Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 206 - Tuber Tuesday [2]

Tuber Tuesday is hosted by Emily over at her fabulous blog AyeCaptain Reviews (go check her out!)

The purpose of Tuber Tuesday is to share a great video you've found throughout the week. It can be funny, inspirational, gut-wrenching, interesting, a book trailer, a movie trailer, an author chat, or anything else you want to share!


I don't know about you, but I loved Michael Jackson and his music. I was quite sad when I got the news that he died. I wanted to share a new to me song by him. It's called They Don't Care About Us. Have you heard of it? Do you like it? I really love it! I have another song that I will be posting next week that I just recently heard as well, but that one I have a feeling will have more notoriety. Anywho, please enjoy the video! It was hard for me to watch some of the scenes but it's a powerful video and song.

Day 206 - Teaser Tuesday [17]

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

-Grab your current read.-Let the book fall open to a random page.
-Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
-You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
-Please avoid spoilers!

" 'I'm the mirror?" she said then, looking up at him. "You've stolen my soul," he said. "Lock the door behind you, and don't open it again tonight." Then he was gone. " (348)

The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle :: L.J. Smith

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 205 - The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening
L.J. Smith

Series or Stand Alone: The Vampire Diaries Series, book one

Release Date: June 26, 2007 (Omnibus Edition)

Publisher: Harperteen (Originally published by Harper in paperback - September, 1991)

Pages: 253 (Omnibus Edition)

My Rating: 3.25/5

Synopsis [from bn.com]:

A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror...

Elena: Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.

Stefan:Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.

Damon:Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.

The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.


Elena has just returned home from her European vacation. It's the beginning of her senior year in High School in Fells Church, Virginia and she's looking forward to returning to her rightful place as the "Queen Bee". But it's quickly apparent that things aren't going to be the same this year...

First off, it seems Elena is just plain bored with the boys around her. She can never seem to feel that "extra something" with any of them, including her most recent try, Matt. Although he's sweet and not at all the arrogant jerk that most other boys seem to be, Elena just feels there's no solid connection. Matt is just a friend, she needs something more... And this year there is a new student: Stefan. A mysterious and darkly handsome guy that just transferred in from Italy.

Elena is immediately attracted to Stefan and sets out after him like the tigress she seems to be. But no matter what she does, her mojo magic seems to be falling flat. Stefan remains aloof throughout Elena's many attempts to get his attention. This only makes Elena more determined to have him. She starts plotting a plan with her girlfriends, sweet Bonnie and sensible Meredith (who I really like for some reason). But while Elena's mind is constantly on Stefan and her plans to obtain him, some mysterious attacks start to happen.

Stefan ends up giving in to Elena as the story reveals his reasons for being so standoffish... I'll end my summary there for those who have yet to read it but just be careful for future reviews. I tend to write them assuming the book before was already read.

So I had a tough time liking Elena. Popular, privileged, beautiful, and just totally self-centered, she definitely didn't get any sympathy from me when she was brushed off by Stefan. I couldn't belive the way this girl thinks. She was just flat out appalled that the world didn't revolve around her. I admit that I somehow ended up getting used to Elena and how her brain worked. I don't like it but I guess that doesn't really matter.

I do like Stefan however, his story and his struggle to find a place to call home really sat well with me. From the background information of Stefan's past I was introduced to Damon and how crappy he was as a human. Now a vampire, like his brother, I'm sure he hasn't changed. It seems I'll have no problem loving Stefan and loving to hate Damon.

Although Elena's character really dragged the score down on the book, I gotta say I enjoyed it. Even if I didn't have the omnibus edition, I would still have picked up book two, The Struggle. I'm already well into it and liking it =)

Day 205 - It's Monday!

Photo credit : Moriza

It's Monday! What are you reading this week?, hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog, is a weekly event to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finished this week.

Books Gobbled Last Week:

Currently Gobbling Down This Week:
The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle
Running With Scissors: Augusten Burroughs

-I really wish I took a break this summer so I could concentrate more on reading and the blog...
-Another math test Tuesday, so I've been trying to study and do homework. Keyword there: trying...haven't been very successful. I hope I do well.
-Also, speech numero dos is up on Thursday and I've hardly worked on it *sigh* I really hate that class *growls*
-So I'll be having a review for the first Vampire Diaries book up soon, also my 1st speech will be posted later on today or tomorrow.
-The review for A Worthy Legacy will be posted early July so look for that!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 204 - Book Arrivals


From Contests/Giveaways & Misc:

One Deadly Sin :: Annie Solomon
(from Yankee Romance Reviews - thanks so much!)

