

You know what I find to be the best part of being a book blogger? Being introduced to great books that I might never find on my own. This book fits that bill for me.

When this book was pitched to me, it was likened to Nancy Grace’s book, The Eleventh Victim. I enjoyed that book and was immediately intrigued by the description of this book. I honestly don’t read very many books with strong female protagonists, so I was definitely looking forward to giving this book a chance. And it definitely did not disappoint.

This book is set in 1970s New York. I honestly didn’t know what to expect with it being from this time period. But I was a little more than shocked, to say the least. I knew that a woman prosecutor in the 1970s would have trouble with the proverbial glass ceiling. And I also knew that the police department would be a boys club where everyone covered for everyone else. But what I didn’t know was that it was actually still legal for a man to beat his wife!! Say what?! I could see that law still being on the books in the 1950s, but the 1970s definitely surprised me.

I liked Dani Fox’s character. She felt very real to me. Of course that is probably due to the fact that the author, Judge Pirro, really drew upon her own personal experiences in the legal field. This fact also really helped develop the plot, in my opinion.  I was finding myself getting increasingly frustrated With the kind of injustice that the victim was experiencing. It was quite disheartening, actually. It’s really good to know that there are so many victim advocates out there, because this book really illustrates the need for them, in my opinion.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The characters were well developed, the plot was interesting to me, the writing was enjoyable. I think it will appeal to a wide variety of readers, but if you’re a fan of the legal fiction genre, I would definitely recommend giving this book a chance.

 

Miscellaneous Ramblings

You know you have a problem when….

…. You acquire the same copy of a book you already had. *Sigh*. Sadly I have managed to do this with two different books on the month of July. That means I either need to start reading more or stop acquiring. Although neither is likely to happen any time soon.

I am reading. Slowly. But I do have a book that I need to write a review for and I’m a good 1/3 of the way through another book. My reading has just been very sporadic. I’ve had to start going back to work 2 days a week and Garrett is up a lot more during the day now. So my reading has been reduced to just a few pages at a time.

I’m car shopping. One of my favorite and least favorite things to do. 🙂 I currently have a 4 door car but the way it slopes in the back makes it very hard to get the car seat in and out. So I’m on the hunt for an SUV. And for some reason I’m having a very hard time choosing. I still have two more to drive but already I can’t decide between the two I drove yesterday. Anyone out there who reads this and drives an SUV – tell me what you drive and your feelings on it.

Garrett is growing by leaps and bounds. We had to go to the doctor for his reflux a couple of weeks ago. Sadly we had to go the medicine route. Not something I wanted to do, but the pain he was in was excruciating for both of us. Anyway at that appointment he weighed 8lb4oz!! Big boy! We go back for his 2 month appt on the 30th and are facing the first of the dreaded shots. Mommy’s not looking forward to that!

Today I’m looking forward to a quiet day at the house. Whatever kind of quiet you can get with a 7 week old in the house 🙂

Hope everyone has a great upcoming week.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, July 9, 2012

Mailbox Monday is on tour with July’s host being Mrs. Q: Book Addict.

Another week gone by and another absurd amount of books came into my house. Of course I’m blaming it on the fact that my birthday was on the 5th and I was treating myself 🙂

Thumbing across the scorched west Texas desert loner Jack Reacher has nowhere to go and all the time in the world to get there. Cruising the same stretch of two-lane blacktop is pretty Carmen Greer. But for Reacher the lift comes with a hitch. Carmen’s got a story to tell and it’s a wild one. All about her husband, her family secrets, and a hometown that’s pure Gothic. She’s also got a plan. Reacher’s part of it. And before the sun sets, this ride could cost them both their lives.

 


Somewhere off the coast of Alaska, a sunken cargo poses a threat of unthinkable proportions. Potentially, the lost shipment of chemicals could destroy all life in the ocean – and perhaps the world – unless Dirk Pitt can find it first. But time is running out for the NUMA agent and his team. Pitt’s main target is just one deadly component of a vast international conspiracy fueled by hijacking, bribery, and murder. And at the center of it all is a powerful Korean shipping empire with a chilling political agenda -to kidnap the President of the United States…

 


The luxury yacht had disappeared long ago, on its way to a secret meeting at the White House. Now, it has been discovered – within a millions-ton mass of ice. The only clue to the ship’s demise – and its missing cargo – are the corpses of its crew, and a set of ornately carved rings. The only man who can find the answer is Dirk Pitt…

 

 


     A former Secret Service agent turned high-tech entrepreneur, Kurt Ford couldn’t be more proud when his son Collin follows in his footsteps. But elation turns to despair when Collin is found dead in his apartment and the police rule the case a suicide. Knowing his son would never kill himself, Kurt searches for the truth – and uncovers shocking evidence that the person behind the murder is none other than the president of the United States. Now Kurt is about to attempt the impossible: to assassinate a leader who has spun out of control. But as he sets his plan in motion, he finds out how much he really has to lose – and what dark forces are lying in wait for his next move.

