Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Release Day and Make-Up Monday

Happy Release Day to a lot of fabulous authors today!

I'm going to have to plan a trip to the book store this week! I'm also going to be running out to check the mail everyday. Don't you just love when you're waiting for something in the mail that isn't a bill? I'm like a kid waiting to go to the toy store. I ordered a signed copy of Lara Adrian's Taken by Midnight so am jumping up and down waiting for that to get here. 
I'm looking forward to Carlos', a panther shifter, story in Eat Prey Love. And seeing how his story develops with Caitlyn Whelan, Shanna's sister. It promises to be a humorous romantic read. And Torment especially since I was left with a lot of questions at the end of Fallen. Hopefully some of them will be answered. Bespelling Jane Austen is a compilation of four best selling authors that put a paranormal twist on Austen's work. I am looking forward to Colleen Gleason's Northanger Castle in that one. And The Heir of the Night looks to be a promising debut to Lowe's four book series. 

I read a great series over the weekend by Virginia Kantra, The Children of the Sea. If you are looking for a more adult version of The Little Mermaid look no further! 
The first book in the series is Sea WitchIt is about Margred, a selkie, who goes to shore for one night to slake her desires but finds herself unable to forget the passion and connection she found with the human male, Police Cheif Caleb Hunter. Caleb came back to World's End to find some peace and enjoy the simple island life in his small hometown. But after going out to investigate a routine call his quiet world is turned upside down by the dark and alluring Maggie and a murder investigation.  
A well told story that flows smoothly with captivating characters and a fantastical, but believable, world above and below the sea. 
The series continues with Sea Fever, Sea Lord and Immortal Sea with Forgotten Sea being released in June 2011. The first three books in the series follow the Hunter siblings while books 4 and 5 follow other popular, once secondary, characters from the series.

Forgot the mancandy for Beefcake Monday last week on our FB page so to make up for it I'll post it here as well. Hopefully you'll find it as delicious as I do. I do love me some tattoos.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Where did the time go and some sad news...

So I think I was shoved into some kind of time vortex when I wasn't paying attention because I'm missing a week. No idea where it went, I just woke up this morning and *poof* it was gone. I could of used that week too darn it. 

Jennifer Rardin
Last Monday I saw some very sad news. A fantastic author, Jennifer Rardin, passed away unexpectedly. My condolences to her family and friends. She had a wonderful sense of human that showed in her Jaz Parks series. She cracked me up in all her interviews, comments and FB posts. Here is her last post on FB from Fri., Sept. 17th. 

Jennifer Rardin can't eat Jell-O without sluicing it between my teeth like it's mouthwash. Which makes me think Jell-O should go into the breath freshening biz. What a way to make your morning routine more entertaining!

I never had the opportunity to meet her but from everything I've heard & read about her and from her posts she was a very warm, friendly, supportive, caring and funny person who loved her family deeply. And she will be missed greatly by all. Her next book (the 7th in the Jaz Parks series) will be coming out November 8th and the final book in her series (which was completed before her passing) will be out June 2011. In memory of her I'd like to ask everyone who hasn't read her books to go out and pick one up and those of you who have, to re-read them. She will always live on through her characters and I thank her for her wonderful work. 

I will post the Beefcake Monday posting tomorrow as I don't think it'd be appropriate to include in this post. 

Less then two weeks until our next book club meeting. I haven't even purchased Book of Shadows yet but still have plenty of time. THANKFULLY Sony sent me a new ereader last week. *inserthappydancehere*

Off to make up a weeks worth of stuff...

Friday, September 17, 2010

His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone *OCTOBER 26 PEOPLE, MARK YOUR CALENDERS!*

His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone

You will not want to miss this next novel in rock star Juliana Stone's Jaguar Warriors series! 

A solitary hunter with no regard for the human world, Jagger Castille is a shifter living on the edge. It will take the woman who calls him enemy to give him a reason to live.

Jagger is a creature of the night—Skye Knightly soars in the sun. Natural adversaries, they have been joined by destiny in a mission entrusted to Skye’s family centuries ago: Nothing less than the salvation of the Earth.
Wounded and bitter, Jagger sought escape in the solitude of the jungle, driven by a need to disappear forever… until a mysterious shifter who calls to his soul and feeds a yearning long forgotten, pulls him from his dark path. A courageous warrior, Skye’s passion is equal to Jagger’s own—but can she trust a man on the edge? A man whose secrets are as devastating as her own?
Each is the other’s sole hope for survival. But a dark and twisted truth is leading them toward the ultimate sacrifice for a love they may never live to claim.

