Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Apology and Free On-line Book!

I apologize to those in the blogaverse for not being around much lately. My sinuses have decided to take over my life and irritate me to death. And because misery loves company, my sinuses decides to have my migraines come along for the ride. Hopefully this will not be a long "tour" and they will both calm down quickly. Until then, I will be on, but not as much.

Now to what really brought you to read this... the free book! Kelley Armstrong's YA book, "The Summoning" is free to read on-line (no download, sorry) for a period of time. I added their link here so you can go right to it! Enjoy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Greywalker by Kat Richardson

Greywalker (Greywalker, Book 1)
From the book: Harper Blaine was slogging along as a small-time P.I. when a two-bit perp's savage assault left her dead. For two minutes, to be precise.
 When Harper comes to in the hospital, she begins to feel a bit ...strange. She sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring.
But Harper's not crazy. Her "death" has made her a Greywalker-able to move between our world and the mysterious, cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift (or curse) is about to drag her into that world of vampires and ghosts, magic and witches, necromancers and sinister artifacts. Whether she likes it or not.

If you love a detective stories and love paranormal stories but just don't know which to pick, I say pick this book. I know that this is book one of the Harper series and it lays the foundation for her adventures as a whole. There is quite a bit of back story as to how she sees into the "grey" and can walk through it. There are also several paranomal cases that she attempts to solve in her old human way while learning to control and use the grey. This keeps the action going, but it also lends to a lot of information squeezed into her and your learning curve. The question in the book eventually becomes if Harper will eventually learn to control the grey or will it eventually control her?

I gave this book 3 stars because I can see the series getting better as it goes along, but this one was just had maybe one case on her docket too many to really keep things moving.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another Awards Ceremony

I received this award from Melissa from My World. A great blogger with a wonderful name (did I say that already? hee hee). Thanks for your generosity! 

The rules are pretty simple. Answer the following questions with 
Single Word answers then pass this along to 5 other bloggers. Make sure you let them know about it though.

Your Cell Phone? Cheap 
Your Hair? Brown
Your Mother? Sweet
Your Father? Onery
Your Favorite Food? Delicious
Your Dream Last Night? Strange
Your Favorite Drink? Tea
Your Dream/Goal? LIVE!
What Room Are You In? Bedroom
Your Hobby? Crafting
Your Fear? Fear
Where Do You Want To Be In Six Years? Partying
Where Were You Last Night? Sleeping
Something That You Aren't? Vampire
Muffins? Okay
Wish List Item? Stuff
Where Did You Grow Up? Heh...
Last Thing You Did? Typed
What Are You Wearing? Clothes
Your TV? on
Your Pets? Huge
Friends? Funny
Your Life? Living
Your Mood? Snarky
Missing Someone? Yep
Vehicle? None
Something You Aren't Wearing? Sunglasses
Your Favorite Store? Discount
Your Favorite Color? Jewel
When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Today
Last Time You Cried? Sniff
Your Best Friend? In spirit
One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Hobby Lobby
Facebook? Who?
Favorite Place To Eat? Mom's

I send this award to:

Froggarita at Froggarita's Bookcase
La Coccinelle at The Ladybug Reads

Monday, January 18, 2010

Humane Award

La Coccinelle of The Ladybug Reads has bestowed upon me the Humane Award! Thanks it was so sweet of you to think of me! :)

I forward this award to the following who have shown me much support recently:

StephanieD at the Misfit Salon for her interesting posts, great reviews and contests.

Mary from the BookHound who is a great dog owner and book reviewer.

Melissa (My World) from, of course, My World who is sweet with a wonderful name (if I do say so myself) and a great blog as well.

Nina of J'Adore Happy Endings. Another great book blogger who cares about others.

Jenn from Books at Midnight who has wonderful reviews and an interest in others.

Do go to their blogs if you have not been before. I think you will enjoy their insights as much as I have.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Misfit Salon Contest!

There are going to be 2 contests for Amazon gift certificates and more importantly included in the Misfit Magazine. One contest will be a micro fiction and the other poetry. The theme: Love. All details are at the Misfit Salon. Ah, if only I could write well! No problem, I'll be enjoying the fruits of everyone's labor.

Now, I love the inclusion of poetry in the contest. It reminds me of some of my favorite pieces. In fact, one of my favorite poets is Marge Piercy. A good friend sent The Moon Is Always Female to me when she studied it in school. I was a fan right after that. I'll include one of my favorite poems from this book.

The Moon Is Always Female

For the young who want to

Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.

Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.

Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don't have a baby,
call you a bum.

The reason people want M.F.A.'s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else's mannerisms

is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you're certified a dentist.

The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.

So, what do you think? Do you have a favorite poem?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oops! Couldn't finish...

