Monday Morning Check-In: BEA Week!

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday morning everyone!  This week’s post was scheduled as it is BEA week!!!  Right now I am probably getting ready to head into Chicago; last-minute packing, going over pet care with the hubby, calming my nerves about the drive in, etc.  I am already, two weeks out at this writing, about the trip and the authors I could potentially meet and seeing my friend.  I will miss my hubby as this is the first trip away from him on my own.  He has left me at home alone before, but this is the first time he is home alone.  It might be good for both of us, not so much for critters that could run out of water… (kidding, they will be fine I’m sure).  I will also miss my little girl Tilla (cat) who sleeps curled up next to me each night.  She is going to have to make do with “Not the Momma” while I am away.

If you want to follow me while I am on this grand adventure jump over and follow me on either Instagram or Twitter as I will be posting pictures and cute commentary throughout the week.  My Instagram account links to my personal Facebook account and not the blog’s page so there might not be a lot of activity there.  I look forward to sharing updates and follow-up posts as well as some book and goodie giveaways once I return.  Have a great week everyone and see you when I get back!  Happy Reading.

Advertisements

Top Ten Tuesday: Wanna Laugh?

toptentuesday2
Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

 

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular blog meme, Top Ten Tuesday.  This week they ask us:

March 10: Ten Books For Readers Who Like _________

I’m not feeling too hot today, so this is going to be quick and simple.  I decided to fill in the blank with to laugh. So I’m picking ten books that had me laughing out loud at the silly antics and situations the author thought up. All of these are great reads for when you are feeling down or just want some fluff to fill your afternoon.  Of course most of them also have a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.

Ten books for readers who like to (or want to) laugh.

  1. A Girl's Guide to Vampires (Dark Ones, #1)  Most anything you read by Ms. MacAlister is going to make you giggle.  This is the first book in her Dark Ones series, but her Dragon world is just as fun.  I’m not such a fan of her contemporary romance though, and haven’t tried her historicals though.
  2. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, #1)  This is a finished series that started off really strong but ended kinda weak.  Still a lot of fun to read though and it is a nice mix of outrageous situations and some more serious drama.
  3. Happy Hour at Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, #1)  This quartet of books sat on my to-read shelf forever.  Then #1 was offered for free for my Kindle and I decided to finally get around to reading it.  SO funny and a great little series too.
  4. First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)  I’ve sung the praises of this series before.  Warning: do not read in public or while eating food/drinking (you will spew).  Besides the great wit of the lead character, Charley, there is also the smoking hot Reyes to keep your fantasies warm and a great battle of good vs evil.
  5. A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1)  This is another one of my favorite fun reads.  The series is like 20+ books long already and some are better than others, but on the whole it is a nice mix of humor/drama/steam.
  6. Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, #1)  OMG This author is so talented when it comes to humor.  She is another one where you don’t want to be reading this while sitting in a waiting room,  unless odd looks don’t bother you that is or you are better at stifling your giggles.
  7. I'm the Vampire, That's Why (Broken Heart, #1) I haven’t read a title in this series for some time,  it has kinda lost its way as the author has tried out new stories.  Still though, give the beginning of this series a try and I bet you will be picking up the rest.
  8. The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)  This book has been on a lot of blogger’s lists over the past year and I’m sure you’ve heard of it.  Still a fun read and if you love Big Bang Theory you are going to love this.  Book two is just as good too.
  9. High Stakes (Vegas Vampires, #1)  This is another little quartet of books that were way funny to read.  I haven’t read anything else by this author, but this series is definitely one to try to tickle your funny bone.
  10. 17383789  This series is done and I need to finish up the last three books I think, but if I was to pick one series on this list for most wacky, this would be the one.

 

ARC Star Trek: The Q Gambit by Mike Johnson – 4 Stars

Star Trek: Ongoing, Volume 9: The Q GambitCover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Graphic Novel, says ongoing: Publication March 2015

I received a copy of this from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

Synopsis:

The crew of the new Star Trek film franchise encounters the classic villain Q for the first time in this galaxy-spanning adventure developed in association with screenwriter/producer Roberto Orci! The mischievous Q sends James T. Kirk on a quest that will see the Enterprise joining forces with familiar faces from Star Trek lore.

