Monthly Archives: April 2011

My remote has puke in it. um Ewww.


If you’ve read my ABOUT ME page, then you know I have four kids.  My eldest will be seven in July, my youngest is 10 months old and my middle two are five and three. We’ve been battling this awful stomach virus this week.  It started with my youngest on Monday night.  He vomited for three days straight.  It’s gross.  I hate throw up.  My two girls (7,5) were supposed to go with my husband this weekend to the Catskills of NY for camping, fishing and fun.  They’ve been looking forward to it for a month.  This morning?  My five year old wakes up at four AM vomiting with slight fever.  Joyous.  So, my husband said he would take our son instead, OK cool beans  (he’sThree).

At  8:30a, our son starts vomiting.  YAY how luck am I!  We all had the rotavirus in March, it was dreadful.  I’m panicking now, because Oh great, here we go again!  But thankfully, it hasn’t hit ME completely yet, because you all know, mom’s aren’t ALLOWED to get sick.  No sir.  Anyways, So James (that’s the ball and chain) took the one non-sick child to New York.  Leaving me with the pukey ones.  Isn’t that so nice of him?  I hope he has a good time.  A soon as my youngest is weaned, I am sooooo outta here for an overnight somewhere by myself with a warm pool, hot tub bath, and a massage person.  Along with a king size bed, room service and NO PHONE.  Where I will sleep like the dead, and wake up blissfully refreshed after seven years of sleep deprivation.  Well, better make my stay at least a few days, so I can re-coup some of those much needed ZZZZ’s.

Other news in case you are interested:

My Aunt got married this past weekend.  It was fun.  We had to take the baby, not as fun.  Have you tried dancing while holding a baby? It’s not easy.  Plus, I wore my Dansko Mary Jane shoes.  They look awesome.  But they have non-skid soles, so um, dancing was tough.  I kept stopping instead of twirling.  I have pictures though.

See the shoes? Red, sparkly shoes?  Yup, they are made for professional nurses, so they rock the comfort, but I felt like a basketball player with the sounds I was making.

Pay no attention to the weird angles of this photo.  My face looks like I’m still nine months pregnant.  Look at the cute baby!  Babies are cute!  This was us slow dancing 🙂  Awwww

  The little one who would not be left behind.  Not for nothing.  He’s lucky he’s cute and only small for a short time.  Otherwise. See ya later hotstuff!

There you have it. The reasons for my absence lately.  I have still been reading books.  I should just make a list of the books I’ve read the last two weeks.  I didn’t review a lot of them.  Just read them, some were re-reads.  Ok anyways. I have to go clean the couch now.  I think I might just get a new one instead.  Take that James.

I am not a suck up!, authors Ilona Andrews


But today, I want to talk about one of my favorite author duo’s.  Ilona Andrews.  A husband and wife writing team of Urban Fantasy, which I think is just all kinds of awesome.  I would love if my husband shared my love of books and wanted to write with me, but alas, twas not meant to be.

There could be minor spoilers, but I tried to keep it spoiler free!

So, onto the goods.  Well, first I should point out that I don’t personally know Ilona and Gordon, aside from being a blog stalker obsessed fan reader {OK facebook stalker, twitterpatted, and goodreads too!}, and loyal book buyer {audio, ebook and paperback}.

I read the first Kate Daniels book, then immediately drove all the way to Barnes and Noble with the kids (I think I had two at the time and was pregnant with my third) and bought the next ones.  It was love at first read.  The unique writing voice, the protagonist, the world building, the characters–it hooked me and hasn’t let go since.

Laugh along with me here: Kate to Curran

“How much are you lifting?”
“Seven hundred.”
Alrighty then. I will just stand over here, out of your way, and hope you don’t remember to kick my ass.
He grinned. “Wanna spot me?”
“No thanks. How about I just scream verbal encouragements at you?” I took a deep breath and barked, “No pain, no gain! That pain is just weakness leaving your body! Come on! Push! Push! Make that weight your bitch!”

