Thursday, December 30, 2010

AMAZING ARC Giveaway Box

It's an AmAzInG ArC BoX Giveaway

The box will be filled with all of the books below for one lucky winner to claim.

 Beachcombers: A Novel by Nancy Thayer
Velocity (Karen Vail) by Alan Jacobson
Reckless: A Novel by Andrew Gross
Without Mercy by Lisa Jackson
Dog Tags by David Rosenfelt
Chosen To Die by Lisa Jackson
Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline
Mister X by John Lutz
Senseless by Mary Burton
Merciless by Mary Burton

GIVEAWAY - Rules for entering: 

  • This contest is open to USA residents only! 
  • You MUST complete the form below - do not leave information in the comments - it will not count! 
  • The contest will end on January 13, 2011 at 11:59PM EST; 1 winner will be selected and contacted thereafter. 
  • Once the winner is contacted, they will have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail or another winner will be selected.  Make sure you check your spam filters.
  •  Book will be shipped directly from me (via UPS). 
  •   No PO Boxes - UPS will not deliver to PO Box 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WINNERS !!!!!!

Bedeviled Eggs

An Uplifting Murder


All winners have been notified. They have 48 hrs to confirm their address or other winners will be chosen. Thank you to everyone that entered.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review - So Close The Hand of Death by J.T. Ellison

So Close the Hand of Death
Author ~ J.T. Ellison
Publisher ~ Mira
Publication date ~ February 15, 2011

It’s a hideous echo of a violent past. Across America, murders are being committed with all the twisted hallmarks of the Boston Strangler, the Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam. The media frenzy explodes and Nashville homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson knows instantly that The Pretender is back…and he’s got helpers.

As The Pretender’s disciples perpetrate their sick homages – stretching police and FBI dangerously thin – Taylor tries desperately to prepare for their inevitable showdown. And she must do it alone. To be close to her is to be in mortal danger, and she won’t risk losing anyone she loves. But the isolation, the self-doubt and the rising body count are taking their toll – she’s beside herself and ready to snap.

The brilliant psychopath who both adores and despises her is drawing close. Close enough to touch.

My thoughts ~ 

The Boston Strangler, the Zodiac Killer, and the Son of Sam are all back. OK, well maybe not technically, but someone is out there killing in the same gruesome fashion as these notorious serial killers. With the murders happening across the nation it soon becomes apparent that they can-not possibly be the work of one killer, that there is a greater evil out there. An evil all to familiar to Taylor Jackson. The Pretender has returned.

With this book taking place immediately after The Immortals ends, there is not one second for Taylor to stop and catch her breath, to deal with her emotions after having shot and killed a young man, or to process what happened to Fitz and figure out what is going on with Baldwin that he isn't talking about. But she needs to push all of that aside and once and for all take The Pretender down. She is over knowing that he's out there, waiting for her. She is sick with the thoughts that until The Pretender is caught, everyone she loves will be at his mercy, and there is nothing she can do about it. Will she be able to let others help her? Or will she find herself seeking her own kind of justice? Can she do what needs to be done? Can she protect the ones that mean the most to her against the one person that hates her the most?  And when the ultimate betrayal comes who will be left standing to deal with the repercussions?

So Close the Hand of Death is the sixth book in the Taylor Jackson series. The book can definitely be read as a stand-alone, but to get a deeper understanding of Taylor, her G-man fiance Baldwin, her medical examiner BFF Sam, and the rest of her team, you should read them in order (All the Pretty Girls, 14, Judas Kiss, The Cold Room, The Immortals).  I'm keeping this review, as vague as possible to avoid any spoilers. If you pay close attention, virtually everything that happens in this story is a clue about what has happened in the terrifying past, and what's going on in  the intense present and what will happen in the explosive near future. There is no doubt J.T. Ellison is a master at her craft. Just when you think her last book is her best yet, you read the next one.  And you realize just how wrong you were.  So Close the Hand of Death is an edge-of-your-seat, white-knuckled, can't-turn-the-pages-fast-enough thriller  - that will have you clutching the book as you turn pages almost faster than you can read them in - a desperate desire to find out what comes next.

