Contest Sticky


Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Finds - April 30, 2010


Friday Finds was started by MizB @ Should Be Reading.
Check back each Friday to see what I've found, and make sure to stop by Should Be Reading's Friday Finds Post to see what other bloggers have found as well!

Publisher : Delacorte Books For Young Readers
ISBN : 978-0385738521
Release Date : October 12, 2010
Series or Stand Alone : #1 in a new series 

There isn’t much worth living for in Gypsum, Missouri—or Trashtown, as the rich kids call the run-down neighborhood where sixteen-year-old Hailey Tarbell lives. Hailey figures she’ll never belong—not with the popular kids at school, not with the rejects, not even with her cruel, sickly grandmother, who deals drugs out of their basement. Hailey never knew her dead mother, and she has no idea who her father was, but at least she has her four-year-old foster brother, Chub. Once she turns eighteen, Hailey plans to take Chub far from Gypsum and start a new life where no one can find them.

But when a classmate is injured in gym class, Hailey discovers a gift for healing that she never knew she possessed—and that she cannot ignore. Not only can she heal, she can bring the dying back to life. Confused by her powers, Hailey searches for answers but finds only more questions, until a mysterious visitor shows up at Gram’s house, claiming to be Hailey’s aunt Prairie.

There are people who will stop at nothing to keep Hailey in Trashtown, living out a legacy of despair and suffering. But when Prairie saves both Hailey and Chub from armed attackers who invade Gram’s house in the middle of the night, Hailey must decide where to place her trust. Will Prairie’s past, and the long-buried secret that caused her to leave Gypsum years earlier, ruin them all? Because as Hailey will soon find out, their power to heal is just the beginning.
This gripping novel from thriller writer Sophie Littlefield blazes a trail from small-town Missouri to the big city as Hailey battles an evil greater than she ever imagined, while discovering strengths she never knew she had.
Publisher : Dutton Juvenile
ISBN : 978-0525421610
Release Date : July 8, 2010
Series or Stand Alone : Stand Alone
In many ways, Natalie O’Reilly is a typical fourteenyear- old girl. But a routine visit to the eye doctor produces devastating news: Natalie will lose her sight within a few short months.
Suddenly her world is turned upside down. Natalie is sent to a school for the blind to learn skills such as Braille and how to use a cane. Outwardly, she does as she’s told; inwardly, she hopes for a miracle that will free her from a dreaded life of blindness. But the miracle does not come, and Natalie ultimately must confront every blind person’s dilemma. Will she go home to live scared? Or will she embrace the skills she needs to make it in a world without sight? 


Publisher : Pocket Star
ISBN : 978-1439109823
Release Date : May 25, 2010
Series or Stand Alone : Unknown

When you have no alternative, then you call in L.O.S.T. Because with the Last Option Special Team, it’s do or die. . . . 

It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T.—one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself. Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross . . . eliminate him . . . then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House. But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret. He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator. 

Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, Special Ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life. His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus’s right-hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision. Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions. But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice—her death or his. 


Publisher : Candlewick
ISBN : 978-0763649302
Release Date : August 10, 2010
Series or Stand Alone : 1st in new series.

"Hello, David. My name is Rose. It’s a pleasure to meet you. We are now entering minute two of our friendship. According to my Intimacy Clock, a handshake is now appropriate…"

David and Charlie are opposites. David has a million friends, online and off. Charlie is a soulful outsider, off the grid completely. But neither feels close to anybody. When David’s parents present him with a hot Companion bot to encourage healthy bonds and treat "dissociative disorder," he can’t get enough of luscious red-headed Rose — and he can’t get it soon. Companions come with strict intimacy protocols, and whenever he tries anything, David gets an electric shock. Severed from the boy she was built to love, Rose turns to Charlie, who finds he can open up, knowing Rose isn’t real. With Charlie’s help, the ideal "companion" is about to become her own best friend. 

What have you found this week?  Feel free to leave a comment (in fact, they're encouraged!)

April 2010 in Review


     I've had quite a productive month here at Falling Off The Shelf, I'm quite proud of myself!  I've posted quite a bit of reviews, as well as an author interview that I'm extremely happy with.  I even started my own feature, and Facebook group, which are both quite exciting!  Anywho, here's what happened here at Falling Off The Shelf for the month of April.

