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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Review: Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Ilona Andrews

BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Library
where to buy: B&N, Amazon, Borders

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels knows how waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta's paramilitary clan of shape shifters, she quickly realizes much more is at stake. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug of war between two gods hoping for rebirth, and if Kate can't stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive.

THOUGHTS:
Well then let's get to it right away, shall we? Kate Daniels has managed yet again to attract some unwanted attention, the magic flactuation is getting worst this time. Someone has stolen a Pack's map, a thing of importance stating all Pack interest, zones, etc... Derek our young shifter-lad asked a favor to Kate to retrieve it and as expected Kate accomplished that favor and encountered the thief who owned the crossbow that she got during a Salamader and Arsonist gig she had with Jim. His name is Bran, who have an impressive power to vanish into thin air and if he's injured he manage to regenerate while he does it. I like him. He might appear to be a bastard you wanted to repeatly slap but in the end he lived up to be a hero that he is. There was also a matter of missing Coven members in Honeycomb. One of them is the mother of the child that Kate found by the bottomless pit. Her name is Julie, she looks innocent and lost and seems to have a phobia with vampires but underneath all that lies power. According to Kate, Julie is a live m-scanner, she can tell what color of magic an entity has. The child thinks it is useless but tell that to the navigator named Bolgor the Shepard and his revolting soldiers called the reeves, I have learned that they are Fomorian. Who is out to get the goddess Morrigan a.k.a the goddess of war. But what does Julie have to do with it? ahh... that's for you to find out.

So... my book blogger friends are right. Book two gets better. First I am now acquainted with the terms. Second, Curran seems to be softening up with Kate, had that little soup incident and he had that hearty laugh when Kate told him that she would not spot him but she will give verbal pushing, up until about she opened her mouth at the topic of Crest and Myong. Third, Kate seems to have a better interaction with the People and the Pack (better than on the first book at least). Our protag's smart mouth has also doubled the amusement factor. Her developed guardianship towards Julie made her seems more human than the bad ass merc that she is and that added points to my book.

Kate's bloodline is still unclear to me. When am I going to find out? When can I get more Kate-Curran interaction? The anticipation is killing me and I have no book three yet. sigh. Clues are welcome.
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Friday, January 29, 2010

Review: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews

BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Library
where to buy: Amazon, B&N, Borders

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league—but she wouldn't have it any other way…

THOUGHTS:
Ilona Andrews (they are actually man and wife tandem. wow) did not hold my hand while I navigate the first few chapters of Kate Daniel's world. I was not used to it I felt lost. The vampires call themselves as the People (and their face / personality, everything leans more on hideous), Magic Guild Mercenary (this is where Kate belongs, assassin of some sort), The Pack that have seven clans and not all of them are werewolves and the Order of the Merciful Aid (the politicians, lol). Fascinating groups, now all I have to do is get use to them and their terms.

I wasn't really jumping up and down with this book. It is actually hard to review this one. It is complex. Kate Daniel's world is somewhat futuristic. Magic is loose to the world and humans live a long side our favorite monsters. But how did it come to that? Did I miss something? Normally I like this kind of a challenge but I wasn't up for it while reading. So the research to understand more came in later. As a result while I was reading, I almost decided not to finish the book. I was confused and sleepy up until about the last few chapters.

But here's what kept me going: There is a mystery in Kate's blood. When she spills she have to make sure that nobody can get a sample of it so she burns her bloodied clothes or whatever after a fight. Or she kill the person/creature who took samples. Her blood is either something special or she's hiding from someone/something and I'm itching to know. Then there's Curran, not impressed at this point but I will give him a chance he is after all the leader of the Pack, I need to read more of his antics.

To those who read this book already, how many are you out there revel on the goriness of that one scene where Kate cut of a vamp's head and order it to wake up and tell her who his master?
BookBlips: vote it up!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Author Guest Post & Contest: Trina M. Lee (Huntress Series)



FULL NAME: Trina M. Lee
BIRTHDAY: December 14
LOCATIONAlberta, Canada                  
BOOKS(s): Huntress Series: Once Bitten (Book1), The Wicked Kiss (Book2) Gray Falls Trilogy: Lyric’s Gift (Book 1) Coming Soon: Love in Death’s Embrace

AUTHOR BIO
Trina M. Lee has played in the world of vampires and werewolves since
adolescence. Though she reads and dabbles in many genres, the paranormal remains her
favorite. Trina lives in Alberta, Canada with her fiancé, daughter and three cats.

If you are a paranormal fictional character, what would you chose to be?
Vampire. Hands down, I’d always choose vampire.


My Favorite Vampires

I don’t get a lot of opportunities to talk about my personal favorite vampires, those that have been my inspiration as both a vampire fan and an author. There are a select few that embody what I feel is the definition of a vampire. And not one of them is a sparkly, vegetarian vamp.

Jander Sunstar: This name may not be familiar to many vampire lovers. Jander is the main character in the novel, Vampire of the Mists by Christie Golden. It is part of the Ravenloft fantasy series. I read this book when I was about 13 or so. It remains my favorite vampire novel to date. Jander is an elf who was made a vampire against his will. He chooses an insane asylum as his source of food since the victims are easy and most of them have long since lost their minds. He doesn’t expect to fall in love with one of the women there though. A must read!

Spike (aka William the Bloody): Most vampire fans know and love Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What I love about him is his enthusiasm for being bad. You’ve got to appreciate that. He was completely the opposite of Angel, and that was refreshing. Even when Spike was good, he was still bad and he always looked good doing it.

Damon Salvatore: All in all, I’m not a fan of Young Adult books but this is a series I read back in the day when I was still a teen. I don’t really remember it all that well but now that it’s become a TV show, it’s all coming back to me. Damon is the perfectly evil counterpart to his goodie two shoes brother Stefan. Honestly, I only watch the show for Damon. If he wasn’t on it, I’d never give it a moment of my time. Of course, it helps that the actor that portrays him, Ian Somerhalder, is incredibly good looking lol.

Dracula: It’s a fact. Vampires as we know them would not exist if Dracula had not existed first. We can thank Bram Stoker for that. Dracula was the first, the big bad that enticed us all and led to the vampire craze that is currently ongoing. His story was violent, erotic and intriguing. It has been made into several movies as well as novels. Dracula himself has become somewhat of a universal being.

What all of these vampires have in common is that they all act like vampires. They are the meaning of the word vampire. They don’t sparkle and they don’t mope around with a guilty conscience, preying on the blood of animals. They live in the moment and fear nothing. They embrace what and who they are. These are the vampires that I love and enjoy. Veggie vamps may be stealing the spotlight for now, but I have a feeling that is all very temporary. And of course, my own bad ass vampire from my Huntress series, Arys, is just another vampire that loves walking in the dark and living the life of the wicked.

ABOUT HER BOOKS
 
Huntress 1: Once Bitten

Alexa O’Brien is a professional huntress and a werewolf with the ability to conduct and manipulate metaphysical energy. When she is inexplicably drawn to the enigmatic vampire Arys Knight, the dangerous power they create together becomes more than either of them anticipated. As a result of their actions Alexa risks the loss of more than her remaining humanity, she risks losing the very person who holds her heart, Shaz Richardson.
When her former lover and Alpha pack member Raoul is framed for murder, he comes to her for help and Alexa is forced to face past emotions and betrayals that were never laid to rest. As the murders continue she is torn between past hurts and present loves. Amidst the rush of power and the struggle for control, Alexa must dig deep within herself to discover where her heart truly belongs. As secrets are revealed and lies exposed, she comes to discover that not everyone is who you think they are and the greatest loves are undying.

Huntress 2: Wicked Kiss
When two men share the heart of the same woman, it doesn’t take long for the drama to escalate. Alexa O’Brien’s two lovers have been at each other’s throats. The fact that one is her wolf mate and the other a vampire bonded to her by power, only increases the tension. She fears being forced to choose between them, knowing it’s something she cannot do.
Due to the bond she shares with her vampire lover, Arys Knight, Alexa has more power than she knows how to handle. It isn’t long before power hungry creatures are drawn to her, including Arys’ sire, Harley Kayson. Believing he is entitled to her, Harley makes it his personal mission to get a taste of Alexa for himself, whether she likes it or not. If he doesn’t kill her, she just might wish that he had.
But that’s just the beginning. Alexa’s wolf mate, Shaz, feels the need to prove his dominance after a nasty dispute with a fellow werewolf. The battle for Alpha Male ensues, a position left unclaimed since the death of the former pack leader. Despite fearing for him, Alexa has no choice but to support the man that has loved her unconditionally, even when at her worst.
Alexa feels as if nothing remains within her control, least of all the precarious co-existence between her two men. It’s when she learns that there is one potential way to protect herself from Harley that she is faced with the biggest decision yet. But can her lovers put aside their differences when it matters most? Because this is one sacrifice that will forever alter her very mortality.

Thanks for reading Trina's post.
Please leave a comment for her.
She has also agreed to do a contest :)
Winner gets to have an ebook copy of Once Bitten

Open Internationally until 01/29 only
to qualify:
  • Must be a follower of this blog.
  • Follow Trina's Twitter: TrinaMLee
  • +1 Tweet this contest

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Review: Swoon At your Own Risk (ARC) by Sydney Salter


BLURBS:

where I got my copy: OneARCTours
where to buy: Amazon, B&N, IndieBound
release date: April 05, 2010

You’d think Polly Martin would have all the answers when it comes to love—after all, her grandmother is the famous syndicated advice columnist Miss Swoon. But after a junior year full of dating disasters, Polly has sworn off boys. Now she’s just trying to survive her summer job at Wild Waves western-themed water park (under the supervision of ex #3 Sawyer Holmes) and focus on herself for once. So Polly is happy when she finds out Grandma is moving in for the summer –think of all the great advice she’ll get.
But Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy sexagenarian! How can Polly stop herself from falling for Xander Cooper, the suddenly-hot skateboarder who keeps showing up at Wild Waves, when Grandma is picking up guys at the bookstore and flirting with the dishwasher repairman? And why, despite her best intentions, does Polly keep letting boys get in the way of her relationship with her best friend Jane?

No advice column in the world can prepare Polly for what happens when Jane convinces her to go on a group camping trip with three too many ex-boyfriends and the tempting Xander. Polly is forced to face her feelings and figure out if she can be in love—and still be herself.

THOUGHTS:
Since this is an ARC, I decided not to say anything about the plot but to just reflect on what I read :), well ok I will not divulge too much info.

I absolutely love this book. The first two chapters wasn't all that and I got worried that I might give this a low rating but then grandma shows up, and then Polly she started enumerating her pathetic attempt into finding herslef in dating the wrong guys, and then another situation and then another and the next thing I know, I am reading quite profusely. It is not gag inducing sickly sweet and corny. No not at all. Do not let the title fool you. Despite Polly's poor relationship choices and flaws, I adore her. I like how she uses all the big words making all of her ex-ex-ex-ex-ex's really look dumb and insignificant. She have a lot of spirit despite the daddy issues, a barely there mom and a sexagenarian for a grandma who writes love advice. Polly reminds me of some part of me growing up, she find it hard to open up about her feelings (shoot I still do), finds it hard to say no to people and forgets the presence a best friend when a new boyfriend comes around (guilty! guilty!). Her wit and sacrasm is a very cackling combination.

The secondary characters are a hoot too. Sonnet and her gossip blog about current hook ups and break ups which mostly got mentions of Polly's name. Grandma Swoon who flirts and acts like a teenager. And oh my gosh, Xander Cooper, his mysterious skater boy demeanor is just too perfect as a YA fictional boyfriend.Oh and the tension between him and Polly, too cute and innocent.

Overall Swoon At Your Own Risk is a story about finding oneself, love, risk, family and friendship. Watch out for laugh out loud moments,  unforgettable memories and scenes that will make you swoon.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Review: Broken (ARC) by Shiloh Walker

BLURBS:

where to buy: Amazon, B&N, Borders
release date: March 02, 2010

Shattered

Quinn Rafferty is working as a bounty hunter and bail bondsman in St. Louis when a new neighbor catches his eye. He’s tempted by her beauty—but he knows from experience that anyone desperate enough to live in his building is damaged goods. Besides, he has his own soul to mend before he can worry about anyone else.

Desperate

Sarah McElya is on the run, but not for the usual reasons a woman goes on the lam. She’s not an abused wife, and she’s not a criminal. But she does have a plan for her future. And as much as she finds herself attracted to her gruff, tough neighbor, she can’t risk telling him the secrets she’s hiding. There’s just too much at stake.

Driven to desire…

But Quinn must get closer to Sarah when she turns out to be the target of his new missing persons case, and he discovers that there is something more complex and dangerous to her than he thought. Now, both Quinn and Sara will have to expose their true feelings—as well as their fragile hearts—if they hope their love will survive…

THOUGHTS:
I cannot think of a better title for this book. The protagonist Quinn Rafferty has one of those childhood gone bad past. His mother is a drug addict and an alcoholic who beats him for trying to go to school, for reading and just for being alive. He was also emotionally battered, reading that part of him was close to unbearable, I hate reading kids being beat up by their parents, thankfully it wasn't that long. His mother died from drug overdose (no surprise there) while in the police station he found himself staring at another boy that looks like him, only this boy wears clean clothes and expensive shoes. He's got a twin and his name is Luke, and his father found him. Twenty years later he has become a bounty hunter. He especially caters to those bastards who gets a knack out of beating their wife / girlfriend or their kid.

Sara the other half in this story, pretty impressive character. She is a strong woman with great personality and is logically sound even after everything that has happened to her.  Sara is currently a waitress, she's been on the run for two years, moving from town to town, not staying for more than 3 months in a specific place. She can't afford it, she can't stop being paranoid and she can't trust anybody, until she met this elderly woman at the diner where she's working and offer her an apartment better than the one she's living in at that moment. Little did she know that there is one awesome incentive waiting for her.

Sara and Quinn's first glimpse of each other was full of tension right away. It will kill you. LOL. Walker built up an exciting anticipation on what will happen to this two characters once they get acquainted emotionally and physically. The tension was like a seduction for me. I kept on reading, not only looking forward to the sex scenes (which was hot as expected) but towards the revelation of Sara's past. I wasn't sure at first if two tormented people can really help each other. Sara and especially Quinn have a long history of emotional turmoil that I don't even think any one can help. Usually, the horrors and tortures from their past leaves them lonely and borderline psycho but when these two got close to each other the wounds seems to close and open up to a new and brighter morning. It was especially nice when Quinn woke up that one morning and he felt contentment.

Shiloh Walker virgin here, and I love this book and I love her writing style so I went out to buy more of her books. I wonder is Luke's story is as good as Quinn's? I have a heart for bad and dangerous boys, Luke doesn't seem to be the type. I have to find out.

Broken is a book full of intense situations. A tale that tells how bad things happen to good people. Their amazing struggle to keep their sanity, survival, hope and love. Exciting, lust worthy, and gripping. Definitely have to be on your tbr list.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Review: Rampant (Galley) by Saskia Walker



BLURBS:
*for mature readers only, explicit content*

where I got my copy: Harlequin Spice
where to buy: Amazon, B&N
release date:April 01, 2010

The moment she arrives at her rented vacation cottage nestled in northern Scotland, Zoë Daniels feels it—an arousal so powerful she’s compelled to surrender to the unusually forceful carnal desires…with nearly anyone who crosses her path.

Zoë knows she’s not quite in control of herself and begins to wonder if there’s any truth to the legend of Annabel McGraw, a powerful, promiscuous 18th century witch who once owned the cottage, and whose spirit is rumored to affect anyone who stays there. Zoë doesn’t believe in anything that even hints at the occult, but now strange visions are turning frightening… and only one man’s touch can bring her back to earth.

THOUGHTS:
If you are one of my GoodReads friend you probably saw my reaction on the prologue of this book. Although I know that this is on the Erotica side of our bookshelf, I was not really expecting the first sex scene in there. It was not really shocking, I was just surprised. haha. I don't read much Erotica, my reaction was probably sounded virginal. Anyway, let's get back to the book shall we?

The moment Zoe reached the small town of Carbrey in Scotland, she immediately felt horny. Horny like she have never experience before. In fact she has to pull over to get some fresh air, and what a coincidence, a biker dude pulled over and ask her if she was lost. She wanted him do all sorts of sinful stuff to her at that very spot, it was like an invisible force was turning her on. Nothing transpired, she had it under control but when she finally got to her rental cottage - Her Haven, weird things and uncontrollable and intense "need" happened. A crazy coven member and apparently a brilliant Chef named Cain Davot is out t get her. He plans to do a little necromancy and re-embodiment for his beloved Nymphomaniac She-Witch Annabel McGraw, also the previous resident of Her Haven. It was said that her spirit haunts the place and influence the occupants staying in it. Well that explains why Zoe's libido is on a haywire. But like all other erotica/paranormal/love story. Zoe have a savior and his name is Professor Grayson Murdoch. Also known as the biker prof. Described as tall, with blond hair (chin length), to die for bod and well endowed. In short it reminded me of my beloved Eric Northman, only this Grayson guy sounds bookish and is obviously a witch. Like what the blurb said, Zoe is a skeptic and I am going to add stubborn and sometimes totally irritating. Doesn't she find it weirder than usual when she saw Grayson taking a shower and pleasuring himself through her bathroom mirror? Sure it was a wonderful sight but I would totally freak out and ditch that town. And how about the insane and wild sex orgies, mild, BDSM, threesome, etc... that she keep dreaming / seeing? It must be a pain being turned on 24/7 and not being able to think about anything but sex.

As far as the story goes, I am actually pretty impressed. It's not everyday that a book takes me to a European country with a spectacular view of the sea and coven of Witches living such debaucherous way. I was also fascinated with the history of Annabel. Her wild ways, the intrigue on who she was, the path to her demise and exactly how powerful was, I think that is the main reason why I kept reading. At first I thought she was evil, that she asked Cain to bring her back after 3 centuries and then she seems to be friendly towards Zoe, then I realized that there is only one evil in this book. Murdoch's lack of history intrigues me too. What is he hiding? What's his dirty little secret? And what exactly is his purpose in purchasing the house beside Her Haven?

Rampant is definitely recommended for the lovers of erotica with paranormal elements in their character. A hot book Smut at its finest.

 BookBlips: vote it up!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Review: When Good Wishes GoBad (As you Wish #2) (Galley) by Mindly Klasky


BLURB:

where I got my copy: Mira (Publisher)
where to buy: BN, Amazon, Borders
release date: April 01, 2010

Rebecca Morris is suffering from an excess of magic. Things that have disappeared: her boyfriend; her life savings; three-and-a-half million dollars from the theatre company that pays both their salaries. (Coincidence? Um, no.) Also, the groundbreaking play she's been slaving over, vanished in a puff of copyright-colored smoke.

Other, weirder things that have appeared: a magic lamp complete with genie wishes. A fully-furnished (and paid-for) Manhattan condo and fabulous designer wardrobe. (The last two courtesy of the first one, obvs.) Becca's putting that last wish on hold—and hoping that her good wishes don’t go oh-so-wrong….

THOUGHTS:
Rebecca Morrison woke up one morning with a note from her boyfriend of 3 years Dean Thompson.
B- GOTTA RUN, Don't wait up. She always get this kind of note from him. He works late and especially at that time since tax month is coming up. Who would have thought that a simple note have a lot of meanings?

She tossed and turn all night waiting for him until early morning came rolling by. She decided an early start would be best. She found the lights inside Dean's office only he wasn't there. Maybe he stepped out for a minute. Hours went by and still no Dean she finally called her assistant Jen and ask if she saw him anywhere. Becca was summoned to an emergency conference with the CEO and Board of Trustees of the Theather company that she's working at. Everybody seems to be looking for her boyfriend and nobody has seen him. The realization that her boyfriend who seems so perfect has embezzeled the company's $3 Million and her six figure cash savings. Now Becca has nowhere to live and broke and on top of that there is some legal issue on the current play that they have line up, she had yet to break it down to her boss and find a new one soon. In the middle of all this disaster Kira Franklin, the stage manager of the company, handed her a gift. Clothes, well ok customes and a lamp? Kira said the lamp helped her fulfill her wishes. Beccas was looking at it at first them all of a sudden a woman dressed like a lawyer pops out and proclaims herself as the genie of the lamp. Like all other heroine, she thought it was all just a joke until she made her first wish... Wonderful, weird and stressful situtations began to happened.

I like Becca and I like her career. A Dramaturg, I am not familiar with the term but I do know that there is that someone who plays like a psychologist with the acts, the playwrights and even to the directors. I am impressed on how well Becca does her job but I am not too sure about her personal life. When Dean, her boyfriend of 3 years embezzeled that money, I thought really? no clue at all? How can she not recognize the signs? Maybe love is really blinding for some people. The genie(s) in this story is not something that you imagined, they don't do magic carpets, they are neither male or female and they do not have a set look, they can be whatever they want. They are quite entertaining. Now about Ryan, I am not smitten, I was only impressed because he wrote that wonderful play but then towards the ending that kind of kill it for me. The book is average, entertaining but lacks the fun factor and lack personality among its characters. I do like the concept of a genie, I hope the next book will be more entertaining.

BookBlips: vote it up!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Author Interview & Contest: Robin Malone (Crimson Rose)

I live in Texas with my beautiful husband and three wonderful daughters. We live on a few acres of countryside property, in which the exterior view from the rear doors certainly help with the inspiration to write. ~http://rmaloneliterature.webs.com/

Please welcome Robin Malone, auhtor of the new series, Crimson Rose.
Please stay tuned, at the end of this interview she agreed to giveaway a copy of her book.

Welcome Robin, how are you today?

Doing great. Thanks! Hope you’re doing well also.


I am so glad to have on my blog today. Did I tell you enough how much I love this book? If in any way review did not quite pique the interest of my reader friends, please tell them something more that will absolutely get their attention. Can you give them something more about the Crimson Rose?

Thank you, Patricia. I’m glad to be here. lol, you have no clue how glad I am that you DID love the book! Well, I think your review was great, and it touched on the heart of the story. I guess if I were to say something more about it, I’d say that it’s a story about eternal love that persists despite impossible circumstances and tragedy, and despite one’s tendency to be imperfect. In the beginning Stefan was a monster, but through Rose’s love, he changed into something better; like a metamorphosis of sorts.


Where did you get the inspiration to write about Stefan and Rose?

I wanted a great love story like ‘Gone with the Wind’, but also wanted it to be dark, and tie into something like S. King’s ‘Salem’s Lot’, and ‘Interview with the Vampire’. I thought a story like that would truly be awesome. I didn’t want it to be anything like Twilight. Twilight, of course, is good (my daughter ate up all those Meyer books, lol) but I wanted this to be much deeper and thought-provoking. Again, not that Twilight isn’t good. Obviously it is…


This might be a pretty common question, but why vampires?

I love writing stories with villains in them; and I LOVE writing the villains’ personalities. The BEST villains there are, are vampires! Their mythical allure is fascinating to me.


I saw in your website that you asked Anne Rice to review your book. High Five on that! LOL. Does these means that she is you revered vampire authors?

Basically, yes. She’s one of the greatest vampire writers, for sure! So far, however, she hasn’t reviewed it, lol. That’s okay though; she’s still awesome! And thanks for the high 5!


What books have influenced you life the most?

Even though she is a bit of an oddity, V.C. Andrews. She has a way with describing emotions in her books. And Anne Rice, of course. I read ‘Interview with the Vampire’ when I was around sixteen. I wasn’t able to finish it, however, for my mother took it back to the store to exchange it for something else. Lol, she didn’t care for the book. Stephen King is good, although he kind of rambles on and on in some of his books. I used to read John Saul’s books, they were usually interesting. He writes suspense, with elements of the supernatural, and a little bit of sci-fi.


I can’t believe that the sequel, Blood Legacy is due to be released 2011. Why?!!! How is it coming along? What can you tell us about the sequel?

Well, lol, I keep changing the date. I’m searching for another publisher for it, and it’s been submitted to a new one, but as of yet I haven’t heard anything. It’s been one week so far. Her website states that it could take 2-4 weeks to hear back. If it gets published through them, it will be out sooner. If not, it won’t be out until the end of 2010, or beginning of 2011. It’s crazy, you never know what to expect in a business like this! I’m sorry about that! Anyhow, it’s coming along fine. I’m almost on chapter 9. Once I’m on chapter 10, I’ll be almost half-way finished.

‘Blood Legacy’ pretty much begins where the first left off, or a few months later. It begins with three teenaged friends driving in the countryside of Missouri. The boyfriend shows them an old cemetery he’d found, tucked away beyond a vast forest. Briana immediately has a bad feeling about the entire thing, and she wants to go home. An apparition appears at the edge of the woods, and summons the two teen girls to follow him. The boyfriend doesn’t seem to notice the phantom. Of course, the ghost turns out to be a vampire, and he lives in the manor beyond the cemetery and forest. Anyhow, Briana is ultimately spared, while her friends are killed by the vampires. The younger male vampire turns Briana into a vampire, and she soon develops an intense crush on him. Rose and Stefan are in this one also, of course. This book will tie in with the first, but to give away any more detail than that would spoil it, lol.


When you are not in your writing cave, what do you do on your spare time?

I do watch movies and stuff, and right now my boyfriend and I are almost finished with the X-Files series, lol. We play video games, like Grand Theft Auto. I know, GTA is bad… Very, very bad… It’s so bad that it’s good. We also finished playing the ‘Saw’ game two weeks ago. We must’ve bought like 15 video games for Christmas; some for us, some for the kids. We also have the ‘Up’ movie, it was utterly adorable, and the video game for that. My 8-year-old has already beaten it. I also used to play a lot of Sims 2, and now we have Sims 3; but it’s not as fun as the second one. The sims on Sims 3 aren’t as good looking, lol.


If this were to have a movie / tv adaptation who would you like to play Stefan and Rose?

OMG, I love this question!! What author doesn’t dream of this possibility??? Well, I think Jenson Ackles is hot (and I hope I spelled his name right), but they’d have to dye his hair to a lighter color, and make him up all pale (like they did Edward in the Twilight movies) so he could play Stefan. And MAYBE someone like Megan Fox could play Rose… J What an awesome scenario!!

OMG!!! Yes Jensen can totally play Stefan's role. I love him!

Please tell us about your other books:

My first novel is ‘Southern Bloodlines’, and its sequel is ‘Hushed Whispers’. These books are NOT paranormal, they are contemporary romances. To be honest, they are not as popular as Crimson Rose; probably because they aren’t quite as good. These were my first two novels, and I got better at writing by the time I started CR. However, I still love my first novel, and I think it’s very very romantic! And very dramatic. Thanks for asking about them!


Any parting words for our readers? 

Yes, I will do a give-away for CR on your website. I’ll provide one book, and hopefully whomever wins it will like it as much as you, Patricia! If not, that’s fine too.

That’s about it for now, I guess. Thanks for giving me the interview for your blog, Patricia! And thanks to those who listened to me ramble on about myself, lol. :P
Thanks again, Patricia!

__________________________________________________________________

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Review: The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz

BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Borders
you can also buy here: Amazon, B&N, IndieBound

Summer is here, and 16-year-old Allie, a self-professed music geek, is exactly where she wants to be: working full-time at Berkeley’s ultra-cool Bob and Bob Records. There, Allie can spend her days bantering with the street people, talking the talk with the staff, shepherding the uncool bridge-and-tunnel shoppers, all the while blissfully surrounded by music, music, music. It’s the perfect setup for her to develop her secret identity as The Vinyl Princess, author of both a brand-new zine and blog. From the safety of her favourite place on earth, Allie is poised to have it all: love, music and blogging.

Her mother, though, is actually the one getting the dates, and business at Allie’s beloved record store is becoming dangerously slow—not to mention that there have been a string of robberies in the neighbourhood. At least her blog seems to be gaining interest, one vinyl junkie at a time….

THOUGHTS:
Name one sixteen year old in real life that doesn't own an ipod, zune, or any device that can download music? Allie is just crazy, unique and awesome that she live in this modern digital age. Record store business calls her a throwback, audiophile or a record geek. She is a girl who collects LP is practically a walking music encyclopedia and just the unique type of character that I am looking for. Did I say that I think she is awesome? She lives in Berkley with her mom, a housemate named Suki who she refer to as the ghost, since they rarely see her and a cat named Pierre that acts that he's too cool for them. Allie is Happily employed in a independent music store in Telegraph Avenue named Bob & Bob's (Amoeba music in real life?) who mainly sells collectible vinyls. Talk about feeding the addiction right? She's perfect for that place. It was written that she own 900 LPs and can recite all the Beatles songs by album, in grade school she does not know the national anthem nor the Pledge of Allegiance but can chronologically name the Rolling Stones album, she can talk about everything and anything about music for 14 hours straight, and she shares her passion by writing about it on her blog, thus the title of our book, The Vinyl Princess.


Other than that, Allie is like every other teenager. She struggles to keep up with th real world. Her parents are divorce. Her mom is on the dating pool and her dad lives with a person named Kee Kee who listens to Dave Matthews Band and she is soon to have a half-sibling. There was no hate in all this. She and her parents are cool with the situation that they are in. Which is part of the book that I like a lot. This particular summer seems to be the most memorable one for Allie. There were two boys, a series of robberies in the area of her work, her best friend Kit got boy issues and her self esteem is flactuating to a level that she's talking about nip tucking, her mother is on a current haunt for companionship, and later she was faced to make tough decisions and was forced to step out of her comfort zone.

I was scared to read this, afraid that I wouldn't like it. Since it is a YA I was holding my breath because maybe, just maybe the word Vinyl on the cover was just a front and that maybe when I actually get down on reading it I'd read referemces of Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, etc... and I would completely flip out. Not that there's anything wrong with them but their music is just not my type. So no offense to those who love them. I was also blown away by the cover and because Yvonne Prinz wrote it, she is possibly the coolest chick in the world because of the whole Amoeba music, I love that place, I can live there, my second choice after the bookstore. Lol. So I was relieved when I saw mentions of Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Billy Bragg, John Doe, Avette Brothers, Johnny Cash, Crowded House, The Kinks, Iggy Pop, etc... I love the book, the word indie and hip is written all over it. I actually forced myself to read it slowly. It's hip, armed with wonderful prose, funny, and highly recommended for music junkie.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Guest Blogger: Carolyn of Book Chick City



Full Name: Carolyn
Birthday: 25th April
Location: United Kingdom                 
Blog Content: A speculative fiction review blog with book reviews, interviews, lots of features, contests and more!



 Describe a book premise that you wanted to read but can’t seem to find any one who has written it yet:

Umm… How about a gorgeous, headstrong female protag who’s a vampire slayer and stakes vampires for a living, but accidentally falls in love with one? Oh, been done? Okay, well, how about a woman who’s bitten by a werewolf and has to come to terms with her new life but falls in love with a werewolf along the way? What? Been done as well?! I’m gonna have to think on this some more it seems…

I can’t think of one, how come I got the difficult question?! Only kidding! Thanks Pat for inviting me to guest blog, it’s great to be here.




When It Comes To Romance Why Does Genre Matter?

If you read my blog you will know that I don’t often read romance. However, I have noticed that lately I am enjoying a bit of romance in my urban fantasy, or the odd paranormal romance and, a more recent find, science fiction romance. It’s becoming a guilty pleasure.

I’m not sure why this surprises me so much as I have always loved romance in my movies - I’m a sucker for a good romcom - and I am a total romantic at heart. As a lover of the strong, totally kick-arse heroines, I think I had the misconception that all romance heroines were pathetic, submissive women that needed a man in their life to feel complete. After reading a few PNR books, the most recent being Wicked Enchantment by Anya Bast (which was great by the way), I realise now that this isn’t always the case. But I did notice one thing.

Why is it, to enjoy a bit of lovin’ my characters have to be ‘not of this world’? That’s to say a vampire, werewolf or some other creature or entity. Maybe I’m trying to escape from the ‘normal’ aspects of life? I did read a book a few weeks ago for Mandi at Smexy Books  called Can’t Stand the Heat, by Louisa Edwards, which is a contemporary romance, and I found myself enjoying it, I must have as I gave it 8/10, but I know I won’t go out and buy more books like that and if I wasn’t asked to review it I wouldn’t have seeked it out in the bookshop.

I do, however, when the fancy takes me, actively seek out paranormal romance, and when I’m in the bookshop looking for my normal fare of horror and urban fantasy, I always find myself in the PNR section and end up with at least one book in the basket.

I have noticed that this way of thinking is not just me. I’ve had conversations with other book lovers who turn there noses up at PNR and will only read contemporary romance. But it’s basically the same thing isn’t it? A man and a woman getting it on and falling in love.

So, why do we enjoy romance in one genre but not another? 









Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment for Carolyn.





Review: Crimson Rose (Book 1) by Robin Malone

BLURB:

where I got my copy: Robin Malone
where to buy: Amazon, B&N

The last few years have not been kind to Rose. She has lost her husband, and is currently residing with an abusive boyfriend. What's more, an enigmatic, but very handsome man is stalking her. Ultimately, she finds that he is a supernatural being from heaven; or perhaps he has emerged from the depths of hell... Regardless, from his pointed teeth, to his blood-kissed lips, Stefan is indeed a vampire; a creature Rose once thought merely existed in folklore. He has emerged from the sinister darkness, and come to claim her as his own...

Stefan Hansen has seen the very worst of mankind. Before his transitioning, he had endured the horrors of World War II, and the violent loss of his Jewish love. Thinking that the past was dead, he could not have been more wrong... And an apparition from his past was scheming to prove it; with destructive intentions.


THOUGHTS:
Wow! what a remarkable story!!! This book is so hard to put down, the moment the vampire Stefan kidnapped Rose, I was intrigued on what will happen next. Most vampire books that I've read, only gave you a brief history of the resident vampire and most author's gradually inserts their history through out the series. Not in Malone's Crimson Rose, in here she took me to Stefan's past, an extensive history, his human past. From his first ever love Eva Bauer, to the crimes that he has forcefully commited as a Nazi soldier to the end of his human life bestowed upon by his former friend Miles and how he lived savagely after that, giving himself to the bloodlust. His history reeks of heartbreak and injustice.

A century later he found another love in the breathing feature of Rose. An enigmatic, strong and likeable woman with a lovely son named Jacob, but seems to have such questionable taste in men. After Rose's husband died/murdered she met the abusive Shane. Not long after that, Stefan started REALLY persuing her and fell in love with him despite the shocking transgression. Their story was quite unconventional, it is dark, disturbing and totally opposite of the fluttering butterflies in my stomach reaction that I get when reading a human - vampire melodrama. Stefan is brusque, forceful, possessive, dangerous and seriously twisted. Yet he did everything because he love Rose? Since I am only human (LOL) part of me felt Rose's fears, (carried away much?) His methods are quite appalling yet eerily romantic, as much as I would like to divulge the information in details the twist of the whole plot and the exqusite shocking of discovery will totally kill it for you guys. You simply must read to know exactly what I'm saying.

I wish that I have not read this twice as fast because now I would have to lay in wait for the next book. Thank you so much Robin Malone for giving me the pleasure of reading and reviewing your book.

