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Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life.

Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

Goodreads Summary

Danica has a bit of rags to riches story. A stroke of luck (but not for the victim) ends in Danica being the King's promised bride. It sounds like a good story, but for Danica, its not. She doesn't want to marry someone known for cruelty. She wants to escape and see what the outside world has to offer. Unfortunately, Glitter, an addictive drug, is her only way out. Personally, I don't think I could do what she chooses to do, freedom or not.

Danica is a brave young girl driven by anxiety to get out of Versailles. The king is a horrible, mean person that no one in their right head would want to marry. I liked Danica's character. Even when she was seething with anxiety on the inside, she managed to remain calm on the outside (also, utilizing corsets to help deal with her anxiety). I thought the concept of Glitter was fascinating. It fit into the Versailles theme and the current prevailing drug problem going on today. I loved the elaborate court and setting. The author has a nice cadence to her writing style that I really enjoy. I loved the character development of Danica and how she grew throughout the novel. I would highly recommend this book to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath

THE WINNER OF a National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, and countless other awards has written her richest, most spirited book yet, filled with characters that readers will love, and never forget. 

Jane is 12 years old, and she is ready for adventures, to move beyond the world of her siblings and single mother and their house by the sea, and step into the “know-not what.” And, over the summer, adventures do seem to find Jane, whether it’s a thrilling ride in a hot-air balloon, the appearances of a slew of possible fathers, or a weird new friendship with a preacher and psychic wannabe. Most important, there’s Jane’s discovery of what lies at the heart of all great adventures: that it’s not what happens to you that matters, but what you learn about yourself.

And don't miss Polly Horvath's Northward to the Moon, the sequel to My One Hundred Adventures.

Goodreads Summary

Jane is a twelve year-old who is ready for adventures. She wants this summer to be fun, magical, and surprising. When one of her adventures ends in her watching a bunch of kids from a nearby trailer park she is disappointed in her summer. Fortunately for Jane, her mother's stream of suitors (many of which apparently fathered one of the other siblings or Jane herself), crotchety hilarious neighbors, and glamorous best friend make the summer exciting.

I loved Jane's character. She overthought things just like I do and put too much weight into what other adults had to say. I thought it was hilarious that she managed to have adventures with Bibles. Her siblings were cute additions, but only secondary characters. I was a little disconcerted that there were four different fathers that none of the four siblings knew much, if anything, about. It seemed like a bit of an adult theme and was flirted with throughout the book. The lady who acted as pastor was a riot and also less adult in thinking than Jane herself.  Jane's mother scraped by. She was a nice mother, but let her kids generally keep to themselves. I loved the book's magical, surreal feel. The scenes were vivid and made me want to go visit Massachusetts myself. 

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Monday, August 29, 2016
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from. 

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him... or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Goodreads Summary

Amani depends on her shooting skills to get her out of her small town. She enters a contest as a boy and ends up leaving suddenly when the chance turns up. Jin, a mysterious foreigner, provided her with an escape plan...and more danger. Amani and Jin strike up a sort-of friendship and later, a romance. 

I liked how the author kept Amani's and Jin's relationship realistic. They did not always get along and did not always like each other. It wasn't a sudden romance, but a slow burn. Amani was smart, fun, and cocky. I think I would have liked her in real life. Jin was charismatic, gruff (at times), and devastatingly handsome. I did like that the author didn't focus the entire book on the romance; there was plenty scenes with just Amani or focused on only Amani. At times, I felt the plot could have been a little tighter. I loved the mythical world-building, but I wouldn't have minded a little more background. Overall, this would be a fun read for young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Patient's Resource and Almanac of Primary Care Medicine by Agnes Oblas, ANP-C

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Patient's Resource and Almanac of Primary Care Medicine includes essays on medical topics of interest to the lay reader; common diseases or conditions are presented with illustrations, and easy to understand graphs or charts. Resources are also identified for more in depth information.The Patient's Resource and Almanac of Primary Care Medicine serves as a basic reference and guide to 30 common medical- and health-related topics. Readers will find these topics to be pertinent, helpful, and reader-friendly. The essays are presented with resources, fun facts, and timelines, etc., to make the reading even more enjoyable. Some of the essays also include a section called "The Savvy Healthcare Consumer," which highlights points about that essay's topic which the reader should be aware of as it relates to a visit to a healthcare provider. You will find these essays free of medical jargon (or with definitions included) yet scientifically and medically sound. My purpose is to educate and clarify some complex medical issues while at the same time allowing the reader to enjoy the experience!

