Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Review: Old Man's War by John Scalzi

Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1)Title: Old Man's War
Author: John Scalzi
Publisher/Publication Date: Tor Books, January 15, 2007
Genre: Science Fiction
Format/Source: Paperback, Purchased

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-- and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine--and what he will become is far stranger...

My Thoughts:

With Old Man’s War by John Scalzi I had really high expectations—I kept seeing the series come up in various places, so I decided to go ahead and just give it a try. And you know what I was pretty impressed by it. Everything from the concept to the characters, even the various (often time’s completely alien) places were interesting and what ultimately kept me reading. I was invested in the story and eager to see where the characters ended up by the end of the novel.

Old Man’s War was exactly my kind of book.

The story is basically told from the perspective of John Perry, and at the age of seventy-five he decides to join the army. Well, this wasn’t any old army, because it primarily dealt with conflicts in the far reaches of outer space. The beginning was solid and introduced the concept, and I especially liked the parts that explained what really happens when you join the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF). There were a lot of stipulations that came along with the numerous benefits, and it was interesting to see how it played out later on in the story. I can’t say much about the other characters, because it’s a spoiler
— or there wasn’t much about them. The focus of the story remained primarily on John and his experience in the CDF.

The technology—ships and weapons—were also cool. Other aspects that I enjoyed was the way that the CDF operated, and the numerous missions that the recruits had to do under their specific orders. I also liked being able to see some of the training they underwent. I think that this book worked because it blended science fiction elements with strategy and war. So on that note, I look forward to eventually getting more of Scalzi's novels.

Rating 5/5

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Release Day Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway: Taming Lily by Monica Murphy

We're celebrating the release of TAMING LILY by Monica Murphy! 

TAMING LILY (The Fowler Sisters #3) by Monica Murphy
Adult Contemporary Romance


I’m in trouble. Again. And instead of facing my problems head-on, I’ve run away. Far away this time, and no one can catch me—not my two younger sisters, Violet and Rose, not my father, my grandmother, or that witch Pilar who wants to take control of my family’s cosmetics company. Now I’m in Hawaii, enjoying the sun and sand and water, where nobody knows the hot mess known as Lily Fowler. And I’m loving every minute of it.

But someone is watching me. Following me. He’s gorgeous. Soon we’re talking, and against all my instincts, I reveal bits and pieces of myself to Max. It feels good, though I know he can’t be the man for me. These sudden feelings we share are way too complicated, too fraught, too intense.

Then everything explodes and I’m forced to return home. My intentions have always been true, but now everyone’s mad at me. I don’t know who to turn to anymore . . . except to Max. He’s the one I want to trust. But I’m not so sure I should. Maybe it’s worth the risk—what-ifs be damned. . . .


“Looks like Maui agreed with you.” Violet greets me as I walk toward her, practically falling into her welcoming hug. I squeeze her back, closing my eyes for the briefest moment as I absorb her love and warmth, so incredibly thankful to be with her again.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you in person,” I tell her before I withdraw, though I don’t let her go my hands still clasp her shoulders and she’s holding on to my arms.

“I know.” Violet’s smiling at me, looking gorgeous with all that dark hair falling down her back in luxurious waves, her dark eyes sparkling as bright as the giant diamond on her finger. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Violet look so genuinely happy.

I could almost get choked up, having her here in front of me. I didn’t realize I missed my sister so much until now. “Skype just doesn’t cut it, you know,” I say, my voice rough as I clear my throat past the emotional bubble clogging it.

Violet rolls her eyes and smiles. “I totally agree. But guess what? You’re stuck with me now. No more going back to Lon- don for us except to visit.”

I’m so grateful for her warm acceptance of me that I can feel the tight knot in my chest slowly unravel. I was scared to death this morning as I prepared to come into Fleur. Seeing Daddy, Grandma, Rose, and Violet . . . and worst of all, that evil witch Pilar . . . I wasn’t looking forward to it, and that’s the understatement of the year.

I was petrified really, afraid of what any of them might say. I’d rather pretend the fact that I ran away to Maui to escape my problems—especially a problem that neither I nor Pilar wants made public knowledge, I’m sure—was swept under the rug.

I don’t even want to talk about Maui and what happened there. The man I met. The man who somehow, some way, double-crossed me. Stole from me . . .

I have my suspicions about why Max did what he did. Nothing confirmed yet, but come on. I had jewelry in my suitcase— expensive jewelry. Cash in my wallet and stashed away in my travel bag. Yet he took my laptop and that’s it. The fucker stole from me.


Could he be working for Pilar?

No. It couldn’t be possible, just some weird coincidence.

Maybe he didn’t steal from me. Maybe one of the hotel employees snagged my Mac. I hadn’t checked on it in days. For all I know, it could have been missing since the day I stashed it up on the shelf in my closet.
That’s the problem. I don’t know what happened, when it was stolen or why. I can suspect Max all I want. It makes sense in a way. He held me close until I fell asleep and when I woke up in the morning, groggy and hung over, he was gone. Disappeared like he’d never existed in the first place. He didn’t even leave a note. I searched for him everywhere. By the pool, in the lobby, down by the beach, in the hotel restaurants, but he wasn’t there.

I went to his hotel room only to find the door cracked open and the maids inside, cleaning. His stuff was gone. The maids let me know he’d checked out that morning.

He didn’t even bother saying goodbye.

It hurts that he didn’t believe me worthy of a goodbye. Worse, 
he lied to me. Said that we would see each other again and then ditched me. I don’t get it.

What did I do wrong? That last night, when we had sex, I gave him everything I thought he wanted. I wanted to please him, wanted to be the submissive woman, not only to make him happy, but because it made me feel...good. I liked handing over the control to Max so I could get lost in the pleasure. It aroused me, his controlling ways, the words he said, the demands he made on my body. I wanted more. I wanted all of him . . .

And he didn’t want me at all. 



OWNING VIOLET (The Fowler Sisters #1) by Monica Murphy
Adult Contemporary Romance
Books a Million:

STEALING ROSE (The Fowler Sisters #2) by Monica Murphy
Adult Contemporary Romance


New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She's a workaholic who loves her job. When she's not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.
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