Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fool for Books Giveaway!

Welcome to the Fool for Books Giveaway!
Would you like to win a Million Dollars USD!?
A New Car!?
A Vacation Home!?

I bet you can't wait to find out how you can win all these great prizes! 
Me too! I have no idea! 
I'm sure someone out there can tell us where all these prizes are given. *shrugs* I just found all the great pictures on google. 

In the meantime...
This is what I'm giving away with this contest:
For US only:
I Know I Am, But What Are You?
by Samantha Bee
hardback cover

For everyone (aka international):
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
by Molly Harper
I'm giving it through Amazon or Kobo (just depends on your ereader).

How to win?
Fill out the form!
Thanks for Playing! The giveaway is now closed.
Don't forget to go HERE to get back to the list of goodies. If you find the one with the money, car, and house prize, let me know, k? Thanks!

Surrender the Dark by L. A. Banks

Surrender the DarkFrom Goodreads:
National bestselling author L.A. Banks’s electrifying new paranormal series is set in a sizzling world where Dark and Light are trapped in an eternal struggle for the fate of mankind. 
Celeste Jackson has fought all her life against a fog of hallucination and substance abuse, but it’s not until she meets her protector, Azrael, an angel who has left the safety of the Light, that she learns of the evil forces that have been trying to ruin her, and why. A fierce battle for control of the mortal realm is brewing, and only Celeste—with the help of the Remnant, her half-human, half-angel brethren—can stand in the way. Together, Celeste and Azrael must gather an army of sensitives to defeat the dark powers that have ruled humanity for centuries, but time is running out. If Azrael surrenders to his growing desire for Celeste, he risks being trapped among humanity forever. But the longer he stays, the harder she is to resist. To save the world, Celeste must draw on her own dark experiences with addiction to help Azrael overcome the one temptation that could possibly make him an eternal prisoner—his obsession with her.
 This is a book about the end of times. Azrael is an archangel who elected to come to earth to search out a remnant/nephilim who is part angel and part human. Celeste has been affected by the dark in such a way she is almost broken in spirit and body. However, because of the unfailing love of her aunt, she finds her way to Azrael and they begin to heal each other. Her due to the abuse she had endured and him due to the loss and effect the world has on a new to earth angel. As Celeste learns to trust again, we get glimpses into the philosophy this world inhabits. It is mostly Christian in nature, but it is not solely within that one religion. I believe that because Celeste was brought up Christian that is why we are more involved with that philosophy in this book. All religions are considered sacred to the angels and none discriminate because someone ascribes to another viewpoint. All that is important is how good the person is in spirit.

There is also discussion within the philosophy of this world about DNA structures. There is a postulation  that we have more strands than the double helix and this is put to good use within the story. I have heard about this theory, but personally know little about it. Still, I think Ms. Banks makes good use of this idea. We also find the Mayans prediction of 12/21/12 is entwined within the philosophies. In fact the reason Celeste is there on the earth has to do with this prophesy.

I give this book 4 stars. I really enjoyed the philosophy the author created within this book. I also enjoyed Celeste, Azrael and especially her feisty Aunt Niecey. I would have loved to have had a little more humor within the book, but it was also not devoid of humor. Several times I did catch myself laughing.

I received this book from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Murder Takes the Cake by Gayle Trent

Murder Takes the Cake: A Daphne Martin Cake Mystery (Daphne Reynolds Cake Mysteries)From Gayle Trent's website:
The first book in the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating Mystery Series. 
Yodel Watson was dead. And some people blamed my spice cake. 
When the meanest gossip in Brea Ridge dies mysteriously, suspicions turn to cake decorator Daphne Martin. But all Daphne did was deliver a spice cake with cream cheese frosting–and find Yodel’s body. Now Daphne’s got to help solve the murder and clear her good name. Problem is, her Virginia hometown is brimming with people who had good reason to kill Yodel, and Daphne’s whole family is among them.
Okay, get ready to faint... this is the second time I have read a book in order. That's right! This is the first in the Daphne Martin Cake Mysteries. Smelling salts anyone? Okay, now that you are comfortable on the floor, I'd have to say this was a fun easy and quick read. Usually, I don't always like these type of mysteries since they can quickly become more about stories of gossip. I don't care for gossip stories. However, this one didn't bother me. Yes, it involves gossip, but it is set in a small town and a portion of her own life story was woven into the mystery. Therefore I can see why she sought out more information even if it was through the gossip line. 

