Friday, May 28, 2010

Quickie Review! The Turning: What Curiosity Kills by Helen Ellis

The Turning: What Curiosity Kills
Helen Ellis 
Sourcebooks Fire 
May 1, 2010
ISBN-10: 1402238614
ISBN-13: 978-1402238611

Plucked from foster care, Mary Richards hit the jackpot with a loving family, an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and a spot in the elite Purser-Lilley Academy.  But she might lose it all if people find out about the turning.
Something not human is inside Mary.  Her mind is reeling and her body is rebelling.  She succumbs to urges and desires she never imagined.  And then there’s the bizarre physical transformation.
Struggling with her metamorphosis, Mary is sought out by two boys who share her secret.  Will she reject the destiny they swear is hers? Or will she find our what curiosity kills?
You only get one chance to decide if you’ll never turn again.
I was highly intrigued about the blurb of this story but sadly, the story itself kind of disappointed me. Out of nowhere, Mary is able to turn into a cat and it's never explained why or even how she's turning furry. The characters were so one-dimensional, they were just there, like props and I felt like if they, especially Mary, would have been more explored then it would have so helped the story. 

Unfortunately, The Turning left something to be desired. I think the premise for the story was really promising but the follow-through was anything but. The Turning just didn't do it for me.

Lush Rating: 2!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review! Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

Unholy Ghosts 
(The Downside, book 1)
Stacia Kane
Del Rey
June 2010
ISBN-10: 0345515579
ISBN-13: 978-0345515575

The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen and constantly attack the living. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Consequently, there are many false claims of hauntings from those hoping to profit. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully-tattooed witch and freewheeling Debunker and ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for nailing the human liars or banishing the wicked dead. But she’s keeping a dark secret from the Church: a little drug problem that’s landed her in hot and dangerous water.
Chess owes a murderous drug lord named Bump a lot of money. And Bump wants immediate payback. All Chess has to do is dispatch a very nasty species of undead from an old airport. But the job involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and crossing swords with enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust with a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah. (from author's site
Chess is a Debunker or a witch sanctioned by the Church to return ghosts to their resting place, an underground city. However, she owes a drug lord a lot of money due to some unsavory activities, and if she doesn't pay up, well, she'll get the hell beat out of her and possibly worse. So this guy, Bump, tells her that if she gets rid of a little problem for him, her complete debt goes away. And really, who would say no to that! The only thing Chess has to do is clear up some ghosts from an old airport and she's clear.

Enter Terrible. Terrible is Bump’s right-hand man. He's pretty much his bodyguard and takes care of "problems" for Bump, if you know what I mean, and he's been tasked with making sure Chess follows through with the agreement and banishes the ghosts that are supposedly haunting this airport. But nothing is ever easy, this is more than a simple haunting, as Chess soon finds out.  Now she's stuck between two rival gangs, fighting an incredibly evil and powerful nightmare of a ghost and possibly having the hots for a certain enforcer, then yeah, she's ready for a vacation. Or at least, I would be.

Unholy Ghosts the first book in Stacia Kane's new series and absolutely full of win! From the very start, Kane just draws the reader in effortlessly. Chess is unlike any other heroine you'll ever read about, she's nowhere near squeaky clean and yet, she protects others, and she cares although I don't think she wants to. While I loved Chess, Terrible just stole the show for me. He was my favorite and no matter how much I loved the other characters, I lived for his parts. Interestingly enough, at first, I didn't think he was going to be a big deal in the book so my love for him kind of came out of left field and hit me right in the forehead. He's a funny mixture of being a bad-ass and yet at times, protective and it all forms a yummy package that easily became my favorite character.

Another thing that made Unholy Ghosts a book of never-ending awesomeness for me was the pace. It was just excellently paced. There's no awkward pauses or drawn-out monologue and that to me is brilliant. I don't want to have to sigh in boredom or feel like the action overshadows everything else and in this book, neither happens.  Unholy Ghosts is the beginning of a new Urban Fantasy series that I think it will be a huge hit. The characters are kick ass and the plot will have you on the edge of your seat. I absolutely recommend it! 

Lush Rating: 5!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dangerous Highlander Winner!

Tracey D!

