Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Out of Sight - Stella Cameron

Psychic master talent Sykes Millet can vanish at will, read minds and control others with hypnosis. What Sykes cannot do is escape his destiny—an ancient curse foretelling the misery his dark beauty may bring to everyone he loves.
Poppy Fortune knows all too well the burden of having paranormal talent. The supernatural world has fractured her entire family—now it's keeping at bay the one man she wants more than life.
Driven by hatred for the Millets, a killing force has attacked New Orleans. The evil Embran race has no conscience and intends to terrorize the city into submission. Sykes and Poppy must set aside old distrust and use their bonded talents to save their families, themselves...and New Orleans.
(Synopsis taken from goodreads.)

Title: Out of Sight (A Court of Angels Novel)
Genre: Adult Fiction, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: May 1, 2010
My Rating: 3/5

This is the third novel in the Court of Angels story arc. The storyline was okay, though I had a hard time figuring out who or what exactly the "Embran" were. They never were fully explained, but that could be because they were probably explained more fully in the first book.
I enjoyed the chemistry between Sykes and Poppy, and I liked the secondary characters, however some of the scenes weren't quite believable. Specifically one between Poppy and Sykes. Poppy doesn't argue about something I think she should have raised more questions about.
Other than that, the story was okay, I just had a hard time connecting with it and the characters.
Overall, not a great read for me, but I'm sure fans of Cameron's works will enjoy it.

Disclaimer: This book was obtained through netgalley, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Harlequin Teen for sending me this copy to review.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Winter's Passage - Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck--Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon--who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.

Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter--a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat....
(Synopsis taken from goodreads.)

Title: Winter's Passage (Novella)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult, Faeries
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
My Rating: 4/5

This (free) novella transpires between the books The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. It chronicles the events that take place while Ash and Meghan are traveling to the Winter Court.
It immediately picks up where The Iron King left off and gives you a "behind the scenes" look at the relationships between Meghan and Ash, and also Puck. Needless to say, they are also being tracked by a relentless hunter and it will take all of their wits to win this battle.
The story was concise, and stayed true to the realm that Kagawa has created. It also brings up some interesting lore which just makes it that much more interesting.
All in all, a great read to tide us over until The Iron Daughter comes out.

Disclaimer: This free novella was obtained through netgalley. Many thanks to Harlequin Teen for sending me this copy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Mermaid's Mirror - L.K. Madigan

Lena has lived her whole life near the beach—walking for miles up and down the shore and breathing the salty air, swimming in the cold water, and watching the surfers rule the waves—the problem is, she’s spent her whole life just watching.
As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena vows she will no longer watch from the sand: she will learn to surf.
But her father – a former surfer himself – refuses to allow her to take lessons. After a near drowning in his past, he can’t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.
Yet something lures Lena to the water … an ancient, powerful magic. One morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman—with a silvery tail.
Nothing will keep Lena from seeking the mermaid, not even the dangerous waves at Magic Crescent Cove.
And soon … what she sees in the mermaid’s mirror will change her life …
(Synopsis taken from goodreads)

Title: The Mermaid's Mirror
Author: L.K. Madigan
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Mermaids
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: October 4, 2010
My Rating: 5/5

Lena has always wanted to surf, and decides for her sixteenth birthday, what better present than surfing lessons? She asks her dad, Brian, if he would teach her to surf, as he was a surfer back in his day. His near death experience is one of the primary reasons why he won't teach her. Regardless of his experience, she still yearns to take up surfing. Something keeps drawing her to the beach, and she just wants to be able to surf, and become one with the sea. One night, she sees someone out in the water, something who she thought, was only found in fairy tales. Without her father's knowledge, she takes surfing lessons and shows that she is quite proficient at the sport. All the while, she is hoping to see the mythical creature again, therefore proving that she isn't losing her mind.
This book may be slowly paced for some; however, I absolutely loved it. I loved the sense of unity that we see in Lena's family. She has a tight bond with her little brother, Cole, and has a relatively good relationship with her parents. She is a teenager though, and does act out. Her character is believable. She does things that I may not condone, but given the circumstances, I can understand why she did them. This book is one that should be devoured slowly. It unravels at its own pace, allowing the reader to glean insight as Lena does. Her family unit is strong, and doesn't take a backseat to the story. We are brought in to feel the emotions that run through every member of her family, therefore making this a more poignant read.
Lena has her flaws, but she is a well-sculpted character. She is further enhanced by decisions she makes near the end of the book, which in my estimation, make her evolve into a better character.
The plot meanders, ebbing in and out like the tide. This book by no means is a fast-paced read. The description of the mermaids and their world, as well as the surfers' slang, captivated as well. It felt like an honest representation of the surfing world.
The only complaint I had was with the ending. It seemed rushed, and somewhat callous (but that's because I was immersed in the characters lives and have a bleeding heart). It does leave the book open for another novel. There is so much left to be explored, and I truly hope there is a follow up novel. This is definitely an author to watch.
All in all, this novel was refreshing, captivating, and exceedingly well-crafted. I think that it will be a favourite among those who are ready for a change from vampires and the like.

