Sunday, December 30, 2012

Week in Review 12/30/12




What went on in my life:
Christmas, family, fun and then back to work. It was a great holiday spent with my family.  I have to admit to being slightly bah humbug going into the holiday but once it was here I was fully into it and enjoyed every minute. It was stressful, busy yet a lot of fun.  It was a wonderful Merry Christmas and for those of you who celebrate Christmas I hope yours was wonderful as well.  Above was my big surprise from my parents, my husband got a bike as well. We spent 4 days on Ocracoke this past summer and loved it and now have a chance to spend Easter week there this coming year. The best way to get around is by bike so my parents surprised us with bikes.  I see several day trips over there in our future as well.  If you don't know about Ocracoke, NC, I suggest you google it and learn about this tiny gem of an island.  It's a two-hour ferry ride from our house, but it's a blast once you get there.  Bumper stickers read "Slow down you're on island time" and once you stay you fully understand. I love it for the great food (there is an awesome taco stand), the interesting and friendly people, and the relaxing pace of life.  Easter can't get here soon enough for me.

How was your week?

What I read (links take you to my reviews or to Goodreads page):
Tempting the Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon (review) - This was a great read, wonderful romance with great characters using two people attracted to each other, one working for the other makes this very interesting. Review coming this week
 

What I received (links take you to Goodreads page):
The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe - from the publisher, Disney Hyperion, release date 2/12/13, my review 2/15/13.
Mind Games by Kiersten White - from Amazon Vine, release date 2/19/13, review 2/19/13.
Risk by Jamie Freveletti - From the publisher, William Morrow through Edelweiss, published 12/4/12, review as soon as possible.

What I'm Reading Now:
Fall From Grace (Mad World #1) by Christine Zolendz (mine) - I left my Fire at home when I went to the gym and this was downloaded on my Kindle app on my phone so I started it and was hooked. It's great so far and I should finish it later tonight.

Imitation in Death by J.D. Robb (audiobook) - I'm 3/4 of the way through this and it's great, I think I'll listen to the next one as soon as I finish this one.




What are you reading?



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Faith by Heather Bixler Blast


Faith - 4 Week Mini Bible Study

In this four week mini Bible Study you will examine your faith and what it means to have faith in God. He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20 Our faith begins with what we know and believe about God. Our faith will carry us how far we are willing to let it take us. Faith is a choice and we need to begin by choosing to believe in Jesus and His power to move mountains, heal the sick, and save us from all our sins through His sacrifice on the cross. When we believe in God we then learn to walk in faith and trust God. But first we must believe, and it's up to us, we can either choose to believe in Him or not. But faith will mean nothing until we believe with all our heart that God is who He says He is.


Praise for Faith
Don't have time to read a long book on faith? This study will give you simple tools to understand faith and help you to develop a closer relationship with God. ~Lorilyn Roberts

This is a great book that allows you to start looking deeper into faith. I love the fact that there is a lot of scripture reference so one can look into the Bible and further study the word. ~Shraon

This study was a wonderful lift to my faith. I encourage others to take this short journey to an increased faith. ~Shirley Strait



Purchase




Author Heather Bixler

Heather is a Christian Stay at home homeschooling mom of three, married to a firefighter, and a writer. She is founder of www.CSAHM.com among other websites for Christian mothers, and women. Heather is passionate about sharing God's word in a practical and loving way.






Blog * Twitter *  Facebook





BookBlast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/3/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



a Rafflecopter giveaway
 


Sunday, December 23, 2012

2013 Audio Book Challenge


I love audio books so I can't wait to join in this challenge.  I'll be joining at the Lover level.  More information from Teresa's Reading Corner below.  Please visit her site to find out more and to sign up.  I'll list my books here as I listen to them.

Welcome to the Original Audio Book Challenge. This challenge is for Audio Book lovers as well as those who are brand new to them.
There are five levels to the challenge
  • Flirting-Listen to 6 Audio Books
  • Going Steady- Listen to 12 Audio Books
  • Lover- Listen to 25 Audio Books
  • Married-Listen to more than 25 Audio Books
  • You Define the Relationship- Create your own challenge (choose your own name and level starting as low or going as high as you’d like)
This is a fairly laid back challenge and I want it to be as enjoyable as possible.
  • Audio Books can be any genre
  • You can cross challenges
  • You don’t have to be a blogger to participate. You can tell us about what you are listening to in the comments of the monthly link up.
There will be a monthly link up so that we can share what we’ve listened to and make suggestions to each other.

I hope I’ve enticed you to join in the 2013 Audio Book Challenge. I’m really looking forward to reading your reviews and experiences over the next year.
Official Challenge dates: 1/1/2013-12/31/2013

  1. Imitation in Death by J.D. Robb
  2. Divided in Death by J.D. Robb
  3. Vixen by Jillian Larkin
  4. Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  5. Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich


Week In Review 12/23/12




What went on in my life:
My son turned 12 this week, that's him at our favorite local Mexican place after they sang to him!  This is why I don't really concentrate on Christmas until after the 19th, now I feel I can settle down and celebrate Christmas.  Oh my house has been decorated (all but the tree) but I just don't get in the spirit until after I know he has had a wonderful birthday.  So Wednesday was busy and it was a crazy week with one kid getting out of school on Tuesday and the other on Thursday and finishing up Christmas shopping for us and for my in-laws.  And last minute prep for breakfast at our house on Christmas morning, but it all seems to be falling into place. 

How was your week?

What I read (links take you to my reviews or to Goodreads page):
Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson (library)- This did not disappoint, one of the better installments in the last few years. A page turner, read this on our rainy Sunday and it was really enjoyable.
All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen (review) - This one is from Entangled Teen and I was excited to read it and was not disappointed in the least.
Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep (review) - I love the Mythos Academy and had this for review and interview with Jennifer this past Friday. I was excited to approach Jennifer about participating in her blog tour after reading her newsletter and she agreed :)  Make sure you check out the link and enter the giveaway when you check out my review!
 

What I received (links take you to Goodreads page):
Real Men Don't Break Hearts by Coleen Kwan - received from Entangled Publishing, released December 10, I'll be reviewing 1/16/13.
Dark Tide by Elizabeth Haynes - through Edelweiss, from Harper, release date 3/12/13, review date 3/8/13.
Kaylee's Ghost by Rochelle Shapiro- received from the author, already released, my review is planned for 2/11/13 unless I can get to it sooner because it sounds like a great book.
Wuthering Nights by Emily Bronte and I.J. Miller - received from Grand Central Publishing, through Netgalley, release date 1/29/13, review 1/25/13.
The Seventh Victim by Mary Burton - received from Joan Schulhafer Publishing and Media Consulting, releases 2/5/13, review and Q&A with Mary on 2/7/13.
Immortal Craving by Kendra Leigh Castle - received from Grand Central Publishing through Netgalley, release date 1/29/13, review  1/30/13.
Midnight Secrets by Ella Grace - received from Ballantine Books through Edelweiss. Pub date 4/30/13, review 4/26/13.
Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks - received from Ballantine Books through Edelweiss. Pub date 3/19/13, review 3/19/13.
Guilt: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman - received from Ballantine Books through Edelweiss. Pub date 2/12/13, review 2/13/13.
The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen - received from Ballantine Books through Edelweiss. Pub date 6/4/13, review 5/29/13.
Tempting the Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon - received from Forever Yours ebooks, Pub date 12/18/12, review as soon as I can, it's another one I can't wait to read.
Forbidden Sister by V.C. Andrews (Book One) - received from Gallery Books, out in Hardcover and Paperback on 2/26/13. Review 2/18/13.
Taken by Kelly Maine - received from Forever Books, through NetGalley, Pub 1/8/13, review as soon as I can.
No Take Backs (A Taken novella) by Kelly Maine - received from Forever Books, through NetGalley, Pub 1/29/13, review as soon as I can.
Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley -  received from Forever Books, through NetGalley, Pub 12/18/12, review as soon as I can.
Wild Man by Kristen Ashley -  received from Forever Books, through NetGalley, Pub 12/18/12, review as soon as I can.
The Forgotten Queen by D.L.Bogdon - received from Kensington through NetGalley, Pub 1/29/12, review as part of Historical Fiction Blog Tours on 1/23/13 and interview with the author on 1/24/13.
Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe - received from Flux Books through NetGalley, Pub 5/8/13, review 5/8/13.
Sweet 16 to Life by Kimberly Reid - received from K-Teen/Dafina (Kensington) through NetGalley, Pub 1/29/13, review 2/1/13.
A Passion for Life by Sylvia Day - received from Kensington through NetGalley, Pub 1/29/13, review as soon as possible.
From Ashes by Molly McAdams - received from William Morrow, it's out in ebook now, out in paperback 4/16/13, my review will be soon because as soon as I read this description I knew I wanted to read it.  Yes for some reason I'm into the love triangle thing right now.  It's all Thoughtless' fault!
Afterwife by Polly Williams - received from Berkley Trade, release 12/31/12, review as soon as I can.
Tidal by Emily Snow - bought with my first bit of Christmas money (I can pretty much promise a lot of my Christmas money will go to Amazon gift cards, hey ebooks don't take up space!)  I'm really into the New Adult craze right now :)
Serpent's Kiss by Melissa de la Cruz - I enjoyed the first book in this series (The Beauchamp Family) and looked today and this was down to $1.99 for Kindle so I grabbed it!
Unravel Me by Kendall Ryan - another title on my Kindle wishlist that was down in price a little bit so I had to grab it.  Hey it called to me! 
After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson - I really like Scott as a person and author.  No I've never met him, but he's a NC person and that makes me like him and we've emailed.  Again this one was $0.99 for a limited time and it's post-apocalyptic, what's not to like?

