Thursday, March 31, 2011

I (heart) my local used bookstore.

I love my local used bookstore!! It's a wonderful place – the owner is friendly and knowledgeable about books. She takes all kinds of books but does not pay cash – only store credit, which is fine with me. Her romance section is huge – sorted by erotic, contemporary, paranormal/time travel, African-American, Harlequin, and Historical. She’s also got UF/Fantasy but it’s in the non-romance section. The YA section is hit or miss – sometimes I find a great selection, other times it’s books I’ve already read.

I spend quite a bit of money at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders (hubs, if you’re reading this, by “quite a bit” I mean almost nothing *smooches*), and sometimes after I finish a book I’m disappointed because I didn’t like the story and wished I’d bought something else, or it’s a series I like but don’t plan to re-read and I don’t want to clutter up my shelves with books I’m not going to read again.

There have been several occasions where I’ve tried a new author and didn’t get frustrated about DNF’ing the book because I knew I could just turn it back in and try something else. Here’s a few authors I’ve tried first through my Used Bookstore that I really enjoy (the * means this is now an auto-buy author for me):

Deirdre Martin*
Kristan Higgins*
Shelly Laurenston*
Linda Lael Miller
Opal Carew
Lauren Dane *
Erin McCarthy
Katie MacAllister

This is what I picked up this weekend, and I did not spend a penny:

Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler – I’ve seen good and meh reviews about this series. I’ve wanted to give it a try but I always end up buying something else. Her tweets are hysterical, so I’m hoping to fall in love with this series.

Cat’s Claw by Amber Benson – I read the first book in the series and remember thinking it was pretty good but never got around to picking up book 2 and I don't remember why not.

Hunting the Hunter by Shiloh Walker - I've heard good things about this series but just haven't tried it up yet.

Bookends by Jane Green – new-to-me author, decided to give her a try. It was a nice story but not really what I normally like to read. I'll be turning this one back in.

Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (trade paperback size!) - Outlander is one of my all-time favorite books. I originally read the library book and went on to buy myself a copy, which is now well-worn. I also bought Echo in the Bone when it came out but I don’t own any of the books in between – lol, my book money always ends up disappearing too fast!

Do you have a used bookstore near you? Do you use it?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston

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

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Brava
Publish Date: April 26, 2011
ISBN-10: 0758231709
ISBN-13: 978-0758231703

From the author's website:
When it comes to following her instincts, former Marine Dee-Ann Smith never holds back. And this deadly member of a shifter protection group will do anything to prove one of her own kind is having hybrids captured for dogfights. Trouble is, her too-cute rich-boy boss Ric Van Holtz insists on helping out. And his crazy-like-a-fox smarts and charming persistence are making it real hard for Dee to keep her heart safe...

Ric can't believe his luck. He's wanted this fiercely-independent she-wolf from day one, but he never expected teamwork as explosive as this. And now is his last chance to show Dee what she needs isn't some in-your-face Alpha male-but a wily, resourceful wolf who'll always have her back in a fight…and between the sheets.

Want more? Click here for an excerpt!

Shelly Laurenston's shifters are my guilty pleasure. Her books are over the top, super sexy, and full of delicious Alpha Male-ey goodness! In looking back over my posts, I don't know why I haven't reviewed any of her books; they're funny and sexy and *rowr*! Her heroes have strong, take-no-prisoners attitudes, and her heroines can kick ass with the best of them.

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Welcome to Last Chance by Hope Ramsay

Welcome to Last Chance
~Hope Ramsay

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Forever; 1 edition
Publish Date: March 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0446576093
ISBN-13: 978-0446576093

From the author's website:
Dear Reader,
Yes, our town is way off the beaten path but strange, wonderful miracles happen a lot around here.

I’ve owned the Cut ‘n Curl beauty shop for years, and I’ve seen folks come for a visit then stay for a lifetime. Take Jane—that pretty firecracker of a girl who just arrived in town. I would swear she’s running from something. She came with only five dollars in her pocket but she’s worked real hard to make a fresh start. She’s turned my son Clay’s life upside down without even realizing it.

And thank goodness for that! Every since Clay left his country western band, he’s played everything too safe. He needs to take a chance on Jane. Besides, the more he tries to keep his distance, the more he’ll realize that he and Jane are singing the same tune.

But I should quit ramblin’ and go check on Millie’s permanent wave. Next time you’re in Last Chance, be sure to swing by…we’ve got hot rollers, free coffee, and the best gossip in town.

See you soon,
Ruby Rhodes
Mary Smith has just stepped off the 9:30 bus in Last Chance, South Carolina. She's got just $5 to her name and the clothes on her back, but she's hoping to settle in and start a new life. She walks into Dot's Spot, the local bar, and hopes to find someone willing to buy her dinner. She ends up leaving with the fiddle player from the band, Clay Rhodes. They end up having a one-night-stand, and as she's sneaking out of the room, she peeks into his wallet to see what his name is...and he catches her, and thinks she's trying to steal from him. He's furious, and empties out her purse, finding two IDs, one that says Mary Smith, and one naming her as Wanda "Jane" Coblentz - her real name.