I actually was incredibly fantastically fabulously lucky to have won a Digital ARC of this novel from Ms. Stone and finished it today. Let me just say, WOW! I thought His Darkest Hunger was amazing! (You can find my thoughts on that here) My ereader died a few weeks ago so I sat at my desk reading this on the computer all night and day because I could. not. stop! If you have not read Stone's first novel in the Jaguar Warriors series drop what you're doing now and GO GET IT. Then, prepare yourself for more yummy jaguar deliciousness coming your way October 26th. You say, "But Crystal, that's over a month away!" Well I say, The wait is sooooo.......  worth it! I'm now itching for the third novel His Darkest Salvation to come out in July. And am seriously considering renaming my new black kitty, Bones, Jagger now!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Afterlife - The Resurrection Chronicles by Merrie Destefano

Sept. 28th release date
Destefano's debut is a darkly wonderful novel, fast paced and compelling, chuck full of suspense & mystery, murder & deceit, with the ever present struggle of good vs evil, and just a dash of romance. 

The story takes place in New Orleans in a type of futuristic world, totally different from our own and makes you appreciate the fact that your world is not like this. At least for me it did. It's done in several different character POV's, including a dog. Yes, I said dog, but Omega is no ordinary dog as you will soon find out. In this future you have the choice of being a 'stringer' and 'jumping' to different lives, as in resurrection, by being downloaded into a clone, but you only have nine chances. Or being a "one-timer" and forgoing the resurrection option and moving on to heaven or hell, if that is your belief. Of course there are pro's and con's to every choice...But what happens when your on your ninth life? Well the 'nine-timers' don't want that to be the end and are fighting back. Chaz, who is in the family business at Fresh Start, is a 'baby-sitter' for 'newbies' and the lovely Angelique is his charge. Except she seems to have a lot of secrets from her past lives. Can she help with the 'nine-timer' problem? Or is she a part of it? 

Afterlife is imaginative & creative with some definite new ideas for a novel; compelling characters, great plot and awesome world building.  
But I had a bit of a time following the story at the start; following some of the terms used though the author starts to explain things around chapter eight. And I wasn't able to get into the main characters as much as I like but it was still a good read, had an original plot and the story wrapped up very nicely at the end. 

A good read

Gettin' Flirty

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Book Review: His Darkest Hunger by Juliana Stone

A very exciting & smexy tale about jaguar warrior Jaxon Castille and his former lover, Libby Jamieson. WARNING: Contains heartache, treachery &  mystery, steamy mythical creatures and fast paced adventure that will have you wiping your mouth and hungering for more!

I won this book from the fab Supernatural Underground and loved it! It drew me in right away and I couldn't put it down.

After searching for his former lover for three years Jaxon, a jaguar shifter,  finally catches up with Libby, a human that use to be a team member. (The hero wanting deadly revenge on the heroine, how’s that for an opening heh?) He has the perfect shot to take her out but he decides to see her face-to-face before completing his revenge and killing her. But instead of the cold betrayer he was expecting he finds the broken shell of the women who was responsible for the death of his cousin. Libby remembers nothings, not even the dark & sexy Jaxon. But while Jaxon is contemplating what to do next an unknown sniper takes aim at him. 

Jaxon and Libby, with the help of their former team members, must figure out who is gunning for them while trying to recover her memories and find out the truth of what happened on that dark day three years ago. During this adventure Jaxon has to fight with his feelings of love and hate. He is disgusted with himself that he can still lust after the treacherous Libby and Libby is confused by his hot & cold emotions but is equally drawn to him. 

Finally Libby recovers her memories and her kick-ass attitude along the way and emotionally, the tables are dramatically turned. Can Jaxon cope with his past beliefs, can Libby forgive, and will she be able to find the one thing that is more important then anything else? 

A great debut for Juliana Stone's Jaguar Warriors series, her characters will grab at you from the pages. Fantastic plot without an overabundance of world building, you learn just as much as you need to as the story moves along. 
A very enjoyable paranormal romance to say the least. I am looking forward to Stone's second book in this series, His Darkest Embrace coming out this October. But I really can't wait for Declan's book, oh why must it be the fourth book Ms. Stone? That's so long to wait! 

Rating: 4.5 Wine Glasses!

October Book of the Month

October's book of the month is Book of Shadows by Alexandra Sokoloff.

