Sunday, July 31, 2011

For the Love of a Vampire (Blood Like Poison #1) by M. Leighton

 So I am late in posting my Indie Author of the week but that doesn't make this week's (or rather last weeks) choice any less spactacular, in fact it just might be the opposite. I had so much fun reading this book. M. Leighton is a very talented author and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. She made a fan out of me!

Title: For the Love of a Vampire (Blood Like Poison #1)
Author: M Leighton
Published By: Self Published (April 20, 2011)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Goodreads Description: 
Like most seventeen year olds, Ridley Heller thought she had her future all planned out. What she wanted most in life was to get out of small town Harker. Her only goal was to keep her mouth shut and her grades high so she could win a cheerleading scholarship to Stanford. But that was before she met Bo.

In Ridley's wildest dreams, she could never have planned for someone like Bo, for a love so intense it left her breathless. No human girl could.

A haunting stranger that watched her from afar, Bo stole Ridley's heart from the moment she laid eyes on him. But he has secrets. Bo's a vampire. Both his past and his present are a danger to Ridley, but the biggest threat is not her blood; it's her heart. He's feeding a thirst for revenge that will cost him his life, and it may already be too late.

The more darkness Ridley uncovers, the more she realizes that her life will never be the same-with or without Bo. Can she sacrifice her future and her heart for someone who has a death wish? 

My Review:
This book was amazing. By far one of the most creative vampire stories out there. Not only were the characters real but they had my attention from the get go. I found myself completely wrapped up in their lives and wanting to know more about them, even the bad guys.
I can't wait to read the sequel and just hope that I won't have to wait too long for the last book to come out. I can already tell that I will be waiting on pins and needles to see what happens next.
Leighton is a truly talented author that has a way with words that just flow right off the pages and into your heart.

Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

Title: Beautiful Malice
Author: Rebecca James
Published By: Bantam (July 13, 2010)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
My Rating; 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Who is Katherine Patterson? It is a question she hopes no one can answer. To erase her past, Katherine has moved to a new city, enrolled in a new school, and even changed her name. She’s done the next best thing to disappearing altogether. Now, wary and alone, she seeks nothing more than anonymity. What she finds instead is the last thing she expected: a friend.
Even more unlikely, Katherine’s new friend is the most popular and magnetic girl in school. Extroverted, gorgeous, flirtatious, and unpredictable, she is everything that Katherine is not and doesn’t want to be: the center of attention. Yet Alice’s enthusiasm is infectious, her candor sometimes unsettling, and Katherine, in spite of her guarded caution, finds herself drawn into Alice’s private circle.
But Alice has secrets, too—darker than anyone can begin to imagine. And when she lets her guard down at last, Katherine discovers the darkest of them all. For there will be no escaping the past for Katherine Patterson—only a descent into a trap far more sinister . . . and infinitely more seductive.

My Review:
I don't know where to begin to even try to describe this beautiful, sad haunting story that will consume you as you read it. This book left me speechless.
It is the type of story that stays with you and rocks your world. That makes you look at things differently and appreciate all that you have.
It is real and raw and emotional. It captured me from the first page with the beautiful way it is written, almost poetic at times. It lives up to is title in every way imaginable.
This is a story that I will not be forgetting anytime soon.
I think it is a must read for anyone.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Uglies
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Published By: Simon Pulse (Feb. 8, 2005)
Genre: Dystopian/Fantasy
My Rating:  4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

My Review:
I have heard so many good things about this series that I just knew I had to try it, especially now that there will be a movie made.
I have to say, I wasn't disappointed. This is a great series.
I love the message that is betrayed throughout, sometimes in small subtle ways and sometimes not.
Tally is a kick butt heroine that does what needs to be done and is loyal to those she loves. Not only does she learn some valuable lessons along the way about learning to see inside others where true beauty lies but she also learns that there is more to life than being "pretty". 
I can't wait to see what else happens along the way to Tally and David and while I usually don't care for cliffhangers, this one didn't end too badly, maybe because I know I can just pick up the next installment and don't have to wait for it to come out to see what happens next.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Title: Texas Gothic
Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore
Published by: Random House (July 12, 2011)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/Mystery
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