Clay has a history of helping damsels in distress, and his plan to break that cycle is to get Jane back on to the bus and out of town immediately. The only problem is they're in the middle of a (light) hurricane and there's no busses. He buys her breakfast and they head over to the hardware store that Clay works at. Clay's mother stops in and ends up hiring Jane, saying it was meant to be. Clay's pissed - he's attracted to Jane and wants her gone. Jane's attracted to Clay but has decided this is her chance and she's not going to blow it by getting involved with a man; she's going to pick herself up and start her new life. What she really wants is to go to Nashville and make it big as a country music singer.

We slowly learn Jane's old life was a disaster and she's running from an old boyfriend, Woody, who owes money to the mob, and that Woody gave her a gift that the mob wants back. She's done some things in her past in order to get by, and she's ashamed of some of them, but believes she's been given a second chance in Last Chance and intends to make the most of it.

Clay meanwhile, has two ex's show up over the course of the week - his first love, who left him for someone richer, and his great love, who left him for the lead singer of Clay's country music band, The Tumbleweeds. After she left him, Clay left the Tumbleweeds and came home to Last Chance to get over her.

Clay and Jane keep crossing paths, and when Jane's troubles follow her to town, Clay doesn't know what to think or do.

My thoughts: I liked the country, folksy setting; everyone knows everyone else's business, the local sheriff is Clay's brother, the bar is where people meet in the evenings, and everyone goes to the same church.

Welcome to Last Chance has mystery - Jane's history is revealed very, very slowly throughout the book. It has humor - I loved Clay's friend Ray, his best friend from high school who'd suffered brain damage after a car accident; Ray had me in stitches. And there's romance - Jane and Clay sparked with electricity whenever they were near each other.

I was kind of "meh" on the angel portion of the story - Clay's descendants see angels, one person from each generation. Clay's father sees them and he's afraid it will be him next. He doesn't know his niece sees them.

I'll admit I was frustrated by the pacing of Jane and Clay's background stories. Because of the lack of information up front, I didn't really feel connected with their characters. Even so, I couldn't stop turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next. Welcome to Last Chance is a cute book, perfect for a vacation read.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Rock Hard by Olivia Cunning

Rock Hard
~Olivia Cunning

Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publish Date: April 2, 2011
ISBN-10: 9781402245770
ISBN-13: 978-1402245770
ASIN: 1402245777

From the author's website:
Sinner’s lead singer, Sed, had his heart shredded when Jessica left him to pursue her dreams,so when she dances her way back into his life, he's not sure he's ready for her brand of pain, or pleasure, again. When she convinces Sed to engage in a benefits with benefits relationship, things seem to be going his way, until one of his fans catches their explicit public display of affection on film and posts it all over the internet. Will Jessica ever trust Sed again? And has Sed become the man of Jessica’s dreams or is he just posing to get what he wants?
The Sinners are a world-famous rock band with a sexy lead singer, Sed Lionheart. We met Sed in the first book in this series, Backstage Pass (my review here). Sed is the bad boy, into threesomes and stealing his guitarist Brian's girlfriends.

In Rock Hard, Sed is at Brian's bachelor party and sees Jessica, his former fiancee and love of his life, working in a strip bar. He goes ballistic and grabs her, starting a fight between the band and the bouncers.

Jessica loved Sed, but she felt like the he was trying to control her life. When he told her he didn't want her going to law school, he wanted her to stay with him, that was the last straw - she left him. Two years later, she needs to make some quick cash to cover a class her scholarship won't pay for, so she starts stripping. After Sed's visit (and subsequent fight), she was fired. She heads over to the concert venue to tell him off, and ends up getting hired as a data assistant by Brian's wife, Myrna.

Even after two years, Sed and Jessica's attraction hasn't faded, and while Sed hopes she'll come back to him, Jessica's only looking for great sex; she doesn't want to her heart broken again. Fabulous (angry) sex, rabid fans, and a medical emergency (or two) ensue.

This is the second book in Ms. Cunning's Sinners on Tour series, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

My thoughts: I didn't like Sed very much in Rock Hard - I mean yeah, he was sexy and funny and all, but I had problems with the whole girlfriend-stealing habit he had. He does kind of address that in Rock Hard, but it did start me off on a bad foot with him. As it turns out, Sed was a totally different guy in Rock Hard - he definitely has a sensitive side I don't remember from the last book. And it's not that he wants to control Jessica, he just wants to help but comes across as controlling.

I had a hard time with one aspect of this book - while the actual medical drama was interesting and I pulled for the band member who had some issues with recovery, I had a hard time believing Myrna, a PhD (or almost-PhD), would not have recognized the diagnosis once it was pointed out to her - I would assume she had to take some psychology courses along the line somewhere. *spoiler* I also don't recall Trey being such a jerk before his incident and kept wondering if he had brain damage from the hit and/or surgery because he sure came off that way after surgery. He was more crass and rude than I recall, and I'm not talking about his behavior during his prescription drug addiction. *end spoiler*

Sed and Jessica's chemistry in the bedroom (and outside *wink, nudge*) was white hot. When their clothes were on, however, they threw off a different kind of heat. They had two big personalities that clashed and they both had to learn to see the other person's actions from a non-confrontational view. It was a slow and difficult change for both of them but worthwhile in the end.