What I'm Reading Now:

Serpent's Kiss by Melissa de la Cruz (mine, ebook)- I enjoyed the first book in this series and bought it this week so I decided to start it.
Black City by Elizabeth Richards (library) - I've been wanting to read this so I was excited when my library got it in.
Imitation in Death by J.D. Robb (audiobook) - I realized I haven't read one of her books in awhile and it was time to read one.  I love these on audio.


Some Books that Piqued My Interest this Week (links take you to Goodreads page):
Thought I Knew You by Kate Moretti - saw the review for this one on Rainy Day Ramblings and it sounds really good, it's now on my wishlist.
Tempestuous by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes - I read an interview with author Amy Helmes at The Cheap Reader and it intrigued me about this book and it's been added to my wishlist. Good thing I know my FIL is giving me money for Christmas, I think it will all go to an Amazon Gift card for books for my Fire!

What are you reading?



2013 Where Are You Reading Challenge


I haven't participated in this one before, but it looks like a fun one to try.  So I'm going to give it a go, I love to read about different states so trying to read about all 50 should be great.  Here's some of the information from Book Journey:

3rd year running and OH I love this challenge!  As the host of the weekly What Are you reading meme, I find it awesome that I get to host the WHERE Are You Reading Challenge each year.  What is the point of this challenge?  It is to try to read in each of the 50 States between January 1 2013 – December 31, 2013.

How do you decide what state a book is categorized under?

1.  In a fiction read it would be the State or Country that the book spends the most time in.  (Ie. If your main character is from Wisconsin but the book is all about his/her time in college in California – the books should categorize under California….)
2.  Non fiction reads categorize  in whatever State or Country it is about (Ie…. a book about fly fishing in Colorado is a Colorado point, and a book about women in Afghanistan is an Afghanistan point.
3.  If the book goes from one state to another… go with the state that most of the time is spent.

Once you are ready and have your map set up please create a blog post (those who have blogs) using the Challenge picture of the map I provided above as well as link to this post so others may join in.  Then come back and link that post here to Mr Linky (below) so I as well as other participants know that you are participating and we can pop in throughout the year to check out your map and how we are all doing.  I will post a linky at the end of each month so participants can check in with their own post of how they are doing.  I will offer a $10 amazon gift card to one lucky participant who does a check in post at the end of each month and links it.


This is actually a fun and easy challenge as all books you read qualify and it will be fun to see where you generally read books from as well as searching out books to fill in areas that you need.
For those who have covered the 50 states by the end of 2013, they will go into a drawing for a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble or to Amazon.  **  All other areas beyond the 50 states are bonus points and we will have a drawing using random.org for those who read 10 or more books throughout 2013 in that category.

You can see my map I worked on in 2011 here to see what the map looks like and how the pictures link to the reviews.  (If you zoom in you will see the individual areas I read in and clicking on the blue pins will show you what book it was and clicking on the picture will take you to the post!

That’s it!  Here is a link to tips on how to do it.  Any other questions – please leave them in the comments section below. 
 
More information and sign-ups can be found at  Book Journey.



