Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cat Thursday (45)

Cat Thursday (45)
Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to share fun pictures, tidbits, and news of all things cat related!

Here's my latest find:

First robin of Spring | Alexia's Books and Such
Spring has sprung, the grass is riz.
 I wonder where the birdies is?
They say the birds is on the wing.
Ain't that absurd?
I always thought the wing was on the bird.

Anyone else remember this poem? I've heard it attributed to both ee cummings and Ogden Nash, but don't think either one wrote it. Just seemed to fit with the LOLcats picture! :)

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mini-Review: Eat That Frog

Mini-Review: Eat That Frog
Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

Source:  Public Library

Rating:  2/5

With the pace of life increasing at a record rate, performing at peak levels while avoiding overload is more crucial than ever. In Eat That Frog! Brian Tracy offers his most successful strategies for focusing on important tasks. The philosophy of eating a frog doing a distasteful job or activity is the basis of the book. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
This book just didn't work for me, and I was disappointed. The only valuable thing I took away from it was the acknowledgement that we have too much to do and will never be able to catch up. Other than that, it didn't present any new ideas for beating procrastination. :(

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pale Demon Mega-Giveaway! CLOSED

Pale Demon
Thanks to the awesome generosity of my new best friends at Harper Collins, I have 5 copies of Pale Demon to share with my lucky, lucky readers! I really loved this book, so am excited to have the opportunity to spread the Rachel Morgan love!

In appreciation for leaving a comment on my review of Pale Demon, I'll give an extra 5 entries to those who commented before the start of this contest, and one extra entry for new comments. Has to be a legitimate comment to earn those extra entries!

Just fill out the below form for a chance to win!

The small print:
*Open to US mailing addresses only
*Must be at least 13 years old (or have parental permission) to enter
*Entries will be accepted from Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 through Friday, April 8th, 2011, 11:59PM EST
*The winning name will be picked using a random number generator
*All entries must be submitted using the form on this post. You MUST include your email address, as this is how the winner will be contacted
*The winners will be announced and contacted via email no later than Sunday, April 10th, 2011, and will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. Should they fail to respond in the given time frame, new winners will be chosen.

Good luck!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (69)

In My Mailbox (69)
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I always find something to add to my wishlist through IMM! Goodreads links are included if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
Received an ARC of Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky from Amazon Vine. Love the sound of this one!

Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life - until she meets Justin.

Clarity by Kim Harrington
Received an ARC of Clarity by Kim Harrington from Amazon Vine. I've seen a few mentions of this one around the blogosphere and it looks good!

When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth? Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift. And a curse.

From the Library:

The Complaints
I love Ian Rankin's John Rebus series, so am excited that he is starting a brand new series with The Complaints. Malcolm Fox is no John Rebus, but I have high hopes for him!

With The Complaints, we have the first novel by Ian Rankin featuring a new protagonist, another Edinburgh copper, Malcolm Fox. But Fox is quite a different character to his predecessor, although both men are imposing physically. For a start, Fox doesn't drink and is initially less confrontational than the bolshie Rebus.... Fox is part of the unpopular Complaints & Conduct department of the police force (better known as ‘The Complaints’) -- and the reason for that unpopularity is clear to see: this is the department designed to root out corruption in the force and investigate suspect officers.

Treachery In Death
Treachery In Death is the newest book in the Eve Dallas series. Love this series!

Detective Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a senseless crime-an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. This is Peabody's first case as primary detective-good thing she learned from the master.

Bitter Frost by Kailin Gow
Could resist picking up a copy of Bitter Frost by Kailin Gow, as it sounds right up my alley!

All her life, Breena had always dreamed about fairies as though she lived among them...beautiful fairies living among mortals and living in Feyland. In her dreams, he was always there the breathtakingly handsome but dangerous Winter Prince, Kian, who is her intended. When Breena turns sixteen, she begins seeing fairies and other creatures mortals don't see.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist | Alexia's Books and Such
On My Wishlist is a weekly event hosted by Book Chick City. It runs every Saturday, and is a way to highlight the books we desperately want, but haven't actually bought yet. They can be new, old, or forthcoming.