Revenge. Edie Swann has hungered for it since she fled her hometown as a little girl. Now she's returned, ready for payback. Armed with a list of names, she leaves each one a chilling sign that they have blood on their hands. Her father's blood. What happens next turns her own blood cold: one by one, the men she's targeted start dying.
Sheriff Holt Drennen knows Edie is hiding something. She has a haunted look in her eyes and a defiant spirit, yet he can't believe she's a murderer. As the body count rises and all evidence points to Edie, Holt is torn between the town he's sworn to protect and the woman he's come to desire. But nothing is what it seems. Long buried secrets begin to surface, and a killer won't be satisfied until the sins of the past are paid in full--this time with Edie's blood.

Santa Olivia :: Jacqueline Carey
(from Nicola - thank you!!)

Lushly written with rich and vivid characters, SANTA OLIVIA is Jacqueline Carey's take on comic book superheroes and the classic werewolf myth. Loup Garron was born and raised in Santa Olivia, an isolated, disenfranchised town next to a US military base inside a DMZ buffer zone between Texas and Mexico. A fugitive "Wolf-Man" who had a love affair with a local woman, Loup's father was one of a group of men genetically-manipulated and used by the US government as a weapon. The "Wolf-Men" were engineered to have superhuman strength, speed, sensory capability, stamina, and a total lack of fear, and Loup, named for and sharing her father's wolf-like qualities, is marked as an outsider.
After her mother dies, Loup goes to live among the misfit orphans at the parish church, where they seethe from the injustices visited upon the locals by the soldiers. Eventually, the orphans find an outlet for their frustrations: They form a vigilante group to support Loup Garron who, costumed as their patron saint, Santa Olivia, uses her special abilities to avenge the town.
Aware that she could lose her freedom, and possibly her life, Loup is determined to fight to redress the wrongs her community has suffered. And like the reincarnation of their patron saint, she will bring hope to all of Santa Olivia.

Mommy Grace :: Dr. Shiela Schuller Coleman
(from Jess of Book Reviews by Jess - part of Mother's Day Giveaway)

Universally, mothers tend to feel they are not good enough at parenting and fear they are harming their children by not being perfect. In Mommy Grace: Erasing Mommy Guilt, Sheila Schuller Coleman offers overwhelmed moms short but emotive stories of authentic motherhood from her own and others' experiences-foibles and all-and offers comfort by showing how God makes up for human weakness with His own strength.
Because Sheila shares lessons learned the hard way by real moms rather than giving difficult instructions for better mothering, readers will leave the book feeling encouraged rather than lectured.
For every mom who feels she's not quite up to the colossal job of parenting, MOMMY GRACE is full of hope and compassion.

Odd Mom Out :: Jane Porter
(from Jess of Book Reviews by Jess - part of Mother's Day Giveaway)

Advertising executive Marta Zinsser is no poster child for her wealthy Seattle suburb-and nothing could please her more. This former New Yorker wears combat boots, not Manolos, and drives a righteous Harley hog instead of a Mercedes SUV. Now she's launching her own agency in this land of the Microsoft elite, even though her ten-year-old daughter wishes she'd put on a sweater set and just be normal.
Can this ex-urbanite remain uniquely herself without alienating the inner circle of smug, cookie-cutter executive wives? And when push comes to shove, can she stop being the proud odd mom out and take a chance at something frighteningly-and tantalizingly-new?

Beginner's Greek :: James Collin
(from Jess of Book Reviews by Jess - part of Mother's Day Giveaway)

When Peter Russell finally meets the woman of his dreams he falls as madly in love as you can on a flight from New York to LA. Her name is Holly. She's achingly pretty with strawberry-blonde hair, and reads Thomas Mann for pleasure. She gives Peter her phone number on a page of The Magic Mountain, but in his room that night Peter finds the page is inexplicably, impossibly, enragingly...gone. So begins the immensely entertaining story of Peter and his unrequited love for his best friend's girl; of Charlotte and her less-than-perfect marriage to a man in love with someone else; of Jonathan and his wicked and fateful debauchery; and of Holly, the impetus for it all. Along the way, there's the evil boss, the desirable temptress, miscommunications, misrepresentations, fiendish behavior, letters gone astray, and ultimately, an ending in which every character gets his due.Both incisive and wonderfully funny, this is a brilliantly understated comedy of manners in which love lost is found again.

