Saturday, October 29, 2011

Books Are Life - Vita Libri Has Moved!!

Hi all,

Books Are Life – Vita Libri has moved to WordPress! 

I wasn’t liking the overall look of my blog over at Blogspot, so I decided a change was in order.  A new theme, a new look, but the same content. 
I look forward to connecting with WordPress book bloggers and continuing to share my love for reading and my passion for books with my current followers!

Come follow Books Are Life - Vita Libri at booksarelifevitalibri.wordpress.com.
Hope to see you soon!
And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Book Review - Eve by Iris Johansen

Title: Eve
Author: Iris Johansen
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN:  9780312651206

Synopsis (from bn.com): 
Eve Duncan’s mission in life is to bring closure to the families who have experienced the agony of a missing child. As a forensic sculptor, she is able to piece together bones, create a face, and bring an identity to a child who would have otherwise gone unidentified. Eve is brilliant, driven, and tormented—because her own daughter, Bonnie, was taken from her years ago. But now, with the help of a CIA agent, Eve has uncovered some startling new evidence: A man with a connection to Bonnie that had been all but buried. His name is John Gallo. He’s from Eve’s own past. His whereabouts are unknown. And he might just be the missing piece to the puzzle that has haunted Eve for years…

My thoughts:  This is the first book in a new trilogy taking a closer look at the each of the main characters in Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan series - Eve, Quinn, and Bonnie! 

I have read the entire Eve Duncan series and have been a huge fan for years.  I loved this book!  I loved how it was laid out, spending the first half of the book taking us back into Eve's very early years, her time with John Gallo (father of her beloved daughter Eve), and the birth of her daughter. The second half then took the reader on an exciting ride to hunt down Bonnie's kidnapper/murderer.  Did John Gallo kill Bonnie as CIA agent Catherine Ling suggests?  What is John Gallo's real story? 

I thought it was really intriquing getting a glimpse into Eve's past and how she got where she is today.  It really puts some perspective on all of the other books in the series. 

The cliffhanger ending of course has me digging right into "Quinn" to see what happens!!!

I do sincerely hope that the mystery of who kidnapped/murdered Bonnie is finally wrapped up after this trilogy however.  As much as I love the Eve Duncan Books, I do feel that the Bonnie story line is getting a bit old and a bit dragged out after a decade of this series.  Please Iris Johansen, give us faithful readers a final answer to this puzzle and give Eve and Quinn some peace.  It's enough already.

My rating:  : ) : ) : ) : ) : )  Loved it!  

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather  

Book Review - Black Ice (Harry Bosch #2)


Title:  The Black Ice (Harry Bosch #2)
Author:  Michael Connelly
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
ISBN:  0446613444
Format: ebook


Synopsis (from BN.com):  Narcotics officer Cal Moore's orders were to look into the city's latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with a fatal bullet wound to the head and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket. Working the case, LAPD detective Harry Bosch is reminded of the primal police rule he learned long ago: Don't look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together. Soon Harry's making some very dangerous connections, starting with a dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that wind from Hollywood Boulevard to the back alleys south of the border. Now this battle-scarred veteran will find himself in the center of a complex and deadly game-one in which he may be the next and likeliest victim.


My thoughts:  I am loving this Harry Bosch series - they have become my go to ebooks while on the elliptical in the gym!  In this second book in the series, hard-core cop Harry Bosch sets out to investigate the death of narcotics officer Cal Moore.  As the invetigation gets heated, things are of course not what they seem. 


The book takes you on an exciting journey from the streets of LA to the drug wars of Mexico!  The characters are real, the story fast and intriguing with plenty of police corruption, twists, and turns to keep things interesting!  This book also lays out Harry Bosch's connection to Defense Attorney Micky Haller (from Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer).


This series is worth a read!  I'm moving quickly on to #3 Concrete Blonde!


My Rating:  : )  : )  : )  : )  Liked it!!!!

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather
Hosted by Crazy for Books . . . this weeks question is: 

“What is your favorite Halloween costume?
Even if you don’t celebrate, what kinds of costumes do you like?”