Disclaimer: This book was obtained through netgalley, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sending me this copy to review.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In My Mailbox -24- and CSN Store Giveaway Results

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

For Review
1. The Dopple Ganger Chronicles: The Secret of Indigo Moon - G.P. Taylor - review
2. The Left Hand of God - Paul Hoffman

Many thanks goes to Tyndale House Publishing and Bronwyn from Penguin Canada for the books that I received for review.

1. Mistwood - Leah Cypess
2. Angel Star - Jennifer Murgia
3. Magic Bleeds - Ilona Andrews
4. Magic on the Storm - Devon Monk


I also have some contests up on the blog for the next few weeks. First one up is the "How to Wear Your Hair" giveaway and free consultation. The contest has been upgraded from just US/Canada only to International in some respects. 1 Autographed copy is available to those in the US only, and 1 E-copy is available internationally. Free consultation available as well internationally so please continue to get your best/worst hair pictures in. Contest is HERE.

The second giveaway I have up is for Jennifer Brown's YA book, Hate List. I recently interviewed her and she was my first author interview ever. I'm also hoping to make interviews a regular feature. This contest is international through the book depository. Interview and contest posted HERE.


Which means, last but certainly not least. I have a winner for the CSN Stores $50.00 Gift Certificate.

Suburban Prep

Congratulations! I have emailed her already to let her know. Thank you both to Jamie for allowing me to host this contest AND for all of you for entering it. I hope you all are having a great weekend!

So, what did you get in your mailbox this week?

The Secret of Indigo Moon - G. P. Taylor

Erik Morrissey Ganger, famed explorer and detective (well, in his dreams), and his mischief-making sidekicks, twins Sadie and Saskia Dopple, didn't go looking for a secret tunnel beneath the school. They never intended to make the acquaintance of a shifty private eye with a nose for trouble. It wasn't part of the plan to come face-to-face with an old enemy--one with an agenda of his own that could destroy them all. And unraveling the secret of the mysterious "indigo moon" was the furthest thing from their minds.
At Isambard Dunstan's School for Wayward Children, these things just seem to happen.
In this second installment of The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, confirmed troublemakers Erik, Sadie, and Saskia plunge headlong into a new and perilous mystery--one that challenges everything they thought they knew about their lives, themselves, and who it's safe to trust.

Title: The Secret of Indigo Moon (The Dopple Ganger Chronicles Book #2)
Author: G.P. Taylor
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Action & Adventure
Publisher: Salt River, An Imprint of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Publication Date: September 2009
My Rating: 4/5

This is the second installment in the Dopple Ganger Chronicles. Erik, Sadie and Saskia are found exploring tunnels and getting into mischief yet again, much to Headmistress Rimmer's chagrin. They seem to just get out of trouble before they are in it again. The sleuthing trio however, are still trying to save the day. It's not their fault that trouble just happens to follow them around. They meet several unique characters along the way, and an old enemy. Will they survive to solve the mystery?
The format of this book is intriguing as it is a mesh of graphic novel, illustrations, enticing fonts and chapter book. The journey from full pages of writing to the next several pages of graphic novel makes this an excellent starter book for those who haven't learnt the joy of reading yet. It will easily captivate the reluctant reader in your family. This is a family-friendly book, but I will mention that some might be scared by certain scenes.
I quite enjoyed the storyline and found it reminiscent of a young Nancy Drew, or Hardy Boys mystery. Knowing how much I loved both of those series growing up, I'd say that is a very good thing. I hope we get to see these characters again in a future novel.
Overall, I think this is an excellent book to read with your children. They will pour over the pages, enthralled with the pictures, and will hopefully grasp the storyline with ease.

Disclaimer: This book was received free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy of this book.

The book trailer is also quite intriguing, and it captured my interest immediately.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Spotlight On: Jennifer Brown - Interview & Giveaway

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Brown about her debut YA novel, Hate List. If you have read my review of Hate List you will know that I seriously advocate this book. It takes a hard look at the aftermath of a school shooting for all involved. As you follow along, you get to see the humanity of the shooter, Nick, as well as what finally pushed him over that ledge. You also follow Valerie, his girlfriend, and get to see the heartbreaking reality that is her life. The strength that she shows in this book is astounding, and I urge all of you to read it.

