Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: Misguided Angel

Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Wow the Blue Blood Series just keeps getting more intense. I feel as if this series is one of those pictures within a picture. Each book tells a story but sometimes in order to get those hidden clues you have to step back and look at the bigger picture. Misguided Angel picks up where The Van Alen Legacy left off. Mimi is still in charge of the New York Coven and has focused all her energy on keeping the coven running so she can keep her mind off the fact that she lost Kingsly and that Jack left her at the altar for Schuyler. Mimi is the girl you love to hate but her actions make you not want to slap her as much in Misguided Angel.

Jack and Schuyler’s quest to find the gates of hell came to a halt when, instead of finding help they found imprisonment. Jack and Sky must find a way to escape and find the gates to complete her grandfather’s mission. Aside from the fact that Jack and Sky are always putting their lives in danger their relationship seems to be growing and is so amazing. (Insert swoon here)

Mimi in the meantime is dealing with a problem of exposure. She receives a mysterious video email of a vampire tied to a chair with a message that says she will be killed within . Mimi puts all her efforts into finding her before the girl is killed. Mimi turns to an unlikely source for help and finds he is not only loyal and honest, but could be a friend as well.

When a second vampire is taken, Mimi calls in Deming Chen, a Venator, to help in the investigation. Venators are part of the secret police to help keep the Blue Bloods safe. Deming always apprehends the criminal and has never failed until she gets to New York and discovers that not everything is as cut and dry as she's used to.

Certain chapters are told from the perspective of Blue Bloods in 1400’s Florence, that tie into part of Misguided Angel but also into the larger story of the series. I missed the bigger story arch and it wasn’t until I talked to a friend about the book that she pointed it out. I also had to reference the Keys to the Repository at times because it has been a few years since I read the previous books and not everything is fresh in my mind.

The ending is amazing and leaves a cliff hanger for Lost in Time, the next book in the Blue Blood Series, to be released in October 2011. I know this seems like forever but in the mean time there will be two other books related to Blue Bloods. Bloody Valentine a collection of short stories will be released December 28, 2010 and the adult spin off Witches of East End will be available Summer 2011.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Giveaway!

Happy Holidays Readers,

This is the time of year where the weather in Texas goes below 60 (burr), Starbucks serves coffee in holiday red cups (yum), and the countdown to Christmas begins! The holiday season is also about reflecting on the great things in our lives. I am thankful for all the friends I have made through blogging, all the readers who visit my blog day in and day out, to those who comment and send me emails so I know I’m not just blogging to myself, to all the amazing authors I have met at events and on twitter, and over all I feel pretty lucky to have found a passion in books and a place to share it with everyone. To say thanks I am going to giveaway a very special book!

The Prize:


The Eternal Kiss Anthology signed by SIX Authors!
Kelley Armstrong
Holly Black
Sarah Rees Brennan
Rachel Caine
Cassandra Clare
Melissa de la Cruz

Contest details:
  • Only one entry per person
  • US and Canada Only (Due to shipping expense)
  • Entries only accepted via google form.
  • For an extra entry tweet about the contest and provide a direct link.
  • Winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to reply.

Contest will run until December 12th so I can send the package out and hope that it arrives by Christmas…if you don’t celebrate Christmas than it’s an early New Year gift!



Good Luck to all and Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My take on Audio Books

My belief is that you either love or hate them. Maybe they take some time getting use to, but for me they’re as frustrating as reading an ebook on a desktop.*

I can count on one hand the times where I considered audio books. First when I discovered my love of Twilight but then I listened to the preview online and I hated the narrator's voice so I passed. Second…

The price for an audio book can run close to 40 bucks for the CDs. So I think “One audio book or two or three real books?!?” You can guess what wins with me.

Then the Linger effect took over! Maggie Stiefvater tweets about how Sam sings and Cole sounds like sex on a stick! Well that combined with my love of all things Maggie I finally gave in and purchased a membership to audible.com

Audible draws you in with 7.99 a month for 3 months and then your membership goes up to 14.99! Most books are one credit so I figured I could get shiver, linger, and something else and be done right? Slight problem I keep forgetting to use my credits and turn off my account!

So far I’ve purchased:
Shiver
Linger
Beautiful Creatures
Sisters Red

I have only listened to pieces of Linger and all of Sisters Red…ah it's not been good so far. The narrator’s voices are nothing like what the characters sound like in my head. Also the pace is slower than what I would read. Listening to narrators with accents or speak sighs and grimace is very annoying.

On the plus side I can listen while I'm driving home and my commute is an hour each way, so it helps the commute go by faster. Also I can stream live on my blackberry and listen during lunch or even at my desk.

