Announcements, Book Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to….

SAMANTHA!!!

Samantha won my 30th birthday giveaway! I thank all of you who entered and “celebrated” with me. So far 30 isn’t as bad as I thought it would be (… in other words, the world did not end, ha).

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Book Giveaway, Book Giveaway Winners

The Blonde Giveaway Winner…

You guys …. I totally forgot about the giveaway winner announcement! Garrett was sick on Sunday and my blog was the last thing on my mind.

Anyway. I didn’t completely forget about you; I’m here now. 🙂

And I’m pleased to say that the winner is……

STACY!!

Thanks so much for entering the giveaway! Keep a lookout, you never know when the next one will pop up!

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Giveaway, Book Review, Fiction, G, RATING, Read in 2014, READING CHALLENGES 2014, Review Book

2014.21 REVIEW – The Blonde by Anna Godbersen {GIVEAWAY}

The Blonde
by Anna Godbersen

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 390
Rating: 4/5
Read: May 5 – May 11, 2014
Challenge: Eclectic Reader Challenge
Yearly count: 21
Format:  Print
Source: Publicist for review
Series: None


The BlondeBlurb
: In 1947, a young, unknown Norma Jean meets a mysterious man in Los Angeles who transforms her into Marilyn the worldwide star. Twelve years later, he comes back for his repayment, and Marilyn is given her first assignment from the KGB: Uncover something about JFK that no one else knows.

But what begins as a simple job turns complicated when Marilyn falls in love with the bright young President, and learns of plans to assassinate Kennedy. Now the most famous woman on the planet will do anything to save her man, the leader of the free world. Part biography, part love story and part thriller, The Blonde is a vivid tableau of American celebrity, sex, love, violence, power, and paranoia.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free from a publicist for review purposes, all opinions expressed below are my own.

Faithful readers, you know I’m obsessed with JFK. Add Marilyn Monroe and I’m even more intrigued. So you can imagine that I never even hesitated when I was pitched this book for review! I couldn’t wait to dig into this one and figure out how Ms. Godbersen was going to present Marilyn Monroe as a spy!

And I must tell you, the gloves are off in the way the characters were portrayed. It’s obviously well known that JFK was quite the ladies man, which is quite evident in this portrayal. But I will admit that I didn’t like who Marilyn became in this story. Without giving away too much of the storyline, Marilyn is promised something very important to her in return for whatever information she can get out of JFK. Seducing him is the obvious way to get what she needs. I have typed out a sentence four times trying to word it the way I need to for you to understand my dilemma with Marilyn in this book. Maybe I should just keep it to the fact that I wanted to like Marilyn but I just didn’t. I couldn’t like her.

Can I just state the obvious here? The whole idea of Marilyn Monroe as a spy?! Oh. My. Gosh. I simply cannot get over that concept! It might seem like a total stretch, but the way it plays out in this novel… well, it really works! There’s a lot of twists and turns that you don’t really expect. There are characters who might seem out of character from what you know of history. There are revelations that make you wonder… and that, in my opinion, is the heart and soul of this book. Could it be true? You really never know anyone else, do you? Like I said, it’s a concept that is a lot of fun to see how it unfolds in this book!

Overall though it’s definitely a good read in my opinion. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next while reading it. The writing was very well done. The characters were well-developed. The only thing to be aware of is the fact that there is a lot of sex in this book (but it is Marilyn Monroe and JFK after all…)

I would definitely recommend this book! Another great read in my opinion!


So now that you’ve patiently read through all my ramblings about this book, let’s get down to the nitty gritty here. I have a giveaway opportunity! Somehow I ended up with a hardcover, finished copy of this book (it arrived mysteriously a couple of weeks after I received the ARC). So I would like to extend the offer of a giveaway to my readers.

Fine print: If you want to win and you live in the United States (sorry, international friends :() just leave me a comment here with your email address to be entered. You have until 7pm central standard time on Sunday, May 18th to enter. At that point I will take the number of comments I have and use random.org to decide a winner. Your comment will decide your entry number. At that point I will make an announcement and contact the winner by email. You will have 24 hours to respond, or I will have to choose another winner. Good luck!!


Anna Godbersen_creditedAbout the author: Anna Godbersen was born in Berkeley, California and moved to New York to attend Barnard College. After graduating she worked in the literary department of Esquire magazine, where she also wrote book reviews. Her debut novel was the first installment of the bestselling LUXE series for young adults, which she followed with the BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS series. THE BLONDE, to be published by Weinstein in May 2014, is her first book for grownups. She lives in Brooklyn. 