I give this book 3 stars. It wasn't a complicated mystery but more toward the chick lit side of the mystery genre. It had a lot to do with family and growing in life as well as solving a mystery. I recommend this one to people who want a mystery, but don't want something too heavy.

I was given this book by the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Primal Seduction by Sydney Somers

Primal Seduction (Pendragon Gargoyles)From Goodreads:
 Primal Hunger  
Kennedy’s spirited nature sometimes gets her into trouble, but now she’s in real hot water. She needs to put her sexy, brooding boss out of her head—an impossible task when he offers her a ride home. 
Gargoyle cat-shifter Tristan Callaghan has no time for anything but finding the Arthurian dagger that will free his brother. Now that Kennedy is sitting next to him in his car, though, his craving for her is sharper than ever. 
The distraction is costly. In a split second, she is dragged into a hunt that marks her for death. To save her Tristan must sacrifice his quest…or the one woman meant to be his.   
Primal Attraction 
Sorcha lives to track and eliminate rogue immortals, but her latest target—a sexy, gargoyle shifter— is convinced she’s his mate. For the first time, she’s unable to kill her target.    
Cale Callaghan is stunned to find Sorcha is alive, but the woman he aches to possess doesn’t recognize him. Worse, she’s after the same Arthurian dagger he needs to save his brother. His only hope to protect his family and reclaim his mate—ruthlessly take advantage of her one weakness. Her desire for him…
This book is actually 2 of the first books in the Pendragon Gargoyles series. (Yes, I'm sure some of you are feinting because I read #1 and #2 in order) In book 1, Primal Hunger, it is the story of Tristan a cat shifter and gargoyle, and Kennedy, a human. Kennedy finds herself in danger and suddenly thrown into a world she only thought was imaginary. And she thought that being a bartender in the city was bad enough. Suddenly she is thrown into the arms of the one man she was attracted to and was unavailable. Unavailable since she was the only female he seemed to avoid and hate. Soon, she finds out that she was the only one he wanted.

This story is a smexy PNR. Tristan can't get enough of Kennedy and almost loses the battle before it starts just because he is excited he found his true mate. Tristan is also all alpha male and Kennedy is no shrinking violet. In fact both do not back down to anything let alone each other. Even so, they are also tender and very vulnerable with each other which is why it makes the book such a good PNR, even if they tend to fall in bed quite easily. I mean, how can you not find a lethal cat shifter smexy?

In book 2, Primal Attraction, we are introduced to another brother, Cale. He has gone off to find a cure for a third brother in the form of a coveted dagger and sorceress. In the process he finds the one thing that gave his life meaning is alive since he thought her dead for 80 years. His living breathing mate. He is beyond happy that she is standing before him, he doesn't care that she just shot him with a poisonous arrow and wants his head on the platter. As Sorcha finds herself intrigued she purposely talks to her target. One thing she never does. However everything in her tells her to hear him out. She does and finds herself falling for the sexy target. Even if he has mistaken her for his mate.

As with the first book this book is just as smexy. Again, both main characters are alpha and yet vulnerable to the one that they love. They also respect each other. One thing Sorcha never had with a male before. Oh, and even if the stories seem the same, their relationships do differ and those differences make the 2 books a wonderful addition to this series. I can't wait to see who is in the next book. I also need to know if they are able to free their brother stuck in his gargoyle form. I'm guessing that means he has a smexy book all his own. Sounds good to me.

I give this book 4 stars. If you are in the mood for a smexy, steamy, hot PNR, then you have found the right book. I love that it is two books in one. However, I do warn you that even though the couple's stories feel complete, the running background story is far from over. That one moves ever so slowly in the background. Not quite a cliffhanger, but not complete either.

I received this book from the Goodreads first reads program and no compensation for my review was given.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Red Glove by Holly Black

Red Glove (Curse Workers, Book 2)From Goodreads:
Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.  
That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does. 
When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?  
Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.
Okay, I will make this as unspoilery as I can (yes, it's a word... I just invented it!). The first book I did enjoy, but not at first. I thought it was a bit slow. However, this book starts off with a bang. I think that is due to the fact that the world was already built and so it doesn't waste any time with Cassel. Because of that, I enjoyed this book even more than the first. And even though it has been a year since I visited Cassel and his friends, I slid back into that world easily.

