Sunday, October 31, 2010

Winnings of the Week

Awesome looking book that I chose when I was one of the winners of Candace's Book Blog 1,000 follower giveaway.

Daring Double Cross *My 100th Post :)

For my 100th post I thought I'd go back to the same author that I started my very first post with.   So here's a review for the superb sequel to Mind Games.

Double Cross by Carolyn Crane
*Some spoilers for Mind Games are a part of this review

This is one book where the sequel lives up to the original and in some cases is even better because now you know even more about these characters.  This book gets a definite 5 out of 5 gnomes for superb characters, a great mystery and one heck of an ending hence the double cross of the title.

The book opens with Justine being sent to interact with Ez a dream invader, sadly Justine does not wait for Packard to get there so she doesn't know that she should have worn gloves.  Now her and Packard are connected to Ez because her dream invader power is transferred by touch.  This lets Ez conference together Justine and Packards dreams so they both see and feel exactly what the other one does while in the dream.  

Otto is now the mayor of Midcity and now Justine and the other disillusionists because of the agreement Packard and Otto made are going around and disillusioning the highcaps that Otto has trapped around the city.  The big bad of this book is a group called The Dorks that is going around killing highcaps.  The mystery is that the Dorks are immune to the highcaps powers and they have some way that lets them see who is and isn't a highcap.

There is a lot of drama and mystery in this second book of the series. There's a big secret from Otto and Packard's past that must be dealt with.  Finding a way to stop the Dorks is a top priority and disillusioning Ez so she doesn't turn them into sleep walking cannibals is also something else to really worry about.

The love triangle between Justine and whether she'll pick Packard or Otto gets even more infuriating in this book if that's even possible.  There are steamy moments in the dream world and the real world which leave you wondering who she is going to pick.  At the end of the book this love triangle may make you want to pull your hair out but it will also leave you wanting the next book ASAP.

Shelby and Simon, two of my favorite characters, also have important parts to play in this book and you see more of who they are.  Justine too grows more as a character in this book and is in my opinion way too trusting at certain points.

There are some huge secrets that are revealed that will most likely change the course of Justine and all the other disillusionists.  I believe I said something along the lines holy carp and oh no out loud more then once.

I firmly believe that Justine should be with Packard, I never did like Otto. Then by the end of this book I really felt like Otto needed to be punched in the face, repeatedly.  Warning the double cross is a doozy so be prepared to yell at the book and want to throw it across the room especially with what happens on the very last page.

Overall a fast moving read full of mystery and secrets, I know I'll be waiting impatiently for the next book eager to see what happens next.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sentence Sneak Peek - Double Cross

Double Cross by Carolyn Crane

The first sentence from each chapter of Double Cross, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

*Please note that in the books they aren't yelling when these lines are said that's just how the lines are formatted so that's how I'll be typing them for you to view.

"EZ THE COAT CHECK GIRL, a.k.a. the Stationmaster, draws her face right up close to the glass window of her little booth and fixes me with a piercing gaze."

"IT'S JUST AFTER SIX when I step out of the piano bar into an evening alive with the sound of police sirens and the chop-chop of helicopters."

"THEEL BURRO MEXICAN RESTAURANT occupies the ground floor of a brick building that's squeezed between a little grocery and a pawnshop on the southwestern edge of town."

"JIMMY STOPS THE TOWN CAR on my modest, well-lit block of cheerful storefronts and eateries tucked below brick apartments."

"A DIM, ENCLOSED STAIRWELL--wide, with a metal banister up the center, and graffiti all over the cement block walls."

"LATER THAT MORNING, I get in my car and start over to Mongolian Delites to say hi to the gang and grab a pastry before I see Ez."

"THE DAY IS GORGEOUS--it has to be nearly forty de-grees."

"GETTING THE ADDRESS, phone number, or even a non-fake name associated with the Paradigm Factory is about as easy as finding the lost Lindbergh baby."

"A NEW TEAM OF TAX AUDITORS will be reviewing the Paranoia Factory operations: Shelby and Simon and me."

"OTTO LIVES in a classic stone building nestled between an old-century hotel and a yesteryear department store that caters to Midcity dowagers who no longer care about money or hipness."

"I'VE GOT HIM in a bear hug at the top of the steps."

"AT 6:30 A.M. Shelby, Simon, and I meet with Ken--the one highcap accountant anybody could locate--at a coffee shop by the river."