Congrats, Tracey! I'll be emailing you for your deets in a minute. Thanks to Donna and everyone who enter the contest!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

In My Mailbox (31)

Oh, wow, work is keeelling me this weekend. Seriously. But it's okay(ish!), because I have some new books this week that look awesome and here they are:

The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howell - Which I already read and really enjoyed! Review coming soon..
Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Nightlife; Moonshine; Madhouse and Deathwish by Rob Thurman - OMG! Ever since I read Roadkill, I knew I had to to read the previous books and guess what? I WON THEM. Score.
Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch

That's all!

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

Friday, May 21, 2010

Quest Post: Welcome author Donna Grant to the Lush!


First, thanks to Wendy for asking me to visit!  

I get asked a lot why I chose Druids for my Dark Sword series.  I find the legend of the Druids fascinating.  There are so many conflicting accounts.  Some records show the Druids to be spiritual leaders who helped heal the sick and gave counsel to kings and other leaders.

The Romans would have us believe they were the basest of humans who routinely sacrificed humans and animals in order to appease their pagan gods.

So who's right?  I don't think we'll ever know.  We all know that whoever writes history controls history, so I think it's safe to say Rome may have exaggerated a bit.  Or maybe not. ;) 

It was the knowledge that the Druids could have been a mixture of any number of things that led me into more research into them.  I find their culture fascinating, especially how it continues to this day.

In FORBIDDEN HIGHLANDER, there are two different sects of Druids.  I have the mies, or the good Druids who keep to their pure magic.  They are one with nature.  They heal, share their wisdom, and protect the innocent. Then there are the droughs.  The droughs are Druids who, upon their eighteenth year, undergo a ceremony where they give their blood and soul to evil thereby forfeiting all the good inside them.  The evil takes over, and in doing so gives them a more powerful magic - black magic.

So how can the mies combat the droughs if the droughs have more powerful magic?  That is a good question, and one I visit with every book of this series I write. Want to read an excerpt from FORBIDDEN HIGHLANDER, then visit

I'll be giving away a signed copy of DANGEROUS HIGHLANDER, the first in the series to a commenter.  Happy Reading!  

To find out more about me please visit my website at To read more about the Dark Sword series, see pics of the Warriors, take the quiz, download wallpaper, or search characters, please visit 


Huge thanks to Donna for guest blogging for me! To enter to win a copy of Dangerous Highlander (And believe me, you WANT to read this book, it's SO good!) leave a comment (open to US only, sorry Never mind, Donna's awesome so she'll send worldwide!) and I'll choose a winner on Monday, the 24th. Good luck!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review! Forbidden Highlander by Donna Grant

Forbidden Highlander 
(Dark Sword, #2)
Donna Grant
St. Martin's Paperbacks 
May 25, 2010
ISBN-10: 0312381239
ISBN-13: 978-0312381233

Donna Grant’s Dark Sword series draws you into a dazzling world of Druids and dark magic, as three brothers battle to overcome an ancient curse—and find the women who are their destiny…
A dangerous secret
Fallon McLeod has gifts any warrior would covet—fierce strength, unmatched skill, even immortality. But those gifts have come at a price that puts everyone he loves at risk. Only when his brother, Quinn, is taken captive does Fallon leave the seclusion of his Highland home to seek the king’s aid. And though every woman at court would gladly be his for the asking, one alone causes desire to roar to life within him: beautiful, mysterious Larena Monroe.
A wild desire
Rumors swirl around the castle about “The McLeod” but Larena knows the truth. Like Fallon, Larena is searching for a way to vanquish the evil Druid who wants to wreak havoc on earth. Drawn to Fallon in spite of her fear, she surrenders to a passion that shocks them both with its raw intensity. But Larena dares not hope for more—not when she holds a secret that could turn her fiery Highland love against her forever…
Fallon MacLeod is in the last place he would ever wish to be. Stuck in Edinburgh awaiting the king's return so he can ask him for help is not his idea of a good time at all. But as the oldest brother, he has responsibilities that he must fulfill. Not only that, he's also a warrior with the god of Revenge inside of him and when his youngest brother, Quinn, is kidnapped by their archenemy, an evil druid named Deirdre, Fallon is willing to do anything to get him back. 

What Fallon doesn't count on is meeting Larena Monroe. For the first time in the past three hundred years, she awakens feelings long-dead inside of him. However, Larena is much more than she appears to be. In fact, she's there to find specifically Fallon because she needs his protection against Deirdre. But it's not as simple as that, Larena has some pretty serious deep secrets that might get her - and a lot of others, including Fallon - killed. These two have to learn to trust each other, something that does not comes easily to either, because if they don't, they're going to be in big trouble.