My Review:
I had so much fun reading this book! This is my first read by Clement-Moore and now I want to go out and grab everything that she has ever written.
She just has a beautiful way of writing that is hard to describe. It is haunting and magical, funny and endearing. She makes you fall in love with the characters and to become in grossed with them and their lives and genuinely care about them.
I loved every single one of the characters and so want to read more about them. I want them all to have another adventure together. 
If you are looking for a fun read that is different than all of the other ghostly paranormal YA reads then this is the story for you. It is witty and snarky and mysterious and even has some romance in it that will  leave you sighing and wanting more Ben time! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Stake That by Mari Mancusi

Title: Stake That (Blood Coven #2)
Author: Mari Mancusi
Published by: Berkley Trade (Dec. 5, 2006)
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Sisters. They'll swipe your clothes, your boyfriends, your destiny. But it wasn't exactly Rayne's twin Sunny's fault. Magnus, a vamp hottie and coven leader, mistook Sunny for Rayne last month and bit her instead. Now they're doing the inter-species dating thing.

Turns out that for every generation, there's a Vampire Slayer-and this time around, it just happens to be Rayne MacDonald. Her first mission: infiltrate a seedy vamp bar downtown and expose its vampire owner for purposely spreading a blood disease he created himself-a task almost harder than passing trig.

After going it alone once, Rayne realizes she needs help. So Magnus sends his sexy Goth buddy Jareth to go undercover with her. And, frankly, Rayne wouldn't mind going under the covers with him. Maybe fate doesn't bite after all...

My Review:
This was such a fun read. I think I laughed within the first chapter and believe me, it was exactly what I needed after the long book I had endured right before it.
This was light, fun, and humorous but still it had some real issues in it and problems that needed to be solved and a mystery to take care of.
This is such a fun series. Anyone who loves a fast quick read and the paranormal really should try out this series. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author(s): Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Reader (Dec. 1, 2009)
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 3 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

My Review:
I have been wanting to read this for awhile but the sheer mass of it (around 600 pages) has, I will admit, intimidated me. Not because I don't read 600 page books, in fact I read them quite frequently, just not in the YA genre. And let's face it, the reviews on this one are hit and miss. It seems to be one of those books that you either love or you hate and I wasn't ready to hate it yet.
I have longingly looked at the cover and read the synopsis, numerous time asking myself, "Is this the day I finally crack it open?" and it just has never felt right so with a long sigh, I would pass over it and start something else, until today, well okay actually a couple of days ago but you get the point.
Today was the day I was going to start this and finish it.
So it took me a few days, because like I mentioned, it is about 600 pages long! And, well I still am not sure how I felt about it. If I am going to be honest with myself I feel a little let down about it. I was expecting....I don't know, more maybe.
It wasn't terrible, I didn't hate it but, I didn't love it either. It was just meh, for me.
The romance was sweet don't get me wrong. The characters were pretty great but the story itself seemed lacking. Maybe there wasn't enough action, maybe there wasn't enough romance or maybe, it just wasn't for me.
either way I am giving this a very neutral 3 star rating.
Will I give up on the series? No, but neither will I be picking up the other book anytime soon either. I think first books in series are always the hardest to love. I think maybe, just maybe I still need to process it all and see how I feel about it, it was after all a long book.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Indie Author Leia Shaw!!

I am a little late posting this this week but it doesn't mean that the interview is any less wonderful or the author for that matter. In fact, this week I have the pleasure of posting a Q & A I had with author Leia Shaw!
In case you don't know (and shame on you if you don't' and are a fan of adult paranormal!) she has written two books so far, Destiny Divided and her new one, Destiny United, both part of her Shadows of Destiny Series.

I had the pleasure of being able to read both of these great books and really enjoyed them both. While they are both part of the series, they can also be read as stand alone books (I love that!).

Below are the questions that I asked her and her answers.

