So Many Books, So Little Time [7]


Here are some of the books that I discovered this week scheduled for release that I cannot wait to get my hands on.  I will pay, beg and maybe even stand in line somewhere to get these.

The Weight of Bones
by Janet Gurtler
Releases in 2011

Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?
(Book #2 of Dark Elite Series)
by Chloe Neill
Releases on 1/20/11

Lily Parker is new to St. Sophia’s School for Girls, but she’s already learned that magic can be your best friend…or your worst enemy.

They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Turns out, even a little magic can turn you to the dark side. That’s why Lily has to learn how to control her newly discovered paranormal abilities, on top of avoiding the snobs who think they run her school, nursing a crush on a cute sophomore with a big, werewolf-y secret, and fighting the good fight with her best friend Scout as they take on Chicago’s nastiest nightlife—including the tainted magic users known as Reapers.

Then Lily’s invited to a private meeting with Sebastian. He’s hot, powerful, and offering to help her harness the magic flowing in her veins in a way no one else can. He’s also a Reaper. Lily can’t hide her suspicions. But she’ll soon find out that the line between good and evil isn’t always clear…
Will Work for Prom Dress
by Aimee Ferris
Releases on 2/8/11

Planning for prom’s supposed to be fun—the dress, the accessories, the devastatingly handsome date—but Quigley Johnson never thought that agreeing to her best friend Ann’s Betterment Plan would ruin her life!

After a series of bizarre part-time jobs, the prospect of being a live model for a fashion-design class has Quigley ready to throw in the towel, until she meets Zander. He may not be able to sketch, but he’s smoking hot, cool and funny, and every outfit he creates might as well be made for her. But is he too good to be true? Then there’s David, the self-professed “Art King” whose competitiveness has always meant cutting Quigley down, until he sets his sights on making her his prom date and “Art Queen.” And this preparation for the formal was supposed to make Quigley and Ann even closer, but it’s tearing them apart! How will Quigley make it to prom, when she’s barely making it through high school?

Fresh and flirty, Will Work for Prom Dress combines fashion, romance, and entrepreneurship in a hilarious package. A must-have for the prom season from a talented, emerging voice in the young adult world.
Demon Glass
(Book #2 in Hex Hall series)
by Rachel Hawkins
Releases on 3/1/11

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she? 
by Deb Caletti
Releases on 4/19/11

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is--and what he’s willing to do to make her stay. Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough...
What Happened to Goodbye
by Sarah Dessen
Releases on 5/10/11

What Happened to Goodbye is about a high school senior who, after her parents’ divorce, has taken up the practice of assuming a new identity in each of the four towns she’s lived in.

Always a Witch
Book #2 of her Witch series
by Carolyn MacCullough

The adventures of Tam and Gabriel continue with more time travel, Talents, spy work, and of course, the evil Knights.

Since the gripping conclusion of Once A Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision—one so terrible that it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice. 
These are just some of the one's that I'm looking forward to. Which books are you dying to get your hands on?   


Backstage Pass: Sinners on Tour by Olivia Cunning

Author: Olivia Cunning
Pages: 384
Genre: Erotica
Source: Sourcebooks
The first in a new erotic romance series, Backstage Pass is a sizzling mix of sex, love, and rock n' roll It's been months since Brian Sinclair, lead guitarist for the famous rock band, Sinners, composed anything. Unable to write the music that once flowed so naturally, Brian is lost without his musical mojo. But when sexy psychology professor Myrna Evans comes on tour to study groupie mentality, Brian may have found the spark he needs to reignite his musical genius. When lust turns to love, will Brian be able to convince Myrna that what they have is more than just a fling, and that now that he's found his heart's muse, he doesn't want to live without her? [via GoodReads]
There are many words I can use to describe this book but I'll refrain myself and keep it to a minimum.  This book was way Hot, Sexy, Hot, Smokin', Hot and yes, Sexy!  Backstage Pass is the first book in what is to be a 5-part series.  In it, you meet The Sinners- Brian "Master Sinclair", Sed, Jace, Trey and Eric. 