FTC Full Disclosure ~ I received this book from NetGalley.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sony EReader - WINNER


Cindy W.

I've sent Cindy an email notifying her of her win. She has 48 hrs to respond or another winner will be chosen. Thank you to EVERYONE that has entered. Keep your eye out for other amazing giveaways coming soon!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reader Survey

I got this idea over from Jen at Crazy For Books, (who saw it over at Book Chick City) and thought to myself - "Ok,  Jen better let me copy her!" So, with her blessing, here is the first Lori's Reading Corner Reader Survey!

I love working on my blog. It's my outlet, my way of expressing myself. I started blogging at the prodding of my friends. I can tell by the number of followers I have that people are reading my blog, but sometimes I wonder if you're REALLY reading it? Now, I'd like to know if you do and what you REALLLY think.

The survey is anonymous, so please feel free to be honest. But remember, I am a human being with feelings, so try to phrase your criticisms in the nicest way possible! Just don't tell me that you hate my blog - tell my WHY you hate my blog! Don't tell me that my writing sucks - tell my WHY my writing sucks. See? I am all about constructive criticism! It's how we all grow! I'm NOT about being mean and hurtful just for the sake of it. I'm really opening myself up here, so any helpful tips are encouraged! (Yes, I copied this right from Jen, because well, she said it exactly the way I was thinking it! So, thank you Jen!)

I am grateful for all of you. I work hard to bring you posts, books and giveaways that I hope you'll enjoy and make your time here at Lori's Reading Corner interesting, fun and exciting.

This is completely anonymous & your feedback is appreciated.

Thank you,


Take the Online Survey

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review ~ Prayers & Lies by Sherri Wood Emmons

Prayers and LiesPrayers and Lies
Author ~ Sherri Wood Emmons
Publisher ~ Kensington
Publication date ~ February 1, 2011

When seven-year-old Bethany meets her six-year-old cousin Reana Mae, it's the beginning of a kinship of misfits that saves both from a bone-deep loneliness. Every summer, Bethany and her family leave Indianapolis for West Virginia's Coal River Valley. For Bethany's mother, the trips are a reminder of the coalmines and grinding poverty of her childhood, of a place she'd hoped to escape. But her loving relatives, and Bethany's friendship with Reana Mae, keep them coming back. 

But as Bethany grows older, she realizes that life in this small, close-knit community is not as simple as she once thought. . .that the riverside cabins that hold so much of her family's history also teem with scandalous whispers. . .and that those closest to her harbor unimaginable secrets. Amid the dense woods and quiet beauty of the valley, these secrets are coming to light at last, with a force devastating enough to shatter lives, faith, and the bond that Bethany once thought would last forever. 

Spanning four decades, Sherri Wood Emmons' debut is a haunting, captivating novel about the unexpected, sometimes shocking events that thrust us into adulthood--and the connections that keep us tethered, always, to our pasts.

My thoughts  ~

Bethany, a seven year old girl from Indianapolis begins to spend her summers with her parents, sisters, and extended family at the Coal River in West Virginia. While the life here is much different from what she is used to, she quickly feels both at peace and at home here, and  forms a tight, sisterly bond with her six year old cousin, Reana Mae. There is a simpleness here on the River that Bethy finds comforting.  Though they may not have the "riches" that Bethy  has at home, they have the "riches" of love, family, and a place to always call home.

As the years go on, things begin to change. People begin to change. And just maybe, things on the Coal River aren't nearly as perfect as Bethy thinks. The sweet innocence of their summers begin to take on a dark, impossible-to-fathom identity that will rock this town and this extended family to its core. It will bring to the surface memories that this family would rather leave buried in the past.  It will shatter lives in a way that no one could ever imagine. But a larger question remains - will it bring Bethy and Reana Mae closer than they've ever been, or will it turn them into bitter enemies with no hope of ever finding that deep, close friendship they shared when they were  younger?

