Monday, January 31, 2011

Meet Me on Monday!

Who are we? The bloggers that we chat with and rarely get to meet?
Meet Me on Monday is a way to get to know more about some of your fellow bloggers - I think it sounds super fun!  This is my first Meet Me On Moday!  It is hosted by Java @ Never Growing Old.
Here are the five questions for this Monday:
1.  What do you put on your hot dog?
2.  Do you play Sudoku?
3.  What is your favorite vegetable?
4.  Do you color your hair?
5.  What is your favorite brand of clothing?

My hot dog? Mustard - ONLY mustard - unless I get crazy and add cheese!

Soduku? I have played it - I truly LOVE brain games - puzzles of all kinds - but this for me is work!

My favorite vegetable?  
Okay - kidding - my favorite vegetable would have to be sugar snap peas!  Although if you asked my family they would say that it had to be garlic because I put it in everything - I personally think that garlic is a staple!
Do I color my hair? NO.  I did once - cost me a fortune and it didn't look all that different.  I would rather spend my money on books and chocolate! (I did use that colored mouse in high school!)  Perhaps one day I will be this brave!

My favorite brand of clothing?  This one threw me - I guess I have never thought about brand enough to have a favorite!  I have spent quite a bit of my life in "hand-me's" of one kind or another - you know "hand-me-downs" or "hand-me-ups" or the like.  I was the middle of three girls and only 13 months younger than my sister, so she wore it- then I did.  As we grew, she had a better job and great taste - so I continued to "borrow" her things ("hand-me-overs").  Now - with two children (16 & 21) I get my daughter's "No longer in fashions" and my sons "The sleeves are too shorts" and I call them "hand-me-ups" - they are great for around the house and weekends! Someday I guess it will all be called vintage!

Super Huge Epic Contest - check it out!

Epic HUGE contest! It is being hosted by Heather at The Secret Adventures of Writer Girl!
So - here is the deal - - - you go to her blog - follow her - tell her you stopped by because you saw this on my blog - then we both get that much closer to winning!  
Heather wants followers - to get them she is willing to give away mountains of books!  You send 25 followers to her blog and you win a book of your choice (from the list she is providing - which is huge!)
It breaks down like this: (I copied it from her site):
If you get -
10 followers over here = A poem or short story of your choice written for you. Anything you want.
25 followers = 1 book of your choice
40 followers = 3 books of your choice
60 followers = 5 books of your choice
75 followers = 7 books of your choice
100 followers = I don't know yet, but it is going to have to be something very epic.

So.....go check it out!  Refer me - put it on your blog - maybe we can all win!

2011 YA Challenge

The 2011 YA Challenge is being hosted by Jamie at For the Love of YA!
I have chosen - - The "Fun Size" YA Reading Challenge – Read 20 Young Adult novels.
Here are my books - dates read and review links!
1. Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast - 1/15/11 - reviewed here
2. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand - 1/19/11 - reviewed here
3. The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin - 1/17/11 - reviewed here
4. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa - 1/25/11 - reviewed here
5. Legacy (Ganzfield #3) by Kate Kaynak - 1/28/11 - reviewed here
6. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton - 1/29/11 - reviewed here
7. Scourge by David H. Burton - 2/5/11 - reviewed here
8. Foresight: The Gods of Fate Book 1 by Sherry Ficklin - 2/22/11 - reviewed here
9. Gunnar: Hurricane Horse by Judy Andrekson - 3/6/11 - reviewed here
10. Betrayed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast - currently reading
11. Sir Gawain the True by Gerald Morris - 3/11/11 - review here
12. The Trouble with Spells by Lacey Weatherford - 3/17/11 - reviewed here
13. Demon Kiss by Lacey Weatherford - 3/19/11 - reviewed here
14. Blood of the White Witch by Lacey Weatherford - 3/24/11- reviewed here
15. Mind Readers by Lori Brighton - 3/27/11 - reviewed here

It's Monday - - What are you reading?