When I first opened this book I was a little intimidated.  For one, it's erotica, and erotica (although I've read it before) is just not something I read a lot of.  But I was intrigued to read the story since it dealt with Rock Stars... and what else can I say other than Rock Stars are hot!  Well I am happy to inform that Ms. Cunning did a superb job in creating not only two main characters that you grow to love throughout the story, but you are also introduced to the four other band mates that are also just as intriguing and loveable.

Brian is The Sinners lead guitarist and songwriter.  Myrna first catches sight of him while drunk in her hotel bar.  He's the hopeless romantic in the group - but he's also funny, sweet and kind.  He finds a muse in Myrna and quickly finds himself wanting more from her than just a "good time."

Myrna meets The Sinners after she gives a conference at the same hotel they are staying at.  She's a professor and has her doctorate degree on Human Sexuality. After meeting the band, having some intimate moments with Brian and attending several of their shows, she asks for a grant to do research on the bands groupies.  She wants to learn more about their infatuation with these rock stars - which also means she gets to go on tour with them.

Now, I will say there are many (many, many, many) sexual scenes - but even though there are so many (many, many, many) of these sexual scenes, I also thought the story played out very well.  Myrna had issues with trust and accepting her feelings towards Brian.  She came from a messy divorce and the L-word was just something she was avoiding.  Brian was basically the total opposite of her.  He wanted commitment from her, to feel loved by her - I mean the man wanted to whisk her off to Vegas for a quick wedding every other chapter (le sigh).  Their chemistry sizzled and I'm not just talking about during their many (many, many, many) sexual scenes.  They had great dialogue, romance, and interaction with the other band mates, roadies and groupies.   My favorite parts were when Myrna was on tour with the boys.  It was sweet to see how they all respected and came to love her.  I loved the dynamics between each and every character - it really gave a lot of detail into their pasts and how they formed the bonds that they shared today.  One other thing that I found very interesting was that Myrna was about 7 years older than Brian - I mean she was only 35, but still it was  something that you normally don't see a lot of. 

Call me a groupie if you must, but I cannot wait to read more of The Sinners.  This is the beginning of a very promising rock and roll series.  The story was addictive, had me blushing every couple of pages, but was also sigh-worthy.  If you're looking for a HOT and spicy tale of love - this is the one I'd recommend you pick up.

Next book in the series is scheduled to release April 2011 titled Rock Hard and it is Sed's (lead singer) story.  Yikes!  

To learn more about The Sinners - check out author Olivia Cunning's website and The Sinners Official Fan Page.

My Rating:

Everyone's a winner!

As per usual, I am late with my giveaway winner posts.  So forgive me, but you should be grateful that I finally got it (I know I am!)  So quickly, here goes:

The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard

Reckless by Cornelia Funke

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

Spooktastic ARC Giveaways
Pack #1

Pack #2

Pack 3

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Anonymous (Lissabeth)

Winners were chosen using I will be sending out e-mails within the next couple of minutes, so be on the lookout for those, although feel free to send me your info if you are a winner and save me the extra step. You have until Friday to get back to me, if I haven't heard from you by then, a new winner will be chosen.  If you are one of the Spooktastic ARC Giveaway winners please send me your info right away.  Winners need to be in by 11/2/02 - so chop chop.

If you are still interested in more giveaways, check out my giveaways page [here].  Plus I have more giveaways coming soon. 


Rise Again by Ben Tripp

Author: Ben Tripp
Pages: 384
Genre: Horror
Source:  Gallery Books
Danny Adelman is a veteran of the Iraq war suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.  She is working as the Sheriff in the quiet town of Forest Peak (which is about an hour outside of LA).  She knows she's not going to have a good day when she wakes with a hangover, realizes her young sister Kelly has run away in none other than her car and dreads dealing with the crowds at the town's Independence Day gathering.  What more could go wrong right?  She definitely wasn't expecting for people to grip their heads, screaming at the top of their lungs, run off and eventually drop dead, and rise as flesh-eating corpses.

