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Best Paranormal Fantasy Releases of 2009



 1. Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey














White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison















Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs















In the Blood by Adrian Phoenix (released 12/30/08 but I'm counting it as '09)















Blood Blade by Marcus Pelegrimas































 7. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire















8. Demon Inside by Stacia Kane















 9. Darkness Calls by Marjorie Liu















10. ReVamped by J.F. Lewis















11. Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead















12. Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler















13. Vampire a Go-Go by Victor Gischler



Categories: Best of Books

Whether you're new to romance -- itching to try it -- or a long-time fan, you'll want to check out this Dynamic Duos list: Pairs of best books - and an, ahem, threesome -- of my fave great reads, debuts and a couple just-for-funs from '09.  If you're not a Heart to Heart regular, please join us every day at H2H, where we talk all things romance fiction in a decidedly fun, smart and, yeah, often sexy way.

What romances are on your Best of 2009 list?  What fun categories would you add? -- Michelle Buonfiglio (H2H)




Seduced by Shadows -- Jessa Slade
Knight of Desire   -- Margaret Mallory













A Mermaid's Ransom -- Joey W. Hill

Kiss of a Demon King -- Kresley Cole













One Reckless Summer -- Toni Blake

Hot Pursuit -- Suzanne Brockmann


Sexiest Non-Erotic Romance Love Scene



Start Me Up -- Victoria Dahl

Hunt Her Down   -- Roxanne St. Claire














A Hint of Wicked -- Jennifer Haymore
Highland Rebel    
-- Judith James

The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie  -- Jennifer Ashley











Historical -- Erotic



Addicted -- Charlotte Featherstone

Gorgeous as Sin  -- Susan Johnson











Erotic Romance



Pleasure and Purpose -- Megan Hart

The Things That Make Me Give In  -- Charlotte Stein













Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady -- Diane Gaston

The Desert King's Pregnant Bride -- Annie West















The Bridegroom -- Linda Lael Miller

The Lone Texan  -- Jodi Thomas












High-Seas Romance



Captured -- Beverly Jenkins

Surrender of a Siren  -- Tessa Dare

Categories: Best of Books


Our Classics Book Club had the opportunity this year to read along with the PBS series, Masterpiece Classics.  We read the novels, then watched the film adaptations featured on PBS and were treated to several guests sent to visit our club by PBS.  The guests were involved with the making of the films--people such as screenwriters!  We like to compare films to books all the time in Classics, and as readers normally have it, we have issues with several films.  The PBS adaptations were no exception.  One of the films we watched, however, seemed to "pass" our rigorous readerly discussion of honoring the original classic novel while recreating the story in film.  That title was the new adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles.



EnJOY, & Happy Holidays!





Categories: Best of Film and TV

I don't lie about my age -- I couldn't if I wanted to, because my kids are more than happy to tell anyone who asks. I'm 57, okay? I know that's older than a lot of you, but I'm really not in Miss Marple's generation. In mystery, there isn't a lot of middle ground: the detective/heroine is either old as dirt or practically in diapers -- comparatively speaking.


Woman my age might look old, but we don't feel that way. We still live exciting, productive lives -- it's just rare to read about women of my general age group in books.


Thank God for Hank Phillippi Ryan, Boston TV instigative reporter-slash-mystery author. How Hank juggles her two jobs I'll never understand, especially since she seems to be everywhere -- book signings, mystery conferences, romance writers conventions. Hank and I are roughly the same age and, while she is considerably more glamorous (and slim -- did I mention how sleek and fashionable she is?), we both work hard and still manage to enjoy life.


Enter Charlie McNally, an investigative reporter for a TV station not unlike the one Hank works for, researching stories that are written with a deft hand and a definite touch of inside knowledge. While Charlie isn't Hank's alter ego, the similarities give authenticity to Charlie's voice. Each book is features a fascinating look into a mystery-related investigation, while revealing a little more about Charlie's life.


I've read the first three books in this series: PRIME TIME, FACE TIME and AIR TIME, and I'm looking forward to Hank's upcoming release, DRIVE TIME. I'm not alone in praising this series -- just search Hank's name or any of the titles to see all the rave reviews she's getting.