View 2013 Where Are You Reading Challenge in a larger map


50 States:

CA: Yours At Midnight by Robin Bielman 
TX: Chance of a Lifetime by Jodi Thomas 
NY: Imitation in Death by J.D. Robb
MO : Vanished by Irene Hannon
IL:  Mind Games by Kiersten White
 


2013 Ebook Challenge

It's that time of year, time to join challenges and as I have been reading more and more on my Fire, this is just the challenge for me!  Here's the information from workadayreads.com

The 2013 Ebook Challenge. Encouraging readers to expand past just physical books to embrace ebooks in all forms, whether on Kindle, Kobo, computer, or any other reader.
Challenge Guidelines:
  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 – Dec 31, 2013.
  2. Anyone can join, you don’t need to be a blogger. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to sign-up in the comments. You can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc).
  3. Any genre or length of book counts, as long as it is in ebook format.
  4. You can plan your books in advance or as you read them.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the E-Book Reading Challenge.
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2013, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
Levels:
  1. Floppy disk – 5 ebooks
  2. CD – 10 ebooks
  3. DVD – 25 ebooks
  4. Memory stick – 50 ebooks
  5. Hard drive – 75 ebooks
  6. Server – 100 ebooks
  7. Human brain – 150 ebooks
I'm joining at Level 4, with hope to go higher.  I'll list the books here.
  1. Yours at Midnight by Robin Bielman
  2. Vanished by Irene Hannon  
  3. Saving Grace by Christine Zolendz 
  4. The Look of Love by Bella Andre 
  5. From This Moment On by Bella Andre 
  6. The Next Forever by Lisa Burstein
  7. Tempting Acquisitions by Addison Fox
  8. Recipe for Satisfaction by Gina Gordon
  9. The Seventh Victim by Mary Burton
  10. Frosted by Wendy Sparrow
  11. Melting the Millionaire's Heart by Linda Morris
  12. Vanilla on Top by C.J. Ellison
  13. Temptation by Kathryn Barrett
  14. Luck of the Draw by Kelley Vitollo
  15. Hysteria by Megan Miranda
  16. Bittersweet Blood by Nina Croft
  17. Seven Night Stand by Nicole Helm
  18. The Valentine Challenge by Marisa Cleveland
  19. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  20. Neverfall by Ashton Brodi
  21. Everbound by Ashton Brodi
  22. Private Practice by Samanthe Beck
  23. A Little Bit Cupid by Jennifer Shirk
  24. With This Kiss Part 1, 2 &3 by Eloisa James
  25. From Here to Eternity by Paige Cuccaro
  26. Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  27. Dream Dark by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  28. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  29. Enslaved by Shoshanna Evers
  30. Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd
  31. Abby Road by Ophelia London
  32. Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  33. Unseen by Karin Slaughter
  34. Because I am Yours part 8 by Beth Kery
  35. The Offering by Angela Hunt
  36. SEAL of Honor by Tonya Burrows
  37. That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon



2013 A to Z Reading Challenge

I love this challenge.  I thought I joined last year, but I either mislabeled or I can't find the post, I'm going to do some more digging, but no matter, I'm joining for 2013.  Here's the info from Lori's site:

Technical Stuff
This challenge will run from January 1st, 2012 until December 31st, 2013.
You can join anytime.
Crossovers to other challenges are allowed and encouraged! 
So there are two different ways you can set up your own A-Z challenge.
A – Make a list now of 26 books, picking one for each letter of the alphabet. For example: A – The Azalea Assault B- Blue Monday C – Crops and Robbers D – A Deadly Grind etc.
OR
B – How I plan to do it: Make a list on your blog from A-Z. Throughout the year, as you go along, add the books you are reading to the list. Hope that by the end of the year you have read one book for each letter. Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find books to fit.

I plan on joining at the B level.  I'll add books as I read them.

Ready to join??  Click on the button above or go to: http://www.escapewithdollycas.com/challenges-2/2013-a-z-challenge/


A - Abby Road by Ophelia London
B - Bittersweet Blood by Nina Croft
C - Chance of a Lifetime by Jodi Thomas
D - Divided in Death by J.D. Robb
E - Easter Bunny Murder by Leslie Meier
F - From This Moment On by Bella Andre
G - Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz
H - Hidden by P.C. Cast
I - Imitation in Death by J.D. Robb
J -
K -
L - The Look of Love by Bella Andre
M - Mind Games by Kiersten White
N - The Next Forever by Lisa Burstein
O - The Offering by Angela Hunt
P - The Prince by Kiera Cass
Q -
R - Recipe for Satisfaction by Gina Gordon
S - Saving Grace by Christine Zolendz
T - Tempting Acquisitions by Addison Fox
U - Unseen by Karin Slaughter
V - Vanished by Irene Hannon
W - With this Kiss by Eloisa James (Part 1, 2 & 3)
X -
Y - Yours at Midnight by Robin Bielman
Z -




Friday, December 21, 2012

Author Interview, Review and Giveaway: Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep (Mythos Academy #4)

Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: December 24, 2012
Paperback, 384 pages
Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal
 ISBN: 9780758281463
Mythos Academy #4





Interview with Jennifer Estep



What three things do you need in order to write?
JE: I need my computer, my wireless mouse, and some quiet time to write.
 
