Monday, May 25, 2009

Fire Me by Libby Malin

From the back of the book:

Fed up with impossible deadlines and meaningless busywork, Anne Wyatt goes to work one day determined to resign. But that's the day her boss announces someone's getting laid off (and a generous severance package). Now Anne has one day to ruin her career and convince her boss that someone should be her.

My Thoughts:
I was kinda iffy when I picked this book up...I just wasn't sure if I was in the mood for it to be quite honest. But I was pleasantly suprised at how great of a read that this ended up being. For one, it was hilarious! The antics that Anne goes to are such fun to read and I found myself shaking with laughter quite a few times. And this ended up being the perfect read for me. It was fun, light and filled with laugh out loud moments. The characters were interesting and well thought out and kept me interested within the story. The plot itself wasn't perfect but it was good enough that I couldn't put the book down. Which leads to my only qualm with the book which was that it wasn't realistic...I can't see this ever really happening. But I didn't care as I was enjoying it too much. For me this was such a fun read! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a light, funny read and will be looking for more by this author.

My Rating: 4 out of 5
Challenges: New Author Challenge, 100+ Book Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("F" Title)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Library Loot- May 20th

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Alessandra that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I've been good...kind of. I've been working on my library pile trying to knock out a few and I've been successfull. I just finished Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet by M.C. Beaton which was a great cozy read. I recently knocked Carpe Demon off of my list and took it back to the library and I also finished Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I've returned a few books unread but I'm doing good. So course I figured that I needed to visit the library and check out a few more :) Here's what I got:

Death of a Garage Sale Newbie by Sharon Dunn- A new to me cozy series that I've been meaning to begin for awhile now.

Multiple Bles8ings by Jon & Kate Gosselin and Beth Carson- I love this show so I requested this and it finally came in. I hope it is good!

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond- The premise of this book sounds SO interesting. Plus, I've been hearing a lot of hype for her newest book and wanted to give her a try.

Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo Coelho- This is going to be my first read for the 1% Well Read Challenge.

Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham- Had to get this one to continue on with the series :)

That's it for me this week! Feel free to share any thoughts if you've read any of these :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Guest Post with Kendra Leigh Castle

I'm happy to introduce Kendra Leigh Castle to my blog today. She is the author of three amazing paranormal romances, one of which I just recently reviewed, Wild Highland Magic. I'm desperately hoping that she is going to write more as I love the world that she has created. Needless to say, I'm a huge fan and jumped at the chance to have her post here :)

A Chat with Kendra Leigh Castle

Heroes. They come in all shapes and sizes, from all over the planet and, in quite a few cases, from parts beyond. But whether in a kilt (yay!) or a pair of butt-hugging jeans, these guys have one thing in common: they win the day and get the girl. Still, I love that there are endless variations on the romantic hero. Lots of inspiration out there for those of us who are proudly mushy of heart. I tend to like mine on the alpha side, larger than life and a little bit dangerous, though there are exceptions (I admit, I always liked Spock, and am positive he would have made an AMAZING romantic hero if Kirk had ever quit hooking up with random bikini-wearing alien babes long enough for the writers to focus on something else). I thought, considering I’ve just released another hero into the world with the release of my new book Wild Highland Magic, that I’d share some of my favorite heroes with you. But first, a little about that new release, which caps off the MacInnes Werewolf trilogy with a handsome, cursed hero, a sexy werewolf heroine, and dragons and demons galore.

Bastian an Morgaine has always been a man apart. The only male ever born into the Dyadd Morgaine, Tribe of the Goddess, his unusual powers and silent strength have kept him a mystery even to those closest to him. But Bastian hides a terrible secret, one that drives him to isolate himself on the remote Highland estate of the MacInnes Wolves: he carries a terrible curse, one he knows he must either find a way to remove, or make sure that it dies with him alone.