Me: "What was your inspiration for your characters and the world(s) that you created?"
Leia: "Inspiration for my two female leads, who grew up in foster care, came from my own experience as a foster parent. I wanted heroines who'd had obstacles in life that tainted the way they viewed the world. But I also wanted them to have the inner strength to overcome it. As for my world of supernaturals...well...that just comes from my love of fantasy. I was always making up magical worlds as a child. When I read, I want to get away from real life. What better way than with hunky otherworldly men with super strength and poetic words (well, amidst some very colorful ones)? "

Me: " I love that so far both your books can be read as stand alones. Will the next one also be that way?"
Leia: "Yup. I wanted to create a series where readers could just pick up anywhere - not necessarily in order. Plus, each book is the individual love story between the two main characters. Some characters from past stories will pop up here and there. But the focus is on the couple. The next book, Destiny Unchained, is actually pretty isolated from the first two books. It involves a werewolf pack in Yellowstone that functions autonomously from the rest of the supernatural world. Until our heroine stirs everything up, like they so love to do!"

Me: "I love James and Marcelo, (and Erin and Sage for that matter) who will the next hunk be that we get to read about? "
Leia: "Cristian, my first werewolf! I'm excited for this hero because he's very different from the last two. James and Marcelo were serious, sometimes grim, and always bossy, but Cristian is laid back, funny, and above all, passionate. Which is the opposite of the icy Natalia. But that's what makes him great. He is determined to melt her, and force her to find her inner passion. It will be different from the last two books in some ways, but will still contain my typical snarky humor, action, and steamy romance scenes."

Me: "What made you decide to write in the genre of paranormal?"
Leia: "Cause I love it! It kinda goes with the first question. I needed an escape from my world of sippy-cups and potty training. I've always had a "dark side" - been obsessed with vampires since seeing "Interview with a Vampire" as a teenager. I just can't resist the allure of magic. I guess I'm still a kid that way. As for the romance part...well, what woman doesn't love a good love story? Add some hot sex scenes and really...was there any other choice?"

"And lastly who are you a fan of, vampire, werewolves, ghosts, witches, something else? "
Leia: "Well, all of them since I write about all of them (except ghosts, so far, but you never know). But if you're asking which I'd rather be with...hmm...that's a toughie. I might have to go with the classic answer: Vampire. Don't know if it's the blood, or the danger of never knowing if you'll be the next meal, or what...but vampires just got it going on."

Thank you so much Leia for taking the time to answer my questions and for offering to giveaway a free e-book copy of your new book Destiny United to one lucky winner!! 

As always to enter this contest all you need to do is become a follower of this blog. The lucky winner will be chosen through on Thursday August 4th and announced here.

Good luck to everyone who enters!! 

The Great Debate...

What constitutes paranormal and what is fantasy?
Are the lines blurred? Is there a line at all anymore? Was there ever a line?

I think this is one of those arguments that will  never have a right or wrong answer. One that will never be solved. It is like the great debate, if  a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Ah, yes, the great mysteries of life. 

Those unanswered questions that get you thinking and keep you up at night. The ones that cause heated debates among friends and make others roll their eyes and say, "Who gives a flying leap!"

My opinion on it?

I think anything with witches and weres and vampires is paranormal.
Anything including faes and elves and goblins is fantasy. Why? Because I say so!

No really. I think this because maybe I am a little old school. I think of Lord of the Rings with elves and other dimensions and places and think fantasy.

I think of Interview With a Vampire and think, paranormal.

As for the question, is it a fine line? I think so.

It use to be that vampires and fairies never hung out. They weren't in the same world, now they are bosom buddies. So where have those lines gone? What constitutes fantasy and what is considered paranormal? 

Heck if I know! But isn't it fun to think about?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lucky Girl by Cate Lord

Title: Lucky Girl
Author: Cate Lord
Published by: Entangled Publishing (September 2011)
Source: ARC Copy from Net Galley
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Chick Lit
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Jessica Devlin isn’t looking for love. Heartbroken after being dumped by her unfaithful ex-fiancĂ©, she’s determined to have a fabulous time during her vacation in England where she’ll be maid-of-honor at her cousin’s wedding. After working overtime as beauty editor of Orlando’s O Tart magazine, avoiding dating, and putting on ten pounds, Jess is ready to toss her past like an empty lipstick tube and party like a single gal.

