Saturday, 12 May 2012

I Love Claudia Gray

It's true. I love Claudia Gray. I was introduced to the author (not in person, sadly) by an old co-worker of mine. She told me about this teen series that was about vampires (the big thing at the time) and you don't know who all of the vampires are. Say WHAT?!?!?! Sign me up! So I read Gray's Evernight series (Evernight, Stargazer, Hourglass, Afterlife) and I loved them! Lots of twists and turns, surprises, and not the ending I was expecting.

Balthazar is a character in the Evernight series. While the series was from Bianca's point of view, Balthazar is from Balthazar's point of view and is a bit of a side book (series? Hopefully? I don't know yet, but I suspect.) Balthazar and Skye are brought into the spotlight and the book goes back and forth between the two of them. It is still dealing with vampires, but there is another supernatural being in it as well.

I feel these books are better than Twilight (most books are), and it's nice to still read vampire books. If you're a fan of Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, etc., please give Gray's books a try. DEFINITELY read the Evernight series first before plunging into Balthazar because there are lots of things you will miss and some things will be ruined if you go backwards.

I can't wait to see what Gray comes out with next! Happy Reading!

A Sheetcake Named Desire by Jacklyn Brady

Alright, I need a bit of a break from the regular format of my blog. It's starting to bore me. I'm sorry, it's clear I have a problem. What problem? I have an obsession with cozy mysteries. I'm sure you have all figured this out by now, but I just can't help it. I mean, come on! The titles alone! They're fantastic! And there is not one area of life which cozy mysteries have not touched. LOVE. THEM.

Anyway, back to the book at hand. I'm not going to lie, as much as I love this title, I finished the book and felt that it did not fit the story. I always feel at the end of these books that the title completely fit the story, but I did not feel that way with this one. Yes, it's about a cake shop, so naturally there are cakes. Yes, there is some desire in the book, but it's just not the right title. It doesn't sit well with me.

I liked the characters in this book and I was so ready to implicate almost every person I met in order to find out who committed the murder (I failed. Note to self: do NOT become a private investigator or homicide detective. Stick to the dead, but in a different capacity...) I felt the main character, Rita, was easy to relate to. She was a normal girl, albeit one who was really wishing her ex would just sign the stupid divorce papers so she could move on. And what did she do when her relationship ended? Moved back home. Yup, I can relate to that one. But how she thought things would go and where life actually took her ended up being two different things.

I also really enjoyed that this series is centered around a cake shop, Zydeco's. While I am not much of a baker, I give it a shot when the opportunity presents itself and I would love to learn how to decorate cookies and cake in a more...professional manner. I am fascinated by what bakers can create with a little sugar (okay, a lot of sugar) and some cakes. Lots of fun to read about!

I guess maybe I should give a little background on the story, that might be helpful. Rita goes to New Orleans to get her ex, Phillippe, to sign the divorce papers he has been avoiding for over a year. When they finally get close enough to be in the same building, he turns up dead. Rita sticks around for a bit to comfort her ex-mother-in-law (who is fantastic, I love her character), and asks around to see if she can figure out who would have it in for Phillippe. Managing the cake shop in the interim, Rita finds herself with some enemies and gets caught in some interesting situations.

I hope you will give this book a shot! I have only read the first one in the series, but I look forward to reading more in the future. Happy Reading everyone!!!

Friday, 11 May 2012

The Rescue of Belle and Sundance by Birgit Stutz

Title: The Rescue of Belle and Sundance
Author: Birgit Stutz with Lawrence Scanlan
Release Date: November 8, 2010
Publisher: Harper Collins Canada
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Nature/Pet Stories