Goodreads Summary

As a medical student, this book interested me. I like that it includes a section specifically aimed at improving patients' wellness and visits to the doctor. Patients have to be their own advocate. It is important to know what to ask and when to push for more answers. The book is not overly medical in terminology; it isn't hard to understand. I really liked the little historical and factual tidbits. There were a few facts in there that I had never heard of or known. The definitions allow the reader that does not know a lot of health information to understand what it being talked about in the chapters. I don't necessarily think I would rely on this book during a doctor's visit, but it was informative.

3 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Dancing With the Tiger by Lili Wright

Saturday, August 27, 2016

When 30-year-old Anna Ramsey learns that a meth-addicted looter has dug up what might be the funerary mask of Montezuma, she books the next flight to Oaxaca. Determined to redeem her father, a discredited art collector, and to one-up her unfaithful fiancĂ©, a museum curator, Anna hurls herself headlong into Mexico’s underground art world. But others are chasing the treasure as well: the shape-shifting drug lord no one can really describe; the enigmatic American expat, who keeps his art collection locked in a chapel; the former museum director who traffics stolen works, and his housekeeper—deeply religious, a gay woman in a culture of machismo, dependent on a patron she loathes; the painter Salvador on his motorcycle, complex, sensual—but with secrets of his own. 
Anna soon realizes that everyone is masked—some literally, others metaphorically. Indeed, Dancing with the Tiger is a splendid reminder that throughout human history, cultures have revered masks: whether in the theater or in war, for religious purposes, or to conceal identity, masks are as universal as our desire to transform ourselves, to change. Anna, without an ounce of self-pity despite traumatic losses, stands out as a heroine for our times as, traveling alone, she finds the courage to show her true face.

Goodreads Summary

My favorite part about this book was that the author clearly did intensive research on Mexico and cultural art. I learned so much even though this is a fiction book! Anna Ramsey is a woman with something to prove. Wanting to bring more respect to her father's name and to show her cheating fiance what he lost, Anna follows a lead to Mexico. In Mexico, she discovers the seedy underbelly of the art world and many more secrets than she anticipated.

I enjoyed the author's writing style. The words had a flow-like quality to them and the book ended well after each chapter. I liked Anna's character. She was gutsy, intelligent, and pursued things as avidly as I would. I was a little annoyed when she was worried or panicked for so-so reasons. She came off as a little flighty or fluttery. I liked how the book was generally fast-paced. I do think that it might have been a better read if I had cared more about the characters.

3 1/2 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Whitefern by V.C. Andrews: Promo and Giveaway!

One of the most popular storytellers of all time, V.C. Andrews® layers psychological suspense with sheer terror in this continuation of Audrina’s unthinkable family saga.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Flowers in the Attic, WHITEFERN by V.C. Andrews®  is the long awaited sequel for more of Audrina’s story since My Sweet Audrina“beautifully written, macabre, and thoroughly nasty” (Daily Express)aired on Lifetime! Whitefern swallowed Audrina’s childhood—and now the sprawling Victorian mansion threatens her adult life, too…Audrina remembers a better time, when her husband, Arden, was a young man with a heart filled with devotion for her. He didn’t used to be this ambitious, this expansive…this cruel. But then, the death of Audrina’s father changed a great many things. When the reading of her father’s will reveals that Audrina herself will control fifty-one percent of the family brokerage, the halls of Whitefern again don’t feel safe. Arden’s protestations become frantic, nearly violent. So while Audrina didn’t anticipate running the family business, she’s curious to do so. And she can’t help but wonder what had made her father change his will at the last minute. What did he know about Arden that she didn’t? Trapped in the middle of it all: her fragile, simple sister—the beautiful, trusting Sylvia. Audrina promised her father she’d watch over the young woman. But after years of relative quiet, the dark days of Whitefern may have returned…

