ARC Review: A Silken Thread

Author: Brenda Jackson
Genre: Romance,
Release: April, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3/5

Description: For Erica Sanders, finding a soul mate was the easy part. Brian Lawson is the man she wants, and everyone agrees they're the ideal couple. Almost everyone. The one exception is Erica's mother, Karen, who prefers her daughter marry another man. Karen even hires a private detective to investigate Brian, but the truth he uncovers is the last thing she expected—a devastating betrayal that rips both families apart.
Convinced that her relationship can't be salvaged, Erica ends her engagement. Yet she has lingering doubts over her decision, especially once Brian's attractive single neighbor starts pursuing him. A chance meeting proves that the passion between Brian and Erica hasn't dimmed—but neither has the determination of others to keep them apart, or the shocking lengths Karen will go to in order to undermine her daughter's relationship.

As secrets old and new are revealed, Erica and Brian find themselves caught between the bonds of the past and an uncertain future, each making painful discoveries about who to believe and trust. Masterfully told and laced with the sensuality and drama that Brenda Jackson does best, this is an unforgettable story of relationships at their most complex, and how hard it can be to choose between living separate lives—or holding fast when love hangs by a silken thread…

  • The fact that Erica was so quick to believe the worse in Brian. When something came up against him, she was quick to believe he did it.
  • As much as I wanted to care for the relationship between Erica and Brian...I didn't. Well, not much anyway. It lacked spark...kind of boring.
  • The story was slow at times, especially in the beginning.
  • Despite the fact that their relationship was a bit boring to me, I still liked the fact that they get together despite the obstacles that tried to keep them apart. What's a romance without a happy ending?
  • I loved the subplots more than I did the main plot. The relationship between April, Erica's best friend and Griffin, the man Erica's mom really wanted her to marry and the one between Rita, Brian's mom, and Wilson, Erica's still married father were more interesting. I really wanted to see what happened to them.
  • The scandal/deceit/unexpected love made the book interesting.
I love Brenda Jackson. I just didn't fall in love with this book. It was ok. To be fair, though, it reads kind of like a soap opera, and I'm not all that big on soaps. I'd still read any of Brenda Jackson's work cos she's just an awesome writer.


ARC Review: Midnight Caller

Author: Leslie Tentler
Genre: Romance, Suspense, Mystery, Paranormal
Release: February, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3.5/5

Description: Late-night radio-show psychologist Rain Sommers is used to the crazies who call in to rage from the back alleys of the French Quarter and the shadows of the bayou. But one caller's chilling obsession with her and her long-ago murdered mother—an iconic singer beloved among the city's Goth community—has even the jaded Rain running scared as a sadistic serial killer known as the Vampire prowls New Orleans.

FBI agent Trevor Rivette is convinced her midnight caller and the killer are one and the same. As it becomes disturbingly clear that the Vampire has a sick bloodlust only Rain can satisfy, she allows Trevor to get closer and closer. But he soon discovers that his secretive past and troubled present are intertwined—and that he may die trying to keep Rain's fate out of a madman's control.

  • The fact that Trevor's dad, who was extremely abusive to his kids (he almost killed Trevor), did all he did and still was able to walk the streets freely. I get that he was a cop and cops protect their own, but I don't know. I think he got off too easily.
  • It left me hanging with the paranormal aspect. The serial killer drained the victims' blood and drank it, he looked impossibly young despite being an older guy...but it said nothing about whether or not he was a vamp or just a sick guy blessed with youthful looks.

  • Rain annoyed me at times, especially when the serial killer set his sights on her. I get being independent and wanting to take care of yourself, but I mean come on. When the killer stalked her and Trevor stationed an officer to stay at her house, she snook out of the house to meet Trevor's sister. She made a few not-so-smart decisions like that.
  • The description is excellent. I love it when the author's writing allows me to visualize the setting and what's going on.
  • Trevor Rivette. I mean, yeah he had major issues stemming from his abusive childhood, but I kind of liked him as a hero.
  • Trevor's siblings and the fact that they went on with their lives in spite of what their father did to them. They were still hurting and dealing with the issues, but they moved forward instead of stayed stuck. And they loved their big brother so much, that they wanted him to move forward also.
  • The twists and turns kept me guessing. The story was very complex, but it worked.
I'm looking forward to reading the second book, Midnight Fear.


ARC Review: One Hundred Candles

Author: Mara Purnhagen
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release: July, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5

Description: It's taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I'm settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it's not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….