But when she steps into the church on her cousin’s wedding day, she sees the one man who could sabotage her plan—James-Bond-gorgeous Nick Mondinello. She’s never forgotten the London marketing exec who held her in his arms after her beloved grandfather’s funeral two years ago. Ambitious, and lusted after by women everywhere, Nick is completely wrong for guarded, Plain Jane Jess.

Could Spy Man Nick ever fall for her? Nope. Not unless Jess is one lucky girl.

My Review:
This was such a fun read! I really enjoyed all of it.
What woman doesn't have insecurities about herself, especially after a heartbreak? I loved how Jess worked through them and was brave enough to learn to love again even though it meant that she might very well get her heart trampled again.
I loved all the quirky references to Chicky Dee and her Penguin Spy Man and laughed numerous times through out the book.
I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good contemporary romance/chick lit and wants to be that "Lucky Girl". 

Winner of Signed Copy of Blood and Sunlight Goes to.....


Congratulations on winning a signed copy of Blood and Sunlight from the author Jamie Wasserman!

Tomorrow I will be having another Indie Author interview and giveaway so make sure and check back then as well!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published by: Harlequin (Oct. 25, 2011)
Source: ARC Copy
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars

Goodreads Description:
Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

My Review:
I am so glad that Kagawa decided to give us this last glimpse into the world of Meghan, Puck, Ash and friends and through the POV of Ash this time.
I honestly loved everything there was to love about this book. Ash's struggles, his pain, his heartache, his loss, his love, his insight, his compassion, his forgiveness, his understanding, his conscience, his strength....I could go on all day.
Did I mention the other characters as well? We get to see some familiar old faces, Grim, The Big Bad Wolf (yay!) and some new ones as well, each memorable and awesome in only the way Kagawa can create.
I loved Ash's journey throughout this book with Puck and Grim by his side. I love that we get the ending we so longed for in The Iron Queen although maybe not quite what we all expected.
I am looking forward to the spin off series featuring Ethan (Meghan's brother) and what Kagawa creates next to enchant us with.
All in all this was a fabulous read giving us a chance to glimpse inside the mind and heart of the Ice Prince.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Seers by Heather Frost

Title: Seers
Author: Heather Frost
Published by: Bonneville (Oct. 8, 2011)
Source: ARC copy
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:

For Kate Bennet, surviving the car wreck that killed her parents means big changes and even bigger problems. As she begins to see auras and invisible people, Kate must learn to trust Patrick O'Donnell, a handsome Guardian, or risk her life being overrun with Demons. She soon realizes that both she and her heart are in big-time trouble.

My Review:
This was a really fun read!
Something different and new in the paranormal world without being too new and unheard of.
I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Kate's strength and willingness to do what is right. I loved how quirky and fun and loyal her best friend Lee was.
Patrick was awesome, Toni was hilarious and her Grandpa? He was fantastic! I loved her grandparents in this story and how real everyone felt.
I am really looking forward to reading a sequel to this story (I hope there is one!).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Indie Author Interview and Giveaway With Jamie Wasserman!

This week I am featuring Jamie Wasserman's amazing book Blood and Sunlight!

I asked Jamie if he would be willing to answer a few questions for me and he gracefully accepted. And not only did he accept but he offered to give a signed copy to one lucky winner/follower of my blog as well!! 
Below are his answers to my questions:

Me: "How long have you been writing for?"

Jamie: "I've been writing for a little over 20 years but, aside from a few short stories here and there, fiction is fairly new to me-- I primarily wrote poetry.  Blood and Sunlight was my first attempt at a book and I think you can see some of the poetic influences there." 

Me: "Were you always interested in the paranormal, or in vampires in particular?"

Jamie: "I was just cleaning out the basement about a month ago when I found an old box of toys. Mixed in with the Star Wars and GI Joe action figures were Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Phantom of the Opera and Frankenstein.  So I guess I've been a horror/monster junkie ever since I was a kid.  I blame countless hours spent watching Scooby Doo and sneaking into horror movies.

But of all the movie monsters, vampires were definitely my favorite.  I think that was because you couldn't always tell they were a monster.  They looked just like you or I.  Now that I'm a father, I realize that's a pretty warped thing for a kid to realize—that you don’t have to have scales or claws or red eyes to be a monster."  