From page one, you will become entrenched in the lives of  Bethy, Reana Mae and the rest of their family. Your heart will ache for their past sufferings, and your mind will scream at them for the situations they now find themselves in. Can this current generation overcome the sins of those that came before them? Or are they destined to repeat those same mistakes? Will  lies continue to be told? Will the prayers finally be answered?  If you only read one book in 2011, make sure it is Prayers and Lies.  The raw emotion, the angst of the teenage years, the desire to be wanted, needed, and loved, the hatred, the lies, the secrets, the pain, the joy and the yearnings of Bethany and her cousin Reana Mae will take hold of your heart from the very first page and never let go. An amazing story of love, friendship, and the test of time that will stay will you long after you turn the last page.

FTC Full Disclosure ~ I received this book from the publisher in the hopes that I would review it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Guest Post & Giveaway ~ Deborah Swiss - The Tin Ticket

Not Your Mama’s History

During the six years I spent researching my new book, The Tin Ticket: The Heroic Journey of Australia’s Convict Women, I never once thought about battles and bayonets until I discovered that Agnes McMillan, one of the book’s feisty heroines, happened to witness an event that changed the course of Australia’s history.

Two years ago, I had one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, second only to the births of my children. I returned to Tasmania to follow the trail of three nineteenth-century convict women. They were among the twenty-five thousand who were shipped by the British government to Australia to serve as “tamers and breeders” in a colony where men outnumbered women nine to one. Fewer than two percent were violent felons, most arrested for petty theft, for pilfering food and clothing as the only means to survive other than prostitution, which has always been legal in the UK – even today.

Like most research explorations, the most significant discoveries happen when you least expect it. One incredible find took place in a little museum in Lismore, New South Wales, that’s only open a few hours every week. I happened to be on a daytrip to the area and by luck decided to take a look at the museum with Agnes McMillan’s descendants by my side. Tucked in the back was a tiny research room specializing in the town's early history. Between the pages of a dusty well-worn file was a scrap of newspaper listing the obituary of one of Agnes’s children. It confirmed that the family had been eyewitnesses to the Eureka Rebellion, often considered the birthplace of Australian democracy and the spark that led to early and progressive rights for women – the perfect place to end my book.

While relieved that I had stumbled upon a way to conclude Agnes’s remarkable story of survival and triumph over tragedy and prejudice, what intrigued me most was a mention in her son’s obituary that Agnes had protected her family from marauders on the gold fields by hiding their mined gold in the “nappies” (diapers) of her two youngest children. Ingenuity and humor marked every phase of a journey that turned ordinary women extraordinary as they faced down the darkest recesses of humanity while relying on grit, resiliency, and unwavering friendships.

When Agnes boarded the Westmoreland, the ship that would transport her from London to Van Diemen’s Land for pilfering a pair of warm stockings, she was initiated into a sisterhood of sorrow and solidarity in which true-blue mates looked out for one another. In her case, the grey-eyed sixteen-year-old was taken under the wing of surrogate big sister Janet Houston who would help her weather a tumultuous coming of age. Below decks where the girls and women were locked down just above the bilge, those more sinned against than sinning found reason to rejoice and to feel human. At the beginning of the voyage, each had been given a bible though few could read the words. Even so, the Good Book was put to good use as the girls creatively turned passages into decks of playing cards or tore out pages to curl their hair.

Once the crown’s chattel landed in Van Diemen’s Land (present-day Tasmania), they were housed in the Cascades Female Factory located in what the local press called “the valley of the shadow of death.” The Female Factory was the euphemistically-named prison where girls like Agnes awaited assignment as indentured servants to free colonists. Here the women were not allowed to speak, yet they devised elaborate schemes to communicate, leaving contraband behind a lose brick or passing clay pipes filled with forbidden tobacco. They even managed love affairs with the help of two corrupt wardens who smuggled love letters inside chickens delivered to the prison, notes that arranged clandestine meetings with men in town who would later become their paramours and husbands.