"YOU'RE HERE!"

"SUMMER."

"I'M NOT IN THE IDEAL STATE of mind for visiting Ez, but it's not like I can take the night off, being that I only have until Monday to get her rolling."

"I WALK INTO Mongolian Delites so confused, so lost, and he's there."

"AN HOUR LATER I'm all coffeed up and cozy in a wooly red turtleneck, jeans, suede lace-up boots, and my black coat and hat."

"I SIT IN MY CAR across the street from Covian's house, which looks as it did the first time I stopped by."


"I DON'T KNOW HOW I get through the day."

"PACKARD COMES TO THE DOOR looking mussed and soft, as though the lack of sleep has robbed him of his hard edges."

"MOLD."

"I SIT DOWN at Packard's HQ desk and boot up the lap-top."

"THE GROUP OF US spend a whirlwind afternoon in the hospital, getting X-rayed, poked, and palpated by doc-tors, and questioned by cops."

"FINALLY THE BUS LETS ME OFF at the stop near Packard's."

"SO WHERE ARE WE GOING?"

"THE 9-1-1 OPERATOR wants me to stay on the line, but I don't want to talk anymore."

"CANDLELIGHT FLASHES in Otto's dark eyes as he reaches across the table, palm upturned."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Vernal Vampire

Still Sucks To Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
This book gets a very non-sucking 4 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes for more great humor and a new setting that's just as fun as the original. 

I like the formatting of these books like how you see Mina's emails, text messages and journal entries throughout both of these books and the truth and myths about vampires at the start of chapters.  I think seeing this makes you picture the character even better. 

This book continues Mina's story after she becomes a vampire and goes through the whole Vampire Relocation Agency process.  Officially she is now dead and has to move to a very small town.  She has to pretend her Dad is her brother and her Mom is her sister-in-law.  That itself would be pretty weird not getting to refer to your parents as Mom and Dad in public.  

Another great bit of information given is why the last name Smith, which is now Mina's last name, is so popular.  Lots of vampires are given this name when they have to relocate.


The small town vampires and people you meet are very interesting.  Some of the vampires of the Carter clan seem a bit hillbillyish (if that's a word).  The people are also almost aggressively friendly like Eugenie and Grady her son who takes an immediate interest in Mina.  Mina is popular in town because she's new and Grady takes an interest in her. Even the new vampire council they have to deal with is more easy going then the previous one.

There's another trio of love interests in this book.  There's Grady who likes Mina a lot but has a psycho named Kacie who is obsessed with him and doesn't like other girls to talk to him.  George is kind of flaky in this book, he goes to Brazil and doesn't contact Mina for quite a while.  Cameron is the new love interest who "smells" very good to Mina but also happens to be a part of the Carter clan.  Cameron is someone who I really want to know the whole story about.  Not sure that Cameron is really a bad vampire or not because he does end up helping Mina so much.  I have a feeling that he's pretty old in vampire years because he seems pretty powerful.

Mina picks up some cool vampire skills too.  She's very good at shape shifting into other people and she has a knack for mesmerizing people.  This learning how to mesmerize people leads her to get close to Cameron.  Mesmerizing is also vital in this book and has possible implications for the future of the series. 



The Carter Clan of vampires are up to bad stuff usually according to Dr. Jonas, the historian Mina's Dad works for.  Jonas has a theory that the Carters and the Black Talon (a group of really bad vampires who kill humans for initiation into their group).  Cameron was turned by the Carter clan so it is hard to know if he should be trusted. Mina still has an enemy out there, some craziness when Serena shows up and of course high school to deal with.  


The conclusion has hard decisions being made and it looks like a new direction will be part of the future.

Still Sucks To Be Me - My favorite quotes/lines

These quotes/lines from the book will give you some insight into how funny and interesting a book about a teenage vampire can be.


"What's the point of having a funeral if you can't go and see who cared enough to show up?"

I laughed a lot when I read the following line because I too have imagined the same thing. :)
"I imagine eating some of those yummy Frenchish doughnut things called beignets I saw on some Food Network show about New Orleans,..."

"The only thing I can be positive about is that the situation keeps getting suckier and suckier every time I turn around."

Well I think this has to be one of the best insults I've read in a while,
"damn Cullenist"

When overhearing someone talk about her eyes,
"(Oh, c'mon! I mean, they are really ultrablue now, but I don't look like a total freak or anything. I don't think. I hope.)"