BookBlips: vote it up!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Review: The Girl Made of Cool by Alan Fox


BLURB:

where I got my copy: Alan Fox
where can you buy: B&N, Amazon

THE GIRL MADE OF COOL (First Edition) -- Featuring a new novel and two other stories by Alan Fox. ---- Author ALAN FOX writes love stories, filled with a sense of awe and wonder, and set against a brutal world. "THE GIRL MADE OF COOL" is his vibrant new novel and the centerpiece of this collection. Here, Fox tells the story of a young man and woman who are falling in love with each other, but the young woman doesn't know it. She believes that she's falling in love with the man's far more handsome, more perfect friend. ... As the story unfolds and deepens, we see how these two highly talented young men must suffer, struggle, and wage battle to woo this young woman. This, as all the while, she grows into an ever greater beauty, a more charismatic personality, and an all-the-more alluring woman. ... This, as all the while, this young lady grows to become an elegant woman made of shining love and elusive cool. --

THOUGHTS:
It has been months since I read such a love story. If this is to have a film adaptation, I would very much like this to be in the Indie films. I love Indie and with the kind of depth and dialogue this book has my cousin in law would flip with excitement.

This is not your typical boy meets girl, girl and boy and falls in love kind of thing, well ok not right away, there were complications and obstacles. This is a story of a girl named Jayne Holly Wyatt who met Ridley Richardson who listened to his friend Chet Clifford on how to woo this lady thinking she was every other girl out there then confessed that the whole thing was just a front. At first Jayne seems to be the type who wants men with status, good looks and can be easily seduced. She clearly said that she like men with nice suits and money, so when Ridley confess that he neither have any of it she started to get uneasy. But she is not the girl that I thought she was, she is indeed the Girl made of Cool. Witty, independent and can seriously take care of herself when it comes to men. Ridley on the other hand is a thinker, wants to be a Zoologist now then shifts to studying the World History, human behavior and eventually the universe. Ridley got depth and intelligence that most women miss out. He depicts the image of the good guy, too nice to sit back and watch as the woman of his dreams got swept away by his friend. Chet of course is the exact opposite. The Player who talks to his imaginary audience while coming up with schemes on how to help Ridley. A marketing genius, charismatic and egotistical, until he got a dose of his own medicine.

Jayne was weirded out by Ridley's odd behavior. Chet decides that Jayne will be his number 23 on his 25 on 25 goal. Jayne played a game with Chet. Chet lied mostly about everything. Ridley holds the wanting, the needing and the kissing and settled to being Jayne's friend but Ridley was really inlove.

I found myself enjoying the games that Chet and Jayne played. I was enthralled on the exchange of dialogues between Jayne and Ridley. It was wonderful and deep. I wasn't surprised at the ending, I knew it's going to happened and what a great ending that was. Alan Fox I look forward to readign the two featured story in this edition. The Girl Made of cool is an unconventional and refreshing read. The characters are fascinating and their personality evolves all through out the book

BookBlips: vote it up!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Review: Once Bitten (Huntress 1) by Trina M. Lee


BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Fictionwise
where else can you buy: AmazonLiquid Silver

Alexa O’Brien is a professional huntress and a werewolf with the ability to conduct and manipulate metaphysical energy. When she is inexplicably drawn to the enigmatic vampire Arys Knight, the dangerous power they create together becomes more than either of them anticipated. As a result of their actions Alexa risks the loss of more than her remaining humanity, she risks losing the very person who holds her heart, Shaz Richardson.

When her former lover and Alpha pack member Raoul is framed for murder, he comes to her for help and Alexa is forced to face past emotions and betrayals that were never laid to rest. As the murders continue she is torn between past hurts and present loves. Amidst the rush of power and the struggle for control, Alexa must dig deep within herself to discover where her heart truly belongs. As secrets are revealed and lies exposed, she comes to discover that not everyone is who you think they are and the greatest loves are undying.


THOUGHTS:
Alexa is a werewolf, an assassin and has a very complicated love life (or lack of).
Alexa was bitten when she was 16. She was the only survivor of that fateful werewolf attack. She then met Raoul and became her pack leader and former lover. When she moved out of his property she met Veryl and took the job of eliminating werewolves and vampires alike for heinous crimes.

The characters: The vampires in this book actually drinks blood and kills their victims without any guilt nor whining. The werewolves need strenth replenishing by eating meat. Arys seems to be a pretty cool vampire. Sexy and dangerous and that power, he is certainly unique (and perfect for Alexa?). I immidiately  labeled Shaz as lame, I might be biased because I prefer vampires more than werewolves, but really if you are to take a liking with an assassin you shouldn't be just a bartender, he should be in the action. As far as Alexa is concern, I don't understand why she's still putting up with Raoul's b.s and why does she always needs to explain herself to people. Her personality is confusing and sometimes irritating.

The plot: There is so many things that is happening in this book. First Raoul is being framed (supposedly) for killing her former lovers. Is he really not? If not him, then who? and why? Then Arys and Alexa finally gave in to the lust and had a mind blowing sex that short circuited his whole house as both of their powers merge. The aftermath was not too pretty their intercourse was beyond physical and is causing a problem. Then there was an issue of Arys ex-fiance wanting him exterminated. I feel for Alexa this two men are such pain. At the middle of the book, I changed my mind about Shaz, I am actually glad that he's just his glorious self and is always there for Alexa. Then there is the mysterious witch and part demon Lilah. What's her story? The way she got rid of the demon was way cool. The plot on this book kept me guessing and the pace a little slow but once you get to that turning point. It is unputdownable until you get your answers..

Dark, edgy and suspenseful. These are definitely not you high school supernaturals. Book two please...

BookBlips: vote it up!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger




BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Borders
where to buy: bn, amazon

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

THOUGHTS:
Like I said. The tagline... Vampire, Werewolves, and Parasol got me. But in all honesty, I wasn't sure that I am going to enjoy it. But I did, immensely.

Alexia Tarabotti is unlike her two half-sisters Evylin and Felicity Loontwill, their mother nor her good friend Ivy Hisselpenny. No because Alexia half-Italian and a spinster amidst high London society is Soulless, yes, pun intended or if you wanted to get technical she is a preternatural the vampires describe her kind as "soul-suckers". Each and everytime she nears them, touch them (vampire, werewolves, all other supernatural) they become normal. Claws retract, fangs gone, you get the picture. I love Alexia's exorbitant character, in a land/time full of decorum she portrays a picture of a modern woman. In short she got balls. She stands up to those who challenge her and is not afraid to give people a piece of her mind. Her love interested that is Lord Conall Maccoon, pack leader, Earl of Woolsey and head of BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry - a special division under Queen Victoria) is the typical Aplha male. Strong, powerful, protective, wise, drop dead gorgeous that can only be tamed by the like os Alexia. Their romance was the classic, the-more-you-hate-the-more-you-love encounter. In the beginning you will read that they hated each other with intensity, the oral bouts that they throw at each other was the number one entertainment in the book. One kiss made them the perfect couple. I especially said oooohhh on that first kiss.

Alexia and Lord Maccon's romance was a great distraction to the problem at hand. Who is making new vampires? Who is the wax face looking man and his cohorts that tried to abduct Alexia after she had her meeting with the hive queen? and more importantly, what do they want? or what are they trying to achieve? I had my suspects as I go along and was quite shock that I had made a wrong guess. To sum it up. Soulless is written brilliantly. The humor inside this steampunk was tons of laugh. It is witty, full of tea, elaborate dresses, funny hats, dirigibles, quirky outrageous characters, mystery all in all a superb plot. A must read in your 2009 list.


BookBlips: vote it up!

Author Interview: Courtney Summers (Some Girls Are, Cracked up to Be)

COURTNEY SUMMERS

Courtney Summers lives and writes in Canada where she divides her time between a piano, a camera, and word-processing program when she’s not planning for the impending zombie apocalypse. She enjoys Archie comics, Trailer Park Boys, and other fine art. Pierre Trudeau is her hero and if you are a volcano, she would like to know you. ~http://courtneysummers.ca/about/

Her second book Some Girls Are was released January 05, 2010. It's about high school girl bullies. I love it. So I decided to get to know her more by asking her for an interview. Please welcome the lovely... Courtney Summers.


Welcome Courtney, your new book Some Girls Are is about high school bullies, I am horrified at the crazy thing that happened in this book. I love how Regina fought back and seriously wanted to beat up Anna and the rest of her stooges. But before I get carried away can you please tell our readers the reason why they should read this fantastic book?

Hi, Pat! Thanks for having me on your blog and thank you so much for your kind words. I'm glad Some Girls Are horrified you, as strange as that sounds. :) Why should someone read Some Girls Are? I think anyone who is interested in or as fascinated by mean girls as I am should give it a shot. If you like romance, there's some of that in there too--amid the horrific, horrific bullying.


Would you say that bullying is a part of being in high school?

Unfortunately, yes. I think there are many ways people bully each other, ranging from the explosive to the subtle. I would think it nearly impossible to be in high school without coming into contact with someone who has experienced bullying or who has been a bully themselves.


Is there any bullying scenario that happened to you in real life or to other people you know, that you have written in this book?

I haven't gone through the worst of what Regina has (thank goodness!), but I think some incidents she experiences are universal. I've been frozen out by my friends before, or had them get mad at me and then never tell me why they were mad no matter how many times I asked. That sort of thing.


In your interview with Steph Su you said you had an experience with being bullied at and bullying other girls. Any advise to girls out there that are being bullied?

Don't be afraid to talk about it. When you're being backed into a corner by someone, if they are emotionally or physically abusing you, don't convince yourself that there's no one you can tell, that you can't seek help. I think when you are so close to a situation, or trapped by one, it can seem like there's no way out but that's not always the truth. Find someone you can talk to.


From the reviews and comments that you got from this book, do you think that you have fulfilled the message/intent/purpose that you are trying to deliver in writing this book?

My intention, when writing Some Girls Are, was to tell a story about a bullied girl, so in that way I've done what I set out to do. Whatever message people choose to take away from it is entirely up to them. That said, I am really pleased with the response Some Girls Are is getting so far.


If this were to have a film adaptation who would you like to see play the major characters:

Oh, these questions are always so tough! I have to be honest, if there was a film adaptation of Some Girls Are, I would be content to sit back and let the people who were adapting it tackle the casting. As long as the people playing my characters can act, I'm good.


What song(s) did you pick for the soundtrack of this book?

The soundtrack for Some Girls Are is posted at Ticket to Anywhere: http://tickettoanywhere.blogspot.com/2009/11/some-girls-are-by-courtney-summers.html--it includes Lady Gaga (a must for me!), Matthew Good, The Killers, Lykke Li.


What was the most difficult part in writing this book?

There is one point in the book that was hard to write, but it's a spoiler so I can't go into too much detail. It was the turning point in the book, which meant a big line had to be crossed. Crossing that line was not easy.


What are your must haves when you’re in your writing zone?

I need music. And I need water. Or Coca-cola. That's about it!


Please tell us about your other book Cracked Up to be.

Cracked Up to Be is my debut novel. It's about a girl named Parker Fadley, a popular girl with a secret so dark and devastating that she goes to great lengths not to be popular anymore just so she can keep it.


Please tell us about your future projects? (and maybe a little something about it? *fingers crossed*)

My next YA novel is currently being written, so I don't want to say too much about it since anything is subject to change, but it's pretty grim. Or at least that's how I feel about it. Possibly my saddest book yet, but maybe by the time I get to the end it will be happiest. :)


One last thing… I read your bio and it says that you love Zombies, Archie comics and Volcanoes. Zombies I understand, Archie (wow! haven’t read one of those since forever) I am team Betty all the way, but volcanoes? I really wanted to hear why…. LOL

Totally Team Betty! I think volcanoes are magnificent and terrifying and awe-inspiring. Whenever I think of volcanoes, I just think everything is as it should be. I heart volcanoes.


Thank you so much for visiting my blog and saying yes to this interview.

Thank you for the interview! I had fun. :)



you can buy her books here: {indiebound}, {amazon}, {b&n}, {book depository}
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