Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop
Crazy For Books hosts this weekly Hop and this week's question is:
“In honor of Banned Books Week, what is your favorite “banned or frequently challenged book”?”

This is an easy one for me.  Hunger Games.  It's one of my favorite books of all time.  
I'm thinking I'll see a lot of this answer, but I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone out there picked something different.  Happy Friday ya'll!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review: Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

“The greatest love story ever told is a lie.”  Juliet did not take her own life.  She was murdered by her new husband, Romeo, who sought immortality.  Romeo didn’t ever think that Juliet would be granted immortality as well through the Ambassadors of Light.  For 700 years Juliet has struggled to preserve the innocent souls of true love while Romeo does everything in his power to destroy them.  It is an epic struggle until the day Juliet finds herself with someone she is forbidden to love and everything changes.

I know that I've read many mixed reviews on this book. I haven't ever really been a fan of the story of Romeo and Juliet. I guess I find nothing romantic about people who kill themselves over love. Thus, I found this to be a very creative retelling of an old story. I really enjoyed the new ideas presented in this book. It was fast paced, interesting and exciting. I was completely rooting for the happily ever after ending that Juliet never had. I loved the ending which both left it open for a next book and gave me some resolution. We closed in a full circle for Romeo, which I also loved.

I think I loved Juliet best. Her strength and resolve, her loneliness, her continued fight for true love's happy endings even though that isn't what she got...

Yeah, there was some over the top moments, cheesy even. But, I liked this story better than the original. (I can't help it! I'm a sucker for happy endings.)

There was plenty of content in this book that would make it more suitable for 18+ than the 15 year old that YA books encompass. Language, language, language. Pretty much everything shy of the F word at some point or another. Profanity. Sexual things (implied sex, none described) and violence.

My favorite quote from the book:

"Real love has little to do with falling. It's a climb up the rocky face of a mountain, hard work, and most people are too selfish or scared to bother."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Outer Edge of Heaven

Her parents want a clout wielding attorney, safely enthroned in an appropriately high end Mercedes sedan and a tailored business suit.  She just wants to teach kindergarten.

When her "all-powerful" parents actually choose her future husband, who just happens to be a divorce lawyer named Elroy, Charlie opts out and heads for Big Sky Country.  After all, who marries a divorce lawyer?  She and her best friend, Fo, who have been buddies since the third grade, go to work on his cousin's sprawling ranch in the heart of the Montana Rockies.

Filled with colorful characters of all shapes, sizes and species, including an orphaned baby pig, most of the Langston family put the fun in dysfunctional, -give or take a couple of black sheep. There's one in every family, isn't there? Add to that glorious scenery, a horse of her own, and one extremely attractive cousin rancher, Luke Lanston, and it makes for a summer Charlie will never forget. Which might not be a good thing. She has the time of her life, but her heart may never recover.

So happy to be a part of this blog tour for The Outer Edge of Heaven, an LDS fiction book.  First I have to say that I really love the cover of this book.  It brings to my mind all the things I love in a good western set romance.

I love the setting of Montana on a big ranch.  There is just something about a hunk of a hard working cowboy that sets my heart to pittering.  (I'm pretty sure that isn't even a word)  Luke was exactly that kind of cowboy.  Honorable, hardworking and HOT.  He was my favorite character by far.

Charlie seems to be a no nonsense, take charge kind of girl.  She jumps right into her role at the ranch with gusto and does what she needs to do.  I enjoyed the easy friendship between Charlie and Fo.  

The author packs a lot of "stuff" into her story.  Very open infidelity, an unwed mother who is considering adoption, drug abuse, stalkers, sexual harassment, an absentee mother, single parenting...  At times it seemed like a lot stuff without allowing me to really feel with the characters about the seriousness of those situations.  

I frequently found myself having to go back and re-read sentences because they were just written awkwardly.  It lacked some of the flow that I find in most books.

I really enjoyed the pantry scene and wished there were more of those in the book!  I was disappointed that the only kisses I got were at the very end of the book.  The beach would have been an excellent place for a steamy kiss that would have really cemented Charlie's later confusion at Luke's behavior.

Overall, a good romance.  :)

You can buy The Outer Edge of Heaven here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

After pulling off one of the biggest heists ever at one of the world’s most famous museums, Katarina Bishop’s name is becoming something big in the world of thieves. When she is approached by a woman with a compelling story and a name that means something, Katarina accepts one of the biggest and most deadly of tasks; to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald. Many have tried to steal the emerald, but all have failed because with the Emerald comes a curse.

