Monday, January 31, 2011

Crystal Connor Author Blog Post

Crystal Connor's new book The Darkness was recently published in Dec. 2010. The author is doing a blog tour and has stopped by to tell us a bit of getting the book to publication.

When I submitted my 1st manuscript last year my vision was blurry with illusions of fame, glory, seeing my name on bestseller lists, my work being translated into many different languages, book signings, movie deals, A-list rock star parties the whole nine yards…
Now that The Darkness is published my vision isn’t blurry, I still want that kind of writing career, but I find my self reflecting on something my publicist said and I dismissed: “Writing the book is the easy part.
Because writing is something that I do not struggle with, in my naiveté I though to myself, of course its easy...duh! I had no idea what “rework” meant, couldn’t have imaged the type “handling” and networking that’s involved into shaping and marketing a new writer and I get a headache thinking about everyone else’s “cut” of my profits.
I thought all you had to do to sale a bestseller was write a kick ass book…like I did. Boy what an eye opener last year has for me.

So as I reviewed paper choices, jacket covers and fonts; as I read and reread contracts and terms of service from both Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Nobles Nook, and contemplate podcast vs. audio books, as I prepare for my upcoming two month tour, I feel like a hardened war veteran but its getting harder and harder for me to see straight….because my vision is getting blurry with illusions and thou I have dreams of grander and longevity, being this close to the start of my tour, it still feels like I’m dreaming and quite frankly I’m afraid that I’m going to wake up.

A couple of years ago my little sister made me a Dreamcatcher
. The Ojibwa people believe that only good dreams are allowed to filter through; the bad dreams are caught in the net and are destroyed by the light of day and the good dreams pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.

More than ever I need that Dreamcatcher, because I cannot stay sleep forever – and I don’t want this dream to get away...
Tour Stops
From Amazon: Artemisia, a scientist who also practices alchemy, is wealthy beyond imagination. She is one of the founding members of the Skyward Group, a privately funded, secret, research facility conducting experiments that erase what tradition has established as the boundaries separating the realm of man from the realm of God. Artemisia has everything she wants - money, fame, knowledge and power - except for a child. Inanna is a powerful and dangerous witch, also wealthy beyond imagination. Her powers are greater and more deadly than any in the long tradition before her. Inanna has everything she wants - money, knowledge and God-like power - except for a child. The Child has nothing. At three months of age, he knows only what he has experienced through the bars of his locked cage. He has nothing. He doesn't have a mommy. He doesn't have a daddy. He doesn't have a name. The scientists who created him do not handle him, because they know The Child is dangerous. In The Darkness, Two women clash in a vicious battle that has been fought since the days of King Solomon - the fight over a child. One woman unleashes the nightmarish arsenal of modern science while the other dispatches the weaponries of witchcraft. And as The Child grows up, his love for one and resentment for the other will change the fate of both these women, forever.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How to Woo a Reluctant Lady by Sabrina Jeffries

How to Woo a Reluctant LadyFrom Goodreads:

The third novel in Sabrina Jeffries's “Hellions of Hallstead Hall” series, featuring the independent and talented Lady Minerva Sharpe. 
When a charming rogue proposes she marry him to meet her grandmother's ultimatum, the Sharpe clan's strong-willed sister makes a tempting counter-offer that preserves her inheritance and ignites his imagination. 
Lady Minerva Sharpe has the perfect plan to thwart her grandmother's demands: become engaged to a rogue! Surely Gran would rather release her inheritance than see her wed a scoundrel. And who better to play the part of Minerva's would-be husband than wild barrister Giles Masters, the very inspiration for the handsome spy in the popular Gothic novels she writes? The memory of his passionate kiss on her nineteenth birthday has lingered in Minerva's imagination, though she has no intention of really falling for such a rakehell, much less marrying him. Little does she know, he really is a covert government operative. When they team up to investigate the mystery behind her parents' deaths, their fake betrothal leads to red-hot desire. Then Minerva discovers Giles's secret double life, and he must use all the cunning tricks of his trade to find his way back into her heart.
 This is the third book in the Hellions series. I did not read the other two and it was not necessary to enjoy this book. This historical romance takes place in England  where the matriarch of the estate has offered an ultimatum. The Sharpe siblings all must marry in order to inherit their family's fortune. Minerva is loathe to accept such an ultimatum, but does not want to see her brothers and their families have a hard time without adequate funds. So, Minerva decides to pretend to be engaged to the family friend, Giles, who is known to be a total scoundrel and rogue to force Gran into forgetting the rules to the inheritance. Gran is wise to her maneuvers and finds that Giles really does want to marry Minerva. However, will Giles be a possessive husband? After all women had to be totally under their thumb at that time and she would have to give up her one passion if he required it. And no one is going to demand that Minerva give up her writing.