But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris brings me to a party and we play a game called One Hundred Candles. It seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until spirits unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now my friends and family are in very real danger, and the door that I've opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.

Review: Charlotte Silver is the daughter of parents who make a living scientifically disprove the existence of ghosts. This is fine, except for the fact that Charlotte has been contacted by an evil spirit bent on harming her. And then, she goes to a party where they play a game called One Hundred Candles, which unleashes other spirits that may put her friends and family in danger. What's a girl to do?

  • The only thing I didn't like about this book is the fact that I have to wait til September for the next book, Beyond the Grave.

  • The spooky level in this book is high. I so wasn't expecting it, but boy did I enjoy it. Ms. Purnhagen's descriptive writing adds to the all-around creepiness.
  • Charlotte's character. She wasn't a whiny weak character. I love books where the heroine is flawed, yet strong and Charlotte is such a character. She's got a lot of spunk, even when it comes to dealing with the spooky factor. She has to deal with this evil spirit, whatever's threatening her friends, the problems her parents may be having in their marriage, and normal teenage problems, yet she doesn't bow down to the pressure. She's not emotionless, tho. The problems bother her just as it would other teens in her situation.
  • Sometimes, the love triangle thing gets played out in YA books, but it worked in this one. It wasn't a love triangle all the way cos one of Charlotte's love interest didn't own up to his feelings.

One Hundred Candles is a fast-paced, action-packed read. I didn't read the 1st book in the series, Past Midnight, so I love the fact that I didn't have to read it to know what was going on in One Hundred Candles.


ARC Review: Lost Voices

Author: Sarah Porter
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release: July, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3/5

Description: Fourteen-year-old Luce has had a tough life, but she reaches the depths of despair when she is assaulted and left on the cliffs outside of a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village. She expects to die when she tumbles into the icy waves below, but instead undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid. A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: the mermaids feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks. Luce possesses an extraordinary singing talent, which makes her important to the tribe—she may even have a shot at becoming their queen. However her struggle to retain her humanity puts her at odds with her new friends. Will Luce be pressured into committing mass murder?

The first book in a trilogy, Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.

Review: Lost Voices is the first book in a trilogy by debut author Sarah Porter.

  • It was slow quite a few times in the book.
  • Luce was so bent on admiring Catarina, the tribe leader, even when Catarina treated her like crap. This made her seem desperate and a little...sad. Luce's attitude toward Catarina was a bit naive and annoying.
  • Most of the mermaids blended in with each other. There wasn't really anything special about them that made them stand out or memorable. Most of them were annoying.
  • I wasn't crazy about Catarina's (or many of the other mermaids') mood swings. One minute she was nice and sweet, the next she was mean and conniving.
  • The book didn't really address the abuse the girls went through as humans. They went through some pretty heavy stuff...not just beatings.

  • Ms. Porter does an excellent job in her descriptions. I could visualize everything while reading. Being a very visual person, this was all kinds of awesome.
  • Although Luce annoyed me with her blind devotion to Catarina, I like the fact that she didn't change and become a mean mermaid, although it probably would have made life easier for her.

I'd say Lost Voices is a bit darker, though not too much, cos of some of the elements (the abuse, the siren aspect, etc). Overall, it was an ok read. I may read book #2 in the series.


ARC Review: Dead Is Not An Option

Author: Marlene Perez
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release: May, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4.5/5

Description: It’s springtime of senior year, and psychic sleuth Daisy Giordano is preparing to say goodbye to Nightshade High. But no college acceptance letters have arrived yet, and she’s beginning to worry about where she’ll end up come fall—and if it will be anywhere near her boyfriend, Ryan. But that’s not the only uncertainty Daisy’s dealing with. There’s a vamps-versus-shifters war going on in Nightshade, and things are so tense that there is talk of canceling the prom. The conflict is carrying over to the Giordano home, since Rose and Daisy are both dating werewolves and Poppy’s new boyfriend is a vampire.

Can the paranormal community in Nightshade finally find peace? And will Daisy and her friends survive graduation? All of these questions and more are answered in the latest explosive installment in the Dead Is series.

Review: I must say that I've loved this series. Dead is Not An Option is book #5 and the final book in this series featuring amatuer sleuth, Daisy Giordano. This is Daisy's final leg of high school and she still hasn't received a college acceptance letter. To make matters worse, her boyfriend, Ryan, may end up going away college. While dealing with normal Senior stuff, not getting her acceptance letter, and the possibility of having to part with Ryan, a new mystery comes up that Daisy can't resist. Add to that the fact that she's trying to release her friends from a spell and you've got a very interesting and enjoyable read.