LFW: What gave you the idea to write "Hate List"?

JB: I was bullied in junior high and high school, so bullying is a subject that is important to me. And as a parent, I think one of my worst nightmares is a school shooting.

But what happened was one night I got the Nickelback song, "If Everyone Cared," stuck in my head while I was sleeping, and when I woke up, it had all come together. All the things I'd been thinking and wondering about, my fears as a parent, my experiences as a bullied kid, and my questions. I had Valerie in my head, and I just sort of knew her story.

LFW: How hard was it to write, Hate List, especially when you've mentioned that some of the scenes in the book were drawn from your past?

JB: It got a little tough at times. I found myself re-living some of the same feelings that I did when I was a young teen. And the seriousness of the subject also tended to weigh me down from time to time. But, fortunately, I write a weekly humor column for my local newspaper, so I was forced to lighten up once a week. I also began writing a lighter novel at the same time, just to give me something to work on that was a little less serious. It turned out to be a good balance.

LFW: How long did it take for you to write this book from start to publication? Did you scratch anything from earlier versions that you wish could have been used in the final version? (If so, can you tell us about them?)

JB: It took me probably about six months to write the rough draft. It sold pretty quickly, but then the process of revising and so forth took most of a year. So it was about two years or so, I'd guess, from start to finish. It was all such a flurry of activity, it's hard to really remember. I wish I'd written it down.

I did scratch some things that I really liked from the original version, but overall I'm happy with the way the book turned out, so I can't say I wish I could put them back in.

LFW: Are you going to write a secondary book following Valerie after school? If not, where do you see her going, will she go to college or university, heal or come to terms with her past?

JB: No, I don't plan to write Valerie's journey after school. I kind of tend to see her as having already lived through the toughest time of her life, and everything being way too normal for her from here on out to make an interesting book. I do see Val as having come to terms with her life, having gone on to college, and eventually using what happened to her to reach out to and help teens in trouble. If you think about it, the poor girl can probably relate to just about anything -- anger, isolation, loss, broken-heartedness, guilt, bullying, divorce... the list goes on and on!

LFW: I know you go to a lot of schools and talk about Hate List. How do the students react to the book?

JB: I get a lot of different reactions. But the reaction I get most often is one of... understanding what the main characters are going through, which kind of breaks my heart. I've had many students come up to me after a presentation to privately share their own stories of being bullied, which just shows me that bullying is still a major problem in schools.

LFW: (At your current age) In the style of Brad Paisley, if you could write a letter to yourself as a teen, what would you say?

JB: That even though right now high school is the whole world, in just a few years it will mean little to you. It will be forgotten. That things do get better and people will stop being outright mean and that you just need to believe in yourself more and believe in what the haters say less.

LFW: Do you have any current projects in the works? If so, any hints as to what they are about?

JB: I am currently working on a new YA novel about a girl who falls in love with the new boy at school, only to find out a little too late that he's got a seriously abusive side.

LFW: How do you balance your writing career with your family life?

JB: Family always comes first, without a doubt. I still do all the things I did as a full-time stay-at-home mom. I still do all the cooking and cleaning and taking care of the kids. I still volunteer every week at the elementary school, both in the classroom and in the library. I still go on field trips and do the baseball/football/basketball mom thing. Writing comes in the empty spaces between those things. The nooks and crannies of free time. One of my strengths is extreme flexibility. If I have to get up at the crack of dawn to write, it doesn't bother me. If I have to stay up until 2AM to write, it doesn't bother me. If I have to write in 10-minute fits and starts, that's okay, too.

LFW: What is your favourite line from anything you've written?

JB: The first line. I love writing first lines, because that's where all the possibility is! There's such a rush of energy and excitement and magic when you get that first line on paper and you know you're the only person in the world who knows how the rest of the story goes, and you just can't wait to share it!

LFW: Last, but certainly not least, is there anything else you'd like to mention? (Anything I may have neglected to ask?)

JB: Thank you so much for having me!

Thank you Jen for taking time out of your hectic schedule to answer these questions! I hope that your book reaches a lot of people and will help others realize that bullying is not the answer. If you want to know more about Jen, you can follow her on her website linked here. Thank you for stopping by! :)

You didn't think I'd forget about the giveaway, did you? :)

In honour of having Jen Brown here, I thought I'd show my appreciation and host a giveaway for her book, Hate List.