I have to admit I did not like Giles until the end of the book. He demanded truth, trust, and an open heart when he was not prepared to give that himself. This really irritated me and I was afraid that the author would just ignore this oversite and conclude the book with Minerva being swept into his arms without Giles actually opening himself up as well. Fortunately, this is not the book Ms. Jeffries wrote. In fact Giles finds himself painfully open and even though he was afraid, he decided to trust those around him. Luckily he was also rewarded by finding he put his trust in the correct people and I found myself liking this rogue.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars and recommend this book to those that enjoy a sweet, historical romance with a woman who knows her own worth.

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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

On My Wishlist...

Spiderwork (In Flagrante Apocalypto 2)Spiderwork by LK Rigel
From Goodreads:

The sequel to Space Junque. 
Her fate was to hold the world together. His destiny was to tear it apart. 
As a child, Durga was chosen by the goddess to save the world from sterility and extinction. Now her eighteenth birthday approaches, and Durga must take her place among the chalices -- women made fertile by the goddess to ensure more souls for the universe. Durga's mission does not include love ... but Khai, the scion of Luxor, is unlike any man she's ever met. 
Char Meadowlark once played a role in the goddess's plans. Now her lover, Jake Ardri, heads an emerging city-state whose enemies covet everything Jake has built. As Jake navigates the uneasy waters of political intrigue, his very existence is threatened. To save him, Char must share him with a chalice ... one trained to take him to the heights of sexual ecstasy. 
In flagrante apocalypto: When the veil drops between life and oblivion, only love can save them from the abyss. 
I admit it was the artwork that attracted me to this book and there is a book called Space Junque which is the first in this series I haven't read yet. Maybe I should add the first as well. However, wouldn't go with this weeks theme. ;)

Tangled Threads (Elemental Assassin, Book 4)Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep
TBP: April 26, 2011
From Goodreads:
I’d rather face a dozen lethal assas­sins any night than deal with some­thing as tricky, con­vo­luted, and frag­ile as my feel­ings. But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assas­sin known as the Spi­der. Hov­er­ing out­side sexy busi­ness­man Owen Grayson’s front door like a ner­vous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my fore­head. Cold-blooded Fire ele­men­tal Mab Mon­roe has hired one of the smartest assas­sins in the busi­ness to trap me. Elek­tra LaFleur is skilled and effi­cient, with deadly elec­tri­cal ele­men­tal magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone pow­ers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t sur­vive this bat­tle. I intend to kill LaFleur—or die trying—because Mab wants the assas­sin to take out my baby sis­ter, Detec­tive Bria Coolidge, too. The only prob­lem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sib­ling … or that I’m the mur­derer she’s been chas­ing through Ash­land for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead …
Ah, if you follow this blog you know I love this series. Looks like the next one after this will be called, Spider's Revenge. Oh and fans of the elemental assassin might also want to know she is going to write #6. More Gin and company! *squee!*

...and if you think I enjoy spiders... think again. Arachnophobia... I gots it. To prove my point... I give you the following commercial break:

So don't deceive and tell me what tangled web you now weave. In other words... what is on your wishlist this week? One book for all 8 arms? ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Darkness Becomes HerFrom Goodreads:
Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. 
Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued. 

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her. 

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.
 I would have reviewed this one on or before the release date, but they changed it and I was only cognizant of the previous date. *sigh* So, here I am a few days late.