Reviews to Look Back On


Interviews to Look Back On

I interviewed Historical Fiction author, Meredith Duran, to celebrate the release of her newest romance novel, Wicked Becomes You on April 27.





Contests to Enter

Ending May 5 :

Digital Room Giveaway - 500 Business Cards

Ending May 11 :

Why Do You Love a Good Romance? - 3 Books / 1 Winner

Falling Off The Shelf News

I officially started a Facebook Group for Falling Off The Shelf.  I'm quite excited!  You should most definitely come by and become a member.  Just click on the Facebook Icon below and it will redirect you to the group page.



Connect on Facebook

I used those few creativity morsels left inside of my brain and created a new feature exclusive to Falling Off The Shelf.  I'm really, really excited about this, because I wanted something that no one else had, and I'm pretty sure that I've found it.  (If by some chance, you've seen this featured around the blogosphere under another name, please let me know, I don't want to take anyone else's ideas!)  I did a little dabbling with GIMP (a free photo-shop program) and this is the Feature logo that I came up with!
 


 
So what do you think?  Cute right?  Watch out on Monday, May 4th for the first What's New This Week? : The Good & The Bad.  I'm really excited to show you what I've found.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Feature!! - What's New This Week? : The Good & The Bad


I've come up with a new feature exclusive to Falling Off The Shelf.  I'm super excited about it, and can't wait to get started!  My first post will be aired on Monday, May 3rd, so watch out for it!

A little about this feature...

-*- Each week I will choose a few titles that are being released in that week and give you a brief synopsis.

-*- I'll link back to 2 reviews : The Good (recommended by the reader) & The Bad (not recommended by the reader).

-*- This feature is intended to give you both an all-around opinion of some great upcoming titles, but also to introduce you to some blogs that you may not have known about.

Please let me know if you've seen a feature already out there like this, I don't want to steal anyone's idea!

Want to suggest an upcoming title?  How about a review for one (maybe you wrote it, or you've just come across a great one) ?  Contact me at FallingOTShelf@aol.com!

Now More Ways to Connect to Falling Off The Shelf!

Connect on FacebookConnect on GoodreadsConnect on AmazonConnect on Twitter

It's become apparent to me that just about everyone is connecting all over the internet (well duh)!  Thanks to Bloody Bad (Unfortunately she's closed her blog), I am able to use these adorable heart connection icons (cute right?).

Feel free to connect with me on any of these sites! 

Don't mind the lack of activity on the Falling Off The Shelf Facebook Group, I just started it today and need you to come by and make things happen!  Feel free to post links to your own reviews, book trailers, and even contests you've come across along the way!  All new posts from Falling Off The Shelf will be posted there as well, so you'll always be updated!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Digital Room Giveaway - Business Cards


I have an exciting new giveaway, thanks to Faith @ Digital Room!  She's allowing me to give away 500 Business Cards to one lucky follower of Falling Off The Shelf.  Excited yet?  You should be!  Especially if you're in the market for some business cards for your small business, or even just your blog (like me!), and the cool thing is, you can choose from square sized cards, or even slim.

Details

Prize -   

  • 500 Business Cards for One (1) Winner     
  • Sizes:  2 x 3.5”, 2 x 3”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.5 x 3.5”(slim card)
  • Paper: 14 pt gloss cardstock, 14 pt matte cardstock or 13 pt recycled uncoated cardstock
  • Specifications: Full Color Both Sides; Offset Press; 3 Business Day Printing
  • Shipping: FREE UPS Ground Shipping 
  • Eligibility: Limited to US Residents only
Enter to Win -


Contests Ends May 5, 2010 @ Midnight.
Winners will be chosen using Random.org.

Waiting on Wednesday - April 28, 2010


Waiting On Wednesday


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Release Date : September 28, 2010

Description from Amazon

In the second installment of the Century Quartet, Italian author P. D. Baccalario continues the mystery that will take four cities and four extraordinary kids to solve.

Four kids. A wooden top. And four postcards with secret instructions.

New York City, March 15
Another mysterious artifact reunites Harvey from New York, Elettra from Rome, Mistral from Paris, and Sheng from Shanghai in their attempt to save the world. When they meet people who knew Alfred Van Der Berger, the murdered professor who sent them on their quest in Rome, they realize that the challenge is far from over. And when they discover a series of four postcards written in code years ago by the professor himself, their destiny becomes even clearer.

