Friday, December 31, 2010

My Top 10 of 2010

I apologize for my absence. These past two months have been crazy... to say the least!

I've seen similar lists on many other book review blogs, and loved the idea, so here's my list. ^_^

Oh, yeah! These are not necessarily books published in 2010, just ones I read in 2010.

In no particular order, I present...

My Top 10 of 2010:

Speak - Laurie Halse Andersen

Night Myst (Indigo Court, #1) - Yasmine Galenorn

Forgive My Fins (Fins, #1) - Tera Lynn Childs

The Reincarnationist (The Reincarnationist, #1) - M.J. Rose

Twice Tempted by a Rogue (Stud Club, #2) - Tessa Dare

Demonkeepers (Final Prophecy, #4) - Jessica Andersen

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1) - Rachel Hawkins

The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine, #1) - Bree Despain

Altar of Eden - James Rollins

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, #1) - Kristin Cashore


Honorable Mentions:

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1), My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2), and My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers, #3) - all by Rachel Vincent (Book 4, My Soul to Steal, is on my list of book to read in 2011.)

The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss, #1) and Darkness Calls (Hunter Kiss, #2) - both by Marjorie M. Liu (Book 3, A Wild Light, is on my list for 2011.)

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in the Middle Ages: The British Isles, 500 to 1500 - Sherrilyn Kenyon (This is an *old* book of hers, from before she started the Dark-Hunters series, I believe. Also, I may have read this at the end of 2009; I don't remember for sure.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Across the Universe



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice for the week:



Across the Universe
by
Beth Revis


Miss Revis is a local (NC) author. Which I discovered AFTER I missed the opportunity to meet her. Le sigh. On to her book:

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awake on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into a brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.


(Blurb from author website, where you can see a trailer!)

I haven't read much science fiction in recent years, but this may be just the ticket to get me back into the genre. ^_^

Love the cover!

Release Date: January 11, 2011

Monday, October 11, 2010

In My Mailbox VII



In My Mailbox is a weekly book-sharing meme hosted at The Story Siren. Each week, you talk about books received the previous week, not necessarily in the mail. Posts can include library books, borrowed books, as well as purchased books. (Book titles link to Goodreads.)

It's been quite a while since I've done one of these. I'm not going to attempt to list everything I've checked out from the library in the meantime (though you can find the full list here). I'll just list library books and such for this week (and last week EDIT: and the week before that - see below).

Due to technical difficulties (read: computer acted up and I decided to just shut it down and let it rest instead of dealing with whatever had gone wrong), I am posting this nearly a week after I started work on it. (Dang stupid computers!) Additions/changes for this week are marked by "EDIT". ^_^

Received Books:

I Quit! by Geri and Peter Scazzero - Review copy from Zondervan.

Ghost of a Chance (ARC) by Simon R. Green - Won this in a contest over at Fiction State of Mind.

Library Books:

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut - Wanted to read this for Banned Books Week last week, but the copy at my local library is checked out and the one at the other nearby library is missing. So I had to request it. I got the notice on Monday, and went to the library on Tuesday.

The Dead-Tossed Waves (Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2) by Carrie Ryan - Just finished The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and was returning it to the library when I went to pick up Slaughterhouse Five. Saw this on the shelf and grabbed it. ^_^

The King's Rose by Alisa M. Libby - A YA novel about one of the wives of Henry VIII? Awesome. ^_^

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2) by Cassandra Clare - I had City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) checked out already - it's due back this coming Monday - so I grabbed this one to read after I finish the first one. EDIT: Finished City of Bones and returned it to the library. While I was there, I checked out three more books:

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3) by Cassandra Clare - Since I read City of Bones in 2 days, I thought I should probably go ahead and check out the third book in the series. ^_^

Inkspell (Inkheart, #2) by Cornelia Funke - I've been wanting to read this since I finished Inkheart over the summer. Finally checked it out. My husband just read it, and is considering reviewing it, so I may have my first ever guest review coming soon!

Inkdeath (Inkheart, #3) by Cornelia Funke - Technically my husband checked this one out, but I'll be reading it too.

Purchased Books:

Saturday, I went to the mall where I used to work. There was a small discount book store open at center court. It was their last day, so they were running a special: $10 for a paper grocery bag full of books. I only wish I'd had more time to look at all the books. All are trade paperback unless specified otherwise. ^_^

Peanuts Guide to Life by Charles M. Schulz - small gift book, dust jacket missing - My husband picked out this one. Not that I mind; I love Peanuts!

Fractured by Karin Slaughter - hardback, dust jacket missing

College Girl by Patricia Weitz

Lovers and Ladies by Jo Beverley

The Dragon's Village by Yuan-Tsung Chen

T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton - hardback, dust jacket missing

Grave Goods by Ariana Franklin - Did not realize this was #3 in a series...

Thief of Light by Denise Rossetti

The Lurker at the Threshold by H.P. Lovecraft - this is a birthday present for a friend who sometimes reads this blog. Title will be posted *after* I give him the book. EDIT: Added title. I gave him the book Saturday.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper

The Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire edited by Trisha Talep - I was super excited to find this one! I nearly shrieked... ^_^

PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern - massmarket paperback

Soft Focus by Jayne Ann Krentz

The Eleventh Victim by Nancy Grace - We couldn't keep this in stock at Waldenbooks when it first came out.

Mean Streets by Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Kat Richardson, and Thomas E. Sniegoski - Another one that almost made me squeal.

Montana Sky by Nora Roberts - Um, it's Nora Roberts. Of course I grabbed it!

True Betrayals by Nora Roberts - see above

Acupuncture Without Needles by J. V. Cerney - My husband picked out this one too. Interesting concept. Poorly written, though, according to the hubs.

Darkborn by Alison Sinclair - I kept seeing this one at Waldenbooks. I would pick it up, read the back, and replace it on the shelf. I nearly bought it multiple times, but never did. So I HAD to grab it! ^_^

In the Courts of the Sun by Brian D'Amato - This is another one I looked at over and over while I was at Waldenbooks. 2012 and Mayan prophecy? Yes, please!