Rules and Regulations
  • Contest is open INTERNATIONALLY (As long as the book depository ships to your country)
  • Contest will end July 16, 2010 at 5pm EST. Contest has ENDED. Thank you to all who participated!
  • Please comment on THIS post to enter. Thank you! :)
Original entry (+1)
Non-follower (+1)
Follower (+3)
Tweet/sidebar/blog post (+1 for each)
Leave email address (+1)
Add up total (+1)

That should leave you with a total of up to 9 entries each.

This is my first author interview, and I hope to make it a regular feature on the blog. Thank you all for reading and commenting. I hope you all are having a great start to your weekend! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Promises to Keep - Jane Green

Successful photographer Callie Perry thinks she has a perfect life, although it may not be everyone's idea of happiness: a great job, lots of time with her children, but a workaholic husband. She couldn't be more unlike Steffi, her younger sister, who has never held down a job--or a boyfriend--for more than six months. Walter and Honor, their divorced and perpetually feuding parents, have almost given up hope that Steffi will ever learn what it is to be responsible... until they all receive a shocking message that changes their lives forever and brings them together one extraordinary summer in Maine.
Promises to Keep is about the hard choices we sometimes have to make, about having to be your parents' child long after you've grown up--and about the enduring nature of love.

Title: Promises to Keep
Author: Jane Green
Genre: Adult Fiction, Chick-lit, Women's Fiction
Publisher: Viking Canada
Publication Date: June 5, 2010
My Rating: 4/5

We start out following Steffi through her day to day routine, or lack thereof, and are introduced to the main character, her sister, Callie. We get to see all the joys and hardships of a mother with two young children; a husband who is always traveling for work, her work-from-home part time photography business, her children's extra-curricular activities, as well as her book club meetings. Callie's life is hectic, but she loves it that way.
We follow the lives of Steffi, Callie, and of Callie's best friend Lila. The humour, candid openness and genuine life obstacles make this a thought provoking novel. Callie is elegant throughout and is the epitome of a survivor. She is strong, family-oriented, and she definitely is a match-maker. I also enjoyed watching Steffi persevere through bad relationships, and hoped against hope that she'd actually find someone good for her. As the book progresses you see how much family and friends mean, and how much love, and support they have to offer.
The recipes were an added bonus, and I know I'll definitely be trying some of them myself. The characters were all well defined, and watching them interact with each other and the passersby in their lives makes this book well worth the read. There are so many elements that come together to make this book so heartbreakingly enjoyable. You will definitely need to keep some tissues handy.
All in all, an engaging and thought provoking read. Many of us have at one time or another had to deal with similar circumstances in our lives, and it truly is wonderful to see this family meld together to help and support each other through the obstacles that life has handed them.

Disclaimer: This book was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Barbara from Penguin Canada for sending me this book to review.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How to Wear Your Hair - Morgan Gantt - and a Giveaway.

Ever Wonder…

why a certain hairstyle looked fabulous on a celebrity or your best friend and awful on you? The shape of your face is the single most important factor to choosing a hairstyle.
Come along as Author, Morgan Brooke Gantt takes you on a journey to determine your face shape and then understand the BASIC guidelines to work with your stylist to identify the “Hair Dos” and the “Hair DON’Ts” for your face shape!
It’s all here in a fun and easy guide, LOADS of pictures and celebrity matches for each face shape. Learn How to Wear Your Hair so you’ll look like the pros!
(Synopsis taken from author's website)

Title: How to Wear Your Hair: Hair Dos and Don'ts for Your Face Shape
Author: Morgan Gantt
Author Website: How to Wear Your Hair
Genre: Non-fiction, Hair Styles
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises
Publication Date: June 22, 2010
My Rating: 5/5

This book is unique in the fact that it explores different hair styles for different face shapes. Each person's face is unique and while one hair style looks good on someone else, it might not necessarily be the style for you.
There is a chart at the beginning of the book that will help you determine easily, which shape your face takes. This book is visually impacting as you get to see the pictures that show you which styles best highlight your features, and those that don't. You also get to see what style of bangs works best with your face shape, to help make your hair style work for you. With every chapter there is a wrap up summary stating what to look for in a hair style, pertaining to your face shape. There is also a list of celebrities with each chapter, so you will know who also shares your face shape.
Overall, I found the book visually appealing, and very informative. It is laid out easily and gives clear instructions or tips on what to look for in a hair style to accentuate your face. Now I know why certain cuts I have had in the past did not work for me. This book is definitely a gem!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Brenda for sending me this book to review.

