Thursday, December 31, 2009

Truly, Madly ARC Giveaway!

Truly, Madly: A NovelI thought a great way to celebrate the coming new year was with a little giveaway. I enjoyed this book as you can tell from my review. This book is to be released in Feb 2010, and I thought hey, let someone else have an early read of this book. This time, this is a book I recommend and hope that the winner will really enjoy this read.

So, to win this book, just fill out the form below, or click here. It is open to those living in the US. The contest ends at 10 pm MST on Jan 11, 2010.

Good luck and good reading!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dropbox Revisited

I just won a book that came as a pdf. I looked around to see if I could upload it to one of my apps I have on my iPod Touch that I already had for books. Nope, those apps do not allow you to download your own pdfs on their list. Yes, you can get pdfs to read on the actual Kindle product, but for the iPod/iPhone apps, no dice. However, instead of loading up another app that will read a pdf, I went to my old standby. Dropbox! I uploaded them from my computer and now I can read them on my iPod with the Dropbox app. Of course, I can still read them on my computer if I wish, but it is nice knowing that I didn't have to get another app and try to find out where the heck those pdfs were stored.

So, if you haven't checked out Dropbox yet, do so soon. No, I have no interest in the company, it's just a great application!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Truly Madly" by Heather Webber

From the publisher: Lucy Valentine is as smart as can be, as single as you can get, and sonot qualified to run a matchmaking service. But when her parents temporarily step down from the family business, Valentine, Inc., it’s Lucy’s turn to step up and help out—in the name of love.
Plus, her rent is due.
Here’s the problem: Lucy doesn’t have the knack for matchmaking. According to family legend, every Valentine has been blessed by Cupid with the ability to read “auras” and pair up perfect couples. But not Lucy. Her skills were zapped away years ago in an electrical surge, and now all she can do is find lost objects. What good is that in the matchmaking world? You’d be surprised. In a city like Boston, everyone’s looking for something. So when Lucy locates a missing wedding ring—on a dead body—she asks the sexy private eye who lives upstairs to help her solve the perfect crime. And who knows? Maybe she’ll find the perfect love while she’s at it…
When I first got this book, I was thinking it was a very light paranormal romance type of book. I wasn't completely correct. There was humor in this book, mostly from the main character, Lucy. Her wit which often masked a deep sense of insecurity was very humorous. Add in her friends who often took that wit and strengthened it, the book became enjoyable on that level alone. Oh, and those worried about the insecurity angle... don't worry, it doesn't come off as whiny at all.

There was more than one romance, and several made possible by paranormal reasons and good old fashioned sense. I loved the fact that she freely admitted several times that she was a commitment phobic, but also had the sense to at least try to push beyond it. Plus, it doesn't hurt when the one that you are very interested in not only admits it several times that he is interested back, but she is also given clues within her visions. These specific visions may also prove to be signs that she is so much more powerful than she first thought. We might find that out in later books because this looks like it might become a series. That is a good thing.

What I was surprised me within the book was the mystery. Actually, I should say, mysteries. The main murder mystery that must be solved is but one. The mystery of what happened to a missing boy is another. The mystery of her intuition, the mystery of who to trust, the mystery of her closest friends lives and finding out more about them, as well as the mystery of how she is going to run her father's successful business without his specific ability are the other mysteries that need solved. Now while those smaller mysteries may seem like side stories that round out the character, they came across to me as things that needed to be solved in the way it was written.

This was a very enjoyable book and I was happy to have gotten it as an ARC. I would suggest this book if you like a fast read with a bit of sleuthing involved. Nothing heavy, but fun. I gave it 4 stars.

Now that you have seen what I've said about this book, I was thinking of doing a giveaway with my ARC. The book won't be for sale until Feb. 2010. Would someone else like a preview? Oh, and don't worry, if I decide to do the giveaway, it won't be until after the new year starts.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Now it Feels More Like the Holidays!

My aunt just visited and I got my first taste of the Holidays! She makes Christmas potica every year and I just ate a big ol' piece! This holiday treat is a tradition in the area where I live. It is delicious and converts anyone who tastes it into wanting it every year. It is a Slovenian dish which fits perfectly in the multicultural area I live. A common recipe from is as follows:

Total Time:  3 Hours 40 Minutes
Yield:  Makes 2 loaves (8 servings each)
From central Europe, probably Yugoslavia, potica is a dense, sweet nut pastry cut from tightly rolled loaves. Small cracks often appear on the surface of the loaves as they bake, but they in no way detract from the beautifully golden brown crust or the mouth-watering flavor.
For Bread:
2-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
For Filling:
3 cups ground walnuts
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup honey
1 slightly beaten egg
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon or orange peel (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Potica Recipe at
FOR BREAD: In a medium mixing bowl combine 1 cup of the flour and the yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup butter or margarine, 2 tablespoons sugar, and the salt till mixture is warm (120 to 130 degrees F) and butter or margarine is almost melted. Add to flour mixture. Add 2 eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (1 to 1 1/4 hours).

FOR FILLING: In a large mixing bowl stir together walnuts, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter or margarine, honey, 1 slightly beaten egg, 3 tablespoons milk, peel (if desired), and vanilla. Set aside.

Punch dough down. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease two 7 1/2x3 1/2x2-inch or 8x4x2-inch loaf pans. Cover a large surface (at least 3x3 feet) with a floured cloth. On the cloth, roll dough into a 15-inch square. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Then roll dough into a 30x20-inch rectangle.