Rescue Ink by Rescue Ink with Denise Flaim - Most. Awesome. Biker. Gang. EVER. ^_^

Went to Books-A-Million last night (only because it's next door to CiCi's Pizza where we had supper with friends) and they were having a sidewalk sale. So I had to look at the $1 books. When I found 2 on that rack, I decided NOT to look at the $2 or the two $3 racks...

Stealing Athena by Karen Essex

The Spy Who Came for Christmas by David Morrell

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review: SPEAK



Speak
Laurie Halse Anderson

Release Date:

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 10/10
Source: Own
Buy the Book: Borders ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million
Content Warning: Foul Language (very little)

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.


Blurb from author website.

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, is nothing less than an emotional punch to the gut.

My only complaint is the length: less than two hundred pages. Then again, any longer would be more of an emotional gut punch than I can handle.

Okay, in order to properly discuss this book, I'm going to break my own rule of no spoilers. I WILL NOT spoil the ending, however.

The story begins as Melinda starts her freshman year of high school. Now outcast for calling the cops about a party, she floats silent and almost friendless. Only the new girl will speak to her.

Hints are given as to some terrible occurrence at the party - the reason she called the cops. Not until over half-way through the book do we find out what happened.

She was raped.

Hurt and confused, she stayed silent afterwards. Not until a (former) friend of hers started dating the rapist did she tell anyone. And then the girl didn't believe her, accusing her of jealousy.

I don't want to spoil any more of the book, so I'll just say this: Melinda's story ends in a much better place than where it began.

One of the scenes near the end made me want to get up and do a victory dance. (For the sake of my husband sleeping next to me, and the dog[s] sleeping at the foot of my bed, I stayed put.) It did put a huge smile on my face, where I had been crying mere minutes earlier.

This book should be required reading for everyone, most especially teens.

Its message needs to be heard.

Do not stay silent when something bad happens. Speak.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

SPLASH TEAM Powers Activate!

First off, my apologies for spacing out and not posting this yesterday like I was supposed to. *headdesk*

Presenting:


Fins Are Forever
Tera Lynn Childs
June 28, 2011


Gorgeous cover. Don't you just love it?

Guess what? There's also a countdown widget! (It should display below.)


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SPEAKing Out Against Censorship

(I'm a bit late on the uptake with this, but better late than never. ^_^

Besides, this is a good way to kick off Banned Books Week.)

September means the end of summer, with all the kiddies back in school.

Apparently, it's also the time for parents and concerned community members to take a hard look at what the kids are reading. Books not just on the lesson plans, but also in the school libraries.

See example 1 (and example 2 from last month, roughly an hour and a half away in the same state).

If you haven't read the articles linked above, do so now. At least read the first one as it inspired this post. I'll wait.



Now that you're back, let's take a closer look at two terms Mr. Scroggins seems a bit confused by: rape and pornography.

From dictionary.com:

rape:

1. the unlawful compelling of a woman through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.

2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.


pornography:

1. writings, pictures, films, etc, designed to stimulate sexual excitement

2. the production of such material


If rape is pornographic does that mean all violence is? The thought makes me shudder.

Worse than that, though, is this: the guy's a college professor. With a doctorate. Um, wow. Yeah. He sure doesn't sound educated or terribly informed, does he? Not what I expect from a professor. How about you?

Then there's his claim of it being his 'Christian duty' to protect young people from such filth.

Yeah.

There's protecting young people, then there's what he's trying to do. Just because someone wants to pretend all the bad stuff doesn't exist, doesn't mean it really doesn't exist.

Bad things happen. To everyone. It's a fact of life.

I understand not everything is appropriate for all age groups, but by the time kids reach high school, they already know bad stuff happens. They've heard cursing (Mr. Scroggins's complaint with Vonnegut's Slaughter-house Five), probably quite a lot. They know not everyone is an angel; good people do bad things. (Both of the aforementioned books and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, the third book Mr. Scroggins mentions.)

What I don't understand is why people think banning books is acceptable. If you don't like a book, fine. Don't read it. If you think a book is inappropriate for your child or teen, don't let them read it.

But DO NOT make that call for other people and their children. You do not have the right. No one does.

Not in the United States at least. The First Amendment of our Constitution protects our rights to both freedom of speech and freedom of the press:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

(From the National Archives website.)


Sounds like banning books is unconstitutional.

Maybe that has something to do with the impressive list of posts made about this topic this week.

Of course, it could just be that all these posts come from authors, readers, and my fellow book bloggers. Why wouldn't we be up in arms about this?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Series Talk - The Artemis Fowl Addition

If you've been paying attention to my sidebar lists of books I'm reading and those recently finished, you know I'm working my way through the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer.

Since I began composing this post three days two and a half weeks ago, I have finished the first six books in the series. Book seven, Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex, released on Tuesday, August 3. I'm #7 on the waiting list at the local library. ^_^

Yeah. It's that good.

I wasn't so sure when I started reading the first book. After all, Artemis wasn't exactly a hero back then. Criminal mastermind, yes. Hero, not so much.

Yet the series is named for him. You would expect him to be the hero of such a series. At least, I did.

And he is the hero. Eventually.

Not in the first book, and only debatedly in the second book.

The more he gets to know The People, especially Holly Short - the LEPrecon agent he kidnapped in book one - the more of a hero he becomes. As the books progress, you see less and less of the self-centered criminal mastermind he was and more of the hero he becomes.

