Friday, December 30, 2011

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of course and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q: The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

A. I need to be more consistent and also better organized. I always think about getting a bunch of posts ready and scheduling them but never do.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review ~ A Cup of Jo

A Cup of Jo (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #6)
By Sandra Balzo
Published by Severn House Publishing

Summary: The new ‘Maggy Thorsen’ caffeine cozy   - Maggy Thorsen's heart, uncharacteristically, is swelling with optimism. Sure, her original Wisconsin coffeehouse, Uncommon Grounds, was destroyed in a freak blizzard. But, with new business partner Sarah Kingston, she’s found the perfect place to relocate to – a quaint railroad station that will soon be revitalized by a new commuter-rail connection. Sarah and Maggy hope that the station’s ‘Dedication Day’ will provide great free publicity. But their dream turns into a nightmare when the event manager makes her grand appearance on the day. As a corpse . . .

My Thoughts: This is the sixth book in this series and one of the better ones. I liked how the new neighbors add an eccentric twist to the story without being the bad guys that disappear at the end of the book. Maggy was her usual naive yet endearing self. There were times when I wanted to smack her inability to stick up for herself and just kick Pavlik to the curb. Sarah is a much better character and partner, she brings some much needed levity and realism to the story.
The mystery of who killed Jo wass well done and I must say had me stumped for awhile. With her evil sister Rebecca (have not liked her since meeting her in an earlier book) to the husband, various lovers, etc it was wide open. Of course I loved the mime (if you've read the books or my earlier reviews this will make sense).
Overall another great read. I love the lengths of these book and can generally finish in one day. Can finally read my review copy of Triple Shot.

Rating: 4

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Book Review ~ The Girl in the Steel Corset

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles #1)
By Kady Cross
Published by Harlequin Teen

Summary: In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the "thing" inside her. 

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch... 

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret. 

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help-and finally be a part of something, finally fit in. 

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I was first pulled in by the cover. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to read it.
I loved how the author was able to make this steampunk feel natural. It was such a normal part of their world I didn't find it jarring to read. I also liked how even though it's YA it doesn't read as one. Since I'm over thirty sometimes I can find YA to be too young for me.
There is a great mix of characters so you're sure to find one you like. The fact that Sam didn't immediately like/trust Finley made me like him more. I dislike when a group comes together and is one big happy family within the first chapter. Finley was a strong (literally and figuratively) female lead.   Trying to find the control over her evil side that comes out when she is scared/angry and integrate it with her relative normal side was interesting to follow. I liked both Griffin and Dandy but was glad that this didn't become another love triangle YA book.
Overall: I could not put this book down, I had to know what happened next and who was going to come out on top. I also liked how the ending led nicely into the next book without being a cliffhanger. What needed to be resolved in this book was.

Rating: 5

Monday, December 26, 2011

In My Mailbox~ Christmas Edition

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

Hope everyone had a Safe and Happy Holiday Weekend!

The Hollows Insider by Kim Harrison *This is the first insider I've ever bought instead of checking from the library. I love quirky things like the glow in the dark cover.

Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent
The Help by Katherine Stockett
The Traitor's Daughter by Paula Brandon
Seeing Redd & ArchEnemy by Frank Beddor
The Next Always by Nora Roberts

So what did you get this week? Stay Safe!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of course and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q. If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book, which book would you choose and why?

A. It's a toss up, it would either be Diana Gabaldon's Outlander world or for the less rustic more modern Sherrilyn Kenyon's early Dark Hunter (before Ash got married and boring )

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

By a Thread (elemental assassins #6)
by Jennifer Estep
Published by Pocket (mass market)
expected release date February 28, 2012

Summary: When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation. Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.

**I really enjoy this series and always look forward to a new one coming out.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine.It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Favorite Things ~ 2011

These are some of my faves from the past year. Everything from books, music, and tv.

Criminal Minds: The first episode was a mess but it really picked up from there. The show has been filled with creepy, eerie cases that have been both disturbing and fascinating.

Once Upon a Time: I love this show! The first thing is the casting, they nailed it. I can't think of anyone who doesn't work for my. The storylines. I love the retelling of classics with a twist that makes them all work together in one place.

Grimm: It took me some time to get into this one. It seems to be picking up as the season goes. I'm loving the quirky sidekick and wondering how long before the partner gets brought up to speed.