What are your thoughts? Am I the only one that feels this way or maybe I haven't listen to the right audio books? What are your suggestions?

*For those who know me reading an ebook online hardly ever happens because I get distracted by twitter, email, chat, and all the other fun stuff on the net.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Zombies vs Unicorns Winner!

Congrats to Jen Bigheart of I Read Banned Books who won the Zombies vs Unicorns signed picture!  I have emailed the winner and if there is no response within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.  Thanks to all who entered and check back soon for the next contest!



 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry 3) by Simone Elkeles

Simone Elkeles just revealed the cover for Chain Reaction on twitter!  Chain Reaction is the third book in the Perfect Chemistry series and I have to say that I LOVE the cover! I can't wait to see what little brother Luis will bring to the mix. What are your thoughts on his book? Have you fallen in love with the Fuente brothers? 

Published Date: May 24th 2011

Description from Goodreads:
Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn't live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he's never known, and just when he thinks he's got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?
Continuing all the steamy romance of the first two books, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Simone Elkeles gives fans one more satisfying taste of the irresistible Fuentes boys.


For more on Simone visit: http://www.simoneelkeles.net/

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Evolution of my Blog

This post is about the evolution of how my blog came to be. As many of you might know I never intended to be a book blogger it just sort of happened when my thoughts about books were longer than the 140 characters allowed on twitter.

Friends encouraged me and I think I had 11 views my first month. If you go back and visit my very first blog posts they were written more like notes to my friends and my reviews were tiny.

Over time I have received emails or random comments on how I created this or that for my blog and sometimes I even receive requests to help freshen up a blog. I’m not sure if many bloggers get these types of emails (fellow bloggers please let me know if you do get similar requests, I’d like to know I’m not alone on this) and in the beginning I was flattered and happy to help if I could, but now that I’m posting reviews nearly every day I just don’t have as much free time as I did before.

Here are some of the top questions and comments I receive:

I don't have time to do my blog and I don't know how. Will you do it for me?

I try not to be insulted that the requester has no time but I should. Along the way I have given tips on how to create this or that but with a fulltime job, trying to read books on my free time and keeping my own blog fresh there isn't much extra time. I will say you know you are wrong if you ask the same question every few months because you didn't save the instructions. Also give credit to those who have helped you along the way.

Well who taught you to do that?

I get this quite a bit and the answer is simple no one. I do have some experience in html, xml, and vba but my best friend has been Google and having an idea of what I want my blog to look like. Most weekends I search for blog add ons or cool blogger tricks. I pick and choose what I like and I try it out.

I am afraid of breaking my blog!

Oh and if you are wondering yes I have broken my blog many times but I always back up data before I start. If you aren't comfortable experimenting with your blog create a second one to play in. Also Blogger has improved its layouts and templates dramatically and there is nothing wrong with using those.

I want my blog to look just like yours!

This is similar to your bff saying I want your exact hair style or shows up wearing the dress you told her you were going to wear on the very same day. Flattering yes but you wish they would pick a look that says them and not a copy of you.

Your blog looks so cute!

Why Thank You! It hasn't always looked like what you see today. I have gone from two columns to three and for a moment thought of one column but changed my mind, I added flash items and then wanted a cleaner looks so removed a bunch of items.  I did how ever know that pink, black, and white would be my theme colors and that hasn't changed too much. A blog takes a lot of dedication and long hours. I’ve pulled out my old wallpapers, logos, and buttons to show you the transformation my blog has gone through in just one year!

Here’s a trip down memory lane…

Original Background

Background 2





The logo also went from:


Logo 1

Logo 2

Logo 3
Today!



The buttons:
Button one

Button 2

Today

Simply put this blog has been a lot of work and has changed often from it’s inception.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grave Minder by Melissa Marr

Melissa Marr author of the Wicked Lovely Series caused a frenzy on twitter when she tweeted the cover of Graveminder, her first adult novel. The cover is so different from her YA hit series Wicked Lovely but equally beautiful with an eerie quality. Grave Minder will be released in June of 2011 but in the mean time I wanted to share the cover and details.



Publisher’s description:

Three sips to mind the dead . . .

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place—and the man—she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D—a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

Suddenly Rebekkah is struggling with more than just her grief—she’s forced to deal with a centuries-old bargain, dark secrets, a complicated romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility—to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.

Source: HarperCollins

For more on info visit:
http://www.melissa-marr.com/

Real Books vs. eBook Part 2

If you have ever talked, tweeted, or chatted with me then you know I always have books on the brain. I do mean always so while I was getting ready for work today I thought yes I have heard a lot of great things about eReaders, but will it turn into my ipod? I have thousands of songs on it but I never really listen to them all. Sure if I'm on the road for long periods of time I hit the shuffle, but I have lost track of what is on it. Lately I have put two or three cds on my blackberry and listen to that in the car. I mean it's easier than digging through my library right?

Without that physical reminder I think it’s easier to be out of sight and out of mind. For example I have a few audio books that I never listen to because I forget I have them. Also some lazy Saturdays I stand in front of my bookshelf and look at all my books and think which one of you will I choose? I even have post it notes in favorite chapters that I quickly reread or skim.

Also I love used bookstores. When I have a bad day or don't really feel like dealing with traffic I head out to Half Price Books or a few Indie shops around town and hunt for a first edition book of something I love. Also who doesn't love the clearance bin? What a great way of finding a new author right?

I don't think that getting an ereader holder or back cover would ever replace having an author sign a real book. Also I might be the kind of person who takes every book the author ever wrote to events. I am nice enough to try to wait until the end of the line if you happen to be behind me I’m sorry! I always buy the most current book and anything I am missing from the store hosting the event because without them making sales they wouldn’t bring events to my area.

After looking at all the shiny and pretty eReaders I’m still not 100% sold. Will I eventually get one? Maybe but chances are that it will be an impulse buy with a really great sale price or if all review books go eCopy and I’m forced to buy one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Real Book vs. EBook

Last night after The Amazing Race but before Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Road and The Real Housewives of Atlanta um yes I am addicted to reality tv show but that's not the point. I was flipping channels and landed on QVC where they were talking about Velocity Micro eReader and it was 179 on 5 easy payments.
Velocity Micro eReader
I quickly sent a gchat message to MamaSeal, editor/techie/friend, what did she think about this eReader, all while looking for my credit card. Now I have said it 5 million times that I am a book person and I love real books. I love collecting foreign edition covers, and I even have multiple copies of books. (Like 12 10 combined copies of Linger and Shiver. I totally love Maggie Stiefvater. Maggie, if you are reading this I'll say it again you are awesome!) So do I really need an eReader? The most obvious answer is no but QVC can sell me just about anything! So Mamaseal comes back with all these reviews which I really don't want to read and ask her to just give me the bottom line and of course she says no. Boo put the credit card away.


So my questions to you is are:
Are you a Book Lover?
Do you have an eReader?
Do you find yourself buying a Hardback, paperback, and ecopy of the same book?
What do you do with all your fancy bookmarks now?
Will you ever really give up buying real books?
How do you get autographs on your ebooks when the authors come to town?
Is an eReader really better?

PS If you ever want to impulse buy don't ask Mamaseal unless it’s shoes then call her and she will talk you into needing more pairs!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Night Star by Alyson Noel

Night Star, the last book of The Immortal Series, will be in stores Tuesday November 16th. Are you a fan of this series? I have read the first three books and now that Night Star is out I can finish reading the last two books. Alyson just released the book trailer on her blog yesterday.



NIGHT STAR

Best friends make the worst enemies—they know all your secrets, your weaknesses, and just how to hurt you most...

After fighting for centuries to be together, Ever and Damen's future hinges on one final showdown that will leave readers gasping for breath. Don't miss this explosive new installment of the number one bestselling series that's enchanted millions across the world!

For more on the Immortals Series visit the website and facebook page below.

Immortals Series Website: http://www.ImmortalsSeries.com

Immortals Series Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/ImmortalsSeries?v=app_6009294086

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles


Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

5 of 5 Stars


Completamente Enamorada! Translation I'm completely in love! Rules of Attraction is book two in the Perfect Chemistry series and is based on Alex’s little brother Carlos. Carlos Fuentes is the pretty boy with a chip on his shoulder. Carlos is sent to live with Alex after following in his big brother’s gang banging footsteps. The difference is that Alex wanted a way out of that life while Carlos saw it as the only way to make real money. Only a few days into high school and Carlos hooks up with the wrong crowd and finds himself framed for drug possession.

Alex finds his little brother a better option than jail by putting him under the guardian ship of Westford, a retired military psychologist and his family. Carlos tries to get kicked out Westford’s house but finds it harder than just acting like a bad ass. Kiara has seen her dad take in people who needed help before but Carlos simply gets on her nerves. Kiara’s stuttering problem makes her shy and would be considered a tomboy by any girl at school. She wears baggy clothes and prefers fixing cars or hiking than going to the mall. Carlos tries to use his charms on her to shake her but she always seems to outsmart him.

Alex and girlfriend Britney from Perfect Chemistry are still going strong and Britney tries to reach out to Carlos in order to make him feel at home in Colorado. Carlos blames Britney for all the decisions his brother makes and he’s not exactly thrilled his brother is with her. Carlos is guarded, afraid and all about control but when he lets his walls down just a bit he finds out that he is capable of loving whole heartedly. Carlos is convinced that he will never be Alex but in the end it’s a choice between falling deeper into the gang life or fighting for a way out.

