Monday, January 24, 2011

Beautiful Darkness Winner!

I'm so sorry all my entrants for waiting so long after the contest finished to pick the winner for this contest. It's been such a crazy couple of weeks with work that I didn't even get to post anything last week. So, I've finally picked a winner through and out of 213 entries, the much awaited winner of the hardback copy of Beautiful Darkness is number 168:

*drum roll*


YEAH!! Congrats Khyla!
(I've sent you over an email and you have 72 hours to respond.)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Talk To Me Tuesday

This feature is hosted by Melissa over at I Swim for Oceans. It's a weekly meme where we get to discuss literary questions openly and honestly.
This week's question is:

Do you prefer reading books with a male MC or a female MC, and why?

In all honesty, I don't know. I think that it really depends on the author. For instance, although I do love the Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margret Stohl, I think that Ethan isn't quite as male as he aught to be. I think he seems way more like a 30 year old female at times. And although I do enjoy his character (being that I am female and can appreciate it), I don't know if he could necessarily be categorized in the excellent male MC category.

But then, that brings me to Sam from
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. This book, as those who have read it know, that it is told from 2 points of view, one being Sam. His portions of the book were my absolute favorite, even more so than Grace. He isn't the most manly man, but he isn't supposed to be. He is supposed to be sensitive and he is just one of my favorite male MC's in a book.

Also, I loved the male MC from Maze Runner by James Dashner. I think that book would NOT have been as good if it would have been told from a female point of view.

Although, what it really comes down to, it seems as of late, is whether or not I get the lead MC's character or not. I don't have to have any of the same things in common with them, I just have to get them as a character. I have to understand them and
feel their development. I like to read male POV's because there aren't that many, it seems, and I enjoy mixing it up. But, I do enjoy experiencing the story through a female POV, because being female, I feel like it could be me (almost). Like I get to relive certain periods of my life and they are WAY more fun and adventurous the second time around than they were the first, LOL!

I don't know how to really answer the question better than that because I don't necessarily prefer one over the other as long as the character is written well and true to their species. AND most of all, I actually understand the character. I may sway a bit towards the female POV because I'm female and it's fun to read. However, I do love to know what the male mind is thinking. I'd like to think that there is good out there in men, so a good male POV is fun for me too.

How about you, what MC do you prefer??


Friday, January 14, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (January 14-17) & Friday Follow

It's Friday again Ladies & Gents! I don't know about you, but I do love weekends for no other reason than they are weekends. Like they change somehow because they are titled differently.

Anyway, back on topic, Friday means 2 things, Blog Hop & Friday Follow.

Book Blogger Hop

This weeks question is:

Why do you read the genre that you do? Why are you drawn to it?

I prefer to read in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. When I say that, I mean that to cover anything thus related, meaning PNR, UF, DF, Science Fiction (general), dystopian, etc... I think I also prefer if books have some kind of romantic sense to them. Not necessarily the whole book, but a bit at minimum.

Recently I've discovered that I prefer the story/plot of the book to be the main focus and the 2nd to be the romance.

I'm drawn to it because it's different, it's not normal. I live normal every day, I get enough of normal every day. I wish things were more abnormal so to speak. I've always wished magic was possible and that paranormal creatures existed. Yah yah, I'm 27, and I've possibly never fully grown up, but it's more fun to imagine crazy then real life. As I always tell people who ask, it's because life kinda bites most of the time and I read to escape all of that. What better way to escape than to read into what could be if anything was possible?!! The romance portion is because it's fun for me. Plus, I love seeing the relationship blossoming and progressing. It's one of the most fun things about love in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a sappy person in that respect, but it reminds me sometimes of the good in life.

(Sidenote: Although, I do throw in some contemporary fiction to throw off my genre every so often. I get bored with the same thing day in and day out on occasion, same thing with genre. But my bulk is fantasy)

This weeks question is:

What makes up your non-human family?

Sadly enough, only one cat (Lara - she is a pretty black and white with a black chin. She really does have green eyes too, just not AS bright as below. (we rescued her)). I did have a long haired Siamese cat, but he died recently. I would like more, but I live in a 2 bedroom apartment with the Hubby, our 2 kids and his brother. Not really conducive to animal housing.

How about you? What genre's are you into and who makes up your non-human family?


Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts No.2) by Stacia Kane

Title: Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts No.2)
Author: Stacia Kane
Pages: 343
Published: June 22nd, 2010 by Del Rev


For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.

Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they—along with their ruthless employers—are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.(from

Admittedly, this book may have been a bit more frightening than the first. I think it was the scene with the dead cockroaches that did it. Yeah, a ghost book and the cockroaches are what freaked me out. I have issues that I'm not fully willing to admit to *wink wink*. But, this book was still genuinely fabulous.

This second in the series of Downside Ghosts as I said was just freaking AMAZING! I loved it even more than the first and I just can't believe how it turned out in the end. Okay, maybe I can believe it, and maybe Chess had it coming, but come on people, Chess' life up until now has been total and obliterated crap! Bring on the pills! (If you don't know what I' m talking about here, check my review of book one HERE)

Did someone say pills? And oh the drugs there were in this book the second. Stacia Kane never ceases to amaze me with what she comes up with in these books. Especially as far as our dearest Chessie and Terrible are concerned.

In this story, there was a new ghosts, a new threat and might I say a crazy intense withdrawal scene. Which by the way, I'm thinking that Terrible is so awesome that I can't even describe the words for him.

But, back onto this crazy all around review that I'm attempting to produce (not really hitting my mark eh?). We have all of our favorite characters back on the scene, Chess (of course), Terrible (yum), and Lex (lickable). They all play their different roles in the plot and they all play their different roles on my heart strings.

Chess is back with her kick ass witchy self, banishing ghosts and trying to save the hookers. (trying to save the hookers? Oh yeah, that's right!) Hookers from both sides (2 different drug lords) are finding themselves killed at every bend. It was kind of crazy brutal and kind of crazy brilliant. Chess just rocks the scene and I love her for it.

Then of course is my dear Terrible. Who by the way still has me wrapped. He may not be the best looking guy around, but he is definitely the most amazing. I love LOVE love him. And there are some really REALLY good scenes in this one that I definitely wished for more of. Although, that whole scene in the graveyard (for anyone who's read it) kind of drove a spear through my heart for him.

Then there is Lex. Who by the way, although sexy as hell, may be a little bit evil. Not evil as in satanic, but evil as in a seducer of all things female. Yeah, he totally gets his kicks and giggles from turning on the woman. Damn hot men!

To close it up, because in all reality, this review is all over the charts, this book was awesome. I loved every second of it. I loved the emotional roller coaster that Kane put me through, I loved all the scenes that made the characters turn around and wonder what the hell happened to their lives. I loved all the scenes with the epic bouts of honesty and sexual flouncing/tension. I just loved it all and I am in love with Downside, Chess and will always love Terrible. For those who haven't read the series, You must pick it up. Because the dark plot will have you flipped inside out for it's characters and devastatingly original plot. Yeah, it may not be for everyone, being that our main character is a total addict, but she is brilliant and I just love the sic twistedness of it all.

So, if your looking for a book with a dark underlying, a sexy cemetery scene, ghosts galore, animals that can take your soul to the underworld (so to speak), a haunting of a mansion wherein lives some swingers and a story that you won't soon forget, you MUST go get your own copy.


Rating: 5/5 PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket


"Aye, some things ain't easy to move past. No difference how hard you hit, never leaves all the way. Like that? An they wants their fair evens an come back to get it."(Terrible)

She blinked, trying to soothe the stinging in her eyes. "Doesn't work that way, though."(Chess)

"Naw. Ain't can change aught what's already done. Only can try an lose the memory, but ain't can lose it real. So them just keep thinkin on it. Like cars on blocks, don't go nowhere."

His eyes lowered, away from her face to his feet. Chess watched him reach up and rub the back of his neck, watched him pull another cigarette out of his pocket.

"Yeah," she said. "I think that's a lot what it's like for them. For everyone, really."

Water running. Big hands on her head, on her arms. He pressed something cool against her forehead, wiped her face clean. It felt good. It felt amazing. "Chess. C'mon, Chess. You keep aught down?"

Her answer was a sob. Now that he was there, now that she knew he would help her, all she could do was cry.

"Gimme that now." The trash can left her arms. "All be right, aye? Hang on."

"I can't." She fell forward. His broad chest caught her, so hard, so strong, and she huddled against it. Tried to climb into it, to become part of him and never have to be alone again. Cold still clung to his coat, it must have been freezing out there. "I can't, shit I'm sorry, thank you, please help me, please help me thank you so much...please Terrible I'm so sorry..."

He gripped her shoulders and set her back against the wall. For some reason this made her feel even worse. She really was disgusting, wasn't she? He couldn't even bear to look at her. Good thing she hadn't called Lex, then. It hadn't even occurred to her.