Cassel finds himself back in trouble (when isn't he in trouble?) and several mysteries to be solved. Plus, he also finds himself in several binds in which it seems that no one answer is the perfect one. As with the first, Cassel worries about everyone, and is still our smart con man. He uses this to his advantage while he considers what his future will be if he survives senior year. All this and a few twists and turns make this book a fun ride. If you read the first one, you will enjoy this one. If you haven't read either, I suggest you read the first as it sets up the world in which Cassel inhabits.

I give this book 4 stars. It should be published April 5, 2011. I was given this eARC from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On My Wishlist...

One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost
TBP: Late Aug or Sept. 1, 2011

Oh man I want this! Yes I do!
If I'd get this I'd be all like...
...and just hoping someone will take pity on me and get it to me as soon as Galleys, ARCs, published books are out (don't care what... )

I can be all like...

So, what is on your OMG wishlist this week?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of GrayFrom Goodreads:

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions. 
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
If this book doesn't become banned, I'll be sorely disappointed in the self-appointed safety-bubble police. This is a perfect book to burst that bubble and I'm proud to have read it. This book deserves to be on the shelf of every school in the world. It is an important story that is largely unknown.

I will not give anything away in this story as it is important to follow Lina in her heroic and harrowing tale. Her fight for life, just living and breathing is heroic within the conditions that presented itself. The story is often paralleled by her memories of a better time which also contrast to the horror the family, Lina, Jona her brother, and her mother Elena, are experiencing. The horror is made much darker by that comparison. It also provided Lina something else to concentrate on other than hunger and toil. The darkness wasn't surprising to me as I also realized what I was getting into by the first chapter.
   "Twenty minutes," the officer barked. He threw his burning cigarette onto our clean living room floor and ground it into the wood with his boot.
   We were about to become cigarettes.

There is one thing I will warn you. You will need some tissues by the end of this book. *shakes fist* Oh, I hate crying and I hate it even more so when I'm trying to keep my sinuses from closing up on me and looking like I was punched in the face. So, don't say I didn't warn you when you start blubbering like a baby. At least you weren't the only one to do that. *sniff*

I recommend this book to everyone. It is YA, but written simply and well. Younger YA audiences could easily read this, but for concerned parents know there is violence and rape by coercion. It is a book describing atrocities that occurred, but isn't any worse than is presented in the media today. I would suggest to those with young kids to read it first and then decide. It is a book I think parents should read anyway.

If you still aren't convinced to read the book, do watch the author talk about her book. It is about 10 minutes, but totally worth the time.

Ruta Sepetys discusses  her upcoming novel, Between Shades of Gray from Penguin Young Readers Group on Vimeo.

Chapter one
Official website for the book
I was given this ARC by the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Molly Harper and the Wolves...

This post might make it's way around the blogverse, so you might see it more than once. Oh, I had to post it as it does a small bit to honor wolves. I've personally met wolf-hybrids which also sometimes end up in sanctuaries with wolves. They are too wild to be pets. The ones I met were handled by people who knew what they were doing and had a lot of land for them to roam. I think it is sad that people try to make pets out of animals that should never be pets. *ahem* I'm off the soapbox now. However, if you find a hunky naked were... send him my way. I don't care if he's not tame! ;D

