Saturday, June 30, 2007

I guess I'm it... but what, exactly, am I?

Alright, I’ve been ‘tagged’ by the Queen Goddess of the Sparkly-Handled Crop and I must obey or suffer (or is that enjoy?) the consequences.

Here are the rules:
a. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.
b. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.
c. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Eight book-y things about me…

#1 - I read about 1000 books or more a year. I thought that number sounded absurdly high but I usually read 2-3 books on a normal day (some days I read more depending on time). Needless to say, I don’t read 1000 different books - I do A LOT of re-reading.

#2 - I read in the shower. Yes, it’s bizarre, I’m well aware of that – I’ve been doing it for almost 20 years now though and have it down to a science.

#3 - I began reading adult romances around age 11 or 12. I didn’t even understand some of the sex-scenes but I was hooked! The librarian at our small rural library eyeballed me many times because of my selections.

#4 - The first adult romance I ever read was Silver Angel by Johanna Lindsey.

#5 - I have 10 different library cards – I’ve got ALL of the surrounding cities and suburbs covered – LOL!

#6 - I love audiobooks and I wish ALL books could come out with an (unabridged – I HATE abridged) audio version in addition to the print version. I use them when cleaning or working on home-improvement projects, exercising, running errands, etc. etc. etc. However, audiobooks cannot take the place of reading for me and so I usually read the book before listening to the audio version.

#7 - I’m so anal - I keep the following book-related spreadsheets:
Future books (auto-buy & to-be-considered)
Books from favorite author's backlists that I’m hunting for
Books that I want to read but won’t buy so I'm hoping a library gest them
Authors I like or love divided by sub-genre and degree of enjoyment
Audiobooks available at the library
Audiobooks in my own collection

#8 - I’m an aspiring writer - although, my current story has been shoved aside because of home improvement projects for the last month. *sigh*

I’m tagging:


Yeah, I CAN count! I just don’t know enough ‘bloggers’ yet.

Friday, June 29, 2007

She's no scaredy-cat!

Meet Jaci Burton.
Jaci is a brave author.
She is sending me an ARC.
Despite my nothing-held-back blog-review of Safe Harbor.
You can't help but admire that kind of courage in an author!

I received an e-mail today from Jaci Burton regarding her Hunting the Demon ARC contest. I had forgotten that part of the rules of the contest for the ARC was to have a 'verifiable' blog - not that it would have changed anything posted if I had remembered! When I received her e-mail, I was once again excited to be receiving the ARC and as I was reading it, I realized that she probably visited my blog to verify it today.

Why is this a blog-worthy event you might ask? Because if she read ANYTHING of my blog she knows that I try to be honest in my reviews and that I'm not afraid to say that I didn't like a book and why - especially with my opinion of Safe Harbor now posted. And yet, she is STILL sending me an ARC, which I am free to review any way I desire (after the specified time, of course!). She COULD have made some excuse not to send me an ARC, out of fear that I may say something negative about it but instead she sent an e-mail confirming that an ARC will be heading my way and also included a statment saying she wants an honest reaction and that she respects others opinions.

That's why I say you've got to admire her. She's not just sending the ARC's to people she knows have a history of all good reviews. She is obviously willing to send one to people like me who don't always give positive reviews and that's brave, fair, and AWESOME!

For those of you who don't know who I'm talking about and want to find out more about her hot new Demon series:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Safe Harbor *disappointed sigh*

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I just finished reading Christine Feehan's latest book Safe Harbor and it makes me so sad to say that I was really disappointed. I will probably be in the minority in this opinion - I've already heard that it was really good from several different people but I just have to disagree.

This book does not live up to expectations created by the other books in the series, nor does it do justice to two very interesting characters whose antics livened up many-a-scene in the sisters' books. The portrayal of the Jonas and Hannah didn't feel right when compared with what we've learned/seen in past books and I didn't like them in Safe Harbor. The action between Joley and her SO-obviously intended 'mate' was way more interesting than anything going on between Jonas and Hannah.

I found Safe Harbor to be fairly trite and semi-boring. The plot felt like it stalled several times, especially the suspense. This book had WAY less action but not only that, there wasn't enough going on between the main characters to carry the story forward without dragging. In addition, several of the elements and scenes almost appear to be copy/paste jobs (with a few sentences added) from other books, most noticeably the Ghostwalker series.

Has anyone else noticed that recently Feehan's male characters have become less "powerful alpha male" and more "borderline-scary and controlling"? I have absolutely NO problem with a possessive alpha hero. They're my favorite kind of hero but the heroes in all three of her series' have been getting weirder since Conspiracy Game. Actually, I started noticing it in Dark Secret but it was more obvious in future books. In Safe Harbor, Jonas has several violent outbursts which result in him throwing a fit and destroying entire rooms in the sisters' home, including furniture. That's just kinda disturbing, in my opinion.

Now please, don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad book. It was more.... mediocre and therefore, was a disappointment to me and I can't help but focus on the negative. There were some scenes that many will find touching, if a bit overdone, and the interaction between Joley and her highly mysterious intended 'mate' are intriguing and made me wish for their book ASAP!

Do I recommend this book? Not really. If I had it to do all over again I would have waited for it to be at the used bookstore or even the library.

Is it worth reading? Yeah, I'd say so. If only because it builds on the series, wraps up the whole Hannah/Jonas clash and gives, what I believe to be, broad hints about the futures of the two remaining sisters.

Now I'm off to read Mind Game to remind myself of why Christine Feehan is the queen of paranormal romance and that there is hope for future books.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Nalini Singh's ARC contest - Caressed by Ice!!

IT'S AN ARC!!!!!

Nalini Singh is having an ARC contest for her upcoming book
Caressed by Ice
(psy/changeling series)
due out in September

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Instructions on how to enter are on her blog:

HURRY! The contest ends Friday!

For those of you that haven't read Slave to Sensation or Visions of Heat - RUN don't walk to the bookstore! I REALLY love these books and just can't say enough about them! If you love paranormal romance, you will LOVE these!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Jaci Burton's ARC contest winners

For those of you who entered Jaci Burton's contest for the Hunting the Demon ARC, if you're waiting for an e-mail confirming that you've won - it's not coming.

Awww... now don't look so disappointed. No e-mails are on the way to the winners because EVERYONE WHO ENTERED WON!!!

Yes, you read that right EVERYONE!!


But YOU have to email HER with the information to collect your ARC. So get over to her blog and follow the instructions to claim your ARC!!!!

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Where are all the honest reviews?

Obviously, my blog is so new that those little rubber pointy things are still on the tires. So I've been working on it a little today, mainly adding some links to romance review and news sites.

I'm not big into using 'reviews' to decide what to buy. I count on my own experience, friends recommendations, and excerpts because I don't generally trust the big-name review sites to be honest.

On most of the popular review sites, I find that their taste is either quite opposite of mine - which IS possible since no two people read a book and come away with the exact same reaction - or that positive reviews are being given out pretty much across the board. I just hate that. Why do they even bother? It's so not helpful to readers!

I LOVE reviews that tell me what is great about a book and also what is bad (in the reviewer's opinion, of course). If it's great but has a few issues that bothered you - say so. And if a book is total shit, why lie? BE HONEST! It's only one person's opinion. Other people can take it or leave it. Sites that offer positive reviews all-around benefits the author, the publishers, and the booksellers. NOT the reader that purchases a book based on a glowing recommendation.

As an avid reader, I'd much rather go into a book knowing that there is an element that I might not like but that the rest of the book is basically good. When I'm caught by surprise with something I don't like in the middle of the book it can skew my whole reading experience, it throws me off my stride, but if I'm somewhat prepared then it is easier to overlook the 'problem' and enjoy the rest of the story. My brain notices and dismisses it instead of zeroing in on it.

The real point of this post is that I'm having a horrible time finding review sites that post reviews that I somewhat agree with (because it's my blog and I get to choose. LOL!) or even just sites that I think are being fair and honest in their reviews. From what I've seen... there just aren't that many that are willing to point out the bad too. Most of them read like PR sites for the books.

I'd really love some recommendations for sites with honest info & reviews!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Soul Song by Marjorie M. Liu - I recommend it!

