Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review: Banished by Sophie Littlefield

There isn’t much worth living for in Gypsum, Missouri—or Trashtown, as the rich kids call the run-down neighborhood where sixteen-year-old Hailey Tarbell lives. Hailey figures she’ll never belong—not with the popular kids at school, not with the rejects, not even with her cruel, sickly grandmother, who deals drugs out of their basement. Hailey never knew her dead mother, and she has no idea who her father was, but at least she has her four-year-old foster brother, Chub. Once she turns eighteen, Hailey plans to take Chub far from Gypsum and start a new life where no one can find them.

But when a classmate is injured in gym class, Hailey discovers a gift for healing that she never knew she possessed—and that she cannot ignore. Not only can she heal, she can bring the dying back to life. Confused by her powers, Hailey searches for answers but finds only more questions, until a mysterious visitor shows up at Gram’s house, claiming to be Hailey’s aunt Prairie.

There are people who will stop at nothing to keep Hailey in Trashtown, living out a legacy of despair and suffering. But when Prairie saves both Hailey and Chub from armed attackers who invade Gram’s house in the middle of the night, Hailey must decide where to place her trust. Will Prairie’s past, and the long-buried secret that caused her to leave Gypsum years earlier, ruin them all? Because as Hailey will soon find out, their power to heal is just the beginning.

This gripping novel from thriller writer Sophie Littlefield blazes a trail from small-town Missouri to the big city as Hailey battles an evil greater than she ever imagined, while discovering strengths she never knew she had.

This book was darker than I had expected. That is in no way a complaint, but it's worth commenting on. I would not recommend this book for very young readers, but more for middle teens and up, in my humble opinion. Besides being dark, the story was thrilling right up to the last page and kept me engrossed right to the end.

Our lead character is Hailey, a small town girl with a crappy home life and who sits at the bottom of the social ladder at school. I have to say that she has The. Worst. Grandma. Ever. Her Grandma only sent her to school because social services made her, she's abusive, neglectful and deals drugs out of her basement. Yeah, she's a real winner. The one bright spot in Hailey's life is little four year old, Chub. She's more of a big sister/mother to him and caring for him and loving him is one of the only things that keeps her sane and grounded. I loved her relationship with Chub and how it was so natural for her to look out for him and take care of him.
Hailey is a good character and her voice is easy to follow, but my favorite character in the story had to be Aunt Prairie. Aunt Prairie is probably The. Coolest. Aunt. Ever. No matter what happened in the story from car chases to being shot she was always undaunted and in control. Her unflappable calm, sense of humor in even the direst circumstances and her unwavering loyalty to Hailey and Chub was refreshing and awesome to read. Even though Hailey is the MC, I really felt like this was Prairie's story of growing up, making mistakes and finding redemption and a way to make things right.
There is plenty of action in this story and that surprised me a little. I was thinking with the special ability of healing that this book would be rather tame, but I was quickly disabused of that notion and I loved the path the story took.
This book was full of action, suspense and yes, even zombies and I enjoyed every minute of it.

My final grade: B+

Author's website

Monday, November 22, 2010

ARC Review of Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Note: I received a copy to review from the publisher. Publishing date: Nov 30, 2010

This book is a lot like it's cover: Simple, elegant, thought provoking, sad at times, hopeful, haunting, beautiful and layered.

Matched is a wonderful coming of age story that would not have been half so haunting if handled by a less skillful story teller that weaved less evocative prose and relatable characters, even some of the ones you don't like.

I think this story will mean different things to different people. For me, a big part of it is the importance of the successful survival of our species and society balanced against the needs and happiness of individuals. It's a delicate balance that is easily lost and as was asked by one of the characters in the story, where does it end? Where's the line?

Beyond this, it is also a beautiful tale of love in all it's faces and guises. Familial love, friendship love, content love, passionate love, forbidden love, love of a society. It's also about loyalty balanced against personal desires. What we're willing to do for love of others and love of self. It's a story of growing up and becoming awake, aware of the world around us and seeing it and maybe ourselves for what it and we truly are for maybe the first time. Struggling with our place in the world and what's expected of us as well as what we want from the world and ourselves.

Under all that is also a mystery. I'm very curious about this world. The inhabitants don't know a lot about their history or even really what is going on around them in the present. They know only what they are told by the Society, so I'm very curious about what is going on in the rest of the world and even about the possibility of a rebellion and an underground. All these possibilities as well as the questions left at the end and the intriguing characters that I want to see more of kept me wanting more long after the last page of this book was finished. I hope we get to go back and visit this place. I feel a storm coming and I want to see what will happen. So many times it's easy to tell where a story is going and in this case I'm just along for the ride. I don't know where this story will go from here, but I really want to find out.

I want to take a moment and just mention the beautiful writing. It is truly evocative and sensual in that when Ms Condie described the rain I could see the approaching storm clouds, feel the electricity and excitement of the impending storm dance on my skin and watch as the drops fell from the sky. I could feel the moisture and taste it. That is the gift of a truly talented story teller and that is what Ms Condie is.

Overall I highly recommend this book. It is haunting and sad as well as beautiful and hopeful by turns. It is scary and stifling and comforting and loving and funny. Cassia is a truly great narrator and character and I enjoyed her voice immensely.

My grade: A. It was a little slow at some parts, but still lovely and when it picks up I really had no idea how the author was going to handle things and where she was going to take me, but I trusted her to get me there.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Trailer for Matched by Ally Condie

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I have recently become addicted to Resistance by Muse because I've decided it's the theme song for Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I type this as I listen to....guess....Muse. Ha! I think I'm even gonna cry a bit....course that could be the wine talking...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quickie Review: Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

# Pub. Date: November 2008
# Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
# Format: Mass Market Paperback, 368pp

Using magic means it uses you back, and every spell exacts a price from its user. But some people get out of it by Offloading the cost of magic onto an innocent. Then it's Allison Beckstrom's job to identify the spell-caster. Allie would rather live a hand-to-mouth existence than accept the family fortune—and the strings that come with it. But when she finds a boy dying from a magical Offload that has her father's signature all over it, Allie is thrown back into his world of black magic. And the forces she calls on in her quest for the truth will make her capable of things that some will do anything to control...

