Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight books we are eagerly awaiting.  I decided to join this time because there is a whole plile of novels that I'm excited to get a hold of....can't wait to read them.

Below are two that are currently out, but that I haven't gotten the chance to read yet.

I have no idea why I missed the release of this one. I love.....LOVE....Ms. Marillier's writing style. I've been twitterpated with the Sevenwater's clan since the first time I read Daughter of the Forest years ago.  This one has been requested from the library. I wish I could own it, but my wallet doesn't agree with me on that one....right now.

Arch Enemy (Part of the Looking Glass Wars) by Frank Beddor
Published by Penguin
October 2009

Yet another that has been out for a while. Only this one I didn't miss...I just haven't read it yet. It's sitting there on my self surrounded by the other Looking Glass books waiting for it's turn at the top of the TBR pile (which is coming soon btw!).

What are you waiting for?


Title: Ghostland
Author: Jory Strong
Genre: Urban fantasy, paranormal, romance
Source: Borrowed from Pat as part of her new Borrow My Books Tour ~ Part 1

I have been on the look out for this book for a while now. The plot line just intrigued me.  (From the author's website) In a post-Apocalyptic world where supernaturals have emerged from hiding, wealthy humans delight in decadence while the religious gain power through temptation. For the masses, fear reigns from birth to death, and the afterlife holds beings that only the bravest can summon—or dare to desire…

In other words...not only are we dealing with a post-apocolyptic society and all the foibles therein, but we now have a large gaping whole between the classes, and all those paranormal things we've been afraid of turn out to be true. Awesome! That is why I was looking forward to this book.......well that and the cover. OHmygoshdidyouseethecover!?! Pure, beautiful awesomeness.

What I liked:

1. The main character, Aisling, is a brave, strong girl who is doing her best to get through the situations she's been put in, save lives, and save her family. She adjusts easily to new situations, but for the most part doesn't let them overtake her. That being said she's willing to dive head first into any problem.

2. The male lead, Zurael, is a demon. I like him because he walks a strange line between being the alpha male and being completely taken with her. 

3. The ferret! More leading ladies need a magical pet/friend of some kind and it is wholly appropriate for Aisling's to be a ferret.....this time. 

4. Seriously hot sex scenes. I wasn't expecting these. I don't know why, but I just wasn't. Yes, in some cases they were a bit gratuitous, but they didn't interrupt the flow of the story. Actually, I'd be willing to say they added to it by further backing up the growing relationship between Aisling and  Zurael. Oh and btw....hot! 

What I didn't like:

1. The whole story/mystery part gets wrapped up to neatly and too quickly at the end. There was a lot of build up, a lot of obstacles to overcome, and then *poof* things just get wrapped up. It's a bit hard to believe even when all the tangles are clearly undone. 

2. Gratuitous sex scenes.  There were only a couple of times where I felt that the characters were edging towards this. Specifically with Zurael. Demon boy can't keep it in his pants. It appears that when he's apart from Aisling (as in worlds away) he's fine and capable of thoughts, but anywhere near her (i.e. her world) he's a raging ball of D/s hard-ons.  I won't go into a lot of detail, but it did get a bit tiring to hear about him wanting to bend her over the counter again and again and again.

Overall, I'm still extremely happy that I had the chance to read this book. I loved it. Devoured it. I'm currently adding Ms. Strong's other books to my TBR list. 


The last of the candy - Sookie Stackhouse

What did you do over Christmas? I read. Between my SIL and I both reading (see devouring) the Sookie Stackhouse novels and some pending library due dates, I had to quick get finished with the books that were hanging around the house or risk not getting to read them for several more months.

Title: All Together Dead ~ Southern Vampire Series Book 7
Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Mystery
Source: Library

This is the one I accidently skipped. I'm glad I read it though. It filled in the blanks on a couple of spots and gave some nice juicy details about Sookie's relationships with both Eric and Quinn. I'm sad to see that Alcide disappeared so quickly, at least out of the relationship game, but oohh wee! Things sure are getting hot with Eric.....and then you throw Quinn into the mix. Makes a girl wanna purr!

Title: Dead and Gone ~ Southern Vampire Series Book 8 (Most Current)
Soure: Library

This one was great, caught me right up into the action, and now I'm a bit sad and disappointed that I'll have to wait until May 2010 for the next installment.  Eric's up to his "I play with words and don't tell whole truths, but you will still do as I say because I'm all powerful and you love me" tricks.  But things sure are steaming up between him and Sook. Sookie's great-grandfather Niall is playing a major role in her life...and leaves her with a mysterious thought, "The vampire loves you and is a good guy." That's not a direct quote but it's the right thought. All I can add......please please please Ms. Harris and her novel writing muses, please let it be Eric that he's talking about. Yeah, yeah, I know Bill's stable and homey and in his own quiet way he really does love Sookie....but so does Eric. And he's much more desirable to play opposite her in the long run.

Title: A Touch of Dead (Short Stories from within the Sookie Stackhouse universe)
Source: Library

This is a collection of short stories, some have to do with situations alluded to in the novels and some are just side situations. Most have to do with minor characters - giving them an opportunity to take center stage.  It's a quick, easy read, but only a few have the same magical story-telling touch that is part of the novels.  Worth reading for fans, but not the place to start if you haven't read the series yet.