My only criticism is that the Spanish phrases weren’t always accurate or written in a way that it would be spoken. Rules of Attraction is captivating, charismatic, and a must read! I can’t wait for Chain Reaction, book 3 in the Perfect Chemistry series out in 2011.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review: Torment by Lauren Kate


Torment by Lauren Kate

5 of 5 Stars


Torment, the second book in the Fallen Series, has a somber tone as Luce tries to come to terms with the loss of her friend and who she really is. Luce doesn’t know if an eternity of love and loss with Daniel is the best thing for her. Daniel and Cam decide to work together to battle all those who want to see Luce dead and in doing so he will have to leave her in order to save her. Luce of course is not happy that she can’t start "forever after" with Daniel but it also gives her time to learn more about her past lives.

In order for Luce to be safe she is enrolled in Shoreline a school for Nephilim, the children of angels where she finds out that her history is a common story among the Nephilim. Her room mate Shelby is hot and cold with Luce. She wants to help Luce find out about her past, but seems to hold a grudge that involves Daniel. Luce starts to wonder what Daniel was like during the years he wasn’t with her. Luce also realizes that not only was her life disrupted every time she chose Daniel but so were those of her parents and siblings she left behind in all those lives.

Over and over Luce wonders if Daniel's love is more of a curse than bliss. Luce becomes a strong young woman during her time at Shoreline and in the end makes a choice for herself and no one else. I wish that the angels from Sword and Cross had played a bigger role in Torment but regardless I hung on every word Lauren Kate delivers.

Get out of the way Patch because Daniel and Cam are the hottest fallen angels around! I found Torment to be beautiful and can’t wait for Passion the next book in the Fallen Series to be released in 2011.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review: Fade Out by Rachel Caine

Fade Out (The Morganville Vampires, #7)Fade Out by Rachel Caine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Background:
Morganville is your typical small town in West Texas except for a small town secret. The town is run by Vampires and once you are a Morganville citizen you don’t leave, ever. Morganville is also home to Texas Prairie University, but the students are clueless like the rest of the world about the vampires. Each person has a vampire “protector” to make sure you don’t die and to make sure you pay your taxes at the blood mobile. Those who are without a protector or in trouble seek out Eve, Michael, Shane, and Claire because chances are they are also in trouble or can help you find your way out of it.

Review:
Fade Out is all about the arts. Michael‘s music is doing well and he receives an offer to leave Morganville in order to pursue his music. Eve is cast as the star of the town production of A Streetcar Named Desire and becomes fast friends with Kim also in the play and a girl from Shane’s past who seems to still be hung up on him. Claire, Shane's girlfriend is smart enough to know that if given the chance Kim will try to sink her claws into her boyfriend. Kim is also one of the Morganville historians and has been making video archives of all the vampires. Only Kim has a bigger project in mind that is more “big brother” and plans to expose the vampires. Michael is forced to choose if his first priority is to the vampires or his friends. Claire is finding that working for Myrnin is even stranger now that he has been cured and Ada, former assistant turned super computer, is even more jealous of Claire and even tries to kill her. Fade Out is funny, suspenseful and as all of Rachel Caine’s previous books hands down amazing! This is by far one of my favorite series!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Giveaway: Signed Picture of Zombies vs Unicorn

I have been looking at the new stats Blogger provides and I noticed that there are four countries who visit my blog the most and to say thanks I am offering up a unique prize.  Last month I attended the Texas Book Festival and I made a 5x7 photo card for the Zombies vs. Unicorn Panel for all the authors to sign. I will also throw in a zombies book mark, a unicorn book mark, and a button not pictured below. Are you excited?

Signatures include Meg Cabot, Holly Black, Scott Westerfield, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Matt de la Pena, Varian Johnson, Justine Larbalestier, Kirsten Miller, Andrea Cremer, and a few more

Contest Details:
Contest will run until 11/20/10 12:00 CST  


Countries eligible for this contest:
United States
Canada
United Kingdom
Australia


To enter fill out the form below

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Contest Winners

The winners of the Halloween Contest are:

The Body Finder Swag Pack: MamaSeal

The autographed Glass House: Jessi E.

The winner of The Body Finder Book: Heather

Winners have been notified via email and have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be selected.  Thank you to all who entered and check back soon for a new contest!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Reading List

So here is my schedule of what I plan to read this month. Feel free to join me and then we can discuss. Also I am always up for taking recommendations. If you check my blog often you will find I add and remove books just depending on my moods. Happy reading!

Currently Reading:



To Read:



Done: