...never judge a book by its movie

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Review Party Wednesday! Link up YOUR reviews!

Just a quick reminder that it's time for Cym Lowell's Book Review Party!  Click on the banner below, and link up one of YOUR reviews that you want a bit more publicity for!  Don't forget to visit the other bloggers who have linked up when you're done!



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Teaser Tuesdays - May 31, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along; you don't have to be a blogger! 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 that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week: 

Iron House by John Hart
She'd seen the body come out of the water just as the sun went down:  a big man, his skin oily white and gnawed-looking; water running out of his mouth.  She'd watched for a good, long time, then crept back through the darkening woods. 

- page 248 (ARC), Iron House by John Hart (The Book Depository / Amazon) - Releases July 12, 2011

A piece from the Goodreads description:

At the Iron Mountain Home for Boys, there was nothing but time. Time to burn and time to kill, time for two young orphans to learn that life isn’t won without a fight. Julian survives only because his older brother, Michael, is fearless and fiercely protective. When tensions boil over and a boy is brutally killed, there is only one sacrifice left for Michael to make: He flees the orphanage and takes the blame with him.

VERY absorbing; people running for their lives with mobsters after them; a senator, his wife, and their adopted son; a man raised by the mob who is determined to leave and lead a normal life; horrible childhood abuse that results in murder ... good, good, read so far.

Feel free to leave your teaser or link to it in the comments section; I find that I always end up adding to my to-buy list when I visit!

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The Girl Who Disappeared Twice by Andrea Kane - BOOK REVIEW/GIVEAWAY - US/CAN through June 14, 2011

The Girl Who Disappeared Twice by Andrea Kane
Title:  The Girl Who Disappeared Twice
Author:  Andrea Kane
Publisher:   Mira Books, a division of Harlequin
Release Date:  June 1, 2011
Hardcover, 400 pages
ISBN 10:    0778329844
ISBN 13:  9780778329848
The Book Depository / Amazon

Goodreads description:

If she'd only turned her head, she would have seen the car containing her daughter, struggling to escape her kidnapper. Despite years determining the fates of families, family court judge Hope Willis couldn't save her own. Now she's grasping at any hope for Krissy's rescue. She calls Casey Woods and her team of investigators, Forensic Instincts.

A behaviorist. A techno-wizard. An intuitive. A former Navy SEAL. Unconventional operatives. All with unique talents and reasons for joining Casey's group.

Able to accurately read people after the briefest encounter, Casey picks up signs of a nervous spouse, a guilty conscience, a nanny that hides on her cell. She watches as secrets creep into the open.
But time is running out, and the authorities are bound by the legal system. Not Casey's team. For they know that the difference between Krissy coming back alive and disappearing forever could be as small as a suspect's rapid breathing, or as deep as Hope's dark family history.

My Take: 

FIRST SENTENCE:  When six-year-old Felicity Akerman went to bed that night, she had no idea that life as she knew it was about to change forever.

Felicity Akerman was 6 years old when someone came into her room at night where she and her twin sister Hope were sleeping.  When they left, they took Felicity with them.  Felicity has never been found.

Hope Willis, nee Akerman, is now a Family Court judge who lives in Armonk, NY with her husband Edward, a defense attorney with a prestigious firm, and her five-year-old daughter Krissy, who is in kindergarten.  She returns home one evening and her nanny, Ashley, tells her that the children at the school said that Hope picked Krissy up from school already.  But she didn't.  Krissy is missing and her favorite bear is missing from her bedroom as well.

After calling the police, Hope also calls Casey Woods, an independent profiler.  Her Forensic Instincts team includes Ryan (techno-wizard, gym rat, mountain bike pro, and ultramarathon runner), and Marc (former Navy SEAL, former FBI agent including a stint in the Behavioral Analysis Unit, base jumper).  Together, the team is formidable.  Working with the FBI, an intuitive named Claire Hedgleigh, a former FBI agent named Patrick Lynch who was the special agent when Felicity was kidnapped, and a human scent evidence bloodhound named Hero - Casey's latest present from her beau, they push hard to find Krissy before it's too late.

What a good book!  There's a bit of everything - decent character development, a little bit of romance, secrets, tons of suspects, affairs, duplicity, a little bit of Mafia action .. all of the things that make a reader want to keep on reading all the way through to the end, which is sad and surprising, although I did have the kidnapper figured out much earlier; I just wasn't sure how it would all play out.  Realistic?  Maybe not so; I really can't imagine the FBI being so free and loose with information to a civilian group.  Interesting?  Definitely.  The dialogue was a bit weak here and there, but the action more than made up for it.  A couple of times I found myself biting my lip, waiting to see what the next turn would be.  Would I recommend it?  Certainly, especially for a warm-weather read when you don't want something necessarily light and fluffy.