I have a confession to make....I don't seem to like stories where the author tells us what's going on from the get go, even subtly, so that the only people who don't know what's happening are the main characters. It's frustrating for me as a reader to watch the protag fumble around in the dark while I'm trying not to yell, "Behind you, stupid! THE MONSTER IS BEHIND YOU!!!" I mean, not like I would ever yell at a book or anything. ::nervous chuckle:: Anyhoo, it tends to make me start thinking less of the MC when in actuality, maybe he/she/they aren't really stupid, they just haven't had it laid out like a Sesame Street lesson as the reader maybe has, but it still frustrates me....can you tell?
This was an issue that I had with this story. It's basically a good story filled with action, sex and a bit of mystery, but I felt like Allie, our protag, was made to be a bit dense for the story to work and that made it frustrating in some parts. I did like the fact that there's a price for using magic and Allie pays pretty dearly at certain points. I also liked her best friend Nola, but I was on the fence about her love interest, Zayvion. Oh, he was hot and calm and possibly even her soul mate, but the constant dancing around each other and uncertainty of their relationship got old in some parts. I kinda wanted to yell, pick a lane sister! Or at least have an honest conversation between the two of you BEFORE you jump into bed.....again. But that's just me.
Overall, I liked the story enough to want to read the next in the series, and hope that the series gets stronger as it evolves.

My final grade: B-

Friday, October 22, 2010

For all the Rachel Caine fans out there

Rachel Caine is going on tour to promote the new release of Ghost Town, the next in the Morganville Vampires series. Here are the dates and locations of her signings:

October 26th: Murder By the Book at 6:30 PM
2342 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005

October 27th: Mystery Bookstore at 7:30 PM
1036-C Broxton Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90024

October 28th: Books, Inc. at 7:00 PM
Not Your Mother's Book Club
Town & Country Village
855 El Camino Real #74
Palo Alto, CA 94301

October 29th: Powell's (Cedar Hills Crossing) at 7:00 PM
3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd.
Beaverton, OR 97005

October 30th: Third Place Books at 6:30 PM
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

October 31st: Uncle Hugo’s at 4:00 PM
2864 Chicago Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55407

November 1st: Anderson’s Book Shop at 7:00 PM
5112 Main Street
Downer’s Grove, IL 60515-4601

November 2nd: Borders at 6:00 PM
Exton Square Mall
298 Exton Square
Exton, PA 19341

November 4th: Barnes & Noble at 6:00 PM
*With Heather Brewer, author of the Vladimir Tod series!
1442 Turner-McCall Blvd
Rome, GA 30161

November 6th: Barnes & Noble at 2:00 PM
1430 Plaza Place
Southlake, TX 76092

November 20th: Borders at 2:00 PM
2190 N. Rainbow Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89108

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Awesome Covers Alert

My girl, Gini, shared the covers for the next two books in her series that stars Kitty, Reader, Martini and Co, and I loved them so much that I had to share with you all.

Doesn't Daniel Dos Santos do the best covers? I love 'em. I especially love the one for Alien In The Family. Total awesomeness. What do you all think?

I can't wait to get these books in my grabby lil hands.

You can get the latest news about upcoming books, interviews and giveaways on the author's blog, here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Little Friday Hotness

So, I recently stumbled across pictures of Odette Yustman and I instantly fell in love. She is just so pretty. So, naturally I had to share.

I can see her as Kate Daniels (even though I always picture Kate as Angelina Jolie) or maybe Sascha from Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh.

Which character(s) can you picture Odette as?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


So, I recently discovered the most delicious flavored balsamic vinegars and oils. Naturally, I wanted to share with you all. You can check out the website here. We have the pomegranate and raspberry vinegars. I use those with the blood orange oil for dipping french bread or on salads. So delish. My son really likes the sun dried tomato oil, too. Ok, now I have to go eat cuz I just made myself ridiculously hungry...

Monday, October 4, 2010

ARC Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Not even death can save her now.

As a grave witch, Alex Craft can speak to the dead-she's even on good terms with Death himself. As a consultant for the police, she's seen a lot of dark magic, but nothing has prepared her for her latest case. When she's raising a "shade" involved in a high profile murder, it attacks her, and then someone makes an attempt on her life. Someone really doesn't want her to know what the dead have to say, and she'll have to work with mysterious homicide detective Falin Andrews to figure out why...

Note: I received this ARC from the publisher.

The first word that comes to mind to describe this book is "refreshing." That's because the main character, Alex, is a rarity in books now days in that she possesses common sense and uses it. She is able to be logical and reasonable and that was so refreshing for me to read. Alex is just a great character all around. She's very relatable, she has bad days at work, she has bills, friends and a dog and yet she's a total commitment phobe and has definite family issues. Alex is a grave witch, which means she can commune with ghosts, shades and even Death himself. Her abilities though come at a price and that was refreshing, too. She's noble but practical. She doesn't have a burning need to save the world all by her lonesome, with nothing but her pluckiness and a fab hairdo to save the day. No, she asks for help and even calls in the cops when it's necessary and when she knows she can help or needs to put herself at risk because it makes sense to do so, then she does. She also calls herself on her shit. She knows when she's unreasonable or being ridiculous and she admits it. I loved Alex a lot.

The cast of supporting characters were also very cool from her two girlfriends, Holly and Tamara, to her housemate Caleb to Detective Andrews to Death, they were all interesting in their own right and possessed their own personalities, abilities and secrets.

Yes, there is a smokin hot love scene (let me just say, yum) and yes there is sexual tension and a possible triangle, but it worked because this story always felt like it was about Alex. I never lost sight of that fact as I read. It's about her experiences, hang ups and interactions and so the romance was a great part of it but it never over shadowed the mystery, action and characters. Again I say, refreshing.

I absolutely recommend this book to any fan of UF or Paranormal. It's a great book filled with great characters and some dark and scary and fascinating happenings.

Final grade: A.

Friday, October 1, 2010

ARC Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power — and fear — of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans — and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

Note: I received this ARC from the author.

The Iron Duke is a page turning read populated with fascinating characters and a world that comes alive on the pages as much as any character in the story. There is action and mystery and romance. The Iron Duke has air ships, sea monsters, nanoagents and a fascinating alternate history that kept me glued to each page.

Our heroine, Mina, a Detective Inspector, is all about her family and her job. As she says, she goes where the bodies are and that leads her to the front step of the Iron Duke. She's straightforward and brave and has had to fight all her life, first agains the Horde that controlled all of England and then the racial intolerance of her own countrymen because she has Horde blood. Her mother was raped when the Horde put her in a mating frenzy. Because she was under Horde control for so long, and they controlled all her emotions, forcing her to feel lust, fear or apathy, she distrusts the strong feelings that Rhys, The Iron Duke, instills in her. Mina was a good leading lady. She was strong and fearless when she needed to be and accepted help when she needed it. She was never too stupid to live or annoying to read.