I have been away from this meme for a bit - glad to be back!

This is what I have been reading: 
Just finished with a weekend of reading - reviews to come this week!

Legacy: Ganzfield Book 3 by Kate Kaynak - I received this ARC from the author and LOVED it!  I have read the first two books in the series and was thrilled by the opportunity to read this next installment!  It was fantastic!
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton - this ARC was on the Kindle from Net Galley.  Thoroughly enjoyed this story.  She is a brand new author and I can't wait for more!
Pack Challenge: Magnus Pack Book 1 by Shelly Laurenston - this is not my first Shelly Laurenston book - and will not be my last!!! Love her work! I will be reading more in this series for sure.

Eternity Embraced by Larissa Ione - this book is a short novella in her Demonica Series.  I fell in love with this series and keep looking for more.  I love her characters!
I also listened to Don't Blink by James Patterson & Howard Roughan - I won the audio version of this book from Martha's Bookshelf - thanks so much for the great story!  I really enjoy James Patterson books and this one with Howard Roughan was great!  
Be sure to stop back later this week for reviews of all these great books!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lords of the Underworld Reading Challenge 2011

Lords of the Underworld Reading Challenge
The Darkest Night
The Darkest Kiss
The Darkest Pleasure
The Darkest Whisper
The Darkest Passion
The Darkest Lie
The Darkest Secret (release date: March 29, 2011)

  • Challenge will run February 1, 2011 to January 31, 2012. Participants can join at any time throughout the challenge.
  • Create an intro post, linking back to this post.
  • Sign up using the Linky below. Make sure to add your post about this challenge, not your blog home page.
  • All forms of books acceptable (audiobooks, eBooks, etc.), rereads are allowed and these books and be used for other challenges.
  • You don't need a blog to participate. Just ignore the Linky and sign up in the comments. Leave any thoughts about the books on the challenge's review linky post.
  • Reviews, while always appreciated, are not mandatory.

1. The Darkest Fire - 3/5/11 - reviewed here

A - Z Reading Challenge!

I am participating in The A - Z Reading Challenge! 
This challenge is being hosted at The Thoughts of a Book Junky 
Click here to get to the challenge page!
Here is my list: 
A - Alpha by Rachel Vincent - - 1/4/11 - - reviewed here
B - Betrayed by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
C - Chosen by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
D - Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
E - Eternity Embraced by Larissa Ione - - 1/29/11 - - reviewed here
F - Fallen by Lauren Kate
G - Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
H - Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I - Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa - - 1/25/11 - - reviewed here
J - Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
K - Keeper by Kathi Appelt
L - Legacy by Kate Kaynak - - 1/28/11 - - reviewed here
M - Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast - - 1/15/11 - - reviewed here
N - Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
O- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
P- Pack Challenge: Magnus Pack Book 1 by Shelly Laurenston - - 1/29/11 - - reviewed here
Q- Quinn by Iris Johansen
R- Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
S- Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
T- Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
U- Unearthly by Cynthia Hand - - 1/19/11 - - reviewed here
V- Vesper by Jeff Sampson
W- Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
X- XVI by Julia Karr
Y- You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know by Heather Sellers
Z- Zan-Gah by Allan Richard Shickman

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Books I have purchased and Books I have been so luck to have won!!!

I won The Crimson Rooms by Katherine McMahon from Deb at Debbie's Book Bag!

Amazon Product Description:
In the spirit of Sarah Waters and Geraldine Brooks, a dramatic mystery about love, secrets, and discovery in post-World War I London. 

Still haunted by the death of her only brother, James, in the Great War, Evelyn Gifford is completely unprepared when a young nurse and her six-year-old son appear on the Giffords' doorstep one night. The child, the nurse claims, is James's, conceived in a battlefield hospital. The grief-stricken Giffords take them both in; but Evelyn, a struggling attorney, must now support her entire family-at a time when work for women lawyers is almost nonexistent. 