TO ASSEMBLE: Put dough in half lengthwise, forming two 30x10-inch sheets. Spread the filling evenly over the surface of the dough, keeping to within 1 inch of the edges. Using the cloth as a guide, roll up jelly-roll style, starting from one short side. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place loaves, seam-sides down, in the prepared loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place till nearly double (45 to 60 minutes).

Bake in a preheated 325 degrees F oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or till golden brown. Remove from pans; cool on a wire rack.
Reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

Now all I need is some homemade tamales and I'm set. :D 

I also got something in the mail from StephanieD, at the Misfit Salon. I had won the Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book 10 3/4 Anniversary Edition! Thanks! It also has a DVD I'll have to fire up now that the snow is falling. Just cuddle up and watch! If you love faries like I do, then this is one you will enjoy. And don't worry, if you haven't seen the book there is a forward by the RSPCF (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Faries) which assures that no fairie was hurt or injured by the making of the book. The prints were psychic impressions done without injury to the farie. So, no worries. :)

Well, I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. If not, bake some potica and have some hot chocolate. Even if it doesn't help, I assure you, your stomach won't complain! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Fun Holiday Post!

I've read several posts about favorite holiday shows, books, movies and I really agree with some of the choices I've seen (especially the one with the miser brothers). Anyway, thought I'd share at least a couple of mine.

One is the Nightmare Before Christmas. I still love the stop motion animation. Earlier this year I heard that Danny Elfman had redone the soundtrack with artists like Korn, Flyleaf, Amy Lee, and the American Rejects. I was hoping that it would show up in the movie itself, but no, it's just the soundtrack to the movie. Someone did do a pretty good job of inserting at least one song into a scene.

My favorite holiday story has always been "A Christmas Carol". No surprise, I'm sure. :) My favorite adaptation of this story is "Scrooged" with Bill Murray.

Of course, the one with Alastair Sim is my second favorite (just don't inform my mother of that fact since we continue to argue which one is best... lol).

So, Happy Holidays... I found this on youtube. It's the full movie with Seymour Hicks from 1935. One of the first adaptations of a Christmas Carol to a movie. If you want to stay and watch. I'll serve up the hot chocolate and some popcorn. Get comfy and enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Dead(ish)" by Naomi Kramer w/ a small Stanza review

From the book: Linda’s had a bad day. First her boyfriend killed her. Then she woke up, still on this boring plane of existence, and with an odd obsession about her missing body. Mike won’t tell her what he did with her body, and she can’t find the stupid thing herself. There’s only one thing she can do - torment the bastard until he coughs up the information.
This book was a strange, fun short story full of revenge and mystery. The major questions you usually have about characters in a story are never explored as the characters, with the exception of the investigator/exorcist Trent, are completely shallow. This actually works in this story of the strangest after-life I've read. In the end with so many twists and turns everything thing has a conclusion which is "satisfying" but unusual to say the least.

I have given this short story 3 stars only because at times the story is a bit too shallow. It is also a story that is for adults due to the subject matter of murder and how it was handled in the story.

I got this book with my new iPod Touch app, Stanza. The app and the book were both free. This book was on which made it a very easy download. There are a lot of free books you are able to easily get from this app that you aren't offered from the Amazon or Barnes & Noble apps. It's worth a look!

Wonderous Strange for Free!

You can view "Wonderous Strange" by Lesley Livingston for free from Harper Teen. All you have to do is click on the above book for the free preview. It's not for download into any device, but must be read at the site. Do enjoy. You also get to read a few chapters of Lesley's other book "Darklight".
From the book "Wonderous Strange": 17 year-old Kelly Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what shethinks... In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelly's off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeare’s plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Haunted" by Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld series #5)

From the book: Eve Levine — half-demon, black witch and devoted mother — has been dead for three years. She has a great house, an interesting love life and can’t be killed again — which comes in handy when you’ve made as many enemies as Eve. Yes, the afterlife isn’t too bad — all she needs to do is find a way to communicate with her daughter, Savannah, and she’ll be happy.
But fate — or more exactly, the Fates — have other plans. Eve owes them a favor, and they’ve just called it in. An evil spirit called the Nix has escaped from hell. She feeds on chaos and death, and is very good at persuading people to kill for her. The Fates want Eve to hunt her down before she does any more damage, but the Nix is a dangerous enemy — previous hunters have been driven insane in the process. As if that’s not problem enough, the only way to stop her is with an angel’s sword. And Eve is no angel. . . .
Eve, for me, was always the most interesting witch in the women of the otherworld series. It wasn't because she was half demon, but because she had a sense of herself in the world, no matter how screwed up that sense had become. In this book we learn a lot more of the world Eve now occupies. Her want to be close to her daughter has become all consuming and the force behind all her new activities. All those around her feel she needs a new hobby and the Fates step in with one she can't resist. Catching the Nix is just what she needs and she begins to find that she may have a second chance at a new existence, one she secretly always wanted.

Unfortunately, things aren't always as easy as it seems. The hunter becomes the prey and now she must protect all those in the living world that are dear to her heart. This paranormal ghost/witch/demon roller coaster ride keeps you in the book at the edge of your seat. Although some parts of the book may be predictable, the exact journey to those parts are not. My only complaint is with the character angel, Trsiel. I cannot say exactly what my complaint is, or I will spoil the book for those that have not read it. However, knowing Kelley Armstrong's writings, I will enjoy his character in another book. It's happened before with Paige.

