Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Challenges! What did you join?

So here are some of the challenges that I've signed up for! Have you signed up for any of these? What have you signed up for because I'm worried I'm missing a challenge I may like!? LOL!

Stephen King Challenge hosted here.

Important info:

Rules - There are two levels: Read either SIX (6) or TWELVE (12) Stephen King novels in 2011 (6 is the minimum but you can read more than 12 if you wish!)
You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

At the beginning of Jan 2011, I will add a link so you can add your reviews.

You don't have to have a blog to join in - for those without a blog just FILL IN THIS FORM and I will add you to the list - just join the discussion in the comments section to let us know when you've read a book and what you thought of it! :)

You can also follow each other's progress and chat about the SK books you read on twitter too - just use #SKChallenge :)

Horror and Urban Fantasy hosted by Book Chick City



Some Rules:

Rules: To read TWENTY FOUR (24) horror & urban fantasy novels in 2011 (24 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!

You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
At the beginning of Jan 2011, you will find a link to add your reviews.

You don't have to have a blog to join in - for those without a blog just FILL IN THIS FORM and I will add you to the list - just join the discussion in the comments section to let us know when you've read a book and what you thought of it! :)


Shifter Challenge hosted by Parajunkee's View here.


Some rules:

Post about this challenge on your blog stating that you are participating. That post is the link that you will include in the Mr. Linky below. The link should be the post link not just your blog link.

Grab the button and display it in the post (use grab code underneath the button) or on your sidebar so others can join in the fun.

Challenge goes from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011

The challenge is to read 20 books that have a SHIFTER as a main character, either protag or antagonist

There will be a post that goes up for January 1 where you add each book as you read them and discuss books read in the comments


Paranormal Romance Challenge


This one is hosted by Bitten by Paranormal Romance. You can check it out and sign up here.


Here are some of the instructions:

This is a challenge to read 20 paranormal romance book between Jan 1st through Dec 31st. Any books read before Jan will not count.

You can pick any *adult paranormal romance book as you go, new release or old release it doest matter. But remember this is only for paranormal romance. NO urban fantasy, YA or paranormal erotica. If you have any questions please email me or leave a comment.

*It doesn't matter if the book is vampire, witch, any shape-shifting, Greek gods, zombies or faeries just as long as it adult paranormal romance. Most book will tell you on the side cover if its paranormal romance, that's what you want to get to read. If you have a book you don't know if it would work or not just email me and ask, its no bother.

Love Bites by Adrienne Barbeau

<----I love this cover! I also really loved this book! I know some people are growing away from the vampire books and some are staying true. While I continue to drift every now and then to a different genre I ALWAYS come back to the paranormal.

I really enjoyed this one because the story was DIFFERENT! If you want a new twist to your vampires then I highly suggest reading this one. You'd be shocked by the actors who are actually vamps! *wink*

About The Book:
(from Author's On The Web)

Ovsanna Moore is a Hollywood siren, horror film legend, and cut throat producer. She also happens to be a 450-year-old vampyre. In the follow-up to the much acclaimed Vampyres of Hollywood, Adrienne Barbeau paints a wonderfully sly portrait of cinematic vampyres, as well as the nature of celebrity, and the entertainment industry. Her “Scream Queen” credentials make her the only author who could combine such a fastpaced, edgy plot with tongue-in-cheek references to the inner workings and vanity of Hollywood. A whirlwind of action, Love Bites is a clever take on vampyres readers will never forget.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Are you a fan of Faery books?

I know I am! I read Extraordinary a while back and while I thought it got off to a slow start it really pulled me in after all. I enjoyed it and think that if you're a Faery fan and haven't checked it out yet then you are missing a good story.
And on a side note I'm wondering what some of your favorite Faery books of 2010 were?
About Extraordinary:
(from Author's website)
What does it mean to be extraordinary? Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school. Soon the two girls are as close as sisters . . . until Mallory’s magnetic older brother, Ryland, appears. Ryland has an immediate, exciting hold on Phoebe—but a dangerous hold, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself.
Soon she’ll discover the shocking, fantastical truth about Ryland and Mallory, and about an age-old debt they expect Phoebe to pay. Will she be strong enough to resist? Will she be special enough to save herself?
**review copy provided by publisher. All opinions are my own. I was given no monetary compensation for this post.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wolf Fever by Terry Spear

I'll say that I REALLY enjoyed this one! I love a good alpha male and this book had it. There were unexpected twists and turns...hot romance...and a great story. What more can you ask for?!