"Maybe tomorrow I'll get one of everything and eat all of it. That would really mess with their heads."

"...tomatoes being in the nightshade family. (Apparently people back then were idiots and thought they were poison, so when they threw a tomato at you, they really didn't like you ... okay, so I was the only one paying attention. Yes, I can walk and chew gum at the same time."

"Gossip is like an art form in a small town. Or a disease."

"Though I don’t want to smell all manly man. Not really girly girl either, since that conjures up images of puffy pink clouds. Maybe womanly woman? What would that smell like?"

"Not that Raven is any kind of Harry Potter. She’s not even Draco Malfoy."

"But I guess she’s just like the supervillains in all the comic books—can’t resist the monologue. Well, I’ll be more than happy to foil her evil plans."

I might make the following line into my new motto,
"I’m a doer, not a twiddle-my-thumbs-er."

"If the smile on her face gets even bigger, she’ll have to reach around to the backside of her head to brush her teeth."

"...but George’s smile has the power to make everything feel right."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tee-rific Thursday - Sucks To Be Me Edition

You can buy some very cool Sucks To Be Me shirts at the site, http://stbm.spreadshirt.com/ and apparently all the money goes to charity, "All proceeds are donated to Open Books, Ltd. (a literacy charity located in Chicago, Kimberly's hometown)."

Here are some of my favorites that I saw,

That is one adorable bat.

A shirt to show your VRA pride, of course if you were really a VRA agent you could never wear it outside of the house.
Cutest vampire squirrel ever.  :)
One adorable bat on a tie dye shirt = awesome

Sentence Sneak Peek - Still Sucks To Be Me

Still Sucks To Be Me by Kimberly Pauley

The first sentence from each chapter of Still Sucks To Be Me, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

 "I, Mina Hamilton, am officially dead."

"I'm not, as a general rule, a very teary person."

"Serena drops me off around the corner from George's place once she does a drive-by and sees that his car is there."

"George drops me off at the roach hotel (okay, so maybe it isn't exactly infested, but it sure looks like it could be) and I have my only piece of luck of the day."

"I have to say that flying is a totally different experience as a vampire than as a regular person."

"Mari!"

"I've been running through the countryside (I don't technically need to exercise, since the muscles are there no matter what I do, but at least it makes me feel like I'm doing something) or camped out in my room for the last three days while Mom and Dad play the Happy Neighbor game."

"We get to Lonnie's and I start to get out of the truck under my own power."

"So," says Cameron, the mystery vampire guy, "you must be one of the new VRA victims that we've been hearing about."

"There's an ancient-looking wooden bar in the middle of the room with a pudgy bald bloodtender (Ernie, I'm guessing) behind it."

"As soon as there is enough daylight that there might be stores open (ha, if I can find any), I tell Mom it's time to go electronics shopping."

"Dad is in a complete tizzy when we get back."

"Praise the Internet gods!"

"I'm watching yet another stupid cat video when I hear dad singing off-key in the shower, which mean's he's deliriously happy to be getting ready for work AND I'm nearly late for my first day of school."

"I try texting Serena on the way home, but I don't get a response."

"The teachers at Cartville are all okay, but none of them are anywhere near as interesting as Ms. Tweeter was with her crazy costumes and props."

"We have to drive almost an hour away to get to our first shape-shifting class."

"The next day, I decide to skip lunch."

"I'm getting really worried about Serena."

"Mom comes rushing back after a few minutes."

"The Council building is in what must be the oldest parts of New Orleans."

"We finally get ready to duck out of the little Council after party sometime around midnight, mostly in deference to Serena, who is totally about to drop."

"As soon as Eugenie is done signing Serena in (and mercifully not making any comments on Serena's whacked-out hair), Henny hones in on Serena like a homing pigeon."

"Mom is waiting at home for us when we get back from school."

"Serena doesn't snap out of it until we're on the way back to my house."

"The next day at school is pretty much a repeat of Serena's first day, except for me trying to run interference with the gossip hounds (which totally doesn't work) and Serena making it worse by making up even more crazy stories about herself and telling them to whoever asked (like the one about how she was found as a baby by her parents in the bush while they were on African safari)."

"Grady won't stop hinting that I go to homecoming with him."

"I run home, just barely catching myself from running too fast in front of Eugenie."

"Dad finally gets my message and calls while I'm filling George in on all the details about Serena and Raven and everything else (well, okay, except for Grady and Cameron).

