Friday, August 30, 2013

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Available: Sept. 3, 2013
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review.
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave. 
One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself. 
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.
My Thoughts:
The book starts out almost like a normal contemporary, but quickly turns horrific. I have to admit the beginning wasn't my favorite part and it seemed like it may go the way of several vampire books where the vampire is a predator rather than a romantic partner. I also had problems with Tana. She kept making stupid decisions so I worried that would be the same throughout the book.

I was wrong! Yes! First, let me tell you about Tana. Yes, I was upset with her, but she keeps getting smarter throughout the book. Toward the end her choices weren't about intelligence ("stupid decisions" as she says) but more about fear. She was smart but decided if the only thing holding her back was fear, then go for it. She turns out to be a great heroine! She becomes the smartest person in the book.

I also enjoyed the fact that most of my questions were answered. I thought that we wouldn't learn the background of Gavriel (romantic interest) but we get it in a flashback. In fact I get several answers I didn't expect to get. So, I was a happy camper about that.

There is also a twist in the end that I did enjoy. I didn't see if this one was a standalone or a series, but I'm hoping for a series. One question you are left with in the end and I'd like to see where the author takes it. I know what my vote would be. :D Oh and no, it's not a cliffie. :D

I give this book 4.5 stars. Although it worried me in the beginning I found the book original and fun. I recommend it to those that like YA vampire books with a female who keeps getting smarter. :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin #9) by Jennifer Estep

Series: Elemental Assassin #9
Published: Pocket Books
Available: NOW
Source: eARC from author and Edelweiss
The hotly anticipated ninth novel in the hugely popular Elemental Assassin series finds Gin Blanco on a dangerous mission to rescue a friend.

When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever? Assuming, that is, she survives long enough to find out…
My thoughts:
Wow! I've been a fan of this series for a while now and we are at #9. I have to say I just loved this book and it gave me everything I've been wanting for a while now in this series. I won't say too much as I don't want to spoil it for anyone nor do I want to spoil it for those that haven't started this series yet.

First, I will say that this was a Sophia heavy book. I have been wanting to know more about Sophia for a long time. She is just one of the mysterious secondary characters that just captured my attention. In fact the book centers around her and that just made me ecstatic!

There is also another part in the book that readers have been clamoring. We want to know about what happens with Owen and Gin. All I will say is that there is a conclusion to that arc in the storyline but I won't say if it is positive or negative. No, I can't say more... *sigh*

I give this latest installment 5 stars. I really loved this one mostly because we get to know Sophia a bit more and it is as action packed as the previous installments in this series.

Bloggy notes:
There is a blog post by Jennifer Estep and a giveaway HERE!

If you haven't read the series yet and want to try it, you can read the first book for free at XOXO After Dark. It will be available until Sept. 9th.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top Off Tuesday: Once Burned

"Every once in awhile there are covers that just make you say Oh My! Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad, and sometimes it is head scratching. The point of Top Off Tuesday is to show you the ones with their Tops Off! Seriously y’all hunting out Top Off Tuesday covers is one of my favorite pastimes and you should join the fun!" ~from the Geeky Blogger

I have been enjoying this meme on Felicia's The Geeky Blogger's blog and have finally found some time to join in. The other players are Amanda from On a Book Bender, Christi from Smitten with Reading. Button made by Missie at The Unread Reader

My submission:

Once Burned
by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Prince #1
Publisher: Avon

She's a mortal with dark powers...
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire... 
He's the Prince of Night... 
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.
Okay, I've had one of Jeaniene's novellas on the list, but not one from the Night Huntress world. How could I? Well, I'm correcting it now. Behold! Vlad in all his shirtless goodness. :D 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Excerpt and Giveaway: Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep


Bria drew in a breath, but before she could tell me whatever was on her mind, the sound of a door banging open at the front of the house cut her off. A moment later, footsteps sounded. I recognized the heavy tread as belonging to Sophia, but the odd thing was that it didn’t sound like she was walking normally. Instead, a series of scrape-scrape-scrapes screeched across the hardwood floor, as if Sophia was dragging one of her feet yet moving fast at the same time. Before I could puzzle out why she would be walking that way, she appeared in the salon doorway.

Jo-Jo might be a sweet Southern lady with her pink dresses, polish, and pearls, but Sophia had a different style altogether: Goth. Today, as usual, she wore black from head to toe—boots, jeans, and a T-shirt with a big pair of puckered crimson lips on it. A crimson leather collar spiked with silverstone ringed her throat, although her lipstick was a flat black that matched her hair. 

Normally, I found Sophia’s style to be dark but also cool, quirky, and funky. The problem now was that her black clothes kept me from noticing the blood on her arm and leg for several crucial seconds.

“Sophia?” I asked.

Her black eyes met mine, and I saw something there I’d never seen before: fear. 

“Run,” Sophia rasped in her low, broken voice.

Then she collapsed without another word.

“Sophia?” Jo-Jo said. “Sophia!”