Catriona MacInnes, the daughter of the powerful Pack Alpha’s long-estranged brother, has only just begun to discover her family’s rich legacy. Worried about her father’s increasingly strange behavior, Cat hopes that Scotland might somehow hold the answers to all of her family’s problems. But upon Cat’s arrival, it’s the reclusive stranger with the face of a fallen angel who consumes her thoughts and fires her blood. Cat soon begins to suspect that her father isn’t the only one with secrets. If only her every instinct wasn’t telling her that Bastian must be hers alone, no matter the cost…

In the western Highlands, as the Wolves gather, an ancient evil watches, waiting to reach from the shadows and fulfill its dark destiny. A daemon’s curse has terrible power. But the love of a Wolf might just be stronger…and as Bastian and Cat are about to discover, the Highland moon has a magic all its own.

I’m really excited about the way Wild Highland Magic came together, and I hope you’ll all check it out! And now, as promised, I present to you, in no particular order, some of my favorite heroes from film and fiction (and men who’ve definitely informed the way I write my own heroes!):

1. Aragorn - A reluctant king who's dirty and sweaty and sword-wielding, with honor and bravery to burn. My kind of man!

2. Wolverine - See above, except substitute "razor-sharp claw" for "sword." Cyclops was cute and everything, but I never could figure out Jean Gray's rationale for picking him over Logan.

3. Simon Hunt from Secrets of A Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas - Lisa Kleypas's Wallflowers books are some of my very favorites. I love all four heroes, but Simon is probably my favorite (with St. Vincent a close runner-up). A tall dark and handsome commoner who is only grudgingly allowed to run in noble circles because of his huge fortune and keen financial knowledge, Simon knows he doesn't fit in and and revels in it. He's bold, brash, and earthy in the absolute best way, and watching him finally catch the impoverished-but-still-above-him Annabelle Peyton, the one person he secretly fears he isn't good enough for, was an absolute treat.

4. Darius en Kragin from Heart of the Dragon by Gena Showalter - Gena Showalter never ceases to amaze me with her heroes' Lust Index, which is always off the charts. For me, though, Darius is and will always be in a league of his own. A dragon warrior who acts as Guardian of the gate between Atlantis and Earth, he's lost the ability to feel any emotion...that is, until Grace Carlyle unwittingly stumbles through that gate and Darius can't bring himself to kill her, as he's been sworn to do. Pure alpha male, able to sprout scales and wings AND breathe fire...there are seriously no words. Utter hotness.

5. Tristan Thorne - When I saw the movie Stardust last summer, I immediately knew I would end up buying the DVD (which I don't do all that often). I'm a sucker for a good fairy tale, and this adaptation of Neil Gaiman's graphic novel was definitely that! Tristan goes from adorable, bumbling shop boy to swashbuckling hero over the course of the movie (from beta to alpha, I guess you could say!), and I loved him on both ends.

6. Wolf from the miniseries The 10th Kingdom - The series itself was a little uneven, but it had a great premise (real world girl must save the fairy tale world she discovers is closer than anyone might have imagined), and the good-guy Big Bad Wolf is a fantastic hero. Puppy dog sweet with an interesting edge as the moon waxes, Wolf definitely influenced my conception of the hero in my book Dark Highland Fire. Gabriel MacInnes is a big, outgoing party boy who's deeper than he seems...and sexy as all get out. He owes some of that to Wolf.

7. The Phantom of the Opera - Yeah, yeah, I know he's a tortured anti-hero who doesn't get the girl. Know what I say to that? Boo. Hiss. there's a reason why this character has turned up in various ways with various names in lots of different romance novels, and it's because a lot of us think the Phantom got robbed. Gerard Butler as Phantom, by the way = WHAT were you thinking, Christine??

8, 9, 10 - My own heroes, of course...I wouldn't write them if they weren't my favorites! Gideon and Gabriel MacInnes, and now Bastian an Morgaine are all my favorite sorts of heroes, big and bold, but with a sweet side, capable of amazing bravery, and always surprised when they fall like a ton of bricks for one of my smart and sexy heroines. They may be different...Gideon carries the weight of the world on his shoulders because of his impending rise to the position of Alpha of his pack, Gabriel, as the second son, parties more than he should and struggles with what his place in the world is, and Bastian spends every moment of his life in very literal danger... but they're all heroes in every sense of the word.