 



The dead body discovered in a Seattle dumpster was shocking enough – but equally disturbing was the manner of death. The victim, a high school coach, had been lynched, leaving behind a very pregnant wife to grieve over his passing, and to wonder what dark secrets he took to his grave. A Homicide detective with twenty years on the job, J.P. Beaumont knows this case is a powder keg, and he fears where this investigation will lead him. Because the answers lie on the extreme lethal edge of passion and hate, where the wrong kind of love can breed the most terrible brand of justice.

 


     The first evidence is found in the belly of a shark: a hand sporting a jade ring. The hand belongs to a Silicone Valley billionaire. When the rest of his bullet-ridden body washes up on shore, Dismas Hardy, assistant D.A., is suddenly plunged into San Francisco’s murder trial of the century.
A Japanese call girl with a long list of bigshot johns is the defendant. But a series of bizarre twists and turns blows the case wide open, making Hardy himself a target for everyone from the victim’s sexy daughter to the vengeful judge who wants Hardy to sizzle.

 



Once Dismas Hardy was a cop. Now he spends his days in a lawyer’s suit, billing hours to a corporate client in a downtown San Francisco office. Hardy’s wife and kids like it that way. Then one client changes everything. Graham Russo, a former baseball star, is charged with murdering his dying father. Was it suicide, the last desperate act of a dying man? Was it murder? Or mercy?
Now, as a carnival of reporters, activists, cops, lovers, and families throng around the case, Dismas Hardy is going to trial with a client he doesn’t trust, a key witness he cannot believe, and a system that almost destroyed him once. For Dismas, this case will challenge everything he believes about the law, about his family, and about himself. Because a chilling truth is beginning to emerge about an old man’s lonely death. And what Dismas knows could put him next in line to die…


     Matthew Mercer and Harris Sandler are playing a game almost no one knows about – not their friends, not their coworkers, and certainly not their powerful bosses, who are some of the most influential senators and congressmen on Capitol Hill. It’s a game that has everything: risk, reward, and the thrill of knowing that – just by being invited to play – you’ve become a true insider. But behind this game is a secret so explosive it will shake Washington to its core. And when one player turns up dead, a dedicated young staffer will find himself relying on a tough, idealistic seventeen-year-old Senate page to help keep him alive … as he plays the Zero Game to its heart-pounding end.


     Amid the sparkling snow-swept mountains of Lake Tahoe, Nina Reilly has made a home, juggling the demands of her one-woman law practice and raising a teenage son alone. Now Nina has taken on a case that will threaten everything she holds dear, drawing her into a tangled web of loyalties and alliances within one of Lake Tahoe’s most prominent families. Her client: a man accused of murdering his own brother – on the ski slopes of Tahoe. The law says Nina must give Jim Strong the best possible defense. But Strong’s family has turned violently against him, and suddenly Nina is at the center of the storm. As she works a flawed and troubling case and gets swept into an unexpected love affair, the two sides of Nina’s life come crashing together … in the ultimate act of malice.


A wealthy socialite has been murdered. Now the killer – a consummate professional – must tie up a few loose ends. One is a witness. The other is Lucas Davenport, the cop on the case. Of all the criminals Davenport has hunted, none has been as efficient or as ferociously intelligent as the woman who’s hunting him.

 

 


     When a new Protestant extremist group shatters the Good Friday peace accords with three savage acts of terrorism, Northern Ireland is blown back into the depths of conflict. And after his father-in-law is nominated to become the new American ambassador to London, retired officer Michael Osbourne is drawn back into the CIA.
Then Osbourne uncovers a dark plan that marks his father-in-law for execution, setting into motion a deadly chain of events that will thrust him back into the sights of the most merciless assassin the world has ever known. Osbourne escaped this ruthless killing machine once – but the elusive October will never allow him to slip through his crosshairs again…

Mid-Year Update

First Half of 2012 in Review

Wow, I can’t believe the year is half over already. Of course I find it hard to believe that we also welcomed our baby boy already as well – those 40 weeks of pregnancy seemed to fly by (well, technically only 39 for me).

Anyway, a shameless self-promotional plug – Happy Birthday to me 🙂

Moving on.

