Thursday, January 30, 2014

Forbidden and Forever by Jacquelyn Frank (thoughts)

Docia Waverley is walking along the side of a bridge when a car sideswipes her knocking her over and into the rough water below.  Docia has a near death experience where she is given a choice to either live or die.  When she chooses life, she awakens to find that her life has changed forever thanks to the decision that she has made.  Because now two souls reside in her body, the soul of Docia and the soul of the bodywalker who has chosen to live within her.  As Docia tries to adjust to her new life, she finds that more has changed than she expected.  Now her life is in danger from some very evil creatures including other bodywalkers like herself.  It will take her trust in Ram and others to help her survive.

I've never read a series like this one.  The idea of the nightwalkers was so completely unique that I couldn't help but find it fascinating.  The Nightwalkers are the souls of former Egyptian pharaohs and queens who thanks to their mummification processes and afterlife rituals cannot die.  Instead, they reside in either the ether or take up residence inside of another person entwining the two souls.  The author set out a difficult task for herself as Docia had to deal with her past life (for example her brother) while also dealing with her new life.  I loved how the story managed to make it work for both of these lives in a way that actually worked quite well.  I wasn't sure how it was all going to work out but then it just did.  And it really fit together in a way that left me ready to read more.  My only complaint with this book was that it suffered from information overload at times.  It definitely slowed the pace of the book down for me at certain points but I think a lot of that was due to the fact that this is the first book in this series.  The ending on the other hand was much more intense and left me racing to finish.  Plus, I thought that the author did a really nice job of wrapping this book up while leaving room for the next book.

Overall, I thought that this book was a good read bordering on very good.  It definitely suffered from detail overload at times but in the end the uniqueness of the book really won out.  I loved the Egyptian details and descriptions.  It really made me want to brush up on my history of that time period.  This was a fun paranormal romance read and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it!

Bottom Line:  A pretty good beginning to this paranormal romance series!

Forever takes up right where Forbidden left off as the king of the Nightwalkers, Menes, returns.  And that is all I'm going to tell you since it will spoil the first book if you haven't read it.

This book was even better than Forbidden as the book really focuses on the relationship between Menes and Marissa.  I loved seeing them grow together and to learn to really trust one another.  I just could not wait to see their happy after!  I also really enjoyed some of the plot twists that came about in this book.  It set up some dark times for future books in this series, and I am really anxious to see what will happen.  I continued to enjoy all of the different details in regards to the characters.  We continued to see Docia and Ram's relationship grow which was really nice.  I loved that there are other types of nightwalkers including gargoyles.  I'm curious as to what other types there are because in this book we found out that there are multiple types that they don't even know about.  The ending of this book once again tied everything together in a way that left me completely satisfied.  We know that there is a war brewing and an evil that will need defeated yet, but I still was happy with the ending. 

This book was even better than the first book which left me eager to continue on with this series.  I think that the author has done an amazing job of creating a series unlike any others out there.  It really has made me excited about these books and even this genre.  I will definitely be reading this author's other books....but not until I finish with this series first!  I would highly recommend this series but you definitely need to begin with Forbidden.

Bottom Line:  One of the most unique series that I have come across!

Disclosure:  I received both of these books thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Thoughts on them are my own.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dragon Awakened by Jaime Rush (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Ruby Salazaar wants answers…and revenge. Her uncle has just been murdered before her eyes and the name he utters with his final breath—Cyntag—leads Ruby into a world beyond her wildest imaginings. She soon learns that the dark, sexy Cyntag Valeron knows more about her than she does herself."

My Thoughts:

Dragon Awakened is one of those books that I wanted to read based on the premise alone.  Dragon shapeshifters?  Hell yeah!  I've only read a few books featuring dragons and they really worked for me so I couldn't resist jumping at the chance to read this.  I'm glad that I did because this book was actually really good.  

This book jumped into the action from the very beginning and didn't let up until the last page.  It made for an intense reading experience because everything happens so fast that I just couldn't keep up.  I loved it!  I read this book in a matter of days because it was just so easy to keep going and I didn't want to set it down.  Ruby is a pretty cool main character.  She takes everything new that she is learning about this new world of hers  with a healthy dose of suspicion and resistance...but she also adjusts to in a manner that came across realistically.  Well, as realistically as can be when you are talking dragon shapeshifters.  LOL!  I also really appreciated the fact that it took time for her to fully trust Cyntag.  She didn't just fall into his arms and do whatever he said.  She thought for herself and acted based on her own instincts.  You don't always see that in some books in this genre.  