Part of what I think makes the series so awesome, is the world building.  It’s very complex, fresh, and totally interesting.  It’s not a cliche, or half-assed world.  It’s fully fleshed and thought out.  It’s also pretty dark.  I like dark books.  But they make me laugh too. Kate makes me laugh.  I love her inner wittyness.

She is snark personified.

“I gave him my best cryptic smile. He did not fall down to his feet, kiss my shoes, and promise me the world. I must be getting rusty.”

I love that she doesn’t always think before she speaks, because sometimes I have that problem too, and part of creating lead characters is making them relateable on some level to the reader.  You need to be able to identify with the characters you read about in order to stay involved in the story, and care what happens to them.  I care about Kate.  Sometimes I will tell my husband about a scene I read; he just rolls his eyes at me along with the look of “why are you telling me this, don’t you know these aren’t real people?”   To which I reply, “they are real to me!” and storm off, usually laughing.  He just doesn’t get it.  That’s OK.  Not everyone is a reader or enjoys reading, but personally if I didn’t have a book with me wherever I go, I tend to get panicky  My kindle, Nook or a paperback can be found on me somewhere at all times.  You just never know when you will get the chance to read a few more pages!

Good authors will do that to you.  Force you to tote that book around with you, just so you can sneak time to read a bit more.  While sitting at the doctors office, while making supper (Kindle comes in handy here :lol:) while waiting at a red light {don’t go calling the cops on me, it’s only if I’m at a pivotal point, or a dire moment!  As a side note, I never read while actually driving.  THAT would be dangerous.  But I have incurred a few horn honks because I missed the light turning green. Woops!

Moving on.  Before I find myself on the verge of a D.S.S call.  Plotting.  I enjoy the plots of the Kate Daniels series.  I love that I don’t know who the Villain is.  Book one, Magic Bites I had no idea who the bad person was.  Then I laughed when it was revealed.  In a good way.  The second novel, Magic Burns I was completely intrigued in the Mythos Ilona and Gordon brought to the table.  The third book, Magic Strikes is what cemented Ilona Andrews awesomeness in my brain permanently.  Magic Strikes is such an amazing book.  I laughed more in that book than I had in a long time.  The telephone conversation alone keeps me in giggles whenever I think about it.  The climax was fan-freaking-tastic.  The bloody battle in the arena was just ROCK ON!!  Magic Bleeds was an emotional book for me, and for Kate.  I was lucky to win an Advanced Reader Copy from the contest on their blog, and I was simply blown away and humbled by it.  The villain in Magic Bleeds was wicked.  The conversation between the Villain and Kate at the table in her apartments was just… there are no words for the coolness of it.  The battle in that book was just off the hook.  Don’t even get me started on the ending.  Her and Curran at the end.  I was glued to my seat, riveted reading the words on the page as fast as I could so I would know how they fared.  It was fantastic stuff.

Magic Bleeds: 

“Ready to put your claws where your mouth is, or are you going to cringe behind the big boys and yip all day?”
His eyes flared yellow “Is that a challenge?”
“Yes it is.”

I simply cannot wait for Magic Slays, which should hit stores at the end of May.

Now, you can’t talk about Ilona and Gordon without talking about the EDGE series.  The Edge is soooooo different from the Kate Daniels series.  The voice is different.  First off, it’s third person instead of first person.  Second, the world building in the Edge series just KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF.  I have no idea how on earth a mind comes up with some of the characters and situations that arise in this series.  There are two books out currently,  “On the Edge” and “Bayou Moon“.  For those of you not familiar, the Edge is a magical place set between the Broken and the Weird.  The broken is like how we live now in real life.  The Weird is a Magical Realm, and the Edge is in between, people who live there have some magic.  Too much to live in the Broken, but not enough to be welcomed by the Weird.   Bayou Moon was one of the most horrific books that could make you laugh.  It sounds odd, but the combo really works for me.  I can laugh while I cringe, and that is totally freaking awesomsauce writing right there!