The malnourished, pock-marked women, many with missing teeth, dared to feel beautiful and alive as they endured the unrelenting injustice of being exiled for life, for crimes that today would scarcely merit a slap on the wrist. Under the cover of darkness, they sang and danced beneath the moonlit cliffs of Mount Wellington, donning bright scarves and gaudy earrings to adorn their closely-cropped hair. Working as convict maids, they learned how to skin and cook a “roo” to make it tasty. Scrubbing laundry along stone wash tubs and shivering in their thin shifts emblazoned with large yellow “C”s (for convict), Agnes McMillan, Janet Houston, and the vast majority of the twenty-five thousand transports survived and refused to succumb to their captor’s will. Bold women sent to a wild land against their will transcended seemingly insurmountable odds. Once freed, they lived their lives with dignity and forgiveness as loving mothers and grandmothers. These remarkable survivors inspire me every single day and make me proud to be a woman.

About the author ~ 

Deborah Swiss is the author of The Tin Ticket: The Heroic Journey of Australia's Convict Women and several other non-fiction books.  Her latest historical research originated in 2004 in a post office in Launceston, Tasmania during a chance meeting with Tasmanian artist Christina Henri whose work honors female transports imprisoned in the Cascades Female Factory, most arrested for stealing clothing or food.  The Tin Ticket explores the forgotten history of 25,000 women who were transported to Australian colonies in the early nineteenth century.  It’s a story about the triumph of the human spirit told through the lives of three remarkable survivors.  

 Visit Deborah at her website
Friend Deborah on Facebook

Her latest book ~ 

The Tin Ticket: The Heroic Journey of Australia's Convict Women 

Historian Deborah J. Swiss tells the heartbreaking, horrifying, and ultimately triumphant story of the women exiled from the British Isles and forced into slavery and savagery-who created the most liberated society of their time.

Agnes McMillan and Janet Houston were convicted for shoplifting. Bridget Mulligan stole a bucket of milk; Widow Ludlow Tedder, eleven spoons. For their crimes, they would be sent not to jail, but to ships teeming with other female convicts. Tin tickets, stamped with numbers, were hung around the women's necks, and the ships set out to carry them to their new home: Van Diemen's Land, later known as Tasmania, part of the British Empire's crown jewel, Australia. Men outnumbered women nine to one there, and few "proper" citizens were interested in emigrating. The deportation of thousands of petty criminals-the vast majority nonviolent first offenders-provided a convenient solution for the government.

Crossing Shark-infested waters, some died in shipwrecks during the four-month journey, or succumbed to infections and were sent to a watery grave. Others were impregnated against their will by their captors. They arrived as nothing more than property. But incredibly, as the years passed, they managed not only to endure their privation and pain but to thrive on their own terms, breaking the chains of bondage, and forging a society that treated women as equals and led the world in women's rights.

The Tin Ticket takes us to the dawn of the nineteenth century and into the lives of Agnes McMillan, whose defiance and resilience carried her to a far more dramatic rebellion; Agnes's best friend Janet Houston, who rescued her from the Glasgow wynds and was also transported to Van Diemen's Land; Ludlow Tedder, forced to choose just one of her four children to accompany her to the other side of the world; Bridget Mulligan, who gave birth to a line of powerful women stretching to the present day. It also tells the tale of Elizabeth Gurney Fry, a Quaker reformer who touched all their lives. Ultimately, it is the story of women discarded by their homeland and forgotten by history-who, by sheer force of will, become the heart and soul of a new nation. 


Thanks to  Penguin, I have two (2) copies of this book to give away. 

GIVEAWAY  Rules for entering:

  • This contest is open to residents of USA only!
  • Please complete the form below - do not leave information in the comments - it will not count.
  • The contest will end on January 3, 2011 at 11:59PM EST; 2 winners will be selected and contacted thereafter.
  • Once the winners are contacted, they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen (make sure to check your spam filters!).
  • Book will be shipped directly from Penguin.

