Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (25)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme to share what we bought, checked out, swapped, or won. IMM is hosted by The Story Siren

Here's what I got in my mailbox this week!


(Blood of Eden #1)
Julie Kagawa

I ripped this sucker open and started reading it the second it came in the mail and I LOVED it! You can read my ridiculous, gushing review HERE.


(Half-Light City #2)
M.J. Scott

Emily White

Cat Patrick

(Downside Ghosts #5)
Stacia Kane


(Hedgewitch #1)
Lilith Saintcrow

Thank you so much to Mary from Sweeping Me!!!


(Iron Fey #1)
Julie Kagawa

(Mythos Academy #2)
Jennifer Estep

Friday, March 23, 2012

Giveaway Hop - Drinking and Winning!

The Pre- Party Giveaway Hop is being hosted by Reading Romances as a preparation for their blogiversary party on March 29!

For this hop, you can enter to win ONE of the paranormal historical romance books listed below. These are my two favorite PNR books right now, and both are set in late 1880's London! The book will be sent to the winner via Book Depository, so be sure that they ship to you. Enter on the Rafflecopter form below, then check out the Linky below and enter all of the other great giveaways!

But first...

The Drinking!

Recipe: Midori Sour

And now...

The Winning!

Here are the books you may choose from if you win. Good luck!

The ultra romantic, tension building story of a tortured hero who hides behind a mask and the fiery beauty with secrets of her own........


The super sexy story of an infamous womanizer and a bold shipping heir who fall into bed first and in love second - with a side of Sherlock Holmes

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now check out all the other blogs participating!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Follow Friday (27)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read


Here is this week's question:

What is the longest book you've read? What are your favorite 600+ page reads?

This was a tricky question for me. My first response was that I hadn't read any books over 600 pages. Then I went through my 'read' list on Goodreads........and apparently I was wrong! Here are some of the books I read that were 600 pages or longer:

759 pages

619 pages

768 pages

And some honorable mentions:

594 pages

594 pages

I would love it if you guys would follow me using Linky Followers! It's so sad looking compared to my GFC followers!  :)

Current Giveaway:

The Stacia and Stacey Giveaway Hop is up and running! Check out my stop on the hop HERE

Recent Reviews:

Discount Armageddon
Seanan McGuire

The Immortal Rules
Julie Kagawa

Josephine Angelini

And check out my post about the 29 paranormal March new releases!

Happy Friday!

Discount Armageddon by Seanan Mcguire

Discount Armageddon
(InCryptid #1)
Seanan McGuire

Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night... 

The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity - and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. 

When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city...

“The problem with people who say monsters don't really exist is that they're almost never saying it to the monsters."

McGuire's Discount Armageddon is a fun romp in an urban fantasy setting with a snarky, kick-ass main character and a never-ending collection of fantasy creatures.

This book was a super fun read! The main character and narrator is Verity Price, a member of a family of crytozoologists who have broken off from a larger group and are now considered traitors. This larger group, the Covenant of St. George, is not all too fond of the Price family, but at least they think the family is dead now that they have gone into hiding. Verity is a kick-ass heroine with sarcasm to spare. She is reminiscent of Darynda Jones' Charley Davidson. 

"My name is Verity Price. I'm a cryptozoologist. And this is why I can never get a goddamn date on a Saturday night."

Verity is living away from her hidden family in New York while she tries her hand at being a professional ballroom dancer. Yes, you read that right. This badass monster hunter wants to dance. Her family has agreed to give her some leeway, as long as she does her cryptozoology work while she's there. That means making friends with the local cryptid creatures that are sentient and "friendly", and chasing off those that aren't so friendly. The Price family doesn't kill cryptids on sight like the members of the Covenant do. So Verity has to make a judgment call as to whether or not a ghoul, ahool, or Sasquatch is actually dangerous to humans. That's why she carries about a million weapons at all times. 

