Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 415 - 2010 Reading Challenges : A Collection

All of the 2010 Reading Challenges I'm participating in =) I hope you'll join in the fun!

Click the photo to be directed to it's specific page.

3/6 Books Completed

5/6 Books Completed

38/50 Authors Completed

12/50 Books Completed

57/100 Books Completed

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 414 - Dhampir

Barb and J.C. Hendee

Series or Stand Alone: Noble Dead series, Book one

Release Date: January 2003

Publisher: Roc

Pages: 384

Book Site:

My Rating: 4.5/5


Synopsis [from]:

She hunts the realm’s most dangerous game.
Her fees are exorbitant.
She’s worth every coin she receives.
Or is she?

Magiere has earned a reputation as the most formidable vampire slayer in the land. Villagers far and wide welcome her with both awe and disdain—grateful to her for ridding their towns of the undead menace, but finding themselves made poorer for their salvation. Magiere knows she’s dealing with simple folk, who only wish to have their superstitions silenced, and sees nothing wrong with exploiting them for profit.

Now, tired of the game, Magiere and her partner, the half-elf Leesil, are ready to hang up their weapons and settle down in a place they can finally call home. But their new found peace will not last—for Magiere has come to the attention of a trio of powerful and dangerous vampires who know her true identity—and fear the birthright that flows through her veins. And they will stop at nothing to keep Magiere from fulfilling her destiny.


I can't recall why I picked up this book. I think the cover drew my attention and the synopsis was good enough to get me to want to read it. I wasn't disappointed with the story or the characters. This "traditional" dark fantasy offers a unique world involving creatures that most of us know and love without bogging the reader down with unknown terms or complicated maps.

The protagonists of the story are Magiere (still working on the pronunciation) ,her half-elf partner Leesil, and their hound companion Chap. The nomadic duo are nothing more than charlatans (<---got that one from the book =] ), or hustlers, that go around swindling villagers of their money. Magiere is a hunter of the undead and for a pretty hefty fee she will rid any village of their vampire problem. She uses fancy powder and some serious fighting skills to kill the undead who is conveniently played by Leesil, hence the reason she always defeats her foe and always receives the payment for it.

But Magiere is tired of the life she lives, she wants nothing more than to retire and live a much more simpler life as a tavern keeper. After some heavy convincing Leesil reluctantly agrees to quit the life he has grown so accustomed to. However, Magiere's reputation has exceeded her and has traveled all over. To make matters worse, the town that they end up settling in has a group of very real vampires. DHAMPIR goes on to reveal that Magiere truly is a vampire hunter called a dhampir who is half-vampire, half-human. She possesses innate abilities and skills specific to killing the undead but of course they are most unwelcome.

I believe I liked the characters the most. I came to sympathize with the vampires themselves and connected extremely well with Magiere and Leesil. Some background information on their past is revealed but I'm sure the meat of their past is saved for future books in the series. I'm about 2/3 into book two and really enjoying it. I'll definitley be riding this one until the end.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 411 - Friday Finds [23]

**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. Maybe you'll find something you like =)

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:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 409 - Waiting on Wednesday [43]


Celebrated poet Naomi Shihab Nye brings together the poetry of twenty-five poets under the age of twenty-five. Ranging in style and subject, but all already high-caliber in their artistry, these young voices speak the thoughts, hopes, and concerns of their generation. Featuring an introduction by Nye, this is a collection full of hope, humor, and heartbreak. Features extensive notes on the contributors.


Reason: I used to write poetry - or my version of poetry - way back when and it really sucked when I stopped writing. It's been a very long time since I've read poetry and this sounds like an excellent way to slowly come back into something that I was once very close to.

Cover Discussion: I enjoy the tie-in with the title and the key. Very cute and clever. However, the "25 poets under 25" thing at the top draws away from the cover itself. I think it should have maybe been on the back or incorporated differently.

Time You Let Me In will be released February 23rd!

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

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 408 - Teaser Tuesday [37]

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!


"There had been so many nights when he drank himself to sleep so dreams of a nightmare childhood couldn't wake him. But he would never again be caught so ill prepared." (9)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 407 - 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:
Dhampir :: Barb and J.C. Hendee (4.5/5 stars)
Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart :: Beth Patillo (3.75/5 stars)

Gobbling Down This Week:
Thief of Lives :: Barb and J.C. Hendee

-Spring semester has started and I transferred to a 4-year University. My classes are harder than I expected and I'm just not happy about that at all. I'll try to keep up with my reading and blogging but I can't afford to let my grades fall...especially since I took out stupid loans for it. *sigh*

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 406 - Book Arrivals

From Paperbackswap:

Artemis Fowl :: Eoin Colfer
(Book one in the Artemis Fowl series)

Twelve-year-old villain, Artemis Fowl, is the most ingenious criminal mastermind in history. His bold and daring plan is to hold a leprechaun to ransom. But he's taking on more than he bargained for when he kidnaps Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance Unit). For a start, leprechaun technology is more advanced than our own. Add to that the fact that Holly is a true heroine and that her senior officer Commander Root will stop at nothing to get her back and you've got the mother of all sieges brewing!