I am loving all the band members, and can't wait for Hot Ticket, which is Jace's book. Hot Ticket looks like it might involve some BDSM, which should make for a steamy, naughty book. Rock Hard continues to give us more of the personalities of the different band members, as well as their musical abilities and band-related stuff, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I look forward to reading more.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What's in a name? Tell me what you think!

So, here's the deal:

When I started this blog back in 2009, it took me forever to pick a name. I wanted Book Junkie, but it was already taken (by a wonderful blogger, btw *waves at Brande). So I played around a bit more and picked Book Addict. That was before I realized just how many book blogs are out there and so many more have come into existence since then. And a lot of them have some form of "book addict" in their name. I actually thought about this once before but in the end I left it alone. Of course, this could all be due to thefact that I grew up as a Navy Brat and consequently I find that I need change after awhile :)

The other day I was reading comments on another blog and someone signed their comment "Book Addict". This made me wonder if people who "know" me thought it was me. And I'm wondering if I need a more unique name.

I've been Book Addict for almost two years, and I don't know if it would be too confusing at this point. So here's what I'm thinking:

Caught in a
bad FAB

Because I do get caught up in the books I read. If it's a really good book, whether PNR, contemporary, or other, I get transported into those pages and live vicariously through the characters. AND that title makes it obvious that this is a romance book blog. (I figure that song will be around the romance community for a while so it won't get old...)

So, to change or not to change...that is the question. Is it too late for me: am I "branded" or is change good? Your thoughts are welcome - pro or con... you might have a point I haven't thought of yet.

Winner! Summer's Road by Kelly Moran

Congratulations to:


who won an e-book copy of Summer's Road by Kelly Moran!
You will be contacted soon.

Many thanks to Kelly Moran for stopping by and offering a copy of her new release!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: Murder Takes the Cake by Gayle Trent

Murder Takes The Cake
~Gayle Trent

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Gallery
Publish Date: March 29, 2011
ISBN-10: 1451600011
ISBN-13: 978-1451600018

The back blurb:
A routine cake delivery becomes a culinary nightmare when a small-town baker discovers her first client’s dead body in this irresistible new mystery series.

It’ll take more than a little sugar to convince folks Daphne Martin’s freshly baked spice cake was not to blame for the mysterious death of town gossip Yodel Watson. Getting her new cake decorating business, Daphne’s Delectable Cakes, off the ground is hard enough now that Daphne’s moved back to her southern Virginia hometown, but orders have been even slower since she found Yodel’s body. She soon realizes, however, that just about everybody in town had a reason to poison the cantankerous busybody, from the philandering pet shop owner, to Yodel’s church potluck nemesis, to the Save-A-Buck’s cranky produce manager-turned-bagger. Now, to help prove she’s no confectionary killer, Daphne recruits her old flame, Ben Jacobs, editor of the local newspaper, and quickly stirs up a long-hidden family scandal that just might hold the secret ingredient she needs to solve the case. All she’s got to do is roll up her sleeves and get her hands a little dirty before the real culprit decides that taking sweet revenge on Daphne will be icing on the cake.

Daphne Martin is back in her hometown to start a new life; after her husband tried to kill her, she moved back to the little town to start a cake business. She's delivering a cake to her first customer, Yodel Watson, but when Daphne gets there, Yodel is dead! (<-- yes, that's her name, lol, it's explained later in the story) Now, even though the cake never left the box, the neighbors are blaming her cake for the death! Daphne soon learns that just about everyone in the town had a reason to dislike Yodel, she was a cranky busybody who kept a diary of all the sordid happenings around town. Daphne peeks into the diary and learns a deep, dark secret about her own family. As Daphne speaks with her family and her neighbors, trying to uncover the truth, she ends up with information in the mystery of Yodel's death. She's asking too many questions though, and gets a threatening warning to back off. Through it all she's baking cakes and more cakes and trying to keep her business afloat. My thoughts: Murder Takes the Cake was cute, short read, but ultimately it couldn't hold my attention.

Daphne is a likeable character, but we don't know too much about her past except that she's got an abusive ex-husband who tried to kill her. She's also got bad relationship with her mother, but we never find out why; just that her mother and sister have a good relationship. Apparently her mother thinks she should forgive the ex, which leaves my jaw on the floor just thinking about it. When she discovers her mother's secret, Daphne is even angrier, and I felt like this part of the story was never resolved.

The neighbors were quirky and provided for plenty of red herrings. The problem with that is that some of those herrings made the characters seem inconsistent, because we never found out the reasons for some of their weird behaviors, such as the pet store owner being really mean or the grocery store clerk acting suspicious.

The history with the romantic interest was a little more detailed and I thought we'd see some sparks, but really it was just awkward.

Throughout the book, Ms. Trent spends a lot of time describing the baking and decorating process. I have to be honest, I don't cook or bake, so I wasn't very entertained by all the baking references (although I'll admit I didn't know you could freeze cake!). She does include recipes for the cakes at the end of the book, which is pretty cool if you do enjoy baking.

My Rating:

This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Staying at Daisy's by Jill Mansell tackles an issue I'd like to share with the world...

Staying at Daisy's
~Jill Mansell

Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Reprint
Publish Date: March 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 1402243847
ISBN-13: 978-1402243844

From Goodreads:
If you're looking for a hotel where anything can happen, try staying at Daisy's...

Daisy MacLean runs the country house hotel owned by her flamboyant father, Hector. When she hears who's about to get married there, she isn't worried at all - her friend Tara absolutely promises there won't be any trouble between her and ex-boyfriend Dominic, whom she hasn't seen for years. But Daisy should be worried. Dominic has other ideas. And seeing Tara again sets in motion a chaotic train of events with far-reaching consequences for all concerned.

While Daisy spends the ensuing months doing battle with Dev Tyzack (Dominic's so-called best man), Tara battles with her conscience. Meanwhile, Hector's getting up to all sorts with...well, that's the village's best kept secret. And then Barney turns up, with a little something belonging to the husband Daisy's been doing her best to forget. That's the thing about hotels, you never know who you're going to meet. Or whether they're going to stay.
Daisy MacLean has just learned that her husband has been in a car accident...and his girlfriend was in the car with him. She also learns that he doesn't have cancer like he told her he did, and agrees to donate his organs for transplant.

A year later, Daisy's still managing her father's hotel, working a wedding. A guest catches the groom in a compromising position with Daisy's friend and employee, Tara. Tara says she didn't do anything, the groom came on to her. The best main blames Tara, but Daisy defends her.

Now Daisy's gotten a letter from the recipient of her ex husband's kidney, a young man named Barney, and he's come for a visit. While he's at the hotel, he sees an ad for a porter position and applies for the job.

Daisy keeps running into the best man, who also happens to be a famous former football star. Tara gets a call from the groom, miserable in his marriage and wanting to see her. Barney gets settled in, meets a nice girl, and they start dating. Tara's sister, Maggie, is secretly seeing someone in the village, and he's paying her for sex!

My thoughts: This book was fantastic. Staying at Daisy's is the second book I've read by Ms. Mansell, and I plan to glom her backlist soon, I really enjoy her writing.From my brief summary, it sounds like there's a lot going on - there is - but Ms. Mansell is a master at working the storylines until she neatly ties them together in a nice big bow. I really liked Daisy, she was a sympathetic character who'd had her heart trampled by her ex-husband and was reluctant to open herself to love again. Her father was a great character, absolutely adorable. Her friend Tara was a bit abrasive and I didn't like her very much; I had a hard time believing that after what she'd seen Daisy go through with a cheating husband that she would head down that path herself. Tara's sister Maggie turned out to be quite a surprising character :)

Dev is the hero of the story, and I didn't feel like we saw very much of him, but I liked him nevertheless. He was a bit of a playboy, which is why Daisy couldn't or wouldn't allow herself to fall for him. Lucky for her, Dev is persistent and patient.

I enjoyed the entire book, but here's what really struck me about this story - the organ donation storyline. Full disclosure: I worked for about 12 years as a secretary in a pediatric kidney transplant department, so I have some intense feelings on the subject of organ donation. I loved, loved, loved that Staying at Daisy's does a marvelous job of highlighting it in a positive way. I am a firm believer in organ donation, and Ms. Mansell wove the subject into a wonderful storyline. I'm not going to give out any spoilers, so to see why it was especially significant you'll have to read the book, lol.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Posing a question about publishing and reviews:

I've been seeing a lot of posts lately about negative vs. positive reviews, and while everyone seems to have a brilliant argument for or against them, the subject has left me with a question...

I have not seen any of the posts in question, so I don't know if the initial complaint was against readers who receive ARCs and leave negative reviews, readers who give negative reviews to books they've purchased, or both. So my question may or may not relate to the debate at hand, but here it is:

I've been blogging about books for less than two years and I confess I don't know very much about the publishing industry as a whole. When the publishers send out ARCs for review, I assume they want a true opinion of the book; they're not just looking for a nice quote to put in the author's next book, right? Does the publisher look at all the reviews and give the writer feedback? Things like, "readers didn't care for a circus clown as a heroine", or "telling a love story from the neighbor's poodle's POV didn't go over well". Or, are they just trying to see where trends are going ("the readers wished the vampire was a gay robot cowboy")? Or... do they just go by sales numbers when they make their decision as to whether or not to continue a relationship with a writer?

I don't know if there is one answer or if every situation is different. But...I am curious!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: How to flirt with A Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf
~Molly Harper

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket
Publish Date: February 22, 2011
ISBN-10: 1439195862
ISBN-13: 978-1439195864

From Goodreads:
Northern Exposure

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated.

Mo Weinstein has packed up her life in Mississippi and is getting as far away as she possibly can - Grundy, Alaska. She's leaving a broken relationship and well-meaning but overbearing parents. An accident has her working as a cook in the town's bar/restaurant on her second day. It's a great place to work and she makes several friends and begins to build a new life.

Cooper Graham is a handsome stranger - kind of a jerk, really. Mo can't figure out why he's so rude to her. They have a few run-ins and she starts to put things together, she realizes Cooper is a werewolf! Even with that knowledge, she can't help but be attracted to him.

"But Cooper said to try her pie," I whispered.
Evie was too distracted with Buzz to pay either of us any attention. "He said it was a life changer."
"Well, being trapped on the can for a week probably would change your life," Pete conceded. My jaw dropped, and I glared at Cooper. Well, that clinched it. He was an asshole. I was definitely going to end up sleeping with him.
~page 36 & 37, How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf

There have been some wolf attacks in the town, and Mo is afraid it might be Cooper, but she knows she can't say anything. As they begin to fall for each other,Cooper starts to worry that it might be him, and he doesn't want to risk hurting Mo.

My thoughts
: Absolutely fabulous! Molly Harper has done it again - a laugh-out-loud funny book about werewolves in a small Alaskan town. She's got the funny, the sexin', a love triangle, a dog in a sweater, and a borderline obsession with meat products. After reading this book I wanted to pack up my things (and yes, I suppose, my family too) and move to Alaska. I can't think of a single thing I didn't like about this book.

I loved her Nice Girls Don't books (my review here) and her contemporary romance (And One Last Thing... -my review here); now I will be adding How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf to my Molly Harper book shrine.

My Rating:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Exciting News from Sourcebooks and a free read this weekend!

I got this great news release from Sourcebooks and thought I'd pass it on:

We have really exciting news! Sourcebooks is pleased to present The British Babe Book Brigade Facebook Fan Page! This is THE place to find out more information about your favorite British authors—all of whom Sourcebooks publishes in the US.

The page is currently up, and we would love for you to “like” us and join in the conversations. There are some topic discussions posted, and that will give you access to chat with some of your favorite authors. We have photo albums showcasing our amazing covers. Next week, be sure to look for another email from us, with more information and AWESOME news about an eBook giveaway to go along with this brand new “British invasion.”

There will be some regular features that begin in early April after our initial launch on Tuesday, and we know it’ll be the perfect way to get you acclimated with some of the authors you’ve come to love over the last couple of years.

Additionally, we wanted to let you know that one of British Babes books is FREE for this weekend only! Millie’s Fling by international bestseller, Jill Mansell, is free in all formats from March 18-March 20 only. Get it while you can!! You can find more information here—and sign up for our eBook newsletter while you’re at it: Sourcebooks:

Millie’s Fling will also be available from the following eBook retailers:

So—take a little time this weekend and enjoy all things British. We can’t wait for the official launch of our British Babe Book Brigade on Tuesday, March 22—more info to come on Monda


I'm headed over now to check it out!!Enjoy!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Family Funnies...

I don't usually do personal family-type posts here, but I posted this on my "family blog" and since I've got a few book-related things here I thought I'd share the whole kaboodle:

My 4-year-old grabbed my hand the other night and says, "Mommy, come see, come see!!" and shows me this:

Me: Oh how cute! It's a king cake!!
Molly: *looks at me like she's saddened by my lack of intelligence and blows out a sigh*
No, Mommy. It's a paper plate, and we cut it out and put paint and glitter and glued a crown on it.

Last night we went out to dinner, and on the way home, my 10-year-old was telling us about a vampire book she's reading. Somehow the conversation got side-tracked, because the next thing I know, she's asking, "Vampires can't be gay, can they?" To which hubs answers, "Of course they can, read one of your mother's books. Oh wait, don't."


This is why I love springtime:

I took this picture standing in my back doorway. By the end of this week that bush will be a huge pink puff of color. Love it!!! (Yes, we have a "cajun chandelier" hanging at the top of that picture - we are high-klass. Hubs and the girls made azalea necklaces this morning.


I'm thinking about taking the kids to Houston my birthday weekend so I can go see Charlaine Harris. I went out there over Mardi Gras to see Patricia Briggs/Kim Harrison and had a great time with my brother and his wife (my BFF). I'd make it a 3 or 4 day weekend I think (surprise brother and BFF, lol), since we're not doing a "real" vacation this year. Of course, I still want to visit for our traditional 4th of July weekend visit too ;)

I'm super-excited about the "super moon" tonight. I love all things celestial and I've already been outside twice to look :)

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: My One and Only by Kristan Higgins

My One and Only
~Kristan Higgins

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books
Publish Date: March 29, 2011
ISBN-10: 0373775571
ISBN-13: 978-0373775576

From Goodreads:
Divorce attorney Harper James can't catch a break. Bad enough that she runs into her ex-hubby, Nick, at her sister's destination wedding, but now, by a cruel twist of fate, she's being forced to make a cross-country road trip with him. And her almost-fiance back at home is not likely to be sympathetic. Harper can't help that Nick has come blazing back into her life in all of his frustratingly appealing, gorgeous architect glory. But in Nick's eyes, Harper's always been the one. If they can only get it right this time, forever might be waiting -- just around the bend.

Harper James is a 30-something divorce attorney on Martha's Vineyard. She's very good at what she does and half the divorcees in Martha's Vineyard hate her (that would be the half whose exes hired her, lol). She's got a realistic view of love and marriage (she thinks) and has been dating Dennis for 2 1/2 years; she's tired of waiting and is going to propose. Her plan is to present the facts and convince him it's time. Romantic, she's not. Right in the middle of her proposal, her sister Willa calls to tell her she's getting married...for the third a man she's only known a few weeks...and also happens to be Harper's ex-husband's brother.