In this book Ari is trying to piece together her life after being in the system since her mother gave her up and landed in a mental institution. She took her own life shortly afterward. Only now Ari is able to try to seek out her roots. Once she starts to find clues to the answers she seeks, she ends up in a greater mystery. Not only where she comes from, but what she is since human doesn't quite seem to cover it. The journey takes her to New 2, which is New Orleans after several hurricanes destroyed and then taken over by the oldest families in the area.

I enjoyed this book, but I would have liked to know a bit more of what Ari went through before we got to meet her. We get fleeting glimpses of it but not enough to really tell the tale of why she is reluctant to trust others. I think this would have helped me connect much more to Ari and really feel for her later in the book. We are also introduced to a variety of secondary characters. I loved these characters especially Violet who is a tiny goth vampire. Here again, I wanted to know more than I got to, but I do suspect her story will unfold in the coming books in this series.

All in all, I thought this was an interesting take on the Greek mythology aspect entering our own realm and time. I don't want to give too much away and let the story unfold for you as it did for me. I will caution those that do not like the instant attraction aspect to YA books. There is a bit of that, and it did come quickly, but it did not come off as annoying to me. I felt that she was relieved to find other "freaks" like herself and was wanting to trust someone, and Sebastian was kind to her when she most needed it. In other words, it made sense to me in that way. I give this book 3 1/2 stars and am looking forward to the next book to find out what comes next. 

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

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Book Boyfriend

You might be shocked... 
You might be amazed...

You might drool...
*wipes chin*
But I actually picked a man (sorta) as my book boyfriend this week!

It's Roland from Darkness Dawns by Dianne Duvall. 

He's handsome, he's immortal, he's a warrior, he's a gentleman, he drinks blood.. uh... oh well... he's handsome! ;) I don't want to give much away before my review (which I will carefully not spoil anything, so no worries), but it wasn't so much what he said... (well, there is one quote, but I fear it could give too much away, so I must *evil laugh* at your curiousity) it was how he treated Sarah. He was kind. He was sweet and honerable. He put her needs above his (she did the same, so it wasn't one sided or I'd be upset). 
As to what I think he looks like. Actually I don't like pulling pictures because I like to have a bit of an open mind in what these characters look like. I don't want to interfere with anyone else's image. 
There is this one scene at the beginning that involved nothing but a towel (no, I won't say why *evil laugh*) but I saw this on someone's blog...
..and of course anyone who follows KMM Fever series is familiar with this pic...
Yea... thought so. Do I need to hand out the drool bibs now? 
...and your book boyfriend is?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang

A Brush of DarknessTBP: Jan 25, 2011 TODAY!
From Goodreads:
The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.
This is the first book by Allison Pang and she starts right off with a bang! You come into what seems the middle of the story (so I'm hoping for a prequel!) but you are not lost. Abby is still reeling from her mother's death in a car accident and her inability to absolve herself. She finds herself a touchstone (a person who helps those in the other world live in ours) of a powerful elf, Moira, and just trying to feel her way though the maze of manipulation. Brystion, an incubus, comes by to talk to Moira and ends up making himself an intimate part of Abby's life. For Abby, things just start to really unravel from here as she discovers that Moira just didn't take off on business... but she is missing.

I loved this story. However, I did not always love Brystion. For me it was love/hate/love/hate. In the end, I did not like him at all. That does not stop me from wanting the next book in this series. Maybe he will redeem himself in my eyes and I'll be on the love side of that arrogant incubus again. :) I also LOVED the unicorn in this story. Yes, the creature is still on the side of the light, but is anything but innocent. Oh, that little thing had me laughing and I wouldn't mind being a touchstone to such an ornery creature! He was just too "precious" for words. :D I also loved Abby, the main character. Having to push through her fears and deal with her own demons while trying to solve the OtherWold's problems you have to be strong even if she didn't believe she was strong. Often she was the one stepping up with the others floundered.