Me: "How long did it take you to write Blood and Sunlight and where did your inspiration come from?"

Jamie: "13 months though I had the idea for the book about five years previous.  The original concept was a screenplay about vampires who were steeped more in science—they were nothing more than humans afflicted with a disease, reduced to drug addicts (their choice of drug being the only real differentiating factor). What I realized I had done, essentially, was to preserve all of the loathsome qualities of the vampire (his viciousness, his need, his clouded, violent judgment) and discard all of his mystique (immortality, sexuality, charisma, power), which is probably why the idea never got off the ground. I decided to pick up the idea again in 2009.  One of the main characters tries to bring some of this scientific observation and justification into his understanding of the vampire but no matter how much he justifies or rationalizes the creatures’ existence, there are something very mystical elements that science simply can’t explain away."

Me: "As a child what books interested you most?"

Jamie: "Daniel Pinkwater was a favorite of mine- Fat Man from Space, the Hoboken Chicken Emergency, and later Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars and The Snarkout Boys series. His stuff was so edgy and different than anything being written at the time, and you can certainly see his influence on children and MA literature today with titles like Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I was also into the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, Tolkein's books, and Narnia."

Me: "How often do you read now?"

Jamie: "Continuously.  When I'm not writing, you can bet I've got a book (or an ebook) in my hands.  I just went through a heavy rotation of Stephen King books and now I'm reading HP Lovecraft. As a writer, I don't think you ever stop learning the craft and there's really no better way to learn than by reading.  It's probably especially important if you're writing in a genre to see what your contemporaries are doing.  Poppy Z. Brite, Charlaine Harris, Neil Gaiman, Caitlin Kiernan, and Terry Pratchett are particular favorites of mine."

Me: "And lastly, what else do you have in the works?"

Jamie: "I'm currently shopping around a Young Adult book titled 'Holding Back the Day'.  Another vampire title, of course.  I've also been posting free weekly installments of a novella on Amazon's Kindle forums called 'Bud the Crud and the Vampire-Werewolf Wars'.  I'm hoping to get someone to illustrate it once the story is finished. And then I'll be finishing off a sequel to Blood and Sunlight (tentatively called Blood and Moonlight). It picks up the events of the first book ten years later with Kirsten (the young girl who frames the original book) as the focus."

Thank you so much Jamie for answering all of my questions and for agreeing to give-away a signed copy of your book Blood and Sunlight!! I really enjoyed reading it. I love how different and fresh it is. It is hard sometimes reading all the vampires books out there because after awhile they sometimes blend in together. It was refreshing reading something new and fun.  

If you are interested in winning a copy of Jamie's book make sure you check out the giveaway page at the top to see how you can enter to win and don't forget to check out Jamie's other series as well, Night of the Guppy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Giveaway for The Overtaking-Winner Announced!

Huge congratulations to K.K. who won a free e-book copy of The Overtaking by Victorine E. Lieske!!

I have emailed the winner.

Also please check back tomorrow where I will be hosting a new interview and signed book giveaway by Indie author Jamie Wasserman!!
Details will be posted tomorrow on how you can sign up and win a copy of his book Blood and Sunlight.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Update

So the Read-a-Thon is almost over and while I didn't get to read as much as I really wanted I did manage to read almost everything I had planned to read.

So what did I read yesterday and today?

Well I did read an ARC book (I know, I know I said I wasn't going to do that but, this one I really really wanted to read!).

I read Beyond the Grave by Mara Purnhagen, it is the last book in her Past Midnight trilogy and it rocked. 

I was sad to see this series end I really was, it just was one of those series that grow on you. Where each book gets better and better. The story and characters get more intense and you just become invested in them. 
I love how they all grew and the ending was a very satisfying one. It left me feeling happy and I didn't feel like anything was unanswered or left hanging. I really can't wait for Purnhagen to write something else. I really enjoyed her books, way more than I thought I would. I would give it a solid 5 Stars. 