One of the most popular authors of all time, V.C. Andrews has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication ofFlowers in the Attic, first in the renowned Dollanganger family series, which includes Petals on the WindIf There Be ThornsSeeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. The family saga continues with Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of FoxworthChristopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger, and Secret Brother.  V.C. Andrews has written more than seventy novels, which have sold over 106 million copies worldwide and have been translated into twenty-five foreign languages. Please visit

Leave a comment with your favorite V.C. Andrews book with your email for a chance to win! (USA)

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Don't Go To Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight by Deb DeArmond & Ron DeArmond

In every marriage, there is conflict. And with every conflict, there is a choice for resolution. Will you ignore the issue until it seemingly goes away? Or will you work together to find peace? 
In Don't Go to Bed Angry, Deb and Ron DeArmond give you permission to fight. Conflict isn't the problem, after all; the real issue is how we deal with the conflict. Deb and Ron demonstrate how communication through conflict can safeguard--and even strengthen--your relationship. Immensely practical features including worksheets and discussion questions make this a definitive go-to resource to help you start fighting--together--for your marriage. 

"Don't Go to Bed Angry. Stay Up and Fight!" packs a one-two punch into the gut of all marital conflict no matter the source. The book is both transparent and practical, offering couples a variety of proven tools to develop marital muscles to knock out every opponent, and arise as Christ-like champions. An incredible resource!"--Clint and Penny A. Bragg, Authors of Marriage on the Mend--Healing Your Relationship After Crisis, Separation, or Divorce and founders, Inverse Ministries 
"In Don't Go To Bed Angry. Stay Up and Fight, Deb and Ron DeArmond deliver a biblically-based book on the topic of marital conflict. Practical exercises will help the reader move away from the potential damage conflict can bring to the discovery that comes from learning to stand together as allies not enemies--even when you don't see eye-to-eye. We highly recommend this book as a creative guide for any couple, at any stage of life to find alignment with one another--and God--in their marriage."--Claudia & David Arp, Co-authors, 10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage and founders of Marriage Alive International. 
"Don't Go to Bed Angry has a solid Biblical foundation and is full of wise counsel and great practical tools. Deb and Ron are open and honest as they share from their experiences and those of others. I have been counseling couples for over thirty years, and this great, new title goes immediately to the top of my list of books on how to deal with conflict in marriage and grow your marriage God's way." --Kim Kimberling, PhD, author of Seven Secrets to an Awesome Marriage and the leader of the Awesome Marriage Movement. 
"When my sons were teenagers, they often argued. Finally one day, I sat them on our couch and said, "I'm going to teach you how to fight." They were shocked. They thought they were experts. I gave a couple of steps to keep their arguments respectful and to help them own their own feelings. In their book, the DeArmonds have set us all down on their own couch and given us the principles to do right what we probably all do, and do wrong. These principles work! The sooner you start, the sooner you reap the benefits." --Joann Cole Webster, Vice President, Christian Men's Network 
"In our work with couples in crisis for twenty years we have seen the value of having conflict resolution skills. "Fights"--loud and silent--can become long lasting wars with much devastation. In Don't Go To Bed Angry, Deb and Ron give us a pattern to develop essential skills to resolve inevitable marital conflict. Read this book and let God guide the application to your marriage. Then you can begin the "fight for" your marriage. It's so worth it!"--Mona Shriver, author of Unfaithful and co-founder of Hope & Healing Ministries. 
Praise for author Deb DeArmond and her previous book, I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last 
"It's often been said that our choices define us. That's true personally, but it's also a key to our relationships. Deb DeArmond has provided a practical and insightful book detailing 31 choices we can make as husbands and wives that have the potential to transform even a good marriage--and make it a great one." --Greg Smalley, Vice President of Family Ministry, Focus on the Family

Goodreads Summary

Who better to write a book about couples' fights than a couple? The premise of this book is both hilarious and meant to be taken seriously. I never really thought about how fights were "supposed" to end, but I did know that I wasn't supposed to leave on a bad note. It is important to be careful during fights with one's spouse (or anyone really) and to make sure that you are not over the top or too rude. You have to remember that you chose to marry this person and that there was a reason for that. It's important to approach a fight thinking that you're fighting the problem and not the person. While I know all of these things, I have to admit that this does not always work. There are definitely times when someone will be too angry to think clearly or say something well-worded. 