Overall, I ended up really enjoying this one.  If I had any complaints it would be that I was surprised to hear that the second book in this series will be about new characters.  I actually would like to read more about Ruby and Cyntag because I feel like we just grazed the surface on them as a couple.  But hopefully the next book will also involve them a little bit.  I'm definitely eager to continue on with this series, and am looking forward to reading more by this author.  If you are a fan of paranormal romance or even urban fantasy then I would definitely give this book a try.  For me it was easily a good read bordering on very good.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A gripping beginning to this paranormal romance series, and one that I had a hard time setting down!

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher for review.  Thoughts on it are my own.

P.S. - If you were wondering about the other dragon paranormal romances that I loved check out Kendra Leigh Castle's MacInne's Werewolf Trilogy.  The romance features werewolves but dragon shapeshifters are also involved. Highly, highly recommended!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Sunday Salon: Harry Potter Fever

Good morning everyone!  Is everyone holding out with these crazy winter temps or are you lucky enough to still be experiencing nice weather?  We seem to get snow on a daily basis here in Illinois and the temps keep dropping so low that school gets cancelled every couple of days.  Fun times I tell you.  What all this means though is I don't feel guilty in the slightest for curling up under a blanket with a book.  So I suppose there is a positive even if going outside at all is miserable.

As the title of this post suggests I've got a bit of Harry Potter fever thanks to ABC running a Harry Potter weekend.  I didn't figure out this was going on until too late and they were on part one of the last book but could I not watch?  It has been too long since I last watched these movies!  I just adore them :)  Even when they don't follow along with the books.  Now I'm thinking that I'm ready to move on to listening to the 5th Harry Potter book on audio.  Or maybe a reread of the entire series is in order?  I can't decide but I've definitely got Potter-itis!  (It's a guys just might not have known about it until now :) LOL!)

In reading news since I last updated you I've managed to finish a few books.  I've stalled out on my audiobooks though as I'm working on a new project at work that requires my complete attention.  But I've definitely been reading.  Here is what I have finished lately:

Forbidden by Jacquelyn Frank was an interesting beginning to this paranormal romance series.  It had a bit of first in a series syndrome where there was just too much in the way of details and not enough action, but overall I liked it.  I will be sharing the rest of my thoughts this week for a TLC book tour.

The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman was deliciously dark and creepy.  I decided that last year I didn't read enough young adult books (I hardly read any) so this year I plan on rectifying that a bit.  This just reinforces why I should because I loved this book.  It was a disturbing read but yet one of those books that you just can't put down.  I NEED to write up my thoughts on this one soon!

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon was one of my most anticipated reads for this year and it didn't disappoint!  I just finished this one last night and it was even better than I had hoped.  I will definitely be reading everything that this author has written after loving this one.  And it was the perfect creepy read for a cold winter night!  I seem to be reading a lot of horror filled books this year :)  Review to come soon.

I'm now currently reading the following two books:

I cannot wait to really get started on Dirty Magic!  This is another book that I have been looking forward to for months.  I need to get moving on finishing up Forever because it is for the blog tour I have going this week.  After these two I have no clue what I will be reading next but hopefully it will be something off of my own stacks.

Today the plans are to clean my boy's bedroom, a little bit of laundry, and hopefully some reading.  Two weeks until the Walking Dead come back (I'm so obsessed) so the countdown is on for that.  And other than that, not much else exciting to share about.  I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Stay warm!

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Friday, January 24, 2014

E-Book Addict?

Lately I've seen a few posts (thanks Trish and Andi) in regards to all of those books that we buy for our e-readers.  Happily it means that I'm not the only one who buys entirely TOO many books for my ipad.  Because it is all too easy to just click and buy, isn't it?  It is!  And how is a girl supposed to resist some of these amazing deals?  I can' is just that simple.  Add in the fact that I was given an Amazon gift card for Christmas and you will completely understand my lack of restraint in regards to indulging myself with a few new books.  Make that a lot of books?!?!  Oh well, here are just some of the books that I've added to my ipad lately:

I should probably stop buying books now and start actually reading all of these.  But since one of my personal goals is to read more of my own books these actually count for that.  Yay! 

What bookish deals could you not pass by recently?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Library Loot - 1st Trip of 2014

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief 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.

First library loot post of the new year!  Woohoo!  I got a bit away from doing these types of posts last year which makes me sad because I use my library SO MUCH!  I depend on my library system for all of those times when I come across books in a series and need to start at the beginning.  Or when I just need to browse and relax without the guilt of buying more books.  LOL!  The other day I had the opportunity to go to the library by myself (a very rare treat), and I came out with an armful of books.  But this post also includes just a few of the books that I have been putting on hold lately as well.  Here are all the great library finds that I took home with me:

Look at all of those gorgeous covers!  Of course I would like to read them all but realistically I'm just hoping to read them all.  Kidding!  But seriously, I'm not even sure where to start here.  So that is where you guys come in.  Have you read any of these?  Is there any one book that I should read before all of the others?  I have no idea how to choose which of these to read first so I will take any help that I can get!  Also, I'm just adding these all to my hopeful reads for January because why not?

What books have you brought home from the library lately?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Magic Bites and Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles."


This part is easy: I liked absolutely everything about this book.  I first read this book a few years back and for whatever reason never continued on with the series.  But of course I kept hearing such great things about these books so I decided to reread this one, and then make it a personal goal to catch up with the rest of the series.  I'm so glad that I did because I had forgotten how good this book really was!  Kate is such an awesome main character and I love reading about her adventures.  I also find it very interesting that there is obviously more to her than what meets the eye.  I think that it will be intriguing to see how this all plays out in future books especially the things that she keeps secret like her words of power.  I'm glad that I took the time to reread this one before moving on in the series because there was definitely a lot that I had forgotten about!


None.  I seriously can't think of a single thing that I didn't like about this book and especially reading it the second time around.  For the life of me I cannot figure out how I didn't continue on with this series before now.  Just goes to show you how true the phrase "So many books, too little time" is!

Final Thoughts:

An awesome beginning to this urban fantasy series!  Andrews has created a fantasy world that is like no other series out there, and I couldn't get enough of it.  I'm super excited to see what other kinds of trouble that Kate will find herself in.  And I also want to know more about her so hopefully some of her secrets will start to come to light.  I would highly, highly recommend this book!

Summary from Goodreads:

"As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…"


Curran and Kate.  Curran and Kate.  Oh my goodness, how I love the almost reluctant friendship that is developing between these two!  I'm hoping that future books in this series give us more of them working together because it is such fun to see them butt heads with one another.  And there is definitely some good chemistry there!  This book was just as intense as the first book and just as strong of a read!  I couldn't put it down!  I'm definitely hooked on this series now and cannot wait to get my hands on the third book.  I also really liked that we got to see so many of the characters from the first book again.  Andrews does an amazing job of writing these books in a way that makes you not want to stop reading.  I just had to know what was going to happen next!  I ended up flying through this book and wanted more when it ended.  Andrews is definitely going on my authors that I will read anything by list.


That the book wasn't longer?  Seriously, I wanted more!  I could read about Kate's adventures any day, and I am just so excited now about this series!  Other than that, I had absolutely no complaints.  This book was everything that I hoped it would be and more!

Final Thoughts:

This is a must read urban fantasy series for me!  I'm kicking myself for taking so long to really get to it because I'm just loving it!  I could keep on gushing, but really you should try reading these books for yourself and see if you aren't as hooked as I am.  I am certainly pleased that I have decided to focus on this series because I have some good reading ahead of me!  Highly, highly recommended!

Bottom Line for both of these books:  READ THEM!  Urban fantasy at its' best!

