Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Curl up with a Book...and a NOOK Contest!

Anya Bast and Lauren Dane are teaming up for a super contest giving away a NOOK! How awesome is that?  Click on the Spout below for details!

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Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty

Author: Libba Bray
Published: July 2005
Hardcover: 416 pages
Reading Level: YA
My copy: Received as a trade on
My rating: 4 out of 5 wicked stars


 It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to? 

My thoughts...

A Great and Terrible Beauty is the first in a trilogy by Libba Bray.  The book starts off in India where the spoiled main character, Gemma, is constantly complaining to her mother about wanting to live back in London.  Gemma soon gets a wake up call in the form of a vision that shows her mother dying, and it turns out to be true.  She is shipped off to London and boarding school, and it isn't all that she wished it would be.  She continues to have the visions and is torn between wanting to believe the stranger that shows up telling her to avoid them at all cost...and the glorious spirit world.  Throw in some peer pressure and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

I really enjoyed it this book, it flowed nicely and I wasn't lost or over-burdened with useless facts.  Gemma started out a spoiled brat, and still had the tendency to be that in various parts of the book, which got old.  There were times when you could see that she was turning into the character that you wanted her to be, and I hope to see more of that in the following 2 books of the trilogy. Overall, I would recommend this book to those looking for some fun, teenage drama with other-worldly flair.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Review: Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Title: Crazy Beautiful
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Hardback: 193 pages
Reading Level: YA
My copy: Received as a trade on
Rating: 4 out of 5 wicked stars



In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.

Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her.

But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.

Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

My thoughts...

I have to admit that I didn't know much about this book before reading it, I am not sure I even read a review on it.  I think I read about it on and thought it sounded like an interesting read.  I expected boy meets girl, boys has competion aka love triangle, and the drama it takes to get girl...but what I didn't expect...humor...of all things.  This book had me busting out laughing at times (and my husband looking at me like I am crazy..but that's another story).

Okay so they say this is the contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but I am not sure I would have thought of it that way had they not pointed that out.  This kid, Lucius,  blew off his hands and has two hooks...on top of that, he is starting a new school, how's that for a stressful first day?  That is where the humor came in..Lucius has the greatest, although dark and twisty, sense of humor.  Some of the things he says and thinks had me cracking up.  I love those unexpected surprises.  This story is told from alternating view points, Lucius and Aurora, and flows quite well.  It is a quick read at only 193 pages, but I recommend it if you want a little humor, romance and drama.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Title: A Certain Slant of Light
Author: Laura Whitcomb
Paperback: 288 pages
Reading Level: YA
My copy: Received as a trade on
Rating: 3 of out 5Wicked Stars


In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: For the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen--terrified, but intrigued--is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

My thoughts...

Helen is a ghost destined to exist alone.  For reasons unknown to her since she cannot remember her previous life, she is required to go from host to host to keep from going back to the horrible place she came from.  Everything changes when a guy in her host's English class actually looks at her, this has never happened to her since she has been a ghost.  After talking to the boy, she realizes that have more in common than she first knew and this takes her on a journey that she could never have imagined.

I found this book interesting enough to keep my attention but honestly didn't get **can't put it down** good feelings about it until the very end.  The story is good and fairly interesting but the plot seem thin and meandering, I wasn't sure where it was going.  I will say I was a little surprised at how things turned out in the end, but it was a nice, satisfying ending that made this a better read than I thought it would be about half way through.

The cover is nice and spooky so of course I liked that, ha ha, and there are some critical moments of the book that center around bathtubs so it is appropriate also.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Review: Ruined - A Ghost Story by Paula Morris

Title: Ruined - A Ghost Story
Author: Paula Morris
Reading Level: YA
Hardcover: 304 Pages
My copy: Obtained from the local library
My rating: 4 out of 5 wicked stars


Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads Tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of the city.

My thoughts...

I really enjoyed this book and thought it well written.  It has a nice mixture of history, romance, suspense and ghostly tales. Rebecca is a likable character that is not short on personality that has a tendency to get into trouble. I did find it odd that she didn't put forth more of an effort to make friends in her new school, she is fine with being alone everyday.  Anton, the hot guy that is interested in her, much to his friends dismay; is mysterious up to the end of the book.  Of course there are those mean and snotty kids at school that make the story more interesting, ha ha.