Although I think this is a worthwhile and informative read. If you're anything like me, if you're going to're going to fight. It doesn't have to be nasty, but I like to get certain points across (particularly involving hypocrisy). I do think that a lot of what is in the book is spot-on if you intend to have a polite fight. I liked how religious was incorporated into the book in an engaging way. It didn't feel forced on the reader. 

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Girl From Savoy by Hazel Gaynor

Friday, August 26, 2016

Presenting a dazzling new historical novel … The Girl From The Savoy is as sparkling as champagne and as thrilling as the era itself.

Sometimes life gives you cotton stockings. Sometimes it gives you a Chanel gown …

Dolly Lane is a dreamer; a downtrodden maid who longs to dance on the London stage, but her life has been fractured by the Great War. Memories of the soldier she loved, of secret shame and profound loss, by turns pull her back and spur her on to make a better life.

When she finds employment as a chambermaid at London’s grandest hotel, The Savoy, Dolly takes a step closer to the glittering lives of the Bright Young Things who thrive on champagne, jazz and rebellion. Right now, she must exist on the fringes of power, wealth and glamor—she must remain invisible and unimportant.

But her fortunes take an unexpected turn when she responds to a struggling songwriter’s advertisement for a ‘muse’ and finds herself thrust into London’s exhilarating theatre scene and into the lives of celebrated actress, Loretta May, and her brother, Perry. Loretta and Perry may have the life Dolly aspires to, but they too are searching for something.

Now, at the precipice of the life she has and the one she longs for, the girl from The Savoy must make difficult choices: between two men; between two classes, between everything she knows and everything she dreams of. A brighter future is tantalizingly close—but can a girl like Dolly ever truly leave her past behind?

Goodreads Summary

The Great War was a difficult time in American history. The author captures the tragedy, confusion, and broken-hearted feel of the era. Dolly and Teddy have known they were going to marry forever. When she says good-bye to him at the start of the war she has no idea that he will come back a changed man. Loretta, a third point of view, decided not to obey her parents and became an actress. Unfortunately, things are not going perfectly. Around the time that Loretta is finding acting impossible, Dolly has a chance to break onto the scene; however, she would have to leave Teddy and her "old" life behind.

I liked Dolly's character the best. I enjoyed the true love feel between Teddy and Dolly. I was definitely rooting for them to work something out. Loretta's character came off as more selfish, though I did understand some of the motivations behind her decisions. The ending wasn't a total surprise, but it did sum things up nicely. This would be a fun read for adult, historical readers.

4 Stars 

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

All the Wounds in Shadow by Anise Eden

For fans of Karen Robards and Shiloh Walker, Anise Eden brings us the mesmerizing sequel to her paranormal romantic suspense novel "All the Broken Places."

Cate's enemies aren't just surrounding her―they're inside her head.

Therapist Cate Duncan has just accepted a job with the MacGregor Group, a unique collective of alternative healers. She's excited by the prospect of honing her empathic healing techniques among others like herself -- aura readers, telepaths, crystal healers, and more. The fact that Cate just started dating Ben, her magnetic new boss, is an added bonus. 

Before Cate can settle into her new routine, the poisoning of a prominent neuroscientist draws the entire MacGregor Group into both a federal investigation and an even more insidious threat. Protected by Ben's former Marine Corps unit, Cate and her colleagues must use their alternative healing methods to solve the crime as their patient clings to life. 

The responsibility of discovering crucial information falls to Cate and her parapsychological powers. But for Cate, unraveling the mystery means reopening wounds that had just begun to heal -- and in the environment of the Marine Corps unit, differences between Cate and Ben become clearer, straining their budding romance. When a new crisis looms, Cate must trust in her colleagues' gifts and the strength of Ben's love, finding the courage to confront her deepest and most terrifying demons -- or her own life will be at risk.

