Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 389 - Goodbye 2009

Be safe everyone. I hope 2010 is kind to you =)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 388 - Waiting on Wednesday [40]


Four of today's hottest urban fantasy writers together for the first time!

From today's most provocative authors come four tales of urban fantasy and paranormal romance exploring body art that is more than it seems-in a world of magic and mayhem that always leaves its mark. This captivating tattoo theme surrounds each author's popular characters and worlds: Karen Chance's war mage Lia de Croissets, Marjorie M. Liu's demon-hunter Maxine Kiss, Yasmine Galenorn's Otherworld Intelligence Agency operative Camille D'Artigo, and Eileen Wilk's Lupi world.


Reason: Marjorie M. Liu is one of my favorite authors and the other 3 authors I have on my to-read shelf. I also really enjoy body art that is well done so it would be interesting to read stories surrounding the subject.

Cover Discussion: I think it's gorgeous. Very well done!

Inked will be released January 5th!

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

Day 388 - Rising Shadow

Rising Shadow
Jacquelyn Wheeler

Series or Stand Alone: Book one in the Soterian series

Release Date: September 2009
Pages: 378

My Rating: 3.25/5

Source: Copy provided by author

Synopsis [from]:

Ashlyn Woods just transferred to one of the most beautiful campuses on the west coast, where she can't wait to start her life over as a normal college student. But her plans take an unexpected turn when she discovers that she is a Soterian: a person who develops amazing powers when the balance of good and evil shifts too far in evil's favor.

Soon she and the other Soterians are studying martial arts and learning to use their powers to prevent California from being plunged into chaos. But they quickly discover that they're up against a much more dangerous enemy than they anticipated.
And when Ashlyn meets Kai, a devastatingly gorgeous guitar player, she realizes she must sacrifice more than she ever imagined.


RISING SHADOW incorporates a fun and unique twist to its paranormal theme. Ashlyn and the characters she meet are all college-aged and have much more in common then just attended the same school or living in the same area. They are all part of a team called the Soterians. Ashlyn must find a way to make friends, pass all her classes, not be homesick, and save the world with newly discovered powers before the balance between good and evil tips too much in evil's favor.

I like the fact that in Ashlyn's world no one can ever truly defeat evil...however the balance can be returned to it's rightful place. The Soterians must discover who is behind the source and an interesting fact is that the villians are not paranormal "bad-guys" that need an obscene amount of magic skill or what-not to overcome.While the villians in this story are absolutely tough to beat they are surprisingly realisitc - i.e. politicians and terrorists. It was a nice and refreshing change to evil vampires or rogue hunters, etc.

I was also quite fascinated with the Soterian powers that Jacquelyn came up with. How the Soterian team works and what powers belong to which character. I freely admit it was one of the best and most fun parts about the book. One thing I wasn't quite feeling in the book was Ashlyn and Kai's relationship and how fast it seemed to develop. I'm all for falling in love quickly, I mean I of all people understand that you can't control your feelings or how fast they can develop. However, I would have liked to see their relationship actually develop and blossom. I think I would have appreciated their feelings a little bit more.

Overall I had a lot of fun reading RISING SHADOW, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the next installment into the Soterian world.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 386 - It's Monday

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:
The Christmas Secret :: Donna VanLiere (5/5 stars)
The Shimmer :: David Morrell (3.5/5 stars)

Gobbling Down This Week:
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters :: Jane Austen & Ben H. Winters

Friday, December 25, 2009

Day 383 - Friday Finds [19]

**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:

The Gaslight Dogs :: Karin Lowachee
The Princess and the Hound :: Mette Ivie Harrison

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 382 - Happy Holidays

Stay safe and be loving =)

I heart you guys!

Day 382 - The Better Part of Darkness [ARC Review]

The Better Part of Darkness
Kelly Gay

Series or Stand Alone: Book one in the Charlie Madigan series

Release Date: November 2009

Publisher: Pocket

Pages: 416 (Mass Market Paperback Edition)

My Rating: 4.75/5

Source: ARC won in a giveaway

Synopsis [from]:

Atlanta: it's the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil...

Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She's recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.'s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim -- but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?


I should smack myself for not reading this sooner. You may be saying "But it just came out Mishel, it's not that big of a deal..." and you'd be right. However, I've had the ARC sitting on my shelf for quite some time now. I decided to put it on hold because on the back of the ARC it says it was going to be released in December. Mmmm, not true because it was released last month. But no biggie. The point of the ranting was that I really liked THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS.

