Monday, June 21, 2010

Desire Me by Robyn DeHart review and giveaway

The Men of Solomon’s meet in secret, their very existence only a rumor among the best of Victorian society. They are treasures hunters, men of wealth and title, seekers of myth and legends. And no legend is as mystifying as the lost city of Atlantis…………….


Years ago, Maxwell Barrett found a map to Atlantis and dedicated his life to the search for the mystical lost continent. But when an alluring woman makes a wager for the priceless artifact, he may have discovered an even greater treasure.

A descendant of Atlantis, Sabine Tobias needs the map to decipher an ancient prophecy. What she doesn't need are the sparks flying between her and Max. He's too devilishly charming to be trusted: The fate of her people is at stake as well as her heart. Yet a ruthless killer also covets the map. Now Max and Sabine must race to decode the prophecy's riddle before this criminal fulfills his deadly mission.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book. I cannot say it enough, I absolutely love it! For me some of the romance books follow the same plot, but Desire Me, has it own edge that makes it feel very unique. For the first time I was enthralled by the characters, and the plot, Robyn DeHart combines all the elements of suspense, action, romance, oh and you can’t leave out the treasure hunt that reminds me a bit of Indiana Jones. Plus add it that the fact that this book has two villains, and incorporates the legend of the lost city of Atlantis, and you have an amazing read that you will not want to put down.

Once again let me say that I LOVED this book. I loved the plot and the characters, and cannot wait to read the third installment in the Legend Hunters Treasure Me, which is set in Scotland.

Five Fun Facts about Desire Me from the author, Robyn DeHart

1. One of the most fun aspects of writing Desire Me came from creating the scavenger hunt for Sabine and Max. It was a thrill to come up with all manners of danger to put them in.

2. The underground bath is based on a real Roman bath that was unearthed by archeologists outside of Kent in 2004. My characters just happened to find it first.

3. Desire Me is the first book I’ve written that has two villains. And they’re both deliciously evil—and one is a woman!

4. When I came up with the concept for the Legend Hunters series, the lost continent of Atlantis was the very first legend I thought of.

5. When writing the scenes with Queen Victoria, I swear I was channeling Judi Dench; I kept hearing her voice and imagining her mannerisms. She was the perfect inspiration for my Queen.

Don’t forget to check out Robyn’s wonderful website:

I have 4 books to giveaway:
Contest ends on July 4
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Teaberry Strangler by Laura Childs

It was the Dickensian evening Theodosia Browning had been hoping for. Charleston shop-owners dressed in cloaks of yore threw open their back doors to visitors, who took advantage of bargains and Theodosia's delicious teas.

But later, the alleys clear except for one body- which a horrified Theodosia discovers. It's Daria, the map store's owner. Locals have shown interest in buying her shop-but enough to kill? Plus there's been a customer hell-bent on acquiring a not-for-sale map. Most alarming of all theories, however, is Detective Tidwell's: the killer mistook Daria for Theodosia. And if that theory holds, the killer's work isn't done.

My thoughts:

This was one of those cozy little mysteries that was well worth reading. Laura Childs has created lovable characters, a brilliant plot, and the amazing city of Charleston as a beautiful backdrop. Not only did I love the story, I loved the way the author incorporated the history of Charleston, and not mention the fact that Drayton reminds me of the proprietor of my local tea shop. This is one tea-riffic mystery that will keep you guessing to the very end.

If you love a good weekend mystery then the Teaberry Strangler is the book for you. So brew up a pot of Earl Grey and enjoy an amazing trip to Charlestown.

Oh I almost forgot to mention the recipes in the back of the book as well as the tea party ideas are to die for.

My thanks to the author Laura Childs for sending me this copy to review.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate

Sometimes Life’s Storms Blow in Unexpected Possibilities


Kai Miller floats through life like driftwood tossed by waves. She’s never put down roots-and she doesn’t plan to. But when a chaotic hurricane evacuation lands her in Daily, Texas, she begins to think twice about her wayfaring existence. And when she meets hometown-boy Kemp Eldridge, she can almost picture settling down in Daily-until she discovers that he may be promised to someone else.

Daily has always been a welcoming place of refuge for those the wind blows in, but for Kai, it looks like it will be just another place to leave behind. Then again, Daily always has a few surprises in store-especially when Aunt Donetta Bradford has cooked up a scheme.
(from the publishers)

My Thoughts

This is my first visit to Daily, Texas and I don’t believe that I will be returning. I could not get into this book. At first I thought that the beginning was just a little slow and it would pick up by the next few chapters, for me it never did. While I like bits & bobs of the book, I found places to be highly annoying, as were the characters.