  • This is the last book in the series featuring Daisy. *sad face* I really liked this series.
  • One of the characters dies. Not going to say who (you've got to read it to find out). The character wasn't a huge player in the story, but was important nonetheless. The death was sad.

  • I loved Daisy. She was strong, determined, likeable...a well-rounded character. She didn't seem too perfect. And I loved her voice. She experienced major growth throughout the 5 books.
  • All loose ends from the whole series were tied up by the end of Dead Is Not An Option. I wasn't left hanging.
  • Daisy's family. They were a good support system for her. Because I was raised in a close-knit family, I always love reading books with close-knit families and Daisy's was no exception.
  • I like that Daisy was able to handle Senior year, mystery of who's trying to kill off all of Nightshade's paranormals, mystery of what college she's going to, the possibility of not being with her boyfriend in the fall, and trying to release her friends from a powerful spell without going crazy.

Dead Is Not An Option is a light, enjoyable paranormal read and I definitely recommend the whole series! According to Ms. Perez's website, the Dead Is series will not end, just Daisy's reign as the main character. She (Ms. Perez) has two more Dead Is book coming out so far, Dead Is A Battelfield and Dead Is a Killer Tune, featuring a new character. I look forward to reading them.



I haven't been on my blog schedule as I'd like to have been. What can I say? Getting ready to move to another country is keeping my busy. I'll return to my regularly scheduled program in August...hopefully.

I've gotten so behind in my Netgalley reviews, so this weekend, I played catch up. So until I can get to the point where I can go back to my scheduled posting, please enjoy my book reviews (thank God for being able to schedule posts). I'll be updating my other blog, The International Diva, too. In case this is your first time visiting my blog (welcome) or you haven't visited in a while (welcome back), I'm moving out of the country to the gorgeous city of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), about 2 hours from Dubai. My other blog is where I'm chronicling my journey.

So, anyway, that's it. Y'all have an awesome week!


Arc Review: Famous

Author: Simone Bryant
Genre: YA
Release: December, 2010
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3/5

Description: Fame. Fortune. Friendship.
Two out of three ain't bad...

At prestigious Pace Academy, the Pacesetters make the rules. But in the world outside, being rich and popular doesn't always get you what you want...

Starr has ambition, charisma, and--thanks to her father's record company--all the connections to put together a music group and bring it major exposure. Just one problem: Starr can't sing, and now her friends are looking to replace her with her arch-rival, Natalee...

Dionne is excited about being the rapper of the group--even if her parents don't approve. But it's hard to focus on her rhymes when she'd rather be spitting game than writing sixteen bars.

Marisol loves the stage, though it's dancing, not singing, that's in her blood. She'd do anything for her friends--except give up her own shot at stardom...

With ego trippin' and infighting tearing their friendship apart, Starr, Dionne, and Marisol are finding that the big-time comes with even bigger problems...

Review: This is book #2 in the Pace Academy series (the first being Fabulous). It's written in the same tone as the Gossip Girl series, and centers around three girls, Starr, daughter of a record mogul and superstar singer; Dionne, daughter of a rap star; and Marisol, daughter of a baseball star. There's a new face that enters the mix that just may mess up the close friendship these girls share.

  • Some of the descriptions were a little irritating at times (rhinestone-covered picture...lip-gloss covered mouth, etc). The fact that they had an iPhone 4 was mentioned several times. We knew she had the phone from the first time it was mentioned, so there was no need to keep repeating it.
  • The end left me hanging...but the 3rd book in the series, Glamorous, comes out early next year.
  • It started off a little slow for me...didn't really get into it til before the midway.

  • Marisol is definitely my favorite character. She was strong and had her head in the right place. There for her friends, but she had her own dreams to go for.
  • I liked that I didn't have to read book #1 to understand what was going on. Famous each book can stand alone.

I wasn't really a big Gossip Girl fan, but, Famous is perfect for those who did enjoy it.


ARC Review: Mystify

Author: Artist Arthur
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release: January, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3.5/5

Description:Sometimes being an outsider is the best way to fit in…

Sasha Carrington has grown up feeling like an outsider, and her parents are too concerned with scaling the Lincoln, Connecticut, social ladder to even notice her. They’d be really horrified to know about the supernatural abilities Sasha and her friends Krystal and Jake possess. But as part of the Mystyx, Sasha has found her place.