My Review:

While this is not my first graphic novel (third maybe), it is the first one I have reviewed.  I’m kind of lost on how to begin and what to comment on.  A little back ground on why I picked this one up.  It was free for review on Net Galley and I am a huge Star Trek fan!   I figured why the hell not.

Reading a graphic novel is quite a different experience from a typical book. The story is much shorter, you don’t need to fill in all the imagery yourself and it doesn’t work so well on an e-reader.  I found the pages would lag and it disturb my reading flow and then you have the much smaller screen and teeny tinny little print.  I would have enjoyed and appreciated this much more if I had had the print version instead.

Otherwise the story was a lot of fun.  It took characters from two of the TV series and threw in the cast from the latest movie and sent them on an adventure orchestrated by perhaps one of my favorite Trek characters, Q.  So many great characters made cameos in this book I couldn’t wait to see who showed up next!  Compared to my last read the plot moves at warp speed and I found myself wishing for more pages.  I will definitely keep my eye out for more of these Star Trek graphic novels.

The art work was amazing and beautiful.  I was surprised at how well they captures these familiar ships and faces from the shows and movie.  Again the only thing I wish here is that I had the print version so I could have seen it on a grander scale.  I think it might have lost something on such a small screen.

If you are a Trekkie like me give this graphic novel a try.  I think it will keep you entertained for an afternoon and have you wanting to check more out.  It did me.

 

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin – 4 Stars

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)Cover art thanks to goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book #2  in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, released 5/28/02

I own a print copy of this book

Book Synopsis:

Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon;who held sway over an age of enforced peace are dead…victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky;a comet the color of blood and flame;six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard;s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.

A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and wartime. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, brother plots against brother, and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside.

Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.

Audacious, inventive, brilliantly imagined, A Clash of Kings is a novel of dazzling beauty and boundless enchantment;a tale of pure excitement you will never forget.

My Review:

Whew,  I made it.  Eight days to read this monstrosity and while I am still excited about the series I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the last one.  Mainly due to the pacing of the story.  In the middle, things dragged on quite a bit.  I also didn’t care that much for the two new character’s p.o.v. that were introduced in this book.  One of them, Theon, was quickly added to my list of those-I-want-to-lose-their-head list, and the other I’m kinda ambivalent towards.  Mainly I found his chapters rather boring.  I read them because I didn’t want to miss anything important, but I would constantly check to see how many pages were left until we got back to someone I really cared about.

Being new to this author and his writing I foolishly thought we had seen the end of the tearing down of this world and might start to see some rebuilding.  Oh how very wrong I turned out to be.  Martin was no where near done.  The world is quite literally, in some cases, totally destroyed and the deaths of favorite and important characters continue to pile up.  Because Martin is not a safe author to read, you don’t know where things are going to go next. He kills off, or makes you think he killed off, protagonists left and right no wonder he has to introduce new players, otherwise who is going to tell the tale of this world.

My opinion of many of the characters remains the same.  Perhaps I have a smidgen of more respect for Sansa.   Arya, Tyrion, Daenerys and Jon continue to be my favorites.  I hope for the next book we see some justice for the characters that have been lost.  Cersei and Joffrey really need to lose their heads…  One other thing that bothered me and brought down the star rating was the out-of-left-field prologue at the beginning of the book.  This really slowed down the title for me.  I was ready to jump right into the action and had to slog through way to many pages before it started.

Even though much of this book was spent going nowhere or destroying the different lordships the story continued to invade my reality.  The work is an excellent study of human nature.  I started to see aspects of the different characters in myself and others around me.  I am learning from this book.  I am learning how much I am like Sansa, wanting to only see the best in others and in life, much to my detriment.  I yearn to be as honorable and strong as others.   Martin is making me think and forcing me to look at my own life and world with different eyes.  I will probably be a bit of a different person when I leave this tale behind.  A good story changes who we are, as it should be, we should always take something with us when we finish a story.  On to the next book then perhaps a break from this world.  I can only live with death and war for so long.  I am going to need to be reading some fluff next month or risk ending up paranoid and seeing spies where ever I go…

 

ARC Out of Control by Alexandra Ivy – 5 Stars!

Out of Control
Book cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit title’s page there.