Thanks so much to Sam for having me by the Book Blog today, and to everyone for stopping by! So now it's your turn: who are some of your favorite heroes, and why?

Kendra Leigh Castle is the author of the MacInnes Werewolves trilogy, as well as the upcoming series The Fallen, coming from Harlequin Nocturne. She lives in Maryland with her husband, three kids, and menagerie of pets, and loves to be visited online at

And guess what?!? I have a copy of Wild Highland Magic to giveaway! Yay! Just leave a comment with your email address and you will be entered. How easy is that? Sorry, but it only open to U.S. and Canada residents. And if you haven't given this author a try yet go out and pick up Call of the Highland Moon.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Sunday Salon - May 17th

How is May already half way over? Seriously, it feels like the month has just begun and yet it is already the 17th. I've been lax in posting this week for a multitude of reasons. We've had lots of rain and thunderstorms here which meant a temporary loss of internet connection which is never a good thing. Plus, t-ball has started which means games and practice and you get the picture. My house is a mess and my laundry piles are hideous but I've been reading :) LOL! Sometimes, reading is the only thing that keeps my sanity in the midst of the chaos...literally. Let me share a "fun" example and then I'll get back to the books. So you all know that my daughter is creeping towards two (I'm not ready but she seems to be) which can be trouble. And trouble can sometimes be her middle name :) She wakes up yesterday morning and is occupying herself while I am getting ready for work. Until I notice that she has spilled a glass of some liquid (I'm pretty sure it was kool-aid which I blame on her dad) all over my living room carpet. So I'm scrubbing the floor so it won't stain and as I am literally on my knees working on the first stain, she grabs my son's full glass of milk and dumps it on our dog. With a smile on that innocent little face. I could have cried but what could I do but dry off the dog and give her a bath AFTER I got home from work. And my son and I had a talk about leaving drinks in reach of where his sister can get her grubby mitts on them. Some start to my morning right? :)

But back to books: I'm currently in the midst of two books which is unusual for me. I'm working on The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner at work and Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer at home. I am not very far into The Last Queen but the start has been very promising. Eclipse is kinda meh for me...I am of course flying through it but I can't say I'm loving it or anything. We'll see how it goes. I've got a ton of good books waiting for to read them which is turning out to be a bit of a distraction. Does anyone else have this problem? I just look at my stacks and cannot decide what to is one of the reasons why I decided to try keeping a book at work. I just want to read them all and now! Not very reasonable but it is how I feel :) Anyways, hope everyone has a good Sunday and I'll be visiting soon!

Monday, May 11, 2009

In The Woods by Tana French

From Goodreads:
As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox--his partner and closest friend&--find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.
My Thoughts:

In The Woods was an atmospheric novel that kept me guessing until the end. As you can see from the summary, there is a mystery that is slowly unwinding and intertwined with the current case of a murdered girl. Not only was this a mystery though, in my opinion it was also a character study on Rob Ryan and the person he used to be, is now, and will become all being shaped by the events of the summer of 1984. Wow, for this being a debut novel it was awesome! French's main character, Rob, is simultaneously likeable and unlikeable as well as being a complete mystery for me as the reader. I never quite knew what he was going to do next as well as what his thought processes were with some of the choices that he made. I was instantly caught up in this tale and the author's writing. I knew all along that she was leading me somewhere but I didn't see the ending coming whatsoever. And while I was a bit disappointed (those of you who have read the novel will know why), I still realized that I really enjoyed this book. I HAVE to read more by this author and soon :) Highly recommended in my opinion!

My Rating/Recommendations: 4.5 out of 5 and recommended!
Challenge: Book Awards II Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge, 100+ Book Challenge, New Author Challenge, A-Z Challenge

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wild Highland Magic by Kendra Leigh Castle

Give a brief summary:

In the lastest installment of this Highland werewolf series, Baustian an Morgaine is dealing with a life-sucking daemon. Although he has a large family of sisters, he feels alone at all times and is staying with the MacInnes werewolf clan. He is completely focused on trying to defeat the daemon until he comes across Catrionna MacInnes and then that focus changes...