Along for the Ride :: Sarah Dessen
(from YA author Melissa Walker - my very first SD novel, thanks Melissa)

It's been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents' divorce - or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.
A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she's been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.
In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

The Road Home :: Rose Tremain
(from Jess of Book Reviews by Jess - part of Mother's Day Giveaway - thanks so much Jess)

'On the coach, Lev chose a seat near the back and he sat huddled against the window, staring out at the land he was leaving ...' Lev is on his way to Britain to seek work, so that he can send money back to Eastern Europe to support his mother and little daughter. Readers will become totally involved with his story, as he struggles with the mysterious rituals of 'Englishness', and the fashions and fads of the London scene. We see the road Lev travels through Lev's eyes, and we share his dilemmas: the intimacy of his friendships, old and new; his joys and sufferings; his aspirations and his hopes of finding his way home, wherever home may be.

The Chosen One :: Carol Lynch Williams
(from Steph from Reviewer X - thank you so much! I'm excited to read this)

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much---if you don't count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.
But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle---who already has six wives---Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

The Wolverine Files :: Mike Barr
(from Paul of Blood of the Muse - sooo excited about this, thanks!!)

The enclosed is a top secret compilation of all known facts about the mutant called Wolverine (a/k/a Logan, Weapon X, Patch, the Runt). This report, generated by the concerted effort of SHIELD agents, isintended for the eyes of SHIELD personnel only, and is not to be copied, distributed, disseminated, or in any other way leaked to the general publicdue to the delicate nature of the information herein. It details Wolverine's origins, career, friends, allies, in all manner of specifics.
Be aware that representatives from Simon & Schuster publishing have been sniffing around, endeavoring to obtain this information through the Freedom of Information Act. We cannot begin to imagine the tremendous, even incalculable damage that would be sustained by both Wolverine and by our information-gathering forces should this report wind up for purchase in local bookstores. Let us hope such an event never comes to pass.

A lot of books that I won't get to right away but the fact that I have them makes me want to jump up and down. I can't wait to dig into this pile! Until next time loves:
Happy Reading!!

Day 204 - The Chris Farley Show

The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts
Tom Farley, Jr. & Tanner Colby

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Release Date: May 6, 2008

Publisher: Penguin (Viking Adult)

Pages: 368

My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis [from penguingroup.com]:

No one dominated a stage the way Chris Farley did. For him, comedy was not a routine; it was a way of life. He could not enter a room unnoticed or let a conversation go without making someone laugh. Fans knew Chris as Saturday Night Live’s sweaty, swaggering, motivational speaker; as the irresistible Chippendales stripper; and as Tommy Callahan, the underdog hero of Tommy Boy. His family knew him as sensitive and passionate, deeply religious, and devoted to bringing laughter into others’ lives.

But Chris did not know moderation, either in his boundless generosity toward friends or in the reckless abandon of his drug and alcohol abuse. For ten years, Chris cycled in and out of rehabilitation centers, constantly fighting his insecurities and his fears. Despite three hard-fought years of sobriety, addiction would ultimately take his life and the tragically young age of thirty-three. Fame on SNL and three straight number-one box office hits gave way to a string of embarrassing public appearances, followed by a fatal overdose in December 1997.

Here is Chris Farley as remembered by his family, friends, and colleagues—the true story of a man who lived to make us laugh and died as a result. The Chris Farley Show is an evocative and harrowing portrait of a family trapped by addiction, a father forced to bury a son, and a gifted and kindhearted man ultimately torn apart by the demons inside him.


I remember watching Tommy Boy for the first time and falling in love with Chris Farley. He was adorable and absolutely hilarious. And while Black Sheep didn't leave a lasting impression on me, I do remember a fair share of laughter going on. While reading this book I learned that Chris was originally supposed to be in The Cable Guy and Shrek. And even though I can't imagine the two movies without Jim Carrey and Mike Myers, I still wonder where Chris could have taken the roles.

Chris also starred in other movies but he was probably best known for his many performances on Saturday Night Live. I haven't seen many of the older episodes with him in it but I plan to track some DVDs down and watch them sometime soon. Chris was an amazingly gifted comedian and actor. His premature death was, in my opinion, a loss for the entire world.

This biography allowed me to take a closer look into who Chris was, his career, and the downward spiral that was his addiction. It's told in snippets of interviews done by his older brother Tom Farley, Jr. and Tanner Colby. Chris' life is retold by old friends, family members, co-workers, and other people who were in contact with him. It was honest and heartfelt and gave me a better understanding of Chris "the person", rather than Chris "the comedian". I found myself still truly caring about Chris when I was through with the book. Even though there was more to Chris than comedy, I got a sense that he was born to make others laugh and to bring joy to other people's lives. Corny, I know, but Chris' story is definitely one worth reading.

I also really enjoyed the different photos that were in the book. Many of them made me smile and I though it was an excellent addition.

I'm sure his story will touch many people because sadly, addiction is everywhere. I highly recommend this to any Chris Farley fan and even to people that are just curious about what happened to him.

