Monday, October 26, 2015

Where Is Your Bookmark? (10/27/2015)

This past weekend while trying to decide if I wanted to dive into Karen E. Olson's latest, Hidden, or Catherine McKenzie's Smoke, I settled on Hidden after reading the first couple paragraphs. I was pulled in right away. It helps that I have enjoyed everything I have read by Karen E. Olson before--she's a favorite author of mine.  She's mentioned her latest is a bit different than her usual fare, which got me even more curious. Hidden is about Nicole, a woman who left her old life as a computer hacker behind fifteen years ago, making a new life for herself. Someone from her past has found her, however, and it sets off a chain of events that threaten to uproot everything Nicole has worked hard to build in her new life.


First two paragraphs of Hidden by Karen E. Olson:

I went missing fifteen years ago.

And now the only person who knew where I was is dead.





Teaser from Hidden at 16%:
"I've got a job for you." His voice is low, curling around each word like a snake. 
I have not heard those words in a long time, and something moves through me: revulsion followed by a clammy fear, and then the adrenaline of desire sticks in my throat.

And from 25% of Hidden:
I might have to flee again. I might have to give up this life as well as the other one. My breath catches in my throat.


What do you think? Would you keep reading?  

I ended up finishing the book in just a day, something I rarely am able to do anymore. I am now reading Smoke by Catherine McKenzie.

What are you reading at the moment?  Is it anything you would recommend?


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish.

This week's  Top Ten Tuesday theme is a Halloween themed freebie -- I decided to go with a list of books and movies I have read or seen that remind me of Halloween. And maybe a cat.

1.

A subtly creepy book I can recommend this time of year is Dracula by Bram Stoker. An obvious choice, I know, but oh so good. (I have yet to find a movie version which even comes close to living up to the book.)

2.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova ~ I got lost in the pages of this book and walked around in a fog when not reading it. This is a good one to read after reading Dracula.
3.

Fangland by John Marks ~ A very loose modern re-telling of Dracula, that takes a drastic turn.

4.

Hocus Pocus is one of my favorite Halloween movies. I am not much for scary movies, and so this is about the caliber of Halloween fare I enjoy.

5.

World War Z by Max Brooks ~ The book is much different than the movie. I almost didn't include World War Z on this list, but it is about zombies. It's one of the few zombie books I have read, and I really liked it. (I liked the movie too.)

6.

A Halloween Scare in California by Eric James and Marina Le Ray is a favorite Halloween picture book in our house. My daughter and I love the story--while the connection the state we live in is kind of lost on my 4 year old, it's a fun story just the same. A boy watches out his window as all the scariest monsters in the state come to town for a party only to find they are all coming to his house.

7.

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist ~ This horror novel left a lasting impression on me. Not for the faint of heart. (I thought the movie was okay.)

8.

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill is full of stories that are perfect for Halloween.

9.

The Nightmare Before Christmas movie was a pleasant surprise. We saw it for the first time this past weekend and really enjoyed it. Now I understand what all the fuss is about.

10.

Favorite cat costume ~ Puss-In-Boots. (My cats would never tolerate a costume, unfortunately.)

What books make you think of this time of year? Do you have a favorite Halloween book, movie, candy, or costume?


 © 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

88 comments:

  1. Hidden sounds very good! I'll have to check it out.

    This week's Top Ten sounds fun and I enjoyed reading your list. I've yet to read The Historian but I've heard so many good things about it. And that Puss-in-Boots costume looks adorable!

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    1. Melody - I really enjoyed Hidden, Melody. It is definitely different than her other books, but still good.

      I know there's quite a mix of opinions out there about The Historian, but I loved it.

      I wish I could convince one of my cats to wear that costume. :-)

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  2. Those first paragraphs are the definition of succinct, but I like them. I agree with you on going with a favorite author. Happy reading.

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    1. Margot - I considered adding the third paragraph which is a bit longer, but thought the two stood well on their own. They really drew me in too. :-)

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  3. Hidden sounds good. I like books where the character has a secret.

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    1. Suzi - I do too! There's something very appealing about books about characters with secrets. Maybe because I don't have any that would be book worthy. Haha

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  4. Hocus Pocus is so good! Definitely need to re-watch it this year :) And that cat picture is adorable. My cat barely lets me touch her, so I don't think she'll be okay with a costume...
    Here's my TTT on the best magical creatures: https://victoriajaynesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/top-ten-tuesday-28-halloween/

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    1. Victoria Jayne - I haven't re-watched it yet this year, but I plan to. I'm not sure I can talk my daughter into watching it, but maybe . . .

      My cats would never tolerate a costume. They love cuddles, but not clothes. LOL

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  5. Hidden has my interested, it is good to have a different premise and this is an author that's been on my radar for a while.