Now, before you start pointing out all the other fifty-ish heroines out there, let me just stress that this is the first I can remember that I really related to. Life doesn't end when the nest empties or when hot flashes begin. I, for one, am having more fun now than when I was a teenager. Hank's books are a reminder that turning fifty doesn't instantly put you in slippers and a rocking chair, or make you transform into your prim and proper grandmother.


Kick off your stilettos and pour yourself a glass of wine. Grab one of Hank's books and watch Charlie McNally kick some ass!




Drive Time





Drive Time 


Air Time


Face Time


Prime Time





Categories: Best of Books

The best book of 2009, period.



Categories: Best of Books

The Children's Book (lovely, lush prose and period detail) 

Wolf Hall (a novel that humanizes a historical figure)

Drood (opium-soaked Wilkie Collins narrates this supernatural thriller) 

The Girl Who Played with Fire (you won't be able to wait for the final installment in the trilogy) 

The Best American Essays 2009 (a great collection of short pieces) 

Under This Unbroken Sky (a beautiful novel designed to break your heart) 

The Big Rewind (fans of the AV Club will alternately cringe and laugh throughout Rabin's memoir) 

Mistress of the Monarchy (Weir once again gives voice to a shadowy figure in British royal history) 

Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float (for Facebook and literature junkies everywhere) 

Beowulf on the Beach (upgrade your beach reading tote bag)













and my favorite contemporary author will debut his new series after Christmas - I can't wait!!


Shades of Grey by the fabulous author of the Thursday Next sequels, Jasper Fforde. 

Categories: Best of Books

I've read a lot of books in the last year, mostly in Urban Fantasy and Young Adult (keeps me young :smileyvery-happy: )  Here are my top 2 for each of those categories.  Happy reading in 2010!



Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson Series #4) 


Patricia Briggs is the kind of author who puts her heart and soul into writing.  It is so easy to love the characters in all her books.













Frostbitten (Women of the Otherworld Series #10) 


Such a breath of fresh air after Broken (the last book starring Clay and Elena)














Catching Fire (Hunger Games Series #2) 


I don't think it matters how old you are The Hunger Games trilogy is a must read!













Very interesting love story..I read it in less than a day.






Categories: Best of Books

I'm a huge fan of Craig Ferguson -- as an actor, as a talk show host and as an author. "Saving Grace" is a brilliant movie, "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson" is totally out of control, and thus suits me perfectly. He even has puppets -- what else could you want? 


Some may have trouble relating the late night goof with the hot accent with the thoughtful author of  BETWEEN THE BRIDGE AND THE RIVER. And as much as he can make you laugh, if you want to be moved almost to tears, go to YouTube and search Craig Ferguson's monologues on why he became an American citizen. 


When I bought his autobiography, AMERICAN ON PURPOSE, my husband and I were preparing for a trip to Chicago. To help pass the time on the long drive, I read this book out loud. Even though I can't do a Scottish accent to save my life, the book held our interest for hours.


Ferguson's life has been a bungee jump of extreme highs and nearly deadly lows, and it is a little surprising to discover that the raunchy comedian is an eloquent, devastatingly honest author of no small talent. Don't miss this book.



American on Purpose


Categories: Best of Books
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I received this Novel from the author and I just loved it. What a thrilling book this was to read. I will be bringing author's on my show this year and Michael W. McKay will be on top of the list. As one reviewer wrote who read this book stated: "Move over Steven King, There is a new writer in town".


And I have to agree, Mr.. McKay has the talent not only to tell a great story, but it will stay inside of your head for days, and that is a talent in itself. Wow, I was amazed with this story and Mr. Mckay being a self publisher, I want to hear what else he has on his plate.Great Job!!!

Categories: Best of Books
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I received this Novel from the author and I just loved it. What a thrilling book this was to read. I will be bringing author's on my show this year and Michael W. McKay will be on top of the list. As one reviewer wrote who read this book stated: "Move over Steven King, There is a new writer in town".