Let me say that I do like Lisa Wingate as an author and have read and reread her Tending Roses series. I just found that Never Say Never was lacking that spark her other books have.

My thanks to Bethany House for this copy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nancy's Theory of Style by Grace Coopersmith

Lively young socialite Nancy Carrington-Chambers has always believed an excellent sense of style and strict attention to detail are what it takes to succeed, but her own husband Todd is showing symptoms of incurable tackiness, so Nancy flees their McMansion for her posh San Francisco apartment. She knows her event planning company, Froth, is a real winner, but she must prove herself by reinventing the turgid Barbary Coast Historical Museum fundraiser. Luckily, Nancy now has the perfect assistant. Derek Cathcart is British, impeccably dressed, gorgeous, and clearly gay—so why does Nancy find him so attractive?

Before Nancy can unravel her feelings, her irresponsible cousin Birdie abandons her little daughter with Nancy and takes off. Nancy, Derek, and Eugenia make an unlikely “family,” but strangely it seems incredibly right. Now Nancy’s parents are pressuring her to return to Todd, and she still has to pull off a spectacular party. For someone who’s always known exactly where she’s going, Nancy is in dangerously uncharted waters.

Irresistibly funny and romantic, Nancy’s Theory of Style shows that happiness and
love—just like fashion—aren’t about playing it safe.

My thoughts:

When I started reading this I thought it would be lacking in some way or the other, (normally so called chick-lit bores more due the lack of substance), thankfully I was wrong. I found that even though this was a light weekend chick-lit read, it actually had depth to the story and characters. Once I started reading this book I could not put it down and read it through in about an hour and a half. If you are looking for layered characters, twists in the plot, and adorable little girl who will still your heart, then this is the book for you. I guarantee that once you have read Nancy’s Theory of Style you will want to tell all your friends about it.

My thanks to Pocket Books for sending me this copy

Product Details

Gallery, May 2010

Trade Paperback, 384 pages

ISBN-10: 1416598863

ISBN-13: 9781416598862

Browse Inside Nancy's Theory of Style

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Easy as Pi by Jamie Buchan

Count the ways . . .

Have you ever stopped to think how many countless ways we use numbers? From the ring of the alarm clock in the morning to the numbers triggering our cell phones, our world is designed with numbers in mind. With Easy as Pi, you'll get the 4-1-1 on the fascinating origin of many of the numbers we use or read about every day.
What makes "cloud nine" and "seventh heaven" so blissful?

Why is number 7 so lucky and 13 so unlucky?

Is "fourth-dimensional thinking" really out of this world?

What prompted Ray Bradbury to call his novel Fahrenheit 451?

How did 007 become James Bond's number?
For the math averse: Be not afraid. Easy as Pi is not a textbook but rather a lively look at the derivation of numerical expressions and their inescapable influence on our culture -- from book titles to bus schedules. To sum it up, Easy as Pi equals one clever and often hilarious collection.

My Review:

When I first heard about this book I was wondering if it would read like a bunch of mumble-jumble, but when I received this book I have to say that I loved this book. It was interesting from the very beginning and I could not put it down. It contained everything from mathematical explanations, number significance, numerical cultural references, relations in mythology and religion, to numbers used in everyday languages, and numbers in fiction. I found so many answers in the books I could not believe they were actually in this book.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone. Also I believe that everyone who is home-schooled should own a copy of Easy as Pi

Brushing Up on Math is Easy as Pi
By Jamie Buchan,
Author of Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day
"World War II? I don't know much about it. You've lost me. I'm sorry, I was always terrible at history. I just don't have the brain for it!"

Few people would willingly admit to this level of ignorance about key events that shaped the world. But when it comes to math -- which shapes not only the world but the entire universe -- many otherwise highly intelligent and educated people will happily proclaim ignorance. In many cases, there's the implication that math is boring and difficult -- the exclusive domain of the severely geeky.

This may seem merely frustrating for mathematicians and scientists in social settings, but it has serious and wide-ranging consequences. On an everyday level, a lack of confidence about math makes it hard to split a bill, work on a spreadsheet, or help a child with homework (and this can easily become a vicious circle, since anxiety about math can be passed on to the next generation).