The author gives you background on New Orleans history, Mardi Gras and culture of the area that is pretty extensive.  I actually got a little lost and had the tendency to want to skip over some of it because it was so in-depth and foreign to me (even though I live in the south). This history does play a big part of the story but even with my skimming, I understood it all later on in the book. So no worries if you don't want a history lesson part of your ghost story :)

You are pretty much kept in the dark of what is actually going on until the end and I was not disappointed with the ending too much.  I guess I am a series girl, and was wishing there would be a sequel, but if there is, the authors page does not mention it.

The cover is awesome but doesn't really depict a part of the book, at least the ghostly, scantly -clad woman walking.  It does show the graveyard which does play a huge part in the book.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

100+ Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog

I am going to go for it! I actually have no idea how many books I read in a year, so this will be a good way to keep track!  You should join with me, here are the rules:
1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Library books, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Books started before the 1st do not count.

Sounds fun huh?  Go HERE to sign up!

Here is my list so far:

1. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
2. Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
3. Tantalize by Cynthia Smith
4. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
5. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
6. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
7. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

More to come!  I will make a post on my sidebar listing all the books I am reading in the challenge, wish me luck!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Megan Crewe's Awesome Giveaway!

I am sure you have heard of Megan Crewe's book Give Up the Ghost that came out in September. Well, she is having a great contest giving away 3 books (Fortune's Folly, Wondrous Strange, and Lament) OR, for you writers out there, she will critique three chapters of your novel manuscript.

Here is the trailer to her book Give Up the Ghost

Go HERE to find out more about her great contest!

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Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.  The book that I cannot WAIT for this week is Captivate by Carrie Jones.  This is the sequel to Need.

Zara and her friends knew they hadn’t solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it—the king’s control over his pixies gets weaker every day. So when a new, younger pixie king shows up, there is war in the air. The new king, Astley, claims he’s not evil. Zara believes him, but Nick—not so much. Then Astley tells Zara she is fated to be his queen, and suddenly the stakes get even higher.

I loved Need, you can see my review here.  Carrie Jones actually has 3 sneak peeks of Captivate on her website created for the books:   It comes out January 5th, so plenty of time for you to read Need and be primed for Captivate.    Woods, Werewolves and Pixies...oh MY!

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Dark Faerie Tales Big Holiday Blowout!

Dark Faerie Tales is a having a HUGE Contest giving away 10 books to 4 people! Check out these prizes:

Book Selection:

They will select the following:
1 Grand Prize Winner (4 Books)
1 First Place Winner ( 3 Books)
1 Second Place Winner (2 Books)
1 Third Place Winner (1 Book)

So RUN, don't walk, over to DFT and enter this awesome contest.



Monday, November 30, 2009

Over the Top Award!

Is it my birthday, because, damn I feel special and loved today! I could have sworn it was in September...but hey, you guys made my Monday wickedly awesome :)

Natalie over at Mindful Musing gave me this award for my blog and her blog is fantastic so pop over there and check it out.


1. Thank and post URL to the blog that gave the award. (Duh)
2. Pass the award along to 6 brilliantly over the top blogs (blogs you love!) Alert them so they know to receive the award.
3 Copy and paste this quiz... Change the answers, ONE word only. (2 are acceptable!) **Kind of violated this one...Oops!

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your hair? brown
3. Your mother? reading
4. Your father? passed away :(
5. Your favorite food? Sushi
6. Your dream last night? can't remember
7. Your favorite drink? red wine
8. Your dream/goal? to succeed
9. What room are you in? my office
10. Your hobby? Reading and football (watching not playing lol)
11. Your fear? Losing the people I love
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? My house paid off, is that possible? lol
13. Where were you last night? at home watching, you guessed it, football
14. Something that you aren't? drama queen
15. Muffins? cupcakes? cupcakes with icing please
16. Wish list item? Barnes & Noble gift card!
17. Where did you grow up? Nocona, TX
18. Last thing you did? helped the husband carry in firewood
19. What are you wearing? slouchy pants and sweatshirt (nice!)
20. Your TV?,'s Monday night!
21. Your pets? awesome, 2 border collies and 1 moody cat
22. Friends? spread out all over, wish we lived closer!
23. Your life? fun
24. Your mood? happy to be home from work
25. Missing someone? always my Dad, and my BFF's
26. Vehicle? POS Dodge Intrepid (but it gets me there and back)
27. Something you're not wearing? earrings
28. Your favorite store? Target
29. Your favorite color? Dark Blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? about an hour ago, reading a book!
31. Last time you cried? hummm...I dont remember
32. Your best friend? My sister

And this award goes to (in no particular order):

Congrats everyone!