Jo-Jo dropped the bottle of nail polish she’d been holding. The glass shattered on the floor, splattering the bright, glossy, strawberry liquid everywhere, but Jo-Jo didn’t notice as she ran past us to where Sophia lay. Bria and I started forward too, but we’d only taken two steps when the front door banged open again, as though someone had kicked it wildly and sent it flying into the wall. A second later, more footsteps, multiple sets, all heavy, loud, and determined, all headed our way. 

Whatever trouble Sophia had gotten into had followed her home.

Bria and I glanced at each other, then both lunged for the buffet table. Bria went for the gun in her straw bag underneath the table, while I reached for my silverstone knives atop its far end. But before we could get to our weapons, six men burst into the salon, all carrying guns.


Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Heart of Venom, the ninth book in her Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series, will be released on Aug. 27. Kiss of Venom, an e-novella, is also available, along with other books, short stories, and e-novellas in the series. For more information, visit or follow Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Heart of Venom
Elemental Assassin #9
by Jennifer Estep
Published: Pocket Books
The hotly anticipated ninth novel in the hugely popular Elemental Assassin series finds Gin Blanco on a dangerous mission to rescue a friend.

When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever? Assuming, that is, she survives long enough to find out…
Jennifer allowing me to give away this book! Will have the review on Wed! I'll just say that I loved it. :D

How to enter? Just fill out the rafflecopter form below. It's US only.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blog Tour: The Emblazoned Red by Dawn McCullough White

Publisher: Claypipe Press
Available: Now
Source: ebook from Kismet
Once, in another world—a dark world, the world of Faetta—there lived paladins and pirates, tyrants and scallywags, vampires and the undead. In this world a revolution is brewing. The royalty of Sieunes are in chains, and those priests and paladins who follow the holy word of the gods are under attack. In the west, the kingdom of Kellerhald receives the fleeing priests in their temples of the paladins of Silvius, god of the Sky.

Here, a young woman has just passed her tests to become a paladin. A pirate crew raids along the Azez Sea. An undead creature, wielding great power, roams the graveyard of Yetta. And a lost soul, crying out from beyond the veil, seeks out a pure hearted warrior to hear its plea.

Amid the turmoil of the revolution, Ilka’s mettle is tested. Rescued by pirates, she ends up with an unlikely ally: the pirate captain himself. The newly trained paladin finds herself collaborating with the undead, working with a vampire, and worst of all, longing for revenge against the man who has ignited the revolution in Sieunes: Francois Mond.

Death of an Innocent. Rise of a Paladin.
My thoughts:
 I found this an odd combination of several genres. One was fantasy where a young woman is a warrior in a religion is thrust between politics and her beliefs. Another was a sort of historical romance where she is found by a pirate captain who intrigues her. Last, there is a vampire who lives in the world she is sworn to protect. Yes, it is an odd combination, but I don't shy away from odd. I've read books where these worlds are woven into one another but I have to say that this one isn't quite successful. It feels as if each of those genres are plunked down into the world instead of seamlessly blended within.

I did enjoy Ilka. She is someone who was born to privilege but finds the simple life much more appealing. She is happy in her station and even defies those that have a sense of what they feel is right for another. She does not let others dictate her place in life nor her wants and needs. I do like a character like that. I also liked the pirate Nate, but still found him oddly placed within this world. So, I had a bit of a problem with the romance, but nothing that I couldn't just ignore when reading.

I give this book 3 stars. It is an odd combination of worlds that are placed together, but that might be just what some people are wanting. It does make it a bit different than your usual read and I am curious as to what happens next. Especially since you are left wanting! :)

About Dawn McCullough White - Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Dawn McCullough White is known for her strong female protagonists, and gritty dark fantasy.
Ms. McCullough-White has lived the majority of her life in and around Rochester, NY with a brief stint in Tucson, AZ. She is pursuing a degree in psychology at R.I.T. Dawn is a history buff and was a member of the Society of Creative Anachronism for years, active as a heavy weapons fighter. She currently resides with her husband and son in a quaint neighborhood next to an old cemetery.

Kismet Book Touring

Check out the other reviews for this tour HERE!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Classics

Tell Me Something Tuesday, a meme started by CambriaHebert, but now hosted on Rainy Day Ramblings. It is a chance to get to know your fellow bloggers by sharing fun stuff, discussions and more. Grab the question and post your answer on your blog and link up at Rainy Day Ramblings! Have fun!

This weeks question:
Let's talk the classics....Do you read the classics? What are some of your favorites?

I don't read as many classics as I would like, but some of the stand bys do stick with me. Ones like Jane Eyre, Jane Austin books and others like that. I do have a couple that have stuck with me since I was a child. One is...