If you feel like you're math averse, be not afraid: the book Easy as Pi can help. Math itself is based on a limited number of very logical rules and, whether we like it or not, it surrounds us in everything we do. As Pythagoras (the guy behind the famous Theorem) remarked: "Number is the ruler of forms and ideas, and the cause of gods and demons." The head of a sunflower has evolved with mathematical precision into a double-spiral pattern that packs the most seeds into the smallest available space. The computer on which you're reading this, and every electronic device -- from cheap digital watches counting seconds and minutes to NASA's Columbia supercomputer, which simulates the collisions of entire galaxies -- is powered by a vastly complex system of ones and zeros, which only works at all because they can be interpreted mathematically.

Just like our explorations of science, humanity's understanding of math has advanced amazingly since we were counting how many mammoth hides it takes to wallpaper a cave. The concept of zero -- a number representing nothing -- is taken for granted today (apart from anything else, how could all that electronics work otherwise?). However, for centuries it was a thorny philosophical and mathematical question. Roman numerals stopped being used in Europe when medieval Italians learned the zero from the Arabs, who in turn had picked it up from India. The ancient Greeks gave us much of our understanding of geometry, and the Romans put it into practice with structural engineering. We've come a long way. The Pirahã tribe, a few hundred people living in a remote area of Brazil, reminds us just how far -- with almost no contact with outside cultures, their math is limited to counting "one, two, many."

Numbers have also slipped into our language and culture in various ways -- the third degree, the fourth estate, and fifth columnists spring to mind. And have you ever been asked to "deep six" something? Intelligence agencies use "numbers stations" -- radio stations broadcasting strings of numbers -- to communicate in code with spies in other countries. And they've gained a cult following of fascinated civilian listeners. The controversial conviction of the Cuban Five came after FBI agents found a decryption program for a Cuban numbers station on their computers.

The influence of numbers in our everyday life also seeps into our superstitions. The number 666 -- still feared by many people as the "number of the beast" -- is believed to be based on gematria, a form of numerically encoding Hebrew words, which is also at the root of claims about a "Bible code." Math anxiety and ignorance allows people who practice numerology and astrology to make a lot of money by claiming to imbue numbers with a spiritual and cosmic significance. Not only is this completely unproven, it masks the far greater beauty of a mathematically ordered universe.

To sum it all up, math and numbers are everywhere, and they are embedded in our lives in every respect. Anxiety about them is really worth trying to overcome. The benefits they bring us are countless.
© 2010 Jamie Buchan, author of Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day

Author Bio
Jamie Buchan was educated at Westminster School and is completing a Master of Arts degree in Architectural Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Many of his family members are involved in books: his great-grandfather John Buchan is the prolific novelist famous for The Thirty-Nine Steps; his grandfather D.J. Enright is a well-known Movement poet; and his uncle James Buchan is an award-winning novelist and historical writer. Both of his parents work in publishing.

My thanks to FSB Media for this copy of Easy as Pie

The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips

London, 1672. A vicious killer stalks the court of Charles II, inscribing the victims’ bodies with mysterious markings. Are the murders the random acts of a madman? Or the violent effects of a deeply hidden conspiracy?

Cambridge, 2008. Teaching history at Trinity College is Claire Donovan’s dream come true—until one of her colleagues is found dead on the banks of the River Cam. The only key to the professor’s unsolved murder is the seventeenth-century diary kept by his last research subject, Hannah Devlin, physician to the king’s mistress. Through the arcane collections of Cambridge’s most eminent libraries, Claire and fellow historian Andrew Kent follow the clues Hannah left behind, uncovering secrets of London’s dark past and Cambridge’s murky present and discovering that the events of three hundred years ago still have consequences today. . . .
(from the back cover)

My thoughts:

For me the Devlin Diary was a very interesting reading. Normally when I read books that bounce back and forth between the present day and the past, I find that the author tends to focus more on one rather than the other. Although I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading the Devlin Diary, the author, Christi Phillips has an amazing way of blending both of the eras without making one seem lacking. As a lover of history, I found this book to be remarkable due the amazing details that were included pertaining to the Restoration era of England. Not to mention it also delves into what it was like to be a physician in the late 1600’s. I also found that I enjoyed the present day aspect as well. The characters were well developed, and I enjoyed how the character of Restoration Era Hannah Devlin and the modern day Claire in a way mirror each other in their search for knowledge.

A must read for those who like a bit of mystery with their history. A book that I highly recommend.

I have one copy to giveaway on June 10
US residents only

My thanks to Sara @ Pocket Books for this copy