"So Operation Foil the Goth officially kicks off the next day."

"George insists that we both escort Serena to her next vampire session because (a) she needs protection, (b) this is our only chance to hang out together without any adults around (we're doing the stakeout thing and sitting in the car), and (c) did you notice (b)?"

"George and Serena and I are still discussing --okay, arguing--about the best way to get Raven or Cameron to give up John and Wayne and the whole Carter-Talon thing when we get home."

"Uncle Mortie tells Mom to tie Dad to the couch until he gets here and not to let anyone do anything crazy."

"Did I mention that today happens to be Friday?"

"Serena wakes up around three and we spend about two hours getting ready."

"Henny pulls me all the way down to the field where everyone else they called (including Kacie and Grady and even Lonnie Pratt in his football uniform) is already assembled."

"Rav--" I start to say in a stern Southern accent."

"I start piecing together my Carter girl shape-shift as I'm running."

"Mina!"

"George is waiting for me outside the door to the house."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sanguine Sucker

Sucks To Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
This book gets a superb 5 out of 5 gnomes for humor, an original take on vampires and quite a story about what happens when you are choosing whether of not to be a vampire.

I love the myths and truths about vampires that are posted at the beginning of each chapter.  Also Mina's lists/diary as she's trying to make her decision.  

Mina's parents are vampires and she's known about them for a long time.  Then the vampire council finds out that she knows and makes her take classes to choose whether or not she will become a vampire.  Apparently becoming a vampire is a very regimented process where you take classes and get as much information as possible.


There are some great characters in this book.  Uncle Mortie is my favorite character, he's a loud, food loving, balding, traveling salesman vampire.  As Mortie says, "I'm both objective and objectionable."  His interactions with Mina and well everyone around him really make a contrast to the seriousness of the other vampires that she's learning about.

The teacher of the vampire classes is someone that Mina calls Grandma Wolfington behind her back because she reminds her of the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood.  It would be a little disconcerting to be taught about being a vampire by a vampire that looks like a grandmother yet scarier.

Mina's character can best be described by the following quote from page 165,
"Mom says I'm a trouble magnet.  If there's some kind of trouble brewing, chances are it will search me out and try to take me down with it.  Dad says I just have a steel backbone and never back down.  Me, I think it's just I can't stand stupid people.  They annoy me."

Dracula is a thread that runs throughout the book.  Mina is named after the character from Dracula.  Mina has to deal with reading Dracula and coming up with a project while also learning about what it means to be a vampire during her Tuesday lessons.

There are actually three love interests in the book.  The field gets narrowed down pretty quick though.  Nathan is the boy that Mina's been crushing on for awhile now.  Aubrey is a very cute wanna be vampire who wants to ask Mina a lot of questions.  George is a friend that helps her out in vampire lessons and becomes friends with Mina and her best friend Serena, though he has the potential to be something more.  

One situation with the love interests brings about one of my favorite lines from the book. It happens during a hot tub truth or dare session.  Mina is thankful that the guys aren't wearing Speedos because if they were she wouldn't be sure where to look and she thinks, "You just can't help it. It's like their crotches become magnets or something."


Mina's best friend Serena adds a lot of peppiness and fun to the book.  She is very comfortable with who she is but does tend to go through clothing phases.  Mina's parents are also quite the normal seeming vampire.  I so would have done a spit take if I'd been drinking when Mina and her Mom had the sex talk.   



Overall this book shows a rather normal teenage girl who has a very supernatural decision to make.  The fun is seeing how many rules Mina will break along the way.

Wish List Wednesday - NOOKcolor

Yet another eReader that I would love to have it looks so cool, especially with the touchscreen.  Now I just have to save up $249.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sentence Sneak Peek - Sucks To Be Me

Sucks To Be Me by Kimberly Pauley

The first sentence from each chapter of Sucks To Be Me, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

"My parents are trying to ruin my life"

"Before Serena even drops me off after school, I know who at least one of our "special" visitors is."

"Here's lesson one, Mina my dear," says Uncle Mortie around a mouthful of fried chicken."

"Okay, in case you hadn't gatered this already, vampires, in general, look absolutely nothing like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise or David Boreanaz or any actor at all, for that matter."

"I wake up still incredibly psyched about Aubrey."

"I get to the Coffee Cafe within record time after school, making my first stop the kitschy retro bathroom after checking to make sure Aubrey wasn't there yet."

"Amazingly, I run into George five times in the hallway between classes."

"I stayed up half the night reading that stupid book and the more I read, the more pissed off I got."

"Serena calls and wakes me up at 7:30 a.m."

"I find Uncle Mortie following my mom around the kitchen."

"1:03 A.M."

"I wake up to my cell phone ringing."

"George and I are the first ones to arrive at the community center for Tuesday's vampire lesson."

"Serena and I have a study date Wednesday night to work on our Dracula projects."

"All day long I can't stop thinking about what Serena said while we were studying last night."

"George has become a regular fixture at lunch and Serena definitely doesn't seem to mind it at all."

"Considering what time I went to sleep, I wake up amazingly early: 11 a.m."

"Nathan actually comes and sits with Serena, George, and me at lunch for a while, until the restless clamoring of the A-List natives gets to be too much for him to ignore."

"This time around, George, Lorelai, Linda, and I all arrive at the same time for the vampire lesson."

"I hardly sleep at all Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning, I feel like something has run me over."

"It seems that the prom is on everyone's mind."

"Friday ends up pretty uneventful after Thursday's trauma-rama."

"The prom-dress shopping went amazingly well."

"Tuesday's vampire lesson (number seven for me, for anyone keeping track), is really the last lesson."

"Lucky for us, the teachers don't really bother to take attendance the Friday before prom."

"I finally finish my Dracula paper."

"As soon as I can reasonably assume that Serena's awake--which is fairly early, considering it is the day of the prom and she's been in a tizzy all week--I give her a call to warn her that George and I are probably not going to go."

"Did I mention that the day after prom is my birthday, which makes this whole night just that much more special?"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Winnings of the Week

My Honorable Mention prize from author Gini Koch
The books I bought, won and traded for this week
 Nightshade by Andrea Cremer = bought this awesome book from Amazon
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan = bought from Amazon
Stork by Wendy Delsol = Won from Literati's Literary Library
Across the Universe by Beth Revis = traded with Princess Bookie.
Deadtown  by Nancy Holzner = bought from Amazon
Firelight by Sophie Jordan = bought from Amazon
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher = bought from Amazon



Meg and Jeb also love Nightshade :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Top 5 Sundays - Books You're NOT Reading But Should Be!

This feature was thought up by the awesome Larissa's Bookish Life
Rules:
1 - Write a post listing your TOP 5 choices within the theme I chose (or was chosen on a poll) for the week.
2 - Mention this Blog on the post and link back to it.
3 - Fell free to use the Feature's image (there is a smaller size version of it bellow)
4 - After you've finished your post, add you link (of the post, not your blog's main page) to the Mr.Linky at the end of that week's post.
5 – If you don’t have a blog to post, just leave your list in the comments =)     

Books You're NOT Reading But Should Be!

5 - The Simon Canderous series by Anton Strout
This is an awesome series full of humor and paranormal goodness.
4 -  Zombies vs Unicorns, this anthology is full of unicorn and zombie goodness plus you get a great mixture of stories from some superb authors.

3 -The Replacement, such an original story about a changeling full of creepy goodness.  My review

2 - Nightshade, This book is very good, it has great characters, a tolerable love triangle and a fast moving plot full of wolves, magic and intrigue.  My review

1 - Touched by an Alien and Mind Games
Both of these books are the start to a series.   
I love the humor, characters and pretty much the whole plot of this book.  There's aliens, super beings and some creative ways to kill bad guys. My review.
Quite an interesting take on a hypochondriac and disillusioning people for justice.  The characters in this book are fun to read about and full of mysteries,   My review.  I'm reading the second book in the series now, Double Cross and so far it's even better then the first.

Nightshade - My Favorite Quotes/Lines



"A friend . . .sort of. Ren watches me like I'm a cookie jar he wouldn't mind being caught with his hand in.  And he's not the one who'd pay for that theft."  - Calla pg. 14

"The relationship of a girl and her favorite novel can be complex indeed." - Shay pg. 84

"Just me and this boy, whose touch made me ache in places promised to someone else." - Calla pg. 120

"As an alpha I could help my packmates get the things they wanted, but there wasn't anyone who could do the same for me." - Calla pg. 137

