Thursday, February 28, 2013

Austensibly Ordinary by Alyssa Goodnight

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be for a bookishly good time every day of the week...or should I say MONTH.




Can you believe it?  February has come and gone in the blink of an eye...or at least in a blink to my eye.  How about you?  Anyone else left marveling at the speed with which this particular 28 day period has passed us by?  Now that's not to say there weren't memorable moments, days you didn't want to end (and those that you did want to, sooner rather than later) and great reads left and right; it just seems that 2013 is marching along to its own drummer...and they've had about 12 energy drinks!  Anywho...



In my realizing that today was THE LAST DAY of the month (promise I'll stop mentioning that soon), I was very selective about what book to feature.  Why more so today than any other day?  Well, it wasn't necessarily more so that I was going for here though it is a rather tasty choice, but rather something that would be a perfect fit to close out a month generally associated with LOVE.  Did you forget that Valentine's Day was just a few short weeks back?  Yep.  Told you the month was moving fast!  Keeping with the spirit of a fast moving month (do NOT read into that, that's not where this post is going! ^_^), today's title is a recent 2013 release all about the love; both known and unknown, plain and flowery, out of sight and hidden in plain sight.  It fits into the general genre of Fiction but would easily be sub-cat-ed into Women's Fiction or Chick Lit and with the Jane Austen angle in the story, it's appeal is widespread.  Ready to read all about it?  Get ready.  Today's book of choice is....


by

About the book...

Steamy, funky, and thoroughly modern, Austin, Texas isn't much like the gardened country estates of Jane Austen's work. But there might be a few similarities in its inhabitants...
Cate Kendall is no stranger to daydreams of brooding men and fancy parties--after all, she teaches one of her beloved Jane Austen novels in her English classes every year. But as for romance or adventure in her own life, the highlight of most weeks is Scrabble with her cute coworker, Ethan, and he draws the line at witty banter. But Cate is ready for a change. When she finds a mysterious journal that seems to have a link to the soul of the great Jane Austen herself, she knows it's her chance. And she grabs on with both hands...
Before she knows it, Cate has invented an alter ego with an attitude, attended some seriously chic soirees, and gotten tangled up with a delicious mystery man. And she's uncovered enough unexpected secrets about Ethan that her Scrabble partner has taken to brooding looks and unfathomable silences. It's a positively Austenite predicament, and Cate is sure she'll land in hot water and heartbreak--but maybe not with Jane herself to guide her...



Equal parts sweet and saucy, this was a read I was unprepared for...and thoroughly enjoyed!  It has all the elements one could want in a sweet story with a healthy dose of romance and a dash of spice leading readers on an adventure of the heart they won't soon forget.

The most memorable book I had read previously with (sort of) direct influence from Jane Austen was According to Jane by Marilyn Brant.  To be brief...I thoroughly enjoyed every minute; to be long winded...check out my post.  (^_^)  THIS story puts our lead character in touch with the literary heroine of millions herself through a magical journal, a diary for the ages (and all ages) of sorts.  Cate is a school teacher, thoroughly sweet and charming but mild through and through.  Or is she?  It seems she's reached a point in her life that she's tired of playing it nice and wants to spice things up a bit...to be blunt, Sunday night Scrabble games with Ethan (*swoon*...oh, sorry) are SO not cutting it.  Now, we're not talking 50 Shades here or anything, merely an adult game of dress up (killer wardrobe!) with an alter ego to boot by the name of Cat...okay, so the name could use a little work, but give her a break she's new to this!

Whereas Cate follows the straight and narrow, Cat lives in the shadowy area in between; just enough sweetness to be demure but enough sass to rock any outfit, any room (any body...*ahem*) with poise, confidence and finesse.  In other words, flirty banter is totally called for, aloof attitudes are a must and you better bring your best game face because it is SO ON.  She pulls out all the stops, really getting into the role and lookie here...there's even a mister to be interested in, that's interested in her!  Toot sweet.  Alas, things are not always as they seem...even when you're the one starring in the role you've created.  The heart wants what it wants but poor Cate...she's not sure what it wants and things are going to get a tad sticky before a flowery "The End" can be penned across her story.  Thank goodness that pen is not in her hand alone...

The story is great but the characters definitely make it all come together.  I mean, the play is only as good as the players portraying it, right?  Same goes for books.  If the characters don't fit, then the whole thing can seem off center...which is DEFINITELY not the case here.  I adored Cate's character and definitely identified with her at times...and no I don't have an alter ego; well, not really at least though I think all of us that have an online presence do to some extent.  Hear me out!  The anonymity factor plays into a lot of that allowing people to say and do things they wouldn't necessarily in person; for me, it just means I'm a chatty Cathy for one and all to see.  ^_^  Anywho, back to those characters.  There's probably not a woman out there that won't find someone in this story to relate to, be it the outgoing friend (she will tell it like it is and then some!), the scholarly sister with a secret side job (boy does THAT come as a surprise!), or the definitely not "retired" mother (she's a hoot!).  Let's just say that despite their differences at times, I'd totally love to call them friends.  Now on to the fellas...

There are several love interests running around, not all of which are intended for our girl Cate but they add another great layer to the blossoming story and provide for much of the laughable, smile inducing and eyebrow raising moments you'll come to love.  There's the "Geek Freak" (way too funny!), the elderly History teacher, Jake (who shall remain a man of mystery...for now), and Ethan (who IS a man of mystery...and many talents...~whistles~).  Just who will you be rooting for?  Well, that all depends on your interests...and if you're a tried and true Austenite, your penchant for Darcy's or Knightley's...but let's just say there's not really a wrong choice, just a choice-ier choice.  I know who I'd go for [though I would have had much more trouble breaking through the barriers presented even WITH the esteemed Ms. Austen's help (yeah...color me clueless, another matching point between myself and the lead...*le sigh*)]...so suffice it to say I'm more than happy with the ending (and what an ending it was!  Sneaky siblings...).  