I've included some excerpts from the book from a few different people that I hope will maybe sway you into picking up a copy:

"If Dad instilled anything in Chris it was this love of the underdog, for the kid that's getting picked on. If I were driving down the road and you made a joke about some strange-looking homeless person out on the sidewalk, man he'd lock those brakes up and the hand would come back. You didn't dare do that." (p. 16 - Tom Farley, brother)
"One of the cool things about Chris, and one of the noble things about Chris, is that if he made somebody's day better, if he could ease the pain and sadness in the world just a bit, that was why he felt he was here." (p. 40 - Pat Finn, friend)
"Keith Richards said that the first time he heard rock and roll, it was like the whole world went from black and white to technicolor. That's how Chris always seemed to describe finding comedy." (p. 56 - Brian Stack, cast member, Ark Improvisational Theater)
"His greatest love was just the act of laughter itself. As much as he made other people laugh, to watch Chris do it was the most beautiful thing you'd ever see. Nobody could laugh with as much unbridled glee. He'd just go into this paroxysms of mirth. If Chris laughed at one of your jokes, you felt like the king of the world." (p. 157 - Norm Macdonald, writer/Weekend Update anchor)
"I was just blown away by the life that Chris had lived. There was a deep melancholy in the room, but you also felt this great love from everyone. He had touched so many people. As sad as I was, I was really proud of him." (p. 321-322 - Kevin Farley, brother)


Thank you Caitlin from FSB Associates for sending me the copy to review!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 201 - From the Desk of...

...author Richard Aaron!

How was Gauntlet published? That’s a story in itself, but here are the high points. I had put together, over the course of 18 months or so, a ramshackle, complex international thriller. It was a first novel affair, and was more than 1000 pages long (no one had told me that manuscripts should be 250 pages, 12-point font, double spaced, with wide margins). At considerable expense I made 100 copies, obtained lists of agents, and sent out the manuscript, fully expecting at least half of them to come knocking on my door, beseeching me for publication rights. Nothing happened. There were two or three polite “no thank yous,” but that was it. I couldn’t believe it. The manuscript, I thought, was magnificent. So I sent out another 100 copies, with the same result. One agent must have taken pity on me, because she sent my manuscript on to a freelance editor in the business of helping authors “prep” their manuscripts for submission to agents and publishing houses.

That was how I met Carrie White, a young lady who knew the publishing business but was just getting started. She saw some promise in the manuscript, and agreed to take it on as a project. There were many rough edges, a lot of unnecessary detail, plot lines that absolutely did NOT work, and about 700 pages too many, but the “core plot” showed promise. Thereafter, over the course of about two years, the manuscript went through dozens of revisions. We cut plot lines, cut characters, changed the fate of our hero, gave our bad guy more personality, and refined the timeline. At the end of it, Carrie had friends and family members read it and the response was uniform: it was a great story. But the MS was still 500 pages long, and that was a squeeze – we were using 11-point font, 1.5-line spacing rather than double, and there were no margins whatsoever. Anyone who knows will tell you that an agent would turn that away without even looking. The book was ready, and we still wouldn’t be able to pitch it! So Carrie jumped off the cliff. She begged, borrowed, and mortgaged everything she had to create Glass House Press, and jumped in with both feet. After a year of prepping it for publication, we released it on March 3, 2009. And held our breath. We thought the book was great, but what would everyone else think? I mean, first-time author and first-time publisher; how much credibility did we have?

We found out soon enough, when the reviews started rolling in. We got great feedback from the majors like Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal. While on tour for the book, we had magazines and newspapers covering the release. New York Times bestselling authors like John Lescroart and David Morrell came on board with endorsements. And my head began to spin.

Carrie caught a wave and surfed it, and Glass House Press now has many books in the pipeline (I’m no longer her only author). I’m working with her on editing the sequel, Counterplay, and talking to agents about foreign rights on Gauntlet. We took an incredible gamble, and it’s looking like it’ll pay off. In retrospect, I think we were part lucky, part good. Well… make that 70% lucky, 30% good. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself, and it still makes my day to know that anyone at all has read my book.


Thank you so much Richard for stopping by today! I know I'm personally looking forward to Counterplay! The best of luck to you and your career ahead of you =) Don't forget to check out my review of Gauntlet here! && Be sure to pick up a copy of this amazing book!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 200 - Waiting on Wednesday [18]

from berkelyjoveauthors.com:

From afar, Sheriff Jackson Deveau has always loved Elle Drake, the youngest telepath of seven sisters. After a long time away she's finally returning home to the small coastal village of Sea Haven. But someone has been following Elle, someone who doesn't want her to make it back. And when Elle fails to arrive, her disappearance strikes fear in the hearts of everyone who loves her. Now it's left to Jackson to uncover the mystery of Elle's vanishing, and rescue her from an unseen danger. But Sea Haven is no longer safe for anyone, and it'll take the powers of all the Drake sisters and their men to survive the coming storm.


