Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Monday - What are you reading?

This great meme is hosted by Sheila at "Book Journey".

What am I currently reading: 
Vampire Voss  by Colleen Gleason - - - - I have only just started this one and so far I like it.  It is an ARC from Netgalley.

What I just finished reading:
The Arrival (Birthright Trilogy Book 1)  by Nicole MacDonald - -  one of our own - blogger name: Damsel in a Dirty Dress.  Loved this one - check out my review here!

What am I reading next?
My plan is to finish reading some books that I have taken on for review from authors:
The Skin Map  by Stephen R. Lawhead
Kevin's Point of View  by Del Shannon
and two Zan-Gah books by Allen Richard Shickman

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: Lace & Leather and The Beholder by Leanore Elliott

Lace and Leather by Leanore Elliott

This was a great read!  I never know what to expect from a novella, but was pleasantly surprised by Leanore Elliott's story!!!  

Quick run down:  Woman out in the desert working on a survey (in the 20th century) sees a dust cloud that becomes a man on horseback as the dust clears, he grabs her up and throws her on the horse too and goes galloping off because he is being chased by indians.  After they stop, they realize that they are from completely different times.  They are connected by a scope - which she was looking through when she first saw the dust cloud - it had belonged to his father and she had gotten it as a gift from her father!  So, the story goes and they fall in love.  Later the scope from his time and the scope that she has with her end up in the same place - with them - and they are cast into their own times.  She then has to try to figure out how to get back to his time... okay that's all you get - no spoilers.

My thoughts:
The story is nothing I have ever read before!  I was thrilled by the time travel aspect!  There are very few characters and as I said this is a novella, so those characters need to be developed fast.  The author does a fantastic job of doing that!  I found myself laughing, smiling, cringing, totally invested in the characters and then at the end; on the edge of my seat hoping that they were able to find each other again.

The story is well written and wonderfully entertaining. 
I found myself wishing that it was a full fledged novel and that it wouldn't end as fast as it did.  

The Beholder by Leanore Elliott

Book Blurb:
" There is a season for every thing, a reason for the rain, a place in the sky for the sun. A cosmic avenue stretches across a blackboard in the stratosphere, for the stars to twinkle and whole nights are set aside, just for the shining of the moon. But for love, there is no certain time for it to occur, no place where it will surely happen. When this emotional phenomenon appears, there's no season and no logical reason for it at all..."

My thoughts:  
Once again I LOVED the characters that Leanore Elliott has created!  As in Lace and Leather there are few characters in the story, but they are fantastic!  Trace is a hired killer and Hayden is her 50th and last hit.  She fails.  He saves her after she is hit by a car and tells the hospital staff that she is his wife (for reasons even he doesn't understand) and when she wakes he is there.  This is not your classic love story, it is much more.  

You would think that an author wouldn't have enough time to really develop a story and the characters in such a short story, but this story leaves nothing out.  You get the past, present, and also a glimpse of the future for both Trace and Hayden.  This is a great read.

If you have never read anything by Leanore Elliott you are missing out!!! 

You can get more information and download some of her books here!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review: The Arrival (The Birthright Trilogy: Book 1) by Nicole MacDonald

The Arrival: Birthright Trilogy Book 1 
by Nicole MacDonald

Amazon Product Description:
Cat, Kassie, Sian and Loi are anything but damsels in distress.
Fed up with a lack of decent male specimens they cast a love spell in the hopes of finding their soul-mates. And inadvertently land themselves on another planet. Oops.

The Arrival, follows the girls' adventures as they stumble through a foreign and often hostile world where humans are NOT at the top of the food chain.
Friendships are forged and love teeters on the horizon while the threat of civil war looms thanks to the girls' very unexpected 'gifts'.
Will the girls master these gifts in time to survive a war in which, not only are they the ultimate weapons, but also the ultimate prize?

