While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review: A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi

I won this book in a giveaway on Library Thing.

About the Book

The sleepy town of Newbury, Connecticut, is shocked when a little girl is found brutally murdered. The town’s top detective, perplexed by a complete lack of leads, calls in FBI agent Leia Bines, an expert in cases involving children.

Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Gram, a psychiatrist at Newbury’s hospital, searches desperately for the cause of seven-year-old Naya Hastings’s devastating nightmares. Afraid that she might hurt herself in the midst of a torturous episode, Naya’s parents have turned to the bright young doctor as their only hope.

The situations confronting Leia and Peter converge when Naya begins drawing chilling images of murder after being bombarded by the disturbing images in her dreams. Amazingly, her sketches are the only clues to the crime that has panicked Newbury residents. Against her better judgment, Leia explores the clues in Naya’s crude drawings, only to set off an alarming chain of events.

In this stunning psychological thriller, innocence gives way to evil, and trust lies forgotten in a web of deceit, fear, and murder.

You can find out more about Circle of Souls by visiting the book's website.

My Review

This was a really gripping story. I was drawn in right from the beginning. The story is so fast paced that it kept my interest and I finished it in almost one setting. Even the "down-times" in the story were interesting. The author's background (culturally and educationally) lent themselves really well to this book. Nothing that happened in the story seemed far fetched, as tends to happen in murder mysteries sometimes. I could tell that the author knew the intricacies of the story he was telling. I didn't get the feeling that he was just making stuff up to keep the story more interesting.

The characters in this one were so well developed. I fell in love with Naya. She was such a sweet little girl. As soon as she was brought into the story I liked her. The characters were so well developed that I could picture them and was able to "predict" their reactions. Not that the story was predictable, but similar to how when you've known someone for a while you can kind of guess what they might say or do.

The story itself was very well written. The dialog was real. The story was plausible. And it was really a mystery. I thought I had it figured out a few times. And even despite the possible endings my brain was coming up with I didn't expect it to turn out the way it did! The book was able to create a mystery without going into overly gory detail. It wasn't a gratuitous use of gore, it was done with taste.

I have to say that this is one of the best books I've ever read. It really was a quick read, at almost 350 pages it only took me 3 settings to finish it. It was just so captivating and fast paced that I didn't want to put it down.

A Circle of Souls

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Toy Stories Reading Challenge

I'm going to try this one. It might be a bit of a challenge with everything else I have going on, but I really liked the idea of this one so I'm going to try it!

I got this challenge from the GoodReads Group Romance Readers Reading Challenges

Toy Stories Reading Challenge

Put together by Valorie and the ever active members that contribute in the Challenge Suggestions thread, here is a reading challenge inspired by popular toys.

Read 10 books plus an option of bonuses within a six month period. You may begin anytime you want, as long as you put your start date and end date.

Duration: 6 months
Total No. of books: 10 required + 2 bonus of your choice

Earliest start date for this challenge is its launched date: October 10, 2010.

Enjoy playing, everyone.

1. Barbie: Read a book with a character that is a fashion designer, interior designer, writes about fashion or is just really into fashion.

2. GI Joe: Read a book with a character that is in the military or was in the military, or the story takes place during a war of some kind.

3. Easy Bake Oven: Read a book with a character that is a chef or baker, owns a restaurant or bakery, or there is a type of food in the title or on the cover.

4. Hot Wheels: Read a book with a character that works on cars or races cars, or there is a car, motorcycle, or some type of vehicle on the cover.

5. Lite Brite: Read a book with a colorful cover (3 or more colors) or has a color as part of the title.

6. Rock'em Sock'em Robots: Read a book with a character who is a boxer, fighter, or warrior of some kind.

7. Cabbage Patch Kids: Read a Young Adult novel or a book with a character that is a child or teenager.

8. Etch-A-Sketch: Read a book with a character that is an artist of some kind, draws, or is a graphic artist or read a graphic novel.

9. Connect Four: Read the 4th book in a series or has 4 words in its title.

10. Raggedy Ann & Andy: Read a book with a red cover or a book with a character that is a red head.

Bonus two: Pick your favorite toys and post your own book categories!
11. Playing House: A book about a marriage, or a wedding
12. Pound Puppies: A book about a dog, with a dog on the cover

My List:
1. A Writer's Engagement by Robert Wacaster 4/31/11
2. Lipstick in Afghanistan by Roberta Gately - 4/16/11
3. Happy Hour by Michele Scott
4. Nora, Nora by Anne Rivers Siddons - 3/11
5. Tokyo Lives by Mark Hersberger - 11/24/10
6. The Last Key by Rob Steiner - 1/11
7. Wild Legacy by C. Fern Cook - 2/11
8. No Home For Gomez by Graham Parke - 1/11
9. How Sweet It Is by Sophie Gunn - 2/11
10. Islands of Instability by MC Miller
11. How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling
12. Oogy by Larry Levin

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Review: Wild Justice by C. Fern Cook

Thanks to C. Fern Cook for sending me a copy of her book for review!

About the Book

In book #1 of the Wild Series, Wild Evolution, Colorado rancher Dan Tucker's life is turned upside-down. After surviving a mutant canine attack, Dan discovers the animal he killed is not a wild dog, but a man. To protect himself even though it was a self-defense killing, he covers up the murder. With his quiet life as bachelor rancher transformed into a constant battle of wits to keep his deep, dark secret safe, Dan finds himself at odds with everyone, including his girlfriend and his former best friend - and most of all, himself. In book #2 of the Wild Series, Wild Justice, we find Dan worrying about keeping his nocturnal life a secret as his wedding gets closer. He soon discovers that's the least of his worries...

You can visit C. Fern Cook's website.

You can also read the two guest blog posts she's done here on JustJenniferReading: post 1 post 2

See my review for book 1 in the Wild Series Wild Evolution.

My Review

After reading the first book in this series I was excited to get this one read. The cliff-hanger at the end of the first book really had me anticipating how the second book would deal with that issue. I have to say I was not disappointed!

My favorite character in book one was Angela, so I was hopping she had a larger role in this book, which she did. The new characters introduced in this book were fairly good characters. Kyle I despised... Which I think was the point, and Cathy I felt sympathy for. She was caught in a seemingly loveless marriage, her only true companion is her pot-bellied pig, Miss Piggy. While I would have liked to gotten "inside" Cathy's head a little more I did think these two new characters were a great addition to the story. Dan I'm still not sure of. He comes off as being a bit of a jerk at times still and at other times he's so sympathetic and understanding. But this second book had led me to lean more towards liking him.

There was a lot going on in this book. Dan's got a whole new set of obstacles to deal with. Angela, being Dan's rock also has a lot to deal with. Then there's the animals that Kyle acquires. There were a few times when I had to put the book down because some of what happens to the animals in this one is hard to read. Being a lover of all animals made it that much harder. But the treatment of these animals justifies the end of the book and I think that just deserts were in order!

As with the first book we're left with a cliff hanger in this one and I can't wait to get to the third book! Another great story from C. Fern Cook!

Wild Justice: Book 2 of the Wild Series (Volume 2)