The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere

The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: ChiZine Publications (May 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1926851129
ISBN-13: 978-1926851129

Goodreads synopsis:
Step through the door to Lost Pages and escape a life you never wanted! On her tenth birthday, Aydee runs away from home and from her neglectful parents. At first, surviving alone on the streets is harsh, but a series of frightening, bewildering encounters with strange primordial creatures leads her to a bookshop called Lost Pages, where she steps into a fantastic, sometimes dangerous, but exciting life. Aydee grows up at the reality-hopping Lost Pages, which seems to attract a clientele that is either eccentric - or desperate. She is repeatedly drawn into an eternal war between enigmatic gods and monsters, until the day she is confronted by her worst nightmare: herself! 

What's on your wishlist?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cat Thursday (44)

Cat Thursday (44) | Alexia's Books and Such
Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to share fun pictures, tidbits, and news of all things cat related!

Here's my latest find:

Cat Thursday (44) | Alexia's Books and Such
Isn't he a total cutie! Just when I thought winter was over, we get hit by another snow storm! Even had some thunder and hail! Totally makes me want to... rawwrr!  ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book Review: Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Book Review:  Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Source: Review copy provided by publisher

Rating:  5/5

Condemned to death for black magic and shunned, Rachel Morgan has three days to somehow get to the annual witches convention in San Francisco and clear her name. If she fails, the only way she can escape death is to live in the demonic ever after . . . for ever after.

Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for his own mysterious business. But Rachel isn’t the only passenger along for the ride. Can a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car survive for over 2,300 miles? And that’s not counting the assassin on their tail.

A fearsome demon walks the sunlight, freed after centuries of torment to slay the innocent and devour souls. But his ultimate prey is Rachel Morgan. While the powerful witch with nerves of steel will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
Just when I thought that the series was losing steam, Kim steps up to the plate and knocks this one out of the ballpark! This has got to be my favorite Rachel Morgan book so far! Very impressed, as I couldn't put this one down and was on the edge of my seat at times! Very exciting stuff happens, and it will keep you guessing! Can you tell that I really, really love this one? *L*

Rachel is on her way to San Francisco to attend the annual Witches Convention in order to publicly apologize and have her shunning revoked. Her partners, Jenks and Ivy, accompany her. Rachel being Rachel, nothing goes as planned and she can't even make it past airport security. Trent Kalamack gets involved, and what was supposed to be a quick flight turns into the Great American Road Trip!

And what a trip it turns out to be! Almost non-stop action, with several surprises along the way! Rachel is nothing if not adaptable, and she has an amazing ability to land on her feet no matter what gets thrown at her. She may be scared out of her mind half the time and get hurt both physically and mentally, but she's always been a survivor. The thing with survivors though is that sooner or later, their luck runs out.

Love, love, love this book! Kim has really outdone herself, in that there were several sections where I was actually holding my breath, waiting to see what happened next! Great action, some of our favorite characters are changing in ways I didn't expect, and I even found myself warming towards Al (Rachel's demon teacher)! Gave this one a 5/5 as I couldn't put it down!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ARC Preview: A Long, Long Sleep

ARC Preview | Alexia's Books and Such
I receive ARCs every now and again that won't be released for several months, but I don't want to have them just sit there and gather dust. Thought I would feature them to give everyone sort of a sneak peek at upcoming books. This feature was inspired by Shellie over at Layers of Thought.

ARC Preview: A Long, Long Sleep

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for 62 years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically-induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten sub-basement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long dead, and Rose - hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire - is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes - or be left without any future at all.(Goodreads synopsis)

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (August 9, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0763652601
ISBN-13: 978-0763652609

In the author's own words:
"To tell of myself. As Walt Whitman said, "I am large, I contain multitudes!" The epigraph of every writer, really.

I was conceived in northern Alaska, and was born to a bohemian veterinarian mother in a hospital on the shores of Lake Michigan. I endured numerous hellish years of school, and I can say with reasonable veracity that I have forgiven all my teachers and even the poor children who had to figure out how to deal with me. I survived. I thank the best of you, and the worst of you get to look forward to seeing yourselves eviscerated in fiction, so there’s an end on it.

Instead of a social life, I swam in books. I became a devoted follower of Diana Wynne Jones and Douglas Adams. I studied acting and Shakespeare with the Young Shakespeare Players of Madison, Wisconsin, and it deeply impacted my direction in life. I then discovered historical re-enactment, where I hung about in velvet, idly strumming a harp while men in plastic armor hit each other with sticks. That too was most enlightening. Despite collecting a technical degree in commercial goldsmithing I instead pursued writing as my primary means of unemployment. I moved with my family to a tiny ranch in rural Oregon, where I still live with my daughter, my mother, and assorted Irish Wolfhounds."

