Sunday, January 31, 2010

Valentine's Day Book Massacre Giveaway

In the spirit of Valentine's Day there is an awesome giveaway going on over at Dark Faerie Tales.
Enter for a chance to win up to FIVE books by answering the following question: "Tell us your Top 3 romantic couples or What’s your favorite love story? Why?"

Contest ends February 21st at 11:59 PM EST.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cal Leandros...

There are monsters among us. There always has been and there always will be. I've known that since I can remember, just like I've always known I was one...

...Well, half of one, anyway.

Welcome to the Big Apple. There's a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side---and that's only the beginning. Of course, most humans are oblivious to the preternatural nightlife around them, but Cal Leandros is only half human.

His father's dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares---and he and his entire otherworldly race are after Cal. Why? Cal hasn't exactly wanted to stick around long enough to find out.

He and his half brother, Niko, have managed to stay a step ahead for four years, but now Cal's dad has found them again. And Cal is about to learn why they want him, why they've always wanted him: He is the key to unleashing their hell on earth. The fate of the human world will be decided in the fight of Cal's life....

A series by Rob Thurman that I felt it was necessary to share and say "Go out, buy it for yourself and give it a try!"

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I said one day I would get a couple of pictures of my bookshelves and here we go! (Updated this post with a new picture on 5/21/2010) I still have two more bookshelves that maybe eventually one day I’ll get pictures of them too! My in-laws decided to buy a new television and thought hey let’s give our 52” widescreen t.v. to us, which was really great, only we had to completely re-arrange the family room in order for it to fit! But I really can’t complain too much because I got to play with my bookshelf! I love the feel of those books in my hands, moving them from one shelf to another to make it perfect, I re-stocked, organized, re-arranged countless times and finally ended up with something I am pleased with. These are just some of my adult paranormal books (obviously with the exception of the Twilight saga) I have in my collection! There are over 600 books in my library. The two Marjorie Liu books on display are signed and personalized to me, I won them in contests from Marjorie and adore her writing! The other two up front are: Mark of the Demon signed by Diana Rowland and The Darkest Night signed by Gena Showalter. I have a good collection of signed books by other authors as well (if anyone is interested: Facebook). And because I love Sherrilyn Kenyon, my Menyon wall where I keep my Dark-Hunter collection!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Radiant Shadows:
Hunger for nourishment.

Hunger for touch.

Hunger to belong.

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.
Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries’ coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani’s death.

Ani isn’t one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin’s plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

Melissa Marr has done it again. She has stunned me beyond words with her realm of Faerie. Each book in this series is so absolutely stunning in their own individual way, each has its own story to tell, but a woven together beautifully with Melissa’s creative storytelling. As both Ani and Devlin struggle to find their own place to belong in the realms they are brought together as equals because of Bananach and her lust for war. Ani longs to step out from her father’s shadow and Devlin from the reach of his sisters, together they must change Faerie in order to protect it, those they care about and each other.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Immortals

Ever and Damen have traveled through countless past lives—and fought off the world's darkest enemies—so they could be together forever. But just as their long-awaited destiny is finally within reach, a powerful curse falls upon that could destroy everything. Now a single touch of their hands or a soft brush of their lips could mean sudden death—plunging Damen into a bleak afterlife in the Shadowland, an eternal abyss for lost souls. Desperate to break the curse and save Damen, Ever immerses herself in magick—and gets help from an unexpected source...Jude Knight.

Although she and Jude have only just met, he feels startlingly familiar. Despite her fierce loyalty to Damen, Ever is drawn to Jude, a green-eyed golden boy with magical talents and a mysterious past. She's always believed Damen to be her soul mate and one true love—and she still believes it to be true. But as Damen pulls away to save them from the darkness inhabiting his soul, Ever's connection with Jude grows stronger—and tests her love for Damen like never before...

When I read Evermore I thought hey, this series has a lot of potential and then I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Moon I was totally taken in and was dying to read the third book in Alyson Noel’s The Immortals series, Shadowland. I was a little disappointed, although it was an enjoyable story, I was left with way more questions than answers and that drives me crazy! I understand it is a series and hopefully all questions will be answered in time, but I also found this book a little slow because I felt there was just so much information (but not pertaining to my questions) being shoved at us rather than storytelling going on. I’m looking forward to seeing where Jude’s character goes in the next book and if Ever and Damen can find the antidote to Roman’s antidote.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Wicked Lovely Little Series

Wicked Lovely:
Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty-especially if they learn of her Sight-and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. His is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost-regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; everything.
Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.