What's your favorite season?
JE: I like fall and winter the best. I love the warm days and cool nights of fall, and then snow in the winter.
 
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
JE: I think it would be cool to go to Alaska. That’s one place that I’ve always wanted to go. Maybe I’ll get there someday.
 
What your favorite treat at Christmas?
JE: I love dessert, so I love all the sweets at Christmas, especially things like chocolate cake and chocolate fudge.
 
What's the first sentence of Crimson Frost?
JE: The first sentence of Crimson Frost is: “I have a confession to make.”
 
Tell us what is Crimson Frost about.
JE: Crimson Frost is the fourth book in my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

In Crimson Frost, Gwen is put on trial for crimes that she didn’t commit, so she has to deal with that, as well as figuring out what the bad guys are up to. Basically, the book and the series are about myths, magic, and monsters.


Dish, who’s your favorite character?
JE: Vic, Gwen’s talking sword, is one of my favorite characters to write. He’s just so snarky and so full of attitude. He’s a lot of fun for me to write.
Crystal: I like Vic too, he has this voice in my head, and it's always been clear.  I just find that funny. I love his snarkiness, now I want a snarky sword :)
 
As a NC girl myself, what made you choose Asheville for the setting for the Mythos Academy?
JE: I thought the area would be a cool setting for the book, so that’s why I came up with the fictional town of Cypress Mountain, where the academy is located.
 
What can we expect next from you?
JE: Crimson Frost will be out on Dec. 24. Midnight Frost, the fifth book in my Mythos Academy series, is set to be published in August 2013. Folks can visit my website at www.jenniferestep.com for more information on my books.
 
Thanks Jennifer!
JE: Thanks for hosting me on your blog. I appreciate it. Happy reading, everyone!



My Review:
Another high-octane installment in the Mythos Academy series, Crimson Frost starts with Logan and Gwen's first date that goes all wrong and the end result has Gwen on trial for setting Loki loose. Gwen and her friends know she didn't do it, but can they prove it in time to save her?

I loved this book. I have loved this series from the start. I adore Gwen and her "not-so-sure about herself" self. I love that she has friends that will stick with her through thick and thin and I love that she has a snarky sword that Jennifer mentions in my interview with her.  I love that all of this can tie together in book after book and keep me reading.  I will confess to being scared before I read this. I read a review that kind of scared me, but then I read the book myself and found out that that review did not apply to me. Again we're all different.  I felt this book was fresh even though it did have Gwen on trial and reviewed things she had done.  I felt the characters continued to grow and were more developed and as most of you know that is one of my favorite things.  And it added some characters as well.  There was a lot of fresh material, and plenty to keep you interested from beginning to end.

The action definitely keeps the book moving.  This is another example where my husband was watching You Tube videos and usually I am easily distracted, but I was so absorbed in Crimson Frost I was able to tune out all that was going on around me.  That is the mark of a truly good book to me.  Ms. Estep brought me right into Mythos Academy and among Gwen and her friends and gave me a front row seat.  I was hooked from the first page until the last and I will be eagerly awaiting Midnight Frost.  Do I really have to wait until August?

If you enjoy the Mythos Academy books, then this is another solid installment that reveals more about the world and the characters.  The writing and pacing is solid.  The book is intriguing and very hard to put down once you start.  And it will leave you eager for the next book in the series.  Thank you Ms. Estep for another entertaining book in this series!


My Rating: 4.75/5.0


About the Book:
For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself…


About the Author (from Goodreads.com): 
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series for Pocket. Books in the series are SPIDER'S BITE, WEB OF LIES, VENOM, TANGLED THREADS, SPIDER'S REVENGE, BY A THREAD, and WIDOW'S WEB. THREAD OF DEATH, an e-novella, is also available.