I don't really enjoy Halloween that much and have never really celebrated it, but I do love the tiny, little kids who come trick or treating in the most adorable little costumes, like lady bugs, princesses, etc.  They are sooooo cute!!!


And Remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Friday, October 21, 2011

Book Review - Murder by Mocha by Cleo Coyle

Title:  Murder by Mocha (Coffeehouse Mystery #10)
Author:  Cleo Coyle
ISBN:  9780425241431
Publisher:  Berkley Prime Crime

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Clare's Village Blend coffee beans are being used to create a new java love potion: a "Mocha Magic Coffee," billed as an aphrodisiac. The product, expected to rake in millions, will be sold exclusively on Aphrodite's Village, one of the most popular online communities for women.
But at its launch, one of the website's editors is murdered. Clare is convinced a bitter killer wants the secret formula. Can she catch who's gone loco for mocha?

My thoughts:  I really liked this book, heck I really like this entire series.  I started reading this series simply  because coffee is one of my favorite things on the planet and I thought it would be fun, but now I find myself also really enjoy the characters in this series.  I don't know how she does it, but the author keeps these characters fresh, interesting, and unique even 10 books into the series.

We all know that many cozy mysteries are a bit formulaic in how things proceed:  murder happens, shop owner automatically becomes amateur sleuth trying to solve the mystery, shop owner falls in love with the cop in charge of solving the mystery, crazy antics ensue.  Cleo Coyle's series does not at all feel that way to me, it feels more real, yet with plenty of fun and interest along the way.  

Not to mention there are fabulous looking recipes in the back of the book! 

Keep on writing, Cleo, because I'm coming back for a refill with Book #11.

My rating:  :  )  :  )  :  )  :  )  Liked it!

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book Review - Black Echo (Harry Bosch #1)

Title:  The Black Echo
Author:  Michael Connelly
ISBN:  0446612731
Format: ebook


Synopsis (from BN.com):  For maverick Lapd homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.






My thoughts:  I got interested in reading this Harry Bosch series after seeing the Lincoln Lawyer a while back.  I am glad I started it.  I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the rest of the series.  Harry Bosch, a hard-core, maverick, in your face LAPD homicide detective tries to solve the case of a body found in a drainpipe.  The case brings back his days as a tunnel rat in Vietnam.


Of course, there are some stereotypical traits to some of the characters, particularly Harry Bosch - hard-core, sketchy past involving Internal Affairs, rule-breaker, with many demons in his past.  This didn't get in the way for me.  I still found the characters real, edgy, and likable. 


I have started the second in the series, Black Ice, and look forward to reading the rest of the series. 


Enjoy!!




Rating:  : )  : )  : )  : )  Liked it!


And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Great Cozy Shopping Trip!!

Well there is nothing like a trip to Barnes and Noble to cure the stress of a bad week . . . it was like "Cozypalooza" for me today as I picked up a couple of great new reads . . .



Tragic Toppings by Jessica Beck
(Donut Shop Mystery series #5)

A Sheetcake Named Desire by Jacklyn Brady
(first in the new Piece of Cake Mystery series)

Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay
(first in the new Library Lover's Mystery series)

Death by the Dozen by Jenn McKinlay
(Cupcake Bakery Mystery #3)

Shoe Done It by Grace Carroll
(first in the new Accessories Mystery series)

Enjoy your weekend all,
And Remember,
Books are Life,
Heather 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Blogger Hop


Happy Friday!  Friday means its time for the Book Blogger Hop by Crazy For Books! 

This week's question is: 


“What is your favorite spooky book (i.e. mystery/suspense, thriller, ghost story, etc.)?”


I don't read a lot of spooky, horror type books, but I remember reading the Flowers in the Attic series back in the day!  Freaky! 

Happy weekend!
And remember,
Books are Life,
Heather

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A lovely literary suprise . . .

I headed to the library tonight to pick up a couple of books that were finally available and imagine my surprise when I get a free Advanced Reader's Copy just for checking in on Foursquare at the library!  Fabulous!  To a book lover like myself this is like being a kid in a candy store!

