Monday, October 20, 2014

One Kick - Chelsea Cain

After turning the final page of the sixth Gretchen Lowell/Archie Sheridan thriller (Let Me Go), I wondered if there could be anything in the future for these characters. For me, this series seemed to have run its course.

Well, Chelsea Cain has unleashed a new character on readers. Her new book, One Kick is the first in a new series featuring Kick Lannigan. What a great character name eh?

Kick was kidnapped as a six year old and famously rescued when she was eleven. The years spent in captivity shaped her path - and her personality. She's tough as nails, but vulnerable, fearsome, yet fearful. And she has a goal - to prey on those that prey on children. A wealthy man named John Bishop, approaches Kick to help him find two local missing kids. There's a chance they could still be alive - and Bishop believes Kick has the key to finding them locked in her past. But who is Bishop really? And what is his agenda?

Cain writes great kick *** characters. Lannigan is definitely one of those, but with a wounded side that makes us fear for her as she wades into danger. One Kick introduces us to Lannigan, lets us get to know her and sets the tone and the background for the next in the series. One Kick has a resolution, but the last few pages are a kicker (sorry, couldn't resist) that will leave readers with the same questions Lannigan has. I 'll be watching for the next book.

Cain's books are not for the faint of heart. There are disturbing themes, descriptions and language. Those looking for a dark thriller will absolutely find it in One Kick. Read an excerpt of One Kick. You can find Chelsea Cain on Facebook and on Twitter.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Winner - Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past

And the randomly chosen winner of a copy of Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb, courtesy of Abingdon Press is:

Suburbanprep

Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing address. Please respond within 48 hours - after that time a new winner will be chosen. Keep your eye on the sidebar for other great giveaways!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #26

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
But you can like one cover version better than another...

US/Canadian cover
UK cover
This week's entry is for another book I'm looking forward to reading. Stephen King's new book, Revival, releases on Nov 11/14.  The US/Canadian cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. This week, I'm going to go with the UK cover. Interesting that there's lightning on both covers, but it's that scary rundown tent that draws me to the book. Which cover do you prefer? Do you plan to read Revival?

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular Saturday feature on A Bookworm's World. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

You - Caroline Kepnes

You is the deliciously creepy new novel from Caroline Kepnes.

When Guinevere Beck walks into a New York bookstore, she immediately catches the eye of the clerk, Joe. A light flirtatious conversation ensues, but for Joe it is much more than that. Beck is the one he's been looking for. They're meant to be together. But Joe wants to make sure everything is right first - so he begins gathering information.... he discovers where Beck lives, begins watching her home, stalking her online profiles and hacks into the cell phone she 'lost' at the bookstore.

You is told entirely from Joe's point of view in an unending, seriously disturbed stream of consciousness narrative. The matter of fact attitude in dealing with roadblocks (Beck has a boyfriend already) to his ultimate goal (Beck) is truly chilling. But just as frightening is his ability to explain and rationalize almost anything. Beck isn't quite the golden girl Joe envisions. But no matter, they will be a beautiful couple. He just has to win her over - bit by bit.

None of the main characters in You are likable. And yet, when I thought about Joe and Beck, it is actually Joe that elicits a modicum of sympathy. I know! Beck is the 'stalkee' and the one in seeming danger, but I really didn't like her at all. Kepnes's character development was excellent.

Kepnes has penned her own version of the 'stalker' novel. It's different - and it's darn good. Kepnes has written for Entertainment Weekly and television. She knows how to grab the reader and hold them. I was hooked from first page to last. And I started getting a little paranoid after the first few chapters.....Read an excerpt of You. And I loved the ending. This one has film written all over it.

You can keep up with Caroline Kepnes on Facebook and on Twitter.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Over the Counter #234

What books caught my eye this week as they passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Goin' to the dogs this week....

First up is Off the Leash by Matthew Gilbert.

From the publisher, St. Martin's Press:

"OFF THE LEASH is a group portrait of dog people, specifically the strange, wonderful, neurotic, and eccentric dog people who gather at Amory Park, overlooking Boston near Fenway Park. And it’s about author Matthew Gilbert’s transformation, after much fear and loathing of dogs and social groups, into one of those dog people with fur on their jackets, squeaky toys in their hands, and biscuits in their pockets.
   
Gilbert, longtime TV critic at The Boston Globe, describes his reluctant trip into the dog park subculture, as the first-time owner of a stubbornly social Yellow Lab puppy named Toby. Like many Americans, he was happily accustomed to the safe distance of TV viewing and cell-phone web surfing, tethered to the digital leash. But the headstrong, play-obsessed Toby pulls him to Amory, and Amory becomes an exhilarating dose of presence for him. The joyous chaos of wrestling dogs and the park’s cast of offbeat dog owners – the “pack of freaks” – gradually draw him into the here and now. At the dog park, the dog owners go off the leash, too.

Dog-park life can be tense. When dogs fight, their owners – such as the reckless Charlotte – bare their teeth at each other, too. Amid the rollicking dog play, feelings tend to surface faster, unedited. But Gilbert shows how Amory is an idyllic microcosm, too, the home of enduring friendships and, as the droll but vulnerable Hayley knows, romantic crushes. Meeting daily, a gathering of dog owners can be like group therapy, or The Office, or a standup concert.

As a TV critic, Matthew Gilbert is well-known by his readership for his humorous and wry writing style. A charming narrative that will appeal to anyone who has ever enjoyed watching a puppy scamper through a park, OFF THE LEASH is a paean to dog lovers and their pets everywhere, perfect for fans of Marley & Me and Merle's Door."

Next up is The Dog Lived (And So Will I) by Teresa J. Rhyne.