"On December 15, 2008, two snowmobilers discovered a pair of abandoned horses atop B.C.'s Mount Renshaw in the Canadian Rockies. Belle and Sundance were a sorry sight -- they were emaciated, shivering and trapped in a small shelter they had made for themselves by tramping down the six-footdeep snow. Next morning, a party of four from the nearby town of McBride was sent back up the mountain with a bale of hay, a handgun and a heartbreaking choice to make: either feed the horses, or shoot them.
The four agreed: there was an undeniable glimmer in the eyes of Belle and Sundance, and the decision was made to feed them. But saving the two horses would require a lot more than hay. Weighing their options, many people in McBride decided to pull on their long johns and pitch in -- they would dig, by hand, the three-foot-wide, six-foot-deep, kilometre-long tunnel that became Belle and Sundance's route to freedom.
The Rescue of Belle and Sundance takes the reader up that starkly beautiful but bitterly cold mountain to the heart of the struggle to save two horses. In this account, with its grim beginning and its glad and joyful end, Stutz and Scanlan recreate the rescue that sent a message of hope and compassion around the world." (

About the Author:
Go to The Falling Star Ranch website to learn more about Birgit and her ranch.


Michelle bought me this book probably about a year ago. It was one of those ones that I kept meaning to pick up and didn’t get around to it. Now that I’ve read it I wish I had read it when she gave it to me! It was sooooo good (Larissa, are you listening???) I’m not a huge fan of horses, but those who know me well know that I am a sucker for a good animal story. I cried when I read Dewey, I gasped when I read The Daily Coyote (SO GOOD), and I laughed when I read others. I was so caught up in what was going on in this book that it was over before I knew it. I like that it was someone who was involved in the rescue who actually wrote it (co-wrote) – I know, what a novel idea, eh?  I was absolutely shocked by what these horses had to go through. It made me so angry and I thought of many ways in which the owner of them should be punished himself. Luckily there are good people in the world who are not afraid of a challenge and who fought hard for these horses! I fell in love with these horses and I hope you will too when you give this book a try! For animal lovers EVERYWHERE!!!!! I have included some pictures that I found of them. They start with the condition they were in when they were found and go from there...Happy Reading! I really hope you will read this book, especially because it is a Canadian story and written by a Canadian author!

Related Links:
Falling Star Ranch
Garth Frizzell
Horses All

The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti by Annie Vanderbilt

Title: The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti
Author: Annie Vanderbilt
Release Date: October 7, 2008
Publisher: New American Library
Format: Trade Paperback
Genre: General Fiction

"The coast of Southern France sparkles in this sexy, mature, and engaging debut novel.

Lily has come to southern France in search of a new perspective, hoping that the sun?s soft rays and the fragrant sea breezes will provide a relaxing respite from the demands of her lively daughter and her family?s Idaho cattle ranch. Two years after her husband?s sudden death, in the house that?s been in his family for generations, she finally finds some stolen weeks to make sense of the past.

To Madame Olivetti?her cranky old manual typewriter?Lily entrusts all her secrets, pounding out the story of the men she loved, the betrayals she endured, the losses she still regrets. And with the companionship of Yves, the seductive handyman who comes by to make repairs, Lily comes closer to understanding her exhilarating past?and to discovering she has a new story to tell?one about the delights of starting over." (

About the Author:
Annie has a lovely page set up on her website with some pictures, so I have just included a link to her website author information.


I’m not sure what happened when I read the back of this book, but I thought it was a mystery. I LOVE the cover, it caught my eye, and I was intrigued by how it sounded. Then I started reading the book. And then I read the back of the book again. And I realized I made up my own idea of what this book was about in my head. It took me a long time to get through this story I did not know I would be reading. It had a few good sections, but for the most part I found it...boring. I could not get emotionally invested in it. I was not fond of the main character, Lily, nor did I feel I could relate to what she was going through. Ugh, I hate bad books. And I hate telling people when a book is bad because it makes ME feel bad, but this book was just dry and boring and I didn’t know how I was going to make it through. I’m not saying Vanderbilt could not write a good book, this just was not it (sorry!) it for yourself??? Please keep in mind that this is the opinion of one person only, it does not mean you would not like it. I have included below a link to a blog post in which the author of the blog DID in fact like the book. So if you are considering reading this post, read Emma's blog post as well. Happy Reading!

Related Links:
Author Website