This book scared me to death.  I don't know what my infatuation with zombies is... I'm not a fan of scary movies nor do I read a lot of horror, but tell me it's a zombie book and I just MUST read it.  Thus was the case with Rise Again, and although it did scare me to death, I could not put it down.

Mr. Tripp created one bad-ass heroine in Danny.  She is not perfect - far from it - but her strength, perseverance, the need to protect the civilians that have remarkably put their trust in her to help save them as well as her unstoppable need to find her missing sister were something that I was in awe of.   She grew on me and I found myself cringing and more than once not wanting to turn the page in fear that something would happen to her or some of the other characters.  As with all zombie books, I'm always afraid to love a character for fear of them getting killed off.  I truly think this is what up's the fear factor in these books for me.  Some of the supporting characters were awesome as well, and some were just the type that you love to hate.  I love how humanity always turns against itself at one point or another in these type of books.  Sometimes the zombies are the least of the worries.

In the end, I loved this book!  It was not overly gory nor overly violent, although there is both, yet it was done in a tasteful manner.  I mean it is a zombie book - blood, guts and brains are expected.  But what I found refreshing were its rich characters, great action and tight, well-paced story.  Horror and, especially, zombie lovers will find a gem in this one.

My Rating:

Vampires Turn Me On

So sue Bite Me!

I honestly can't say what it is that I find sexy about vampires - whether it be their need for blood, their sharp teeth, or the fact that they are immortal, but I find that I can't help myself.  Vampires turn me on!  I think, with me, it has a lot to do with the eternal love aspect of the story.

Lately, it seems that all I want to read are paranormal books - especially when they are vampire-related.  I mean, all you have to do is tell me there's a vampire in there somewhere and you'll see that book tucked under my arm while on the way to the register.  It's that simple.  Is this happening to you?  Are you on the same paranormal craze that I'm in?

In honor of vampire week and my vampire fascination, I've come up with a list of my favorite vampires.  These are the guys that work it for me.  Tell me what you think.

My top 10 vampires in literature: 

10- Acheron Parthenopaeus (Sherrilyn Kenyon's Night-Hunter series)  - Ash is only on this list because he has fangs, but he is so much more than just a vampire.  Although he looks  like a tall, lanky gothic teen, you don't want to mess with this Atlantean God.  You'll find him in every Night-Hunter book as every Dark-Hunter's BFF and leader, but you know he's hiding something since he's always vague when answering any personal questions.  We finally get the full and undisclosed Ash in his book titled Acheron.

9- Mr. Darcy (Mr. Darcy, Vampyre; Vampire Darcy's Desire)  - He's Mr. Darcy do I really have to explain why he made the list, sheech 

8- Eric Sinclair (Betsy Taylor series, MaryJanice Davidson)  - Sink Lair, as Betsy likes to call him is the epitome of vampire-ness.  He's ancient, he's brooding, wealthy, gentlemanly and puts up with Betsy and all her shenanigans all while calling her "Mine Own".  Always brings a smile to my face.

7- Zhadist (Lover Awakened, J.R. Ward) - Out of all the men in the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Zhadist is the broken one - which, of course, makes him my favorite.  I have to say that this alone is what does it for me.  His book is the one I looked forward to the most.  The one I craved.  I couldn't wait for him to find his heroine - someone to love and support and bring him some type of happiness.  Yes, I have a thing for the messed up guys.

6- Lestat de Lioncourt (The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice)  - I'm sure you've all (at least) heard of a movie called Interview with a Vampire - well shortly after watching this movie I picked up Lestat's book.  Although I found the book a bit wordy, Lestat's accounts of his life, his brethren, his love after life... well this is a book that although torn, with bent corners and dog-eared pages will always own a place in my bookshelf.