If you love werewolves then this is one to check out!

About the Book:
(from Amazon)

She may be his destiny, but she's not his first choice...

Hospital nurse and newly turned red werewolf Carol Woods is being pressured by her pack leader to find a mate, but he's the only guy in the pack who remotely attracts her.

Why is he playing so hard to get?

The fate of the pack rests on his shoulders...

Gray pack leader Ryan McKinley doesn't want anything to do with Carol unless she's willing to embrace her wolf nature-no matter how beautiful she is.

But when a virus infects the local lupus garou pack, Ryan realizes just how wrong he's been not to seize the moment with the woman he's come to love. And now, it may be too late...

Review: Thr3e by Ted Dekker


I adore Ted Dekker's writing and I saw this one at the store the other day. I saw the author's name and the cover and knew it was going into my basket.
I was not disappointed! As usual, the writing was thrilling, creepy, and fast paced. I read through the book in no time as I just could not put it down.
The story itself is about the timeless battle between good and evil and Dekker put his twist on it. If you like a creepy and suspenseful psychological thriller then this is one to read.
Here is the link to it on Amazon if you want to find out more.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Review: Tracking The Tempest by Nicole Peeler

I've always enjoyed Nicole Peeler's writing and I think she is an awesomely (is that a word?) brash woman. (at least on Twitter LOL!)

I read this one a few weeks ago but never got to sat anything since I've been so busy with the holidays. I have to tell you though...I really loved it! I of course loved the array of characters but I think I've started to favor Anyan in this one.

Check out the series if you haven't yet!

About The Book:
(from Amazon)

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and Ryu - Jane's bloodsucking boyfriend - can't let a major holiday go by without getting all gratuitous. An overwhelming dose of boyfriend interference and a last-minute ticket to Boston later, and Jane's life is thrown off course.

Ryu's well-intentioned plans create mayhem, and Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings. All the evidence points towards another Halfling, much to Jane's surprise...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Review: Cameo the Assassin And Cameo and the Highwayman

By: Dawn McCullough White



Review:

This series was a little different from what I’m used of reading. I expected it to be just another vampire book, and boy was I wrong.

I can’t say what makes it different because that would ruin the books, but it was a very nice change from the usual. You have to admire the main character because no matter what hand she has been dealt she just keeps moving forward and accepting her fate.

These books are kind of short; I was able to finish both in less than one day. I do find the books were more like short stories than novels. I wish they would have been longer, but I still enjoyed them. I really like the fact that her books are being released so close together, so I don’t have to wait so long to find out what will happen next

About Book 1:

(from Author's website)

The Kingdom of Sieunes is rife with taverns, dirty streets, and clay pipe smoking citizens all toiling to feed their families and keep themselves in something little better than rags. With a foiled revolution just ten years prior still burning in the hearts of many, the royals enlist the aid of assassins to keep things in order.
The townsfolk entertain themselves by dreaming of better times to come and regaling in stories of the undead said to walk the graveyards at night... and of Cameo the killer with corpse-like eyes... Scarred and jaded Cameo is one of the most effective assassins in the employ of the Association, moving from one mission to the next as long as the alcohol keeps flowing.
Her acceptance of the murder-for-hire lifestyle is thrown into doubt when she meets a local highwayman with a penchant for fine clothes and women, and then she begins to think about breaking with the company but no one ever breaks with the Association under good terms.
About Book 2:
The land of Shandow is a place of arctic cold. It was the scene of the bloody revolution, and is the location of the item Cameo's master wants so badly. In the dark of winter a vampire lies in wait......Opal is unable to run from his past... and Cameo must make a choice that will cost her the last shred of humanity she has left.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review: Dear Sparkle by Sparkle The Cat


Yesterday I had the fun of Sparkle's guest post and today I want to tell you about the book.

If you are a cat person/know a cat person etc. I would say to pick this one up! Personally, if I imagined cat conversations they would sound JUST like this book. I laughed out loud through most of the book but in all honestly I also found GREAT advice!

You could even get this as a stocking stuffer for the kitty in your life LOL!

I totally loved it! It also has a place of honor of the pet supplies "shelf" because it was signed by Sparkle herself!