AUTHOR WEBSITE

Book Giveaway, Book Giveaway Winners

Giveaway Winner!

And we have a winner!

Anne Berger – you are the winner of The Dark Pool by J.E. Fishman!

I will be sending your mailing address and contact information to Katie at Shelton Interactive so she can get the book out to you!

Thanks to everyone who signed up and a big thanks to Katie for letting me host this giveaway :):)

 

Book Giveaway

GIVEAWAY: The Dark Pool by J.E. Fishman

I am excited to announce that Katie from Shelton Interactive is giving me the opportunity to give away one copy of The Dark Pool by J.E. Fishman. Here’s the blurb:

THE DARK POOL is a financial thriller based off of Fishman’s time spent living among some of Wall Street’s top players, and seeing how their pursuit of self-interest nearly wrecked the nation.

THE DARK POOL follows Bronx high school football coach Shoog Clay and his star player, Antwon Meeps. When strange and tragic things start happening around them – events out of their control – they discover the source is a secret marketplace where investors bet on the coach’s marketing prospects (his Q Score). Those who are bullish on Clay want him to succeed, no matter who gets hurt. Those who are bearish on him will stop at nothing to see him fail – even if it means killing him.

I will be reviewing this book in the future as well, so I hope you return to check out my review when I post it.

Fine print: This is an international giveaway (!) and has one (1) book available. The sign-ups will close on March 3rd at 7pm central time. When you fill out the form, your information goes into a spreadsheet. Your place in the giveaway will be assigned a number – when the sign-ups close, I will use your assigned number and random.org to select a winner. As always, your information will be kept between me and Katie at Shelton Interactive and the form will be deleted upon the selection of the winner. Good luck 🙂

Please use this form to sign up!

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Giveaway, Book Review, Empty Coffin, Fiction, O, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, Review Book, SERIES

2012.24 REVIEW – Betrayal by Gregg Olsen ((Giveaway!))

Betrayal
by Gregg Olsen

Copyright: 2012
Pages: 267
Rating: 5/5
Read: Sept. 19-23, 2012
Challenge: Eclectic Reader Challenge; Mystery & Suspense 2012
Yearly count: 24
Format: Print
Source: Review copy for The Readiacs’ blog tour

Blurb: When foreign exchange student Olivia Grant is stabbed to death at a party, the accusations fly through Port Gamble faster than Twitter trending. Fingers point at frenemy Brianna and her dim-witted boyfriend, Drew. But loner and host-roommate Beth Lee may also have an ax to grind, which sends her best friends Hayley and Taylor Ryan down a twisted path to clear her name – only to discover a tangled web of shocking secrets about all of them.


Review: After reading Envy last year, I was eagerly anticipating the 2012 release of Betrayal! So I was more than thrilled when I got the opportunity to participate in a blog tour for this book 🙂

This particular installment in the Empty Coffin series felt a lot different from Envy did. This was more than just Hayley and Taylor’s story – there were other characters that had a big impact in the storyline. With the storyline revolving around a murder, the reader gets a lot of perspective from the local police department, including Chief Annie Garnett –  a character that I personally liked.

But that’s not to say that Hayley and Taylor weren’t the main characters, because they definitely were. I find it amazing what kind of trouble Hayley and Taylor can get themselves into. They sure got themselves into some precarious situations in this book. And it’s not because they’re stupid either – most of the time they knew better, but they are stubborn and determined young women.  also can’t help but wonder what else can happen in little Port Gamble, Washington. That town is full of some dandy people – not just the teenagers! Plus we got to learn a little more about the twins’ “secret.” What  we learn at the end of the book definitely makes me look forward to the next book in the Empty Coffin series – Guilty.

One thing that really resonates with me when I read this series is that Gregg Olsen really seems to get teenagers. There’s been a few times when I’ve read YA books and the author just doesn’t seem to understand teenagers and the way they thing/talk/act. Gregg Olsen does. And while I may not be a teenager anymore (and haven’t been for 8 years) and while I don’t necessarily understand the current generation of teenagers myself, I can still remember what it was like to be in high school. As I said, some authors don’t seem to be able to get the teenager feeling onto the pages, but Gregg Olsen does a great job with that in my opinion. And may I just say that I definitely had a Brianna in my graduating class 😉

There was “Truth in Fiction” section at the end of the book where Mr. Olsen discusses how a recent case in Italy (Amanda Knox) lended itself somewhat to this book. Personally, I only know the very bare bones of the Amanda Knox case, so I can’t say much about the similarities. But this seems to be a theme with the Empty Coffin series since Envy revolved around cyber-bullying and referenced the Megan Meier case out of Missouri. I know a lot of authors get their original inspiration for novels from actual headlines around our country. I actually like that Mr. Olsen includes a little information at the end of both books about what (I’m assuming here) prompted the original inspiration for the particular novel.

