Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things I Didn't Need to Learn at Work


1. How you (creepy client) think I'm seriously engrossed in Facebook when you see me typing away at the computer,

2. That you apparently lived on a way too high a numbered floor in two different apartment buildings, both here and in Miami,

and finally?

3. I DEFINITELY don't want to know about how I'm apparently going to lose all desire to dress/look/feel sexy after I get married and have kids and that on your BLOG you have 40,000 subscribers that listen to you gripe about being a sexually frustrated husband.


Wow.

DDD (Dead Dana Day)


Sorry for the lack of reviews this week, I just haven't been all that enthusiastic about my books right now. You know how I know? I'm currently reading 3 books at the same time, and the third book I only picked up to reread because the other two weren't holding my attention. I do not operate that way and it tells me there are errors in the system.

You might see some randomness explode here or a plethora of posts on my personal blog (Bittersweet Musings), so if you're interested in makeup, fashion, or HOT ACTION MEN check out my ramblings there!

Thirsty Thursdays (7/29) - The Eternal Battle

Thirsty Thursdays is hosted by Dana at Reading Amidst the Chaos and anyone can join in!

To share in the debauchery just think
of one of your favorite alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages and say why you love it and how to make it! You can link to your own blog or leave a comment below with your choice, but please include the mixology of whatever it is so that other people can give it a try!

I have one question: coffee or tea?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (7/27)

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!

"One day, one non-material day, nowhere, a thought came unbidden into my spirit mind. One moment it wasn't there, the next it was, and the next again it was gone. It flitted in then out again like a bright bird or a flurry of jazz notes. For the briefest, most titillating moment my voice faltered and the first hairline crack in the Gloria appeared....The thought was: What would it be like without Him?"

--pg 11, I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan

Monday, July 26, 2010

McKettricks of Texas: Austin by Linda Lael Miller

World champion rodeo star Austin McKettrick finally got bested by an angry bull. His career over, his love life a mess, the lone maverick has nowhere to go when the hospital releases him. Except back home to Blue River and the Silver Spur ranch. But his overachieving brothers won’t allow this cowboy to brood in peace. They’ve even hired a nurse to speed along his recovery. Paige Remington’s bossy brand of TLC is driving him crazy. As is her beautiful face, sexy figure and silky black hair.

Paige has lost count of the times Austin has tried to fire her, but this determined nurse is not going anywhere until he’s healed, body and heart.

Austin’s brothers are laying bets that Paige’s place in his life just might become permanent.

*I requested a copy of this title to review through netGalley*

Linda Lael Miller, as a romance powerhouse, does a great job reminding people why romance as a genre has survived so long. People love that happy ending, and even without the spiffy shiny trappings of blood and monsters, the feelings between two people are what catch a reader's attention.

For Paige and Austin, they've already tried to find their HEA. When they were both in high school they were a hot and heavy couple, and at that time it turns out Austin (and probably Paige too) just weren't ready to commit to the long term. Austin makes a few mistakes in the ending of it though, making things strained and awkward when these two come back together.

In the end though the feelings that were between them before are still there, and with the helping hand of a few accidents to keep them in each other's hair, it's not hard for them to rekindle their attraction. The hard part is recommitting to that HEA; for Paige to believe that Austin isn't going to hurt her again and that the feelings they have for each are enough to last a lifetime.

I've always loved the old fashioned romance, they're the books that first caught my heart, and Miller has a created a great series in these brothers - even though I only read Austin's book I got enough of a back story with the other two that I'm sure their books were just as charming. I definitely recommend that you pick this up!

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. Harlequin often publishes nice, wonderfully uncomplicated romances, and Miller has created a tale that has heart and staying power.

Series - 1) McKettricks of Texas: Tate 2) McKettricks of Texas: Garrett 3) McKettricks of Texas: Austin

Monday Musings (7/26)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about book reviewing.

Do you review books? If so, for who?

If not, have you ever thought about doing so? Why, or why not?

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 MizB at Should Be Reading

I do review books, and while it hasn't always been for a blog, I'd like to think I've been reviewing books since high school.

I say that because the idea for something like this blog has been with me since then. I've always been that girl who reads incessantly - and I've also been lucky enough to be that girl with the friends who care that she reads. It started off as a simple idea for a website that would list all the books I've read with maybe a star rating or something to give my friends a clue about whether it was worth their time. The only problem with this was that even in high school it was a daunting task to try and catalog and even quick review by personal library.

In college, after Facebook and all those other expressions of generational angst came to the forefront, blogging occurred to me as a possibility I should look into. The problem with that bright idea then was that I was just TOO BUSY to blog consistently about what I was reading. The reading itself might have kept me sane, but finding the time to discuss what was going in and out of my life just wasn't magically appearing and making itself available.

It wasn't until after college really that book blogging became something I could commit the necessary time to. I'm lucky to have a job where I spend the majority of my time sitting in front of the computer, and that allows me the opportunity to take my thoughts about any particular book and release them to everyone. My time doing this has been filled with wonderful books and people and chances to learn more about blogging community. It's never been solely about the book blogs, blogging in general has opened doors to a bazillion other avenues that people have taken to showcase what they love.

I'm honored to be a book blogger and love the places that it's taken me; at this point I can't imagine doing anything else!

Sing-a-Long......Mondays? (7/26)

Sing-a-Long Fridays is hosted by Dana at Reading Amidst the Chaos.

All you need to do is pick a song from one of your favorite shows, movies, or artists and post it on your blog or comment with the link below so that other people can karaoke away! It's a great way to share the excitement of another Friday and an even better way to get the party started for the weekend!

I forgot! I forgot! Sorry blog readers, Friday was kind of a random day for me and apparently that's just when my brain likes to slip up! To compensate here are TWO great songs to get your Monday pumping!




Friday, July 23, 2010

Creating your 'reading spot'

Creating the right environment for me, or anyone, who's a reader should (I think) revolve around 3 things: lighting, seating, and shelving.

Though we only ever really remember it when it's off somehow, I consider lighting very important to the whole 'perfect to read in' scene. Whether it's reading lights, flashlights, or table lamps, if you're not able to comfortably see and decipher your book it's going to get annoying. The same goes for seating and shelving: without the right pieces in the right places, things can go to hell in a hand basket pretty quickly.

Of course this doesn't mean you can't choose to read for awhile somewhere random that's maybe not perfect - people are finicky creatures and I'm sure this happens quite often. But, I'm sure most of you would agree that if you could design your own ideal reading location it would probably include a nice comfy chair with something nearby to put your book on (or have extras waiting).

Just last week I was approached by a representative at CSN Stores with an offer to try out one of their products in my own reading spot. They have wonderful examples for all of the 'Big Three' and I can't wait to try something out! My plan right now is to do a video on whatever I get, and if it's shelving or something that involves some building I think you're going to get another one of those cute 'time lapse+music' ones! Of course I have no idea how I'm going to film it since I don't have a tripod and I know my roomie's not going to hold my camera at just the right angle forever, but I've decided that doesn't matter. I'm a smart girl - it'll work out.

Stay tuned for the real life review and demonstration!!

Damn Nazi Spiders

Hey Everyone! I'm experiencing a somewhat epically long Friday today and combined with an extreme state of exhaustion it has made me completely unable to do anything substantive at work. Instead I've decided that all day I'm just going to keep reading stories from the blog Hyperbole and a Half and see if I can still answer phones while laughing hysterically. To help you your decision to go visit this blog (WHICH YOU MUST DO), here is an example of her greatness:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thirsty Thursday (7/22)

Thirsty Thursdays is hosted by Dana at Reading Amidst the Chaos and anyone can join in!

To share in the debauchery just think of one of your favorite alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages and say why you love it and how to make it! You can link to your own blog or leave a comment below with your choice, but please include the mixology of whatever it is so that other people can give it a try!

I think this week I'd rather hear from you guys about a topic that seems to always be up for contention: wine. White or red, full bodied or dessert, it's a choice that apparently says a lot about you (though I wouldn't really know what exactly). I'm a VERY recent wine convert, as in I didn't
enjoy or drink it before last year, and I just don't understand the hype. I will admit up front that I like the most unsophisticated of wines - very sweet whites. I'm unable to recognizes any notes and I really don't care what a wine should be 'paired' with. I just drink the ones I like with everything.

So - how about you guys? Which wines are your favorites? Can you tell the difference between good ones and bad ones?

Motor City Fae by Cindy Spencer Pape

Detroit artist Meagan Kelly has had a strong sixth sense all her life, but that doesn't mean the gorgeous stranger's crazy story—that she's a half-elf, half human heiress—is true. But Meagan can't deny the evidence of her own eyes—he's Fae. A tall, blond, handsome, pointy-eared elf—and a man she just can't get enough of.

Ric Thornhill's assignment just got a lot more complicated. The more time he spends with Meagan, the harder it is to see her as a political tool to prevent an all-out war between humans and Fae.

Now Meagan's in a race to master her newly released powers in time to prevent the conflict, convince a jealous Queen not to strip Ric of his powers, and find out if she can build a life that straddles two worlds.

*I requested a copy of this title to review through netGalley*

I enjoyed this ebook quite a bit. The Fae have been a more and more popular a topic for paranormal/fanasy romance lately, but Pape does a good job at having her story stick out of the crowd. It's a familiar plot in good hands I'd say, and the result is a great read.

Meagan is nice and feisty, as all good heroines should be, and Ric has the necessary sex appeal combined with honor that make him a believable hero. The dialogue is on point, and while the bad guys are mostly obviously placed, they also all end up getting the perfect comeuppance for their traitorous actions.

The last thing I'd like to point out for this ebook is that it is an erotica and has some nicely well written love scenes. Whether Meagan is fed up and jumping Ric's bones or he's putting his 'seduce' on, the two of them together are spicy! But spicy with emotion, which is what I crave when reading any kind of erotica/romance/whatever.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up! I was a little worried going into it, but Pape has a fun & sexy romance between Meagan and Ric with just enough Fae intrigue and betrayal to keep me interested.

Series - 1) Motor City Fae

Huh? o_O


Well this was a great way to begin my Thursday. Is it a Stone Age dildo? Is it a carving tool?
Who cares because we all know what it looks like!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope’s Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again. The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items. But just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done.

And there are certainly those who will give anything to find a way in.

Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse.

It turns out I had no idea what I was getting into with this one. I thought I did, but I really - really - didn't.

Vaughn creates in Discord's Apple an intriguing look at a scarily possibly post-apocalyptic future, with terrorists and road checks a part of everyday life. Evie is just another woman there, trying to eke out a living as a comic book writer when she gets the worst new: her father is dying and she's needed back in Colorado. Once she's there everything changes, as she learns more and more about the legacy she's heir to.

But the story is more than just that; in addition to Evie's journey to help and care for her father, readers are drawn in the world of Sinon/Alex, the man who convinced Troy to open its doors to the horse. With him comes Hera, Apollo, and the whole pantheon of Greek Gods from myth and legend. Magic is being released back into the world, no longer under the guard of the Keepers of the Storeroom. What that magic will do, how it will be used by man and Gods alike are the questions.

Vaughn writes the story flipping between quite a few different characters' viewpoints. It took me a few chapters to get the hang of it, because it wasn't always obvious who I was reading about, but by the end it I was quite happy with her choice. Leading me as a reader to see things from different people allowed Vaughn to explain and explore the post-apocalyptic world she'd created without 'telling' me about it. I still don't know why exactly the US has roadblocks and you need a permit to drive with oil - the explanation for that particular disaster isn't explained. But what Evie and her creative partner Bruce experience as inhabitants of this future world do all the work of letting me know that bad things have and still are happening.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. It was not at all what I was expecting but it's a very well written novel combining old magic, fable, technology - and the end of the world.

Series - None

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (7/20)

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!

"If a nuclear bomb struck, would they even know it?

The radio cut out with a high-pitched whine.
If the world ended, would anything come after? Would they be able to look back and know what happened?"

--pg 278, Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Search by Nora Roberts

To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life-a quaint house on an island off Seattle's coast, a thriving dog-training school, and a challenging volunteer job performing canine search and rescues. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare...

Several years ago, Fiona was the only survivor of the Red Scarf serial killer, who shot and killed Fiona's cop fiancé and his K-9 partner.

On Orcas Island, Fiona found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. But all that changes on the day Simon Doyle barrels up her drive, desperate for her help. He's the reluctant owner of an out-of-control puppy, foisted upon him by his mother. Jaws has eaten through Simon's house, and he's at his wit's end.

To Fiona, Jaws is nothing she can't handle. Simon, however, is another matter. A newcomer to Orcas, he's a rugged and in-tensely private artist, known for the exquisite furniture he creates from wood. Simon never wanted a puppy-and he most definitely doesn't want a woman. Besides, the lanky redhead is not his type. But tell that to his hormones.

As Fiona embarks on training Jaws, and Simon begins to appreciate both dog and trainer, the past tears back into Fiona's life. A copycat killer has emerged out of the shadows, a man whose bloodlust has been channeled by a master with one motive: to reclaim the woman who slipped out of his hands...

Can I just start out by saying that I love Simon? He's such a curmudgeon (albeit a young and cute one). He doesn't want a dog, he doesn't want to need a trainer, and he definitely doesn't want to want Fiona. He's blunt 24/7, doesn't ever hide what he's thinking, and that combination - especially with the gruff sweetness he shows his dog Jaws - it's just a lot of fun to read about this love story. Fiona is integral to that though, because she's an independent woman who veers between being attracted to Simon for his hot body and artistic mind, and being turned off by his ability to say exactly the wrong thing at exactly the worst time (or at least it seems that way in the beginning).

Together their relationship is played against the backdrop of a murder mystery. A new killer has taken up the cause of one already imprisoned, and he's learning as he goes; starting as a puppet he has his own brand new kind of crazy to help him along. It works well with the romance I think because Nora Roberts always does a great job of using these type of personal challenges to her characters as building blocks that push the hero and heroine closer together faster than what would be allowed normally.

With the added in cuteness of the dogs and the help of perfectly placed supporting characters, Roberts knocks it out of the park again with a romantic suspense that is quite quintessentially her.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. A great old school Nora Roberts, there's the perfect mix of creepy killer and sweet love story.

Series - None

Musing Mondays (7/19)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about what your books say about you.

What does your bookshelf (or, what do your bookshelves) say about you to the people who come into your home?