Suddenly a new case falls in Evelyn's lap: Seemingly hopeless, it's been abandoned by her male coworkers. The accused-a veteran charged with murdering his young wife- is almost certain to die on the gallows. . . . And yet, Evelyn believes he is truly innocent, just as she suspects there may be more to the story of her "nephew" than meets the eye. . . 

These I got for the Kindle!  

I got an ARC of The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa from Harlequin!  Thanks so much Donna!!!

For review from the author (free of charge in return for an honest review)
Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon
No Cure for the Broken Hearted by Kenneth Rosenberg

Undead in the City by Lynda Hilburn - won from Roxanne at Fangtastic Books!  Thanks Roxanne!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Iron Queen
by Julie Kagawa
Net Galley
Amazon Product Description:
My name is Meghan Chase.  I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.  
This time, there will be no turning back.

I want to mention a quick thank you to Donna Hayes at Harlequin for the ARC of this book!  I was thrilled to get the paper ARC as I was reading (and totally loving) the kindle version from Net Galley.  So - big thanks to you Donna!  I am hoping that I am so fortunate as to get the ARC for Iron Knight - I don't know that I can wait for the print release!!!

My thoughts:  

First I want to say that I absolutely LOVE this series.  I could hardly put this one down and will be impatiently awaiting the next one - Iron Knight.

Once again Julie Kagawa does a fantastic job of world building.  She shows us so many facets of her imagination with the Summer, Winter, and Iron Fey worlds.  They are each fantastic, wonderful, and terrifying in their own ways.  

She brings all the characters that we know and love back to us one more time is this fantastic story of love, discovery, responsibility, and friendship.  It is an action packed, drama, romance!  

She also introduces some new characters that truly add something to the story.  The watchmaker is one who I really enjoyed, he is very different and plays a seemingly small part in the whole but I think that he adds a great deal to the story.  I loved the gliders - they are great!  

Puck and Ash are my favorites in each of the books and they do not disappoint in this one either - they are the glue that binds.  I keep saying that I have had enough of love triangles, but this one is so different and they deal with it in such great ways that you would never want the story to be any other way.  I would love to go into these two more, but don't want to add any spoilers!  

I was thrilled that Mab shows us her mothering side when she gives aid to their quest to find and kill the false king.   I was excited to see the way Julie brings all the parental figures into the story in different ways, all to the benefit of Meaghan and her crew.  

So, to close  - If you haven't read the The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, Winter's Passage, or The Iron Queen - get to the store!  You will want to start this series from the beginning and have plenty of time to keep right on reading!  You will fall in love with the story and want to know more and more! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011 New Author Challenge

I am participating in the 2011 New Authors Reading Challenge hosting by Literary Escapism!
The goal I chose is to read books from 15 new to me authors!
This is the post where I will list the books I have read, 
the date I finished reading them, and the link to the review post!
1. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand - - 1/19/11 - - reviewed here
2. The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin - - 1/17/11 - - reviewed here
3. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton - 1/29/11
4. Danann Frost Falls From Grace by Joanne Valiukas - 2/7/11
5. Lace and Leather by Leanore Elliott - 2/5/11 - reviewed here
6. Scourge by David H. Burton - 2/5/11
7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - 2/13/11 - reviewed here
8. Serengeti Heat by Vivi Andrews - 2/14/11 - reviewed here
9. Foresight: The Gods of Fate Book 1 by Sherry Ficklin - - 2/22/11 - - reviewed here
10. The Arrival by Nicole MacDonald - 2/25/11 - reviewed here
11. The Vampire Voss by Colleen Gleason - 3/5/11 - reviewed here
12. Gunnar: Hurricane Horse by Judy Andrekson - 3/6/11 - reviewed here
13. The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True by Gerald Morris - 3/11/11 - review here
14. The Darkest Fire by Gena Showalter - 3/5/11 - reviewed here
15. The Trouble with Spells by Lacey Weatherford - 3/17/11 - reviewed here
16. The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton - 3/27/11 - reviewed here

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand

I read this book on the Kindle - the ARC from Net Galley - - the pub date was 1/4/2011.