Funny Quote from “On the Edge”  and why I love Ilona Andrews:

Rose to her brother:

“Yes, I’m too mad to punish you right now. We’ll talk about it when we get home. Go brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on dry clothes, and get the guns. We’re going to Wal-Mart”

Rose to Declan from “On the Edge”

“It’s awful to be rich and mind-boggingly handsome and have women fawn over you. My heart bleeds for you. Poor dear, how do you manage?

Bayou Moon, William to Cerise:

“William leaned forward and pointed at the river. “I don’t know why you rolled in spaghetti sauce,” he said in a confidential voice. “I don’t really care. But that water over there won’t hurt you. Try washing it off.”
She stuck her tongue out.
“Maybe after you’re clean,” he said.
Her eyes widened. She stared at him for a long moment. A little crazy spark lit up in her dark irises.
She raised her finger, licked it, and rubbed some dirt off her forehead.
Now what?
The girl showed him her stained finger and reached toward him slowly, aiming for his face.
“No,” William said. “Bad hobo.”

So, what on earth are you waiting for?  If you haven’t already picked up an Ilona Andrews book, run out and get one!  Or download one, here let me help you to the Amazon Ilona Andrews Page, or at Barnes and Noble.

So, continuing on, another facet of Ilona Andrews is their accessibility to the fans.  They have an extremely funny blog, a forum, and they answer emails!  I love that they are real people.  Sometimes I think J.D Robb/Nora Roberts is a robot (I  mean Come on!  How can you write like 10 books a year!) Gordon writes amazing little Curran tidbits and Points of View, which he doesn’t have to do, but does because the fans demand beg ask for it.

Oh.My.God! I went this whole post so far without talking about CURRAN!  How could I let that happen?  Curran is the Beast Lord, and hello?  He’s a LION! Rawr!  Ruler of thousands of Shape Shifters in the Atlanta area.  As alpha as they come, crazy to boot, and in love with Kate (Of course, the readers aren’t privy to his crazy love, except through Gordon’s Curran Point’s of view) and until Magic Strikes, he keeps his feelings mostly to himself, with subtle hints here and there.

Alpha Curran to Mercenary Kate: Magic Bites

“I turned to leave and paused before the gap in the ruined wall. “One last thing, Your Majesty. I’d like a name I can put into my report, something shorter than typing out ‘The Leader of the Southern Shapechanger Faction.’ What should I call you?”
“Lord.”
I rolled my eyes.
He shrugged. “It’s short.”

Curran to Kate:

“I’ve had a lot of practice. The Pack contains thirty-two species in seven tribes, each with their own hang-up. Jackals and coyotes pick fights with wolves, because they have an inferiority complex and think they’ve got something to prove.
Wolves believe themselves to be superior, marry the wrong people, and then refuse to divorce them because they cling to their ‘mating for life’ idiocy.
Hyenas listen to nobody, screw everything, and break out in berserk rages at some perceived slight against one of their own.
Cats randomly refuse to follow orders to prove they can.
That’s my life. I’ve been at this for fifteen years now.
You’re easy by comparison.”

Before I wind this post down, I wanted to point out that Ilona Andrews has some Novella’s and Short story books as well.  A little bit of Sci-fi, a little bit of magic and very cool.  You can see the list here, be sure to check them out.

And just because I find this hysterical, and Ilona is so fantastically funny: Ilona made this as a parody for Magic Slays.  See what I mean?  Funny Authors!~

So, come out of lurkdom yon blog readers, and tell me why you love Ilona Andrews!

Badlands by Seleste DeLaney


For a Novella, this was great. I would LOVE to see this world explored more fully. I am completely interested in learning more about the Badlands. The majority of this novel took place aboard the Dark Hawk Ship, manned by Captain Spencer Pierce. Amongst the crew; Henri {Medic} Zeke {Warrior/Weapons} Noah {Mechanic}.