Well, it happened. I just didn't finish a book. I was reading Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1) by Scott Westerfeld. I had heard so many good things about this book. As I was reading I could see that this is a wonderful book for YA. It was a cleaver story on how we place emphasis on beauty versus who we truly could and can become. I would whole heartedly recommend this book to any young girl to read. I think, for me personally, it was just too much YA at heart. I couldn't connect to the main character Tally and so I had a hard time getting into the book.

Has anyone else had a problem with a highly acclaimed book just not interesting you? One that you could find value and would recommend to someone who you feel would enjoy it, but just couldn't get into it?

Well for me, I guess it is back to urban fantasy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

ARC Winner!

Truly, Madly: A NovelCongrats to Sarah from My World of Books!

You now have 72 hours to get back to me with your information or another person will be chosen. The winner was chosen by the random number generator from random.org.

And from the little fun poll I did. The number 1 answer to my Valentine question was: Valentine's day was a commercial endeavor. The 2nd place answer is that it was a day of LOVE! One person picked "day of luv" and no one picked disease. I guess that is good that no one seems to be having a horrible time of it lately. Unfortunately it seems we all need a bit more love in our lives. Here's to hoping everyone finds lots of LOVE this year!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"Kissing Sin" by Keri Arthur (Riley Jensen #2)

Kissing Sin (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 2)
From Melbourne’s gleaming skyscrapers to its throbbing nightclubs, Riley Jenson’s world is raging with danger and desire. A drop-dead-gorgeous werewolf–with a touch of vamp coursing in her blood–Riley works for an organization created to police the supernatural races. But when she wakes up naked and bruised in a barren alley, she knows only that she must run for her life.

Within moments Riley collides with the sexiest man she’s ever seen: steely, seductive Kade, who is fighting a life-and-death battle of his own. With old lovers and enemies gathering around her, Riley knows she is being pursued by a new kind of criminal. Because in Riley’s blood is a secret that could create the ultimate warrior–if only she can survive her own dangerous desires….

Kissing Sin is the second book in the Riley Jenson series. The first, "Full Moon Rising" I was not impressed by at all (my review). In this book, however, I felt was a much better. I think the main thing for me was that she wasn't justifying her casual sex ways by lame excuses, but rather just stated to just take me as I am, it's a part of me. That was a much better attitude and therefore did not get in the way of the action of the book. The action, which starts at the very beginning of the book and doesn't end until the last chapter.

Within this story, the main problem the directorate is trying to solve is the same as the one they were in the middle of in the first book. While still searching for clues, and saving her own life, Riley comes across Kade, a horse shifter. Their chemistry is immediate and interesting to say the least. Of course, Riley, isn't one to just attract one sexy guy, so we meet Kellen a alpha wolf whom really stirs Riley's interest. Now can we trust those two new love interests for Riley? Only time and more books into the series can tell.

Misha is also back in this book and we find out more and how deep he was into the mysterious lab the Directorate is investigating. We also find out why he seems determined to help Riley out as much as he is able. The end to this relationship is bittersweet and that is all I will say about that. ;)

Quinn also makes an appearance and finally decides to play a bigger part in Riley's life. To me, even if he isn't Riley's soul mate, I find him the most trustworthy of the bunch. But in the life of Riley who knows what will really go down in the end?

In total, I gave this book 3 1/2 stars. I liked it much better than the first. Perhaps the third book will be even better!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Elizabeth Naughton Stolen Contest

Sounds like a nice giveaway!

stolen seduction

"According to Jane" by Marilyn Brant

According To Jane
From the book: It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice". From nowhere comes a quiet 'tsk' of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who's teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author's ghost has taken up residence in Ellie's mind, and seems determined to stay there. Jane's wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own. Years and boyfriends come and go - sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not nearly fast enough. But Jane's counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham. Still, everyone has something to learn about love - perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie's head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending.

I had to continue my Jane Austen alternative literature spree. Since I had "According to Jane" on my iPod Touch through the Kindle app, it was easy. When I first spied this book I thought it was a YA book due to the description. The book surprised me as it was not. It was an adult book with adult scenes and situations. Ellie merely has Jane Austen helping her along as a very opinionated spirit guide. As you view Ellie's life you actually travel back and forth in time. Yes, occasionally, I would be a bit confused as to where you were in her life, but that was quickly resolved by reading a bit further. I can see why the author chose to do it this way as the juxtaposition of these timelines made the lesson more poignant. Even though the book ends on a expected note, it is still satisfying.

I think this is a good, quick read. If you love 80's music, this book is right up your alley since the author also pulls the characters around that musical theme. I gave the book 4 stars.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"A Little Bit Psychic" by Aimée Avery

This book by Aimée Avery was a delight. It was a small quick read of about 110 pages. I started this one quickly after I finished "Mr. Darcy, Vampyre" since I thought I'd continue the Jane Austen theme.