5- Vlad the Impaler (Bram Stoker's Dracula) - Although I must confess to never having read the book or seeing the movie, and he is a bit old-fashioned for my tastes, I feel it is only fair that he be on the list.  After all, he is the one who started it all.

4- Betsy Taylor (Besty Taylor Series, MaryJanice Davidson) - She's my girl vampire crush. After getting laid off, hit by a car and killed, she finds herself awake in a coffin wearing knock-off shoes.  That's just how her story starts... did I mention she's also the Queen of the Undead.   

3- Carpathian males (Christine Feehan's Dark Series) - I'm encompassing a whole group of men here only because I can't choose just one.  The very first paranormal romance I read was a Carpathian novel about 15 years ago.  The men in these books are fated to spend their lives without feelings, emotions or color... that is until they find their life mate.  My favorite thing of all the cool things they can do (from changing shapes to flying) is that they have telepathic connections with their partners.  But I do have to mention that they are not vampires, they are Carpathians.  In these books vampires are evil. 

2- Edward Cullen  (Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer) - I dig shiny vampires.  But aside from his sparkly-ness, I think his books might just be what got the whole vampire craze in motion.  He's sweet, brooding, gentlemanly, vegetarian (hmmm, that might not be the right word), even a bit stalkerish, but in the end, I still fell in love with him.

1- Eric Northman (Sookie Stackhouse novels, Charlaine Harris) - Good lord, if he were real and I had the opportunity, I would jump his bones.  He is arrogant, sarcastic, always has an ulterior motive, he's a Viking (for goodness sakes!), yet the soft spot that he holds for Sookie was what truly won me over. 

Stefan Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries, L.J. Smith) - I think he is a bit too childish and I'm really not into the whole sibling rivalry thing

Bill Compton (Sookie Stackhouse, Charlaine Harris) - I liked him for like the first three books in the series... ugh

Lenah Beaudonte (Infinite Days, Rebecca Maizel) - She was a vampire... and then she wasn't anymore

Rhode (Infinite Days, Rebecca Maizel) - I won't say why he didn't make the list because of spoilers... but he was a heavy contender

Damen Auguste (The Immortals Series, Alyson Noel) - I thought he was a vampire for more than half of the book (Evermore), I was wrong.

Did your favorite vamp make my list?  If not, who is your favorite vampire? 

This is the last and final Trick or Treat for Books stop! To enter for your chance to win the Grand Prize, a goodie bag of books, fill out the form below:

For more chances to win, visit these posts:
Oct 8: 25 Hour Books: post on ghosts
Oct 22: The Unread Reader: post on magic
Oct 29: All About {n}: post on vampires
Oct 31: Grand Prize Winner announced


The Next Queen of Heaven by Gregory Maguire

Author: Gregory Maguire
Pages: 368
Genre: Fiction
With the new millennium approaching, the eccentric town of Thebes grows even stranger. Mrs. Leontina Scales begins speaking in tongues after being clocked by a Catholic statuette. Her daughter, Tabitha, and her sons scheme to save their mother or surrender her to Jesus—whatever comes first. Meanwhile, choir director Jeremy Carr, caught between lust and ambition, fumbles his way toward Y2K. The ancient Sisters of the Sorrowful Mysteries join with a gay singing group. The Radical Radiants battle the Catholics. A Christmas pageant goes horribly awry. And a child is born. [via Goodreads]
Gregory Maguire is known for his retelling of children's stories (i.e. The Wizard of Oz, The Little Match Girl, etc.)  This is the first of his novels that I see that he has come up with a purely fictional story.  I must confess that I did have some trouble with the amount of  characters in this novel and I found myself more than once trying to get a grip on what was happening because I had one of the characters mistaken. 