I read Soul Song by Marjorie M. Liu (I was blessed with an ARC).
There were a few surprises and some humorous scenes, such as the one where M'cal and Koni are trying to warm Kit after... *zipping lips* Whoops! Sorry... can't tell... *wicked chuckle

Kit, the heroine is actually Delilah's friend from Tiger's Eye, which I didn't realize until I read Soul Song (they went to the club to listen to her play the 'fiddle' if that jogs your memories). Well, it turns out that Kit has 'powers' of her own, the ability to 'see' future deaths - but only death from murder. She wasn't as 'cool' as I visualized her from her brief appearance in Tiger's Eye, she seemed like a sassy, hip chick then, but in Soul Song she actually seems more set apart from others because of her ability and her desire NOT to see the the future deaths.

I liked Kit a lot, she is both compassionate and determined - actually, I believe stubborn is the description used by others in the book but that works too! She draws the attention of a powerful witch when she attempts to help a woman who's death she foresees.

M'cal is a shapeshifter that is rare, even among his own kind, with the powerful ability of song. He can compel and even kill with his voice but he is enslaved by a witch and forced to use his gift to hunt and steal souls. He is sent (compelled) by the witch to take Kit's soul but he sees the power and beauty of her spirit, hears her rich, vibrant music and struggles to fight the witch’s command. Only Kit has the power, the 'song', inside her to provide him with some relief from the torture but he is afraid that the compulsion will take hold of him and drive him to steal her beautiful soul, leaving an empty shell.

The 'songs' and music are obviously important elements of the story and Liu did an excellent job of describing Kit's inner music and M'cal's song and how these powers worked and interacted both individually and together. The chemistry between the characters is outstanding. It is powerful, deep, and hot. M’cal and Kit begin to rely on and draw strength from each other – they are partners as well as lovers/mates.

This book, much like the others in the series, had a plot individual to these characters while still furthering the story-line of the series. Neither Kit nor M’cal are employed by Dirk & Steele but there are some appearances from past characters that are members of the organization – including shapeshifter Koni who adds humor to many scenes with his slightly sarcastic, dry wit.

As always, Liu has provided an exciting tale of two lost hearts forming an unbreakable bond in a setting filled with danger and a united purpose. Readers will be riveted from the very first paragraph. Be prepared to read this all in one sitting because it will be hard to put down!

You, my book-y friends, know that I'm critical (OK, a jaded bitch) about the books I read. I usually notice several things that don't 'work' for me in any book. However, I can't come up with anything for this book. *gasp* I KNOW... the sun has fallen from the sky, cats and dogs are living in harmony, mass hysteria and chaos in the streets. I thought hard about it too... it was almost a matter of pride to find something wrong with it but this book just worked for me. It was easy to get into, engrossing, and exciting. And hot... did I mention hot? Other than a few small questions, which I can't talk about because they would be definite spoilers, there was nothing that set off my 'spidey senses' LOL!

The release date for Soul Song is July 3rd. WRITE IT DOWN! This is a great book.!

Hot cover, right?
This guy, Nathan Kamp, is appearing on A LOT of romance covers recently. KMM did an interview (audio) with him and also has a photogallery.

ARC's ARC's everywhere ARC's... it's a beautiful thing!

Here's the results from my recent ARC-hunting spree:

Jaci Burton is having a contest for an ARC of the second book in the Demon Hunter series *drooling*. For those of you who haven't discovered the first in the series Surviving Demon Island check it out! It's awesome!Here's the link to Jaci's contest:

Christina Dodd has a contest going for a Touch of Darkness ARC which is the second book in her new paranormal series. The first book Scent of Darkness is out in July! Woohoo!Here's the link to Christina's contest:

Anne Mallory AND Robyn Dehart are giving away two ARC's (their own and each others). So you can actually enter at each site for a chance to win (one winner for each site... does that make sense?)
Anne's link:
Robyn's link:

Carly Phillips is having a contest for a Sealed with a Kiss ARC and the first book in the series Cross My Heart.Here's the link to Carly's contest:

Treasures from the Dark. This is a contest for a WHOLE BUNCH of stuff from some of the Nocturne authors. It's a triva - treasure hunt type contest but it's not too hard. One of the prizes is an ARC from Eve Silver!Here's the link:

Jayne Ann Krentz (aka Amanda Quick) has a contest for an Unabridged audiobook of Second Sight.Here's the link for Jayne's contest:

As always... there is a lot of contest info at too.Here's the link:

Happy entering!! Most of these end within the next week so HURRY!
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