Disclosure:  I checked out both of these books from my local library.  I will definitely be buying my own copies for my keeper shelf at some point.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Starter House by Sonja Condit (thoughts)

In Starter House, Lacey and Eric Miszlak are searching for the perfect house to begin their new lives in.  Almost instantly Lacey finds the house that she believes they are meant to own and love, but it is a house with a dark history.  It doesn't matter to Lacey though as she can already see her future children growing up in there.  And it only begins to play an important role when she starts to realize that they aren't alone in the house.  Dark forces, a mysterious little boy, and a home where numerous people have met their deaths means that Lacey is going to have to do whatever it takes to protect her unborn child.  Because this house doesn't want to let her go...

This was one creepy read!  I'm a sucker for a haunted house story so as soon as I read the summary for this one I knew I wanted to read it.  I'm glad that I had the chance to read this book because it didn't disappoint.  There were some very eerie moments in this book that knocked the suspense level up and kept me on the edge of my seat.  There were also a few moments where I had to go back and reread, because I was reading entirely too fast and didn't understand what was going on.  Everything that was happening was surreal at times and it took me a bit to figure out exactly what was happening.  I thought that the author did a good job of keeping the level of tension high throughout the book.  The atmosphere of the book was both dark and foreboding.  All of this added together in a way that really kept me reading.  I had a hard time putting this book down which surprised me as I didn't always care for the main characters.  Lacey was a bit much for me at times with both the way she acted and her thought processes.  I didn't always understand why she behaved the way she did  but I liked that she did everything she could to protect her family.  She just frustrated me at times!  Eric's character also left me a bit less than impressed but that is because I think that he could have been expanded on more.  I never felt that I really understood him which left me unconnected to both of the main characters.  It didn't affect my level of enjoyment with this book though because the creepiness factor kept me sucked in.

Overall, I think that I will definitely be reading more by this author.  She did a really amazing job in creating a book filled with horrors without being over the top about it.  I appreciated that this book was able to give me chills at times.  Reading it during the dark coldness of winter was perfect because it helped to make my reading experience of this book even better.  I will be recommending this one to fans of horror and thrillers alike.  And I will be waiting to see what this author comes up with next!

Bottom Line:  A suspenseful read that had some moments that sent shivers down my spine.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for review thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC Book Tour.  Thoughts are my own!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Sunday Salon (2014 Goals and Books)

Good morning everyone!  It was back to the grind this week and although I wasn't ready for a full week of work, it didn't go too badly.  It is nice to be back into a routine again but my kids were definitely not quite ready for it.  LOL!  My oldest especially likes to sleep in which makes me realize that sooner rather than later I will have a teenager on my hands.  Where does the time go?  Anyways, 2014 is already moving along and I realized yesterday that I still haven't taken the time to share with you all my goals for the new year.  Before I continue to procrastinate even further (and then eventually never do it), I thought I would quickly share my plans for the new year.

  • Read more of my own books- This one is a given.  I read 76 books last year but only a very small portion of them were off of my own shelves.  And with the number of times that I bought books last year...well...this is going to have to change.  This also means accepting fewer review copies (damn you NetGalley) and maybe a few less book tours.  I try to always mix my review books with books that are for pleasure and just because but I want to do this even more.   So read more of my own books!
  • Work out consistently.  Hahaha...I think that I am repeating my goals from last year!  I've started out the new year pretty well with this so far but I NEED to stick with it.  I'm bound and determined to shed a few of the pounds that I seem to keep gaining over the years.  And I just want to be healthier.  It is that simple.
  • Finish some of the projects that I have planned.  I'm the queen of procrastination so this one is going to be hard for me.  But I really need to follow through and finish up some of my projects that I have had planned for years.  An example would be learning to crochet and knit.  Finishing up redecorating my bedroom.  Organizing all of my closets.  You get the picture, right?  There are a bunch of things that I always say that I'm going to do but then never get done.  This is the year that I'm going to knock a few things off of that list. 
Three goals is enough for me this year I'm thinking.  Now let's see if I can actually stick to ALL of them.  That will be the biggest accomplishment of all!  Anyways, let's move on to the books!   Since this is my first Sunday Salon post for the new year I'm going to catch you up with everything that I have read so far this year.  I've recently finished the following books:

Starter House by Sonja Condit was my first read of the year and definitely an interesting way to start off the new year.  This was a spooky read that left me turning the pages in anticipation of just what would happen next.  I read this one for a TLC Book Tour and my full thoughts on it will be shared this Tuesday. 

