Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Gerry Tales

Gerry Tales: How I lived Happily Ever After, Despite Stabbing Myself in the Back, Scalding My Cojones, and Really Pissing off My Wife During Childbirth by Gerry Boylan

(For review from Phenix Publicity)


In this collection of personal essays, Gerry Boylan recounts a lifetime of adventures and misadventures. His stories are sweet, loopy, and hilarious, ranging from hitchhiking experiences gone awry to the birth of his first child (sans painkillers or doctors, but with pinochle-playing buddies and malted milkshakes). Whether he's fleeing in terror from a marauding bat or causing a thousand-bicycle pileup in Beijing, he'll have you laughing at his unique mixture of lunacy and heart.


Gerry Tales was a very interesting book. I loved the title... LOL! It really gives the reader an idea of what inside the book. Gerry has a very interesting view on life. He looks at things from the point of view that "you might as well laugh as cry" as we old folks say. Sometimes things happen in life that you just have to shake your head at and Boylan is very good at describing those kinds of events. His book is comprised of 24 essays about his life. If this is just a sampling of the life he has led, he needs to write another book.

I think my favorite of the stories would have to be, "Idiocy". To have an argument over who is the biggest idiot seemed so realistic to me, LOL. In fact I think I might have had that same argument with my ex, once upon a time. Gerry's stories take an everyday situation and shows the comedy in it. If you choose to look at life in that manner, everything is an adventure and I like that attitude.

Another essay that I liked was called, "Birth of a Daughter". I can't think of two many different situations that include more stress than having a child. For both parents in my opinion, although, I think we mothers get the worst of it. Having a home birth might seem like a good idea to some, not me though. Gerry's wife must not have considered who Gerry was before she decided on this, LOL. Buddies and beer in the room next door wouldn't be my idea of a good birthing atmosphere. You gotta read that one!

I recommend this book to anyone who just needs a lift in their daily life. A break from grind and hopefully a different perspective on how things could be if looked on the bright or maybe I should say, if they looked on the funny side. I hope Gerry decides to write more comedic adventures from his life. His unique look at the world is much appreciated.

Gerry Tales is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Here is some additional information about the author, Gerry Boylan.

Gerry Boylan has trekked through life as a roustabout, a hitchhiker, a successful businessman, and everything in between. He is the cofounder of a private equity firm, and the father of four remarkably well-adjusted children. He resides in Royal Oak, Michigan, with his all-knowing and always-loving wife, Kathy.


I accidentally received two advanced reader copies for this book from Phenix Publicity, so I decided to give one away. The rules are pretty simple:

1.) There will be one winner, U.S & Canadian entries only. I will be sending this one out.
2.) You must be follower of this blog.
3.) You must leave a comment on this post with an e-mail address where I can contact you.
4.) Deadline for this giveaway is: Midnight EST, Tuesday September 14th.


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Monday, August 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (33)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

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

I'm going to do things just a little bit differently this week. As many of you know I read and review several books each week. So I decided to put up a teaser from each book. Let me know in your comment... If you like it this way or not???

Foresight by Sherry Ficklin, page 38. " Lilith pulled a glowing orb from the folds of her skirt. It was small, no larger than her fist, and glowing ever so dimly with yellow light. "

Gerry Tales by Gerry Boylan, page 111. ' "Now," I said, "you'll need to be careful not to get your fingers anywhere near the hook or weights. In fact, at the very last second, just before the weights smash into the hook, just let go. Can you do that sweetie?" '

Letters From Sweetwater by Dr. Dale Garland, page 209. "Then what about the billions and billions of people who never even heard of Jesus Christ, much less know His name; what about them? They's people now, good honest people, who have no idea that such a man ever existed."

Almost to Die For by Tate Hallaway, page 181. "I was still so very confused about how I felt about him. He scared me. He excited me. His violence disturbed me, but his compassion touched me."

Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman, with Ellen Vaughn, page 57. "Steven has always responded to life's challenges and hurts through his music. Certainly this was the case with the pain of his parents' divorce. Their breakup was a wake up call, a catalyst, to say to me that he would not leave me, that in spite of the difficulties we faced, whatever came, we would be together."

Radiant Daughter by Patricia Grossman, page 219. " Standing in front of a row of cages, looking on silently as a zebra emptied his bladder - a seemingly endless affair - Milo arrived at a strategy. Whatever its worth, it was his single plan: he had no backup."

To Tame a Dangerous Lord by Nicole Jordan, page 267. "Judging that enough time had passed for him to safely return home, Rayne penned his new wife a note, saying to expect him early Tuesday afternoon, nearly a week after taking their nuptial vows."

Review: Foresight

Foresight (The Gods of Fate series - Book 1) by Sherry D. Ficklin

(E-ARC for review from the author)


Attacked at her graduation by a mysterious woman and a gruesome henchmen, Grace was lucky to escape with her life. Rescued by her Aunt Phoenix and a Fae warrior named Chris, Grace is confronted by the startling truth about her heritage. Her mother was the Greek Goddess Pandora. Now it has fallen to Grace to protect her mother’s box from the crazed Demi-Goddess Lilith, who is determined to use it to unleash hell on Earth. As if her bizarre blood legacy wasn’t enough, Grace has begun developing frightening new powers that threaten to destroy her from the inside out. In a world where nothing is what she thought it would be, can Grace find the strength to defeat Lilith and learn to control her powers before she loses her mind?


I have always been a big fan of Greek Mythology and Pandora's Box is one of my favorite stories. So, when I first got this book from the author for review, I was really excited. The Gods of Fate series is based on characters we are all familiar with from our school years. I think that a lot of readers will really enjoy this new take on the old stories.

The heroine in the novel, Grace is unaware of her heritage as the daughter of the Goddess Pandora until she is attacked on her graduation day. Her Aunt Phoenix and the Fae warrior, Chris are charged with filling her in on her mission to protect Pandora's box from another Demi-Goddess Lilith who wants to destroy the Earth. Graces new found powers also help in her quest. Grace is very easy to identify with she isn't your typical girl who would be scared to death and freaked out by the entire situation. She handles it with "grace" so to speak. I liked her a lot she had a natural curiosity that was very believable.

The supporting characters were very well written as well. Aunt Phoenix was an excellent character full of hard headness and very much in control of the situation. She gave readers a sense of old school dynamics but she was full of wisdom and really awesome moves... LOL! Chris was also an interesting addition to the book, a Fae warrior. I don't know she came up with it but I'm glad she did. He adds another dimension to the novel that sets it apart from others of it's kind.

I think my favorite part of the novel was the fact that the other god's make appearances in the novel as well. Hermes has always been one of my favorites and Apollo is a close second, so I was glad to see they made an appearance in the book and let us see them in human form.

Here is a excerpt from, Foresight, if you'd like to take a look.

Foresight is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Here is some additional information about the author, Sherry Ficklin.

Sherry is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other.

Her teen fantasy series, The Gods of Fate trilogy, is forthcomming from Dragonfly Publishing. Book 1, Foresight, is now available.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Simply Marvelous Monday (36)

Shelia at, One Person's Journey Through a World of Books gets all the credit for this one...

On Simply Marvelous Monday's


Seduced by The Wolf (Heart of the Wolf series - Book 5) by Terry Spear (For review from Sourcebooks)
The Brothers of Gwynedd, Pt. 4: Afterglow and Nightfall by Edith Pargeter (For review from Sourcebooks)
Hero (The Cat Star Chronicles - Book 6) by Cheryl Brooks (For review from Sourcebooks)
The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall series - Book 1) by Sabrina Jefferies (For review from the Author)

One great paranormal, one great science fiction novel and two great historicals, definitely a good week. I was sad to see, The Brothers of Gwynedd end, it was a long book but very good for those of us who are history buffs. Seduced by the Wolf was excellent. I wasn't sure what I expected but the authenticity of the wolf behavior really made this book good. Hero was a good book as well. I love science fiction.


Foresight (The Gods of Fate series - Book 1) by Sherry D. Ficklin (E-ARC for review from the author)
Letters From Sweetwater by Dale Garland (For review from Phenix Publicity)
Almost to Die For: A Vampire Princess Novel (The Vampire Princess of St. Paul series - Book 1) by Tate Hallaway (For review from Penguin)
Choosing to See: A Journey of Struggle of Hope by Mary Beth Chapman (For review from Revell)
Radiant Daughter by Patricia Grossman (For review from Ollie Media)
To Tame a Dangerous Lord (The Courtship Wars series - Book 5) by Nicole Jordan (For review from the author)

Got a big line up this week, but I've got quite a bit done on some of these and I look forward to getting them finished and posting the reviews for you. We have a Vampire novel, some contemporary fiction and some historical fiction as well as a memoir of sorts and a collection of shorts. Good stuff!


The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon (For review from Phenix Publicity)
Never A Bride by Amelia Grey (E-ARC for review from Sourcebooks)
Whisper on the Wind (The Great War series - Book 1) by Maureen Lang (For review from Tyndale)
Shadows in the Street (Simon Serrailler series - Book 5) by Susan Hill (For review from Overlook Press)
River Rising (The Loss of Certainty series - Book 3) by T.P. Jones (For review from Phenix Publicity)
For the King's Favor by Elizabeth Chadwick (E-ARC for review from Sourcebooks)
How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew by Erin Bried (For review from Goldbery McDuffie)

Looks like some good ones! Enjoy your reading week.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekly Reminders!

I've got a few reminders for the week:

1.) The Amish Proverbs giveaway ending Sept. 3rd.

2.) The Seduced by the Wolf giveaway ending Sept. 7th.

3.) The Hero giveaway ending on Sept. 9th.

Sign up to win... your chances on all of these are good!

Review: Outlander

Outlander (Outlander series - Book 1) by Diana Gabaldon

(E-book from the Library)


Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another...

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an "outlander"—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.


I would have to say this is one of the best books I've ever read. I really liked it a lot. Diana Gabaldon was really on to something when she started the Outlander series. I'm sure she was unaware of what a huge success it would be. I had heard things around about this book for a long time, but my review schedule is tight and I was reluctant to start a book that it might take me awhile to finish. When I finally got the chance to read it, I was hooked from the first page. I'm of Scottish decent and it's always interesting for me to read novels set in Scotland. Some of them are very accurate and some are not. Outlander was very authentic and Diana Gabaldon most have done excessive research. I was really impressed.

Claire Randall is a very strong woman. She is assertive and she isn't completely at a loss when she figures out that she has traveled through time and ended up 200 years in the past. She keeps her wits about her as she is thrown into a relationship with the Clan McKenzie. Being a nurse during the war prepared the character for some of the challenges she has to face in the novel. I just really identified with her struggle between what she knew, with Frank and what she could have with Jamie. I thought the her character development was very well done.

One of the things that really liked about Jamie's character was his vulnerability. He is a warrior. He's used to being on the battlefield and fighting for his life. He's very masculine and certainly what anyone would call a man's man. But, yet he allows himself to fall in love with Claire. To totally gives himself over to the passion he feels for her and for what they could have together. His emotions are strong and he doesn't stuff them down like most male characters. I thought his character was refreshing and full of the spirit of a real highlander. "Fight hard, love hard," as my grandfather would say.

The Outlander series is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I found a very well done fan-made book trailer for the first part of Outlander. Check this out! I love the music as well.

I could not give this novel anything other than 5 out of 5 apples! I couldn't recommend it more to those who have not read this series. It's excellent!

Review: The Truth About Lord Stoneville

The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall series - Book 1) by Sabrina Jefferies

(For review from the author)


They're the scandalous Sharpes, five hell-raising siblings tainted by a shocking family legacy. Now each faces a daunting ultimatum: marry by year's end — or kiss their inheritance good-bye.

In the two decades since a tragic "accident" took the lives of his parents, Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville, has survived the scandal surrounding that fateful night by living as an unrepentant rakehell. And with his grandmother vowing to disinherit him if he doesn't settle down and wed, he plans to fulfill the bargain in true Sharpe style — by bringing home a fake fiancée from a brothel! But his scheme is derailed when he rescues an American beauty in a dire predicament instead. Maria Butterfield came to London to track down her groom-to-be, who's gone missing, but her engagement won't stop Oliver from getting what he wants: her, in his bed. His rebellious masquerade may call his grandmother's bluff , but it's soon made all too real — by a love that tempts him to be a hellion no more.


1900's England was known for it's debauchery and Lord Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville was doing whatever he could to add to that description. He frequented brothels and gambling establishments, much to the chagrin of his grandmother who raised him and his siblings after the death of their parents. When his grandmother comes up with an ingenious plan that will see all five Sharpe siblings married before the year is out, Oliver is livid, but not without a plan of his own. Initially he decides to choose a woman from a brothel and bring her home, but he stumbles upon Maria Butterfield who finds herself in a predicament that will probably end her up in jail. When Oliver offers her a deal she can't refuse, he gets much more than he bargains for.

I really enjoyed the first book in the new Hellions of Halstead Hall series. Sabrina Jefferies has a way of creating a scene that allows the reader to visualize even the emotions that might be crossing the faces of her characters. Her sensual love scenes and witty dialog give The Truth About Lord Stoneville a subtle, yet poignant sort of atmosphere. Jefferies' character development was excellent. Not only do we get to know more about Oliver Sharpe, but his wayward siblings as well as they try to figure out how to use Oliver's situation to their own advantages.

Lord Oliver Sharpe is such a great character. Jefferies has used him as a supporting character in another one of novels and got such good response to him she decided to tell his story. I'm certainly glad she did. Oliver is the epitome of a rakehell. Gambling, visiting the brothels, the whole nine yards. But, underneath all that the reader easily can see that he is punishing himself. He has some serious issues but one thing is for sure, he does not want to be ordered around by his grandmother. He longs for something that he feels he will never be able to obtain, real love. Maria Butterfield may be just the girl to change his mind.

Maria Butterfield is on a mission to find her fiancée who is missing. When she gets herself into a tight spot she is resourceful enough to realize that Oliver is offering her the only foreseeable way out. She has a great determination about her and her curiosity and innocence draw Oliver like a moth to the flame. She offers him the possibility of happiness which is something he didn't even know he longed for. Her vulnerability is also a very winning characteristic. She is able to let down her guard with Oliver, which makes for some very sensual scenes.

This is great beginning to a new series. Look for my review of the second book in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series, A Hellion in Her Bed coming in October.

The Truth About Lord Stoneville is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

Here is a look at the book trailer.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag and look forward to the second book in this wonderful new series.

Here is some additional information about Sabrina Jefferies.

By the time Sabrina Jeffries was eighteen, she'd eaten chicken heads and jellyfish, been chased by a baby elephant, seen countless cobras and pythons, had the entire series of rabies shots, and visited rain forests and rubber plantations. But that wasn't enough excitement for her; to escape her mundane life as a missionary's daughter, she read romance novels.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Review: Hero

Hero (Cat Star Chronicles - Book 6) by Cheryl Brooks

(For review from Sourcebooks)



Micyala is the last Zetithian female left in the universe. She doesn't know what's normal for her species, but she knows when she sees Trag that all she wants to do is bite him...


Trag has sworn he'll never marry unless he can find a Zetithian female. But now that he's finally found Micayla, she may be more of a challenge than even he's able to take on...


The sixth addition to the Cat Star Chronicles series, Hero by Cheryl Brooks is full of surprises. Trag has had feelings for his brother Tychar's mate, Kyra for a long time. No one seems to compare to her in his mind, so he has resigned himself to living alone, and unmarried, unless he can find a Zetithian female. Until he meets, Micayla the last Zetithian female. Raised on Earth and unaware of her heritage, Micayla doesn't understand her reaction to Trag and has a hard time knowing whether to kiss him or bite. I guess that's to be expected when the men on your planet are so sexy that somebody has to go and blow it up!

Brooks does a wonderful job developing the characters in this book. We know quite a bit about the Zetithian's from the other five books in the series, but this one seems to delve more into the individual characters and how being Zetithian affects their every day lives. Micayla for instance has had practically no sex drive up to this point because there are very few Zetithian males to choose from and she hasn't encountered any, but when she meets Trag it's a whole different ball game. She is a very challenging character, because she represents the last of the Zetithian females and we haven't really heard a lot about them, just minor references. Brooks pulls her character off with a flourish. She makes her real and just what you'd expect aloof, guarded and sexy.

One of the things I really liked about this novel was the world that Cheryl Brooks has created. Trag is an intergalactic space pilot working for an arms dealer and Micayla is a communications officer in the outer realms. This book was easy to follow and even if you'd never read any of the other books in the series, it was not hard to get into or to figure out where it was going. It's a very sexy book, with very alluring characters that seem to radiate hot and steamy, LOL.

Hero as well as the other five books in The Cat Star Chronicles series are available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

Sourcebooks has given me the opportunity to give away two copies of Hero. Just comment here for a chance to win and learn more about the author, Cheryl Brooks.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag! If you are into to Sci-Fi this will be a totally satisfying read and if you're not, it might make you want to read more...