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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

Happy New Year Pictures, Images and Photos
Here's to all the people who made my 2009 special.
Here's to all my blog friends who continue to support me.
Here's to finding more awesome books for the coming year.
Here's to a new beginning and new goals.

Have a blast tonight everyone.

cheers,
Patricia

2009 in Numbers!

10 months of blogging
4 months of active reading, reviewing and ranting on my blog.
189 follower in blogger
173 followers in Twitter
363 Facebook friends (personal)
4 e-mail accounts
9 social network accounts to maintain
131 books reviewed
1 new iPhone
1 new mini laptop (Nostradamus)
7 days trip to East Coast
4 days trip to San Francisco
2 trips to Vegas
3 purchase of desginer sunglasses
26 years of life
7 year old son
4 year wedding anniversary
4 years in the United States
25 lbs. weight gain (*sigh* enough)
4 author friends
3 author interviews
1 author signing event (Lauren Kate)
1 blogger friend met in person (The Book Vixen)
1 new flatscreen TV
2 money settlement from GMAC
4 TV shows to watch
212 new songs on my playlist
515 films watched (DVD & movies)
1 death in the family :(
1 fender bender
4 times got royally wasted
countless times of unscheduled shopping
countless party attended
hundreds of books purchased
a dozen publisher contacts
dozens of ARCS
lots of awesome people met
XX times at ridiculous pricey restaurants
lots of great people

*inpired by Larissa*

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In My Mailbox (5)

Hosted by The Story Siren

I chickened out on the vlog. LOL maybe next year... sometime...



(top to bottom L-R):  Links to GoodReads.com


(top to bottom L-R): Links to GoodReads.com
(2) The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz (enter here for a chance to win a copy), Just One Wish by  Janette Rallison, Meridian by Amber Kizer (thanks to Jennifer Murgia, author of the upcoming Angel Star for the recommendation), Starcrossed by Mark Schreiber, The Everafter by  Amy Huntley, Snitch by Allison van Diepen


Not in the photos:

How about you guys, what did you get in yours?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

BORROW MY BOOK TOUR (2)

Second batch

Participant Reviews:


*sign up for this batch is done*

Review: The Becoming (Anna Strong Chronicles 1) by Jeanne Stein


BLURBS:

where I got my copy: local library
where else can you buy: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository

Anna Strong is trained for anything-until she's attacked one night, only to awaken in a dark world that exists between the living and the dead. Here, Anna struggles with her love for the two men who inhabit the realms of each: Max, a human DEA agent, and Avery, a Night Watcher who joins Anna in pursuit of the vampire who changed her life. Now, as her two worlds collide, fate plunges Anna into the ultimate battle between good and evil where survival is not just for the living.

THOUGHTS:
Anna is/was a Bail Enforcement Agent, bounty hunters. Very interesting profession. The first chapters was about the perpetrator, John Donaldson, who was due in court for embezzlement. He jumps bail and ran off with his mistress. Ms. Stein jumped on the gun right away, went straight on how Anna turned vamp. Donaldson turned out to be a vampire, who attacked and raped Anna and acidentally turned her into a vampire. I would have been sad if not for Anna weird recovery and lack of shock on what Donaldson did to her and if not for the presence of Dr. Avery. I knew something was up as soon as he released Anna from the hospital after 24 hours of being knocked out. Turns out, Avery is not only a hot Doctor but also a Night Watcher, a part of the vampire world who watches over both human and vampire community from psychotic rogue vampires who cannot control their blood lust and a group of humans called the "Revengers" - stereotype really, they are humans who think all vampires are evil. The group's origin dates back from the middle ages when three crusaders were killed during one of the many bloody battles to convert people to Christianity.


Anna Strong's world of vampires can withstand the sun's rays, but does not have a reflection, and have an aversion to garlic? How weird, I don't remember reading something with that effect recently. The first two chapters of the book lead me doubting Anna's capabilities, will I place her as one of my favorite kick ass heroine? She did not even land a blow on Donaldson? Is she going to be some lame vampire in distress? a late bloomer? or Am I just so used to reading the heroines physical, mental and emotional strength on the first two chapters of a book that I grew impatient? Then the moment that I've been waiting for finally came into the picture, it was when she tackled Donaldson outside the saloon in Beso de la Muerte in Tijuana and then there was that situation with Williamson, she just keeps getting stronger, it is interesting how she draws that power from anger, she controls it and somewhat converts it into physical energy/strength, something that you don't read everyday, usually the hero/heroine's down fall is because they couldn't control their raging emotions.

The best part of the book was the last few chapters. It was after Anna found David, it gave me the shock of the week. What a way to betray a heroine; I was not expecting that, it was brilliant. The ending left me hanging, what now? what is in store for Anna? What's up with her boyfriend Max? and is Culebra friend or foe? and who is her mystery friend? (she calls him Casper). Amazon better hurry up and ship my second book...

I shamefully sub this in the absence of Cat & Bones (takes my mind off waiting for book 5), although Anna is not as strong as Cat, she does have enormous potential and the mystery and suspense might be more than what I'm expecting it to be. Recommended to all paranormal junkie.

BookBlips: vote it up!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Review: Firespell by Chloe Neill


BLURBS:

where I got my copy: from publisher for review
where else can you buy: B&N, Amazon
release date: January 5, 2010

New Girl.
New School.
Old Evil.

From the author of the Chicagoland Vampires novels.

A new series about a boarding school filled with something worse than homework.

Lily's parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn't bad enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie's creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens.

They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...

THOUGHTS:
I thought that I was going to encounter another novel about dull old gothic boarding school full of brats from old and new money who's main purpose in life is to make fun of the new kid. I was not entirely wrong but that plays a small role in the big pictur here. I am extremely glad that the action kicked off after a few chapters. Lily Parker's parents was granted sabbatical research in Germany for two years, and she cannot go with them. That being said, they enrolled her in a prestigious school away from her hometown in Sagamore to the windy city of Chicago. As soon as she set foot inside the walls of the St. Sophia school for girls she befriended this girl named Millicent "Scout" Green, eccentric weirdo that is surrounded by mystery. If you read the blurb at the top you pretty much know what happened next. Lily was thrown in the the world of magic. A magic that does not come without a price. In this book it was said that when you're young the magic makes you stronger, but as you get old the magic turns on to you, feeding off from your life source, it consumes you, in short people with this powers tends to become the walking corpse, there is a solution though, you become a Reaper (bad witches) they are the ones who think that they are the superior human beings, they suck out energy from human (psychic vampires?). To prevent the hideous side effects from happening. The good witches are called the Dark Elite, they are the ones who vows to return the magic to nature once they turn 25 to avoid sucking people's energy, the protector of the natural human community.


Our heroine does not possess such powers (as far as she was concerned) but then an unfortunate run in with a Reaper named Sebastian, who sic a firespell on her changed her life.

Lily is a very likeable character that is complimented by the existence of her new BFF Scout and two other boys Michael and Jason. This is one of the reasons why I like Chloe Neill, her supporting characters are awesome. In this particular book, however, I was more looking forward to what Scout is going to do next more than Lily. He midnight escapades are hard to ignore.

Firespell is your average magical related book but with never ending intrigue, suspense, a budding romance and pieces of a bigger mystery. I cannot wait to read more about the Reapers and Dark Elites, most especially Sebastian and more Lily's progress. Perfect for the urban fantasy YA junkie.

BookBlips: vote it up!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Review: Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost


BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Borders
where else can you buy: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository

Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they've fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it's time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She's having visions of a vampire named Gregor who's more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn't know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won't stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor's hold over her. She'll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she's ever faced . . . even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

THOUGHTS:
Cat is being haunted in her dreams, a vampire named Gregor claims that he is her husband. Mencheres said Cat was abductd a few weeks when she was 16 before she even met bones and whisked away by this man and tricked her into believing that in the future the man she loved right now, Bones is going to turn her into a cold blooded killer, a whore, eventually causing the deaths of her family. Innocent, naive and infatuated Cat said yes to all of Gregor's plan but then Mencheres got to her in time and hide that memory in the depths of her brain where the only soltion on retrieving it is for her to drink from Gregor. The only way to make that happened is to let the Dreamsnatcher get her in her sleep... Will she let that happened? What will be the consequences if she does?

If you are a fan of this series, you know that Bones is over protective of Cat, one wrong move and shit hits the fan. I got mad with everyone in this book. Mencheres, for having an agenda (not that I wasn't expecting that, but stil...), Gregor for being such an old school prick and all around douchebag, Bones for being uber protective and Cat for loosing some of her fire at the beginning, why is she letting this man tell her what and what she can't do? But then Justina got kidnapped and Cat becomes... wow, I can't say, you guys have to find out. Book 3 introduces us to the Queen of the Ghouls / Voodoo Queen - Majestic. A new member of Bone's line the ghost Fabian, who they met in Louisiana, and an interesting new interesting info about their culture. Book 3 is definitely different from the other three books, Cat & Bone's lives are getting complicated by the book, their relationship even deeper and the other characters evolving. The tension is overwhelming, the emotions are intense, the dialogues are witty, comedic and suprising, the plot is perfection. Ms. Frost did it again, it kept me guessing even when I reached the ending. What wonderful surprises will I get on the book book? Can someone give me a clue, now that Cat is what she's always meant to be...

BookBlips: vote it up!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate



BLURBS:

where else can you buy: Book Depository, Amazon, Borders

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

THOUGHTS:
I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren Kate in person last December 08, 2009 during her book release / signing at Glendale in Americana with The Book Vixen (click on her name to see her post about our trip and here to read her review). It was fun. I am glad that most of the people who attended looks like between the 5th-8th graders. Lauren looked nervous, pretty and friendly, I wanted to hug her and tell her that we won't bite. For months I waited to get a copy of her book. Either and ARC or by chance of winning one in a contest. But to no avail so I waited and now I finally read it. Saw some mixed reviews. But I don't really dwell too much on those. that's not what got me. Shamefully, it was the cover. Chick in Goth clothing (that wonderful dress) crying in the middle of the forest, I was intrigued. What about the blurb that I got from B&N? It was full of promise right? The hype around this book as so contagious that I simply cannot wait to read it. that being said I have both my positive and negative conclusion about this book.