Brenda, on behalf of the author, has graciously offered to host a giveaway of the book, as well as a free consultation to several lucky winners. All you need to do to enter the contest is email a picture of your best, or worst hair style to howtowearyourhair(at)sbcglobal(dot)net. Thank you Brenda for allowing me to host this giveaway for you.
  • Contest is open to US/Canadian and International residents.
  • One Autographed Copy available for those in the US.
  • One E-Copy is available internationally.
  • Contest ends Friday July 9, 2010.
  • Please email your best/worst picture in to howtowearyourhair(AT)sbcglobal(DOT)net.
  • When emailing, please reference that you are entering the contest hosted at Lost for Words. Thank you. :)
  • Only 1 picture per entry. Thank you.
Also, just so I know how many of you are entering, if you could please comment on this post, that would be great. It won't give you any additional entries, but it's more for my knowledge as I won't be seeing the pictures you send in. They are going directly to the author and Brenda. (It'll give me a rough idea of how many people have entered the giveaway.) Thank you, and feel free to tell all of your friends about the giveaway! :)

Post edited to reflect that an E-Copy of the book is now available internationally.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tyger Tyger - Kersten Hamilton

Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.
(Synopsis taken from

Title: Tyger Tyger
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: November 15, 2010
My Rating: 5/5

This book was in a word, brilliant. I loved the mythology incorporated into the story. I love how everything was entwined together. The worlds, the mythology, and the people. This story was definitely a joy to read. The story was captivating, and I was drawn in immediately. The depth of emotion felt for the characters was astounding. I can truly say that I was fully immersed in this book. The characters were very well done. They all had their own unique personalities, and you could definitely tell who was talking. Be it Finn, Aiden, or Teagan herself. The side characters were all memorable as well and I couldn't help but chuckle at some of their antics.
The world building was also magnificent. The thought, and attention to detail shows, and it is definitely worth a read, or two. I can't wait to find out what happens next. The plot was fast paced, though at the end of a chapter, we jump several months without warning. I think that that was meant so that certain aspects wouldn't take over the story and detract from the overall plot. I can't stress enough how much I enjoyed this book, and I know I'll be re-reading it again.
All in all, this was an excellent book. It runs the gamut of emotions, and will definitely keep you enthralled. And yes, the goblins are coming.

Disclaimer: This book was obtained through netgalley, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sending me this copy to review.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

In My Mailbox -23-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

Last week I didn't get anything, so I didn't post an IMM post. This week I think I made up for it. :)
For Review
1. The Castaways - Elin Hilderbrand
2. Achieve Anything in Just One Year: Be Inspired Daily to Live Your Dreams and Accomplish Your Goals - Jason Harvey

Many thanks to Valerie Russo from Hachette, as well as Jason Harvey for sending me these books for review.

1. Claire de Lune - Christine Johnson
2. Hunted by the Others - Jess Haines
3. Blood Ties - Pamela Freeman
4. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner - Stephenie Meyer

That's all I received this week, what did you get in your mailbox?

Don't forget to enter my contest. You could win a $50.00 gift certificate to any of the 200+ CSN Stores. US and Canada only though, sorry to everyone who is international! :(

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bullet - Laurell K. Hamilton

The music came back up and the next group of little girls, slightly older, came out. And there was a lot of that in the next hour and change. I liked dance, and it was no reflection on the kids, but my will to live began to seep away by about the fifth group of sequined children...

Anita Blake is back in St. Louis and trying to live a normal life--as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a U.S. Marshal. There are lovers, friends and their children, school programs to attend. In the midst of all the ordinary happiness, a vampire from Anita's past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, their dark creator. It's hard to kill a God. This dark Goddess has reached out to her here--in St. Louis, home of everyone Anita loves most. The Mother of All Darkness has decided she has to act now or never, to control Anita and all the vampires in America.

The Mother of All Darkness believes that the triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude with Anita and the werewolf Richard Zeeman has enough power for her to regain a body and to immigrate to the New World. But the body she wants to possess is already taken. Anita is about to learn a whole new meaning to sharing her body, one that has nothing to do with the bedroom. And if the Mother of All Darkness can't succeed in taking over Anita's body for herself, she means to see that no one else has the use of it, ever again. Even Belle Morte, not always a friend to Anita, has sent word: "Run if you can..."