Thief of Lives :: Barb and J.C. Hendee
(Book two in the Noble Dead series)

On the heels of DHAMPIR, Barb and J.C. Hendee's acclaimed Fantasy debut, comes THIEF OF LIVES, the new novel featuring Magiere and Leesil, Slayers of the Undead....
Magiere the dhampir thinks that her nights of hunting vampires are over. After settling down in her newly adopted village of Miiska - now vampire-free, thanks to her and her half-elf partner, Leesil - she looks forward to quiet days tending to her tavern.
But far away in the capital city of Bela, a prominent councilman's daughter has been found dead on her own doorstep... and all signs point to a vampire. Knowing that the battered and burned village of Miiska could use an infusion of cash, Bela's town council offers a generous bounty to the dhampir if she will slay their vampire. Magiere resists, wanting nothing more than to forget her past and ignore her half-vampire nature. Only Leesil can persuade Magiere to follow her destiny - before more innocent lives are claimed by darkness.

Sister of the Dead :: Barb and J.C. Hendee
(Book three in the Noble Dead series)

THE NOBLE DEAD SAGA CONTINUES AS MAGIERE AND LEESIL, THE SLAYERS OF THE UNDEAD FROM *DHAMPIR* AND *THIEF OF LIVES*, EMBARK ON A QUEST TO UNCOVER THE SECRETS OF THEIR MYSTERIOUS ORIGINS - AND THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR ORCHESTRATING THE EVENTS THAT BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.... Magiere the dhampir - half human, half vampire - sired for the purpose of slaying the undead. Outside the village of Chemestúk, where she was born and raised, stands her father's keep. Within its walls, she hopes to discover the secrets of her past and figure out why a vampire would wish to breed a creature capable of slaughtering his own kind....
But there are those who don't want Magiere to learn the truth - and when her half-elven partner, Leesil, makes a startling discovery in the keep, he can understand why. Before Leesil can reveal the truth to Magiere, they must vanquish a creature of unimaginable and unlimited power who has damned a small village of people with a horrifying curse...

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man :: Tamora Pierce
(Book three in the Song of the Lioness series)

Newly knighted, Alanna rides the desert in search of adventure. Captured by the Bloody Hawk tribe, she must challenge ancient tribal customs if she ever hopes for freedom. Tradition demands that Alanna must prove her worth in a magical duel - to the death.


From Contests/Giveaways & Misc.:

Cybermage :: Alma Alexander
(Book three in the Worldweavers series)
(Thanks to the Book Smugglers!!)

This year at the Wandless Academy feels all wrong to Thea. Her best friend, Magpie, will barely give her the time of day. Ben's been moody and dismissive. Since when did Tess have a boyfriend? And why is Humphrey May, agent for the Federal Bureau of Magic, lurking around the Academy? Thea is out of sorts - in all ways, magical and otherwise - and that's before she discovers she's an elemental mage, a category of magician so rare that only four others are known to exist.
Now the Federal Bureau of Magic needs Thea's help to unlock the mysterious white cube - the same cube found over the summer in the professor's house, the same cube the dangerous Alphiri are still after. To stay ahead of the Alphiri and the wiles of the FBM, Thea needs her friends - all of them.
From a world woven with magic and suspense comes Alma Alexander's Cybermage, the final installment of the richly invented Worldweavers trilogy.

Burn :: Ted Dekker & Erin Healy
(Received for review)

The past Janeal thought had burned away is rising from the ashes.
Years ago, the Gypsy Kumpania where Janeal Mikkado lived was attacked by outsiders. With her best friend about to be consumed by a fire, Janeal had two options: try to save her friend--at serious risk to her own life--or disappear with the million dollars that she had just discovered . . .
But the past is quickly coming back to haunt her. Both the best friend and the boyfriend that she was sure were dead have reappeared in her life, as has someone who knows about the money. There's a debt to be paid for the money she found, but there's an even greater debt she must face--and if the chaff isn't burned from her own heart, it will consume her.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 405 - Fade

Lisa McMann

Series or Stand Alone: Wake Trilogy, book two

Release Date: February 2009 (Hardcover Edition)

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 256

My Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchased from Barnes & Nobles

Synopsis [from]:

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck. Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open--but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability. And it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a Dream Catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd even feared...