First I want to say that I got this ebook as a gift from the author!  In return for the gift, I have promised an honest review.  The author is fellow blogger Damsel in a Dirty Dress!  Be sure to stop by her blog and say hi!  You can buy her book (Kindle version) for only $0.99 at by clicking here!  So very worth the read!

My thoughts:
I have just finished reading the book (CAN'T believe the cliffhanger ending) and am DYING to get my hands on book 2!

The fast version:  This is a fantastic read!  The characters are incredible, the story is entertaining as well as well written, and the world building is amazing!  The love story twisted in with the magic and the fantastical creatures is great.  It is an all around MUST read! 

The not so fast version:
Nicole puts together incredible characters.  There are humans, dogs, cats, dragons, griffins, centaurs, more types of creatures than I can name!  Each is described in detail, regardless of how big or small a role they play!  Each is given a personality that endears them to you from the first meeting!  Okay, some of them are less endearing - Jenviet for instance (she's the "bad guy").  I was thrilled by the interactions of the griffins and the Griffin Guard and I love that Cat is able to communicate with Loushka even though she is not linked to her.  

Of course the fact that all four of the women are strong, independent, and capable makes me love them.  I was excited that they could bring all their defense, attack, and protection skills to their new world and share them with others.  The interactions of the women with the military men when faced with training are classic.  The four main characters are fantastic, but the men!!!  Nicole has created men that I go crazy for!  I love that there are 5 Griffin Guards and that four are single and one is married to such a great woman.  I know it could seem corny that there are four women searching for soul-mates and suddenly... but truly - could it work any other way?  I enjoyed the differences in the four couples and was impressed with the thought and energy that has gone into creating them for us.  The characters are the perfect blend of serious and funny.  

The author does a great job at world-building for the reader.  The world that the women find themselves in after the spell is cast is described in detail, from the scenery to the animals.  As a reader, it is easy to place yourself right there with them.  

This is a page turner, I found myself unwilling to put it down to do anything else.  I was enthralled by wanting to know MORE!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Review: The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin

The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin
Pub. Date:  3/1/11
You can pre-order it at Amazon by clicking here!
Amazon product description:
It was a hot, sunny day when I met that crazy chicken. So hot that sometimes I think the whole thing may have been a mirage. 

My thoughts: 
I wasn't sure what to expect from a children's book on the Kindle, but it was great!  I don't doubt that the illustrations are better in color but they are still wonderful in black and white!  

The story is about a former search and rescue dog named J.J., a chicken, four chicks, and another dog they call Vince the Funnel. Two of the chicks are missing and the chicken hires J.J. to find them.   

The Trouble with Chickens was a fast, fun read!  The author does a great job of giving the animals personalities that pull the reader in.  The writing is so descriptive that the reader is able to create the characters easily and the actual illustrations only enhance the reading experience!  

The story was well thought out and creative.  I enjoyed the perspectives of each of the characters and of course I loved the fact that the chicks were after books!!!    

Three of my favorite quotes:

"Make like a sponge mister."

"She may have looked fluffy and new, but this chick had already learned that life outside the shell was not all it was cracked up to be." 

(favorite!) "Sometimes you find yourself exactly where you belong."

I would recommend this book to everyone!  I loved it!  It would be a fantastic read-aloud, a wonderful read alone for young readers, and and great, fun read for all ages. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guest Post from author Graham Parke

Graham Parke - author of No Hope for Gomez has requested a guest post on my blog! I am honored!   He will be checking this post and commenting back to those who leave feedback or comments!

He thought perhaps he could share a few moments of your day with a funny keep reading because this is what he had to say - - -

"I almost met James Cameron today!

      Just to be clear, it wasn't that the Avatar 3D director and I just missed each other, it was just that it was almost him, but slightly, just slightly mind you, someone else. I hate when that happens. You get so close, then, nothing…
      But this incident started me thinking. This kind of thing has been happening to me a lot lately. And not only with celebrities. Just the other day, I almost ran into Garry, a friend of mine. From a distance, at an angle, it looked exactly like him. A dead-ringer. Could have fooled his own mother. It wasn't until I came closer, and he turned his head a few degrees to the left, that he revealed himself to be just a little bit someone else. The thing was, when I walked passed him, he gave me a long, thoughtful look. He looked me over, then shook his head and turned away. But I knew what it meant. I knew exactly what he was thinking. He had almost recognized me back!
      Now, almost-Garry almost recognizing me back made the whole situation much more complicated. My mind went haywire, trying to understand this, trying to figure out the underlying meaning. Was it possible for someone who was almost Garry but not quite, to recognize me but only slightly? Was it? And, if so, what was I to him exactly? Was I someone who looked like someone he knew? It was hard to say, but it was unlikely. All I knew for a fact was that I was someone who was known by someone he looked like, but who wasn't him. And, in fact, to be fair, he probably didn't even realize that he was almost Garry but not quite.
      Are you still following me?
      Probably not. Probably your brain isn't defective to the point of reasoning this way. Good for you. You're better off for it. So, let's back-track a little. Let's just assume that the easiest explanation is the correct one. It usually is. And if it isn't, it should be. Really. Life is hard enough already.
      So, I almost recognized Garry, and almost-Garry almost recognized me (that look was unmistakable).  This must mean that there is another Graham-and-Gary combo out there. This almost-Gary actually knows an almost-Graham. And this idea has big implications. As you know, and understand inherently in the core of your being, the universe is nothing if not a little fractally-inclined. Recursion-mad. If there are two sets, there must be more. There are probably thousands. Thousands of Graham-and-Gary combos. And this, of course, is upsetting. Because the first question that comes to my mind is, what if some of them are better at being a Graham and Gary combo? In fact; what if most of them are better? What if my friend Gary and I are in fact the worst of the bunch?
      So, to summarize, I did ask almost-James Cameron for his autograph. Of course I did. I'm no fool. So, if you're interested in almost-autographs, check out my store on eBay. You won't be disappointed!"

Please feel free to leave comments for Graham Parke - as I said, he will be checking this post to comment to all my fantastic followers!  Happy Reading and have a great day!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: Foresight (The Gods of Fate - Book 1) by Sherry D. Ficklin

The Gods of Fate: Book 1: Foresight by Sherry D. Ficklin

Amazon Product Description:
All Grace Archer wants is to graduate from high school and get on with her life. But the Gods of Fate have other ideas. Attacked at graduation by a mysterious woman with gruesome henchmen, Grace is lucky to escape with her life. Rescued by a Fae warrior named Chris and her Aunt Phoenix, Grace learns that her mother was the Greek Goddess Pandora. Now Grace must protect her mother's urn from the crazed demi-goddess Lilith, who is determined to unleash its horrors on an unsuspecting Earth. As if her blood legacy is not bizarre enough, Grace begins to develop frightening powers that threaten to destroy her from the inside out. Can Grace find the strength to defeat Lilith? Can she learn to control her powers before she loses her mind? [The Gods of Fate - Book I | Young Adult Fantasy released in 2010 by Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. | Available in paperback, hardback, and eBook]

My thoughts: 
I loved this story!  I was hooked from the start.  It's an "I don't want to put it down until the end, I can sleep tomorrow!" kind of book that leaves you looking for the sequel so you can spend more time with the characters.  If you haven't read this one - GO GET IT! 

Sherry Ficklin created fantastic characters.  Phoenix is the woman we all want to be, Chris is the man we all want to love, and Grace is that teenager that possesses all the fire we want our kids to have!  Lilith is the bad guy we all love to hate and her minions are the kind of blind evil who’s death’s we wait for and cheer about!  I was thrilled with the addition of the gods and the personalities that each one has, Hermes is a stitch!  There are too many characters to talk about them all.   So, instead of telling you more about each great character, let me just say that she builds characters that are easy to invest in.  She puts these incredible characters into wonderfully descriptive settings with details that make both the human world and the Fae world come alive for the reader.  

I can't wait for book two, I wish it was already out so I didn't have to wait!  I am excited that there will be a book three as well, because then I know I have a chance to get to know more of the characters than I have already gotten to meet.  