About The Book:
(From PUYB)




Face it, kitties, your humans can’t help you untangle your problems — especially when they’re usually the ones driving you crazy! But never fear, the world’s foremost feline authority, Sparkle the Cat, is here to solve all of your kitty conundrums. With 70 Q&As, “Sparkle Says” sidebars, and full-color photos throughout, this guide is definitely NOT your usual human-written cat book.
Whether you’re a confused kitty who doesn’t understand why you’re supposed to stay off the couch, a cat who’s furious because the new puppy ate your catnip stash, or a freaked-out feral who wants to return to the wild, Sparkle has the wise — and often hilarious — answers for your woes. And who knows? Humans who read it (with your permission, of course) may even learn something new about the way we behave.

About Sparkle:

Sparkle is an award-winning author, blogger, advice columnist and supermodel. She is also a cat – a ruddy Somali of champion lineage, in fact, whose father, GC Tajhara’s Miles Davis, was twice on the cover of Cat Fancy. Sparkle’s first book, Dear Sparkle: Advice from One Cat to Another, won the Wild Card category at the 2007 Hollywood Book Festival and honorable mentions in several other contests. She also recently came home with the Pettie Award — the pet blogging equivalent of an Oscar — for Best Cat Blog. Sparkle lives in Los Angeles with two humans, two feline roommates (both rescue cats), and (unfortunately) a dog.

Dear Sparkle: Cat-to-Cat Advice from the World’s Foremost Feline Columnist (Adams Media) is her second book.

You can visit Sparkle’s blog at http://www.sparklecat.com.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sparkle The Cat...you must read this guest post!

Yes friends, I am on an animal kick this week...and today's guest is Sparkle! The author of Dear Sparkle...


I LOVED this book and wil be posting the review for you tommorrow but today you must read what this awesome feline has to say!

Seven Tips on How to Live Like a Cat
by Sparkle

You humans are always checking out us cats with envy, believing that we have the ideal life. And while there is more to being a kitty than merely eating and sleeping in the sun, I must say that being a cat is pretty awesome! So to all you humans who say that you want to come back as a cat when you die... you don't have to wait that long! You can start living like a cat right now - I've got seven tips to help. Give them a try - you will be surprised at how much better your life will be.

1. Take time to enjoy some sunbeams. Of course, you humans will have to wear sunscreen, whereas we cats (unless we are hairless or pure white) don't need it.

2. Be finicky. Why eat something unless you are 100% positive you are going to enjoy it?

3. Take lots of naps. We cats sleep for 16 hours a day and we never show our age. Think about it.

4. Don't hold grudges. In multi-cat households, smackdowns happen all the time, but just a little while later, there we are on the bed, curled up together. Why is it so hard for humans to do that?

5. Don't dwell on illness. We cats rarely let on when we are feeling unwell, unless it is something important. That's because we know it's boring to complain endlessly about minor aches and pains.

6. Groom frequently, but do it for the right reasons. When we cats bathe ourselves, we aren't trying to impress anyone. We are doing it for the sheer pleasure of looking good.

7. Stretch! It keeps you supple and limber. You may not need to sleep curled up into a little ball, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to if you ever had the desire?

Sparkle is an award-winning author, blogger, advice columnist and supermodel. She is also a cat – a ruddy Somali of champion lineage, in fact, whose father, GC Tajhara’s Miles Davis, was twice on the cover of Cat Fancy. Sparkle’s first book, Dear Sparkle: Advice from One Cat to Another, won the Wild Card category at the 2007 Hollywood Book Festival and honorable mentions in several other contests. She also recently came home with the Pettie Award — the pet blogging equivalent of an Oscar — for Best Cat Blog. Sparkle lives in Los Angeles with two humans, two feline roommates (both rescue cats), and (unfortunately) a dog.

Dear Sparkle: Cat-to-Cat Advice from the World’s Foremost Feline Columnist (Adams Media) is her second book.

You can visit Sparkle’s blog at http://www.sparklecat.com.



Pretty kitty.....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cruel Winter by Anthony Izzo

This was an older book that I found at a library sale and when I saw it was in the horror genre I snatched it up! I'm so glad I did because I really enjoyed it!

It was fast paced and different. I zoomed through it due to his smooth writing and well written story. I enjoyed it and now I have have to go search down his other books!