The only thing I wasn't TOO keen on was the extra magical aspect of the journal.  It has to do with a certain key being turned and the crazy yet interesting results of said turning.  Don't ask me why I was fine and dandy with the mysterious workings of the journal in the first place and this "bonus feature" threw me, but it did.  I liked that it allowed her to further explore the previous owners of the book, their lives and just what befell them along their heart's path but the actual physical changes seemed a tad hokey.  I don't know, perhaps it's just me but it is a REALLY tiny point within a novel filled to the brim with uber goodness that you won't be able to put down, so really...note it for a comparison within your own reading adventure as I'm curious how it affects (or doesn't) you, but otherwise forget about it because you're gonna need all eyes on the page.  ^_^

In conclusion, a bookishly good time if ever there was one fit for the love struck reader in all of us.  I mean, who wouldn't want a chance to find their happily-ever-after?  I know I would...and to be guided by the helping hand (or rather helpful words) of someone who knew how to both write characters and give them lives so memorable that 100+ years later we're still looking back in comparison?  Icing on the cake.  So, whether you're a rabid Jane Austen fan or a newbie still testing out the waters, know this...there is no knowledge of the classical works required to enjoy this read but enjoy it you will.  Just don't be surprised if you're tempted to add a few of her works to your wish list by the time you turn the final page.  Now if you'll excuse me, I've a journal to look for...I mean happen upon... ^_^

Review copy courtesy of author Alyssa Goodnight.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as her past and future works, be sure to stop by her site, pin her on Pinterest, like her on Facebook or follow along on Twitter.  This title was released January 29th, 2013 via Kensington Books so be on the lookout for it on a store shelf near you.  Itching for more?  No worries!  This is actually the second journey for the journal and Jane Austen's influence.  For more JA adventures, be sure to check out the first release back in 2012, Austentatious ...though may it be noted, they do NOT have to be read in order or together to enjoy the literary ride.


Until next time...happy reading!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad? by Julie Middleton - Review + Contest!


Hi guys!
Welcome back to the site that aims to please the readers in you...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.


No, that wasn't a typo either.  I mean the "readers" in you because let's face it, sometimes you feel like a nut sometimes you...wait a second, that's not what I was saying.  *ahem*  Sometimes you're in the mood for one type of book, sometimes another but it doesn't mean you've forsaken the first or forgotten about the myriad of genres out there in the reading world.  It's called a readers prerogative to read what they like, when they like, and (nowsadays) the way they like...which with all things considered, I totally support.  So while we may have started the week with a Paranormal/Fantasy review, followed it up with a MG/YA tease yesterday....don't ever arrive here thinking you KNOW what bookish world I'll be in next; surprising you is half the fun!  ^_^  (Well, fun for me anyway...hehe.) Speaking of fun...

Today's post is celebrating a Children's Storybook that just hit the published scene a few weeks back and it just so happens to be making its way through the blogosphere spreading the word on just how ginormously fabulous it truly is.  No really, ginormous is the PERFECT term for it...after all, a few of the stars are dinosaurs.  ^_^  So without further adieu, let's take a look at today's guest and book of choice courtesy of Peachtree Publishers....


by
Julie Middleton
Illustrated by 
Russell Ayto

Dad takes Dave to the museum. As they walk through the dinosaur exhibit, Dave tries to get his father's attention. Why is this one grinning and why is that one interested in Dave's lunch? But Dad is too busy telling Dave all there is to know about these amazing creatures to notice that they've sprung to life! Dave gets the feeling that Dad has one hugely important fact very, very wrong...



When I was reading this one, I was reminded of a trip my Mom took me on back in my childhood to the Museum of Natural History.  It was a fabulous site filled with wonders of times gone by but most memorably, a ginormous T-Rex skeleton hanging ever so delicately in the main lobby.  It really made an impression on me (and my tote bag souvenir which I still have to this day... ^_^) speaking not only of how much larger critters were back then (probably the most immediately lesson seeing as how I was a wee one myself), but of just how fragile life in its many forms can be.  One second they're here and the next explosion, meteor, volcano eruption, earthquake (heck, even evolution in a way) later...POOF.  No more.  It really puts things in perspective, the whole "don't sweat the small stuff" bit and all because seriously, I doubt that Mr. Rex was worried if HIS butt looked big in this lighting or that when he was making his way in the world, providing food for his family and generally trying to rule the dino kingdom...you know what I mean?  Of course you do, but I digress...

