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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday..What Are You Reading?


Mailbox Monday 
is a gathering place for readers to share the books that
came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. 
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

October Host:


Cold Spring Harbor by Richard Yates: The lovely Diane @ Bibliophile by the Sea sent this one to me!
The Leopard by Jo Nesbo: Vine Review copy from Amazon.com
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Hosted by 
Sheila @ One Person's Journey Through a World of Books
We discuss the books that we've read 
and what we're planning to read for the week.


Read and reviewed last week:
Motor City Shakedown- loved it...first foray into Noir Crime fiction!
The Rose Garden- awesome book. This author has me under her spell!
Mr. Darcy's Bite- fun romp with Darcy as a werewolf!!

Reviews this week:
Beyond All Measure-  TLC Tour book
Mr. Darcy's Undoing
Review from Ryan

Coming Up:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Snapshot- Friday Night Football with Family!


Saturday Snapshot
It’s easy to participate – just post a picture
that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Alyce’s site.

This was an exciting and important night for Marc and his team. If we beat Mason, which is a Division 3 school, our team would earn more points for Division playoffs and that could mean a home field advantage. Our boys played their hearts out and lost by 4, but the game was exciting and we're proud of them. Marc had an added bonus that night because this was the first time that anyone besides his dad and myself has watched him play football in the past 5 years. We live almost 4 hours from our family so it was always a hard time to get them up to our neck-of-the-woods. Mason was only about 1 hour from my family. 

In the top picture back row from the left: My husband, my dad, and brother.
Next row from the left: My mom, Marc, SIL Heather, Me, Daughter-in-law Amber, and nephew Alex.
Front and center with Marc's helmet on: Batman Simon (nephew)!

Bottom row of pictures from left to right: Amber and Me, My brother Joey and me, and Amber and Batman Simon.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

'Mr. Darcy's Bite' by Mary Lydon Simonsen

I don't really like this cover very well..Mr. Darcy looks creepy instead of HOT !

Synopsis:
This fresh, original paranormal Jane Austen sequel by bestselling author Mary Lydon Simonson explores Mr. Darcy as the leader of a secret world of werewolves threatened with extinction. Elizabeth comes to realize that she loves him in both his incarnations, and all his servants protect his secret. But then Elizabeth must confront a shocking danger to her beloved with every full moon, when Darcy is alone and exposed to those who hate wolves...

First thoughts when I finished the last sentence: "That was a fun, different twist on P&P with a werewolf thrown in for good measure!"

It goes without saying that I'm a sucker for Mr. Darcy...well, I found out that I also like him when he's a werewolf too!!! This story was just fun and I'm glad that the author didn't take the "werewolf" thing too far, otherwise it would've felt very cliche. I thought it was just right and added that little twist to the story that made it enjoyable.
  "You are shivering. I am sorry it is not warmer in here."
  Lizzy stood up and put her arms around her husband's neck and pulled his face to hers. "Why don't you warm me up the same way you did last night?"

(from Mr. Darcy's Bite page 267 in the ARC; finished version may be different)

Recommend? Sure...especially to those that adore Darcy and Lizzy's story as much as I do. It's always fun to shake up Austen's world and to read about this couple in different settings and situations!!

Rating: 7.5/10


Mr. Darcy's Bite by Mary Lydon Simonsen
Source: review copy from Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: P&P variation
Pages: 323
Published:  October, 2011 Sourcebooks
ISBN:9781402250774
*Uncorrected ARC



Disclaimer:Thank you toSourcebooks Landmark for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.They are my personal reflections based solely on MYexperience while reading this novel.

© 2011, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event,
hosted at Breaking the Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases
that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
The Next Always by Nora Roberts

Release Date: November 1, 2011  by Berkley

I love Nora Roberts! Whenever I'm in the mood for a great trilogy I pick up one of her books. She always delivers and I'm sucker for a great romance. Plus, isn't that cover just fantastic? It makes me want to pick it up to see what it's all about.

The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen.

After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Busy, with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look . . . at the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett’s happy to give Clare a private tour - one room at a time. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new - and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next . . 



What book are you waiting for?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

'The Rose Garden' by Susanna Kearsley



Synopsis:
Eva Ward is a modern woman thrown back three centuries to 1715 only to find that might be exactly where she belongs. There she finds true love with Daniel Butler, but the discord surrounding Hanoverian King George plunges the lovers into a world of intrigue, treason, and love.