Miss Brandi picked it out and we will be having or second meeting at her house on Friday Oct. 8th at 7:30. We hope to see everyone there!

Total Randomness

So I went out back a bit ago to let the dog out and did I feel a slight cool breeze? That would be awesome, last night was prefect. If I wasn't so lazy I would of gone out and roller bladed around the neighborhood.
I love this time of year. It cools off just enough where you don't start sweating the second you walk out your door but it is still warm enough you can go to the pool. School started so I get to enjoy an hour or so of 'Mommy Time' on days the Bug decides to take a nap. And THE BEST holidays are coming up, Halloween and Christmas. I was trying to talk the hubby into decorating for Halloween early and finally got him to agree on doing it next weekend. I walked into Michaels the other day and they already have the cinnamon scent circulating. Waiting to spot the cinnamon brooms at Publix so I can get my house smelling all yummy.
Plus, a ton of great books are coming out in the months to come. My book list is outrageous! I just read finished Shiloh Walker's two Veil books, Through the Veil and Veil of Shadows, and those were fab. I can't wait for her third one to come out, I'm hoping it has Elina's and Morne's story. Going to start on Lisa Mantchev's Theatre Illuminata series now.

And I am feeling very crafty and productive today. I cleaned out a portion of my closet so you can actually walk in it, listed some old Gymbo and Oilily clothes on eBay, AND I put some embellishments on the Diva's costume so it's not so store bought, yuck. So maybe now she won't keep changing her mind about it AFTER me paying the $50 for the dang thing. Which she started the second we walked out into the parking lot from the Disney Marketplace. "Mommy can I take this off? Mommy, it itches. Mommy, can't you just make me a peacock costume?" Lucky she's so darn cute.
Speaking of the Diva, when we were at the pool one evening she started talking about her boyfriend at school. Yes, I said boyfriend. She acquired said boyfriend on her third day of kindergarten. Go ahead and gasp then cry, I know I did. But back to the boyfriend. He is smart, not mean, funny and when we asked why she likes him we get the answer of "He looks good." Yep, she's mine alright. LoL

Saturday I watched my step-mom jump out of a plane for her 50th birthday. Now at first I was like, you're going to jump out of a plane on 9-11 ARE YOU CRAZY? But once we got there it was pretty cool and after she sky dived it looked like a total high. I would totally do it if I had the balls. But since having kids I have the balls of a gold fish so you won't see me doing that. Especially since they don't let you drink alcohol before hand. I would need me a couple shots of tequila and a good push to do that now. But this place was like something you see in a horror moving and reminded me a bit of HotShot from the Sookie books/True Blood. It's called Sky Dive City and it's by Zephryhills. It's really it's own little city. It consists of a couple buildings where they store the equipments and offices, a gift shop, bathrooms, hanger, viewing area, landing area and runway, then a bunch of trailers and a few tents. These people must just live to sky dive. One guy they said had over 50,000 jumps, can you imagine?
Also, Sunday, we got a new kitten. He is so cute, tiny, black with long hair, 6 toes, huge paws and little gray fuzz on the back of his ears. Too bad he hisses at you whenever you get in a 10 foot radius of him. He was a wild kitty that was trapped along with his mother and siblings so he needs some socializing. Which would be okay, if I could get him out from behind the dryer to try to socialize him. I have accomplished that only twice this far. Once you have him he'll lay on you and let you pet him, even the kids, but if you let him go he is gone hiding again and back to hissing. No biting or clawing though which is an extremely good thing. Oh, and he uses the kitty litter so score there! Unfortunetly the dog eats all the kitty litter which if you try to think of the pro's on that issue then that equals no scoop duty for me but the cons are the dog has really bad breath, the Bug likes to share his food with said dog, the kitten has no kitty litter so finds other places to do his business and lastly, that is just plain gross. SO moving on from the gross factor we came up with the name Bones. I was trying to think of something dark since he's black and Halloween is coming up but we couldn't agree on anything. So I just randomly, or so it seemed to the hubby, picked out Bones and what do you know? He loved it and so did the kiddo's. Unbeknown to him this is a fave character from a fave book series, which if you know me at all you know this is Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress Series. I think it will fit kitty perfectly.

So there's your total randomness! Have a wonderful Hump Day everyone. And I'll close with a great quote;

I've traveled the world twice over,

Met the famous; saints and sinners,

Poets and artists, kings and queens,

Old stars and hopeful beginners,

I've been where no-one's been before,

Learned secrets from writers and cooks

All with one library ticket

To the wonderful world of books.