Our hero, Rhys, is a hottie. He's powerful, ruthless and has his own code he lives by. If you're an enemy he will be your worst nightmare, but if you're his, he will do whatever it takes to take care of you. Rhys was a great character in that he was very alpha, but he knew how to let someone else be good at something. He also recognized the strength in Mina and how good she was at her job and he respected that and never tried to change it. The love scenes between them were hot and also tender and filled with honest emotion that left me very satisfied.

The world itself is it's own character. There are zombies, kraken, air ships, nanoagents, all sorts of fascinating steam technology and so much more. This story really did keep me glued to the pages to see what else was going to happen.

My final grade is A-.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thoroughly Sexy Thursday

I just wanted to show some love for a girl that I think rocks the sexy and also the fun and the cute like no one's business, Shakira! Work it girl, and from me to you, thanks for makin hips sexy again. Rock on.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A little something to help us get through Monday

This video just tickles me for some reason. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Finally! I can be a werewolf, too!!

So, if you happen to be an ebay shopper you may have run across this little gem here, a spell to really really for reals turn you into a werewolf. I'm slightly speechless about this. It's going for $100 so far and has one bid. Who bids on this stuff?

If you're a vampire lover, don't feel left out, there's one for you, too. The starting bid is $199 or you can buy it now for $500. I'm sure that's a real bargain, you know, for becoming a vamp and all.

I want to thank the lovely cleolinda for bringing these to my attention on her livejournal. Wow. Thoughts people?

Friday, September 17, 2010

The book fairy strikes again!

The book fairy was very kind to me this week. These came in the mail:

and last but not least:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm ridiculously excited that the 80's are back

Well from ripped jeans to this music vid, it looks like the 80's are making a comeback and I'm beyond excited. Bring on the shoulder pads, baby, I can take it!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!

Ok, the 5 winners of the Dust giveaway are as follows:


Robin K




Congrats!! I will email those that gave me their email addresses in the comments, otherwise please contact me at with your mailing address. If I don't hear from you by Friday, you're out of luck and lose your chance for a copy.

Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Review: Dead, Undead or Somewhere In Between by J.A. Saare

No one knows better than Rhiannon Murphy that one bad corpse can ruin your whole day. She left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her-until now. The deliciously good-looking vampire, Disco, knows her secret. When he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, Rhiannon discovers he's not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no. But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it's only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn't their first stroll around the undead block.

Note: I received a copy from the author for review.

Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between is a fast paced fun read that has one hell of a twist at the end. I really enjoyed the story and there were plenty of interesting characters to spice up the world.

Rhiannon is tough. She talks big and can back it up. Occasionally her narration sounded like she was trying a bit too hard, but for the most part I found her very likable. She's tough but she's also damaged goods and her scars run deep, bringing a touch of vulnerability that made her likable and relatable.

Disco is a great foil for Rhiannon. He's patient, calm and tender and he's powerful enough to give her a sense of security. The two of them play off each other well and make for a believable relationship. Whether arguing or kissing, they're fun to watch.

There were plenty of side characters that were well written and added great dimension to the story. The pace is fast and there is plenty of action. And I will just warn you that you won't see the ending coming and that's a nice change of pace for me.

My final grade: B+

I recommend this read to people that like gritty UF laced with romance and a bit of mystery.

You can check out the author's website here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Book Rec?

My 9 y.o. is just starting to enjoy reading and he says he wants to read something with "magic and fairy tales" in it. Do any of you lovely peeps have any suggestions? We weren't very impressed with the Percy Jackson series, so not that one. Any suggestions are welcome! :D

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Quickie Review: Dust by Joan Frances Turner and a giveaway!

Nine years ago, Jessie had a family. Now, she has a gang.

Nine years ago, Jessie was a vegetarian. Now, she eats very fresh meat.

Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. Nine years ago, Jessie was human.

Now, she’s not.

After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights. She loves the ancient, skeletal Florian and his memories of time gone by. She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs.

But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death. As bits and pieces of the truth fall around Jessie, like the flesh off her bones, she’ll have to choose between looking away or staring down the madness—and hanging onto everything she has come to know as life…

Note: I received a copy from the publisher.

Dust is definitely different in that we get to see the world through the eyes of Jessie who is a zombie. Jessie is for the most part a good narrator, but there were times when she read a little too teenage for me. Yes she died as a teen, but it's been 9 years now and at times she sounded like she hadn't matured at all. There are some interesting twists and turns in the story and some interesting side characters you meet along the way. For the most part the story is engaging and enjoyable if you're a fan of zombie and horror stories. One word of warning: This book is not for the faint of heart. Getting every gruesome detail of life as a zombie is at times a bit unsettling, but fascinating all the same.

My final grade for Dust is a B-.

Now, on to the fun stuff!

The publisher has graciously offered to give away a copy of Dust to five lucky winners! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. You must be a resident of the continental United States and the contest runs until next Tuesday the 14th at 11:59 PM PST.

Good luck!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Review: Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan

Overwhelmed by her uncanny ability to manipulate people's emotions through her music, Miranda Grey comes to the attention of vampire lord David Solomon. Believing he can help bring her magic under control, David discovers that Miranda's powers may affect the vampire world too...

Note: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.

I had a hard time categorizing this book in my head. It was a little too romancey to be hard core UF, but it wasn't quite romancey enough to read as paranormal romance. Mostly, it read as one woman's journey from near insanity into a kick ass woman in control of herself and her destiny.

I liked that this book didn't shy away from dark and gritty subject matter. So many times I feel like books wuss out at the last minute and that was so not the case with Queen of Shadows. It did read a little long since it mostly focused on Miranda and her journey to self empowerment, but overall it was enjoyable. Miranda and David are great characters that were believable and relatable. The secondary characters were interesting and full of flavor. Sophie and Faith were both pretty kick ass, in my humble opinion. There is definitely a theme of strong women empowering themselves and other women in this book that I really enjoyed.

The ending was pretty much awesome and made up for a lot of the lagging bits. There's a lot of violence and dark subject matter in this book, but it all made sense and therefore added to the story.

I recommend this book to fans of dark but romantic urban fantasy.

Final Grade: B

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I got something in the mail today!!

A signed ARC of....

The Iron Duke
Seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas, where nanotech is fused with Victorian sensibilities—and steam.

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power — and fear — of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans — and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

I'm supposed to be reading something else right now, but so far I can't pull myself away from this one.