That journey makes the entire series real for me. It doesn't happen in one book, but over the course of several. Just as in real life, people don't change quickly but gradually.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review: The Luxe (Luxe, #1)

I apologize for my absence these two weeks. I had reviewer's block (A type of writer's block that applies only to reviewers.) Then a family get-together this past weekend, which was awesome. Turns out my niece from Florida loves to read as much as I do! (She let me borrow Witch & Wizard, which I devoured.) ^_^

Now for the reason you came here, the review!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The Luxe (Luxe, #1)
Anna Godbersen

Release Date:
20 November 2007
Genre: Historical Romance (Young Adult)
Rating: 7/10
Source: Library
Buy the Book: Borders ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million
Content Warning: Implied Sex (Fade to black), Light Petting

The beautiful young Holland sisters, Elizabeth and Diana, rule Manhattan society. Or so it appears. When they discover their status is far from secure, everyone—from the ambitious socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor, Henry Schoonmaker, to the Holland's dour maid, Lina Broud—threatens the girls' golden future. When Elizabeth's carriage overturns near the East River, her glittering life, well-known for lighting up the city's gossip pages, is swallowed by the rough current. Then the question on everyone's lips is this: Who will take Elizabeth's enviable place?


Blurb from book website.

From reading the book blurb, I wasn't sure I would like this. It sounded rather shallow to be honest. Which made me wonder why the series has so many fans. (Including the manager I worked under at Waldenbooks before the store closed.)

Then I read the first few chapters. I understood. It wasn't shallow at all. Just like the main character, Elizabeth Holland, both she and the book appear shallow on the outside. On the inside, however, completely not shallow - deep. Much deeper than I expected.

I felt I understood why Elizabeth acted so perfect in public, following all of society's rules. She felt she had to, to protect her family. Her family meant so much to her she had to protect them. Had to care for them as they cared for her. In doing so, she went so far as to accept a proposal from a man she detested.

Now that takes strength.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I really enjoyed reading it. So much so that I'm looking for ward to the rest of the series. (And Miss Godbersen's next series - set in the 1920s Jazz Age.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Nightshade



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice for the week:



Nightshade
by
Andrea Cremer


Miss Cremer's first published novel has a fascinating premise:

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything - including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?


(Blurb from book website.)

Sounds interesting, doesn't it? ^_^

I love, love, love the cover too!

Release Date: 19 October 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: In the Dark of Dreams



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice for the week:



In the Dark of Dreams
by
Marjorie M. Liu


I've loved Miss Liu's Dirk & Steele novels since I discovered them. The first one I ever read - or even heard of - was the novella "A Dream of Stone and Shadow" in the book Dark Dreamers (with Christine Feehan). Only later did I discover it was the fourth story in the series...

I'm still searching for one or two to complete my collection, but I'm hoping to get this one when it comes out later this year.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a blurb for this book yet. But! you can read an excerpt on Miss Liu's blog. From the prologue, it seems this book will focus on a human woman and a merman. (I had an idea from the cover, but it was nice to see it more or less confirmed.)

That makes me very happy.

As much as I enjoyed Forgive My Fins (review here), I know I'll love this too! ^_^

Release Date: 30 November 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Firelight



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice for the week:



Firelight
by
Sophie Jordan


Miss Sophie's YA debut mixes fantasy and romance, the paranormal and teenage life. It sounds wonderful. I can't wait to read it! ^_^

The blurb from the author's website:

A HIDDEN TRUTH

MORTAL ENEMIES

DOOMED LOVE


Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet of her kind, she nearly pays with her life, only to be spared by a beautiful stranger sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki--a descendant of dragons whose ability to shift into human form is her best defense.

Forced to flee into the mortal world, Jacinda struggles to adapt. The one bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irrestibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away - if it dies she will be left a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and irresistible passion ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide ...


Sounds good, doesn't it? ^_^

And another gorgeous cover... (Note the hint of scales near her eyes. I missed those the first several times I saw the cover. In my defense, I only saw really small images. And may not have been wearing my glasses.)

Release Date: 7 September 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

In My Mailbox VI



In My Mailbox is a weekly book-sharing meme hosted at The Story Siren. Each week, you talk about books received the previous week, not necessarily in the mail. Posts can include library books, borrowed books, as well as purchased books.

Purchased Books (Used):

The game store my husband and I haunt on weekends (and the occasional weekday) had some interesting selections on their four shelves of books. I managed to limit myself to three of them. ^_^

Trick of the Light (Trickster, #1) by Rob Thurman

WebMage (Webmage, #1) by Kelly McCullough

The Ten Thousand by Paul Kearney - The blurb on Goodreads mentions this as the start of a new series, but it seems to be the only one in said series thus far. Which is kinda nice for me, since I discovered WebMage to be part of a (5-book!) series when I looked it up on Goodreads.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Dark Peril



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice for the week:



Dark Peril (Carpathians, #21)
by
Christine Feehan


I am addicted to this series. I love it. I have read every single novel and novella out thus far. So it should come as no surprise that I am really, really looking forward to this book! Dominic has been one of my favorite characters for a long time...

Here's the blurb from Miss Christine's website:

Dominic, of the Dragonseeker lineage—one of the most powerful of the Carpathian lines—is desperate to go to the very heart of the enemy camp and learn their plans. There’s only one way to do so: ingest the parasitic blood of a vampire. He knows that it is a mission from which there is no return. With little time before the blood takes effect, he’ll get the information he needs, relay it to the leader of the Carpathians, and go out fighting. There is no more honorable way to end his life.

Solange Sangria is one of the last of the jaguar people, a royal pureblood, a dying species that cannot recover from bad decisions made over hundreds of years. She has long been alone, fighting to save the remaining shapeshifters from the hands of Brodrick the Terrible: her own father, who slaughtered her family and everyone she loved. Wounded and weary, she plans one last battle, hoping to stop the man who has made an alliance with the vampires, accepting that she will not come out alive.

They are two warriors who have lived their lives alone. Now, at the end of their time, they find each other—an obstacle neither can hope to ignore.


Sounds good to me!

Don't you just love the cover? ^_^

Release Date: 31 August 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hunting the Darkness



The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss, #1)
Marjorie M. Liu

Release Date:
June 2008
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 10/10
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Borders ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million
Content Warning: Foul Language

Silver smoke winds around my torso, peeling away from my ribs and back, stealing the dark mist covering my hands and lower extremities... tattoos dissolving into demon flesh, coalescing into small dark bodies. My boys. The only friends I have in this world. Demons.

I am a demon hunter. I am a demon. I am Hunter Kiss.