Aside from a trip down memory lane, this story provides readers with a simple yet enchanting way to not only learn about the various dinosaurs mentioned but a chance to use their imaginations along with Dave.  I mean who hasn't seen a dinosaur wink or an elephant fly for that matter, right?  Right!  Dave's adventure with dear old Dad takes him from exhibit to exhibit where each illustrated room holds educational fun and smiles.  From the pronunciation keys for the scientific names to the friendly little signs that point out the biggest area to watch around any given dinosaur, there is something to be taken away from every encounter...I mean page.  *ahem*  What's that?  You want to know what I meant by encounter? Pfft!  Nothing.  I mean, the dinosaurs all died a REALLY long time ago...right? ~whistles~

In conclusion, a strikingly illustrated, fun learning adventure fit for all ages...one might even coin it edutainment, with a twist (which comes at the end...a BIG surprise!).  Little ones will get a kick out of the adventure without things getting too scary, while older readers enjoy the small details (and new facts!) picked up along the way.  Just don't be surprised if by books end you have jump started the dino lover in you and yours...perhaps picking up a nice brochure to plan a trip to your nearest dino-friendly museum would be considered appropriate additional reading material to grab along with your copy of this great new title.  ^_^

Be sure to check out the ENTIRE tour, the listing for which can be found over on the publisher's blog, as it makes it's way through the blogosphere.  Yesterday they were at Teach with Picture Books and There's a Book...today, here (obviously ^_^) and Boys to Books...tomorrow, A Word's Worth and It's About Time, MaMaw.  Ah yes, the fun never ends...and speaking of fun...

Now's your chance to get in on the fun in another exciting way.  Yep, you guessed it...it's CONTEST TIME!  Thanks to the fabulous team over at Peachtree Publishers (~waves~), I have the chance to give you the opportunity to win a copy of this wonderful little book to call your own.  But what type of contest to throw for a prehistoric celebration such as this?  I "hmm-ed" and "haw-ed" but in the end, I could only think of one.  A share the love fest for both the book and your love of dinosaurs!  Here's all the details...



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The prize...


(1) copy of ARE THE DINOSAURS DEAD, DAD? by Julie Middleton






How to enter...
...a prehistoric celebration brought me back to the old school contest days.
Just click HERE and fill out the form!


I kept things easy peasey for your main entry but if you want a few EXTRA bonus points, they are there for the taking, the biggest of which is me inviting you to SHARE YOUR FAVORITE DINOSAUR and why you love them so!  Oh come on, admit it.  There is at least ONE dinosaur you liked a smidgen more than the others for one reason or another...and now is your chance to share it with the world and score yourself some AWESOME bonus points.  Yep, you see?  I'm totally nice.  That's not even the required entry...but it IS the most fun so I say, to share is definitely divine in this case.  ^_^   







The rules...
Open to U.S. residents only; no P.O. Boxes please.  Entries accepted Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 through Friday, March 8th, 2013 at midnight C.S.T.  Winner will be contacted by Monday, March 11th, 2013 and have 48 hours to respond with their FULL NAME and mailing address to be sent to the publisher for prize send out (if they chose not to include it in the initial entry of course).  If a response is not received within the given time frame, a new winner will be chosen.  


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sound good?
I thought it might.



Special thanks to Emily at Peachtree Publishers for the chance to participate in this blog tour as well as the review copy and giveaway.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their complete collection of bookish wonders, be sure to visit them online, check out their blog, like them on Facebook, pin them on Pinterest or follow along on Twitter.  

Until next time...have at it beautiful people...and happy reading!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taste Testing Tuesdays






Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers! Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 

On the menu this week...a title I've just cracked the spine on but that's already got me cheering for our lead character and glaring at those that oppose her.  Pretty good considering I'm about 20 pages in.  ^_^  Ready for a taste?  Here it comes...



Guardians of Atlantis
by


Raven thought she heard regret in his voice and for some strange reason, it both hurt and angered her. So what if she wasn't a Hellhound. What was the big deal? Why would she want to change into a big, smelly monster?
-- pg 103





Hmm...so there's DEFINITELY more than school hierarchies at work here.  *-*  Good to know...and now I can't wait to make it to this page to see who IS a hellhound exactly, why, what's their purpose, etc...  Yes, I'm just chock full of questions.



So...what book are you lost in this week?
Oh come on...just a little tease?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

*Grab your current read 
*Open to a random page 
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Until next time...happy reading!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Hallowed Circle by Linda Robertson


Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be come rain or shine because the weather is ALWAYS perfect for great reading.  Unlike what Mother Nature is providing outside MY door today... *-*


Yeah, suffice it to say that in the realm of forecasting, my local weather calls for rain, rain, rain, and perhaps a little more rain.  Seriously, it's raining ridiculously hard outside!  I wouldn't mind it as much if say I was staying home today but alas, I have BOTH jobs today and if it keeps up at the level it is, I might need an ark to get to the second one.  Or maybe Seph would lend me her broom and a spell to keep the rain out off of me and our of my vision. *ponders*  

Who is Seph?  Oh, that's right!  I didn't introduce today's title yet now did I?  Silly me.  ^_^  For those of you that stop by the site somewhat regularly, you may remember my first venture into the Paranormal/Fantasy genre (well, on the adult side of things at least) last month, well book two in that same said series is ready for your consumption, if you're game that is.  Well, are you?  *raises eyebrow*  For a refresher on book one, click HERE; to dive straight into the series, keep on reading for today's book of choice is...


by 
Linda Robertson

About the book...
And you think beauty pageants are scary? 
Persephone Alcmedi has been persuaded to compete for the position of High Priestess of the Cleveland, Ohio, coven -- now that the former priestess, Vivian Diamond, has strangely gone missing. Unfortunately, there are a few small problems with the idea. Not only does Seph know rather more about Vivian's disappearance than the other witches realize, but the epic struggle she's just survived has left her with some highly unusual powers -- ones that could be dangerous to reveal. Despite her reluctance, she agrees to participate, if only to prevent snooty Hunter Hopewell, an obnoxious but talented witch, from ending up in the winner's circle. Can Seph hide her secrets -- including her connection to the master vampire-wizard Menessos -- from the terrifyingly wise judges? Plus, there's her rock 'n' roll werewolf boyfriend, Johnny, and some angry fairies to deal with.... 
Once the competition begins, a finalist turns up dead. It looks as if one of the contestants is willing to do anything -- including murder -- to win. Suddenly Seph has even more on her plate than she thought: from solving a murder to working out what her new powers really are...and exactly why they're creating so much havoc in her love life.