Much thanks to Meljean Brook for running the awesome contest that I won this in.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm alive.......I swears....

So, I know I haven't been posting much recently and that's because I've had some personal stuff I've had to deal with and now I'm busy trying to catch up with my reading so I can bring you all some new reviews and even some giveaways coming up in the near future. Thanks for your patience and I'll be seein ya real soon :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Can Haz Goals?

Ok, I've been doing a lot of self work and searching and I have come up with three major things I want to do over the next year or so (though I'm not going to say they have to be completely finished in this year, but at least started).

1) Become a certified yoga instructor

2) Take up painting or some form of art

3) Take psychology or some type of classes (history too, maybe :P)

I'm not a huge book trailer peep....

But as some of my twitter friends found out, these two trailers for the book, Dust, had me laughin my ass off. Check them out:

To find out more about Dust by Joan Frances Turner you can go here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I love the post man

So, in the last few days the book fairy has been very nice to me. It's been like frickin Christmas in August over here. And a few of the books that the post man brought have me so excited that I just had to share with you all.

 What I got recently:

Grave Witch: An Alex Craft Novel
I've started this one and so far I am really enjoying it. Review will come later.

Chosen (Anna Strong Chronicles, Book 6)

The Grimrose Path (Trickster, Book 2)

Killbox (Jax, Book 4)

I'm a little nervous about these last three because I haven't read the rest in each of these series, however they look so interesting that I just may start from the beginning and get caught up for them. :P

Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits
I am very excited to start this one. I loved Robin McKinley's Sunshine and this sounds like such a fascinating read.

And last, but in no way least:


Squeee!! I've been wanting this one since I first heard about it. I can't wait to dive in to it. I could just kiss the book fairy!! LOL.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm having a wet dream about these shoes

Is it just me or are these drool worthy shoes? ::sigh:: They are so out of my price range, but a girl can dream, right? :P

Saturday, August 7, 2010


So, I've been in a severe reading funk lately which has been a combination of my mental state and the books out. I do believe I have found some books that look appealing and may tempt me off of my unintentional book diet.

I want to read:

and this one looked intriguing enough that I picked up a lovely signed copy in San Diego at Mysterious Galaxy today:

What do you think? Have any of you read any of these or are any on your book radar?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm developing a foot fetish...

Ok, not really, but I'm loving this new nail polish for your toes called Piggy Polish so much that it's making me almost like my feet. Seriously, I hate my feet.  But now that my toes are biohazard green or mermaid blue or lemonade yellow or pretty purple....I hate them a hella lot less.

There's even a website for Piggy Polish right here. 

The colors I've tried are:

And a bright green called "Get Ogre It." I can't find that one online at the moment, but I originally found it at my local Ulta store so if you're interested you could look there.

I figure since it's summer, all my girls would be interested in havin some hot colors for their lil piggies ;)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


So, I was having a random convo with my hubster, Mr T, as I am wont to do, and I mentioned that I prefer the term "self-castigate" as opposed to "self-flagellate." To which he responds, "That's because it sounds closer to castrate." Which led to this exchange:

Me: Does EVERYTHING have to be about your nuts?

Mr. T: Yeah. Pretty much.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Queen B's hubby reviews A Devil in the Details by K. A. Stewart

When it comes to demons, always read the find print. Jesse James Dawson was an ordinary guy (well, an ordinary guy with a black belt in karate) until one day he learned his brother had made a bargain with a demon, Jesse discovered there was only one way to save his brother: put up his own soul as collateral, and fight the demon to the death. Jesse lived to free his brother-and became part of a loose organization of Champions who put their own souls on the line to help those who get in over their heads with demons. But now experienced Champions are losing battles at a much higher rate than usual. Someone has changed the game. And if Jesse can't figure out the new rules, his next battle may be his last...

Note: I received this book to review from the publisher.

My darling hubby, aka Mr T, agreed to read and review this book for me. I tried to read this one and I just couldn't get into it so my man threw himself on that grenade for me and put together his very first review! So, show him some love! Plus he's cute. What? I know we're all shallow like that...

When my wife approached me to see if I would be interested in reading an urban fantasy about a demon hunter featuring a male lead, I was fairly excited. I am told by the Queen that the UF market is saturated by a deluge of hard ass female protagonists. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but my sex isn't equally represented. I have read a lot of UF's with female leads, most of which I've enjoyed immensely, but that got me thinking that my resplendent wife is correct in her assessment. There simply isn't a large number of gentlemen kicking ass as the main character. My wife should know because she is far more prolific than I in the book department. So upon learning of this book, "A Devil In The Details", I was looking forward to it, with high expectations for my gender. I was hoping that this book would be a trailblazer for the guys, leading the charge for an influx of hard ass male protagonists. Is that what I got? Well... Not so much.
The story of bartering for souls is engaging but honestly this book could have been much better. The protagonist, Jesse, is generally likable with a good sense of humor and self worth. It's too bad that he reads pretty much like a female in a male's body. I swear that I tried not to be biased or judgmental of the character, but despite all my effort he still came across like a woman. I am not saying that men are better than women or any of that male chauvinistic bullshit, but if I'm reading a male character I want it to read like a male character. Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne is a fantastic example of how to write a male character. It's hard to describe but almost all of Jesse's internal dialogue is decidedly female. From the things he notices, to his reactions to certain events, it all has a feminine quality with a few good exceptions. In short, this book is not the most stellar paradigm of a male lead. Now there is one more major issue that knocked this book off my must buy list; it was too mundane. It was an interesting angle that Jesse is a family man, and he has to deal with family shit like the rest of us. All the cooking and cleaning along with the work schedules and play time were fun and relatable for the first 40 or so pages, but when you're 200 pages in and you're still dealing with all the banal errands..... Let me tell you that I was not relating anymore. Of course it is peppered with interesting events here and there, but for the most part this book kinda slogs through the daily grind. The purpose of reading is to be transported away from your grind, not reminded of it every other page. The action scenes however, are worth reading, but those only occur at the opening and the close of the book. Perhaps the inevitable sequel will be more action oriented, but even if it is I'm not sure I'm willing to witness it. Also Jesse's family is so perfect and sweet it's enough to cause a damn cavity. Seriously, if I was a woman this book would piss me off because I will never be as perfect as this dude's wife. That's why I'm giving this book a solid C rating. There is a decent story lurking beneath a pile of mundane crap. Some will have the patience to dig for it and others won't.