Nick Lowe married the love of his life 12 years ago, and lost her less than a year later. He's never forgotten Harper, and never gotten over her. He's moved on, but he knows she was his One Great Love.

Harper is the Maid of Honor and Nick is the Best Man at their siblings' wedding. They get through the wedding festivities and Harper thinks she's home free and can get away from Nick (and her memories)...but her flight gets canceled. Nick offers to drive her to the next big airport to get her a flight back home. During the drive, they talk a little, reminisce a little, and fight a little. And Harper realizes she's never gotten over Nick either. But neither can get over the past enough to look towards the future.

My Thoughts: Kristan Higgins writes the kind of books I love to read, and My One and Only is no exception. When the story opened, I found Harper to be a bit abrasive; BUT, as the story moved and we see more of her history with Nick and learn how her mother left her on her 13th birthday, I started to really like her. Nick was a sightly tortured hero, he had his own issues to deal with, and I loved him. He was patient and sweet, and he was there when Harper needed him. My only complaint was that to me he seemed a bit insensitive and expected Harper to change her life/location to be with him, in the past and the present. They tried to hide their rekindled attraction to each other and it was quite comical to see them put up a front:

"I don't think Bob's up for running," I said.
"Then you'll take my horse."
"What about you?"
"I'll stay here and whittle a sword and kill the bear or, if that doesn't work, I'll just be eaten alive, happily sacrificing my life for yours." He gave me a look. "Or I'll just stay on the horse and you can sit behind me. Satan can hold two, I'm sure."
"Oh, so you're a cowboy now? I wasn't aware that architects were also masters of horseflesh. You and Satan BFF's now? Practiced your stunt-riding this morning?"
"My dad gave me a few lessons."
"When? When you were six?"
"Well, you know, Harper, maybe we should just stay here and bicker until the bear can't stand it anymore and kills us both. Would that make you happy?"
~My One and Only, pg. 114

My One and Only made me laugh - from Harper's boyfriend Dennis, the hunky firefighter who still wears a rat-tail *yikes!*, to her step-mother BeverLee, a caricature of the big-boobed, bouffant haired Southerner (who I ended up loving as well), and it made me cry - Harper's memories about her mother and memories of her own broken marriage to Nick broke the surface and she was able to view her past from an adult point of view. The writing was fabulous and I fell right into the story - first with Harper and Dennis, then I couldn't wait to see where things were going with Nick, both on the road and in her heart. Throughout it all, I loved seeing Harper learn to let herself love and be loved in return.

My Rating:

This book was received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lisa Sanchez e-book Winners!!!!

Congratulations to:

Lillie (AliseOnLife)


Danielle Gorman

who both won e-book copies of the series:
Eve of Samhain and Pleasures Untold, courtesy of Omnific Publishing!
You will be contacted shortly.

Book Promo and Giveaway: Summer's Road by Kelly Moran

First of all, a huge thanks to Patti for letting me intrude on her blog today. I'm going to let Patti pick one commenter to win a FREE eBook copy of my upcoming release, Summer's Road, due out March 25th wherever books are sold. Feel free to also ask any questions you have.

Summer's Road
~Kelly Moran

After her father’s death, Summer Quinn realizes just how alone she feels in the world. With no family to fill her life now, she finds comfort among friends, but yearns for true love, contentment, and family. When her boyfriend, Matt, suggests they raise their relationship to a higher level, Summer jumps at the chance to get everything she’s always wanted. Only, she doesn’t expect the heat arising between her and her best friend, Ian – a man who never seems to settle down. A man the complete opposite of what she’s looking for. But when her estranged mother reappears after twenty-eight years, Summer’s world completely flips upside down. As secrets from her family’s past and Ian’s true feelings for her emerge, Summer’s now faced with choices she’s not sure she can make. The rest of her life’s happiness hinges on her confronting a past she’d rather deny and legitimately opening her heart to love, even if it’s not where she expected to find it.

Summer stepped onto the pier and gazed out over the ocean. Nighttime here was different than back home. There weren’t any city lights to disguise the stars. The ocean looked black, as dark as the sky above, so that across the horizon, she couldn’t tell where the sky ended and the water began. It was kind of like looking into heaven, like looking into the earth’s soul.

The drum of footsteps behind her broke her from her reverie. Turning, she saw Ian coming toward her. Shirtless, he hadn’t even bothered with the button on his jeans, he strode closer in bare feet with a bottle of wine in one hand and glasses in the other.

All she could think was how damn delicious he looked in the moonlight. Heat pooled in her belly and spread throughout her body like a wildfire. Ian Memmer. Not good.

“You shouldn’t be out here by yourself,” he said, pouring a glass of white wine and handing it to her, the look in his eyes saying it looks like you need this.

She took the glass from him and sipped before answering. “That’s the point, to be by myself.”
He raked a gaze over her. “And if you fell in?”

Maybe it was the moonlight. Maybe it was the call of the ocean. Whatever it was, something made her want to test the boundaries between them again. Matt or not. Friendship or not. Consequences be damned. “Then you’d save me. You always do.”