Oh Seph.  What will we do with you...that you haven't already done to yourself.
Talk about self-deprecating, this is one girl who's, pardon the cliche, "got it going on" and yet refuses to see any of the situations, skills, or potential love interests (*ahem* ^_^) as a GOOD thing.  I get it.  She's responsible.  She wants to always be in control.  She has more to think about than herself especially now that she's guardian to her deceased friend's child (Beverley, cool kid!), her Nana is her new housemate (funny as all get out and takes nothing from no one...love her!), the waeres she kennels on full moons are getting feisty (especially one...*ahem*), the vampire of all vampires has marked her (the extent of what that means exactly is still to be explored) and her connection with Johnny has made it into the realm of "needs defining"...again (and boy does it get defined...*-*).  So yeah, I can see finding out that you're up for the position of High Priestess (or shall I say being manipulated with good intentions into competing for the role) would be an untimely shocker, but seriously...if anyone can handle it, it's Seph and that's just what she does. *cues Taking Care of Business  music*

It's just another day in the paranormal neighborhood for this cast of characters but with this competition things are getting rather sticky.  Seph's secret, you know...how's she's the Lustrata and all...is so close to the surface, she can taste it but she's not so certain now is the best time for it to bust loose.  After all, it could show her for better or worse in the upcoming competition.  I mean if she wins, woo-hoo!  She'll have shown her strength and instantly garnered a supportive following...right?  Hmm.  Problem is...she doesn't WANT to win; the role is simply to much to balance with EVERYTHING else going on right now.  So...if she's outed AND loses, whose gonna put their support in her then?  It's enough to make your head spin so I certainly can't blame her feeling emotionally overloaded and making a few rash decisions here and there (even some involving a certain leather clad, rocker waere boy that has more than a few steamy glances for her...*ahem*).  In the end, things will work out...one way or another.

We welcome back the (mostly) friendly faces from book one and say hello to a few new acquaintances that seem to be ready to stick around for the long haul.  From witches to ghosts, vampires to waeres, faeries to who knows what, it's a paranormal party where nearly everyone is represented...just don't expect any wishes granted, killer spooked out parties (though there is a party that is pretty "killer"), sparkly meadow scenes or woodland strolls.  These guys and gals mean business; some for better and some for worse.  Seph has her hands full trying to stave on the unwanted attentions (or are they?) of both vampire and waere while trying to set an example for her newest charge and satisfy the needs of family...namely one Nana who wields her tongue as sharply as any stick and can wound with her words just as easily.  It's a tough life, but someone has to live it and it might as well be one that has a backbone strong enough (though she can't see it yet) to withstand the pressure.  Speaking of pressure...

The competition she enters for the High Priestess position?  Mega crazy!  I mean, testing skills and archaic riddles to be solved aside, when death comes knocking at their door, that doesn't even stop them!  Talk about "the show must go on" (oh, wait...that's actually pretty punny...hehe.  Sorry, you'll get it when you read it.  ^_^).  The show of power is pretty darn cool though and her fellow contestants are VERY interesting.  Pay close attention...just sayin'.  You've got to love a story that can throw you through the loops of happy, sad, mad and flabbergasted as fast you can utter your choice phrase of frustration but add in laughter and now you've got something even more to write about.  There are plenty of surprising scenes for one reason or another but one that tickled me so much that I burst out laughing (in public...yep) happened early on around page 14.  What can I say?  It's just so absurd, it's funny!

In conclusion, am I still enjoying myself?  You bet!  Good thing too seeing as I plan on seeing the series through to the end, or at least the current end (six books...learn it, know it, check it out!).  The characters are many but memorable.  The story line interesting and forward marching.  Add in the family notes, romantic interludes and a fab female lead as quick with a snark as she is with a spell (or roundhouse kick), and you've got a recipe for success...and don't feel bad in the least if you feel like saying the whole "double double toil and trouble" line about now, I sorta led you right into it.  ^_^  Quick note, this is a recommended series for older teens or even adult readers; though magic, mystery, and danger prevail there are definite moments of steaminess and then some.  Suffice to say, it's not for younger eyes.

Review copy received courtesy of Melissa at Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog, be sure to stop by their site, like them on Facebook or follow along on Twitter.  As previously mentioned, this is BOOK TWO of a current SIX BOOK series; the sixth of which was JUST released last month and is entitled, Shattered Circle...you know, just in case you're already up to speed on the series and would like to jump ahead.  If you are, congrats...but hey, keep the spoilers to yourself!  ^_^

Until next time...happy reading!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Keeper of Dawn by J.B. Hickman

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when the need to read strikes and yet you're dumbstruck for inspiration; no worries, I've SO got you covered!  ^_^

Today was one of those rare FULL days off for me, not just from online life but from work life....only happens about 2 days a month. *sigh*  Cie la vie, we do what we have to do...at least until we finally find that dream job that makes work an immeasurable pleasure (*ahem* any readers in the publishing industry, a ready willing and able interested party right here!), but that's beside the point...we're here to talk books and books is what we shall discuss.  The title on the roster today was a recent finish as in the day before yesterday that simply won't be silenced, though some of the voices in the novel were.  It's a read that absolutely reminded me of one of my favorite movies and yet still managed to keep things interested with its own twists and turns.  Like a lighthouse in a stormy night, allow me to illuminate today's book of choice...


by


Groomed for greatness, 15-year-old Jacob Hawthorne is sent to boarding school against his will. With a self-absorbed mother, an estranged father, and an older brother on the other side of the world, only the unlikely friendship with his grandfather can lure Jacob back home. But home feels like a distant memory from the shore of Raker Island, the isolated campus of one of the Northeast’s elite boarding schools.

