Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Huge Contest Head's Up and a Review: Ashes by S. Nicholson

Let me start by giving you a heads up on Scott's blog tour! You need to check this one out because there will TWO kindles given away!

Author Scott Nicholson and Amazon are giving away two Kindles as part of his fall book blog tour from September through November, with a stop here at The Cajun Book Lady on Sept. 13.

A Kindle DX will be given away through the participating blogs, and a Kindle 3 will be given away through the tour newsletter. A Pandora's Box of free ebooks will be given away through Nicholson's "hauntedcomputer" Twitter account. No purchase necessary, and the contest is international.

Nicholson is author 12 novels and three story collections, as well as four comics series and six screenplays. His paranormal thrillers "The Red Church," "Drummer Boy" and "Speed Dating with the Dead" have all hit #1 in the Kindle "Ghosts" category.As a bonus, if Nicholson hits the Top 100 in the U.S. or U.K. Kindle Store during the tour between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30, he will give away an extra Kindle 3 through the blogs.

Sign up for the newsletter at scottsinnercircle-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to get daily links to the participating blogs. Winners will be selected at the Watauga County (NC) Public Library in December. Co-sponsored by Kindle Nation Daily and Dellaster Design. Details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/.


What I Thought:

I'm a big fan of Scott's! I've read basically all of his work at this point because I really enjoy his writing.

I also love short stories so this was a good combo for me! One of the things I liked about this one was that all of the stories were open ended which left the reader to ponder the outcome.

Now I know some people might not like that but for me it tends to make my imagination run off on it's own.

Each story was different with it's own sense of physical or psychological horror. I enjoyed the variety.

Something else I enjoyed...at the end of the book we got a few notes from the author about his inspiration for each story which I found interesting and insightful.

About The Book:

A collection of Scott Nicholson's contemporary fantasy, mystery, and ghost stories, collected from outlets like Cemetery dance and Black Static Magazine. Includes three original works and an afterword, as well as an exclusive introudction by Jonathan Maberry, bestselling author of The Dragon Factory

Available at Amazon for Kindle and at Smashwords for other e-reader formats.

About The Author:

Author Scott Nicholson has written 12 thrillers, 60 short stories, four comics series, and six screenplays. He's also a freelance editor and journalist. He lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, where he tends an organic garden, successfully eludes stalkers, and generally lives the dream. He's online at www.hauntedcomputer.com.


Frequently asked questions
Freshdirt: Scott's journal
The Vault
Scott's appearances
Scott...in action!

**Review copy provided by author. All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mini-View: Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe

What I Thought:

I enjoyed this one; it was a quick read and it was entertaining. I wouldn't really call it "funny" as it did deal with some pretty serious issues.

The main character prefers ghosts over people but I think that maybe the underlying point had to do with trying to fit in. Being a teenager is tough and I think the author was trying to get that across in the book.

Like I said...quick read but an enjoyable one.

About The Book:
(from Author's Website)

An outcast at her high school, Cass uses the secrets her ghostly friends dig up to expose her fellow students' deceits. Then the popular student council V.P. discovers her secret, and, to her surprise, asks her for help...

**Review copy provided by publisher. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Treasures In My Mailbox!

Thanks to the mailbox hosts! So not much for review this week which is ok since I'm managed to make a really huge dent in my Review/TBR pile. I'm so proud of myself LOL!

For Review:

Love Bites
Bloodfever
Fiber and Brimstone


I'm excited about all three of these!








Bought:

Remember Me

Friday Night in the Beast House (I've actually finished this one. I love horror.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

(arc) Review: The House Of Dead Maids by Clare B Dunkle

Releases September 14, 2010

What I Thought:

The author manages to take a character from Wuthering Heights and spin a totally creepy back story for him in this book.

It's a YA/MG novel that as an adult I enjoyed reading. I think teens and kids will like this one as long as they don't mind the creep factor LOL! (But I think that the cover makes it obvious that it's creepy, right? I should say that I think it's an awesome cover!)

It certainly encouraged me to go an pick up Wuthering Heights and read it. (maybe that's what the author wants...) It definitely made the classic seem appealing as I wanted to know more about this character AFTER The House Of Dead Maids.

The writing in this book was fluid and even thought it's set in a historical time the dialogue is easily understandable. I don't personally like reading books that I have to look up every other word to see what it means which I imagine would be frustrating for anyone.

Overall it was a quick and spooky read that I really enjoyed!

About The Book:
(from Amazon)

Young Tabby Aykroyd has been brought to the dusty mansion of Seldom House to be nursemaid to a foundling boy. He is a savage little creature, but the Yorkshire moors harbor far worse, as Tabby soon discovers. Why do scores of dead maids and masters haunt Seldom House with a jealous devotion that extends beyond the grave?

As Tabby struggles to escape the evil forces rising out of the land, she watches her young charge choose a different path. Long before he reaches the old farmhouse of Wuthering Heights, the boy who will become Heathcliff has doomed himself and any who try to befriend him.

You should check out the author's website here. It has tons of great info about the book and what went in to writing it.

About The Author:

Clare B. Dunkle is the author of the acclaimed Hollow Kingdom trilogy, as well as By These Ten Bones and The Sky Inside. She lives with her family in San Antonio, Texas.
www.claredunkle.com

**review copy provided by publisher

Thursday, August 26, 2010

(arc) Review: Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman

What I Thought:

There are a lot of books that I like and enjoy but it's not often that I'm gripped to a story within the first chapter. This book had me totally enthralled from page one all the way to the end!

The characters were interesting with their own underlying stories that you find out about along the way. The storyline was gripping and compelling; I was reading as quickly as possible because I NEEDED to know what would happen.

The suspense in this one is so thick that you can feel it as your reading...the author did a fantastic job with building up this story. There was always a twist or turn that kept you guessing. The ending was great...totally shocking and had me in tears. NOT AT ALL what I was expecting!

Overall, I thought this one was fantastic! Suspense and thriller fans should definitely check this one out. I know that I look forward to reading more of this author's work.

About The Book:
(from FSB Website)

Thirteen-year-old Lainey Emerson is the middle child in a home police are already familiar with: her mother works too much and her stepfather favors his own blood over another man's problems -- namely Lainey and her wild older sister. When Lainey fails to come home from a night out with friends, her disappearance is dismissed by the Coral Springs PD as just another disillusioned South Florida teen running away from suburban drama and an unhappy home life.

But FDLE Special Agent Bobby Dees, who heads up the Department's difficult Crimes Against Children (CAC), is not quite so sure. Nicknamed "The Shepherd" by colleagues, he has an uncanny ability to find the missing and bring them back home -- dead or alive. After a search of Lainey's computer and a frank talk with her best friend reveal the teen was involved in a secret internet relationship, Bobby suspects she may be the victim of an online predator. And when chilling evidence of other possible victims is sent to a local Miami television station, he fears she may not be the only one.