I've been waiting for Elle's story for a while now. I love the Drake Sisters! I haven't been thrilled with the last few stories but they have a place in my heart...and on my shelf!! If you haven't read any of these you really should start!

Cover Discussion: GORGEOUS! I love the colors! I think it's perfect =)

Hidden Currents will be released June 30th!

What are you waiting on this week?
To see more books that are being waited for click here.

Day 200 - Gauntlet

Richard Aaron

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone (Sequel in progress)

Release Date: March 2, 2009

Publisher: Glass House Press

Pages: 504

My Rating: 4.75/5

Synopsis [from richardaaron.com]:

A terrorist threat is looming; an attack that would dwarf any other. This time, the government knows it's coming, but doesn't know where… or how.

From a stunning new voice in international intrigue comes a dramatic story of high-stakes missions, treachery, honor, an unlikely hero, and the ultimate terrorist attack…

Six hundred sixty tons of Semtex is detonated in a massive explosion in Libya – the last of a deadly stockpile. The operation seems to have gone smoothly, but within minutes of the explosion, CIA agent Richard Lawrence discovers that one shipment of the explosive was hijacked en route to the destruction point. Days later, a glory-seeking “Emir” broadcasts to the world that he is planning a massive terrorist strike against a major U.S. landmark. And he gives a timeline of one month.

Now a desperate chase covers four continents, as the men bent on attacking the United States use every weapon at their disposal to evade the American authorities. Time and again they prove willing to destroy anything – and anyone – standing in their way. But Hamilton Turbee, an autistic computer mastermind at the secretive and newly created TTIC agency, discovers a way to follow their tracks. His flawed genius gives the nation its only chance at stopping the attack… if the American leadership will listen. As the enemies near their destination, and an attack becomes imminent, it is up to the TTIC team, still without a true leader, to stop the massive explosion that could destroy the lives of millions.

As the world watches in horror, the President asks TTIC two questions…

Where will the attack be?

And can it be stopped…


4.5 tons of Semtex has gone missing! The highly explosive plastic material has somehow gotten into the hands of terrorists bent on striking the United States in a terrible way. Authorities have no idea where the attack will take place and they only have about a month to find out or else a lot of innocent people die. With every clue they get the clock ticks closer to the detonation. But no matter what authorities do, the terrorists seem to always be one step ahead.

At the heart of the action is a group known as TTIC, or the Terrorist Threat Integration Center And among them is a vital employee who just happens to be an autistic math genius named Hamilton Turbee. Turbee is good at cracking codes and doing quick calculations in his head and may just have what it takes to crack the case!

There's too many unique and distinguished characters in the book to name them all. But as the reader is bounced across the globe through this fast-paced thriller, it's easy to see how devastatingly widespread and serious the situation is.

I have to admit, when I was first approached to do a blog tour I was given the choice between a couple of books. I decided to go with this one because it sounded somewhat decent, granted not really my style but I thought "What the hey - maybe you'll like it Mishel..." I received it a little late, which was no big deal. But when I opened the package I became a little intimidated. The book is pretty hefty. But when I told myself to get over it and started to read, I became so totally engrossed in the story it was scary.

Richard Aaron is a great story teller! The fact that this kind of thing can actually happen adds some thrilling, if not totally frightening, excitement to the reading experience. The amount of detail and research that was put into the book is amazing. I never once thought that it was too much. I did however, get a headache thinking how crazy it must have been putting a book like this together.

One thing I absolutely loved about Gauntlet was it's characters. I've read some reviews that frowned upon the background layout of some of the characters. I personally loved it. Characters are one of the most important things for me in a story. The fact that Aaron gave readers detailed backgrounds on the them made them seem more human - well for me anyway. Even the "bad guys" in the story seemed totally human and I somewhat sympathized with them. And yes, I know they were planning a terrorist attack on the US. So shoot me! Lol.

I did feel the ending was a little rushed, or just a little off kilter. It just wasn't as enjoyable for me. Although I gotta admit, the action in the end really had me on the edge of my seat. I'm so totally ready for the sequel to come out! The story isn't over - I need to know what happens lol. A definite read for anyone that enjoys books like this! But even if you aren't into terrorist books or military thrillers of this kind (I don't even know what genre the book is because I just don't usually read anything like this) I still think you should give it a try. The characters, story, action may just pull you in!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 199 - Teaser Tuesday [16]

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

-Grab your current read.
-Let the book fall open to a random page.
-Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
-You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
-Please avoid spoilers!