Ringer: I'll admit it, I was a Buffy fan. It's nice seeing Sarah Michelle Gellar back on tv. Still not sure about the show but I still watch every week.

My taste in music seems to fluctuate. I've been really into country and Adele lately.

The Band Perry (The Band Perry) My favorite song is If I Die Young followed closely by Postcards from Paris

Luke Bryan (Tailgates & Tanlines) One of the few cds I can listen to from beginning to end. While I didn't care for the first single, I like I don't want this night to end (current single). My favorite song is Been There Done That.

Adele  (21) Love her! She just has one of those voices. The one where even if you've never heard the song before as soon as she starts singing you know it's her.

This is what this blog is about. These are just a few of my favorite reads over the past year. This does not mean they were published in 2011 just that I read them this year.

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne) I've loved this series. If you enjoy fantasy this series is a definite read.

Curse Workers series by Holly Black (White Cat, Red Glove) A darker, grittier look at magic and family. I also like The Poison Eaters and other stories. I liked some better than others but an overall great read.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab  I don't read a lot of stand alone books but was glad I read this one.

Edelstein Trilogy by Kerstin Gier (Ruby Red) This book grabbed right from the beginning and didn't let go.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

I thought I would get one of these in before Christmas.

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong

Paranormalcy and various swag from Crystal @Elegantly Bound Books Thank You!

Not much but enough for now :)

Have a Great Week and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Follow Friday and Blog Hop

Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of course and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q.When you've read a book. what do you do with it>? (keep it, give it away, donate, it...)

A. It depends on the book. New books,especially series, I usually keep (waaay to many), Used I will either trade at the used book store, donate to the library for book sale, or keep if I really like it.

Have a Great and Safe  Weekend Everyone!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday ~ Helpless

by Daniel Palmer
Published by Kensington Publishing
expected Release Date: February 1, 2012

Summary: (Goodreads) Nine years after he left Shilo, New Hampshire, former Navy Seal Tom Hawkins has returned to raise his teenage daughter, Jill, following the murder of his ex-wife, Kelly. Despite Tom’s efforts to stay close to Jill by coaching her high school soccer team, Kelly’s bitterness fractured their relationship. But life in Shilo is gradually shaping up into something approaching normal. Normal doesn’t last long. Shilo’s police sergeant makes it clear that Tom is his chief suspect in Kelly’s death. Then an anonymous blog post alleges that Coach Hawkins is sleeping with one of his players. Internet rumors escalate, and incriminating evidence surfaces on Tom’s own computer and cell phone. To prove his innocence, Tom must unravel a tangle of lies about his past. For deep amid the secrets he’s been keeping—from a troubled tour of duty to the reason for his ex-wife’s death—is the truth that someone will gladly kill to protect.

**I'm reading this right now and find myself completely engrossed. I keep picking it up instead of doing all that stuff (like Christmas cards) I'm supposed to be getting done.

Have a Great Week !

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine.It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating

Monday, December 12, 2011

Book Review ~ Lord of Rage

Lord of Rage (Royal House of Shadows #2)
by Jill Monroe
Published by Harlequin
pub Date: September 2011

**received from Harlequin via NetGalley for review

Summary: Princess Breena had been dreaming of her warrior lover when she was ripped from her Elden castle and thrown into a strange, dangerous realm. Lost and alone, she prayed for survival and vengeance for her stolen kingdom. She found both in a woodland cottage…in a dark bear of a man.
The golden-haired beauty had eaten his food and slept in his bed when Osborn found her. Though he wanted to awaken his virgin princess to carnal pleasures, Breena wanted more—including his warrior skills. Skills the once-legendary mercenary had long buried. Now Osborn had a choice—risk his life or deny his princess her fairy-tale ending.
My Thoughts: This is the first time I've read anything by this author and mus say I really enjoyed it. This is the second installment from the Royal House of Shadows, written by four different authors.
I felt this story had more flow and fit better into the shorter format. It could be because not as much of the back story and world building had to be done int this book since it was done in the first.
The characters were interesting and really grabbed you right from the start. I loved how Breena was both a strong woman while also being unsure and naive about things that fell outside of her "princess" training. Osborn was a great match even when he was trying to push her away you could feel that he didn't really want her to go. You wanted these two to work out.
I'm looking forward to seeing how they start bringing the siblings together to defeat  the Blood Sorcerer while still doing the individual stories of the last two brothers. On to Lord of the Wolfyn.