The cards send the kids all over New York City, through old libraries and abandoned tunnels, in search of the Star of Stone, an ancient object fundamentally connected to the earth. But a new set of villains, predators of Manhattan nightlife, will do anything to stop them....   

I just finished reading the first installment of this series, and posted my review a few days ago.  This series is a little juvenile, but it was extremely entertaining and I'm curious to see where the adventures of this little quartet will bring them. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interview - Meredith Duran (Author of Wicked Becomes You)

Meredith Duran
Historical Romance Author

Read my review for Wicked Becomes You.

About the Author

MEREDITH DURAN grew up enamored of British history. At thirteen years old, she made a list of life goals that included writing romance novels, trying sushi, and going to London to see Holbein's portrait of Anne Boleyn. Now a doctoral student in anthropology, she is happy to report that all three goals have become her favorite things to do. When not studying, doing fieldwork in India, or working on her next novel, Meredith can be found in the library, browsing through travelogues written by intrepid Englishwomen of the nineteenth century.  

Interview

First off I would like to thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by me, it's always an honor to get to know authors that I admire.

The pleasure is all mine!

1.  If you could write any other genre of books, which would you choose and why?

I think the only rule of thumb when branching into other genres is to write the sort of stories that you enjoy reading.  Since I’m a pretty omnivorous reader, this would include several genres –  urban fantasy, young adult, contemporary fiction of all stripes, and within romance, contemporary paranormals, which I absolutely adore.

2.  You've already met three of your life goals, and loved them, what may I ask are some of your other goals in life?

So many goals, so little time…  I’d like to become truly fluent in the two languages I’ve been learning longest -- Spanish and Hindi.  I love to dance but I have two left feet, so it would be fabulous to get to the point where I can go salsa dancing without posing a physical hazard to other people on the floor.  And…let’s see. As a child I played the violin; as a teenager, the lute (I was SUCH a dork when it came to English history that the lute seemed like the only option at the time!).  I’d like to take lessons again in both instruments. 

3.  I headed on over to your blog, and this is the quote that I found..

"After looking at her bookshelf, I am not only terrified, I am downright appalled." -- Random Anthropology Professor #24

What kind of books can be found there, and can you give us a few titles?  How about a few recommendations?

Ha.  I should probably qualify that quote – a random anthropology professor might be appalled, but my academic committee is pretty cool; they’d probably just tease me about my taste in books with clinch covers.

My keeper shelf is pretty consistent; it’s filled with historicals from the 1990s, when novels were longer and the historical details were rich.  So: Mary Jo Putney’s Silk trilogy, Patricia Gaffney’s Wyckerley trilogy, just about everything written by Judy Cuevas/Judith Ivory and Laura Kinsale…   Newer additions include books by Julie Anne Long and Sherry Thomas.  (Sherry’s upcoming historical, His at Night, is the best book I’ve read all year—Lord Vere is one smoking hot spy!) 

4.  I know you're probably super excited for the release of Wicked Becomes You.  We're all wondering, are you working on any other new titles that we can look forward to?

Yep, I’m currently at work on my next historical, to hit the shelves next year.  No title as yet – and I’m withholding all details until I pass the momentous page 100 threshold.  Until then, anything can change.

5.  You probably don't have much time on your hands do go browsing among the blogosphere, but when you get the chance, what are some blogs you tend to frequent?

I love blogs in which writers talk about their processes – I have this odd and persistent fascination with listening to plotters discuss their strategies, although I could not become one of them if you put a gun to my head.  For industry news and substantive discussions about trends within the genre, I like All About Romance, Dear Author, Babbling About Books, and, of course, Mediabistro’s GalleyCat!

6.  I've been broadening my horizons, and just recently began to love reading Historical Romances, can you recommend any other authors in the genre that can deliver a 'wicked' good romance?

Every author on my aforementioned keeper shelf!  In addition, you can always count on Loretta Chase, Connie Brockway, Jo Goodman and Liz Carlyle.

7.  Are your characters in Wicked Becomes You modeled off of anyone you know, or simply pure imagination?

Pure imagination.  For me, a large part of the fun in writing comes from discovering the characters themselves.  They start out as mysteries, or as ciphers; I breathe life into them as I flesh out their histories, their secrets, the parts of themselves they deny, their reasons for saying and doing things that surprise me.  Modeling a character on a real-life acquaintance would diminish the mystery and thereby cut into the fun!