The faceless monster from cyberspace, who has gone to remarkable lengths to stay invisible, now seeks a captive audience. And it is Bobby Dees he wants watching. Haunted by the still-unsolved disappearance of his own teenage daughter, Bobby will find himself pulled into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the most prolific serial killer he's ever encountered. But will he be able to save Lainey and the others before it's too late?

You can read an excerpt here!

**review copy provided by FSB Media

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

(arc) Review: Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen

What I Thought:

I LOVED this book! It was light-hearted yet serious at times and there was always something to keep me interested!

I enjoyed the main characters (who seem like that typical "growing up and apart" couple) as I followed their adventures of slaying zombies and saving their marriage.

It definitely isn't your usual zombie book! It'll make you laugh out loud at times as the author's sense of humor comes shining through. At other times you'll see a whole different serious side of a "zombie" plaque. Yes, I was weeping at times.

It's certainly a multi-dimensional story (as in it's not just about zombies people!) that will keep you reading straight through to the end. I know I can't wait for book 2!

About The Book:

(from the author's website)

Meet Sarah and David.
Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they’re on the verge of divorce and going to couples’ counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things – the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client’s throat.


Meet the Zombies.
Now, Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn’t mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don’t eat their brains, they might just kill each other.

About The Author:
(also from her website)

Jesse Petersen was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Idaho and got married in Washington. She has a degree in Psychology from the University of Washington and has been writing for twelve years. Currently, she lives in the Midwest with her husband and two cats. When not writing, she enjoys reading, bike riding and volunteering at her local zoo.

On a side note:

You should check out her website! She's super funny! I know I'll be reading this series!
**review copy provided by publisher

An Excerpt! All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

I just started reading this one and so far I'm really enjoying it! Julie from FSB Media sent over an excerpt and I thought I'd share it with you. Kristan Higgins seems to be a really fun author!


Chapter One
by Kristan Higgins,
Author of All I Ever Wanted

As the man I loved approached my office, the image of a deer being hit by a truck came to mind. I was the deer, metaphorically speaking, and Mark Rousseau was the pickup truck of doom.

But here's the thing. The deer always freezes, as we all know, hence the expression like a deer caught in the headlights. The deer and I (Callie Grey, age thirty as of 9:34 this very morning) are well aware that the pickup truck is going to hit us. But we just stand there, waiting for the inevitable, whether it's a pickup truck (in the deer's case) or a man walking athletically toward me (in mine), perpetual smile in place, his brown hair carelessly curling, those gorgeous, dancing dark eyes. I waited, doe-eyed. It was all really too bad, because outside of Mark's influence, I was not at all a deer about to be run down. I was much more of an adorable, perky hedgehog or something."Hey." Mark grinned.

Bam! We have impact. The sunlight streamed through the windows of the old brick office building in which Mark and I worked, illuminating him so that he looked like something painted by Michelangelo. To make him even more appealing, he was wearing an old sweater vest his mom knitted for him years ago, shapeless and faded but something he just couldn't part with. A good son and a sex god.

It was as if there were two Callies . . . the smarter, more sensible self (I pictured her as Michelle Obama), and the dopey, in love part . . . Betty Boop. Would that Michelle could give Betty Boop a brisk slap, followed by some vigorous shaking. Alas, Betty just sat there, enthralled, as the First Lady snorted in disgust."Hi," I said, feeling my face warm. You'd think that four years of seeing him almost daily would have built up some tolerance in me, but no. My chest prickled with longing and love, my throat turned Saharan, my feet and fingers tingled. Though I was trying hard for Intelligent Coworker, my expression was probably somewhere around Pathetic Adoration.

Mark leaned against my desk, which meant his crotch was, oh, let's see, about a foot and a half from my face, since I was seated. Not that I noticed, of course. "Happy birthday," he said, making it sound like the most intimate, most suggestive phrase in the world.

Face: nuclear. Heart: racing. Callie: half inch from orgasm. "Thanks.""I got you a present, of course," he murmured in that voice . . . God, that voice. Low and soft and velvety . . . the same voice he used in the bedroom, as I well knew. Yes, Mark and I had been together. For five weeks. Five wonderful weeks. Almost five and a half, if you really analyzed it. Which I had.

From his back pocket, he withdrew a small, rectangular package. My heart flopped as my brain raced with contradictory thoughts. Jewelry? Betty squealed. That means something. That's romantic. So romantic! Oh! My! God! On the other hand, Michelle advised caution. Calm down, Callie. Let's just see how this plays out."Oh, Mark! Thank you! You didn't have to," I said, my voice breathy.On the other side of the glass-bricked wall that separated our offices, Fleur Eames slammed a drawer. The wall only went up ten feet; the ceilings were twelve, perfect for eavesdropping, and I guessed she was trying to snap me out of my daze. Fleur, a copywriter here at the firm, knew about my crush. Everyone did.

Clearing my throat, I reached for the package in Mark's hand. He held onto it for a minute, grinning before he let go. It was wrapped in cheerful yellow paper. Yellow is my favorite color. Did I tell him that once? Had he filed away that little fact the same way I filed away everything he ever told me? I mean, really, it could hardly be coincidence, right? He smiled down at me, and my racing heart stuttered, stalled, then revved into overdrive. Oh, God. Could it be? Did he finally want to get back together?

I'd worked at Mark's firm for the past four years. We were the only advertising and public relations agency in northeastern Vermont. Our staff was small -- just Mark and me; Fleur; the office manager, Karen; and the two pale computer geeks in the art department, Pete and Leila. Oh, and Damien, Mark's personal assistant/receptionist/willing slave.

I loved my job. Excelled at my job, as proven by the large poster on my wall, which had very nearly won a Clio, the Oscar of advertising. Said Clio ceremony took place eleven months ago out in Santa Fe. And in that beautiful, romantic city, Mark and I had finally hooked up. But the timing wasn't right for a serious relationship. Well, at least that's what Mark had said. Honestly, has a woman ever said that? Not a lot of twenty-nine-year-old women truly have timing issues when it comes to being with the man they love. No. It had been Mark's timing that wasn't right.

But now . . . now a gift. Could it finally be that the time was right? Maybe now, on the very day that my thirties began and I entered into that decade where a woman is more likely to be mauled by a grizzly bear than get married . . . maybe today really was the start of a new age."Open it, Callie," he said, and I obeyed, hoping he didn't notice my shaking fingers. Inside was a black velvet box. Squee! I bit my lip and glanced up at Mark, who shrugged and gave me that heart-stopping smile once more. "It's not every day my best girl turns thirty," he added."Oh, gack," sniped Damien appearing in the doorway. Mark glanced at him briefly, then turned his eyes back to me."Hi, Damien," I said."Hi." He stretched the word into three syllables of contempt . . . Damien had once again broken up with his boyfriend and currently hated love in all its forms. "Boss, Muriel's on line two."Something flickered across Mark's face. Irritation, maybe. Muriel was the daughter of our newest client, Charles deVeers, the owner and founder of Bags to Riches. The company made outdoorwear from a combination of plastic grocery bags and natural fiber. It was our biggest account yet, a huge deal for Green Mountain, most of whose clients were in New England. I'd only met Muriel once, and then only briefly, but Mark had been flying back and forth to San Diego, where Bags to Riches was based. As part of the package, Charles had asked Muriel to come to Vermont and work as the account exec, so he could have someone close to him keeping tabs on things. And, since Charles was paying us gobs of money, Mark had said yes.

Mark didn't answer Damien, who was quivering with the joy of running Mark's day. "Boss?" Damien said, a bit more sharply. "Muriel? Remember her? She's waiting.""So let her wait some more," Mark answered, tossing me a wink. "This is important. Open the damn box, Callie." Damien sighed with the heavy drama that only a gay man can pull off and hustled down the hall.Cheeks burning, I opened the velvet box. It was a bracelet, delicate silver strands that twisted and turned like ivy. "Oh, Mark, I love it," I whispered, running my finger over the intricate lines. I bit my lip, my eyes already misting with happy tears. "Thank you."His expression was soft. "You're welcome. You mean a lot to me. You know that, Callie." He bent down and kissed my cheek, and every detail was immediately seared into my brain -- his smooth, warm lips, the smell of his Hugo Boss cologne, the heat of his skin.

Hope, which had been lying in ashes for the past ten months, twitched hard."Think you'll make it to my party later on?" I asked, striving for perky and fun, not lustful and ruttish. My parents were throwing me a little bash at Elements, the nicest restaurant around, and I'd invited all my coworkers. No use pretending: I was turning thirty; might as well get some presents.Mark straightened, then moved a pile of papers from the small couch in my office and sat down. "Um . . . Listen, I need to tell you something. You met Muriel, right?""Well, just that once. She seems . . . very . . . " Hmm. She'd worn a killer black suit, had great shoes . . . kind of intense. "Very focused.""Yeah. She is. Callie . . . " Mark hesitated. "Muriel and I are seeing each other."It took a few seconds for that to register. Once again, I was that stupid deer, watching mutely as the pickup truck hurtled down the road. My heart slammed to a halt. For a second, I couldn't breathe. Michelle Obama stood by, shaking her head sadly, her fabulous arms crossed in regret. I realized my mouth was open. Closed it. "Oh," I heard myself say.Mark looked at the floor. "I hope that doesn't cause you any . . . discomfort. Given our past involvement."There was a white, rushing sound, like a river engorged with snowmelt and hidden debris. He was seeing someone? How could that be? If the timing was okay for Muriel . . . why not . . . Oh, crap."Callie?" he said.

Here's the thing about being hit by a truck. Sometimes those deer keep running. They just bound into the woods, sort of like they're saying, Whoo-hoo! That was close! Good thing I'm okay. Um . . . I am okay, right? Actually, you know what? I'm feeling a little strange. Think I'll lie down for a bit. And then they wake up dead.Mark's voice lowered. "The last thing I want to do is hurt you."Say something, the First Lady commanded. "No, no!" I chirruped. "It's . . . just . . . no worries, Mark. Don't worry." I seemed to be smiling. Smiling and nodding. Yes. I was nodding. "So how long have you been . . . together?""A couple of months," Mark answered. "It's . . . it's fairly serious." He reached out and took the bracelet out of the box, then put it on my wrist, his fingers brushing the sensitive skin there, making me want to jerk away.

In the many years I'd known Mark, he'd never dated anyone for a couple of months. A couple of weeks, sure. I thought five was a record, quite honestly.Ah. My body was catching on to the fact that I'd just been slammed. My throat tightened, my joints buzzed with the flight response to danger, and a sharp pain lanced through my chest. "Right. Well. You know what? I have to get my license renewed! I almost forgot! You know . . . birthday. License. Renewal." Breathe, Callie. "Okay if I zip out for lunch a little early?" My voice cracked, and I cleared my throat again, studiously avoiding Mark's dark and now sorrowful eyes."Sure, Callie. Take all the time you need."The kindness in his voice made me feel abruptly murderous. "I won't be long," I chirped. "Thanks for the bracelet! See you in a bit!"With that, I grabbed my oversize pink hobo bag and stood up, excruciatingly careful not to brush against Mark, who still sat on my couch, staring straight in front of him. "Callie, I'm sorry," he said."No! Nothing to apologize for!" I sang. "Gotta run. They close at noon today. See ya later!"

Thirty minutes later, I stood in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the effects of being emotionally run down by the man I loved -- and now hated -- but still loved -- were catching up with me. Michelle Obama had abandoned me, regretfully acknowledging that I was beyond help, and Betty Boop was clamping her lips together and blinking back tears. Trying to keep the choo-choo train of despair at bay, I glanced around. Gray, grimy tile floors. Dingy white walls. I stood in the middle of a line of about ten people, all of us listless and lifeless and loveless . . . or so it seemed.The whole scene was like something out of some French existentialist play . . . Hell is not other people. Hell is the DMV. Robotic clerks shuffled behind the counter, clearly hating their lot in life and contemplating the easiest form of hari-kari or embezzlement so they could leave this grim place. The clock on the wall seemed to taunt me. Time's a'wastin', kid. Your life is passing you by. Happy fucking birthday.

My breathing started to quicken, my knees felt like a hive of angry bees. Tears burned in my eyes, and on my wrist, my stupid birthday present tickled. I should just rip it off. Melt it down into a bullet and kill Mark. Or myself. Or just swallow the bracelet whole and let it get tangled in my intestines and require emergency surgery and then have Mark come to the hospital and realize just how much he really loved me after all. Not that I would have him now. (Yeah, sure, Callie, said Mrs. Obama, making a reappearance. You'd eat a baby if it meant having him.)Well. Maybe not a baby. But the idea that Mark was with someone . . . for a couple of months, fairly serious . . . ah, shit! Panic loomed like the jaws of a great white shark, terrifying and unexpected. Stupid Muriel with her black hair and white skin, like some vampire in fabulous shoes . . . when the hell had they started dating? When, dammit?

Oh, crap. Should I go? No. I had to get my license renewed. Today was the last day I could do it without incurring a fine. I'd picked out this wicked cute outfit, too -- red-and-white printed blouse, short red skirt, big gold hoops, and my hair was perfect today, all shiny and swingy . . . Besides, what could I do? Sit in my car and wail? Kick a tree? Strangle a moose? I really wasn't the type. The only idea that held any appeal was that of sitting in my rocking chair and eating cake batter.