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    1. Cleo - I recommend her books, especially if you like mysteries and crime fiction. :-)

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  6. Hocus Pocus is such a great Halloween movie. I adore it! :-) I thoroughly enjoyed The Historian. Great list! :-)

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    1. Chrissi - I agree! Hocus Pocus is such a fun movie. I am glad you also liked The Historian! I know some didn't. :-(

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  7. Now that is the shortest 2 paragraphs I've seen --ever LOL It makes me want to read more though.

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    1. Diane - Just those two sentences really draw you in, don't they? :-)

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  8. Wow - that short little intro sure packs a punch! I'd keep reading.

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    1. Sarah - I thought so too. I couldn't help but keep reading.

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  9. Definitely would keep reading Hidden! Lots of good books highlighted, thanks!

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  10. I would definitely keep reading Hidden - it sounds great! My type of book.

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    1. Emma - I really enjoyed it. I think you'd like it. :-)

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    1. Donna - I was glad to hear it will turn into a series. I can't wait to see what the author does next.

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  12. I get such a feeling of accomplishment finishing a book in a day, but that so rarely happens. Glad one of your favorites came through again for you!

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    1. JoAnn - Me too! It so rarely happens for me too. It wasn't a book I thought I would or planned to read in one day either--I just couldn't tear myself away.

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  13. Yes--I would definitely keep reading! Books 1, 2, and 5 are books I've read and enjoyed; will have to check out some of the others.

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    1. Jenclair - You've read the best ones on my list. :-)

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  14. Let the Right One is looks very good. The cover is so creepy!
    Halloween @ Crushingcinders

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    1. Sue - It was creepy. Such an interesting book!

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  15. Wow, Hidden must be good. I can't remember the last time I read a book in a day.

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    1. Kathy - It isn't often I manage to read a book in a day. :-) I'm always surprised when it happens. Admittedly, it wasn't all in one sitting.

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  16. OK, I might have picked Hidden too over Smoke (although I am enjoying Smoke a lot). I had to go look up Karen Olson because I knew I remembered something about her books. Saw she wrote that tattoo shop series. Which I never read but which looked fun. I'll have to see if my library gets Hidden. Am I crazy or have e-books gotten so very, very expensive? Sigh.

    Love the Halloween list. Especially Hocus Pocus. What a great movie! My daughter and I used to love it. I think I need to watch it again soon. Such a great trio of ladies - Bette, Sarah Jessica, Kathy - come little children......

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    1. Kay - I am enjoying Smoke, but I am glad I went with Hidden first too. :-)

      I've noticed e-books seem to be more expensive too! :-(

      I want to watch Hocus Pocus this weekend. Hopefully I can talk my daughter into watching it with me. She's so anti-movie though, it makes it hard.

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  17. I am not a fan of creepy movies or books, so my list would be short. I probably would read more of Hidden, and I have been wanting to read Smoke. Happy Halloween to you and Mouse.

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    1. Judy - I am enjoying Smoke so far. Hidden was very good. I highly recommend it. I hope you have a happy Halloween too! Mouse is very excited about it. Her school party is tomorrow and she'll get to do a little trick or treating then. :-)

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  18. I love the sound of Hidden...and I loved Smoke. Did you know that McKenzie also has a book entitled Hidden?

    Enjoy! And thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - I hadn't known that! What a coincidence! I will have to look for McKenzie's Hidden.

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  19. Hocus Pocus was a movie that brings back my childhood.
    ADVANCE HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

    Here's mine I hope you check it out :) MY TOP TEN TUESDAY

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    1. Christine - I love Bette Midler. Hocus Pocus is such a fun movie. :-) Happy Halloween to you too!

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  20. I love books that centre around computer activities. (Loved the movie, The Net.) I'm definitely adding Hidden to my TBR list. Here's my TT from The Continental Op by Dashiell Hammett (mystery before computers): http://wp.me/p4DMf0-Zp

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    1. Ms. M. - I was excited about reading a book featuring a female hacker. I love movies that center around computer activities like that too.

      I hope you do get a chance to read Hidden.

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  21. Not too sure that those teasers speak to me but what I did like was the thought of a female hacker. Nearly always young men, I certainly don't think I've come across a single book in which the hacker is a woman.

    Loving your Halloween picks, Fangland comes highly recommended by several of my young friends as does World War Z.

    Never a fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas, I really like The Corpse Bride though.

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    1. Tracy - Yes, you usually see male hackers and very rarely female ones. This was a nice change. I worried that the amount of time the main character was away from computers would hamper believability, but the author manages to deal with that well.

      I haven't seen The Corpse Bride. I will have to check that one out.

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  22. Love the cat costume, mine would not wear it either. Your tease shows a tension filled book. It is one I would enjoy reading.