Sensitive Reader:  I really didn't see much in here that would put a sensitive reader off.  There IS some violence, and some of what might be considered mild profanity.

QUOTES (from an ARC: may be different in final copy):

". . . I"ll hack into the little girl's computer.  Casey, you can run down the list of suspects, interrogate the right ones.  Marc can beat the crap out of the scumbag who did this.  Then you'll size up his reactions until we figure out where he hid the poor kid.  And Krissy Willis will be safe in her own bed before the miserable prick who took her can do his worst.  After that, we can all go home and crash."

No matter how he played this, he was screwed.  If he spilled his guts, he'd go to jail.  And, if he kept his mouth shut, there was no way the mob would believe he hadn't talked.  So the options were being locked up or being killed.

"And the option you picked is something you don't plan on sharing with the task force.  Which means you're coloring outside the lines again."
"Coloring outside the lines?"  Casey had to grin at his choice of words.  "Does that mean you're going to tell on me?"

Writing:  4 out of 5 stars
Plot:   4 out of 5 stars
Characters:  3.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion:   4 out 5 stars

BOOK RATING:   3.8 out of 5 stars

BLOGGERS:  Have you reviewed this book? If so, please feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments section; I will also add your link to the body of my review.

Read an excerpt

Author website

BUY IT:  At Amazon, The Book Depository,  and through other on-and-off-line booksellers.

WIN IT:  Erin at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations is generously providing one of my readers with their chance to win this title!

MANDATORY ENTRY:  Leave a meaningful comment on this review.


Follow Andrea Kane via Twitter

Follow Andrea Kane via Facebook

Visit Andrea Kane's website; look at her books and let me know the name and publish date of one that sounds interesting to you.

Follow Knitting and Sundries via GFC PUBLICLY (left sidebar), follow via Twitter, subscribe via RSS, subscribe via e-mail (1 entry/comment per method)

Current subscribers/followers receive 2 entries - please leave 2 comments

Include the name or email address you follow or subscribe under

Enter another of my giveaways - 1 comment for each giveaway entered

Spread the word!:

Tweet (maximum of ONCE daily - include @jewelknits and @andrea_kane in the tweet. To make it easy, you can use the "Share" button at the bottom of this post. Leave the link to your tweet in the comments section and change the wording of the tweet to suit.

ALL ENTRIES:  Please leave your email address in all comments like this:  knittingandsundries(at)gmail(dot)com or even knittingandsundriesATgmailDOTcom (this discourages spammers).  If I can't reach you, you can't win!


End Date:
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST

This book is included in my list for the 2011 ARC Reading Challenge

Disclosure:  I  received a  complimentary copy of this title from Meryl Moss Media Relations to facilitate my review.  Prior to receiving a hard copy, I also received an eGalley through Net Galley.  No other compensation was received and I was not required to post a positive review.
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Monday, May 30, 2011

Giveaway Roundup! May 30, 2011 Edition (and some wins to report)

I won some really cool stuff this week!  I'll share some of them with you before letting you know about some new giveaways I've found for you to enter!

From Born to Impress, an Aurorae Yoga mat and denim yoga bag!  I'm taking yoga classes this summer with Middle Bebe Girl Jasmine, and don't you know, now I don't have to buy the gear!  :)

Aurorae Denim Yoga Bag
Aurorae Northern Lights Yoga Mat

A few weeks ago, I won a Fluffy Bunny pillow pet from Born to Impress as well.  I actually was going to put it in my gift box (the box I keep handy for birthdays and Christmas), but Not-So-Bebe Girl Autumn saw it in the box, asked about it, pulled it out, and begged to keep it.  Here's the pic she posted on Facebook (from the comments, it's apparent that her friends are jealous):

I joined the Lands End Swimsuit Confidence Twitter party (sorry for my Twitter followers, I usually try not to clog up my tweet passages with the Twitter parties), and won a bathing suit!  Woot!  (Needed one - gained some weight - don't want everyone looking at my badunkadunk).  I don't know which one I'll pick yet; waiting for them to DM me this week sometime.

From Mama Buzz, I won a LaRue Across America storybook and backpack!  Grandbebe JoJo will be so happy!  I don't think I've ever seen a little one get as excited about getting a book from his Gigi as he does!

LaRue Across America backpack
LaRue Across America by Mark Teague

From This Mama Loves Her Bargains, I won a Chicobag!  Chicobags are really durable shopping totes that come in all sorts of lovely designs.  I actually had a whole set, but the girls have borrowed them and now I'm down to only one.

On to some of the giveaways I've recently found around the blogosphere!  As always, I try to include residency requirements to make it a bit easier.


Summertime fun will definitely be on the menu if you enter and win this Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship from The Shopping Mama!

Want water fun?  Sand fun?  Just plain fun?  The bebes will love this!  If you're from the US, head over for your chance by 6/6/2011.