What I liked about this book was revisiting the MacInnes and Morgaine clans while getting to new new characters. Both Catrionna and Baustian are strong lead characters and I really enjoyed their story. I was intrigued about Baustian from the previous book and liked him even more in Wild Highland Magic. The daemon was interesting and different from the previous storylines which I found refreshing. In fact, I didn't see this storyline coming at all which made it all the better for me. I also liked getting to know Catrionna's two sisters and am hoping to read more about them in future stories (hint, hint :)


Hmm...that seems like a harsh word here is there wasn't anything that I disliked about this book. I will admit to not feeling as deep a connection to this book as the 2nd book in this series but I still really liked it. So I can't really share any dislikes :)

Additional Thoughts?

This is a really good series if you enjoy a good romance with paranormal thrown in. I really, really like this series and hope that there will be more books in the future. All in all, a good read and a good addition to this series. And guess what guys, I feel a giveaway in the future :)

My Rating/Recommendations: 4 out of 5 and recommended to romance lovers and paranormal readers as well
Challenges: 100+ Book Challenge, Romance Readers Challenge


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Library Loot- May 6th

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Alessandra that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I recently finished up a memoir for review and although I haven't posted my thoughts yet it kinda spurred a memoir hunt at the library. I checked out 3 of them and am excited to read all of them. I'm currently reading Tithe: A Modern Fairie Tale by Holly Black for the Once Upon a Time III Challenge. I hadn't heard of this one before and picked it up on a whim after seeing an advertisement for it in the back of Uglies (another book that I need to review). It is really good so far! And I just finished reading The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly. I SO loved that one! Share your thoughts if you've read any of these :)

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer- I've been wanting to read this one for awhile now and am excited to get the chance to pick it up.

Straight Up and Dirty by Stephanie Klein- This author has written two books and I found the 2nd one at the library. It sounded really good so I requested the 1st book and it came in this week. It sure sounds like fun :)

Coraline by Neil Gaiman- I seriously squealed when I saw this one on the shelf. I CANNOT wait to read it and it will be my first Gaiman experience.

Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat- This was one I found browsing through the memoirs and boy does it sound interesting!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fables: Legends In Exile by Bill Willingham

From the back of the book:

Who killed Rose Red? In Fabletown, where fairy tale legends live alongside regular New Yorkers, the question is all anyone can talk about. But only the Big Bad Wolf can actually solve the case- and, along with Rose's sister Snow White, keep the Fabletown community from coming apart at the seams.

My Thoughts:

This was my 1st foray into graphic novels and I enjoyed the experience. It seems everyone and their brother are enjoying graphic novels and it convinced me that I must give them a try. I started with the Fables series as Ladytink and a few others seemed to be really liking these so it seemed like a good place to start. And it was! Legends in Exile is a fast-paced whodunnit filled with fairy tale characters. It was an easy read that I finished in one sitting...I just couldn't put it down. I knew that there were clues that I was missing but I just didn't care and let the story take me along for the ride. The pictures added to the story for sure and it was a neat experience all around. Except this is an adult story and it kept catching my son's attention. He wanted to know what Mommy was reading (usually he could care less) and wanted to look at all of the pictures too. There wasn't anything awful just not the type of book that I wanted him looking at :) So we busted out a Hulk graphic novel for him and he was content looking at his own pictures. There isn't much else to say about this one except if you are like I was and on the edge on whether or not to give graphic novels a try...well, just try them. It was definitely a worthwhile experience and I will be reading more in the future!

My Rating: Not sure how to rate this to be honest with you but I think I'll say a 4 out of 5. If I keep reading graphic novels I think I'll figure out a different rating system maybe with a focus on the illustrations and also the story.
Challenges: 100+Book Challenge, Year of Reading Dangerously, New Author Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge

P.S.- Will somebody that has already read this series be kind enough to leave the title of the 2nd book in this series in the comments? Thanks!