Title: Bullet
Genre: Adult Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
My Rating: 3/5

This book starts with Anita, and everyone she loves, watching a children's recital. We are re-introduced to many of the characters from the previous novels at this time, as they are either in the audience, or are participating in the show. From there, things get a little more intense.
If you, like me, are a fan of the first Anita Blake novels, this one might be a bit too much for you. It has a lot of sex, BDSM, m/m, m/m/f, f/f/m, and any other situation you can think of. A lot of the sex was for political means but it was still too much.
I found that this book was more of a transitional book, and I think everything was being laid out for the next book to be a plot and action driven book. This book takes place largely in the Circus of the Damned. Anita does receive a work-related call, but unfortunately she doesn't go to the area, she only is asked for her thoughts on a video feed. I really would have liked to see her out working some cases rather than watching her on her back or in other various positions throughout the book. With that said, I did like that we got to see more of the inner workings of the triumvirate, both Jean-Claude's and hers. I did find that the mens' personalities took a back seat to Anita. They seemed to be going to her for advice, rather than sticking to their opinions, or being themselves. Meanwhile, they were reassuring her about her emotional baggage. There was a lot of talk of feelings as well.
The book was not big on plot, or action, so it didn't seem that things were really going anywhere. Near the end of the book things were getting interesting, and the old Anita was starting to emerge, but she went back into hiding, and the crisis of the book was summed up in only a few short pages. Fleshed out, they would have pulled the old Anita out of hiding, and I think the book would have been more enjoyable if that had happened. However, we'll have to wait and see what will happen in the next installment.
All in all, the book was okay barring the fact that it bordered on erotica. If you are a die-hard Anita Blake fan and loved the first books, you probably won't enjoy this one as much, but if you are fine with erotica you should like it. It was a transitional book, so there was not a lot of action and that might deter readers as well. Some old characters have re-emerged, though some (say Edward) are still notoriously missing. I'll definitely be waiting for the next book in the hopes that it has a lot of fast-paced action like the early Anita books.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks goes to Bronwyn from Penguin Canada for sending me this book to review.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wind Warrior - Cynthia Roberts

Leslie Michaels is a visionary, and only those close to her know of her special gift and the visions that come when her mind and body surrender to sleep. Fate has a way of righting many wrongs, and for Leslie it is a destiny that changes her life dramatically. But not before she is forced to flee into the wilderness to escape a murderous trapper bent on claiming her for his very own. Faith and a strong will to survive are her only companions, until she encounters Winnokin, the handsome Seneca war chief who first came to her in her dreams. Not only does he prove to be her rescuer and protector, he teaches her that tragedy can breed happiness and the passion to live and love deeply once again.

Wind Warrior plunges readers into the intimate depths of a relationship that unfolds like a live drama before their eyes while painting an insightful and intriguing portrait of Native Indian life in the 1800s. It is a story of longing, of a wanton need to survive all odds, and a love so strong it conquers human evil. Wind Warrior expresses with cunning words the simple, raw human emotions that hold readers spellbound and captivates their hearts.

Title: Wind Warrior (The Iroquois Series)
Genre: Adult Fiction, Historical Romance
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises
Publication Date: June 15, 2010
My Rating: 4.5/5

This was an engaging and fast paced book. I found myself immersed in the world almost immediately, and was drawn into the lives of the characters. I think that Roberts has a real talent, and I can't wait to read the next installment in the series. The characters were well done, and they were very personable. The explicit scenes were dealt with tastefully and weren't overpowering. I enjoyed the chemistry between Leslie/White Dove and Winnokin. I found that they played off of one another well, and I couldn't help but want things to work out for the two of them. Leslie has had a lot of hardship in her young life, and she deserved a chance at being happy. Both she and Winnokin are spiritual people, and it was interesting to see the different belief systems.
The words seemed to flow off the page quite fluently, and I loved the descriptions in this book. Everything seemed to mesh coherently, and the plot never dragged. I enjoyed the suspense, and mystery and found that it added another dimension to the book.
All in all, I'd say that this book definitely deserves to be read. You'll be transported back in time, and will become invested in the outcome for all involved. It is an easy, engaging, and descriptive book depicting life set in the 1800's. Roberts is definitely one to watch.

Just as a side note: Wind Warrior released today, and Roberts second novel, Captive Heart, is set to be released later this year.

Many thanks to Cynthia for sending me a copy of this book for review. This book was obtained free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The 9th Judgment - James Patterson & Maxine Paetro


A young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down while returning to their car in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and Detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one shred of evidence: a cryptic message scrawled across the windshield in bloodred lipstick.

The same night, the wife of A-list actor Marcus Dowling is woken by a cat burglar who is about to steal millions of dollars' worth of precious jewels. In just seconds there is a nearly empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria.