8.  I read a lot of books on my breaks at work, and more often than not my co-workers will make fun of the books I read merely because of the covers.  Would you say you're the type to judge a book by it's cover?

I’m a devoted fan of romance, and some of the most brilliant writing I’ve encountered has come sandwiched between covers that make me hesitate to read the book in public.  So, no, I’d say I’ve learned the hard way not to judge a book by its cover.

9.  You've written four titles in your writing career so far, but in your own opinion which one can you say your most proud of?

That’s a tough question.  As I ponder it, I realize that I’m having a very hard time separating the books themselves from the experience of writing them.  And so I’m proudest of the book that was written under the most difficult circumstances, but that doesn’t have any bearing on the content of the book itself – which is what you’re getting at, I think. 

To speak to the books themselves – well, Wicked is a real departure for me in terms of its tone.  It’s not a fluffy book but it’s lighter and (I hope) funnier than the other stories I’ve written. Not only as a romance writer, but also as a reader, I tend to prefer angst, so this book really pushed me out of my own comfort zone.  Based on the early reviews from Library Journal and RT, it looks like I succeeded in making at least two people laugh, so I feel pretty proud about that!

10.  I love the cover for Wicked Becomes You.  The gown on the cover model is just radiant!  I know authors don't have much say in the finished covers of their novels, but given the choice, is there anything about it you would change?

About this cover?  No way. Even the shade of Gwen’s hair is precisely right –in Alex’s words, “the shade of a fine pinot noir when struck by the sun.” When I first saw it, I squealed.  I think it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Personally I think this interview went fabulous, and I have to admit I'm so proud of myself for thinking up these questions, as I always get flustered when thinking of what I want to ask an author :)

Books by Meredith 

The Duke of Shadows - published March 25, 2008
Bound by Your Touch - published June 30, 2009
Written On Your Skin - published July 28, 2009
Wicked Becomes You - published April 27, 2010

Visit Meredith 

Review : Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran


Title : Wicked Becomes You
Author : Meredith Duran
Publisher : Pocket Books
Genre : Historical Romance
ISBN : 978-1416593126
Series : Stand Alone
Release Date : April 27, 2010
Rating : 4/5 Stars - Very Good


Description from Goodreads

She’s pretty enough to be popular, and Lord knows she’s rich enough for it. But what society loves best about Gwen Maudsley is how very, very nice she is. So when a cad jilts her at the altar—again—an outraged London brays for blood. Only Gwen has a different plan. If nice no longer works for her, then it’s time to learn to be naughty. Happily, she knows the perfect tutor—Alexander Ramsey, her late brother’s best friend and a notorious rogue.

Unbeknownst to Gwen, Alex’s aloof demeanor veils a very personal interest in her. He has no desire to see her change, nor to tempt himself with her presence when his own secrets make any future between them impossible. But on an educational tour through the glittering casinos of the Riviera, their friendship gives way to something hotter, darker, and altogether more dangerous. With Alex’s past and Gwen’s wildness on a collision course, Gwen must convince Alex that his wickedest intentions are exactly what she needs.

Review

Gwen Maudsley has always been considered the "nice girl".  If she's so nice, why do men keep leaving her at the alter?  When her second groom jilts her, it's the last straw, no more Ms. Nice Girl.  Gwen decides that maybe being naughty will get what she wants in life, and her late brother's best friend, Alexander Ramsey is the perfect man to learn from.

Alex has always secretly admired and longed for Gwen.  He can't and will not be the one to see her change her ways, as he's always enjoyed her just the way she is.  As much as Alex wishes to be with Gwen, he knows that he is the farthest thing from what she needs.  While traversing through the Riviera, they become a lot close than intended, and Gwen knows that Alex's wicked intentions are all she needs.

Like in most romance novels, man wants girl, girl wants man, they can't have each other, blah blah blah.  Yeah, that's exactly how this one sounds, right?  That's because it is!  This may sound like a bad thing to you, but to me, it's just the romance that I love.  Every once in awhile I need to stray away from the paranormal for a good romance, and what better romances are there then these?

While I liked Gwen from the get go, I didn't particularly enjoy Alexander's character.  Gwen was naive, and in all fairness, sheltered.  She aimed to please everyone around her, which in my opinion is not the way to having a fun and carefree life for yourself.  On the other hand, she also cared about what others thought, and wanted, and she was quite charitable.

