Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I haven't done this in weeks! Well, I figured a little update on my reading adventures would be good.

Read Last week:


Not bad at all! I only worked two days so I had plenty o' reading time.

Currently Reading:


Reading next:

I'm going on a Bones-a-thon! Good times.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In My Mailbox 13(!)

(Un) Lucky number 13!

But I got lucky! Uh.. yeah. Book-wise:

Wild Heat (Hot Shots: Men of Fire, #1) by Bella Andre

  Tempest Rising (Jane True, #1) by Nicole Peeler

Betrayals (Strange Angels, #2) by Lili St. Crow

See? Awesome!

-- Hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

Saturday, November 28, 2009

2010 Debut Author Challenge.

I made this button, yo!

This is the first challenge I've ever signed up for and it sounds like so much fun!

The Mission: Read a set number of YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels from debut authors published this year. [2010! Clearly] I'm [That'd be Kristi at The Story Siren] going to challenge everyone to read at least 12 debut novels! The challenge will run from January 1, 2010- December 31, 2010. 

See? Totally sounds doable (now watch me suck at it) and fun! So, I need to start thinking up a list of 2010 YA debut books. If you have any recommendations, feel free to share! I sort of want to do it chronologically, and I'm missing several month's releases. Forget chronologically, I want books!

1. Firespell by Chloe Neill. - REVIEWED!
2. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
3. Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn.
4. Other by Karen Kincy
5. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
6. The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
7. Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
8. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
9. Paranolmancy by Kiersten White
10. 13 to Life: A Werewolf's Tale by Shannon Delany
11. Almost to Die For by Tate Hallaway
12. Freaksville by Kitty Keswick - Got it!
13. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - REVIEWED!
14. The Turning by Helen Ellis

That's what I have so far. Anyone can enter, read more info here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Review! Crimson & Steam by Liz Maverick

Crimson & Steam (Crimson City series, book #8)
Liz Maverick
Love Spell
December 29, 2009
ISBN: 0505527790

Named for the angels, Los Angeles is a city of demons, a crucible of souls. It is Crimson City. Here vampires and werewolves vie for dominion, humans build soldiers of flesh and steel who seethe with fury. But alongside strife can be love--a love that cares nothing for species or origin. 

Yet, love doesn’t always conquer. Marius and Jill have long been kept apart. Bound by destiny yet forbidden true union, he is vampire; she, human. And a marriage alliance that promises peace for all others shall separate them forever. 

As if peace might be achieved so easily. Darkness is rising: a mysterious plot shall force every inhabitant of Crimson City to take sides. Deliverance exists, but first must come a tale of impossible passion and discovery, of Marius and Jill in a race against time leading back to the city’s paranormal beginnings, to Victorian London, to an era of invention and a world of CRIMSON & STEAM.
Marius, the vampire master of house Dumont has always been about doing the right thing for his people, for his city. Unfortunately, he's in love with a human woman, Jill, but his latest political move include him marrying someone else, more specifically Tatiana Asprey, a werewolf. Jill is enraged and incredibly hurt that he's even considering it, that for years now, she's been waiting for him and now they'll never have a chance.

What neither Marius or Jill know, but will soon find out, is that there are people plotting against them. In fact, there are some who wants them dead and they have to work together to flesh out who it is and stop them before it's too late.

Crimson & Steam is unlike any other book I've ever read. First of all, let me start by saying that it's the eighth book in the Crimson City series and I have not read the previous book. I was a bit wary before I started reading it due to that fact but while at first I was slightly lost, the reader doesn't need all that much backstory to be able to follow this story. I can tentatively say that Crimson & Steam can be a stand-alone novel, however I do recommend you read the previous books!

With that said, I definitely enjoyed reading this story. Maverick has a way with words that you can't help but fall into. It's definitely not a traditional story, there's kind of two plots intertwined that at first, I admit, I was completely lost about because I could not find the connection! But that's what is so fun about Crimson & Steam. As the story progress, the reader founds out more info and the multiple plots become clearer. The characters, even the "bad guy" are completely easy to relate to, the plot unlike any I've read before and all-in-all, after a rocky start, I absolutely enjoyed reading Crimson & Steam.

Monday, November 23, 2009

GIVEAWAY: Fallen by Lauren Kate.

Up for grabs: An ARC of this highly-anticipated novel.

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic,
Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

How: Leave a comment. See? I'm easy!

Ends: December 1st.

If you want extra entries, you can do any or all of these things:

+1 Comment on my review.
+2 Become a follower (+3 if you already are! Just let me know in the comments)
+3 If you blog, tweet, link from sidebar, etc. (Let me know where!)

