Friday, April 30, 2010

Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson

Trouble . . .
Chelsea Ross's acting career has been a total bust. The closest she ever came to stardom was her brilliant performance as "Pretty Dead Girl #1." But leaving Hollywood to become the personal assistant to a famous hockey player could be her stupidest career move ever.

More trouble . . .
Injured superstar Mark Bressler's glory days are over. The bad-boy ex-jock could at least be civil to the pint-sized, pink-haired bombshell who the Seattle Chinooks hired to be his P.A. If Chelsea didn't need the money, she'd be running from the world's biggest jerk as fast as her feet could carry her.

Big trouble!
Chelsea can deal with Mark's rotten attitude and dark moods. The problem is those biceps and that red-hot bod! And when the bad boy starts to put the moves on her, Chelsea knows it's time she banished him to the penalty box . . . if only she could resist the kind of trouble he has in mind!

Rachel Gibson is another one of those authors I always know I can pick up for an entertaining pick me up. Just like a good rom/com movie, Gibson has great characters that get into enough high jinks to keep anyone involved. This particular story continues with the Chinooks hockey team and the various players that have introduced over the years. Their relationship with each other as sports players and their actions towards women (those who 'belong' to the team and those who don't) seem very real at all times. They can be young and idiotic with totally misogynistic things to say or they can blush and stammer when confronted with a woman of worth.

Mark is kind of a classic portrayal of the pissed off jock, angry at the world because he was hurt. It's Chelsea's personality that makes their relationship shine, with her quirky nature and her goals for the future. Together they make a really good couple, with the kinds of ups and downs and sparks of attraction that make a romance great.

Overall Feeling -Thumbs up. A fun contemporary romance, Gibson's Chinooks series is not something to be missed!

Series - 1) Simply Irresistible 2) See Jane Score 3) The Trouble with Valentine's Day 4) True Love and Other Disasters 5) Nothing But Trouble

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wishes by Jude Deveraux

Jace Mongomery was a stranger in Chandler. Tall, proud, and ruggedly handsome, he would make any woman's heart beat faster...

Even shy, sweet Nellie Grayson -- Nellie, who thought only of her beautiful younger sister's happiness. With Nellie's tireless aid, Terel Grayson easily became the belle of Chandler, Colorado.

Yet Jace, homesick for his closeknit family in Maine, took immediately to Nellie. For the first time, Nellie was the center of attention. It was a heady, delightful feeling...almost as wonderful as the moment when Jace gave her her very first kiss.

Nellie was sure her romantic idyll would end -- how long could Jace resist the lovely Terel's charms? But with the help of an enchanting new friend, Nellie would discover that her flirtatious sister might not be the woman to win the gallant Jace Montgomery....

Another one of my library sale purchases, I was somewhat surprised to realize that I'd read this before. It must have been in highschool though because I only felt the slightest bit of deja vu during the story - just enough to convince me it wasn't the new book I was expecting. Reading over some of the reviews on Amazon it looked like a few people took offense to the 'fat' woman falling in love with the 'hot' man plot line and felt like Nellie's eating issues were exaggerated and unrealistic. When I read this book I see a fantasy- almost a fairytale. The fact that it is pretty much physically impossible for a person to eat things in the quantities that she does in this book is mostly immaterial. The point of the story was to expose Nellie's emotional turmoil in terms of what it did to her body - and the fact that Jace loved her regardless of her size. That was consistent through the book: the people who had good hearts were drawn to Nellie for her spirit and thought her beautiful because of who she was.

Yes it is ridiculous that the people in the book consider 160 some pounds 'fat' - but this is a historical romance people! It's not supposed to be all that realistic (especially as a romance). And the only people who found Nellie more attractive after she lost weight were the people who were of no consequence and were unpleasant to begin with; in fact, Jace thought she looked kind of off skinnier and loved her body more the way it was before. What all this means is that I'd suggest people take some of the specifics of this love story with a grain of salt - the emotion is still true and I think the message still positive.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. I think it's a sweet romance, portraying a tale of two people who find themselves after years of heartbreak.