By day, her tattoos are her armor. By night, they unwind from her body to take on forms of their own -- demons of the flesh, turned into flesh. This is the only family demon hunter Maxine Kiss has ever known. It's the only way to live, and the very way she'll die. For one day her demons will abandon her for her daughter to assure their own survival -- leaving Maxine helpless against her enemies.

But such is the way of Earth's last protector -- the only one standing between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veil. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment -- and one man -- changes everything...




Darkness Calls (Hunter Kiss, #2)
Marjorie M. Liu

Release Date:
June 30, 2009
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 10/10
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Borders ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million
Content Warning: Foul Language

They are the obsidian shadows of my flesh - tattoos with minds, hearts, and dreams. By day, they protect me. But when night calls to them, they leave my body, dissolving into their true form - as demons…

Nomad born and bred, demon hunter Maxine Kiss has always relied upon herself to fight the darkness that surrounds her, the predators-human, zombie, and otherwise - who threaten the earth. But one man has penetrated her lonely life: Grant, the last of his kind. With music he is able to control any living creature…including demons. And now his life is in danger.

Haunted by the past, determined to change the future, Maxine soon understands that to save Grant, she has only one choice-to lose control, and release her own powers of darkness…


(Darkness Calls blurb is from author website. The Iron Hunt blurb is from the back of the book, typed by yours truly.)

As an aspiring author, I envy Miss Marjorie her imagination. Also her writing talent.

This series is amazing. So creative... *happy sigh* I love it! I can't say enough good about it.

The story is deep, the characters real. Even down to the five demons who make up Maxine's tattoos, each character has a personality all its own. (Zee is my favorite demon. In this series.)

I really think everyone should read these books, but I know fantasy isn't for everybody. If you like urban fantasy, you HAVE to read this series!

Book 3, A Wild Light releases today (July 27, 2010)!

Now to talk the hubby into going to a book store... ^_^

Monday, July 26, 2010

In My Mailbox V



In My Mailbox is a weekly book-sharing meme hosted at The Story Siren. Each week, you talk about books received the previous week, not necessarily in the mail. Posts can include library books, borrowed books, as well as purchased books.

I know I just did one of these near the end of last week. Then I went to the library and checked out seven - count 'em, seven! - books! ^_^

Library Books:

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl, #4), Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony (Artemis Fowl, #5), and Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl, #6) all by Eoin Colfer - Having read the first three Artemis Fowl books in two days, I think it's safe to say I'm addicted. ^_^

The Good, the Bad and the Undead (Hollows, #2) by Kim Harrison - Checked out for a July reading challenge. Probably won't read it until August, though (at this point). *shrugs* I tried. (Sort of. Not a fan of her writing thus far, so...)

Warrior Queen:The Story of Boudica, Celtic Queen by Alan Gold - I checked this out of the library earlier this year, but didn't get around to reading it then. I really want to read it, though. I mean, it's BOUDICA! ^_^

The Luxe (Luxe, #1) by Anna Godbersen - This one has interested me since its release. So I'm finally going to read it.

The Scarecrow (Jack McEvoy, #2) - Also checked out previously, and read the first chapter. I'm determined to finish it this time. It starts off really well; I didn't finish it before only because the due date sneaked up on me! (And then it was constantly checked out by others for about three months. Argh!)

Historical Studs



One Dance With a Duke (Stud Club, #1)
Tessa Dare

Release Date:
May 25, 2010
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 9/10
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Borders ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million
Content Warning: Explicit Sex, Cursing

True temptation begins at midnight…

A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members — yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing “Duke of Midnight.” Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke — until Lady Amelia d’Orsay tries her luck.

In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke’s dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother’s debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club’s founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?




Twice Tempted by a Rogue (Stud Club, #2)
Tessa Dare

Release Date:
June 22, 2010
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 10/10
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Borders ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million
Content Warning: Explicit Sex, Cursing

How long could she resist him?

Luck is a double-edged sword for brooding war hero Rhys St. Maur. His death wish went unanswered on the battlefield, while fate allowed the murder of his friend in the elite gentlemen’s society known as the Stud Club. Out of options, Rhys returns to his ancestral home on the moors of Devonshire, expecting anything but a chance at redemption in the arms of a beautiful innkeeper, who dares him to take on the demons of his past — and the sweet temptation of a woman’s love.

Meredith Maddox believes in hard work, not fate, and romance isn’t part of her plan. But when Rhys returns, battle-scarred, world-weary, and more dangerously attractive than ever, the lovely widow is torn between determination and desire. As a deep mystery and dangerous smugglers threaten much more than their passionate reckoning, Meredith discovers that she must trust everything to a wager her heart placed long ago.


(Both blurbs from author website.)

Since reading the ARC of Goddess of the Hunt (Miss Tessa's first print novel), I have bought each of her books as they released. I have never been disappointed.

Unlike her first trilogy, the Stud Club trilogy contains elements of intrigue. Not enough that I consider it romantic suspense, but a bit anyway. I love mystery and suspense almost as much as I love romance, so this is a definite plus for me.

Amelia and Meredith are both strong women, doing well enough on their own, thank you very much. Until each meets (or in Meredith's care, re-meets) the man who makes her long for hearth and home.

Spencer and Rhys made wonderful heroes. Each had a bit of the 'dark and dangerous' in him, but could be redeemed by love. Neither wanted to admit to his attraction - and attachment - to his lady until circumstances demanded.

These are just generalities, mind you. Each book is quite different from the other. Both are well worth reading. All of her books are, actually.

The third and final book in the Stud Club trilogy, Three Nights With a Scoundrel, releases tomorrow, July 27th! I'll hopefully get it soon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In My Mailbox IV



In My Mailbox is a weekly book-sharing meme hosted at The Story Siren. Each week, you talk about books received the previous week, not necessarily in the mail. Posts can include library books, borrowed books, as well as purchased books.

This is for the past two weeks. ^_^

Library books:

Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3) by Eoin Colfer - Hubby checked this one out, but I plan to read it as well.

The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson - Since reading Devilish, I've been slowly reading all of her books.