And next, I read Summer Wishes (Desire #1.5) by Kailin Gow.
I will admit, I only read this because it was free and I was a little curious about it after reading Desire (which I wasn't all that impressed with at first). And you know what? I am so glad I did read this because I really think this novella turned the series around for me. I really want to know what happens next now. I will most definitely be buying the next book in the series when it comes out this fall. I would give this novella 4 Stars.

And sticking with the last theme of a novella I read Witches 101: A Witches of East End Primer by Melissa de la Cruz.
Can  I just say for the record that I really enjoy Cruz' Blue Bloods Series? It is amazing and different and just a nice change from all the other vampire novels out there. I knew when we were introduced to one of the main characters in her new series Witches of East End in her last Blue Blood book, I would want to read that series too. 
This was a great look into that series with some background info on the Beauchamp woman and best of all, it was free on Amazon. I really am looking forward to reading Witches Of East End now. 

I am now currently reading Shimmerspell by Kimberly Spencer and am enjoying it so far. I plan to finish it up (hopefully) tonight and thus end my read-a-thon books. 

I have had so much fun though and it was nice just reading whatever for fun, no review required and no pressure about when I read it or what I read. I will definitely be doing this again and I think I will make sure and take more time out to read what is on my TBR list. Read all those books that have been calling out to me for months to read.

So to wrap up, I ended up reading 5 full length novels, three short stories and two novellas!
Total of ummm...,.well I can't actually do a total numbers of pages read because some of them are Kindle only versions and my Kindle 2 doesn't have page numbers, lol. 
Either way, I read I think well over 1000 pages in three days!! 
Go me!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mini Challenge for Read-a-Thon Times Two!

Okay this is all about the love. No really, the mini challenge is to post about three love triangles that I have enjoyed reading about.
Well I am going to one up you! How about a love triangle between not two guys but three brothers and yes another man?
What in the world am I talking about? the Pulse series by Kailin Gow of course! Has to be one of the ultimate love there is and the battle still continues!! So my first vote goes to the Pulse series. 

Second vote, hmmm, how about the love triangle between Rose, Dimitri and Adrian in the VA series? That one broke my heart. Seriously, there wasn't a right or wrong choice in that series. They were both fabulous guys who would do anything for Rose. Lucky girl!! 

Okay third and last choice is......crap, I'm stuck here. *racks brain for an answer*. Okay I got one. How about the Iron Fey series with Megan, Ash and Puck. Seriously cute series with some tough boy choices for Megan.  

And for my second challenge, write a fake synopsis for a book based on the cover.  So I thought why not write one for the book I am currently reading, Afterlife by Isabella Kruger (sorry Isabella!).

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
When two star crossed lovers find each other it is more than the stars and feuding parents that are against them. The whole universe seems to have it in for them. There will be no daydreaming looking at the stars for these two young lovers. 
When Harry and Harriet meet their worlds collide but can these two young lovers survive the vampires, demons, witches and weres that want to keep them apart? 
Will true love survive a thousand year old curse that prophesies that the joining of these two lovers will result in the end of time as we know it? Will true love prevail? Will the stars realign to help them? Will feuding parents destroy their love for each other or will it come down to the vamps, weres and warlocks to do them in? 

Okay, very silly and somewhat strange but there you have it!! 
I don't think I should quit my day job anytime soon. :P

Monday, July 11, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Update

I managed to read two books today and a short story and well into a third book. I also participated in the book cover challenge at The Musings of Almybnenr, it was fun but I am afraid that I didn't do well on it. Doesn't help that I waited until the last minute to do it but still. My brain was not functioning for me today.

Anyways, the two books I read for the Read-a-Thon are Lovestruck Summer by Melissa C. Walker, which I really liked but the ending, well, it wasn't what I wanted I guess. I felt a little disappointed by it but over all it was a fun read. I would rate it at about 4 Stars.

I also managed to read Inevitable by Jason Letts.   Doesn't it have a great cover? In fact all the covers in the series are amazing!
The story was definitely different from any other paranormal romance I have read and the ending was a little bit of a cliff hanger but overall it was a fun read. I am looking forward to the other two in the trilogy.

I also read a really cute short story called Something by Ted Stetson. It really was a fast read but nice and sweet. I would give it 3 Stars.