To complicate Verity's life even more than usual, a lone Covenant member shows up in the city. He's new to "field work" and fully indoctrinated in the Covenant's belief that cryptids are unnatural and should all be killed off. Dominic and Verity do not get along when they first meet. Eventually they grudgingly agree to work together temporarily, and most of their first interactions consist of arguing about their different beliefs. 

I wish that there would have been more romance between Verity and Dominic. Their few 'romantic interludes' were such a tease! But this book was really more about the UF and the action, and not so much about the romance. Hopefully their relationship will develop further in future books. Their time together was thoroughly entertaining, as they played off of each other and we got some great funny moments. One of my favorites was when Dominic is finally introduced to the tribe of Aeslin mice that hang around Verity's family and celebrate various religious holidays that are both ridiculous and hilarious. "HAIL!"

Discount Armageddon's strength might be considered its weakness by some readers. McGuire is not afraid to write about all the crazy, silly, unbelievable creatures we've all heard about in stories before. She has a knack for not taking her stories so seriously that they fall apart under way too much dramatic tension. She writes these crazy creatures really well and you almost forget that you're reading about a Sasquatch or a creature thats supposed to smell like gingerbread. Some readers might get too caught up in all the cryptids, but I was able to let myself enjoy the world McGuire created and not get hung up on all the silly "monsters".

One thing about the story I did not care for was the repetitiveness. I felt like the story went in circles for a bit in the middle, with Verity going from work, to rooftop 'running', to her apartment, to the sewers, back to work, etc. I was ready for something to happen, and I finally got it - I just wish it had happened a little faster. 

This is a great urban fantasy and a fun read. I blew through the story and I'm looking forward to book two!

Recommended for lovers of all things creature-y, snarky heroines, the Charley Davidson series, ballroom dancing, kick-ass heroines, and talking mice who yell "HAIL!". 


March New Releases!


Spring Break, sunshine, end of winter, St. Patrick's Day


Some awesome book releases!

(Clicking on a book will take you to it on Amazon)

Did you know there were so many good books out in March!?!? And yes, if you choose to purchase any of the above books through these links I do get a small compensation.

Happy shopping and happy reading!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules
(Blood of Eden #1)
Julie Kagawa
Release: April 24, 2012


IMMORTAL RULES book trailer:

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

Oh. My. God. This book has won the award for Best YA I Have Ever Read. 

Let me first start by saying that I am new to Julie Kagawa. Unlike many others who will read this book, I have not read her Iron Fey series. The Immortal Rules, blew me away! I adored the writing in this book. Kagawa didn't pull any punches here, giving us blood and gore when it was needed. Kagawa's world building was spectacular. The dystopian future she created, filled with two kinds of monsters - vampires and rabids - is fully developed and I could easily picture every detail. And her characters - Oh her characters! Perhaps that is what made this stand apart from other young adults novels I've read. Kagawa writes in first person from the point of view of the main character, Allison. We get to be inside her head and go through everything she goes through as her world is turned upside down again and again.

Um, okay, I'm going to stop singing my praises for the wonder that is Julie Kagawa now and review the book.

Like I said, its written in first person. A lot of young adult books are not. I cannot imagine Allison's story being told any other way. Her story is a journey from one hell to another and I don't think I would have been so invested if the book was written in third person. The Immortal Rules is divided into four parts. In the first part of the story we meet Allison and discover her world. Red Lung disease has wiped out most of the humans of the world, but it has also created rabisism. The rabids share some similarities with vampires, but they are more similar to zombies. Vampires came out of hiding to protect their food source, the humans, by building cities to keep them protected from the rabids. Only catch? If you want the food and protection of the city you have to register with the vampires and give blood a certain number of times per week. Allison and her friends live in what's called The Fringe, the area around the outside of the city. They are still protected by the outer wall, but they have not registered and are therefore given no food or extra protection. They live like homeless people, eating rotten food from garbage cans. Its a desolate life, but Allison refuses to give in to the vampires. 