I have to say that with everything that has gone on this year, it is truly amazing that I have managed to read 17 books.  And three of those were completed AFTER Garrett arrived. There’s not much else to do with a baby who has to stay elevated for 30 minutes after he eats to relieve his reflux. At 2 in the morning. 🙂 Of course I’ve spent more than my fair share on Pinterest during those moments as well – downloading the iPhone app was the worst move – it’s soooo addicting! However, I am only going to be mentioning the first 16 in this post seeing as how the 17th book was completed in July.

Anyway, you guys are here about the books not to hear my rambling.

Visually, here’s what I’ve read so far this year. Clicking on the individual book covers will link you back to my review:

Overall I’m quite pleased with this year’s read thus far. I’ve read some really good ones. I can say with certainty that at least 3 of the above books will make my yearly Top Ten reads (Damage by John Lescroart; The Pawn by Steven James; The Wrong Man by David Ellis) with another two definitely being in the running (Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow; Stolen Prey by John Sandford).

The only thing that disappoints me is that I have yet to read a non-fiction book this year. Of course that’s probably due to the fact that my concentration level is at an all-time low. Unfortunately that’s not likely to change anytime soon. So I may or may not get any non-fiction reading done this year. I’m reading purely to escape right now. So I need quick, fun, exciting reads.

Statistically:

  • Fiction: 16
  • Non-Fiction: 0
  • Pages Read: 6,720
  • Sources – Personal Copy – 12
    Review Copy – 3
    Library Copy – 1
  • Male Authors: 12
  • Female Authors: 4
  • New-to-Me Authors: 5
  • Part of a Series: 14
  • New Series Started: 6
  • Copyright Year – 2012: 3
    2000-2011: 9
    1990s: 2
    1980s: 2
  • Challenge Update – Mystery & Suspense 2012: 14/12 completed – 100% completed
    Off the Shelf 2012: 12/30 completed
    The Eclectic Reader Challenge: 5/12 completed

So there you have it. That’s all the stats I can think to come up with right now. To briefly discuss them, I’m glad that I’ve been reading off my shelves – that is something I desperately need to do! I’m disappointed that I have only read 4 books by female authors, I need to work on upping that! However, I am ecstatic that I have found 5 new-to-me authors so far this year. As far as book series goes, I am hopelessly addicted and did not need to start 6 new series in the first half of this year! Oh well. I’m very pleased as to where I am on my challenges. I have successfully completed the Mystery & Suspense Challenge, but I am going to continue to work toward the 24 book option of the challenge; Off the Shelf, I think I’ve done pretty good. I’m pleased as to where I am on that one as well; The Eclectic Reader Challenge I’m a little disappointed in, because the genres that I have read are the ones that are easiest for me. I need to get started on the other more challenging genres – that is what this is about, challenging myself!

I think that’s all I’ve got for right now. I hope everyone has a good rest of the week and weekend and happy reading 🙂

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Kay Scarpetta, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, SERIES

2012.17 REVIEW – Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell

Scarpetta
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 579
Rating: 4/5
Read: June 26 – July 5, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012; Off the Shelf 2012
Yearly Count: 17
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta takes an assignment in New York City, where an injured patient in Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric prison ward has specifically asked for her. While Scarpetta examines him, she listens to one of the most bizarre stories she has ever heard.

Oscar Bane says his injuries were sustained in the course of a murder … that he did not commit. Is Bane a criminally insane stalker who has fixated on Scarpetta? Or is his paranoid tale true, and it is he who is being spied on, followed, and stalked by the actual killer? The one thing Scarpetta knows for certain is that a woman has been tortured and murdered – and more violent deaths will occur…

In the days that follow, Scarpetta, her forensic psychologist husband, Benton Wesley, and her niece, Lucy, who has recently formed her own forensic computer investigation firm in New York, will undertake a harrowing chase through cyberspace and the all-too-real streets of the city. It is an odyssey that will take them at once to places they never knew but also much, much too close to home.


Review: Okay, here’s the deal: In 2010 I went kind of bonkers and read the first 15 Scarpetta books pretty much back to back. I got burned out. Big time. In fact, I wrote a pretty negative review of the 15th book in the series, Book of the Dead. I made it relatively clear that I was burned out in that review and that I was not impressed with where this series was going. Fast forward a year and a half later and I decided to pick up book 16, Scarpetta. It was more curiosity than anything. I remembered perfectly clearly that I was unimpressed by the previous book and that I was especially ticked off with the direction the character development was going in. Oh and the fact that Dr. Scarpetta could not stay put – she was constantly moving, two new cities in two books! For me to remember that clearly so long after reading it why I hated that book speaks volumes – I must have really not liked it. However, I was determined to give her one more shot (two actually, since I’ve still got The Scarpetta Factor on my shelf).