Black Beauty
by Anna Sewell
A timeless classic, this wonderfully evocative account of the joys and tribulations of a noble-hearted horse is one of the best loved of all animal stories. 
Black Beauty is handsome and spirited, with a sweet temper. When he is four years old he is sold to a new owner who gently breaks him in. He is no longer free to gallop around the fields yet there is happiness and adventure among the hardship as his station changes from being a carriage horse on a country estate to a cab horse in town. At the same time he is aware that his well-being and future depend very much on the kindness or cruelty of his various masters. 
The author's only book, Black Beauty was a huge success when it was first published in 1877. Its exposure of the ill-treatment of horses at the hands of their owners' led to a change in people's attitudes towards horses and domestic animals in general.
When I was small I did have the original story but couldn't read it yet. I was given the audiobook and a smaller more condensed children's version which I read when I was able. It was always a hard book for me to get through since there is abuse in it, but I did love the POV of the horse and how he ended up happy in the end. 

The other:

Little Women
by Louisa M. Alcott
Little Women is the delightful story of the four March girls and their approach towards womanhood. 
Meg, the eldest and most beautiful, shrugs off her vanity and social ambition, discovering fulfillment in romantic love. Boyish Jo on the other hand, with her contempt of all "lovering", turns impetuously towards writing for solace. Gentle Beth rejects worldly interests, preferring to devote her life to her family, to the joy of music and to timidly aiding all who suffer in life. Amy, the youngest and most imperfect of the March girls, continually tries to overcome her selfishness and girlish pretensions, though he has a hard task before her. 
The progress of these four "little women" is narrated along the lines of Bunyan's pilgrim, and we are shown how - encountering struggles and learning important lessons along the way - each one attains her own Celestial City.
I used to carry a copy my mom had given me around like a purse. Again, I couldn't read that well yet so I just remember how the book felt in my hands. I couldn't wait until I was old enough to read it. As I did get older, I forgot about the book and so my first exposure to it was in tv movie form. Still, I look back and remember it and it is one of my fond book memories and I was glad when I finally did read it.

So, any classics that bring up fond memories for you?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Flicker and Burn (Cold Fury #2) by T. M. Goeglein

Series: Cold Fury #2
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Published: Aug, 20, 13
Source: eARC from NetGalley and publisher for review
Sara Jane Rispoli is still searching for her missing family, but instead of fighting off a turncoat uncle and crooked cops, this time she finds herself on the run from creepy beings with red, pulsing eyes and pale white skin chasing her through the streets in ice cream trucks; they can only be described as Ice Cream Creatures. They're terrifying and hell bent on killing her, but they're also a link to her family, a clue to where they might be and who has them. While she battles these new pursuers, she's also discovering more about her own cold fury and more about the Chicago Outfit, how the past misdeeds--old murders and vendettas--might just be connected to her present and the disappearance of her family. But connecting the dots is tough and time-consuming and may finally be the undoing of her relationship with the handsome Max--who's now her boyfriend. But for his own safety, Sara Jane may have to end this relationship before it even really starts. Her pursuers who've shown her her mother's amputated finger and the head of the Chicago Outfit who's just whistled her in for a sit-down make a romance unthinkable. The only thing that matters is finding her family and keeping everyone she loves alive.
My thoughts:
I read Cold Fury a while ago so I couldn't wait to read this one when I heard it was available for review. The main problem not being solved in the first book we are still trying to solve that problem within this book. Several twists and turns appear in this book. Some were quite surprising. And although I did enjoy this book, there were a few problems I had with this installment.

One of the problems was that I became very frustrated with Sara Jane. Her decisions made me want to scream when it came to her friends. Granted I could see why she either didn't want to trust them or couldn't, but the way she handled these people just frustrated me. Especially when it came to her cousin. These decisions really brought the book down for me. It didn't ruin it though.

Despite my problems with the book, I really enjoyed the rest. It had the same sense of adventure as the first one and I did enjoy the strangeness added to the plot. It just added a layer of intenseness to her plight. It may not be for everyone, however. :) Still, I am strange so it spoke to me. ;)

In the end I give this book 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the adventure despite my frustration with Sara. I need the next one because the main problem is still unsolved (no cliffie ending though).

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Sold

Meme hosted by Melissa My World in Words and Pages. It's about books that are already on the shelves and are waiting to be read. Go to her website to join in!

My submission:

by Patricia McCormick
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Published: Tantor Media
Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family’s crops, Lakshmi’s stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family. 
He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi journeys to India and arrives at “Happiness House” full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution. 
An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family’s debt—then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave. 
Lakshmi’s life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother’s words—Simply to endure is to triumph—and gradually, she forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision—will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life? 
Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs.
Yea, this sounds good and also one that I know will upset me. I do like that they say she triumphs so I do think I can handle the anger I know I will feel. I thought it sounded different than what I usually read/listen so I thought I would give it a try. 

Of course this is another audio free from SYNC (if it's not up right away then just wait, it should be soon). Just go to the SYNC website to get it. This one is open to everyone! It's US/Can. (I thought it was listed under international) It's also the last one for free this year.