Book 0.5 in the Sentinels series, release date 10/28/14

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy quenches your thirst for illicit desire with this seductive tale of the Sentinels—outcast humans with the ability to tread the line between life and death—and pleasure and pain…

Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he’s actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other…

My Review:

OMG!  I loved this!  I have been a fan of Ms. Ivy for a while now, and even picked up the first book (yet to be read) in this series a long time ago.  I’ve read her entire Guardian’s of Eternity series, but somehow always seem to give it a three star rating.  I like the books, but never seem to love them.  This one is different.  Same great writing, but the story spoke to me more and now I’m itching to dive into this other world she created.  I am so thankful to have received a copy of this title for review, otherwise it might have taken me forever to get around to trying this series.

So what worked for me?  This world reminds me of a mix of X-Men, the Avengers and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  So love my superhero stories, fits in to this good vs evil pull that attracts me to other stories.  It is a mix of Sci-Fi and Supernatural, set in a slightly different modern-day.  The action was great and I loved all the gadgets.   The author’s talent of writing great friendships or teams came out in the dialog and character development.  There was also plenty of steam and chemistry between the lead couple.  Sure it was kind of an instant romance, but it was a novella and only had 90 pages to create this relationship within.

This is a great way to become introduced to this other world Ms. Ivy has created.  If you want a taste of the Sentinels before you dive into a full length book, I highly suggest giving this one a try.  It managed to hook me.

 

Darkness Falls by Erin Kellison – 3 Stars

 

Darkness Falls (Reveler, #1)
Cover thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book one in the Reveler series

I received this book through Net Galley for an honest review

Book Synopsis:

Agent Malcolm Rook is hunting for people with the rarest of talents—the ability to master dreams. He finds the undeniably gifted Jordan Lane, but she’s wary of mysterious Rook and resists his pursuit as long as she can. Yet the dreamwaters they enter are too exhilarating to resist, and attraction soon ignites electric passions. Delving too deep stirs a nightmare, one they must defeat, or be forever lost to darkness.

Fans of paranormal romance and bad boys, get ready for a dark, sexy plunge into fantasy and desire. The Reveler Series is set in a contemporary world in which people can indulge in Rêve, or shared dreaming—a pop culture phenomenon sweeping the world. Imagine being able to fall asleep at night, only to wake in a dream world, one in which you are lucid and in control—where you can be anything you want to be and do anything you like. But you must be careful…dreaming can be as dangerous as it is seductive.

My Review:

I’m not quite sure what to think of this book.  It is very short, the story only 89 pages on my nook, yet it took me three days to get through.  I can usually knock that many pages off in a couple hours, less if I’m really into the story.  So what does this say about how I felt about this story.  Hmm.  I’m thinking life might have gotten in the way.  Some busy days at work, riding my bike, shopping after two weeks without getting groceries, a tree falling down in our pasture…yep, life got in the way.  I also think that the story was difficult for me to get into at times or I had trouble figuring out what was going on.  Perhaps I wasn’t just paying close enough attention due to the interruptions.

The story reminded me of a lot of different ones, however, the ones it reminded me of are all movies.  Darkness falls is billed for paranormal romance fans in the synopsis, but to me the story is more sci-fi then paranormal.  Sure they have some sort of powers, but much of what is being dealt with is scientific or technological in origins.   I think the story could be enjoyed by both fans, but I would not really call it paranormal.  The romance label is spot on, though, and well done.  Steamy enough, but not over done.  They don’t spend most of the 89 pages in the sack, time is taken to develop the relationship.  Malcolm and Jordan have good chemistry and their personalities play off each other nicely.  The supporting characters didn’t get much development, but it is a short story, so I can overlook not learning too much about them.  We did learn a bit about Jordan’s sister, but she was pretty important to the plot.

So I mentioned that the book reminded me of some movies, so what are they?  Right off I this gave me a bit of The Matrix vibe and eventually elements of Inception filtered in.  Not that the book has anywhere near a similar story line as either movie, alright Inception is also about shared dreaming, but the story just reminded me of those movies.  I can’t think of a book that I can compare this to, so I can’t recommend it based on if you liked this book try this one too.  But fans of either of those movies might want to give it a go.

So what did I feel is missing from the story?  We never really find out why the “bad” guy wanted Jordan, and I was really curious about that.  There is another book after this one, so perhaps that was held over for a plot thread in that story.  The start was kind of rough for me.  I would have liked a little bit more information about how all the shared dreaming works and maybe some more time in the dream realm.   I think also the story didn’t grab me until about the middle, that could be why I had such an easy time putting it down to do other things.  If I’m really into a story to hell with everything else, I’m gonna read dammit.  This one just wasn’t that way for me.

