Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let's Talk: Used EReader prices

I have been back and forth on this whole ereader craze. Well, I am about there on wanting one. However, as a stay at home mom, I am on a budget and a new ereader does not fit it. Kindle does have a decent price for their new kindle at $139, but I am not a kindle person. I don't like being restricted to only getting my books from amazon and then trying to figure out how to load book that reviewers send to me. I have researched the Kindle and just feel like it isn't a good fit for me. I have also decided to stay away from all the store ereaders, such as the Nook and Kobo. I am leaning towards a Sony most likely. I like the look of it and the flexibility that it has. There are many different models to choose from also.

So, where do you go to find a used model? Ebay or Craigslist I am guessing. Craigslist has not been much help and I have been on ebay mostly. I have been watching the prices of the used readers to see what they sell at on average. The model I like is usually right over $100. Which is ok, and is my limit. I just can't spend over $100 on a used ereader when they average now about $140 new. Of coarse, some of these used ereaders come with accessories that make the price worth it. Such as a cover with light, a case, some are even preloaded with books already. So, going used is worth it in the accessory department. I also understand that people want to try and make their money back on their item, but sometimes the prices are crazy. Sometimes it almost like I could spend $10 more and get it new. While I may find it crazy, people are still paying the high prices for the used model.

So, if you were going to buy used, what is your max price? I have to say at this point, mine is $100 and that is only if its coming with some accessories. If its just a plan ol used ereader (that almost everyone claims is like new and barely used), I would spend at most $85-$90.

Stronger Than Sin Winners!

Thank you again to Forever Romance for this giveaway! I have 3 copies of Stronger Than Sin up for grabs. The winners will have 48 hours to get me their address before I move on to someone else. I will email the winners.  So onto the winners!
Mary W

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who entered!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rescue by Anita Shreve

Rescue: A Novel
Publication Date: November 30, 2010
Pages: 291
Genre: General Fiction
My Rating:

Book Summary: Paramedic Pete Webster is worried sick about his daughter, Rowan, a high-school senior whom he has raised single-handedly ever since she was two. Rowan has adopted very untypical behavior, ignoring her studies and drinking heavily. It brings back bad memories of his ex-wife, Sheila. He pulled her from a car wreck while on the job and soon fell madly in love with her both for her beauty and her irreverent sense of humor. When she became pregnant, he married her though he was only 21. They were very happy until Sheila began drinking all day, every day. Now Pete is worried that their daughter believes she is doomed to repeat her mother’s mistakes; he decides to contact Sheila, whom he has not seen or heard from for 16 years. The prolific Shreve brings her customary care to this thoroughly absorbing, perfectly paced domestic drama. Alternating between the life-and-death scenarios Pete encounters on the job and the fraught family tension between father and daughter, Shreve pulls readers right into her story.

My Thoughts: This is an amazing story. Sitting down with this book, you get swept away into a world of first love. Peter Webster works rescue and often gets to a scene before the EMT's. Upon meeting Sheila after her accident, Peter is immediately drawn to her and why she was where she was at that time. He gets swept away by her and finds her after the rescue. They soon find themselves with a baby on the way and decide to start their lives together. Sheila has a problem with alcohol and around the time that Rowan is two, Sheila makes a big mistake and leaves Webster to raise Rowan on his own. We then go forward in the book to when Rowan is 17 and Webster is now an EMT. Sheila has not been in Rowan's wife in all this time, however something happens and Webster needs to ask Sheila for help.

Webster's feelings for Sheila are well known through out this book.  Sheila's feeling for me were not always known.  I had a hard time reading her. I could never figure out if she was genuine. In the end of the book, I felt her feelings were genuine. She is one of those characters that you just wish you could get in her head and know her. This is definitely Shreve at her best! This is a good book and you will want to add this one to your collection.

**I received a copy of this book from the publishers in return for my honest review of this book.**

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Let's Talk: Do you read holiday books anytime or just during the holidays?