"Haunted" earns 4 stars (just short of 5). This is a good thriller and a great read. I recommend it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Congratulations Winner!

The winner of the Big Red Dobie Birthday Giveaway is...

Nan of Nan's Corner of the Web!
(click on name to go to her web site!)

Chosen by the random number generator at You have been sent an e-mail and now have a week to get back to me! Hope you and your dogs enjoy the package! I know my pup has had a good week. Oops, I mean adult dog... "sniff" they grow up so fast! Anyone got a time machine I can borrow to make him stay puppy? :)

Hope everyone has a dog-gone good week! Bad pun intended. :P

Monday, December 14, 2009

Craftster: Handmade Stocking Stuffers

Ok, I might be the only one who thinks this is cool, but my little sock monsters got to be a part of Craftster's blog post "Handmade Holidays: Stocking Stuffers". I've always thought that stuffing a sock with a sock is a great thing to do! ;)

Hope the little guys I've made those for enjoy them as much as I had making them!

Hope everyone is having a monster holiday! :D

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pets as Presents

I know at this time of year many people caution about getting pets as presents. I agree. A pet is a responsibility and should be considered carefully before getting one no matter what time of the year. Unfortunately, people see animals as commodities and treat them as toys or decorations. Recently, Terra from Terra on the Bookshelf ran a beautifully thought out post on this subject. The addy to that wonderful post is here.

I would also like to add that if you do decide that your family can be expanded by another addition, did the homework to find out what would fit into your family, I still ask that you do not get a pet as a present. The house is usually at it most chaotic, often people travel that day, plus there are too many things that can present a danger to pets at this time (tinsel, packaging, wrapping, tree ornaments, chocolate, and so on). What would be better is to perhaps get the things that you need for the animal coming. We did that for my dad. We got him a crate, bowls, leashes, and as many necessities that we thought he would need before the little guy came to him. It was perfect. A promise of a new buddy but without the stressed out pup. If you need to get started in this area, then click the dobie on the left to enter the dog giveaway. ;)

I would also like to add if you are getting a dog at any time, don't forget the training. I am so big on training. Not just potty training, but training to get him to be a good citizen. I believe that if more people trained their dogs, it would have prevented many going to shelters. So, I will also add to the list of things to get a new dog is training. If you are looking for a general training book, I do suggest one like "It's Me or the Dog" (I put a copy of the book in my suggested widget on the left). She trains in the way I often advise. She also has a tv show so you can see her techniques up close.

The first video below gives a top 10 checklist before you adopt a pet by Victoria Stillwell.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Embrace the Night (Cassandra Palmer #3)

From the book:
Recently named the world's chief clairvoyant, Cassandra Palmer still has a thorn in her side. As long as Cassie and a certain master vampire--the sizzling-hot Mircea--are magically bound to each other, her life will never be her own...
The spell that binds them can only be broken with an incantation found in the Codex Merlini, an ancient grimoire. The Codex's location has been lost in the present day, so Cassie will have to seek it out in the only place it can still be found--the past.
But Cassie soon realizes the Codex has been lost for a reason. The book is rumored to contain some seriously dangerous spells, and retrieving it may help Cassie to deal with Mircea, but it could also endanger the world...
I've really loved the Cassie Palmer stories and this one is no exception. Lots of action and a few loose ends were tied up in this book. She still does not have the confidence I would hope, but she is learning and growing within this book. She is still a capable heroine who keeps learning to stand up every time she falls (or gets pushed). She now has the unwanted title of Pythia and now must also gain the respect of those around her while balancing politics, her own morals, and not making the wrong move and destroying the world. Just an everyday happenstance in her new world. She learns a lot more about those around her and who to trust. She also finds out who really trusts her.

Now to the question that those who have been following the series might ask. Does she break the geis? Do her and Mircea finally give into their passions? Guess what? Not going to spoil it for you. You'll just have to read it to find out. I will say that it sets things up nicely for the next book. This book gets 4 out of 5 stars and is recommended, especially if you have been a fan of the series. If you haven't read this series before I do recommend getting "Touch the Dark" which is the first book and start reading. You won't be sorry. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Couple of Free things to Make Modern Life Easier

I have been suggesting these things to a couple of friends who had never heard of these programs. I thought maybe I should do a quick blog about them to let more people in on the goodies. :) One is Dropbox. This is a program you install on your computer (both PC and Mac friendly!) and you get free secure space to upload all sorts of stuff. You also get a public folder so you can post pictures to various sites. The Dropbox logo is from my public file. I don't have to go to the web site to upload, I do it all from my computer. There is no time limit and yes, it is free. You earn more space up to 3 MB by referrals. After that, there are monthly programs that you can buy if you wish. Those programs are very competitive out there. No, you have no obligation to buy unless you want more space. Just click here to find out about the program. Oh, and if you have an iPod Touch or iPhone, the Dropbox app is free! Great way to have files at your fingertips!

