Thanks so much to Sarah at Pocket Books for the chance to participate in this tour!

Description:  London, 1672. The past twelve years have brought momentous changes: the restoration of the monarchy, a devastating plague and fire. Yet the city remains a teeming, thriving metropolis, energized by the lusty decadence of Charles II’s court and burgeoning scientific inquiry. Although women enjoy greater freedom, they are not allowed to practice medicine, a restriction that physician Hannah Devlin evades by treating patients that most other doctors shun: the city’s poor.

But Hannah has a special knowledge that Secretary of State Lord Arlington desperately needs. At the king’s Machiavellian court, Hannah attracts the attention of two men, charming courtier Ralph Montagu and anatomist Dr. Edward Strathern, as well as the attention of the powerful College of Physicians, which views her work as criminal. When two influential courtiers are found brutally murdered, their bodies inscribed with arcane symbols, Hannah is drawn into a dangerous investigation by Dr. Strathern, who believes the murders conceal a far-reaching conspiracy that may include Hannah’s late father and the king himself.

Cambridge, 2008. Teaching history at Trinity College is Claire Donovan’s dream come true — until one of her colleagues is found dead on the banks of the River Cam. The only key to the professor’s unsolved murder is a seventeenthcentury diary kept by his last research subject, Hannah Devlin, physician to the king’s mistress. With help from the eclectic collections of Cambridge’s renowned libraries, Claire and historian Andrew Kent follow the clues Devlin left behind, uncovering secrets of London’s dark past and Cambridge’s equally murky present, and discovering that events of three hundred years ago may still have consequences today….

This was a riveting mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.  I have to admit I have a fondness for books that have two parallel story lines that span several centuries.  Both Hannah and Claire are some what naive but I still came to like both their characters.  I loved the way Phillips tied the two story lines as Claire is translating the diary of Hannah’s and telling the story of the murders of her father and several others and how she came to find the murderer.  The modern day story line was a little more sketchy than the historical one so it would have been nice to have it fleshed out a little more.

It was great hearing about what it was like back in Hannah’s time to be a female practicing medicine in a male dominated profession and in which most women are held in suspicion.  I find it interesting that no matter what time era I’m reading about there are always women who offer physicks, midwives or some other medicine women yet when it comes down to the official profession of doctors it was reserved almost entirely just for men.

If you enjoyed books like The Eight by Katherine Neville I think you will enjoy this one.

To learn more about Christi Phillips visit her website:

If you want to see what others are saying about The Devlin Diary visit the other book tour blogs:

S. Krishna’s Books
All About {n}
Jenn’s Bookshelf
Beth Fish Reads
Booking Mama
The Literate Housewife Review
Book Soulmates
Chick With Books
Gimme More Books
We Be Reading
Book Bird Dog
Bookin’ with “BINGO”
My Friend Amy
Books and Needlepoint
A Working Title
Must Read Faster
Shhh I’m Reading
Debbie’s World of Books
The Tome Traveller’s Weblog
Write for a Reader
A Sea of Books
I Heart Monster
Pick of the Literate
Kingdom Books Blog
Drey’s Library
The Jaydit Reader
A Book Bloggers Diary


I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.


Walk the runway for all the world to see?

Nope. No way. Never.

At least, that’s what I thought—until Aunt Doreen secretly entered me in the Miss HuskyPeach pageant for plus-sized girls. I had to get out of it, but I felt too guilty to just quit.

There was only one choice: I’d sacrifice my chocolate cookie snack obsession and a lifestyle I was perfectly happy with. I’d lose weight.

It was the only way out.

This is how it happened

I really enjoyed this book.  Maybe it’s because I have a soft spot for overweight young girls being as that was me in middle school and high school.  I thought Dionne handled the weight issue very well showing that while eating healthy and exercising can help you lose weight what is really important is how you feel about yourself.  Celeste was a loveable character who you have to feel sorry for as she is picked on by by the “popular” kids and abandoned by her best friend.  This story was a nice mix of humor, discovering what is really important in friendships and most of all being confident in yourself no matter how you feel you may look.


It has been awhile since I participated in Booking Through Thursday but I could not resist this one.
This week’s Booking Through Thursday:

“One of my favorite sci-fi authors (Sharon Lee) has declared June 23rd Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers Day.
As she puts it:
So! In my Official Capacity as a writer of science fiction and fantasy, I hereby proclaim June 23 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day! A day of celebration and wonder! A day for all of us readers of science fiction and fantasy to reach out and say thank you to our favorite writers. A day, perhaps, to blog about our favorite sf/f writers. A day to reflect upon how written science fiction and fantasy has changed your life.
So … what might you do on the 23rd to celebrate? Do you even read fantasy/sci-fi? Why? Why not?”