Its that time of year, where its time to read holiday books. I am one of those who won't touch a Christmas book if it isn't Christmas, are you? I usually buy 3 or 4 a year to save for just this time.  So, we decorated the tree yesterday, the house is torn apart from rearranging and putting regular decor up and bringing out the holiday decor. So, I selected the first Christmas book I would read to kick off this season. However so far, 80 pages in, I think I am putting it aside. The reviews were right on goodreads, it isn't very good. So, I can't start off this holiday season with a bad book, can I? So, I am thinking of putting the book I am currently reading aside and maybe finish one rainy day and moving onto a Christmas anthology. The Night Before Christmas, by authors: Erin McCarthy, Jill Shalvis, Kathy Love, Kathrine Garbera, and Kylie Adams. Hopefully this one is a winner or my holiday season just might be ruined! No, not really.

So tell me, can you read a Christmas book anytime, or can you only read it at Christmas time? What do you plan to read this season?

Here are three on my agenda:
The Night Before ChristmasBelieveTwo Tickets to the Christmas Ball: A Novella

So, let's chat!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giveaway: Stronger Than Sin

Stronger than Sin (Sin 2)This giveaway is over on the 30th and I just realized I had very low entries for this book! So, I wanted to reoffer this book up to give my readers a chance to enter and win. This giveaway is for Stronger Than Sin by Caridad Pineiro.

My review is HERE.

Enter with form below:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Edge of Sight by Roxanne St. Claire

Edge of Sight (The Guardian Angelinos)Publication Date:
Pages: 376
Series: Book 1  (Guardian Angelino)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
My Rating:

Summary: When Samantha Fairchild witnesses a murder in the wine cellar of the restaurant where she works, the Harvard-bound law student becomes the next target of a professional assassin. Desperate for protection the authorities won't provide, Sam seeks help from Vivi Angelino, an investigative reporter who recruits her brother, Zach, to protect Samantha. A Special Forces vet with the scars to prove he's equally fearless and flawed, Zach takes the job, despite the fact that he and Sam once shared a lusty interlude that ended when he left for war and disappeared from her life. Now, as they crack a conspiracy that leads to Boston's darkest corners, Sam and Zach must face their fears, desires, and doubts, before a hired killer gets a second shot.

My Thoughts: Buckle up for a fantastic reading ride with this book. I loved it. I loved the chemistry between Zack and Sam. They had a history already and getting thrown back together was just what they both wanted, however they weren't willing to admit it right away. Sam, because she felt like Zack only enjoyed her for there time together for the great sex. Zack now thinks from his injury from the war, that has left him with only eye, that she could not love him from the way he looks.  Sam has witnessed a murder and feels like her life is in threat and contacts her old friend/twin to Zack, Vivi Angelino. Vivi and Zack have thought about starting there own company to be private investigators and have decided that Sam is their first customer and Zack gets to keep her safe from not just one person, but two people who want her dead.

This is a fast paced book. It will pull you in from the moment that you start and you will want to get this book finished. Also, if you visit the authors website HERE there is a free prequel to this book that you will want to read after finishing this book. Its the story on how Zack and Sam met and fell in love, to the moment that Zack left her heartbroken.

**This book was provided to me by the publisher for my honest review.**

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers out there who celebrate this day. I thought I would take a moment to say thank you to my readers. It means so much to me when I get comments and I always enjoy reading them. Thank you to the authors, for without you, life would be boring with nothing to read. Also, thank you to the publishers out there who help keep my reading habit going with all the wonderful books you send me.

I hope everyones stomach is well stuffed today with all the food we love best.

Happy Thanksgiving! Now enjoy these two cartoons I found fitting.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tour: Let's Eat by Denise Burroughs

Let's Eat!

I was asked to review this cook book. The easiest was to describe this cook book is Italian food meets a little southern cooking. This is a great book to add to any collection. Its not a very big book, but is packed full of recipes. Some recipes are fairly simply and interesting such as stuffed hot dog and potato, and Peppers & Eggs.

Denise offers some helpful charts in the beginning of the book: 10 Tips for the Kitchen. How Much of This Equals That? Baking Substitutions. Is It Done Yet?

All her recipes look easy to be made and the ingredient lists are never too long, which can sometimes be intimidating when looking for a recipe.

So, what did I try out of this cook book? Cheeseburger Casserole which the kids loved and Broccoli and spaghetti. Each was very good and I look forward to digging into more of the recipes in this cook book. My biggest complaint for the cookbook, I wanted more pictures of all this yummy food! However, it isn't really a complaint, otherwise I might have eaten all the pages!

My Rating:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How I Review.