So what did I get you ask . . . (ok, so it came out 2/22/11 so it's not so advanced, but I'm happy :)



Synopsis (from BN.com)

Freelance writer Troy Chance, the protagonist of Henry's impressive first novel, impulsively, and literally, dives into trouble when she sees a youngster fall from a ferry boat on Lake Champlain. Troy manages to rescue the boy, discovers that his fall was no accident, and after brief, anonymous reports to the police, embarks on an ill-conceived attempt to become the boy's protector. Bonding with the boy, she eventually learns his name, Paul Dumond; his age, six; and that he and his mother had been kidnapped and his mother later shot and killed. Troy locates Paul's Canadian father, Philippe, and reunites father and son, but she is unwilling to end her involvement. When the police can't find the kidnappers, Troy starts to probe more deeply into the lives of Philippe, his abducted wife, and Paul's captivity. Henry adroitly handles Troy's exposure to new emotions as she re-examines her life and relationships. An inconclusive ending may signal that Chance's journey is not yet over. (Feb.)



And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Monday, October 3, 2011

Book Review A Murderous Glaze by Melissa Glazer

Title:  A Murderous Glaze (A Clay and Crime Mystery #1)
Author:  Melissa Glazer
Publisher:  Penguin Group
ISBN:  9780425218365


Synopsis (from Amazon.com):  In Maple Ridge, Vermont, Carolyn Emerson planned to ease into her golden years running her paint-your-own-pottery shop, Fire at Will. She never expected to uncover a dead body in the shop, and she certainly didn't plan on a drop in live clientele.


Now it's up to Carolyn and her shop's pottery club, The Firing Squad, to help clear her name. But can she find a killer and more customers without her own brush with death?


My thoughts:  This is an older cozy mystery series that I just discovered on Paperback Swap.  Set in a quaint town in Vermont, Carolyn, the owner of the paint-your-own-pottery shop, Fire at Will, finds a body in her shop.  Carolyn and her friends in The Firing Squad set out to solve this mystery before the shop goes under.


I really enjoyed this first installment in the Clay and Crime Mystery.  I enjoyed the main character and the different personalities of the various members of The Firing Squad.  Like most cozies, of course the main character believes she is somehow law enforcement and immediately starts to try to solve the murder. 
I found the book fun, relaxed, quirky, and enjoyable.  A fun, quick read!!!
I look forward to reading the rest of the series.


My rating:  : )  : )  : )  : ) Liked it!!!!


And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cozy Mystery Challenge Wrap-Up


Well, I completed this years Cozy Mystery Challenge!  Yay!  I signed up for the Ambitious Level (11+ books) and was able to finish 12 cozies during the challenge!  I do LOVE my cozies!


Here is my wrap up:


1.  Buzz Off by Hannah Reed (Queen Bee Mystery Series #1)








2.  Steamed by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant (Gourmet Girl Mystery Series #1)














3.  Simmer Down by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Comant (Gourmet Girl Mysery Series #2)


















4.  Turn up the Heat by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Park (Gourmet Girl Mystery Series #3) 










5.  Fed Up by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant (Gourmet Girl Mystery Series # 4)






6.  Cook the Books by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant (Gourmet Girl Mystery Series #5)












7.  Paper Scissors Death by Joanna Campbell Slan (Kiki Lowenstein Scrapbooking #1)






8.  Cut Crop & Die by Joanna Campbell Slan (Kiki Lowenstein Scrapbooking #2)






9.  Photo Snap Shot by Joanna Campbell Slan (Kiki Lowenstein Scrapbooking #3)






10.  Make Take Murder by Joanna Campbell Slan (Kiki Lowenstein Scrapbooking #4)






11.  Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett (Booktown Mystery series #5)






12.  Lost and Fondue by Avery Aames (Cheeseshop Mystery #2)







And remember,
Books are Life,
Heather

Book Review Lost & Fondue by Avery Aames

Title:  Lost and Fondue (Cheeseshop Mystery #2)
Author:  Avery Aames
Publisher:  Penguin Group
ISBN:  0425241580

Synopsis (from Amazon.com): 
The fair town of Providence has settled down to normal after last year's murder.  Jonquils are in bloom.  The Cheese Shop is thriving.  and Charlotte's romance with Jordan is flourishing.  But when her friend, Meredith, decides to throw a fund-raiser to create a liberal arts college out of a long-abandoned winery--a winery that is rumored to hold not only buried bodies but buried treasure--Charlotte's joie de vivre deflates like a bad souffle.
Charlotte's fears are realized when an art student is found dead in the wine cellar, and Meredith's niece is the main suspect.

