Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February's Did Not Finish Post

True Crime and serial killers are normally my thing.  Especially when it's well written and well researched like this one.  Maybe I was just in a bad mood or maybe I was just in the mood for something else.  I got about a quarter of the way through it and moved on to lighter topics.  One issue I had with this book was that I had a really hard time keeping all the names straight and who everyone was, but that's hardly the author's fault.  When you're writing true crime you can't go in and rename everyone.

I really wish there would have been a disclaimer on After the Snow that said something like: "This book is written just like The Knife of Never Letting Go".  Then I would have known not to read it.  I tried to red The Knife and put it down because I didn't like the way it was written.  This book is written in a similar a stream of consciousness, but in a broken English kind of way.  The premise looked really good so I was kinda bummed out that I didn't enjoy it.

French Lessons just didn't hold my interest.  Simple As That!  Nothing else wrong with it as far as I could tell.  I maybe got 10% through it and decided it was totally boring and I wasn't going to waste my time with it when I had about a bajillion other books I could be reading.

The Boy in the Suitcase was another one that I just sort of trailed off on.  I got about halfway through it and had to put it down for something else.  I decided I wasn't interested enough in it to pick it back up.  That kind of surprised me because I had been looking forward to reading it since I first heard about it last summer and I love the Scandinavian writers.

The Flame Alphabet has caused a lot of turmoil for me.  That might be a little dramatic, but I was really looking forward to this book.  Look at that awesome cover art.  The idea behind the story was really cool.  The speech of children was killing their parents.  Wow!  What an idea.  Then I started reading the book and it was like the writing of the author was killing me.  THAT's being a little dramatic, but seriously it was just boring.  I didn't care for the main character, I didn't like the way he interacted or felt about his daughter.  I didn't like his daughter period.  His wife was basically useless throughout most of the book.  I couldn't exactly tell how the writer felt about Jewish people.  In the book he had them in hiding worshipping alone in holes in the ground, but without any real explanation as to why.  They weren't allowed to talk to each other about what they learned in the holes.  It was just all really weird.  It kept making me think about Fight Club for some reason.  THEN...I started checking out Goodreads to see what other people were thinking.  Big mistake.  There were people that were attacking the people that didn't like the book.  What the heck??  It made me not want to finish the book even more. 

Under the Never Sky looked very interesting to both me and Autumn, so we decided to try it for a joint review.  Sadly, neither of us could get past the first few chapters.  I had a really hard time understanding what was going on.  Normally, I like dystopian novels (and I'm not even sure this qualifies as that), but I also like to have a hint as to what happened to change the world into what it has become.  I like the hint to be within the first few chapters so that I can orient myself. I never got that in this novel. I was having a hard time picturing anything about the "realms" and as Autumn put it, the alternate language was very off putting.  I just had to give up on it.

When Summer House became available for download from my library, I thought is looked like it might be a pretty good book.  Hey, at least I can say I tried, right?  Once I got to the part with the part where Helen overheard her husband speaking to his mistress on the phone, I had to shut it off.  The woman was spineless and just let it go like nothing was wrong.  Hello?  The guy is cheating on you and you do nothing?  The other characters weren't in the least bit interesting and I just knew it wasn't going to hold my interest for long. I also didn't care for the narrator on this one.  Her voices annoyed me.

I have had Fallen on my MP3 player for a while.  I finally decided to give it a try when I had nothing else that I HAD to listen to.  I saw that it got very mixed reviews on Goodreads, but that has usually never stopped me before.  I turned it off after the first disc.  I just couldn't take the teen angst.  OK... a gorgeous guy flips you off and you suddenly want to be with him?  I could see where this was going and was just not wanting to take the journey with the characters. I can only take so much teen angst and I could see the potential for a love triangle. No thanks.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap into Books Giveaway

This blog hop is hosted by Kathy and Jinky.  You are at stop #106 on the blog hop.  The full listing of participating blogs can be found here.

We will be giving away:

Pack #1 -1 PB copy of Dating the Undead Gena Showalter & Jill Monroe and 1 PB copy of My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent

 Pack #2 -YA Pack 1 ARC of Struck by Jennifer Bosworth and 1 ARC of Various Positions by Martha Schabas

To Enter Please fill out the form below:

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

by:  Joshilyn Jackson
published by:  Grand Central Publishing
publish date:  January 25, 2012

A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women's shared past--and who will stop at nothing to defend their future.

I discovered Joshilyn Jackson last year and quickly read most of her books.  They are some best Southern fiction you'll find.  When I first heard about this book coming out it went straight to the top of my wish list.  I was not disappointed.

I listened to the audiobook.  Joshilyn Jackson herself narrated this one.  This is a treat because unlike some writers (*cough cough Stephen King cough*) that can't narrate audiobooks, Joshilyn Jackson is awesome at it.  She's got a sweet little voice that's perfect for the story that she's telling and she knows how she wants her characters to act and speak so it makes for fantastic audiobook.

My favorite character in this book was a surprise to me.  I loved Liza.  She was a stroke victim and was mostly paralyzed throughout the book, but she was a little spitfire.  Her original personality wasn't destroyed by the stroke and it still showed with the little tricks she played.  Liza was a fun character throughout the whole book.

This is one of those books that I think has potential to have wide appeal.  Even though this is primarily marketed towards the adult fiction crowd I think the characters are youthful enough to draw in some of the YA crowd.  If you haven't given Joshilyn Jackson a shot yet, this is a great book to start with.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Little Taste of the Hot Bod Series by Lacey Wolfe

Today, we welcome author Lacey Wolfe who is promoting the first two books in her Hot Bod Series: Fool Me Once and More Than Useful.

So, sit back and enjoy a little taste of what each book offers.  Keep reading after this post for my take on both books.

Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc
Date of Publication: December 2011

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

Drew is the last person Skylar wanted to see across from her at a local bar. A month ago he'd wined and dined her all weekend, leaving her feeling fully in love, but then she awoke alone in an empty hotel room and she hadn't heard from him since.

The weekend Drew spent with Skylar was phenomenal. There had never been anyone who made him feel as complete as she did. He shouldn't have disappeared, he should have called, but his feelings for her scared him, so he distanced himself. But when he saw her again, he knew he couldn't stay away any longer.

Skylar's determined not to give Drew another chance to hurt her, but he's just as determined to win her back. Although it won't be easy, he's up to the challenge, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goal.

Buy Links: Amazon / Nook / BeachwalkPress_AllRomance / Bookstrand

Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc
Date of Publication: February 2012

Can she settle for just a little fun?

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning Adam stops by Amy's bakery for one of her delicious muffins…and a little flirting. When he finally asks her out, Amy is thrilled.

Adam informs her from the beginning that he isn't looking for anything serious. Just a little fun. Amy agrees, even though she isn't entirely sure that's what she wants.

She does her best to play it cool, but Adam is sending so many mixed signals he's confusing her, which she finds incredibly frustrating.

Adam is terrified by the feelings he's developing for Amy. It would be so much easier if he just backed away from her. Then there's his sister, who is insisting that Amy is not the right girl for him.

Will Adam be able to figure out what his heart desires before it's too late and he loses his chance at true happiness?

Content Warning: explicit sex

And now for a little sneak peek...
Fool Me Once

What the hell was he doing there? Skylar was finished with her aerobics class. Grabbing a bottle of water and squirting some in her mouth, she checked her schedule. She had an hour before her next class. That meant she had an hour to figure out what he was doing at this gym.
Taking a towel, she wrapped it around her neck and wiped off the sweat. She headed out of the room, intent on finding him. He was easy to spot. He was in the cardio area, in the back row like a typical man, watching the ladies' butts jiggle as they worked out. Rolling her eyes, she started his way.

"Hi, Drew," she said sweetly.

He turned off his machine and grabbed his water bottle. She watched as he touched it to his full lips, taking in a long sip.

"If you're done, do you mind following me so we can talk a minute?" she asked. She knew a confrontation in the middle of the gym wouldn't look good for either her or the business.


Spinning around, she headed toward the staff only break room. Once there she stepped aside so he could come in. Luckily the place was empty. She shut the door and locked it.

"What are you doing here?" She placed her hands on her hips, trying to portray she was irritated by him, when all she really wanted was to feel his mouth on her again.

"Honestly, I had no idea you would be here."

"Yeah, and I should believe that. I haven't seen you in a month until last night and then today you show up at my work place."

He took a seat, clearly worn out from his run. "My company just switched gyms. I was having a tough morning, so I wanted to blow off some steam by taking a run."

"Sounds convenient," she retorted.