The other program is still not out of beta yet, but still worth mentioning. It is google voice. Just do a search for it and sign up for the program. I didn't have to wait long to get my invite. What I like about this programs is that you can hook up as many phones as you like to it and if you have to get a new cell phone and they make you get a new number, you don't have to give everyone you know the new number. Just give them the google voice number and it will work as long as you hook up the new phone to it. So, you don't have to confuse your friends and loved ones no longer. No more important calls missed. And it also allows you to screen calls if needed. Nice free program. Nothing to download. The only thing needed is a google account.

Doberman Traits

I had to laugh when I came across this article by Dogster. Not about the friendly or playful nature of the breed. I mean my boy can make me laugh. He is the clown of the house. What I laughed in the article was about the size. My boy is pushing 100 lbs (and he's NOT fat by any means) and I haven't measured his height but I know he's tall. In fact I just put a MAN's size t-shirt on him because of the cold. In other words, he was WAY too big for those fru fru things you see in the stores and boys shirts are out of the question. I have to laugh at myself about this as well because I'm not someone who likes to dress dogs and I get one that needs it because of the weather!

So, why am I writing about this? Well, because it is his birthday week. I like to get more info about breeds like this due to all the misinformation out there. And hopefully it will encourage others to start writing about their pets. Here is the perfect place to place your story.  ;) No, it's not a requirement of the giveaway, so don't let it scare you, but this time of year, we all need a little fun.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Big Red Dobie Birthday Giveaway!

Ok, yes, I know that isn't a dobie in that pic to the left, but at least the dog is big enough to make me think of my baby. :) This month, my pup turns into an official adult dog. He will be 2 years old! Yep, it takes a doberman pinscher 2 years to reach full maturity! So, to celebrate by pup's venture into "adult"-hood I thought it might be fun to have a giveaway. Nothing huge, but something in the way of fun.

What does the giveaway entail? Well, I have a few treats (natural, of course), a squeeky toy, and one of my book covers with a dog print on it. I also thought with so many animals without a home this year due to the economy I'll also donate $10 to the general dog fund at the Morris Animal Foundation in the winners name (or someone else you select). This is a great group who does work on animal diseases. The general fund will go where there is the most need. Oh, and just click on the name to find out more about them.

So, this is just a way to celebrate my dog, your dog (or nearby animal lover)! So, to enter just click on the dobie below or click here. There are ways to get extra entries. One is to tell one of your favorite short stories about a pet (my dog is not a speciest, so he would love to hear about all types of pets) in the comment area. Most animal lovers have at least one story or two up their sleeves, so do tell.

Other extra entries:

  • Be a follower, or follow
  • blog about this giveaway
  • promote in other ways

One of my favorite stories was when I first got my doberman. He had slept with an old shirt of mine until it was time to pick him up. He was the grouchiest of the bunch (not anymore! lol) and he wasn't too happy about being handled. So, when I held him he got a whiff of my underarm. A look of recognition came across his face and he went in for another sniff. He was mine all mine after that!

Your turn.

The contest will end on Wednesday, Dec. 16 around 10pm MST. Open only to those living in the US. I'm sorry again to the International people. Shipping is just a killer right now. Still lots of love for you!

I just hope you all have lots of fun with this one. :) And if it proves to be very successful, I may be able to add to the package. Just click on the picture below or here to enter.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Help! Monster Invasion!

Have you ever innocently started a homemade project?  Something fun for whomever you are making it for and then suddenly it starts taking a life of it's own?

Recently I have made a couple of monster sock toys for a couple of young boys on my list. Suddenly I couldn't stop making them. This is only 2 days worth of work and yes, I have plans to make more. Why? I really don't know. They just became so much fun to make. I just want to see what I can do to make each one a bit different. After all being different is the spice of life! :)

So here's a question for you... are you doing homemade projects this year? If so what are they? Have any ever just taken on a life of their own?

Oh, and stay tuned on about Wed. I do hope you won't be disappointed. :)

Happy monstering! :D

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"Ballad" by Maggie Stiefvater

From the book: In this mesmerizing sequel to Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, music prodigy James Morgan and his best friend, Deirdre, join a private conservatory for musicians. James' musical talent attracts Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. Composing beautiful music together unexpectedly leads to mutual admiration and love. Haunted by fiery visions of death, James realizes that Deirdre and Nuala are being hunted by the Fey and plunges into a soul-scorching battle with the Queen of the Fey to save their lives.
Sarcastic, slightly OCD James in this story really captured my heart. I loved his take on everything and the view into his world. If it wasn't for James being portrayed this way, I don't think I would have found the farie, Nuala's sarcasm and passage into compassion quite as interesting since they played off of one another so well.

Maggie Stiefvater's characters were well developed. Even those you consider side characters were developed to the point you also cared or hated them. Paul, his roomate and comic relief and Sullivan, his teacher and mentor were fleshed out that you really wanted them to be a part of James's life. Elenor, the Farie Queen, which it was told you were introducted into the last book was less fleshed out in this book, but you still didn't want to see her win.

My only criticism is with the character Dee. I know her story was in the first book, Lament, however, I would have liked to see more of here character dealing with the overwhelming circumstances within this story. Perhaps it could have been unsent e-mails instead of text messages. Just a bit more of what was going on with her side, her "fight", but not too much that it would have interfered with James's story.

This book I'm giving 4 stars, only because I now need to read Lament. :)

Blog with Bite questions:

James is a flawed and heart broken character, do you find his mental peculiarities charming or annoying? Please do explain.