My thoughts:  I thouroughly enjoyed the first book in this mystery series and was eagerly awaiting this second book.  Unfortunately, this book somehow fell completely flat for me.  I was waiting to see how the budding new relationship between Charlotte and Jordan would progress - and this book barely mentioned Jordan much less their relationship.  I realize that the reason I enjoy reading cozies so much is that I enjoy when the book is set in whatever shop or place is the "cozy" place for me - whether that be a bakery, a coffeeshop, or in this case the cheeseshop.  Again, this book was set for the most part in a different location and rarely spoke about the cheesesho, therefore taking some of the "cozy" aspect of it out of it for me.  Maybe it's just me - but I had a hard time getting through this simple read!  I somehow wasn't connecting to the characters, the mystery, or the overall story!  Knowing me, I will probably jump back in to this series for the third book coming out in Februrary 2012:  Clobbered by Camembert. 

Rating:   : )  :)  :)  It was ok!


And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather


Book Blogger Hop!!!!!


“In honor of Banned Books Week, what is your favorite “banned or frequently challenged book”?”
Click
here for 2010-11 list in PDF format. You can also click HERE to view past years and choose from any of those titles!

My answer:  The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver  (on 2009 - 2010 challenged/banned book list)!!!



Happy Hopping,
And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wow!!

Wow!  I can't believe I haven't updated this blog in about two months.  It's time to get back on track . . . and back to more reading.  Well, it has been a great summer.  I just returned from a wonderful 2 1/2 week, life-changing trip to Hawaii!  It's the 4th time I've been to Hawaii and I just can't get enough.  It is not only gorgeous, but the Aloha spirit is definitely contagious - people are kind, full of spirit, and welcoming!  

I spent one week on the northshore of Oahu at a drum circle facilitation training!  Life-changing is the only way to describe my time there.  Good friends, hours of drumming, great conversation, deep connections, . . . lovely!


I then returned to Waikiki for a week of great food, relaxation, time on the beach, beautiful sunsets, and  of course catching up on some great summer reads - this is a book blog after all :) 

I was able to finish up the Kiki Lowenstein Scrapbook Cozy Series - very funny and well worth the read!  Main character is hilarious!

#1 Paper, Scissors, Death by Joanna Campbell-Slan

#2 Cut, Crop, & Die by Johanna Campbell-Slan

  
#3 Photo, Snap, Shot by Joanna Campbell-Slan


#4 Make, Take, Murder by Joanna Campbell-Slan



Looking forward to fall - cooler weather, beautiful leaves, and great new fall book releases!

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather



Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Review - Cook the Books by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant

Title:  Cook the Books (Gourmet Girl Mystery #5)
Author:  Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant
Publisher:  Berkley Publishing
ISBN:  9780425232460

Synopsis:  Chloe Carter desperately needs a job, so she takes one assisting a cookbook writer. Unfortunately it stirs up painful memories of her ex- boyfriend Josh, who left her for Hawaii. While compiling a book of recipes from Boston's top chefs, she comes in contact with one of Josh's friends, Digger. Chloe manages to stay cool until later she finds Digger's apartment charred-with Digger in it.

Not believing that an expert chef would die from a grease fire, she sets about looking for Digger's killer. But things get sticky when the tragedy brings Josh back to Boston-and back into Chloe's life.

My thoughts:  I enjoyed this latest installment of the Gourmet Girls Mystery series.  Chloe and her friends have matured a great deal throughout the course of this series, which is a welcome change.  I found the murder mystery interesting and it kept my attention.  After reading this entire series, I realize that I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the main character, Chloe, was involved somewhat in solving the murers, but was not all of a sudden an expert investigator and solving every mystery in town as in other cozy series I have read.


