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)
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.


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)

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


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. ^_^


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!


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.)

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 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!