As for the character of Alexander, from the beginning he drove me nuts.  While he was admirable for his lack of caring what the world thought of him, he was also quite the jerk.  Instead of being nice to Gwen for the little bit she knew of the real world, he had a horrible habit of judging her for it, and saying some rather stupid things.  If I were Gwen, I would have slapped him a good one.  Although I found him to be rather unpleasant, he did grow on me, and I found he was rather intriguing, and funny.

I love reading a passionate romance novel, and being surprised by little lines that make you giggle.  This novel was full of them, and I was constantly giggling during my lunch breaks at work, as well as smiling because I enjoyed the story so much.  I've been known to get a lot of funny looks, but by this time, I really don't care anymore.  I just want to enjoy my stories, regardless of whether I make myself look silly by sudden outbursts.

As far as I'm concerned, this was a great romance, and I can't wait to read more titles by Meredith Duran.  A few other titles you should look for by her are The Duke of Shadows, Bound by Your Touch, and Written on Your Skin.

Where did I get this book? :

I received my copy from Pocket Books for my honest review.

Amazon Associates

Clicking on title links in this post will redirect you to Amazon.com.  If you happen to make a purchase after clicking these links I will receive a small percentage of the profits.

Why Do You Love a Good Romance? + Giveaway


Just the other day, I sat outside and finished a great romance novel, Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran.  It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and the birds were chirping.  The only thing that made it just a little less perfect, was the fact that my fiance and his best friend were playing tennis a few feet away.  I managed to get smacked with the ball numerous times, which let me tell you, is not fun.  It was wonderful to be able to dive into that book, and forget about their silly antics.  This got me thinking of why I love romance novels so much...

I love a good romance because it reminds me of when my relationship with my fiance was still fresh and new.  People tend to try harder when they are first starting out with a new partner, and I basked in the compliments, and the way he looked at me with a longing in his eyes.  After being with him for eight years (well almost, July is our Anniversary), there isn't always a lot of romance to be had.  I turn to my romance novels just so I can reminisce about my own past, and remember how great I felt to have found the one man that I can say that I have ever loved.

I want you to tell me why you love romance novels now, and there will be one winner for the books below.


About the Books

Romance of the Past


She’s pretty enough to be popular, and Lord knows she’s rich enough for it. But what society loves best about Gwen Maudsley is how very, very nice she is. So when a cad jilts her at the altar—again—an outraged London brays for blood. Only Gwen has a different plan. If nice no longer works for her, then it’s time to learn to be naughty. Happily, she knows the perfect tutor—Alexander Ramsey, her late brother’s best friend and a notorious rogue.

Unbeknownst to Gwen, Alex’s aloof demeanor veils a very personal interest in her. He has no desire to see her change, nor to tempt himself with her presence when his own secrets make any future between them impossible. But on an educational tour through the glittering casinos of the Riviera, their friendship gives way to something hotter, darker, and altogether more dangerous. With Alex’s past and Gwen’s wildness on a collision course, Gwen must convince Alex that his wickedest intentions are exactly what she needs. 

Romance of the Present


FEAR HAS A WAY...

Lucy Donovan always gets her man. As a fiercely independent CIA agent, she's survived hundreds of death-defying missions. But her latest may just get her killed. Weighed down with a secret she's desperate to keep, the last thing Lucy needs is to be sent undercover with a man who brings out the best--and the worst--in her.

OF GETTING YOU KILLED

Navy SEAL Gus Atwater never turns down an assignment, even if it means working with the only woman he's ever loved and lost. So with a volatile mix of desire and distrust, Lucy and Gus confront their tangled past. Pretending to be man and wife is risky enough, but now the clock is running out. As their mission escalates from desperate to deadly, will Lucy's secret expose them both?  

Romance of the Future (this is actually Time Travel, but closest thing I had to this category, hehe)


In RITA® Award–winning author Gwyn Cready’s fun and sexy new time-travel adventure, an ambitious writer discovers that bad-boy painters are as timeless—and irresistible—as their art. . . .Art historian Campbell Stratford is about to make a name for herself with her scandalously sexy tell-all “fictographies” of famous seventeenth-century artists, but she’s more iintimately familiar with her subjects than her eager readers can imagine. Thanks to a time portal she accidentally discovered, she has caused quite a stir in the Great Beyond. To save their reputations, the Guild protecting dead artists convinces playboy Peter Lely, portraitist to the king, to sabotage Cam’s latest project. A few hours posing on Sir Peter’s modeling chaise leads to a night of seductive passion—then Cam returns home and discovers his betrayal. But before she can turn her angry pen on her lover, Sir Peter makes a surprise visit to the future and transforms Cam’s twenty-first-century life into chaos of classic proportions. . . . 