Another cramp hit and wiped the thought from her mind She bit her lip and tasted blood. Her stomach roiled again; she lunged for the trash can and threw up. Kept throwing up. then fell to the floor. No strength left to hold herself up. Her hands clawed the carpet. Terrible picked her up, set her against the wall again. "Cool, Chess. Let's get you right up, aye? Gimme your arm."

"What--no, no. No needles, please, no needles..."

"No choice, baby. C'mon. You ain't keep aught down, you ain't swallow no pills. True thing, Chessiebomb. Lemme do this."

"I can't"

"Aye, you can. C'mon. Left me some footprints in that snow outside like an arrow, dig? Ain't got much time afore somebody sees, them security keep the schedule you say."


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kiss of Darkness by Loribelle Hunt

Title: Kiss of Darkness
Author: Loribelle Hunt
Kindle Edition
Published: January 24th, 2011 by Carina Press
Read: January 10th, 2011
(Note: This book may not be appropriate for younger audiences as it contains many scenes of sensuality)
Synopsis: Winter, a hybrid, has spent her life at war. A group of humans who are part demon, the hybrids, along with the lupines and nightwalkers, have dedicated their lives to defeating demons and protecting humanity. Yet, despite their united cause, the three groups share an uneasy alliance.

When hybrid military compounds come under attack from demon insurgents, Winter has no choice but to turn to the lupines and nightwalkers for assistance. It's a partnership based on necessity and she has no intention of letting down her guard with either group.

Marcus, the nightwalker Lord, has other plans. The immediate attraction between him and Winter promises a passion he can't ignore. To claim her as his own, he'll not only have to fight the demons who seem hell-bent on destroying her, but her own misconceptions about him and the nightwalker race. It's a battle he refuses to lose. (from

This one was a hard one for me. Overall, I would say I enjoyed the book, but I had some things that upset me (frustrated me).

I found the concept for the book super interesting. I mean, binding one's soul with that of a demon's is pretty cool. I think that's why I picked it up in the first place, there aren't a lot of books I've read about hybrids and such. So it was fun in that respect. I did like Winter. She was stubborn and strong and could fight and keep up with the rest of them. I'm always about females who can push to the front of the lines and keep their place there.

The hardship I had with this book came in the form of one Nightwalker/vampire. Yeah, he was sexy and downright scintillating, but I have a super hard time with possession and those who must posses their loved ones. I have a hard time with possession because I've been there and it sucks. And although I get the need of vampires and werewolves to be possessive of their mates, this book seemed to bring it in a kind of crazy dose. Like Marcus, the sexy vampire, wanted her submissive and tamed. At first it sounded like he wanted to be able to give her orders and her immediately obey like a little puppy. That bothered me.

I simply cannot stand orders being given, no matter how much someone may love or care about you. It's just not cool, to say the least. I will say this though, in the end, I think Marcus realizes that he won't be able to completely reign her in and he seems okay with it. Winter seems to calm down herself and want to be reigned in a little bit. I didn't believe it as a whole because no one turns around that fast, but it was believable to an extent.

Overall, the book had good pacing and action and I enjoyed different plot points. The writing was good even if I didn't enjoy some of the character traits. But, I will say that I really do want to read the sequel because I would like to find out what happens to some of the other characters. And, the book was definitely action packed and a fun read with demon hunts, war lords, sparring with werewolves and some steamy scenes.

Rating: 3.5/5 PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

I received this book free of charge from Carina Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts No.1) by Stacia Kane

Title: Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts No.1)
Author: Stacia Kane
Pages: 346
Published: May 25th, 2010
Read: January 4th, 2011
Synopsis: The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.

So, I've been waiting a bit to post this review because I didn't know exactly how to get my feelings out. It's weird because at first I had a really hard time starting this book. I think I was going through some kind of slump or something, but now that I've finished it, it was brilliant.

Our main character, Chess, is a total drug addict. Which, I think I may have been skeptical of at first, but in all reality, TOTALLY makes the story what it is. I know that may sound odd, but Chess is a product of a shotty life, and her pills...this massive addiction to's just a part of all of that. I get it. I feel for her in that respect. And weirdly enough, I'm almost jealous that she finds comfort from something even if it is pills (don't worry, I'm not going to go that route myself, but I still totally get it).

But Chess, she is such an amazing character. She has these strengths that she doesn't know she possesses. She is smart and creative and uniquely lovely. Plus, I'm not going to lie, her tattoos kick a$$!

Then there is Terrible. I don't really know how to express my love of this man. He is not your normal male, I tell yah that much. But he is this freaking huge guy, who isn't all that attractive, but has a heart that makes you want to melt into him. Doesn't even matter that he is Chess's drug lord's enforcer, he just has me wrapped all up around his finger. Plus, I absolutely love the way Kane has written his dialogue. (Aye, dig?)