All in all I give this story 4 stars. Oh, I can't wait to see where this series takes us. I know it's not quite out yet, but I want the next one now! *stamps foot* *Ahem...* Sorry, got a bit carried away. Oh, and I can't forget my evil laugh... hm... I'll do it with a quote:

Brystion stood behind me, his presence raw and heated. It felt sexual, protective, almost suffocating in its power. 
"Christ, dude. Turn it down already," I muttered to him. "Or just piss on me and mark your territory and get it over with."
or this one:
I had a naked incubus in my bedroom. With a frying pan of half-cooked bacon and a hard-on. And a unicorn bite on his ass. Christ, this was turning out to be a weird morning. 
*evil laugh* Now, aren't you curious??? XD

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

Btw, I found this pic that I thought would compliment this book. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Raziel by Kristina Douglas

Raziel (Fallen)TBP: Jan, 25, 2011
From Goodreads:
Kristina Douglas’s sexy new series introduces a realm of fallen angels and ruthless demons, where an eternal rebellion is brewing . . . and one unsuspecting woman can change the fate of the Fallen forever.
She was just an ordinary mortal . . .
“You’re dead” is so not what Allie Watson wants to hear. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like the dark, angelically handsome man who ferried her to this strange, hidden land. The last thing she remembers is stepping off a curb in front of a crosstown bus. Now she’s surrounded by gorgeous fallen angels with an unsettling taste for blood—and they really don’t want her around. Not exactly how she pictured heaven.
. . . until death catapulted her into a seductive world she never imagined.
Raziel is unsure why he rescued Allie from hellfire against Uriel’s orders, but she stirs in him a longing he hasn't felt in centuries. Now the Fallen are bracing for the divine wrath brought by his disobedience, and they blame Allie for the ferocious Nephilim clawing at the kingdom’s shrouded gates. Facing impossible odds at every turn, the two must work together to survive. Raziel will do anything to defend his spirited lover against the forces of darkness—because Allie may be the Fallen’s only salvation.
 I'm going to start right off and say that I am not going to star rate this book. I'll explain in a minute. The story is very interesting. The world is built mostly around what most people think about the old testament but with a few changes. The fallen are the archangels with the exception of Uriel. They have been cursed to fear the nephilim who were created to wipe the fallen and their mates from existence. They also fear Uriel who seems to enjoy making them miserable and actually seems like the devil himself. I really enjoyed this alternate world to what we usually hear and I found it very imaginative. I also enjoyed Raziel. Even though he was brooding and taciturn most of the time, it fit with his character and when he lightened up, it was fun to see. I also enjoyed Allie most of the time. Once in a while she did seem whiny, but hey, if I was put in a situation where I had very little if no say at all, I'd probably be whiny too (I hang my head in that confession).

Okay, I'm sure you are still curious why I won't rate this one. It is because of one scene that I cannot stop thinking about. It is one scene that really has me not totally liking this book. Since it is a spoiler, I will type this in white and you will have to highlight it to see. So, it's up to you if you want to know...
There is a scene in which Raziel must determine if Allie is evil. One way is to have sex with her. So, he uses his powers on her to make her strip. She says no and don't in this instance. She knew what he had in mind, but not why. She is frightened and he has sex with her. She enjoys it because she really wanted to have sex with Raziel. So, I feel this is a rape scene with the excuse that she really wanted it. Sorry, but I just can't see it any other way. Without this scene, or it changed, I would have really enjoyed the whole book. My only other criticism is that the last chapter could have been left off this book and put at the beginning of the next.

Ah, so there is my dilemma. One scene upset me, but I enjoyed the creativity of reinventing this world.  I just don't feel right dismissing that scene, nor do I feel right in judging a book solely on one part I didn't like. So, how do I rate it? I decided not to and let you decide for yourself. *sigh* Will I read the next in the series? Yes, I will. I just don't think the author saw that scene in the same way that I did.