It did get a little easier to read after a while, especially once I got the characters in the right order.  And I do have to say that there were many instances where I found myself laughing out loud.  I couldn't help it - there were just so many things going on and the more I thought of them, the funnier I found the whole thing to be.   It was silly.  The characters were over the top and the situations they found themselves in were unbelievable.  There's a little bit of everything in this book - religion, sexuality, HIV, two feuding churches, teen pregnancy, musicians, even elderly nuns.  It was pure mayhem!  With all the crazy and zany antics throughout, there was also the more serious tone of finding and believing in oneself. 

I also really enjoyed that the book takes place around Christmas - and I think Mr. Maguire did a great job in capturing the Christmas spirit - in his own quirky way.   

I can't say that I loved this book, but I can definitely appreciate it.  I found it too busy for my tastes and I felt that the ending lacked a little.  I would have liked more closure for some of the characters.  All in all, I can't say this is a book for everyone but I can see where many would still enjoy it.  

My Rating: 


The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Pages: 400
Genre: YA / Historical Fiction
Lucy Sexton is stunned when a disheveled woman appears at the door one day... a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lucy's own beautiful mother. It turns out the two women are identical twins, separated at birth, and raised in dramatically different circumstances. Lucy's mother quickly resolves to give her less fortunate sister the kind of life she has never known. And the transformation in Aunt Helen is indeed remarkable. But when Helen begins to imitate her sister in every way, even Lucy isn't sure at times which twin is which. Can Helen really be trusted, or does her sweet face mask a chilling agenda? 

Filled with shocking twists and turns, The Twin's Daughter is an engrossing gothic novel of betrayal, jealousy, and treacherous secrets that will keep you guessing to the very end. [via GoodReads]
I have to start this review by saying... I didn't see that one coming!  

Ms. Baratz-Logsted masterfully creates a tale full of twists and turns that I have to admit kept me wondering... I kept trying to figure it out and every time I thought I had it, I was thrown for a loop.  Kudos to Ms. Baratz-Logsted - because yes, I did not see that one coming!  

Lucy - who is about 13 when the novel starts - has a very distinct voice.  Her inquisitive nature and attention to detail are really what kept this novel going for me.  She lives with her wealthy parents and lives a comfortable yet dull life.  When a woman with a striking resemblance to her mother knocks on her door she finds that her life is turned upside down.  Lucy has quite the vivid imagination and shortly after meeting the recently acquired Aunt Helen, she begins to doubt her and her intentions. After a gruesome murder of one of the sister's, Lucy finds herself wondering which twin lived.

Aside from the mystery aspect of the novel, there was also a very sweet romance between Lucy and her neighbor Kit.  I loved the way their relationship and feelings for each other matured throughout the story.  I found myself looking forward to their moments together.  

One other thing that I thought was very well done was the setting.  I think Ms. Baratz-Logsted does a wonderful job in capturing the time the story is set in (I would say circa World War I  - although the time frame is never really established), London.

All in all, I truly enjoyed this gothic tale of murder, mystery, love and so many twists and turns you'll feel like your head is spinning.  A fantastic read for teens and adults alike. 

My Rating:

Author Interview: Rebecca Maizel

Being vampire week and all around here, I thought it would be great if I interviewed the author of one of my favorite vampire books this year.  

Luckily for me, the very lovely Rebecca Maizel, author of Infinite Days, agreed.  I was so excited she agreed and after doing a little dance, these are questions I asked her:

How did you come up with the idea of a Vampire becoming human?
I connected to my main character, Lenah's voice.  it was so strong; and sinister and tragic.  I wanted to tap into that sorrow and darkness.  I wanted to bring this person, whoever she was back out to light.  It turned out that she was a vampire and thematically, it worked.  Every person out there has done something they aren't proud of.  And whatever that thing is, they have to live with it - forever.  That's Lenah but time about a million!  I just started writing one day and there she was with a motive, a purpose, and some really scary enemies.