Fill Out The Form To Enter

Contest Ends May 11, 2010 @ Midnight
Feel free to use any images from this post to promote this contest! 

Teaser Tuesday - April 27, 2010


Teaser Tuesdays

Hosted by Should Be Reading

Anyone can play along!
Just do the following :

1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on that page.
4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
5. Share the book title and author so others can wishlist the book.

My Teaser : 

"And tell her about the scarecrow."

"Oh, yeah.  There was a scarecrow-looking figure hanging by a noose from one of the goalposts.  They'd dressed it in a Jackrabbits jersey and novelty bunny ears.  'Bout thrity kids were beating the hell out of it with baseball bats while the band, the cheerleaders, and near enough the whole student body cheered on." 

pg. 243 

Play Dead by Ryan Brown
 
 

Monday, April 26, 2010

In My Mailbox - April 26, 2010

In My Mailbox was started by Krist @ The Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

February 10, 2009 - Received for review from 1 Arc Tours

Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.

Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?  

April 6, 2010 - Received for review from the Author in return for my honest review.

In this delectable novel—complete with recipes—Jennifer Ross frosts a sweet story of a young woman fulfilling her dreams, one delicious cupcake at a time.

In Ansley Waller’s world of Southern belles and gentlemen, getting a diamond ring isn’t just important—it’s the ultimate goal. So when her fiancĂ©, Parish, unceremoniously kicks her to the curb and cancels their upcoming wedding, Ansley is so ashamed that she decides to leave Dallas and make a fresh start. In a surprise move, she heads to New York City to live with her recently widowed grandmother, Vivian, whom she’s never met. In turn, Vivian gives Ansley a no-nonsense ultimatum: Rather than wallow in misery, either get a job or go home.

The Waller women have a tradition of baking their way out of sorrow. So Ansley mixes batch after batch of creative cupcakes—Black Bottom Heartache, Moving Blues Banana Caramel, Tres Leches Made Small. Before long, she’s opening up her own cupcake shop and even trying her hand at dating. But the ways of Manhattan’s eligible bachelors are altogether different from their Southern counterparts, and Ansley’s nearly fail-safe tactics fall flat. And worse, someone’s got a half-baked scheme to sabotage Ansley’s new life. It’ll take a cup of courage and a dash of Southern charm, plus a few secret ingredients, if Ansley hopes to pull off her recipe for success.  

February 2, 2010 - Received from Paperbackswap.com 

When mild-mannered Casey Schwartz wakes up in jail, she has no memory of how she got there. But after her sister, Wanda, bails her out, Casey has more to deal with than a foggy memory-like abrupt mood swings and fireballs shooting from her fingertips. But things really head south when a vampire shows up on her doorstep...

Vampire Clayton Gunnersson is seriously hot. And seriously taken-by a demon. In a ritual gone wrong, Clayton tried to get rid of his unwanted bond, but spilled some demonic blood on Casey, getting her possessed in the process. Now, Casey has to share her body and manage to keep her growing attraction to Clayton in check, because falling for her demon's boyfriend just might get Casey killed-from the inside out.

Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (audiobook)
March 2, 2010 - Received for review from Hatchette Books (Thank you Anna!)

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.
Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire. When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

Bone Magic by Yasmine Galenorn (MMP)
January 5, 2010 - Received from Bookmooch.com

We're the D'Artigo sisters: sexy, savvy operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But being half-human, half-Fae short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times. My sister Delilah is a Were who turns into golden tabby when she's stressed. And Menolly's a vampire who's still trying to get the hang of being undead. As for me, I'm Camille D'Artigo, a wicked-good witch who's learning death magic with a youkai-kitsune husband. Until now, the Moon Mother has pretty much ignored me, but she's about to take me on the Hunt of my life...

Another equinox is here, and life's getting more dangerous for all of us. The past is catching up to our friends Iris and Chase. Smoky, the dragon of my dreams, is forced to chose between his family and me. To top it off, there's a new demon general in town, and we can't locate her. And when the Moon Mother and the Black Beast summon me to Otherworld, I think I'm just going to reunite with my long-lost soul mate, Trillian. But once there, I'm forced to undergo a drastic ritual that will forever change my life, and the lives of those around me.