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

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

The Book of Tomorrow: A NovelFrom Goodreads:
The magical new novel from number one bestseller Cecelia Ahern. Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she's ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes and all that a girl could ever wish for. She's always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gatehouse is a world away from Tamara's childhood. With her mother shut away with grief, and her aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin.When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its core.
Tamara is a spoiled rich girl who could get on your nerves at times, but it makes sense in the story. In fact she doesn't even like her own behavior. She is grieving for her father and her life has tuned itself in a completely new direction. This enables Tamara to take her blinders off and see what is really around her. Unfortunately, what is around her baffles her and a mystery forms. However, she is not even sure if it is complete boredom with an over active imagination or something more sinister. She does find a few good friends, one being a nun who seems to know more than she tells. She also finds a mysterious journal which writes predictions in her own hand. When she catches her aunt Rose in lies about her mother, she decides that she must do something about it and get her mother the help she needs. Even though she has an odd guide in the journal that predicts the time ahead, she must rely on herself to solve the mystery and become more mature. She also finds that the future is not set in stone, but is reliant on our actions in the present.

This is actually one of those reads that comes across and totally strange. The mystery within begs to be solved but you aren't even sure at times exactly what that mystery entails. It is deliciously odd and I throughly enjoyed the ride. Tamara is a rude, obnoxious person who has gotten her way with very little parental involvement. However, her growth in this book makes it tolerable and essential to the story. So, I give this book 4 1/2 stars. It's especially good if you want something a bit different than the usual contemporary to read.

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

Saturday, January 22, 2011

On My Wishlist...

Rot & RuinRot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
From Goodreads:
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

 My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
TBP: July, 5 2011
As far as I can tell, she works in a morgue for quick and easy access to brains. Yum. I HAD to add this because.. the cover. How cool is this cover? I just love it. Yes, I'm weird (as if you didn't know that) :D

So... what brainy books are you wishing for this week?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Down the Road by Bowie Ibarra Blog Tour

Down the RoadFrom Goodreads:

A bizarre plague of the walking dead. 
A nation desperate for survival. 
It could be the end of the world.
Around the globe, the dead are rising to devour the living. Hospitals are overrun, and martial law has been declared. The streets are in chaos. Society is disintegrating.
George Zaragosa is a young school teacher living in the shadow of his fiancée’s unsolved murder. Now he just wants to go home to his family. He has made the journey before, traveling from Austin to San Uvalde. It is usually a short drive. But he knows this time is going to be different.
Along the way, George must negotiate military roadblocks, FEMA camps, and street thugs, not to mention hordes of the living dead. He is determined to make it home, but only one thing is certain: his trip down the road will be a journey like no other.
 Pretty much this book starts out as most zombie stories. There is an unknown plague which animates the dead. A bite or scratch spreads the infection. In this story it is mostly told from George's POV. He sees what is coming and decides to try to reach his hometown where his mother and uncle still live. The government has taken over and put people in FEMA camps for "their own good". There is also a ban on living in private homes and owning weapons, even for safety. As things progress from bad to worse, many of the soldiers abandon posts and who is left are the corrupt and power hungry. FEMA camps become a war zone within itself where you not only have to worry about the guards, but the inmates as well.

As we follow George, we start to see the real monsters and they aren't the ones devouring the flesh of the living. As chaos reigns, gangs try to rule the weak. There are pockets of people sharing and holding out, but they too have to fight the rouge gangs and the government run FEMA soldiers as well. It is a story of true horror in a world we have already seen can happen. What is interesting is that we find that this book was written pre-Katrina and no one believed that anything FEMA run would be that incompetent. Now with this new edition, we find that what he had eerily predicted could come true if a zombie infestation would break out in the US. *shivers*

I give this book 3 stars. This is definitely an adult book. Not only is there violence but sex as well. If you like a good horror book and don't mind quite a bit of blood and guts then this book is for you! Just check your door before reading and make sure all windows are secure. Just in case. ;)

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

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey #3) by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen (Harlequin Teen)From Goodreads:
My name is Meghan Chase.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.
Okay, my goal is to make this spoiler free. So, what can I say? Well, if you have read the other books in this series, you will be glad to know all your favorite main characters are back in this book. You are also introduced to some other great side characters in this story. There is tension, love, an impossible task, and a few laughs along the way. Meghan is a much stronger character than we have seen in the past and we even get to see a bit more of Ash and Puck's personalities shine through as well.

...and of course there is Grim. ;)

As to the rest. I just don't want to say too much. In fact, I don't want to say much at all except that those that are waiting for this book to finish out Megan's story in this series won't be disappointed. You will enjoy the ride as you have the other 2 books. For those that have yet to start this series, I say give it a try. It is a fun YA ride into the Nevernever and you won't be sorry. And I'm so happy to say that there will be at least one more book in this series. I can't wait for the Iron Knight!

I give this book 4 stars and if you haven't figured out yet... I recommend this book! What are you waiting for? Oh yea... the publishing date. It will be published soon... the 25th isn't that far way. So, preorder now! Go... we will wait...

I received this ebook from NetGalley and HarlequinTeen. No compensation for my review has been given.

Iron Fey Website
Julie Kagawa's Blog


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Book Boyfriend

This is a weekly meme by Missie of the Unreadreader

My book boyfriend today is... ah... a bit different than most, I suppose. I just finished Iron Queen (review to come) and I'm sure you are wondering... am I on 
I'd really have to say neither. I mean if you follow these books, you already know who Meghan wants but who would I pick? Let me give you a guess...

Yes... I am aware it is a cat, but he is no ordinary cat sidhe. He's intelligent, always there when you need him. He's loyal and can be sweet when the mood strikes him. He is also very cunning and knows how to get those darn humans and fae to finally look around and take notice of what is right in front of them. He's Grimalkin!
And yes.. I'm still quite aware that he is just a cat. No, I haven't fallen on my head and damaged what little bit of branage I have left. This is what it is about... I am secretly hoping that Grim is either under a curse (after winning one too many favors) or it is just his alternate body. I mean he is fae and perhaps he is holding a secret even most of the fae are not aware. Perhaps he is really a handsome fae who just loves to yank everyone's chain by making them think he is only a cat. Maybe he's...
(artwork by Dan Dos Santos)
One can only hope, right? You never know what those fae are up to so, it's possible, right? RIGHT?? *looks pleadingly at you* I'm not totally insane... I hope. ;)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winner of the Dreaming About Books Giveaway!

Funny Pictures - Cat Hugs Teddy Bear Gifs
The winner of...

Laura H.! (confirmed)
The winner has been e-mailed and now has 72 hours to get back to me or another winner will be chosen!

The next blog hop giveaway is...

In the meantime... check out my Giveaways page for more things to enter and dream about!
Sweet Dreams!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sacrifice by Dakota Banks

Sacrifice (Mortal Path, Book 2)From Goodreads:
A demon's enslaved executioner—a ravager of lives and souls—Maliha Crayne has been reborn, willing to sacrifice her immortality for a chance at freedom ...and salvation. Now she has an opportunity to prevent the death of thousands—perhaps tens of thousands—to make up for the countless lives she has obliterated over the centuries. To do so, she must locate and destroy an evil cabal of madmen in possession of a weapon of unspeakable power—and survive the immortal assassins who are now after her blood. But it means reverting to the old ways and surrendering once more to the darkness. And if Maliha dies before the mission is accomplished, the hell she once knew will seem like a picnic compared to the eternal torments awaiting her.
This book does not start out as heart wrenching (book in the freezer throwing... yes another Friends reference) book like the first one, Dark Time. However, as the last one left off, Ms. Banks took her time getting to the question lingering as we left off the last book. Frustrating, but we are completely entertained by all the action going on before we come back to that interesting question I'm not going to reveal (*evil laugh*). Unfortunately, I will also have to tread carefully here about this mysterious subject so I do not spoil anything for you... *sigh* *evil laugh denied!*

In this story, Maliha finds herself learning about an evil counsel of people who want to gain more power and control in an unspeakable way. She must find the leaders, who is protecting them, how and what they are doing, and find a way to prevent it. All this and battle more ageless for the shards she is searching for to free humanity. Yep, her plate is quite full! Oh, and within all this action she finds some time to actually contemplate a relationship for the first time in centuries. 