Scheduled release date:  August 9th, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring is in the air, and that means CSN!

CSN stores

Well, it's officially Spring now, and you know what that means....spring cleaning! And for some reason, in my household, spring cleaning means redecorating as well. Why? I'm not really sure, but we always wind up redecorating in the spring. This year, my DH has his eye on a new TV. We have an old TV stand that's a little big and bulky and ugly, so I went online to and found several LCD TV stands that I think might work. He gets to pick the electronics, then I get to pick the furniture!

LCD fake fireplace TV stand
What do you think of this one? We don't have a real fireplace, so thought a fake one would be kind of funny!

LCD TV stand
Oooohhhh...pretty! Do you know how many books I could put in one of these? *L*

LCD TV stand
Or maybe I'll go for a something a little more sleek and modern looking? Guess it all depends on the size of the TV he picks out. Or I could always get another bookcase and put the TV right on top! Genius! *L*


CSN stores

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (68)

In My Mailbox (68)
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. You're sure to find great new books to read and discover awesome new authors! I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Received an ARC of Hounded by Kevin Hearne from the Amazon Vine early reviewer program. Thought it sounded interesting, as I'm not sure I've ever read a book where the main character was a Druid!

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Contest Wins:

A Very Merry Chase by Teresa Thomas Bohannon
Won a copy of an eBook:  A Very Merry Chase by Teresa Thomas Bohannon. Thought it was pretty cool that the author "autographed" it for me, by adding my name to the title page.

Set in early 19th century Regency England, and harking back in style to the heyday of Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland, A Very Merry Chase is a comedy of manners and errors that boasts empire fashions, dashing characters, verbal sparring matches and witty repartee mingled with just a hint of mystery, danger and intrigue.


The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
I've heard so much buzz about The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney that I finally decided to pick up a copy and read it for myself. Love the synopsis I read, so hope it lives up to all the hype!

Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic - the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else received this week! The IMM posts are how I find most of my new reads! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Book Review: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Book Review: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Source: gift from 365 Days of Novel Writing

Rating: 4/5

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

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her. Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

My Thoughts:
Am I the only one who didn't know that Kelly Keaton was really Kelly Gay? I really enjoyed her Charlie Madigan series, so was happy to find out her new young adult series is just as good!

Ari is the main character, a teenager abandoned by her mother as a young child, who had to grow up fast as a foster child shuffled from house to house. One of the unique things about Ari is her beautiful silver hair, which cannot be altered. Not that Ari hasn't tried, but despite cutting it, dying it, and even burning it off with acid, her hair always returns to it's original state. Ari considers herself a freak because of her hair and eyes, and can't see her own beauty.

Trying to track down her past and discover her roots, Ari discovers a letter from her mother telling her that she wasn't crazy, and to run. From what or from who, the letter doesn't say, just that Ari should RUN. This sets Ari off on a journey that she wasn't expecting, where she finds almost more questions than answers.

Really liked Ari. Despite feeling like an outsider most of her life, Ari doesn't give up. She feels strangely at home in New 2, makes some friends, and maybe even finds herself a new family. She also finds a lot of danger, and has to fight for her life more than once.

Thought that this was a great start to a new series, but it could also be read as a stand-alone title. Great new characters, a well paced plot, lots of action, and another shining example of Kelly's talent. I love this author! And I want more! I want to find out what happens to Ari and her new friends, especially little Violet. Was really intrigued by the idea of New Orleans turning into a haven for the paranormal after the hurricanes, and becoming a land unto itself. Want to see what happens with Ari and Sebastian. And the villains! Don't think I've even seen bad guys like this before, and they were awesome! Looking forward to the sequel, as the book is just that good!

Many thanks to my friend for sending me this book! You were right J, I loved it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patricks Day! - Cat Thursday (43)

Cat Thursday (43)

Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! 

Happy St. Patricks Day! - Cat Thursday (43)

Why should you never iron a 4-leaf clover? You don't want to press your luck. ~Daryl Stout

Happy St. Patricks Day! - Cat Thursday (43)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Review: Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks

Book Review: Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks
Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks

Source: ARC provided through Amazon Vine

Rating: 3/5

Wanted: Bride. Must love children. Mortals need not apply.

Carlos Panterra is looking for a mate, a woman who will love and care for the young orphans he's recently taken under his wing (or paw, as the case may be). When the shape shifter spies the beautiful Caitlyn, it's like sunshine amidst the darkness. At last, he's found the perfect woman, except . . .

