World Book Night U.S. 2013

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World Book Night is amazing. Anyone that loves books should check out the website to see how you can participate next year. By “spreading the love of reading from person to person” this organization encourages reading in an up close and personal way.

Look Again_World Book Night

This year I gave out Lisa Scottline’s Look Again.  ( I reviewed it yesterday, so check out that post if you are unfamiliar with it. One of the first people I gave a copy to, flipped it open and her eyes teared up. She said, “Oh my God – this almost happened to me! My daughter’s birth mother had her for a supervised visit and took off with her. With the help of the police, they found her within 3 hours.”

I was speechless. She went on to say she couldn’t wait to read it.

The next person I gave it to doesn’t usually read this genre, but was excited to branch out and give it a try.

I gave a copy to our security guard, even thought the book seemed more for women readers to me. Later was pleasantly surprised to go by his desk and have him tell me he started reading it and really liked it (great writing transcends age, gender and ethnicity). I snapped a quick pic of him enjoying it.

Andy_World Book Night

A HUGE thank you to all of the authors, publishers, pick up locations and book givers. I cannot tell you how good it feels to hand out brand new books and see the surprise and delight on the face of the recipients.

Happy Reading!

World Book Night U.S. 2013

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wbnamericaTomorrow is World Book Night U.S. 2013. If you’ve never heard about World Book Night U.S. please go to their website and check them out.

Last year I was a book giver, and it was an awesome experience. I gave out copies of My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult at the Heartland Blood Bank in Aurora while giving blood. It was so much fun to see how surprised people were when I handed them a book.

I am honored this year to be a giver again, this year the book I am giving will be Look Again by Lisa Scottolini.  Look Again_World Book Night

Thanks to everyone involved with this wonderfully fun event.

Book Review: Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

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Look Again_World Book NightLook Again

Lisa Scottoline

St Martin’s  Griffin, New York

ISBN-978-0-312-38 72-4

377 pages

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Reviewed by Laura Hartman

Journalist Ellen Gleeson loves her adopted son, Will, with all of her heart and soul. They found each other when he was an infant. Will, hospitalized with a serious heart condition, was abandoned by his mother. Ellen saw him while researching a story, fell in love with the tiny tot and became his mother through a legal adoption. Now Will has grown into a happy, healthy preschooler.

The end of this perfect life started with a mass mailing “Have you seen this child?” postcard. Could the little boy be Will? If the missing boy was Will, could Ellen ignore his parents’ pleas for his safe return?

The journalist in her has to investigate the possibility that something was horribly wrong with the adoption. The deeper she searches the more bad things turn up, including dead bodies.

Is she willing to risk everything, including losing her son to find the truth?

Scottoline is one of my favorite authors. This book in particular so good I read it fast, and then was unhappy to have it end. Anyone who has a child or loves a child is pulled into the heart wrenching fear Ellen is experiencing. If you’ve never read one of Scottoline’s books, start here – you’ll become an instant fan of this seasoned author.

Book Review: Braking Points by Tammy Kaehler

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Braking Points

Tammy Kaehler

Poisoned Pen Press


291 pages

Reviewed by Laura Hartman

Genre: Mystery

Tammy Kaehler takes her readers along for a ride with her gutsy racecar driver Kate Reilly. Braking Points is the second in the Kate Reilly Mystery series following Dead Man’s Switch. The book moves at breakneck speed with excitement at every turn.

American Le Mans Series (ALMS) driver Kate Reilly accepts her role as a woman in a male dominated world. She takes her driving seriously and is committed to proving wrong those that think a woman can’t compete as a driver. An error in driving judgment causes an accident between Kate and a popular NASCAR driver Miles Hanson. Fully admitting he was equally at fault for the accident doesn’t keep his fans and a mean spirited blogger, The Ringer, from ripping Kate to shreds in person and online.

To add to her worries, the press has jumped on the Kate hating bandwagon. She hires a publicity firm, which helps, but Kate seems unable to put the brakes on her mouth, which does not help her situation at all.

Irritation turns to fear when a friend ends up dead after a race. Was she the target or did the killer really mean to stop Kate? Then someone tries to run her down. Is it a crazed fan? Is it someone closer to her? Could it be The Ringer, who seems to know intimate details of her life? Kate is frightened, but determined not to let fear stop her from racing in the championship race.

Braking Points was a fun read. I am not much of a race car fan, but really love the rumble, speed and excitement of fast cars. Kaehler pulls the reader  into the car with Kate by giving them a turn by turn view from the driver’s seat. Racing is much more than jumping in a car and hitting the gas. The little facts about racing that followers of the sport undoubtedly know intrigued me.

This is a solid mystery with as many twists and turns as a racetrack. The plot weaves on and off the road in a complex pattern that comes to a screeching conclusion in the last few pages.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review. Copyright © 2013 Laura Hartman

Book Review: An Island of Illusions by Jennifer L. Jennings

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Product Details


An Island of Illusions

Jennifer L. Jennings

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Reviewed by Laura Hartman


Sarah Woods thought she was on a vacation with her husband in Hawaii. Actually, she was tricked by Carter, a PI she worked with in the past, into coming to the island to help him find the kidnapped grandson of a doctor. All of the leads have gone cold, but Dr. Sanborn thinks the person that took his grandson might be in Hawaii.

Sarah has helped Carter before, and is needed again. Sarah’s family doesn’t know she is a sleuth, but her husband knows they haven’t been sharing much lately except arguments. Add Max to the mix – a sexy PI that has worked with Sarah in the past and would like to share more than work with her.

Jennings adds a mix of  interesting characters to a well plotted mystery making a great cozy.

This is the first time I’ve read one of Jennings novels, but am looking forward to picking up another one soon. Thanks to BookBub ( who offered her book as one of the “books of the day” to introducing me to her work.


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