Katarina soon finds herself in over her head. None of the old family tricks are going to work and it is up to Katarina and crew to figure out how to play with a whole new set of rules.

I have to say that I enjoyed this second book in the Heist Society series even better than the first one. It was light, easy on the brain reading. Fast paced and just, well, fun. :)

Katarina is on a high after pulling off so many heists on her own all over the world but by the end of the book she realizes that with the support and loyalty of her family and friends, she is just better.

I'm totally ready to see Katarina and Hale work it out though. Get on with it already! Two books is enough time to build the tension.

Loved that this book was squeeky clean, no language, no sexual content. How happy! My teenage daughter will really enjoy this read!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review: Hex: A Witch and Angel Tale

Like most girls at Rosemound High School, seventeen-year-old Lily Crane is acutely aware of Ryder Kingscott. Hands down the cutest guy in school, Ryder is cool, mysterious, and utterly untouchable…especially for Lily. For when she touches someone, Lily instantly learns all about their lives. And while such a skill might seem nifty, in truth it is wrecking Lily’s life.

So she is shocked when Ryder asks her out — and even more shocked to discover he has a rival. Lucian Bell is the gorgeous new kid who can’t take his eyes off of Lily. Being pursued by two hotties should make a girl happy, but Lily is skeptical. The boys act as if they’ve met before, hating each other with a passion that could only be rooted in a dark, dangerous past. A past full of terrible secrets. The kind of secrets that could get a girl killed.  (from Goodreads)

From the cover, (yes, judging the book by it's cover here) I would have pegged this book to be a bit different.  The cover suggests a lighter, chick lit story to me.  Something along the lines of Bewitched or something.  (yikes, did that just date me?!  I watched the re-runs.  Really.)  I'm a girl that doesn't really read the blurbs on the back or inside cover of books.  Why?  I just like to be surprised, I guess.  I want the book to tell me the story without reading a synopsis first.  When I read reviews on blogs, I rarely read the synopsis.  I just want to know if people like it mostly and why.  

Anyway, I was expecting something different than I got with this book.  Not in a bad way either.  I think my favorite part of this book was all the sarcastic one liners and the funny mental pictures I was constantly given.  It seriously made me snicker. A lot.  "I swiveled with the grace of a partly paralyzed sumo wrestler and proceeded to my seat."  See what I mean?  Can you just picture that?  (snicker, giggle)  One of my favorite parts of the book was when Lily is talking about eating her breakfast and comparing it to a whale.  I laughed out loud.

The rest of the book?  I liked it.  It was a good, quick read.  It had magic, romance and danger lurking around every corner...AAAHH!  Lily is a likable character and Ryder?  Um, hello.  He is a yummy sounding boy, right?  The only thing is I didn't feel like his bad boy persona carried through the book though.  It was like he was all mysterious and bad boyish at the beginning and then when Lily gets to know him he really isn't that at all.  Not even a little bit.  I kinda wished there was more of that character carried through the whole book with Ryder.  But I guess Lucian more than makes up for that though.

The ending was very satisfying for me.   :)

There was mild swearing throughout the book.  No sex, although it was close.  (ah-hem)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hang 'Em High Book Tour and Review

(Summary from Goodreads)  When Ida Mae Babbitt receives an invitation to visit her son Keith¹s dude ranch in Montana, she¹s excited to mend their broken relationship, but not so excited about spending time with cows. Arlette and Tansy go along with her, ready to take a vacation that does not involve dead bodies or mysteries of any sort - one must have a break from time to time. But it seems a no-good scoundrel has moseyed into Dodge City and is bent on causing all sorts of trouble for the ranch. Unable to keep her curiosity in check - especially when it seems her own son is the most likely culprit - Ida Mae decides to investigate. Can she lasso the varmint and get him to the sheriff in time?

Hang Em High is the third book in the Secret Sisters Mystery series and probably my favorite so far.  This LDS cozy mystery was set in Montana, so put on your big girl boots and lets get rollin!

Ida Mae Babbitt is quite a character all on her own but when you put her with Arlette and Tansy, watch out friends, because here comes trouble!  Who would guess that a mature bunch of women could wreak so much havoc?  In the first two books, Ida Mae and crew end up solving a couple mysteries and so by this, the third book, the girls solidly believe they are detectives and solvers of all crimes.  When Ida Maes son, Keith, finds not one, but two of his prized horses dead, the gals know that he needs their expert help.