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews was SUCH a good read!  Whew!  I flew through this book and just couldn't get enough.  I'm so glad that I've made it a goal to catch up with this series because I think that it is definitely going to be worth my time.  I'm planning on writing up my thoughts on this one and for Magic Bites as well that will hopefully go up this week.  Maybe mini reviews?  I haven't decided for sure yet. 

In audio, I finished listening to Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell this week.  The interesting thing to listening to books that you have already read is that you find things that you missed when previously reading.  But I will talk more about that when I write up my thoughts.  I'm currently reading the following books:

Forbidden is for a TLC book tour at the end of the month.  And although The Winter People is also a review copy it is one of my most anticipated reads for the new year so I'm not complaining.  I'm reading this one on my ipad and have once again pushed back A Study in Silks.  On audio, I'm currently listening to Ceremony in Death by J.D. Robb. 

Whew!  That is enough out of me for one day.  I'm hoping to get lots of laundry done today, a little bit of reading in both of my current reads, and a few reviews written.  If I can get that all done then this will count as a success!  Oh yeah, and 28 days until The Walking Dead returns!  I cannot wait!

Happy Sunday and happy reading!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday (New Year's Fun)

Bahahahaha! The second picture is priceless because it just shows my youngest two's personalities perfectly.  We had a quiet beginning to 2014 filled with movies, snacks, and The Walking Dead once the littles crashed out.  What a perfect way to start the new year!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 9.0

 "The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team"

It's back!  I love week long read-a-thons so of course I'm joining in with the Bout of Books Read-a-thon.  And besides, didn't you guys see my crazy reading plans for January?  I'm still shaking my head over that one even if I'm on to book two.  Considering that this is going to be my first full week of work in over three weeks (I love PTO), I'm keeping my goals for this read-a-thon pretty darn simple.  I'm hoping to finish two books even though more would be AMAZING (and impossible).  I'm also hoping to find some new to me blogs to follow so I will attempt to visit as many of the participants as I can.  Sounds good, doesn't it?  I'm currently reading Magic Burns which I just started last night so that will be my first book for this read-a-thon.  Then I will be moving on to Forbidden which is for a TLC Book Tour.  If I somehow mange to finish both of these I will be pulling another book from my January reading plans list. 

I'm going to be one busy girl!  Good luck to all of the other read-a-thon participants and Happy Sunday!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January Reading Plans (Nutty Sam Edition)

The title of this post is completely accurate if you count the number of books shown in this picture.  Ten books?  I plan to try and finish ten books in the month of January?  Lmao.  Okay, so maybe I'm not going to read all of these books this month but I will read some of them (and want to read all of them).  What we will skip over is the fact that there are other books that I have coming in from holds at the library.  And of course all of the books on my ipad that are waiting to be read including NetGalley copies.  I have also convinced myself that I will read a bit less this month because I'm going to learn how to knit scarves (that's another topic for my 2014 goals post).  Hmm...I'm not sure how this is going to all work out but I am sure going to try :)  Let's look at the books that I'm hoping to read this month:
  • Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews - For my goal to catch up with this series.
  • Starter House by Sonja Condit - I'm currently reading this one and it is creepy so far! 
  • Ripper by Isabel Allende - Review copy and because of the title.  How could I resist?
  • The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton - Because I've been dying to try this series! (and that cover!)
  • The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman - It sounds super creepy and I want to read more YA this year!
  • The Midas Murders by Pieter Aspe - Review copy and mystery.  I'm excited!
  • Forever by Jacquelyn Frank - For a TLC book tour.
  • Forbidden by Jacquelyn Frank - Also for a TLC book tour. I've been wanting to read this series for awhile now!
  • Fade to Blonde by Max Phillips - Because thanks to King's Joyland I've discovered Hard Case Crime and now have a personal goal to read all of their books.  I love their covers!  I told you I'm book crazy :)
  • Firelight by Kristen Callihan - Off of my own shelves! And because I have a review copy of the 4th book but want to read the series in order.  I might change my mind on this though...
 Oh boy!  That is a lot of books to read in one month.  Looks like I better get started but before I go....which of these books should I not miss?  Have you read any of them?  And if it keeps snowing like this I just might be able to read them all :)