Rating: 4

Friday, December 9, 2011

Book Review ~ The Twilight Saga:The Official Illustrated Guide

The Twilight Saga:The Official Illustrated Guide
by Stephanie Meyer
Published by Little, Brown Young Readers

SummaryThis must-have hardcover edition--the only official guide--is the definitive encyclopedic reference to the Twilight Saga and provides readers with everything they need to further explore the unforgettable world Stephenie Meyer created in Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, andBreaking Dawn. With exclusive new material, character profiles, genealogical charts, maps, extensive cross-references, and much more, this comprehensive handbook is essential for every Twilight Saga fan.

My Thoughts: I'll be the first to admit I am not one of those TwiHard (or whatever they are called) fans. I didn't start the series until after the third book came out and still have not finished Breaking Dawn.  I still found this insiders guide to be an interesting read.
I was concerned at first and didn't think I was going to finish it. The interview at the beginning with Stephanie Meyer is really long and I ended up skipping ahead. The sections on each individual vampire was very insightful and added to characters that we are already familiar with. It didn't make me like a character I didn't already but still interesting. 
The family tree breakdown for the werewolves was well done and very detailed. The sections on the individual packs was set up like the vamps but I did not find it as interesting.
My favorite things were the illustrations. Whether fan created or other, they definitely made the book worth picking up. The end sections of foriegn covers, cars, music playlists, etc I found more entertaining than the rest of the book.
If you're a diehard fan you probably have already bought this but if you're curious do what I did and check it out from your local library.

Rating: 4

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine.It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating

Fair Game (Alpha & Omega #3)
By Patricia Briggs
Published By Orbit
expected Release Date March 6, 2012

Summary: When the FBI request a pack consultant on a serial killer case they're following in Boston, Anna and Charles are sent in. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves – all of them were. 
Someone is targeting their kind. And if Charles and Anna can't get to the bottom of this mystery, they may be next...

**I've really enjoyed this series and looking forward to having another one to read.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review ~ Brewed, Crude, and Tattooed

Brewed, Crude, and Tattooed (Maggy Thorsen mystery #4)
By Sandra Balzo
Published By Severn House Publishers

SummaryMaggy Thorsen, co-owner of the Brookhills coffee-house Uncommon Grounds, is trapped in a shopping mall by a snow storm which cuts the electricity and phone lines. She finds the body of Way Benson, a local developer and owner of the mall. Maggy's discovery unearths other refugees of the storm and it seems that more than one of these people has a motive for killing the arrogant Way. Then there is another murder.

My Thoughts: Another round for Maggy, who always seems to find herself in the middle of everything. This story had a Clue feel to it, Colonel Mustard in the Barber Shop with the Meat Cleaver.
This was not my favorite, there was almost too much going on. With everyone trapped in one building during a freak snowstorm in May (being from MI I know how much this sucks) I found myself mixing up characters and forgetting who others were. I found the general store shopping for supplies throughout almost more interesting than the murder mystery. I've never really card for Caron, Maggy's business partner, and that became more evident here. I kept hoping she would be next on the murder list.
It took me awhile to figure out why this book was titled as it was (has to do with the murder vic), I was hoping this was going to be about Amy, the author created this great character and we haven't really heard from since she was introduced. It'll also be interesting to see if we ever see any of these other characters again or if they will be lost with the crumpled building.

Rating: 4

Friday, December 2, 2011

Follow Friday and Blog Hop

I haven'i done one of these in a long time, thought I would give it a go again...

 Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of course and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q. What is your biggest Pet Peeve when it comes to books? Maybe you don't like love triangles or thin plots. Tell us about it!

A. This one was easy for me. I really hate insta-love and the over use of love triangles. It seems as if some use it as a crutch to add conflict to their stories.

Book Blogger Hop is hosted over at Crazy For Books.
Book Blogger Hop
Start hopping around, visiting other links in the list, meeting fellow bloggers and chatting about their blogs and books they are reading. If you aren’t a blogger, this is a great opportunity for readers to find new sites to follow and meet some new friends who enjoy reading the same things that they do!