I am also almost done with Violet Midnight (The Enchanters #1) by Allie Burke. This one, I am not so sure about. I get the feeling that the writer left things out that she knew and just expected (or maybe was just hoping) that the reader already knew or would figure out. Plus, even though I really did enjoy the Twilight books, all the Twilight references in it is a little off putting. 
I don't think I will be reading the next in the series sadly. I just don't think it is the book for me. 

And next up on my to read list you ask? I think I will be trying Isabella Kruger's Afterlife (A Discovery of Vampires #1). It looks pretty good and has been on my TRB for awhile now. 
And after that? I have no idea! I guess I will see what stands out to me and just calls for me to read it. 

I hope everyone is enjoying their reading and having a great time, I know I am!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon. July 11th-13th.

As some of you may or may not know this Monday starts the annual Once Upon a Read-a-Thon. 
Three whole days that you devote to reading as much as you possibly can.
I am so excited to be participating in it this year!

And although I do plan on reading as much as I possibly can, this read-a-thon isn't necessarily about how many books I can read over the next three days but more about what I read for the next three days. 

I do a lot of reviews and while I enjoy most of the books that I review, it sometimes means that all those other books I want to read get put on the back burner and I either forget about them or they just get lost in my never ending TBR (to be read) pile. 

So, for the next three days (starting the 11th) I plan on reading all those books (okay, maybe not all of them, I have a huge pile!) that have been put on that back burner. The short ones, the funny ones, the sappy ones, the strange ones, the bizarre ones, well you get the idea. I am going to just read, well, for me. No worrying about reviews or deadlines or whatever. Just uninhabited reading for the pure pleasure of it, for better or for worse.

And is it crazy of me that I am thrilled to be doing this? Excited even? Maybe but, who cares?!

So in the theme of that, grab those books that are piling up and just calling out to you to be read. Grab some water, a comfy blanket, a sunny spot outside or a shady space beneath a tree and join me in reading. Reading for the pure unadulterated fun of it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Title: Sean Griswold's Head
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Published by: Bloomsberry (March 1, 2011)
Genre: YA
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
According to her guidance counselor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus object-an item to concentrate her emotions on. It's supposed to be something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold's head. They've been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas-it's an alphabetical order thing), but she's never really known him.
The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father's newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it's working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking-er, focusing on-Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He's cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own.
In this sweet story of first love, Lindsey Leavitt seamlessly balances heartfelt family moments, spot-on sarcastic humor, and a budding young romance.

My Review:
This book had so much humor in it and was such a fun read that sometimes it was hard to remember that there was an underlining problem that was very real and very serious in the story. This was a fantastic read. At times it had me laughing out loud and other times tearing up and most times it had me reading it with a big smile on my face.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Interview With Indie Author Margaret Lake!!

This weeks Indie Author Interview is with Margaret Lake.
For those of you who may not be familiar with her or her work let me tell you a little about what she writes. 
She writes some of the best Historical Romance books out there and I am not talking about cheesy romance novels with very little historical anything about them. These are amazing books with tons of real life facts and places and action. You completely feel like you have been transported back in time to a whole new (or rather old!) world. 
She even has a few novellas as well that are outstanding.
Her latest one, Sweet Savage Charity is awesome! Just the right length for a quick trip into another time and place with a little bit of romance to boot. 
I was lucky enough to be able to interview Ms. Lake and here are her responses.

Me: "What made you first decide to become a writer?"

Margaret: "It wasn’t really a decision. My son-in-law had just bought me a new computer and it had a really neat golf game on it which I played day and night. One night he said if he’d known all I was going to do was play games, he’d have bought me an Aari.

It was that night I woke up at about 3am with the idea in my head for Ariana’s Pride, my first novel. I immediately booted up the computer and started writing. It was all there; the title, the setting, the time period, even the characters."

Me: "How many books have you written and how many of them have you self published?"

Margaret: "Everything I’ve written is self-published. I’ve written and published three full-length novels and three novelettes which are also part of an anthology; A Walk In The Woods. Besides the three novelettes, there are short stories and a novella for seven stories in all."

Me: "I know you are going to hate this questions but, which one is your favorite?"

