Feb 25, 2010

Janeology by Karen Harrington

Have you ever seen on the news a story about a mother who killed her own child and wondered 'What would make her do that?' or 'How could she do that to her own child?' In JANEOLOGY, these are the very questions that Tom Nelson is asking about his wife, Jane after she drowns one of their toddler twins. Thankfully, the other survived.

It was a day like any other until a policeman showed up at Tom's classroom at the Texas college where he teaches, to tell him he needed to come home with him. That there was some trouble at his house. Not in his wildest imagination could he have perceived what he would discover there.

After Jane's trial, where she was committed to a psychiatric hospital, the prosecutor's office soon began to focus on Tom and he was charged with Failure To Protect. Why hadn't he seen this coming? Didn't he know his wife was unstable? Was he guilty of not protecting his children from their mother? The answers to these questions are the basis for Tom's legal defense.

With the help of his dedicated lawyer, a lot of research and a clairvoyant who has her own interest in the case, they begin a journey into Jane's family history that leads them to startling revelations that at least begin to explain why Jane did the unthinkable.

JANEOLOGY is a book that has a dark side and I found myself getting lost in Jane's past as her husband tries to make sense of it all. Karen Harrington draws on the abilities of a clairvoyant in her story to travel through time and look into past lives that have ultimately contributed to one woman committing an unforgivable crime against her own child.

The story is told in the days leading up to Tom's own trial with each chapter introducing a descendant from Jane's family tree, beginning with her mother's geneology and bringing it full circle with her father's family history. I thought the way in which the story was told was imaginative and brilliant. When telling a story with many family members, it's hard not to get lost or to lose track of who is who. This is not a problem in reading JANEOLOGY.

Once I started reading, I had difficulty putting it down. It's the kind of book I enjoy reading the most. Not a lot of fluff or descriptive reading. Just the meat of a good story. Another thing I liked most about it was the ending. I felt completely satisfied and it didn't feel like it was predictable at all. I can't say anymore about it, but I liked the way it ended. I do have one regret and that is that I waited so long to read this book.

Visit Karen's website to learn more about JANEOLOGY, read an excerpt from the book or watch the book trailer. You can also visit her Blog at http://www.scobberlotch.blogspot.com.

Author: Karen Harrington
Publisher: Kunati Inc.
Published: April 2008
Pages: 256
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Feb 24, 2010

W.W.W. Wednesdays

This is my first time participating in this weekly meme that is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. If you'd like to play along, just answer the following three questions:
  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What are you planning to read next?
Here are my answers:
  • What are you currently reading? I am currently reading THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET by Karen White. It's the second book in The House on Tradd Street Series and I am enjoying it very much. There's a little bit of everything in it which keeps it interesting. I've also discovered that I really enjoy Ms. White's writing. She plans to have a total of four books in this series, and in fact, she is in the beginning phases of writing the third book. So if you haven't read the first two, there's time to catch up. If you love books based in the South, you'll love the Charleston, South Carolina locale. I have a little over 100 pages to go, so I'll soon be patiently awaiting the next installment.

  • What did you recently finish reading? A few weeks ago, I finished THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET by Karen White and also JANEOLOGY by Karen Harrington. I've posted my review of Tradd Street (you can read it here) and will have my review of JANEOLOGY by weeks end.

  • What do you plan to read next? The next book I'm going to read is Pat Conroy's SOUTH OF BROAD for a TLC Book Tour in April. I've actually already started reading, but plan to focus all of my attention on it once I finish the Legare Street book. The interesting thing is that both books take place in Charleston, and that is already a plus for me.

Feb 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesday 2.9.10

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. It's a fun way to share the books we're reading and get a taste of whats inside. Here's what you do -
  • Grab your current read and let it fall open to a random page
  • Choose two sentences to share, being careful not to include any spoilers
  • List the title of the book and the page you took your teasers from

Today my teasers are from THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET by Karen White. It takes place in Charleston, South Carolina, one of the most enchanting cities in the US. It's a story with a good mystery and some paranormal elements that give it an added twist. As you may know, this is the sequel to the very popular THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET.

I heard his sigh and then, almost imperceptibly, I felt a soft brush of fingers against my jawline, soft enough to be mistaken for a trickle of air. My breath caught with the icy heat of his touch, and I wanted to step away and stay at the same time. ~ page 263 (Large print edition)

Feb 8, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Last week was a great reading week for me and I'm hoping to keep up the momentum through this week as well. I finished two books last week . . .
JANEOLOGY by Karen Harrington - I'm so glad I finally read this book. It's a very interesting subject matter in a compelling story. I'll be posting my review in a few days.
THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET by Karen White - I've had this book on my TBR list for so long and I'm glad I've finally read it. I just love the cover of this one! You can read my review here.
I also posted my review of LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS by Charlaine Harris. This is book two of the Southern Vampire Series. You can read that review here.

For this week I'll be reading . . .

THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET by Karen White - This is the sequel to THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET that was released last November.

HUSH: A NOVEL by Kate White - I received this advanced copy from AuthorsOnTheWeb last week and have just begun reading it so I don't know too much about it yet.

This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey Through A World of Books and anyone is welcome to join in. What are you reading this week?