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    1. JC Jones - It was a tense read, especially the further I got into it.

      We've tried putting hats on our cats, but they won't even tolerate that.

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  23. What a fantastic book beginning, I would certainly keep reading. Too, growing up, Hocus Pocus was an absolute favorite of mine :) Great post!

    My Teaser

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    1. Claudia - I hope my daughter will enjoy Hocus Pocus when she gets around to watching it. I think she'd enjoy it too. :-) I love it.

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  24. I like the way the author describes the character's reaction in the Teaser at 16% -- a combination of revulsion, fear, and elation. Sounds like things are about to get complicated! I've never read a book where the main character was a computer hacker so I'm definitely curious about this one.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog. I appreciate your comments.

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    1. Sandra - I really liked that description too. It sums up well the mixed feelings the protagonist feels throughout the novel.

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  25. I like the way Hdden sounds, I might have to pick that one up! I loved The Historian too. It made my list this week also. I tried to get my husband to read it, but he wasn't consistent with his reading, and I think The Historian is one of those books you have to read in a firly short amount of time or you'll forget what's going on and be lost. I read my books in a matter of a few days, so it wasn't a prblem for me. Anyhow, it's a really good book, I'm glad to see it on another lst this week. Here's my TTT. Happy Halloween!

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    1. Kim - I hope you do get a chance to read Hidden! And I'm glad to know you liked The Historian too. :-) I don't think my husband would read it either. Happy Halloween to you too!

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  26. That intro for Hidden really grabbed me. I'd keep reading! I like your top ten list, too. Hocus Pocus is one of my Halloween favorites, too! Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

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    1. Monica - It is a great hook, isn't it? I liked it too. Hocus Pocus must be a Halloween staple as it's many people's favorite. :-) It's good to see.

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  27. Hidden sounds like a good one. I'll be eager to hear what you think after you've finished it. The teaser on my adult blog comes from a new military thriller - Tenacity by J. S. Law. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - I loved it. I hear the author is writing the third book in the series now. I have no idea where she's going to go with the second one, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

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  28. I haven't read Olson before. This book's intro makes me want to read on...and on...

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    1. Catherine - It's so good! I hope you get a chance to give her books a try. Especially this one.

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  29. I really enjoyed Let the Right One In the book and the movie. :)

    Check out my TTT and my Halloween Giveaway.

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    1. Lauren - I liked the book. There was one scene though I still have nightmares about. I wasn't as impressed with the movie.

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  30. I would pay to see someone put a cat in a costume. Mine would absolutely not stand stand for it. You've got a great list! I don't think I've ever seen The Nightmare Before Christmas and Joe Hill and The Historian are on my TBR. I haven't read anything by Olson but I'd like too! Great teaser!

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    1. Katherine - Haha! I would too. I can't see my cats sitting still much less keeping anything on I did manage to get on them.

      I wasn't sure what to expect with The Nightmare Before Christmas, but I liked it.

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  31. Cats look so awesome in costume. I saw another one recently of a cat in Puss in Boots attire and boy was it funny! Dracula is ideal Halloween material - so scary and atmospheric as well.

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    1. Athira - They do! Photos of cats in costume must be photo shopped. LOL It must be quite the challenge to get them in. Yes, Dracula is perfect for Halloween!

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  32. I like the sound of Hidden. She is a new to me author! I loved The Historian.

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    1. Nise' I highly recommend Karen E. Olson. She writes three series and they are all different. Another Historian lover! Yay!

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  33. Hidden sounds very good, I'd keep reading. I'm finishing up The Duchess War by Courtney Milan now and hope to have a few reviews up soon.
    I love your list!! I have wanted to read The Historian for a while and Let the Right One In as well. Hocus Pocus is a must watch during this time of year. The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorites, I have re-watched that one countless times, I just love it. Corpse Bride is also good.
    Happy Halloween :)

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    1. Naida - I've been wanting to give Courtney Milan a try. I'll be curious to know your final thoughts on The Duchess War. I want to see The Nightmare Before Christmas again. I need to see Corpse Bride still. I hope you have a Happy Halloween too!

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  34. This one must have really entranced you if you finished it in a day. Thanks for the advice you gave me about book reviews. I'll definitely be fair handed with it, and maybe just avoid stars at all.

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    1. Paulita - It did! I couldn't read it straight through unfortunately because of life, but I kept returning to the book.

      I think your idea of behing fair handed and avoiding star ratings for the book sounds like a good one. It's always hard to know how to handle those situations.