Any different type of reads/listens on your tbr?
Note: Nope, I'm not affiliated in any way with SYNC or the publisher or the author... just like freebies and telling ya about them. :D

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

AimeeKay Review: Anatomy of a Single Girl (Anatomy #2) by Daria Snadowsky

Series: Anatomy #2
Published: Delacorte for Young Readers
Available: Now
Source: From author for review
With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel toAnatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as a single girl. 
After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one.

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered. 
But I couldn’t avoid my future forever.

In Daria Snadowsky’s daring follow-up to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through.
AimeeKay's Thoughts:
I definitely enjoyed Anatomy of a Single Girl more than its predecessor, Anatomy of a Boyfriend. Again the story is written in first person, present tense.  But the emails and dialogues that bothered me in the first book aren’t there in the second.  So I think overall it flowed much better with the thoughts coming directly from Dom.

The thing about Anatomy, both books really, is that it is real.  They follow a realistic girl.  Who, while she is mature, is far from being an adult.  You get to watch her learn and grow.  Even by the end of the book she is not completely grown up mentally, but she has come a long way.  Her reactions to things, like sex and her parents, are typical of every girl.  She doesn’t always get it right the first time, but she does learn from her mistakes.  

I don’t always like Dom. Some of her reactions make me want to just smack her upside her head.  A perfect example of this is how she reacts to her parent’s decision to move.  She is really immature about it.  I want to drag her out of the book and tell her that she is being selfish.  Her parents sacrificed lots of things in their lives to give her a happy, secure childhood.  Now that she is in college and starting her life on her own she gets angry because they decide to move and change careers for themselves.  Even though in reality it won’t really affect her since she won’t be home as much.  But her reaction is typical of young adults, so it makes her feel more real. It doesn’t make me like her more though. 

It is a good coming of age novel.  Because of how it deals with sex I wouldn’t recommend it to the younger teen crowd.  But I think a lot of late teens and younger adults could really relate to Dom and her best friend Amy.  I think both books are a great read for the summer.  While they have some heavier moments, they also have some light hearted, laugh out loud moments as well. 

PS. You can win this book and the first book at AimeeKay's blog HERE (US only).

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Top Off Tuesday: Frigid

"Every once in awhile there are covers that just make you say Oh My! Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad, and sometimes it is head scratching. The point of Top Off Tuesday is to show you the ones with their Tops Off! Seriously y’all hunting out Top Off Tuesday covers is one of my favorite pastimes and you should join the fun!"

I have been enjoying this meme on Felicia's The Geeky Blogger's blog and have finally found some time to join in. The other players are Amanda from On a Book Bender, Christi from Smitten with Reading. Button made by Missie at The Unread Reader

my submission:

by Jennifer L. Armentrout/ J. Lynn
For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.
I got this one when it was .99. What? I like her writing and hey, it was a bargain. ;) I do have to laugh at the cover though. I mean really dude... must you show your chest (not that I'm minding but...) when it is supposed to be cold... or Frigid? :D I do come from the land where guys go about in shorts in deep snowy weather, but I've never seen them with exposed chests. Plus he does look just a bit odd with how they lightened the picture to make it appear colder. Still, I'm loathe to ask him to cover up. :)

So, any snowy scenes on your ToT? :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark #2) by Shana Abé

Series: The Sweetest Dark #2
Publisher: Bantam
Available: 8/13/13
Source: eARC from NetGalley and the publisher for review
It’s 1915, and sixteen-year-old Lora Jones is finishing up her first year as a charity student at Iverson, a prestigious, gothic boarding school on England’s southern coast. While she’s always felt different from everyone around her, now she finally knows why: She is a drákon, a rare, enchanted being with astonishing magical abilities. 
As war hits Britain’s shores, and Lora reels from an unimaginable loss, she finds that her powers come with grave and dangerous responsibilities. At the request of Armand Louis, the darkly mysterious boy whose father owns Iverson, Lora will spend her summer at his lavish estate. To help the war effort—and to keep Lora by his side—Armand turns his home into a military hospital, where Lora will serve as a nurse. For Armand is inescapably drawn to her—bound to her by heart-deep secrets and a supernatural connection that runs thicker than blood. 
Yet while Lora tries to sort out her own feelings toward Armand, fate offers an unexpected surprise. Lora discovers there is another drákon, a prisoner of war being held in Germany. And that only she, with her newly honed Gifts, will be able to rescue him.
With Armand, Lora will cross enemy lines on an incredible mission—one that could bond her to Armand forever, or irrevocably tear them apart. 
Beautifully written, deeply romantic, and filled with daring adventure and magic, The Deepest Night is a mesmerizing novel of the enduring pull of destiny, and the eternal strength of love.
My thoughts:
The book starts out with thoughts from our Jesse and then leads into the the life of Lora and how she is dealing with what happened in the book past. We do get some recap which helps those of us who feel like they have been too long without this world to get caught up. I don't think it is done for those that haven't read the first book. I don't think you would be completely at a loss if you didn't read that first book, but I do think the second book will be richer for you if you did. Besides, I enjoyed The Sweetest Dark and do suggest it to those that love a good PNR YA.