This novel made subtle references to steam punk, it wasn’t all gadgets, gizmos and glorified steam engines.

Moreover, this novel was more Romance based. I liked Ever. She was very strong, and loyal to her lands and queen. The problem I had with Ever lay with Zeke, but you can read for yourself to see how things play out.

Spencer was great for such a short novel. I liked his calm, steadfast mindset.

The romance between Spencer and Ever was believable.

I liked the twists the author threw at us at the end.

Thank goodness for an epilogue!

I hope Seleste DeLaney writes more in this world.

Hunting Human, by Amanda E. Alvarez


Release date: March 28th, 2011

What a great Debut Novel! Very promising shifter series. It had a few FBOS (First book of series) issues, but they were minor.

We start out in the past by a few years.

Our heroine Elizabeth, has a spine built of steel. While on a vacation with her best friend Rachel in Europe, they find themselves kidnapped and at the mercy of monsters. Literally. Men who turn into wolves, and force them to run for their lives through the woods while they hunt human instead of deer.

Flash forward to present day.

Our hero Braden is strong and sexy, and a more beta than alpha Werewolf. While visiting his friends mom at her coffee shop, he is immediately drawn to the new employee, and he and Beth begin dating.

They both have secrets. Secrets they should have shared, but didn’t and boy do they come and taser the shit out of them both.

I loved all the characters, and the way they were all written and interacted with each other. I didn’t find any shallowly written characters, which was refreshing.

I thought the villain(s) were terrific monsters, and uber creeptastic.

The climax was done well; aside from one TSTL moment, on the part of Braden. I understand why this particular too stupid to live (TSTL) moment occurred, but Braden was written smarter than this, and it felt like perhaps it could have been written differently. However the story was still good.

I hope Amanda Alvaraz continues on with this world she created, and with this group of wolves in particular. I would love to see Chase, Lucy, Caleb, and even Mike, get HEA’s (Happily Ever afters)

Green Eyed Demon, by Jaye Wells


This is the third novel in the Sabina Kane series and it was…stilted. The book started out well, minus a few too many “Bitches” and other words that were used far too often.

This is not a stand alone novel, and you need to read the previous book to figure out what on earth is going on.

Sabina, Adam and Gigi are on a mission to find and rescue Maisie from the clutches of Lavinia.

It was good in the beginning, really slow in the middle, and really fast at the end.

I did get a little teary at the end, with what happens to Adam, Maisie and Sabina.

The end was open, not exactly a cliffhanger, but it means there are more books planned now I guess. I originally thought this was a trilogy.

For most of this novel, I didn’t like Sabina. She yelled at everyone, bitched at everyone, and still kept everyone at arms length. She finally figures her shit out at the end, but by then, it’s pretty much too little too late.

Interested to see where this goes in the future, but this is being taken off my “Must buy the day the book comes out”, shelf

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf, by Molly Harper


From the Publisher: I purchased this novel, release date Feb 22, 2011

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

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When I read a Molly Harper Novel, I know these things:

1) I will be entertained
2) I will Laugh
3) I will be invested in her characters happiness
4) I will love all the characters
5) There will be some type of light mystery

Now, I’m not saying these novels are formulaic, I’m just saying that I know what to expect, as far as quality of writing, and enjoyment factors.

Mo, our leading lady, is running away (at 29 years old LOL) from her over-bearing and pushy parents, and is intent on “Finding Herself”

Cooper, our resident werewolf and leading dude, is a very gruff, withdrawn, but honorable male with bark.

Sparks fly when they meet, but Cooper doesn’t really know how to communicate… he’s kind of an ass. You could call him a slightly tortured hero with a side of Woe is me, and you wouldn’t be wrong. I liked him though.

It was really funny learning Mo’s full name, and O.M.G I can’t believe what some parents do to their children in the name department. Geesh!