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade (ARC)
July 6, 2010 - Received for review from Around the World Tours

After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from Homecoming Queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she’s stuck here in spirit form with no sign of the big, bright light coming to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser/outcast type who hates the social elite. He alone can see and hear her, but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High.

Can they get over their mutual distrust—and this weird attraction between them—to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don’t exist?

The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Trade Paperback)
May 25, 2010 (First Published August 11, 2009) - Received for review from Plume

A thrilling and original coming-of-age novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he’s still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesn’t bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin’s fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.

At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.

Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger (Hardcover)
June 1, 1998 - Purchased from my local libraries donation shop.

In and of itself, the epistolary novel is nothing new; indeed, Ring Lardner wrote You Know Me Al, his classic diamond saga, as a series of letters home from fictional White Sox hurler Jack Keefe more than 80 years ago. With Last Days of Summer, Kluger has virtually reinvented the genre in his picaresque coming-of-age fable of future sportswriter Joey Margolis and his improbable relationship with Giants rookie sensation, Charlie Banks.

The place is Brooklyn, the time is the early '40s, and young baseball fanatic Joey needs a hero badly in his life. How that hero becomes Charlie--and ultimately Joey himself--forms the dimensions of the novel's field, but it's the way the game is played that's so remarkable. The story's told not through conventional narrative but by way of Joey's abstract scrapbook: letters, postcards, news clippings, box scores, report cards, matchbook covers, dispatches from FDR, telegrams, even an invitation to Joey's own Bar Mitzvah and the gift list from the affair.

Chrysalis : Tribulations by M.L. Lacy
January 7, 2010 - Received for review from the Author

As the exciting Chrysalis saga continues, Bree's eyes are opening to unimagined possibilities. Reunited with her soul mate, Steven, and her protectors Bradley, Bill and Rick, she journey's through a world she is only now beginning to comprehend. Challenges abound as she contends with the jealousies of her new status from Madelyn and the two newest members of her clan. As tensions escalate, the dynamics within her new family are enough to rock her world. And if that wasn't enough to contend with, Esmeralda, her arch nemesis who desires nothing more than to wipe Bree from the face of the earth, holds nothing back as she strikes out at Bree's family and friends. As the prophecy told at her birth continues to unfold, Bree and those around her are only beginning to truly understand the danger's she will face and the strength required to endure. But her transformation as a Magical has only just begun and her abilities grow much too rapidly, draining her to the point of complete exhaustion. Her clan fears that too much has been demanded of her and they continue to tighten their circle of protection around her, preventing her from following her true path. Bree must find a way to convince them that she is capable of prevailing while she searches for a way to save both human and Magical worlds - before it's too late.

What did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cleverly Inked Birthday Phenomenon - Just Got Better!

Cleverly Inked Button


Ok folks!  I posted about Cleverly Inked's Birthday Phenomenon awhile back, but what I didn't know then and I do now...is that for every 50 followers she's adding 5 more books to the pot!

There's already 55 Authors, 57 Books, a $25 GC, a TShirt, Posters, Pins, Bookmarks..and more!
Well, she's already gained 50 more followers, so she's added 5 more books!!!

Click on the link above to go sign up for your chance to win!

Friday Finds - April 23, 2010

Friday Finds are books that I have come across along the blogosphere, as well as book catalogs, and other sources.  More often than not these books will end up on my bookshelf at one time or another.


At the House of the Magician by Mary Hooper
Publisher : Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
ISBN : 978-0747588863
Release Date : October 12, 2010 (First Published in UK August 6, 2007)
Series : #1 At the House of the Magician Series

Lucy dreams of being a maid in one of the houses of the gentry - anything to get her closer to the queen and further from her drunken father.

By an odd twist of fate, she finds employment at the house of Dr Dee, court magician and consultant to Elizabeth I. Lucy is intrigued by the mysterious work of the doctor and his dark associate, Mr Kelly. She can’t resist poking her nose in, especially if it means catching a glimpse of the queen. But she learns more than she bargained for, and discovers a terrible secret that she must convey to Her Grace at all costs.  


Publisher : Scholastic Press
ISBN : 978-0545172783
Release Date : October 1, 2010
Series : Unknown
 
It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be. 

Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought. 

Teens like Nicki, Tom, and Leila may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.