I have to admit while going through the recaps (which I was glad to have) and Lora's refections on school life and what happened before I expected to be a bit bored, longing for action of the last book. I kept expecting that feeling but it never really came. I did want more action than just talk as we were getting, but I still found myself caught up within what was going on with the characters. I was perhaps slightly less enthralled than I was in the last book, but interested nonetheless.

The last half of the book gave me all the action I craved. It was what I expected and what I wanted. It kept me riveted until the end. In some ways I would have liked a bit more action sooner, but it still satisfied and gave me what I expected after reading the first book.

In the end I give this book 4 stars. It didn't seem to shine as brightly as the first but still managed to captivate my attention. I suggest this series for those that enjoy YA PNR and dragons. I enjoy this author's writing and do plan on looking out for her other books to add to my tbr.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


The winner of...
White Wolf Reads!

Don't forget you can still enter for:

 Click pic to go to post to enter. US only

Friday, August 9, 2013

AimeeKay Review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Anatomy #1) by Daria Snadowsky

Series: Anatomy #1
Publisher: Delacorte for Young Readers
Available: Now
Source: From author for review
Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body. 
Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love. 
And then came the fall.
AimeeKay's Thoughts:
 So I’m 50-50 on this one.

I think the book itself was an interesting look into the life of a girl who is going through A LOT of firsts,  her first boyfriend, her first time, her first year at collage, her first heartbreak, just to name a few.
The main character, Dominique Baylor, who is incredibly intelligent, is also incredibly naïve when it comes to love and relationships.  But she is sweet and I enjoyed seeing her life through her eyes.   I liked her, and while I saw the end of the book coming, I still hoped for the best for her.  Also, even though I only got to know them through Dominique’s perspective, I liked the other characters as well.   Her best friend Amy is a riot.  

I also liked the author’s writing style. There are quite a few laugh out loud moments.  Some of the one liner observations that her main character makes literally had me laughing to the point of tears and I had to share them with my boyfriend while I was reading. 

There are two main reasons I’m fifty-fifty on this one. The first is that it’s written in first person present POV.  This is actually the lesser of the two reasons and it actually didn’t bother me as much as it has in the past.  But it would still catch me off guard on occasion and completely pull me from the book. 

The second is the actual main issue I had.  It is because of the emails in the book.  First let me explain that a huge part of the communications between Dominique and Wesley, her boyfriend, are via email.  While odd that it was email and not text, which seems a lot more common place today with pretty much everyone, I thought it was a unique way to see them interacting. My issue is that the emails themselves just didn’t sound like Dominique.  After being in her head and hearing her thoughts her emails just sound forced and overly formal, especially since she is writing to her boyfriend.  

Overall I think the book is a great light read for summer.  Yes first love is never light and easy from the person experiencing it, yet with Dominique’s voice Snadowsky is able to make it fun as well as touching.  There are sex scenes, but they aren’t erotica graphic. (It’s one of the experiences that’s a first for Dominique after all!) So I don’t think I’d refer it to the younger teen crowd.  But again I think it’s perfect for taking to the beach or on vacation.  Dominique is easy to relate to and the story draws you in without being overbearing.  (Plus the cover is absolutely great! I mean it’s a naked Ken doll with the title covering the naughty bits.  It definitely started a few conversations!)

PS. You can win a copy of the book at AimeeKay's blog (US only)! Just go HERE!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Enchanted

Meme hosted by Melissa My World in Words and Pages. It's about books that are already on the shelves and are waiting to be read. Go to her website to join in!

My submission this week:

by Alethea Kontis
narration: Katherine Kellgren
Published: Brilliance Audio
It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. 
When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises. 
The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?
Yep, another audio free from SYNC (if it's not up right away then just wait, it should be soon)! I've been curious about this one. Just go to the SYNC website to get it. This one is open to everyone! Yes, it's international!
btw Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, read by Miriam Margolyes (Bolinda Audio) is also available.

Any good fairytale retelling audios/books on your tbr?
Note: Nope, I'm not affiliated in any way with SYNC or the publisher or the author... just like freebies and telling ya about them. :D

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Storm Warrior (Grim #1) by Dani Harper

Series: Grim #1
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Available: Now
Source: ARC from author for review
Enslaved for millennia by the masters of the Welsh faery realm, the fierce Celtic warrior Rhys is doomed to wander the earth forever. But when a brave beauty unwittingly breaks the enchantment, he is drawn into a strange new world…and an all-consuming desire. 
Sensible Morgan doesn’t believe in magic—until a mysterious being saves her from a fate worse than death, and life as she knows it changes forever. Now the man of her dreams has become flesh and blood, igniting a spark in Morgan’s soul which science cannot explain. But even a love that transcends time may not be strong enough to withstand the power of an ancient curse. 
From the best-selling author of Changeling Moon, this stirring novel of passion and magic launches an addictive new series for fans of paranormal romance.
Hm... a the fae, a veterinarian, a BIG puppy (mastiff), lots of other animals, a few rescues, and an alpha male who is patient, kind and has a way with animals. Yea, you can say I enjoyed this PNR. The heroine, Morgan, only believes in science but has a big heart for all animals. She works hard at her profession and in fact is so busy she has to hire out for help.

Oh but do I want to reveal more? It's not a hard book to figure out nor are there a lot of big twists to the tale, but I enjoyed exploring what happened to the characters in this book. I want you to do the same. I will say that I really enjoyed these characters. Morgan is a sensible but kind hearted person who leads with her heart with animals but with her head when it comes to romance. However Rhys may change her mind. Oh and Rhys. Not your typical needing a kick in the arse alpha male. He is kind, and patient and is quick minded. He has been through hell but won't let that rule his life. I really enjoyed this hero.

I also should mention the secondary characters. Those were fun. There is a fae that is befriended that is a hoot and the old curmudgeon neighbor is someone who blossoms as the story goes along. There are also the unusual vet and his wife who have no problem believing in Rhys and what happened to him in the past. The couple is fun, but we don't get much of them, but I think we will get more of them as the series goes on. I think they could be the comic relief of the bunch when we do get more of the couple.

I give this book 4 stars. I enjoyed my time in this world and look forward to the next book in this series. I recommend it to those that enjoy PNR, animal rescue, animals in general and some smexy "best. butt. ever." (end quote). ;)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Giveaway!: When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears (Goblin Wars #3) by Kersten Hamilton

Recently I reviewed the final book in the Goblin Wars trilogy. Unfortunately I had the old publishing date on my calendar so I reviewed it much too early (my review). Even so, Kersten was not upset and even decided to let me have a giveaway on my blog on the proper release date. So guess what? Here is the giveaway!

The prize
(signed hardcover, US only):

When the Stars Thew Down Their Spears
by Kersten Hamilton
3rd in Goblin Wars trilogy
Publisher: Clarion Books
Available: Aug 6th, 2013 (Now!)
“People will die.” 
Locked doors are opening, and uncanny creatures are tumbling through mysterious portals from Mag Mell, the world-between-worlds, into the streets of Chicago. The Dark Man has marked Aiden with a new song that’s scared him badly, and a frightening new group of sídhe is lurking nearby. 
Teagan knows this is war, and she must protect her family. She leaves her flesh and bones behind to join Finn in hunting the evil beings across the city. Meanwhile, their relationship is heating up—almost faster than they can control. But he is still bound to fight goblins his entire life... and by blood she is one of them now. 
Then the gateway to Mag Mell cracks open again, and the Wylltsons find themselves caught in a trap. As her loved ones begin to die, Teagan realizes that she must destroy the Dark Man and his minions once and for all in order to save those who remain...
... before it is too late.
Other books in the series:
 What do you have to do?
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Monday, August 5, 2013

Kindred and Wings (Shifted World #2) by Philippa Ballantine

Second in the Shifted World series
Published: Pyr
Available: Aug, 6, 13
Source: eARC from publicist
On the back of the dragon Wahirangi, Finn the Fox flees the world he has known. As he sets out to find the brother he never knew of, he still holds in his heart the memory of the Hunter. He has denied his love for her, but he cannot deny it forever. 
In the halls of the Last Believers, Talyn begins to uncover her own mysteries, but her lust for the death of the Caisah is still strong and clouds her vision. She must choose her path, as the Seer of her people or as the assassin of the overlord. 
Meanwhile, Byre, Talyn's brother, must venture into the fiery world of the Kindred, to rebuild the pact that his ancestors made. He will risk everything he is as he forms a new pact that will change his people forever. 
Dragons and myths will be reborn, as the Hunter and her Fox face each other once more.
My thoughts:
I reviewed Hunter and Fox and thought it would be a great introduction to those that want to read fantasy, but just haven't tried one yet. This book is the sequel but it is more heavily into the fantasy world than the first. I think that first book leads you easily into this one. However, just don't take too long to read this one or I would suggest rereading the first before diving into the second installment.

In this book we continue where we left off in the first book. We find ourselves less concerned with the characters than the world. The characters are still important, but do take a back seat to the shifting world and what happened before. It is all about taking that world that was established in the first book and making a puzzle out of it. We find that it was already a puzzle, but we weren't completely aware of that fact until now. The mystery of why things happened to the people of this world isn't as easily known as we first thought. We even find that those we deemed evil outright have a softer side. Nothing is straight forward and the more knowledge we gather a much fuller picture emerges. So, it is the unraveling of the world we knew as well as the build up of that world. With all the details the author gives, I commend her vast imagination of a world that you are convinced could exist. There is enough detail to make it work.