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 MizB at Should Be Reading

My books probably say three main things about me:

1) I'm a hopeless romantic
2) I like vampire and werewolves WAAAY too much, and
3) I'm weirdly interesting in Japanese manga and pop culture

The first point I'd probably have to live up to because it is true that probably 85% of what I have on my shelf are romance books with HEA's. It started in middle school, maintained through highschool, and didn't go anywhere during college, so why put the breaks on it now? I like a happy ending. I like rough sex (mostly) and fast action that culminates in an emotional reunion. Sue me. (Though of course I like sweet romances almost as much as the bumpy ones, because it's very calming to know right from the beginning that everything's going to work out).

The vampire and werewolves thing is just a factor of me have loved paranormal fantasies for a long time (most of my life really). What I am happy to report is that it will NOT show that I love Twilight because it's not on my shelf! HAPPY DANCE! I have much higher caliber vampire smut, like Robin McKinley, L.J. Smith, or Laurell K Hamilton. If people could actually see what I've purchased as e-book they might not be as confident in my tastes but luckily that list is ALL MINE.

I haven't bought as much of it lately, but I think manga and Japanese pop culture definitely deserves a shout out when considering what's on my shelves. I minored in it college, started taking the language in high school, and spent a lot of middle school watching Sailor Moon and Tenchi Muyo!. Thus when I graduated from college I couldn't part with all the random non-fiction titles on globalization through cartoons or Takarazuka theater. I feel like if I opened a library from what I own now, any non-fiction section would be overwhelmed by Japanese culture essays, poetry, and some environment/global warming text books. The left over pieces of a $41K a year college education.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chimera by Rob Thurman

Ten years ago, Stefan Korsak’s younger brother was kidnapped. No one knew who took Lukas, or why. He was simply gone. But not a day has passed that Stefan hasn’t thought about him. As a rising figure in the Russian mafia, he has finally found him.

But when he rescues Lukas, he must confront a terrible truth–his brother is no longer his brother. He is a killer. Trained, brainwashed, and genetically transformed into a flesh-and-blood machine with only one purpose–assassination. Now, those who created him…will do anything to reclaim him.

And the closer Stefan grows to his brother, the more he realizes that saving Lukas may be easier than surviving him…

Rob Thurman is one of those authors that is bringing back male centered fiction for me. Along with Simon R. Green and Jim Butcher, Thurman writes first person male narratives that are engaging and enthralling, while never dropping the ball with any supportive female roles. Everyone ends up very equal, even if it turns out that one is a half-human/half-monster hybrid that has the ability to destroy the world (her other series).

In addition to wonderfully fleshed out main characters, the other thing that makes me so excited about Thurman's releases is her ability to take an old genre and make it new. This kind of science fiction/pseudo paranormal base is not anything new, especially for the urban fantasty genre, but it is not done as rote here. Stefan is a complex character who's had to do a lot of bad things to try and get the opportunity to do one good: find this brother. There are a lot of places where we as the reader are lead to believe one thing only to find out a twist at the end.

I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it to pretty much everyone. I can't wait to read the next installment and would love to hear about what you think if you give it a try!

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. I love Rob Thurman's work, her ability to take a character - male or female - and make them believable to the reader. When she also combines it with an incredibly unique set of plot circumstances you can't deny that you've got a good thing on your hands.

Series - 1) Chimera

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sing-a-Long Fridays (7/16)

Sing-a-Long Fridays is hosted by Dana at Reading Amidst the Chaos.

All you need to do is pick a song from one of your favorite shows, movies, or artists and post it on your blog or comment with the link below so that other people can karaoke away! It's a great way to share the excitement of another Friday and an even better way to get the party started for the weekend!

Now this pick for today is random, and I heartily thank my iPod for reminding me of it! When I was little I was most definitely raised as a Muppets girl. Kermit and Ms. Piggy were my ish okay? That didn't change as I got older, which is why I have a large stuffed Kermit the Frog. It might also explain my love for flying pigs, though that one also has something to do with some books I read when I was younger....anyway, I digress.

The important thing is that if you haven't heard/seen/sung along to the Muppets performing 'Kokomo', you have missed out! The video is a complete classic and showcases all of the wonderful personality quirks that each Muppet character possesses. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and that it makes you smile!



From the Joy of Facebook


From 2010: The Page-A-Day Calendar on Facebook, created by C. Spencer

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thirsty Thursday (7/15)

Thirsty Thursdays is hosted by Dana at Reading Amidst the Chaos and anyone can join in!

To share in the debauchery just think of one of your favorite alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages and say why you love it and how to make it! You can link to your own blog or leave a comment below with your choice, but please include the mixology of whatever it is so that other people can give it a try!

