Monday, August 30, 2010

Psssttt....I Know a Secret

"Did she just say what I think she said?"

"I think so?"

"It's what every book lover wants to hear."

"I know. I'm so excited!!"

"Think she'll get mad if we spill the beans?"

"Are you kidding? She'd kill us!"

"Mmmmm you're probably right. It'll just be our little secret. Bet everyone wishes they knew what it was though!!"

Stay tuned for the announcement
Coming soon to a blog post near you

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Workout Wednesday: Exclusively Yours

I want my own cuppa Joe *cries*. And I'm not talking about coffee! He'd be the perfect pick-me-up after a hard the gym (you pervs!).

An Ebook again this week?
2...2...2 weeks in a row?!?!
(ok so took me 3 weeks, who's counting?)

Pages read approx 300
Riding Time 3hours 18minutes
Calories Burned 1206
Distance Peddled 56.31

For My Thoughts

I've been wanting to read Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey for awhile now, but just haven't gotten around to it because of the e-book format (me = old school, likes paperback format). Since my 1st experience last week was so satisfying, I knew I had to move this one up the TBR pile.

Kari Daniels to her high school boyfriend and then love of her life Joe Kowalski shortly after graduation: “Good-bye Joe. Me gotta go. Mee-oh-my-oh! See ya later cuz I'm California bound!” ( I took some poetic license with the wording).

Almost 20 years later and celebrity magazine writer Keri Daniels needs to get the biggest scoop of her life after her shark-eating boss Tina finds out she once locked lips with the now famous, but reclusive best-selling author Joe Kowalski. Threatened with losing a job she loves and a career she's worked hard for if she doesn't get the goods and deliver a kick-ass, juicy tell-all article - a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...go camping for 2 weeks on a Kowalski family vacation?

Me thinks someone’s got some serious groveling to do.

I have 3 fabulous words to describe Exclusively Yours: funny, flirty and family! In case you’re still in doubt about my feelings - I loved it. It’s a sexy, fun character driven story. No murder, mystery or mayhem (unless you count a bunch of rambunctious boys) in sight and yet it truly kept me entertained and engrossed in not only the outcome of the H/h but the entire Kowalski family and they are quite a crew.

The characters in Exclusive Yours are what definitely sold me. Normally for me, I like my secondary characters in small doses, basically page filler, so when you find a book that you actually care about the supporting cast, well it’s definitely an added bonus.

Stacey writes the Kowalski family including the ‘Rents, Joe’s twin sister Terry, sister Lisa and brother Mike and their assorted spouses and a gaggle of kids so unbelievably fun and so real. I almost felt like taking a week’s vacation in the great outdoors, tent and mosquito repellent in hand, rustic bathroom facilities and eyes that glow in the dark be damned, just so I could hang with the Kowalski clan …cue *record scratching sound*...who am I kidding? I don’t like ANY of those things! But that I was even considering it tells you what a terrific job Stacey does in creating and developing this family and story.

Exclusively Yours is more than just Keri and Joe‘s story. It’s the sum of the parts that make this book a keeper. I laughed, I got choked up and I’m sure there were even a couple of ahhhh’s murmured over the course of the read.

Finally, I think if I ever go ATV’ing, there is one particular maneuvre I would like to practice over and over again on that little 3-wheeler…involving mud and a throttle ( I know which scene y’all went to and it wasn‘t the same one as me LOL! ).

If you’re looking for an unforgettable read, then download this book NOW.

Available from Carina Press

From the Author's Website

When Keri Daniels’ editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.

Joe’s never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he’s intrigued to hear Keri’s back in town—and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he’ll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.

He proposes an outrageous plan—for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she’s worked too hard to walk away from her career.

But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe’s sister is out to avenge his broken heart and Keri hasn’t ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Sunday *Sigh*: Are You There Brain? It's Me Judi

As I get older, I wonder how I'm ever going to survive. If I get any stoopider, it doesn't bode well for my future.

How many times do you do things without thinking, either by rout because it’s something you do all the time, you are trying to multi-task or you just aren’t paying attention? How many times have you wandered into a room, only to forget what you went in there for?