Purchased books (Used):

Born of Fire (The League, #2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon - I was surprised to see this book on one of the 2-3 shelves of used books at Hillside Games, where I spend every Saturday. I love her books, and don't have this one. Didn't have this one. ^_-

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Like a Phoenix From the Ashes...



The Key to the Golden Firebird
Maureen Johnson

Release Date:
June 2004
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 6.5/10
Source: Library
Buy the Book: Borders ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million
Content Warning: Discussion of sex

On a perfect spring afternoon, May, Brooks, and Palmer Gold returned home to find an ambulance in front of their house and a swarm of family friends trying to tell them some terrible news. May barely remembers it all. Why would you want to remember every detail of the day your father died right in the garage, sitting behind the wheel of his prized golden Firebird convertible?


A year later, May is still picking up the pieces. Her family is broke, and the house is a wreck. Her older sister Brooks has given up on her main passion, softball, and drinks all the time. Her little sister Palmer is becoming a mute weirdo. And no one is around to teach May to drive, except for her life-long nemesis, Pete. It's like the entire universe is conspiring against her.

The Gold sisters have been changed irrevocably, and they are all but lost to one another, until the key is found. The key to their father's Pontiac Firebird.


(Blurb taken from author website.)

I'm with May. Who wants to remember every detail of the day a parent dies? I certainly don't. But, unlike May, I can't seem to forget. I envy her that.

I really enjoyed this book. I could empathize with the characters, especially May. I, too, lost my father while in high school. Unfortunately, I had already lost my mother at that point in time. I didn't have any siblings either. Maybe they would have made it easier, I don't know. I'll never know.

May reminded me so much of myself it was scary. She's the smart one in the family; so was I. She went numb when she heard The News; I did, too. (Later, that evening, though, when I wasn't babysitting anymore, I fell to pieces.) A year later, she's lashing out at those around her for no real reason. Yeah, I did that. I still do sometimes. (Sorry!)

Would I have enjoyed this book as much as I did if I didn't relate to it? Maybe. Probably. Miss Maureen's writing is brilliant, though not quite on par with her later books. (This was her first published novel, so it's to be expected.) Her characters and plot were believable; they felt real, like friends I'd forgotten I had.

I would recommend this book for anyone who likes young adult novels.


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P.S. Please take a moment to answer my poll (you may need to scroll up, it's near the top of the right-hand column). Thanks. -->

Waiting on Wednesday: Paranormalcy



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice for the week:



Paranormalcy by Kierstan White

Miss Kierstan's debut novel shows lots of promise. The concept intrigues me. I've heard lots of good things about it from early reviews.

Book blurb from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.

Normal is so overrated.


The cover is gorgeous, too.

Release Date: 31 August 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Review: Night Myst (Indigo Court #1)



Night Myst (Indigo Court, #1)
Yasmine Galenorn

Release Date:
29 June 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance (Adult)
Rating: 10/10
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Borders ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million
Content Warning: Language, Explicit Sex

Eons ago, vampires tried to turn the dark Fae in order to harness their magic, only to create a demonic enemy more powerful than they could have imagined. Having quietly amassed their strength for centuries, the Vampiric Fae are determined to enslave the world. Now Myst, Queen of the Indigo Court, is rising again -- and a long-prophesied war is about to begin...

Cicely Waters, a witch who can control the wind, has returned home to New Forest, Washington, after learning that her family is in danger. The Indigo Court holds the city in fear. People are vanishing, and strange deaths plague the town. And when she is swept into an unexpected and passionate reunion with Grieve, the Fae prince who taught her how to harness the wind, Cicely finds herself with a fierce and territorial lover.

But Grieve has become enslaved by Myst's court, and now, caught between two evils, the lovers must survive the machinations of the Vampiric Fae queen, even as Cicely untangles the hidden secrets to her own heritage.


Wow. I was blown away by this book.

Too bad I have to wait a whole year for the next one! I think I may go crazy. Okay, crazier.

Miss Galenorn does a fantastic job of drawing the reader into this world of magic. She paints pictures with her words. I could visualize the setting clearly. Her vampires and dark Fae scared me. Myst is one scary lady!

I empathized with Cicely and fell in love with Grieve - though he can be scary, too.

I'm afraid to say much more; I don't want to spoil the book for anyone. Let's just say this: If you like urban fantasy or paranormal romance (and don't mind not getting a happily ever after), read this book! The writing is amazing; the story, captivating.

This was the first book I ever read by Yasmine Galenorn, but it won't be the last! I have heard good things about her Otherworld books, but have yet to read them. Now that I know - and love - her writing, that will have to change.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bark for Life (Cross-posted)

I'm breaking my rule of only having book related posts. BUT! It's for a very good cause...

The American Cancer Society does this cool event every year called Bark for Life.

The American Cancer Society Bark For LifeTM is a noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer. (From the page linked above.)

Cool, huh?

So, I signed up. Like half an hour ago. The Asheville, NC event is on Saturday, 7 August. Luckily it's not until late afternoon, so maybe it won't be too hot. But it will be August, so it will be hot. Or raining. Or both. Probably both.

I'll be walking Ginger, my yellow lab whose mom was a beagle. She's the most laid back of the three dogs and, therefore, the best fit for this.

I think it will be fun. Plus, Ginger will get to socialize: sniff other dogs and lick their owners.

I'll get some exercise, too. Bonus! ^_^

Edit: Totally forgot something! I also have a personal page on their servers that y'all can visit. Please donate and help me raise money for the American Cancer Society. Thanks.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Winners - Forgive My Fins Swag

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. I'm happy to announce a total of 8 entrants. Not bad for my first ever contest!

The two winners are...

Mercedes (abrokenlaptop)
and
sweetmetbelle31


I have emailed the winners.

If I do not hear back from them within one week, I will draw a new winner (or winners).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Features in the Works

Ratings

As you can see from the right-hand column (you may need to scroll down a bit), I'm working on a ratings system. I didn't start off with one, but I think it's a really good idea.

