Monday, August 29, 2011

True Vision by Joyce Lamb

As a special treat, while we are reading True Vision for our book group, Joyce Lamb will be logging in once a week to answer any questions about her books.  So, be sure to make a comment below and take this opportunity to hear directly back from the author!

Review by Jan:

True Vision is a mind rush.
book jacketA stranger calls Charlotte from across the street and hurries toward her.   Charlie Trudeau, a small town news reporter, is first puzzled by the use of her given name, and then horrified when she witnesses this woman hit by a car as she crosses the street, murdered in a hit-and-run.   While Charlie tries to help, the woman dies in her arms.  Upon the woman’s death, Charlie receives a jolt to her “other” senses that awakens a latent psychic ability. 
And this all happens within the first chapter. 
True Vision is non-stop action from beginning to end.  Charlie begins to receive flashes of memory from anyone she touches.   And while she’s trying to handle her new psychic awareness, someone keeps trying to murder her.  She soon learns she has a family connection to the stranger murdered by the hit-and-run; Laurette was her cousin.   Their mothers are estranged sisters.   Noah, a police detective from Laurette’s hometown, and her friend, arrives on the scene to help solve her murder, and stays to help Charlie when it becomes apparent she was the intended victim—not Laurette.  From one near-miss murder, to following attempts, Charlie and Noah are drawn together to help catch Laurette’s murderer, and to keep Charlie from becoming the next victim.
And that’s the entire teaser I’m going to give you because I want you to read the story! 
Personally, I think what drew me in the most were the two main characters, Charlie and Noah.  Lamb created two very likable protagonists.  I was immediately invested in their journey.   I also liked her writing style.  She has a snappy voice and perfect pacing.   The mystery unfolded slowly, the romance was believable, and the premise was interesting.  The story was packed with intrigue, family secrets, romance, and a solid mystery that kept me turning the pages.   I also liked the fact that she didn’t spend too much time in the antagonist’s point of view, which is my particular pet peeve.    If an author makes me spend too much time in the bad guy’s head, sorry, but I will skip the pages.  Lamb didn’t do this.  Her pacing was perfect, a page here and there, just enough to strengthen the story without boring the reader (mainly me) into skipping forward.    
Be forewarned, this book is high on the sensuality level and has graphic language.  I’m giving it a Chili Pepper On Fire rating.  The love scenes between Charlie and Noah have enough heat to peel paint off walls, and… oh, my, goodness...  there’s more than just one of these scenes.
Chili Pepper On Fire Please note... there is a Flaming Chili Pepper rating on this one!
            Our Chili Pepper Rating Explained

As always, I have listed all of Joyce Lamb’s books in order below with links to our catalog. 
Hope to see you in our library someday soon,
Jan 
Joyce Lamb's True Series in reading order:
1.  True Vision
2.  True Colors
3.  True Shot
Other Stand alone books by Joyce Lamb:
Cold Midnight
Caught In the Act   *A Rita award finalist!
Found Wanting
Relative Strangers


:  Request each book from the Bangor Public Library by clicking on the cover  : :

  book jacket  book jacket  book jacket 
  book jacket  book jacket

Friday, August 26, 2011

Meg Cabot's "Size 12 is Not Fat"

Review by Sarah:

One of my favorite authors to read during the summer (I know it’s almost over) is Meg Cabot. Many of you probably know her young adult series “The Princess Diaries”, however she has written numerous titles for adults.  She has a great series that is part chick lit and part mystery.  The first in this series is “Size 12 is Not Fat”.  Unfortunately there are only three books in this series I really wish that she would write more. 
The main character of these books is Heather Wells.  Heather is a former teen pop star who lost stardom when she decided that she was okay with being a size twelve.  Unfortunately in this process she also lost her boyfriend, and all of her money (Her manager mom ran off to South America).  So Heather starts a new life and gets a real job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York City’s top colleges. 
Things start to go awry when the body of one of her female students ends up at the bottom of the elevator shaft.  Many people at the college chalk it up to an accident or sheer stupidity (elevator surfing). But Heather knows that teenage college girls don’t elevator surf, they leave that “sheer stupidity” up to the boys.  Heather can’t convince anyone that this is more than an accident, not even her hunky P.I. landlord.  Things start to get even more complicated when more deaths occur. Heather realizes that she must take matters into her own hands and figure out what exactly is going on. 
Like most of Cabot’s books this one is a fun quick read.  What I like about her is that she doesn’t stay in just one genre.  Many people may just think of her as a “chick lit” author, but her most recent books have a more supernatural aspect.
~Sarah
Request Size 12 is Not Fat  from the Bangor Public Library

Thursday, August 25, 2011

True Vision and True Colors giveaway at tonight's meeting!

Our door prize for tonight's meeting will be two signed copies of Joyce Lamb's True series, True Vision (book 1) and True Colors (book 2).  Joyce will be our guest blogger in September, and has generously donated six of her books.  Authors who support libraries rock!  So, here's a big THANK YOU to this wonderful author.  Her other four books will be given away at next month's meeting, and a full review will be posted of True Vision in a few days.

Hope to see you all tonight at 5:30 in the library's Lecture Hall.
(Third floor under the dome)

~Jan
P.S. My double chocolate zucchini bread came out really well.