LOOKIE WHAT I GOT IN THE MAIL TODAY!!!! I won an amazing prize from an amazing writer, an ARC of Radiant Shadows, the 4th book in the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. Melissa has written a beautiful series about the Faerie Courts and her lyrical writing pulls you in and holds you tight from the very first word to the very last!

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

The Dark Divine:
Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.
As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.

Last night my poor 3 year old son woke us up because he was sick with a fever and upset belly. Thankfully he seems to be alright today, but after he got me up at 3am I couldn’t seem to fall back asleep and then I didn’t want to fall back asleep because I picked up The Dark Divine by Bree Despain to read and couldn’t put it down.

Bree’s vivid storytelling kept me so intrigued it was impossible for me to put the book down! When I first brought the book home with me I don’t know what I was expecting, but certainly not the amazing story that I got! I have loved werewolf lore for as long as I can remember and Bree definitely did NOT disappoint with her amazing story!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Into the Dark by Gena Showalter Contest

Heart of Darkness:
From the masters of paranormal romance, three brand-new tales of seduction...

1. The Darkest Angel by Gena Showalter (LOTU, #4.5)
An iron-willed demon assassin, the angel Lysander has never know lust--until he meets Bianka. Spawned from the bloodline of Lucifer, the beautiful but deadly Harpy is determined to lead the pure-hearted Lysander into temptation...

2. Love Me to Death by Maggie Shayne
Twenty-two years ago four teenage boys were convicted of a young girl's murder. Now, in the form of a beautiful woman, the "victim" is seeking vengeance. And only one man dares to dig into the past to uncover its secrets...and set her free.

3. Lady of the Nile by Susan Krinard
Lady Tameri believes to be the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian princess, and Leo Erskine has set out to prove her wrong...never dreaming that the two of them are about to discover a prophecy that will bind them together forever.

Help spread the word about Gena's new anthology Heart of Darkness, and then go here, and tell them how you spread the word and you'll be entered to win a signed advanced copy of Into the Dark, which has all kinds of Lords of the Underworld goodies -- interviews with the Lords, descriptions of them and their tattoos, a conversation with Gena Showalter and the amazing Kresley Cole, a roundtable discussion with the women of the underworld, Cronus's infamous scrolls, a sneak peek at Aeron's story, the Darkest Passion, and the missing 3 chapters from her first ever attempt to write about these men!

Need by Carrie Jones

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.
Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

Carrie Jones creates a wonderful and vivid world of pixies in a small Maine town in her first book of the Need series, Need, and was followed superbly by Captivate. The characters are marvelously written and easy to respond to. I loved how easy it was to picture the snow covered roads and fields that are the major backdrop for both novels. Zara discovers that pixies and shape shifters do exist and that she herself is more than just a regular teenage girl from Charleston.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.
Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back -- if Cassie will agree to be his bride.
That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her -- until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of

Today I read Ice by Sarah Beth Durst… I literally read the whole book today! I couldn’t put it down!

Sarah’s fairy tale is beautifully written and visually inspiring, throughout the book we are taken on a whirlwind adventure across the arctic north, through the Boreal Forest and farther to the ends of the earth. Cassie’s determination to find The Polar Bear King after he is captured is heart wrenching and exciting all at once, a never ending fight to reach her destination her journey is much like that of Homer’s Odysseus.

A Purrrfectly Wonderful Series

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back... for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever and whoever--I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays--'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them...

I just recently finished the first four books in Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series and let me just say: “WOW!” Her beautifully and entertaining telling of Faythe Sander’s adventures was enthralling and I could rarely be found without one of the books in my hands. Faythe Sanders is a female werecat, struggling to establish her place in the Pride led by her father.

From the very beginning of the first book to the last page of the forth, I was completely captivated and am desperate to read book number five: Shift. Faythe is an intelligent, complex and strong woman filled with honor and integrity, and I admire her for her strength even if it sometimes means doing what’s right instead of what’s easy. Rachel Vincent brought the werecat world and every character to life in stunning clarity so that at times I was laughing, crying and angry right alongside Faythe and the other characters. The intricate relationships between Faythe and the other characters are wonderfully written and the love she feels for those in her life is beautiful to watch as it grows as she herself evolves and begins to find her place in the Pride.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Photography & Books

Another hobby of mine other than the wonderful world of books is photography. In case you’re curious about the books in the picture they are: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, City of Glass by Cassandra Clare, Acheron, Bad Moon Rising, and Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Frostbitten and Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong. I am nowhere near talented enough to win any awards or anything, but it was something I loved doing in high school and I have been able to per sue my affair with it because two Christmases ago my present was a Nikon D40, with which I have probably taken ridiculously copious amounts of pictures with. Including, yup some of my books and shelves, but my shelves keep changing, so it’s hard to keep updating, I own over 600 books (yeah, I counted one day when I was bored and the boys were napping) and am constantly rearranging the shelves as I bring home new ones to add to the shelves. Is there anything greater than re-organizing your book shelves to make room for more books? I think not!

I love the smell that hits you the second you walk through the front door of Chapters! Paper and ink layered with the scent of crisp unsoiled books, pages upon pages of words just waiting to be opened and discovered by impatient minds ready to be entertained. I visit Chapters here in town so often that most of the staff know me and oft times find me chatting and helping other customers, they’ll peek around the shelves asking if anyone needs help and then they see me and say, “Oh, never mind, you’ve got it under control!” I go to “escape” my very loud and energetic three year old when my husband comes home from work, walking up and down the aisles, whether I eventually purchase something or not, calms and relaxes me like some might after receiving a good massage. I have discovered many new authors by wandering around the Chapters store: Rachel Vincent, Yasmine Galenorn, J.R. Ward, Lynn Viehl, Jeaniene Frost, Kresley Cole, Michelle Rowen…to name a few I have brought home recently. When I wander in the Young Adult section some of the looks I receive from teenagers can be quite comical as I push my stroller with my 7 month old baby down the aisles as I per sue the shelves intently. Who cares what section the book comes from? A good book is a good book!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Little Urban Fantasy

I've just recently been introduced to Urban Fantasy, Marjorie M Liu's Hunter Kiss series was actually the first. The series is about "a woman whose body is covered in living tattoos—her own personal demons to call upon when the sun goes down, who both protect her life, and are destined to end it." It was a little different than what I am used to, but I have to say the differences are so subtle that they are hardly noticeable. I have seriously moved this category up on my list! I'm very thankful to Marjorie, because I actually won her second book in the series "Darkness Calls" through a Twitter contest, so therefore had to get the first book "The Iron Hunt"! And without that contest I doubt I would have ventured out of my regular Romance or Fiction section in the book store to go over to the Science Fiction/Fantasy section, and in doing so would have missed out on another amazing author, Patricia Briggs. Her Mercy Thmopson series is amazing! "The story of Mercedes Thompson a coyote shape shifter who is also a pretty decent mechanic. Mercy's world looks a lot like ours except that the Otherworld is beginning to be forced out of hiding by our modern technologies. Mercy shares her back fence with the local Alpha werewolf and works evenings on the vampire Stefan's VW bus." Patricia's Alpha and Omega series is very promising as well, there are only 2 novels and one novella out so far in this series, and I'm looking forward to more. A perspective on Urban Fantasy: “Odd as it sounds, realism is the heart of urban fantasy. Your world has to feel real. You have to get the names of the places right, and you have to get the feel of it right, so if you stick a werewolf in people won't go ‘Oh, that's one thing too many, I can't believe that, that's stupid.' I'm speaking of modern urban fantasy, but I think that's true of the urban fantasy of Tim Powers and Charles de Lint, too. Making sure people know this is the real world is very important.” Patricia Briggs. Just the other day I read a quick Q&A with Rachel Vincent, I have just started her Shifter series, and I did read the first and second books of her "Soul Screamers" series and I love both series so far. Rachel was asked "...why are Urban Fantasy books so short in general compared to other genres (fantasy/sci-fi and most mystery)?" And I loved how she answered in terms everyone can easily understand: "Actually, Urban Fantasy isn’t short, compared to other genres. In fact, it’s long compared to romance and traditional mystery. But it is shorter than high fantasy, because urban fantasy doesn’t typically require the world building that a novel set in another world requires, which saves word/page count. And a lot of it has to do with expectations. Most urban fantasy readers (as far as I know) come to the genre from romance, horror, or suspense/action (or from uf-like movies and TV shows) and often those readers don’t have the patience for 800 pages of world building/species history." Although I love the idea of a fantasy novel, I'm honestly not sure if I would have the patience for 800 some odd pages of world building! I know there are even more amazing authors out there just waiting for me to discover them, and I am so excited by the prospect of new books! So, I'm off to the book store to see what I can find!

“And yet, on the science fiction/fantasy side of things, I've found that many readers, no offense, have a more deeply ingrained resistance toward reading outside genre. Romance novels, in particular. There's an 'ick' factor, a negative reaction that occasionally carries over to urban fantasies, which to some have become irrevocably (and damningly) linked together." Marjorie M Liu.

My First Official Top 10 Lists:

Although I read many, many more than just the books I have listed here, I narrowed it down to the top 20 books released in 2009. The lists are in no particular order, and it took me a while to cull my book list down to just 20!

Top 10 Adult Books:
1. Bad Moon Rising – Sherrilyn Kenyon
2. Bone Crossed – Patricia Briggs
3. The Fire King – Marjorie M Liu
4. Red Kiss – Deidre Knight
5. Prey – Rachel Vincent
6. Dragons Prefer Blondes – Candace Havens
7. The Darkest Whisper – Gena Showalter
8. Frostbitten – Kelley Armstrong
9. Bound to Shadows – Keri Arthur
10. Dark Curse – Christine Feehan

Top 10 Young Adult Books:
1. The Awakening – Kelley Armstrong
2. City of Glass – Cassandra Clare
3. Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater
4. Wings – Aprilynne Pike
5. My Soul to Take – Rachel Vincent
6. Tempted – P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
7. Fade – Lisa McMann
8. Fragile Eternity – Melissa Marr
9. Deadly Little Lies – Laurie Faria Stolarz
10. Hush, Hush – Becca Fitzpatrick

And just for fun, I thought I’d include the Top 20 Paranormal Books I’m looking forward to (that I can find release dates for):

Top 10 Adult Books:
1. Silver Borne – Patricia Briggs
2. Red Demon – Deidre Knight
3. The Darkest Passion – Gena Showalter
4. Scars and Souvenirs – Sherrilyn Kenyon
5. Waking the Witch – Kelley Armstrong
6. Moon Sworn - Keri Arthur
7. A Wild Light – Marjorie M Liu
8. Wild Fire – Christine Feehan
9. Chaos Bites – Lori Handeland
10. Blood Magic – Eileen Wilks

Top 10 Young Adult Books:
1. The Reckoning - Kelley Armstrong
2. Burned – P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
3. Linger – Maggie Stiefvater
4. Crescendo – Becca Fitzpatrick
5. Gone – Lisa McMann
6. Radiant Shadows – Melissa Marr
7. Spells – Aprilynne Pike
8. Misguided Angel – Melissa De La Cruz
9. Demon Princess: Reign Check – Michelle Rowen
10. City of Fallen Angels – Cassandra Clare

Once is Never Enough

Writing about my love of books has brought me back to thinking how many times I read a book. One of the authors I forgot to mention in my previous posts Richie Tankersley Cusick. She was one of the many authors I discovered after my Goosebumps stage, but still in my early years of reading discovery.

Her book "The Lifeguard" is about a girl named Kelsey; "Her summer should have been a paradise - a holiday on Beverly Island, complete with sun-drenched beaches and gorgeous lifeguards. But Kelsey's dream holiday quickly turns into a nightmare. It starts with the note from a girl who's missing. Then there's the crazy man in the lighthouse with his mysterious warnings. And there have been a number of suspicious drownings . . . At least she has the lifeguards around to protect her . . . Poor Kelsey. Someone forgot to tell her that lifeguards don't always like to save lives." I don't know why exactly, but I absolutely loved this book, in fact I read it so many times that the binding fell apart! I had to put it back together with many, many pieces of tape! I seriously can't count the number of times I read that book. And because I've been thinking of it so much I thought for a lark I'd look it up online, found myself a copy for $0.01! HAHA! Yup, I ordered it and am just awaiting it's arrival!

Every time I re-read a book, I get reintroduced to each character and it's like saying hello to old friends. Almost every book I own (and at this time I have 3 shelves completely full, plus more books stacked on top of the books on the shelves), I have read at the very minimum twice. I fully and completely admit that I am a romantic at heart, and yes even admitting that I do 99% of my book shopping in the "Romance" section of the book store. And until they decide to move the "Paranormal Romance" to another section I will continue to do so! When I'm in need of a real sappy love story, the author I always turn to is Diana Palmer. Her stories can be rather similar sometimes, however, I still keep going back. When I just need a love story I find she is perfect. Her female characters are always kind, every day type of women, but can sometimes be hard to relate to, while her male characters are usually rough around the edges, hard to get along with, but always harboring a heart of gold. Her women are so hard to relate to because most times they take a whole lot of crap from the men, crap very near verbal and psychological abuse that a woman should never have to stand for. But like most love stories, you have to get through the angst to get to the romance!

No matter how many times I read a book, it's almost like the first time all over again. Just like when you watch your favorite movie for the ump-teenth time, it just gets better and better. It never matters that I know the plot line and the ending, it's still an adventure from beginning to end!