I recommend this series for a fun, simple, relaxing read with a culinary twist!

My Rating:  :) :) :) :)  Liked it!

And Remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Book Review - Fed Up by Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant

Title:  Fed Up (Gourmet Girl Mystery #4)
Author:  Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant
Publisher:  Berkley Publishing Group
ISBN:   9780425225981


Synopsis (from Amazon.com):  In Conant-Park and Conant's cute fourth Gourmet Girl mystery to feature Chloe Carter (after 2008's Turn Up the Heat), Josh Driscoll, Chloe's chef boyfriend, unwittingly serves up some poisoned lamb on a Boston cable reality TV show, Chefly Yours. Both Josh and Chloe fall ill, but it's Francie, a randomly chosen shopper at the gourmet store Natural High, who eats too much of the digitalis-laced dish and doesn't recover. Was Francie the intended victim or just unlucky? Suspects range from Josh's fellow contestants competing for a new eight-part cooking show to some pranksters who may have taken a joke too far. Preparations for the wedding of Chloe's very pregnant best friend distract social work's answer to Nancy Drew from her sleuthing, but not for long. Recipes, some by pro chefs, round out this delectable chick lit cozy, which ends on an emotional cliffhanger for Chloe.


My Thoughts:  Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant return for their 4th book in the Gourmet Girl Mystery Series.  I enjoyed this installment of the series, much better than the last book where it appeared as if the murderer came out of nowhere.  I enjoyed the developing relationship between Chloe and Josh as the series continues.  I also am enjoying that the series is having Chloe come into her own and finding her way as a social work student rather than portraying her only as Josh's girlfriend. 


Again, I found this book a fast, fun summer read!  Enjoy!


My rating:  : )  :)  :)  :)  I liked it! 

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Book Review - Turn Up the Heat by Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant

Title:  Turn up the Heat (Gourmet Girl Mystery #3)
Author:  Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Park
Publisher:  Berkeley Crime Press
ISBN:  9780425219478


Synopsis:  Chloe Carter is helping her chef boyfriend with his new restaurant on Boston’s posh Newbury Street, when a crabby waitress is found dead in a fish truck. Was this a prank gone awry? Or did somebody want her to sleep with the fishes?


My Thoughts:  I thought summer was supposed to be the time of year when there was more time to relax and more time to READ!  I feel busier than I was when I was in grad school - geez.  Anyway, I finally got back to my cozy series and book #3 in the Gourmet Girl Mystery Series.  I loved getting back to Chloe Carter, struggling social work grad student, her boyfriend Josh, chef at the restaurant Simmer, her friend Ade, pregnant with her first child, and Ade's 'almost' fiance, Owen who now is a fresh fish purveyor (he has had multiple very interesting jobs to say the list). 


I read quite a few reviews on this book before I picked it up and I must say they weren't stellar.  People were up in arms about a brief mention of a line of cocaine in the bathroom and the mentions in the book of the restaurant staff frequently stealing from the restaurant.  I have to say I wasn't bothered at all by these elements of the book.  It is not like it was the theme of the entire book. 


The book was a fast read, nothing ground-breaking, but a fun summer read!  I'm not looking for deep plots and character developments in my cozies :)

I will admit that the "murderer" and the motive for murder was a bit out of the blue as if the authors simply got to the end of the book and had to pick a murderer,  Not their shining moment. 


I'm moving on to #4 in the series - Fed Up!!! 


Rating:  :)  :)  :)  It was ok!

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Book Blogger Hop!!

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list below!!
The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don’t have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event! And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added! We get over 200 links every week!!

RULES:
Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

1. Post about the Hop on your blog (feel free to grab the logo at the top of the post!)

Spread the word about the book party! The more the merrier!

In your blog post, answer the following question (new question each week!).

This week’s question comes from Sue who blogs at Cookie’s Book Club ! Thanks for submitting a question for our Hoppers, Sue! Be sure to visit her blog and tell her thank you!

What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?