Overall I would highly recommend this book. I think that it will definitely appeal to a very wide audience – not just the YA crowd. While this book can stand as a standalone, I definitely recommend reading Envy first so you can understand the characters better.


—–> GIVEAWAY!! <—–

    

I am thrilled to announce that I am hosting a giveaway of my ARC of Betrayal AND a finished paperback copy of Envy!

US entrants, only.

As always, your information will never be shared and the form will be deleted upon the end of the giveaway.

Giveaway begins 9/25 and will end 10/2 at 5pm central time. Winner will be selected using random.org and will be announced here on the blog. (And the winner will also get a confirmation email)


Be sure to check out the other tour stops on the Betrayal blog tour:

Monday, September 24thThe Reading Date
Tuesday, September 25thTales of a Book Addict
Wednesday, September 26thReading Lark
Thursday, September 27th A Dream within a Dream
Friday, September 28thEvie Bookish

Monday, October 1stYA Between the Lines
Tuesday, October 2ndI Am a Reader, Not a Writer
Wednesday, October 3rdNerd Alien
Thursday, October 4thHopeless Bibliophile
Friday, October 5th – Book Hi (I’m sorry, but I couldn’t find this blog when I googled it – if you know this blog please let me know so I can add the link)

Book Giveaway

Giveaway Time

Here it is … my big book giveaway. After pondering how I would handle this, here’s what I came up with:

All of this will obviously depend on how many entries I receive. However, my plan is ideally to have one book per winner. When you fill out the Google form, you will be given the option to list the books in the order of your personal preference. By this I mean that I am giving you the option to tell me what book you would ultimately prefer. Obviously this is not entirely ideal for the people who get chosen 7th or 8th, but it still could possibly work out for you anyway since everyone has different tastes. I’m trying to do my best making sure that you get the book you want, but as I said, it is flawed and I can make no promises.

If this giveaway flops and I don’t have 8 entries, I will divvy up the books between however many entrants I do have.

Fine Print: Giveaway closes September 30, 2012 at 5pm central time. I will announce the winners here on the blog. Open only to US residents (sorry to my international readers – I just don’t have the funds to send internationally right now). Although pimping this giveaway out to your readers/twitter followers will be nice, you will receive no additional entries for doing so. You do not have to have a blog to enter – all I need is for you to fill out the Google form that I created and you’re entered. Thank you and good look!!

Now on to the books that I have available. Most of them are ARCs, but I do have two available finished copies.

DiSemblance by Shanae Branham (Finished copy – paperback)
A computer prodigy, Jason has spent his life with limited social contact due to his father’s secretive work on a hologram machine that can create digital immortality. When his father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, Jason is targeted as the killer’s new fall guy. Having spent much of his youth living in the virtual world his father created, he must now go on the run if he is going to save himself, his brother, and the beautiful girl next door.

READ MY REVIEW HERE


Shelter by Harlan Coben (ARC)
After tragic events tear him away from his parents, fifteen-year-old Mickey Bolitar is sent to live with his estranged uncle Myron. For a while, it seems his train wreck of a life is finally improving – until his girlfriend, Ashley, goes missing without a trace. Unwilling to let another person he cares about walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley’s trait into a seedy underworld, revealing a conspiracy so shocking it will leave him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.

READ MY REVIEW HERE


Fireproof by Alex Kava (Finished copy – hardcover)
When an abandoned warehouse in Washington, D.C., bursts into flames on a cold winter night, the first investigators on the scene instantly spot similarities to a string of recent fires in the area. There is one difference, however: This one has a human casualty. The local team insists the murder is an isolated incident, concluding that the culprit must be a bored young man suffering from an uncontrollable impulse to act out anger and sexual aggression. But when Special Agent Maggie O’Dell is called in, everything she sees indicates that this is the work if a far more dangerous and calculating criminal.