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
 We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 

The Four Ms. Bradwells: A NovelThe Four Ms. Bradwells: A Novel  by Meg Waite Clayton (ARC) ~ Meg Waite Clayton’s national bestseller The Wednesday Sisters was a word-of-mouth sensation and book club favorite. Now the beloved author is back with a page-turning novel that explores the secrets we keep, even from those closest to us, and celebrates the enduring power of friendship. Mia, Laney, Betts, and Ginger, best friends since law school, have reunited for a long weekend as Betts awaits Senate confirmation of her appointment to the Supreme Court. Nicknamed “the Ms. Bradwells” during their first class at the University of Michigan Law School in 1979—when only three women had ever served full Senate terms and none had been appointed to the Court—the four have supported one another through life’s challenges: marriages and divorces, births and deaths, career setbacks and triumphs large and small. Betts was, and still is, the Funny One. Ginger, the Rebel. Laney, the Good Girl. And Mia, the Savant. But when the Senate hearings uncover a deeply buried skeleton in the friends’ collective closet, the Ms. Bradwells retreat to a summer house on the Chesapeake Bay, where they find themselves reliving a much darker period in their past—one that stirs up secrets they’ve kept for, and from, one another, and could change their lives forever. Once again, Meg Waite Clayton writes inspiringly about the complex circumstances facing women and the heartfelt friendships that hold them together. Insightful and affecting, The Four Ms. Bradwells is also a captivating tale of how far people will go to protect the ones they love. Release date: March 22nd.

SenselessSenseless  by Marton Burton (ARC, for review) ~ The vicious burns scarring the victims' flesh reveal the agony of their last moments. Each woman was branded with a star, then stabbed through the heart. With every death, a vengeful killer finds a brief, blissful moment of calm. But soon it's time for the bloodshed to start again. Ten years ago, Eva Rayburn and her sorority sisters were celebrating the end of the school year. That party turned into a nightmare Eva can't forget. Now she's trying to start over in her Virginia hometown, but a new nightmare has begun. Every victim is linked to her. And Detective Deacon Garrison isn't sure whether this mysterious woman needs investigating - or protecting. Only Eva's death will bring peace. Only her tortured screams will silence the rage that has been building for ten long years. Because what started that night at the sorority can never be stopped - not until the last victim has been marked for death. Release date ~ December 28th.

MercilessMerciless by Mary Burton (ARC, for review) ~ Each skeleton is flawless - gleaming white and perfectly preserved, a testament to his skill. Every scrap of flesh has been removed to reveal the glistening bone beneath. And the collection is growing. When bleached human bones are identified as belonging to a former patient of Dr. Dillon Dixon, Detective Malcolm Kier suspects the worst. Dixon was recently acquitted of attempted murder, thanks to defence attorney Angie Carlson. But as the body count rises, Kier is convinced that Angie is now the target of a brutal, brilliant psychopath. Angie is no stranger to the dark side of human nature. But nothing has prepared her for the decades-long legacy of madness and murder about to be revealed - or a killer ready to claim her as his ultimate trophy. Release date ~ January 25th

Stitch Me Deadly: An Embroidery MysteryStitch Me Deadly: An Embroidery Mystery  by Amanda Lee (ARC, for review) ~ Maggie Singer owns The Seven Year Stitch, an embroidery specialty shop in the small town of Tallulah Falls, Oregon. Trouble strikes when an elderly woman brings an antique piece of embroidery into the shop-and promptly dies of unnatural causes. Now Marcy has to stitch together clues to catch a crafty killer. Release date ~ February 1st

Curiosity Thrilled the Cat: A Magical Cats MysteryCuriosity Thrilled the Cat: A Magical Cats Mystery by Sofie Kelly (ARC, for review) ~ When librarian Kathleen Paulson moved to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen's fondness for Barry Manilow. But beyond all the fur and purrs, there's something more to these felines. When murder interrupts Mayville's Music Festival, Kathleen finds herself the prime suspect. More stunning is her realization that Owen and Hercules are magical-and she's relying on their skills to solve a purr-fect murder.Release date ~ February 1st