I'm not exactly sure what this question asks, but I did enjoy James's sarcasm. I , myself have been accused of speaking this way and I know several people who do this as well. If you are also speaking of his psychic abilities then I feel the author did a good job of making it believable. The only other peculiarity I can think of is the way he wrote on his skin and couldn't stand disorder. In a world he sees as uncontrollable and  dangerous, I can see developing some OCD tendencies. I think also all these peculiarities made James a lot more believeable and someone you'd really want to know.

What did you think of James and Dee's kiss? This being a pivotal moment for their relationship, how do you think it changed James?

I think he was finally able to start to let go of the fantasy of being with Dee. I think it started to open him up to other possible relationships in life as well as redefining the one he had with Dee (eventually).

Whom do you prefer Dee or Nuala?

Either? I think that to understand and like Dee, Lament must be read. Nuala had the most growth within this story so her character was more central to this story.

What's your verdict on the best way to read Ballad?  Is it a stand alone book or do you need to read Lament first?  If you read Lament, what did it add/not add to Ballad?  If you haven't read Lament, do you think it would have added to your reading of Ballad?

It's not exactly a stand alone book as it does reference what happens in Lament. I did not read Lament, however I do think it would have added to reading Ballad. In fact, I think I will get Lament so I can see what happened to Dee and James before this book.

We've been reading a lot of stories with fairies as the central paranormal creatures.  What are your thoughts on the "Fair Folk".  Do you believe in faires?

How about this quote for an answer: "I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?" John Lennon

Friday, December 4, 2009

So Where's the next Giveaway?

Yes, I do remember promising another giveaway soon. AND if you wait until next week sometime, you may have a surprise. Hopefully an enjoyable one. The pic seen here does give somewhat of a hint of what it could entail.

So, check back by next week. Giveaway time again! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Unbreakable" by Sydney Somers

From the book: Five years ago the man she loved died in her arms...Or did he? The Shadow Destroyer Series, Book 1. Jordan McAdam leads an unusual double life. Police officer by day, vigilante by night. But Jordan isn't interested in the average criminal. She stalks Shadow Demons, creatures who prey on the innocent, creatures whom she suspects are responsible for a string of bizarre sacrificial murders. Creatures who killed her partner and lover. Gage Campbell has spent the last few years on an elite team of Shadow Destroyers, hunting down the demons who changed his life -- and his DNA. Then an assignment leads him straight back to the woman he hasn't been able to stop thinking about for five long years. The woman he had no choice but to leave behind. Is the man before her a mimic demon bent on tormenting her, or is it Gage returned from the dead? All Jordan knows is that the raging desire between them is real. Standing between them are years of secrets and hurt, and a love that just might have the power to bring them together. If the murder case they're working on doesn't separate them...permanently. This title was previously published but has been revised and expanded for Samhain Publishing. Warning, this title contains the following: adult language and graphic violence of the sword-wielding, demon-slaying kind. Also contains hot, explicit sex between reunited lovers, passionate up-against-the-wall foreplay and the use of handcuffs for the heroine's own good--and pleasure.
This was the first full book I read on my iPod Touch, with the Kindle book application. At the time I got the book, it was free (it's not at present, sorry), so I thought I'd give it a try.

I did enjoy the book, but there were some things I think the author could have written better. When the two main characters, Jordan and Gage get back together, they couldn't keep themselves off of each other. While that could have been endearing, two trained kick-ass assassians just wouldn't put the other in more danger just so they can have sex whenever they were together. Especially when strong feelings attract the demons they hunt. It actually got in the way of the story at times. Fortunately, the story eventually corrected that and those sex scenes made a lot more sense.

As for the rest of the story, I, in fact, felt that the "good guys" or shadow dystroyers were well developed characters. I enjoyed their interactions a lot. Therefore, I felt that this book was a good set up for the next books in the series. Will I read the rest of the series? I'm undecided at the moment, but I feel that it did earn 3 stars.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Congratulations Winner!

I'd like to congratulate Christin Q on winning the book, "Powers" by John B Olson. You have an e-mail waiting for you so respond as soon as you can so I can mail it promptly!

The winner was selected by

Contest and More Contests!

As my first contest comes to a close, I thought I'd direct you to a couple of great contests that just started. First is from a great book blogger, Parajunkee! She is having a 200 follower giveaway. There is a choice of about 15 books. The detail are as follows:

There will be TWO (2) WINNERS
Winner #1 will get a choice in Cat#1 & Cat#2

  1. Winner #2 will get a choice in Cat#2
  2. If I get up to 250 Followers a 3rd Winner will be added with a choice in #2
  3. If I get up to 300 Followers a 4th Winner will be added with a choice in #2
  4. This contest is INTERNATIONAL!
  5. If you want one of the adult novels (Lover Avenged, Sins of the Flesh etc.) you must be 18 or older!
  6. Some of these books are in my possession, some will be sent via Book Depository.  ALL ARE BRAND SPANKING NEW
  7. Contest Ends New Year's Eve Eve - 12/30/09 @ Midnight CST
  8. Winners will be announced Jan 1 by email - 48 hrs to respond
  9. YOU HAVE TO BE A FOLLOWER - the whole point of this contest! :)
So head over to this link to sign up for the giveaway!