"No matter how much parents love a child, they must leave it to him to choose the path he wants to tread. Regardless of how tough it might be, they should stand aside and pray that he will take the right path." (88)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 198 - It's Monday!

Photo credit : Moriza

It's Monday! What are you reading this week?, hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog, is a weekly event to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finished this week.

Currently Gobbling Down This Week:
The Chris Farley Show :: Tom Farley Jr. & Tanner Colby
A Worthy Legacy :: Tomi Akinyanmi

-So I admit, my first speech wasn't that bad. I still loathe Public Speaking, but I got a 14 out of 15 =) I'm thinking about posting it since it was about books, so stay tuned for that.
-I'm totally slacking with reading - damn summer classes!
-I'm really enjoying The Chris Farley Show, I loved him in Tommy Boy and Black Sheep but hardly watched SNL. The book is a really interesting look into his life and tragic addiction.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 197 - Circus of the Damned

Circus of the Damned
Laurell K. Hamilton

Series or Stand Alone: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series, book three

Release Date: January 2, 2007

Publisher: Berkley Trade (Originally published by Ace in paperback - May, 1995)

Pages: 320 (Trade Size - reprint)

My Rating: 5/5

Synopsis [from fantasticfiction.co.uk]:

I'm Anita Blake, expert on creatures of the night. I've dined with shapeshifters, danced with werewolves, and been wooed - but not won - by Jean-Claude, the Master Vampire of the City.

And now a darkly dangerous vampire named Alejandro has hit town. He too wants me for his human servant. A war of the undead has begun. Over me.

I would be flattered. If my life weren't at stake.


Poor, poor Anita. She can never seem to get a break. She's called on again by Dolph and the police to help look at some more "unusual" murders in St. Louis. Anita suspects a rogue master vampire after seeing the victim and bite marks on him from a number of different vamps. The only way to find out if a master vampire is on the loose is to go ask Jean-Claude, which she really doesn't want to do.

At her meeting she meets an ally master vamp of Jean-Claude's named Yasmeen. Beautiful but deadly, she challenges Anita while trying to seduce her at the same time. It seems Anita's refusal to fully accept and become Jean-Claude's human servant is causing him some political tension. Apparently many are questioning his power because of Anita and her stubborn ways. But frankly, there's no way in hell she's gonna be anyone's servant. And that includes this new vampire, Alejandro, who has been around since the Aztec's time. He wants Anita too and he won't go about it as gently and subtly as Jean-Claude has.

Everyone seems to want to know who the Master of the City is and where the Master rests. She's confronted left and right from people that want to kill him and vampires that want to challenge him. She can't betray Jean-Claude...or can she? She sure doesn't want the two vampire marks he gave her, but can she actually give him up to die...

If that isn't enough for Anita, she has to train a new animator, Larry Kirkland. Barely out of college, Larry is entirely too enthusiastic about his job and he wants to be a vampire hunter. Anita feels he's too young and innocent for the job but Larry is persistant. She also has to deal with a prospective love interest after meeting Richard Zeeman at the Circus of the Damned. Richard, a junior high school science teacher, is somehow involved with the paranormal mess that is always around her. So she definitely has a feeling that he's got a secret that he's just not sharing...But he's human so why not date him?

The third installment of this series was GREAT! There was paranormal activity all over the place and characters being introduced like crazy, but not once did I get confused. I was totally wrapped up in the story. I also really like how the first three novels have been named after a place in Anita's world. I think it's so cool. I can't wait for to read The Lunatic Cafe. If you haven't started the series, hop to it!!

I'd like to leave you all with two quick little snippets which will hopefully make you want to read more about Anita and her world =)
" ' If the master eats you, can I have your nifty coveralls?' Zerbrowski asked.
'Buy your own, you cheap bastard.'
'I'd rather have the ones that have enveloped your luscious body.'
'Give it a rest, Zerbrowski. I'm not into little choo-choos.'
'What the hell do trains have to do with anything?' Dolph asked.
Zerbrowski and I looked at each other. We started giggling and couldn't stop. " (14)
" The door was heavy wood with some flowering vine carved into it. The doorknob was white with tiny pink flowers in the center of it. It was an awfully feminine door. Of course, no rules against men liking flowers. None at all. It was a sexist comment. Forget I thought it. " (34)


Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 195 - Friday Finds [3]

**Hosted by MizB, click here to see more Friday Finds

I usually add a lot of books on my TBR list throughout the week. This is just a small glimpse into the ones that were added on recently.