Request True Vision from the Bangor Public Library
(True Colors will be catalogued for our collection soon, and True Shot is on order for its December release)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Help!  My zucchini has taken over my garden.  What does this have to do with books?  Well, my garden situation does remind me of a series by Louise Penny, a marvelous mystery author who writes a cozy series set in Canada.  One of my favorite lines in her first book, Still Life, concerns the overabundant zucchini plant: "The only reason why people lock their doors is to stop neighbors from dropping off extra zucchini in the fall."   Isn't that a wonderful line?  It described her community perfectly.  However, we probably will not be reading Penny's book, but we did review it on our literary fiction side if anyone is interested... Still Life by Louise Penny.
Anyway, notice how even my garden moments somehow refer back to a favorite book!  :o)  Our next meeting is a little over a week away, on Thursday, August 25th at 5:30.  Are you wondering where I'm going with this whole zucchini topic?  Well... I've been working on a zucchini bread recipe that came out surprisingly good, more like a moist, fluffy brownie than a bread.  I have so much zucchini from my garden that any decent recipe is worth a try.  I've included the recipe below, and the bread will be served at our August meeting for our "something sweet."
Hope to see you all then,
Jan


Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
(Makes two loaves)
Heat oven to 350˚
Measure the following dry ingredients into a bowl.  Stir well and set aside.
2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of instant coffee
½ teaspoon of baking powder
2 cups of white sugar

In a separate bowl combine the following wet ingredients and whisk well.
½  cup of unsweetened apple sauce
½ cup of vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Add 3 cups of shredded raw zucchini to moist ingredients and mix well.   I grate zucchini with medium size grater or just use a food processor beforehand.   Also,  I always give the zucchini a little squeeze before adding it to the wet ingredients to remove excess moisture, but not all of it—just a little squeeze!  :o)
(1 ½ cups of chocolate chips needed for final step.  1 cup of walnuts can also be added at this step.)
Make a well in the center of flour and pour the moist ingredients in the well.  Stir until all the flour mixture is moistened.  Gently fold in 1½ cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Pour mixed batter into 2 greased loaf pans.  (I spray it with Pam or Baker’s Joy and it does fine)  Bake at 350˚ for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick test comes clean.   Remove loaf from pan to cool.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Slave To Sensation by Nalini Singh

book jacketReview by Jan:

November 16th, 2011 will be our NYOBG Blog's first anniversary.  It has been truly awesome hearing all your recommendations and comments over the last few months, both in person at our meetings, and then on our blog.  As we approach our one year anniversary, I would like to honor one of my favorite paranormal romance authors by revisiting our February 2011 vote winner, Slave To Sensation by Nalini Singh.

I simply love this author's writing style, as our book group members will attest to because I frequently gush about her books.  Slave to Sensation is the first book in her Psy/Changlings Series.  It is a paranormal romance, and be ready to stretch your imagination into a world where changelings, humans, and a psychic race, coexist.  The changelings are passionate, pack communities, while the Psy are evolved humans who have shut off their emotions for the protection of their race.  The Psy also exist within a collective mind.  The contrasting communities, the opposing character traits, and how they relate to each other is well executed.  The heroine of this book, Sascha, is Psy.  Sascha feels emotion, a character flaw to the Psy which, if revealed, can result in her extermination.  The hero, Lucas, is a changeling who revels in emotion and wants Sascha to reveal hers.  The more he realizes she's not like her fellow Psy, the more interested he becomes.  There is a graphic murder mystery that fuels the story as well, with some intriguing twists and turns.  The conflict between the characters and their existing races is believable and supported by the world that Nalini has created.  The character development in this book, and every other one in this series, is phenomenal!

In short, I COULDN'T PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!  I know those words are often used to describe books, but for me that isn't a common occurrence.  Not with my crazy/hectic lifestyle, and with the pile of books waiting to be read and reviewed on my desk, that I usually skim because I don't have enough time for every book.  So, when I say I can't put a book down there is something pretty special about it.  

Be advised, while this book is heavy on the sci-fi elements, what drives the story is the romance between Sascha and Lucas---and the sensuality level is high.  (Chili Pepper On Fire)

I will check our catalog this week to see what we have of this series, and what we need to order.  Our romance, horror, and fantasy books are the most popular, therefore they are the most used, and the paperbacks sometimes don't survive our circulation rate for very long, so the collection fluctuates often.  I know we once had a lot more copies of this title for the book group read in February and now we only have two.  But I will order what I can of the rest of the series.  Meanwhile, if anybody has extra copies they would like to donate of any book in this series, I will gladly accept them!

Hope to see you in our Library someday soon,
Jan

Chili Pepper On Fire Please note... there is a Flaming Chili Pepper rating on this one!
            Our Chili Pepper Rating Explained

Friday, August 5, 2011

Join our email list!

If you would like to receive email reminders from us, just send us an email at... notyourordinarybookbanter@gmail.com  ... and tell us to add you to our contact list!

We send out reminders of meetings, book choices, and when the online vote is ready to go.

We look forward to hearing from you,
Jan and Sarah

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Joyce Lamb will be our guest blogger in September

book jacketI have some exciting news... Joyce Lamb has graciously agreed to be our "Guest Author Blogger" for the month of September.  Joyce writes romantic suspense for Berkley and her books are wonderful!  Her latest trilogy, True Vision, True Colors, and True Shot (due out in December), are a perfect blend of mystery, suspense, and romance with psychic elements.

A full review of True Vision will be posted shortly, and for the whole month of September, Joyce will sign in to our blog once or twice a week and answer any questions you may have about her books.  So, be sure to check back soon, and have your questions and comments ready to go.

As always, hope to see you in our library someday soon,
Jan

Request True Vision from the Bangor Public Library 
Visit Joyce Lamb's website