Feb 5, 2010

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White

Melanie Middleton, a successful real estate agent, lives in a stark, new condominium in Charleston, South Carolina, a few short miles away from the old majestic homes located south of Broad in the historic district. She specializes in the sale of these historic homes, yet personally, she hates everything they represent. She doesn't understand the fascination people have with them and thinks the cost of keeping up such homes is a waste of money. As a child, Melanie lived in one of those homes with her mother until she walked out of Melanie's life at the age of eight, leaving her with some bad memories and a lot of hurt. It was her grandmother's house and also where Melanie first experienced seeing people that others didn't see. People from long ago times who have been dead for decades. Melanie doesn't like to talk about her ability to see dead people and she tries to pretend they aren't there. These ghosts play a big part in why she dislikes the old homes that have made Charleston so famous with the tourists. She usually just ignores the ghosts and they leave her alone. But when Melanie inherits the house at 55 Tradd Street from a man she met only once, she can't ignore them any longer. There are mysteries involving the house and the previous owners and because of a promise Melanie made, she feels an obligation to find out what really happened even if it means opening some doors to her own past that she has locked out of her mind for years. To complicate matters, there are other people who are also interested in the house for far more selfish reasons and they will do almost anything to get what they want.

THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET by Karen White is a book I've had my eye on for awhile. The cover was always drawing me to the book and the fact that I love stories about houses made it even more irresistible. There is more than one mystery going on this story. As soon as I started reading, I knew this was going to be a book I would enjoy. Having never read one of Ms. White's books, I didn't know what to expect. What I found was a writing style that flowed from page to page with drama, suspense, a bit of romance and humor all mixed in. The most surprising element was the humorous side of some of the characters that I wasn't expecting. It made me chuckle and endeared those characters to me more and more.

The paranormal parts of the book were perfectly integrated and were not over the top or far fetched in any way. They were subtle and added a great element to this story. If you don't normally read books that feature ghosts and are not sure if you'd like them or not, this is a perfect book to test out the waters. I, myself, don't read many paranormal books and I was completely satisfied with this book.

Another plus is the interesting cast of characters. Some are quirky, some are funny and some are not, so there is a wide range of people that make it interesting without having too many to keep straight.
The second book in this series is THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET, which was released last November. I'm picking it up from the library tomorrow. Because I enjoyed her writing so much, there are other books by Karen White that I have moved up on my TBR list. You can check out her website for more on her books, all the latest news and how to get Karen to participate in your book club, along with other useful information.

Author: Karen White
Publisher: NAL Trade
Published: November 2008
Pages: 352
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Feb 4, 2010

Living Dead In Dallas (Book 2 Southern Vampire Series) by Charlaine Harris

Late last year, I decided to give vampires a try. Though most of the world was reading the wildly popular TWILIGHT books, I was hesitant to go that route. I don't normally read a book simply because its the 'in' thing to do and I really wasn't all that excited about the romantic dilemma between Bella and Edward. I was looking for something a little different, so I went with Harris' Southern Vampire Series and met Sookie Stackhouse. I was instantly a fan. Admittedly, I liked it more than I thought I would. For those who are unfamiliar, these are the books from which the HBO series True Blood is taken.

In the first book, DEAD UNTIL DARK, we get to meet the characters that we will be following in this series based in small town Bon Temps, Louisiana, including Sookie Stackhouse, the main character and Bill Compton, a local vampire who becomes her boyfriend. However, there's more to this series than just a budding romance between a human and a vamp. There's also murder. In LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS, Sookie uses her mind-reading ability to try to find out who killed Lafayette, her friend and co-worker at Merlottes Bar. As if that isn't enough to keep Sookie busy, Eric, the sexy and scary leader of the local nest of vampires has become privy to Sookie's 'special talent' and insists that she go to Dallas to find out about one of his missing vampires who was last seen there.

Feeling they have no choice but to do as Eric says, Bill and Sookie travel to Dallas and it doesn't take long to figure out that this is going to be a dangerous trip for both of them. They encounter some strange and scary characters along their journey and wonder if it's safe to trust anyone.

What I like about this series is the mystery element. It constantly keeps you guessing yet still manages to add just the right amount of romance to keep it sexy. The ever-growing cast of supporting characters are fun to get to know and I find myself liking them more and more as the pages turn. Another great plus is that Sookie continues to be a strong, independent woman with a vulnerable side that is very likable.

LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS was even more dangerous and exciting than the first book so I'm really looking forward to continuing with Book 3, which is CLUB DEAD. I honestly never thought I'd enjoy the vampire genre, but Charlaine Harris has created a series that I find completely entertaining. I enjoy taking a break from some of the more serious books I read and just lose myself in Sookie's adventures. I guess you could say this is my guilty pleasure!

Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Ace Publishing
Published: 2002
Pages: 320
Rating 4 Stars out of 5

Feb 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: 2.2.10

Teaser Tuesday is hosted each week by MizB at Should Be Reading. It's a fun way to share the books we're reading by offering a sample of writing. Here's how it works:
  • Open your current book to a random page
  • Select two sentences to share being careful not to include any spoilers.
  • List the name, author and page number you took your teasers from
I'm continuing on with a book I used last week and will be finishing later today. The premise of this book is so interesting and different than any other book I've read. It's the psychological thriller JANEOLOGY by Karen Harrington . . .

"What we don't know about our mothers and fathers may be all for the better," I said. "But truly, would it change a person to learn in the middle of life that his bloodline is something altogether different than he thought?" ~ page 183