I give this book 4 stars. It is much more rooted in the fantasy type reads out there than the first. I enjoyed this installment and really liked the way this book pulls at the strings of our characters prejudices and fills them with correct knowledge. I recommend it to those that enjoy fantasy.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


The winner for:



You can still enter to win:
 Click pic to go to post to enter. US only

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cover Reveal: Of Light and Darkness

Today we're excited to reveal the cover of the newest book in the Of Light and Darkness series by bestselling author Shayne Leighton.  The Vampire's Hourglass is schedule to be published by Decadent publishing the end of this year or beginning of next.

Book Description:

After narrowly surviving a near-death experience in an effort to save Valek from yet another showdown with Aiden, Charlotte awakens inside the forsaken, crumbling walls of the Regime Palace. Though she finds herself surrounded by her closest friends, she is conflicted over her feelings of the sudden absence of her Vampire guardian from her life.

With Nikolai there to console her, Charlotte cannot shake the undeniable chemistry she feels for this familiar stranger. But they are running out of time. Charlotte’s peculiar ailment will return and Sarah, the witch, will sacrifice her youth and beauty in order to save her best friend, unless they find the secret, Dark City.

Charlotte, Nikolai, Sarah, and several other favored characters travel down to the underbellies of Prague to find Valek. But what they end up discovering are the dark and nasty secrets the elder Vampires have been hiding for centuries. Charlotte must overcome her mortal limitations to win back the heart of the one she truly loves and escape the gates of Abelim with her throat intact in this enthralling, highly-anticipated third installment of the Of Light and Darkness Series.
 Exclusive Excerpt:
           “Does it hurt? You know...when I’m around?”  

            He was talking about the scar that still thrived at the side of her throat. The one that appeared there after Valek left his first, initial bite months ago in Francis’ home. The one that had ailed her since and nearly killed her until she unwittingly saved herself by stabbing a hole in her own chest. Not her empty, openly bleeding heart and her feeling of abandonment and being alone, but a literal hole that she created herself some snowy weeks ago when she attempted to end it all to prove herself as something more than just an expendable mortal in this game of light and darkness. She wanted to finally be recognized as a hero, nearly having killed herself for the sake of saving her friends from Aiden. Knowing the tainted taste of the blood from her ruptured heart would drive him away.

            But what did she have to prove for it now? Another giant scar. And more than that, her nightmare came true. Valek was nowhere to be found, no matter how hard she looked. After everything he did, and everything that had happened because of his carelessness, she wasn’t sure how badly she wanted to find him. That thought made her heart constrict. But then again, Aiden had disappeared as well. At least there was that. 

       “Not really. Not as much as the emotional pain underneath it,” she finally answered Nikolai’s question honestly. “The heartbreak hurts worse than the scar ever could.”

About the Author:

In Shayne's first year out of high school she penned, co-directed, and starred in the feature film 'The Incubus', a paranormal romance, which obtained distribution and screened in over fifteen theaters across South Florida among major theater chains such as Regal, AMC, and Cinemark. 'The Incubus' has also obtained a passionate fanbase of over 100,000 girls online and has garnered the attention of reporters from the Miami Herald, CBS News, and NPR Radio. Leighton also starred alongside Scream Queen, Tara Cardinal, in the film 'Legend of the Red Reaper' which made its world debut at the 2012 AFM in Los Angeles. Twenty-Two-year-old Leighton is excited to release her debut young adult novel series, 'Of Light and Darkness', set in contemporary Prague, as well as developing the film adaptation of the novel series. Recently released songs can now be heard on with a full-length album in the works. Leighton is currently named #35 on the pop charts in Miami, FL. Named #26 in Boca Magazine's "Top 100 'It' People" for 2011. Shayne Leighton lives in Fort Lauderdale, FL with her husband and key inspiration, Frank and travels back and forth to the Czech Republic often. Find out more about Shayne at:

Check out The Vampire's Daughter, the first book, for only .99 cents on Amazon!
Add it on GoodReads.

The Vampire's Daughter & The Vampire's Reflection by Shayne Leighton *signed*
Open Worldwide!
Must be 13 or older to enter (with parental permission).
Ends Aug. 8th, 2013
Blog Tour giveaway from CBB Book Promotions

Friday, August 2, 2013

Dragonsoul: A Shifted World Story by Philippa Ballantine

Part of the Shifted World series
Published: Tor
Source: For FREE HERE (epub format)
On the back of the dragon Wahirangi, Finn the Fox flees the world he has known. As he sets out to find the brother he never knew of, he still holds in his heart the memory of the Hunter. He has denied his love for her, but he cannot deny it forever.

In the halls of the Last Believers, Talyn begins to uncover her own mysteries, but her lust for the death of the Caisah is still strong and clouds her vision. She must choose her path, as the Seer of her people or as the assassin of the overlord. Meanwhile, Byre, Talyn's brother, must venture into the fiery world of the Kindred, to rebuild the pact that his ancestors made. He will risk everything he is as he forms a new pact that will change his people forever.