Amazon Product Description:

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

My thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Unearthly.  The author builds a modern, believable world containing characters that are realistic, interesting, and easy to invest in.  

I thought Clara is a wonderful character throughout the book.  She is faced with choices, decisions, and responsibilities that are challenging and have dire consequences - difficult for anyone - almost nearly impossible for a teen.  She works through these issues throughout the book; always trying to do the right thing for everyone while still attempting to fulfill her purpose and stay true to herself at the same time.  

Christian is wonderfully mysterious, but a little on the "not the guy you want him to be" side.  I found myself wanting him to be so much less and so much more at the same time.  I think he is one of the most well created characters.  

Tucker - what can you say about Tucker...he is truly my favorite character from the book.  

The mother was harder, she is too closed up for much of the book for me at first.  I found myself wanting, like Clara, so much more from her mother.  She does, throughout the book, redeem herself in my eyes.  

The theme that I found throughout the book - the very noticeable missing parent or parents of the characters who were angelbloods - was well thought out and well played.  

A major plot point - THE PURPOSE - was somewhat under-represented I thought.  I am sure that this was the intention of the author as it was the main idea of the whole story, but I didn't really get the amount of information about the reason behind it for my comfort.  I didn't feel that Clara's mother gave her enough information about her purpose, but I didn't get the impression that any of the other angelbloods had any real idea of their purpose either.  I would have liked more on that...and I can't help but wonder - one specific incident is their whole life's purpose?  I am hoping for a sequel that answers many of these questions for me.

Well worth the read - be sure to check it out!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 Vampire Challenge!

I will be participating in the 2011 Vampire Challenge being hosting by Para Junkee's View!
The goal for this challenge is to read 20 books or more that have a vampire as the MAIN character.
This is the linky where my reviews will be posted!
This is the linky where my list will be posted!  My list will also be posted on my sidebar!

1. Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast - - 1/15/11 - reviewed here.
2. Eternity Embraced by Larissa Ione - 1/29/11 -
3. Blameless by Gail Carriger - 2/3/11 - reviewed here
4. Danann Frost Falls From Grace by Joanne Valiukas - 2/7/11
5. American Vampire by Jennifer Arminstrout - 2/3/11
6. The Vampire Voss by Colleen Gleason - 3/5/11 - reviewed here
7. Wilder's Mate by Moira Rogers - 3/26/11 - reviewed here

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mailbox - - I didn't get this out Monday - so it's a Wednesday Mailbox!

I got some amazing books in the last couple weeks and wanted to share!

Books for review from the authors:
Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon
The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead
Spiral X by J.J. Westendarp
Dead Man's Eye by Shaun Jeffrey
The Arrival: Book One of the Birthright Trilogy by Nicole MacDonald

Books I bought:
Hexbound by Chloe Neill

Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer

Blood Trinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love
Sweep (volumes 1 & 2) by Cate Tiernan

Fallen by Lauren Kate
Checked out from the Library:
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

For the Kindle:
Shadow of the Sun (Timeless #1) by Laura Kreitzer
Soul Stalker (Timeless #2) by Laura Kreitzer

From Net Galley:
American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout
Dead is Not an Option by Marlene Perez
Bloodline by Mark Billingham
I was fortunate enough to receive two copies of The Skin Map from Stephen R. Lawhead (one for me to keep and one for me to give to another reader!) so I will be giving one copy of it away in February during the Follower Love Giveaway Hop hosted at I am a Reader Not a Writer - February 8 - 13, 2011.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dreaming Of Books Giveaway Hop Winner!

The Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop! 
1/14 - 1/17, 2011

Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop drawing!
The random number generator gave me.......