HAINTS AND HOBWEBS: AN ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN SHORT STORY can be found in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE.

DEADLY STING, the eighth book, is set to be released on March 26, 2013.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington.

Books in the series are TOUCH OF FROST, KISS OF FROST, and DARK FROST. CRIMSON FROST, the fourth book, is set to be released on Dec. 24, 2012.

FIRST FROST, a prequel e-story to the series, is available as a download. HALLOWEEN FROST, an e-short story, is available in the ENTANGLED e-anthology.

Jennifer is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series. Books in the superhero-themed series are KARMA GIRL, HOT MAMA, JINX, and NIGHTINGALE. A KARMA GIRL CHRISTMAS, an e-story, is also available.

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Blog

Giveaway:
Thanks to Jennifer, I have one copy of Crimson Frost (paperback) to give away (US only).  Just use the Rafflecopter below.  Ends 12/31, I'm giving this one a little more time due to the busy holiday season. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


FTC Information: I received this book from the author through her publisher for an honest review. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Review: Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

Publisher: Kensington
Pub Date: May 29, 2012
Paperback, 352 pages
ISBN: 9780758266965
Mythos Academy #3


My Review:
Snarky swords, insecure yet coming into her own heroine, hunky hero-to-be (maybe), a sweets baking grandma with mad skills and then really bad guys who are out to let the ultimate bad guy free. I think that's the makings of a good book, don't you?

Dark Frost is another solid installment into the Mythos Academy series. I started the book and quickly found myself absorbed into the story. I was back at the academy and the surrounding town with Gwen, Logan, Daphne, Carson, Gwen's Grandma and the assortment of teachers and other students at the academy. And we are sucked right back into the story. This time Gwen is on the hunt to find the Helheim Dagger before the Reapers find it and set Loki free.

Lots of action, more character development with Gwen, Logan and Daphne too. Some more backstory is brought out and the story continues to move forward at breakneck speed. I don't want to give anything away so I'll just say that I thought the pacing was spot on. Never a dull moment.  Things also get a little more dark in this one.  The characters were great with more development as I mentioned and I found the story line interesting and it left me satisfied yet ready for book four, Crimson Frost which comes out in December 2012.

Another excellent installment with a few new faces and of course the old ones. Lots of surprises and excitement in this one to keep you turning the pages. If you like this series, then keep reading, you will enjoy this one and be anxious for Crimson Frost as well!

Stay tuned tomorrow for an interview with Jennifer, my review of Crimson Frost, and a giveaway of Crimson Frost.

My rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
I've seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I'm supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I'm just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me again. Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I'm also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can't use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me and I'm in for the fight of my life.

About the Author (from Goodreads.com): 
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series for Pocket. Books in the series are SPIDER'S BITE, WEB OF LIES, VENOM, TANGLED THREADS, SPIDER'S REVENGE, BY A THREAD, and WIDOW'S WEB. THREAD OF DEATH, an e-novella, is also available.

HAINTS AND HOBWEBS: AN ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN SHORT STORY can be found in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE.

DEADLY STING, the eighth book, is set to be released on March 26, 2013.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington.

Books in the series are TOUCH OF FROST, KISS OF FROST, and DARK FROST. CRIMSON FROST, the fourth book, is set to be released on Dec. 24, 2012.

FIRST FROST, a prequel e-story to the series, is available as a download. HALLOWEEN FROST, an e-short story, is available in the ENTANGLED e-anthology.

Jennifer is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series. Books in the superhero-themed series are KARMA GIRL, HOT MAMA, JINX, and NIGHTINGALE. A KARMA GIRL CHRISTMAS, an e-story, is also available.

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***I won this book in a giveaway, therefore my opionions are of my own volition.  ***

Recipe Special: Lara's Church Lady Maple Cookies (compliments of author Mary Burton)




Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review: All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publish Date: December 11, 2012
ebook, 304 pages
Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
 ISBN: 9780761462750





My Review:
I'm not sure I can do justice to this book and not give anything away.  I loved this.  It enthralled me, I did not want to put it down and when I had to put it down to sleep, go to work, cook, you know do all those mundane things, I could not wait to pick it back up again to find out more about Liv.