What are you waiting for? GOGOGO.

P.S: Oops. Leave a way for me to contact you if you win!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

[Quicky] Review: Playing with Fire.

Playing with Fire (Silver Dragons, book 1)
Katie MacAlister
May 6, 2008 
ISBN-10: 0451223780

Gabriel Tauhou, the leader of the silver dragons, can't take his eyes off May Northcott. Not even when May, who has the unique talent of being able to hide in the shadows, has slipped from everyone else's sight.

May, however, has little time for Gabriel - not when she's hiding from the Otherworld law, hunting down a blackmailer, and trying to avoid a demon lord's demands. But her ability to withstand Gabriel's fire marks her as his mate, and he has no intention of letting her disappear into the darkness she seems to prefer.

Then May is ordered to steal one of Gabriel's treasures - an immensely important relic of all dragonkin - and he must decide which to protect: his love or his dragons...

I loved this book! I've read most of Katie's books - her Aisling Grey series, Dark Ones, contemporaries (Blow Me Away (Pirates!), Hard Day's Knight! etc) and more - and needless to say, I've enjoyed every single one, I completely fell in love with the characters in Playing with Fire. May and Gabriel is perfect for each other, old favorite characters back, including the awesome Newfie demon, Jim! I'm Team Jim. I wanna take him walkies.

Playing with Fire features Katie's awesome sense of humor, hot steamy lovin', great characters and a really fun plot! It's the first book in the Silver Dragon series and I can't wait to read Up in Smoke, the second book! I highly recommend Playing with Fire, it's such a fun read!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Review! Beautiful Americans.

Beautiful Americans
Lucy Silag
November 12, 2009
ISBN-10: 1595142274
Young Adult.

What happens in Paris...

PJ's deep blue eyes and angelic long blond hair conceal a truth that's anything but. Will her dark past stay where it belongs in the backwoods of Vermont, or haunt her in the city of light?


Always the good girl, Olivia plans to twirl her way to the top of the Parisian ballet scene. But that's not supposed to include dancing on a table all night...or stumbling into the arms of the wrong boy.


With his emo-trendy bedhead, hilarious comebacks and Southern drawl, Zack could win over anyone. Too bad he's after the only one who's forbidden...


All Alex wants from Paris is to nab that berry-red Dior coat and seduce the perfect penny-loafer-wearing boy - and Alex always gets what she wants. But will her scheming pay off? Or is she risking more than she knows...?

Alex, Olivia, Zack and PJ are spending a year at the prestigious Lycée de Monceau in the sparkling city of Paris. This is their chance to sip cafe au lait in Le Marais, throw secret parties in their host families' Versailles-size apartments, and have the time of their lives. But when the secrets they thought they left behind come out, everything could be ruined... [From Goodreads]
Beautiful Americans is the story of four teenagers in Paris and how their paths crossed. I wasn't so sure I was going to like it but I was definitely surprised. Each one - PJ, Olivia, Zack, and Alex - has their own individual characteristics, flaws and of course, secrets they're trying to keep hidden. While I enjoyed reading about PJ's insecurities, Zack's difficulty coming to terms with himself or Alex's attention-grabbing antics, I think Olivia, the ballet dancer from California stole my heart. She's a really strong character and I loved her part of the story.

This story is told in four different points of views, which admittedly, at first can be a bit confusing but as I continued reading, it became easier to differentiate between all four, and keep track of what was going on. Each chapter is titled after which of the four is about so that helps too. The story definitely has that Gossip Girl feel to it, which makes things even more fun!

Beautiful Americans has it all - friendships, romance, secrets - and I really enjoyed reading it. It is the first in a trilogy, followed by Wanderlust and Experienced.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Review! Sins of the Flesh

Sins of the Flesh
Caridad Pineiro
October 27, 2009
ISBN-10: 0446543837

Caterina Shaw's days are numbered. Her only chance for survival is a highly experimental gene treatment-a risk she willingly takes. But now Caterina barely recognizes herself. She has new, terrifying powers, an exotic, arresting body-and she's been accused of a savage murder, sending her on the run.

Mick Carrera is a mercenary and an expert at capturing elusive, clever prey. Yet the woman he's hunting down is far from the vicious killer he's been told to expect: Caterina is wounded, vulnerable, and a startling mystery of medical science. Even more, she's a beautiful woman whose innocent sensuality tempts Mick to show her exactly how thrilling pleasure can be. The heat that builds between them is irresistible, but surrendering to it could kill them both . . . for a dangerous group is plotting its next move using Caterina as its deadly pawn.