Now, of course, we know from reading the above synopsis that something goes wrong and Allison reaches the brink of death, only to be turned into a vampire at the last minute. This begins section two of the book. Allison has to learn to 'live' a new life, as a vampire. We get to read all of her emotions and tribulations as she goes through this process and its here, again, that I commend Kagawa for choosing to write in first person. Allison's vampire teacher, Kanin, is a wonderful and mysterious character. I loved watching as Allison learned her new strengths and weaknesses and came to terms with the fact that she was no longer human. Allison must learn to become a baddass, which I love. Like I said before, Kagawa pulls no punches. Her vampires are not romantic or sexy or sparkly. They are monsters who need to feed on human blood to survive. She doesn't give them any 'outs'.

I won't continue to lay out the plot in detail because that would really ruin all the twists and turns for you. I will tell you that eventually Allison has to set out on her own and she meets up with a ragtag group of humans who are wondering the country looking for a mythical city. Allison chooses to play human and join this group, and its here that we start to see some of the differences between humans and vampires. Its also here that we get a bit of a love story going. Reading while Allison tries desperately to fit in with humans, holding my breath every time she feels The Hunger, wondering if she was going to accidentally kill someone in the group or when someone was going to realize what she was - holy cow! And watching Allison fight her attraction to a human was just heartbreaking.

Man, what a ride! This book was really just plain incredible. I often found myself forgetting this was even YA. I'm not sure its fair to categorize it as such. Let's just call it an amazing dystopian vampire story in which the main character is seventeen. 

Recommended for those who love vampires, strong female main characters, books you think about when you're not reading them, katanas, and Julie Kagawa.

This review is based on an advance copy of the book.


Want to pre-order?
(Hardcover; Kindle)


Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

(Starcrossed #1)
Josephine Angelini

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Starcrossed is a wonderfully written YA about mythology and, you guessed it, star-crossed lovers. I liked Angelini's writing style a lot, even though I felt like there were things missing from the story to really pull me in.

The story begins with the whole high school up in arms about a new family moving to their little island of Nantucket. The Delos family is a mixed group of fathers, mothers, cousins, uncles, etc. all living under one roof - and they are apparently all gorgeous. When Helen first meets Lucas, the member of the family that is in her grade, she is overcome with hatred and the urge to kill him. I loved all these scenes! I was almost sad to see this hatred go away because these parts of the story were so entertaining. Imagine being a high school girl who randomly attacks the hot new guy every time she sees him. 

“She would have to leave the country, or at least Nantucket, because there was no way she could live down the fact that she had tried to strangle the hottest boy on the island.”

As the Delos family realizes that Helen has no idea what is going on, they bring her into the fold, so to speak, and teach her about their place in mythology. I felt like Helen took everything just a bit to easy here. I like reveals like that go a little more realistically, with some more disbelief and shock. As Helen and Lucas' hatred for each other is finally nixed and they start to develop some other feelings for each other, I kind of felt like I was missing something. I know that the Fates play a big part in this story, but I didn't see the reasons they were so in love all of the sudden. That's a complaint I have about a lot of YA books though, that it's like love at first sight for the two main characters and we're just supposed to accept it. I like to know why the characters are so attached to each other. 

Aside from my hangups about Helen and Lucas' relationship, I really liked a lot of the other side characters in Starcrossed. Helen's pint-sized best friend, Claire, had some great one liners throughout the story and I loved her to death.

“How do you know all this about me?" Helen sputtered. Claire sighed. "After I pushed you off the roof..." she began. "After you WHAT?" Lucas yelled.”

I also really liked Cassandra, the youngest of the Delos family. She has an interesting side story going on that I felt really added to her story. As the book went on I grew to like her quite a lot, and I'm looking forward to the bigger role she plays in the next one.

Overall, Starcrossed was a mixed bag for me. There were some elements of the story that I really loved and some elements that I found a bit annoying. I was really into the story at first, and then the long middle dragged just a bit for me. But the ending of the book finally brought in some action and mystery and I loved it again. I'm so stuck between 3 stars and 4 stars that I just don't know what to do!