Charlie Madigan is somewhat like your typical Urban Fantasy heroine. Strong-willed, independent, smart-mouthed, fiesty and basically just a kick ass kinda woman. She does have some slight differences that set her apart from the rest of the "pack". First off, Charlie is a divorced mother. Most heroines are just fine being childless or they don't mind waiting until a better time in their life before they help populate the Earth. But Charlie's pre-teen daughter gives a good element to the story. Charlie is very passionate about her job, but having her daughter at home keeps her level-headed and makes her think a little bit more carefully about the situations she puts herself in. And Charlie's daughter does get put into danger (you knew it was coming) but I don't think it was a weakness of the storyline.

Charlie is a detective living in a different kind of Atlanta. This Atlanta's not only home to humans but "off-worlders" from two different dimensions as well; Elysia and Charbydon. Kelly Gay created a remarkable world filled with characters a lot of us have already read about. She adds her own spin on them however and she brings in a little bit more science fiction rather than fantasy into this novel. Magic and the paranormal are intertwined with genetics and scientific means that make the read a very refreshing one.

The dialogue kept me giggling and the plot kept me turning those pages until I got to the end. I wouldn't call this a funny novel but Kelly Gay has infused her characters with a wry wit that I came to really love and enjoy. The character interactions were one of my favorite aspects of the story and even the characters themselves were extremely likeable. From Hank, Charlie's siren partner, Bryn, Charlie's gifted sister, and Will, Charlie's ex-husband...I just found myself surrounded by really great characters.

I'm really looking forward to what Kelly has in store for her readers with Charlie's next book. I highly recommend this THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS to any Urban Fantasy fan. I also think Fantasy and Science Fiction fans may even enjoy it =)

Reading Order:
1. The Better Part of Darkness
2. The Darkest Edge of Dawn (August, 2010)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 381 - Waiting on Wednesday [39]


Paradise wasn't supposed to suck.

Not the state of being, but a resort in the Caribbean.

Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all there for different reasons, but at Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Paradise will change them all.

It will change Jena, whose first brush with romance takes her that much closer to having a life, and not just reading about those infinitely cooler and more exciting.

It will change Dakota, who needs the devastating truth about his past to make him realize that he doesn't have to be a jerk just because people think he's one.

It will change Skye, a heartbreakingly beautiful actress, who must come to terms with the fact that for once she has to stop playing a role or face the consequences.

And it will change Owen, who has never risked anything before and who will take the leap from his online life to a real one all because of a girl he met at Paradise. . . .

From confused to confident and back again, one thing's certain: Four months after it all begins, none of them will ever be the same.


Reason: I first saw this floating around online, it seems, months ago. I just love the cute cover, and I think that's the TOP reason I'd like to read this.

Cover Discussion: If you skipped the above statement I'll just re-iterate here: I love the cute cover. I really like how the blue and pink mix colors towards the middle.

Tangled will be released December 29th!

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

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 379 - It's Monday

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:
Rising Shadow :: Jacquelyn Wheeler (3.5/5 stars)

Gobbling Down This Week:
The Christmas Secret :: Donna VanLiere

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 378 - The Sugarless Plum

The Sugarless Plum
Zippora Karz

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Release Date: November 2009

Publisher: Harlequin

Pages: 288

My Rating: 3.25/5

Source: Copy provided by publisher

Synopsis [from]:

It started as the perfect story. Zippora Karz was a member of the famed New York City Ballet by the age of eighteen. By twenty she was starring as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, dancing roles created by Jerome Robbins, and traveling the world.
It was the stuff dreams are made of until, at age twenty-one, Karz became exhausted, dizzy and excessively thirsty. Heavy pancake makeup covered the sores under her arms that would not heal, but she neglected to go to the doctor. When she finally did, she was diagnosed with diabetes, and learned that if she continued to ignore her symptoms, she risked heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation of her toes, feet and legs. She struggled to get the correct diagnosis and treatment, first thinking she had Type-2 diabetes, when in fact she had Type 1, juvenile diabetes. Once placed on an insulin regimen to regulate her blood sugar, she would inject herself with unsafe doses before going on stage in misguided attempts to obtain peak performance. The potentially fatal result of Karz's self-experimentation became all too real when she nearly lost consciousness. Her weight dropped and she became dangerously ill.

Balancing ballet and her blood sugar would be a long and difficult struggle for Karz, but eventually she learned to value her body and work with it, rather than rage at its limitations. In The Sugarless Plum, Karz shares her journey from denial, shame and miseducation about her illness to how she led an active, balanced and satisfying life as an insulin-dependent diabetic and soloist with one of the world's most famous ballet companies. Through her fascinating story, those struggling with diabetes and other serious illnesses can find encouragement and inspiration as well as practical advice on achieving physical and emotional wellness.