Goodreads Summary

I love Karen Robards; even though I had not heard of this author before, I knew that I had to give this book a shot! Cate can heal in an unusual way, but it comes in handy more often than not. When a doctor is too incapacitated to tell the healers who poisoned him, Cate and the others are able to utilize their different talents to save the day. Along with the thrill of a story that reminds me of the T.V. show Stitchers to some degree, there is a steamy, heady romance that the reader can't help but enjoy.

Cate's character is somewhat adorable. She did sometimes feel like the helpless heroine (in the sense that she relied on her friends and lover, at times). However, she was perfectly capable of saving the day with her own skills, compassion, and intellect. Ben is the handsome love interest. Their romance scenes were sweet and satisfying. I was completely convinced he really loved her partway through the book. The paranormal aspect was both intriguing and fun to read about. I wished I had Cate's abilities and could join the MacGregor group (a group that helped solve governmental issues)! 

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire: Review and Giveaway!

October "Toby" Daye is finally doing all right—and that inevitably means it's time for things to take a turn for the worse. Someone has kidnapped the sons of the Duchess Dianda Lorden, regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must not only find the missing boys, but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. She'll need all her tricks and the help of her allies if she wants to make it through this in one piece.

Toby's search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves. But someone is determined to stop her—and whoever it is isn't playing by Oberon's Laws. As the battle grows more and more personal, one thing is chillingly clear. When Faerie goes to war, not everyone will walk away.

Goodreads Summary

October aka Toby was a wonderful character. I loved the author's creativity with her name. She is still dealing with the ramifications of becoming more "fae" than human (from when her mother saved her). When Toby is called upon to help find the children of the regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist she knows that she is due for a wild adventure...and one that will likely end up with her getting hurt. She takes on the task and sets out for a story filled with drama, thrills, and twists.  

I liked Toby's character. She was a realist and knew her limitations. Her smarts and bravery tended to pull her through what seemed to be insurmountable events. I liked how the author removed the love triangle from the plot in this book (boo to love triangles!). When Toby's own daughter is also taken by whoever took the other children another level was added to the plot and Toby was forced to confront the hard fact that her and Gillian's relationship is strained due to Toby's life choices. This book was filled with great supporting characters and an action-packed plot. There were a few heart-breaking moments surrounding a death and Toby's realization that she has a horrible choice to make concerning her daughter. A fan of this series will likely enjoy this book the most! 

4 Stars

Summary for Once Broken Faith:
Politics have never been October “Toby” Daye’s strong suit. When she traveled to the Kingdom of Silences to prevent them from going to war with her home, the Kingdom of the Mists, she wasn’t expecting to return with a cure for elf-shot and a whole new set of political headaches. 

Now the events she unwittingly set in motion could change the balance of modern Faerie forever, and she has been ordered to appear before a historic convocation of monarchs, hosted by Queen Windermere in the Mists and overseen by the High King and Queen themselves. 

Naturally, things have barely gotten underway when the first dead body shows up. As the only changeling in attendance, Toby is already the target of suspicion and hostility. Now she needs to find a killer before they can strike again—and with the doors locked to keep the guilty from escaping, no one is safe. 

As danger draws ever closer to her allies and the people she loves best, Toby will have to race against time to prevent the total political destabilization of the West Coast and to get the convocation back on track…and if she fails, the cure for elf-shot may be buried forever, along with the victims she was too slow to save. 

Because there are worse fates than sleeping for a hundred years.


2 Copies of One Salt Sea
Each stop is welcome to spread the tour wide giveaway of an October Daye grand prize pack. There will be one winner pulled from Rafflecopter.

Pack includes:
All 10 October Daye novels signed by Seanan McGuire
A Seanan McGuire tote bag

A map of the Kingdom of the Westlands signed by Seanan McGuire and artist Priscilla Spencer.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Sixth Idea (Monkeewrench #7) by P.J. Tracy