Unfortunately, actual naked hunky werewolves remain elusive…

When I was little and came running into the house, sweaty and caked in dirt, my mom would cry, “What the- have you been rolling around with wolves?”
Well, here I sit, sweaty, caked in various layers of dried mud.  And I have indeed been playing with wolves.  While promoting the release of my Naked Werewolf romance series, I visited the Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge in Nicholasville, KY.  Wolf Run, a state- and USDA-licensed non-profit educational facility, provides a safe, loving and permanent sanctuary for 23 adult wolves andwolf-dog hybrids. The refuge is also home to two full-grown lions, deer, goats, sheep, monkeys, and other exotic wildlife.  And Rowdy, the most obese raccoon I have ever seen. 
Most of the animals are former pets that were either confiscated by or surrendered by their owners.  Because it turns out, wolf hybrids do not make great house pets.
As Savannah Massey, director of animal care and education at Wolf Run told me, “These animals are gorgeous, appealing and unique. But they’re also aggressive, destructive and territorial.  This is not an animal you want in your home.  Wolf genetics do not go away.  And it’s not just that they could tear up your furniture or hurt one of your other pets- you are physically in danger when you’re around them.”
Just what you want to hear when you’re sitting right next to one, and he’s been licking your face.
Honestly, Boone, a 10-year-old grey male, could not have been nicer during my visit and our subsequent photo shoot.  He was a dignified statesman compared to raucous Razz, a three-year-old tan specimen who seemed to think my make-up was bacon-flavored. (Note to Sephora, wolf-oriented face powder may be a niche market you haven’t considered yet.)
I learned a lot during my visit to Wolf Run.  I was happy to find there are some definite similarities between actual wolves and the characters in HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF and THE ART OF SEDUCING A NAKED WEREWOLF.
For instance, a wolf will pee on whatever it wants, whenever it wants, to make sure you know that thing belongs to them.   It is now your tree, Boone, we understand.  Thank you for not choosing my shoes.
Wolves have to date.  There are five packs at Wolf Run, each with three to five pack members.  New wolves are matched to potential packs based on temperament when they arrive at Wolf Run.  If the initial matches don’t work, they are moved to different packs until they find a good fit. Some wolves, like Boone, don’t fit well with any group and end up being loners. (Which, I think, makes him a bit like Cooper.) 
Wolves struggle over the Alpha position.  Large males jockey for the position and it can lead to inter-pack tension.   Unlike Boone, who was an Alpha contender, Razz, just seemed to want to play, which made me think of Samson.  I did not see a real-life counterpart for Maggie, which was probably a good thing given her penchant for biting people on the butt.
Mary Kindred, CEO of Wolf Run, calls the animals her babies.  When she walks around the yard, any effort to distract the wolves is futile, because a) she is mom and b) she has Pupperoni in her pocket. Kindred noted that the sanctuary receives no outside funding, and all expenses, such sturdy fencing, food, veterinary care, and upkeep of the grounds, are paid through donations.  The facility welcomes volunteers.   And despite the love and effort Mary and her staff devote to the sanctuary, both she and Savannah look forward to the day they’re no longer needed.
“These animals shouldn’t be here,” Savannah said.  “The lions should be in Africa. The wolves should be in the wild.  Our goal is to rescue animals and educate the public, until a facility like this is no longer needed.”  
To learn more about Wolf Run, go to or contact Mary at

Wolf photo credit: Memories by Chris/Chris Meyer/Georgetown, KY



Here it is! ;)
The winner of the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway 
Erin L. (confirmed)
Your books are on it's way!

The next hop will be:
...and don't forget to leave a comment at the Wilder's Mate Kindle Contest Post for a chance to win a Kindle 3!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)From Goodreads:
What if you knew exactly when you would die?  
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.  
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.  
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
I love the premise of this story. It is an unusual YA story and not typical in that genre at all. The world in which Rhine inhabits does not need much explanation to find it dangerous and desperate. The author does the set up for this world well. And although you do feel the horror of capture with Rhine and the other girls, it does not last nor do I feel it as confining as I should; however, it is still not a world in which I would want to live.

With this story, Rhine finds that her nemesis, Housemaster Vaughn entirely creepy, and I would agree. I think he was the perfect villain in this story. His experiments were secret and he had the true control over the household and the wives, not her husband, Linden. However, and this is where I part from others who loved the book, I wanted that mystery solved. I wanted that tension and horror in my book. Instead we had more of Rhine bumbling along trying to escape. On one hand, it makes sense. What else would a 16 year old want more than freedom? On the other hand, the mystery and danger was held by Vaughn and what her husband would or wouldn't do to defy his father is what I wanted played out here. Plus, I had many scenarios in my head as to what was really behind Vaughn's experiments and the cryptic warnings Rhine received from the other sister-wives.

I do realize that this is a trilogy and so my answers may lie in the other books. I just think my disappointment lied in the ending which seemed reminiscent of the Handmaiden's Tale. I just wanted it taken further, but perhaps I will find out why it was taken in this way as the Chemical Garden winds through the other 2 stories.