Was it hard to create a character who readers can sympathize with, especially one who has been EVIL in the past?
It was hard.  I had to make sure that I showed Lenah in her every day life as a human with good intentions.  When I juxtaposed her evil past to her human life at Wickham Boarding School you're able to see that had Lenah been thinking with her right mind, her human mind, she might have made different choices. 

With so many men in Lena's life (whether they be friends, love interests, or mentors), how hard is ti to actually choose one, kill some off, etc.?  I know as a reader it hard to pick sides - I can only imagine how much harder is it for you as their creator.
Every man in Lenah's life has a purpose, every character in Infinite Days has a purpose and as a writer you need to make difficult decisions but ultimately you need to let the character and her motivations dictate the plot, if you do it the other way around it'll feel forced and uneven.  

Can you tell us anything about the sequel to Infinite Days?  Spoilers are accepted! ;)
I cannot tell you anything! Only that everything, absolutely everything is turned on its head! 


What does Halloween mean to you?  Any childhood memories you’re willing to share with us?
I have memories of pillowcases full of candy. I remember dividing up all the different kinds - making a pile for Butterfinger, a Hershey's pile, etc. I always had friends to walk through the neighborhood with - I had a great childhood, Halloween was always an important part of it. Every year on Halloween morning I would come down to eat and with breakfast would be a piece of chocolate shaped like a pumpkin or witch. My mom was great like that. 

This might be a dumb question (with you writing vampire books and all), but are you Team Vampire or Team Werewolf? 
Team Vampire, I gotta support my people!  

If you were able to go trick-or-treating with three authors or characters - who would they be, and what would y’all be dressed up as? 
I'll pick characters.

Vicken - He'd be a T-Bird from Grease
Harry Potter - He'd be dressed as Nearly Headless Nick. I don't know why but that seems fun to me. 
Daniel from Fallen - He'd go as himself because he is SEXY. 

Any guilty pleasures you’re willing to share with us? 
Chinese Food 
Any 1990's alternative rock. Wow, I am a BIG dork.  

And last, but not least, (and this is more to satisfy my curiosity)... do the boys in your books wear boxers or briefs? 
Oooh. Hmm. Justin is boxer briefs for SURE. ;) 
Rhode...well. I don't think he wears any! :) wink wink

Rhode... le sigh.  I hope you enjoyed the interview with Rebecca Maizel.  To learn more about  author Rebecca Maizel and Infinite Days, please visit Rebecca's blog at

I also have two copies of Infinite Days to giveaway.  This is one of my favorite books this year and I thought why not celebrate its awesomeness with some copies to giveaway.
Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish.

Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?
GIVEAWAY:  I have 2 copies up for grabs! 

As always, leave a comment for one entry. If you'd like extra entries just say so in your comment or separate comments (extra entries for followers, Twitter, sidebars, Facebook, my spiffy All About {n} button, etc.) Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving a comment under Anonymous.

Rules: This contest is open internationally! Winners will be drawn Wednesday, November 3.


GIVEAWAY: One-of-a-Kind Handmade Bookmarks

I have a special giveaway for you guys today.

This one will be short since I want to get these out to you guys by Halloween.

A close friend of mine, mixed media artist, a/k/a Artsy-Fartsy, co-worker of mine - Mireya De Jesus, has honored me with a few lovely, hand-crafted bookmarks in honor of Halloween. These are one-of-a-kind, hand-painted and exquisitely detailed.

I did take pictures for you guys to get a feel for them - but these pictures can never do them justice. They are beautiful - the colors are vivid and there are all these tiny details that unless you were actually holding one of them in your hand you would not be able to see.

If you're like me, any of these will be a treasure for your collection (because yes, I have a bookmark collection)... and proud of it. =)

Contest ends Sunday, October 31. Open internationally. There will be six winners.