I work every Sunday morning at a part-time job (this is in addition to my full-time 40hr/wk day job) and I‘ve been doing it for about 12 years now. I don’t have to be there super early (9:00am so no excuses there), I work by myself (no one bugging me or constantly interrupting my train of thought - again no excuses) and I only have to stay as long as it takes me to complete the job (most Sundays less than 2 hours). So why than do I do soooooo many STOOOPID things?

Dear Brain:
Here are some things I need to work on:

When driving to work

do not drive instead to the gym even if it is
less than 5 minutes away from where you work.

How many times have I done this?
More times than I care to admit (including Easter Sunday when the gym wasn't even open).
The fact that work and the gym are so close is a good thing AFTER work...but not before.

When trying to open the office door: Do not try to open it using your house key - it will not work

Surprisingly it will not work by pushing the buttons on your remote car door opener either

Yes sadly I am guilty of both, hard though it is to admit. You and I really need to have a heart-to-heart and get on the same page...sooner rather than later.

Until next time,

PS: What are some STOOPID things you've done? Please feel free to comment if you aren't too ashamed to admit it?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Workout Wednesday: The EEEEE's Have It

Did you notice I missed my Workout Wednesday post last week? Every week I have my own Fatal Affair with a book, a bike and a deadline. 99% of the time I win, but last week I was on vacation. Not enough gym time = no book finished for Workout Wednesday. Bad Judi!

E-asy Rider: E-book on an E-reader on an E-xercise bike


Pages read approx 400 (thx to my tweep msbookjunkie)
Riding Time 3hours 47minutes
Calories Burned 1464
Distance Peddled 65.25

For My Thoughts

Fatal Affair by Maire Force is my 1st experience at reading an E-book for my weekly challenge. I’ve read both of Force’s previous books Line of Scrimmage and Love at First Flight so when I found myself at the gym without the book I was reading for my weekly challenge, I remembered I had this book downloaded on my Itouch. So since beggars (or losers who forget their book) can’t be choosers, I decided to give it a try.

Fatal Affair was a little different departure from Force’s two previous books which were straight up contemporary romances. This one read like an episode of Law and Order (cue the music) with heavy emphasis on the murder/political suspense thriller aspect, but still had a great romantic element between the lead characters Sam Holland and Nick Cappuano.

Police detective Sam Holland has a lot on her plate. Between caring for her injured in-the-line of duty father and some wonky stomach issues, she’s back on the job after her last case went horribly wrong and back in the spotlight investigating the gruesome murder of US Senator John O’Connor when she comes face to face with someone from her past...someone she had a one night stand with...someone who has major ties to this case...Nick Cappuano.

I just want to touch briefly on the Senator’s murder. Was it professionally or personally motivated? That is the $100,000 question. See the Senator was killed the night before a big vote on a Senate bill he was backing, but the manner in which he met his untimely demise…Eeeewwwwww…I imagine the method of murder would be every man's worse nightmare cuz it sure made me cringe!

Sam and Nick made an interesting couple. It’s been six years since the one night they shared and due to some major third party interference their relationship never had a chance to develop. Sam's all business at first since she knows she's walking a very slippery slope as she works all the angles while investigating the biggest case of her life under a microscope.

Nick’s still a hottie and still single probably because he's a workaholic who's not only the Senator’s Chief of Staff but was his best friend as well, so he wants the murder solved ASAP. Nick's in shock and grieving, but he also couldn’t be happier to have Sam back in his life because he's never gotten over her. Overall he was very supportive and understanding of Sam’s need to keep things between them strictly professional, but he's not about to let her get away again cuz one thing's for sure these two have some unfinished business. They actually made a good team since Nick has the inside track on the Senator’s friends, family and business associates and they do strike somewhat of a balance between the investigation and their personal least in public.

One last mention goes to Sam’s police department partner Freddie. He’s a newbie just learning the ropes, but he reminded me of a cute, cuddly puppy dog…all tail wagging and eager to please. Here’s hoping he gets his own HEA in a future book because his story could be very entertaining.