About The Book:
(from Goodreads)

Jack Harding and his friends feel sorry for the new kid in town. His name is Ronnie Winter, and he's a bit of a weirdo. So when the local bullies try to beat him up, Jack and his friends step in to protect Ronnie - and that's their first mistake. Because Ronnie Winter is not like any other kid they've ever known. He lives at the old Steadman place, in the big creepy mansion that used to be a mental hospital. And his young, beautiful mother has a strange way of making Jack promise to be Ronnie's friend...forever. The closer Jack and his friends get to Ronnie, the colder it gets. The town is plunged into a wave of brutal snow storms - and plagued by a series of gruesome murders. And as the grisly death toll mounts, Jack realizes that Ronnie is surrounded by something far more powerful than a mother's love - he's guarded by a force of unspeakable evil that will torture and destroy everything in its path...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Big Paw Designs! Check out this fun giveaway!

Not only do I love books...I LOVE animals! When I saw this fun review opp. I knew I had to share it with my fellow animal lovers. I read a lot of animal stories...Oogy for example. (review coming for that one) Sparkle The Cat which I review tommorrow...



So yes I love our cat and dog! Big Paw Designs makes cute and stylish things for those furry loves in your life. They sent me this awesome Fleur De Leis Collar charm. I must say that I LOVE it and it's of excellent quality! Everyone who has seen it has asked me about it because they want one. My fellow Saints fans are jealous! LOL!



I also received this lovely door hanger! (Because I have a cat too!) It's made of heavy duty plastic and it's tough. I love the fact that it warns people about letting the cat out. You know some of us have sneaky kitties!

So now that I've been able to share the awesomeness that is Big Paw Designs, I'm excited to tell you that they are offering one winner either the same charm OR the same door hanger. How awesome is that?

The contest closes on Dec. 14th and it's open to US and Canadian residents!

If you would like to enter tell me the name of your favorite animal book and if you have a cat or dog. Also let me know what you would like if you won...hanger or charm?

**Review product provided by company. All opinions are my own and I was not monetarily compensated for this post.

Guest Post from Author Cinda Williams Chima!

So how many of you are familiar with this awesome author? If you haven't checked out her work yet then you should get on it pronto. She writes great fantasy! (I'm currently reading and will have reviews coming up shortly so stay tuned.)

Cinda was kind enough to write up a guest post for us so let's check it out!

This was what I wanted to know:

What is the driving force behind being a fantasy writer?


I don’t know which is worse in the eyes of some readers and writers of SERIOUS BOOKS—writing fantasy fiction, or writing for teens. In the tone of voice an adult might use when admiring a two-year-old’s childish drawing, they say, “Keep at it, and maybe one day you’ll get to write a real book.”

I have enough vulnerabilities already, heaven knows—and authors in any genre share vast opportunities for humiliation. I’ve already discussed why I write for teens http://cindachima.livejournal.com/38553.html and mentioned being dissed as a writer of fantasy fiction http://cindachima.livejournal.com/10658.html

So why write fantasy?

1. The easy answer is that fantasy sells, and has been selling for years, especially to young readers. On a recent New York Times bestseller list (October 1, 2010) eight of ten bestselling chapter books and five of ten bestselling series books were fantasy novels of one kind or another. Fantasy these days is such a broad genre that there’s room for a broad range of readers and writers.

That said, I think it’s a mistake to follow trends. Writing a novel is difficult enough. I think readers can tell when you’re just going through the motions. So, keep an eye on the market but write from the heart. I love all kinds of fiction, including fantasy, therefore I write it. That’s not to say I always will.

2. Fantasy presents more options when it comes to plot and conflict. The element of magic is one more weapon in the writer’s arsenal. Not only does Buffy the Vampire Slayer have to navigate the social minefield of high school—but there’s a hell-hole under the cafeteria.

In The Demon King, Han Alister is an orphaned streetgang leader who’s being hunted for murders he didn’t commit. Also, he may be demon-cursed, and he’s carrying a magical amulet that could destroy him. Princess Raisa ana’Marianna stands to inherit a political snakepit of a queendom from her mother the queen—if she can manage to hold off a rebellion of powerful wizards desperate to regain power.

Alternative worlds expand options as well. For example, The Seven Realms series takes place in a quasi-medieval world. In medieval times, sixteen-year-olds were adults, for all intents and purposes. And so, as a writer, I can put my teenage characters into dire and dangerous situations; I can shovel heavy responsibility onto their shoulders and send them out on the road without hearing from Children’s Protective Services.