Margaret: "You know that’s like asking which of my children is my favorite. All I can say is that my favorite is always the one I’m currently working on. Then I start something new and that one becomes my favorite."

Me: "Who is your favorite character and are they based on anyone you know?"

Margaret: "I’ve only based one character on someone I know and that is my late husband. And I’ll never tell which one that is.

I actually have three favorite characters and those are the little girls in Listen to Your Heart. I love the interaction between them."

Me: "I am always curious who authors favorite authors are, you know what they like to read. Who is your favorite author and why?"

Margaret: "Susan Howatch is my favorite author. I started reading her excellent historical fiction but then she branched out into a series about the Church of England which is absolutely compelling. I love her stories and her characters, but most of all, I love the way she uses words."

Me: "What are you currently working on?"

Margaret: "I’m working on a series of novelettes about a female private investigator set in 1942."

Me: "I know you spend a lot of time doing research for your books. How many hours do you spend researching information for your books?"

Margaret: "That’s hard to quantify. I already had most of the information for the two novels set during the Wars of the Roses; Ariana’s Pride and Catherine and the Captain. That has long been a favorite era for me.

It was mostly a matter of double checking my facts for Ariana’s Pride since it only covers a period of two weeks. I had to create a timeline for Catherine and the Captain because it spans the entire reign of Richard III. I’m terrible with dates. I think the only date I actually remember is the Battle of Hastings (1066) when William, Duke of Normandy, conquered England.

Once I start on the actual writing, I research as I go. I used to write term papers the same way in college. I never read the books ahead of time. I just spread the books around me and wrote as I read."

Me: "And what made you choose the time periods that you have for your books?"

Margaret: "Reading historical fiction always sets me on the road to researching the background of what I’m reading. I did that long before computers and the Internet. My encyclopedias got a good workout.

One of my favorite historical fiction books is Katherine by Anya Seton; the story of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynnford, his mistress. John of Gaunt founded the Lancastrian line and his older brother founded the Yorkist line; the two antagonists in the Wars of the Roses.

Ariana’s Pride came out of that and that led me to the story I’ve long wanted to write. I read The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey about a detective who investigates the death of the Young Princes in the Tower while recuperating from a broken leg. Of course I had to research Richard III after that which led me to the Ricardian Society. That book is Catherine and the Captain.

There will be one more book in this series, but in the meantime, I wanted to try a different time period. I have a family saga in mind starting before WW I, but I’m not quite ready for that yet. That led me to write Listen to Your Heart set just after WWI. Ricky Sides asked me if I would write something about Pilgrims and Indians. It was an interesting challenge and I came up with Sweet Savage Charity."

I am so excited to read more of your work Margaret and thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions!! I really appreciate it!!
For those of you who love Historical Romances and want to try something new please check out Margaret Lake's work, you won't be disappointed!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

So Over You by Gwen Hayes

Title: So Over You
Author: Gwen Hayes
Published by: Self Published (April 25, 2010)
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Layney Logan, girl reporter.

That's all she's ever wanted to be. This year, her senior year, not only does she have to share the coveted Senior Editor position with her arch nemesis, Jimmy Foster, she also has to figure out how to keep the school paper alive. With the local paper closing and the school cutting Journalism from the budget, it's a long shot. Working side-by-side with Foster, the guy she likes to call Lucifer,makes it even worse.

The only thing Layney dislikes more than swimming in the high school dating pool is Jimmy Foster think he got the best of her, so she takes
his ridiculous newspaper assignment--to go on twelve blind dates--to prove his powers of darkness won't work on her. The trouble is, the more she learns about herself on her journey of bad blind dates, the more she wonders if maybe Foster has known her better than she knows herself all this time.

And maybe she should have trusted him with the secret she’s kept for four years—the secret that broke them up to begin with.

My Review:
This book was so much more than I expected it to be. I honestly loved everything about it. It brought up some tough situations in life and handled them beautifully. It was raw and real and emotional at times. I loved the chemistry between Logan and Foster, their love, their hate, their friendship, their loyalty, their disloyalty, I loved it all. 
I don't want to give too much about this story away but I will say that this is definitely one of my top ten reads of this year for realistic fiction.