I will definitely keep reading a book if there is a gruesome murder in the first few pages (I admit, I love my serial killer books). 
If the book is a period piece or set in Britain/London, I will put it back immediately.  I just can't get into it!

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Books Are Life Hits 1000!!


I started this blog simply as a way to share my love of reading and get to know even more authors and books! 


Well here we are 4 months later and Books Are Life has reached over 1000 hits!  YAY!!


I love seeing where all the hits have come from, it is amazing - Germany, France, India, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Czech Republic.  WOW!

A heartfelt thank you to all out there who have stopped by Books Are Life to take a look!  Invite your friends and stop by again soon!

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Monday, June 6, 2011

Book Review - Simmer Down by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant

Title:  Simmer Down
Author:  Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant
ISBN:  9780425213858
Publisher:  Berkley Prime Crime

Synopsis:  Chloe Carter's boyfriend, Josh Driscoll, is prepping for the opening of Simmer, Boston's hottest new restaurant. But at a fund-raiser featuring samples of Josh's cuisine, a trendy club owner is found bludgeoned to death-by Josh's state-of-the-art, professional-grade food processor, the ominously-named Robocoupe.

By opening night at Simmer, the list of suspects is almost longer than the line to get in. And Chloe is struggling to solve the crime before the final course is served.


My thoughts:  This is book #2 in the Gourmet Girl series (I just wrote a review on the first one, so check it out).  Again, I really like this series.  Chloe and her chef beau, Jeff, are busy preparing for the New Year's opening of a new restaurant, Simmer, when the body of a Boston club owner is found dead. 

I love the characters in these books.  Chloe is hilarious . . . ok, I look a little funny laughing out loud by myself when I am reading these books, but her comments are too funny not to crack up!  The other characters are quirky, unique, and just plain fun. 

These books are super fast, fun reads.  A great summer beach read!

 My Rating: : - )  : - )  : - )  : - )  Really liked it!  On to number 3

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Book Review: Steamed by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant

Title:  Steamed
Author:  Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant
Publisher:  Berkely Crime
ISBN:  0425208052


Synopsis (from Publisher's Weekly):  This delectable collaboration between Jessica Conant-Park and her mother, Susan Conant, author of the Cat Lover's and the Dog Lover's mystery series (Scratch the Surface, etc.), introduces an appealing heroine, Chloe Carter, a boy-crazy 20-something gourmand who lives in Brighton, Mass. Chloe thinks she might have found both romantic and gastronomic satisfaction in Eric Rafferty, a foodie she meets online. But their first date is a bust: Eric is a dolt, and he winds up getting stabbed before dessert. Chloe later falls for gorgeous Josh Driscoll, a chef acquaintance of Eric's. But Josh has a temper-and it turns out he owned the knife that killed Eric. Chloe must help clear Josh's name if their romance is to stand a chance. This scrumptious cozy, the first of a new series, has it all-charming characters, snappy dialogue and mouth-watering recipes. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.


My Thoughts:  I happened to run across this cozy (#1 in the Gourmet Girl series) in the library and really enjoyed it.  Written by a mother/daughter team, this series introduces us to Chloe Carter, a somewhat aimless food lover, struggling social work grad student, and all around funny gal.  Chloe decides that it is time to get back in the dating world so she signs up with an online dating site as Gourmetgirl.  She is excited and hopeful that her date with Eric Rafferty, a food lover, will turn out great!  When Eric is found dead in the bathroom, things change!! 


I found the characters quite charming, funny, and really likable.  There were definitely laugh out loud moments in the book when Chloe found herself in interesting situations!  At times I felt like I was reading the Confessions of a Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella (a series I really enjoyed) as Chloe struck me as very similar to Rebecca Bloomwood without the shopping habit :)

I really like this book.  I have started the second book and eagerly ran to the library today to get the remaining three in the series.  I have to see what these people get into next! 
Well worth the read!

My Rating:  : - )  : - )  : - )  : - )  four smileys  Liked it!!!

And Remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Book Blogger Hop!!!!

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!  So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list below!!
The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don’t have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun!  This is a weekly event!  And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added! We get over 200 links every week!!