A second contest is by the wonderful blog by StephanieD. The Misfit Salon is having a Lady Cottington Pressed Fairy giveaway/contest. There are two contests for a Lady Cottington book. One is harder than the other, but both should prove to be fun! So, if you are a huge fan of Brian Froud, head on over to her blog by Dec 14, 8pm PST to enter. You must be a follower of hers. Just use this link to enter!

Good luck to you in these contests. Oh, and I didn't forget. I'll be gearing up for another contest on this blog. So, keep those eyes open!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tired of Hollywood Vampires?

I have been hearing that lament quite a bit lately. Of course, this lament mostly comes from weary boyfriends, brothers and husbands of the afflicted by the hollywood vampire bug. I'm enjoying it even if it does get a bit on the annoying side at times. I just see it as an opening for those in the paranormal field to get their foot in the door and really give us some great stories. But for those a bit tired of it... I present you with this short from current. It's quite funny.

Oh, and if you haven't entered the book giveaway, do so now! If this is successful, I may have another giveaway shortly. Hopefully an enjoyable one. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Powers" Giveaway!

Well, this book wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but maybe it will be yours. This book set to be published in December of this year. This is my first contest and I will make it as simple as possible.

In case you missed it... the review is here.

  1. Be a follower
  2. Must live in the US (sorry, international people... I still luv you!)
  3. Fill out this form. (I'm using the form so your e-mail won't be so public)
  4. Do this by Nov. 30th and I'll chose the winner on Dec. 1
  5. If the winner does not get back to me within the week, another winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

"Powers" by John B Olson

From the Publisher: "Bury me standing. I must be buried standing.”
Powers, the follow-up to John Olson’s Shade (“a must-read for those who enjoy Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti” —Publishers Weekly), introduces a sheltered Gypsy girl named Mariutza. Her grandfather utters a mysterious last request before dying in her arms after being shot by ten cloaked men.
Those same men die before her eyes, but strange powers continue to pursue Mari through the swamps of southern Louisiana where she has always hidden from “the Badness.”
The whole world seems to join in the chase—helicopters, soldiers, government agents, and the police are all trying to kill her. Mari’s only hope of survival is to find Jaazaniah the Prophet, the mythical hero of her grandfather’s bedtime stories. But she has never been outside the swamp or known other humans besides her grandfather and one teacher. How can this lone girl survive the bewildering world of men long enough to find a prophet who might not even exist?
I admit, I was one of the few who were surprised that this was considered Christian fiction, especially after reading the book summation by the publisher. I was further surprised because the main characters are Gypsies. Why? Well, because Gypsies, especially in the European countries, have been persecuted as witches. But, the world has changed (depending on where you are, I believe) so I put that bit of history aside and dove into the book.

The book, in the form of the plot, went very smoothly and it did seem to wrap up neatly in the end. All in all, it would have been a great book if it would have had better character development. I believe this is part of a series, so perhaps that will be rectified in the end, but with this book, it was not.

Jaazaniah, or Jazz, was the most developed of the characters and I was able to really get into his character and root for him to "win". He was from the city life and thrust into this strange world of psychic powers. His counterpart, Mariutza, or Mari, I did not have as much success in liking or getting into her character. Both her and the Grandfather who raised her lived in a swamp with very little access to the outside world. I had no problem with her marveling at the simplest things about city or just plain modern life. That was the part I, in fact, enjoyed. My problem is how she was raised. She was not given the self-worth and ability to think for herself. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I found myself hating the fact that she couldn't think or do for herself. So much that I wanted to throw the book every time I read that "it's not my place". For someone having to help Jazz figure out who to trust, what to do and where to go, I did not find this believable. It became extremely annoying.

I also found the antagonist lacking. All you knew was bits and pieces about the "badness" but not really why they were after them. The lack of information did not make them more frightening, but less so. I would have liked more information on them other than a vague reference to vampirism. What was their motive and/or goals? How dangerous were they? Were they only a danger to "the standing"?

I have to give the book 2 out of 5 stars because of the lack of character development. I feel the plot was worthy, but not enough to carry the book all the way through.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Queene of Light" Blog with Bite Discussion Questions

#1 Did you have an understanding of the world created by this novel, or did you find the complexity too much?

I didn't find it too complex and also thought we only saw the edge of what was truly there in all the worlds created.

#2 In a book that it appears many have trouble liking, what is one thing that you like about this book?

I like this book actually. Yes, I had several reservations about parts of the book, but I like the way Ayla learned about herself and found inner strength.

#3 Did you agree with the author’s decision to make Ayla a fierce assassin in battle and a weakling in her emotions? For example her obvious contempt for Garret but yet her willingness to be his mate and subject herself to his demeaning manor?

Absolutely! How many people are there that are successful in one part of their life and not in others? We tend to put our lives into little compartments. It makes sense that love would be her weakness. All she knew of it was pain. So, she closed herself off so she wouldn't go through pain. Her goal then, was just survival. That is why she chose Garrett. Remember, also, Garrett didn't show his true abusive colors to Ayla until AFTER the mating. That is when she had contempt for him, not before. He was demeaning before, so I do not disagree totally with the statement, but it was more carefully planned, hidden and fed on her insecurities so she didn't notice.

#4 What do you think the significance of the the baby Ayla carries is/will be?

Perhaps she will be the way to get all worlds together. A way to peace... or eventual war.

#5 What do you think of Ayla's ascension to the throne? Do you believe she accepted her own destiny too easily?