"Shit, I didn't know you would be here. It's a plus though." He eyed her belly, and she imagined his tongue there, licking her sweat off.

Silence filled the room. She didn't know whether to believe him or not. His explanation sounded logical, and she would hate to think fate worked this out. Fate was what she first thought brought him into her life to begin with. He seemed so perfect for her. When they made love, it was so hot it almost seemed like sparks were flying off their bodies. At least at the time she considered it making love. Now she knew it was just sex to him, nothing more.

"Come here." He motioned to her.

She snickered. "I don't think so."

"Please, I just want to feel you again."

"Ain't happening, buddy. You had your chance." She knew all she had to do was resist him; that was the hardest part.

He reached out, grabbed her arm, and pulled her to him. Yanking away from him, she took a step backward.

"Come on, Sky, I know you still have feelings for me."

"Oh, I definitely have feelings for you, just not the ones you're hoping for."

He chuckled. "You know, there's a thin line between love and hate."

"That line is pretty thick for me."

"I'm not so sure."

"I am." At least she hoped.

He stood, closing in on her. As he stepped toward her, she found herself once again flat against the wall. Shit, how does this keep happening? His mouth was too close for comfort. Her eyes drifted to it for just a second, knowing it was a mistake.

"This is not a good idea," she whispered. Desire stirred in her.

"I want to have you. I need to have you. You're all I have wanted."

Placing her hands on his toned chest, she pushed him back. "You're not doing this to me again, got it?"

"I will win you back," he said.

More Then Useful

Amy walked to the sliding glass door and peered out. An unfamiliar blue sports car pulled up. Biting her lip, she watched as it parked in front of her building. Out stepped Adam. Good God, he was hot, wearing dark jeans and a white button-down shirt. He walked with confidence radiating off his body as he approached her building. A knock sounded on her door and slowly she crossed the living room. Trying hard to gather the courage to answer, she wiped her palms together and counted to three.

As she opened the door and saw him standing there she was speechless. His eyes sparkled and as he smiled she noticed a dimple on his right cheek. An urge came over her to kiss him. It took everything in her not to yank him in by his shirt and throw him onto the couch.

"You look beautiful," he said.

"You look g-great too," she stuttered, wanting to kick herself. "Uh, you want to come in for a moment?"

"Sure." He stepped into the apartment.

"My roommate isn't here. Can I get you a drink?"

"You got any whisky?" He laughed.

"Uh." She wasn't sure what to say.

"Sorry, I'm just nervous. Thought it might take the edge off."

She smiled. "Me too, maybe we both should take a shot to get over our nerves."

She went into the kitchen, grabbed a stool, and climbed up. Opening the cabinet above the fridge, she pulled down a bottle of Jack and two shot glasses. A warmth crept up behind her. His hand was then on her waist.

"Don't want you to fall." He spoke in a raspy tone.

She said nothing, just tried to concentrate on not passing out. One small touch on her lower back sent tingles shooting through her whole body. She was already feeling moist between her legs.

Climbing down, she set the whisky on the counter. Amy unscrewed the top and then filled each glass halfway. Picking both shots up, she turned and handed one to him. He let his fingers linger against hers a moment. If she wasn't careful they wouldn't be leaving this apartment.

"Count of three?" he asked.

She nodded.

"One, two, three."

Each put their glass to their lips, eyes on one another, and tipped the glass up. The liquid was warm as it slid down Amy's throat. Hopefully this would calm her nerves and hormones.

"Can't say I've ever done a shot with my date before we went out," he said as he set the glass down.

"Yeah, this is new for me too."

Her head was already starting to get a little cloudy. Damn, she hadn't eaten since lunch. There was nothing to absorb the alcohol. She just might be feeling real good, real soon.

"This might be forward, but if I don't kiss you before we go out, it's all I'll think about." He looked longingly into her eyes and grabbed a hold of her waist, tugging her against his chest.

Without any hesitation she leaned forward, letting her lips press into his. Her eyes closed as his mouth took hers, lightly at first. She expected the kiss to be short and sweet but urgency took over her. She tangled her fingers into his hair and thrust her tongue into his warm mouth with a strong desire to taste the whiskey on his breath.

Blog Tour: Review of The Hot Bod Series 1 & 2 by Lacey Wolfe

Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc
Date of Publication: December 2011

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

Drew is the last person Skylar wanted to see across from her at a local bar. A month ago he'd wined and dined her all weekend, leaving her feeling fully in love, but then she awoke alone in an empty hotel room and she hadn't heard from him since.

The weekend Drew spent with Skylar was phenomenal. There had never been anyone who made him feel as complete as she did. He shouldn't have disappeared, he should have called, but his feelings for her scared him, so he distanced himself. But when he saw her again, he knew he couldn't stay away any longer.

Skylar's determined not to give Drew another chance to hurt her, but he's just as determined to win her back. Although it won't be easy, he's up to the challenge, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goal.

My Take:

I enjoyed this one.  Drew and Skylar are so meant for each other.  It just takes Drew a little more time to figure that out than it does the rest of us.  Even though it was a short story, I felt like I had enough back story to really know the characters.  I liked Skylar and respected her.  I could understand her reluctance to want to get back into a relationship with Drew.  The guy keeps leaving her!  Ms. Wolfe knows how to write a steamy love scene and the ones between Drew and Skylar definitely sizzle!  Definitely pick this one up!

Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc
Date of Publication: February 2012

Can she settle for just a little fun?

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning Adam stops by Amy's bakery for one of her delicious muffins…and a little flirting. When he finally asks her out, Amy is thrilled.

Adam informs her from the beginning that he isn't looking for anything serious. Just a little fun. Amy agrees, even though she isn't entirely sure that's what she wants.

She does her best to play it cool, but Adam is sending so many mixed signals he's confusing her, which she finds incredibly frustrating.

Adam is terrified by the feelings he's developing for Amy. It would be so much easier if he just backed away from her. Then there's his sister, who is insisting that Amy is not the right girl for him.

Will Adam be able to figure out what his heart desires before it's too late and he loses his chance at true happiness?

My Take: 

More Than Useful is just as good as the first in the series, Fool Me Once.  The attraction and tension between Adam and Amy is so strong that you can't wait to see them together. I loved the scene where he FINALLY asks her out on a date.  It was too cute!  As I was reading, I was so not liking Adam though.  I felt like he kept stringing her along.  She lasted far longer than I would have !  He did redeem himself in the end, so I I don't hate him anymore!  I loved their HEA!

I look forward to the next one in the series.  I hope it is Francesca's story!

About the author:

It's always been my dream to be a writer. Ever sense I was a child, creating stories has been a passion of mine. I have always said that one day I would be an author. Finally, I am working on this dream of mine. I have two children who have been keeping me busy for the past 7 years. My youngest is starting pre-k this year and I have more time for me and to concentrate on what I want out of this life. So I am picking up pen and paper...well I guess keyboard and screen, and working on this dream. It isn't going to be easy. There will be many ups and downs, but I am ready. I know this dream will come true, my mom told me so, "You can be anything you want to be when you grow up." Thanks mom, here goes nothing!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

North of Need by Laura Kaye

Author: Laura Kaye
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Date of publication: November 2011

Her tears called a powerful snow god to life, but only her love can grant the humanity he craves… 

Desperate to escape agonizing memories of Christmas past, twenty-nine-year-old widow Megan Snow builds a snow family outside the mountain cabin she once shared with her husband, realizing too late that she’s recreated the very thing she’ll never have. 

Called to life by Megan’s tears, snow god Owen Winters appears unconscious on her doorstep in the midst of a raging blizzard. As she nurses him to health, Owen finds unexpected solace in her company and unimagined pleasure in the warmth of her body, and vows to win her heart for a chance at humanity. 

Megan is drawn to Owen’s mismatched eyes, otherworldly masculinity, and enthusiasm for the littlest things. But this Christmas miracle comes with an expiration—before the snow melts and the temperature rises, Megan must let go of her widow’s grief and learn to trust love again, or she’ll lose Owen forever.

North of Need is a unique take on the "Frosty the Snowman" story.  Although, I'm not sure any woman in their right mind would want to share this hunky snow god with the town.   I would want to keep him all to myself!  Megan lost her beloved husband 2 years earlier on Christmas Day. Answering her tears, Owen is sent to help overcome her grief and start living again. Neither of them expected to find new life in each other.  

I enjoyed this book. Owen is a great character. While he is a powerful god, he is still very gentle and sweet with Megan.  He is also too cute when it comes to his discovery of ice cream. I think the thing the appealed to me the most about Megan was that she didn't rush into loving Owen right away.  She worked through her grief and fears of losing another man before she was ready to declare her love for him.  In the end, that made me believe her feelings  for him.  They have great chemistry together and boy does is sizzle off the pages!

The only thing that I felt was missing from the book was more information behind the mythology of the gods.  This is the first in a series, so hopefully the later books will touch on this aspect.    It looks like the next book, West of Want, comes out this summer.  I'll be keeping my eye out for it!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Next Always by Nora Roberts

Author: Nora Roberts
Publisher: Berkeley Publishing Group
Audiobook publisher: Brilliance Audio
Date of publication: November 2011

The historic hotel in BoonsBoro, Maryland, has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect of the family, Beckett’s social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen…

Who doesn't like a new book by Nora Roberts?  Sure, they are formulaic at times, but I think that is why I like them so much.  I know what I am getting when I open the book.  I can always count on Nora for a sweet and sigh worthy read. The Next Always is the first in a new series featuring the Montgomery brothers.  They are carpenters and contractors who are working to bring back an old inn in the center of town back to life.  The first book is filled with romance, friendship, and even a ghost.   

I loved Beckett and Clare.  Their romance was very sweet.  Beckett is so cute.  I loved how he got tongue-tied around Clare, a woman he has been in love with since they were 15.  He wants to take things slow with Clare, but she has other plans.  Clare is raising her 3 boys alone after her husband was killed in the war. She is a strong person yet a little unsure of getting back into the dating game. The her ruse to get him on the house after their first real date was priceless.  I loved the interactions between Beckett and the boys during their "Man nights".  Too cute.

As in most of Nora's books, there is a great set of peripheral characters who will most likely be the focus of the rest of the trilogy.  The banter between Beckett and his brothers is funny and genuine.  I look forward to the next book which looks like it is Owen and Avery's story.  I also want to know more about the ghost named "Lizzie" that seems to be haunting the Inn.  

The audiobook was great.  I loved the narrator.  Real book or audio, you won't want to miss this one!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Blog tour - Review:The Book of Lost Fragrances by M. J. Rose

Author: M. J. Rose
Publisher: Atria Books
Date of Publication: March 13, 2012

A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra—and lost for 2,000 years. 

Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances—and of her mother’s suicide—she moves to America, leaving the company in the hands of her brother Robbie. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing—leaving a dead body in his wake—Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind. 

Back in Paris to investigate her brother’s disappearance, Jac discovers a secret the House of L’Etoile has been hiding since 1799: a scent that unlocks the mysteries of reincarnation. The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.

The Book of Lost Fragrances is the latest in the reincarnation series.  I really enjoyed the last one, The Hypnotist and reviewed it last year.  I was really looking forward to this one.  The premise sounded intriguing.  I really wanted to love this one.  But in the end, it was just OK for me. 

I liked the premise of the story.  The idea of past lives has always been interesting to me and did tie into the whole story nicely.  I also liked the information about the history and art of making fragrances.   But the pacing was off for me and I had a hard time getting through the story. There were too many changes in point of view and it felt disjointed at times.   For me, there was too much packed into this book.  While it wasn't my favorite read, I think there are likable parts to the story. I did enjoy the end and felt satisfied with how it ended.  Try it out for yourself.

About the author:

M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her next novel THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES (Atria/S&S) will be published in March 2012.  Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio.  Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors -  The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype.  She is also the co-founder of and

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE. You can also find her on Facebook.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Charade by Sandra Brown

Author: Sandra Brown
First published in 1995 by Hachette Books

A medical miracle gives TV personality Cat Delaney more than a new heart. With her second chance at life Cat trades Hollywood for San Antonio, where she hosts a TV show for children with special needs. Here she meets Alex Pierce, an ex-cop turned crime writer-and the first man to see her as a woman since her surgery. But her new world turns sinister when fatal "accidents" begin killing other heart recipients, and a mysterious stalker starts shadowing her every move. Soon Cat realizes Alex may-or may not-be her most important ally and that her new heart comes at a terrible price: a tangled web of secrets and someone determined to take her life.

This was a great book!  Just when I thought I had the whole story figured out, Ms. Brown threw another curve my way.  I have to admit that the beginning as a bit confusing.  The story begins by hopping around to a few different stories and they seem be disconnected.  I always try to trust in the author and I was glad I did.  Stick with it because it all makes sense in the end.  

I liked Cat's character.  She is a survivor and turns her sucess into something for the good.  I loved her and Alex together.  Their attraction was instant and steamy from the start.  I loved Alex.  He is so the typical writer and is the first person to like Cat for who she is, not because she is a star or a transplantee.  

I listened to the audiobook and I loved the narrator! This one will keep you guessing.  Try it out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spontaneous by Joe Harris

by:  Joe Harris, Brett Weldele
published by:  Oni Press
publish date:  Feb 22, 2012

Phenomenon, conspiracy, or delusion?
"Kelvin" Melvin Reyes was only three years old when Spontaneous Human Combustion took his father from him. He's since devoted his life to exploring the mystery behind the phenomenon, searching for a pattern and predictors that he might save others from that same fiery fate.
But the closer he gets to his goal, the further things lead down a well of secrets, horrors, and terrible truths.
Is SHC real? And, if so, can it be stopped?
Somehow I completely missed that this was a graphic novel, otherwise I might not have requested it.  It's not a style I particularly care to read.  I was drawn to the title and the subject matter.  I'm going to make a deep dark confession here...when I was in high school I was convinced I was going to die of Spontaneous Human Combustion.  Not really sure where that idea came from but it was there.  So I was curious what this book had to say about it.
Spontaneous was an interesting story.  I can't say I understood what was going on all the time, but it was engaging enough to keep me going.  The artwork was well done and creative.  Overall, my first graphic novel experience was a positive one, but I still don't think they're my thing.

If you've never tried reading a graphic novel, give it a shot, see what you think.  And by the way, I did grow out of my fear of SHC  :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blog Tour: An Alpha’s Path by Carrie Ann Ryan

Today, we welcome author, Carrie Ann Ryan who is promoting her novella, An Alpha's Path.
Welcome Carrie!

Author: Carrie Ann Ryan
Publisher: Self
Date of Publication: December 1, 2011

Melanie is a twenty-five year old chemist who has spent all of her adult life slaving at school. With her PhD in hand, she's to start her dream job, but before she does, her friend persuades her to relax and try to live again. A blind date set up through her friends seems like the perfect solution. Melanie can take one night away from the lab and let her inner vixen out on a fixed blind date - a chance to get crazy with a perfect stranger. The gorgeous hunk she's to meet exceeds her wildest dreams – but he is more than what he appears and Melanie's analytical mind goes into overdrive. 

Kade, a slightly older werewolf (at over one hundred years), needs a night way from the Pack. Too many responsibilities and one near miss with a potential mate made Kade hide in his work, the only peace he can find. His brother convinces him to meet the sexy woman for a one night of fun. What could it hurt? But when he finds this woman could be his mate, can he convince her to leave her orderly, sane world and be with him and his wolf-half, for life?

My take:

An Alpha's Path is a really quick read.  While I enjoyed it, I felt like it was a teaser book to get me interested in the series.  I wanted to know more about Kade and his family as well as the Redwood Pack and the mythology in this world of werewolves.  I can assure you that I have the next book, A Taste for a Mate, in my TBR pile!  Ms. Ryan has a very nicely written story on her hands.  This is definitely would fall into the erotica category.  The sex scenes are very sexy and tastefully written. 

I loved the characters.  Kade may be an alpha, but seeing him blush and get flustered when questioned about his date with Melanie was just too sweet.  I liked Melanie and I honestly couldn't blame her for the decision she refuses to make.  I probably would need to take a step back as well were I in her shoes.  Still, I was rooting for their HEA! Definitely give this one a try!  I look forward to the rest of the series.

Carrie Ann writes:

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today!

Finding Her Alpha Hero

            What makes an Alpha Hero? Sadly, I don’t think we can go to a caldron and add in a touch of assertiveness, a dash of protectiveness, a tsp of washboard abs, and a Tbs of a deep voice. Oh, but if we could. Yum.

            There are many types of Alpha Heroes in books out there. So many in fact that if you looked hard enough, you could find your perfect mate. That’s the great thing about romance, there’s always something different that could touch your heart.

            Kade is an Alpha male, though he isn’t Alpha of his Pack – yet. He’s strong, loyal, dammed sexy, and an actual nice guy. *sigh* He takes care of his own – and that include Melanie.

You see, he didn’t want to find a mate when he went on this blind date. He’d just lost one to another guy, why would he want to go through that torment again? But in walks a blonde goddess.
Melanie is a sarcastic chemist who really isn’t good at dating. She’s never had time. But before she starts a new job, she’s forced on a blind date.

In walks Kade, in his prowling, green-eyed glory.

Now I don’t want to give too much away, but they are perfect for one another. They’ll balance each other out and fight along the way. Melanie isn’t your typical kick-ass heroine, but she does have her own opinions and might not give up everything for a guy who can make her swoon. (Oh Kade did make me swoon, just saying)

Kade is Alpha, but is he a stubborn one or one who actually can see both sides of the coin? I won’t tell you, it came as a surprise to me actually. Kade has his own voice, deep as it is.

But when you read a book and find an Alpha Hero, you may find one of a different flavor. And that’s okay. Alpha’s take care of you, they love you, and  they protect you, even if you don’t need it. Let them in and have them say for just awhile. I promise you’ll enjoy it.

Thank you so much for letting me come by today! I love Kade and Melanie and I hope you get a chance to see why.

About the author:

Carrie Ann Ryan is a paranormal and contemporary romance author. Her first book, An Alpha's Path, is the first book in her Redwood Pack series. She's also an avid reader and lover of romance and fiction novels. She love meeting new authors and new worlds. Any recommendations you have are appreciated. Carrie Ann lives in New England with her husband and two kittens.

Carrie Ann loves hearing from readers. You can find her at:

Twitter: @CarrieAnnRyan

Guest Blog & Review: Embraced by Rebecca Royce

Please welcome back author, Rebecca Royce, who is promoting her book Embraced (The Conditioned #2).

Publisher: Self
Date of publication: November 2011

Benedicte Lavelle is a single father raising two small daughters. When his neighbors put him in charge of handling the haunting that plagues their neighborhood, he has no choice but to use disreputable means in order to bring in a Conditioned ghost hunter to help with their problem. He doesn’t expect to be drawn to the young woman who arrives at his house in chains. He doesn’t expect to have his entire life thrown into upheaval when she is snatched away.

Conditioned prisoner Seven-Two-Four has never had a name. She cannot read, and is scheduled to die as soon as she is returned to the Institution. The Conditioned are not considered human, but Seven can see ghost energy and she can love Ben like no one ever has before.

When fate takes Seven from Ben’s arms, can he move on and find a new purpose in life or will he be forever trapped by the need to rescue those like his lost love?

My take:

Embraced is the second in The Conditioned series by Rebecca Royce.  I reviewed the first in the series, Eye Contact back in November. What I did like about the book was that there was more information about the Conditioned and how things have changed for them since the first book. Madame was intriguing, even if she was evil.  Who doesn't like a good villain? It is interesting the the institutions choose a conditioned person to keep the others in line.  I also liked more of a glimpse into Guy and his cause from the island.

While I did enjoy this one, I'm not sure I felt the connection between Benedicte and Seven.  It wasn't as strong as in the first book.  Mainly the reason is that the characters don't spend much time together and then there is a gap of 5 years before they see each other again.  Also, I liked Seven's character more after the 5 year separation.  I felt like her character fit Benedicte better.  

Embraced is a good addition to the series.  I hope that the next book is Roman's. For a fierce Fury, he is still a sweet guy and needs his own HEA!  Pick up both books, I think they are great.

Rebecca writes:

As I am writing this blog post, I am sitting on the couch next to my husband and Christmas Vacation is on television.  This is one of his favorite movies and it’s become a bit of a tradition in our home to have it on a lot during the cold months of the year.  My children, ages 6, 4, and 2 don’t yet enjoy this film.  I think they’re just a little bit too young to truly enjoy it or maybe they just haven’t had enough really tense holidays yet. (And for that, I’ll give myself credit.)

I can’t help but think of my characters in Embraced who are Conditioned. They don’t get to have traditions.  Their lives are, from the moment they are caught or turned in, are all about service, helping the very people who keep them institutionalized, who deny them their very human rights.

But you cannot deny the power of love and these stories are examples of that.  In this world, love will eventually overthrow tyranny. 

I hope that wherever you are in the world you are warm and happy.  Since the Conditioned came to me, I no longer take it for granted. 

About the author:

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework.  I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend.  We live in northern New Jersey and try not to freeze too badly during the winter months.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing.  I've been told I'm a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you'll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.
I'd love to hear from you!