Overall: I can't believe I have to wait until May!  Luckily my secret santa gifted me with the first two...I can read them any time now! Plus, my Sookie Stackhouse reading challenge is now complete! (I'll fix the side bar later...sleep now.)

Merry Christmas!

I made it! A house full of my husband's family (mine live too far away to do the house-filling gathering thing), music, food, Christmas traditions out the wazoo, and in the midst of it all I was finally able to open my Book Blogger Holiday Swap and Secret Santa gifts!

My Santas gave me awesome loot!

On the left is the gift from a lovely gifter as part of the Secret Santa. They gave me the first two Sookie Stackhouse books (Squee!), a whole pile of book marks, and an additional gift of a magical expanding washcloth. I haven't tried it yet....my husband wants to see it expand too!  

(I have no idea who you are.....will you tell me?)

The right is from Susan as part of the Book Blogger Holiday Swap.  She gave me a beautiful set of stationary cards, and glammed-out pen to write on those pretty cards. There was also a Santa postcard ornament and a set of joyful magnets. The ornament went up right away and the magnets are already making a home on our fridge!

(The name and address were smeared on the package. I can only make out Susan  from Escondido, CA.  Would you tell me if this was you?)

Thank you!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Fall Into Reading Wrap-up

The time has come for this challenge to come to a close. I'm a bit unsure of the outcome of my challenge.  When I posted my original reading list it looked something like this:

From the library:
1. Blood From Stone ~ Laura Anne Gilman
2. Dead If I Do ~ Tate Hallaway
3. Fragile ~ Shiloh Walker
4. Lords of Desire ~ Virgina Henley, Sally MacKenzie, Victoria Dahl, Kristi Astor
5. Would-Be Witch ~ Kimberly Frost
6. A Drop of Red ~ Chris Marie Green
7. Over My Dead Body ~ Michelle Bardsley

From my shelves:
8. Prom Nights From Hell ~ Meg Cabot, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe, Stephanie Meyer, Lauren Myracle
9. My Soul To Take ~ Rachel Vincent
10. Intertwined ~ Gena Showalter

For book clubs:
11. Never Cry Werewolf ~ Heather Davis (Blogs With Bite)
12. The Postmistress ~ Sarah Blake (Barnes and Noble First Look Club) DNF
Notice that some are crossed out, others aren't. I ran into a bit of a snag. I just kept finding more and more books that just had to be read. Some were replaced. Then others were replaced. Eventually the library called all the books back. I had to find more.  Here's were the conflict comes in. I did read 12 books. In fact, I read over twelve books in the challenge time...I read 20. Well, more like 19.5 ~ I didn't finish one of the books.

So here's the question: Does the fact that I read 19.5 books count as my completing this challenge? Does it count even though I didn't read all of the original 12 books on the list?

I think I'm going to count this as a draw. Completed but not perfect. Sound good?


I saw today's reading challenge over at Bookworming in the 21st Century. I couldn't resist it! I'm not joining in the official challenge, but just had to join in.

For this challenge all I have to do is:

1 - Pick up the book you are currently reading.

2 - Since it is December 22nd, turn to page 22 in your book.

3 - Count down to the 22nd line on the page. (If there is a partial word on the line you can leave it off.)

4 - Post a picture of your book cover along with the 22nd line from the 22nd page on your blog.
My line:
                   "They were on the cusp of the present."



More Sookie!

Title: Dead As A Doornail ~ Southern Vampire Series Book 5
Author: Charlaiine Harris
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Library

This one is just a treat to read! Our darling Sookie has to deal with her brother changing, a real-life fairy godmother, Alcide using her ability as a psycic lie detector, and let's not forget about the new Pirate vampire.

That's right. You heard me.  Pirates and faeries! Bill is still on the outs, but takes every opportunity to try to kiss up to Sookie. Fangtasia has a new bartender who likes to buckle his swashes. Jason going through some changes. And oh yeah the Were world is in upheaval. I liked this one quite a bit, though I am a bit disappointed that Alcide is shaping up to be just as self-centered as Bill. *sigh* I am not disappointed that Sookie is still not giving him the time of day.

Title: Definitely Dead ~ Southern Vampire Series Book 6
Source: library

Hey, there's a tiger in this one! Ooops, I gave it away. Not really, I think the cover does that anyway. So Sookie has a whole host of guys....undead, were, and shifter falling for her. It's a bit frustrating that just by being Sookie she seems to be able to get every hot guy interested in her. Not just "hey, she's a looker" interested, but willing to take bullets and or die for her interested. The only thing that seems to be keeping this series from devolving into something akin to the Anita Blake series (ya know....less plot more sex) is that Sookie seems to be a one guy girl. She may have a whole bunch of ex's just waiting to help her out of trouble, but when she commits to one she commits.

Title: From Dead To Worse ~ Southern Vampire Series Book 8
Source: Library

Umm, yeah, not sure how I got out of order without noticing, but I did. There were a few moments right at the beginning where I thought that perhaps I'd missed something. There were references to wars that I'd only seen the beginning of ...which were now over. They should have been a sign I was actually out of order. On the flip side, the story was so engaging that nagging doubts only lasted a minute and then I was swept up into Sookie's world again. I think that's a testament to good story telling that information can be missing, but I still want to keep going and figure out what's happening next.  A lot happens in this novel, but in my opinion the most important thing to was meeting Sookie's great grandfather.....Niall the Fairy. Squee!

**All novels were read as part of the Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge.**

A Highlander Christmas

Title: A Highlander Christmas
Author: Janet Chapman
Genre: Romance, Paranormal-ish
Source: From Publisher with intent of my participation in the book blog tour - book is mine to keep.

When it comes to romances, my escape from traditional (see vampire, witches, were-whatevers) paranormal stories is stories about Highlanders. There is something about alpha males in kilts that does it for me. Now, through in a bit of magic and possibly some time-traveling and I'm a devoted fan for life! I blame Karen Marie Moning for this. She created the first time-traveling, magic wielding, Highlander series I fell in love with. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Ms. Chapman's book also dealt with those delicious, magical, Scots.

From the Publisher:
Camry MacKeage has absolutely no intention of telling her parents that she left her job as a NASA physicist for the small-town life of a dog-sitter -- which is why she's spending the holidays alone in coastal Maine with her furry friends Tigger and Max. Unfortunately, her irresistibly handsome rival, scientist Luke Pascal, accidentally spilled the beans. Now he's on a mission from her mother to tempt Camry home for the family's annual winter solstice celebration. But Luke is hiding his own secret, and he'll need a little bit of magic to earn Camry's trust...and a whole lot of mistletoe to seduce his way into her heart.

This novel takes place somewhere in the middle of Janet Chapman's Highlander series and while it doesn't have a whole heck of a lot to do with Alpha-male Scotsmen, it does have more than a touch of magic and quite a bit of time-traveling. 

What I liked:

1. Even though it is smack in the middle of the series I was able to understand and follow everything that is going on. Yes, there are some references to people and happenings that occured previously, but they are explained as much as necessary within the story. This really is a series novel that is also stand alone.

2. The alpha-male Highlander is still lurking in the background, but he generously gives up this story to his daughter and her nerdy scientist hero....and their dogs.  The bits and pieces of the Highlander's story that were mentioned within this book added to the feeling of completeness and left me wanting to find out more about this family.

What I didn't like:

1. There is very little on the cover or in the blurb that would lead a first time reader into guessing that this was part of a time-traveling, magic using, Highlander series. In fact, I had no idea until my husband and I did some internet researching (see: we googled).  As a reader who is terrible about judging books based on their cover matter....I wouldn't have guessed it was anything along those lines. But, now that I know it isn't anything to worry about.  Does that make this an invalid dislike?

Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The main characters are satisfying and still defiant enough that they will continue to grow through other books. If you're looking for a sweet Christmas timed romance this one would be perfect!

Thank you Sarah Reidy and Pocket Books, for the opportunity to read this novel!

Pocket Book Tour Participants - a.k.a. other places to read about this book:

Books Reviews by Buuklvr81: http://www.buuklvr81.blogspot.com
I Read: http://sumanam.wordpress.com/
Seductive Musings: http://seductivemusings.blogspot.com/
What Book Is That: http://whatbookisthat.blogspot.com/
My Five Monkeys: http://www.tableforseven-julie.blogspot.com/
Rundpinne: http://www.rundpinne.blogspot.com/
My Overstuffed Bookshelf: http://myoverstuffedbookshelf.blogspot.com/
Book Junkie: http://myfoolishwisdom.blogspot.com/
Just Another New Blog: http://justanothernewblog.blogspot.com/
Drey’s Library: http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/
My Book Addiction and More: www.mybookaddictionandmore.wordpress.com
My Reading Room: http://myreadingroom-crystal.blogspot.com
Frugal Plus: http://frugalplus.com/
Book Magic: http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/
The Bibliophilic Book Blog: http://www.bibliophilicbookblog.com/
All About {n}: http://www.bookwormygirl.blogspot.com/
Psychotic State: http://www.psychoticstate.blogspot.com/
That’s a Novel Idea: http://thatsanovelidea.blogspot.com/
Brizmus Blogs About Books: http://brizmusblogsbooks.blogspot.com/
Found Not Lost: http://jmomfinds.amoores.com/
Wendy’s Minding Spot: http://mindingspot.blogspot.com/
Pam’s Personal Reflections: http://hip2bhomeschooling.blogspot.com/
A Book Bloggers Diary: http://abookbloggersdiary.blogspot.com/
MetroReader: http://metroreader.blogspot.com/
I Heart Book Gossip: http://juniperrbreeeze.blogspot.com/
Jen’s Book Talk: http://jensbooktalk.blogspot.com/
The Princess and the Monkey: http://kennedyandzach.blogspot.com/
Marta’s Meanderings: http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com/
Readaholic: http://bridget3420.blogspot.com/
Angela R. Simmons’s Blog: http://bookblogs.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2xqn4gl4wjnvi
Broken Teepee: http://www.brokenteepee.blogspot.com/
Books, Books Everywhere: http://bookbookseverywhere.blogspot.com/
Books, Books, The Magical Fruit: http://booksbooksthemagicalfruit.blogspot.com/
Find the Time to Read: http://www.findthetimetoread.blogspot.com/
Libby’s Library News: http://www.libslibrary.blogspot.com/
Reading at the Beach: http://ilratb.blogspot.com/
Book Soulmates: http://booksoulmates.blogspot.com/

Secret Santa Update

I've sent and received the gifts for both of the Secret Santa type exchanges. I'm trying very.....very hard to be a good girl and leave the gifts alone until Christmas. It's so hard to resist!