It took me weeks to be able to sit down and write this review, I just kept putting it off. Rarely, I find a book that I just don't click with, and Sins of the Flesh was one of them. While the blurb sounds great and the cover's pretty awesome, the story fell flat to me, the characters two-dimensional and cartoonish and I just couldn't get into the story.

Caterina Shaw was dying of cancer until she gets into an experimental program to help her at least gain her sight back, maybe even save her life. What she never counted on is finding herself on the run for her life, with new terrifying powers and being accused of murder. Mick Carrera is hired to find her, dead or alive. However, what he founds is a terrified Caterina, not the scary monster who could have murdered that scientist in cold blood. Soon enough, they find themselves attracted to each other but Mick is supposed to bring her in, so hello, hard place and rock, nice to meet ya.

Even my review is lackluster! That's how I felt about this book. I couldn't click with the characters, and that's one of my biggest pet-peeve when reading a book. I need to feel somewhat connected to the characters to be able to care about what happens to them and I just didn't in this case. However, there were parts I enjoyed, like the sexual tension between Mick and Cat and Mick's family dynamics. Unfortunately, the parts I didn't like overshadowed the ones I did. All-in-all, Sins of the Flesh was a miss for me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In My Mailbox (11)

It was an awesome book week!

Water bottle sneaking in the picture!

Crimson & Steam by Liz Maverick (Actually already read it, my review will be coming soon)
Night Runner by Max Turner
Wings by Aprilyne Pike (I've wanted to get my paws on this one for ages! Finally)
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Playing with Fire by Katie MacAlister (Yaaay! Love her books)

 That flipping flash will be the death of me.

Seeing double? You should be! I ended up with two copies of Night Runner (One ARC which I'll keep, and a finished copy), and what does that mean? Giveaway! Hopefully soon.

Your turn!

-- IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Reading Meme (aka another reason to procrastinate!)

The Mission: Use the titles of books you've read this year to answer these questions.

Describe Yourself: Wicked Lovely.

How do you feel: Sunshine.

Describe where you currently live: The Trouble with Paradise.

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Grimspace.

Your favorite form of transportation: Skinwalker.

Your best friend is: Fanged & Fabulous.

You and your friends are: Fast & Loose. [This one cracked me up!]

What's the weather like: Hot.

Favorite time of day: Happy Hour of the Damned.

What is life to you: Blacklisted.

Your fear: Vulnerable

What is the best advice you have to give: How to Score. [HA! I bring the funnies.]

Thought for the Day: No Rest for the Wicked.

How I would like to die: A Kiss before the Apocalypse.

My soul's present condition: Rampant.

Your turn!

P.S.:  Hey, guys. When I get to 100 followers, I'm going to be having a major contest. I'm terribly excited and I already got 3 books to give away, I'm thinking of giving away at least 5 - Sounds good? So! Of course - BECOME A FOLLOWER. The sooner we get to 100, the sooner I can do the giveaway. Wheeee!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

And Falling, Fly
 Skyler White
An edgy, erotic blend of fantasy and romance-from a debut author whose star is on the rise.

In a dark and seedy underground of burned-out rock stars and angels- turned-vampires, a revolutionary neuroscientist and a fallen angel must pit medicine against mythology in an attempt to erase their tortured pasts...but at what cost?

Olivia, vampire and fallen angel of desire, is hopeless...and damned. Since the fall from Eden, she has hungered for love, but fed only on desire. Dominic O'Shaughnessy is a neuroscientist plagued by impossible visions. When his research and her despair collide at L'OtelMathillide- a subterranean hell of beauty, demons, and dreams-rationalist and angel unite in a clash of desire and damnation that threatens to destroy them both.
And cue swooning! I. Must. Have. And Falling, Fly comes out March 2010 from Berkley Trade. I don't think I can wait that long.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Review! The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove
Lauren Kate
November 12, 2009
ISBN-10: 1595142657
Young Adult

A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistake
Natalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school’s Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn’t share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie’s nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party—when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.

From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should’ve messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrove.

Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth in this seductive, riveting tale of conscience and consequence.
I started reading this book thinking that I was going to flat-out hate it, mostly due to the fact that just by looking at blurb, it didn't sound like a story I could enjoy. I'm glad I was sort of wrong. Let me explain - Natalie is every Senior Princess you've ever met - the pretty one with the hot boyfriend and the money and all the friends and every door opened for her, etc. You know which ones I'm talking about. We went to High School with them. They're the ones who think that they're entitled to everything because they're just so used to getting whatever they want. Natalie learned the hard way that's not true.