~ Anonymous ~

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Our first book club meeting was Tuesday!!!

And if you missed it, then you missed out on a lot of fun! We had some yummy blackberry merlot, cheeses, crackers and Beef O' Brady wings. Next time though Amanda, you'll have to let me know your bringing those so I won't eat dinner and I can have some. Love me some Beef's! But umm....ladies, how did we forget about the chocolates? Some kind of universal phenomenon.

So without further adieu, this is what we discussed!

September's Book
Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy

Book Summary:
The best cypherteck in the galaxy, Edie can reinvent planets with little more than a thought. Trained since childhood in advanced biocyph seed technology by the all-powerful Crib empire, her mission is to terraform alien worlds while her masters bleed the outlawed Fringe populations dry. When renegade mercenaries kidnap Edie, she's not entirely sure it's a bad thing… until they leash her to a bodyguard, Finn—a former freedom fighter-turned-slave, beaten down but never broken. If Edie strays from Finn's side, he dies. If she doesn't cooperate, the pirates will kill them both.

But Edie's abilities far surpass anything her enemies imagine. And now, with Finn her only ally as the merciless Crib closes in, she'll have to prove it or die on the site of her only failure… a world called Scarabaeus.

Moi's review; (and if you read it please add your own)

This is the first sci-fi book that I've read and I really enjoyed it. I was easily drawn into it and the world building intrigued me.

Great debut novel for Sara Creasy. The story is well thought out, the plot well developed and believable, fast paced and flows nicely. There is a dash of romance, characters that are convincing, and is futuristic but has easy to understand terminology, with out being dragged down with too many explanations.

  • Edie is caring, compassionate, strong willed, incredibly smart and is the best at her job. Finn is protective, capable, strong minded, but doesn't trust easily.
  • You admire Edie for her caring nature even though she was brought up without any love or caring and Finn for his resilience of overcoming the hardships in his life.
  • Edie is motivated by her strong sense of morals and ethics while Finn has basically given up with finding the good in people but will stand up for what he believes in.
It raises some interesting moral questions. What happens if the government takes control over the world and humans take over Nature's job and play God.
You also see the main character's growing; Edie becoming more comfortable around others, Finn learning to trust Edie and Cat trying to do the right thing.
The ending wasn't too much of a surprise but left you wanting more, more, more! It was totally left open for a sequel or a series.

4 Wine Glasses!

What we discussed;

  1. Overall—how did you experience the book while reading it? Were you immediately drawn into the story—or did it take a while? Did the book intrigue, amuse, disturb, alienate, or irritate, you?
  2. Does the author's use of language draw you in or put you off?
  3. Do you find the characters convincing? Are they believable? Compelling? Are they fully developed as complex, emotional human beings?
  4. Which characters do you admire or dislike? What are their primary characteristics?
  5. What motivates a given character’s actions? Do you think those actions are justified or ethical?
  6. Do any characters grow or change during the course of the novel? If so, in what way?
  7. Is the plot well-developed? Did it hold your interest? Is it believable? Do you feel manipulated along the way, or do events unfold naturally?
  8. Consider the ending. Did you expect it or were you surprised? Was it forced? Was it neatly wrapped up—too neatly? Or was it unresolved, ending on an ambiguous note?
  9. Can you pick out a passage that strikes you as particularly profound or interesting—or perhaps
  10. something that sums up the central dilemma of the book?
Please feel free to discuss your thoughts on the above topics here as well.

Despite us all enjoying this book we were split down the middle with a few things. Out of the four of us, two of us got into it right away and the other two took a few chapters. Same as understanding the terminology easily.
BUT- All of us thought there should of been more Finn and more shower love! Dear Ms. Creasy, pretty-please add some hot & steamy in your second novel for the love of Finn!

And the other things we discussed...well, they just can't be posted here. ;)
So there you have it, our very first meeting ever! After surprisingly minimal labor (well, unless you count me cleaning my house beforehand. And I do mean cleaning! Have you ever cleaned the items on top of the cabinets in your kitchen? How the heck does grease get up there I'd like to know! And don't get me started on the dog hair! How does that stuff get everywhere? Just floats on a breeze? Would it be considered animal cruelty to shave my lab bald?) my little book club baby was finally born and I look forward to it's one month mark on Oct. 8th. I just might tear up *sniff,sniff*.


So yeah, until lil ole blonde me can figure out what I am doing, consider this page under construction. A work in progress if you will. Don't judge, an artist needs time to create perfection after all. LoL