Finally I will admit I am old school when it comes to reading and I enjoy the feel of a book in my hot little hands. I do not like reading AT ALL on the computer, so I wasn’t sure how I would like reading on the Itouch.

Overall I rate the E-xperience 2 thumbs UP!

Available now from Carina Press

From the Author's Website

On the morning of the most important vote of Senator John O’Connor’s career he is late—again. His best friend and chief of staff, Nick Cappuano sets off to O'Connor’s apartment expecting to roust him from bed and hoping he is alone. But what Nick finds is that O’Connor, the handsome, amiable Senator from Virginia, has been brutally murdered, and Nick’s world comes crashing down around him. Complicating the disaster, the detective assigned to the case is none other than Sam Holland, Nick’s one-night stand from six years earlier, the woman who broke his heart and haunts his dreams. With six years worth of unfinished business hanging between them and more than a few scores to settle personally and professionally, Nick and Sam set out to find the senator's killer while trying—and failing—to resist the overwhelming attraction between them that seems to have only grown over the years.

It soon becomes clear that the Senator’s past holds secrets that not only led to his death but now endanger Nick and Sam as well. Working together to find a killer and to rediscover the love they thought they lost long ago, they must put the past behind them and build a future that offers a world of new opportunities for both of them—including an offer from the Virginia Democrats for Nick to finish the last year of John’s term.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Live to Tell: Suspenseful and Disturbing


A day off work and a nice big package arrives in the mail containing Lisa Gardner’s Live to Tell. Backyard, sun and lawn chair..get ready cuz here I come.

Lisa Gardner is an auto-buy author or me even if her latest books do get released in hardcover (hello Book Depository..thanks for letting me buy this one for $10 bucks and change...Win!). The back cover jacket states Lisa Gardner will mess with your head so get ready...Live to Tell is pretty intense. This is no fluff read and even though the subject matter was a times hard to read…I couldn’t put it down.

Although Detective DD Warren has appeared in previous novels, this story is not about her per se. It’s about 3 women and how their lives intersect as DD and her squad race to uncover the connection between 2 entire families who have been murdered in their own homes, these 2 women and their own horrifying stories.

DD Warren is tough, has a mouth like a truck driver, can eat anyone under the table with the metabolism to match and she has no time for a personal live - even though she would like to have one. She’s a career cop and married to her job. Out on a date for the first time in a long time, she’s hoping it ends in the horizontal mambo when her pager goes off - or what she likes to refer to it as…birth control. The only action DD’s going to see this night is of the murderous variety.

Danielle a pediatric psych nurse and Victoria a loving mother are the other main characters. What was interesting and different in their story-telling was Gardner chose to tell their story in 1st person. Although I am not a fan of 1st person narration, I will admit for their story - it worked particularly for Victoria.

Victoria‘s story was one of a mother's unconditional love and extreme gut wrenching emotion. You can not help but feel for her and all the sacrifices she has made in the name of love for her family. I felt like I was right there with her, experiencing her overwhelming despair, living every day in fear and terror from her oh so psychotic eight year old son and yet her devotion to him is unwavering. How did she find the strength every day to get out of bed and survive and live under those conditions?

Danielle’s story was one of a survivor and guilt. She is the lone remaining member of her immediate family after her own family was murdered in the worst way imaginable when she was just a child. Now Danielle works with children at the Pediatric Evaluation Clinic of Boston. These children and their sad disturbing stories will tug at your heartstrings, send chills through you and keep you riveted to every page until the end.

So what's the connection? How are Danielle and Victoria a part of a murderous rampage being investigated by DD Warren and what part do the sad children in the mental ward on the top floor of the Boston hospital have to do with anything?

Make sure you reserve a block of time before starting Live to Tell, because you won't be able to put it down until you reach the end.

Read an Excerpt

From The Author's Website

He knows everything about you—including the first place you’ll hide.

On a warm summer night in one of Boston’s working-class neighborhoods, an unthinkable crime has been committed: Four members of a family have been brutally murdered. The father—and possible suspect—now lies clinging to life in the ICU. Murder-suicide? Or something worse? Veteran police detective D. D. Warren is certain of only one thing: There’s more to this case than meets the eye.