In this 21st century version of Pride and Prejudice, both Lizzy and Darcy liked each other from the start. Since they knew each other as children. Lizzy is psychic and sees things that eventually come true. The big characterizations of Pride and Prejudice still exist in this new telling. Yes, there are still misunderstandings that stand in their way. Yes, Darcy is as stubborn as ever. Especially when his plans go awry and he is still too inflexible and unwilling to change them. And yes, Lizzy is sharp of wit and humor who is still self conscious of her beauty.

I gave this book 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a small quick read. It is well done and really doesn't need more pages for the story to be rounded out. Go read it, you will enjoy it!

"Mr Darcy, Vampyre" by Amanda Grange

"Mr. Darcy, Vampyre" is one of the many paranormal stories to be retold from Jane Austen's original stories, mainly "Pride and Prejudice". In fact, the story begins where "Pride and Prejudice" leaves off. The marriage and wedding tour of Lizzy and Darcy. Now, it's been quite a bit since I've read Jane Austen's book, but I admit, she starts to draw you back into the world and time period of that original story. Unfortunately, after that, it gets a bit lost.

Now, normally I do what I can not to spoil a book at all, but in this case, I will do a lot of spoiling. Lizzy, at first, is not the hot headed strong character I remember. I do understand that with her husband not coming to her during the wedding tour was ego-crushing to say the least, I would still expect Lizzy to have confronted Darcy to a degree he could not refuse. This finally happened, but not until it was toward the end of the book. In fact, 2/3 of the book was quite slow. The characters you meet during their wedding tour were interesting, but sometimes I wanted to scream, "Tell her already!" It was extremely frustrating that he kept the secret from her for so long in the book. It was also frustrating that she would not actually demand an answer for so long.

Finally at the end of the book, she finds out after being abducted by an old vampire. For me, the whole scene was at first, interesting, but was so quickly and too easily ended. The reason? She gave him a gift. The gift of love. This was the only thing that could defeat him. Anyone who has read "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" will recognize that scene. After that the couple too quickly relaxes as they truly get to know one another. There is also another climatic scene soon after that which I also felt was ended too quickly and too easily. I feel that if the author put one of those scenes at the middle or toward the beginning of the book the action would have been written much better. Also she would have been able to extend the scene at the end. I think it would have proved more interesting.

All in all, it wasn't a horrible read despite what I have said. It is not for the die-hard Jane Austen fan. It did have it's interesting spots, but does fail in the end. I gave it 2 stars.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Misfit Salon's Ginormous Baby Giveaway

Wait, I think that is actually a book giveaway. :D For her 6 month blogaversary, she is having 2 contests. One is a choice of 6 books, several signed. That one ends on Jan. 22. Details on the requirements at her site.

The second is for the ARC "The Swan Thieves". That contest ends on Jan. 14. Details at her site.

Go there for the contests, stay for the content. It's a great site.

Now, I gotta figure out if this tatoo is permanent... *continues to wash forehead* "StephanieD!"

"Lament" by Maggie Stiefvater

*Warning, this is sort of a backward review. It may contain some slight spoilers for Ballad, but I promise to make those very small*

I couldn't wait to start this book and quickly started reading after I got it. I had to read this one because I was so enamored with "Ballad" which is actually the second book in this series. I had to know more about Deirdre and James. Plus, I had to find out who the heck Luke was. As I started reading, the worst thing happened to me. I got sick. Had a fever. Now, this wouldn't have been so bad but it also accompanied a bad headache. So, I couldn't read. Of course, I did read in-between headaches, but the story was so good, it was torture to have it dragged out for me!

Enough of that, and back to the book. I was thrown back into the world of James and Deirdre when they were first aware that "They" were real. I also found out who exactly Luke was and why she fell so hard for him. All characters are deliciously flawed which perfectly counters the fantastic world to which they are thrown. The secrets revealed are mixed with a good dose of faerie (oops, I mean, "Their") lore. The lore is more of what had come out after Christianity took over Ireland. Yes, it is a character driven book but there is still plenty of plot within the twists and turns thrown at Deirdre and Luke. I know that others have said that the beginning of the book is a bit slow. Perhaps I did not see this because of my special circumstance in reading the book, but it did not seem slow at all to me.

For those that have read this series backwards like me might be disappointed that there is very little of James in this story. However, you will be satisfied that you have a better picture of Deirdre perhaps forgive her a bit more for her role in "Ballad". Unfortunately, I was left with more questions than answers. I would love to know what happened specifically to Deirdre in "Ballad" and I also want to know more of the story as it continues. I want to know what happened to Luke. I want to know more!

I gave this story 5 stars. The biggest flaw in this series is that there are so many loose ends and not all are tied up in the next book. However, that in itself is more likely intentional and one can hope that as the series continues you aren't left totally hanging and questions formed are answered. Yes, I do recommend this book.

Mary, Young and Fair (traditional tune, arranged by Maggie Stiefvater) Thought I'd include this since so much of the book talked about traditional folk music.