Forbidden Highlander is the second book in the Dark Sword series and a very enjoyable addition! We met Fallon in the first novel, Dangerous Highlander, and right off the bat, we know that he's a drunk. Ever since his god was unleashed hundred of years ago, he hasn't been able to deal with it without a bottle of wine clutched in his hand. Fortunately, he's off the booze now and trying to help his brother and friends. Reading about Fallon trying to fight his addiction felt very real, at times he felt like he wouldn't be able to get through it but he persevered. 

The chemistry between him and Larena can't be denied, the only thing that highly annoyed me is how Fallon went from one second thinking that he had to let Larena go to being willing to fight for her. He just couldn't seem to make up his mind and I was over that fast. It wasn't only him, though, Larena did this too! I understand being a bit unsure where their relationship was going considering they're trying to fight Deirdre but this just happened way too much for my liking.

While I did have some beef with the main characters, they're incredibly real, I can't deny their explosive attraction and it makes for some super steamy scenes. I was highly intrigued by the other warriors and I so can't wait to find out more about them. Forbidden Highlander is a highly enjoyable and super sexy read!

Lush Rating: 4!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Broooooke!

Today is That's QUEEN Bitch to you aka Brooke aka the Bestest GF EVAH's birthday! She's turning er, 28? Okay, we'll go with 22.. So let's wish her a wonderful birthday with lots of yummy men and hot cake. Wait, what?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review! Nancy's Theory of Style by Grace Coppersmith

Nancy's Theory of Style
Grace Coopersmith
Gallery Books
May 18, 2010
ISBN-10: 1416598863
ISBN-13: 978-1416598862

Lively young socialite Nancy Carrington-Chambers has always believed an excellent sense of style and strict attention to detail are what it takes to succeed, but her own husband Todd is showing symptoms of incurable tackiness, so Nancy flees their McMansion for her posh San Francisco apartment. She knows her event planning company, Froth, is a real winner, but she must prove herself by reinventing the turgid Barbary Coast Historical Museum fundraiser. Luckily, Nancy now has the perfect assistant. Derek Cathcart is British, impeccably dressed, gorgeous, and clearly gay—so why does Nancy find him so attractive?
Before Nancy can unravel her feelings, her irresponsible cousin Birdie abandons her little daughter with Nancy and takes off. Nancy, Derek, and Eugenia make an unlikely “family,” but strangely it seems incredibly right. Now Nancy’s parents are pressuring her to return to Todd, and she still has to pull off a spectacular party. For someone who’s always known exactly where she’s going, Nancy is in dangerously uncharted waters.
 Irresistibly funny and romantic, Nancy’s Theory of Style shows that happiness and love—just like fashion—aren’t about playing it safe.
Have you ever read about a character that's so delusional and crackalicious (okay, maybe that's not so much a word but you know what I mean!) that right from the get-go, she (or he) easily becomes your favorite? Well, that's Nancy to me! I rolled my eyes and snickered so much at some of the stuff this woman said that I honestly just became to loved her.  She's so damn shallow and thinks everything in life can be fixed as long as you're wearing the right clothes and know the right people. And while yes, I was highly annoyed at how damn shallow she was, there's something about her that just draws people in.  

But Nancy's life isn't perfect - the marriage is falling apart, her career is pretty much non-existent and well, her family doesn't support much.. Or at all. She finally says enough and leaves her husband and moves into an apartment to focus on getting her event planning business started.  And we all know to have a successful business, you need an assistant! So Nancy hires a gay British guy named Derek and from the start, they just clicked. But things might not as they appeared and Nancy will come to found out there's more to life than fashion.  

Nancy's Theory of Style is a laugh-out-loud story! I seriously laughed a lot at Nancy's antics but it's not all fun and games, Nancy finds herself and also learns some pretty hard life lessons. Coppersmith's writing is highly engaging and fresh and I had a blast reading this book!  

Lush Rating: 4!

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Review! Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

    Magic Bleeds
    (Kate Daniels, book 4)
    Ilona Andrews 

    May 25, 2010
    ISBN-10: 0441018521
    ISBN-13: 978-0441018529

    Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it rose.
    Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.
    When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.
    This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…
    Magic Bleeds is the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series and completely made of awesome! In it, Kate's still working for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid as a liaison and everything seems to be going the same ol' until she's called to break up a fight in a bar called the Steel Horse. Turns out it's not just one of those you-grabbed-my-girl's-ass kind of fight, more like some-dude-just-walked-in-and-impaled-another-on-a-pole kind. Not something you see everyday, even in a magic-crazy city like the Atlanta Kate lives in.