No. I don't think she really accepted it in the end. I don't think she really contemplated her destiny at all. It was all about survival for her, the baby and Malachi.

My review is here if you missed it. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009


I had intended to fully read my first ebook and give a review on it. Unfortunately the free book neglected to say that it was a preview. Now, Amazon, where I got the book, later changed that, but the link I got it from still did not. It had about 20 chapters to the book, so I figured it was a full book. So did a lot of other people. I also looked at the one that DID say preview did not specify that it was only a portion of the book in question. I feel that this was an honest mistake, but was not taken care of properly. Full disclosure on EXACTLY you are getting even if it is free should be given on the page you are "buying" from. This is important so people do not have a bad taste for the author (who I feel did not have a part of it, but will surely get criticism for it), and the store. Perhaps the word preview could have been enough, but I felt it was already confused with not having it specified prior.

So, for now on, I will assume that anything before a publishing date will be a preview unless stated otherwise. Since I'm making that wide assumption, I won't say exactly what book it was (although it won't be hard to find out) and it does not deter me from the free books. I did check. Those others that I had downloaded are full books. I just wanted people to be aware of what they may get before getting that pre-published book for free. ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Queene of Light (Lightworld/Darkworld #1)

From the book: An unimagined destiny an undeniable passion.
In a time not long from now, the veil between fantasy and reality is ripped asunder creatures of myth and fairytale spill into the mortal world. Enchanted yet horrified, humans force the magical beings Underground, to colonize the sewers and abandoned subway tunnels beneath their glittering cities.
But even magic folk cannot dwell in harmony and soon two Worlds emerge: the Lightworld, home to faeries, dragons and dwarves; and the Darkworld, where vampires, werewolves, angels and demons lurk.
Now, in the dank and shadowy place between Lightworld and Darkworld, a transformation is about to begin....
Ayla, a half-faery, half-human assassin is stalked by Malachi, a Death Angel tasked with harvesting mortal souls. They clash. Immortality evaporates, forging a bond neither may survive. And in the face of unbridled ambitions and untested loyalties, an ominous prophecy is revealed that will shake the Worlds.
When reading this book, I noticed that some of it seemed to be a bit inconsistent in the way the author wrote it. She seemed to linger on the dark areas of the book and then suddenly when Ayla was in war, it was over. It seemed that the darkness held more of the fascination with the author than moving the story along. This could be explained by the dedication that was at both the front and back at the book.
 To me, this book symbolizes a beautiful flower that grew out of the rotting rib cage of a murder victim abandoned in a shallow grave. Thank you to everyone who made that weekend such a horrible experience and forced me to retreat into a fantasy world where a sewer full of monsters offered more hospitable company than yours.
Nice people and objects that made this book possible were the Friday Night Mudslingers, my supportive family, Diet Coke, and Emmy Rossum's Inside Out album.
This dedication could have made the book less interesting, but quite the opposite was true. I was more fascinated.

I also was disappointed with not having much to do with Malachi, her death angel lover. He seemed to be an important part of the story, and I was looking forward to journeying with him on his way to humanity, but his story got cut short once things got going in the lightworld. In fact he almost suddenly seemed an after thought.

Even with those criticisms, I did enjoy this book. I liked the journey of Ayla. Her journey of being a shy outcast, closed off from everyone around her, to a woman in her own right waging war, finding her inner strength, and opening herself up to the possibility of love.

I would recommend this book. It is in all a very enjoyable read.  I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. 

The Blog with Bite questions/answers are here if you like to read them. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009


Have a mac? Want some free software? Go to Macheist to get it! ShoveBox, WriteRoom, Twitterrific, TinyGrab, Hordes of Orcs are free. Mariner Write will get unlocked after 50,000 download the free software. Some good apps for those budding writers. The catch? You might get addicted as Macheist has been known to have some great puzzles for more free apps as the year progresses. It usually ends in a bundle that you pay for... BUT not this one! So, if you have a mac or know someone who has one, this is a great deal to try some software they may not have otherwise. Go, have fun!

Edit: Now get VirusBarrier for free too when you announce it on your Facebook account. Not bad. That's a $70 value. 

And just so you know, I've been doing the MacHeist thing for a couple of years now and it really is a good bargain for mac users. Also great fun trying to solve puzzles.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Sorcerer's Cookbook by Brigitte Bulard-Cordeau

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I do not like to cook. Sure, I'll occasionally bake, but that is usually from a box. So, when I spied this book, I was intrigued. The words on the cover also state "Recipes for Enchantment from Aphrodite's Oysters to Violet Bonbons". Just HAD to look. The book is cute filled with pictures of herbs and old advertising people. Instead of recipe, it is called a spell and gives a reason for making it. Most are positive in nature, but there are occasional one's for when your other has been naughty.

Will I learn to love cooking with this book? I doubt it. However, I just might try one or two and see what happens...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

From the book:
High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.
I really loved this book. Although some may mistakenly think this is a child's or young adult type of book, I do not think so. It is most definitely an adult book. Yes, the main character is a 12 year old child and they deal with fairy tales, but there is darkness that surrounds the boy. This darkness is inappropriate for children. There are also principals identified within the story that may be lost on the younger set, but noticed by adults with more life experience.