BUY from the publisher


Again, a big thanks to Patti for having me by. If interested, you can find trailers, reviews, my books, and more on my Web site at


Stalk the author:


The giveaway: Just leave a comment below with your name and contact info. Following is not required but is appreciated. Contest ends March 22.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review: Tyler by C.H. Admirand

~C.H. Admirand

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publish Date: March 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 1402243758
ISBN-13: 978-1402243752

From Goodreads:
Faced with a mountain of bills, rancher Tyler Garahan takes a night job with a lot of trepidation. But being a male performer at a strip club does come with at least one beautiful compensation-and feisty red-haired bookkeeper Emily Langley seems to understand Tyler even better than he understands himself...

Tyler is the first book in The Secret Life of Cowboys series. I've recently discovered cowboy romance and was looking forward to reading Tyler:

Tyler Garahan owns a ranch with his two brothers, Dylan and Jesse. Their mortgage is behind and they need to come up with money, quickly, or they'll lose the ranch. As the book opens, Tyler is answering a newspaper add for a hardworking man with a strong back. He thinks he's applying for a job stocking bar supplies, so he's surprised when the owner asks him to take off his shirt. Once he realizes he's applying to be a male stripper, he begins to back away...until they tell him how much money he'll be earning.

Emily Langley and her cousin, Jolene, run The Lucky Star ladies' club. These ladies are red-headed and tough (and we are constantly reminded of both these facts throughout the book). They are fighting to keep the club running - the local preservation society doesn't want a ladies' club, they want an old-time saloon.

It's instant attraction between Tyler and Emily, and when they get together the sexual sparks fly.

My thoughts: I had a difficult time getting into Tyler (<---that sounds dirtier than it is). The characters were so angry and snippy that it was hard for me to have any empathy for them, and I need that to enjoy a story. We really didn't get much background for either Tyler or Emily, and they jumped into the sexy stuff pretty quickly. Honestly, I skimmed a lot of the sexy bits - I would have preferred less sex and more character development. The plot complications of trust, Tyler's ex-girlfriend, and the Preservation Society made the story more interesting, but in the end couldn't hold my interest. Tyler was full of folksy cowboy phrases and sexy scenes between the hero/heroine, but in the end it wasn't enough to pull off the lackluster characters and slow story.
My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Review: Seduced by Destiny by Kira Morgan

Seduced by Destiny
~Kira Morgan

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Forever
Publish Date: March 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0446548170
ISBN-13: 978-0446548175

From Goodreads:
All her life, Josselin Ancrum has been trained for combat, hoping to exact vengeance for her heroic mother, who was killed fighting the English. When asked to spy for the Scottish Queen, Jossy joyfully accepts. But when a handsome stranger rescues her from sudden danger, his charm distracts her from her mission.

On the surface, Drew MacAdam may appear to be nothing more than a carefree champion, but his heart harbors a dark secret: This Highland hero is actually a skilled English soldier with a hatred for war and for the Scottish. Yet from the moment he meets the feisty Jossy, he's captured by her fiercely loyal heart. He's determined the honey-haired lass will be his ultimate prize - until the tragedy of their entwined legacies is revealed. Are these star-crossed lovers to be divided by their pasts? Or will they be...
Josselin's mother died on the battlefield, fighting the English, trying to avenge her husband's murder. The three kinsmen who found her body brought her home, only to discover a small child, now orphaned. The brothers raised tiny Josselin as their own, teaching her to read, write, fight, and hate the English.

Drew MacAdam's father was at that same battle, when he came across a Scottish maid so badly injured she implored him to kill her to end her suffering. He did, then felt such remorse over killing a woman that shortly thereafter he took his own life. Drew was raised by his uncles to hate the Scots and trained in sword skills.

Josselin is in Edinburgh to see the arrival of Mary, the new Scottish Queen. Her uncles have agreed to let her go, provided she dresses as a man and avoids trouble. Drew abhors fighting, and prefers to beat the Scots at their own game - golf. He is in Edinburgh at this time, disguised as a highlander to avoid the troubles of being English. Josselin is upset by some of the catcalls at the new Queen and jumps to her defense - calling attention to herself and potentially getting herself killed. Drew jumps in to assist and outs her as a woman. The Queen is impressed and sends her servant with a message for Josselin. Of course Drew is intrigued, and fears Josselin is too naive to handle her change in circumstance. He feels duty-bound to keep an eye on her. Josselin is suspicious of Drew and wants to keep an eye on him. Add a bit of attraction, three uncles and three fathers, and a bit of political intrigue and bam! nothing goes the way it was planned...