"The witches who rule the world." - Shay pg. 185

"It's been a pleasure, she-wolf." - Shay pg. 189

"Don't bring shame on yourself by making poor choices." - Naomi pg. 195

"My lips still tingled from Ren's kiss, but when I closed my eyes, only Shay's face was there." - Calla pg. 199

"Just nice to know I'm falling for a vestal virgin." - Shay pg. 215

"Worried about me?" His smile broadened. "Your very own freak?" - Shay pg. 221

"Beautiful and terrifying, the library seemed too perfect to be safe, like a carnivorous plant that used vivid blossoms to snare insects." - Calla pg. 348

"My twisting gut didn't feel badass at all; it felt like pudding." Calla pg. 409

"I didn't realize I needed to point out that if we are attacked by a fire-breathing bitch, you can change forms." - Calla pg. 419

"Here isn't working out so well for me." Shay pg. 423

"Without your nakedness to distract me, I'm remembering that we're in serious trouble." - Shay pg. 436

"Because that's what love is, isn't it? It has to be." - Calla pg. 452

Friday, October 22, 2010

Nimble Nightshade

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
*Borrowed this ARC from Tiger at All-Consuming Books

This book gets a grand golden 5 out of 5 gnomes for being quite the intriguing take on a whole bunch of supernatural elements.  In this book there are witches(Keepers), Guardians(wolves), wraiths, succubus, incubi and even a smidgen of zombies.  The book is 453 pages long but those chapters sure fly by.


The book itself has a beautiful cover, the jacket art is by Suza Scalora and the cover design is by Linda McCarthy.  The page breaks showing the moon phases is a genius idea and builds up the tension even more.

Calla is an alpha wolf of the Nightshade pack who very soon, in a ceremony arranged since the day she was born, will become the mate of the alpha from the Bane pack.  She thinks she knows all the rules of her world but she's very wrong.

Then Calla saves a human boy, Shay, from an attacking bear.  She is definitely not supposed to care for humans but feels a connection with Shay anyway and saves his life.  Their first meeting ends rather abruptly and Calla is scared that the Keepers and the rest of her pack will find out what she's done.  Then Shay shows up as a new student at her school.

Calla is a great character who is comfortable with who she is then as the union between her and the Bane alpha gets closer she has to conform more to what is expected of her.  Let's just say if I had Naomi for a mother things would not have gone very well.  Her Mother and Father are not in much of the book but you do get a peek into their personalities and what kind of alphas they are.  The relationships between the older alphas of the Nightshade and Bane packs make an interesting contrast when you look at the younger members of the pack.  There is a lot of pressure going on to unite the young alphas and start a new pack because it's been a long time since a new pack was formed.

The characters and setting of Nightshade really pull you into the story.  Essentially just like any teenager Calla has a choice to make about what her future will entail.  Her brother Ansel is supportive of her and understands a lot even though he's only fifteen and Bryn her second in command would follow Calla anywhere. Bosque, Shay's uncle is another part of the puzzle because he seems to be more powerful then the other people already in power yet the reader doesn't find out why that is for sure.

In a refreshing sort of way the two love interests are both actually likable and she has many reasons for choosing either one.  It does show the double standard that Calla experiences with Ren being able to date anyone but she can't date and must stay pure.  I do have a bias for choosing Shay over Ren though since I've been following the promotional stuff they did for the novel and thus found out a lot about the character.  Then there's the prequel that makes me like that character even more.  To be fair though the reader can easily see why Calla would choose Ren or Shay.  She's known Ren for a long time and that she would have to marry him when she graduates.  Shay though represents something new and the fact that change is coming one way or another.  Throughout the book you can see that she does have feelings towards both of them.  There are bits of steaminess here and there in the novel that keep you guessing on what choice she will make and who she will be with. This book is about choosing your destiny and figuring out which path is best and as the front cover of the book says, "She can control her pack but not her heart."

Through Shay Calla starts to realize that there are secrets and mysteries about the Guardians, The Keepers and the Searchers that she doesn't have all the answers to.  They do find out some vital information but it may be too late. The history of this world is complex because the history that's known has as the saying goes been written by the winners.  This witches war that the Keepers and Guardians took part in is still going on with the Searchers gaining strength.  Calla and Shay have to find out what has happened in the past and what and who they should believe in now.