Bottom line, it was an interesting concept, pretty good execution, and great ending.  The characters were likable and well written, with flaws, strengths, wise cracks, and growth.  The story is short, but feels like a longer book, the author packed a lot of action in to just 89 pages.  I think I’m going to give it 3 stars, and will probably look into book two to see what happens next.  I hope you give it a try, and if you do let me know what you think.

ARC A Vampire’s Promise – DNF

A Vampire's Promise

Click on cover to visit book’s Goodread page.

Release Date: June 5, 2014

I received this ARC book from the publisher through Net Galley for a honest review.

Book Synopsis from Goodreads:

Rowan Harper is nothing but a smart-mouthed bookstore clerk with a crappy love life on the night she walks into Rosie’s Bar. Most of the drama in her life is borrowed from her best friend’s adventures. But when she meets Gabriel–tall and movie star gorgeous–everything changes. Never mind that she turns down the drink he offers, or that he brims with secrets she can’t begin to guess at. He ignites a desire in her she never suspected–and shows a fascination with her she can’t explain.

 

He has no family, no job, no bank account;he knows where she lives and her favorite flower. An aura of mystery cloaks him, even as Rowan grasps for facts, even as she fears an answer that could destroy her happiness. Gabriel can guide her through a wonderland of new sensations. But only if Rowan trusts him enough to follow. . .

DNF so no star rating. I tried. Really I tried, but I could not even make it to my normal 50 page mark before giving up. The writing was off along with the dialog. I did not like the lead character, which is always a problem with me. I need to like the the person whose head I’m in. The inner dialog was meant to sound clever or have sarcastic one-lines but just came off snotty and snide to me. I did not care for how the lead labeled everyone and there were too many personality stereo types. This book is obviously not for me. If the writing style was different I might have hung on longer, but it was very blocky and not broken up with much dialog. Perhaps the author’s humor and mine don’t mix. It reminds me of other popular series authors I have tried and not cared for; MaryJanice Davidson, Gerry Bartlett, Kimberly Raye, Michelle Rowen. So if you enjoy those authors and their series you might give this one a try too, perhaps it will be more to your liking than mine.

Tamed by Rebecca Zanetti – 4 Stars

Tamed (Dark Protectors, #6.5)

I received this book for review from the publisher through Net Galley

Synopsis found on Goodreads (Click Here)

#6.5 in the Dark Protectors Series

Publication Date: May 15, 2014

This is my first time reading this author.  I knew it was part of a series, but it looked interesting and I hoped that I would not be too lost as to what was going on.  While I might have enjoyed the book more if I had read the previous titles I still was able to figure out what was going on and liked the story.   I plan on going back and starting at the beginning to find out how this world got to this point in its history.

The story was captivating, filled with action and a couple good steamy scenes.  I liked Caleb, he is a warrior and isn’t about to change his ways  just because he was thrust into this role of prophet.  Lily was all button up and formal, taking her role as prophet very seriously.  You could feel the chemistry between these two and I’m surprised that they didn’t spontaneously combust after holding back from each other for so many centuries.

Although I didn’t learn much, I learned enough so that the story made sense, I would like to explore this universe more.  It looks like are at a pivotal moment in this world’s search for peace and I was intrigued to learn more, so I quickly looked up and ordered the first book in the series so I can catch up.    It looks as if there are a lot of different types of creatures that are in conflict.  The book also had a science fiction feel to it that doesn’t often show up in paranormal stories.    The writing was well done and reminded me of authors such as Kim Harrison, Sherrilyn Kenyon,  Lara Adrian, and Alexandra Ivy.

Hunted by Rebecca Zanetti – 3 Stars

Hunted (Dark Protectors, #3)

Click on cover to visit book’s Goodreads page.

Book 3 in the Dark Protectors series.

I got this book from my library!

Book Synopsis from Goodreads:

Moira Dunne is a witch – the quantum physics kind. Time and space are her playthings. Which might explain why her one-night stand from a hundred years ago has turned up to “claim” her – and request her family’s assistance with the war he’s brewing. But the more she learns about Connlan Kayrs, the more she comes to think this is normal behaviour for him…When Conn and Moira tumbled on the moonlit grass, Conn hadn’t meant to mark her as his mate for all time. She was only twenty! But it wasn’t easy to wait for her. It was even harder to forget her. So when he finally returns for his wicked-hot witch, he’s ready to let the sparks fly. Even if he burns up in flames..

I enjoy this series, but think it is time for a break.  This one was more of a struggle to stay interested in.  I’m not sure why, but my mind kept wandering while I was reading.  I’m going to try and read a couple of books in a different genre before I come back to this series or another paranormal.  This book is a little different from the others, Conn and Moira are already mated and Moira is not human but a powerful witch.  The vampires are still at war and it is heating up.  Demons are becoming involved and all the different fractions/species of the realm are experiencing in fighting and threatening to break apart from one another.  So this should have be a sit on the edge of your seat thrilling read, but it wasn’t… or at least not for me.

I still liked the book, but it just didn’t live up to the ones before it.  It felt tamer and a bit more bogged down with details of how everything worked.  While some of it was interesting I felt at times it affected the pace of the story.  Also some of the excitement was missing from Conn and Moira’s relationship, perhaps because they were already an establish couple.  They already knew a lot about each other.  We missed out a bit on the excitement of a new relationship, we missed out on the honeymoon stage with them.

I did like how Conn seemed to be much more open minded about letting Moira do things for herself and lead her life as an enforcer even though it put her in danger.  Granted he is going to be right there by her side, but he seems to see, more than his brothers, that she can take care of herself.  He seemed to respect her abilities more than the other males did their mates in this world.  Of course she is a powerful witch that can wield an energy bolt at his ass if he gets to neanderthalic on her.

As with the other books I really enjoyed Jamie’s scenes.  Many of them take place in a dream world and I can’t wait to meet her mysterious Zane.  Janie is only 5 at this point in the story, and to me seems way to mature for her young age.  We are also going to have to wait a long time to get to this triangle between her, Zane and Kalin.  That book I am really looking forward to.

Well as I already said,  I enjoyed the book, and plan to eventually continue the series.  Maybe I will request the books in the end of May or early June.


Just a reminder I am hosting my first book giveaway!  To enter just visit the giveaway page in the menu to the right, or click here and fill out an entry at the bottom of the page.  I am giving away 4 copies of Lara Adrian’s first book in her Midnight Breed Series, Kiss of Midnight.  This is another great series with a new book coming out in August.  You have until 8:00 p.m. CT May 12,2014 to enter.  


Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones – 5 Stars

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson #4)

Book’s page over on GoodReads

Book 4 of the Charley Davidson Series

Alright you already know this going to be a love fest, so if you need to skip this review you won’t hurt my feelings.  Still around. Good.

This series continues to have me on an emotional roller coaster, so much that I am almost glad that I only have one more book to go before I am forced to take a break…almost.  Each addition to this well written series brings me tears, makes me laugh and gasp out loud  and react in ways that books rarely do anymore.  The characters have become friends and my crush on Reyes continues to grow along with all the other female character’s in the books.  The book also keeps me guessing and I rarely see the twists and turns that develop with the mystery to be solved in each book.  Well I did manage to see one coming, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

So what did I love about this addition to the series.  We got to learn more of Charley’s powers as she slowly learns what it means to be a Reaper.  We did learn some of her back story before she was born.  We saw some development between Charley and her parents.  We were also reminded that Charley is human, and is vulnerable to the same fears, insecurities and faults that we all are.  This is part of what really makes this story work for me,  she isn’t perfect, she is real and makes mistakes too.  We also got a little development of the ever slow moving, almost too slow at this point, development of Reyes and Charley’s relationship.  I also enjoy the running gags that seem to change from book to book, this time Charley is addicted to the shop at home network.

So in an effort to be open minded and realize this series might not be for everyone I thought I would share some aspects that might turn people off.  There is a bit of violence, we are dealing with criminals, serial killers and demons after all.  Also half the people who meet Charley seem to want to kill or injure her in some way.  While I love Reyes, just as he is,  in reality he would probably not be the best boyfriend materiel.  He isn’t above using violence and has a hair-trigger temper is not above using what ever means or anyone necessary to get his way. Some readers might not be able to look past that.

Well off to book 5 and then I have four books from Net Galley to read, two of them ARC titles!  I need to either read faster or not request so many to review.  I have yet to find that 12 step program for people with book addictions…