And I have to agree, Mr.. McKay has the talent not only to tell a great story, but it will stay inside of your head for days, and that is a talent in itself. Wow, I was amazed with this story and Mr. Mckay being a self publisher, I want to hear what else he has on his plate.Great Job!!!

Categories: Best of Books
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—Remember the movies Goodfellas, The Departed, Mystic River Casino and the Boondock Saints? Toss all five in a blender and hit the power on and stand back.  What comes out will be   "A Big House For Little Men"   Recognized as one of the top new suspenseful thrillers of 2009


Categories: Best of Books
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'I wish you enough' by Bob Perks is a great read!

Categories: Best of Books
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  Real life cult experiences during blind love. Buy on discount with Barnes and Noble.

Categories: Best of Books
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This story is spellbinding.  I couldn't put it down and the ending just "blew me away!"  It's a well-plotted, intricate mystery about a missing inmate from a facility for the criminally insane.  Shutter Island houses this facility, and there is no way off the island except by a well-guarded ferry.  So, where did this person go?  Added to this mystery, is the fact that the roster shows 67 inmates, yet this missing person would change the census to 68.  Is there really a missing inmate or not?  The chief psychiatrist insists there is 67 inmates, but he seems to be a secretive, sinister individual.  Who is lying and who is not?  That is for the main character, a federal marshall,  to discover!  Add to this mix a pending hurricane and you will be in for the ride of your life!  This book delivers!  The movie will be out February 2010 - can't wait.

Categories: Best of Books
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The most lucid, practical, straightforward & yet profound & Insightful explanation and solution to sexual addiction & Fixation.


Book title (kind of long):  


"Open to Bliss

Sage Hope's 1st Gift to Humanity

The Definitive & Complete

Solution Manual to Sexaul Attraction & Addiction"


published May, 9, 2009

Categories: Best of Books
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Although none of these came out in 2009, I did watch them in 2009. I've become particularly fond of British Historical films.


Horatio Hornblower The Horatio Hornblower A&E series (8 episodes). Got me through the flu.










Cranford Three part series. Watched this on PBS Masterpiece Theatre and had to have it. By the cover it appears dour but is quite funny at times.












Enemy at the Door - Series 1 and Series 2. Had to see this after finishing The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. At first, I was a little disappointed with the quality of the series (it was made in the 80s) but became highly addicted to it and couldn't wait to get off work to watch the next episode.


Categories: Best of Film and TV
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30 Rock - Season 3














1. 30 Rock (NBC) - The writing and suberp comedic performances on 30 Rock make it the most authentic mainstream comedy on televisio

Eastbound & Down - Season 1  n.












2. Eastbound & Down (HBO) - Home Box office had an otherwise clunky year of comedy, but this Will Ferrel produced comedy became a national treasure. It also had one of the best comedy pilots of the decade.



Adult Swim In A Box











3. Delocated (Adult Swim) - First of all, not pictured. The DVD may not be available yet. Delocated, starring Jon Glaser, is the story of a man wearing a ski mask whose voice has been altered, and his family, starring in a reality television show. How's that for a hook?




Categories: Best of Film and TV
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Best books to read during the holidays

There are so many books to read this holiday season!


For those of you who loved 


The Nanny Diaries , you're also going to heart


Nanny Returns- out on December 15th. Nanny is baaaaack! Mr. X finds the nanny cam tape Nanny left behind and she gets sucked back into the world she vowed she'd forever leave behind. JUICY!


Another book I'd recommend you get your mits on is written by the hilarious and talented, Liza Palmer.

A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents  is well written, funny and just as good as her other

Seeing Me Naked  and

Conversations with the Fat Girl.



I could go on and on forever.... Another must-read is anything by Kristin Hannah. My favorite is

Firefly Lane because it's. just. that. good.  (Think lifelong friendships, emotional journeys and important life lessons learned! Oh and then mix in talented writing and you've got it.) I'm halfway through another of her 18 novels, her latest,

True Colors  which is also FAB.U.LOUS.



Hope this gives you a place to start!




xoxo, Lisa Steinke

Categories: Best of Books

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