Publisher : Running Press Kids
ISBN : 978-0762437382 
Release Date : September 28, 2010
Series : Stand Alone

In her fourth novel Joanne Dahme creates another page-turning tale in which a youngwoman named Rose strives to rid Philadelphia’s water of the deadly typhoid bacteria. Set in the late 19th century, Rose Dugan is a young wife who is actively involved in her community. But when her best friend is killed while working at Philadelphia’s Water Works' gardens, the mystery around her death pulls Rose in. Will she save the city from a deadly typhoid outbreak that is threatening the city’s water system? Will Rose unravel the mystery behind her best friend’s murder—a fate that was actually meant for her?  

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review : Flirting With Forever by Gwyn Cready


Title : Flirting With Forever
Author : Gwyn Cready
Publisher : Pocket Books
Genre : Time Travel Romance
ISBN : 978-1439107249
Series : Stand Alone
Release Date : March 30, 2010
Rating : 3/5 Stars - Liked It

Description from Goodreads

In RITA® Award–winning author Gwyn Cready’s fun and sexy new time-travel adventure, an ambitious writer discovers that bad-boy painters are as timeless—and irresistible—as their art. . . .Art historian Campbell Stratford is about to make a name for herself with her scandalously sexy tell-all “fictographies” of famous seventeenth-century artists, but she’s more intimately familiar with her subjects than her eager readers can imagine. Thanks to a time portal she accidentally discovered, she has caused quite a stir in the Great Beyond. To save their reputations, the Guild protecting dead artists convinces playboy Peter Lely, portraitist to the king, to sabotage Cam’s latest project. A few hours posing on Sir Peter’s modeling chaise leads to a night of seductive passion—then Cam returns home and discovers his betrayal. But before she can turn her angry pen on her lover, Sir Peter makes a surprise visit to the future and transforms Cam’s twenty-first-century life into chaos of classic proportions. . . 

Review

Campbell Stratford is sure to make a name for herself when she releases her sexy tell-all "fictographies" of famous seventeenth-century artists.  What her readers don't know, is that she is more intimately involved with her subjects than they could ever imagine.  It's all thanks to a time portal she accidentally discovered while in a frantic rush for information to make her book that much more memorable.  This portal leads her straight into the arms of playboy and seventeenth-century artist, Peter Lely.  It's easy to get caught up in the moment, and after posing for a portrait for a few hours on his modeling chaise, she ends up with a night of passion that one can not forget.

Peter Lely wants nothing more to do than paint, it is what makes up his world.  When the Guild of the Great Beyond come to him to in a frantic effort to thwart Campbell Stratford's plans against their reputation, he agrees to help them.  He sticks to the plan, and feeds her information that will surely sabotage her work.  Cam on the other hand, has other plans when she learns of Peter's betrayal, and now he must travel to Cam's twenty-first century life in order to set things right.

When I first saw the cover of this novel, I was instantly intrigued.  It looked magical, and like it was going to be filled with all sorts of romance.  Luckily, this time I judged a book by it's cover, it was sure to deliver.  In Flirting With Forever, we get not only romance, and heart pumping passion, but comedy as well.  I wasn't expecting this, but this book had me giggling and unforeseen moments.  I tend to get a lot of funny looks when I start giggling in the break room at my job, but I've grown accustom to this by now.

What I personally loved about this quirky novel was the fact that it was not only set in a modern setting, but a historical one as well.  The first quarter of this book you get teleported back in time to seventeenth-century London, while the rest of the book is centered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I happened to enjoy the descriptions of the historical setting far better, and itched to be relocated back to that time period.  Falling through time did not put a damper on this story though, as it was always up beat and ready to entertain. 

This was the first time-travel romance that I have ever read, and it has me itching to read more.  Luckily, author, Gwyn Cready, has a few more up her sleeve.  I've already decided that I want to read more of her work, and can't wait to get my hands on her other titles, Tumbling Through Time , and Seducing Mr. Darcy.  I can only hope that they will be filled with just as much romance, and humor.  She also has another title scheduled to be released September 28, 2010 by Pocket Books, and this one is going to be called Aching For Always, can't wait to see how that one will turn out! 

Read the first two chapters

Where did I get this book?

Received from Pocket Books for my honest review.

Amazon Affiliates

Clicking on title links in this post will redirect you to Amazon.com.  If you happen to make a purchase after clicking these links I will receive a small percentage of the profits.