Recommended for lovers of mythology and YA love stories. 


Interested in getting it for yourself?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Giveaway Hop: Stacia and Stacey Giveaway!

Welcome to the Stacia and Stacey Giveaway Hop event! This hop is to celebrate the much anticipated coming releases by both Stacia Kane and Stacey Jay, which come out on the same day - March 27! Each blogger on the hop is giving away something related to one of these authors, and a grand prize $50 gift card will also go to one winner!

You can get more info about each book and read my reviews of these two awesome urban fantasies here:

And now........for the giveaway!

Prize #1:

Dead on the Delta
Blood on the Bayou (signed by Stacey Jay!)


Prize #2:

Necklace and earrings set inspired by the Annabelle Lee series 
(will be sent from Stacey herself)


Stacey was kind enough to give us an excerpt from Blood on the Bayou!

“So you live close enough to shower and get to my house with your hair still wet.” I know nothing about Tucker, and for some reason even a minor discovery feels like a victory. “Interesting.”
He smiles. “I thought you gave up on the amateur detective business.”
“Why would you think that?”
“Libby almost killed you.”
“Aw.” I purse my lips. “You sound like you care.”
“Would have been a shame. You’re a fine piece of ass.”
“And you’re ridiculously good looking.”
He tips his head like a cigarette cowboy and his grin takes a turn for the smug. “Thank you, ma’am.”
“No. Really. Ridiculous.” I shove his shoulder with the tips of my fingers. “Off my bed.”
His brow lifts. “Because I’m too good-looking?”
“Yes.” I give him my best deadpan stare, enjoying tormenting him more than I probably should. “The long silky hair and the eyes and the eyelashes and all…this.” I gesture to his perfectly sculpted body and too-tight jeans. “It’s overkill. Not my speed.”
“You’re such a liar.” He leans in, until his mouth is temptingly close, and for the first time I am truly tempted. There’s always been an undercurrent of sexual awareness between Tucker and me, but neither of us has made a move. I assumed we never would. But now…with him warming a spot on my bed, looking at me with those smiling eyes… 
Thank god I know for a fact that I have killer morning breath, or I might just give in and see if his lips are as soft as they look.
“You’re crazy.” I tap a finger to his nose, and scoot away.
“Am not. I’ve seen both those boys you play with, Red.”
“I play with no one.”
“That window says different.”
“Ew.” This time my shove is a lot less delicate. “You really are a peeping Tom. That’s disgusting. You shouldn’t watch other people do it.”
“You shouldn’t do it with your window open.”
“You should leave so I can get dressed.” I point to the backdoor, but Tucker doesn’t move. He just bats his long eyelashes and shoots me a predatory look I’m lame enough to find nearly irresistible. “Really. You should go,” I say again, but I don’t sound like I mean it.
“Maybe you should forget about getting dressed.” His hand reaches out, coming to rest on my hip, warming my skin through the thin cotton of my shirt. He’s never touched me like this. He knows it. I know it.
The knowing thickens the air between us, introducing a possibility that’s never been there before. But now it is. It is and I can feel how easy it would be to run my hand up his arm, to slide my fingers beneath his shirt and hold tight as he pushes me back onto my sun-streaked pillow and his mouth meets mine and—
“I can’t.” I swallow. Bite my lip. Think strong thoughts.
“You could...”
“No, I can’t.” But maybe I….can. Maybe I should. Relationship-death-by-Tucker would certainly put an end to all my angst about Cane. He won’t take me back if I’ve been with another man, and I’d have to tell him I cheated or the guilt would eat me alive.
But is it really cheating if you’re not officially together? Does an invisible man count as a man? If a penis you can’t see falls in the forest is it really a penis at all?

Enter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now enter to win the GRAND PRIZE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, finally, check out all the other blogs on this hop!

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