Liv is intriguing from the start. She awakes from the coma and does not recognize her Mom or her Dad and has no real memories.  So of course the reader, being me, was intrigued and wanted to know more.  Ms. Madsen then proceeded to give me more in little bits and pieces through dreams and things that Liv remembers at various times, but are they true?  Liv isn't sure, I wasn't sure.  Thankfully to keep her from going crazy Liv has Spencer to lean on.  But of course things aren't that simple.  Liv is also trying to walk the line between being friends (and possibly more) with Spencer and remaining with the popular crowd that seems to have singled her out from the first day.  I like how Ms. Madsen used typical high school situations as a backdrop in this book while Liv is trying to figure out who she is.  It made it all the more powerful to me.  Spencer is also a great character and friend for Liv because he has demons of his own and to find out more about him, you must read the book. But I will tell you I loved Spencer even though I wanted to choke him at times.

The plot speeds along with the memories, and Liv and Spencer's friendship growing against the backdrop of fitting in or not fitting in at high school.  I enjoyed every page of this book.  Though I felt the ending was just a bit rushed, I still felt it was a satisfactory and bombshell conclusion that was fitting of how the book was paced and plotted.  When I walked away from this I was kind of sad it was over, but happy with the conclusion of the book.

All the Broken Pieces was a stellar contemporary Young Adult novel to me.  It was suspenseful, it had romance (and not a love triangle) and an interesting premise.  It's an interesting novel about finding yourself even beyond the amnesia angle and that's one of the reasons I loved it.  The amnesia just added to it to make it suspenseful.  If I read books for a second time, this would quickly go on my list to read again, it was just that good to me.  So check it out if the premise interests you, I don't think you will find your time wasted while reading this one and I think you will find a new author to add to you shelf when you are done like I have.


My Rating: 4.75/5.0


About the Book:
What if your life wasn’t your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?


About the Author (from Goodreads.com): 
Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

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FTC Information: I received this book from Entangled Publishing for an honest review. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Review: Political Suicide by Michael Palmer

Political Suicide by Michael Palmer
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: December 11, 2012
Hardcover, 384 pages
Fiction, Suspense
 ISBN: 9780312587550
Lou Welcome #2 (but reads as a stand-alone)





buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
My Review:
I have enjoyed Michael Palmer books in the past so I was thrilled to accept Political Suicide for review.  One of my first loves is adult suspense reads and while I believe Michael started with medical thrillers, he has branched out into more political-type suspense thrillers.  This is military centered and is a definite thriller.  While it is the second book to feature main character Dr. Lou Welcome, it does not have to be read in order, I have not read in Oath of Office (I did get it from the library to read next) but I did not feel the least bit lost reading Political Suicide.

The characters are fascinating in Political Suicide.  Dr. Lou Welcome is the center of the book.  He is brought in to help his friend and the doctor that he is helping in the program he is involved in, Dr. Gary McHugh who is accused of murder of a Congressman who's wife he was sleeping with.  But there is more to the story than meets the eye.  Along with Lou there is also Sarah, Gary's attorney who I really enjoyed getting to know.  Both characters were really great and interesting and well-developed and worked really well in the story.  I liked how well they fit in the story and how they never felt forced.

The plot is captivating.  It starts with a bang and never quits.  It keeps delivering new twists and turns with each turn of the page.  I could not put it down.  I loved that this one was slightly different. No serial killers, I liked the elite military angle.  A little scary but definitely interesting and mind-blowing at the same time.  Mr. Palmer paces this one perfectly to keep your interest and not give too much away too soon.  You know what is going on, but you really can't guess what is coming next, or at least I couldn't.  I really like how this book is done and how it all turns out.

I love Dr. Lou Welcome, he has a great moral compass, he's a good friend, and he has a sense of humor.  He really  makes the book.  This is definitely one of my favorite suspense books of the year just based on the great characters and the interesting premise.  Pick it up, it's a new release from last week (don't let goodreads throw you, it's out now) and it would make a great Christmas present for the suspense lover in your life or for yourself.  Hey we all deserve a great book!


My Rating: 5.0/5.0


About the Book:

From The New York Times bestselling author of Oath of Office comes a gripping thriller at the crossroads of politics and medicine

Dr. Lou Welcome, from Palmer's bestselling Oath of Office, is back in this heart stopping medical thriller. A desperate phone call embroils Lou in scandal and murder involving Dr. Gary McHugh, known around the Capital as the “society doc.” Lou has been supervising McHugh, formerly a black-out drinker, through his work with the Physician Wellness Office.  McHugh has been very cavalier about his recovery, barely attending AA and refusing a sponsor. But Lou sees progress, and the two men are becoming friends. Now, McHugh has been found unconscious in his wrecked car after visiting a patient of his, the powerful Congressman Elias Colston, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Soon after McHugh awakens in the hospital ER, Colston's wife returns home to find her husband shot dead in their garage. She then admits to the police that she had just broken off a long-standing affair with McHugh.