Oh can I tell you that there is no heart wrenching parts to this book as there was in the last one? Sadly, I cannot. In fact... I almost threw this one in the freezer too and cursed Ms. Banks for getting me so involved and upsetting me! *shakes fist* Ah, but at the same time I loved it and it made me not like another individual even more. I had questions about Jake, and I still question him, but with what happened, let me just say... I felt it contrasted to his behavior and left him lacking. What the heck am I talking about? Let me just say that this time the evil laugh will not be denied! All I will say is that Lucius is my man! As to the rest, you must read it and find out for yourself. I'm not spoiling a thing! *evil laugh*

Well, I give this book 4 stars. Oh, if you love adventure, this is a book for you! Ms. Banks... stop making me open my freezer! It's not good for the environment! ;)

I received this signed book from the Supernatural Underground and the author and no compensation for my review was given. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

On My Wishlist...

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
TBP: Sept. 2011
From Goodreads:

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. . . 
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. 
So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly at hame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay. 
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. 
And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.
 Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
TBP: June 1, 2011
From Goodreads:

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

*rattles chains*
What is on your ghostly wishlist this week? 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dreaming of Books Giveaway!

Here are the prizes for this giveaway! Sorry, but this one is US only.
All three of these books have the subject of dreams in the main part of their book. 

Just fill out the form. Being a GFC follower earns you and extra entry
Giveaway is closed. Thanks for playing!

HERE is the complete list of participating blogs at I'm a Reader, Not a Writer!

Dark Time by Dakota Banks

Dark Time: Mortal Path Book 1From Dakota Banks website:
Susannah Layhem, a healer unjustly accused of witchcraft in the 17th century, is ripped from her husband's arms and thrown in jail. Abandoned by her husband and friends, she's tied to a stake and set afire. Her raging bitterness draws one of seven ancient Sumerian demons. The demon Rabishu pulls her from the flames, and she signs a contract to live forever—if she does his evil work. Susannah becomes the Black Ghost, an Ageless assassin gifted with otherworldly skills and superbly trained in martial arts.
She obeys Rabishu's orders and remains a beautiful young woman. Then she's given an assignment she can't bear to carry out. She chooses the mortal path instead, and emerges from three centuries of reluctant service as the demon's slave. Now Maliha Crayne, she discovers the fine print of her contract. If she balances lives taken with lives saved, she'll ascend to a paradise straight out of Sumerian legend. If she fails, she faces eternal torment at Rabishu's hands. The ticking clock? Every time she saves lives, she ages. The deck is stacked against her. She's got her own agenda, though. Payback time—killing Rabishu and his kin before he gets his punishing claws on her.
Intimately tangled with Maliha's yearning for personal redemption is her thrilling quest to stop a villain from selling America's security to the highest bidder. For both goals, she will need to relearn what it means to be mortal, to reach out in friendship, and to dare to believe she can love again.
DARK TIME is laced with ancient legends, a heady dash of the supernatural, and the warmth of awakening relationships.
This story starts out in a very emotional way. In fact, I was upset for Susannah so much I almost put this book in the freezer (Friends reference... sorry). However, it does set things nicely up for the demon, Rabishu to take advantage of her torn up emotional state. It makes perfect sense. Time does go by and even though she had tried to shut off her emotions, after a few hundred years, her sense of right and wrong resurfaces. She stumbles on a way to redeem herself that has severe consequences on her skill and youth but takes that chance, even if it seems like a lost cause. While on her redemption quest, Susanna who renames herself Maliha, finds for the first time to have a family of sorts. Some of which know her little secret and are willing to help. 

This books is fast paced which starts at the beginning and doesn't stop until the end. It is based on Sumerian legends of gods and demons and this is the world and puzzle Maliha must solve. I found this world to be very interesting and I also enjoyed the secondary characters as well. Her big nemesis besides the demon is Subedei. He first has a very secretive nature but we also get to know him. I kinda wished he was still in the dark, not knowing his full agenda because I think he would have been a good challenge for her later on in the series. However, he was a good challenge in this story.