So, overall if you are a fan of Harper’s, or just a fan of light, easy to read, contemporary romance with a side of werewolf, you will like this book, especially if you like to laugh.

Backstage Pass, by Olivia Cunning


From the Publisher:  October 1, 2010

The first in a new erotic romance series, Backstage Pass is a sizzling mix of sex, love, and rock n’ roll

It’s been months since Brian Sinclair, lead guitarist for the famous rock band, Sinners, composed anything. Unable to write the music that once flowed so naturally, Brian is lost without his musical mojo. But when sexy psychology professor Myrna Evans comes on tour to study groupie mentality, Brian may have found the spark he needs to reignite his musical genius. When lust turns to love, will Brian be able to convince Myrna that what they have is more than just a fling, and that now that he’s found his heart’s muse, he doesn’t want to live without her?

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http://www.amazon.com/Backstage-Pass-ebook/dp/B003YUCEF2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1302262908&sr=1-3

3.5/5 Not quite a 4 star read for me.
This will be short. I liked Brian. A lot. He was Hot, sexy, rhythmically poetic, and did I mention Hot? Some find him too needy, I thought he was sweet, and looking for validation and reciprocation of his feelings. Myrna? She was OK. Not my favorite heroine. I would have liked her better without the internal dialogue. It kept throwing me out of the mood. I understand why she was that way, it just bother me. I would have rather had what happened to her up front, or slowly revealed, but without the “I’m a whore” while having uninhibited sex with Brian.
The threesome WAS hot, but in my mind it was unnecessary. I hate when authors (by way of characters) have a threesome after they figure out they love each other. I feel like it diminishes it somehow (at least to me, maybe not others) The end of the threesome was rather a shocking revelation. Holy Crap!
I loved Trey, Eric and Sed the manwhore.
I’ll read more by this author, she writes well, her sex scenes were plentiful, and dirty, loved the down and dirty romping {Just the way I like em’!}
Can’t wait to read more.
this book contains: Sex. Dirty sex. Anal play and Sex, light bondage, voyeurism, lots of oral, and some light Male/Male.

The Greyfriar, by Clay and Susan Griffith


From the Publisher:

Vampire predators run wild in this exciting steampunk adventure, the first in an alternate history trilogy that is already attracting attention. In 1870, monsters rise up and conquer the northern lands, As great cities are swallowed up by carnage and disease, landowners and other elite flee south to escape their blood-thirsty wrath. One hundred fifty years later, the great divide still exists; fangs on one side of the border, worried defenders on the other. This fragile equilibrium is threatened, then crumbles after a single young princess becomes almost hopelessly lost in the hostile territory. At first, she has only one defender: a mysterious Greyfriar who roams freely in dangerous vampire regions.

 

 

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Hm. 3.5/5 but I’m rounding up to 4 stars.

I loved the cats!!

The world was interesting, and I enjoyed the take on history, vampires, and the technology humans had to re-create after the great killing in 1850ish.

I enjoyed the characters, Adele, the Heroine was strong, capable, and an intriguing woman. She has a quiet inner strength I admired, and I liked how she grew throughout the book.

Greyfriar was awesome. Sure he’s a bit cliche albeit a cross between Zorro and robin hood, but I liked him, and his secret life.

The political ramifications were cool and interesting. As were the steampunk elements. They were well done, without being in your face and all Whoohoo I’m a steampunk Novel!

Senator Clark… I’m not entirely sure I like him 😉 He is the Heroine Adele’s intended. She has never met him, only heard tales of his American Vampire Kills, and as part of the politics to unite the two empires, her father arranged the marriage. He could care less about her, only ruling the massive empire.

The vampires were pretty darn awesome. Flay was ruthlessly vicious and cool.

Overall, it was pretty good. I did have an issue with some of the wording the authors used, they seemed to change names a lot. It was written in third person, so sometimes they would refer to Adele as Adele, then in the next paragraph as the princess, or the girl, the young woman etc. It was confusing and I wished they had just stayed with Adele.

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