Dragons and myths will be reborn, as the Hunter and her Fox face each other once more.
This is a quick novella in the well-imagined tale of the Shifted World series. The first book is Hunter and Fox which I reviewed and loved. I do suggest you read that first book before picking up this novella only because the world is then established and you can slip into the world of the novella easily. This novella is also not exactly in order, but is a part of the world, part of the history so it can be picked up at any time in the series reading. It is an interesting addition to the world and brings a tiny bit of history into the characters you get to know within the series. I give it 4 stars and do suggest that if you read and enjoy this series, pick up this little book. Plus, it's free! :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Blog Tour: Home to Whiskey Creek by Brenda Novak

Welcome to Day 4 of my Blog Tour!

So far, you should have three gold mining implements, which you found on my previous blog visits, as well as three names—the names of the characters featured each day. Anyone with a perfect score at the end of my 10-day tour will receive a Whiskey Creek package,* so don’t miss the fun. Visit www.brendanovak for directions, a scorecard and details on the prize.

One of my favorite movies of all time is A WALK TO REMEMBER. It’s a movie I could watch over and over. Not only is the love story poignant, the way the two main characters change each other’s lives is uplifting. That film definitely inspired me when I was writing WHEN SUMMER COMES (only I wasn’t too excited about the girl dying in the end so I knew from the outset that mine would not go that way). 

When Callie Vanetta receives the devastating news that she needs a liver transplant, she also learns that the chances of getting one aren’t good. She’s waiting and hoping but, determined to spend whatever time she has left on her own terms, she moves out to her late grandparents’ farm. She’s always wanted to live there. But the farm hasn’t been worked in years and she begins to fear she can’t manage it, that she’ll have to return to town. Then a stranger comes knocking at her door. He’s an attractive and mysterious drifter by the name of Levi McCloud, and he offers to trade work for a few nights’ shelter.

Callie figures she doesn’t have anything to lose.  He needs a place to stay until he can fix his motorcycle; she needs an extra pair of hands. The arrangement seems ideal until what was supposed to be temporary starts to look more and more permanent. Then she realizes she does have something to lose—her heart. And, although he doesn’t know it, Levi stands to lose even more.

If you’d like to read, WHEN SUMMER COMES, you can order it at any bookstore or online at: 


WHEN WE TOUCH (Digital prequel novella)
Book #4 - HOME TO WHISKEY CREEK (Coming out now!)
Book #5 - TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (To be released October 29, 2013)
Book #6 - COME HOME TO ME (To be released April 2014)
With many more on the way!

Follow me on Join my mailing list. Visit my website at to enter my drawing for an amazing 7-night stay at a luxurious resort OR an iPad!

Home to Whiskey Creek
by Brenda Novak
4th in a series
Sometimes home is the refuge you need—and sometimes it isn't... 
Adelaide Davies, who's been living in Sacramento, returns to Whiskey Creek, the place she once called home. She's there to take care of her aging grandmother and to help with Gran's restaurant, Just Like Mom's. But Adelaide isn't happy to be back. There are too many people here she'd rather avoid, people who were involved in that terrible June night fifteen years ago. 
Ever since the graduation party that changed her life, she's wanted to go to the police and make sure the boys responsible—men now—are punished. But she can't, not without revealing an even darker secret. So it's better to pretend…. 
Noah Rackham, popular, attractive, successful, is shocked when Adelaide won't have anything to do with him. He has no idea that his very presence reminds her of something she'd rather forget. He only knows that he's finally met a woman he could love. 
Meet Author Brenda Novak:

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak is the author of more than forty-five books. A three-time Rita nominee, she has won many awards, including the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May at (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she’s raised over $2 million. Brenda has a brand new small-town contemporary series out. Come meet the long-time friends who have made Whiskey Creek the “Heart of Gold Country,” with WHEN WE TOUCH (prequel novella), WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES (Book #1), WHEN SNOW FALLS (Book #2), WHEN SUMMER COMES (Book #3), HOME TO WHISKEY CREEK (Book #4) and TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (Book #6 due out October 29, 2013).
Twitter: @Brenda_Novak

Giveaway Details: (US/Can only)

Follow the directions in each of Brenda’s posts along the tour. Keep track of your answers because at the end of the tour, you’ll be asked to submit them. Perfect “Character Mining Score Cards” will get a fabulous Whiskey Creek package! Full Tour Giveaway details can be found at (as well as the “Character Mining Score Cards”) This contest is open to all US & Canada residents of the age of majority. Please see full Terms & Conditions at

Tour Stops
August 1: Books and Things
August 6: Harlequin Junkie
August 8: Enticed by Books
August 9: The Book Whore

OR, go to the following link to access direct links to each daily stop and find full giveaway Terms.

*Prize consists of a mug from Black Gold Coffee (fictional coffee shop in my series where the group of friends who people these stories meet every Friday), a black Amos Auto Body T-shirt (Dylan’s fictional auto body shop), a free digital download of WHEN WE TOUCH (the prequel novella that kicks off the series), and autographed Whiskey Creek poster and autographed cover cards for all the Whiskey Creek books released so far!