A dry sob raked my throat. Shit. Shit on a shingle. Shit on rye."Next," called one of the DMV drones, and we all shuffled forward six inches. The man behind me heaved an audible sigh.Without another thought, I fumbled in my purse for my cell phone. Where was it? Where was it, dammit? Tampon . . . no. Book on CD . . . no. Picture of Josephine and Bronte, my nieces . . . even their beautiful faces failed to cheer me. Where was the phone? Ah. Here. I scrolled down to Annie Doyle. Damn! I got her voice mail. Somehow, it felt like a personal insult. How could my best friend be unavailable in my time of need? Didn't she love me anymore?Clearly the choo-choo was chugging faster now, so I scrolled down for backup. My mom? God, no . . . this would just be confirmation that the Y chromosome should be erased from humanity. My sister? Not much better. Still, it was someone. Mercifully, Hester answered, even though I knew she was at work."Hester? Got a minute?""Hey, birthday girl! What's up?" My sister's voice, always on the loud side, boomed out of my phone, and I held it away from my ear.

"Hester," I bleated, "he's seeing someone! He gave me a beautiful bracelet and kissed me and then he told me he's seeing someone! For a couple of months and it's fairly serious, but I still love him!"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: Fourteen Days Later by Sibel Hodge (A laugh out loud book!)

Book Info:

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 369 KB
Publisher: Sibel Hodge; 2 edition (March 18, 2010)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B003B3O0UE
Review Copy: Author

What I Thought:

This was a hilarious romance! I truly was laughing out loud while reading this one. This author has a really great sense of humor that shows in her writing.

The storyline was entertaining and funny; the characters were unique, colorful, and relatable. I had a hard time putting this one down because I never knew what funny catastrophe or line would come next.

For example: (The main character has just gone to the grocery store for "singles" shopping.)

"It must have had a bit missing somewhere as it made a loud squealing noise like a mouse on ecstasy. The only way to steer it in a straight line was to try and twist it in a diagonal manner so it looked like I was purposely heading towards people, like a kamikaze shopper."

If you are looking for some light and fun romance then I would say to check this one out. I'm glad I read it!

About The Book:
(from Amazon)

When accident-prone Helen Grey finds a thong stuffed into the pocket of her boyfriend’s best work trousers, it’s time for her to move on. His excuse that he needed to dust the photocopier and just thought that it was a rag sounds like a lame excuse.

Helen’s life is propelled in an unexpected direction after her best friend, Ayshe, sets her a fourteen-day, life-changing challenge. Helen receives a task everyday which she must complete without question. The tasks are designed to build her confidence and boost her self-esteem but all they seem to do is push her closer to Ayshe’s brother, Kalem. How will Kalem and Helen get together when she’s too foolish to realize that she loves him? How can he fall for her when he is too busy falling prey to her mishaps and too in love with his own perfect girlfriend? How will Kalem’s Turkish Cypriot family react when they find out?

Is it really possible to change your life in fourteen days?

About The Author:

Sibel Hodge has dual British/Turkish Cypriot nationality, dividing her time between Hertfordshire and North Cyprus. She is a qualified personal trainer, sports and massage therapist, and writes freelance feature articles on health, fitness, and various lifetyle subjects. Prior to this, she also worked for Hertfordshire Constabulary for ten years.

Her first novel, Fourteen Days Later, was short listed for the Harry Bowling Prize 2008 and received a highly commended by the Yeovil Literary Prize 2009. It is a romantic comedy with a unique infusion of British and Turkish Cypriot culture. Written in a similar style to Catherine Alliott and Marian Keyes, Fourteen Days Later is My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets P.S. I Love You.

The Fashion Police is her second novel and is the first in a series featuring feisty, larger-than-life insurance investigator, Amber Fox. It is a screwball comedy-mystery, combining murder and mayhem with romance and chick-lit. Written in a similar style to Janet Evanovich, The Fashion Police is Stephanie Plum meets Bridget Jones.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trade?

Does anyone have an extra copy of The Duff or a copy that they no longer want and would be willing to trade for a copy of Nightshade?

email me at ksg_amg(at)yahoo.com

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Treasures In My Mailbox!

So it was a fun but quite mailbox this week. I'm really excited to read the ones I received!
For Review:
Flash Of The Firefly (Kindred Blood Book One)
The Taming Wolf (Book Four in Lydia Dare's Werewolf series)
Wolf Fever
Won:
The Pact Of Stone
Other:
Signed bookplate from Michelle Zink (she was giving these away on her site...so excited to have one for my book!)


And of course I checked out the Friends Of The Library Book Sale where I found these beauties!
Thanks so much for stopping in! What did you get in your mailbox?

Second Chance Giveaway: Farm Fatale by Wendy Holden

As a blogger I have several books to review at any given time and sometimes I find myself struggling to finsh a book even though I can't get into it. I don't have the spare time to read books I don't love, So I'll be offering up those to fellow readers in the hope that YOU might enjoy it and perhaps post a review somewhere...Amazon, Goodreads, Librarything, anywhere....

The book up for a second chance today is Farm Fatale by Wendy Holden. I tried it and I just couldn't get into it, I gave it a 100 pages and I put it down. Now....I'm not saying it's bad but it wasn't for me. There's no specific thing that I can give as an example either...I don't know?

Here's the blurb:

A witty, beloved novel of heart and heartland, Farm Fatale skewers the culture clash of city vs. country in the snappy, observant style that made Wendy Holden famous.

Cash-strapped Rosie and her boyfriend Mark are city folk longing for a country cottage. Rampant nouveaux riches Samantha and Guy are also searching for rustic bliss—in the biggest mansion money can buy. The village of Eight Mile Bottom seems quiet enough, despite a nosy postman, a reclusive rock star, a glamorous Bond Girl, and a ghost with a knife in its back. But there are unexpected thrills in the hills, and Rosie is rapidly discovering that country life isn’t so simple after all.

Now for the giveaway:

If you would like to give this book a second chance then please leave me a comment along with your email addy so that I can contact you if you win.

-open to US addy only
-ends Sep 1st

Friday, August 20, 2010

Review: Hell Yeah by Carolyn Brown

Book Info:

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (August 3, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402239270
ISBN-13: 978-1402239274
Review Copy: Publisher

What I Thought:

I adored the first book in this series and this one was another winner. I was so happy to be carried back into this world that I didn't want to put it down. It was fun to reunite with the characters and see what they were up to. But...I was even happier to follow Cathy's story! (She was introduced toward the end of book 1) I also enjoyed meeting the new characters and getting to "know" them.