Now her parents have suddenly taken an interest in everything she does, and their timing couldn’t be worse. Sasha’s father wants her to become BFFs with snooty Alyssa Turner, who hates Krystal for stealing her boyfriend. Then there’s Antoine Watson, the boy Sasha has liked forever, the boy her parents would never approve of. But with the dark side getting more dangerous by the day, and the Mystyx’s own powers growing in unexpected ways, Sasha is facing choices that could affect her friends, her love life—and even her destiny…

  • There are a few questions that remain unanswered. I assume they will be answered before the series ends, tho.

  • Sasha was rich, but she didn't behave like a spoiled rich girl. She wasn't a snob, like her fellow rich teens.
  • Sasha was a strong character...not easily swayed by her wealth.
  • It was a little better read than Manifest.
  • Again, I love the multicultural cast.

Mystify is another quick read. I'm definitely looking forward to book #3, Mayhem.


Whatever Wednesday: Mail Call

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Here, we post books that we have bought, borrowed, or received.


Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson


Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs


Tickle-Me Tuesday

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @


New Blog!

Just letting y'all know I now have another blog, The International Diva, chronicling my adventures abroad. My first post just went up. Stop by and visit!


Man-ificent Monday: Men of Transformers 3

Since I've been waiting for this movie to come out and am planning on going to see it soon, I've dedicated today's post to the cutie pies of Transformers 3: Patrick Dempsey, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, and Shia LaBeouf. Nothing like a good dose of eye candy!

PATRICK DEMPSEY: This cutie is now known for his role as Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy. He's also had roles in Can't Buy Me Love, Enchanted, and Sweet Home Alabama. He plays villian, Dylan Gould in Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon.

JOSH DUHAMEL: This cutie started out on All My Children as Leo Du Pres. He's also had roles on Las Vegas, Crossing Jordan, and Win A Date With Ted Hamilton. In Trasnformers 3, he reprises his role as Lieutenant Colonel William Lennox. His wife is singer, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas.


TYRESE GIBSON: This cutie got his big break after appearing in a Coca Cola commercial singing the phrase, "Always Coca Cola." He's an R&B singer as well as an actor and former model. He's had roles in Baby Boy, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Four Brothers and Fast Five. His fifth album came out this year. Tyrese reprises his role as Sargeant Robert Epps in Transformers 3.


SHIA LABEOUF: This cutie started out on Disney's Even Stevens as Louis Stevens. He later went on to have roles in Holes, Disturbia, I Robot, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Eagle Eye, and Wall Street. He reprises his role as Sam Witwicky on Transformers 3.



Inspirational Sunday

"All the believers were united in heart and mind."
Acts 4:32

Lesson #1: Believers should be united in heart and mind. Somewhere between the first century and now, Christians became divided over the legalities (how to worship God, church laws, what should be worn, etc) of Christianity. Now, we have several groups separated and sometimes even warring with each other. But it wasn't always like this. There was a time, in the infant stage of Christianity, when believers were just that...believers.

Christianity was birthed during the first century. At that time, the death/resurrection of Jesus was fresh on believers' minds. Some believed because they witnessed the events first-hand, while others became believers simply because they heard and chose to believe. Either way, the Bible says they were "united in heart and mind." There were no Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc. They were just Christians - those who believed in the resurrected Savior, the Son of God. They may have disagreed with each other on certain things, but still they were united.

We, as twenty-first century believers, must become united. Sometimes we get so stuck on whose way is better, on who's the better believer, that we forget that it isn't about us, but about God. When we focus on the differences, not only do we become divided, but we also take the focus off of God and put it on us.

The Bible later tells us that "God's great blessing was upon them all" (Acts 4:33). Do you know how much more God would bless us if we move our focus of off us and put it on Him? Do you know how big of an impact we can have on this world if we were united in heart and mind. We live in a dark world, thirsty and desperate for light. WE can be that light. But first, we need to get over our differences and realize that, under all the legalities, we're all believers who love and believe in Jesus, the Son of God and the resurrected Savior.


Upcoming Inspirational Posts

Twenty-first century Christians can learn so much from Christians of the first century. This month, my Inspirational Sunday posts will focus on lessons I've learned from reading about this first group of Christians in the book of Acts. STAY TUNED...