However, I dislike the 5-point system most people use. It's too restrictive. Therefore, I'm doing a 10-point system. I'll try to come up with some icon (i.e. a star) to use in the future, hopefully something of my own design.

Book Covers & Blurbs

Why did I not include these from the beginning? I don't know.

I will be editing past reviews to include these first two features, but it may take a couple of weeks.

Beyond Reviews

I've started to do this already, with the In My Mailbox meme.

I'm also going to be moving my Waiting on Wednesday posts here from my personal blog, Arrrr Cubed. My first three four Waiting on Wednesday posts can be found here, here, here and here.

Basically, anything on my personal blog that is about books (published books, not my own efforts) will be moved here. ^_^

Eventually...

I want to do more giveaways and add a few other features, such as author interviews and maybe guest reviews.

Hopefully, I will have at least one book review between each other post. Which will mean more reviews. Heaven knows I've read plenty of books; I've just got to write the reviews for some of them. ^_-

Monday, July 5, 2010

In My Mailbox III



In My Mailbox is a weekly book-sharing meme hosted at The Story Siren. Each week, you talk about books received the previous week, not necessarily in the mail. Posts can include library books, borrowed books, as well as purchased books.

Since I didn't get any books week before last, I skipped a week. :(

Library books:

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl #1) by Eoin Colfer - I've been curious about this series for years. My husband checked this out of the library recently. He enjoyed it, so I decided to give it a try.

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl #2) by Eoin Colfer - This one was actually checked out for my husband, but I'll probably read it as well. ^_^

Purchased books (New):

After going to the library this past Thursday, I felt like going for a drive. What I intended to be a short drive - 5 minutes, tops - turned into a trip to Hendersonville, a city about half an hour away. Since I was already there, I went to Waldenbooks. They had all books buy 4, get the 5th one free. So, yeah, I bought. ^_^

Twice Tempted by a Rogue (Stud Club #2) by Tessa Dare - Second in her new historical suspense-ish romance trilogy. Loved the first one! Since reading Goddess of the Hunt, I buy all her books (assuming I can afford to do so).

Night Myst by Yasmine Galenorn - First book in her new Indigo Court series. I've been salivating over this book since Miss Yasmine posted the first chapter on her website back in February. Will be reading this one very, very soon.

Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins - It's finally out in paperback! ^_^

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1) by Kelley Armstrong - I love her writing. This series sounds awesome and I've heard lots of good things about it. Can't wait to read!

The Awakening (Darkest Powers #2) by Kelley Armstrong - see above.

Fin-tastic! (With Giveaway!)




Forgive My Fins
Tera Lynn Childs

Release Date:
1 June 2010
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Rating: 9/10
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Borders ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million
Content Warning: None

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it's not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you're a normal teenage girl, but when you're half human, half mermaid, like Lily, there's no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily's mermaid identity is a secret that can't get out, since she's not just any mermaid—she's a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn't feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she's been living on land and going to Seaview High School ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems—like her obnoxious biker-boy neighbor, Quince Fletcher—but it has that one major perk: Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren't really the casual dating type—the instant they "bond," it's for life.

When Lily's attempt to win Brody's love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily ever after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.


(Blurb taken from author website.)

I first heard about Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs about two months before its release on June 1st. I thought it sounded pretty cool. I mean, a new take on mermaids, how cool is that?

Very, very cool.

The whole bonding with a kiss element really upped the tension for me. In many young adult books, kissing is commonplace. Nothing special.

A first kiss should be something special.

In this book, it is. To Lily - and other mermaids - anyway. Not so much for human teens. How do I know? Well, I could tell you, but that would be a spoiler. I try to avoid those. ^_-

Let's just say the book is wonderful. It's well-written and has a sweet love story.

I read it in a single sitting. I adore this book!


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Now for the giveaway! ^_^

I'm a member of Miss Tera's Splash Team, which was created to help promote this book. I've given out almost all of the bookmarks and temporary tattoos received as part of my Splash Team kit. However, I do still have a couple left.

I'll select two winners. Each winner will receive a bookmark and two mer-mark temporary tattoos. (I have extra tattoos because the local library didn't want them. The bookmarks, they loved.)

THE RULES:
1) You MUST be a follower of this blog. (Yes, I want more followers. Sue me. Not really. I'm unemployed.)
2) Post a comment on this post by midnight on Sunday, July 11.
3) Only open to residents of the United States. (Sorry, but being unemployed, I can't afford international postage.)

Simple, yes? Good. ^_^

I'll pick the winners using random.org on Monday, July 12 and post them later that day.

I'm not giving extra entries for tweeting or otherwise telling people about the contest, but I would appreciate the publicity. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In My Mailbox II



In My Mailbox is a weekly book-sharing meme hosted at The Story Siren. Each week, you talk about books received the previous week, not necessarily in the mail. Posts can include library books, borrowed books, as well as purchased books.

Received Books:

Sea of Suspicion by Toni Anderson - I entered a giveaway on the book's Facebook fan page. I won! It's a romantic suspense e-book published by Carina Press (an imprint of Harlequin) so I'm sure it'll be fantastic.

Library books:

The Reincarnationist (The Reincarnationist #1) by M.J. Rose - Grabbed book one when I went by to donate books Monday of last week. Will be starting this series soon.

Purchased books (New):

Ancient Whispers by Marie-Claude Borque - I didn't hear about this book until just a week or two before its release. Though, when I did hear about it, I thought it sounded interesting. Very interesting. So much so that I bought it when I saw it in a bookstore. Review to come.

Purchased books (Used):

The Chronicles of Riddick by Alan Dean Foster - The novel based on the screenplay. I love these movies, and the novelization is from the hub's favorite author, so of course we had to get it! ^_^

Nadesico Volume 1 (manga) by Kia Asamiya - This is one of our favorite animes, so buying the manga was a no-brainer. ^_^

Prohibited Love

Before reading Jazz Baby by Lorelie Brown, I really wasn't interested in Prohibition or the Jazz Age. I knew a little bit about Prohibition from various history classes - and from my love of the movie "Oscar" - but didn't care to learn more. It just didn't appeal to me.