As the surrogate bonds of a cloistered all-boys school fall into place, Jacob finds himself among other sons of privilege who suffer the same affliction—growing up in their fathers’ shadow. But when tragedy strikes, Jacob is forced to journey into the past to reclaim a well-guarded family secret.


Sound familiar?  It should.  For those that have seen the movie, the synopsis and the story itself will SCREAM 'Dead Poets Society'...BUT, and this is the important thing to remember, it still keeps its individuality by throwing in a few twists, turns, and interesting characters that were definitely not in nor shadowed by its predecessor.

Carpe Diem
For those of you that haven't seen the movie, let me enlighten you.  Takes place at an all boys school where over privileged sons are sent to be straightened out and molded into the future of our great country...or simply spitting images of their old man ready to take on the world in their father's footsteps by choice or by force.   Sounds delightful no?  Oh, but it is...and there is more. Any time a number of boys or girls are gathered together in an environment lacking of direct parental influence, bonding occurs; a boarding school is no different.  They create their own semblance of a family for better or worse with the usual mix of lifelong pals and those black sheep that really should be put out to pasture.

There's personal problems to address, inadequacies to overcome and for some...and this is the real kicker in the book...memories to be unearthed that may repair a mind but shatter a soul.  It's a real humdinger if ever there was one.  The fact that I had to go back and read a beginning portion after everything was said and done should speak volumes in and of itself...and what it would say is that the ending has some BIG revelations that you really only connect distantly to the beginning of the book and that's a GOOD thing.  It speaks well of the authors ability to keep you hanging on and yet not spill the beans until he is good and ready.  Considering the all male cast, I'm surprised at their ability to keep the secret hidden that long as well as the depth at which the emotions run.  Sometimes writing in a male voice can be seen as cold or at the very least less feeling oriented, but Mr. Hickman does so with majesty and ease while leaving the manliness of his cast in tact.  It was great seeing the connections they made both in the public arena as "the Headliners" but also on the most personal levels that could be obtained and especially the "catch-up" at book's end.  Who are we catching up with?  Ah, wouldn't you like to know.  ^_^  Sorry guys, you'll have to read it to find out but trust me, it's well worth the read.

Speaking of that all male cast, there are several we get to know better than others and some that no matter how well you think you know them, will continue to surprise.  A quick roll call will reveal Jake (our main narrator), Chris, Roland, and Derek; four boys whose connections are few at first but whose acquaintance becomes a life long bond that will help to define them all.  Despite the difference in the level of craziness that resides in each of their lives, they honestly get each other.  Is there any greater feeling?  Not many, especially when you're pretty much "imprisoned" on a island for all intents and purposes.  They each have mountains to climb both set before them by family and by their own dreams; some are simply more tragic than others.  Though not one of the gang exactly, I have to make mention of Benjamin.  It wouldn't feel right not too.  He was a home schooler that made it to this prestigious school and was determined to gain the knowledge and life experiences not afforded at home and because of a few less than savory characters (*cough* Loosy-Goosy...you sir are just ugh!) he doesn't last.  It's a tragedy for many reasons especially since he seemed to be such a good kid but that's the ugly side of same sex societies...cliques are THAT much more terrifying and ruling.  Anywho...before this paragraph becomes a who's who, suffice it to say that the lads rule the day with adults mainly starring in cameo appearances but DO watch out for Max.  He may seem older than dirt but he knows more than he lets on and is a pretty cool guy.

So, did I enjoy the book? Definitely!  Despite all that I have coined as "reflections of DPS" (that's 'Dead Poets Society' again), it was a welcome read that really transcends the ages.  It shows how ones past is never that far behind but it does not have to dictate how our futures will be.  It reminds us that the path our lives take is truly up to us in the end but that everything we experience, everything we take in and make our own will go into the final product...for better or worse.  So, where does that leave us...with a GREAT story I'd recommend for older teen readers and beyond (brief mentions of drinking, darker emotions, acting out and suicide)...and especially DPS fans.  It serves as a reminder to choose who we take into our inner circles wisely and to live today like it was the only day that ever mattered because we never really know just how many we have left and with whom they will be.  Something to think about...
Author J.B. Hickman

Review copy received courtesy of author J.B. Hickman.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as his forthcoming works, be sure to visit his official website or like him on Facebook.  This book was released October 2012 and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you.  Prefer an instant buy option?  It can also be picked up on his website,  Amazon and several other online retailers.  Quick note, if you're thinking of this for a book club pick be sure to check out his discount offer for book club purchases!

Until next time...happy reading!


Friday, February 22, 2013

You, Fascinating You by Germaine Shames


Hi there readers!


Fancy seeing you here on a day like today...*looks outside*...oh, wait a second.  If your weather looks even the least bit like my weather does (rainy, wet, gray and uninviting) than perhaps your arrival here is perfectly timed...after all, what better way to make a otherwise non-noteworthy day, noteworthy than with some good reading?  I can't think of a better one so welcome to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...where you arrive "hungry", but hopefully leave fully satisfied...for now.  ^_^

So, QUICK REMINDER...one of my two contests currently running, ENDS TONIGHT!  Don't miss out!  I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say that it's a seasonably perfit reading fit for the cozy mystery reader in you.  Just check out the CURRENT CONTESTS listing in the right hand side bar for more details.  Now, back to today's post...