I don’t know what I may do to celebrate but I do love fantasy/sci-fi.  I think I enjoy it because you can enter entirely new worlds in which things not possible is our lives are common things in their world.  Or that there may be more than meets the eye even in our own world.

One of my favorite authors that I’ve blogged about before is Mercedes Lackey.  Her Valdemar series is probably my all time favorite fantasy series.  I love the world of Valdemar, the Heralds, mages, gryphons and more.  If you have not read her books I really suggest you go out there and read one now.  I listed here what I thought about each book in the series to give you an idea of where you might want to start.

For science fiction my favorite book is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.  When you read the premise it is a sort of disturbing idea of kids being trained in warfare at such young ages.  But the world Card creates will transport you into the story and not let you go until the very end.

I’m not sure if this contributed to my reading of fantasy and science-fiction but I love, love, love Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager.  I also a fan of Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis and was getting hooked into Battle Star Galactica until we lost access to the sci-fi channel and now I believe the series is done.  I will admit that I do enjoy reading a good Star Trek novel every now and then.  In fact, I have 4 Star Trek books that I read over and over because I enjoy them so much.  In case you are curious, they are:
Possession (ST: TNG)
Intellivore(ST: TNG)
Survivors (ST: TNG)
Three Minute Universe (ST Original Series)

Now I am not sure where stories about vampires fall.  There are romance stories like the Sookie Stackhouse books, a ton of young adult series like Vampire Academy, Blue Bloods, House of Night, etc., horror stories like I Am Legend and The Strain and many more.  I personally feel they fall into fantasy since they create a new world with beings that may or may not really exist.  Either way I do love vampire stories.

What about you?  Do you enjoy reading fantasy/sci-fi?  Any suggestions on must read books?


I give this book a 2.5 out of 5 stars.


From the top, you can see everything . . . except yourself.

When Casey McCloy steps into the elegant Bramford building, she’s overwhelmed. Fresh from the Midwest, she’s moved to New York’s Upper East Side to live with her grandmother and attend the prestigious Meadowlark Academy. Here all that matters is who you know. The girl to know is Madison Macallister: popular, pretty, platinumblond. She’s not just Casey’s new classmate and neighbor; she’s an icon. So Casey aims to get in with Madison and her gorgeous gal-pals from the start. As the reigning queen of coolness, Madison is capable of destroying reputations with one welltimed whisper. Better to be on her good side.

But after a city-haute makeover from her new frenemy Madison, Casey is wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and meeting the right people-including Drew, the boy-about-town who Madison thinks belongs to her and her alone.

I really wanted to like this book because I heard good things about it but I guess it just was not for me.  I feel like the story of the small town girl moving to the big city to live among the rich and snooty has been done many times so I really wanted something in this book to distinguish itself.  While I loved Casey’s grandmother and Casey herself was pretty likeable I found a lot of the relationships between the characters to be a bit unbelievable.  For instance, I could understand why Drew was doubting any future with Madison but I did not really see any compelling reason that he would like Casey instead.  He made mentions of liking classic movies and wanting to go to museums but other than running into Casey once in a museum you don’t see him discovering the little things about her that would make him fall for her.  I will say the little side bits that Banash tosses in there had my attention more than the Madison-Drew-Casey love triangle.  I wanted to learn more about Sophie’s problems, Phoebe’s issues and what is going to happen with Sophie’s brother.  So I will say the temptation is there to pick up the next book but I will not be in any rush.


There are so many things I have been wanting to do with my blog including looking into moving to a self-hosted WordPress site so when I saw Natasha at MAW Books Blog talking about Bloggiesta I had to sign up.  I’m hoping this will force me to put in the time I know I need to do some clean up and get some back log of posts written up.  Not sure how much time I will get to put in since my daughter takes up a lot of my daylight hours and wakes up at the ungodly hours between 4-6am.  So late nights may be difficult.

If you want to participate check out the guidelines.


Description: Teena Maguire should not have tried to shortcut her way home that Fourth of July. Not after midnight, not through Rocky Point Park. Not the way she was dressed: tank top, denim cut-offs, high-heeled sandals. Not with her twelve-year-old daughter, Bethie. Not with packs of local guys running loose on hormones, rage, and alcohol. A victim of gang rape, left for dead in the park boathouse, the once vital and sexy Teena Maguire can now only regret that she has survived. And Bethie can barely remember a childhood uncolored by fear. For they’re not even a neighborhood away, the men that she identified for the Niagara Falls Police Department: the wide-browed, sandy-haired Pick brothers; the sneering Jimmy DeLucca; Fritz Haaber with his moustache and stubbled jaw. They’ve killed her grandmother’s longhaired orange cat. At a relentless, compelling pace punctuated by lonely cries in the night and the whisper of terror in the afternoon, National Book Award-winner Joyce Carol Oates unfolds the story of Teena and Bethie, their assailants, and their unexpected, silent champion, a man who knows the meaning of justice. And love.