To learn more about artist, Mireya De Jesus, you can see all her awesomeness at Flickr or you can e-mail her directly at mireya.dejesus[at]

Ecstasy in Darkness by Gena Showalter

Author: Gena Showalter
Pages: 512
Genre: Paranormal Romance
New York Times bestselling sensation Gena Showalter enthralls with a dark, tantalizing world of humans, otherworlders, powers beyond imagining, and a seductive vampire undone by his insatiable hunger for one woman. . . .Growing up poor on New Chicago’s meanest streets, Ava Sans had two options: be the predator or be the prey. No contest. Now, working for Alien Investigation and Removal, she’s been ordered to capture the biggest, baddest warrior of all—a vampire too beautiful to be real, with the abilityto manipulate time. Once the leader of the entire vampire army, McKell has been deemed savage and unstable, spurned even by his own kind.To McKell, humans should be nothing more than sustenance. Yet the petite, golden-skinned Ava is a fascinating contradiction—vicious yet witty, strong yet vulnerable, lethal but fiercely loyal. Against his better judgment, McKell craves that loyalty, and much more. When the chase leads to seduction, McKell and Ava will race to discover the truth about his past. But the answers will come at a price, even for a woman who thought she had nothing left to lose. . . .  [via GoodReads]
Gena masterfully takes you once again into the dangerous lives of her AIR agents.  This time around we get to know AIR trainee, Ava Sans.  Ava and her BFF Noelle have been in training with AIR in the hope of becoming agents.  I loved the friendship between these girls.  They have such great chemistry together and will do just about anything to get someone into custody.  Even if it means making out with one another to keep someone distracted long enough to subdue them.  Said distraction worked on McKell - leader of the vampire army and one heck of a tough guy.  He can stop time, is overly possessive and calls DIBS on Ava - right before his escape of course.  But when the Schon queen once again targets AIR agents,  Ava and McKell will have to work together not only to thwart the queen's plans but also on their feelings for one another.

Ecstasy in Darkness is the latest installment in Ms. Showalter's, Alien Huntress series. For those of you who haven't read any of the books in this series, you can pick any of them up whether it be the first one or this latest one and still know more or less what the story arc is.  That is the beauty of these books.  Although, it's preferable that you read them in order since some of the older characters come in and out of the newer books, it is still not mandatory.  I have enjoyed the previous books in the series and this new one was no exception.

I loved each and every scene that McKell and Ava are in.  Their chemistry is off the charts.  Their dialogue is full of snarky, witty and downright funny remarks.  Their scenes of a more "romantical" (I totally made that word up) nature were steamy and well... I might have even blushed a time or two.  

Ms. Showalter once again delighted me with her amazing characters, clever storytelling and cool futuristic world.  If you've never read anything by Gena before, please do.  You really can't go wrong with any of her novels.  This will definitely please fans of romance, sci-fi and paranormal lovers.  A great story and one that I guarantee will have you with a big goofy grin on your face.

My Rating:

GIVEAWAY: I have 1 copy up for grabs.

As always, leave a comment for one entry. If you'd like extra entries just say so in your comment or separate comments (extra entries for followers, Twitter, sidebars, All About {n} button, Facebook, etc.) Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving comment under Anonymous.

Rules: This contest is open internationally.  Winners will be drawn Friday, November 5.

Bookcase of the Week - Starring... Liz from Cleverly Inked


One of this week's featured guests on the Bookcase of the Week is Liz from Cleverly Inked.  I love that her profile says that she is a book consumer because... well they consume a lot of her life.  I love that!  You guys have to see all the cool pictures that she sent us.  Have a look for yourselves:

Hey everyone I'm Liz @ Cleverly Inked. For those who don't know me I am a book reviewer, mainly YA but I like to spread my wings and review all kinds. 

Nely has some serious patience considering she had to wait forever for me to finally get these pics to her.  She is always graceful about it though! 

Without any further waiting here are my secret reading hiding spots. Well not so secret now. I try to sneak away when ever I can to get some peace and to me there are no better spots in my area then these.

You can see the barrier holding the dunes up I usually hang out there. (except when the ants come out.) This over looks the beach:

This is at a local beach it's usually quiet, maybe one or two people hanging out.