I want to thank my handsome hubby for reading and reviewing this one for us. Thanks baby!! ::waves and blows kisses::

My girl, Wendy, also reviewed A Devil in the Details and you can read what she had to say here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Follow up Twisted Love Post

Here's a great montage of the twisted love of EJ and Sami. The embedding is disabled so a link pops up for you to watch it on youtube.

I love that song too. It's definitely their theme song, lol. It's also mine and Wendy's. What? I dare her to deny it...

I'm a fan of twisted love...

I can't help it. My theory is, it aint real if it aint twisted. Just a bit. You know, enough to make it a lil intense, a lil fun, a lil....hawt. Yeah, you know you like it, too. *evol grin* This couple is one that embodies twisted love. I'm not a huge soap opera fan and I'm not very faithful to them *gasp* After all, they reel you in on some nail biting story line and then shit on you. So I've learned to protect my self by only watching when it's good and skipping the rest til it gets good again. Shallow maybe, but better than the alternative.
Days of Our Lives is not one of my faves and they've really been sucking lately, but this couple keeps me coming back. They have such fabulous chemistry. Sparks fly when they banter, their looks between each other are melting the ice caps and when they kiss? My tv nearly shorted out. They torture each other constantly and they love each other against their wills, their families' wishes and all reason. I am addicted to them since day one. The writers (curse their black black hearts) have never given them a real break and I hope they wake up and do so eventually, you know before soaps go extinct? Yeah, thanks. Anyway, here is a lil clip of my sexy couple that embody all my fave twisted loves from books to movies and tv.

I give you, EJ Dimera and Samantha Brady:

I think I need a nice frosty glass of iced tea to cool down now. They are so yummy delicious. I should be kind and show a clip of EJ with his shirt off. Y'all would need a drool towel. LOL. Don't you think they're delicious together? *sigh*

ETA: Just a lil recap of their highs as a couple for those that are unfamiliar with them: He bargained with her, sex and he'd save her then husband's life. They married to end a decades long vendetta. She tried to light him on fire. They had a son together. Her ex-husband shot him at their wedding. He lied about being deported so she'd stay married to him. They had hot hot sex b/c she was jealous. She got pregnant, again, and lied about it. He saved her from an assassin. She didn't tell him about their daughter til it was almost too late. He kidnapped their daughter and lied to her about it and he flooded her appartment so she'd move in with him. For all their sins they are devoted parents, he's great with her kids that aren't even his. He'd lie, cheat and steal to be with her and he brings out her inner bad girl, and she makes him want to be a better man....when he's not lying, cheating and stealing to win her over ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Winner! and Apologies

So, we had a family loss this last week and I haven't been around the internet that much lately. Consequently, I completely forgot to announce the winner for the Custom Business Card Contest!! Yes, yes, sucky Queen B is sucky.

Now, I don't want to hold up the proceedings any longer so, the winner is....... heidenkind!! Woot! I'm so happy for you, girl!

I am sending the email you provided over to Robin and congrats to you!

Sorry for the delay and I hope that all of you are having a good week so far.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The 3 P's to Writing Success by Gini Koch, Part 3

Alright folks, today we bring you the exciting conclusion to the 3 P's to Writing Success by Gini Koch, author of the fun and fabulous Touched By An Alien which is out now and Alien Tango which releases Dec of this year.

Check out the first and second P's, Professionalism and Patience, here and here.

Now, let's dive into the last and my favorite, Perseverance.

Part Three

Okey dokey, you’re acting all professional and you’re now just letting the wait time fly by because you’re so focused on writing. So, what happens now, when, well, nothing happens? You do what every author you’ve ever read or heard of does -- you keep on keeping on.

There is nothing -- not talent, no luck, no skill, no fortune -- that can win out over perseverance. Water patiently wears down rock, and as long as you persevere, you can achieve anything.

Perseverance is what keeps you going when your beta readers say your book is a complete mess. It’s what enables you to take the latest rejection, sigh, turn around and sub to the next market or agent. It’s what separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, the successful from the wannabes and never weres.

Perseverance is also what helps you go to one more writer’s conference. Try one more market. Give yet another story idea a go. It’s what you need to finish a book or short story, get a short story published, find an agent for that book, get a publisher, and then hit the shelves.

Want to know what the definition of a published author is? Someone who never gave up.

Perseverance is necessary once you have an agent and publisher, too. Because you need to continue on. Harper Lee did indeed write a Great American Novel. But it’s all she ever wrote. Truman Capote wrote great works, but none compare to “To Kill a Mockingbird”…however, Capote was published over and over again. Why? They were contemporaries and BFFs. But Capote persevered and continued on and Lee didn’t.

Are you Harper Lee or Truman Capote? Probably not. But they both persevered; Capote just persevered more, and so, was published more.

Louis L’Amour is the King of Perseverance. The man was rejected over 350 times (close to 400) before he sold one thing. He’d send a short out, get whatever his number of rejections was for when he decided it wasn’t going to sell, turn the story over and put it into a box, and then send the next story out. He wrote and wrote and subbed and subbed. And how he’s Louis L’Amour -- you know the name even if you’ve never read a single thing he’s written. Because he persevered and became the name in Western fiction.

Oh, and that box he put all those rejected stories into? When he passed away, his family found it, turned the stories over…and they’ve all, all, been published now. Most of his South Seas stories were in that box, along with many others. His family and estate thank him for that box.

Let’s look at more recent examples. J.K. Rowling was rejected all over the place before she finally landed an agent. And her first three books were middling successes in the U.K. It took Scholastic coming to the Frankfurt book fair, and her publisher putting “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (the title was changed to Sorcerer’s Stone for American audiences) out at that book fair, and the Scholastic editor recognizing that this was a book that could be huge in the U.S., for her to become, by the time Book 4 hit the shelves, a huge success. That was years of work and perseverance to become the bestselling author of our age and the richest woman in England.

Personally, I had well over 100 rejections before I sold a single humorous short. I had over 100 more before I landed my agent. I still get rejected. Ray Bradbury still gets rejected, so, really, it’s hard to complain. I get rejected just like the Grand Masters do. So, you got rejected? So what? Cry me a river and let me know when you pass up Louis L’Amour’s rejection level…I might have sympathy for you then. But I doubt it.

Why am I not sympathetic about this? Because, whining about rejections doesn’t get you published. Perseverance gets you published.

Gini’s Motto: For every setback, every disappointment, every roadblock, every hurdle, every painful experience on the way to publishing success, I have a simple response -- write another book.

So…what are you waiting for? Go on…and write another book. And another. And another. Follow the Three P’s and you’ll find that at least one of those books will be where you want it to be -- on the shelves of the bookstore, and in readers’ hands.