I actually completed FADE in about 3 hours. Just like its predecessor, WAKE, I was totally unable to put the book down until I got to the end. Lisa continues to write with a unique style that can definitely hook a reader and reel em in. Picking up where the first left off, FADE brings different and more darker issues to light and, in my opinion, has her characters facing more hardships than before. With these issues comes with it some raw language that I have noticed bothers some readers. I don't mind cussing that much or "not-so comfortable" topics as Janie and Cabel must find a sexual predator this time just as a warning to those that it might bother: the book contains some graphic language and/or issues.

One of the best things about FADE was the further character development in both Janie and Cabel. Their relationship is both passionate and rocky at times as the realistic couple are faced with the challenges of Janie's powers and the toll they are taking on them both. The two are officially together now and, like most couples, must come to terms with the fact that they now have someone they truly care about in their lives. They've already gotten used to the fact that they have strong feelings for someone else. Now they must go that extra mile to understand the battling emotions that relationships can cause couples. The two have definitely become one of favorite literary couples to read about. Regardless if they are separated or together, Janie and Cabel are extremely realistic and relatable.

Janie's abilities are further explored and it was actually a real pleasure to see things being pieced together. However, even with all that extra knowledge there were still plenty of questions left unanswered. But that's what the last book, GONE, is for. I'm very excited to read Lisa's third book and I'm also sad that it will be the end of this unique and original world she has created.

Day 405 - 2010 Reading Challenge: Read Your Name Challenge

This is another challenge I didn't complete last year but I was only 2 books away. I hope to complete it this time around =) I'll be using my name again since I didn't finish it yet. Again I should have no excuse to not finish this time because I own these books already.
For information about this challenge or to sign up click here.

M ark of the Demon by Diana Rowland
I ll Wind by Rachel Caine
S tarfinder by John Marco
H ounding the Moon by P.R. Frost
E ve of Darkness by S.J. Day
L ord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson

Day 405 - 2010 Reading Challenge: What's In a Name 3 Challenge

I was 3 books short from completing this challenge last year, but I think it's a lot of fun and a very unique concept =) I'm definitely going to work harder on completing this challenge and to be honest I have no excuse not to because I own all of the books already... So we'll see

For more information on this challenge or to sign up visit here.

**My list shouldn't change but just keep in mind that it might. Completed books will be italicized and underlined.

  1. A book with a food in the title: Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich
  2. A book with a body of water in the title: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters & Jane Austen
  3. A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
  4. A book with a plant in the title: Willow by Julia Hoban
  5. A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Houston, We Have a Problema by Gwendolyn Zepeda
  6. A book with a music term in the title: Viola in Reel Life by Adriani Trigiani

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 404 - Friday Finds [22]

**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. Maybe you'll find something you like =)

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:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 403 - Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
Jane Austen & Ben H. Winters

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Release Date: September 2009

Publisher: Quirk Classics

Pages: 344

My Rating: 2.5/5

Source: Copy provided by publisher

Synopsis [from]:

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest-and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!


I haven't read many classics unless someone made me in High School and I just don't remember. I do know that I have yet to read anything by Jane Austen. However, I have wanted to her books for a while now. I enjoyed the movie version of Emma (with Gwyneth Paltrow) very much and have been interested in reading the book. I haven't seen Pride and Prejudice but that one is on my TBR list as well. So when I first saw that Jane Austen's classics were getting "re-vamped" I just had to laugh. Naturally, the idea made me curious but I felt I should definitely read the original versions before embarking on what could be someone's interesting idea gone horribly awry.

I received an email back in November asking if I'd like to review SENSE AND SENSIBILITY AND SEA MONSTERS and I was hesitant at first. I really wanted to read the original versions first but I eventually gave in and accepted the review inquiry. I had no idea what the book was about but I admit the blurb of the sea-monster version intrigued me. I knew if I liked this one I'd most likely enjoy the original so there was no need to worry about which I read first.

If you haven't already seen my rating then let me just say I have very mixed feelings about this book, so the rating was hard for me to pinpoint. In the beginning I was literally struggling to read it. Now, I know that the original text was put in the book and Ben Winters expanded on Jane Austen's writing with his "re-vamping" skills. So I don't really know if I had a tough time with Jane's writing or with Ben's... All I know is that I wanted to put the book down numerous times because I found myself confused while reading. I know a lot of has to do with Jane Austen and the way she writes. I think the classical style she used just didn't sit well with me. I had to re-read passages several times in order to fully understand what was going on. And the "re-vamping" wasn't helping my situation. I found myself not very happy with the sea monster feeling. Although I understood the snarkiness of it, I just didn't feel it meshed well.