Not only is this story a fun mystery, it is an emotional journey for both Ida Mae and Keith.  It is the road to discovery and healing for them both because after years of separation and misunderstanding, they have the chance to make things right again. 

There was so much to love in this book.  It was easy reading that left me feeling good at the end.  Tristi has a way of writing characters that you can relate to.  I can picture them in my mind so easily.  I love the rock solid friendship that has formed between Ida Mae, Tansy and Arlette through lifes experiences together.  I love the reconciliation between a mother and her son.  How sad for people to lose so much time because of misunderstanding and pride.  Ive seen it my life and it is so, so sad.  I guess it sort of hit a chord with me.

Hang 'Em High is a fast, fun mystery with real emotion that will make you smile, frown, and then smile again.  Mostly, there is just a lot of smiling.  J  Im so glad to be a part of the blog tour for this book.  My thanks to Tristi Pinkston for allowing me to read and review her book.  Tristi is awesome!

To celebrate the release of Tristi's eighth book, she's holding a contest! If you leave a comment on this review, you will be entered into a drawing for a free manuscript evaluation, done by Tristi Pinkston Editing In fact, you can leave comments on all the blogs participating in this virtual book tour! Go to Tristi Pinkston's blog at for a list. The deadline is October 5th at midnight MST. If you win and you're not a writer, you can give this evaluation to a friend. 

You can buy Hang 'Em High here and here.

You find find out more about Tristi at:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q. Have you ever wanted a villain to win at the end of a story? If so, which one?

You know, I'm just not coming up with anything here.  I can't remember ever actually wanting a villain to win...  Why would I do that?!  How about a good guy turned bad guy who ends up turning good guy again?  Like Darth Vader?  Yeah, I'll got with Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader.  But just for the record, I didn't want him to win as the bad guy.  I just wanted him to win by being good again.  I'm sure that rambling was clear as mud.  And I'm sure as I hop around to all your blogs I will go, oh yeah... I forgot about him/her.  Happy Friday everyone!

Review: The Trove of the Passion Room

“The Trove of the Passion Room is not simply a story. Nor is it only a fable, a legend or mere nonsensical superstition. It exists. There is a trove hidden in The Passion Room…a trove that has never before in its fullness been found—for it is hidden by the spell of passion that lingers within the room itself. The passion inspired of the room cannot be denied. It cannot be controlled or resisted. And as the influence of The Passion Room cannot be evaded, neither can the trove be revealed without absolute and consummate surrender to...” She paused as her eyes widened. “What?” she breathed. “No way!”  (from Goodreads)

I finally, FINALLY received my copy of this book in the mail.  I have been waiting forever to get it.  I ordered it way back in April or May but due to some printing issues, I guess, it got pushed back and pushed back.  I got it in the mail on Tuesday and had it read by Wednesday morning.

If you have never read a Marcia McClure book, you should know that this is a woman who can write a kissing scene like no other.  I swear I just about swoon every time I read a book by her.  This book was no different, but I did have to wait all the way to page 212 to get that swoon worthy kiss.  212!?  Man it was like waiting for Christmas starting from Valentines Day.

While this wasn't my favorite MLM book, it was good and the story with the grandma was sweet.  The names for the characters alone was entertaining.... Elisaveta, Sharlamagne, Maxim (which is a name I actually love).  I love how Marcia writes quirky things about her characters that endear you to them.

Here is a part of one of those notorious kissing scenes:

"Sharlamagne slowly drew his head towards hers once more, kissing his lower lip in a lingering, teasing manner.  He allowed her to toy with him for a moment, though she felt his hands leave the bedpost and slide to her waist once more.  His touch was irresistible, and she slowly pressed a moist kiss to his mouth.

'Kiss me', she breathed against his lips, and she felt him smile as his mouth melded to hers with a renewed enthusiasm.

Maxim's blood was literally boiling!  he wanted her like he'd never wanted anything in all his life.  The physical effect she was having on him was almost unbearably taunting.  Her kisses provoked a hunger in him he wasn't so sure he could deny, and taking her by the waist, he quickly lifted her, sweeping her feet out from under her so that she toppled back onto the soft, red comforter on the bed.  ...He crushed his lips to hers once more, grinding such an impassioned kiss against her tender mouth as to render her entirely breathless."

Um, yeah.  That's just a taste of it.  A very enjoyable read.  :)

There was some mild swearing and of course, some toasty make out sessions.

Back To the Books Giveaway Hop WINNERS!