Thursday, August 25, 2016
The Monkeewrench crew returns in a twisty, heart-stopping new thriller.
The peaceful Christmas season in Minneapolis is shattered when two friends, Chuck Spencer and Wally Luntz, scheduled to meet in person for the first time, are murdered on the same night, two hours and several miles apart, dramatically concluding winter vacation for homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth.
An hour north of Minneapolis, Lydia Ascher comes home to find two dead men in her basement. When Leo and Gino discover her connection to their current cases, they suspect that she is a target, too. The same day, an elderly, terminally ill man is kidnapped from his home, an Alzheimer’s patient goes missing from his care facility, and a baffling link among all the crimes emerges.
This series of inexplicable events sends the detectives sixty years into the past to search for answers—and straight to Grace MacBride’s Monkeewrench, a group of eccentric computer geniuses who devote their time and resources to helping the cops solve the unsolvable. What they find is an unimaginable horror—a dormant Armageddon that might be activated at any moment unless Grace and her partners Annie, Roadrunner, and Harley Davidson, along with Leo and Gino, can find a way to stop it.

Goodreads Summary

Although I haven't read the prior six books, I didn't really need to.  The author filled me in on the general goings-on early in the novel and let the characters take care of the rest. A strange and unique murder takes place involving two friends, an unfamiliar woman, and a man with Alzheimer's. The detectives are completely confused. Unsurprisingly, the turn to Monkeewrench, a group of geniuses who help the cops on various mysteries.  They excel at what they do and reminded me a little of the T.V. show Scorpion

I did not guess the ending which is the best part of a mystery book!  I liked the characters and grew really attached to Grace. I love the idea of geniuses stepping  in to help cops when it is needed. It's such an intriguing premise and I wish it (and sort of think it does) happened in the real world. The plot was extremely fast-paced. There were only a few circumstances I saw coming; otherwise, I was completely surprised. I admit to reading ahead before going to bed, at times.  This book is highly recommended to adult mystery readers.

5 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke


When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister. 


Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…

Goodreads Summary

Although I enjoyed this book, I feel like I have read at least two others this year with the exact same premise and outcome (is it a popular theme?).  When Laurel was abducted the only one who saw what happened was Faith, her younger sister.  Faith's life after her sister's abduction was not all rosy: her parents are no longer "parents" and don't seem to love each other, there's always people who remember her sister's abduction, and her friends seem to prefer talking about Laurel instead of being true friends.  When "Laurel" suddenly is found in their garden, Faith questions if this stranger is truly her sister (much to the anger of practically everyone else).  Who is this new Laurel and where did she really come from?

I liked Faith's character though I lost faith in her (no pun intended) at the end of the book.  She was an intelligent, scrappy young woman.  Laurel's character was more mysterious and she reminded me a bit of an actress.  At the end of the book, I understood her motivations, but only to a point...I would have been unable to go through with her decision. The plot was fast-paced and the writing style fit the teenage voice that I would expect from Faith.  This is a good read for young adult/teen readers.

3 1/2 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Brae MacKenzie: A Romance of Mythic Identity by Kenneth John Atchity

Brae MacKenzie, a successful San Francisco painter, is a woman who seems to have it all but who's felt a sense of loss and longing since childhood. Her artistic passion hasn't filled that void, and with the untimely death of her charismatic husband, the old pain resurges.

Brae's father senses his daughter's pain and before she embarks for an exhibit in England he hands her a family heirloom hidden away for years...a letter: "Since you are still among the living, your heart is not broken...follow the map," Brae reads, "to Scotland."

The London exhibit, in its ultra-chic hollowness, prompts Brae into taking and advice of that bewildering letter. She hops a train for Glasgow.

When the train goes through a tunnel and emerges in an infinite forest of Scotch pines, descendants of the ancient Caledonian forest, Brae suddenly feels something. This is her stop; she just knows it.

She met at the station by Damon, a stranger, or perhaps not. He becomes her own personal tour guide to the myths and history of a past she never knew--and to a romance she never dreamed of having.

She had it all, beauty, love, wealth and fame, but her soul was empty. It wasn’t the loss of her perfect husband, her painting did not give her joy, she was empty inside, something was missing. Brae MacKenzie by Kenneth John Atchity is an almost dream-like journey of the heart and soul for one woman, lost within her inner torment she could not identify. Perhaps the exhibit she was attending in England would sooth her pain, or just maybe a family heirloom will lead her to her destiny in Scotland.

Curiosity and a feeling that she must go to Scotland sends Brae on a quest to find answers. Little did she know they would come in the form of a handsome man with a head full of stories, a heart full of legends and a soul that fits hers, perfectly.

Kenneth John Atchity has created a world of beauty and ugliness, joy and sorrow and wrapped it in the gauze of belief, belief that sometimes things are not black and white, they are not obvious, they just are. Follow a broken soul as it finds the glue to repair itself in the arms of another as love blossoms between two people that would never have met, if not for an old and cryptic letter. Not a read to rush through, but one to savor and feel each scene, each emotion, including the love between family and friends that cannot quite reach Brae’s dark inner pain. Realize the truth that not money or fame can bring the joy of true love. Although not a long read, Mr. Atchity has mastered the art of storytelling that will float through your heart.--Tome Tender, 5 stars

Goodreads Summary

I really enjoy books set in Scotland. The lush descriptions and "wild" feeling are palpable throughout the book. I mostly felt bad for Brae, a young woman who lost her husband and isn't nearly as responsive as she normally is. She searches for answers to her lack of emotion and arrives at the idea that she must go to Scotland (that would certainly give me a pick me up!). When she gets to Scotland, she meets Damon, a man with an old soul. Feeling as though they already know each other, they travel around Scotland and gradually Brae begins to feel more like herself. 

I really liked getting to know Damon. It took him much of the book to open up. I did not fully guess at what his problem was, but I was close! I liked how the romance developed more from a friendship (the best kind!). Brae's character was interesting. She wasn't the chipper, always-thinking character that I am used to and sometimes her seeming depression was a little on the annoying side, but I liked how she clearly cared for her son and had the resilience to recover from her losses.  This would be a fun read for adult readers!

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Whitefern by V.C. Andrews

The long-awaited sequel to My Sweet Audrina, one of V.C. Andrews’s strangest, most beloved books—and now a Lifetime movie! Whitefern swallowed Audrina’s childhood—and now the sprawling Victorian mansion threatens her adult life too…

Audrina remembers a better time, when her husband, Arden, was a young man with a heart filled with devotion for her. He didn’t used to be this ambitious, expansive…this cruel. But then, the death of Audina’s father changed a great many things.

When the reading of her father’s will reveals that Audrina herself will control fifty-one percent of the family brokerage—the halls of Whitefern again don’t feel safe. Arden’s protestations become frantic, nearly violent. And while Audrina didn’t anticipate running the family business, she’s curious to do so. And she can’t help but wonder what had made her father change his will at the last minute? What did he know about Arden that she didn’t?

Trapped in the middle of it all: her fragile, simple sister—the beautiful, trusting Sylvia. Audrina promised her father she’d watch over the young woman. But after years of relative quiet, the dark days of Whitefern may have returned…

Goodreads Summary

I have a strange addiction to V.C. Andrews novels and this one proved not exception. I do have to say that I wish the ghost writer had incorporated more of the original traits into the character (Arden really did love Audrina and in this book he...did not).  The plot is intriguing and pretty fast-paced. Although I could guess at the ending and what was generally going to happen, I still wanted to finish the book. I enjoyed Audrina's character.  She was regal, intelligent, and serene. Arden's character though...I feel like he was butchered. I would have preferred the "old" Arden from the original book back (the passion he has for Audrina and how he was a nice-ish person). I kind of thought his character was demonized and thrust into a role he wasn't meant to fill. Syliva's character changed too much from the original, as well. She is no longer herself, but instead a more or less OK, but emotional young woman. I thought that really twisted the original story.  Overall, I think this book would have been a little better if it wasn't the "second" in the series and was on its own. 

3 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Elias and Laia are running for their lives.
After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf - the Empire's most secure and dangerous prison - to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars' survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene - Elias's former friend and the Empire's newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus's will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own - one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape... and kill them both.

Goodreads Summary

I waited for this book for months and it was somewhat worth the wait! The book is told from three different viewpoints, and the reader will get to know Helene quite well. I actually ended up preferring Helene's character over Laia's. Laia spent much of the book trying to rescue her brother from the terrible prison Kauf. Elias, of course, helps her. Elias and Laia further develop their relationship, but in a way that I did not expect or particularly like. Elias's and Helene's characters develop the most while I felt that Laia was more stagnant. 