Jeffery Cole, a reporter looking for his big break, is also at the scene of the crime and decides to make Maggie part of his news piece, putting the spotlight on her and digging up aspects of her past she would rather forget. Maggie’s half brother, Patrick, is back in D.C. too, working for a private fire-fighting company, and he is frequently called in as these fires continue to light up around the city.

As the acts of arson become more brazen and bodies keep turning up, Maggie’s professional and personal worlds begin to collide dangerously. She starts to fear for Patrick’s safety as he is sent into the flames set by this madman again and again, and Jeffery is becoming a very unwelcome distraction. Meanwhile, the arsonist-murderer may be much closer than Maggie imagines.

READ MY REVIEW HERE


Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews (ARC)
It’s the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kenedy.

It’s a surprising selection. At twenty-two, Jack Kennedy is the attractive but unpromising second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Roosevelt’s ambassador to Britain (and occasional political adversary). When Jack decides to travel through Europe to gather research for his Harvard senior thesis, Roosevelt takes the opportunity to use him as his personal spy. The president’s goal: to stop the flow of German money that has been flooding the United States to buy the 1940 election – an election that Adolf Hitler intends for Roosevelt to lose.

READ MY REVIEW HERE


Sly Fox by Judge Jeanine Pirro (ARC)
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….

READ MY REVIEW HERE


Conflicts with Interest by Michael Ruddy (ARC)
Sometimes, life can be a poker game with a fortunate stroke of serendipity. Sometimes, it’s nothing but incessant bad luck. T.R. Morgan is playing such a game with his most feared situation as a builder: Defect Litigation. It isn’t enough that he is still mourning the loss of his beloved wife. Now, he finds himself caught in a nasty lawsuit against Steve Sanderson, a ruthless Bay Area lawyer.

The problem – it seems, is when will T.R. lose his company and home over this lawsuit and how many times-over? Or will his own gambling habit be his downfall? Can the insurance companies out-play him? And is his new girlfriend, Catherine, actually who she seems? T.R.’s story comes to an explosive climatx that one could have foreseen – least of all T.R. himself.

READ MY REVIEW HERE


Stolen Prey by John Sandford (ARC)
Lucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes. This is one of the worst. In the Minnesota town of Wayzata, an entire family has been killed – husband, wife, two kids, dogs. One the wall, in blood: “Were coming.” No apostrophe.

There’s something about the scene that tugs at Lucas’s cop instincts – it looks an awful lot like the kind of scorched-earth retribution he’s seen from Mexican drug gangs. But this is a seriously upscale town, the husband ran a modest software company, the wife dabbled in local politics. None of it seems to fit.

Until it does. And that’s when everybody starts coming to town: the DEA, the Mexican federales, and some independent operators who are decidedly less welcome.

Where it all leads … will take Lucas into the darkest nightmare of his life.

READ MY REVIEW HERE


Racing the Devil by Jaden Terrell (ARC)
Nashville private investigator Jared McKean has a son with Down’s syndrome, a best friend with AIDS, an ex-wife he can’t seem to fall out of love with, and a weakness for women in jeopardy – until one frames him for murder.

His DNA and fingerprints are found at the murder scene. His voice is on the victim’s answering machine, and the victim was killed with a bullet from his gun. To make matters worse, his teenaged nephew comes out of the closet and runs away to join a dangerous fringe of the Goth subculture.

Now Jared must find a way to clear his name, hold his family together, and solve a case that could cost him his life.


Book Giveaway

Book Giveaway: We’re Not Leaving by Benjamin J. Luft, M.D.

I am giving away my copy of  We’re Not Leaving: 9/11 Responders Tell Their Stories of Courage, Sacrifice, and Renewal by Benjamin J. Luft, M.D.

We’re Not Leaving is a compilation of powerful first-person narratives told from the vantage point of World Trade Center disaster workers – police officers, firefighters, construction workers, and other volunteers at the site. While the effects of 9/11 on these everyday heroes and heroines are indelible, and in some cases have been devastating, at the heart of their deeply personal stories – their harrowing escapes from the falling Towers, the egregious environment they worked in for months, the alarming health effects they continue to deal with – is their witness to their personal strength and renewal in the ten years since. These stories, shared by ordinary people who responded to disaster and devastation in extraordinary ways, remind us of America’s strength and inspire us to recognize and ultimately believe in our shared values of courage, duty, patriotism, self-sacrifice, and devotion, which guide us in dark times.

You can read my review here.

The giveaway will close on September 28th at 6pm central time with the winner being announced that evening.

If you are interested in winning this book, I invite you to fill out this form. Good luck!!