I read this story because I heard such good things about it but I have to say it is not really my type of books.  I did not care for the way the book is written as if addressing Bethie although it was written in a way that made it quick to read.  The story is pretty horrifying as these men who beat and raped Teena and beat Bethie plead non-guilty and paint Teena as some how asking for what happened to her.  It’s a harsh reality check that this story is probably not uncommon and one of the reasons many rape victims may be hesitant to tell others what happened to them or press charges against their attackers.  It was a well written book but you will probably need a pick me up after reading it.

Did that get your attention?  🙂

The Shady Glade is giving away a copy of Catching Fire.  Enter to win here.


When I saw this gorgeous cover on Book Reviews By Jess’s blog I told myself not to read the excerpt.  Did I listen to myself?  No!  So now I’m dying to know what the dark secret is and the book isn’t due out until December!


Check out the first chapter here.


A prodigal son

A dangerous love

A deadly secret . . .

I stood back and watched his movements. Daniel had that way about him that could shut me down in an instant. . . . I kicked the gravel a couple of times and worked up my courage again. “Tell me . . . I mean . . . why did you come back? Why now, after all this time?”

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel’s dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.


I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Description: Valerie’s life is pretty good. While she’s not the most popular girl in school, she does have decent grades, great friends, and a potential boyfriend. All a girl could want.

Then her mother announces that (1) she’s gay, and (2) she’s leaving Valerie’s dad for her girlfriend. Not what Valerie envisioned for her future. And just when Valerie is getting over this bombshell, her father tells her he’s gotten a new job as protocol chief for the royal family of some obscure European country.

Valerie’s world has come unglued. She can either stay in Virginia with her mom and her über-organized, veggie-burger-eating girlfriend, or go with her dad, leaving everything she knows for some place she’s never heard of. Valerie opts to go, and quickly discovers that it was a mistake — until she meets the prince, and all bets are off!

I chose this book because after reading The Chosen One I really needed something light and uplifting.  This was a great book to pick.  It was really cute and a very quick read.  The only problem is I did not realize it’s part of the series and I do not have the next book!  Uh oh.  I want to know what happens with Valerie and the two guys she is crushing on.

What the book blurb doesn’t tell you is before moving to Europe the guy Valerie has been crushing on finally starts to show some interest and then off she goes.  Once she arrives at the palace she meets Prince Georg and immediately develops a connection with him.  Who will she end up with?

Valerie is your typical teenager who is going into crisis mode when her mom announces the divorce and that she now has a girlfriend.  Instead of coming across as bratty I found Valerie really likeable and I enjoyed her sense of humor and occasional embarrassing faux paus.  It made her easy to relate to and made this book a lot of fun to read.  Valerie’s dad was also a great character.  I never really thought of there being  a person who advises presidents and kings on proper etiquette and now I wonder if this is a real position some where.  Inquiring minds want to know?  I will definitely be on the look out for the next book, Spin Control.


Thank you so much to Sarah and Susannah at St. Martin’s Press for the chance to review this book.

I give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

Description: Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family.

It has been awhile since I have given a book a 5 stars but I just had to for The Chosen One.  Kyra’s story pulls you right into her life have you will come to care for her so much you just want to march into that compound and beat the crap out of the so called leaders of this community.  Despite not feeling well while reading this book I could not stop reading until I got to the end and my heart was actually racing as I waited to find out what would happen to Kyra.

I have seen those TV specials or news coverage about polygamist communities and felt sorry for some of the men and especially women living in those communities but it’s nothing like seeing their life through Kyra’s eyes.  To hear what she is experiencing, what she feels and watch the actions of even those who may disagree with what is going on but who are too scared to do anything about it is heart wrenching.  I normally do not like to judge other people’s beliefs but I find it hard to believe that a god would condone hold a baby’s head down in a bucket of ice water or beating and killing women for disobeying an order to marry their own blood relative.  I have read stories about those who have escaped life in these communities but this book also reminds me of all those who are left behind and are too scared, too weak or for other reasons are not able to leave and are forced to live this life against their wishes.  I know (or hope) not all community’s are like the one portrayed in this story.

Truly, this is a wonderful book that I would highly recommend.

Contact Me

I love to read and finding new authors to read. If you would like me to review your book please contact me at: dasuzuki at gmail dot com. My main areas of interest are young adult fiction, romance and mysteries but I am always open to any other fictional books. If you need your preview posted at a certain time please let me know. Otherwise, I will post them as I finish each book.

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