I give this book 3 stars. I have parts of this book I'd really like to discuss, but won't since it would be huge spoilers within the plot. I obviously found the story interesting and often I did feel like I was on the edge of my seat for much of the story waiting for the dangerous act. Perhaps that is why I was disappointed in the ending. However, I will be looking forward to the other books and see where I am taken and what lies in that basement where Vaughn toils away. Oh, and this book is published today!

I received this ARC from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A World Without Heros (Beyonders #1) by Brandon Mull

A World Without Heroes (Beyonders)From Goodreads:

Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable--until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank to a place unlike anything he's ever seen. In the past, the people of Lyrian welcomed visitors from the Beyond, but attitudes have changed since the wizard emperor Maldor rose to power. The brave resistors who opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail.In his search for a way home, Jason meets Rachel, who was also mysteriously drawn to Lyrian from our world. With the help of a few scattered rebels, Jason and Rachel become entangled in a quest to piece together the word of power that can destroy the emperor, and learn that their best hope to find a way home will be to save this world without heroes.
This is a fun MG/YA book for both boys and girls. As the character is only 13 years of age, I don't think it would appeal to the older YA crowd. This is a great introduction to fantasy for the younger set and even though it is 464 pages, I think they will have fun with a young kid besting several warriors and journeying on a quest with Jason and Rachel. Not only do they have to solve a puzzle in the form of a magical word, they have to learn who to trust and how to trust each other. Plus, Jason is from CO, which is a big plus in my book. ;)

Not only was there constant struggle and adventure to keep your interest, but there was also a twist ending for this book. One that I quite enjoyed. The villan is not predictable and easy to read as in some MG/YA books and that is what I loved about it. Unfortunately, it is a cliffhanger! *shakes fist* So, I warn you, if you read this book, you will want to know what happens next.

I give this book 4 stars. I recommend it to young readers of adventure. It will be published March 22, 2011

I was given this ebook by the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Ten Miles Past NormalFrom Goodreads:
Janie Gorman wants to be normal. The problem with that: she’s not. She’s smart and creative and a little bit funky. She’s also an unwilling player in her parents’ modern-hippy, let’s-live-on-a-goat-farm experiment (regretfully, instigated by a younger, much more enthusiastic Janie). This, to put it simply, is not helping Janie reach that “normal target.” She has to milk goats every day…and endure her mother’s pseudo celebrity in the homemade-life, crunchy mom blogosphere. Goodbye the days of frozen lasagna and suburban living, hello crazy long bus ride to high school and total isolation--and hovering embarrassments of all kinds. The fresh baked bread is good…the threat of homemade jeans, not so much. It would be nice to go back to that old suburban life…or some grown up, high school version of it, complete with nice, normal boyfriends who wear crew neck sweaters and like social studies. So, what’s wrong with normal? Well, kind of everything. She knows that, of course, why else would she learn bass and join Jam Band, how else would she know to idolize infamous wild-child and high school senior Emma (her best friend Sarah’s older sister), why else would she get arrested while doing a school project on a local freedom school (jail was not part of the assignment). And, why else would she kind of be falling in "like" with a boy named Monster—yes, that is his real name. Janie was going for normal, but she missed her mark by about ten miles…and we mean that as a compliment. Frances O’Roark Dowell’s fierce humor and keen eye make her YA debut literary and wise. In the spirit of John Green and E. Lockhart, Dowell’s relatable, quirky characters and clever, fluid writing prove that growing up gets complicated…and normal is WAY overrated.
To be quite honest, I did not like this book at the beginning. Janie got on my nerves because all she did was complain. Complained about her home, her parents, her lack of friends, her lack of popularity, the fact that she was teased at school; the list goes on. After a while, you wondered if there was anything more to Janie than a complaint box of teenage angst. However, about half way through the book, she starts to talk to a girl while hiding out in the library at lunch. A strange girl herself, but quite honestly more interesting than Janie. This did start to get Janie out of her comfort zone a bit and later while trying to be supportive of her best friends newest scheme, she finds herself willing to try something new. Now, this is where I started to become interested again in the story.