There's a twist at the end that does make you wonder if Calla did make the right decision or if certain factors thrown at her were indeed only a test of her strength as an alpha.  Be warned that there is quite the cliff hanger ending but the first chapter of the next book is already available.  This is a supernatural story that has a lot of heart and will leave you eagerly anticipating the next book.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tee-rific Thursday - Tiny Kitten Teeth Edition

Love the comic Tiny Kitten Teeth and would love to own this shirt.

Perfect for a person who likes beer and cats.

Maybe the cutest giraffe ever.


This shirt combines unicorns and ice cream so pretty much perfect.

Nice for people who like puns and heavy metal.

Sentence Sneak Peek - Nightshade

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

The first sentence from each chapter of Nightshade, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.
*Please note that in the books they aren't yelling when these lines are said that's just how the lines are formatted so that's how I'll be typing them for you to view.

______'S are where potential spoilers about the text are.


"I'D ALWAYS WELCOMED WAR, BUT IN BATTLE my passion rose unbidden."

"WHEN I OPENED THE FRONT DOOR TO MY house, my body went rigid."

"WHEN I ENTERED THE KITCHEN FOR BREAK-fast, my family fell silent."

"I BOLTED FOR MY DESK AS THE FIRST BELL rang."

"LAMELY TITLED "BIG IDEAS," MY ONLY AFTER-noon course surveyed philosophy from the classical era through the present day."

"YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS."

"I COULD STILL FEEL THE BASS VIBRATIONS from the club as I stood on the sidewalk, wondering if I should just call a cab and go home."

"I BARELY SLEPT."

"I'M SURPRISED YOU SHOWED UP."

"DARKNESS ENVELOPED THE SKY BY THE time I wearily pushed open my front door."

"WHEN WE PULLED INTO THE SCHOOL PARK-ing lot the next morning, Ansel turned to me."

"MY JAW CLAMPE SO HARD THROUGH THE philosophy seminar I wondered if its dull ache would settle there permanently."

"I SLID DOWN THE LOCKER AND TUCKED MY legs beneath me."

"SHADOWS POURED INTO THE CLEARING, turning the bright greens of the ferns to muted blues and grays."

"A SHINY BLACK GRAND CHEROKEE WAS parked in our driveway."

"SHAY FLIPPED OVER THE PAGE AND SCRIB-bled a few notes while I fidgeted in my seat."

"SHAY WASN'T IN FIRST PERIOD."

"SHAY SLAMMED THE LIBRARY BOOK SHUT, giving it an abrupt shove."

"BLOOD MOON."

"OW!"

"SO WHAT ARE YOU DOING TONIGHT?"

"SHAY LEANED AGAINST HIS FORD RANGER."

"STOP WHINING; YOU'RE EIGHTEEN YEARS old and you keep acting like a puppy."

"WE GOT THROUGH SHAY'S FIRST DAY AT school since ______ without incident, except for one close call in Big Ideas."

"YOU CAN'T ALL GO TO THE CAVE."

"I MADE IT HALFWAY TO THE STONE STEPS OF Rowan Estate before terror locked me in place."

"A STARTLED CLUSTER OF PIGEONS DROPPED from the eaves above the stained glass windows."

"THE NEXT MORNING SHAY WANDERED INTO homeroom with a haunted expression on his face."

"SHAY WATCHED AS I STRETCHED OUT ON HIS bed."

"YOU DIDN'T SLEEP AGAIN LAST NIGHT, DID you?"

"THERE."

"THE WORLD BLURRED AND I THOUGHT I might pass out."

"WE WOVE THROUGH THE MAZE OF PINE trees."

"SHAY WAS RUNNING THROUGH THE GARDENS of Rowan Estate by the time I caught him."

I LIVED IN THE SPACE BETWEEN THE CON-scious and the unconscious."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Winner of the ebook of Erekos

The five people who entered the giveaway.

The names go into the magic spider bowl

And the Winner is,

Requisite Replacement

The Replacement  by Brenna Yovanoff
This book gets a well deserved 4 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes for a truly great story that puts a superb twist into an old story.

Mackie is a changeling that is accepted by his family, he knows that he's different and that he replaced the real Malcom. His family makes sacrifices for him by not using normal silverware, not having friends over and his Dad a minister even leaves the Sunday School ground unconsecrated so Mackie can still go there.  His Mom also has a doozy of a secret to hide.

The town of Gentry is one heck of a place where most people seem to have a hint at least that horrible things are happening but they still don't leave the town. Everyone knows the traditions that should stop their children from being replaced but no on talks about it.