3. Fantasy provides a forum in which to explore Big Ideas in a safe place. I don’t mean safe for the characters, I mean safe for the reader.
Long ago and/or far away provides a certain distance. It’s clearly a created world, even if you manage to entice the reader into it. In the Queendom of the Fells, I can address environmental and gender issues without the distractions of contemporary politics. I can explore revisionist history without pointing any fingers. I can put the conflict between good and evil into stark relief in an ecumenical way.

Fantasy can free the reader of pre-conceived notions, expectations, and biases and allow them to experience a different sensibility.

4. All fiction provides escape from real life, if only briefly. The reader chooses the escape that suits him or her best. A gritty contemporary novel may not offer escape from a gritty contemporary world. Fantasy does.

In short, fantasy is fun. In a world that seems bent on the destruction of pleasure reading, fantasy satisfies.




Huge thanks for stopping by!































Friday, December 3, 2010

The Weight Of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

I REALLY enjoyed this one! I enjoyed Heather's writing style and the way that she pulled this story together.

The book is told from a different point of view in each chapter which kept it interesting. Each character really had their own "voice" and you were able to see the story from each perspective.

The storyline was sad and touching but at the same time showed what people can overcome. It also had some unexpected plot twists which really shocked me. I also found it to be a quick read. I liked it and hope you'll check it out.

About The Book:
(from TLC)

It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn’s shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.

Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by a tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler. Calli’s mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter’s voice.

Petra Gregory is Calli’s best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli has been heard from since their disappearance was discovered. Desperate to find his child, Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor.

Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

About The Author:

Heather Gudenkauf was born in Wagner, South Dakota, the youngest of six children. At one month of age, her family returned to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota where her father was employed as a guidance counselor and her mother as a school nurse. At the age of three, her family moved to Iowa, where she grew up. Having been born with a profound unilateral hearing impairment (there were many evenings when Heather and her father made a trip to the bus barn to look around the school bus for her hearing aids that she often conveniently would forget on the seat beside her), Heather tended to use books as a retreat, would climb into the toy box that her father’s students from Rosebud made for the family with a pillow, blanket, and flashlight, close the lid, and escape the world around her. Heather became a voracious reader and the seed of becoming a writer was planted.

Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent the last sixteen years working with students of all ages and is currently an Instructional Coach, an educator who provides curricular and professional development support to teachers. The Weight of Silence is her first novel.

Heather lives in Dubuque, Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Maxine. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running. She is currently working on her second novel.

Visit Heather Gudenkauf’s website HERE.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Review: Serial by Jack Kilborn and Blake Crouch (Amazon Freebie!)

If you have a Kindle and haven't picked up this freebie...well then run over and get it! If your a "horrorish" fan then you should check it out. It's creepishly funny and kinda sick. For a free short story it's worth the 10 minutes it will take you to read it.

About The Book:
(from Amazon)

Remember the twin golden rules of hitchhiking?

# 1: Don't go hitchhiking, because the driver who picks you up could be certifiably crazy.
# 2: Don't pick up hitchhikers, because the traveler you pick up could be raving nutcase.

So what if, on some dark, isolated road, Crazy #1 offered a ride to Nutcase #2? When two of the most twisted minds in the world of horror fiction face off, the result is SERIAL, a terrifying tale of hitchhiking gone terribly wrong.

Like a deeply twisted version of an "After School Special," SERIAL is the single most persuasive public service announcement on the hazards of free car rides. Beyond a thrilling piece of horrifying suspense, SERIAL is also a groundbreaking experiment in literary collaboration. Kilborn wrote the first part. Crouch wrote the second. And they wrote the third together over email in 100-word exchanges, not aware of each other's opening section. All bets were off, and may the best psycho win.

**review copy: Amazon freebie

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'm in a slump!

It's just an all around slump LOL! I've been so busy in these months since school has started and I feel like I've been neglecting my beloved blog! (That's not good right!?) I'm seriously hoping things will slow down after Christmas so I have time for everything.

I've still been doing a lot of reading and I have several reviews to get typed up so keep an eye out for that. I also have some guest posts and guest reviews.

Like I mentioned...I've been reading A LOT but, I'm finding some of the books to just be so so. Not good, not bad, but not spectacular. *shrug* I think it might be me. I was reading The Radleys and just couldn't get into it. I think I might try it again later though.

So how has YOUR holiday season been going? I still have to finish Christmas shopping! Blah!