This Weeks Question
"Share your favorite post from the last month and tell us wy its close to your heart"

My favorite post would have to be my post about graduating with my Master's degree at the end of May.  I worked hard and met many great people who I hope will be friends for years to come!  And now I am ready to get back to my life, enjoying a summer of concerts, grilling, and most importantly reading and getting back to my blog!

Happy weekend all!

And Remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Book Blogger Hop!!!


This week's question comes from Britta who blogs at I Like These Books:

 "What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked?  Which have you disliked?"

 I just can't think of what my favorite was.  I do remember that I strongly disliked The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans.  I hate when the movies take complete creative license with the material from the book - especially the ending and the Horse Whisperer ending was completely different.

And Remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book Review - The Other Rembrandt

Title:  The Other Rembrandt
Author:  Alex Connor
Publisher:  Sterling
ISBN:  1403786948

Synopsis (from BN.com): 
History's biggest conspiracy is about to be revealed in this gripping, addictive thriller … but not if a ruthless killer can stop it.
Marshall Ziegler has never been interested in his father Owen's London gallery--until Owen is brutally slain. Marshall then discovers that Owen knew a dark secret at the heart of Rembrandt's life--a secret that could topple one of the world's most lucrative industries. But a sadistic murderer is doing whatever he must to hide the truth. Will Marshall stay alive long enough to reveal the greatest secret never told?


My thoughts:  Right off the bat, I am owning the fact that I did not finish this book.  I am not at all the type that starts a book and doesn't finish, but not the case with this book.  I won this book as my first ever First Reads from Goodreads, so I was excited to begin reading.  When reading the synopsis, I was leery as it was by a British author and set in London, both of which I am normally not fond of.  I was hopeful however as the story sort of had a Da Vinci Code, Mask of Atreus slant to it.  The clear difference however was that Da Vinci Code and Mask of Atreus were good reads and this book was just not.  


The book is set in the London art galleries.  A ruthless killer is killing those who know a shocking secret in the life of the great Rembrandt.  This secret promises to alter the art world forver. 

I found myself having absolutely no connection to any of the characters.  You know the basic premise of the shocking secret right away in the beginning of the book, so what is the point?   There were no twists and turns, no excitement, no nothing unfortunately. 

As I was reading I found myself focusing on how many pages I read rather than anything about the book itself.  I plodded . . . and plodded . . . and plodded through about 1/4 of the book and finally gave up.  I hate that I didn't finish, but just had to move on. 

I did not like this book at all and encourage those who think it is an exciting book in the genre of Da Vinci Code and those like it to think again.

My Rating:  : - )  Strongly disliked!!

And Remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday! What books have you lied about?

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.


This week's Top Ten

What are the top ten books you have lied about?



1.  The Harry Potter series = When this series came out and was all the rage, I was working

 at  Barnes and Noble as the Children's section supervisor.  Of course, I felt that I had to read

the series.  At times I was wondering why at my age I was reading these "children's" books.  I

haven't made it through the entire series yet, but I will someday!


2.  Origin of Species by Charles Darwin = This book was assigned reading during a class in

my freshman year of college.  I tried and tried and tried to get through the book, but the best I

did was fumble through.  Of course, when it came time to class discussion I pretended to sound

brilliant :)



3.  Working by Studs Terkel = Again, this was assigned reading during a class in grad

school.  I had an assignment to do a small class presentation/discussion on a chapter of the

book.  Ugh, not my kind of reading.  I do remember reading my assigned chapter during class

and alas I was ready for the discussion :)


4.  Some of my cozies = I do love my cozy mysteries, but I have to admit sometimes I feel

guilty reading this genre.  I will not feel guilty - they are fun!!!



5.  A Celine Dion biography = Yes, you heard me right, a biography about Celine Dion.  I will

completely own the fact that I love Celine Dion.  If I had a voice like hers, I would be a very happy

camper - and a little richer :)




Ok, I could only come up with 5, but it's a good start!

And Remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather


Monday, May 23, 2011

Making updates to the blog!!

