Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Forbidden is the latest young adult novel by British author Tabitha Suzuma. It’s a contemporary love story with an edge. Reminiscent of V. C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic, the protagonists in this young adult novel are star-crossed lovers in an untenable situation.
Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya are in love. There’s just one problem—they’re brother and sister, hence the title of the book: Forbidden.
After their father abandoned the family to start afresh, Lochan and Maya’s irresponsible, alcoholic mother continues her downward spiral. She takes up with a younger man and all but abandons her children. The teenagers are two of five children. As their mother spends increasingly more time away from home, Lochan and Maya have no choice but to care for and protect their younger siblings. They’ll do anything to keep the family together and under the radar of the local child protective services.
Trying to parent a rebellious 13-year-old in addition to an 8- and 5-year-old, would try the patience and ability level of the most astute and patient adult. Imagine struggling to accomplish this feat as a child yourself with little money, few resources, and homework to juggle.
Lochan and Maya develop a second sense about each other. The fear and constant stress they share draw them closer than the average teen siblings. Alone and left to their own devices, they’re functioning in the role of parents. A slip into the husband and wife role is not far behind. Only heartache and tragedy can follow.
Forbidden has a built in “yuk” factor: sexual contact between siblings. It’s to the author’s credit and storytelling ability that such feelings on the part of the reader are minimized.
Ms. Suzuma does not accomplish this by glossing over the sexual activity. She thoroughly explores it and the accompanying feelings of confusion and disgust the protagonists experience. Author Suzuma plumbs the depths of emotion the star-crossed siblings experience. She gets into the heads of these teens and exposes their love, lust, doubts, insecurities, and needs. Ms. Suzuma’s ability to dig so deeply into the various layers of human need and desire across several strata—physical, emotional, situational—renders a cringe worthy premise another human experience to evaluate.
The poignant and shocking ending will leave the reader pondering this story long after the final page is turned.

Forbidden released June 28, 2011 by Simon Pulse.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

ANd the Winner of The Murderer's Daughters is...

Thanks for entering girls and leaving your thought provoking comments. The winner of The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers is...


Congrats, LuAnn. Please email me with your address, so it can be sent to the publisher. If the winner doesn't respond in 48 hours, another will be selected in her place. The winner was chosen randomly.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers

Last year, before I read this book, I met the author, Randy Susan Meyers at a writers conference. I won second place in a contest there and she was so enthused about my writing and quite complementary.  I was so honored. I attended one of her workshops and was intrigued to read her book, The Murderer's Daughters.  The title is certainly attention worthy and I was keen to learn what it was all about.

A shocking act of violence leaves two young sisters with nothing but each other.

Mama was 'no macaroni-necklace-wearing kind of mother.' She was a lipstick and perfume-wearing mother, a flirt whose estranged husband still hungered for her. After Mama threw him out, she warned the girls to
never let Daddy in the house, an admonition that tears at ten-year-old Lulu whenever she thinks about the day she opened the door for her drunken father, and watched as he killed her mother, stabbed her five-year-old sister Merry and tried to take his own life.

Effectively orphaned by their mother's death and father's imprisonment, Lulu and Merry, unwanted by family members and abandoned to a terrifying group home, spend their young lives carrying more than just the visible scars from the tragedy. Even as their plan to be taken in by a well-to-do foster family succeeds, they come to learn they'll never really belong anywhere or to anyone - that all they have to hold onto is each other.

As they grow into women, Lulu holds fast to her anger, denies her father's existence and forces Merry into a web of lies about his death that eventually ensnares her own husband and daughters. Merry, certain their safety rests on placating her needy father, dutifully visits him, seeking his approval and love at the expense of her own relationships. As they strive to carve lives of their own, the specter of their father, unrepentant and manipulative even from behind bars, haunts them. And when they learn he's about to be paroled, the house of cards they've built their lives on teeters on the brink of collapse. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And the Winner of Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier is....

Thanks for your enthusiastic response, girls! The winner of Ruby Red is...

Lady Reader (Amy)!!!