Please let me know your thoughts on a book you've read from the list. Or tell me about a good book you've found this week.

My finds this week:

Day 195 - Strange Angels [ARC Review]

Strange Angels
Lili St. Crow

Series or Stand Alone: Strange Angels Series, book one

Release Date: May 14, 2009

Synopsis [from penguin.com]:

Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?


I haven't read any of Lili St. Crow's other novels yet but they are on my list and I'll get to them eventually. So I'm not familiar with her writing but I felt Strange Angels was a pretty good start to this YA series.

I found myself a little hesitant about Dru in the beginning. Her and her father have been jumping around from place to place ever since her Gran died. He's a hunter of all paranormal entities that go bump in the night and has been doing so every since Dru's mother died years ago. Dru is slowly learning what she can about hunting since her father only allows her to tag along sometimes as back up. She's got a gift, kinda like a sixth sense, or the "touch" as her Gran likes to call it. She does have skills in fighting and knows how to use a gun. But at sixteen, she's pretty much mad at the world when she's introduced. Having to jump from school to school so many times she longs to be normal.

At school Dru tries to remain as aloof as possible. It doesn't help much when she meets Graves, a half-Asian goth kid who wants to befriend her despite her reluctance. She tries to push him away but he's one persistent boy. Kinda like a stray puppy that keeps begging, Graves just doesn't refuses to take "No" for an answer. Despite all that there's just something about him that calls to Dru. It may be the fact that she just longs for a friend to confide in, but how can she possible tell Graves anything about her life?

Tragedy strikes after Dru's dad doesn't come home after one of his solo missions. Dru is left on her own and quickly becomes a target for all the paranormal boogiemen. She ends up relying on Graves whether she wants to or not. And Graves becomes deeply involved after he gets bit by a werewulf. So they are pretty much stuck together and Dru continuously blames herself for Graves' predicament.

Later on they are helped by Christophe, a half-breed vampire called a djamhir, who knows more about Dru than she could ever imagine. She doesn't want to trust him but he seems determined to look out for her... And it is here where I will stop with the summary and leave the rest for you to find out =) Evil I know lol

I do want to say that the beginning really didn't do a lot for me. While I liked the story, I didn't really get into it until the last third of the book when Christophe was introduced. Not that he was my favorite character - I just felt the story really came alive in the last part. While I didn't love the novel I'm probably going to be picking up Betrayals which comes out in November.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 193 - Waiting on Wednesday [17]

from harpercollins.com:

With the end of summer closing in and a steamy Labor Day weekend looming in the town of Holton Mills, New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Henry—lonely, friendless, not too good at sports—spends most of his time watching television, reading, and daydreaming about the soft skin and budding bodies of his female classmates. For company Henry has his long-divorced mother, Adele—a onetime dancer whose summer project was to teach him how to foxtrot; his hamster, Joe; and awkward Saturday-night outings to Friendly's with his estranged father and new stepfamily. As much as he tries, Henry knows that even with his jokes and his "Husband for a Day" coupon, he still can't make his emotionally fragile mother happy. Adele has a secret that makes it hard for her to leave their house, and seems to possess an irreparably broken heart.

But all that changes on the Thursday before Labor Day, when a mysterious bleeding man named Frank approaches Henry and asks for a hand. Over the next five days, Henry will learn some of life's most valuable lessons: how to throw a baseball, the secret to perfect piecrust, the breathless pain of jealousy, the power of betrayal, and the importance of putting others—especially those we love—above ourselves. And the knowledge that real love is worth waiting for.

In a manner evoking Ian McEwan's Atonement and Nick Hornby's About a Boy, acclaimed author Joyce Maynard weaves a beautiful, poignant tale of love, sex, adolescence, and devastating treachery as seen through the eyes of a young teenage boy—and the man he later becomes—looking back at an unexpected encounter that begins one single long, hot, life-altering weekend.


Reason: You know I think the fact that the main character is a boy is a good enough reason to interest me. I think I need a boy's story right about now =) And it sounds like it could be really interesting.

Cover Discussion: I have a thing for hearts randomly placed in photos. I love the fact that it's drawn on the window like that. I don't see a big tie in to the blurb but we'll see how that goes after reading it.

Labor Day will be released July 28th!

What are you waiting on this week?
To see more books that are being waited for click

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 192 - Teaser Tuesday [15]

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

-Grab your current read.
-Let the book fall open to a random page.
-Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
-You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
-Please avoid spoilers!