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  35. Oh, 'Hidden' seems like the type of book I would enjoy. I'll have to check it out.
    I'm yet to read 'Dracula' or 'Let the Right One In', I had both books in this months TBR but failed to read either... I'm intrigued about 'Fangland' now. Will have to add it to my TBR following 'Dracula'.
    'The Nightmare Before Christmas' is one of my all-time favourite movies! I watch it every year around Christmas.
    The closest my cat ever was to trying a costume was this: https://instagram.com/p/Tnu0WHJv6k/?taken-by=liavsherself She wasn't as traumatised by the event as I had expected so I'll probably try again with something more daring soon! ^^

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    1. Lai - I really enjoyed The Hidden. I hope you do give it a try. I procrastinated in reading Dracula for a number of years, and am so glad I finally dived in.

      I thought maybe Nightmare Before Christmas was probably more apt as a Christmas movie, but it has such a Halloween feel to it.

      I love the photo of your cat with the bunny hat! So cute! If you do try something else definitely take pictures and let me know. :-)

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  36. I have a friend who ravs about The Historian. I should give it a try. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  37. I think everyone should watch HOCUS POCUS at least once each Halloween!

    (I hope you're loving SMOKE!)

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    1. I actually just got my copy of the movie this past summer. So now I can watch Hocus Pocus whenever I want. :-) I'm hoping to see it Friday or Saturday again.

      I'm really enjoying Smoke so far. I'm about half way through, I think. Or close to it.

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  38. Ooh, another friend of mine has that A Halloween Scare book for her state and I was thinking of getting the NY version of it this year but now the time has flown and I haven't yet. I definitely need to get it for my son for next year, though! I have been LOVING reading him Halloween books this year because they're a ton of fun.

    Hocus Pocus is such a classic! I usually watch it with friends every year but still haven't watched it yet this year. I'm hoping to watch this weekend!

    Happy Halloween! :)

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    1. Steph - I am curious about the other state versions. I imagine the basic story and conclusion are the same. Usually those state books don't really have a good story, but I thought this one did.

      Maybe we'll be watching Hocus Pocus at the same time this weekend. ;-)

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    2. Hi, and thank you :) it's lovely to hear that you enjoyed it, and thank you for including it on your list!

      Yes, I was keen to ensure it was a proper story. I know a lot of localized books trade on that fact alone and don't put much effort in. There are 78 versions of "A Halloween Scare" and I've written approximately 140 completely bespoke verses for them.

      To answer your question, each book essentially tells the same tale but is customised with two bespoke verses, a lot of localized artwork and quite a few place-name changes; for example, there is a giant chicken roaming around in Kentucky ("He strode down the street and was heard to be gloating 'You'll never get ME in a crispy crumb coating'"), and there are monsters from MIT (Monsters In Training) in the Massachusetts version.

      If you want to know more I have a free 'behind the scenes' PDF you can grab, or you can find some info on this page http://ericjames.co.uk/halloween-book/

      I hope you had a Happy Halloween yesterday. Cheers, Eric :)

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    3. Eric - Thank you so much for dropping in and commenting! We are big fans of the book--especially the ending. My daughter took your book to school for share day last week so she could share it with all her friends. I love the idea of a giant chicken roaming down the street--and that line is too funny. :-)

      I definitely will stop by and visit your website to read more about the behind the scenes about the books. Thanks again!

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  39. I'm so excited that Karen E. Olson has a new book out too! I really loved her Annie Seymour series, especially! Can't wait to read your review.

    Those are some great books & movies that are perfect for the season. I need to come up with a list to post too.

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    1. Iliana - I love the Annie Seymour series too. :-) Her new book is not quite the same as her other series, but still very good. I hope you get a chance to read it.

      I'm definitely in the mood for some Christmas reading now. :-)

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  40. I don't know Karen E Olson so your post with the killer teases definitely drew me in!

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    1. Verushka - I thoroughly enjoyed Hidden and hope you will give it a try if you get the chance.

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  41. Olson was a new author for me so I really liked your update on her books.

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    1. Mystica - I'm glad to her new book out and am looking forward to her next one. :-)

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  42. I read The Hidden as well and also really enjoyed it. I didn't realize that she was one of your favorite authors though...that makes me want to go try the other books of hers that I haven't read yet! I really need to write up my thoughts on it sooner rather than later. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it as well!

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    1. Samantha - I am glad to hear it, Sam! I have enjoyed all of Olson's books. Her Sacred Cows was my first book her and I loved it. It's the first in her Annie Seymour series. Her second series features a tattoo artist in Vegas and is a lot of fun. Hidden is a lot more serious in tone than her previous work.

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  43. Thanks so much for posting this! I am just so thrilled that you enjoyed HIDDEN!! I anyone here wants more of a teaser, I've got the whole first chapter on my website: www.kareneolson.com. The book is officially out today, Nov. 1, too, and available as an ebook, too.

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    1. Karen - I knew I would love Hidden, but I didn't realize how much. I can't wait to read Shadowed.

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