Bebe Boy James SAYS he's too old for Chuggington, but that doesn't stop him from pulling his toys out to play with Grandbebe JoJo when he comes over!  Mama Buzz has THREE separate Chuggington giveaways going on right now!

First, there's the Chuggington Launch & Go Roundhouse playset.  Enter this one by 6/2/2011 for a chance to win!

Chuggington Brewster Engine
Chuggington Straight and Curved Track Pack
Chuggington Wilson Engine
Second, we have this wonderful pack that includes both the Wilson and Brewster die-cast engines and the straight and curved track pack.  If you click over to Mama Buzz by 6/7/2011, you can win this!

Wilson and the Ice Cream Fair
All Around Chuggington
Chugginton Matching Game
Welcome to Chuggington
The Chugger Championship
Chugginton Sticker Storybook

THIS cool prize pack has FIVE books and a Matching Game for your little reader!  Enter the Chuggington Read and Play giveaway at Mama Buzz by 6/14/2011!


I'm not only a reader, I'm a foodie.  I can never get enough kitchen tools.  Baking lovely cakes is a specialty of mine, and no one helps with baking better than Wilton.  If you're like me, and you want a chance to refresh your baking tools, head over to Baby Loving Mama by 6/7/2011 for a chance win this set (US entries):

Here are just a few of the lovely cakes made easy with Wilton's Punch, Cut, Decorate Kit!

Delightfully Dimensional cake by Wilton
Inspirational Birthday Cake by Wilton
Flowers and Vines cake by Wilton

Don't they all look SO yummy!  AND professional.  Wilton's Punch, Cut, Decorate kit makes these and other extravagant-looking cakes SO easy with sugared sheets that you simply punch shapes out of!  For a chance to win this prize (worth over $126!), if you're from the US, head over to Mom Spotted by 6/12/2011.

I should just let this picture speak for itself, but I won't.  THAT, my lovelies, is the Hoover MaxExtract 60 Pressure Pro carpet cleaner!  When you head over to enter, take a look at how it not only does a great job on carpet, but read about how great it works on upholstery and stairs, too!  Mom Spotted has teamed up with Hoover to offer some lucky someone a chance to win this for themselves!  Are you from the US?  Do you want a chance to win?  Enter by 6/26/2011!


This is really for the parent of a bebe, but summer is here!  That means lots of outdoor fun and activities.   When you have a little tyke to take around, hiking can be a trial.  I always kept a good baby carrier with me, and even now, I use one for Grandbebe Girl Makayla when I need my hands free or when I'm going where a stroller would be a hassle.  Kelty, known for their outdoor and camping gear, also has this lovely carrier:

the Kelty FC 3.0 Kids Carrier (ARV $249.95).  It's not just for bebes, but has enough heft for a toddler as well!  If YOU want a chance to win this, go to Misadventures in Baby Raising by 6/9/2011 (US only).

Well!  That's all for this week!  Hope you find something that you like!  Let me know if you win!  :)

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It's Monday! What Are YOU Reading? - May 30, 2011

What Are You Reading?

"What Are You Reading?" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  Click over to see what other readers are into this week and add to your TBR pile!

BOOK FEATURE this week:  The Parasol Protectorate series - SO much fun!  Click the title to go to the feature and mini-review.

Soulless by Gail Carriger
Changeless by Gail Cariger
Blameless by Gail Carriger

So, on to the reading week:


The King's Mistress by Emma Campion
The Tender Mercy of Roses by Anna Michaels
Review Upcoming 
The Summoner by Layton Green
Review Upcoming
Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
Review Upcoming
Night by Elie Wiesel
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
  Review Upcoming

REVIEWED:  (click the cover to go to the review):  
Dead of Wynter by Spencer Seidel
4.75 of 5 stars
Long Drive Home by Will Allison
5 of 5 stars
The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin
4 of 5 stars
The Descent of Man by Kevin Desinger
3.5 of 5 stars
Snowflake Obsidian by The Hippie
3 out of 5 stars

(Click on the cover for the Goodreads page, exc. War & Peace, which goes to Amazon)

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Restorer by Amanda StevensJonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Iron House by John HartWith Extreme Pleasure by Allison Kent

I know that seems like a lot, but War and Peace is a year-long read-along (1 chapter a day), and only two are hard copies; one review book (Iron House) and the CHUNKSTER Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Next to be read on the personal pile (click cover for Goodreads page):

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Mystic River by Dennis LehaneCross Fire by James Patterson

Next to be read on the hard copy review pile (click cover for Goodreads page):

A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell
Promises to Keep by Ann TatlockDominance by Will Lavender


Book Depository

Honestly, every.single.book I read this week was really, really good.  They ALL count as favorites this week.

How was YOUR reading week?  Please leave a link to YOUR "What Are You Reading" post in the comments (I'd love to come visit) or simply comment with what your reading week was like!
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