Danielle Burton is a survivor, a dedicated nurse whose passion is to help children at a locked-down pediatric psych ward. But she remains haunted by a family tragedy that shattered her life nearly twenty-five years ago. The dark anniversary is approaching, and when D. D. Warren and her partner show up at the facility, Danielle immediately realizes: It has started again.

A devoted mother, Victoria Oliver has a hard time remembering what normalcy is like. But she will do anything to ensure that her troubled son has some semblance of a childhood. She will love him no matter what. Nurture him. Keep him safe. Protect him. Even when the threat comes from within her own house.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Workout Wednesday: Visions of Sugar Plums? Nope Ninjas!

Yay! Made it again under the wire this week and completed True Vision by Joyce Lamb for my weekly read-n-ride challenge. (In case the significance of my graphic is lost on you it's a happy eyeball - vision get it?).

The Visual Results
♥♥♥ 1/2
Pages read 321
Riding Time 3hours 35minutes
Calories Burned 1,374
Distance Peddled 65.82

For My Thoughts

True Vision's got a little bit of sumin’ sumin’ for everyone. It’s a combo platter of romance, suspense and it's even got a paranormal element.

Lamb doesn’t waste any time getting right to the action. Small town reporter Charlie Trudeau is the lone witness to a nasty hit and run accident right outside the paper where she works. The resulting death of the young woman, who called out to Charlotte by name just before being struck down in the crosswalk has shaken Charlie to her core for more than one reason. While comforting the injured woman, we get a little glimpse into the “special abilities” that have previously been dormant in Charlie and have now been turned on big time with megawatt intensity when Charlie has a strange reaction while holding the woman’s hand. The death of Laurette Atkins has also brought Noah Lassiter, a police detective from Chicago to Charlie's doorstep as he investigates the death of his good friend.

Noah is attracted to Charlie right from the get go and he’s determined to find out the connection between Laurette and Charlie (cuz you knew there had to be one right?) and he does have some inside info that Charlie is not aware of. I might have been skeptical about Noah’s instant attraction and lust at what some might consider inappropriate on the run from a Ninja (I’ll get to that in a minute), but the author does explain to my satisfaction his fascination with her.

As for Charlie's "special abilities"...pretty sure not something I would ever want to experience. There seemed to be a definite downside to her newly awakened empathic abilities and some pretty debilitating side affects. Experiencing someone else's intense pain or grief through skin to skin contact with no controlling the sensations I'm thinking is not such a good "ability" to have. That being said, during more intimate moments, it did seem that skin to skin contact was a double whammy for Charlie and her reactions were off the charts.....yowza!

Now to the Ninja. Let me just say that should I ever be the target of a Ninja-clad assassin, I hope he is inept as the one after Charlie. Ninja boy had more misses on Charlie's life than a batter at the plate - dude 3 strikes and you're out!

Charlie's mom was a real biotch! I had to wonder why the family put up with her abusive behaviour especially Dad Trudeau. Not sure that I received a satisfactory explanation as to her nasty disposition especially towards her own daughter. I wish Ninja boy would have gone after her because she needed a good beatdown.

I was never sure who was out to silence Charlie or why, what all the family secrecy stuff was all about but it keep me hooked til the end.

Next up for Joyce Lamb is True Colors which is sister Alex's story.

Back Cover Blurb:

Newspaper reporter Charlie Trudeau is living an ordinary life, until witnessing a fatal hit-and-run accident gives her an intense psychic power she has no clue how to handle—and brings a Chicago police detective to her doorstep...

Noah Lassiter wants nothing more than to find the driver who killed his good friend. But his only lead is the beautiful Charlie Trudeau, who gets prickly when he starts nosing around town. Charlie’s clearly hiding something, but Noah needs her help unraveling the mystery of his friend’s death—even if the electricity between them complicates things.

But the more Noah and Charlie uncover, the more they realize they’re looking for a desperate killer—and the more danger they’re in. And if Charlie can’t gain control over her psychic powers, they may not survive long enough to explore the full sizzling potential of their desire…