I am mostly a romance reader, however I also like like a suspense/thriller book too. I will usually try anything (when it comes to books) at least once just to give the genre a fair chance. When reviewing a genre I usually don't read, I try to not judgeit  as hard in my rating. I give the book a fair chance and discuss what I thought of it. Sometimes these are the easiest books to review since I have not read a lot on the subject.

I think I am sometimes a tough romance critic. I read a lot of romance and there really are only so many story lines. However I must say, authors do a great job at keeping things fresh. Especially if you jump around with different authors. When I am reading a romance, I want to feel the passion with the characters. If I can feel that chemistry between them, then I know no matter what the story line, this is going to be a great book. I feel like the female character needs to be well developed, whether she is a klutz or a touch chick, she needs to be well developed. These wish washy characters just get boring and it never really seems like they know what they want. I love a man who is either totally into the woman and chases her or a man who is fighting the emotion of being taken down by love.  I usually like a little mystery in a romance too, just to have a second story line going when the romance just isn't there.

When it comes to a mystery/suspense/thriller kinda book, it needs to be full of twists and turns. I need to not always know what is coming. If I can figure the book out before the book is halfway done, that I almost wonder if its even meant to finish. The chapters have got to end where I need to continue reading so the next thing I know its midnight and I have to get to bed in order to function the next day.

Now the time comes when there is a book where you would consider in general fiction. This is a story, not a romance, thriller or anything like that.  Just a story. These can be hard to review sometimes. I usually have to base it on how well thought out this story is and if it actually keeps me involved.

So, this is a little insight into me and how I review. Thanks for visiting Becks Book Picks!

Tour: One Night in Scotland by Karen Hawkins

One Night in Scotland (Hurst Amulet)
Publication Date: November 23rd, 2010
Pages: 335
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Book 1 in Hurst Amulet
My Rating:

Book Summary:  New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins begins a sparkling new series with this thrilling tale of a desperate beauty on an urgent quest, a dark earl scarred by his beastly past—and the ancient treasure that binds their fates.
A mysterious abductor . . . Someone is holding her brother prisoner in exchange for a gold-and-onyx box covered in mysterious runes, so Mary Hurst boldly sets out from the family vicarage to find the priceless artifact. But the man who possesses it, Angus Hay, the Earl of Erroll, is less than sympathetic to her plight.
A forbidding stranger . . . Himself a prisoner of his dark past, Angus refuses to yield the box—or allow Mary to leave! Suspicious of the alluring lass’s mission, he vows to wrest a confession from her, but unearths a fiery temper and a will as strong as his own.
An unbreakable curse . . . Passion flares between them, but now there is more at stake: an unknown enemy is hunting down the precious box, and will stop at nothing. Risking all for love, Angus must solve the mystery behind the runes . . . and trust the only woman who can awaken his forgotten heart

My Thoughts: This is one of the best romance novels I have read in awhile. This is a sit down in one reading type of book. I couldn't put this down, I almost wanted to put everything in my life on hold just to finish this one. So, yes I loved it! The chemistry between these two characters, Mary and Angus, jumps off the pages. Mary was a prisoner in Angus's house until he could prove who she was. She did not make his life easy for him at all. She was so full of spunk that not even Angus fully knew how to handle her and the passion she ignited in him. As a reader you can't wait for the two to be in the same room again. Angus is just as stubborn as Mary. At one point he gets so fed up with her and her ruckus she is making in his house, he throws all the furniture out the window from her bedroom.

If your looking for a great romance, and it has been awhile since you have had one. Run to your local book store and find this one. You will not be disappointed. Then come back here and let me know what you thought of it.

** I received this book from the publisher in return for my honest review. **

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Review: I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

I'd Know You Anywhere: A Novel
Publication Date: September 1st 2010
Genre: Thriller/ General Fiction
My Rating:

Book Summary:  Eliza Benedict cherishes her peaceful, ordinary suburban life with her successful husband and children, thirteen-year-old Iso and eight-year-old Albie. But her tranquillity is shattered when she receives a letter from the last person she ever expects—or wants—to hear from: Walter Bowman. There was your photo, in a magazine. Of course, you are older now. Still, I'd know you anywhere.In the summer of 1985, when she was fifteen, Eliza was kidnapped by Walter and held hostage for almost six weeks. He had killed at least one girl and Eliza always suspected he had other victims as well. Now on death row in Virginia for the rape and murder of his final victim, Walter seems to be making a heartfelt act of contrition as his execution nears. Though Eliza wants nothing to do with him, she's never forgotten that Walter was most unpredictable when ignored. Desperate to shelter her children from this undisclosed trauma in her past, she cautiously makes contact with Walter. She's always wondered why Walter let her live, and perhaps now he'll tell her—and share the truth about his other victims.Yet as Walter presses her for more and deeper contact, it becomes clear that he is after something greater than forgiveness. He wants Eliza to remember what really happened that long-ago summer. He wants her to save his life. And Eliza, who has worked hard for her comfortable, cocooned life, will do anything to protect it—even if it means finally facing the events of that horrifying summer and the terrible truth she's kept buried inside.An edgy, utterly gripping tale of psychological manipulation that will leave readers racing to the final page, I'd Know You Anywhere is a virtuoso performance from acclaimed, award-winning author Laura Lippman that is sure to be her biggest hit yet. 

My Thoughts: I was intrigued by this book after reading Still Missing by Chevy Stevens. I came across this book for review not long after reading Still Missing. This book is different however. I was captivated from page one. The author paints a story that is very well told.  Walter is a serial killer. She lets us meet him first and get to know him and give us some insight as to why he may have become who he was. We meet Eliza as an adult living her day to day life trying not to think about her past from when she was kidnapped. This is something she keeps secret from others however, she is very open and honest with her husband, which I liked in this book. Too often in book, spouses keep secrets from one another and it was nice to read about a good and solid marriage. This is something however that she has kept from her children. Which I can understand being a mother. That would be something very difficult to explain. You also meet in this story the mother of one of the murder victims. Actually this victim, Holly, it was her murder case that got Walter on death row. So, we get to meet her mother and see how she feels about the upcoming date that Walter is facing. He has been the longest inmate on death row, as he keeps avoiding it somehow. She is now worried that Eliza isn't really a victim of Walter's as she has portrayed and that Eliza might help Walter get off, since the two are in contact again.

Another thing I enjoyed about this story was that Eliza did not get herself all wrapped up into Walter like you think a character would. You read a lot about her day to day life as a parent. Walter is not always on her mind as she is dealing with a rebellious teenage daughter and a son with nightmares.

I really liked this story. This was an all around good book and I really think this book is going to get popular fast. It is well written and definitely one that I recommend that you add to your TBR list if it isn't already added.

**I read this book through Crazy Book Tours.**

Friday, November 19, 2010

Do you love Victoria Dahl?

I follow this very funny author (oh and one of my favorite authors!) on Twitter and I have seen she has been writing like crazy, so I decided to take a visit to her website to see what she had been writing and what I have to look forward too. 2011 is going to be a great year and I will get plenty to read from this great author.

(This is taken from her website: www.victoriadahl.com)

March: The Guy Next Door, watch for "Just One Taste" in this anthology. It's the story that opens my brand-new Donovan Brothers Brewery series!
August: It's Always Been You, the second book in the York historical series. This is Aidan York's story, and it's sexy and bittersweet.
September: Good Girls Don't, the first full book in the Donovan Brothers Brewery series! Tessa Donovan is the baby of the family, but she's all grown up now...whether her brothers approve or not.
October: Bad Boys Do: Jamie Donovan is the wild one of the family, but this bad boy has something to learn...and Olivia Bishop is just the woman to teach him.
November: Real Men Will: Eric Donovan has always been upstanding, responsible and very well behaved...except for that one night with his fantasy woman. So what happens when a one-night fling can't be left behind?

Yes, I am ready for the new year and very ready for these books. 

Montana Glory Winners

Once again thanks so much to Forever Romance for this opportunity and to all those who entered! Winners will have until Sunday evening to get me their address so I can send this info off by Monday (11/22) to the publishers. Please allow 3-4 weeks to get your  book.
Danielle Austin
Brandi Rodriguez

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challange

Finally, I found a Christmas challenge where I can read what I want and I'm not limited. I have been wanting to do one, but they had to be of certain genres and I like to be free in my reading choices, So, this one looks like it! So click HERE to check it out. There is also come nice Christmas music playing in the background too.