She's determined to win Palmetto's Princess and Prince along with her boyfriend, Mike, this year. But before she can do that, she needs to kill the competition - Literally. Not for her though, for Mike, because let's not forget here, she pretty much has the Princess title in the bag. The competition goes by the name of Justin Balmer and she'll do anything to make sure that he isn't crown Prince. So, one night when the opportunity presents to embarrass Justin and make him lose face in the front of student body, along with pretty much everyone in town, she more than takes it.

What soon started as a mean prank ends with a horrible murder. Justin is now dead. Everything soon starts to unravel and Natalie founds out that getting everything you ever wanted comes with consequences and sometimes, fate is just a bitch.

I didn't want to like this book, actually for the first quarter of it, I didn't. It was boring, I wasn't remotely interested in seeing Natalie being all high-handed to her "subjects" and scheme, scheme, scheme.  But at one point, I'm fairly certain it was when Justin died, I found myself with my nose buried in the book. Seeing Natalie slowly become apart was like a car accident - You want to look away but you can't. Morbid curiosity at its best.

I finished the story in one setting. I admit that it does have a certain Gossip Girl feel to it, that for the first few seasons I was a devoted watcher of, which is probably why I liked The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove in the first place. The plot is certainly engaging, and while you don't want to like the characters (at least in my case, I didn't), Kate totally tricks you into it.  I admit to having a soft spot for Justin, the others could be ran over for all I cared but I felt bad about him! Anyway, I really liked this story, surprisingly enough!And I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Kate's future books.

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Hosted by J.Kaye 

I didn't do this meme last week so I thought I've update you guys on my reading adventures!

Read this past week: 

Tainted by Julie Kenner (Review)

Sins of the Flesh by Caridad Pineiro 

Take Me for a Ride by Karen Kendall

Both books will be reviewed on the blog pretty soon. (Hint: One was a miss, the other a hit.)

Currently Reading:

Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole & Gena Showalter (Let me just say that I LOVE Kresley's story, I'm in the middle of Gena's right now)

Reading Next:

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate

Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag.

& that's about it. My reading mojo is definitely coming back!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

In My Mailbox! (10)

I got some awesome-looking books this week! Lookit:

Ariel by Steven R. Boyett (I've heard really good things about this book! Can't wait to read it)
Seduced by Shadows by Jessa Slade (Look at THAT COVER)
Instinctive by Cathryn Fox (Dude looks like a mannequin. Just sayin')
Pride (Werecats, book 3) by Rachel Vincent
Prey (Werecats, book 4) by Rachel Vincent
Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block (I so love this cover!)

I has a conundrum though. I have Stray, book 1 in the Werecats series, I got book 3 and 4 this week but I'm missing book 2, Rogue, so I can't read these until I get my paws on Rogue! I have three different series with missing books that I can't read until I have the missing link. Eh.

Anyhoo - those are my new books for this week! Do share what you got and remember to check Kristi's Mr. Linky for the others IMM's!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Review! Tainted by Julie Kenner

Tainted (The Blood Lily Chronicles, book 1)
Julie Kenner
October 27, 2009
ISBN-10: 0441017843

Lily Carlyle has lied, cheated, and stolen her way through life.

But in death, she'll really get to be bad...

When her little sister is brutalized, a vengeful Lily determines to exact her own justice. She succeeds at the cost of her own life, but as she lies dying, she is given a second chance. Lily can earn her way into Paradise by becoming an assassin for the forces of good.

It's the job Lily believes she can really get into-but she doesn't realize that she may not be able to get out. 

Lily Carlyle is dead. She died when she went to avenged her little sister to the man who brutally raped her. She killed him, but at the cost of her own life. But before she can go to hell; because she's never been a good girl, she's lied, stolen and cheated and there's no doubt in her mind that's where she would end up; she's given a second chance. She can make up for all her sins by fighting for the forces of good and help prevent the Apocalypse. Apparently, she's The One who some prophecy says can fight evil and stop demons from opening the Ninth gate into our world and as such, wreaking even more havoc.

Lily agrees. I mean, what choice is there between being alive fighting or burning in hell? No choice at all, in my opinion. Next thing you know, Lily wakes up in a stranger's body, the body of Alice Purdue, who is apparently a barmaid but way more than just that, as Lily soon finds out, because this Alice is right smack in the middle of the fight between the good guys and the demons.