Gini Koch speaks frequently on what it takes to become a successful author and other aspects of writing and the publishing business. The first book in her Alien series, “Touched by an Alien”, released April 6, 2010 from DAW Books, receiving a starred review from Booklist as well as other excellent reviews. “Touched by an Alien” has also been named by Booklist as one of the Top 10 adult SF/F novels of 2010. “Alien Tango” releases December 7, 2010, and “Alien in the Family” releases April 5, 2011, with “Alien Proliferation” following later in 2011. You can reach Gini at her website,, or via email,

Many thanks to the incomparable Gini Koch for this awesome series. I know I've learned a lot and I hope you all have too. As always, feel free to ask Gini any questions you may have in the comments. :D

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The 3 P's To Writing Success by Gini Koch, Part 2

Time for the second part of our 3 part series on The 3 P's to Writing Success as given us by the lovely Gini Koch. In our first section we tackled the first P: Professionalism, in which we learn the importance of acting like a professional for the aspiring writer. In this second post we will tackle the next P: Patience.

If you need to catch up with the class, check out part one.
Without further ado, here's what Gini has to say about the importance of patience when wanting to become a published author:

Part Two
Okay, you’ve made the commitment to become a professional, or at least play one on TV. Now what? Now you have to face the biggest hurdle any aspiring author will -- learning how to chill your jets.

This is, apparently, the hardest thing for any aspiring author to accommodate. But publishing is a very slow business. And the more impatient you are, the slower it goes.

Most newer authors are impatient with everything, and they make the mistake of giving themselves unrealistic deadlines, and then send their stuff out well before it’s ready for prime time.

What’s an unrealistic deadline? Saying, “I want to be published by X date or age”, “I want to win this contest and that’ll prove I’m good”, “I’m going to finish my first book by X date”, and so on.

What’s wrong with those statements? They put a limit you, personally, have no control over, and put another limit onto what others will do. You can’t know when you’ll be ready to publish. If you’re 25 now, it may sound realistic to say you want to be published by the time you’re 30, but what do you mean by published? If you have a blog, guess what? You’re already published. It’s not paying you anything nor landing you an agent, but hey, it’s published.

I firmly believe that you get what you ask for…but only what you ask for and only if it’s in the realm of reality. So, if you give yourself an age limit, you’re assuming that your writing will be ready…and you’re likely to be wrong.

Focus on contests is also a waste of most of your creative energy. Contests aren’t necessarily a judge of whether or not you’re good -- they’re a judge of how your particular piece stacked up against the other entries. Can contests work for you? Of course they can. But most cost money and it’s the rare author who sees a return for that money.

So, better to say, “I want to be a successful, published author” and let the rest of the whys and wherefores take care of themselves. You’ve still put out the ultimate goal, you just haven’t put limitations on it -- limitations that are likely to slow you down, not speed you up.

But there are other forms of impatience in this business. Thinking your book is ready before it is, and/or ignoring when someone says your book isn’t ready, is one form. Watching the incoming mails and emails when you send out a submission or a query is another. Fretting over how long a reply from an agent or editor takes is another. And so on. Any time you’re fretting, worrying or complaining about how long something is taking, or how you want X so you can do Y, you’re being impatient.

And impatience is a killer. It kills drive, morale, creativity, and karma. Impatience is the single worst flaw you can have in a business that moves at a glacial pace.

So what to do? The best way to handle impatience is to write another book or short story. Keep yourself focused on writing, on creating more and better product to sell, as opposed to focusing on what’s already out on submission or that things are taking a long time. The more you write, the better your writing gets. The better your writing gets, and the more product you have to sell, the more likely that you will sell.

Another way to fight impatience, and the despair and frustration that goes along with it, is to have your markets identified. If you’re subbing short stories, have your markets for each story on a list. Send your story to Market A; if they reject, heave a sigh and then immediately sub it out to Market B; repeat until it sells…whether that means it sells as is or you have to revise it in order to sell.

Looking for an agent? Make sure your query letter sparkles (oh yes, it matters because, let me say it again, nothing you’re writing is all that different and special, and your idea is neither new nor so intriguing that an agent’s going to wade through a crappy query letter to read your literary genius), and ensure that your entire manuscript is perfect and ready to go. Then identify the right agents for your book, query 6-12 of them and then…work on another book. When one rejection comes in, go to the next agent on your list, send them a query, and go back to writing.

You got an agent! Whoo hoo! The waiting is over, right? Wrong, oh so very wrong. Now you get to wait, and be rejected, at a higher level.

Editors read new stuff slowly, as in, you’re at the bottom of their pile. The better your agent, the faster you’re read (my agent got “Touched by an Alien” read by the Sr. Editor at DAW in less than 6 months…this is very fast), but the fact remains that you will wait much more than you will not wait. And then hear a no, and wait some more, as your agent sends your book to the next editor in line.

If you publish with a major, it’s going to be 18 months to 2 years, easy, after you sign your contract to when you see your book on the shelves. Spend that time writing. Create more product for your agent to sell. The more product you have out there, the better your odds.

But remember -- it’ll happen when it’s time for it to happen. You can demand all you want out of the universe, but the only thing that really works is the last P on the list.

Gini’s Motto: The moment you stop asking ‘when’ and demanding ‘now’, the moment you say ‘whenever I’m really ready’, is the moment everything truly starts to work for you.

Gini Koch speaks frequently on what it takes to become a successful author and other aspects of writing and the publishing business. The first book in her Alien series, “Touched by an Alien”, released April 6, 2010 from DAW Books, receiving a starred review from Booklist as well as other excellent reviews. “Touched by an Alien” has also been named by Booklist as one of the Top 10 adult SF/F novels of 2010. “Alien Tango” releases December 7, 2010, and “Alien in the Family” releases April 5, 2011, with “Alien Proliferation” following later in 2011. You can reach Gini at her website,, or via email,

Gini will be stopping by to answer any questions in the comments, so if you want to ask her anything, fire away! LOL.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The 3 P's to Writing Success by Gini Koch, Part 1

As you all probably know by now, I have mad love for author Gini Koch. Not only does she write a fun and fast paced series, starting with Touched By An Alien, but she is one of the funniest and most generous people I've met recently. She has given me some really great writing advice and she's master of the motivational/kick in the butt speech and I love it. So, because I'm demanding, I asked her to write up something for the blog and because she's nice, she agreed.