Congrats Amy. Please email me with your address, so it can be forwarded to the publisher. The winner was selected randomly. If she doesn't respond by 2PM tomorrow, Thursday, another will be chosen. Stay tuned for the next giveaway!



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quickie Book Giveaway: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Book One
Hey guys. I'm having a super quick giveaway of Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. This is the first book of a trilogy. The giveaway will be good until 6PM, Wednesday 6/15/11. Let's see what the book is about...

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

If you're interested in the chance to win it, leave a comment telling me if you've read any other books that deal with time travel. If you haven't, that's okay, just say so. Don't forget your email so I can contact you if you're the winner. That is all folks!

Giveaway open to residents of the US and Canada. 
                                                        Ends Wednesday 6/15/11 at 6PM!


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Monday, June 13, 2011

And the Winner of EVERLASTING by Alyson Noel is....

Thanks for your responses girls. The winner of Everlasting, the last book in the Immortal series is...


Please email me your address so I can send it to the publisher. The publisher is requesting to receive it today. If I don't hear from you by 3PM, I'll have to select someone else.

Until the next giveaway....


Sunday, June 12, 2011 at it's sweetest and its best....

I get all gooey inside looking at this. It makes me feel so good. Makes you wonder how anyone can bring themselves to be cruel to animals. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee.

Waiting on Wednesday offers a great opportunity to learn about new books. It was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I'm an animal lover and my cat means the world to me. That being said, I'm looking forward to reading an interesting story about a dog! Check out the blurb on this one:

He was a man who didn't deserve a second chance... but he needed one

Emily and her husband Sandy Portman seemed to live a gracious if busy life in an old-world, Upper West Side apartment in the famous Dakota building. But one night on the way to meet Emily, Sandy dies in a tragic accident. The funeral isn't even over before Emily learns she is on the verge of being evicted from their apartment. But worse than the possibility of losing her home, Emily is stunned when she discovers that her marriage was made up of lies.

Suddenly Emily is forced on a journey to find out who her husband really was...all the while feeling that somehow he isn't really gone. And what if he isn't? Angry, hurt, and sometimes betrayed by loving memories of the man she lost, Emily finds comfort in a scruffy dog named Einstein. But is Einstein's seemingly odd determination that she save herself enough to make Emily confront her own past? Can he help her find a future--even after she meets a new man?

Whoa. Her marriage wasn't what it seemed? What's this about? Did her husband have a secret identity. And what's this about him not really being gone? Did he come back as the dog Einstein--shades of Garth Stein's Racing in the Rain? Which is an awesome book, I might add! Lot's of questions and I'm looking for answers. I can't wait to dig in to this one. Anyone joining me?

 Emily And Einstein was released March 1, 2011 by St. Martin's Press.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Unexpected Giveaway! Everlasting: The Immortal Series by Alyson Noel.

The sixth and final installment of the epic love story that has enchanted readers across the world. Ever and Damen have spent centuries facing down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears all in the hope of being together forever. Now in Everlasting, their destiny is finally within reach.

Will they be united or torn apart forever? Readers will finally discover the truth in this anxiously awaited conclusion! 

If you'd like a chance to win, leave a comment telling me why you love this series so much. If you haven't read it, just say so, but tell me why you want to. Don't forget your email, so you can be contacted if you're the winner.

Giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada. It ends June 12, 2011.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: The Name of the Star: Shades of London (book1) by Maureen Johnson

Waiting on Wednesday is the meme that let's everyone know what are the books they are anxiously anticipated. It was started by the lovely Jill over at Breaking The Spine. This week, I'm interested in a YA that's different than my usual fare. The publisher sent me an ARC and it immediately caught my attention. The Name of the Star sounds like a thriller and I'm looking forward to getting time to dig into it. Even the title is a mystery. I have no idea how it connects to the story. Let's read the blurb...

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

I love books set in England, I'm even writing one...hee this is right up my alley. It's the first book in a series. I guess it's a trilogy. What isn't these days. I'm not familiar with this author. Has anyone else read any of her prior books.

The Name of the Star releases September 29, 2011 by Putnam (Penguin).