"Being friends with Edward was like being friends with a tame leopard. You could pet it and it seemed to like you, but knew deep down that if it ever got hungry enough, or angry enough, it would kill you. Kill you and eat the flesh from your bones." (82)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 191 - April & Oliver [ARC Review]

April & Oliver
Tess Callahan

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April's brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April - and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. Even as Oliver attempts to "save" his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some secrets of his own--secrets he hasn't shared with anyone, even his fiance'. But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April's life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral...towards salvation.


I really want to thank Mary (Bookfan-Mary) for being so kind to send me her ARC of this book. I don't know exactly what made me want to read the book. But I saw a review (over at A Novel Menagerie) and it sounded really good, so I added it to my TBR list. A couple of days later I noticed another review on Mary's blog and just totally loved it. She immediately offered to send me the book, which was so awesome. I'm so glad she did too! Otherwise, I wouldn't have read it for a while since I constantly add books to that list.

April and Oliver grew up together and were inseparable. Looking after each other and Buddy, April's younger brother, seemed to fill the days of their youth. They are cousins through a marriage between Nana and her second husband. But that never stopped the sexual tension from growing between the two since adolescence. And as life takes them down their separate paths the two become strangers.

However, after the sudden and tragic death of Buddy, April and Oliver find themselves battling their mutual attraction once again. April also finds herself facing her troublesome choices in life head-on as she spirals down into her grief over her brother. Her pick in men haven't always been the best and the powerfully abusive relationship she's in now is making her life all the more complicated. Reckless and broken, April struggles to get away from past demons that continue to haunt her.

Oliver on the other hand has always been the cautious one. He was more or less a musical prodigy when he was younger as he played and composed his own music But instead of attending Julliard, he turned it down and went to Standford. He now attends Columbia as a law student which he thinks is more practical. He met his fiance' Bernadette and now prepares for a safe and happy future. But after returning home he can't seem to stay away from April. He feels that it's somehow his responsibility to put her back together as she falls apart. Their attraction soon alerts the sweet Bernadette that Oliver may not be the man she thought she knew. And Oliver notices his safe and solid future may be slipping away.

Callahan did a wonderful job with the characters. I couldn't help but come to care about both April and Oliver and even some of the secondary characters. Although April is utterly troubled with her self-destructive behavior I found that I couldn't dislike her for it. It was frustrating though, seeing her constantly choosing the wrong men or the wrong things just because that's what she was used to in life. Definitely made me want to shake the woman.
Oliver is a pleaser. Always putting others and their wants over his own. I can't imagine the life he would have had if he continued with his dream of composing music. His big heart though seems to get him into trouble. He can't save the world, no matter how hard he tries.

I found Nana, the grandmother, the most interesting character. Although she's somewhat senile she is, in my opinion, one of the wisest people in the book. It's like she knows more than she should about things and it's kind of spooky but comforting at the same time. After Buddy dies, the entire family chooses not to tell her in fear of troubling her over-worked heart. And yet I think she knew deep down that Buddy was gone.
Here are a few excerpts that display Callahan's beautiful writing and the attraction between April & Oliver:
“What Oliver fails to understand is the range of possibilites; that people can destroy themselves and one another and the whole planet with nothing stepping in to stop them; that she can destroy him without even trying. It wouldn’t take much, she thinks, to let her thigh relax against his, blood rising to the surface of her skin, until they began to consider the harmlessness of a moment longer. And another.” (82)
“His smile fades. She seens now that they are not just one shade of blue, but a thousand, pale and oceanic near the pupil, dark indigo around the rim, with flecks of sea green and gold. She feels a light shimmering sensation; she is no longer in her body, yet is intensely aware of the way his fingers have loosened around her wrist. It takes her a moment to realize she has stopped breathing.”(143)
Overall this book was an emotional journey with very real human characters. The ending wasn't a happily-ever-after. Instead, it leaves the reader with a lot of room for their own interpretation. It is a wonderful debut that I think so many people will come to enjoy. I know I'll be on the lookout for more from this author!

Day 191 - It's Monday!

Photo credit : Moriza

It's Monday! What are you reading this week?, hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog, is a weekly event to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finished this week.

Books Gobbled Last Week:
Strange Angels :: Lili St. Crow

Currently Gobbling Down This Week:
Circus of the Damned :: Laurell K. Hamilton
The Chris Farley Show :: Tom Farley Jr. & Tanner Colby

-I'm so happy I got through both the books this week! *does happy dance*
-I'm planning on having both reviews up later on today or at least April & Oliver.
-I have my 2nd Pre-Calc test tomorrow & my first Public Speaking speech for Thursday so all of that will probably get in the way of reading for this week. *ugh* But I will do my best.
-P.S. I hate Public Speaking class - TOTAL WASTE OF TIME! Yes, communication skills are important, but I officially hate this class. Negative attitude = my best friend!

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