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Monday, January 31, 2011

Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

Fever Series #2
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Source: Purchased

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (August 26, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0440240999
ISBN-13: 978-0440240990


I used to think my sister and I were just two nice southern girls who'd get married in a few years and settle down to a quiet life. Then I discovered that Alina and I descend, not from good wholesome southern stock, but from an ancient Celtic bloodline of powerful sidhe-seers, people who can see the Fae. Not only can I see the terrifying otherworldly race, but I can sense the sacred Fae relics that hold the deadliest of their magic. 

When my sister was found dead in a trash-filled alley in Dublin, I came over to get answers. Now all I want is revenge. And after everything I've learned about myself, I know I have the power to get it.... 

MacKayla Lane's ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland's shores and was plunged into a world of deadly sorcery and ancient secrets. 

In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh-a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over both the worlds of the Fae and of Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she cannot trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and irresistible men: V'lane, the insatiable Fae who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman, and the ever-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious. 

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them....


Yes, I caught the Fever! I read the first in the series quickly, and book two was devoured even quicker!  In Bloodfever, the search for the Sinsar Dubh is still going strong.  There is so much going on in these books that I had to take my time with this one and try to absorb it all.

Barrons is still on my radar as a sexy something, V'lane is still as sexual as he was in the first book, Mac is still trying to figure it all out, and the author keeps throwing more surprises and tension at you with this one!  Can I just say that my heart almost broke in the cave after Malluce pummeled Mac! I wept for her and then Barrons came along and squeezed my heart even more. *sigh* Tender moments for Barrons is too far and too few, but when he does have one it makes me melt along with Mac. 

page 95:
MAC:I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand at the memory. "It was like being owned."
BARRONS: "Some women like that."
MAC: "Not me."
BARRONS: "Perhaps it depends on the man doing the owning."
MAC: "I doubt it.  I couldn't breathe with him kissing me."
BARRONS: "One day you may kiss a man you can't breathe without, and find breath is of little consequence."

The hunt is still on for the book and I keep picking up on certain clues just like Mac does.  Just when you think one player of the game is on her side, the rug slips out from her and everything changes.  Like Mac, I am wondering which players on the board will be the ones to trust and which ones are stabbing her in the back. 

The witty humor between Barrons and Mac is written wonderfully.  I love how Mac is starting to get a backbone now and she is willing to smart off to Barrons when he needs it. 

 page 166:
"I couldn't tell the difference between the two of you anymore!" he roared.
I smashed my fist into his face. Lies roll off us.  It's the truths we work hardest to silence. "Then you weren't looking hard enough! I'm the one with boobs!"
"I know you're the one with boobs! They're in my fucking face every fucking time I turn around!"
"Maybe you need to get a grip on your libido, Barrons!"
"Fuck you, Ms. Lane!"
"You just try.  I'll kick the shit out of you!"
"You think you could?"
"Bring it on."
He grabbed a fistful of my T-shirt, and dragged me up against him until our noses touched.  "I'll bring it on Ms. Lane.  But remember you asked for it.  So don't even think about trying to tap out on the mat and quit the fight."

Overall a great book that is keeping my fever high and about to reach critical levels soon! The tension between Barrons and Mac is getting high and looking for release that I hope is coming soon in future books.  I need more of the series and I can't wait to start the next book!


Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf

For Rereading! 5 STARS


(ARC Review) Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs

Fins #2
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Source: Around the World Tours

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (June 28, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061914681
ISBN-13: 978-0061914683


On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mer girl, true, but signing the renunciation paperwork will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being human thing once and for all.

Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer-bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form, when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?

The seafoam on the surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up. Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her dreams?


I just love it when a sequel can live up to the expectations that a reader has after reading the first book in a series!  With Fins Are Forever, the author did an amazing job of making the second book just a fabulous as the first!

Lily is getting ready to turn eighteen and give up her place as future Queen of Thalassinia.  She loves the human world and is looking forward to a future with Quince on land.  She thought she just had problems with trying to figure out the answers to the SAT questions, but little does she know that bigger problems are about to arrive in the form of her cousin Doe.  After Doe is exiled from Thalassinia, she must live with Lily on land and learn to accept humans.  Doe loathes humans since the death of her parents a while back and can't stand anything about them.  This all starts to change though when Doe meets Brody, Lily's previous crush. 

Without getting into too many spoilers, I will say that some of the antics that Doe initiates was hilarious and typical of her spoiled brat personality.  I could feel the frustration that Lily was going through in dealing with Doe on land.  Even though this is a young adult paranormal read involving an underwater kingdom, the author makes the characters feel like regular humans with ordinary teen problems.  Okay, well sometimes they are ordinary teen problems and sometimes they are mermaid problems!  

Another amazing and fun book written by a fabulous author!  Fins Are Forever is a wonderful follow-up sequel to Forgive My Fins and it definitely did not disappoint! 


Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf
For Rereading! 5 STARS


Saturday, January 29, 2011

IMM: In My Mailbox (20)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

This was an amazing week for me! I got some great books for review and my awesome friend Anna from Anna's Book Blog sent me a wonderful box of books with a surprise.  You see, I recently got addicted to Tim Tams.  I have a hard time finding them here, but Anna always seems to be able to find them for me!  She always remembers my addiction and sends me some!  Needless to say, they are pretty much devoured already. Thanks Anna!

Here is what showed up in my mailbox this week!


 Born At Midnight ARC plus notepad and pen
When Beauty Tamed The Beast
Demons Are A Girls Best Friend ARC
Cowboy Fever ARC
Rock Hard ARC
Kat, Incorrigible ARC
Red Riding Hood ARC
The Iron Queen ARC
The Chaos 
Minding Ben ARC


150 Bumper Stickers featuring my blog from Build-A-Signs


Tim Tams!!
Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here
Bloody Valentine
Paranormal Romance 2
Kiss Me Deadly
Jeanie In A Bottle
Highland Heat
Bedtime, Playtime
Silver Borne
Black Magic Sanction

Special Thanks to:
Anna, Sourcebooks, St. Martins, Scholastic, Poppy, Build-A-Sign and Avon.

What did everyone else get? Feel free to share your IMM in the comments section!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

(ARC Review) Save The Date by Jenny B. Jones

Author: Jenny B. Jones
Source: BookSneeze
*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review*

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595545395
ISBN-13: 978-1595545398


When Alex and Lucy pick out wedding invitations, they wonder if they can be printed in vanishing ink.

Former NFL star Alex Sinclair is a man who has it all--except the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancee in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn't quite what he seems, Lucy will find her heart on the line--and maybe even her life. When God asks Alex and Lucy to scrap their playbook and follow his rules, will they finally say, "I do"?


I was a little concerned about reading this because it is classified as a Christian Romance. Now don't get me wrong! I don't have anything against Christians--I am one--but I don't like my books to preach to me as I read a story.  Even though this book does have a lot of religious talk to it, I didn't feel as though it was preaching to me and telling me how I should be.  It still had the feel of the contemporary romance that I was seeking.

I did feel the book to be a little predictable at times though.  It didn't leave much for the imagination, and that made it fluffy and sweet.  Not much suspense really to keep you excited about the read, but one that keeps you interested enough to finish the book.

I liked the characters of Alex and Lucy.  Both were great to read about and I loved them together.  Not a book I would reread again, but not bad for rainy days when you need a sweet book to read.


Okay book!  Perfect for a rainy day! 3 STARS


Something Wicked by Michelle Rowen

A Living in Eden Novel #2
Author: Michelle Rowen
Source: Purchased

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (October 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 042523746X
ISBN-13: 978-0425237465


Living in Eden isn't exactly heaven on earth...
Darrak, the demon inside of Eden Riley, is able to take physical shape during the day. And Eden wouldn't mind getting her hands on him-if it wasn't a threat to her immortal soul. But while trying to rid themselves of the curse that binds them, they could get the distance they need...or each have their own private hell to pay.


Something Wicked is the second book in A Living In Eden series by author Michelle Rowen.  In the first book, we read about Darrak possessing Eden's body and learning about the witch's curse that he has.  We learned that he is a Demon who is slowly killing Eden by sucking away her life energy whether he wants to or not.  Darrak has been possessing people for over 300 years and within that time, he has slowly begun to acquire some humanity.

While trying to find a powerful wizard to break the curse, Eden and Darrak run into another archdemon, who just so happens to be Darraks best friend from Hell.  While, Theo was as bad as a Demon visiting Earth can be, I still enjoyed his character enough to see what was going to happen between Darrak and Theo.  I wanted to know if Theo was going to be the typical Demon and betray everyone he knows.  The addition of a new neighbor next to Edens apartment was also a nice story that intertwined with the plot.  Considering who the new neighbor is, it makes for some interesting reading once Darrak and Eden figure it out.

Now just because Darrak and Eden aren't suppose to be romantically involved, doesn't mean the book lets us down on the sexy factor!  The scenes that are in the book are smoking hot and can make you envious for your own Demon!

While I liked this book as a sequel, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book.  Darrak did have his Demon personality out more in this book than his humanity personality.  There were times I just wanted to have Eden exorcise him and end it already because of his smart ass attitude and lies.  But just as I was hoping Eden would call Demon-Busters-Are-Us,  Darrak changes my feelings with his smooth talking persona.

While I still enjoyed the first book better than this one, I am still looking forward to the final book in the series.  Their are some storyline plots that I just need to know about, such as the mysterious captive in the dungeon, and I need to know if this sexy couple is going to get their happily ever after!


Very Good! I would recommend this book!



Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Demon In Me by Michelle Rowen

A Living in Eden Novel #1
Author: Michelle Rowen
Source: Purchased

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley (May 4, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425234681
ISBN-13: 978-0425234686


Hell hath no fury...

Fate has led Eden Riley to become a "psychic consultant" to the police, even though her abilities are unreliable at best. Those paranormal powers are about to get her into a jam she couldn't have predicted: After her hunky police detective partner guns down a serial killer in front of her, Eden realizes that she's quite literally no longer alone. A voice in her head introduces himself as Darrak. He's a demon. But not in a bad way!

...Like a woman possessed.

Darrak lost his original body three hundred years ago, thanks to a witch's curse. This is the first time he's been able to speak directly to a host, plus there's a bonus: Eden's psychic energy helps him to take form during daylight hours. He wants to use this chance to find a way to break his curse - finally. Otherwise, Eden's going to have to learn to live with this sexy demon ... like it or not.

But she thinks she might like it.


After falling in love with the author's other books, I was excited to start another series by her.  Michelle Rowen always has the ability to create a new world with witty humor, fun characters and all at a great pace to keep me interested from beginning to end.  With this series, we meet Eden Riley.  Eden has a small touch of psychic in her that she has been using to help the police in unsolved cases.  In her first case with the police, she failed them.  Now as she tries again with the next case, she find herself working with a skeptical detective named Ben who happens to be a "Ken Doll" looking model.  To say she has a crush on him is putting it mildly.  When they enter a serial killers home to uncover clues, Eden finds herself face to face with the killer.  After Ben shoots the killer, Eden is overcome with black smoke that only she can see and quickly finds out that it was a cursed Demon that has now taken up residence in her body. 

Eden is the only one that can hear Darrak since he is literally living inside her body. After centuries of not being able to communicate with his hosts, Darrak is excited to finally have someone who can help him break a Black Witches curse that condemned this archdemon to his current predicament.  Since Eden is part psychic, Darrak can also take human form outside of her body during the daylight hours.  

The author did not disappoint with the fun and witty dialogue with this series.  Darrak was sexy, funny and oh so bad but in a good way.  You couldn't help but feel the same way Eden does toward the demon.  She goes through shock, disbelief and eventually trust and love with the demon. 

With a fun plot, sexy demon and a psychic who is as skeptical as a non believer can be, this book will take you on a roller coaster of laughter, suspense and all out fun.  Darrak is a demon who could posses me anytime and take up permanent residence in my body! A well done beginning novel to a series that is sure to be a hit and one I look forward to reading the rest of!


Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf
For Rereading! 5 STARS


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Author: Karen Marie Moning
Source: Library

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Dell (August 28, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0440240980
ISBN-13: 978-0440240983


MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….


I admit, I had no interest in really reading this series until I kept seeing everyone chatting about the final book in the series on Twitter, Blogs, and well...everywhere!  So, I finally caved and requested the first book from the library.  I waited on requesting the rest in the series because either I will like the series enough to buy them all, or I will not enjoy it enough to continue.  Needless to say, I have already put my order in to Amazon to receive the rest of the books in the series.

At first, the book seemed to progress at a slow pace.  Mac is telling us the story of how it began and how the phone call she receives changes her life.  When she is notified that her sister has been murdered in Ireland, it crushes her.  Especially finding out later on that her sister also tried contacting her hours before her death on Mac's cell phone.  Mac had dropped her phone in the water so she was unable to get the messages from her sister until after her death.  Determined to bring her sisters case out of the unsolved files in Ireland, Mac journey's to the last city and place her sister was at. 

I was disappointed that it took so long for Mac to run into Barrons.  I had heard everyone stating how sexy and hot Barrons was and when they first meet, Jericho seemed cold and full of himself.  Throughout the entire book I kept wondering what everyone saw in this character and how they could think he was all that and more.  Yet, as I devoured the rest of the book and got sucked into the mystery of the series, I found Barrons growing on me.  Especially when near the end of the book, Jericho is painting her nails and taking care of Mac.  It showed me he had a caring side to him that you know he doesn't show often or to many people. 

That also brings me to the sexy scenes involving V'Lane.  Now I will say right off the bat, these scenes were hot!  The simple fact that he could just do that to Mac so easily was amusing yet sexy at the same time. V'Lane seems to be warmer in the romance department than Barrons at the moment, but I will trust in the remarks of fellow reviewers and readers that Barrons is the ultimate package in this department.  

Will I continue to read this series? Yes.  Mainly because I still want to learn more of the mystery and unsolved questions that the book has left me with.  Of course, knowing that Barrons will have some sexiness in future books doesn't hurt or sway me in the least!  I have caught the "Fever" of the series!


"I already gave a copy of this recording to the Dublin Gardai," I told him, as I fished my cell phone out of my purse and thumbed up my saved messages.  "They're working to track down the man she was involved with." See Mac bluff. Better than See Mac run. Way better than See Mac get her stupid self killed.
I glanced at my watch.  Indecision over my outfit was making me late for my midnight appointment with Barrons.  I wasn't going to have time to dash to the church down the street and dab holy water at my wrists and behind my ears: my version of Eau de Don'tbiteme


Very Good! I would recommend this book! 4 STARS


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

(ARC Review) Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel by James Patterson

A Maximum Ride Novel #7
Author: James Patterson
Source: Publisher
* I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review*

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (February 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 031603620X
ISBN-13: 978-0316036207


In the seventh book in the bestselling series, evil scientists are still trying to convince Max that she needs to save the world, this time by providing the genetic link in speeding up the pace of evolution. Worse, they're trying to convince her that her perfect mate is Dylan, the newest addition to the flock. The problem is that, despite herself, Max is starting to believe it. 

Fang travels the country collecting his own gang of evolved humans, but the two separate flocks must unite to defeat a frightening doomsday cult whose motto is Save the Planet: Kill the Humans. And this time, the true heroine, for once, might just be little Angel.


If you are a fan of the Maximum Ride novels by James Patterson, then I can assume you have been like me in the hopes that the release of this book would hurry and get here.  I stalked the authors web page, Goodreads, Amazon and the publishers website in anticipation of hearing anything about the release date, cover and summary for this book.  After the last book, titled Fang, I was left with tears and in a serious need of the next installment to help get me over the ending of the book..  I needed to know what would happen next.

When I received this ARC copy in the mail, I was over the moon! I couldn't help putting it as the next book in line for me to read.  That is how much I have enjoyed this series in the past.  I finished my household chores and tucked the kids into bed.  Then I stayed up late reading this book.  Yet after the first couple of chapters, I realized my anticipation for the novel was sliding downhill.

While I enjoy all of the characters in The Maximum Ride Series, Fang and Max have always been my favorites.  I was cheering for the two of them to become a couple even if they were young.  I wanted them to have that relationship more than anything.  They had earned it and they needed some happiness.  After reading Fang, I was still hoping that the happiness would return.  Yes, we get to see Fang in this book, but not in the way we are all hoping  for.  He is still trying to gather his own flock and Max is still trying to deal with the fallout of Fang not being a part of hers.

While the story stays true to the non-stop action, with climatic short chapters as in the previous books, the plot of this one was not as well executed as it should have been.  I felt the author used this book as a "filler" book for the story.  It felt like he was rushed and needed to put this book out there to keep the fans satisfied until the final book in the series is released in 2012.  It didn't seem that story had much progression to it to warrant it as a "next in the series" book.

Overall, I expected so much more out of this. More angst, romance, adventure and actual plot.  I wish the author could have brought us so much more to enjoy the ride of the series.  Instead I felt the author let us down with this installment.  Will I read the final book in the series that will be released in 2012? Yes. For one I want to finish the series that I have loved, but I also want to know if the author is saving the best for last!


Okay book, but it left me wanting more!


The Duke's Night of Sin by Kathryn Caskie

Author: Kathryn Caskie
Source: Publisher
*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review*

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon; Original edition (November 30, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061491039
ISBN-13: 978-0061491030


The "Seven Deadly Sins" lived for scandal and delighted in disgrace, but now they must repent—in marriage!
A sin he cannot forget 

The Duke of Exeter knows it's time to find a bride, and he's determined to locate the passionate minx who enticed him in a pitch-black library. But how can you find someone you've never really seen? Then, while supervising his young ward's education, he is irresistibly attracted to her exquisite new teacher. He keeps wondering if they've met somewhere before, never suspecting she's the woman he's never forgotten after his one night of sin. 

A wicked secret 

As a beloved instructress at an exclusive school for young ladies, Lady Siusan Sinclair is a model of deportment. But no one knows her secret—that she fled London for Bath, her reputation on the verge of tatters, her fortune lost. Still, no matter how hard she tries, she can't forget the knee-weakening kiss of the man who led her astray . . .


First of all that let me say that the cover was not that appealing.  Sure it had a gorgeous man on the front, but the wow factor of the cover comes when you open the flap of the cover and get the whole picture instead.  Yes, I am a fan of covers just as much as books because they are what can capture a readers interest in deciding what will get picked up off the shelf first.

With that being said, the story was great.  It is the third book in the "Seven Deadly Sins" series. and in my opinion one of the better of the three.  The writing was better, the story was better, and the characters were even more enjoyable than the previous two books.  This book pushed the envelope with steamier scenes and bolder characters that pushed this series in a better direction.  Even though the ending was a little out there for one of the two main characters, I still found it to be an enjoyable read with the perfect balance of romance, sexy and plot.

A great new book in a series that will leave readers wanting to cast their own sins once they finish the book.


Very Good! I would recommend this book!


The Lady Most Likely...By Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Connie Brockway

Author(s): Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Connie Brockway
Source: Publisher
*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review*

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon; Original edition (December 28, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061247820
ISBN-13: 978-0061247828


Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly, needs a wife—so his sister hands him a list of the very best young ladies on the market. And then, because he refuses to tear himself away from the stables where he trains Arabian racehorses, she invites all those ladies to a house party, along with some other bachelors, of course. So who will Hugh choose? The Botticelli-esque, enchanting Gwendolyn? The outspoken, delightful Katherine? If he doesn't work fast, he'll lose those ladies to his closest friends, and then where will he look for a wife? Perhaps, just perhaps, toward a lady who's not on a market at all, and would require a great deal of persuading...


I have said it before and I will say it again, I am very picky about historical/regency romance novels.  I want them to have a great story, but I also want it to be believable along with great writing.  When I received this book in the mail, I fell in love with the cover.  The dress, the flowers and the overall classiness of the cover was beautiful.  I also noticed right away the headlining authors that are popular in this genre. 

In anthologies, you usually have different stories by different authors compiled into one book.  What made this book different however, is the fact that this is one entire story written by three different authors.  Each part of the book is written from a different author.  When one author finishes their part, the next author picks up the story where she left off.  This gives us one big novel producing the punch of three well known authors.  

While I enjoyed the story and the writing styles of three different authors, I won't go as far to say the story itself was a favorite.  I enjoyed it and I liked it, but it isn't one that I would rush out to own a copy to keep on my keeper shelf.  Each author brought a unique voice to the story and it came together nicely.  It was fluffy, romantic and fun, but not one I want to reread again.  I can't pinpoint an exact cause for my feelings on this, but I do know that if you are a big fan of not only these authors but for this genre as well, then you might have a different opinion on it than I have. 

An enjoyable and romantic read that will leave you with a feel-good satisfaction at the end, but not one I would own for future rereading.  I would say that this book is best for the hard core historical romance readers who love this genre more than me.


Okay book, but it left me wanting more! 3 STARS


Monday, January 24, 2011

(Guest Post) Author Katie Salidas

Today on My Overstuffed Bookshelf, I have the wonderful pleasure of introducing you to author Katie Salidas.  She agreed to stop by my blog for a guest post for one of her stops on her blog tour schedule! Be sure to stop by the other stops on her tour for some great giveaways, interviews, and guest posts! Let's give a warm welcome to Ms. Salidas and see what she has to share with us!

“A Day in the Life of a Writer”
Hmmm… When asked to write about a “day” in the life of a writer, I was stumped. I sat staring at the computer screen, watching the little cursor blink, mocking me as I wracked my brain, trying to recall what my “typical” day is like.  

While writing is something I take very seriously and look at as my job, it almost never happens during the “day.” Both Immortalis Carpe Noctem and my newest release Immortalis: Hunters & Prey were written almost exclusively at night. 

I can often be found bleary-eyed, late at night, clicking away at the keys of my laptop. Even us “Housewives” have day jobs.  The house doesn’t clean itself (oh God how I wish it did though), the laundry won’t fold itself … okay, you know where I’m going with this. Seriously though, daytime is when I work on the household stuff , do my critiquing group critiques and posts, and take care of business related things for Rising Sign Books. 

As it is, the everyday minutia tends to take up the bulk of the daylight hours, leaving only the calm of the evening for me to “get a few words in.” Once my daughter is nestled all snug in her bed, that’s when the words spring out from my head. 

So let’s start with that. I work nights. My shift starts promptly at 8pm. I crack open a can of redbull (the 12 oz one), open up my current manuscript, and get started.

8:30PM – While writing the start of a lusty scene between my two main characters, my email chimes. I’m a little OCD so I have to know what it is. (I know I should just leave my email closed… *sigh* I’ll never learn.) “Oooh Book Marketing tips. I need to know this!”

9:15PM – Email led to a quick pop over to facebook which led to a round of “poke wars” and three hundred updates. Whoops! I finally close both Thunderbird (email) and Firefox (internet) and realized I have only written one decent paragraph. Time to get back to work. 

10:45PM – I need a synonym for ‘ethereal’ and a bottle of water. After a quick stretch and run to the kitchen, I silently swear as I click open firefox. “only Thesaurus.com… no Facebook. No Twitter. No LinkedIn. No Myspace. No blogger…”

11:15PM - airy, celestial, spiritual, sublime, supernal, tenuous, unearthly, unworldly… See, I’m working. I wasn’t surfing the web. Promise. 

11:30PM – Kiss Hubby goodnight. He reminds me to come to bed instead of asleep on the couch, no matter how late I finish work. (It’s a bit of a regular occurrence in our house) I swear I won’t fall asleep on the couch.  “Scouts honor.”

12:00AM – Email chimes just as I finish up a rough draft on the lusty scene I’ve been working on.  Perfect timing, an email from my critting buddy (many of them are up as late as me on a regular basis too). I’ll shoot over the pages I just wrote and see what they think.

12:30AM – Delete Delete Delete… Okay, bad Idea to send off something that rough. That scene was crap, but at least I heard it from a friend, right? Time to rewrite it and grab Redbull #2

12:35AM – Stare blankly at the ceiling, wondering if inspiration will strike.  Oooh, was that my email again? Yay Facebook Updates! Oooh new Twitter followers. Awww, some poor man in Nigeria needs me to help him get his inheritance.  

1:00AM – Spin around in my chair to see how long it takes to get dizzy. Maybe I shouldn’t have had that second Redbull. Hmmmm. Maybe a change of location will help.  It’s too late for a coffee shop but I’ve got a laptop I can at least get away from the desk. I hop over to the loveseat. 

1:30AM – Back on track!! Words are flying from my fingers to the screen.  Characters are falling madly in love.  It’s getting hot and heavy in their bedroom… Boy, I use the word embrace a lot. I need a new word.  Ut-oh… I silently swear as I click open Firefox. “only Thesaurus.com… no Facebook. No Twitter. No LinkedIn. No Myspace. No blogger…” I can be strong this time. I just know it.

2:30AM – How many versions of that farmer game are on Facebook now? Not that I was on Facebook… for that long. I mean, does the word snuggle sound too cute? What about nuzzle? 

3:30AM – Things are really moving along. I’ve gotten 1k words into the rewrite on my love scene. Getting a little sleepy but I think I can hang until I get it finished. 

7:00AM – Hubby wakes me up, looking very disappointed. I fell asleep on the couch again. Time to start another day. I promise I’ll sleep in my bed next time.  

So there you have it, a typical day…er night… in my writing life. And just for fun. It’s now 11:30pm as I type this and I am already on Redbull #2. It’s going to be a productive night, I can just tell!

That was so funny Katie! I seem to do that a lot when I am trying to write up blog posts for advance posting!  My vices are Coca-Cola and Twitter as well! I might miss something good if I don't check it just for a second! I am so glad you stopped by and I hope you stop by again soon! 

Paperback: 300 pages
Published: Rising Sign Books (December 14, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984419659
ISBN-13: 978-0984419654
Find Katie at the following:

The youngest of four children, Katie has always had a desire to entertain. Since, early childhood, she's dreamed fantastical characters and scribbled them into pages of various journals and notebooks. Taking an interest in vampires, she devoured every book, featuring those blood sucking creatures, in any genre she could find.
It was only natural that a love of reading vampire stories, turned into a love to write them.

Katie is also a Las Vegas native, having grown up in the famed City of Sin. She loves to feature it as a recurring setting for many of her stories. 


Sunday, January 23, 2011


The contest for The Sapphire Talisman by Brenda Pandos has ended! Using Random.org, the winner is:

Congrats! I will be emailing you shortly! Thank you to everyone who entered and spread the word! 

A very special thank you to author Brenda Pandos for stopping by my blog and donating a copy of her book!

Series of The Month Voting!

It is time for you to pick the featured Series of the Month for February! The winning series will be read and reviewed here on my blog during the month of February.  This month, we have two great Young Adult series for you to choose from!

I haven't had a chance to read these series, or if I have, they have not been reviewed on the blog.  The winning series will be read, or in some cases reread, for me to post reviews on for books you choose! Be sure to vote soon as voting only stays open until tomorrow evening! Be sure to tell your friends to vote as well!

What series would you like reviewed?


Saturday, January 22, 2011

IMM: In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren
This was a slow week for me. Only 2 books for review and I was unable to purchase anything due to low funds and also because my store to purchase books has been slow getting new stuff in stock. 

Here is what showed up in my mailbox this week!


By P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
By Ann Aguirre

BIG Thank you's to:
St. Martin's Press
Feiwel & Friends

Labels: ,

Friday, January 21, 2011

Numbers by Rachel Ward

Author: Rachel Ward
Source: Publisher
* I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review*

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: The Chicken House; Reprint edition (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545143004
ISBN-13: 978-0545143004


Ever since the day her mother died, Jem has known about the numbers. Numbers that pop into her head when she looks into someone's eyes. They're dates, the numbers. Dates predicting with brute accuracy each person's death. Burdened by such horrible knowledge, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. Maybe they can find happiness together, if only in the brief time that remains before his expiration date. But on a trip to London, Jem foresees a chilling chain of events: The city's a target. The clock's running out. The countdown is on to a blowup!


Jem's mother died from a drug overdose when Jem was little.  After her death, Jem was forced to live in foster homes.  She has not only had a hard life, but she also has a hard time dealing with the fact that she can look at a person and see the date of their death in her mind.  Spider has also had a rough life, but he tries to be a little more upbeat about it.  

When Jem and Spider are in London, she notices many of the people with the same date for death.  She knows something bad is going to happen and she begs Spider to leave with her.  What happens next is explosive.  The explosion occurs and many people die.  When the police are after Spider and Jem, they decide to go on the run and try to have a better life.  

While I enjoyed the premise of the book, I couldn't find myself enjoying the book.  Jem was always on guard, which I could understand, but she was so much on guard that she had no warm personality traits for me to cling to.  She was cold and distant and didn't fit together with Spider.  Spider being the complete opposite emotionally, I found him to be the better character of the two. 

The story started out strong and had me intrigued.  Then when the explosion occurs it starts to take off but fizzles out too quickly for my taste.  It did have some eerie moments that left me wondering, but not enough to keep me satisfied.  


  If the library doesn't have it, don't worry about reading it! 2 STARS


Thursday, January 20, 2011

(ARC Review) Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Razorland #1
Author: Ann Aguirre
Source: Publisher
*I received this book free of charge 
in exchange for an honest review*

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (April 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312650086
ISBN-13: 978-0312650087


In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.


Wow! I am in awe of this book.  I will be the first to admit that I am not a big fan of the dystopia genre. I really didn't start enjoying this genre until I read The Hunger Games series.  When the publisher sent me the copy of Enclave, I wondered if it was going to have the same impact on me.  I literally stayed up late reading this book.  I could not put it down.

Deuce and Fade were great together.  I found the writing to be wonderful and gripping.  I was rooting for these two young fighters.  I wanted a romance to blossom between the two.  Deuce has grown up underground and never seeing the topside of the world.  She has believed everything her elders have told her and is determined to make it as a Huntress.  In the underground world after the Apocalypse, they have Hunters, Breeders, and Builders.  Deuce has been chosen to become a Huntress.  When she officially becomes one, they have a naming ceremony where you receive your rank with marks on your body.  Whatever the blood drips on amongst the gifts laid at your feet, that becomes your name. Until this time you are just a number amongst all of the children that are referred to as Brats.

Fade came from Topside.  He lived above ground until he lost his way and the Enclave took him in and kept him under close watch.  They eventually marked him as a Hunter and is paired up with Deuce on her naming day.  At first, things are tense between the two, but on patrol they form a bond that sparks some romance.  We slowly learn more about Fade the more you read, and I grew to love him with every page I turned.  They were a perfect fit together that I enjoyed.

When they are both exiled from the Enclave, they are forced to live Topside.  Together they make new friends, find more enemies, and decide to find a better way of life.  As each one discovers new things about the other, the author also portrays the awe perfectly as the two find artifacts and learn new ways to survive.

When I reached the end of the book, some questions were left unanswered, but left you with just enough to satisfy you and keep you hungry for the next book in the series.  I wish we could have learned more about the cause of the Apocalypse from the beginning instead of in the authors notes at the end of the book.  I  am curious to know what comes after the last chapter and personally can't wait for the next book titled Outpost that is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2012.  It will be a long wait, but if Enclave is just a sampling of what is to come, then it will be worth it!


Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf
For Rereading! 5 STARS

YouTube Trailer:


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Swoon At Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter

Author: Sydney Salter
Source: Purchased

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Graphia; 1 edition (April 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0152066497
ISBN-13: 978-0152066499


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. This summer, she’s going to focus on herself for once. So Polly is happy when she finds out Grandma is moving in—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 while she’s working at Wild Waves water park, when Grandma is picking up guys at the bookstore and flirting with the dishwasher repairman?            

No advice column can prepare Polly for what happens when she goes 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.


I tried really hard to enjoy this book.  The summary sounded fun and swoon worthy, but to me the story fell flat.  With too many characters, too much whining, and not enough substantial plot, I felt the book was lacking what it was implying in the summary.

I hated how Polly was constantly whining and how stuck up she could be at times.  I couldn't warm up to her personality at all.  Xander was in the picture but when he was, he hardly got to speak as much as I wanted.  The little Dear Miss Swoon columns at the end of each chapter were annoying as well. Sometimes they had nothing to do with either the chapter we just finished or the one that follows it.

While the writing was good with great structure and flow, the story itself was bland and forced.  Would I read another book by this author? Of course I would.  Her writing does have great points about it, but this one lacked the feel that I was craving at the moment.  Not a bad book, but not one I would reread.


  If the library doesn't have it, don't worry about reading it! 2 STARS