From the publisher, Sourcebooks:

"The tale of a dog who wouldn't let go and the woman who followed his lead. Teresa Rhyne vowed to get things right this time around: new boyfriend, new house, new dog, maybe even new job. But shortly after she adopted Seamus, a totally incorrigible beagle, vets told Teresa that he had a malignant tumor and less than a year to live. The diagnosis devastated her, but she decided to fight it, learning everything she could about the best treatment for Seamus. Teresa couldn't possibly have known then that she was preparing herself for life's next hurdle — a cancer diagnosis of her own.

 She forged ahead with survival, battling a deadly disease, fighting for doctors she needed, and baring her heart for a seemingly star–crossed relationship. The Dog Lived (and so Will I) is an uplifting and heartwarming story about how dogs steal our hearts, show us how to live, and teach us how to love."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Angel Killer - Andrew Mayne

Andrew Mayne is an illusionist and magician who has worked for David Copperfield, Penn and Teller and David Blaine. He's also the star of A&E's Don't Trust Andrew Mayne And....he's also an author. Mayne self published his novels and had some success. Angel Killer sold really well in that format and Bourbon Street Books picked it up, with a hard copy of Angel Killer just published.

I normally eschew self published books, but was incredibly curious to read Angel Killer (especially after a large publisher picked it up.) I found the premise intriguing - an FBI agent who grew up in a 'magic' family. When a killer calling himself the Warlock starts staging and executing seemingly impossible crimes, Jessica Blackwood is called in. The FBI seems to think her unusual background will be the key they need to find this killer. But it's easier said than done - The Warlock is incredibly devious and seems to have a long range plan.....

Well, Mayne is smart as well - he's writing what he knows. The use of magic and illusion as the serial killer's signature is unique. And having an agent just as familiar with the sleights of hand and misdirection is fresh and different. And quite fascinating.

Mayne is setting the stage (yes pun intended) for Jessica. We get to know her background and mindset and I quite liked her. We're also introduced to the mysterious Damien n - I definitely want to know more about him.

The plot is inventive and again, out of the ordinary. There are a few instances where I questioned the leap to the next point or some technical wizardry, but overall I thought it was really good.

And through it all runs the idea of magic. I am always entertained by illusionists and am not sure how I feel about knowing the truth behind some 'tricks' I've seen, but it's pretty interesting to discover how some of them are achieved.

Angel Killer is being marketed as the first Jessica Blackwood novel. I would definitely pick up the next in this series - even more so that the end of Angel Killer is not truly the end - the last page is a definite link to a larger plot still not uncovered. I've peeked at other's thoughts on this book and many readers mention their dissatisfaction with the ending. I actually like the unfinished threads - the idea that there's more in store for this character and the anticipation of the continuation of a good tale. Read an excerpt of Angel Killer.

"Wildly innovative, highly-visual with a little bit of mischief thrown in, Andrew Mayne is at the forefront of the next generation of magic. Star of A&E's Don't Trust Andrew Mayne, he’s performed his unique brand of illusion on five continents, his YouTube videos have millions of views and he’s cultivated thousands of fans for his magic, books and podcasts calling themselves ‘Mayniacs’."You can find Andrew Mayne on Facebook and on Twitter.

See what others on the TLC book tour thought. Full schedule can be found here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Giveaway - First Impressions - Charlie Lovett

I've got a wonderful giveaway for Jane Austen fans today! Charlie Lovett's new novel First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen releases October 20/14..

What's it about? From the publisher, Viking Books:

"Charlie Lovett’s best-selling debut novel The Bookman’s Tale introduced scores of readers to the true meaning of the word bibliophile. In his delightful second novel, FIRST IMPRESSIONS: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen, Lovett once again immerses readers in a world where books hold closely guarded secrets that threaten to turn the literary world upside down. For Lovett, a former antiquarian bookseller and collector, old books hold a power like none other; in his thrilling, suspenseful mysteries, their contents become matters of life and death.

In 1796, Jane Austen is living in Hampshire and working on her first book, an epistolary novel tentatively titled Elinor and Marianne, when she strikes up an unlikely friendship with an aging cleric named Richard Mansfield. An author himself—albeit of a less-than-artful book of allegories—Mansfield soon becomes Jane’s closest literary companion. On long walks through the countryside and engaging chats by the fire, they offer each other not only friendship, but also professional advice. Neither can foresee the impact their collaborations will have on future generations.

In present day London, Sophie Collingwood is a lifelong book lover bereft at the loss of her beloved Uncle Bertram. After his books are sold off to pay debts, Sophie takes a job at an antiquarian bookshop hoping to earn enough to slowly buy back the books and restore his collection. When, on the same day, two customers request a copy of the same obscure book—the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield—Sophie is drawn into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice.

Sophie, a dogged a dogged researcher and devoted Jane Austen fan, is quickly drawn into a frantic search for a book that threatens not just Jane Austen’s reputation, but Sophie’s own life. Combining a very Austen-like love triangle; a portrait of one of our greatest literary legends; and a tribute to the typesetters and printing presses of the eighteenth century, First Impressions> will charm bibliophiles and Jane Austen lovers everywhere. Lovett skillfully pulls readers into his world where true joy comes from a life lived in books."


"Charlie Lovett is a former antiquarian bookseller, an avid book collector, and a member of The Grolier Club, the preeminent club for bibliophiles in North America. He and his wife split their time between Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Kingham, Oxfordshire, in England."

PS - Did I mention that a hardcover copy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, courtesy of Penguin Booksis part of this prize pack? For a chance to win both books, simply leave a comment with the title of your favourite Jane Austen book. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends Oct 25/14.