This is going to be a 3 part series of posts on Gini's advice if you are an aspiring author that wants to be published one day. Enjoy and bring your notebook to class, they'll be a quiz after.....just kidding, but I bet I got the 'ol heart rate up a bit, eh? LOL.

The 3 P’s to Writing Success
By Gini Koch

There are many things aspiring writers can do to achieve publishing success, but there are three things that will ensure a more successful, pleasant, and profitable road. And, because I’m a nice girl, I’m going to tell you what they are.

They’re the 3 P’s to Writing Success: Professionalism, Patience and Perseverance.

Part One
Aspiring authors are many things -- creative, excited, confident, scared, eager, etc. -- but unless they learn how to act like great big boys and girls, what they all manage to consistently be is annoying. Why? Because they act like spoiled, petulant, demanding know-it-alls who expect the world and the business of publishing to change for them. Therefore, the first step to becoming a successful, published author is to act like one.

Most writers aren’t professionals. Oh, many may work in professional jobs, but when it comes to their writing career, they act like rank amateurs. And, truly, no one wants to work with an amateur. Because amateurs are, quite frankly, big, huge PIAs.*

Professionals understand that agents and publishers have requirements for manuscript submissions for a variety of reasons, most of them related to how said agent or publisher does business. Amateurs decide that the rules aren’t for them, because their book is special.

Professionals understand that anything they do or say will come back to haunt them, particularly if they’re saying it about people working in a very small, insular industry. Amateurs decide that they can trash anyone who doesn’t think their work is staggering genius, because their book is different.

Professionals understand that they need to work at their craft, try different approaches and styles in their writing, and slog on through the “apprentice” years, in order to become good enough to be published. Amateurs toss their first finished MS out, regardless of worth, usually without real editing, simply because it’s done and, well, their writing talent is exceptional.

Professionals understand that they can learn from others and do their best to attend as many writing conferences as they can, join good online writer’s forums, join and become active members in the writing associations that most relate to what they write, and so on. Amateurs don’t listen to anyone, especially published authors, editors, and agents because their book is so amazing and those professionals are just jealous of their genius.

Professionals listen to advice, weigh it, and then, even if the advice isn’t something they like, follow the advice, particularly if it’s coming from people who are where they want to be (successful, published authors with agents and viable careers). Amateurs ignore anything they don’t like, because their book is so much better than anyone else’s.

Professionals find critique partners, beta readers, and others who can provide feedback and constructive criticism, and professionals take that criticism as professionals, without ruining relationships. Amateurs either get no feedback before sending their MS out, or they argue every single piece of feedback, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax errors, because their book is such staggering genius that agents won’t mind if it doesn’t look perfect, and besides, they only want to hear how great their writing is, because it is.

*Note: Your book isn’t special at all, kids. There are only three plotlines in the entire world, and a limited number of variations on those three themes (oh, and those themes are: good versus evil, boy meets girl, man against nature). You’re not doing anything new, and if you’re just starting out, you’re not doing it well, either. Move over to acting and then thinking like a professional ASAP, because the sooner you do, the faster you’ll become a professional…and professionals get published.

Gini’s Motto: If you can’t take constructive criticism, nay if you cannot take criticism at all, perhaps a career in the arts is not for you.

Gini Koch speaks frequently on what it takes to become a successful author and other aspects of writing and the publishing business. The first book in her Alien series, “Touched by an Alien”, released April 6, 2010 from DAW Books, receiving a starred review from Booklist as well as other excellent reviews. “Touched by an Alien” has also been named by Booklist as one of the Top 10 adult SF/F novels of 2010. “Alien Tango” releases December 7, 2010, and “Alien in the Family” releases April 5, 2011, with “Alien Proliferation” following later in 2011. You can reach Gini at her website,, or via email,

I'd like to thank Gini for stopping by and giving us some great advice. Also, she will be checking in to answer any questions you may have in the comments, so feel free to ask away. ;)

Tune in later this week when we tackle the remaining P's: Patience and Perseverance.

Check out Gini's books, Touched By An Alien which is out now and Alien Tango which you can preorder:

 Touched by an Alien

 Alien Tango

Friday, July 2, 2010

Review: The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey

With signs and traditions pointing to an all-out war set to break out among the kingdoms, Rosamund, the king's daughter, is "playing dead" as two princes show up at the palace intent on waking her with a kiss. But, as the two of them start to fight it out, Rosa's godmother cuts them all short and takes charge. Now, with two princes competing for the hand of Sleeping Beauty-one of them, the one with roving hands (Prince Leopold) probably "should" be her prince, while the other (Prince Siegfried) doesn't seem to belong here at all-more complications occur. The king dies and the neighbors start looking at Rosa's kingdom. But with the palace filling with young and old princes intent on winning Rosamund's love, invading the kingdom and putting those young men in peril would mean incurring the wrath of thirty other countries!

Mercedes Lackey's The Sleeping Beauty is a lovely and fun fantasy romance. In some ways it's a very old school fantasy romance, but yet it felt more modern and fresh. I really enjoyed it. It almost reminded of Shrek (but without the crudeness) or Hoodwinked in a way because all the characters knew they lived in a fairy tale land and a force known as The Tradition is trying to force them down different paths to make a proper fairy tale happen. Unfortunately, The Tradition is not smart so it senses that you have all the ingredients for heroic dragon killing scene, except maybe the dragon's not actually bad and maybe the village didn't need to be destroyed so the hero could slay the dragon. So our characters are valiantly trying to outmaneuver The Tradtion and stay one step ahead of "destiny" before their lives and the whole kingdom goes to hell in a handbasket.

The whole cast of this book really was wonderful. The villains were properly villainous and the heroes were very heroic, but they also had a sense of humor and wisdom and their own back stories. The Godmother, Lily, was probably my favorite character. She is so not your typical Godmother. She's definitely good, but she'll do what it takes to get the job done. Oh, and she's hot. No grandmotherly looking Godmother for the Kingdom of Eltaria.

Rose, our heroine is a great character. She's smart, capable, has a good sense of humor and is by turns tough and vulnerable. She made a very likable heroine.

I won't say which suitor wins her hand, but I was very happy with the outcome.

The title of the book is a little misleading. This really isn't a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story. It's a veritable mash up of fairy tales from Snow White to Cinderella to just about any fairy tale you can think of. There are dragons, dwarves, fae, unicorns, firebirds, heroes, princes and magic all over the place. The story was smart and fun and I kept wondering how it all would end.

I give The Sleeping Beauty a definite B+.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Custom Business Card Contest!