Series - Montgomery Series (it has a billion titles, just out the full list here)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lunch Break! (4/27)

I used the excuse of a new Borders coupon (I hate you Borders! I don't care if I have to pay for a Barnes & Noble membership - you always make me regret going in your store!) to stop by during lunch for some new books. I didn't get Lover Mine yet, I'm waiting to drop by my local B&N after work because they have a 40% off coupon!

Anyway, to get back to the point, I got some new books that I can't wait to start reading:

No Greater Pleasure by Megan Hart (Order of Solace series)($3.99)
Wild Fire by Christine Feehan
Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson
The Bargain by Julia Templeton ($3.99)
Heart Change by Robin D. Owens ($3.99)

Talk to you soon when I actually get through some of these and have reviews ready!

First Look: Hannah's Luck by Lora Leigh

'Hannah's Luck' by Lora Leigh is just one story from the Men of Danger anthology.

I can't say for sure yet, because I didn't have time to sit down and really peruse it to my leisure, but so far I'd have to say that Lora Leigh does what she does best in this small little story. An addition to her Elite Ops books, the way Rick reacts to Hannah being in danger also reminds me of her Nauti series - stay away from the woman for her own good (as long you can anyway), then jump right in with X-rated action and suspense. Leigh is down in my book as an author that's always ready to write a story with plenty of spicy hooks to get you through a boring afternoon and this one lives up that. But who wouldn't want more if you could? I just try not to ask for the impossible....

Teaser Tuesdays (4/27)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Fire me?" Gabe Madison came to a halt in the center of the carpet. Disbelief warred with outrage on his hard face. "You can't fire me. I'm a client. You don't fire clients."

--pg 1, Dawn in Eclipse Bay by Jayne Ann Krentz

Monday, April 26, 2010

Family Man by Jayne Ann Krentz

A decade of working for the high-powered Gilchrist family empire has made sassy Katy Wade determined to open her own business. But there's one last problem she must solve before she can leave. The Gilchrists need an heir apparent to save their mysteriously floundering fortunes, and there's only one man for the job: Luke Gilchrist. All his life the Gilchrists have made Luke pay for his father's scandal, and now he's a renegade who's sworn he'll never go home -- except to get even. Katy must persuade Luke to use his business expertise to rescue his family, but one look in his sexy green eyes, and she knows why they affectionately call him "the Bastard."

Meanwhile, Luke's decided he wants her even more than he wants revenge. He agrees to play savior, but only with Katy at his side. It's a strategy sure to make this red-haired angel madder than hell, but she's the only one who can turn this devilish rogue into a family man. Now he must trust Katy with his secrets -- and she must believe in his love.

This is one of the books I just picked up at the library book sale and boy was it worth the $.50! Jayne Ann Krentz does a tremendous job of writing good romance - there is no really higher compliment I can pay her. Her heroes are classic, tough but not too tough, and her heroines know how to love and how to take care themselves when necessary. She writes a variety of books under other names, some historical and some paranormal, but when you pick up a Jayne Ann Krentz be sure that you're going to be experiencing a smooth ride. Krentz always writes engaging, interesting romances and no matter what the cover description, it's always one that's worth a second look!

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up! A great classic romance and Luke is the perfect example of a tough, but not without emotions, alpha male.

Series - None.

Arlington Library Book Sale - My Wallet Rejoices!

While I might have been too busy to be doing a lot review posting last week, I can at least say that yesterday I was able to increase the likelihood that more will be coming up soon! Yesterday I went to the Friends of Arlington Library Book Sale and I'm happy to report it was fantastic. I'm one of those readers where if I purchase a new book I worry about scuffing the cover or the spine, but used books? Those are free game. They come to me well loved already so I get to pack them into my purse to my heart's content! Plus, it's always nice to get a price break; that never hurts.

But even better than just having used- thus already cheaper- selections at my fingertips was the fact on Sunday the books were half off the used price! I was walking around and flipping through hard covers that were between $1 - $2 (USD) and paperbacks that were $.50! AMAZING! I wish I'd taken a picture of the whole garage area that they'd cornered off for the sale because it was very impressive; lots and lots of rows of shelves and tables organized by ceiling signs to denote the genre. They even had a section for rare books in addition to one for CDs/DVDs. Shows you what the atmosphere's like at libraries in different counties right? Back home in NC the library I visited didn't even have a CD/DVD section and by the time I moved from the area it was just
starting to get audio books.

I'm happy to report that combining half-off used books with an impromptu lunch at IHOP meant that my wallet did not suffer as significant damage as I had anticipated. In fact, I'd brought two totes and a book bag with me (just in cases) but ended up only partially filling the first tote. Yay me! Yay for my wallet! There are the books/movies I ended up getting yesterday:

Wishes by Jude Deveraux
The Invitation by Jude Deveraux
Family Man by Jayne Ann Krentz
Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
Dawn in Eclipse Bay by Jayne Ann Krentz
Belgarath the Sorcerer by David and Leigh Eddings
The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
Owlflight by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon

Card Captor Sakura: The Movie
Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker

I got all of these books for $9.25 (USD)!! $9.25! That's less than half the price of a hardcover and still cheaper than especially considering that I didn't have to pay for shipping! Immediate gratification - it's a glorious thing.

As you can probably tell, I'm very excited about all of the books I bought. The only real 'new' books in the bunch (meaning I haven't read them before) are the two books by Jude Deveraux. Deveraux is one of those authors I read on an inconsistent basis - she could probably be termed a library read for me. I've read her Summerhouse and Forever series before, and since I enjoyed them quite a bit I decided to just take a chance and by the two that I saw at the sale. Nora Roberts was unfortunately picked pretty much clean by Sunday and the only titles I saw were ones that I already owned. Still, I would have to say that the day was a complete success because the only thing that could really have made it better was if I could have found the sequels to the two Mercedes Lackey books.

I'm looking forward to having some new books to review!!

Musing Mondays (4/26)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about war books.

With yesterday being Anzac Day, I thought I’d ask a theme question this week. Are you a reader of war books? And if so, do you have any favorites?

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

**MUSING MONDAYS is hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page...

Truthfully I don't really consider myself a reader of war books. Every now and again one will cross my path, but I don't actively seek them out. When I was in school I found in interesting to read about military strategy in classes, about which ways certain choices could turn the tide of a battle - but that was academic reading. My pleasure reading is just that - pleasure- and there's just so much chance for heartache and emotional turmoil (rightfully so) in war books that I just don't find myself picking them up that often.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Torturous Tuesday - An unsatisfying addition to my ERR Challenge

Thumbs down: the characters were strange, the 'teachings' that Justice got from her sisters seemed really out of place - free book or not, I didn't even finish this one.

Thumbs down: The fact that as her bodyguard Aiden has to 'obey' Kate and that people think it's weird that he hasn't slept with her (he says that he thought he had 'failed' at his job) just doesn't compute. I finished this short story, which makes it better I guess, but I just don't think I like the author's style all that much.

Thumbs down again: The storyline definitely had potential, but the dialogue felt forced and slightly out of place with the story. I don't know, I just need any sex talk to feel more organic than what was written here (maybe not so corny?).

Eh: This one doesn't get a full thumbs down because Lark is at least smart enough to question the ridiculousness of a dragon who after swooping down to rescue an 'oh so rare' virgin immediately declares her his mate. Oy vay.

“Will you stay? Will you be mine? Willingly?”
“You won’t hurt me?” Lark sat up, facing Rajah, staring him squarely in the eyes. “You swear?”
“On my honor as a warrior of the dragons of Chrystal Isle, I swear to protect you and love you for the rest of your days.”
“Love?” she questioned doubtfully. “Isn’t it sort of fast to declare love?”

--pg 10, Larkspur by Anny Cook

Teaser Tuesdays (4/20)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"I'm not a doctor," Butters said.

We'd done this dance several times. "You are the Mighty Butters," I said. "You can do anything."

--pg 2, Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Wish I Had A Cat

Just saying.

Changes by Jim Butcher

The new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series.

Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.

Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry's not fighting to save the world...

He's fighting to save his child.

I'm going to try to not going into an over the top rant-a-palooza about why I love this book so much, but we'll see how that goes. I apologize now if this whole thing becomes ridiculous. It's just that I can't help it because this book was SO GOOD. I've read the whole series of course, and enjoyed it along the way, but Butcher is just coming out with more and more in each successive release and his series is an outstanding example of what makes urban fantasy compelling and pretty much irresistible to readers.

It's not just the fantasy elements, it's not just the juxtaposition of the familiar contemporary landscape with the paranormal boogeymen of your childhood - it's the reality of a challenged hero that continues to draw people back. Harry is undeniably a hero; he fights continuously to help the little guy, to get some kind of justice for people who have been forgotten or ignored by the White Council. Book after book he walks out into the world with a new case, a new fight, that he feels honor bound to champion because of his own life experiences and what he feels should happen. What I'm seeing in more in Butcher's releases is Harry's growth in the face of incredibly hard choices. When each decision's consequences are more about the grey area then black and white, what's a hero to do? How is a man like Harry Dresden going to be able to keep himself afloat in a world that's more and more willing to cheat?

He's going to have to be willing to cheat a little bit to.

In the world of urban fantasy the easy road to the happily ever after rarely exists. There are too many of the moral grey areas that make up our world in the book to allow that to happen. Harry stands out as such a compelling representative of this genre because he's willing to make the effort for the good fight as long as he's able to do it. No matter what else, the death of a child, of his child, is wrong. Focusing on that truth, helps him recognize his path but also puts him in the position to have to make some very touch decisions - about what can be done in the short term, how decisions will affect his ability to function in the long term, how he will be able to protect his friends in a world that is increasingly breaking under the strain of magic and betrayal. IT'S ALL SO EPIC! Epic and incredibly touching and understandable, as Harry is shown again and again that there are no easy choices, that sometimes to do the right thing a person is forced to do the almost wrong.

Ok, so I know this has turned into a rant, but I feel like this book more than deserves it. Butcher has created a stand alone epic fantasy tale that will remain in my favorites forever. I might dislike him greatly for the horribly cliff hanger ending, but the story itself is unparalleled in its depiction of character building and an evolving world that is at times both familiar yet very, very strange.

Overall Feeling - THUMBS FREAKING UP! So good you must stop everything you're doing (seriously leave work now) and read this book.

Series - ......10) Small Favor 11) Turn Coat 12) Changes
**The rest of the list can be found on Butcher's website, here.

Musing Mondays (4/19)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about the 'best books'.

Last week I had you all to suggest your top 5 books – and I was surprised by just how different all your choices were! There’s no real question this week, except to look over the list and consider it. Do you agree with the choices? Is it more worth of a “Best Book” title?

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

**MUSING MONDAYS is hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page...

I think what I take from this list is the most is how obviously hard it is to make a consistent 'best books' list. It's kind of why I went off on a tangent last week about the qualities I consider necessary to a good book (instead of really picking 5 books). The list is incredibly diverse, and even among the titles that got more than one vote I think I'd only really agree with one of them - To Kill a Mockingbird (though remembering that book makes me wish I'd mentioned Inherit the Wind last week. I LOVE that play).

In the end it's not going to matter who deems themselves worthy enoughto create a list of 'best' books. It's always going to be subjective and open to challenge, hahaha, which is part of why people bother creating them in my opinion! If people aren't willing to be vocal in support or against a particular choice then why do we bother? I think those kinds of lists are a great way to find new titles and new authors, which is never a bad thing - and for someone who reads faster that she'd like, it's definitely appreciated.

Friday, April 16, 2010


"Then you know that Sam was the true hero of the tale," Sanya said. "That he faced far greater and more terrible foes than he should he ever should have had to face, and he did so with courage. That he went alone into a black and terrible land, stormed a dark fortress, and resisted the most terrible temptation of his world for the sake of the friend he loved. That in the end, it was his actions and his actions alone that made it possible for light to overcome darkness."

--pg 335, Changes by Jim Butcher

I am reading the new Dresden novel and I JUST CAN'T TAKE IT. It's so good my brain might explode and I'm not even done with it yet.

Thank you, Jim Butcher. Thank you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Touch of Seduction by Rhyannon Byrd - ERR Challenge Review

Sold into slavery as a child to a cruel taskmaster, tiger-shifter Aiden Shrader trusts no one. Not even his own kind. Yet as a member of the Watchmen—the organization of shape-shifters who keep watch over the ancient nonhuman races—Aiden is fiercely protective of the helpless. Never more so than when he's asked to guard a little girl with witches' blood— and her beautiful human aunt. A woman who arouses all of Aiden's primal urges. . . urges he must resist.

To small-town schoolteacher Olivia Harcourt, the massive tiger-shifter with the glowing amber eyes is as much a dark mystery as the enemy stalking her. Yet Aiden is her only hope of surviving. Until their intense passion unleashes her own inner tigress with a ferocity that will make the evil Casus rue the day they messed with her family. . . and will take Aiden by seductive surprise.

Good job Rhyannon Byrd! Even if she never reads this, even if people think I'm crazy for congratulating an author that obviously doesn't need my approval to do anything, I'm still going to say good job. This was a fantastic book and lives up to the promise she showed as an eBook author. Before this latest release I liked her print books, they were always pretty good, but with this one I became a lover (hehe) of her print books.

Touch of Seduction has all the emotion and fire that made Byrd's eBooks so incredibly fantastic to read. I've always felt like her stories and the worlds that she created as an eBook author demonstrated her strength as an erotica author to watch, as a person who could write in steaming hot sex scenes and make them applicable and appropriate to the book. It wasn't that one detracted or existed separate from the other - the sex scenes were intrinsic to what made the books so great. Still, somehow, the earlier books in the series just didn't ring as true for me. With this book though she makes up for all of that.

Aiden and Olivia were a wonderful couple to read about. Both were their own issues, both with past experiences that made them wary to trust anyone today, it just all rang very true to me. Aiden actually reminds me quite a bit of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Ash, just with what he went through as a child and the type of transformation he was to go through internally to be able to be with Olivia. Byrd works in all the supporting and main characters from the previous books in this series and really sets up the storyline for big changes in the future. I'm so excited!

Overall Feeling -Thumbs up! So, so good and a great pick me up to for this series.

Series - 1) Edge of Hunger 2) Edge of Danger 3) Edge of Desire 4) Touch of Seduction 5) Touch of Surrender (4/27/10) 6) Touch of Temptation (2010)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And the chaos continues - my March in review!

As you could probably surmise by how long it took me to get this post up, it's been a hard April. I feel like every other second I'm being asked to do or be somewhere else, and the result is a not so happy, stressed out Dana.

Luckily there are still books out there that can distract even the most wayward soul, and these are the ones I read in March. I do have to say that I'm not completely positive this is all of them, hahaha, because once we got towards the end of the month I didn't keep track like I was supposed to. I've decided to be ok with that because this is the first time around I've tried to track my reading habits throughout the year. I think that means I get to cut myself some slack.

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
Damsel Under Stress by Shanna Swendson
Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
Clovis Escapes by Amanda Lorenzo
Mean Streets by Jim Butcher, Simon R Green, Kat Richardson
Mrs. Kaputnik's Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium by Rona Arato
Born to be Wild by Christine Warren
Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop
The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop
Black Jack by Lora Leigh
The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston
Roadkill by Rob Thurman
Promise in a Kiss by Stephanie Laurens
The Mane Attraction by Shelly Laurenston
Megan's Mark by Lora Leigh
Master of Fire by Angela Knight

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Excerpt: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Teaser Tuesdays (4/13)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"She lifted her hand, stroking the tip of one finger across the slash of his brows, then along the hard edge of his jaw before sweeping it across his bottom lip. "Let's just say that I'm finding it hard to remember why I ever thought sex was overrated," she whispered, following the movement of her finger with her eyes as she traced the shape of his upper lip, a rush of shivering pleasure left in the wake of her touch."

--pg 290, Touch of Seduction by Rhyannon Byrd

Lion's Heat by Lora Leigh - ERR Challenge Review

Bad boy Jonas Wyatt's personal assistant, Rachel, has had a child - an innocent new life that has been put in grave danger because of Jonas's perilous games and calculations and played in the shadow-world in which he lives: the dark and sensual world of the Breeds. Now, Rachel is making only one demand of Jonas: that he finally take responsibility and deliver on the protection that only he can give.

Jonas has known for a long time that it is destiny that Rachel become his mate. He can sense it. He can also sense her reluctance. And for that, he refuses to claim her. He wants her on love alone and not because of the urge of the mating heat. But it is Jonas's destiny to claim her. And he will have his way...

I am so happy to report that this book definitely got me out of my reading rut - Yay! Happy dance! I can't say that I really stopped reading during my rut, but I just wasn't my usual enthusiastic self concerning the books on my shelf or the ones coming out - I seemed to be just 'eh' about the whole thing.

Well, if you've read anything by Lora Leigh before, you know you can't be 'eh' about her books. There's just too much going on that needs your undivided attention!

Still, to get back to the review, I'm happy report that this book was fantastic. Jonas has always been this slightly asshole-y character who you knew was sometimes working for the good of the couple and sometimes working for the good of the Breeds as a whole. For me It was a toss up how you felt about him at any given moment, but I think all of us readers were silently (or not so silently) rooting for him to get his comeuppance and find his own mate. I think Rachel was perfect, because not only was she organized and able to be a support to him on a professional level, she had the backbone to stand up to him even at his worst.

The other thing that made this book a stand out in the whole series is the uniqueness of Rachel and Jonas's bond. I don't want to spoil it, but you can definitely tell that Leigh is moving her storyline forward as the outside influences and the scientific discoveries take new directions.

(I know that's vague, but I don't want to ruin it! Read the book!)

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up! Jonas's story is everything I could have hoped for - definitely don't miss out on your chance to check out this great series!

Series - The books in this series, and the timeline for how they relate to each other, are both on Ms. Leigh's website and best understood there (because even I don't get it all! LOL!).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monster House (Movie Review)

I realize this isn't a book review, but I saw the end of this movie yesterday and I find myself simply compelled to write something about it.


(I'm not kidding, spoiler warning, I go into specifics of the storyline and the ending)


I have to say, this movie is not for kids! I understand that 'kids these days' are more mature and possibly can handle this kind of horror better, but this story line was just not appropriate!

By the time I start watching the movie, the 2 kids are already trying to 'put to sleep' this house, which is apparently tormenting the neighborhood by stealing toys and tricycles and things from children as they pass by. As you can imagine, the house does not take this lying down and there's scary wooden teeth things, pipes that suck children away, and then all of sudden rising water that almost drowns the 3 of them while pushing them out of the house.

This was all scary enough, but still seemed in the realm of possibility for a kids movie. What really bothered me was the story line behind why the house acted like this. The owner of the house, Mr. Nebbercracker as a youth visits this traveling side show and falls in love with the Giantess. Apparently the Giantess has been kept captive by this show, tormented by the visitors, until Mr. Nebbercracker steals her away to marry. He buys her a plot of line, promises to build them a house and take care of her - at least until the worst happens.

One Halloween a few kids, being as thoughtless cruel as some kids can be, come by and start throwing eggs at the house and she just get's infuriated at the injustice of it. But when she tries to go after the kids Mr. Nebbercracker stops her - or at least he tries to. She knocks him down, loses her balance, stumbles backward, hits the cement machine, and falls backward into the newly dug basement of the house and gets covered by the cement that falls in afterward (crazy right?). Well Mr. Nebbercracker decides to finish building their dream house, though as he says 'Constance never left', instead remaining, embodying this house and tormenting the neighborhood.

Now does any part of what I've just described sound like a kids movie? HELL NO!

From here on out the movie focuses on all of them, the kids and Mr. Nebbercracker, coming together to try and destroy this house - to let Constance free. It's filled with action and some pretty neat affects, but this is just too heavy to be part of kids movie shown at 3 in the afternoon on Cartoon Network! I would not let my kids watch this! Like it just seems completely ridiculous to me that this movie is marketing towards an age group that is not prepared to handle content of this nature. It's just mind boggling to me.

I realize that this is a ridiculous rant and I probably have no idea what I'm talking about, but I'm just putting it out there that movies for kids were better when I was a kid. They managed to be appropriate while still being fun and adventurous. Where did that go?

Musing Mondays (4/12)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about 'best books'.

There’s been some discussion on my blog this week about what should or shouldn’t make a ‘best' books’ list. What elements do you think lands a book in that ‘best’ category? Think of your top 5 best books and tune in next week to see the collated list.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

**MUSING MONDAYS is hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page...

Rebecca, I don't know if this is a question I can answer! You know that little box on Facebook, where you're supposed to list your favorite books? I have a list of like 20 authors! And it was hard for me to narrow it down to that! Books have been a constant companion of mine for as long as I can remember, I don't understand how people can say there is just one book, or just 5 books even, that are their favorite. This particular prompt also mentions listing the elements of what lands a book in the best category,'s so hard!

I worry that for me, the 'best books' nod might be something given to a few titles because of some intangible qualities that inspire me to read it over and over again. If I had to guess I them, I'm sure a few of those qualities are:

1) Engaging, realistic characters
2) Sincere emotions
3) Interesting plot - this could mean a more adventurous paranormal, or a satisfying contemporary love story
4) An author with a clearly articulated mental voice - this one is another nebulous idea, but I can't think of a better phrase to point to the sense of 'rightness' I can have as a reader when the author has an obviously well developed voice (in regards to their writing style)
5) ........Romance? Maybe?

I'm iffy on that last element just because I don't have to have romance in a book to consider it a 'best book'. I have my druthers, and my druthers are that a book have at least some time of romantic element- yet it's not a requirement. I have quite a few books in my library that have touched me with no romance at all:

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer

And just with those two examples you can get an idea of the variety that exists in my library. Kidder's book is a biography (with a few twists) and Pfeffer's is a post apocalyptic young adult novel.

In the end I think I'm going to have to do what I do for my Facebook and that's take a cop-out and just list some favorite authors, whose work often displays the elements I listed above for 'best book' signifier. Though I'm not numbering them, because I don't want people to think that I don't love them all (mostly) equally. Maybe I could get some points for only listing five?

--Nora Roberts
--Lori Foster
--Laurell K. Hamilton
--Shelly Laurenston
--Jayne Ann Krentz

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dear Ms. Roberts...

Dear Ms. Roberts,

Let me start out by saying that I have read your books for half my life. Since
the first time I picked up the 'MacGregor Grooms' in a grocery store near the laundry mat, your stories of love and
adventure have played a huge role in my life. No matter which book I picked up, whether it was a singular title or part of a series, your worlds always seemed to be this great combination of familiar and new. I always had the comfort of knowing I was settling down to read a story with a happy ending, yet the journey I took to get there was going to be different every time.

I am happy to say that even now, your books number higher than any other author on my shelves. It's with a sense of nostalgia that I look back at them, at the thumbed-through favorites with curling covers and split spines. They might not look the best anymore but I know that's only because I loved them so much. It doesn't matter that I might not read them as often nowadays or that some of them are collecting a bit of dust; none of that detracts from the joy I'll get when I finally pick them up again.

For example, take The Donovan Legacy series. I can safely say that it's been years since I've picked them up and it's still as good as ever. The magic of your characters (literally for this series) is still there and their relationships are as touching as ever. Rereading your books will forever remind me how soothing it is to not have to deal with a soap opera in book form. Men and women form bonds that last a lifetime, without bed-hopping or traumatically induced amnesia. The strength of your books lie in the in the emotion that makes each man and woman real, in the stories that make ever reader's heart sigh.

Ms. Roberts, I'm sure that a lot of readers write to you every day to tell you how much of a difference you've made in
their lives. I remember standing in line at one of your book releases in high school and not wanting to be the avid fan that creeped out the author with her fanatical devotion. I hope that this letter doesn't seem like that to you, and comes across more as an honest thank you for writing books I have loaned to friends for years and will continue to pass on to whoever is willing to listen.

Thank you.


***Inspired by the blog Dear Author

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Devil's Playground by Jenna Black

Morgan Kingsley, a kick-ass exorcist, can deal with Lugh, the supersexy demon living inside her, but does he have to moan softly during her intimate moments with her mortal lover? Understandably, Brian is reluctant to share the pleasures of Morgan’s flesh with a gorgeous rogue from the Demon Realm.

But personal matters will have to wait when the opportunistic owner of the Seven Deadlies demon club in Philadelphia enlists Morgan’s help in heading off a crisis: It seems that demons have started showing up at the hot spot in alarming numbers and in the unwilling bodies of rough trade club-goers. Morgan is sure that Dougal, Lugh’s sworn enemy, is behind this, but why? To find out, Morgan must summon every ounce of power at her command—or risk becoming just another casualty in an all-out demon war.

I've gotta say that I don't think this series gets the props it deserves. Jenna Black has created a unique, incredibly rich world, with interesting backstories and relationships for all of her characters. It's not just that you have demons who possessing people, it's a whole society of demons who are 'working with humanity' to get what they want (physical sensation) while giving people what they need (stronger, more able 'heroes').

Unsurprisingly it turns into one of those relationships that's too good to be true and Morgan get's roped in not only because of her powers as exorcist but because of some secret family history. I know - I'm being kind vague but I don't want to ruin! There's all this tension between Morgan and her family, between her and her boyfriend, and between her and Lugh, the tempting demon who possesses her. Wrap all this up with some political intrigue and you've got a stand out urban fantasy series that everyone should be reading.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. I feel like this series just keeps getting better with time, with strong unique characters and a very different take on the demon/human relationship.

Series - 1) The Devil Inside 2) The Devil You Know 3) The Devil's Due 4) Speak of the Devil 5) The Devil's Playground

Teaser Tuesdays (4/6)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"For a moment she hesitated. A warning whispered to her. Tonight would bring her pleasure. More than she had known. And its price would be pain. More than she would wish."

--pg 104, 'Captivated', The Donovan Legacy by Nora Roberts


I am hot, sweaty, tired, and emotionally drained. Yet it was all worth it because Duke University is the 2010 NATIONAL CHAMPION!!!!

"We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world"

Monday, April 5, 2010

Musing Mondays (4/5)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about the upcoming readathon.

Are you planning on participating in the upcoming readathon? Why not tell us a little about your plans: reading solo or with a partner/group? How long to do plan to read? Do you have your books chosen? If not reading, do you plan to be a cheerleader? The floor is yours.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

**MUSING MONDAYS is hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page...

Well let's begin with the fact that I knew nothing about this readathon until Rebecca posted about it. Hahaha, sometimes I feel like such a noob in the world of book blogging! I have no problem with reading portion of this responsibility that I've taken on, but the community I've stepped into? That I'm learning about on a day to day basis - it's really kind of cool actually.

To get back to the point, I had to do some research before replying to this post. Followed the link, read the FAQ, really tried to wrap my mind around what was supposed to be happening here. After all that research: maybe. Maybe I will participate in the readathon. Now don't get me wrong, it sounds cool as hell, but my life is really busy at this moment, with my having committed myself to way too many things. I even have to find time to read, which I've never had to do - before the time always just magically appeared. Not so right now...

Friday, April 2, 2010

International Children's Book Day

"Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, 2 April, International Children's Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books. "

When I was little there was nothing like a new book from my mom. Whether she got it from the store or picked it up from a friend - a new book was a new adventure, one that could take me anywhere. As I grew older, as she took myself and my siblings to the library more often, I was able to understand the incredible choices at my fingertips. Books were TV shows and movies I could experience at my leisure, worlds whose people and environments I could envision and make my own.

Because of where my love for reading started, I consider it incredibly important to continue inspiring that passion in children today. Books can be an unending source of delight and growth, but we have to be willing to pass on that knowledge. So,


Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's just one of those days....

Usually I'm able to be on the ball and have my 'March in Review' post ready to go, but not today. I am tired. I am REALLY tired. Truthfully, I thank goodness that I like to read because that's about the only thing I have energy for. Sorry to be slacking, but I promise that when I DO get my 'March in Review' (or whatever I end up calling it) post ready, it'll be worth the wait.

Thanks for understanding!