I'm also feeling a bit like a schmo. I didn't gift wrap my presents. I did include a nice card, but I just slid the gifts into their packing envelopes and called it good. Oddly, it didn't occur to me that generally Christmas gifts come wrapped, so therefore these probably should have been as well. I'm a terrible Santa. Hopefully, the gifts make up for the lack of wrapping!


I know that normally the "In My Mailbox" meme is on Mondays, but I just had to share what arrived today.


I love these books!  I fell into deep adoration of Kate DiCamillo's writing style when I first read Tale of Despereaux....several years ago when I was doing my student teaching. I'm so excited to have won copies of all three of these! Thank you Ely!

Heat Wave

Title: Heat Wave: A Nikki Heat Novel
Author: Richard Castle
Genre: Mystery, Crime Thriller, TV Tie-in
Source: Library

That's right folks, I'm such a fan girl of Nathan Fillion and his newest t.v. show Castle, that I borrowed the book his character wrote during the first season of the show.  And I enjoyed it! It is almost exactly like reading an episode of Castle, which was a bit surprising. For some reason I was under the impression that this was a crime novel that just happened to have a detective based off Beckett. Instead, it's the crime / detective part of the Castle show. Don't get me wrong, there is a crime to solve and a lot of detective work. It is also paired with familiar characters and a sexy scene that got me thinking about Nathan Fillion...err....Castle naked.

Overall: It's a quick, easy read that will be lots of fun for Castle / Fillion fans.

Ballad ~ BWB Review

Title: Ballad
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Library

What's a guy to do? What's a guy who can see and hear faeries supposed to do.....especially now that Death is calling? He has to choose to save only one of the girls he loves.

Doesn't that sound exciting? I bought into that plot synopsis from the get go. Coupled with reviews saying things like "great stand alone sequel" and the awesome cover, I thought I was going to fall over heels in love with this novel.  Normally, it is right up my alley.  However,  I'm now stuck trying to write a review of a book that I'm not sure how to review.
See, I want to know these characters. I want to care about their plight and find it interesting, but for some reason I don't.  Maybe I'm missing character building information that was probably given in the first book? Maybe I'm just being a brain dead reader and wanting the author to spoon feed me details? Or maybe I'm just not in a reading mood? Whatever the reason, it's not working for me. (I'll have to get ahold of Lament and start over...maybe that will work?)

Blog With Bite Discussion Questions
  1. James is a flawed and heart broken character, do you find his mental peculiarities charming or annoying? Please do explain    I do find them charming. They are a piece of him and he is doing what he can to remember the things he needs to survive.  Like everyone else's quirks they could become annoying ...what if you had something you really needed him to remember and then he took a shower? The writing would be gone.  But overall, they are enduring.
  2. What did you think of James and Dee's kiss? This being a pivotal moment for their relationship, how do you think it changed James?  I believe this is the point where he gets direct confirmation about his attraction or unknown lack to Dee.
  3. Whom do you prefer Dee or Nuala? Ummm, yeah. Seeing as I just couldn't get into the book, I don't feel it's fair to answer this.
  4. What's your verdict on the best way to read Ballad?  Is it a stand alone book or do you need to read Lament first?  If you read Lament, what did it add/not add to Ballad?  If you haven't read Lament, do you think it would have added to your reading of Ballad? I definitely don't think that this is a stand alone novel. I have lots of hope that reading Lament first would have helped me to enjoy this story. I'm willing to add it to my reading list and give this one another go, too.
  5. We've been reading a lot of stories with fairies as the central paranormal creatures.  What are your thoughts on the "Fair Folk".  Do you believe in faires? I do believe in faeries. They are beautiful, tricky, wonderful, terrible folk who occasionally crash into humanity.

Kick Ass Blog

Natalie over at Mindful Musings gave me the rockin' award. Thanks, sweetie!

Here are the rules:
  • To play you must be awarded this blog button by someone. Accept the badge, stick it on your blog- then post about it. 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 =)

1. Patricia @ Peace Love & Pat
2. Rachy @ Parajunkee's View
5. Nely @ All About {n}

I hope you all think this is as awesome as I do!

2nd Anniversary!

Teel and I have been married two years!
We've been together for three!

Last year, for my birthday, Teel gave me a wonderful book ~ Six Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak.  Based on Hemingway's famous six word story, these are stories from celebrities and everyday people on the topic of love. Here are a few of my favorites:

Love plus laughter: happily ever after.  ~ Dan Goggin
Offered my heart; he embraced it. ~ Sue Kimber
Kissed many frogs. Finally found prince. ~Lacie Cannon
He always stirs my chocolate milk ~ Sarah Thornburg

And my turn:

Midnight cuddles to show his love.
He promised me 100 years married.

Here's hoping for another 98 wonderful years! (at least! )

NaNoWriMo ~ NaNoReadMo Wrap Up

Do you know what day it is? It's November 30th.

That means your nanowrimo novels are almost due. Hopefully, you accomplished your writing goals. This is also the cut off for nanoreadmo. Did you participate? How'd your read challenge list go?

Personally, I achieved my goal.........just barely! Thanks to the wonderful brain candy Sookie Stackhouse novels. Without them I wouldn't have made it. But I'll take them. I set my goal at 5 and I made 5.5!

1/2. Finished second half of Intertwined
1. Dead if I Do
2. Queene of Light
3. Dead Until Dark
4. Club Dead
5. Dead to the World


Also, if you're interested in what happens after NaNoWriMo, here is a list of nano novels that have been published. Now would be a great time to check out some of these authors!

Sookie Stackhouse or Southern Vampires or Brain Candy

I mentioned earlier (see last post) that I'd found a new form of brain candy. I had taken an obsessive jump into the Sookie Stackhouse series. I should have posted this right after that, but Thanksgiving and family took over, so book reviews were slid onto the back burner for  a bit.

Title: Living Dead in Dallas ~ Book 1 of the Southern Vampire series

I read this one quite a while ago. Had a great time with it, loved the light and fluffy tone it had, but couldn't get the others from the library....it was too popular and the wait line was so long I forgot for a while that I wanted them. Book one introduces us to Sookie and her world...the small southern town of Bon Temps. This town is chalk full of interesting characters, some of whom are also paranormals - vampires and shapeshifters. Sookie herself is an outcast for her special mind reading abilities.

Title: Dead Until Dark ~ Book 2 of the Southern Vampire series

This one was a bit different. I had read this one previously, but decided to reread as a review and to get my brain back into thinking about the series as books. You see, somewhere between the time I first read books one and two, I watched the first couple seasons of True Blood. Love it! But wow, talk about chopping up story lines and combining them in new and interesting ways. I spent most of my review time making mental comparisons between the books and the tv series. Book two leads into the key set-up for most of these books. Every story line is going to have a twist. There will be some huge thing that needs to be overcome, and in the process it may twist Sookie's world into a knot. Honestly, I don't remember if the Manead is in this one or if this is the book where Sookie faces off against the Fellowship of the Sun. One and two went so fast they have sort of mushed together in my brain to make one continual story. I still had fun reading it and it definitely got me back into the right mind set for the other books.

Title: Club Dead ~ Book 3 of the Southern Vampire series

Book three leads us into a place we haven't been before with Sookie. Willing romance with a shape shifter. Bill and Sookie are on the outs and through a series of events and requirements a la the vamps Sookie teams up with a werewolf Alcide. He's awesome! Romantic, sweet, honorable, and reliable. I love Alcide! Normally, I'm all for the vampires, but in this one it's Alcide all the way! I really hope there is a way for Alcide to play a large part in the tv series too!

Title: Dead to the World ~ Book 4 of the Southern Vampire series

I'm having a love / hate feeling about this novel. On the love side, this one is all about Eric. He is the vampire, in this series, that does it for me. So much more than Bill. Bill is too broody and posessive.  On the hate side, even though this novel is about Eric it isn't the true Eric. He's under a spell which is causing amnesia. This Eric is sweet and caring, but not the playboy that Eric traditionally is. I'm happy to have an Eric novel, but dislike that it has to happen by amnesia.  Amnesia always just feels like a cop-out to me. It leads to all sorts of dilemmas and arguements along the lines of "Is this Eric's true nature?" or "Does he remember anything that has happened?" and "Will he ever let on if he does?" In all it is frustrating and either a really good way to keep them entangled or it's a really bad way to get them together temporarily.

Overall:  Love this series! There is really no way to compare the book series to the tv series. They are two parts of the same whole...the characters you know and love from the books in a new and wonderful way.  These are quick reads full of fun, paranormals, and just a touch of intrigue. Yummy!

*All novels are by Charlaine Harris, of the paranormal romance genre, and were checked out from the library.*

** I read all four as part of the Sookie Stackhouse challenge.**

Brain Candy!

I'm a wee bit obsessed. Just a tad....and I blame the brain candy.  No, I haven't gone on a candy-eating-sugar-high binge...though, doesn't this candy bouquet look just plain ole delicious? I'm talking about those books that are like candy for your brain....fun, fulfilling, a few juicy bits, and not a lot of work. These are the books you turn to when you need a break. This isn't "I have to" reading...it is "I want to " reading.

I recently discovered that the Sookie Stackhouse novels are great for this. They are my brain candy! I've been devouring them. I spent the weekend rereading book two and smashing my way through book three. Two books in two days and I was hard pressed to be torn away from them. In fact, I was excited when my husband's nap carried over into bed-time because I could read uninterrupted and be a good wife....what with the being quiet and letting him sleep 'n all.

I love books like this. Brain candy novels are the reason I started feeding my romance addiction in the first place. Romance novels (and later paranormal romances) got me through some of the hardest times in my life. They also kept me sane during the busiest times. They are always available and safe. I know what I'm getting each time I pick up one, but knowing doesn't make it boring. It is very much like a comfort food or favorite movie.....exactly perfect whenever you want it.

I haven't quiet figured out all the ins and outs of the Sookie novels, but that's just fine. They are a new juicy flavor and I'm craving them!

What's your flavor of brain candy?

BWB Review - Queene of Light

Title: Queene of Light (A Lightworld / Darkworld Novel)
Author: Jennifer Armintrout
Genre: Sci-Fi (according to library classification), Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Source: Library

This is not your run-of-the-mill fairy story. Lately, there has been a plethora of novels where the fae are coming to or intermixing with the human world. This story is set in a much darker time and place where humans and fae, of all kinds, have separated and taken to different areas...including underground.  This setting takes the reader out of a well-known and comfortable world and smacks them immediately into an experience where they are unknowing and on edge. I loved it immediately!

What I liked:

1. The setting. The immediate plunge into a world underground where the traditional rules I know don't apply set me immediately on edge. Normally, this would be considered a bad thing, except in this case it made it easier for me to identify with the characters. Malachi is confused and lost in a world not his own, and Ayla (for some reason I have flashes of Clan of the Cavebear when I hear this name...but that's a different thing) is out-of-place and not truely comfortable in her own skin and world. Being on edge is the way to be.

2. Malachi's love and trust of /for Ayla. He has every right to not trust her. His quick change of heart could be seen as too simple or naive, but to me it's sweet. He does struggle for a bit deciding whether to kill her or kiss her, but luckily love wins out.

3. Maab. She is portrayed as self-ish and cruel, but also intelligent. She is the perfect foil for actions in this world and her court.

What I didn't like:

1. Not much is given as to the whys of the world splitting and changing the way that it did. I'm sure that it is just a weighty story in it's own right....and that's not this story, but I'd like to have a bit more of it.

Overall: I'm in love with the story! I'm excited to get my hands on the next two books in the series: Child of Darkness and Veil of Shadows.  If you have any interest in fairy politics....and a good love story...this is one for you.

Discussion Questions And Possible Spoilers 
(Don't continue reading if you don't want things ruined for you.)

#1 Did you have an understanding of the world created by this novel, or did you find the complexity too much? It seemed like a lot of the world was based on well established information we already have about the Fairy Court, Queen Maab, and such. However, I do wish we (readers) had been given more information concerning what happened to the world previously to get us to where we currently are.

#2 In a book that it appears many have trouble liking, what is one thing that you like about this book? I liked quite a bit about this book actually. One of the most interesting things is something I didn't speak about in my review (not wanting to give spoilers and all that). I find it very interesting that Ayla, a being that is half-fairy and half-human, is the catalyst for the changes to come between the worlds. Her coupling with Malachi, a Darkworlder a.k.a. different race, will produce the ruler that unites the worlds......or so I think. Plus, that fits perfectly into the mythology in the book about who will unite the races.

#3 Did you agree with the author’s decision to make Ayla a fierce assassin in battle and a weakling in her emotions? For example her obvious contempt for Garret but yet her willingness to be his mate and subject herself to his demeaning manor?   I'm torn here. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that someone so highly trained in battle and killing would either be able to close emotions off or not have a good grasp of their actual emotions. However, I don't like her interactions with Garret. It reads too much like a domestic violence situation....which I think it was supposed to

#4 What do you think the significance of the the baby Ayla carries is/will be? That baby is the savior of the races. She is the Fae with mixed blood that will unite them all.

#5 What do you think of Ayla's ascension to the throne? Do you believe she accepted her own destiny too easily?  I believe that she often did what she thought was expected of her. She wanted to be part of this society so she did what she needed to belong, which includes being an appropriate consort to the Queen's brother, and accepting the crown when it is thrust upon her.  I don't think it is necessarily easy
for her, but that she goes along be that's what she is expected to do.

Tha holidays are a comin'!

It's getting to be about that time of year. The Christmas music has started...and I've started avoiding stores. Not because I hate Christmas, but because I love it. I also have strong feelings about anything Christmas-y showing up before the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. That's the first social visit Santa makes and there shouldn't be any of this merchandizing the holiday until after his debut!


What was I saying? Oh, yeah. I love Christmas! The lights, the sounds, the smells, the general good moods, and the giving. I giving presents. I wish I had enough money that I could just give presents to people randomly, all the time. 

In this spirit of giving, I've joined two different Secret Santa / gift exchange thingys. I've made a wish list and am more than willing to open my book shelves to others.

http://holidayswap.wordpress.com/  (Open until 11/12 for joining.)

(Open until 11/15 for joining.)

There is still some time available. Dust off your Santa hat and get ready to share those lovely books!

Dead If I Do

Title: Dead If I Do
Author: Tate Hallaway
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Library

I had the strangest feeling while reading this book. I was positive that I knew these characters from somewhere, but as far as I could remember I'd never read any of these books. But then my memory is sometimes made of swiss cheese. About half way through this entertaining read I realized what was going on. Several years ago I'd read and owned one of the early books in the series. I loaned it to a friend and well it has never made it's way back to me. Not really a big deal, but not having the book nearby makes it easier to forget I've read it. Ya know what suddenly reminded me? Parrish. The main characters ex-boyfriend, Daniel Parrish. His name was memorable.

What I liked:

1. Things aren't so easily happy even if you happen to have magic and other paranormal goodies on your side. In this story life in the real world is just as easily swayed and changed as life among the paranormal.

2. Even though there are paranormal beings, and magic actually does exist in this world, it isn't everywhere. Most characters in this story don't know that vampires exist or that a Goddess can easily take shelter in someone's body.

3. The Wiccan rituals and discussions that occur are an interesting mix between very realistic and complete fantasy. It is easy to believe that the author may be writing Wicca because she knows it.

What I didn't like:

1. At times the paranormal community is too small - i.e. there are only two vampires in the whole area. While at other times it is crazy large - seriously the Vatican is sending witch hunters after you? There doesn't seem to be any easy middle.

2. The cover art just doesn't work for me. I understand it's highly stylized, but the rail thin, angular girl just doesn't mesh with the image of the character presented in the books. But then this is just a peeve of mine.

Overall, it was a fun read. I'm glad I gave this series another chance.

**Part of my Fall Into Reading challenge and NaNoReadMo challenge**


Title: Intertwined
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: I won this book several months ago in give away.

I'm bad at scheduling my reading. Just so you know. What does this have to do with the novel? Well, you see it sat on my shelves for months waiting to hop out of the to-be-read pile. Then I was supposed to read it as part of the Blogs With Bite book review, but I didn't start reading until the day the reviews were due. I had other books I wanted to finish. Plus with Halloween, and school, and yeah....busy. But finish it I did! Once I had time I was able to finish it easily. The story's title is a great description for how the various plot parts and character relationships connect. It was a fun and easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Things I liked:

1. The main character, Aden,  has learned to cope with the literal voices in his head. He's seen as crazy or a bad kid because of his strange abilities, but really....what teen ager doesn't feel that way sometimes?

2. I like that the main character is trying to be good. So often we are given "bad kid" books that paint the teen in a negative, never wanting to be or do better light. Not so with this one.

3. Loved his female counterpart! Mary Ann negates his powers, brings him peace, and just by being friendlly attracts the protection and romantic thoughts of a werewolf.  Her story is actually much more interesting to me, even though I know that it is only this way when connected to the rest of the story. I really do hope we get to see more of her and her wolf in the next one.

4. Dracula! Ok, so the Grand Sire of Vamps doesn't actually make an appearance in this one, he is scheduled to. When the girl Aden lusts after is Dracula's daughter....well yeah, that should be a fun meet the family scene.

What I didn't like:

1. Some of the fights our hero goes through with other members of the group home are too easily resolved. They seem to be thrown in just to give the character something other than paranormal stuff to worry about and are treated as such. There doesn't seem to be any lingering conflicts or consequences to any of them.

2. The relationship Aden holds with vamp girl just creeps me out. He doesn't seem to actually do things of his own will when around her. While she says repeatedly she's not doing that, it just seem that way. But maybe things will get better when he's himself.

3. Speaking of becoming himself, one of the key plot points is getting the voices in Aden's head out and into their own bodies if possible. This is interesting, but the end result that I'm fearful of is that Aden won't have any powers or anything to make him interesting if the voices (and thereby all their abilities) are gone. I'm not saying this will happen; it's just what my brain seems to think is a possible end result. Please Ms. Showalter don't let this be so!

Overall:  Loved it! I was instantly drawn into the story and it never disappointed. This is one of those novels that is hard to put down and now I'm impatient to read the next.

** This book is also part of my Fall Into Reading challenge list and I'm counting it - sort of- in my NaNoReadMo list.  Only sort of due to reading half of it before November 1st.**

Would-Be Witch

Title: Would-Be Witch (Book 1 of the Southern Witch series)
Author: Kimberly Frost
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Library

I originally picked this book off the shelves because of the series title - the Southern Witches. I'm going to admit to being easily amused here, but it made me happy to think we've had Southern Vampires and now we're onto Southern Witches. Also, will you look at the kitty on the cover. Who could resist having a wild cat (an ocelot to be exact) as their pet/familiar?

Things I liked:

1. The cat is awesome. Seriously. He kicks werewolf and redneck ass a couple different times throughout the story. Plus, I just have a thing for big cats. I'd love to have an ocelot of my own.

2. Tammy Jo has no idea what she is. She's really not interested in knowing....at least until she has to. But, it doesn't throw her off to learn of witches, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, etc.

3. The developing romance between Tammy Jo and Bryn Lyons. Although, he comes off as a snobby ass a couple of times, they have great chemistry. I really want to see where this is going and find out why the Lyons name is on the don't mess with list.