This book is a dark, urban fantasy. I give it 4 stars and recommend this to anyone who loves a lot of action. I enjoyed this book and can't wait to get to the next one.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CrazyLoco Love: A Memoir by Victor Villaseñor

Crazy Loco Love: A MemoirFrom Shelfari:
From one of America's most beloved writers comes this compelling memoir of his adolescent search for meaning and identity. When Victor Villaseñor turned sixteen, his father's gift of a brand-new, turquoise pick-up truck was accompanied by another gift: words of wisdom that would guide him on his path to manhood. "You are a man now, he said, and to be an hombre, a man must not only know right from wrong, he must also know who he is and who he isn't." In the weeks to come, however, Victor disregards his father's advice. Swayed by his friends ridicule, he has his new truck painted white to cover the vibrant turquoise, once his favorite color. Soon, he realizes his mistake. "I'd done exactly what my dad had told me not to. I'd listened to other people's opinions instead of listening to what I'd felt inside." So begins this poignant and moving account of Villaseñor's coming of age. 
Growing up on his parents ranch in North San Diego County, Victor Villaseñor's teenage years were marked by a painful quest to find a place for himself in a world he didn't fit into. During his search, Victor wrangles with the usual questions of adolescence: Is it normal to think about sex all the time? Do good girls like sex? Is sex before marriage a sin? But Victor struggles with more than just his burgeoning sexual awareness. 
The son of a self-made, successful man, he is different from his peers because of his Mexican heritage, and he experiences both subtle and outright discrimination because of this. Raised in a tight-knit, Catholic family, he questions the tenets of his faith and the restrictions it places on his own developing spirituality and sexuality. After high school, Victor's quest for who he is and who he isn't takes him to Mexico, where he is shocked to learn that Mexicans aside from his father are successful. They are architects, professors, and artists. Most importantly, he meets an older woman who cultivates in him a deeper understanding of his own intellectual capacity and helps him see the world and his place in it in a whole new way. This experience allows him to appreciate his own potential and realize his dreams of making a difference in the world through writing. 
A powerful portrait of a young boy on the path to manhood in the shadow of his influential father, Crazy Loco Love adds a new chapter to the grand tradition of coming-of-age books. Destined to become a classic, this new installment in Villaseñor's body of work confirms his place as a leading American writer. Crazy Loco Love will enthrall his many fans and surely win him new ones. 
The book starts out with several quotes. I'll give you one since they were all saying the same thing in a different way:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." — Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles) 
 This is a coming of age book. It showcases how Victor Villaseñor discovered his philosophy for life. For living. It starts with a child emerging from a black and white world in terms of sexuality into the confusing pallet of an adolescent. It is very straightforward and honest in this respect and I imagine some people having a hard time with it. However, if you see it as a rite of passage and a beginning into thinking for himself, you understand why he was so honest. It is one way we are wakened up to the world and he is very honest about it's confusion.

As the book goes on we also see how prejudice can influence your self-image. Words have power only when you let them, but how can you recognize that power when people keep telling you the same thing before you are able to grasp that you can think for yourself? He shows what impact racism had on his life. This is as poignant today as it was in the late 50s early 60s when this book was set.

He also shows how he came to his view on religion, male/female, love, labels, in fact all major aspects of life have been influenced by fear. Fear that was institutionalized by others and especially by ourselves. Basically, to me this is a book that philosophizes how we can free ourselves by freeing ourselves of the fear that holds us back. In fact, I would have loved to see a conversation between him and one of my favorites, Joseph Campbell. I believe that would have been a interesting discussion indeed. :)

How do I rate this book? That is a hard question. I enjoyed the philosophy but the writing was a bit erratic. That could have been purposeful as adolescence does seem very erratic at times. The message still comes through and so because of that I will give it 3 1/2 stars. This is not a book for everyone. Not everyone wants their world questioned. So, bear that in mind.

Below is a short speech by Victor Villaseñor:

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

Monday, January 10, 2011


A Winner has been picked for the...

New Year's Reading Resolutions

The $10 G/C for goes to...
Inspired Kathy
from I'm a Reader Not a Writer Blog
Winner has already been e-mailed the prize.

DecalGirl 10% OFF Click Here!