There's Cake in My FutureThere's Cake in My Future  by Kim Gruenenfelder (ARC, for review) ~ After listening to her closest friends’ latest travails in love, parenting, and careers, superstitious bride-to-be Nicole (Nic) believes she has the perfect recipe for everyone’s happiness: a bridal shower “cake pull” in which each ribboned silver charm planted in her cake will bring its recipient the magical assistance she needs to change her destiny.  Melissa (Mel), still ringless after dating the same man for six years, deserves the engagement ring charm.  The red hot chili pepper would be perfect for Seema, who is in love with her best male friend Scott, but can’t seem to make their relationship more than platonic.  And recently laid off journalist Nic wants the shovel, which symbolizes hard work, to help her get her career back on track.  Nic does everything she can to control who gets which silver keepsake – as well as the future it represents.  But when the charmed cake is mysteriously shifted from the place settings Nic arranged around it, no one gets the charm she chose for them. And when the other party guests’ fortunes begin coming true, Mel, Seema, and Nic can’t help but wonder…. Is the cake trying to tell them something?  Release date ~ December 21st

Mortar and Murder (A Do-It-Yourself Mystery)Mortar and Murder (A Do-It-Yourself Mystery)  by Jennie Bentley (for review) ~ Avery Baker was once a New York textile designer, but inheriting her aunt's old Maine cottage has led her down a new career path-home renovation. Finding a property's hidden potential has rewards and challenges-especially when a mystery surfaces from behind the walls of a centuries-old house on an island that has more than its share of deadly secrets. Release date ~ January 4th

The Hundred Secret Senses: A Novel The Hundred Secret Senses: A Novel by Amy Tam ( for review) ~ Again grounding her novel in family and the workings of fate, Tan (The Kitchen God's Wife) spins the tale of two sisters, two cultures, and several acts of betrayal. Kwan, who came to San Francisco from China when she was 18, remains culturally disjointed, a good-natured, superstitious peasant with a fierce belief that she has "yin eyes," which enable her to see ghosts. Kwan's younger half-sister Olivia (or Libby-ah, as Kwan calls her) is supremely annoyed by Kwan's habit of conversing with spirits and treats her with disdain. Despite herself, however, Libby is fascinated by the stories Kwan tells of her past lives, during one of which, in the late 1800s, she claims to have befriended an American missionary who was in love with an evil general. Kwan relates this story in installments that alternate with Libby's narration, which stresses her impatience with Kwan's clinging presence. But Kwan's devotion never cools: "She turns all my betrayals into love that needs to be betrayed," Libby muses. When circumstances take Kwan, Libby and Libby's estranged husband, Simon, back to Kwan's native village in China on a magazine assignment, the stories Kwan tells?of magic, violence, love and fate?begin to assume poignant?and dangerous?relevance. In Kwan, Tan has created a character with a strong, indelible voice, whose (often hilarious) pidgin English defines her whole personality. Needy, petulant, skeptical Libby is not as interesting; though she must act as Kwan's foil, demonstrating the dichotomy between imagination and reality, she is less credible and compelling, especially when she undergoes a near-spiritual conversion in the novel's denouement.

So Close the Hand of Death  by J.T. Ellison (ARC, for review) ~ It’s a hideous echo of a violent past. Across America, murders are being committed with all the twisted hallmarks of the Boston Strangler, the Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam. The media frenzy explodes and Nashville homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson knows instantly that The Pretender is back…and he’s got helpers. As The Pretender’s disciples perpetrate their sick homages – stretching police and FBI dangerously thin – Taylor tries desperately to prepare for their inevitable showdown. And she must do it alone. To be close to her is to be in mortal danger, and she won’t risk losing anyone she loves. But the isolation, the self-doubt and the rising body count are taking their toll – she’s beside herself and ready to snap.The brilliant psychopath who both adores and despises her is drawing close. Close enough to touch. Release date ~ February 15th.