Caitlyn Whelan is mortal. Worse, her father is the head of a CIA agency bent on hunting the undead. Still, Caitlyn knows that Carlos is the man for her, shape shifter or not. So she jumps at the chance when her sister offers her a job to work with him, determined to show Carlos their attraction is more than just animal magnetism. But danger lurks in the night, and their unleashed, untamed passion might just get them both killed . . . (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
This book originally caught my eye because of the title. Love it! It tells me that the author has a sense of humor, and I love authors with a sense of humor! While it probably won't age well, I really got a kick out of the takeoff on Eat Pray Love (which I have no plans on reading, am tired of hearing about, and think deserves to be mocked, but that's just me). So I fell for this one before I even opened the cover. Major cover/title love!

The story itself wasn't bad, but I'm not a big paranormal romance fan and tend to skip over the steamy parts. I'm a little old school and prefer to leave the steamy parts to my imagination instead of having it spelled out for me (which is never as much fun!). The main characters are Caitlyn and Carlos. Caitlyn is a mortal woman who finds out that her sister married a vampire, and that the handsome stranger across the room is actually a shape shifter. All in all, I'd say that Caitlyn takes it pretty well. I doubt that I would be that calm about learning that my niece and nephew, who I didn't even know existed a few short weeks ago, were half vampire and that I had the hots for a werepanther!

Caitlyn has the amazing ability to learn any language almost immediately. Caitlyn and her sister Shanna both have psychic abilities, which they inherited from their father. Oh yeah, did I mention that dear old dad works for a secret CIA task force that wants to wipe vampires off the face of the Earth? Including his son-in-law! And I thought MY father-in-law was bad! *L*

The plot was just okay, mainly revolving around Carlos trying to track down other werepanthers in order to ensure the survival of his species, and Caitlyn messing up his plans. After a horrible massacre five years ago, Carlos and five orphans are the only ones left. Caitlyn manages to muscle in on join his latest expedition because, well, he's hot.

I didn't really care for Caitlyn at this point because hello, the man thinks he is the only adult werepanther left! It's kind of important that he find a mate so that his entire species isn't wiped out! Yes, there are five children left, but they're growing up together and then expected to mate. If they don't get a choice in mates, why would Caitlyn think Carlos should get a choice? Yes, Caitlyn and Carlos have the hots for each other, but she very selfishly decides "true love" is more important than protecting your entire species. Actually, it's more like "true lust" as she doesn't really know Carlos all that well yet. Sorry, I seem to be ranting, but this really annoyed me...

So on the plus side, I really enjoyed the author's writing style and sense of humor. On the negative side, Caitlyn's selfishness really turned me off. She is letting her libido interfere with a man's noble duty! Yeah, yeah, yeah, someone will probably point out that true love conquers all and that alls well that ends well, but she still annoyed me enough to downgrade the book to a 3/5 rating. I did like the author's style enough that I'm going to pick up another one of her books and see if I get along with other characters any better. Don't see how they could be much worse... ;)

Would love to hear if anyone else had the same strong reaction to Caitlyn? Am I overreacting? Inquiring minds would like to know!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Review: Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens

Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens
Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens

Source:  Review copy provided by Amazon Vine

Rating:  4/5

As one of the last surviving Mistweavers, half-blood Jenni knows what it's like to be caught between two worlds; the faery and the human. But the time has come to choose. The Lightfolk require her unique talent for balancing the elements to fend off a dangerous enemy and rescue her missing brother. Only for Rothly will Jenni deal with those who destroyed her life. Only for him will she agree to work with her ex-lover, Aric, and revisit the darkest corners of her soul. For a reckoning is at hand, and she alone has the power to hold back the forces of dark. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
Robin D. Owens is one of my favorite authors and as I absolutely love her Summoning series, was very excited to see that she is starting a brand new series! Despite what I thought was a slow start, the story soon picked up and really sucked me in!

Jenni is a halfling; half human, quarter djinn, quarter elf. Her family was the only family capable of balancing the elements; adjusting Earth, Air, Fire, and Water into a perfect balance. Fifteen years ago, most of them perished in an ambush by the Dark Ones while opening a portal for the Eight (rulers of Lightfolk). A horrible massacre where Jenni and her oldest brother were the only survivors. So when the Eight send word that they need her help once more, Jenni declines. Unfortunately, she is soon forced to help when her crippled brother disappears while trying to fulfill the mission on his own.