So why does it interest me now?

I'm not entirely certain. Likely, it has to do with the fact that I was drawn into that age within the first couple of pages. I fell for Micah Trent, the book's hero, when he had a twinge of regret in closing down a speakeasy simply because it was run by an older couple. It was their life. Closing it down was his job, but that didn't make it easy.

He may have been a big, tough Prohibition Agent, but he was also human.

Then he went to New York, undercover, after a gangster. As part of his cover, he became the supplier for The Kirk, Kate Kirkland's speakeasy. From the moment those two met, sparks flew. They shared an immediate, intense connection.

Their chemistry sizzles.

That chemistry kept me reading, hanging on every word until the end.

Which was, of course, a happy one. A bit surprising - to me - and very well done. I loved it.

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Source: I won a copy of this e-book in a random giveaway among the author's followers on Twitter.

Where to Buy: Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks

Monday, June 14, 2010

In My Mailbox



In My Mailbox is a weekly book-sharing meme hosted at The Story Siren. Each week, you talk about books received the previous week, not necessarily in the mail. Posts can include library books, borrowed books, as well as purchased books.

Library books:

The Memorist (The Reincarnationist #2) by M.J. Rose - I meant to get the first volume of this series, but I grabbed the wrong book. Luckily, I'm going back today so I can remedy my mistake then. Unfortunately, I don't think my local library has the third book in this series yet...

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult - I've wanted to read this book since it released more than two years ago. Better late than never.

Gone (Dreamcatcher #3) by Lisa McMann - I was so excited they finally had this one. I've been waiting to read it since it came out!*

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson - Since reading Devilish, I've been on the lookout for Miss Maureen's other books.

Paper Towns by John Green - I keep reading the cover copy on this one and thinking 'oh that sounds interesting'. So I finally checked it out.*

Inkheart (Inkheart #1) by Cornelia Funke - I've wanted to read this one for a while, too. Finally got around to checking it out.

Purchased books (New):

Forgive My Fins (Fins #1) by Tera Lynn Childs - I've been looking forward to this book since I first learned of its existence about two months ago. None of the local libraries carry it - or any of Miss Tera Lynn's books for that matter - so I bought it. Now I want the rest of her books as well.*

My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers #2) by Rachel Vincent - I love this series. It's one of those 'I wish I wrote that' series for me. My local library has book one, but not this one. So I'm going to remedy that. I'm going to the library today to donate this and the book below.

My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers #3) by Rachel Vincent - see above

Purchased books (Used):

Skykeepers (Final Prophecy #3) by Jessica Andersen - I'm slowly collecting this series. I now have books one, three, and four. One and three were purchased used. Book four was purchased new (2-3 weeks ago).

Beyond the Dark by Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Emma Holly, and Diane Whiteside - Paranormal Romance Anthology, need I say more? No, I thought not. ^_-

*Expect a review soon. ^_^

Friday, April 23, 2010

Burnout

To all of my readers -

I am so very sorry. I haven't even felt much like reading recently. In fact, I didn't read anything for almost a week. Then I got Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, from the library. Now I'm reading again. ^_^

I tried to take on too much. In addition to maintaining this blog, I started a personal blog.

And I volunteered to help with a multitude of projects. After a couple of weeks, I began to feel overwhelmed. This all started back in early February. Late last month, I got to the point where I felt like I was failing everything I attempted.

I became so afraid of failing everyone, myself included, I just sort of seized up. I still need to contact some of those I offered to help and let them know why I didn't. Some of them may see this post, but most will not.

I haven't written a single review this month. I just - a few minutes ago - posted something on my personal blog for the first time in four weeks. That was only a small thing, part of a meme I try to participate in weekly (The Friday 56, which [I think] began here).

I will still be maintaining this blog, though I can not promise I will post often. I still want to do a review a week, but I don't know that I will be able to stick to that schedule. I have several reviews to catch up on as it is, so I can't make any promises.

I shall try.

Thanks for understanding,
TuraLura

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Charmed, I'm Sure

Summary: Greiman combines historical and paranormal elements in this wonderfully sweet romance.

For those of you who don't know me, I adore the paranormal. Any aspect, from magic to shape-shifters, make a book more likely to appeal. I also love historical romance. The first romance book I ever read was historical. When I started reading paranormal romances several years ago, I stopped reading historicals. Until I discovered the historical paranormal subgenre. It's like these books were made for me. I love them.

Charming the Devil is the first romance I've read by Lois Greiman, but it won't be the last. I've fallen in love with this world she's created.

The paranormal elements in this book are small, but play a necessary part in the plot. Faye Nettles is a new witch, unsure of her own abilities. She knows she possesses some small powers, but not what she can do with them. Not even what her abilities entail.

At the start of the book, she is charged with a mission. She is to look into the death of one Lord Brendier. Her first task is to investigate Rogan McBain and his possible involvement.

But McBain reminds her of a tormentor from her past. He has the same tall, muscular build. The same grace and speed of movement. He terrifies her. So much so that she sends a flowerpot careening into his face when he rescues her from an overeager admirer at a party.

Not on purpose, mind you. You see, in addition to not knowing what powers she has, she can't always control them.

The other ladies of Lavender House - the home for witches where she currently resides - convince her to apologize to the man. She does still need to investigate him, after all.

And so, early the next morning, before the rest of the ton is even awake, he finds her on his doorstep. Scared, but ready to apologize.

They meet several more times under unusual circumstances - only at one other party - in the course of getting to know each other. Faye has to hide behind her false identity, concocted to protect her by the inhabitants of Lavender House, though she desperately wants to tell him the truth. For quite a while, she addresses him by his surname to keep distance between them. Until her attraction grows too strong to fight.

I can't really say much more without giving too much away. They do have a happy ending - natch. The journey was entertaining. I giggled several times. I nearly cried when they finally did get it together.

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Rating: 8 out of 10 (Very good. Highly recommend.)

