Wednesday, June 29, 2011

THEY'RE WATCHING by Gregg Hurwitz

Hurwitz kept me reading through this page turning novel of suspense due to the great story.  THEY'RE WACHING had characters you could relate to.  After finishing THEY'RE WATCHING, I could not wait to read other books by Hurwitz!  A great summer read!


Navigating a hairpin turn, I gripped the steering wheel hard and did my best not to slide in the driver’s seat. If the butcher knife tucked beneath the back of my thigh shifted, it would open up my leg. The blade was angled in, the handle sticking out toward the console, within easy reach. The acrid smell of burning rubber leaked in through the dashboard vents. I resisted the urge to flatten the gas pedal again; I couldn’t risk getting pulled over, not given the deadline.

I flew up the narrow street, my hands slick on the wheel, my heart pumping so much fear and adrenaline through me that I couldn’t catch my breath. I checked the clock, checked the road, checked the clock again. When I was only a few blocks away, I pulled the car to the curb, tires screeching. I shoved open my door just in time. As I retched into the gutter, a gardener watched me from behind a throttling lawnmower, his face unreadable.

I rocked back into place, wiped my mouth, and continued more slowly up the steep grade. I turned down the service road as directed, and within seconds the stone wall came into sight, then the iron gates that matched the familiar ones in front. I hopped out and punched in the code. The gates shuddered and sucked inward. Hemmed in by jacaranda, the paved drive led straight back along the rear of the property. At last the guest quarters came into view. White stucco walls, low-pitched clay-tile roof, elevated porch—the guesthouse was bigger than most regular houses on our street.

I pulled up beside the cactus planter at the base of the stairs, tight to the building. Setting my hands on the steering wheel, I did my best to breathe. There were no signs of life. Way across the property, barely visible through a netting of branches, the main house sat dark and silent. Sweat stung my eyes. The stairs just outside the driver’s side window were steep enough that I couldn’t see up onto the porch. I couldn’t see much of anything but the risers. I supposed that was the point.
I waited. And listened.

Finally I heard the creak of a door opening above. A footstep. Then another. Then a man’s boot set down on the uppermost step in my range of vision. The right foot followed. His knees came visible, then his thighs, then waist. He was wearing scuffed worker jeans, a nondescript black belt, maybe a gray T-shirt.
I slid my right hand down to the hilt of the butcher knife and squeezed it so hard that my palm tingled. Warmth leaked into my mouth; I’d bitten my cheek.

He stopped on the bottom step, a foot from my window, the line of my car roof severing him at the midsection. I wanted to duck down so I could see his face, but I’d been warned not to. He was too close anyway.

His knuckle rose, tapped the glass once.
I pushed the button with my left hand. The window started to whir down. The knife blade felt cool hidden beneath my thigh. I picked out a spot on his chest, just below his ribs. But first I had to find out what I needed to know.

His other hand came swiftly into view and popped something fist-sized in through the open gap of the still-lowering window. Hitting my lap, it was surprisingly heavy.
I looked down.

A hand grenade.

I choked on my breath. I reached to grab it.

Before my splayed fingers could get there, it detonated.
They're Watching

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Always a master of the gripping setup, Hurwitz (Trust No One) outdoes himself in this ultra-suspenseful thriller. One gray L.A. winter morning, disgraced screenwriter Patrick Davis steps out onto his porch in Bel Air, retrieves his newspaper, and finds a DVD tucked inside. The DVD opens with a static image of Patrick's downstairs bathroom, shot from outside the house, then shows him entering, using the toilet, and leaving. Other DVDs follow, each more disturbing than the last, until Patrick receives a phone call: "So… are you ready to get started?" Readers will be more than ready, as Hurwitz sure-handedly leads everyone, Patrick included, through this tale of mystery and murder, serving up one shocking surprise after another. Patrick eventually proves that, even though he's been outmaneuvered time after time, he's not entirely the pawn those manipulating him take him for. A rousing conclusion ties up all the intriguing threads.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Here’s the backstory to this labyrinthine thriller: Patrick Davis, a would-be screenwriter, has finally managed to sell a screenplay. The movie, They’re Watching, is in production, starring a hot young actor. In a skirmish, the actor managed to hurt himself and accused Patrick of assaulting him. Patrick was fired from the film, charged with assault, and sued by the actor and the production company. Oh, and his marriage is on the rocks. As the novel opens, Patrick begins receiving DVDs in the mail, revealing that someone is secretly filming Patrick and his wife in their home. Soon there are e-mails instructing Patrick to do certain things, and from there the story . . . well, let’s just say it never quite goes in the direction we expect it to go. This is a very well constructed thriller, full of twists and turns and unexpected revelations. Hurwitz frequently sets us up to expect one thing but delivers something entirely different. He keeps us constantly on our toes, and—this is especially good—he keeps us guessing right until the very last pages about exactly who has targeted Patrick and why. Highly recommended, especially for fans of Dean Koontz, Linwood Barclay, and Harlan Coben. --David Pitt --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Friday, June 17, 2011

DON’T BREATH A WORD by Jennifer Mcmahon

DON’T BREATH A WORD is an original, page turning story that bounces between childhood fantasy mixed with local legend back to the present day all the while trying to find out what happened Lisa all those years back.  It will keep you on your toes and will have you thinking do fairies really exist?  This has one of the best endings of a book that I have read in a long time.  I found DON’T BREATH A WORD to be wonderfully surprising and so different than anything out there.    Jennifer Mcmahon has really done an amazing job telling this masterpiece of a story!

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Family secrets and fairy lore create a shifting reality in McMahon's unsettling novel about the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl who longed to become Queen of the Fairies. Fifteen years after Lisa goes missing, her younger brother, Sam, gets a strange phone call that leads him and his girlfriend, Phoebe, to discover a book, supposedly written by the King of the Fairies, that Lisa used as her bible to cross over, and which prompts Sam and Phoebe to meet up with Sam's cousin, Evie, to see if they can figure out what happened to Lisa. Nothing is as it seems from that moment on, and Phoebe's longtime fear of a dark man in the shadows seeps back after she discovers, in true woo-woo fashion, that she is pregnant. McMahon (Promise Not to Tell) alternates between the past and present with loads of portent and foreshadowing, creating a rural Vermont chiller with a Rosemary's Baby vibe, but even after a surprising villainess emerges and more than a few disquieting passages about Lisa are burned through, many readers will remain in the dark. (May)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


“Jennifer McMahon never flinches and never fails to surprise as her stories twist down unexpected roads. Don’t Breathe a Word balances love and horror as McMahon weaves a young couple into a perverse fairyland where Rosemary’s Baby could be at home.” (Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murderer's Daughters )

“[A] strange and unsettling shocker ... With the tale’s outcome utterly unforeseeable even as it races along, “Don’t Breathe a Word” leaves you breathless.” (Wall Street Journal )

“Jennifer McMahon’s novels are like the perfect winter truffle: dark, rich, earthy, and an absolute, decadent pleasure. Don’t Breathe a Word is a haunting page-turner that kept me up, spine shivering and enthralled, way past my bedtime.” (Joshilyn Jackson, NYT bestselling author of Gods in Alabama and Backseat Saints )

“Beautifully written and spooky, Don’t Breathe a Word wraps around you and pulls you into a dark world of fairies and family secrets.” (Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Still Missing )
Don't Breathe a Word: A Novel

Friday, June 10, 2011

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

Book Review:
I loved this book and the two subsequent books: Catching Fire and Mockingjay.  The series is Young Adult however the content is very morbid and gruesome and you may not want your teen to read it.  I felt like it was very fascinating and I could not put the books down!  Hope you like them.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. SignatureReviewed by Megan Whalen TurnerIf there really are only seven original plots in the world, it's odd that boy meets girl is always mentioned, and society goes bad and attacks the good guy never is. Yet we have Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, The House of the Scorpion—and now, following a long tradition of Brave New Worlds, The Hunger Games. Collins hasn't tied her future to a specific date, or weighted it down with too much finger wagging. Rather less 1984 and rather more Death Race 2000, hers is a gripping story set in a postapocalyptic world where a replacement for the United States demands a tribute from each of its territories: two children to be used as gladiators in a televised fight to the death.Katniss, from what was once Appalachia, offers to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, but after this ultimate sacrifice, she is entirely focused on survival at any cost. It is her teammate, Peeta, who recognizes the importance of holding on to one's humanity in such inhuman circumstances. It's a credit to Collins's skill at characterization that Katniss, like a new Theseus, is cold, calculating and still likable. She has the attributes to be a winner, where Peeta has the grace to be a good loser.It's no accident that these games are presented as pop culture. Every generation projects its fear: runaway science, communism, overpopulation, nuclear wars and, now, reality TV. The State of Panem—which needs to keep its tributaries subdued and its citizens complacent—may have created the Games, but mindless television is the real danger, the means by which society pacifies its citizens and punishes those who fail to conform. Will its connection to reality TV, ubiquitous today, date the book? It might, but for now, it makes this the right book at the right time. What happens if we choose entertainment over humanity? In Collins's world, we'll be obsessed with grooming, we'll talk funny, and all our sentences will end with the same rise as questions. When Katniss is sent to stylists to be made more telegenic before she competes, she stands naked in front of them, strangely unembarrassed. They're so unlike people that I'm no more self-conscious than if a trio of oddly colored birds were pecking around my feet, she thinks. In order not to hate these creatures who are sending her to her death, she imagines them as pets. It isn't just the contestants who risk the loss of their humanity. It is all who watch.Katniss struggles to win not only the Games but the inherent contest for audience approval. Because this is the first book in a series, not everything is resolved, and what is left unanswered is the central question. Has she sacrificed too much? We know what she has given up to survive, but not whether the price was too high. Readers will wait eagerly to learn more.Megan Whalen Turner is the author of the Newbery Honor book The Thief and its sequels, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. The next book in the series will be published by Greenwillow in 2010.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Hunger Games

Thursday, June 2, 2011

NIGHT ROAD by Kristin Hannah

I have to say that I loved NIGHT ROAD cover to cover.  This book affected my on so many levels; as a mother, as a wife, as a friend and as a daughter.  I think that Hannah really knocked this book out of the park.  It is a story that will make you think and remember why letting go does not mean forgetting!

Product Description

Night Road
For a mother, life comes down to a series of choices. 
To hold on…
To let go...
To forget…
To forgive…
Which road will you take?

Night Road
For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers.  When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude.  Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend.  Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.
Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way.  It has always been easy-- until senior year of high school.  Suddenly she is at a loss.  Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them.

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives.  In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything.  In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, NIGHT ROAD raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness.  It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope.  This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.
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