I want you to read something.  "...a WWII-era spellbinder set in the world of ballet and musical theater", now...does that sound like a book I'd usually read let alone review?  If you answered no, you're wise beyond your years....and yet today I prove you wrong!  Ha, had you going there didn't I?  What can I say?  Sometimes I like to read outside my usual box and this one was a wonderful fit.  I think what intrigued me most about it is the fact that it's based on a true life story though it is technically labled as fiction.  Confused?  No worries.  We'll get you sorted out.  Onward to today's book of choice....


by
Germaine Shames

Behind every great love song is an unforgettable woman
In the final weeks of 1938, in the shadow of Kristallnacht and imminent war, a heartsick Italian maestro wrote a love song called “Tu Solamente Tu.”
Its lyrics lamented his forced separation from his wife, the Hungarian ballerina Margit Wolf, in the wake of Mussolini’s edict banishing foreign Jews from Italy. The song, first recorded by Vittorio de Sica in 1939, catapulted to the top of the Hit Parade and earned the composer the moniker the “Italian Cole Porter.” The German version, “Du Immer Wieder Du,” would be performed by Zarah Leander, the foremost film star of the German Reich, and its English counterpart, “You, Fascinating You,” by the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band.
Twenty-two years would pass before the maestro and his ballerina again met face-to-face.
You, Fascinating You begins as a backstage romance and ends as an epic triumph of the human spirit.



Quite true, quite true indeed.

At it's most basic form, it's a story of just what happens when love takes a hold of us, body and soul...but, if you'll grant it an extended glance and you'll see the multiple layers that go into making one incredible life journey you can't turn away from.  Starting out as a ballerina in the making, Margit leaves her hometown, nay home country in pursuit of her dream...to dance with both her heart and soul and eventually land on the grand stages thus far only known to her in thought and word.  Her journey is filled with sacrifice, disappointment, deception and the beginning, middle, and end of some of the darkest days our world has known...and still, through it all, she holds on to her sense of self and does not shut out her fellow man, finding the beauty in life and even love.  How?  It's not an easy road to read let alone travel and the hardships she faces are many, but she is a strong one, this ballerina with the heart of a warrior.  I wouldn't be surprised if in life, the flowers dipped their heads at her approach to acknowledge her grace and beauty but also her fierceness.

No matter where she turns, something or someone is constantly dogging her.  Whether it be her sex, her heritage, or her religion (these were the days of Hitler and that whole goodness forsaken lot), there always seems to be something working against her...add in her lot in love and you've got a full house of lackluster-ness that should have brought her down like so many toppled dominoes, but not so.  She rises to the occasion time and again even when she should be counting herself out.  A misrepresented chance to reach her future dancing dreams?  She makes the most of it and still creates a name for herself in the short run.  An unexpected love that sneaks up on her like a thief in the night only to blind her with its affections from the tragic truth it looms in front of?  She builds a life on the truths she knows and assumes the best of her love when away for so long, even when all else is lost.  The rise of a "man" that had a severe dislike for pretty much everyone but "himself" and the tortures that followed in his wake?  She doesn't back away and cower, no siree.  She finds her own way to fight back and preserve the life, the world and the family she created and finally, when all is said and done, she rebuilds what she can, reconnects with those still out there, and finds her way back home.  Is there anything this woman couldn't do?

I love the way the story was written as a whole.  We follow from her childhood, through her young ambitious days, her mid-life tragedies and triumphs, straight into her final days; the change of narrative voice for the last chapter of two brings things full circle to an inevitable and yet tragically beautiful end.  Perhaps beautiful is not the best word here but I can think of no other.  A life well lived despite the obstacles in ones way, the seemingly insurmountable adversity met time and time again, and a love that is only half returned though supposedly echoed in every bone of their being...my dear readers, Margit's dance through life was one for not just herself but for all who've ever lived, loved, been lost and survived in some capacity to share it with another.  It's beauty in form and format and a journey I won't soon forget.




Ebook for review courtesy of Judith at Pale Fire Press.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their complete collection, be sure to stop by their official website.  This title is available now in both print and e-formats and I would recommend it to teen through adult readers.  Just click HERE to be whisked away to the publisher's site to snag a copy to call your own today and don't forget to check out the music feature available on the site as well where you can sample a song or two featured in the story!  Believe me, you won't be sorry...

Until next time...happy reading!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Who? What? Where? (3)

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when you're OH-SO-TIRED and yet totally prepared to take on the day ahead.  Hoo-rah!  ^_^


QUICK REMINDER...don't forget about the TWO contests going on now!  One hops away TOMORROW with your chance to win a new cozy mystery and so much more....the other sticks around until the 5th of March but they always say the early bird catches the worm.  Don't worry, it's easy peasy to enter, so come join the fun and SPREAD THE WORD, kay? ^_^ Now, on to today's post...


Third times the charm, or so they say and that's the number of times I've participated in this particular MEME as of today...but I'm telling you, it's SO much fun plus it's another way to share the books you are currently reading...and what reader/blogger amongst us would shy away from a chance like that, hmm?  ^_^  So, if you don't already participate in this fab post, there's no time like the present...and speaking of the present, on with the show!




Hosted by Melissa at My World...in Words and Pages it's time to explore...



Who are you with?
Where are you at?
What's happening?



Share with us just a little bit of what is happening in the book you are reading, right where you are now.
Just a tiny taste of what's happening, remember try to not give spoilers of the book.