The fairy tales in the book are more reminiscent of the old fairy tales in which do not always have a happy ending. Connolly goes further and twists those fairy tales into nightmares. Nightmares of David and the old king's making. As each fear is dealt with, more of the self to David is revealed. It is a book about dealing with one's own fear and the loss of ignorance we have as children. Ignorance of the world's darker half, before we are prepared to handle it, is what makes us innocent. That is what this book explores. It is David's painful journey into adulthood and the choices he makes that determines who he eventually becomes.

The ending is what got me the most. So, I don't reveal too much, I feel that I can safely say that Connolly gives the best meaning to names having the most meaning. You'll just have to read the book to figure out what I meant by that. :) My only criticism is that I felt it didn't quite meld the Greek mythology quite as successfully as he changed the fairy tales. But, that really, is a slight criticism.

This book has my highest rating and my recommendation.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

Thought this would be a cute way to wish everyone a Happy Halloween!
The artist is Derek Rippe

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Intertwined by Gena Showalter

From the book: Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him:
One can time-travel.
One can raise the dead.
One can tell the future.
And one can possess another human.
With no other family and a life spent in and out of institutions, Aden and the souls have become friends. But now they're causing him all kinds of trouble. Like, he'll blink and suddenly he's a younger Aden, reliving the past. One wrong move, and he'll change the future. Or he'll walk past a total stranger and know how and when she's going to die.
He's so over it. All he wants is peace.
And then he meets a girl who quiets the voices. Well, as long as he's near her. Why? Mary Ann Gray is his total opposite. He's a loner; she has friends. He doesn't care what anyone thinks; she tries to make everyone happy. And while he attracts the paranormal, she repels it. For her sake, he should stay away. But it's too late....
Somehow, they share an inexplicable bond of friendship. A bond about to be tested by a werewolf shape-shifter who wants Mary Ann for his own, and a vampire princess Aden can't resist.
Two romances, both forbidden. Still, the four will enter a dark underworld of intrigue and danger but not everyone will come out alive....
My review:
I enjoyed this book. The story line also looked deceptively simple and easy to predict. Happily I did not see the story this way. The twists and turns in the story kept the interest going and helped it lose it predictability. The complexity of Aden and his trapped souls drew me into his troubled life. The trapped soul's personalities, while intriguing, did not overshadow Aden as it could have happened. Instead the souls actually enhanced his interest to me.

 I also loved the character of Mary Ann. Yes, at times I was irritated with her simplistic good/bad view of the world, but it still wasn't so overwhelming it lost her charms. I think the coupling of Mary Ann and the werewolf was the most interesting part when talking romance in this book. I am looking forward too seeing why Riley couldn't resist her from the beginning even if it is obvious why he fell in love with her as their friendship progressed. He holds a lot of grounded knowledge for one that was simply seen as a servant in his world.

As for the rest of my review. I recommend this book. I only gave it 4 stars because of the ending. Be prepared to feel let down as major parts of this book have yet to be resolved. I didn't even see this as a good cliffhanger book in the way it ended. It just resolved one problem and then "poof" the end. I did know this was going to be a series, but that was almost too irritating. If I hadn't enjoyed the rest of the book so much I would have reduced my stars significantly. So, with that warning, I do say go and get it. You will enjoy this book.

Oh, and if you need more incentive to learn about the book, Harlequin Teen is holding a contest with this book. You can win $10,000 or instantly win swag. Details are at the site. So, go enter the sweepstakes!

Blog with Bite Questions:
#1  Do you feel the ending was cut short and needed more to be resolved before the book ended?

Not so much cut short, but without closure. So, I would agree more about needed more resolve. I know she was going for a cliffhanger, but even that was "off". The book needed to resolve a bit more of the story that seemed important to this book. It could crescendo again before the "end" of the book.

#2 Regarding Question #1, what are your thoughts on series books? For one you get more and more and more - depending on how long the series drags on - for another some series leave you with very little resolution at the end of the novels, i.e. the Merry Gentry series where only a couple of hours pass within the time span of one book. Do you find this is just an authors way of having guaranteed book sales - or do you really enjoy series and love reading about your fav characters over and over again?

I like series books and this obviously is going to be a series because of how it ended. I usually don't like cliffhangers, however. You can still resolve what the characters were working on within the book and keep it as a stand alone book and still have a series. Many authors do this and I enjoy those series books. As for sales. I don't think that has to do with the authors but more to do with editors and publishers. Authors usually are concerned about telling a good story. Editors and publishers are worried about sales.

#3 Which "trapped" soul was your favorite and do you see potential in the future story lines with the remaining three?

I didn't have a favorite trapped soul as they were all underdeveloped. So, all have the potential in future story lines. It seems to me we will learn more of Caleb next.

#4  When a larger-than-life character such as Vlad Tepes aka Dracula is used as a side-plot character do you believe it gives the story a more factual base, or makes it less real?

I think it makes it less real. I like it when they make a totally new story line on how supernaturals come into being. While she did take a more than traditional turn, the mentioning of Dracula made the vampires less interesting.

#5 What did you think of the side plot involving Tucker and Penny?  Do you think the issues from that plot were adequately resolved?

I feel that they were resolved enough for the present book. I can see both in future books especially due to Tucker's "ability" but I'm not sure how much more Penny can be changed to make her character live in the new world they discovered if Penny and Tucker end up together.

#6 What is your best guess as to what Aden Stone's superpower is - the power he possess without his souls?

Maybe he can bring those powers into himself just as Mary Ann keeps their powers at bay.