I reached out to a friend of mine for this Thursday's Thirsty, but I have to agree that what she picked is fantastic! I
don't care what kind of hot day or hot food you're having, a Mango Lassi is always refreshing. Relatively easy, most of the recipes I've found involve yogurt, mango, & milk, which also makes it better for you than most American milkshakes (no ice-cream). Of course I am somewhat culinary challenged and don't even own a blender, so it's doubtful that one of these would be coming out fresh from my kitchen anytime soon. Though because of how delicious it is I hope that one of you out there learns how to make it for yourself! (maybe you can think of someway to cheat and not use a blender - that would be cool)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Night Myst by Yasmine Galenorn

Eons ago, vampires tried to turn the Dark Fae in order to harness their power. Instead, they created a demonic enemy more powerful than they dared to dream. Bent on enslaving the world, the Vampiric Fae have been quietly massing their strength for centuries. Now, Myst, queen of the Indigo Court, is rising again...and a long-prophesied war is brewing...

Born a witch, Cicely Waters can control the wind. When her Elemental warns her that her aunt and cousin are in danger, she packs her Pontiac GTO and returns home for the first time in twenty years. But the magical town of New Forest, Washington has changed. The Indigo Court holds the city in fear; people are vanishing, and strange deaths plague the town. Swept into an unexpected and passionate reunion with her trusted childhood friend Grieve, the Fae prince who taught her how to harness the wind, Cicely finds herself with a fierce and territorial lover. But Grieve has become enslaved by Myst's court, and now both lovers must walk a fine line to survive the machinations of the Vampiric Fae Queen. Caught between two evils, both vying for supremacy, Cicely must fight for her family and her future. As she discovers the hidden secrets to her own heritage, will she lose her soul in the process?

I had a lot of hopes for this book because the description was interesting and the heroine started out so kick ass. Unfortunately, this book didn't seem to hold on to that feeling and instead turned into a case of 'woulda shoulda coulda'.

The entire book I was left with the feeling that Cicely was just not living up to her potential. Raised on the streets, cool magic with the wind, tattoos and magic - what's not to like? Well I didn't like the fact that she didn't seem able to really accomplish everything. Cicely seemed to spend the entire book as a pawn to everyone around her. Not able to keep herself out of anything, not able to protect herself, her family, or her friends it turned into one big sucks-fest.

I understand a heroine that's not perfect - that should be able to go through the bad and the good and come out the other end stronger, but I just did not see that here. Instead I felt frustrated the entire time. I didn't understand how Galenorn had started with a character who had such promise to affect at least some kind of positive change and ended with a woman who couldn't seem to actually do anything.

****Slight Spoiler Alert****

And then that whole scene with the vampire Lannanne (spelling's questionable there)? That really creeped me out. I couldn't understand the use of sexual language in what is essentially to me a rape scene. I don't care how she might have responded to what he was doing, Cicely says no repeatedly, is humiliated right from the beginning (along with throughout), and at the end feels degraded and violated as a person. Then when Galenorn has him respond to Cicely's questions with the 'I'm a predator, this is what I do, I don't understand why you're confused at my actions' line it just killed me even more. I was disgusted and at that point continued to finish the book more to know what happened than any real enjoyment.

****Spoiler Over****

Maybe I'm just disappointed because this is the start to a new series and not what I'm used to as an addition to her Otherworld series. Either way I don't see myself buying any future releases, and I would recommend that interested readers try finding a copy at the library first before putting down any money.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs down. I tried so hard to like this book, Cicely had great potential to be another kick ass heroine for the paranormal genre, but in the end it just fizzled out in disappointment.

Series - 1) Night Myst

Her Heart's Divide by Kathleen Dienne

Lila was a faithful, loyal wife.

Ryan was her sexy, loving husband.

And so was Jack...?

Jack, however, was her boss, not her husband—why was he claiming her as his own? Lila had been passionately happy with Ryan for more than seven years. Yes, there'd been a moment when she'd first been attracted to Jack, but then she'd met his best friend, Ryan. They'd fallen in love and married. Jack claimed that in his world, their attraction had led to the altar.

And now she was caught between two men—two husbands—in the wildest situation Lila could ever have imagined. But what she wasn't imagining were the two men touching her, pleasing her, caressing her...

*I requested a copy of this title to review through netGalley*

I had a lot of fun reading this short story. It was hard in the beginning, just because I was thrown into the middle of everything, but Dienne quickly works to draw the reader into this triangular relationship. Lila and Ryan are married so when Jack shows up one day saying that he's the one married to Lila, it's confusing to say the least. You don't initially know how, but the Jack we're introduced to do has been plucked from an alternative universe, where everything is the same except that in his world he married Lila.

The best part about this erotica is how real everyone's reactions are. Jack lusts after Lila because to him they're married, but she doesn't want to betray Ryan and so is naturally confused about what's going on. There isn't an immediate 'let's jump into bed - everyone's married so it all works out!' conversation. Instead Ryan's fantasies and Jack's feelings for 'his' Lila come together to create a chance for Lila to live out the forbidden.

Don't you just feel the tension?

The final scenes are sexy and well written and are wonderful examples of how sensual sex can be without gimmicks (if you don't think alternative realities are gimmicks). Lila doesn't magically have a butt plug or desires to have two dicks in one hole - no one suggests any ridiculous positions or anything like that. Instead the three of them come together in a very organic and real way - which is what is missing from a lot of other erotica released today.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. I wish it was longer, as the plot was interesting and I really liked Ryan and Jack, but Dienne does a great job at creating a sexy read in a few amount of pages.

Series - None

Teaser Tuesdays (7/13)

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!

"'Okay.' Jackie start to walk out but stopped. 'Do not, Irene, take apart my Macintosh.'

Irene looked over at the newest 'thing' in computing. A three-thousand-dollar Steve Jobs joke, if you asked her. A overpriced toy. Still, Irene wanted to take it apart to see what Jobs had done. Damn Jackie for knowing her so well!"

--pg 54, Miss Congeniality by Shelly Laurenston, in When He Was Bad

Monday, July 12, 2010

Musing Mondays (7/12)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about distractions.

Can you read amidst distractions? (tv, others talking, sporting events, etc)

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 MizB at Should Be Reading

I actually LOVE reading amidst distractions. If it's too quiet I feel confined almost by my activity. I like reading in my living room in front of the TV, on the bus/metro heading to work - it can be anywhere if I have my iPod.

In fact I remember distinctly that with the last Laurell K. Hamilton novella, Flirt, I sat in the food court at the mall to finish it. I had been reading it at home, but after I finished shopping I felt this irresistible urge to grab a drink and a seat in the FC and continue reading. This is a pretty typical example of how reading can go for me.

I think it all has to do with my love of libraries and books and people. My love of books has always been wrapped up in my love of people, in the chance to talk with people about what I'm reading now and what I could be reading next. If I only read by myself without any sound or distraction around me it's much less likely that when I wanted to talk to someone about a part of a book that there'd be anyone there to accommodate my crazy!

see katie draw - MONSTERS

Good Monday Everyone!

The oh so wonderful artist behind Reading Amidst the Chaos's banner, Katie Grosskopf, is having an art show
THIS FRIDAY (July 16th) in Atlanta, GA! I unfortunately will not be able to attend (darn flight costs), but if you're in the area you should definitely go (heck if you're in the state you should go!).

I have known Katie since high school and over the years seen her abilities as an artist grow amazingly. Plus this particular show highlights some great pieces -
Why would you want to miss out?! There's also going to be an after party at Halo Lounge, so not only would you get the chance to see some awesome artwork, you'd also get the opportunity to partake in the Atlanta nightlife!

But I guess I should offer some options for the people like me who don't live in Atlanta, right? Well there are a few other ways to see Katie's art and learn more about her as an artist. You can visit her at:

her blog -
see katie draw - www.seekatiedraw.com

on twitter - see_katie_draw - http://www.twitter.com/see_katie_draw

on Facebook -
MONSTERS - http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=134454126575411&ref=ts

Hope you stop by her show, if you do don't forget to let her know that Dana sent you!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sing-a-Long Fridays (7/9)

Sing-a-Long Fridays is hosted by Dana at Reading Amidst the Chaos.

All you need to do is pick a song from one of your favorite shows, movies, or artists and post it on your blog or comment with the link below so that other people can karaoke away! It's a great way to share the excitement of another Friday and an even better way to get the party started for the weekend!

It's the Friday after a long weekend and, like most short weeks, I feel as if it has been the longest ever experienced in recorded history. To celebrate the end of some things and the beginning of some others, I thought I'd highlight the biggest and bestest dance party/parade ever done in a movie. Who doesn't love Ferris Bueller's Day Off? And who doesn't recognize the absolute greatness of 'Twist and Shout'?! 'Shake it up baby now - shake it up baby!' (Imagine me singing along with possibly flailing limbs, trying in vain to recreate this scene.)


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh

Return to the powerful, turbulent Psy/Changeling world created by the “amazingly talented”* Nalini Singh, as a human detective finds himself working the most unlikely of cases—in the dark heart of a Councilor’s domain…

Max Shannon is a good cop, one of the best in New York Enforcement. Born with a natural shield that protects him against Psy mental invasions, he knows he has little chance of advancement within the Psy-dominated power structure. The last case he expects to be assigned is that of a murderer targeting a Psy Councilor’s closest advisors. And the last woman he expects to compel him in the most sensual of ways is a Psy on the verge of a catastrophic mental fracture…


Sophia Russo is a Justice-Psy, cursed with the ability to retrieve memories from men and women so twisted even veteran cops keep their distance. Appointed as Max’s liaison with the Psy, she finds herself fascinated by this human, her frozen heart threatening to thaw with forbidden emotion. But, her mind filled with other people’s nightmares, other people’s evil, she’s standing on the border between sanity and a silken darkness that urges her to take justice into her own hands, to become judge, jury…and executioner…

You know I could try harder to wax poetically about what makes Nalini Singh such a great author and the Psy-Changeling Series such a wonderful series, but I just don't you'll get it.

