Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval (658.4 Kap)

I am not a huge fan of non-fiction, but this book reads easily. The authors head up their own advertising agency--The Kaplan Thaler Group--and so use their own experiences with their business and their clients to add detail and examples to this short book. The language is to the point and easy to follow.

The authors point out the ways and reasons to be nice in the business world, and back up their advice with tried and true examples from their own lives. Each chapter also comes with exercises to try to become a "nicer" person, and to practice being nice at home, work, and to strangers on the street. Each chapter is well organized into shorter sections, making it easy to read and find places to stop and absorb. A powerful book for something so small and simple to read.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Vampirates: Blood Captain by Justin Somper

Connor and Grace are back yet again in another chapter of their adventure. Grace is back on the Vampirates' ship, The Nocturne, while Connor is living a pirate's life aboard The Diablo. Grace is struggling to help Lorcan, the vampirate who rescued her from the sea and went blind while trying to brave the sunlight to save her in Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean. Now they are traveling to Sanctuary, a place where vampires tired of the evil they do come to join others who can control their bloodlust.

Connor is having problems of his own, as he struggles with having killed a man in cold blood. He never thought it would happen the way it has, and he doesn't know if he can continue in his life as a pirate. Broken, he runs away from the life he once enthusiastically embraced, and attempts to find his own path, knowing he cannot join his sister.

However, there is mutiny on the vampirate's ship, from Connor's own friend and ally. The Captain is in grave danger, and the vampires are revolting. What will happen to the world with renegade vampirates on the high seas?

Another fantastic novel. Well-written and action-packed, there is enough here for everyone. Yet another book will follow...

Lily Dale: Believing by Wendy Corsi Staub

Lily Dale: Believing is the sequel to Lily Dale: Awakening, and continues the story of Calla, a young woman who moved to Lily Dale to live with her grandmother after her mother's death and her father's move to California from their home in Florida.

Life for Calla has not changed much from the summer spent in Lily Dale. She convinced her father to let her stay there for at least the beginning of the year, and her skills as a medium are growing, despite her grandmother's concerns about using them. Calla is desperate to contact her mother beyond the grave. However, Kaitlyn, the young woman Calla "saw" in the first book is back, with another request: "Stop him". At a loss as to how to precede, Calla is caught between her father's visit, boys, and her problems at school (not to mention having a dead person talking to you while you're in math class...)

When Calla seems to become the target of the man who killed Kaitlyn and dumped yet another young woman, things start to become more dangerous, and Calla starts to realize how careful she needs to be with her gift...

This is an excellent second novel. The spirits Calla sees feel new and authentic, and Lily Dale comes alive once again. Keep an eye out for the third book in this series..

Red Fire by Deidre Knight

Red Fire is not your typical historical fantasy romance. Sure, the legendary heroes from Sparta (all featured in the recent movie 300) are there, but there are some subtle twists to the story.

For instance, this historical romance actually takes place in present day. The figures from history have moved forward in time, having become immortal after their death. And oh yeah, they can shape-shift.

As the first book in the "Gods of Midnight" series, Ajax Petrakos, Spartan warrior, is given a test to end all tests. He is pitted against an ancient foe, one who destroyed his family. And Ajax, who had been promised his soul mate by the elusive Oracle, must once again go out in battle to save what little humanity he has left. Until he finds Shay is his soul mate, and the target of his ancient foe's deadly game. It is up to him, and him alone, to save her and the world without losing his own soul in the process.

If you're a fan of Christina Dodd, Laurell Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, or Kim Harrison, you will love this novel!