What I didn't like:

1. The down home, southern, red neck, good ole boy attitude most of the characters seem to have. Specifically, Tammy Jo's on again off again ex-husband, Zach. The I'm the male so therefore I know what you need lil lady attitude just rubs me the wrong way. He doesn't want to listen to her or believe her, but she damn well better do as he says. *grumble*

2. Apparently, (at least according to novels) all fabulous drag queens in the south are also African-American vampires. I don't really have a problem with this, but with the way the characters and dialogue treat this. Tammy lets a couple homophobic comments slip. I get the feeling it was meant to be comedic but just knocks my opinion of her down a few rungs. She can easily accept werewolves and magic, but has issues with people being gay?

3. Tammy Jo is constantly breaking the law......and it is alright. She breaks into houses, steals cars, and generally causes chaos. Luckily, she is sort of dating her ex-husband who also happens to be a cop. No charges are ever pressed. He threatens to throw her in jail a couple of times, but never does...in fact he usually helps her do whatever her next illegal act is going to be. I understand her situation is desperate, but baking a cake doesn't actually make up for stealing a car.


Even with the story elements that bothered me, I devoured this novel. It was so much fun! I was a bit disappointed when it came to a close. It must be a sign I need to get a hold of book two.

**I read this as part of the Fall Into Reading challenge**

In honor of NaNoWriMo

November is notorious among readers and writers. National Novel Writing Month has seen to this. Each November readers, writers, and anyone else are challenged to write a novel (50,000 words) in one month. But then, you knew that didn't you?

Last year I participated for the first time. My husband has done NaNoWriMo for several years, and won most of them.......minus the one where he had to stop writing to help plan for our wedding. I had a great time. I was nervous as all get out. I'd never written a story before. I'm not a creative writer. I can research and write essays like nothing else, but fiction? I was in a whole new world. I loved it. I became obsessed with writng my story and beating the deadline. I won! That's right, I won...and walked away with a pile of words so terrible it doesn't deserve the title story let alone novel. I'm a terrible creative writer.

So, because of my ability to write terrible, awful, no one should ever be aware of its existence fiction, I thought I had better think of another way to show my support for NaNoWriMo and the actual writers who compete. Then it hit me. I am a significantly better reader than writer.

In November I will be reading in honor of those who write. I've even created a challenge. I'm challenging myself to read (completely, dnfs don't count) five novels in November. Five doesn't seem like all that many, but with life, work, and other distractions like tv / movies....five will be hard to reach.

CupK8 even created a button for it. (I did one too, but her's is much more interesting. I'm totally featuring it here.)

I challenge you! If you aren't writing a novel this month, show your support for the writers. Without their skills we wouldn't have anything to read! If you'd like to participate, please leave a comment with a link to a blog post where you declare your support. Create and share your reading challenge for the month. Then get ready to read...we start tonight at 12:01 am Nov. 1st!

Cheating, Death

Title: Cheating, Death
Author: Teel McClanahan III
Genre: Horror, Paranormal
Source: free with no expectations of anything other than reading.


Ok, now that's out of the way. I've been trying to decide if I should do this review. Not because I didn't like, but because I do. You see, I'm in a bit of spot here. My husband is an author. In fact, he is the author of this book. So it could be seen as a marital obligation or some such....but it's nothing like that. I promise. I enjoyed this novel.

I'm a bit surprised with the revelation that I enjoyed a zombie novel. To date, I've only read one other zombie novel (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and I didn't finish that one. I don't think it was a conscious choice to not read them, I just managed to read stories with other kinds of monsters. Wait! A year or so ago I read a novel with some vegetarian zombies. I don't think I'm going to count that one. This one is the real deal. Slow moving, non-thinking, brain craving zombies. Plus, it had some emotional situations that all but forced me to feel for the characters.

What I liked:

1. It's set in Denver, CO. I have a soft spot for stories that are set in locations I know well. The area of Denver this takes place in is one I've spent several weekends in. It's easy to picture where they are.

2. Frances has emotional responses to the situations she's placed in exactly how I expect people to react. She goes into overload and shuts down. Her character is well written and easy to sympathize with.

3. The story just builds and builds. The action movies fast and flows easily from one event to the next. Though each event isn't exactly unexpected....it's a zombie novel after all...each is surprising in its own special way.

What I didn't like:

1. This isn't a real complaint. It's more of a recommendation. Don't expect a completely satisfying, wrap everything up , ending. As a stand alone novel the end seems to come to fast and is honestly a bit of a let down after the continual action of the book. However, I know something a lot of readers might not. The events in this story lead up to the events that happen in another novel. Seen as a series, the ending is perfectly reasonable.


I had a lot of fun reading this novel. I read it in the course of an afternoon and was hard pressed to put it down anytime during. The wife in me wants everyone to read it. The reader in me thinks most people....people who enjoy zombie stories...will enjoy it.


The Winners
of the
Heretic's Daughter Giveaway:

1. #43 Stacey
2. #109 Anita Yancey
3. #5 Cheddar Fish
4. #103 Karen K.
5. #126 TwiFanHeather

Thank you all for participating! You've given me lots of suggestions for witch books and movies to get a hold of. Winners, be on the look out for my email to you. I need your names and mailing addresses. Thanks, also, to Hachett Book Group for sponsoring this giveaway!

I read books they way other people eat, sleep, or watch movies....voraciously, obsessively, and as often as possible. The reviews, random commentary, and snark in this blog are mine alone. Don't take my word...read the book.
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