Now, on to the details:

  • challenge will run from Friday, November 26, 2010 (Black Friday) through January 6, 2010 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).
  • cross overs with other challenges is totally permitted AND encouraged!
  • These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore or a book of Christmas short stories (sorry, no children's books, but YA novels are okay).
  • visit this POST for a list of new Christmas books for 2010.  Also, Richard Paul Evans has a new book out this year, Promise Me.  His Christmas books are among my favorites during the Christmas season.
  • Levels:
            --Candy Cane:  read 1 book
            --Mistletoe:  read 2-4 books
            --Christmas Tree:  read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)
  • Please sign up in the linky below.  On the day the challenge starts, I will post a linky for reviews.
  • Most of all, have fun!

There is a linky at the blog to sign up. Go have some fun and get into the Christmas spirit!

My goal is Mistletoe, but we will see :o).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reading Slump?

Are your currently in a reading slump? I know I am! Ever since school started back in August, I have averaged 2-3 books a week. Usually 2 books. Which really throws me behind. At this point, I am mainly reading my books for review and my "pleasure" books are just sitting there wondering why I even bought them. Its weird to think, during the summer with my two wild kids home running around I read 4-5 books a week. I now have 4 hours to myself in the morning 3 days a week then just 1 kid until 3:30, and I barely have time to read. It doesn't make much sense. I am hoping to get out of this reading slump. I have so many books I want to read. So as part of this slump, I have decided to not take any more reviews for December. I have only a few books on my calendar and I am not taking anymore. I want to get my TBR list read down. I will still review my books I read on here of coarse.

So is anyone else in a slump and just not finding as much time to read? Are you ever tired of reading?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

(Review & Giveaway) Stronger Than Sin by Caridad Pineiro

Stronger than Sin (Sin 2)
Publication Date: November 1st 2010
Pages: 336
Genre: Paranormal Romance (not vampires/warewolves type of paranormal)
Series: #2 in the Sins Series
My Rating:

Summary: Dr. Liliana Carrera nearly lost her life to Wardwell scientists. She won't let them harm other innocent victims, like her new patient, Jesse Bradford. The former pro athlete had the best hands in the NFL . . . until an injury forced him to undergo Wardwell's experimental gene therapy. Now Jesse's gorgeous body is superhuman-but his strength comes at a price.
With Wardwell threatening his family, Jesse can't tell Liliana all he knows. Yet he can't resist her compassion . . . or her healing, erotic touch. As their passion flares, Jesse's body becomes dangerous and volatile. For evil men are plotting to change the face of humanity-and will destroy whoever stands in their way. 

My Thoughts: This is the second book in the series and while this book dealt with a different couple, I think reading the first book in the series would have helped a lot. However, by a few chapters in, I had a good idea what was going on and by the end of the book I had most everything figured out. As I stated above under genre, this is paranormal, but not what you normally think of. This dealt mainly with science and that someone has been infecting humans to change there bodies. Jesse the main male character was a football player and had an injury while playing. He then found out he had a bones disease. He volunteered to being a specimen and he was injected with something that made him grow bone. He is going to die by his body turning to bone if Dr. Liliana Carrera can't help him. She is immediately drawn to him however is hesitant since she came out of an abusive relationship. However in the beginning, she might see Jesse has angry and dangerous but she can also see that he can control it and that he might not be like her ex. However Liliana has to learn to trust him and its hard when she can sense that Jesse is lieing about something to her.

The story line in this book keeps you intrigued. As a reader you want to see everyone helped and cured. Reading this you know who the bad guys are and its one of those books that you get a big sigh of relief when the main characters figure it out. However, this book leaves you with a big cliff hanger and that slight relief you feel at the end, leaves you wishing the next book was available to pick up immediately.

I enjoyed this book and I think anyone who likes a little fantasy added in with their romance would enjoy this. Plus, you get a chance to!

To enter this giveaway click HERE.
There will be 3 winners and this giveaway will end November 30th.
US and Canada only and No PO Boxes. Goodluck!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

Its Monday and its time to review the past week. This is a weekly meme brought to you by Shelila @ Book Journey.

What I read:
Regression (Book One: Infinion Series)Just the Sexiest Man Alive (Berkley Sensation)Stronger than Sin (Sin 2)

What I plan to read:
I'd Know You Anywhere: A NovelMrs. Perfect

Happy Monday! Be sure to enter my giveaway, it ends on the 18th. Look at my sidebar for your chance to win Montana Glory by R.C. Ryan. Also, come back tomorrow for your change to win Stronger Than Sin.