This is listed as book one, so the slow start may have been due to setting up the series groundwork. Jenni is a magical being, who has turned her back on her heritage and is living in the human world. Jenni is soon dragged back into the faery world, and must deal with her grief at losing her family, her distrust of the Eight, and her feelings for her ex-lover. All that on top of rescuing her brother and completing her mission.

Jenni may have "issues" with authority, guilt about failing her family, and lingering angst over Aric's betrayal, but she is not a stupid woman. She understands that she really has no choice about the mission, so makes the best of things and tries to negotiate the best terms for her and her brother. Despite being disowned by Rothly, she still cares for the last remaining member of her family and only wants what's best for him. She is a passionate, caring, talented heroine that I wanted to get to know better.

Think this will be another great series for Robin, as I really liked Jenni, Aric, the brownies who moved in with Jenni, and the various halflings she befriends! An interesting plot, well paced action, good character development, and even the bad guys were interesting! Robin has another winner on her hands!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cat Thursday (42)

Cat Thursday (42)
Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to share pictures and news of all things cat related.

Here's my latest find:

Cat Thursday (42)
Poor little thing....but I love the look on her face!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells

 Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells
Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells

Source: netGalley

Rating:  4/5

The clock is ticking for Sabina Kane. She has to save her sister from her mysterious captors. And in order to do that, she has to broker a deal between the mages and the vampires before all hell breaks loose.

But as much as Sabina is focused on surviving the present, the past won’t be ignored. Before she can save those she cares about, she’s got to save herself from the ghosts of her past. Because the past is haunting her. Literally. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
Have loved Sabina ever since we first met in Red-Headed Stepchild! In this installment, Sabina much rescue her sister from the clutches of evil kidnappers. Relying on a shaky alliance with the fairy court, the mages seek to prevent an all-out war with the vampires, but Sabina's main focus is still on rescuing Maisie. Joining Sabina in her quest is her minion Giguhl and ex-lover Adam. Can I just say how much I adore Giguhl, aka Mr. Giggles, aka Gigi? How can you not love a devoted seven foot demon with an appreciation for drag queens?

Sabina is still the impulsive, quick tempered loner she's always been, but she's learning that it's not weak to rely on your friends. Saying that you're all a team and actually behaving like you're part of a team are two different things, but she's learning. She also is learning to be a bit less prejudiced against the mortally challenged, aka humans. With help from a fairy drag queen, a voodoo priestess, and a werewolf/vampire couple, she may just have a chance to survive the rescue mission!

Gave this one a 4/5 as it had great writing, a fast paced plot, lots of action, and great characters! I even liked the villains in this one, and a couple characters that you thought were bad guys actually turned out to be sorta-good guys. Can't wait to see where Jaye takes Sabina next!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In My Mailbox (67)

In My Mailbox (67)
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:
Received a galley of Chaos Unleashed by Barry Hoffman from Media Masters Publicity. It's huge, and looks a little like a film script instead of a regular book. This is book 3 in the Shamra series, but I wasn't able to find any info online to link for you. This one is due out in May, and sounds intriguing!

The Shamra Chronicles follow the adventures of Dara, a young Shamra girl who leads a ragtag resistance against the violent conquerors who have invaded her land. But even as she fights the invaders, Dara must also struggle against the patriarchal and oppressive rules of her own people. Although she is criticized for being outspoken and different, Dara never gives into the pressure to conform. (press release)

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Received an ARC of Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton as a gift from my friend J. Kaye. She's one of the first bloggers I found when I started my blog, and I've learned so much from her! She's currently taking a break from blogging to work on her novel, and charting her progress at 365 Days of Novel Writing.

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run.

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann was the second ARC that J. Kaye very generously shared with me. I'm lucky to have such awesome blogging friends! :)

The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on... until Kendall's boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk.

Looking forward to seeing everyones mailbox this week!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Source:  Personal library

Rating:  4/5

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future - between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
This is one of those books I didn't read because of all of the buzz surrounding it. Call me crazy, but I've never liked picking up popular books as I'm usually disappointed when they fail to live up to the high expectations. But this one sounded so intriguing that I still wanted to read it, so it patiently sat on my shelf and waited. So glad that I decided to give this one a chance, as it's so worth reading!