I love when a giveaway ends and I get to send out happy "you win" emails!  So, congrats to Reading Addiction who won the print copy of Perception and also to Darlene who won the ebook!  Thank you to everyone who entered and also again to Heather Cashman for being so generous with her giveaways.  :)  If you didn't win, you can pick Perception up for Kindle at Amazon for just $2.99!  Awesome.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Last Day for Perception Giveaway!

Seriously guys, if you haven't had a chance to read this one, you really need to.  It's a dystopian action adventure packed with awesome stuff.  I loved reading it.  Giveaway ends today with 2 winners, one US and one international.  You can find the giveaway HERE!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: Rip Tide by Kat Falls

(from Goodreads)
Return to the subsea frontier with Ty and Gemma! The mysteries of the deep are deadlier than ever when Ty, with time running out for his parents, leads the two teenagers to the underwater underworld...and into an alliance with the outlaws of the Seablite Gang. But one mystery soon leads to another. How has an entire township disappeared? Why is the local sealife suddenly so aggressive? And can the Seablite Gang be trusted...or are Ty and Gemma in deeper water than they realize?

After recently reading Dark Life, the first book in this series by Kat Falls, I was really looking forward to reading Rip Tide.  I love the whole concept of these dypstopian books, set under the water as people are forced to pioneer a new life when the land begins disappearing and water rises.  

Honestly, I'd be scared to death to live underwater!  Maybe that's what makes these books so fascinating to me.  A lot more of this book takes place on land though and deals with the rough and shady characters at the water's edge.  

Ty is desperate to find his parents who have been abducted.  I guess that sort of desperation leads you to do all kinds of crazy things because I'm telling you, that kid is nuts.  The situations he jumps into are made up of your worst nightmares.  Shark attacks, wild salt water crocodile attacks, freezing to death underwater, drowning, being stung and eaten by Diablo Rojo (the red devil), bare hand fighting until someone falls in the water full of blood sucking eels...  I'm telling you- EEEWWW!!!

One of the things I really appreciate is that this book is free of the swearing that appears in so many books.  It is also low on the romance, with only a couple sweet kisses near the end of the book making this book more appropriate for the younger tween readers.

I really enjoyed this book!  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Awesome August Blog Hop Winner!

Alison is the winner here for the Awesome August Blog Hop!  Yipee for Alison!  I will be sending School of Fear out to her.  (which I loved, by the way)  Thanks to you all for entering. 

Review: Perception by Heather Cashman

Your perception will sharpen once you see through a tiger's eyes.
More than five hundred years after the apocalypse, the survivors of off-grid genetic experimentation have refined their mixed DNA to the point that humans and their animal counterparts share physical and mental links. Varying species have divided into districts, living in a tenuous peace under the President of Calem.

Ardana and her tiger ingenium Rijan leave their life of exile and abuse in the Outskirts, setting out with their twin brothers to redeem themselves and become citizens of the Center. But shedding their past isn't as easy as they had hoped. When the system that shunned them becomes embroiled in political conflict and treachery, their unique abilities and experiences from the Outskirts make them invaluable to every faction. The runaways become pawns to friends as well as enemies, and with every step it becomes more difficult to tell which is which. (from author website)

I will admit to being a tad bit confused in the beginning of this book.  I hadn’t read the blurb for the book beforehand so it took me a little while to figure out what was going on, but once I did, I was hooked.  Seriously.  Hooked.

I really enjoyed the connection between the siblings in this story and their tigers.  Their devotion to each other was touching and real.  I like how Ardana’s ingenium, Rijan, is a mixture of friend, mentor and defender all rolled into one.  Who wouldn’t want that?  I loved the binding ties of loyalty these animals and people had to each other.  One of my favorite quotes from the book comes from Rijan in one of those mentoring moments.  “You would be wise to remember how Maran’s injustice made you feel so that we are always good to one another and to others.” 

Kliax is the stud of the show, no doubt.  He is all man, warrior hero.  All through the book I admired his patience and restraint.  Probably because he is everything I am not.  He didn’t really give in to impulsive behavior, but instead thought things through and waited for the right moments to act.  I enjoyed feeling the growing connection between Kliax and Ardana.  There was some fabulous kisses.

This is a fantastic adventure story!  This first book in The Tiger’s Eye Trilogy is full of fast paced action that just never lets up.  By the end of the book I was exhausted but I still wanted more!  (and this was a long book!)  It was unlike anything that I’ve read before but had some vibes like Hunger Games.  I’m really looking forward to the release of the next book at the end of 2011.

You can find out more about Heather and buy Perception here.