About 2/3 into the book my feelings changed, NOT dramatically mind you, but I noticed I was actually enjoying the story and I think I finally had somewhat of a hold on the characters and their personalities. But I admit, the characters were hard to relate to and again I have no idea if it was the writing or the "re-vamping" of the writing that got to me. But back to what I was saying, the Dashwood sisters end up going to a Sub-Station underwater during the story and I think that is where I started to enjoy the book more. I also think I got used to the writing style of both authors by this time in the book. In the classic version I believe this is the part of the story where the Dashwood sisters go to London for a short while.

At the beginning of reading this book I was afraid to even think about reading the original version. But after completing it I'm much more confident that I will enjoy and hopefully come to better appreciate the classic SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. And a funny thing is the movie actually came on HBO a few days after I finished the book. I was so totally engrossed in the film and I definitely liked the fact that I knew who the characters were already. So I'll be reading the classic version, along with Austen's other novels. I will also be reading Quirck Classics other books which include PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES and DAWN OF THE DREADFULS.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 402 - 2010 Reading Challenge: New Author Challenge

This is one of the few challenges I completed in 2009. I set a goal of 20 new-to-me authors and I could have added more but I didn't.

I'll be setting the bar up to 50 new authors and I'll just add to this list as I go...

For info or to sign up visit Literary Escapism here.

  1. Ben H. Winters & Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters)
  2. Barb & J.C. Hendee (Dhampir)
  3. Beth Patillo (Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart)
  4. Laura Weiner (Dino Vicelli: Private Eye)
  5. Ted Dekker & Erin Healy (Burn)
  6. Skyler White (and Falling, Fly)
  7. Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games)
  8. Steve Hockensmith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls)
  9. A.P. Stephens (The Stolen Moon of Londor)
  10. Gail Fraser (The Lumby Lines)
  11. Annette McCleave (Drawn Into Darkness)
  12. Sibella Giorello (The Clouds Roll Away)
  13. Joe Boyd (Between Two Kingdoms)
  14. Diana Rowland (Mark of the Demon)
  15. Angela Roegner & Anita Wooldridge (Eight Days in Darkness)
  16. Chloe Neill (Firespell)
  17. Christie Ridgway (Dirty Sexy Knitting)
  18. Adriana Trigiani (Viola in Reel Life)
  19. Kenneth C. Cancellara (Finding Marco)
  20. Andrew Feder (Spirit)
  21. Ellen Bryson (The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno)
  22. LM Preston (The Pack)
  23. S.J. Day (Eve of Darkness)
  24. Alden Bell (The Reapers Are the Angels)
  25. John Marco (Starfinder)
  26. Gwendolyn Zepeda (Houston, We Have a Problema)
  27. Barbara DeShong (Too Rich & Too Thin: Not an Autobiography)
  28. Gabe Rotter (The Human Bobby)
  29. Kasey Mackenzie (Red Hot Fury)
  30. Louisa Edwards (Just One Taste)
  31. Antoinette van Heugten (Saving Max)
  32. Sarah Beth Durst (Enchanted Ivy)
  33. Fletcher Cockrell (Dismissed with Prejudice)
  34. Royce Buckingham (The Dead Boys)
  35. Dr. Barbara Sinor (Tales of Addiction and Inspiration for Recovery)
  36. Rachel Caine (Glass Houses)
  37. Jack Woodville London (French Letters: Engaged In War)
  38. Sabrina Jeffries (A Hellion in Her Bed)

Male: 14
Female: 28

Day 402 - Waiting on Wednesday [42]


Send in the clones! On second thought, maybe not.


Find out the answers to these and other burning questions in this funny, informative, and ingenious book from two bioengineering experts who show you how to survive—and thrive—in a new age of truly weird science.For decades, science fiction has been alerting us to the wonders and perils of our biotech future—from the prospects of gene therapy to the pitfalls of biological warfare. Now that future looms before us. Don’t panic! This book is all you need to prepare for the new world that awaits us, providing indispensable cautionary advice on topics such as

• bioenhancements: They’re not just for cyborgs anymore.
• DNA sequencing and fingerprinting: What’s scarier than the government having your DNA on file? Try having it posted on the Internet.
• human cloning: Just like you, only stronger, smarter, and more attractive. In other words: more dangerous.

Our future may be populated by designer babies, genetically enhanced supersoldiers, and one (or more!) of your genetic duplicates, but all is not lost. How to Defeat Your Own Clone is the ultimate survival guide to what lies ahead. Just remember the first rule of engagement: Don’t ever let your clone read this book!


Reason: Tell me this doesn't sound hilarious! Not only is it a brilliant topic but the possibilities to really make this book succeed are numerous.

Cover Discussion: Eh, it's okay. The title drew me in more than the cover. I say they could have done a better job with it.

How to Defeat Your Own Clone will be released February 23rd!

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