She starts to meet new people and also starts to learn more about herself. Janie grows from this point on and even learns quite a bit about the important history of the small town she is a part. History that is almost forgotten and she decides that she won't allow it to be forgotten. This is the book I wanted to read. This is the story I was finally glad to get! I really enjoyed the secondary characters as well. I enjoyed the growth of Janie into a person I would have loved to have been friends with in HS or even in life.

I give this book 3 stars. It would have been much higher if the beginning was shortened quite a bit. However, the second half of the book just rocked. Almost literally. ;) This book will be published on March 22, 2011.

I received this ebook from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

On My Wishlist...

The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper
TBP: March, 29, 2011
From Goodreads:
Baring It All

Generations of werewolves have been secretly residing in a secluded valley a stone’s throw from Grundy, Alaska. So when a snooping Outsider comes to Grundy to investigate rumors of lycanthropic shenanigans in the area, the valley’s pack alpha, Maggie Graham, resolves to chase him away, even if doing so takes a quick bite on the butt. What a pity that researcher Nick Thatcher turns out to be so drool-worthy, and that his kisses make Maggie want to sit up and beg. Maggie just can’t seem to convince Nick to leave . . . and even worse, she can’t convince herself to stay away from him. Cross-species dating is problem enough for a harried alpha female, but on top of that, a rival group of werewolves is trying to move into the valley. With interpack war threatening, Maggie can’t afford to be distracted. Combining romance and a career can be tough for anyone; for a werewolf in love with a human, it may be disastrous. . . .
I loved the first one so yes... I need this one too!!!!!! 

Abandon by Meg Cabot
TBP: April 26, 2011
From Goodreads:
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld. 
Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back. 
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid. 
Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most. 
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.
So, what are your wishes this week?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Quicksilver by Joy Spraycar

QuicksilverFrom Goodreads:
A recurring nightmare holds Serry Miller in its grip and has for most of her life. In spite of her fear of the man who becomes a monster, she's in love with him. Not only does she have nightmares while she sleeps, she's living in one with an abusive, alcoholic husband. When, Serry's drunken husband hit's Quinton Worthington's car, she sees the face of the man from her nightmares on a stretcher entering the hospital. When he looks at her and calls her by her name, she is plummeted into a life that she has only dreamed about. Quinton Worthington has suffered for over a hundred years. That's when his evil father ripped Serenity, the love of Quinton's life, from him. At the same time, he changed Quinton into a monster. When Quinton sees Serry's face in the hospital, he believes that Serenity has come back, and he will do anything to be with her. There's only one thing that stands in their way of having the life they want: Quinton's father.
 This story starts in the 1800s when Quinton first becomes a werewolf. It also tells the tale of how he first meets Serenity and loses her. They meet again in the present and fall back in love. Things escalate and they find themselves needing to destroy Quinton's father, Wesley for the sake of their future. There is also later a mention of a cure to the were virus. The key to finding it is in Serenity's ancestry.

I really wanted to love this book. The ideas for the story were interesting and the secondary characters in this book really made me want to know more about them. However, I just couldn't connect to Serry or Quinton. I just couldn't get into their relationship and even the snark at times seemed cruel instead of funny or just razzing each other. Her acceptance of Quinton's condition was a bit fast and not quite believable. As was the way they fell in love and the way Serry overcame some very frightening experiences.

I give this book 2 stars. As I said, I just couldn't connect to the characters. I did, however, love the ideas the author came up with in the story. I found those to be intriguing.

I was given this book by the author and no compensation for my review was given.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!

Ach! Patrick was birthed in Scotland, and though he is no close to my favorite saint, I'll still honor the place of his ma's pain. I've decided to giveaway 3 books for this hop. All involving a wearin' the plaid (or not wearin' the plaid *waggles eyebrows*).
The Devil Wears Plaid
by Teresa Medeiros

One Night in Scotland (Hurst Amulet)
by Karen Hawkins

Healing the Highlander
by Melissa Mayhue

To enter, just fill out the form below. US only. Thanks!
 Giveaway is now over! Thanks for playing!
To pick up where you left off just go to this LINK to find the other giveaways!
Thanks for stopping by!
Have lots of fun and may you not kiss the blarney stone and instead kiss Barney!