Something about McHugh's story has Lou believing he is telling the truth, that the Congressman was dead when he arrived and before he blacked out. Lou agrees to look into matters, but when he encounters motive, method and opportunity he is hard pressed to believe in his friend—that is until a deadly high-level conspiracy begins to unravel, and Lou acquires information that makes him the next target.


About the Author (from Goodreads.com): 
Michael Palmer, M.D., is the author of the forthcoming A Heartbeat Away (2011), The Last Surgeon, The First Patient, The Fifth Vial, The Society, Fatal, The Patient, Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages. He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals, spent twenty years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine, and is now an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society's physician health program.

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FTC Information: I received this book from Lizzie McQuillan at Scratch Marketing + Media for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week in Review 12/16/12




What went on in my life:
We were in our local parade last Sunday (it's our friend's daughter's truck not ours), then it was pretty much a normal week. I had flare-up issues again so it was a good reading week. I made progress on gift-buying for the boys who have been next-to-impossible to buy for this year. I have a little more buying to do, but I am mostly done. Now all that is left is to finish cleaning the house in preparation for Christmas celebration of my husband's family at our house on Christmas morning.  But first I hope the repairman can fix our oven before then so I can make the super-easy overnight french toast I always make.  So please send good vibes for the repairman tomorrow.  I thought that free Jenn Air stove was a blessing last year, but now I'm not thinking it is so much ;)

How was your week?

What I read (links take you to my reviews or to Goodreads page):
Heaven's Fury by Stephen Frey (library) -I haven't read Stephen Frey in awhile and decided to pick this one up. It was pretty good. Hope to review it in the next week or so.
A Million Suns by Beth Revis, Across the Universe #2 (library) -Oh my gosh, this was so great and I was so relieved to see the third book comes out next month. I don't think I could have waited much longer.  Review to come, but there was no second book lag in this one!
Baby It's Cold Outside by Heidi Rice, Amy Andrews, Kate Hardy and Aimee Carson (review) - what a great Christmas/New Year's romance anthology. I loved this, check out my review and giveaway.
All-Together Dead by Charlaine Harris, Sookie Stackhouse #7 (audiobook) - Pretty good, I love the audios of these and all entertain, not one of the best, but a so-so Sookie book is still a worthwhile read!
Political Suicide by Michael Palmer (review) - I received this for review and have read Michael Palmer in the past, and let me tell you this did not disappoint.  I loved this book. Good characters and great plot twists. Review on Monday or Tuesday.

What I received (links take you to Goodreads page):
S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline - through Edelweiss from Broadway (a division of Random House), publishes February 5, 2013, review 2/5/13.
The Impossibility of Tomorrow by Avery Williams - through Edelweiss from Simon and Schuster  Books for Young Readers, on sale 6/4/13, review 6/4/13
A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy - through Edelweiss from Knopf, this is an author I have been meaning to read for a long time so I am excited to get this for review, on sale 2/12/13, review 2/8/13
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay - through Edelweiss from Atria Books, I read a review of this one and it sounds really good, on sale 6/4/13, my review 5/31/13.
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash - ARC from William Morrow , on sale 1/22/13, review 1/18/13
Reckless by S.C. Stephens - SQUEEE!!! - ARC from Gallery Books (Simon and Schuster) and I was so excited to get this one, now I can read Effortless!  Releases 3/5/13, review 3/1/13

Vicious Circle, Hallowed Circle, Fatal Circle, Arcane Circle, and Wicked Circle by Linda Robertson - from Pocket Books. I'm very excited to receive the whole series in preparation for release of the sixth book, Shattered Circle (which I should receive soon) on 1/29/13.  Look for my reviews of each of these books between now and the end of January.

What I'm Reading Now:
Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson (library)- I love Alex Cross and continue to read the books every year.
All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen (review) - This one is from Entangled Teen and I'm excited to read it, my review will be coming this week.
Imitation in Death by J.D. Robb (audiobook) - I realized I haven't read one of her books in awhile and it was time to read one.  I love these on audio.



What are you reading?