Well it's official!  I have my Master of Science degree in Counseling.  I graduated this past Saturday, May 21, 2011.  It was a fabulous celebration weekend indeed!

In finishing everything up for school i have been a little lax with my book blog.  Well, no more! 

I am going to be making some updates and additions to my blog in the next couple of days.  I truly love my series books, my mysteries, and my cozies.  To that end, I have added a number of tabs at the top of my blog including Cozy Series and Mystery Series.  I am going to be listing my favorite cozy and mystery authors and all of their books in the proper order.  There is nothing I hate more than going to the store and having no idea which books are first in a series!

I hope this helps some fellow book bloggers out there.  So, take a look around and feel free to share my blog with your friends that are mystery and cozy lovers!

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's Monday - What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.


I won this book as a First Read from Goodreads! 

Review coming soon!!

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Monday, May 16, 2011

Review - 9th Judgment by James Patterson

Title:  9th Judgment
Author:  James Patterson
Publisher:  Little, Brown & Co.
ISBN:  9780316036276

Synopsis (from BN.com): 
Detective Lindsay Boxer chases a Jewel thief, a murderous movie star, and a killer with a vendetta against women and children.
A young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one shred of evidence: a cryptic message scrawled across the windshield in blood-red lipstick.
The same night, the wife of A–list actor Marcus Dowling is woken by a cat burglar who is about to steal millions of dollars worth of precious jewels. In just seconds there is a nearly empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria.
Lindsay spends every waking hour working with her partner, Rich, and her desire for him threatens to tear apart both her engagement and the Women's Murder Club. Before Lindsay and her friends can piece together either case, one of the killers forces Lindsay to put her own life on the line—but is it enough to save the city? With unparalleled danger and explosive action, The 9th Judgment is James Patterson at his compelling, unstoppable best!

My Thoughts:  With the 9th Judgment, James Patterson brings us the 9th book in the Women's Murder Club Series.  I have enjoyed this series from the beginning and this installment is no exception.  Each book is a really quick read with Patterson's classic short chapters and police cases that keep your attention.  I also enjoy that this series features 4 strong, female characters:  Detective Lindsay Boxer (detective with the SFPD), Cindy (crime reporter for San Francisco Chronicle), Claire (Medical Examiner), and Yuri (attorney with the DA's office). 

As with many of Patterson's books, this one ends with a twist that leaves you waiting to dig into the next book in the series!  Tenth Anniversary here I come!

My Rating:  : -)  : - )  :-)  :-)  Like it!

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Friday, May 13, 2011

Book Review - Crossfire by James Patterson

Title:  Crossfire (Alex Cross #17)
Author:  James Patterson
Pages:  356
Publisher: Little Brown & Co
ISBN:  031603617x


Synopsis (from BN.com): 
Wedding bells ring
Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories—is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?
A murderer returns
The case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that they are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims' movements—information that only a Washington insider could possess.
Caught in a lethal cross fire
As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in D.C. and will not relent until he has eliminated Cross and his family for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever.


My thoughts:  Crossfire is the 17th installment in the ever popular Alex Cross series.  I have read every single Alex Cross book and absolutely love them.  That being said, Crossfire did fall a little flat for me.  The cover of the book provides us the teaser of "Alex Cross gets married and Kyle Craig is back!" Anyone who has read the Cross books knows the story of Kyle Craig and I was one who was excited to see what new suspense and drama this series would take now that he was back.  In all honesty, the Kyle Craig plot literally left me saying "What?!  That was it!  How did we get there?"  I was left wanting more and not in a good way. 


I felt like the storylines in this book took huge leaps at times while not providing any excitement along the way.  I found it boring and quite predictable at times.  Crossfire didn't provide me the excitement and suspense that I have come to love in James Patterson's novels.  I hate to think that now that James Patterson has multiple series going including the Women's Murder Club series and a number of young adult series that he is letting the steam out of Alex Cross! 


Of course, being a fan of the Alex Cross series, I will read whatever book #18 holds. 


Overall, I expected more from Crossfire than what it delivered.


My rating:  : )  : )  : )  It was ok!


And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather