Sunday, September 9, 2012


"Seraphina" (#1) by Rachel Hartman
Hardcover: 467 pages
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers (July 10, 2012)

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page.

This book took me a little while to get into.  The language was somewhat difficult to get used to, but once I got past that it was pretty good.  I like dragon books for some reason.  This is a different kind of dragon book, actually half-dragons as well.  The story was good and it's going to be a trilogy (surprise, surprise).  However, it's worth reading and very enjoyable.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

When Ghosts Speak: Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits

"When Ghosts Speak: Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits" by Mary Ann Winkowski
Hardcover: 238 pages
Published: Grand Central Publishing (October 22, 2007)

Lights flicker on and off for no good reason. You feel drained and inexplicably irritable. Your four-year-old is scared to enter her bedroom.
Tell these things to Mary Ann Winkowski, and she'll tell you that you have a ghost.
A happily married, devout Catholic, suburban mother and full-time paranormal investigator, Mary Ann Winkowski has been able to see earthbound spirits, spirits that are trapped on earth and haven't "crossed over," since she was a little girl. Mary Ann works with these spirits to help them make peace with what keeps them here - whether it be people they can't let go of or homes they love.
In WHEN GHOSTS SPEAK, Mary Ann will tell the amazing story of growing up with this gift, and will share tips on how to recognize when you're not alone, and what to do if you are in the presence of a ghost.

If you like to read about stuff like this, then this book is a good one for you.  I really enjoyed it, and will probably read her other books.  She is a medium, and the basis of the show "Ghost Whisperer".  I liked the insight I gained about spirits when reading this book.  Particularly earthbound spirits.  I didn't realize there was a difference between spirits.  This was a good book.  There were some actual photos of spirits in the book that were interesting to study, too.


Drums of Autumn

"Drums of Autumn" by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #4)
Hardcover: 896 pages
Published: Delta (August 7, 2001)

In this breathtaking novel—rich in history and adventure—The New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager. Once again spanning continents and centuries, Diana Gabaldon has created a work of sheer passion and brilliance....

It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna....

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history ... and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past ... or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong....

I LOVED THIS BOOK!  This is the next best one in this series after the first one!  I actually cried in this one...They are now in America right before the start of the Revolutionary War.  I can't wait to read the last one, "The Fiery Cross".  It's in my stack of books to read, but I have to finish another one first.  If any of you are up to reading this whole series, you won't be disappointed.


The Seven Rays

"The Seven Rays" by Jessica Bendinger
Hardcover: 330 pages
Published: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (November 24, 2009)

You are more than you think you are.

THAT IS THE ANONYMOUS MESSAGE that Beth Michaels receives right before she starts seeing things. Not just a slept-through my-alarm-clock, late-for-homeroom, haven't had-my-caffeine-fix kind of seeing things. It all starts with some dots, annoying pink dots that pop up on and over her mom and her best friend's face. But then things get out of control and Beth is seeing people's pasts, their fears, their secrets, their desires. The images are coming at Beth in hi-def streaming video and she can't stop it. Everyone thinks she's crazy and she's pretty sure she agrees with them. But crazy doesn't explain the gold envelopes that have started arriving, containing seeing keys and mysterious tarot cards. To Beth, it all seems too weird to be true. You are more than you think you are? But here's the thing: What if she is?

The creator of Bring it On, Jessica Bendiner, brings her teen savvy writing to this paranormal romance, The Seven Rays.

I really liked this book, and I wish there was a sequel.  Yes, I actually said that about a book.  I can't believe I want a sequel to this book, but there was so much more I wanted to know when it ended.  I like to read about people with abilities, paranormal, etc.  This was a good fictional one.  My daughter liked it, too.


Between the Lines

"Between the Lines" by Jodi Picoult, Samantha van Leer
Hardcover: 358 pages
Published: Simon Pulse (June 26, 2012)

What happens when happily ever after... isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

This was a cute book, and a good first one for Jodi's daughter, Samantha.  I really liked the idea for this story and it was well written.  It was a little young for my taste, but good anyway.