So now, Lily - or should I say, Alice - has a new life, a new mission: to learn to fight demons and she thinks she's up for the job. What she doesn't know is that things are never black and white, lines will be crossed and her allies might not be her allies after all.

Tainted in the first book in the Blood Lily Chronicles by Julie Kenner and an excellent one, it is! But it's a sneaky one, when you first start reading the book, it's easier to like the story. The prologue, right off the bat, is one of the best I've ever read, and as you read further on, you start really liking the story but there comes a point - it might be a sentence or a scene - where it totally hits you: This story is pure awesome. Tainted totally sneaked up on me. Sure, from the beginning, I was enjoying reading about Lily and her rebirth as fighter, how she feels incredibly sad that she couldn't see her sister, Rose, anymore, and seeing her become stronger was great to read. Yes, she's not perfect, far from it. She has her insecurities about fighting demons, about a lot of things and that's just what makes her Lily. There was a point, and I honestly couldn't tell you when it happened, where I went from liking the story to being invested in what was happening to the characters. I wanted Lily to succeed, to end up with the seriously-hot-but-full-of-rage Deacon, and to save her sister.

Needless to say, I absolutely enjoyed reading Tainted, it's got a consistent plot, full of turns and twists that seriously surprised me and had me at one point very annoyed because I didn't know what to believe, there's a scorching hot chemistry between Lily and Deacon and the evil guys are down-right nasty. The ending is a major cliffhanger and I can't wait to read the next book, Torn, out in December.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Review! The Year of Living Shamelessly by Susanna Carr

The Year of Living Shamelessly
Susanna Carr
NAL Trade
October 6, 2009
ISBN: 0451225163

A red-hot romance of a good girl gone bad-from a winning voice in wickedly fun erotica.

Every year, Katie makes the same New Year's resolution: have an affair with her brother's kinky and wild best friend, Ryder. Every year, she faces the same disappointment. It doesn't help that her good-girl reputation can't stand up to the hot competition, or that Ryder's always seen Katie as just his friend's innocent little sister.

Until Katie makes the first move-and matches him, kink for kink. Because this year, Katie knows what she wants. And she's going to get it.

For years now, Katie Kramer has had a crush on her brother's best friend, Ryder Scott and every year, she makes the same New Year's resolution: To have a wild affair with Ryder that year. Unfortunately, she has been sorely disappointed. Ryder has always seen her as her best friend's little sister and Katie' good girl reputation doesn't hold up to Ryder's super hot ex-girlfriends who always seem to hang around and get in the way. What Katie doesn't know is that Ryder has always had a thing for her but because he loves the Ryder family and Katie, to him, is untouchable, especially because he's got a wild side that few seem able to hold up to, he's never tried anything.

But Katie's totally determined to have him and this year, she's ready to make the first move. Starting by reinventing herself into more of a bad girl with a kinky side since she's heard that that's what Ryder's into and like I said, she's damn determined. But then she finds out that Ryder is soon moving away and she only has one week to show him how good of a bad girl she really is!

The Year of Living Shamelessly is one of the most fun books I've read this year! Katie is seriously out to get Ryder and seeing her trying to be more like the woman he would want was more funny than insulting. She knows what she wants and she was going for it and I can't fault a girl that. While I thought she was a great character, Ryder completely stole the limelight for me. He's been tortured about his attraction to Katie for years and he's finally going away to try to get some distance between them because every day, it's more hard for him to not want to be with her but he also doesn't think he's worth her time, unlike what Katie thinks and she's more than willing to show him.

But it's not all fun and games, things are heating up, both inside and outside the bedroom, and soon enough, Katie and Ryder's attraction might turn into something more. The chemistry between these two is undeniable and comes right off the page, that along makes for a great read, but when coupled with how incredibly funny and charming the characters are, including the secondary ones, this makes The Year of Living Shamelessly a wonderful read.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

In My Mailbox! (9)

Another week - Another IMM post! (Hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, by the way) I almost didn't take a picture because my camera sucks and it was driving me nuts! I finally settled for these ones:

Don't stare too long or you'll go cross-eyed. Believe me.

Tainted by Julie Kenner (Whee!)
Take Me for a Ride by Karen Kendall
Covet by J.R. Ward
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

 Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole & Gena Showalter (Double wheee! Literally. Heh.)
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Jane in Bloom by Deborah Lytton
Waiting to Score by J.E. Macleod
Paris Pan Takes the Dare by Cynthia Liu
The Season by Sarah Maclean

Pretty happy with my loot; some look down-right awesome, as you will notice by my whee's!

He can Chapter-32 me anytime!

Bones is Mine