Heat Level: 2.5 (Mild, bordering on Sensual)

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Source: I was given this book to review by The Season. This my first book review for The Season, hence the altered format. This review also appears here: http://historicalromancereleases.com/wordpress/2010/04/review-charming-the-devil/

Where to Buy: Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million

Monday, March 29, 2010

2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge



I just discovered this challenge yesterday and knew I had to participate. I've been reading a lot of library books ever since the book store I worked at closed in January.

Full details and rules can be found at the hosting blog, Home Girl's Book Blog.

This challenge comes in four levels. I'm going to attempt the "Just my Size" level, which means checking out and reading 50 books. I'll list the books here as I check them out. Once I finish a book, I'll change the font color to red.

1. Fade - Lisa McMann
2. The Light of Burning Shadows - Chris Evans
3. Altar of Eden - James Rollins
4. Evernight - Claudia Gray
5. Stargazer - Claudia Gray
6. Black Order (Sigma Force, #3) - James Rollins
7. Going Bovine - Libba Bray
8. My Soul To Take - Rachel Vincent
9. Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side - Beth Fantaskey
10. Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
11. Graceling - Kristin Cashore
12. The Doomsday Key (Sigma Force, #6) - James Rollins
13. Suite Scarlett - Maureen Johnson
14. The Dream-Hunter - Sherrilyn Kenyon
15. The Scarecrow (Jack McEnvoy, #2) - Michael Connelly
16. The Dragon Book: Magical Tales from the Masters of Modern Fantasy - various
17. Evil at Heart (Beauty Killer, #3) - Chelsea Cain
18. Map of Bones (Sigma Force, #2) - James Rollins
19. In the Serpent's Coils (Hallowmere, #1) - Tiffany Trent
20. By Venom's Sweet Sting (Hallowmere, #2) - Tiffany Trent
21. Between Golden Jaws (Hallowmere, #3) - Tiffany Trent
22. The Faerie Path - Frewin Jones
23. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
24. Warrior Queen: The Story of Boudica, Celtic Queen - Alan Gold
25. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
26. Intertwined - Gena Showalter
27. The Memorist (The Reincarnationist #2) - M.J. Rose
28. Change of Heart - Jodi Picoult
29. Gone (Dreamcatcher #3) - Lisa McMann
30. 13 Little Blue Envelopes - Maureen Johnson
31. Paper Towns - John Green
32. Inkheart (Inkheart #1) - Cornelia Funke
33. The Reincarnationist (The Reincarnationist #1) - M.J. Rose
34. Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1) - Eoin Colfer
35. Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl, #2) - Eoin Colfer
36. Artemis Fowl: The Eternity code (Artemis Fowl, #3) - Eoin Colfer
37. The Key to the Golden Firebird - Maureen Johnson
38. Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl, #4) - Eoin Colfer
39. Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony (Artemis Fowl, #5) - Eoin Colfer
40. Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl, #6) - Eoin Colfer
41. The Luxe (The Luxe, #1) - Ana Godbersen
42. The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (The Hollows, #2) - Kim Harrison
43. The Dark Divine - Bree Despain
44. Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, #3) - Kim Harrison
45. Half-Moon Investigations - Eoin Colfer
46. Airman - Eoin Colfer
47. Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex (Artemis Fowl, #7) - Eoin Colfer
48. Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1) - Kim Harrison
49. Sandstorm (Sigma Force, #1) - James Rollins
50. My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2) - Rachel Vincent
51. Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins
52. Sisters Red - Jackson Pearce
53. The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan
54. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
55. Wintergirls - Laurie Halse Anderson
56. Inkspell (Inkheart, #2) - Cornelia Funke
57. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
58. City of Ashes - Cassandra Clare
59. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
60. The Dead-Tossed Waves - Carrie Ryan
61. The King's Rose - Alisa Libby
62. Hourglass (Evernight, #3) - Claudia Gray
63. An Abundance of Katherines - John Green
64. Fire - Kristin Cashore
65. Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1) - John Flannagan

Total Library Books Read as of 28 December: 57

Made it to 50! Not going to make it to 75, though, as it's already December.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Book Blogger Hop!




It's Friday! Which means it's time for Crazy for Books' weekly Book Blogger Hop. Head on over there and check out some of the other book review blogs listed. Who knows? Maybe you'll find an interesting blog or two (or three) to follow!

I did. ^_^

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Brain Asplosion

Obviously my brain didn't actually explode when I read God Soul Mind Brain by Michael Graziano. XP

Though I do believe it's a bad sign when a book aimed at "the most general, non scientific audience"(p 11) has me searching for a dictionary multiple times throughout the course of the book. The author adores ten-dollar words. I have a fairly large vocabulary myself, or I thought I did before reading this book.

For example, the author really likes the word ubiquitous. I thought I knew what it meant, but I wasn't sure. According to Merriam-Webster Online, the word means "existing or being everywhere at the same time: constantly encountered: widespread [a ubiquitous fashion]". Why not just say widespread? The meaning isn't identical, but it would get the point across. Without making people look for a dictionary.

There were other words I had to look up but ubiquitous was the most, well, ubiquitous of the lot. ^_^

My only other issue with the book is the length of some of the paragraphs. A single page of uninterrupted text is hard on the eyes. Why do that to your readers? Give the eyes a break!

The book has a lot of science in it, which is to be expected. It is, after all, about neuroscience and the search for the soul. I have a pretty good background in science, having taken the equivalent to two semesters each of biology, chemistry, and physics - all at a college level. (Biology and Chemistry were AP courses taken in high school. I actually did take two semesters of physics in college.) Surprisingly, none of that helped my understanding of the various neuroscience principles outlined in this work as much as my single semester of general psychology. Turns out there is a lot of overlap between the two.

I don't recommend reading this book unless you have a good background in the sciences and a good vocabulary. Or at least a good dictionary.

Also, a good memory. By the time I got to the end of this book, I had forgotten what point the author was trying to make. Obviously, it didn't come across very well.


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Source: I read this book as an e-ARC from NetGalley. God Soul Mind Brain releases September 1, 2010.

Where to Pre-Order: Barnes & Noble