Mackie's relationship with his sister Emma is great because she seems to be the one that has accepted him since the very beginning. She saw him on the night that he was switched. It's great that his sister's love is the driving force of why he's still there and not sicker then he already is.


Friendships and relationships are well portrayed. Roswell, besides having an awesome name, is sympathetic to Mackie and would follow him anywhere. Roswell has a great personality because he has a very charmed life.

The potential love interest Tate doesn't seem like she really even likes Mackie in the beginning. Tate is seen as highly damaged because of the disappearance of her sister. Then Tate starts asking questions that no one bothers to usually ask.

Damaged as she is though Tate is one of my new literary heroes for some of the things that she does in the book.  She doesn't back down and let's just say she's also quite good with a crow bar. One of my favorite quotes in the book has Tate saying, 
"Look, I'm sorry I had to punch your girlfriend in the face, but sometimes white-trash moments are necessary, okay?"

Mackie tries to blend in but it's hard when so much of the world is made of iron that causes him to be horribly sick. He has a crush on Alice who's not the nicest person.This crush on Alice leads to an
incident with a tongue ring which has consequences afterward that really make you think, wow he is so interested in the wrong person.

Mackie does find the world that he is originally from and this leads to some shall we say interesting characters. These two worlds are vividly described and there is plenty of creepiness thrown in throughout the book. 

There are secrets galore in Gentry and at the end the town has a potential chance for a new beginning. The ending really makes you wonder what's going to happen next.

Wish List Wednesday - Serpent's Storm

Can't wait for this one, the 3rd book in the series about Calliope Reaper Jones.  The two so far were very funny and had great characters including hell hound puppies and a faun named Jarvis.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sentence Sneak Peek - The Replacement

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

The first sentence from each chapter of The Replacement, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

"I don't remember any of the true, important parts, but there's this dream I have."

"Roswell found me in the courtyard."

"In the front hall, I dropped my book bag and yanked off my hoodie."

"Later, I lay facedown on the bed."

"Friday was chilly and gray."

"When Roswell picked me up after dinner for our weekly trip downtown to see the showcase of local bands, we didn't talk much."

"My pulse hammered and I put out a hand to steady myself."

"When Roswell dropped me off at home, I waited until his taillights had disappeared around the corner."

"At Stephanie Beecham's, the street was full of car doors slamming."

"The neighborhood was quiet."

"When I left the slag heap, the air was clammy, damp with autumn and the rain that never seemed to stop."

"The next day was Sunday, and I wok up to rain coursing steadily down my window."

"That night, Roswell cam to get me and didn't ask questions."

"When I went back out into the crowd, no one really noticed me."

"I lay on the ground for way too long, with my face against the wet grass and the rain soaking into my clothes."

"I climbed out of the ravine onto Orchard and started toward home."

"I got through school in a daze the next day."

"Emma and my mom were already gone by the time I went down for breakfast on Tuesday, and I ate cold cereal alone, standing over the sink."

"It wasn't a date."

"Roswell parked at the top of the ravine and opened his door."

"I woke up in the dark, sprawled on the Morrigan's four-poster bed with the blankets tangled around my legs."

"The next day was significant, mostly because it was the first day in weeks that it wasn't actually raining."

"The smoke was oily black."

"At home, I wrapped a dish towel around my hand and dug through the cupboard over the refrigerator, feeling around in the mess of forbidden cutlery for a pairing knife."

"I woke myself up shivering, curled awkwardly on the picnic bench."

"Under the slag heap, the House of Mayhem was humid from the rain."

"When I came in out of the drizzle and the fog, I was relieved to see my dad's black overcoat hanging in the hall."

"Roswell closed the casket and we dropped it back into the grave."

"It wasn't long before they came and got us, dragging us out of the dump hill and toward the graveyard in early-morning darkness."

"The floor was wet under my head, and that was fine."

"On Concord Street, the porch light was still on, glowing in the weak dawn light."

"Monday was as normal as it could be under the cir-cumstances."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Merchandise Monday - Baby-Sitters Club Edition

The trailer for the movie, I think I still own this on VHS somewhere.


The theme song for the TV show, I think I still have copies of some of these tapes too.



The dolls that were based on the characters, I had at least five of these dolls. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pre-order "Forever" because it shall be awesome :)


Make sure to pre-order from http://www.fountainbookstore.com/autograph-maggie.If you do order from them then your book will be signed, which is always good.  :)