Oh, and while you are here, you might want to comment on the Wilder's Mate Kindle Contest Post to win... well... a kindle! ;)

Butterfly's Child by Angela Davis-Gardner

Butterfly's Child: A NovelFrom Goodreads:
When three-year-old Benji is plucked from the security of his home in Nagasaki to live with his American father, Lt. Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, and stepmother, Kate, on their farm in Illinois, the family conceals Benji’s true identity as a child born from a liaison between an officer and a geisha, and instead tells everyone that he is an orphan. 
Frank struggles to keep the farm going while coping with his guilt and longing for the deceased Butterfly. Deeply devout Kate is torn between her Christian principles and her resentment of raising another woman’s child. And Benji’s life as an outcast—neither fully American nor fully Japanese—forces him to forge an identity far from the life he has known. 
When the truth about Benji surfaces, it will splinter this family’s fragile dynamic, sending repercussions spiraling through their close-knit rural community and sending Benji on the journey of a lifetime from Illinois to the Japanese settlements in Denver and San Francisco, then across the ocean to Nagasaki, where he will uncover the truth about his mother’s tragic death.
A sweeping portrait of a changing American landscape at the end of the nineteenth century, and of a Japanese culture irrevocably altered by foreign influence, Butterfly’s Child explores people in transition—from old worlds to new customs, heart’s desires to vivid realities—in an epic tale that plays out as both a conclusion to and an inspiration for one of the most famous love stories ever told.
I thought it was interesting and a bit eerie that this book came in the mail the same day that the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan. Although I was already curious about the book since it is the continuation of Madame Butterfly (which I admit, I've never seen), I think the timing made it more interesting. Especially since it would be at a time when there was not so much earthly destruction. Therefore, I admit the recent events may have colored my reading of this story.

You do not have to have read or seen Madame Butterfly to read this book. The author supplies a brief synopsis of the opera so you are completely caught up in Benji's story from the beginning. And although it is mostly Benji's story, there is a change of POV in the book where you also get an insight into Mr. and Mrs. Pinkerton as well as some of the other minor players in this story. I should say that the changing POV is not smooth, but I feel it was necessary. That way the Pinkertons did not become one-dimensional villains in the story.

Benji is a sweet little boy. Witnessing his mother's suicide and then taken to a strange land with people he never met before. He knows that Mr. Pinkerton is his papa, but the man and the woman refuses to acknowledge this fact. While growing up, Benji is stripped of his Japanese heritage. As he grows he becomes more obsessed with keeping what little he remembers about Japan in an effort to cling to something of his mother. His parents, the Pinkertons, were not totally sympathetic to Benji's plight yet they are not totally ignorant of it either. However, they seem more interested in their selves and what others would think. This is what fosters their victim mentality. The author does not make the Pinkertons total monsters; within their POV, you see people who are doing the best that they know how and do honestly care for Benji's well being. They just can't seem to get past wanting to be the victim in this little play. This interferes with Benji's upbringing as well as their own satisfaction with life.

Benji's life is not completely horrid, he does find several people willing to go out of their way to help him. In fact, he is quite lucky in this respect. He finds a bit of hardship on his road back to Japan, but really, it was very minor for someone of mixed race, especially in the late 1800s/ early 1900s. By the end Benji has made a new life for himself and there is a huge twist even I did not see coming (now you know I'm not going to tell what that was... *evil laugh).

I give this story 4 stars. My biggest criticism is that the cultural corrections to the opera by the author were made at the end of the book all at once and I would have loved to see it more interspersed within the story much earlier. Perhaps in the "second act" when Benji was learning about the Japanese culture. That way the ending wouldn't have seemed as rushed as it appeared to me. However, I did enjoy this unique tale and found it to be an interesting journey.

I received this book from Goodreads first reads program and the publisher; no compensation for my review was given.

Since Japan is on our minds... I thought I'd include a list of places you can donate if you wish. These are organizations that go where there is the most need.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Half-Blood Teaser Trailer

That is the new Half-Blood trailer. And what is great is that Jennifer L. Armentrout is also having a huge contest on her blog. Just go HERE to get all the deets. Of course all the prizes are mine. ;)
Half-Blood (A Covenant Novel)
Don't forget... you can pre-order the book but it will come out on Sept. 15. *sigh* Long wait. I think she just wanted to tease us all. Hence the teaser! *snicker* 

Hey! No groaning! ;D