Kick ASS Blog Contest!

Larissa over at come up with an awesome new blog contest!  It is KICK ASS, to say the least!

Rex Robot Reviews was kind enough to nominate me for the KICK ASS award and now I want to pass along the love to 5 blogs that I think are KICK ASS.

Lets start with Larissa's rules:
  • To play you must be awarded this blog button by someone. Accept the badge, stick it on your blog- then post about it. (Like I'm doing now!) Make sure your badge links back to the person who gave it to you. 
  • Name five blogs in your post that you think are *worthy* of this sweet kick-ass badge. Don't forget to let them know you've nominated them =)

My Nomination, in no particular order....

1. Rex Robot Reviews
2. Dark Faerie Tales
3. Park Avenue Princess
4. Mindful Musings
5. Peace Love & Pat
6. Parajunkee's View



Bloody Bookaholic's BIG Blowout Contest!

The Bloody Bookaholic is having a HUGE contest to celebrate Christmas/ Hanukkah/ Whatever You Believe In Blowout! Check out these awesome prizes for 3 winners:

- The anticipated sequel of The Nanny Diaries, The Nanny Returns

And a 2010 Book called The Mark by Jen Nadol.

So head over there now and check it out and you get an extra entry if you let her know that I sent you! Go HERE


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tynga's 300 Followers Contest

Check out this HUGE contest!

Tyna is giving away these awesome books to celebrate reaching 300 followers! There will be 4 total winners so head over there right now and let her know that I sent you and you will get extra entries ;)  Here are the books up for grabs:

So go HERE and enter!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review: Need by Carrie Jones

Title: Need
Author: Carrie Jones
Reading Level: Young Adult
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 wicked stars


Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

My thoughts...

Before I get into the book, let me say this cover is amazing :)  It is a very pretty "shiny".   It almost looks like you would think it would be about vampires, but surprisingly, no vampires in this book.  There are plenty of other little "nasties" to keep your interest, though.

Okay now, on to the book.  Zara White is sent to live with her Grandmother in Maine after she never recovers from depression after her step father (and only father she has ever known) dies.  Her Mother hopes the change of scenery will help her bounce back but Zara thinks her Mother is just shipping her off because she can't deal with her anymore.  Zara starts school and makes friends and enemies pretty quickly.  She keeps seeing this person that has followed her from her Mother's house to Maine and is stalking her.  He turns out to be the Pixie King and he is after Zara and will continue abducting teenage boys until he gets her.

Zara is a likable character, I question her judgment in the book a few times, but I guess the heroines have to be doing stupid things to keep the action rolling at times, ha ha.  As the book progresses there are a few surprises, even for me who tries to ferret every possible outcome while reading.  I love it when a book surprises me.

Carrie Jones weaves a magical, entertaining and sometimes actually scary tale.  Once I started this book, I did lose some sleep over getting to a part where the action slowed down enough for me to put it down for the night.  This book has plenty of pixies and shifters to keep those para-lovers (like myself) entertained and enough romance/love interest to give you warm fuzzies. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, Captivate due out January 2010.



Book Bound's 100 Follower's Contest!

Book Bound is having a contest for reaching 100 followers, and it is a GOOD one!   Here are the details:

There will be THREE (3) winners. Each winner will get to choose their prize(s)!

I have recently discovered The Book Depository, and the great thing about it is you get new books for great prices and free worldwide shipping!!!

So, each of the three winners will get to buy books up to $20...any books of their choice...and I will pick up the tab and ship 'em straight to your door!

Sounds awesome, right? So head over there right now and sign up!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Neverending Shelf's Big Thank You Contest!

The Neverending Shelf is having a BIG Thank You contest here giving away 17 books to 5 people! Now that is a lot of loot! These are awesome books, too! So rush over there and enter and then play the fun covers contest!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mystery Contest Sneak Peek for Extra Entries!