Cathy's story was great and just what I expected from Ms. Brown's writing. She can really make up some sexy cowboys! This series has been fantastic so far and I can't wait to read the next book! *Hat tip* to Carolyn Brown for this awesome country romance!

About The Book:

She's finally found a place that feels like home...

When Cathy O'Dell buys the Honky Tonk, the nights of cowboys and country tunes come together to create the home she's always wanted. Then in walks a ruggedly handsome oil man who tempts her to trade in the happiness she's found at the Honky Tonk for a life on the road with him...

He lives the good life...

Gorgeous and rich, Travis Henry travels the country unearthing oil wells and then moving on. Then the beautiful blue-eyed new owner of the Honky Tonk beer joint becomes his best friend and so much more. When his job is done in Texas, how is he ever going to hit the road without her?

Review: Swallow by Tonya Plank

Book Info:

Paperback: 402 pages
Publisher: Dark Swan Press (December 11, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615280994
ISBN-13: 978-0615280998
Review Copy: Author

What I Thought:

This was an enjoyable read for me! There was a psychological tone to the book which really tied everything going on together. Once you meet "FB" in the book you really start to see how other people affect you in ways that you wouldn't think.

I enjoyed Sophie's character for the most part. At first, I kept wondering why heck she didn't stand up for herself! There were a few characters that I totally despised through the entire book. But...these characters are what make a story interesting. *shrug*

All in all, I was happy with the way the story turned out and delighted in watching the main character grow. I liked the message of the book also as I think it's an important one for all of us. Standing up for yourself and realizing that yes, you are important and in charge of your life.

About The Book:
(from Amazon)

Sophie Hegel is a shy New York lawyer who hails from small-town Florence Arizona, known not for the Renaissance but for housing a large prison. She's just graduated from Yale Law School and landed her first job when, one evening, during dinner with her fiancé, she feels a fist-like ball form at the base of her throat. A form of the psychological condition Globus Sensate, this "fist-ball" wreaks havoc on her life, causing her difficulty eating, speaking, and eventually even breathing. With a cast of characters that includes a pornographer father, a sister with a knack for getting knocked up by denizens of the town pen, a painter of male nudes, an eccentric Sing Sing-residing client, a tough-talking fashion maven and a bevy of privileged Manhattan lawyers and judges, Swallow is a dark comedy about the distance that can separate fathers and daughters, and about a young woman's struggle to survive in a world of pedigreed professionals for which she has no preparation.

About The Author:

Tonya Plank grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and attended University of Arizona for college. She moved east for graduate school -- at Brown University -- where she studied European Intellectual History. She soon realized academia wasn't for her, so moved on to Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey, which, during her time there, was considered the most dangerous city in the US! While there, she wrote and published several law review articles about things like gender and the law, law and literature, and international human rights.

She spent most of her legal career as an appellate-level criminal defense attorney for indigents in New York City. While practicing law, she wrote her first novel (Swallow), took up competitive ballroom dancing, and started a dance blog, Swan Lake Samba Girl, journaling her somewhat pathetic experiences learning to dance as an adult. SLSG soon evolved into a chronicle of the larger dance scene, and has been lauded by James Wolcott of Vanity Fair and Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal, has been cited in those publications as well as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN.com, and has even won awards from legal websites for best extracurricular blog by a lawyer.

She still lives in New York.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Brenda Novak's White Heat Blog Tour! Q&A!


Thanks so much for joining us today Brenda!

As you were growing up were you aware that you wanted to be a writer or is it something that happened later on?

I never dreamed I’d be a writer! I thought I was left-brained—better in math and science and planned to go out in business. It wasn’t until I caught my daycare provider drugging my children with cough syrup to get them to sleep all day while I worked as a loan officer (so she could watch soap operas uninterrupted) that I realized I’d have to change my expectations of my future. When I discovered the medication in my baby’s bottle, several things that hadn’t seemed quite “right” came to mind and I suddenly realized that this had been going on for some time. I was brokenhearted that anyone would endanger my children and quit my job to stay home with them myself—but my husband’s business was really struggling and I needed to help out financially. That’s when I decided to try my hand at writing, because it was something I could do from home.

It wasn’t the quick fix we were hoping for, but it saved my sanity during a dark time. And it has since become a huge blessing in my life.
**wow! I can't believe someone did that....makes me upset just thinking about it.

Where do you find inspiration for your books? Do you tend to let life influence your writing?

When I first started, I had ONE idea and I wasn’t sure how I’d ever come up with another one I felt was good enough to create a story with. LOL But, fortunately, our brains are very adaptable. The more I demanded that my imagination deliver IDEA NUMBER 2, the harder it began to search. Before long, my mind turned into a “sifter.” Now it sifts through everything that comes my way, every conversation I overhear, every funny anecdote I’m told, every movie I see, every newspaper article I read, every true crime show I puzzle over until I can pull an attitude from one character I’ve "met" via a TV show and mix it with a situation my mother mentioned the week before last, etc. I definitely put my own experiences into my stories. I don’t think there’s any way to avoid that. Often, my readers will feel as if they know me, and they sort of do. At least some of my world view leaks into very book.

I know it's like asking your favorite child...but do you have a personal favorite book that you've written?

I have a new favorite with every series. LOL I think it’s whatever I’m working on at the present time, to be honest. But DEAD GIVEAWAY with Clay Montgomery as the hero, really stands out to me. The whole Stillwater Trilogy does. It’s my husband’s favorite series. Those stories were brewing in my head for quite a while before I brought pen to paper. Of the new trilogy, my favorite is BODY HEAT. There’s just something about Roderick Guerrero (the hero) that pulls on my heartstrings.

**I'll have to check that one out but I can't wait to see what happens with Roderick!
Are there any writers that you really love or a favorite book that you had growing up?

I’m such an eclectic reader that I love writers in almost every genre. My favorite contemporary romance author is probably Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She can create appealing heroes like no one else. Caleb Carr’s THE ALIENIST is one of my all-time favorite thrillers. But my most favorite books have been and will always be the classics--JANE EYRE and GONE WITH THE WIND, to name two that I’ve read and reread.
Can you tell us a little bit about a day in the life of Brenda Novak?

My life is very hectic right now because I’m writing three books a year, raising five children (the youngest of which has Type 1 diabetes), promoting my work by travelling and speaking, and running an annual online auction for diabetes research (so far we’ve raised over $1 million!).

A regular day begins with an hour of exercise. I ride a stationary bike while editing my work, critiquing for friends or judging contests. After that, I shower up and spend a couple of hours answering e-mail and taking care of the “business” side of my job (or auction business). Then I start writing—with a goal to finish ten pages per day. My breaks come when my children need me or want my attention. I have an “open door” policy, so that my work doesn’t take me away from them. They’re welcome to come in to chat or get help at any time. I finish up when they get out of school. We do homework, sports and dinner. Then I’m usually back at the computer for an hour or two.