My thoughts: This was a really cute read. I felt very lighthearted as I read Seduced by Destiny. I liked "Jossy" and Drew, even though they were both a bit irritating in their surety that they were smarter/better at swords than the other. Their passion, once ignited, was certainly hot, and I rooted for these two to have an HEA, despite their differences. The descriptions of their surroundings, the flirting back and forth between the h/h, and the stubborn uncles/fathers made for entertaining reading. The political intrigue portion of the story fell a bit weak in parts, but overall I read Seduced by Destiny with a smile.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Review: Safeword Rainbow by Candace Blevins

Safeword: Rainbow
~Candace Blevins

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 238 KB
Publisher: Excessica Publishing
Release Date: December 16, 2010

From the author's website:
Tyler and Vivian have found each other again after a three day fling three years ago. They think they are ideally suited for each other and go forward to try to make a relationship work. And then they realize that Tyler was expecting a 24/7 total power exchange relationship and Vivian will never be a 24/7 submissive. They want to make a relationship work, but how can they get past this? As they try to find a compromise Vivian must deal with what a Total Power Exchange means, even if it is only a part time power exchange. And Tyler must decide if he can be okay with a sometimes Master and sometimes boyfriend relationship. Will they find their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
Vivian MacNeill is a professor working on her PhD. Her students would never guess that at night she's a regular at the local BDSM club. She's a sub, and she's just found the perfect Dom. Too bad he's gone after three days.

Tyler Hastings is in town for three days, and he found the sub of his dreams. They were fabulous together, but he was only in town for those days and then gone with his job. He's never forgotten her...

Three years later, Tyler is out of the CIA and headed home with his best friend, Mac. Mac's sister Vivian is home, helping care for their sick father. Once Tyler and Vivian realize who they are, they want to try being together. Tyler wants the Dom/sub relationship 24/7, but Vivian only wants it part-time, with "scenes" that have a definite beginning and end. Between trying to navigate a new relationship, working through their Dom/sub issues, and both of them starting new jobs in a new town, they have a lot to work through to try and find their HEA.

My thoughts: Wow. When the author mentioned this book was a fairly intense BDSM, I thought to myself "bring it on". She did. And it was definitely out of my comfort zone. The story was interesting, and I really enjoyed the scenes where they were working out how to balance his desire for 24/7 vs. her desire for part-time Dom/sub. I liked that they both found unexpected pleasure in the compromise.

What didn't work for me were the sex scenes. While I do enjoy light BDSM reads, the sex scenes in Safeword: Rainbow were pretty brutal. At several spots I was actually wincing while I read. I don't know if I can really call them sex scenes, as the sex was secondary to the pain. I also had difficulty with the the fact that he controlled her bathroom habits.

If you enjoy hard-core BDSM reads, I would recommend Safeword: Rainbow. I enjoyed the storyline (minus the intense scenes) enough that I'm currently reading her next book, Safeword: Stormclouds (<--it's got vampires!). I'd also be interested in reading a story about Vivian's brother, Mac, who is into menage, if Ms. Blevins decided to write one (hint, hint)!
My Rating:

This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: It Happened One Bite by Lydia Dare

It Happened One Bite
~Lydia Dare

Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publish Date: March 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 1402245076
ISBN-13: 978-1402245077

From Goodreads:
Blaire Lindsay's been warned that her ancestral home is haunted. But it will take more than tales of a ghost to frighten Blaire, a battle-born witch with supernatural strength and the ability to make sparks fly from her fingertips. Hearing spectral wails, she decides to search for their source, and is surprised to find a handsome young man chained to the dungeon wall. But when Blair frees James from his bonds, she quickly discovers she's unloosed far more than she could ever have imagined...Soon the castle is overrun with vampires whose perfect manners and compelling blood lust make for some very awkward moments, and Blair and James are joined in the fight of their lives to save everything they hold dear from the forces of evil...
Blaire Lindsay is a witch - one of a coven of five powerful Scottish witches. Her brother has inherited Briarcraig Castle, so she must go with him to inspect it and see if it is hospitable.

James Maitland, Lord Kettering, has been in a magically-induced sleep for 20 years, in the bowels of the castle. The last thing he remembers is being surrounded by a group of five witches... When Blaire gets to the castle, Kettering stirs. He doesn't know how long he's been asleep, where he is, or why he woke up.

When Blaire finds him in the cellar, she is as confused as he is, but offers hospitality. She is curious about him and wants to find out why her coven's mothers would have trapped him. Kettering is intrigued by Blaire, she doesn't respond to his vampyre suggestions. As they spend more time together, attraction between them grows.

Kettering must find his ring - one of three given to his master by an ancient clan of witches, it allows him to roam in the sunlight. As soon as Kettering is awakened, his master can senses him and rushes to the castle, thankful that he is "alive" and anxious to find out what happened to him. The only problem with that is that the other vampyre tied to their group, Sarah, also senses Kettering. They know Sarah is seeking revenge and coming for Kettering.

My thoughts: I am a huge fan of Lydia Dare's werewolves, so when I heard they were doing vampires, I was thrilled! The story was cute, but did drag a bit in spots, such as hunting for the ring and pondering the reasons for trapping Kettering. I really liked the vamps though - Kettering and his maker, the Earl of Blodswell were both delightful. Of all the witches in the coven, I think Blaire has been my least favorite, and that was apparent in this book; she's very arguementative and I found myself a bit put-off by it. We do get to see some of our old friends again and catch up on what's been happening with the other witches; Alex MacQuarie has a big storyline in this book that I'm looking forward to following in future books. I'm not sure how I feel about Kettering's final situation; it's a happy ending, but seemed a bit too "easy" for this reader. All in all though, It Happened One Bite is a wonderful installment to this fabulous series!

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.