True Random Number Generator                       40Powered by RANDOM.ORG

#40 - Steph Sanders!!!  Congrats!
I will be sending you out an email - please respond by 1/23/11!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesday is hosted at Should Be Reading.

My teaser is from:

The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin
Pub. Date: 3/1/11

"Sometimes you find yourself exactly where you belong."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review: Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Marked (Book 1: House of Night) by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Amazon Product Description:

The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It's tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.
My Thoughts:
I can't believe it took me so long to read this book!  I have been hearing great things about this series for a couple years now and have kept them on my TBR pile anyhow, hoping that the series would finish and I could read all the books over summer break or some other break from school.  Wow! I am soooooooo glad I decided to start reading them now!
I was HOOKED from the go!  I was impressed with the world building, the characters, and the storyline, I guess there wasn't anything I didn't like.  
Zoey's grandmother is probably my favorite character, although we don't see her many times during the book, she plays an enormous role in the story and in Zoey's life.  She is an amazing woman who is always there for Zoey - no matter what.  Her lessons and advice, coupled with the voice of the goddess, should make Zoey a formidable character throughout the books in the series.  
This story differs from many vampyre novels I have read in many ways, but I found myself truly enjoying those differences. 
I was thrilled by Zoey's friends and their level of devotion.  I was in tears at the end - no I guess that's it on that.  I found myself laughing, crying, on the edge of my seat, outraged by behavior, and enjoyed every minute of it!

I enjoyed the book very much, it was well written, well thought-out, and wonderfully put together.  I would suggest this one
to any number of people, boys and girls alike.  
I can't wait to learn more about Zoey's world in book 2: Betrayed.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dreaming Of Books Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to The Wormhole and the Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop!
The Hop runs from January 14 (today) until January 17 - be sure to stop by as many blogs as you can and check out their great giveaways!  Have a great time hopping!
You can get to the linky here!

The Wormhole Giveaway:  I am #176 on the Mr. Linky listed above! 
The rules are simple - you must be a follower - you must fill out the form below- one entry with no extras!  
The prize is any ONE book under $20.00 from Book Depository.
The giveaway is open to all followers who live anywhere the Book Depository ships!!!
The winner will be selected at random and posted by January 20, 2011.  
The winner will have until 1/23/11 to respond to contact email - after 1/23/11 a new winner will be chosen!

The next blog on the hop is Good Manners Kids Stuff Press Blog.

I you are interested in future Hops - 
here is a tentative list for 2011 from Inspired Kathy at I'm a Reader Not a Writer!
2011 Tentative Hop ScheduleFollower Love - February 8th to 13th 
St. Patricks Day Hop March 17th to 20th - Co-hosted by Cindy from Books Complete Me
April Fools Hop April 1-2 Co-Hosted by Belinda from The Bookish Snob
Easter Hop April 20th to 25th - Co-hosted by Cindy from Once Upon a Twilight
May Hop - Schools Out May 23rd to 25th
Mid Summer's Eve June 21st-22nd
Celebrating Freedom Hop July 1st to 4th Co-hosted by Simply Stacie
Summer Hop August 5th to 7th
Back to School Hop Sept 1 - 5th
Banned Book Week Hop Sept 24th - Oct 1st co-hosted by I Read Banned Books
Spooktacular Hop Oct 24th to 31st
Gratitude Giveaways November 17th to 27th
Midwinters Eve December 21st to 22nd

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I am under construction! - -

I am trying out a new look - what do you think?

Just wanted to give you all a heads up that I am participating in the Dreaming of Book Giveaway Hop - so be sure to stop back January 14 - 17, 2011 and check out the giveaways!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

W...W...W... Wednesday!

This meme is hosted at Should Be Reading.
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading both Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast and Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

What did you recently finish reading?
  I just finished reading Alpha by Rachel Vincent.  Check out my review here!

What do you think you'll read next?

Happy Reading - whatever you are reading!