  When he drew back, the look he slanted down at me was so intense it stopped my breath. Intense, yet somehow questioning. He held my face still warm within his hand and asked me in a slightly roughened voice, "Would you desire more proof than that?"
(from The Rose Garden page 347 in the ARC; finished version may be different)


First Thoughts after finishing this awesome book: "Where can I find those ley lines so that I can step back in time and fall into a handsome smuggler's brawny arms?????"


1.) Reasons you chose this book

I read and absolutely LOVED her book, The Winter Sea. When I found out that she was publishing a new book, I swear I did a Snoopy happy dance and immediately said YES to Sourcebooks when they offered a review copy.

2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book
This book was a wonderful read for me. I love the way the author weaves the past and the present. I also find her use of time travel extremely well done and honestly, not far-fetched. Many people believe that ley lines are spirit paths which allow people to travel from one time to another and there are many of them throughout the world. I found this article very informational and interesting to read about these ancient lines. This book was also incredibly romantic and falling in love with the characters was an easy thing to do! Another huge draw for me was the setting of the book in Cornwall. I swear I must have some sort of ancestral lineage from that area because I'm drawn to it instantly and often dream of living there. 

3.) Reasons you are recommending this book
If you enjoy a great story with real, genuine characters and setting that you can envision in your mind just from the author's descriptive writing, then I strongly urge you to add this book to your stacks. This will be going on my top 10 books for sure and I'm keeping my copy to read again!! If you're curious to learn more about this book and what inspired this story for Susanna then I would like to direct you to her website and the page that is dedicated to The Rose Garden.

Rating: 9.5/10

The Rose Garden by Susanna KearsleySource: review copy from Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Time Traveling Historical Fiction Goodness!
Pages: 432
Published:  October 1, 2011 Sourcebooks
ISBN:  9781402258589
*Uncorrected ARC



Disclaimer:Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.They are my personal reflections based solely on MYexperience while reading this novel.

© 2011, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


Monday, October 24, 2011

'Motor City Shakedown' by D.E. Johnson (TLC Tour Book)


Teaser synopsis:
The Teamsters want a piece of Will’s father’s car company, Detroit Electric, and the Gianolla gang is there to be sure they get it. To save their families, Will and his ex-fiancĂ©e Elizabeth Hume enlist the help of Detroit Police Detective Riordan, the teenage members of what will one day be known as the Purple Gang, and Vito Adamo himself. They careen from one danger to the next, surviving shootouts, kidnappings, and police brutality, while barreling toward a devastating climax readers won’t soon forget.

First thoughts after finishing: "I must read the first book from this author!!!!"

I assumed that I would not care for the Noir crime fiction genre but this author's writing skills has proven me wrong. I loved this story from the very beginning and thought it was a great walk on the wild side of Detroit. I have always known that Detroit is a huge Union city....it still is. I've always known that Detroit has had many, many corrupt big wigs and players and they still do. Detroit is gritty, violent, and dangerous. She (the city) was that way in the early 1900's and she's still that way today. I loved how Johnson took well-known people like Henry Ford, William Anderson (Detroit Electric), Edsel Ford, and Vito Adamo (Detroit's first crime boss) and created this story about the explosion of the car industry, organized crime and the labor movement. Everything was seamless and the story flowed flawlessly for me. I really enjoyed the lead character, Will Anderson. He has his faults and addictions, but he wasn't afraid of putting his life on the line to avenge a friend and to try to protect his family from the Labor Unions.

Recommend? Hands down....YES! This was a winning read for me in all ways. Being a Michigan native, the story really came to life because I've seen a lot of the buildings that the author referenced and I know of the streets that he used in this book. He put a lot of time into this story and his research is meticulous. This series is a must-read for those that love Noir crime fiction and would be a great addition to your reading plans!


Rating: 8.5/10
Author: D.E. Johnson
Genre: Noir Fiction
Pages: 352 pages of fascinating historical crime fiction!
Published: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9780312644574

D.E. (Dan) Johnson, a graduate of Central Michigan University, is a history buff who has been writing fiction since childhood but had to hit his midlife crisis to get serious about it. His first novel, a historical mystery entitled The Detroit Electric Scheme, was published in September 2010 by St. Martin’s Minotaur Books. The Detroit Electric Scheme has garnered excellent reviews (including being named one of Booklist’s Top Ten First Crime Novels of the year) and also won a 2011 Michigan Notable Book Award.
Motor City Shakedown, the first sequel to The Detroit Electric Scheme, will be published by St. Martin’s in September 2011. Dan is married, has three daughters, and lives near Kalamazoo, Michigan.



Disclaimer:Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.They are my personal reflections based solely on MYexperience while reading this novel.


© 2011, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday...What Are You Reading?


Mailbox Monday 
is a gathering place for readers to share the books that
came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. 
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

October Host:


Two purchases for my Kindle because I absolutely love Jo Nesbo's writing and he's easy on the eyes to boot!! I also blame Jill @ Rhapsody in Books for my obsession as she's written such compelling reviews that forced my hand to click on the "buy now" button!

Nemesis- purchased for $4.44 @ Amazon.com
The Redbreast- purchased for $2.99
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Hosted by 
Sheila @ One Person's Journey Through a World of Books
We discuss the books that we've read 
and what we're planning to read for the week.


Read and reviewed last week:
Utterly Charming- utterly disappointing read for me

Reviews this week:
Motor City Shakedown- Monday (TLC Tour Stop)
The Rose Garden- Tuesday
Mr. Darcy's Bite-Thursday
Mr. Darcy's Undoing- Friday

Coming up:
Expectations of Happiness
Definitely Not Mr. Darcy
Beyond All Measure (TLC Tour)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Snapshot - wet and cold Homecoming Night!


Saturday Snapshot
It’s easy to participate – just post a picture
that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Alyce’s site.

Marc and his girlfriend, Shelby were the Junior Representatives for this year's Homecoming. The weather was horrible! The wind was blowing, the rain was slanted (literally), and the field was muddy as you can tell by looking at Marc's pants!! His team was victorious with a hard fought battle over their rivals for the Division Title. We won 6-0 and it was a nail-biter! Marc played one of his best defensive games ever and Shelby looked beautiful the next night at the Homecoming Dance. You can't see her pretty dress because it was pouring out and all the girls were covered up! Marc is waving to my nephew and NEW daughter-in-law who braved the weather, and a grueling 2.5 hour drive!! One of the best nights of the year!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

'Utterly Charming' by Kristine Grayson


Synopsis from Goodreads:

This time when Sleeping Beauty wakes up, she wants nothing to do with the man who kissed her. Consoling Alex Blackstone, the rejected suitor who is a brilliant magician but inept when it comes to women, falls to modern career woman and lawyer, Nora Barr. Nora now has to deal with Beauty's evil stepmother, and the discovery that Alex just might be her own personal Prince Charming...

First thoughts when I finished: "Not what I was hoping for."

I read Wickedly Charming earlier this year and loved it, so when Sourcebooks was offering another Grayson book I just had to read it. What I've gathered since finishing the book is that she wrote Utterly Charming way back in 2000. Why is this relevant? Because she wrote Wickedly Charming eleven years later and boy has her writing skills improved. I'm very glad that I read her later work first because if I had started with Utterly Charming I might not pick up another book written by her. This story just lacked charm. The charm that drew me to Wickedly Charming was nonexistent in this book. I never really felt that I was in a 'fractured fairy-tale' and the whole premise, once I was knee-deep in the book just never came to fruition. I didn't find Prince Charming irresistible and honestly, I didn't really care for the main character Nora in the least. The story revolved around legalities of fairyland versus the real world and it bored me to tears! I found myself skimming the last third of the book, which is never a good thing!

Recommend?   I have every confidence that her later works are better than the one I just finished so I would read this author again but I would hesitate to recommend this one to my friends. Instead, I would direct you to Wickedly Charming which was everything I wanted and more!

Rating: 5/10


As always, I like to give my readers other viewpoints of books that I didn't care for, so here they are!

The Romance Reader: "This light-hearted romance stands behind its title 100%: it is utterly charming. It's also somewhat uneven and not without faults, but the charm goes a long way towards compensating for any shortcomings."


Royal Reviews: "Overall, this book was a fun read and I believe that it will make the perfect fall read. A light romance that will leave you happy as a lark."


Bitten By Books:"Utterly Charming has all the elements of a typical fairy tale and will keep you enthralled to the very last page!"


Utterly Charming by Kristine Grayson
Source: review copy from Sourcebooks
Genre: Fractured Fairytale Romance
Pages: 320
Published: re-release October 1, 2011 Sourcebooks
ISBN:  9781402248511
*Uncorrected ARC



Disclaimer:Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.They are my personal reflections based solely on MYexperience while reading this novel.

© 2011, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday Pick- John Green has a new book coming out!!!!!



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event,
hosted at Breaking the Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases
that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Published date Jan 10, 2012 by Penguin Group
The book focuses on a girl named Hazel who is suffering 
from terminal cancer and is forced by her parents to attend a support group.

I love John Green and so does my son Marc! You can be sure that we both will be reading this one! Here's what little I could find out about the book on Wiki.

The Fault in Our Stars is the upcoming fourth solo novel by author John Green that rose to #1 on the Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists in June 2011 shortly after its title was announced.[1]
The book's title was revealed in a post on Green's Tumblr blog on June 28, 2011. In the post, Green stated, "The title is inspired by a famous line from Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar. The nobleman Cassius says to Brutus, 'The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.'" This was also stated on his YouTube vlog.
The book shot to number 1 on the Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists, even though an official release date and cover had not yet been released. Green also promised that every copy of the first printing will be hand-signed by him. He proposed that the general public vote on the colorSharpie he will use to sign the book. The voting resulted in him signing the books with a variety of Sharpie colors, each in proportion to the amount of votes received for that color. He has also been allowing fans to submit their book cover designs.[2]
The book focuses on a girl named Hazel who is suffering from terminal cancer and is forced by her parents to attend a support group

What book are you anxiously waiting to be released?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

First Chapter~First Paragraph Tuesday Intros



Every Tuesday, Diane @ Bibliophile by the Sea
 posts the opening paragraph (maybe two) of a book
 she decided to read based on the opening paragraph (s).
 Feel free to grab the banner and play along!

My selection for this week is Cross Currents by John Shors. I've read so many wonderful reviews of his work and John sent me an autographed copy of this title. I will be reading this one in November...for your viewing pleasure I also added a video that John created for his book. Enjoy!



  Saturday, December 18
  Lek opened his eyes, though his body remained as still as the gecko on the ceiling. He watched it, as he often did, admiring its patience, aware of its seemingly perpetual hunger. The creature was the length of his forefinger, and the color of mahogany. Lek enjoyed gazing at the gecko, though he was jealous of its speed. If a moth landed nearby, the gecko moved as if lightning filled its veins. Yet in the absence of insects, the gecko was without motion, a silent sentinel that protected Lek's home from airborne invaders.

Would you continue reading this one based on the opening paragraph?


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday....What Are You Reading?


Mailbox Monday 
is a gathering place for readers to share the books that
came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. 
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

October Host:

Kindle purchases that were influenced by book -blogging friends!


The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons- I read a fantastic review of Tatiana & Alexander on Kailana's blog, The Written World. She mentioned The Bronze Horseman being the first in this trilogy so I knew I had to start at the beginning. Picked it up for $1.99!

Safe From the Sea by Peter Geye- Mary's (Bookfan) wonderfully moving review of this title had me clicking immediately at Amazon. Purchased for 7.99

Here Home Hope by Kaira Rouda- I loved Mari's review of this book on her blog Bookworm With a View...so much so that I immediately bought it for $2.99!
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Hosted by 
Sheila @ One Person's Journey Through a World of Books
We discuss the books that we've read 
and what we're planning to read for the week.


Read and reviewed last week:
Triangles by Ellen Hopkins- not her best work IMHO.
1105 Yakima Street by Debbie Macomber- this is a series that you MUST read in order!

Reviews for this week:
Utterly Charming by Kristine Grayson
The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Upcoming: P&P variations

Friday, October 14, 2011

'1105 Yakima Street (Cedar Cover #11) 'by Debbie Macomber



Dear Reader,

You don't know me yet, but in a few hours that's going to change. I'm inviting you to my town of Cedar Cove because I want you to meet my family, friends and neighbors. Come hear their stories--maybe even their secrets!  Cedar Cove--people love it and sometimes they leave it, but they never forget it! 


First thoughts after finishing this book: "Wow, that was like a daytime soap opera!"

I have been reading Debbie Macomber's books, most especially The Blossom Street Series, over the past couple of years but I've never read her Cedar Cove series. I think I made a huge mistake by reading this book out-of-order. I had a hard time getting all of the characters together in my head and the number of people involved in this book was a bit overwhelming. I'm not going to blame Debbie for any of that. I should have done my homework and passed on the NetGalley review copy and started with book one.

Recommend? Overall, it was a fun read but I did feel a bit overwhelmed with all of the different story lines. I found myself wishing several times that I had started at the beginning!

Rating: 7/10


Author: Debbie Macomber
Published: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Fiction

Source: NetGalley/MIRA


Disclaimer:Thank you to NetGalley and MIRA for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.They are my personal reflections based solely on MYexperience while reading this novel.

© 2011, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.