    So now Kate finds herself smack in the middle of case that from the get-go, it's more dangerous than the (ab)normal stuff she deals with. There's someone new in town that's causing a lot of trouble and they might be closer to Kate than you think. Hey, what's a little murder and mayhem between family?

    I can honestly say that Magic Bleeds was one of my top most-anticipated books this year and it more than delivered. It's hard to describe how absolutely fabulous this story is without accidentally giving spoilers away and that's just not acceptable. I'm afraid Andrews is one of the rare authors that will turn me into a complete fan-girl! I admit it, I loved Magic Bleeds. I love Kate, she's one of the best characters I've ever read, she's so fiercely loyal and brave and such a smartass but in Magic Bleeds, we actually see a softer side of her and it just made me love her even more. Curran? Don't get me started on him. Seriously. One little word from him and I swooned.

    The writing is just unbelievable. I could image scenes in my head in detail, whenever Kate was in a fight, my heart just pounded along. At times I felt like I needed to take a break from the book due to just being too engrossing, too brilliant for my little heart, like when you gorge yourself on Belgian chocolate. Magic Bleeds is the best yet of this series! Insanely fun read, action-packed and with scenes that made me turn into a puddle of goo, but in a good way! I'm more than ever looking forward to more Kate and Curran. 

    Lush Rating: 5! 

    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    In My Mailbox! (The big Three Oh!)

    Last week's IMM totally went over my head! Oops. So I'm doing two-weeks worth this time.

    The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
    Flight of the Outcast by Brad Strickland
    Twice As Hot by Gena Showalter
    Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison
    And One Last Thing... By Molly Harper
    Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
    Nice Girls Don't Live Forever by Molly Harper
    Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper

    Woo! That's all.

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

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    Review! Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

    Forgive My Fins
    Tera Lynn Childs
    Katherine Tegen Books 
    June 1, 2010
    ISBN-10: 0061914657
    ISBN-13: 978-0061914652

    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—the instant 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.
    Lily is just more than just a High School girl. She's a mermaid and to boot, the princess of Thalassinia, the undersea world where all merpeople reside. She's also half-human and because of that, for the past several months she's been living on land and pining after the love of her life: Brody. The thing is, to be able to become the Queen of Thalassinia once her father retires, she has to be bonded to her mermate before her eighteen birthday and that's only weeks ago. So she hatches a plan.. To ask Brody to the Spring Fling dance and there, she would confess her love for him and they'd live happily ever after in Thalassinia.

    Only, things don't go as planned. Quince Fletcher, Lily's archenemy and the bane of her existence sticks his head into the whole thing; as he is wont to do just to make Lily miserable, or so she thinks; and before you know it, Lily is smack in the middle of mistaken-identity-drama-inducing trouble! 

    Forgive My Fins is just what I needed! It's such a lovely, bright and airy story that I just totally devoured it in one day. Lily is a character that will easily make you cheer for her. However, the only thing that really bothered me about her is how hung up she was on Brody. I felt like she was building him up in her mind but soon enough, her image of him was going to go up in flames. Quince absolutely stole my heart! He's described as such a bad boy with his motorcycle and black boots but he's incredibly sweet and adorable and from the beginning, I hoped that Lily would fall for him! Forgive My Fins is a super fun story, hilarious and romantic, I had a blast reading it and I'm definitely going to be reading more of Childs' future books!

    Lush Rating: 4.5!

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Review! Chimera by Rob Thurman

    Rob Thurman
    June 1, 2010
    ISBN-10: 0451463420
    ISBN-13: 978-0451463425

    From Rob Thurman, national bestselling author of the Cal Leandros Novels, comes a sci-fi thriller that questions what makes us human, what makes us unique …
    …And what makes us kill.
    Ten years ago, Stefan Korsak's younger brother was kidnapped. No one knew who took Lukas, or why. He was simply gone. But not a day has passed that Stefan hasn't thought about him. As a rising figure in the Russian mafia, he has finally found him.
    But when he rescues Lukas, he must confront a terrible truth--his brother is no longer his brother. He is a killer. Trained, brainwashed, and genetically transformed into a flesh-and-blood machine with only one purpose--assassination. Now, those who created him…will do anything to reclaim him.
    And the closer Stefan grows to his brother, the more he realizes that saving Lukas may be easier than surviving him…
    For years, Stefan has been torturing himself about his little brother's kidnapping. He has tried over and over again to find clues as to what happened to Lukas, his brother, and it's not until now that he might actually get a chance to find him. As a bodyguard for a Russian mafia boss, he has quite a number of connections and when one of them contacts him about a possible sighting on his missing brother, Stefan immediately jumps on it. 