Mary has grown up in an enclosed village, protected from the zombies outside the fence by the powerful Sisterhood. When Mary's mother is infected and thrown out of the village, Mary and her brother are left orphans. Her brother blames her for not keeping a closer eye on their mother, so throws her out of their house. As no one steps forward with an offer of marriage, she has nowhere to go but the Sisterhood. Similar to medieval times where a young girl had to join a nunnery if no one spoke for her. Totally unfair, but Mary's new reality.

She is an inquisitive girl, so Mary starts investigating her new home and learns a few things better left alone. These only lead to more questions, but answers are in short supply. For instance, who is the mysterious stranger hidden away upstairs? Why did no one know about the underground tunnels? Who built the fences surrounding the village? I had some questions as well, such as why Mary's only options were marriage or joining the Sisterhood? And why did so many of Mary's peers die during childhood?

Gave this one a 4/5 as I really enjoyed it. Interesting characters, good plot, well-paced action, and a logical progression. I liked the ending, but there were some loose ends that I'm curious about and hope will be resolved in the sequels, The Dead Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places. That's one advantage to waiting to read a book - no wait for the next book in the series!

Carrie Ryan lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can visit Carrie at

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cat Thursday (41)

Cat Thursday (41)
Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to share pictures and news of all things cat related. Isn't the new meme picture awesome? Love his little glasses!

Here's my latest find:

Cat Thursday (41)
Poor guy! I feel his pain, as it seems like Winter keeps rubbing my face in the horrible weather! It snows, warms up, snows, melts, then it snows again...
Enough already!
Someone please tell Winter to stop throwing snowballs at us! And while you're at it, tell Spring to hurry up and get here already!
(can you tell I'm not a big winter fan?)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Book Review: A Lonely Death by Charles Todd

A Lonely Death by Charles Todd
A Lonely Death by Charles Todd

Source:  ARC received from the publisher, via Shelf Awareness

Rating: 3/5

...three men have been murdered in a Sussex village, and Scotland Yard has been called in. It's a baffling case. The victims are soldiers who survived the horrors of World War I only to meet a ghastly end in the quiet English countryside two years later. Each had been garroted, with small ID discs left in their mouths.

But even Scotland Yard's presence doesn't deter this vicious and clever killer. Shortly after Inspector Ian Rutledge arrives, a fourth soldier is found dead. With few clues to go on and the pressure building, Rutledge must gamble everything - his job, his reputation, and even his life - to find answers.(Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
This isn't my usual genre, as I'm not a big fan of police drama, mysteries, or historical fiction. This story is about a Scotland Yard police inspector, trying to solve a murder mystery, shortly after WWI. Not my usual, but still an interesting, well written story that I'm glad I read.

Inspector Ian Rutledge works for Scotland Yard, and seems to have a slight problem with authority. Despite being good at his job, I got the impression that he didn't indulge in office politics or 'play the game' in order to get ahead. Reminded me a little bit of John Rebus, but they inhabit different worlds.

Because of the time period, this struck me as more of a gentle read. There were cars and phones, but the cars had to be hand cranked and there was only one phone in the entire village where the murders took place. Every reminder of the time period sort of took me by surprise, as I'm not used to stories set in the past. Every now and again I'd wonder why he didn't just call such-and-such on his cell. Well, duh! Makes me think I either need to pay better attention or read more historical fiction!

This was a good, old-fashioned story where the crime had to be solved without all of the modern CSI advantages. I liked Inspector Rutledge, but the mystery didn't really grab me and I was more interested in the characters than finding out the whodunnit. Gave it a 3/5 as I liked it, but didn't love it. Think mystery lovers would enjoy this more than I did, and most of the reviews I've seen have given it 4/5 and 5/5 ratings. If you've read this one, please let me know what you thought!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Reading Challenge Check-In (2)

Reading Challenge Check-In (2)
I'm trying to keep a closer eye on my reading challenges this year, so will try to do monthly check-ins in order to keep on track. Still on track, so hope this year will be better than last year!

100 Books In A Year Challenge

20/100 books. 20% complete

Outdo Yourself Challenge

20/100 books. 20% complete

What's In A Name Challenge

2/6 books. 33% complete

Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge

10/24 books. 42% complete

Off The Shelf Challenge

3/30 books. 10% complete

eBook Challenge

6/20 books. 30% complete

A-Z Challenge

14/26 books. 54% complete

Debut Author Challenge

5/12 books. 42% complete

How is everyone doing with their yearly goals so far? I'm doing okay number wise, as I wanted to read a minimum of 8 books a month, but need to start reading more of my older titles for the Off The Shelf challenge. Otherwise, I'm pleased with my progress.