**I got tired just from reading it! Thank goodness for people like you. :)
And again I'd like to thank Brenda for joining us today! If you haven't checked out the review yet, you can find it here.

Brenda Novak's White Heat Blog Tour! (review)

About the Book:

In Stores NOW

White Heat is the first book in Brenda Novak’s new Department 6 Hired Guns trilogy.

Nate Ferrentino and Rachel Jessop are operatives for Department 6, a private security company, and they’re going undercover to expose a new and dangerous cult.

This group has taken up residence in the Arizona desert, in a ghost town called Paradise . Members worship at the feet—and in the bed--of its charismatic leader, Ethan Wycliff. On his orders, they tried to stone a woman to death. And they’re implicated in the disappearance of a teenage girl.

To expose the Church of the Covenant, with its arcane rituals and debauched practices, Nate and Rachel must pretend to be married. That’s the only way they can get in—but being Nate’s “wife” is the last thing Rachel wants. She and Nate have a one-night history that’s just an embarrassment to her now. But they don’t have a choice. Wycliff has to be stopped.

What I Thought:

Well I ended up really enjoying this one and now I can't wait to read the next one in the trilogy!

I enjoyed Brenda's mix of romance and suspense very much but I'll say that there was MORE suspense/thriller to it than romance.

It was good though, because there was a ton of tension building between the two main characters which made you want to keep reading.

I liked the story line a lot! I've always found cult behavior quite interesting so this book kept my mind racing.

Overall, I had no complaints about this one and breathed a sigh of relief at the end since I was so "nervous" for the characters LOL! I can't wait to read the next one!

http://www.youtube.com/v/umfp1FE7T_0&hl=en_US&fs=1">

About The Author:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has three novels coming out this summer - WHITE HEAT, BODY HEAT & KILLER HEAT. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May at http://www.brendanovak.com/. To date, she’s raised over $1,072,000. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Review: Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie (Releases Aug 31st)

About The Book:
(From Author's Website)

When Andie Miller goes to see her ex-husband, North Archer, to return ten years of uncashed alimony checks, he asks for one final favor: A distant cousin has died and left him guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already; will she take the job? Bribed with money and a need for closure, Andie says yes, but when she meets the two children she realizes things are much worse than she feared. The children aren’t any run-of-the-mill delinquents, the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers, and something strange is happening at night. Plus, Andie’s fiance thinks it’s a plan by North to get Andie back, and since Andie’s been dreaming about North since she arrived at the house, she’s not sure he isn’t right. Then her ex-brother-in-law arrives with a duplicitous journalist and a self-doubting parapsychologist, closely followed by an annoyed medium, Andie’s tarot card–reading mother, her avenging ex-mother-in-law, and her jealous fiancé. Just when Andie’s sure things couldn’t get more complicated, North arrives to make her wonder if maybe this time things could be different….

What I Thought:

I was able to tell right from the start that I would like this one! I enjoyed the author's fast paced writing style; there was no fumbling over words or over descriptivness. (Is that even a word?) It was a meat & potatoes story right from the start! (Hopefully everyone knows what that expression means LOL!)

It was a refreshingly new storyline (for me) and the characters were very "interesting" shall we say. The lead character Andie was totally spunky and determined.

My only complaint....I don't think the cover matches the story. The cover made me think that it would be a much more "romantic" story but it had just a bit of romance and in my opinion a lot of spook! While looking at the author's website I saw that there were quite a few covers that were looked at. You can see them here. I think they could have gone with a "darker" one.

Really though, that is irrelevant to the story itself. I thought the book itself was excellent and this is an author that I plan on reading more of.

You can find her website here. It's really cool and worth checking out. There's even a "story behind the story" page!

**review copy provided by publisher

Monday, August 16, 2010

A signed books post....(part 1)

As a book blogger and avid reader I always enjoy seeing other people's signed books. (Even thought I may get jealous LOL!) I thought that perhaps I would share some pictures of mine. If you have a post about your signed books or if you have a favorite signed book you'd like to tell me about, I would love to hear! Most people don't understand the excitement in it but I know you all will.





Thesse are a few in my collection so I'll do another post (aka Part 2) next week. Thanks for stopping by!



Sunday, August 15, 2010

Treasures In My Mailbox! (from the last 2 weeks)

Plenty of books came through my front door these last two weeks so I figured I would go ahead and make a post. I'm very excited about all of them and even did a few happy dances!
These are the review books I received:
Radiance
Pretty Little Things
Astra
Suspect (cool cover right?)
Shoulder Bags and Shootings
Sin Undone
Love of a Stonemason (signed)
Pulse (signed)

Huge thanks to the authors and publishers who sent these my way!
These were the contest wins...I'll come back later and link 'em but for now I won books from Anna's Book Blog, The Minding Spot, Harper (I think from the Got Book Event?), and Author Teresa Medeiros.


Lingering Spirit and The Devil Wears Plaid are signed. YAY!

Thanks so much everyone!

The books in this pic are from the Friends Of The Library Book Sale. I got some really good books! Hardcovers are .25 and softcovers are .10 so I was really happy with the haul.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

PR: Orglamix Artisan Organic Minerals Makeup and a Giveaway!


As you know I like to do one or two product reviews on the weekends here at The Cajun Book Lady. Our first product today is Organic Mineral Makeup - Color Your World, Naturally!

I had the opportunity to check out this makeup thanks to Cheri and I must say that I really liked it! I tried a powder, eyeshadow, and a shimmer. All the products were in loose powder form (which I managed to make a mess of LOL!) The coverage was excellent. I loved the vibrancy of the eyeshadow and how well it showed up. The Glow (shimmer) was also excellent and added that sun-kissed look. Overall, I was very happy with allt hree products that I tried out.

This comes from the Orglamix store:

According to a recent survey: 98% of women who tried Orglamix said they’d recommend it to friends. The other 2% never like anything anyway. Try Orglamix risk-free. I guarantee you will l-o-v-e Orglamix; or your money back.The next-generation of mineral makeup: zero synthetic ingredients.Orglamix products are proudly formulated without: nano particles, bismuth oxychloride, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals or parabens. PETA approved.

Giveaway:
Thanks to Cheri I'm also able to offer a giveaway of three products from these categories: Pure Organic Mineral Eye, Blush, Glow,Foundation or Color Corrector.

If you would like to enter please leave a comment telling me at least one product you liked from the Etsy store: http://www.orglamix.etsy.com

facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/orglamix

twitter http://www.twitter.com/hautebeauty

blog: http://www.beautybuffet.com

For an extra entry you can follow them on Twitter at the link above. Please leave me an email so I can contact you if you win.

**review products provided by Orglamix

Review: The Sorcerer's Songs by Kiki Howell

About The Book:

If I knew then, what I know now.
I’d like to think I’d choose a different way to go
But, my mistakes have paved the way
Down this dark and lonely, dead-end road.

Poised on a stool in a corner of yet another bar, in front of a crowd of maybe fifty, the harmonies he played reached out to those around him. The rhythms in his head stirred his heart. For a man of magic, a sorcerer with powers he had never asked for, his musical talents were sung spells. They were his weapon of defense against loneliness, bringing people to him like a siren’s song. Yet, for the most part, he let his music haunt the deeper needs of those who listened—letting musical phrasings stir wants unnamed or purposely forgotten. Although he felt but a living and breathing jukebox, these strangers who came to see him play were the only lives he could touch. He reached out to them with his songs.

That is until one night one of Adam’s songs lures him back toward his hometown, and he calls out for Stacey, the one he was forced to leave behind all those years ago. Only this time she wants answers as to why he left, and maybe a bit of revenge for the heart he destroyed.


What I Thought:

This was a nice read for me. Kiki wrote a good story and was able to entertain her readers. I enjoyed the characters and the passion that they showed. This one was sweet and HOT throughout the story. One of my favorite things about this? She wrote it with inspiration from her husband's music which I think is wonderful. How nice to have a "collaberation" like that!

Note from The Author:

I wrote The Sorcerer’s Songs using my husband's song lyrics to create the plot. It was a lot of fun to write, and a great writing exercise! I think I was so inspired by his music that the story practically wrote itself. The Senior Editor who accepted the story wrote these wonderful words about it... "I also want to note that you write about magick with a heart and understanding that's pretty rare. There's a ritual feel to the music performance in your story." Click Here to listen to the song that inspired the story called "The Road" I am just so excited, and so grateful to my husband, Steven Howell, for letting me use his music!

Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal (Sorcerer), Sensual Romance
Adult Content Warnings: While this is a sweet romance, it is still intended for those over 18 years of age.

"Weathervanes"

1. Hello Old Friend
2. Weathervanes
3. Gray
4. A Lot Like That
5. Change
6. In America
7. The Road
8. Brand New To Me
9. Sick Of You co-written by Kirstein Howell
10. The One Job
11. In Tommy's Name
12. My Shoes
13. I Won't Be Home For Christmas co-written by Aaron Boyle and Amanda Pfeiffer
14. Laundromat w/ Alethea Brown


Recordered at: Jonasol Studios
Engineered by: Dustin Simmons
Cover Photo: D.L. Merone (exposureart.com)
Steven Howell, BMI 2009

Buy Links: The Sorcerer’s Song in eBook formats can be purchased at http://fidopublishing.com/store/catalog/ and most other retailers where ebooks are sold like http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.omnilit.com/, http://www.smashwords.com/, etc.

Also, a trade paperback version of the novella, The Sorcerer’s Songs, and the CD, Weathervanes, can be purchased through the author only at http://www.kikihowell.com/2010/06/sorcerers-songs-trade-paperback-novella.html

Author Website: http://www.kikihowell.com

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Winners!

Alright everyone I have a few winners to announce...if you see your name here and have a minute to shoot me an email with your addy it would be greatly appreciated!
Rita Nominee
Cecile
Karen
gwen
The Reapers Are The Angels
Chrissy
k_sunshine1977
Becca
Jolly Ranchers Big Book of Fun
stacey
Carole Spring
Henria O.
Tessa Dare Trilogy
Carol L.
****************************************

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Review: Forget You by Jennifer Echols (This was awesome!)

Book Info:

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: MTV; Original edition (July 20, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439178232
ISBN-13: 978-1439178232
Review Copy: Publisher

What I Thought:

Well...I thought that this was some awesome stuff! This book ( in reference to the character behavior) was real, raw, and gritty.

As much as I love YA I think that it tends to be "cleaned up" too much. Maybe I'm wrong but that's what I often see. Forget You depicted "real" teenage characters in my opinion.

I can see where this wouldn't be for everyone but let's face it...they have teens who drink, smoke, curse and have sex. Maybe not all at the same time, but I promise you that it happens.

I think Echols did an awesome job of portraying that reality and what teens face on a daily basis. What did I think the theme was? Choices maybe? How we have to make them and how they affect our lives. You can find several messages within the pages of this one depending on how you interpret it.

I really, really thought this was a fantastic mainstream YA!

About The Book:
(from Amazon)

WHY CAN’T YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU FORGET . . . AND WHAT YOU REMEMBER?

There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.

But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her.

Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

Monday, August 9, 2010

PR: SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks

Normally, I post 1-2 product reviews on the weekends here at TCBL but I didn't have the chance. So I'll be posting them today! The first one I'm going to tell you about are these SEAMLESS SOCKS!
Really, My kids loved them! They fit nice and snug so they weren't slipping around in the shoe. You know what else they loved? The fact that there is ZERO toe seam. You know that annoying seam that you can never get in the right place? Or you get the kids' shoes on and they tell you it hurts? That won't be a problem here! Thank Goodness! I really think this is a product that everyone should check out. My kids loved them and I know I'll be ordering more.
Patented seamless socks for little ones



NEW! Patented seamless socks for bigger sensitive feet. Fits up to size 11 women's and 10 men's shoe.
Here's a bit more info:
SmartKnitKIDS® patented seamless socks are perfect for children experiencing sensory processing differences, hypersensitivity or who simply can’t stand annoying seams! These super soft socks for sensitive little feet will not wrinkle or bunch and are proven to reduce irritation.

No Seams to Bug Ya!
Completely free of seams, the patented kids' socks are designed to provide comfort and relief to children who struggle with “bumps & lumps” in their socks.

Reduces annoying wrinkling and bunching in the shoe Corespun yarns using Lycra and form-fitting design result in children's socks that “hug” the foot reducing wrinkling and bunching. The form fitting design also helps to keep socks on the wiggliest of toes.
UNIQUE NO HEEL DESIGN“No heel” design allows children to put on socks with confidence and keeps little feet from outgrowing their socks so quickly.

Comfortable Non-Binding TopOur non-binding Halo Top™ fits comfortably without slipping down the leg.Regular socks often have elastic bands at the tops of the sock that can often pinch, bind or be a source of irritation.

Keeps Feet Dry & HealthySmartKnitKIDS™ Socks are made with high-tech fibers that wick moisture away helping control odor or "stinky feet".
Here is the website. Go check it out because they are having a sale right now!
**Review product provided by company. All opinions are my own. I received no monetary compensation for this post.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Review: Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

About The Book:
(from Goodreads)

Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.

Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?

What I Thought:

Loved it! Simple as that! Ok...I guess I'll elaborate a bit more. *smile*

1. I knew I'd like it because it was based on "small town" Louisiana. I tend to be harder on these books because I like to see an author capture the right "feel." Saundra did it here. She literally got the feel of summer in LA and the general everyday craziness that is our special blend of people LOL!

2. I liked the mystery of the story and the ghostly events that made it such a mystery. It was great following this group of kids as they tried to figure out what was going on.

So overall, I REALLY enjoyed it! I hope you'll check it out if you haven't yet!

**review copy: gift

Review: Starfire Angels by Melanie Nilles (This was super good!)

Book Info:

Paperback: $8.99
ISBN: 10/13: 1448631343 / 978-1448631346
Ebook: $1.99
Review Copy: Author

Order from your local bookseller, or order online at Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com or in any ebook format at Smashwords.com.

Read sample chapters


What I Thought:

Let me start off by saying this, if you liked Hush, Hush then I think you would like this one. If you hated Hush, Hush I think you would LOVE this one. I didn't hate Hush, Hush but I had mixed feelings about it. This one gave me no mixed feelings. I completely and totally adored it!

I'm not even sure about how to describe it. You think it's paranormal at first but it's more of a sci-fi story. I'll say this much though...I adored it. Melanie's writing style is excellent and she draws you in with her fast-paced story development.

The characters are great and a very "real" bunch of teenagers. There are surprises at every turn and the storyline was unique. I really recommend this one to YA and "fallen angel" fans as I think you'll find something totally different and intriquing in this book.

About The Book:
(from Author's Website)

STARFIRE ANGELS

They've been coming here for thousands of years, using Earth as a sanctuary to escape threats from their own kind. Mankind knows them as angels, and one of them left a child upon her death to be raised as a human.

Raea is now a high school senior, and her life as a human is about to end. The crystal shard she bears is not a pretty pendant; it's a collective of powerful entities who chose her as their Keeper, a protector of one of the four shards that power a machine capable of destroying whole worlds. Those who desire the Starfire's power have sent an agent to find her, but she's too busy evading a nosy reporter ready to exploit her secret and dating a hot new foreign student to notice. Nevermind learning what she really is.

Only one person on Earth can help her, the last person she ever expected. But he's not from Earth. Life as a human would be so much easier.

Watch the video trailer on youtube.











CymLowell

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Remember I said I was interviewed? Well here it is!

We got to meet Mrs. Jindal Monday and I was interviewed for the news. Of course I don't like how I look in the video but oh well. :) I tried my best to speak clearly but there is no hiding my accent LOL! (I'm Kristina)




Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Review: Hush,Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick *arghhhh!*

Book Info:

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 291 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (October 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416989412
ISBN-13: 978-1416989417
Review Copy: Purchased myself

What I Thought:

*humph* That's about how I felt throughout this whole book! It made me want to pull my hair out over and over!

Now let me elaborate...none of the above statement means that I didn't like it. Just the opposite...I did like it very much. How can I possibly like a book that made me want to pull out my hair and throw said book against the wall repeatedly? Simple...because it made me want to do ALL of that.

Now Patch sounds like a hottie (but I feel like a cougar saying that...even though he IS immortal and ageless LOL!) This Patch fellow made me mad over and over again! Stop being mean to the girl and tell her you love her for goodness sakes! Girl (aka Nora) don't let him act like a butt! I realize it's just a story but *gah!*

Yes, I did finish reading it. Yes, I did totally love it even though my rant may seem like I didn't. Yes, I WILL be reading Crescendo (which sits in the review pile looking at me) because now I MUST know what happens with these characters.

About The Book:
(From Author's Website)

Falling in love was never so easy . . .
or so deadly.


For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What A Fun Day Today! We met Mrs. Jindal!

It was an exciting day today in our little town! Louisiana Governer Bobby Jindal's wife, Supriya Jindal, stopped by a few schools in our area. She was at our school handing out supplies and meeting all the kids. My children and myself were lucky enough to meet her and have our picture taken with her.

I didn't post my picture since I look so bad in it. Of course, I don't like any pictures of myself LOL!

You can find out more about her very neat project on the Facebook page here.
I also met a very nice representative from Scholastic who was there. They gave out books to the children which I thought was great!
That was our adventure for today....well most of it. I was interviewed for the news! I was so nervous but I got through it. I just hope that when it's on TV that others will be able to understand me. I have a strong accent but really tried to speak clearly. *sigh* I'm trying not to worry!

Review: Nightmare House by Douglas Clegg

What I Thought:

As some of you may know I'm a helpless Clegg fan! I adore his writing style and how his stories always manage to send a chill down my spine.

Nightmare House was fantastic. I enjoyed the changing points-of-view; that really kept the story interesting.

Another thing about Douglas Clegg's writing...it's always shrouded in mystery that keeps you guessing. It makes the story more exciting because I never know what will happen.

If your a horror fan I'll say check this one out. If you haven't read this author's work yet I'll also include a recommendation to check out Neverland. That's also an awesome book!

About The Book:
(from author's website)

Harrow House Series, Book 1 — There are places that hold in the traces of evil, houses that become legendary for the mysteries and secrets within their walls. Harrow is one such house. Psychic manifestations, poltergeist activity, hallucinations, and other residue of terror have all been documented in Harrow. It has been called Nightmare House. It is a nest for the restless spirits of the dead. When Ethan Gravesend arrives to inherit Nightmare House, he does not suspect the horror that awaits him — the nightmare of the woman trapped within the walls of the house, or the endless crying of an unseen child.

Review: Bad To The Bone: Memoir Of A Rebel Doggie Blogger

Book Info:

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Citadel Press; Original edition (October 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0806531290
ISBN-13: 978-0806531298
Review Copy: AME/Publisher

What I Thought:

I really really enjoyed this fun and witty book. It was hysterically funny at times but made my eyes water at times also.

I loved "seeing" Bo grow and thrive with his humans. It really is funny but I think it also gives that bit of insight into that special relationship we have with our pets.

I enjoyed it as an animal lover and a dog owner and you might just like it to!

About The Book:
(from Amazon)

Let's get this clear right away: I'm a dog. I'm 1'10" and weigh 63 lbs, and although I'm a mutt on the outside, I'm a purebred on the inside. My good nature comes from the Golden Retriever side of the family, while my stubbornness is clearly from my Chowchow bloodlines. I've got Rastafarian ears, a black tongue for licking, and paws that should be on a dog twice my size.

I type 60 words a minute.

My name is Bo, and this is my story. From shelter dog reject to beloved pet and popular doggie blogger, Bo Hoefinger's life has been anything but ordinary. Join this incorrigible canine as he welcomes us into his life, complete with his wacky "parents," a constipated feline housemate, and chipmunk warfare.