Every time Singh comes out with a new book this series gets better and better. Not only is she terrific at creating self contained love stories within each book, she is is proving herself a master of the longer story arch. Each successive book continues the central story of Psy, Changelings, and Humans all trying to figure out how to live with each other; harder still when as a reader you realize that one part of the triangle is breaking down under stress.

Also Singh writes a very emotionally compelling love story with every book. I think that's what has her stand out as such a great romance writer. Her romances are central to everything and I as a reader feel attached to all of the characters; watching both parties grow individually and together they mean a lot to me.

When you read as much as I do it's even more a joy to have the chance to read a series written by an author that obviously takes the time and energy to craft an intelligent, emotionally gratifying, exciting love story. I highly recommend this series to anyone and everyone.

Overall Feeling - THUMBS UP. Singh pulls out another incredible paranormal romance that tugs at the heart and has you racing to the finish line.

Series - 1) Slave to Sensation 2) Visions of Heat 3) Caressed by Ice 4) Mine to Possess 5) Hostage to Pleasure 6) Branded by Fire 7) Blaze of Memory 8) Bonds of Justice 9) Play of Passion (November 2010)

Thirsty Thursday (7/8)

Thirsty Thursdays is hosted by Dana at Reading Amidst the Chaos and anyone can join in!

To share in the debauchery just think of one of your favorite alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages and say why you love it and how to make it! You can link to your own blog or leave a comment below with your choice, but please include the mixology of whatever it is so that other people can give it a try!

In honor of the heat wave that is gripping the East Coast, take today and drink some WATER! Your body will appreciate it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Derek's Bane by MaryJanice Davidson

Derik's a werewolf with alpha issues—and a body to die for.

Sara is the personification of unspeakable evil—and smells like roses.

Now if they could just stop drooling over each other long enough to save the world.

I decided to do another pick from my own shelves and went with one of Davidson's older novels (it came out in 2005). Now I haven't run out and bought anything she's released recently, I fell out of love with the Betsey series many moons ago, but this book is still one I enjoy.

Sara is great as the ridiculous 'lucky' reincarnation of Morgan Le Fay, the doomed sister of King Arthur who's destined to destroy the world. When you can give rapists heart attacks from miles away and make the werewolf in front of you have a brain aneurysm - all without even trying - it's not so bad to be you.

The other reason this story works so well is of course Derek, who I think takes the cake as one of the most unique werewolves ever described. Have you read about another one who not only loves to cook, but has a 'Free Martha' t-shirt AND is obsessed with meeting Rachel Ray? Have you?! I think not.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. There's some really funny scenes and catchy dialogue that make this a very entertaining read. Plus a werewolf that wears pro-Martha Stewart t-shirts? Priceless.

Series - 1) Love's Prisoner (in an anthology) 2) Jared's Wolf (in an anthology) 3) Derek's Bane

Teaser Tuesdays (7/6)

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!


"Then came a moment of blazing truth. "No!" she cried triumphantly. "Like and equal are not the same thing at all!""

--pg 150, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Monday, July 5, 2010

Looking Back: June

Well, this didn't quite get posted in as timely a manner as I would have hoped, but here is my monthly roundup! June was a month filled with comfort reads: a lot of the time I found myself reaching for an old favorite, not for the shiny just published book. I think that's because June was a relatively stressful month personally, and when it's stressful in one area I like it to be easy somewhere else. Luckily Shelly Laurenston and Nora Roberts are always around and littering my shelves with happy, funny, romantic, sexy novels that are a joy to read. Curling up with a good book just wouldn't be the same without my re-reads, and this month definitely proves it.

The Mane Event
by Shelly Laurenston
The Mane Attraction
by Shelly Laurenston
The Beast in Him
by Shelly Laurenston
Naked by Megan Hart
Bullet by Laurell K Hamilton (x2)
Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
Burning Up by Susan Andersen
Shut Up and Kiss Me
by Christie Craig
Burning Wild by Christine Feehan
A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire
Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston
Coin Operated by Ginny Glass
The Panther's Lair
by Esmerelda Bishop
Miss Foster's Folly by Alice Gaines
Coming Undone by Lauren Dane
Cordina's Royal Family by Nora Roberts
Cordina's Crown Jewel
by Nora Roberts
Night Tales
by Nora Roberts
Night Shield
by Nora Roberts
Dark Melody by Christine Feehan
Chimera by Rob Thurman
Marvin and the Three Bears by Tielle St. Clare
Better Late Than Never
by Savannah Stuart
Consent to the Cowboy by Abby Wood
Secrets by Jude Deveraux

Reviews/Books Read: 15/26
(counting rereads, anthologies count as 1 book)


Musing Mondays (7/5)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about what you're reading!