So what do I have to say about this book? Well, it read pretty quickly for me – and when you have a 5 week old baby in the house and you are able to read “quickly” it must not be too bad of a book.

First I want to discuss the characters. I still am not impressed with Pete Marino and how Scarpetta handled (or rather, pretty much chose to ignore) the situation that occurred between the two of them in the previous book. I knew she would forgive him when she really should not have even considered such a thing. Lucy wasn’t nearly as obnoxious in this book and I think Benton is going to start coming around (hopefully) in his relationship with Kay. The supporting characters were good in this book. Jaime Berger was pretty prominent in this book (it is set in NYC, which is where Berger has always been) and I’m confident she will figure prominently in the future books as well.

The storyline was interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where dwarfism played a part in the plot. That was kind of interesting. I was also impressed with the who-dun-it part. When the blurb says things hit too close to home, well that is spot on accurate in this case. The who-dun-it part was a surprise to me, I couldn’t believe how it ended up unfolding in the end. I will say that I was a little disappointed in the overall ending. When you’ve got a 500+ page book, I kind of feel that the ending sometimes needs more than 5 pages. I know there has to be some kind of a happy medium between too drawn out and too rapid, but this particular ending was lacking a little bit in my opinion. However, I will say that everything was wrapped up relatively nicely – I didn’t think it had too much of a cookie-cutter feeling, but questions were answered at the end.

So what is my overall opinion of this book? I enjoyed it. I’m not entirely sure I’m back on board with this series yet, though. I think I will take it one book at a time. I also think that having such a long break since reading the previous book helped my opinion of this one. I went into it with a more open mind, rather than still being irritated from the last installment. Without a doubt, the early Scarpetta books are wonderful, but this one wasn’t too shabby in my opinion. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I would highly recommend this book, but I wouldn’t discourage people from giving it a shot (if they’ve read all the previous books and have become burned out like I did).

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, July 2, 2012

Another week – another full mailbox. I really should restrain myself. But I just keep telling myself that I’d been good January-May and with my birthday just around the corner – like in 3 DAYS! – I’m treating myself 🙂

Anyhoo – July’s host is Mrs. Q: Book Addict.

Here’s what arrived for me last week:


On an isolated Greek island, a World War I fighter plane attacks a modern U.S. Air Force base…a mysterious saboteur preys on an American scientific expedition…and Dirk Pitt plays a deadly game of hunter and hunted with the elusive head of an international smuggling ring. Dirk Pitt, intrepid hero of Clive Cussler’s smash bestsellers Dragon, Sahara, and Inca Gold, is hot on the trail of a mammoth drug conspiracy controlled by a missing Nazi War criminal. On land and in the depths of the Aegean, Pitt trouble shoots his way through one of his most daring, desperate adventures!

 


1954. Vixen 03 is down. The plane, bound for the Pacific carrying thirty-six Doomsday bombs – canisters armed with quick-death germs of unbelievable potency – vanishes. Vixen has in fact crashed into an ice-covered lake in Colorado.
1988. Dirk Pitt, who heroically raised the Titanic, discovers the wreckage of Vixen 03. But two deadly canisters are missing. They’re in the hands of a terrorist group. Their lethal mission: to sail a battleship seventy-five miles up the Potomac and blast Washington, D.C., to kingdom come. Only Dirk can stop them…

 

When Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels receives a report of an excess of body parts appearing at the Cook County Morgue, she hopes it’s only a miscount. It’s not. Even worse, these extra limbs seem to be accessorized with Jack’s handcuffs. Jack must put her train wreck of a personal life on hold to catch a terrifying and brilliant maniac – a maniac for whom getting caught is only the beginning…

 


Meeting an anonymous client late on a sizzling summer night is asking for trouble. But trouble is Chicago private eye V.I. Warshawski’s specialty. Her client says he’s the prominent banker, John Thayer. Turns out he’s not. He says his son’s girlfriend, Anita Hill, is missing. Turns out that’s not her real name. V.I.’s search turns up someone soon enough – the real John Thayer’s son, and he’s dead. Who’s V.I.’s client? Why has she been set up and sent out on a wild-goose chase? By the time she’s got it figured, things are hotter – and deadlier – than Chicago in July. V.I.’s in a desperate race against time. At stake: a young woman’s life.