I ask both blogger buddies and my friends to chose which one they want to read first, the good news or the bad news?
Sorry the bad news won. Most of them said it's better to get that over with.

The negative - Read the first chapter, set it down, I was disappointed. I could not get into it. Four books later. I decided it's time. I feel really bad that it was not as good as I expect it to be. I think it has more to do with the pace than the plot. Luce and Daniel's mystery keeps on building up until I started wondering when am I going to get some answers. Luce's personality kind of annoyed me too. She is obviously smart but why is she acting like a complete dumbass especially when Daniel is concern? I get it that there is that unexplained pull towards Daniel but the reasons where vague, sometimes I get mad at her. It started when she lost that race on the pool. Then her stalker attitude. I was also bothered about the research that Penn and her got about the Daniel Grigori (historian) about Fallen Angels wasn't enough of a detail to call this book a tale about fallen angels. I was as lost as Luce while reading it.

The positive - Luce had a dark past from her former school. The accident that involves her former boyfriend Trevor was probably the most tormenting issue she had in this book. I admire her for not dwelling enough on that horrible incident when she got to Swords & Cross. She did the best she can to move on. Her battle with the shadows also impressed me. She had this control and presence of mind to not freak out even though she have every right too. Her calm composure after the death of Todd gave her an edge too. Sure she got depressed but I was glad that she did not really blame herself on that. I am also intrigue by Daniel's mysterious personality but I was more drawn to Cam's charming one, yes even until the end. There's just so much more that we need to find out about all of them that I chose not to label Cam as evil in this series. And Arianne - she is my favorite character in this book. She's fun, edgy and sarcastic. Lastly, I love the setting, the Reformed school with all its gothic glory complete with a cemetery and a gymnasium and pool built inside a former church- awesome.

Over all Fallen is a book to watch out for. Dark and deeply mysterious. A definite addition to a YA reader.


BookBlips: vote it up!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Author Guest Post: Shelena Shorts


FULL NAME: Shelena Shorts
BIRTHDATE: June 4th 1978
LOCATION: Virginia
BOOKS(s): The Pace Series:
                   The Pace (release date: 8/19/2009)
                   The Broken Lake (release date: 8/19/2010)
PUBLISHER: Land's Atlantic

AUTHOR BIO:
Shelena graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master's degree in Education. Her passion for igniting a spark in teens led her to teach American literature for six years in traditional and online classrooms. When she's not interacting with teens in all possible realms, she's writing novels geared toward the wants of young adults and the "young at heart." She also works for the innovative online virtual school, K12, and lives in Virginia with her husband and three young children.

~Shelena Shorts


YOUR BEST HOLIDAY MEMORY:

The first time I got to be "Santa" for my kids.


A HOLIDAY ADVICE AND WISH LIST

With the holidays coming up, I thought I'd share a bit of advice and a little bit of my wish list. My holiday advice would be to wear matching socks when going to any holiday party! I just went to one, and it was a little rainy, so I wore a pair of tall boots. However, when I got there, everyone had taken off their shoes. Dozens of shoes lined up in the foyer. So, I took off my boots and what do you know, I had two white socks on, but one had a grey tip and was a tad shorter than the other! So there I was walking around with a skirt and white mismatched socks! Why did I not have matching socks you ask? Simply because I didn't pay attention. See two white ones in the drawer...throw them on...not! So anyway, remember this piece of holiday advice just in case!

And now for my wish list. Yippie! This holiday season, I only asked for some books. Really! There are just so many great ones out right now, that I can't wait to get my hands on them! Plus, I think books are gifts that linger, especially when you find one with characters that make you want to step into their world.

One particular book I read recently was A Perfect Chemistry. It will stick with me, because I found myself wanting to be in it, experiencing each scene for myself. I'll even go as far as saying I wanted Alex to call me Mamacita!! LOL. Hope hubby is not reading this! If he is, I'll just blame it on the hopeless romantic in me!

But anyway! What a feeling, to feel such strong emotions toward fictional people! That's why I look forward to books! So this season, I am very much looking forward to going into the New Year with a few great books, and some matching socksJ!

Peace and love,
Shelena

ABOUT HER BOOKS


The Pace
Nineteen-year-old Weston has everything. He's super hot, mysterious, dangerous, sincere, and vulnerable. He’s also a one-of-a-kind evolution that will change the idea of immortality forever. Anyone would be drawn to him, even without fate's intervention, and when eighteen-year-old Sophie crashes into him, there's no turning back.

All that remains is figuring out who, or what, he is, and with a little perseverance, she'll find out the indelible truth—right along with a century-old secret...and a threat for which neither of them are prepared.

Intensely fascinating and rich with determination, The Pace brings together romance, mystery, and suspense in a compelling bond that will have readers asking for more.

My review of The Pace here


The Broken Lake

In the aftermath of Sophie’s ordeal, Weston will make some uncharacteristic decisions to distance himself from the past in an attempt to change the future.

But, while venturing into the improbable, the present sneaks up in a chilling way that will lead to Wes’ unexpected submission. Suddenly, Sophie will find herself watching as both his immortal secret and his own existence are threatened.

Continuously intriguing, The Broken Lake takes readers to a place where eternal bonds confront a division that is sure to leave everyone wondering whom they can trust.

(coming 8-19-2010)

Review: Truly, Madly (ARC) by Heather Webber


BLURB:

where I got my copy: Librarything / St. Martin's Press
where else can you buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
release date: February 2010

Lucy hails from a long line of matchmakers known as Valentine INC. According to family legend, the Valentines have been blessed by Cupid with the ability to help couples find true love. Trouble is Lucy’s powers were zapped away by an electrical surge and now all she can find are lost objects.

But what good is that in the matchmaking world?

Lucy is about to find out when she tries to solve a murder and winds up falling into a romance of her own.

THOUGHTS:
My first love in the book genre is the chick lit. They're funny, entertaining and light hearted and it gives me that feeling of falling in love over and over again. My favorites are Louise Bagshawe, Cecelia Ahern, Jennifer Crusie, Libby Street, and Lauren Weisberger and now I have an new addition in the name of Heather Webber, this book is so good I decided to put Cat & Bones on hold, can you imagine?!

I was really excited when I won this ARC at Librarything's Early Reviewer contest. I haven't read a mystery-chick flick genre in a long time. The last one that I enjoyed reading was Seven Up by Janet Evanovich but this one was better, I'm sorry I am a fan of the paranormal and Lucy and her world definitely fell under that category. Her family came from the world famous Valentine Inc. they do match making as a profession, they are the real thing. It was said that Cupid himself bestowed their gift to one of her ancestors. But not Lucy - well not anymore, she lost her powers during an electrical surge 14 years ago. But this doesn't mean that she is a normal person now, no, she possess a different psychic ability; She can find lost objects. Lucy thinks it was completely useless for their family business but she surprised herself on what it can actually contribute not only for their benefit but to the people of her community as well.

Lucy is a loveable character, she is independent, funny, strong and kind hearted. Sean is your perfect guy next door. oozing with sex appeal, helpful, and mysterious. The secondary characters played well too on this book, they added necessary colors and intrigue for the book. Dovie is certainly a unique grandmother. her meddling is both hilarious and annoying. Her best friends; Em and Marisol didn't play so much role in this book (or not enough scenes) but you get the impression that they are there when Lucy needs them.

It was really a fun book. A Murder-Mystery-Chick lit rolled into one. It marks as an excellent start of a series, well developed and engaging characters and interesting plot. It was a cross between Stephanie Plum (investigative), Sookie Stackhouse (psychic powers) and Ryan Hadley (independence). A must read Valentine's month release.

BookBlips: vote it up!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Guest Blogger: Julia Rae of RexRobotReview


FULL NAME: Julia Rae
BIRTHDAY: September 7th
LOCATION: Maryland
BLOG URL: http://rexrobotreviews.blogspot.com
Blog Content: Book Reviews

FIVE MOST UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS OF YOUR LIFE
1. 3rd week into history class at PSU- My man walked in the room & I knew he was all mine. MMMM!
2. When Caleb, my youngest brother, was born. (He's 18 years younger than me.)
3. The morning I found my doggy last summer...in a box on the side of the road<3
4. The first time I played BoogerMan for Sega. My love of video games began then.
5. The first time I read Halfway to the Grave and realized that I LOVE smut... and Bones.

Our Favorite Paranormal Men

I would like to begin with thanking our stunning bloggette- Pat! for giving me the opportunity to Guest Post on her stellar blog. This is my first Guest Post, so no throwing stones! I'm nervous, hehe. I chose to talk about Our Favorite Paranormal Men because the topic is hardly tiresome. After all, sex sells, right?

So, I know some of you may not be a big hog (like myself) but I bet that doesn't stop you from enjoying those senuous scenes shared by your favorite fictional characters! I bet even the indoubious, faultless description of these *guys* makes you swoon. (Let me take a second to thank the authors who so thoroughly describe their delicious men.) Why do we crave these stunning creatures so badly in our books? Is it the idea that they're not just mere mortals?

Maybe some of the allure comes from our necessity to want a mysterious bad ass. MMMmmmm- a mysterious hardcore man. What's even better? He has an excuse for the atrocious and immoral deeds he commits. He NEEDS blood to live- his beast was uncontrollable because of the moon. Shit, no WONDER we love these paranormal men. They've got a legitimate excuse! "Honey, it wasn't me, it was the beast within me." Now if only my man had a legitimate excuse for not being able to step away from COD for the Xbox 360. I guess I can deal with that since he isn't shredding anyone's throat. For now...

Speaking of legitimate excuses- my man may be asking me for one soon because of my infatuation with a certain vampire. Remember how my dear Bloggette Pat asked about my most unforgettable moments? Enter Jeaniene Frost's perfect creation- Bones at #5. Yes, our beloved Crispin of The Night Huntress Series. Lover and Vampire extroidiare! This fleshy, luscious vampire is one of my absolute favorites. (I'm sorry, Revhenge!) It was love (lust?) at first read for Bones and I. Mysterious. Badass. Immortal. Who couldn't love this charming danger-magnet? I didn't know how much I would appreciate vampire sexin' until I read the triumphant, intimate scenes between Cat & Bones. Yes, I said triumphant. Come on, are you telling me you wouldn't call a night alone with that vampire triumphant?!

I want to know who makes you blush! Who is YOUR favorite paranormal man? Can he compare to my Bones? He's some stiff competition. (I meant that punn in the perverse way, not the undead way. Just to clear that up. ;])

Alright, alright- I'm about done! Thank you for sticking around to the end- I'm glad you were all here to witness my first Guest Post. Remember- no throwing stones and I'll stop while I'm ahead. ;)

<3,
Jules

Thanks for reading please leave a comment for Julia or if you're in Twitter, she's also know as @RexRobotReviews
Julia is also a member of Smut Slut Sisterhood

Review: At Grave's End (Night Huntress 3) by Jeaniene Frost


BLURB:

where I got my copy: Borders
where else can you buy: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Some things won't stay buried . . . at grave's end


It should be the best time of half-vampire Cat Crawfield's life. With her undead lover Bones at her side, she's successfully protected mortals from the rogue undead. But though Cat's worn disguise after disguise to keep her true identity a secret from the brazen bloodsuckers, her cover's finally been blown, placing her in terrible danger.

As if that wasn't enough, a woman from Bones's past is determined to bury him once and for all. Caught in the crosshairs of a vengeful vamp, yet determined to help Bones stop a lethal magic from being unleashed, Cat's about to learn the true meaning of bad blood. And the tricks she's learned as a special agent won't help her. She will need to fully embrace her vampire instincts in order to save herself—and Bones—from a fate worse than the grave.


THOUGHTS:
Third installment of the Night Huntress series starts with Cat's father, Max. He held Justina (her mother's home) as a bait so he can get to Cat. It was terrifying and downright disgusting, here Frost showed the good vs. th bad in all people and the supernatural. Max belonged to the truly evil. He tortured Cat just in the nick of time that her knight and shining armor had rescued her. We were then thrown into a whirlpool of events. Tate volunteered to become a vampire. Bone's grandsire Mencheres asked Bones is he could ally with him. He have a gift of seeing glimpse into the future, and told them that was is coming. At the ceremony a hors d'oeuvre of humans exploded on the spot not long after that the whole mansion was engulfed with flames. They caught one vampire and confessed the name of his Master. The name is Petra, the daughter of Cleopatra, we then found out that she is Mencheres estranged wife set to kill out Bones and she thought if she kills Cat first Bones will be an easy target. You see grandsire told his propesterous wife that in time a vampire will marry a non-human nor a vampire, he then will stab her with a silver knife that will lead to her permanent death. After that, a plan was formulated but a betrayal lead to a strong possiblity that no one ever anticipated.

Book three is a totally in a different ball game. No sickly sweet undying love or endless Chapter 32s (Don't fret my luv. There's still libido haywire inducing scenes that we all like, just nothing that can top 32). Book three is darker, more action pack and a lot suspenseful and made our characters stronger. I was an emotional ride. The plot was driven by vengeance out of lost love and test of loyalties. If book one was all about introduction, book two was all about second chances at love, this book is all about what breaks it and what bonds it stronger. There was jealousy, faith, friendship, grief, and strength. The banter between Bones and Justina were laugh out loud. Once again Ms. Frost impressed me, the same love I developed for Vampire Academy and Southern Vampire Mystery has been born in reading this series. Well written, I couldn't even explain the intensity every chapter brings. If you haven't read any book in this series. You are missing a lot! Grab a copy and place this book on your list of top priority must-reads.


BookBlips: vote it up!

This book is part of my 3-4-5 Reading Challenge

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review: One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress 2) by Jeaniene Frost


BLURB:
*this book and review is for mature readers only*

where I got my copy: Borders
where else can you buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository

You can run from the grave, but you can't hide . . .


Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She's still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.

Being around him awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline kick of slaying vamps side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head—wanted: dead or half-alive—means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard she tries to keep things professional between them, she'll find that desire lasts forever . . . and that Bones won't let her get away again

THOUGHTS:
*spoilers*

Well then let's skip the pretenses. Wow! the fabled Chapter 32 lived up to its hype. It is presently the best sex scene in my book. The blind fold, tied up in bed and the jack hammer way of having an all nighter, all those emotions and weird shit vampire loving, I momentarily forgot Eric and Sookie's Definitely Dead fair share of carnal passion .

Smut aside, this is my favorite Night Huntress book so far. At the end of book one I was disquieted I thought Bones and Cat's star-crossed-lovers-ish predicament will continue until maybe book 4 or the later, I applaud Ms. Frost for skipping that unnecessary anticipation, everything had played well. At first I toyed with the idea that Bones professed love for Cat turned into hatred, when she left him with that note in Ohio. I was somewhat wishing that Tate would play as a third person in a love triangle. Glad that did not happened. The unpredicted and stereotypical part never happened when Cat took the plunge in giving her relationship with Bones the second chance it deserve (without so much as pep talk) Justina's prejudices about the undead played out well too. And I was truly shock that Don is Cat's Uncle. How fitting! the revelation that a living relative on Cat's father side is still alive was truly surprising. Oh and what about Annette, I love it when an ex-flame shows up and taunt he heroin, that cat fight would have been more awesome if Annette fought back a little. And last but not the least the ending, Dude! that was beyond excellent. Bones is now a free man and married to cat under vampire law, Cat finally met his father, Ian's off their back (for now) and Dave is back. If it didn't know any better, I would have pegged this as a happy ending. I cannot wait to see what other surprises Ms Frost has penned up.


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This book is part of my 3-4-5 Reading Challenge

Review: Chicagoland Vampire 1 - Some Girl Bite by Chloe Neill





BLURBS:

buy here: amazon.com

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was Merit’s. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker—and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.

Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she’s traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude— and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan’s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone’s still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood.

THOUGHTS:
I bought the book the moment I read the back cover, it was one of those afternoon after work where I just decided that I'll surf Borders again and see if I will find something interesting that has not given that much attention that it deserve. I love the underdogs I look for new authors and titles that are not on the mainstream yet. I love recommending books to friends and my book clubs. At parties, I know I sometimes sound like a I am getting paid to talk about it (I wish!), but who cares, if someone asks me what's good? I answer. Then they recommend it to their friends then their friend's friend and so on... I mean yeah I know a lot of poeple do that, but you know just hearing that they loved it and that their friend love it too and I recommended it is such a nice feeling. (dork much? yes)

Sorry for the little segue, let's get back to the book. As I was saying I am in the constant look out for books that are not given much attention, and this is one of them. Merit's Chicagoland Vampires did their "world revelation" thing too. I groaned when I read that part, was this a wanna be Southern Vampire Mysteries? In a way yes but I did not snicker, snort or think that this was ridiculous. Nope. Chicagoland Vampires are freakin interesting.

Merit (our protagonist) was turned into a vampire without her consent by Ethan Sullivan- Number one love interest, our main vampire and Head of House of Cadogan. Yes, I said house, the vampires in this book belongs in a house kind of like a fraternity / organization that you swore fealty and give your loyalty.
In Chicago there are three of them. (twelve total in U.S alone) The Navarre, Cadogan and Grey.
At the beginning Merit seems to be the stereotype. Whiny, stubborn and inlove with her maker.
But when she challenged her Leige (maker) into a sparring match that showed that she can potentially kick some ass, my initial impression about her changed.
Merit was reluctant to join the house at first. There was that usual newly "turned" drama -she can never go out in the sun anymore, she will have to drink blood, she never going to finish her masters now since the University does not accept vampires, she will never beome a teacher that will teach Tristan &; Isolde, King Arthur, etc.,  not to mention she was one stubborn character too. It wasn't annoying, it actually turned out to be her best trait. But towards the end she finally agreed.

She violates most rules in their "Vampire Canon" - a fancy word for rule book, this bowing down to Ethan was the most appaling thing and I was very impressed by controlling her sexual urges towards him.
The Commendation and the position given to her wasn't a shock, it was pretty obvious that she will get a big role. The small role of magic courtsey of Catcher and Mallory, a vampire named Morgan from the Navarre house, jealous vampire bitches, introduction of a few other supe characters and their hunt for the vampire(s) that killed innocent brunnette almost got Merit killed was more than enough to place this book on the shelf of series that I am religiously following. Highly recommended if you are a fan of anything vampires and heroine who rocks.


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BWB DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. Obviously the issues of social status and class are used in this story, do you feel Merit is above the simplistic ideology in this book, or is she the typical character: shuns away from the idea of being better than others but loves her status, in both the vampire and human worlds?


  • Yes a lot of families have their game face on and it's either strictly political or just downright insane that one mistake and they shun you out of protecting the family reputaion. In Merit family that is clearly happening. I don't see that she think's herself better than the other but it is she just being stubborn or will she eventually play their game? - Now that she's vampire and all, and given a high postion in her house.
2. What motivations do you believe pushed Amber to behave the way she did? Her cattiness seemed rather shallow, but could it only be cattiness that had her acting the way she did in the end?

  • I think she was downright insecure and selfish and the typical stupid. She look teritorrial and hostile towards Merit but I was really surprise that she would have participated in the plot of killing Ethan.
    That was kind of fuzzy, maybe Celina had big bad powers that resulted to this unanswered confusion?
3. Do you see a House of her own in Merit's future?

  • No doubt. Yes, she does possess the making of a good leader.
4. Which vamp are you hoping Merit ends up with?
  • I am all about team Ethan. *wink*

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Author Guest Post: Christine Johnson


photo credits: Trinity Gossett-Lee
FULL NAME: Christine Johnson
BIRTHDATE: 02/02/1978
LOCATION: Indiana
WEBSITE: http://www.christinejohnsonbooks.com/
BOOK(s): CLAIRE DE LUNE
PUBLISHER: Simon PULSE

BIO:
I grew up in, moved away from, and finally came home to Indianapolis, Indiana. While I was in the “away” part of that adventure, I was living in Chicago, Illinois, where I went to DePaul University and met my husband. I majored in Political Science. For the record, Political Science is a totally useless degree. But it’s also totally fascinating and I loved studying it. I fall into that trap a lot. I graduated with about nine million extra credit hours because I was forever taking classes that seemed “interesting” instead of classes that I needed to fill requirements.

After college, I lived in Chicago for several more years with my husband. I had a string of jobs – some I liked, some I hated, but none of them ever stuck with me as a career. Writing is different. For this job, I could be a workaholic! Anyway, after several more years in Chicago, my husband and I moved back to Indianapolis. (We got tired of constantly looking for street parking in Lakeview.)

Now, I live in an old house in an old neighborhood with my husband and kids. I have too many books and a weakness for anything sweet. I love yoga and cooking, but I’m not much of a movie person. I like watching soccer, and always look forward to the first sweater-worthy days in the fall. But mostly, I like making things up and writing them down and having people read them. So, that’s what I do, and I’m very, very lucky to be doing it!

~Christine Johnson

FIVE THINGS THAT YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT:

(I'd say my family, but the question is about *things* . . . so . . .)
Books (duh)
Chocolate
My laptop
Really comfortable jeans
Baby wipes (Yes, seriously. Those things have a million and one uses!)

BOOKS and WRITING WITH TODAY'S TECHNOLOGY

So, about a week ago, I finally saw the movie CAPOTE with Philip Seymour Hoffman. And man, was it brilliant (yes, I know I’m several years behind on this review. What can I say? I’m not really a movie person. I’m more into, like, books.) Talk about incredible acting! I was totally in the moment, involved in the story . . . until something struck me. There was a scene where Capote was working on his novel, and there was a shot of Philip Seymour Hoffman, pecking away at a big, black typewriter.

A typewriter. Oh my God.

As he pulled the freshly-written page out of the machine and glanced over it, I actually shuddered. And that’s when I began to wonder just how big a role technology plays in my ability to write. To understand what a bizarre moment this was for me, you should probably understand that I’m not the most tech-savvy person in the world, and I don’t really want to be. Sure, I lusted after an iPhone for awhile, but then my husband got one and I couldn’t type anything on the touch screen, so I stuck with my old-school cell phone. All my relatives wanted to know if I was excited about the ebook readers like the Nook and the Kindle, and my answer was – “Meh. Not really.” I mean, I love the feel of a novel in my hands, and I’d rather turn the pages of a story than click through them. (And will we still describe things as “page turners” if the ereaders take over? Will they become “scrollable” instead?) Anyway. The point is – I’m no fiend for the latest trends.

Or am I? The thing I realized while watching that poor man clacking away at those stiff, raised keys was that I rely intensely on my computer while I write. Almost as fast as I think of the words, I can type, move text, delete, revise, and create subtly-or-seriously altered drafts to compare later. It would take me forever to do that with a typewriter! Even doing something as simple as writing out a greeting card, I find myself getting frustrated – I lose my train of thought, misspell things, and think of a better word choice after I've already inked the message. Can I correct those things? Sure, but it takes forever. And the thing about me – as a writer – is that I like to go fast. I love to sprint along at the speed of thought and then put it all away and look over it the next day to see what the result was, what revisions it needs. I can email my editor at 2 a.m., when a phone call would be worse than rude. I can save my work forty-three different ways (and I do!) So it turns out that I love technology – at least, this specific part of it. And more than loving it, I lean on it to help me do the work that I adore.

I know not everyone feels that way. Writer friends of mine still draft things long-hand. I’m sure someone out there can’t come up with an original thought unless their fingers are poised over their typewriter. But for me, the speed of modern technology is a crucial part of my writing process. Now that I’ve realized that, I’ve gotten really interested in the role it plays for other authors as they work. Why they love it or hate it. So – the question of the day is . . . technology – friend or foe? You tell me.


ABOUT HER BOOK CLAIRE DE LUNE
 
Hanover Falls hasn’t had a werewolf problem in over one hundred years. Seattle, Copenhagen, Osaka–they’ve had plenty of attacks. But when humans begin dying in Claire Benoit’s town, the panic spreads faster than a rumor at a pep rally. At Claire’s sixteenth birthday party, the gruesome killings are all anyone can talk about. But the big news in Claire’s mind is the fact that Matthew Engle–high-school soccer god and son of a world-renowned lycanthropy expert–notices her. And flirts with her. A lot.

That night, Claire learns that she is the latest in a long line of Benoit werewolves, and that contrary to popular belief, all werewolves are female. Killing humans is forbidden by the code of the pack, but a rogue werewolf has been breaking that law, threatening the existence of Claire’s new pack. As the pack struggles to find and fight the rogue werewolf and Claire struggles with her lupine identity, her heart and her loyalties are torn in two. Claire must keep her new life a secret from even her best friend–and especially from Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt…and with whom Claire is impossibly and undeniably falling head-over-paws in love.

Coming May 18th, 2010 from Simon PULSE.


Review: Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride Series #1) by James Patterson


BLURB:

where I got my copy: B&N free ebook promo
where else can you get a copy: Amazon, Borders

In James Patterson's blockbuster series, fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "flock"—Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel—are just like ordinary kids—only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time...like when Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the "School" where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of wack jobs. Her friends brave a journey to blazing hot Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another nightmare—this one involving fighting off the half-human, half-wolf "Erasers" in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives. Along the way Max discovers from her old friend and father-figure Jeb—now her betrayed and greatest enemy—that her purpose is save the world—but can she?


THOUGHTS:
I'm going straight ot the point. This book is not for me. I tried to really like it but I just couldn't get into it.
At first I was really excited, who are these kids? where'd they come from? the villains seems interesting... and then I got annoyed. The pace was too slow for me and the characters are lame. I'm sorry but Max, Iggy, Nudge, Fang, Gasman and Angel were just too generic and the plot was blah. Too many mysteries where thrown in it.

I did like the idea that these poor kids were scientifically engineered, 92% human and 2% avian, thus the wings in the cover. The notion that they have survived that gruesome mad scientist moment was awesome that same sentiment goes also to the Erasers (wolfman) eventhough they are terrifying creatures. But other than that I did not feel the need to rush the nearest book store and buy book 2.


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Review: Carpe Demon (Advetures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom) by Julie Kenner


BLURB:

where I got my copy: BN (ebook)
where else can you buy: Amazon, Borders

Lots of women put their careers aside once the kids come along. Kate Connor, for instance, hasn't hunted a demon in ages.

That must be why she missed the one wandering through the pet food aisle of the San Diablo Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, he managed to catch her attention an hour later-when he crashed into the Connor house, intent on killing her.

Now Kate has to clean up the mess in her kitchen, dispose of a dead demon, and pull together a dinner party that will get her husband elected to County Attorney-all without arousing her family's suspicion. Worse yet, it seems the dead demon didn't come alone...

It's time for Kate Connor to go back to work.

THOUGHTS:
Our heroine Kate Connor was a retired demon slayer and not just the ordinary slayer, she was one of the best. Level Four to be precise. But life happened, she fell in love with her first husband Eric (who I think was also a slayer or in the know) they got married and had Allie who is now 14, but Eric died. She then remarried after years to Atty. Stuart Connor -aspiring politician and adding Timmy, 2 yuears old, in their family. Kate is finally happy, contented and absolutely normal until she spotted a demon at the local grocer store who possesed a body of an old man and followed her home then attacked her inside her kitchen while preparing Rigatoni for her husband's dinner party. To make matters worse that was not some stray demon, it was a spawn of the High Demon Goramesh, so with that Kate has no choice but to get back to work. Not just for the safety of her family but her whole community as well. The question is how can Kate keep up in keeping her secret?

It was a nice fun read, different from most books I've been picking up lately (the single and ready to mingle chicks that I typically read) I found myself rooting for Kate - "Go demon slaying soccer mom!". When the first demon came out of nowhere she began re-training herself, after 14-15 years of hiatus she lost some of her mojos but she soon gain it back. I love the whole covert / undercover thing it was stressful on her part but made some really comedic moments. At times it's frustrating, why can't she just tell them already but at the same time that tension add up to the spice of the story. A good start for a series, fantastic mommy lit and likeable characters. Definitely worth checking out.


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Monday, December 14, 2009

Review: Pleasure Unbound (Demonica 1 ) by Larissa Ione


BLURB:
*this book and this review is for mature readers only*

where I got my copy: e-book from B&N
where else can you buy: Amazon, Fictionwise, Borders

In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life . . .

She's a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul . . .

THOUGHTS:
All hail smut lovers. This series is for you.

When I heard of Pleasure Unbound, I was looking forward on reading it. But the first part of the book was a glossary of all the fancy unpronounceable words that I know for sure that I will have to get used to. I am not a fan of that part. Turns out I don't really have to go back and see what it means so I was glad.

The world of Eidolon slash Dr. Demon slash Hellboy is interesting and atypical. For exmple, for them their God is Satan, whatever belief we have is reverse for them. He is also an Incubus by the way and he is a Doctor at Underworld General Hospotal that caters for Demons and other netherwolrdly creatures who got injured during hunting or during an encounter with the Aegis (humans that protect humans from demons and other hell spawn). He is fictional book boyfriend material. Dark hair, sensous lips, glorious bod, possesive, great lover... ok you get the point. Sadly for us, he does not exist and he belongs to Tayla Mancuso, an Aegi (enemy) who arrived at his hospital fatally injured after her battle with a Creuntus. Really Doc Demon should have killed her but after treating her wounds and examining her anatomy both literally and carnally, he couldn't and he would not let his brothers and his co-workers do it. Why? well turns out she's a half demon and he have the hots for her is it only the S'genesis (maturation cycle at 100 yrs.) talking or is it more than that?

Meet Doctor Demon's woman -Tayla Mancuso, Demon Slayer (yes his enemy), she hates them with passion, her mother got killed by one and the Aegis told her all the things that they are doing to make humankind life a living hell. Or so she thought. One fateful night of hunting injury and death of her partner lead her to Eidolon, who saved her life and showed her so many things and characteristic that are very undemon like. She wanted to hate him and kill him but a coonection they share wouldn't let her do it. To make matters worst she found out that she is half demon, the Aegis - the family that she thought she have is now trying to kill her.

I like it how Ione played the good vs. bad in this book. This is my first of her books and I'm so glad that I like it. Smoking hot sex scenes, Imaginative world, well developed main characters, awesome plot. What more could you ask for? If you are looking for a new Erotica with lots of hot demons and crazy villains this book is for you.


BookBlips: vote it up!

P.S.
This is also going to be featured at Smut Slut Sisterhood's blog on Dec. 18
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