My favorite quote:  
"It takes no courage  at all to do the easy thing. It takes a great deal to do the right thing." 

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's Friday!!!

Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View!
This week’s question is from:
Dreaming Button Image
Dreaming About Other Worlds
If  you are a fan of Science Fiction what is your favorite book? If you haven't read Science Fiction before...any inkling to? Anything catch your eye?
I LOVE D.J. MacHale's series Pendragon!  I love all the books in that series.  It is one of the few YA Sci-Fi series that I have come across!  You should go check them out if you can!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So Many Followers!

I have so many followers now!  I am so shocked!  I never thought I would find myself with so many! 
With that in mind - I am having a giveaway!  To show you wonderful followers how thankful I am that you take the time to read what I have to say on occasion!

So - here are the rules:  
1. You MUST be a follower - after all it is for my followers! 
(Book Depository MUST ship free to your country)
2. You must be 13 or older.
3. You must fill out this form!  Comments are great, but not necessary to enter.
That's it - - Thanks and good luck.

The Prize: ONE book - up to $20.00 from Book Depository!
Contest ends March 1, 2011 (winner announced by 3/4/11)

There will be one winner who will be chosen by This giveaway is international as long as the book depository does free shipping to your country. Please note that if you are a winner and you live in the US I reserve the right to order the books from a store of my choosing. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Banned Books Presentation for my school - -

Hey - I am working on a presentation for one of the high school classes at my school.  The teacher has asked me to present to and lead a class discussion on banned books.  This is a video blog (vlog) in which author John Greene talks about his book and book banning.

Review: Legacy (Ganzfield Book 3) by Kate Kaynak

Legacy by Kate Kaynak

Amazon Product Description:
Maddie has more problems than the average seventeen-year-old: A psychotic killer with superpowers wants her dead. A serious medical issue makes a normal life impossible for her. And she's about to be introduced to Trevor's grandparents. Guess which one freaks her out the most? The Ganzfield series continues in this third installment.

My thoughts:

I want to start by saying, I LOVE Kate Kaynak's books!!!  I can't say enough good things about this series!!!
The format is fantastic - I completely enjoy the way the book looks and feels! (Okay, a little geeky, but some of you have to be with me on this). The cover is super shiny, the cover pic is intriguing, and the pages....the pages are super white with crisp bold print.  The font appears larger than the average paperback, making the story all but jump off the page!  The book size lends itself to easy handling.

Legacy is the third Ganzfield novel and it begins (as does book 2) with a recap!  The first few pages are dedicated to giving the reader the basics - the important information that you need in order to refresh your memory and to enable you to get back up to speed with the story and the characters.  The recap is broken down into sections built to give you the information quickly.  I find this addition to the books to be paramount!  It is thoughtful, insightful, and clever of the author.  I believe it shows how attentive she is to the reader.  I enjoyed both the first two books, but was grateful for the recap as it gave me enough information to enable me to recall the whole story even though it had been a time since reading them.

Legacy, like Minder and Adversary, was a fast read!  I found myself not wanting to put it down.  The characters are well thought out and superbly created!  The story itself is amazing.  Kate Kaynak has put together a story that appeals to so many kinds of readers.  It is imaginative, clever, creative, and entertaining.  It is a thriller, romance, paranormal, suspense, fantasy.  This book will grab you and not let go!!!  

Follower Love Giveaway Winner!!!

The Winner - chosen by is #32
Congrats Stacy Juba!
Thanks to all who entered!  Love getting Love!!!  
Stacy your book will be on it's way to you in Monday's post from MN!

Oh - and while we are talking about Follower Love, I want to shout out a BIG 
"Happy Valentine's Day!" to all of mine!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Holy Buckets! I have almost 500 Followers!!!

I can't believe I have 499 followers!  I never thought I would get 49 followers!  This is so awesome! Stop on back because once I get beyond 500 - I am having a giveaway!  Book Depository here we come!
Happy Reading - Happy Blogging - Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Follower Love Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the February Follower Love Giveaway Hop!  As you can see it runs from 2/8 until 2/13!
You can get to the hop linky here. I am #165 on the list - - The Book Faery is next!
I love hops, but time is something we all seem to never have enough of 
- so I will make this as simple as possible:
The Prize ~ Betrayed by PC Cast & Kristin Cast
The Rules:  
1. Must be 13 or older
2. Must be a follower
3. Must be domestic US to win (sorry)
4. Must fill out form.

Click Here to fill out the form!

St. Patricks Day Hop March 17th to 20th - Co-hosted by Cindy from Books Complete Me
Fool For Books 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 - SIGN UPS open February 8th.
May Hop Co-Hosted by Heather from Buried in Books
Splash Into Summer Hop May 25th to 31st Co-hosted by Page Turners
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 - Co-hosted by Mary from Bookhounds & Forever Young (adult)
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

Monday, February 7, 2011

48 Hour Read-a-Thon!!!

Okay - so I had HUGE hopes for my weekend!  I always seem to forget that life still goes on even if I want to spend my time reading!  I had hoped to read a stack of books - I only got to read a few:
I finished 
Blameless by Gail Carriger and 
American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout 
just before the read-a-thon started 
and I read four books over the weekend.
Lace & Leather and The Beholder by Leanore Elliott (both novellas)
Scourge by David H. Burton and Danann Frost Falls From Grace by Joanne Valiukas

Thursday, February 3, 2011

48 Hour Read-a-Thon!!!

Whitney at She Is Too Fond Of Books is hosting a read-a-thon for those of  us who don't plan to spend this weekend watching football and/or working!  I am THRILLED - mostly because I don't have to work and I don't plan to watch the game - so I GET TO READ!!!  This read-a-thon is the perfect reason to plant myself on the couch and read a lot of books - - - ALL WEEKEND!!!
I plan to read:
Blameless by Gail Carriger (have just started it)
Scourge by David H. Burton
Foresight by Sherry D. Ficklin
American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout
Reaper by Rachel Vincent
Dead Man's Eye by Shaun Jeffrey
Spiral X by J.J. Westendarp
and two novellas by Bonnie Elliott
Leather & Lace and The Beholder
(It may seem like a lot of books, but I truly don't plan to leave the couch for much!)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

End of January - - Monthly Wrap-Up!

"That's a Wrap!" - - January Wrap Up!

This is my first "That's a wrap!" of 2011 - I am hoping to get this done each month so I have an idea of where I am with all my challenges and make sure that I have everything in order!  So...with that in is what I have been reading so far in 2011.

  1. Alpha by Rachel Vincent - read and reviewed
  2. Marked by PC Case - read and reviewed
  3. Dragon Blood: Dragon Cowboy - read - not reviewing
  4. Dragon Blood: The Girl Who Breathed Fire - read not reviewing
  5. The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin - read - review to come (closer to pub date)
  6. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand - read and reviewed
  7. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa - read and reviewed
  8. Legacy by Kate Kaynak - read and reviewed
  9. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton - read - review to come
  10. Pack Challenge: Magnus Pack Book 1 by Shelly Laurenston - read - review to come
  11. Eternity Embraced by Larissa Ione - read - review to come
  12. Don't Blink by James Patterson - read - review to come
  13. Blameless by Gail Carriger - - currently reading
  14. Scourge by David H. Burton - - currently reading
Plan to read in February:  Foresight by Sherry D. Ficklin, American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout, Dead Man's Eye by Shaun Jeffrey, Spiral X by J.J. Westendarp, Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon, The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead, Reaper by Rachel Vincent, Danann Frost Falls from Grace by Joann Valuikas, Leather & Lace by Bonnie Elliott, The Beholder by Bonnie Elliott, and Betrayed by PC Cast.  

Of course I also have to finish the two I am currently reading.  Perhaps I will sleep in March.  Hope you had a great January - enjoy February too!