This next spot is my absolute favorite. I am a river baby and I could never imagine growing up anywhere else. No one is ever around except a dolphin or manatee. Kinda cool, the day I went to take the pictures for this both manatee and dolphin decided to grace me with their presence.

As you can imagine it so calming, what better way to relax?

Thank you Nely for having patience of a Saint and having me on your amazing blog.

Just a quick note, after I thanked Liz for all the wonderful  pictures she sent us of her secret favorite reading spots and, of course, confessed about how we (me included) all would be so jealous, I then reminded her that she might also want to share her bookshelves.  lol   

Here's what she sent the second time around:

I don't keep all of my books, I get rid of about 50% of them. Out of the ones I keep I put in plastic containers and pack away for a day when I will actually have enough room to spread out.

This is my ARC shelf. I have to keep it locked up because my son is a sneaky monkey. This isn't all of them just ones I started to organize. (not very well mind you)

On to the closet shelf. This is were I keep my signed books, books I want to read, books that seemed to have appeared out of thin air, books that should be packed away, books that I just can't part with. I also keep all kinds of stuff there as well. I even have Teens Read and Writes bookmark on there. (love their blog) I keep my shelf in the closet because again I have a sneaky monkey and I have to keep my closet locked up.

As of now I don't really display my books on shelves through the house because I again have a sneaky monkey. I would be really upset if that sneaky monkey destroyed them. I figure in about 3 years I won't have a sneaky monkey he may have progressed to just a monkey. Until then I can dream.
Liz, I absolutely loved, loved, loved all your pictures!  I can't begin to thank you for playing along.  This was a very lovely post.  I started laughing when I read that you had a "sneaky monkey" because I call my kids (3 and 5) my monkeys too.  It's funny because I say Monkey!  and they both respond. I must say that I am uber jealous of those secret reading spots you have.  I live about 15 minutes from the beach and don't get over there as much as I'd like - and when I do, I end up not reading as much as I'd like (I have to run around after my monkeys).   

For those of you who haven't passed on through to Liz's yet, please visit her here (tell her I say HI!)


Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Author: Antony John
Pages: 352
Genre: YA
THE CHALLENGE: Piper has one month to get a paying gig for Dumb—the hottest new rock band in school.

THE DEAL: If she does it, she'll become manager of the band and get her share of the profits, which she desperately needs since her parents raided her college fund.

THE CATCH: Managing one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl who is ready to beat her up. And doing it all when she's deaf. With growing self-confidence, an unexpected romance, and a new understanding of her family's decision to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, Piper just may discover her own inner rock star. [via GoodReads]
This book was AWESOME!  Piper is one hell of a leading lady.  She never intended to end up the manager of a rock band, a very unlikely role for someone who is deaf.  But nevertheless, she finds that being Dumb's manager might be the best thing to happen to her.  I immediately identified with Piper.  I'm sure most girls and women can.  She is struggling with all sorts of issues from self-esteem, family, lack of popularity at school, etc.  

I can't even begin to tell you what great characters you'll find in this story.  They are all quirky and eclectic yet come together so perfectly.  There is great character development and maturity and I'm sure anyone can relate with at least one of them (if not more).

Piper's issues with her parents raiding her college fund in order to buy a cochlear implant for her sister was the more serious tone in the story.  I was intrigued to see how Piper reacted to this.  And was surprised that she reacted not in anger that her college funds had somewhat depleted, but that the bond she shared with her deaf sister would be severed.  The one thing they had in common would be no longer.  It was touching and definitely pulled on the heartstrings.  

I loved the tone of this novel.  It is told in a very fresh and fun voice.  I loved the way it portrayed Piper's family life (dysfunctional, yet loving), how a deaf girl can learn to love music, making new friends, starting new relationships and even a little romance was thrown in there.  Irresistibly hard to put down.  One of the best books I've read this year.

My Rating:
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