After sixteen years with the New York City Ballet, Karz retired and took her passion and skills into a whole new arena as a diabetes educator and advocate, where today she inspires people to not just manage their illness, but to thrive and fulfill their passions. The Sugarless Plum takes readers deep into the heart and soul of a young dancer, and is a remarkable testament to determination and perseverance.


THE SUGARLESS PLUM is a powerful story that will reach out to those who suffer from diabetes and even touch those who have never encountered it on a personal level. Zippora's struggles are portrayed honestly and with a lot of emotion as she re-tells the story of her younger years, her ballet career, and struggling to balance her life with her diagnosis. She not only shares her personal and professional life to readers but she reaches out to others with diabetes by providing resource materials near the end of the book.

Zippora is well known for her portrayal of the Sugar Plum Fairy in Tchaikovsky's THE NUTCRACKER from 1983-1999 at the New York City Ballet where she became a soloist. She goes into detail about the joys, the hard work, and even the pain that all ballet dancers must go through. It really is a physical and emotional battle to be a ballerina and I had no idea. Learning more about these different kinds of athletes was extremely eye opening.

This memior isn't just a story of a woman surviving and living with diabetes. It's not about a talented dancer learning to overcome different obstacles in order to keep their career. THE SUGARLESS PLUM is more of an inspirational story that has the potential to touch and motivate any person that is facing any kind of life challenge. I think Zippora describes things best when she says, "My story is about living a full life, and not letting obstacles defeat you and dissuade you from following your heart."

You can download and read and excerpt by clicking here!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 374 - Waiting on Wednesday [38]

from simon&

Who Knew An Angel Could Get A Girl In So Much Devilish Trouble?

Jackie Brighton woke up in a Dumpster this morning, and her day has only gotten weirder. Her familiar B-cups have somehow become double Ds, her sex drive is insatiable, and apparently she had her first one-night stand ever...with a fallen angel. All she remembers is gorgeous Noah's oddly hypnotic blue eyes...and then a dark stranger whose bite transformed her into an immortal siren with a sexy Itch. With help from Noah, Jackie begins to adapt to her new lifestyle -- until she accidentally sends Noah into the deadly clutches of the vampire queen and lands herself in a fierce battle for an ancient halo with the queen's wickedly hot right hand man. Who just happens to be the vampire who originally bit her. How's a girl supposed to save the world when the enemy's so hard to resist?


Reason: Tell me this doesn't sound sexy and funny. I really hope it doesn't disappoint =)

Cover Discussion: I'm not a huge fan of long-haired men but I AM a huge fan of this cover model!!!

Gentlemen Prefer Succubi will be released December 29th!

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 373 - Teaser Tuesday [36]

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!


"'How did you know that's my car?'
I stared at the car and suddenly realized that the only time I had seen it before was in my dream.
Oh crap." (75)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 372 - It's Monday

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:
The Better Part of Darkness :: Kelly Gay (Review & Giveaway coming soon 4.5/5 stars)

Gobbling Down This Week:
Rising Shadow :: Jacquelyn Wheeler

-Geez, been a whole month since I posted one of these - and in that month I've only read 2 books =(
-Really working on getting back into the groove of things...not doing a great job but I'm not giving up.
-I have some giveaways coming up so I hope you'll stay tuned for those (including The Fire King, Playing House, The Sugarless Plum, and The Better Part of Darkness)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 371 - Book Arrivals


From Contests/Giveaways & Misc.:

The Stand :: Stephen King
(Given to me by a friend - Thanks Kathi!)

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.
And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides -- or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail -- and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.
Matters of the Blood :: Maria Lima
(Book one in the Blood Line series)
(Given to me by a friend - Thanks Crystal!)

If you thought your family was strange...
Try being Keira Kelly. A member of a powerful paranormal family, Keira elected to stay among humans in the Texas Hill Country when the rest of the clan moved (lock, stock, and grimoire) to Canada. But family duty means still having to keep an eye on cousin Marty — a genetic aberration who turned out 100% human, poor guy. And recently Keira's been having violent dreams — or are they visions? — featuring Marty as the victim of a vicious murder. Something sinister seems to be brewing in little Rio Seco. Can Keira get to the bottom of it all while avoiding entanglement with her former lover, Sheriff Carlton Larson? And what does she plan to do about the irresistible and enigmatic Adam Walker? When this old friend shows up as the new owner of a local ranc and wants to get better acquainted, Keira is more than happy to be welcoming...until she suspects that Adam could be intimately connected to the dangerous doings in Rio Seco.

The Vampire's Assistant and Other Tales from the Cirque Du Freak :: Darren Shan
(Book one-three in the Cirque Du Freak series)

Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy who loves to ride bikes and hang out with his three best friends. Then one day Darren and his friends stumble across an invitation to visit the Cirque Du Freak, a strange and mysterious freak show. Almost as if by destiny, Darren wins a ticket and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires. This is Darren's story.

New movie edition features the first three books—Cirque Du Freak, The Vampire's Assistant, and Tunnels of Blood— bound up in one volume!

Fire :: Kristin Cashore

She is the last of her kind...It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to read it next.

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker :: Leanna Renee Hieber
(Book one in the Strangely Beautiful series)
(Thank you so much Leanna!)

What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Considering how few of Queen Victoria’s Londoners knew of it, the great Romanesque fortress was dreadfully imposing, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met the powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadow, the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She knew simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow-white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gifts. But this arched stone doorway offered a portal to a new life, an education far from the convent—and an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death….

Dark Hunger :: Rita Herron
(Book two in the Demonborn series)
(Won from Cheryl - Thanks!)

Telepath Quinton Valtrez wants nothing from Annabelle Armstrong except her luscious body. One peek into her mind, however, and he knows that that this CNN reporter has uncovered his identity as a government assassin and is determined to expose all of his dark secrets, one by one. He'll never let that happen, his uncontrollable hunger for her be damned. But when a bomber strikes as they're both in range, killing hundreds, Annabelle devotes herself entirely to the story. Thrown together by danger and desperate to stop the violence, Quinton and Annabelle uncover that the serial bomber is a supernatural attack, perpetrated by an evil force that exerts mind control over people and turns them into killers. But when the forces of evil unite to overpower them, targeting Annabelle in order to ensnare him, Quinton must face his own destiny as one of the Demonborn and join forces with his brother Vincent (from Insatiable Desire) to save Annabelle and fight the evil threatening to overtake them.

The Christmas Secret :: Donna VanLiere
(Book five in the Christmas Hope series)
(Received for review)

When a struggling young single mother saves the life of an elderly woman, she sets into motion a series of events that will test her strength, loyalty, and determination, all the while setting her on the path to finding true love. Christine Eisley is the mother of seven-year-old Zach and five-year-old Haley. Her ex-husband provides little, if any, child support and makes life difficult for Christine by using the children as pawns. She works long hours as a waitress to make ends meet, but her job is in jeopardy because she's often late to work due to the unreliable teenaged sitters she's forced to use. When Christine saves the life of a woman who works in Wilson's department store, the owner of Wilson's wants to find her, to thank her, but Christine has disappeared, losing another job once again. He sets his grandson, Jason, to the task of finding the mysterious 'Christy.' Jason, an accountant by trade who has lost his job to downsizing, thinks he is 'above' working at Wilson's. Soon, he discovers that this new task gives him more than he bargains for. The Christmas Secret is a novel for anyone who wants to see how love is a gift that keeps giving back; that hope is a treasure that never runs dry, and that faith is a miracle that is reborn with each new day.


From Paperback Swap:

The Golden Compass :: Philip Pullman
(Book one in His Dark Materials series)

The action follows 11-year-old protagonist Lyra Belacqua, accompanied by her daemon, from her home at Oxford University to the frozen wastes of the North, on a quest to save kidnapped children from the evil 'Gobblers,' who are using them as part of a sinister experiment. Lyra also must rescue her father from the Panserbjorne, a race of talking, armored, mercenary polar bears holding him captive. Joining Lyra are a vagabond troop of gyptians (gypsies), witches, an outcast bear, and a Texan in a hot air balloon.

The Subtle Knife :: Philip Pullman
(Book two in the His Dark Materials series)

"What is he? A friend, or an enemy?" "He is a murderer." Will has just killed a man. He's on the run. His escape will take him fa beyond his own world, to the eerie disquiet of a deserted city and to a girl, Lyra. Her fate is strangely linked to his own, and together they must find the most powerful weapon in all the word.


Just wanted to re-iterate how awesome Leanna Renee Hieber is! I receieved an ARC copy of her book to review when it came out in August and I absolutely loved it (See what I thought). I gave away my copy in hopes of spreading the love around for Miss Percy Parker. Leanna generously offered me a finished copy that she signed for me...I was so excited when I opened the book =) Thank you again Leanna!!!

Happy Reading Everyone!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 369 - Friday Finds [18]

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

Hey everyone! Happy Friday. Seems I still haven't gotten back into the groove of things. I'm working on it though. I'm still not reading as much as I would like and the Holidays are coming up so quickly... I did recently pass my first year of blogging =) I didn't really make a big deal about it, which I don't really know if I should have done something to celebrate or not. Oh well, maybe next year.

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:

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