This week...
I'm with the guys (the guys beings Roland, Chris, and Jacob) at Roland's house on school break attending a party that seems to have taken a bit of a drastic turn.  Well, perhaps drastic is the wrong term....what word would you use to describe a party where your friend's brother's car just followed the crystal swan...into the pool.  *-*  Yep, let's hope the parents don't come home anytime soon...~whistles~


by
J.B. Hickman








So....who/where/what are YOU this week?
Do tell...and feel free to check out the others participating in this MEME as well as link to your own post over at Melissa's site.




Until next time...happy reading!

^_^




Wednesday, February 20, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Yesterday's Sun by Amanda Brooke


Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when you need a distraction from that less than likable situation, the everyday mundane-ness that life can sometimes bring or simply a change of venue; we're here for you.  ^_^

Quick reminder....don't forget we have TWO contests on the site right now where you can enter to win a new seasonal mystery from author Leslie Meier as well as a $50 Amazon gift card (or Paypal)!  For more details, just click on the links embedded here or on the right hand side bar under Current Contests....but do it AFTER today's post, kay?  I promise, you won't want to miss this.

Today, we're playing host to a stop along a TLC Book Tour (Hi, Trish!) featuring a newly released title that you're gonna want to run out and grab today; no really, TODAY.  Ironically as I type this review, I'm listening to Pandora Radio (and no, that's not the ironic part) and Nickelback's IF TODAY WAS YOUR LAST DAY just came on.  Eerie.  Why?  You'll see, but you have to let the natural course of this review unfold to get the full effect.  Agreed?  Good deal.  Now, let's welcome the featured title of today's blog tour stop and my book of choice besides...


by

About the book...
Newlyweds Holly and Tom have just moved into their dream home, a charming English carriage house in the London suburbs. A rising television journalist, Tom can’t wait to fill the house with children. Holly, a budding artist, isn't so sure. She fears that as a mother, she will repeat the terrible mistakes of her own neglectful parents. But Holly and Tom are young and deeply in love, and they have time to decide.
While renovating the house, Holly finds an unusual crystal orb—the missing top to the moon dial in their garden. She soon discovers this is no ordinary timepiece. Under the full moon’s brilliant light, it reveals the future—a future in which Tom cares for their baby daughter . . . alone.
Holly’s new friend in the village, an elderly woman named Jocelyn, reveals the cursed secret of the moon dial’s power. Now Holly must choose between herself and her future child—a painful decision that will ultimately teach her about motherhood and sacrifice . . . and reveal how far she will go in the name of love.



If I had to summarize this story in a word, I would choose....AMAZING.

I know, it's an over used word for the most part, especially in the world of book reviews because lets face it, when we get excited about something we're reading, spouting exclamations of its praise is common place.  Been there, done that...going do it again more than once and I make no apologies...though I do try to vary the lingo used.  This one though...there is no other way to describe it, but I shall endeavor to try.

The beginning starts at the end or rather the inevitable end is the beginning and yet even with that sneak peek into the future, NOTHING is ruined; EVERYTHING is enchanting and emotionally charged...and you're just as unprepared for the ending.  My goodness.  It was one of those beautiful but sad and yet happy still on some level reads.  Complicated description; I know...but when a book moves you to tears several times as well as periods of joy, moments of celebrations and finally leaves you reflecting on the true meaning of a life well lived...you KNOW it's captured something special.  As it so happens, this book was born out of a life changing event in the author's own life, the loss of a child.  According to the notes, she set out on this literary journey determined to preserve the memory of her little one and share her experiences with motherhood.  If I may say so, she's done that and more on such a grand scale that I wouldn't be surprised if we're hearing about this one for many moons to come.  Now let's break down the book for just a moment...

Holly and Tom are an amazing couple, perfect for each other in all the right ways; though he starts as her knight in shining armor, over the course of the story they become each other's.  The growth seen in both characters is wonderful as are their heartfelt and realistic actions/reactions.  I feel I could comfortably call them friend if I were to meet them in the flesh and feel as welcomed as one of the villagers in their new home town.  They each have struggles to over come and secrets gnawing at their souls but when it comes down to it, they have the heart to heart conversations, they put the face to face time in, they see through to the end everything they begin and it makes them stronger for it in the end.  Their love and trust is something that storybooks are made of...okay, well maybe not, but they should be.  I mean I love a glass slipper finding prince as much as the next girl but in reality, it doesn't often happen that way now does it?

Speaking of feeling like family, if you don't feel a connection with Jocelyn (sweet little old lady, tea shop owner and new friend of the couple) and Billy (contractor, local and friend to all who welcome the title) before book's end, you might want to reread the story...STAT!  Seriously, these two busy bodies are equal parts humorous, lovable  and above all... unforgettable.  I'd be happy to have just one of these characters in my life, let alone the whole lot of them.  It's a great cast and they really form the backbone of this story as events reveal decisions made, regrets carried for a lifetime and a destiny that seems inescapable.

The story itself deals with unexpected glimpses of the future and the turns a life may take...and yet some paths are unavoidable.  The gift of the mood dial in the story is also its curse.  It's a balancing act that it keeps well but if you're looking for a fair exchange, think again.  Nothing short of a HUGE sacrifice can make its wheels forget what was already known and change what would have been; the question is, would you be willing to pay the price?  That's the seemingly insurmountable decision Holly is faced with when her future is laid before her eyes and a decision must be made that will affect many other besides herself.  Is she willing to risk it all and just let go or will she hang on too tightly and still reach an end that doesn't justify the means?  Decisions decisions...for me, there wasn't but one and eventually for her there is not either.  It's harrowing to watch her agonize over it all but certainly understandable in many levels.  I mean, what would you do to change your stars?  What if it meant the ultimate sacrifice of not just the heart but a life?  Again I say....AMAZING.