Robin from over at Intense Whisper is running a contest for custom business cards and she was kind enough to let me host this week! This chicky is talented, y'all. She can do covers, bookmarks, postcards and a lot more. So, check her out at the links provided below. Without further ado, here is the info:

Robin Ludwig Design Inc. would like to offer one commenter 250 - custom designed FULL COLOR business cards. The business cards are printed on heavy 16 point cardstock and glossy UV coated on both sides. All the winner needs to do is email their content to Robin Ludwig Design Inc. Once the content is received the business cards will be custom designed, proofed, printed and then shipped directly to the winner! Great promotional pieces for bloggers and for author swag.

In addition to business cards, Robin Ludwig Design Inc. also offers postcards, brochures, bookmarks, website services and book cover design.

Robin Ludwig Design Inc. can be found online here:

Please follow Robin Ludwig Design Inc. online for weekly deals, contests and more!

Contest open to US residents only. No PO boxes.
Custom design does not include logo creation.
Business cards must be ordered within 45 days of contest end date.

Ok, peeps, here's how we're gonna do it. I'm a fan of simple so all you have to do is leave a comment to be entered to win. As stated above, only US residents are eligible for this one. Contest will run through next Wed, July 7 and end at midnight PST.

Good luck!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I was away this weekend

and apparently I forgot that my guest post over at Wicked Little Pixie's was up this weekend. So, stop on by and see what I'm ranting talking about now. Check it out here.

Also, because I was away from my computer I borrowed my darling Jen's computer (since I was crashed on her couch). She doesn't have Firefox like I do, but instead has Internet Explorer. I happened to be perusing my blog to see how it looked in IE and I noticed the horrible truth: it looks awful. There are random links to products that I didn't put there, and then they were all over twitter and it was a pain to navigate. Anyway, my apologies to all my IE peeps out there. Seriously, my blog looks better than that, I swear *sobs*. And may I recommend a switch to Firefox or Chrome (which I'm hearing good things about)? Just a suggestion.....

Anyway, I'll put some pics up (hopefully) of my weekend fun and all that good stuff later this week.

Hope you all had a great weekend and I hope Monday is kind to us all.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Review: Shadow of the Vampire by Meagan Hatfield

I received a digital galley from Netgalley. Shadow of the Vampire is out on July 1.

Even vampires should never sleep with the enemy.

Vampire princess Alexia Feodorovna has been undead for 125 years, so it's been a while since any man has made her pulse race. Until Declan Black. One look at his bronzed body and a fire like no other consumes her. Then she discovers that he's a dragon lord come to take revenge on the vamps who killed his parents. And claim a crystal said to imbue its owner with incredible powers.

Alexia is ordered to torture and kill the dragon lord. Yet with each reckless encounter, she finds herself consumed by his fiery passion. A passion Declan battles, as well. Will he be able to resist the fire of lust she kindles within him and keep revenge in his heart? Or will he risk everything to quench the burning desire and claim the vampire as his own?

Shadow of the Vampire was cool because it was a bit darker and grittier than many paranormal romances out there that I've read lately. It didn't shy away from violence, blood, war, abuse, manipulation and even the emotional aftermath of rape.

I wasn't sure what I thought of our heroine, Alexia, at first. I thought I wanted her to be stronger and tougher and yet, she really was. She'd been raised by a less than stellar example of a mother and isolated from all others who could help or guide her or even protect her. An evil man that she's supposed to trust is manipulating her mother and abusing her and she feels the walls closing in on her but she has no way to save her mother, herself and her people from a threat she can't imagine. That's just what's going on in her home. There's also the age old war between her vampire people and the Dragons and it's heating up, in a big way. She's a competent fighter that kicks ass on the battlefield, but inside she's a scared girl that longs for love and security.

Declan, our hero, is hot. He's calm and noble and passionate. He's also a dragon lord. He endures horrible torture, some of it at the hands of our heroine, and yet he never breaks. As time goes on and danger is closing in, Alexia and Declan are forced to help each other and they learn about each other and each other families, fears, scars, and their people. They learn there's more to the two races and what's going on between them than they thought and they learn to trust each other. Alexia puts herself on the line to save him and he has to make a choice: Save her and face the complications or leave her to her fate and go on as before. But can he really ever be the same after tasting her and knowing her?

Shadow of the Vampire was a moving read filled with war and political intrigue, evil machinations and passionate love. There were a few things that my anal retentive self wondered about here and there, but the story was engaging enough that I let those things go and just went with it.

There were enough questions at the end that I'm sure we haven't seen the last of this world and these characters and the story being set up for Declan's sister, Talon, has me anxious to read that one, too.

Final grade: B

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Review: Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Forgive My Fins

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Forgive My Fins is a very light and fairly fast paced read. Lily, the protag, seems practical and down to earth in a lot of ways and even mature when she talks about her need to protect her people by keeping their existence a secret and when she thinks about one day becoming the ruler of the sea and all the responsibility that will entail, but for the most part she was a very immature and oblivious character. Most of the characters were except for Quince and a few of the merfolk that we meet.

Quince is a great character. He was by far my favorite. He was strong mentally and physically, knew what he wanted and went for it. He had a great sense of humor and was very protective of Lily. Some strange things happen to him in this book and he always took them well and rolled with the punches, adapting quickly to his circumstances. He did feel like he was somehow older and more mature than every other teenager in the story, though.

The mermaid angle was neat and I enjoyed seeing the undersea kingdom. If one was to think too much while reading this story, one might find questions and possible holes and what not so I tried not to over think the story.

The ending was slightly irritating to me because it seemed to make all the mermaid drama meaningless and for someone who is so very loyal and loving to friends and family, Lily seems to be able to drop them easily and follow whatever it is that she wants with single minded purpose.

Overall, I felt like Forgive My Fins read like a younger YA even though the characters were getting ready to graduate high school. It was a light and entertaining read that I don't think holds up to a great amount of scrutiny, so I recommend that one pick up this book without major expectations.

My final grade is a C+

Forgive My Fins

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Robot Chicken and Pearl FTW!

Ok, I've got some friends that are havin a raw deal lately so this post is for you. A lil Robot Chicken and Pearl to perk you up.


This one kills me, every time:

Here we have Boba havin a lil special time with a frozen Han:

We all love dentists, right?

Even Eternia has it's scandals:

This one just tickles me. I don't know, I'm weird:

Again, I'm weird:

Gotta love nerds :P

Pearl, the landlord. So wrong, so funny, so cute :P

Hope these made someone laugh ;)

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