What are you currently reading? Would you recommend it to others? Is it part of a series (if so, which one)? What are you thinking about it? What book(s) would you compare it to, if any?

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 MizB at Should Be Reading

I actually just picked up a new book this morning, Family Man by Jayne Ann Krentz. It isn't part of a series per se, but Krentz does have a few similar novels that star spunky heroines and misunderstood/brooding/sexy heroes. I've always loved her for her contemporary romance, because as much as I love the paranormal romance genre I do sometimes like to read other things. I know! It's amazing!

I've actually already read this particular title of Krentz's before, so I know I would recommend it to others.

QUICK BLURB -

Almost a decade of working for the high-powered Gilchrist family empire has made Katy Wade sassy, spunky- and secretly determined to open her own business. There's one last problem she has to solver before she feels free to 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 own business expertise to rescue his family, but one look in his sexy green eyes, and she knows why they affectionately call him 'the Bastard."

That's not the whole back, but you get a good idea of what the story is about. I enjoy the old school feel of the title, in the way Katy and Luke interact with each other. I also think that Krentz does a wonderful job creating an eccentric family in the Gilchrists who's own pride and drama often causes their own issues.

And to compare it to something? Hmmmm, if I had to say it was similar to anything I'd have to compare this title to some of the older Nora Roberts like Blithe Images or Dual Image. Something about the gruffness of the heroes in both of these Roberts' novels urges me to put them on the same level of Family Man.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!!

I hope everyone's playing safe with the fireworks (not blowing off any fingers- they're important to turn pages) and going to a least 1 BBQ!

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Sing-a-Long Fridays (7/2)

Sing-a-Long Fridays is hosted by Dana at Reading Amidst the Chaos.

All you need to do is pick a song from one of your favorite shows, movies, or artists and post it on your blog or comment with the link below so that other people can karaoke away! It's a great way to share the excitement of another Friday and an even better way to get the party started for the weekend!

Ahh the 90's. Suggested by a coworker, this song is in memory of every girl who likes the summer (or maybe just the heat) and is going to be enjoying some sun this 4th of July weekend!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thirsty Thursdays (7/1)

Thirsty Thursdays is hosted by Dana at Reading Amidst the Chaos and anyone can join in!

To share in the debauchery just think of one of your favorite alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages and say why you love it and how to make it! You can link to your own blog or leave a comment below with your choice, but please include the mixology of whatever it is so that other people can give it a try!

This week I've chosen a drink that is *not* for the faint at heart. The blue motorcycle is the non-Coke lovers
version of the Long Island Iced Tea and one or more of these can make sure you have a GREAT evening. Everything might be a little fuzzy, but you're going to have a great time none the less.

Instead of Coke this drink has Sprite, along with some Curacao which is the ingredient that gives it its blue color. I actually like this quite a bit but depending on your bartender it can be hit or miss. If you're planning a wild and crazy evening, why not add a blue motorcycle into your midst? Never hurts to try something new!

Marvin and the Three Bears by Tielle St. Clare

When a novice Fairy Godmother accidentally drops some sexed-up Happily Ever After Fairy Dust on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Marvin—second-in-command in Fairy Tale Land—jumps in to save the tale.

Taking over for Goldilocks should be simple, right? All he has to do is eat the porridge, sit on the chair and sleep in the bed. And when the Three Bears return home, run screaming from the house.

But the Fairy Dust has changed things…including the Three Bears. They’ve turned human. Baby Bear is no baby. Mama Bear wears black leather and wields a wicked paddle. And Papa Bear? Oh my…he’s going to make sure Marvin pays for the damage he’s done, inch by luscious inch.

Tielle St. Clare is one of my favorite erotica authors because she does a tremendous job at combining really hot sex with enough feeling to keep me involved. I'm a romance girl at heart and without little bits of feelings here or there I'm not as connected to what happens to the characters. I'm always going to want a HEA - I just love having hot sex happen along the way.

This title brings back characters from a previous title (Fairy Dust) and continues an interesting set up: A Fairy Godmother, who was charged with watching over and maintaining the integrity of certain fairy tales, spiced up her magic dust and added a bit of sexual pleasure to some treasured traditional stories. As Assistant Manager, Marvin's charged with trying to clean up the mess when some of that 'special' dust spills into Godilocks and the Three Bears. Well when the dust turns baby bear into a sweetly submissive young hottie, mama bear into a dominating switch, and papa bear into a RED ALERT CHILI man of means, then you know you're in for a good time! It's a rollicking good time for those open to eroticas that feature some partner switching, and both Alex (papa bear) and Marvin are great characters to take the lead in this X-rated rendition of a usually non-romantic fairy tale.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. Very spicy all the way through and there are enough different
kinds of sex depicted here to please anyone. And enough romance at the end to wrap it all up with sweet feelings.

Series - 1) Fairy Dust 2) Marvin and the Three Bears