Lindsay spends every waking hour working with her partner, Rich--and her desire for him threatens to tear apart both her engagement and the Women's Murder Club. Before Lindsay and her friends can piece together either case, one of the killers forces Lindsay to put her own life on the line--but is it enough to save the city? With unparalleled danger and explosive action, The 9th Judgment is James Patterson at his compelling, unstoppable best!

Title: The 9th Judgment (Women's Murder Club)
Author: James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
Genre: Adult Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: April 2010
My Rating: 4/5

The book starts out with three seemingly unrelated crimes. We get to see Detective Lindsay Boxer, as well as the rest of the Women's Murder Club, interact and help solve these crimes. This book really goes to show you how small the world really is. All of the key players are present and accounted for; however I found that this installment seemed to be lacking in the "Women's Murder Club" details, and seemed to focus more on following Lindsay around as she tries to solve these crimes with her partner, Rich Conklin.
The plot was fast paced and engaging. The chapters were short and to the point. They jumped from one case to the next and back again rapidly, however you are kept up to speed and can follow along easily. I enjoyed the scenes where we saw more interaction between the 4 women.
I am finding that I enjoy the Women's Murder Club series more so than the others that Patterson has written. I really like the personalities of the 4 women, and think they all play off of one another quite well. However, courtesy of the TV show, the only thing that I am having an issue with now is picturing Lindsay with blonde hair.
All in all, this is definitely one of the better books in the series, and it is well worth the read. The only disclaimer I'll mention is some might find the murders particularly gruesome as they are aimed at, as the tagline says, "women and children first".

Thursday, June 10, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway: $50.00 Gift card.

Hey all, I was contacted by CSN Stores and asked if I would like to host a giveaway for a $50.00 gift certificate to any of their 200+ stores. They have an amazing selection of items to browse through. As an avid reader, one of my most needed necessities is a light to read by. I love their wall sconces, as I find that lamps and cats don't necessarily mix. Lamps have frequently flown through the air here, so I prefer the wall sconce! It also gives a less cluttered feel and you don't have to worry about your pets chewing on wires either.

I especially like this one:

They have a large selection of products ranging from bookcases, to luggage and toys, as well as pet accessories.

I know I would like to be able to hide the kitty litter box, and now, looking at these products, I can. One item that I particularly have my eye on is:

Enough about me going on about these products. I know I'm sold! I've seen several contests up and running already and I may be entering those for a chance to win.

The Rules

1. This contest is only open to Canadian and US residents.
2. You don't have to be a follower however as an added incentive followers will get additional entries.
  • Follower (+3)
  • Non-follower (+1)
  • Link to contest on twitter (+1)
  • Blog post or sidebar (+1 for each)
  • Leave email address (+1)
  • Add up your entries for me (+1)
That should leave you with a total of... 10 entries per person.

Please comment on THIS post, and leave an email address so I can pass your information along and notify you if you win.

Did I mention already that this was a gift certificate for $50.00??

I guess I should also mention that this contest will run until June 25th, 2010!

Thank you everyone, and good luck!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Manifest - Artist Arthur

Krystal Bentley is an outsider at her new high school, having just moved to a small Connecticut town. Lately she's been hearing the voice of a teenage boy in her head, and he has become her friend and confidant. The only problem is, he's dead...

Ricky Watson was killed a year ago in the alley behind Krystal's new school. The rumor mill is filled with stories of Ricky and his untimely death. Unfortunately, as a ghost, Ricky is unable to investigate his own murder, so Ricky needs Krystal to find the truth and she needs someone to listen. When Krystal befriends Sasha and Jake, both outcasts at her high school, the threesome soon discover that they have more in common than their outsider status. Each has a unique paranormal ability and an unusual birthmark in the shape of an "M." Jake announces that the M must stand for misfits, and so the three form an unusual clique. They soon realize that solving Ricky's murder can help them understand the mystery behind their powers and may reveal whether there are others like them.
(Synopsis taken from

Title: Manifest (A Mystyx Novel)
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: KimaniTRU
Publication Date: August 1, 2010
My Rating: 3/5

I wanted to like this book, and for the most part I did; however I found that there were a lot of gaping plot holes, and I couldn't stand Krystal's personality (at first). She was very rude, and whiny at the beginning of the book, and once she figured some things out in her life, she toned it down, which is good. There was a lot of reiteration and assumptions, in regards to their powers, made through out the story. I don't know how that will play out in the next book. Krystal, Jake and Sasha band together once they all realize they have the same birthmark, and certain powers specifically tailored for them. They decide to help out the ghost of Ricky Watson as he has been asking Krystal to help him out; as well as look for more information about these powers.
I will say that I disagree with the synopsis of the book. I don't know if the back cover flap will be different from the synopsis found over at goodreads, but I hope it is because this synopsis is somewhat misleading.
I did enjoy the history in regards to their powers, but as of right now, not a lot of questions have been answered. Certain key elements had a "Supernatural" feel to them as well. The ending was a cliffhanger which makes me want to see what happens next. I will say I had the "bad guy" figured out almost immediately, and was waiting for Krystal to realize who it was also.
All in all, the book was okay, don't let Krystal's attitude get to you as she does have some character growth and isn't as bad later on. The bones of the story were good, and I would like to see what happens next.