    However, things are not what they seem. As Stefan digs to found more information on where Lukas is, he finds some pretty weird stuff. Apparently, Lukas lives in an institute that looks more as a prison than anything and when Stefan manages to get him out, things only get weirder. Lukas is not his brother, or so he says. He has been trained to be an emotionless assassin for years and those who created him are not about to let him go at all. 

    As Stefan and Lukas - or Michael, as he insists is his name - go on the run, they grow closer together but what they find out about each other might be more than they bargained for. 

    Right from the start, I completely fell for Stefan. He is so heartbreakingly awesome because he has not given up on finding his brother even after ten years. And when he does and Lukas doesn't even remember him, he doesn't give up! He is so damn stubborn about him being his brother and what I loved is that while he is a mean bastard, when it comes to his brother, he's a complete softie. Lukas just broke my heart. Since he was younger, he was trained to be an emotionless killer and it was so great to see him experience new things, things that we all take for granted were amazing to him.

    Thurman's writing is so refreshing and clear that sometimes I was amazed at how well she could describe a scene as if it was happening right in front of me. Chimera is a kick-ass story about characters that will steal your heart and a plot that will keep it pounding! I really can't say enough good things about this book and I hope there's more to come because I can totally see this series becoming one of my favorites.  

    Lush Rating: 4.5!

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    The One-Question Interview Blog Tour: Lauren Baratz-Logsted!

    The lovely Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of Crazy Beautiful and the up-coming The Education of Bet ( About a 16-year-old girl in Victorian England who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, July 2010) and The Sisters Eight Book 5: Marcia's Madness (Sandpiper, May 2010)  is visiting the Lush today! It's one of the stops of her blog tour so please welcome her as she answer my super important, life-altering question!


    Q: Quick! The zombie apocalypse is coming, tell me one thing - and one thing only! - that you would try to save? ;-) (See? I totally ask the hard questions!)

    Lauren: I'm going to assume you really do mean one "thing" and not one "person" - which would be too awful to contemplate! - and go with my half-written work in progress. I can bear to leave behind all the books I've written, plus all other material possessions - I am on the run from zombies, after all! - but I can't possibly leave behind an uncompleted book. How will I ever rest if I don't know how the story ends???

    I totally meant one thing! Fabulous answer! Of course, you could also use your WIP to batch the zombies' heads in... What?

    What about you guys? What would you try to save? And don't cheat! You can only name ONE thing!

    Huge thanks to Lauren for taking the time to answer my silly little question! if you'd like to see her answers to other bloggers' Q's, check out the previous blog tour at Liz Burns's blog and Lauren's next stop at Emily's! And you can also read more info about her books on her site!

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Too Much Reading? No way!

    The ratio between my reading and shellin' out reviews is sadly lacking. As in, I have been on a read-a-thon and my pile of books to write reviews about is increasing at a panic-inducing rate.

    I never thought I'd say this but.. I need to STOP reading. Until I start on my reviews, TBL will be lackin' in the postage. Has this ever happened to you?! I'm afraid I'm going end up paying somebody to kidnap me and tie me up in front my laptop so I can write my reviews.

    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    In My Mailbox! (29)

    Oh my god, y'all! I squee'ed so much today, it's a little embarrassing but OMG! - Here I go again - LOOK AT MY NEW BOOKS:

    Forbidden Highlander by Donna Grant - Falcon! Enough said.
    Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews - Which I'm sure you're already aware of. Heh.
    Crux by Moira Rogers
    Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
    A Devil in the Details by K.A. Stewart
    Nancy's Theory of Style by Grace Coopersmith

    And because some authors are flippin' awesome, especially these two! Donna signed my ARC with the sweetest message ever!


    And Bree (half of Moira Rogers) wrote me the funniest one ever!


    Awesome! These books totally made my week!

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

    He can Chapter-32 me anytime!

    Bones is Mine