In conclusion, a read for older teens through adult readers, fans of Fiction, Women's Fiction and the whole lot...or anyone that simply enjoys an emotionally charged read.  It doesn't necessarily have war torn factions (though Tom's job does take him to some areas witnessing this), murder (not directly at least), mystery (not a who-done-it sense anyway), magic (no wands, but moonbeams aplenty!), or paranormal anything (nope, no vamps, waeres, witches, etc)...but what it DOES have is MORE than enough to keep you glued to each and every page, especially when the ending comes out of nowhere and wrenches your heart yet again.  So, grab a few tissues, your best-est reading buds and a copy of this wonderful story...you'll be glad you did.

ARC for review courtesy of TLC Book Tours and Harper Paperbacks.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, be sure to seek out the publisher's site, like them on Facebook or follow along on Twitter!  Need something more immediate?  No worries!  Drop by the other stops along the tour to discover more.  Remember, reading is an adventure; no two people ever see the same book the exact same way which makes the journey that much sweeter...and tours like this that much more fun.  Yesterday's Sun was at Luxury Reading on Monday, and Books in the Burbs Tuesday; tomorrow it's scheduled to visit Excellent Library.  If you've read enough and are convinced you need your own copy right away, first of all....GREAT CHOICE...and secondly, it is IN STORES NOW so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time...make every moment count...and happy reading!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Taste Testing Tuesdays





Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers! Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 

On the menu this week...a title I've only the broken the spine on as of yesterday and I'm already invested greatly in the read.  Reminds me of Dead Poets Society in a way, hopefully not with as dire consequences, but we shall see.  Anywho, ready for a taste?  Here you go!



by
J.B. Hickman

The fear never entirely went out of him; he clung to it as a scared child clings to their parent's leg.  This overwhelming instinctive fear that we carried down the stairs eliminated anything in its path:  the shame and humiliation that might have otherwise been part of such an absurd situation; the guilt we collectively shared in bringing him up there.  We might laugh about it later, or beat ourselves up allowing it to happen, but at the time we were too concentrated on the task at hand.  And if our minds wandered, it only took one look at those unblinking fear-ridden eyes to bring us right back.
-- pg 52




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

*Grab your current read 
*Open to a random page 
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Until next time...happy reading!




Monday, February 18, 2013

READ ALL ABOUT IT: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson - Book Blast + GIVEAWAY!

Hi there!
Welcome back to another bookish week here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we've got an awesome BOOK BLAST on board thanks to Kathy over at I Am a Reader Not a Writer (THANKS!) featuring a quirky title that takes the Cinderella story we know and love, gives it a different viewpoint, a modern look and an undeniable twist.  Curious?  You and me BOTH!  If the title and cover weren't enough to get you, the synopsis surely will.  Ready to READ ALL ABOUT IT?  Get your wish list ready guys, here it comes....



The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson 

Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine years old?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.

Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Purchase

- - - - - - - - - - - - - 


Praise

“My top pick of 2012 YA… This book is just. plain. fun.”
~Jordan McCollum, author of Saints & Spies and I, Spy

“Sariah Wilson's new book, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back, is hilarious…What follows is a story of fun and romance with some good non-preachy life lessons thrown in.  The voice in the main character, Mattie, makes the whole thing.  I thought it was definitely a book I'd recommend to anyone with teenagers or who just want to read a good teen romance.”
~Julie Coulter Bellon, author of All Fall Down and All’s Fair

“Sariah [Wilson] has written one of the funniest stories I've read in such a long, long time. I literally couldn't put it down. Yes, my poor Kindle's battery died and I was attached to a short power cord, contorted in a very uncomfortable position while I read to the end…. Sariah Wilson captured the back-biting, insecure, hormone-driven, clique-riddled high school atmosphere so perfectly you'd think she never grew up. I dare you not to laugh as you read this witty and oh, so, romantic story.”
~Debra Erfert of Windows into Writing

“Sariah Wilson writes like the best of/most popular YA teen fiction/teen romance authors - Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Susanne Collins, Cassandra Clare.  She sucks you in and never lets you go.  I finished the ~194 novel in one night because I just couldn't go to sleep without knowing the ending!  I hope that Sariah comes out with more novels, I know I'll be re-reading this one all the time!  She's extremely talented and needs to be talked about.  I highly recommend The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back! to anyone (over the age of 12) who wants a YA novel that's a real modern-day fairy tale.”
~Hilary at Novel d’Tales

“This was such an entertaining story! I shouldn't have started reading it so late in the evening, because I didn't want to put it down to go to sleep…This is a book I can see myself reading several times. It's a fast, clean read with great characters, and I highly recommend it.”
~Andrea of Literary Time Out

The book is wonderful.  It’s quirky and fun.  The story makes you laugh and you fall in love with the characters right from the beginning…This is a well-written book.  It is one that will make you smile and sigh as you remember your first love.  And it has a moral…be yourself, believe in yourself and maybe, just maybe, your fairytale will come true.  Pick up this book.”
~Ana of The Book Hookup



- - - - - - - - - - - - - 



Author Sariah Wilson


Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romance. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is her fourth happily ever after novel. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).





- - - - - - - - - - - - - 



Tour Schedule


- - - - - - - - - - - - - 





Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/5/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.






- - - - - - - - - - - - - 


Until next time....happy reading!
^_^



Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
Copyright © 2009-present Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Powered by Blogger
Content by the Insatiable Reader