Okay so I found this awesome blog today called Princess Bookie (an sweet referral from Brizmus ) and she is going to be running a contest giving away EIGHT BOOKS!  All you have to do it check out her blog for the instructions on the extra entries and if you are new, follow her blog! OH..and don't forget to let her know I sent ya ;)

Check out the contest here!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Review: The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Title: The Hollow
Author: Jessica Verday
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating: 4 out of 5 wicked stars


When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special. Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

My thoughts...

I am so torn about this book, I have a definite love-hate thing with it.  First, let me say the that cover is amazing and actually depicts a part in the book, for the most part anyway.  When I first started reading this book I was sucked in and lost some sleep getting through the first half of the book trying the answer the questions of who Caspian was and what was going on.  That became the problem of the 2nd half was that I felt like there was a lot of "filler" type info that wasn't necessary for the story and we were not finding out anything more until the very end of the book.  At 544 pages, I think it could be cut down somewhat taking the unnecessary stuff out that really has no relation to the story being told.

The story overall is good with romance and a touch of paranormal.  The main character, Abbey, is likable for the most part but has times being a spoiled brat and whiny that can get on your nerves, you want to scream, ENOUGH ALREADY...MOVE ON.  The plot is a little weak and meandering at times but overall I did enjoy the book and really look forward to the next installment of the trilogy that is due out in 2010.  See what I :)

I found the note about the author very interesting, that she wrote The Hollow's first draft by hand using 13 spiral notebooks and 15 black pens.  She is also writing the 2nd book in this fashion.  Do I even know how to write one page in cursive anymore?  Just give me my laptop, thank you :)


Monday, November 16, 2009

Review: Demon Princess Reign or Shine by Michelle Rowen

Title: Demon Princess Reign or Shine
Author: Michelle Rowen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 wicked stars

Nikki Donovan is your normal high school teenager just trying to survive in her new school after her mother's newest marriage. Her day is going perfect; she has the most popular friends, and a really cute guy just asked her to the dance AND kissed her! Nikki's world gets shaken up when she realizes she is being stalked by a strange guy that keeps calling her Princess and telling her that her father, that she has never met, is actual the demon king of the Shadowlands. When she finally is convinced that this stalker might be telling the truth she travels to the Shadowlands determined to tell her long-lost Daddy what she thinks of him...only to find out he is dying and needs her to take his place and stay in Shadowlands for the rest of her life. What's a princess to do?

My thoughts...

This story was humorous and fun. Nikki has a quirky and endearing personality that will draw you in, not to mention her stalker is quite hot. There is some love, action, demons, fairies and a few "other worldly" beings that round out this book to make it a delightful read. I really enjoyed the book and look forward the next in the series, Reign Check due out in June 2010.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Review: Fire (A Companion to Graceling) By Kristin Cashore

Title: Fire (A Companion to GRACELING)
Author: Kristin Cashore
Reading Level: Young Adult
My rating: 4 out of 5 wicked stars

Fire, Graceling's stand-alone prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells.

Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.

Wondering what makes it a companion book/prequel? Fire takes place 30-some years before Graceling and has one cross-over character with Graceling, a small boy with strange two-colored eyes who comes from no-one-knows-where, and who has a peculiar ability that Graceling readers will find familiar and disturbing...

My thoughts...

You can definitely read Fire without having read Graceling, but you would be missing out as Graceling is a great book. Fire is actually set in a time before Graceling and they share one very important character, a little boy with two different colored eyes that grows up to play a major role in Graceling.

I read Graceling about a month ago and loved it and was excited when my library got Fire in. I have to admit the the start of Fire was kinda slow for me and a little hard to get into. That being said, as I got farther in the book I really got wrapped up the characters.

Fire is girl that was referred to as a "monster" because of her ability to take over people's minds and make them think or do things they normally would not have done. You can see where this would create fear in those around her that did not trust her, especially since she inherited this trait from her father. He was not known as a kind person and would do whatever he needed to do to complete his objective. As hard a person as her father was, he had an odd soft-spot in his heart for Fire, teaching her how to use her gift even to the point of cruelty, if needed.

The journey continues as Fire goes to the king who has requested her presence to aid him with the upcoming war. Here Fire has to consider changing her values in order to protect those that she loves and friends that she has made. Fire is beautifully written book that leaving you looking forward to the 3rd book, Bitterblue, which is currently in the works.


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