Disclaimer: This book was obtained through netgalley, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Harlequin Teen for sending me this copy to review.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

In My Mailbox -23-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

For Review

1. Presidential Risk - Michael Bronte
2. Homecoming - Jason Garrett

Many thanks to Ryan from Yorkshire Publishing for these books for review.


1. The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay - Beverly Jensen

I won this through Penguin Canada's Exclusive Reads program. Thank you Penguin!


1. The Ark - Boyd Morrison

That is what I received in my mailbox this week, what did you get in yours?

The Iron King - Julie Kagawa


Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school...or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth--that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face...and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Faeries
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
My Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed this book and don't know why I waited so long to read it! It starts out with Meghan being ridiculed at school, so immediately we are sympathizing with her and rooting for her. She realizes that things are decidedly peculiar, especially when her brother has been replaced with a changeling. She embarks on a journey to Faery to save him, all the while learning a few startling facts about herself along the way.
The detail was amazing, it felt like I was part of the entourage, and was experiencing everything firsthand. The characters were well developed, though I didn't actually like Meghan on the first leg of her journey. As she grew as a person, I found that I enjoyed reading about her more and more. I absolutely loved Grimalkin, and found his mannerisms completely true in keeping with his breed. Why? Because he is a cat. He definitely acted like one, and I loved his sarcastic and all-knowing voice.
I haven't decided yet whether I like Ash or Puck more. They both bring different qualities to the table. They are both intricate characters, and I can't wait to learn more about them throughout the rest of the books.
I enjoyed the references to Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Stardust.
The only thing that I thought detracted from the story, was the ending. There was a lot of build up, and I was waiting, and waiting for Meghan to come into her own, and realize her potential, especially in the final "fight" scene. For all of the buildup, the scene was too short. I would have enjoyed it more had it been fleshed out more and the struggle more of a struggle. Things just seemed to be too easy. However, the attention to detail with the Iron King's territory was excellent.
All in all, I'd say that this was an excellent debut. The story was fresh, fun, and enjoyable. I felt we were immersed fully into the Faery world, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I look forward to the next book in the series, as well as any future works from Kagawa.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Majix: Notes from a Serious Teen Witch - Douglas Rees

Kestrel (don't call her Susan) Murphy is angry. Forced to leave her posh San Francisco Bay Area home by her father's illness, she's living in Jurupa (sounds like vomiting), Southern California. It's too hot. The people are stupid. And you have to chew the air to get the oxygen out of it. On the plus side, Kestrel is a witch. Well, a witch-in-training. And she's going acquire the magic she needs to get her life back to normal. At first, she barely notices the people around her-Aunt Ariel, who's taken her in and is herself a well-known white witch; Jose Iturrigaray, the quiet, talented young artist; Blake Cump, troublemaker extraordinaire; Laura Greenwood, who wants to be Kestrel's friend. But life has its own magic, and gradually Kestrel finds that much of one's success as a witch lies in being open to it.
(Synopsis taken from

Title: Majix: Notes from a Serious Teen Witch
Author: Douglas Rees
Genre: Young Adult, Witchcraft
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 1, 2010
My Rating: 3/5

The book opens up and we find Kestrel stating that she isn't a white witch, she's leaning more to the dark side. She has been sent away from her parent's house and is living with her aunt temporarily. She starts writing her own grimoire and this book is the sum of her journey. We follow her path as she discovers certain truths about life, and herself; all the while battling school, bullies, and learning what witchcraft really is.
Kestrel has a strong voice, and is very independent. Her story is enjoyable, and the lessons learned are applicable to all of us. I found the story humorous, lighthearted and engaging, and I couldn't help but root for her, and hope that everything turned out well for her. I think younger teens would be able to relate to this story well.
All in all, this book is a coming of age story, with a sarcastic, and humorous bent. It is definitely a cute and enjoyable read.

Disclaimer: This book was obtained through netgalley, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Harlequin Teen for sending me this copy to review.