And, I just wanted to momentarily hit on Lex. He seems really sexy, I can't deny my draw to him in some way. Don't get me wrong, he isn't Terrible, but Lex has his own qualities that still make him attractive to the reader.

All this brings me to the plot. What a dark, rich, amazing one it was. It was such a sick world I was dragged into, I couldn't help but love it. With the crazy homicidal ghosts and the drugs and the murders, it was not your normal paranormal world. It was fun and suspenseful and wickedly twisted. I couldn't help but enjoy myself. I'm so freaking glad that I found this book, it is definitely one of my favorite series of 2011! So, if you are looking for wickedly awesome characters with sic twists, Hands of Glory that make people slumber, nightmares that make you want to pee your pants, possession and exorcism at its finest and a cast you can get down and dirty with, you HAVE to go pick up this series. No, I mean now. Go, Run, Get Your Own Copy NOW!

Rating: 5/5 PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
After two Cepts, a hot shower, and one purple Valtruin, it was as though the entire day had never happened. Chess strolled into Trickster's Bar just before one with her face set in a permasmile and her body feeling as though it existed on another planet where nothing had ever happened. Not like this world. Not like the stuff she had to tell Terrible about before she could head off....
"Your brain ain't recharge itself." he peered at her a little more closely. "How long since you slept right?" (Terrible)

"I never sleep." (Chess)

"You look like you ain't been sleeping at all, not like usual."

"I'm fine." How long had it bee, really? Only a few days. And she'd been doing so much speed, a lot more than normal. "I'm fine," she said again.

He raised and eyebrow, but didn't respond. "So this thing, he attached to that book? He what slipknot's soul powering?"

She nodded.

"Bump wanting an update. He--he's getting on the impatient side, dig. Wanting me to bring you in to him, find out when you plan on clearing all up."

"Impatient?" She was so high she actually smiled a little. "Did he tell you to lean on me?"

Terrible shrugged, but wouldn't look at her. There was her answer. "Getting impatient, is all."

"Shit. Ain't even know you can do that shit with magic, for real an all."(Terrible)

"It's just energy," she said. "Everything has energy, you know? it's just a matter of how you use it, whether you have the ability to use it. The more power you are the more you can do." (Chess)

"So them made this, they powerful."

She nodded. Fear slid down her raw throat; fear not just at what they were facing, but at the reminder that some of that power was her power, thanks to the stupid blood connection. A mishmash hybrid ghost comprised of sick and evil, mad e stronger by her own blood. And nothing to do but fight it.

Speaking of which..."Want to wash that all down the sink and come lurk menacingly in front of a dull suburban family?"

His face broke into a grin. "Lead the way."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Kiss Test by Shannon McKelden

Title: The Kiss Test
Author: Shannon McKelden
Kindle e-book
Published: 10/11/2010
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

Margo Gentry's life is perfect. She loves her job as a DJ for Manhattan's only country music station, and she has a great boyfriend who accepts her need to avoid marriage and tolerates her Elvis obsession-even the velvet Elvis painting in their bedroom.

But then it all falls apart. The radio station changes formats and fires all the DJs. Margo's boyfriend decides he wants kids and a house in the suburbs and kicks her to the curb. And to top it all off, her Mom is getting married-for the 11th time! -and expects Margo to be there as maid of honor.

With no job and no place to live, Margo has to bunk on the couch of her best friend, Chris, whose revolving bedroom door has played host to half the women in New York-at least, the ones who pass his "kiss test." Worse, he's insisting she attend her mother's wedding, and he's personally driving her cross-country to ensure she shows up.

Forget about surviving the road trip-can their friendship survive The Kiss Test?(from

In all honesty, I really had no idea what to expect when I started this book. I kind of picked it because I really liked the cover and I love books where best friends realize they love each other.

So, all that being said, I really did love this book. It was different and fun and there were some super funny parts that had me laughing out loud. I don't know if all of you readers have quite figured this out yet, but I always love to add in a little bit of contemporary fiction to swerve my genre reads. This book was a nice change in pace for me.

Our main character, Margo, I could relate with. Not that I'm necessarily a marriage hating fiend (although, even though married, I just may be *wink*), but I could understand her frustrations. I could understand her thoughts and feelings about wanting to be her own person and not wanting to hurt or get hurt. Now, there is a whole lot more to those feelings that we find out along the way, but, I could understand her. I loved how she was always willing to stand on her own two feet and how she could kick it to the man if necessary.

Chris, the best friend, was an interesting character. I didn't quite know how to read him at first. Don't get me wrong, I knew that I liked him, I just didn't know if he was the self absorbed hottie or the hottie who gets all the woman, but isn't a hothead about it. Having read the book, I'd go with the latter. I loved Chris and his character in this book. He was not only a sexy bit a man flesh, but he had personality and charisma. Which, yeah he used more often than not to bring the chicks to his bed, but I could always tell that he cared for Margo. Even if those feelings may have been only best friend feelings, he still always cared for her above others, and that I really loved about him.

Really, the only thing I didn't truly get in the book was Margo's unadulterated obsession with Elvis. Possibly because I think he is just alright, but I don't necessarily think it was Elvis that was the point as much as that she be loved in spite of it.

But, I thought the plot flowed and paced nicely and I really did care for the characters that McKelden wrote. They were flawed and funny and I needed a little bit of love in my life the night I read this. I needed a good story with a happy ending to cheer and brighten up my day. And that is exactly what I got.

So, if any of you are looking for a cute story with some love and romance, a cross country road trip with a sexy man in a Jeep (not a car mind you, a Jeep) and a really steamy scene in the outskirts of my favorite state in the nation, Arizona, than you really should pick up this book. I recommend it for those who enjoy Adult Contemporary Fiction with Romance thrown in.

Rating: 4/5 PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket


...Rob never took his eyes off the screen as his fingers tapped out unintelligible words and symbols. He did spit out the pencil though before speaking. "I'm rearchitecting the hardware abstraction layer in the proprietary OS my client ships in their wireless devices to deconflict some API naming schemas."

I blinked, hoping somewhere, on some level, to someone, that made sense, and it wasn't an indication my brother had started dabbling in drugs.

...Jeff snapped off a bunch more shots, miming directions to me about where to put my hands, how to turn my head, when to flick my hair just so. I am not a natural-born hairflicker, so that step required repeated demonstrations on Jeff's part.
I yanked up my shorts and started to climb down, only to be swamped by a wave of dizziness. Chris stopped laughing for ten seconds to catch me, returning me to the floor.

"You are so dead." I stomped past him out of the bathroom. "You and Case are going to rot in hell for this."

"It's just a tattoo."

It has your name on it!"

"Lot's of women get tattoos with guys' names on them. Doesn't Angelina Jolie have a tattoo that says Billy Bob?"

"Angelina Jolie was married to Billy Bob at the time. Don't you think it's more than a little weird to have my best friend's name tattooed on me?"...

...You are so going to pay," I said turning back when I reached the bathroom door. "You have three more weeks of me--"

I stopped midsentence and gasped. Chris didn't notice, because he was too busy being a man and thinking everything was a big joke. Well, I had a surefire was to put a stop to his mirth.

I dumped my clothes on the floor and walked up behind him, giving him a shove.

"Hey," he protested, still chuckling. "No violence."

"Remember that in about five seconds," I snapped giving him another push and lining him up with the bureau mirror. "Take a look at that, smart man." I reached up and yanked off the bandage covering his right shoulder blade. His sharp intake of breath told me his tattoo hurt much like mine.

He swiveled his head to peer in the mirror. I saw his eyes widen in his reflection. He backed up another foot until his thighs bumped on the bureau and leaned close tot he mirror.

"Does that say--"

"Margo." I folded my hands across my chest and waited for it to sink in that he now sported my name in black--surrounded by a red haeart, with lovely white wings. He wouldn't find the situation nearly so funny now that he had his own damn explaining to do every time he had sex for the rest of his life.

"Son of a bicth," he muttered.

I grinned with satisfaction, glad to have proven my point.

Chris promptly burst into hysterics again. He laughed until he finally had to collapse on the bed to keep from falling.

"You are such a moron."

"Ah, but I'm your moron," he pointed out. "The tattoos say so."

I received this book free of charge from Carina Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Challenges

Okay, I'm a bit late, but here are my 2011 Challenges. Cannot wait!! I'm so excited!

Steampunkery & Book Reviews

Steampunkery & Book Reviews

Cover Love Challenge

I'll prolly add more later, but this is it for now.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Giveaway - Signed Copy of Sinful by Sara Dailey and Sara Weber

Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know about a giveaway we have going on at my group blog
For The Love of Reading
It's for a signed copy of Sinful by Sara Dailey and Staci Weber. You don't have to be a follower to enter, so head on over there and check it out. You can click the button above or click the link

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