I understood a lot of Laia's actions, but felt they were questionable. I thought she was horribly selfish and self-absorbed. I don't think she ever thought seriously of how her actions would literally affect the Empire. I hated with all my heart how she treated Elias and what happened when Keenan came back into the picture (cue awful love triangle). I felt bad for Helene and, for the most part, would back her choices. I wish she could be the new main character. The truth behind her actions really surprised me. I could write more, but I don't want to accidentally give away any huge spoilers. Apparently, there will be a third book and it is dubious as to whether or not I will read it.

2 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . 

Goodreads Summary

This is not your typical Romeo and Juliet tragic love story. A lot of the plot doesn't even necessarily focus on Juliet or Romeo. Juliet is the overall weapon. Romeo believes himself to be in love with her. Rosaline is sacrificial. Paris is Juliet's strong and caring protector. 

Romeo's character bugged me. He seemed weak and pathetic. I didn't fully understand why he was even included if he didn't add much to the plotline. I liked Runajo. She was cunning, smart, and willing to do nearly anything to save her little city. She was the epitome of a strong, female character; however, sometimes she took her role as savior a little too far. Paris tried to help Juliet, but more often than not Juliet ended up saving him. I think if the book was a little more focused on one character or another I would have had an easier time connecting with each character and truly caring about them. 

I liked the plot as a whole, but in fragments it was disjointed and confusing. I had to reread certain chapters just to ensure I had a grasp on what was going on. The ending wasn't entirely surprising and I will be looking forward to the next book, if anything so I can answer the questions I have.

 3 1/2 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Cherry by Lindsey Rosin

Monday, August 22, 2016
In this honest, frank, and funny debut novel, four best friends make a pact during their senior year of high school to lose their virginities—and end up finding friendship, love, and self-discovery along the way.

To be honest, the sex pact wasn’t always part of the plan.

Layla started it. She announced it super casually to the rest of the girls between bites of frozen yogurt, as if it was just simply another addition to her massive, ever-evolving To Do List. She is determined to have sex for the first time before the end of high school. Initially, the rest of the crew is scandalized, but, once they all admit to wanting to lose their v-cards too, they embark on a quest to do the deed together... separately.

Layla’s got it in the bag. Her serious boyfriend, Logan, has been asking for months.

Alex has already done it. Or so she says.

Emma doesn’t know what the fuss is all about, but sure, she’ll give it a shot.

And Zoe, well, Zoe can’t even say the o word without bursting into giggles.

Will everything go according to plan? Probably not. But at least the girls have each other every hilarious, heart-warming, cringe-inducing step of the way.

From debut author Lindsey Rosin, Cherry is a coming-of-age, laugh-out-loud tale of first times, last chances, and the enduring friendships that make it all worthwhile.

Goodreads Summary

Cherry, a young adult novel, was very frank and open about sex. It's both refreshing and (for me, not for everyone) a little overdone. The book revolved around Layla thinking she was ready to lose her virginity to her boyfriend, Logan. She made a pact with her three friends to lose their v-cards by the end of the high school. The book has four main characters and their stories are told from their points of view. The reader will get to know each character very well. 

Even though she was potentially the most annoying, Layla was my favorite character. It's difficult to say what each character chose to do or not to do without giving away the book, but I like that Layla was cautious and open-minded. Although she sometimes rushed into an idea, she didn't necessarily rush into completing it. Zoe was the cute and quirky friend. She often felt like she didn't fit in. Emma's character was more no-nonsense and serious. She seemed to skim over the "big deal" of the whole thing. Alex's character was sweet. She had to tell her friends the truth concerning something from her past, but I like that she eventually trusted them enough to be honest to them. Her ending was particularly adorable.

Overall, I'm glad I read this book. I feel somewhat obligated to say that it was nice the book was about sex (because although it is seen in young adult books, it isn't usually so over-stated). I did appreciate the author's commitment to the premise, I did start to get tired of hearing about sex. This book would be a good read for young adult/teen readers who enjoy contemporary fiction.

3 1/2 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