Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Promise Me Light by Paige Weaver
At one time my life was simple. Easy. But that was before the war. Now I was no longer an average college student. I was a survivor. A woman living in a ravaged world. My future was not bright and my life was far from perfect. The war had taken so much from me... but it wasn't finished yet. It wanted more. It wanted my heart. My soul. The one person I couldn't live without. It wanted Ryder Delaney. My best friend. The bad boy. The one person who could fight like no other and love me like no one else. He was the father of my baby. I watched him walk away one hot summer day and I prayed he would return. I needed him like I needed air to breathe and water to drink. Without him I was lost. A light without her darkness. Until he returns, I'll wait for him. And I believe he will return because love is powerful... And so is the light calling him home.
Rate & take
Heat Index 1 ☼
I finished this book a few hours ago and can't stop thinking about the way it made me feel. There were no earth shaking plot twists, but author did a great job of painting the array of all of the emotions that happen between loss and longing. I was totally sucked in and that surprised me because I normally do not go in for the post apocalypse type stories.
This book ends the story that was started in Promise Me Darkness (see last post for review) and I think, except for wishing there was a bit more development of the fringe characters, the story was well rounded.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Promise Me Darkness by Paige Weaver
For me, life was simple. I went to school and studied. I spent time with my friends and stayed out of trouble. I didn't drink or swear and I only dated gentlemen. I was the typical good girl with a bright future. My world seemed perfect.
But that was about to change.
Ryder Delaney was the one imperfection in my life. He was the bad boy, the black sheep, the one your mother always warned you about. He had only one hard-and-fast rule - Don't fall in love.
But some rules were meant to be broken.
We were best friends, inseparable since childhood despite our differences. I knew the real man hiding behind the tattoos and bad attitude. He knew all my secrets and dreams. But he didn't know there was one thing I wanted and couldn't have...him.
But sometimes Fate has a way of intervening. Soon our world collapsed. War erupted. Darkness prevailed. Alone and on the run, our only goal was to survive and to ignore the feelings we had for each other. But love is powerful...
and so is the darkness.
Rate & take
Heat Index 1 ☼
I am still shaking my head at this one...not at all what I expected. But that is not to say that I didn't enjoy it, I did, well enough to buy book two and start on it as soon as I hit 'publish' on this entry. Book two is the conclusion to the series so at least I won't be plagued with my need to know.
The thing that caught me most off guard by this title was not that love could bloom in the end-of-the-world type times, but more that the author really made it work. The only negative I can say is that I found at several points in the book I would have loved to slap some sense in the main female character for making some colossally stupid decisions, but I guess that all adds to the tension.
I am off to read!
Friday, October 25, 2013
The Arrangement 10 by H.M. Ward
When Avery realizes that her latest client wasn't Sean she doesn't know what to do. This person has invaded her life on a personal level and to make matters worse she doesn't even know who he is. The only good thing that came from it has been seeing Sean again, but now that he's in front of her, she doesn't want to let him go. However, it's time for Avery to stop pretending and move on with her life, and she knows that Sean Ferro will not be part of it.
Rate & take
I think H.M. Ward is a big tease, there I said it. This latest novella in the series was sweet torture. I loved every word...until my e-reader said the story was 84% finished and I turned the digital page and it basically said 'tune in next time'. ARRGH!!! The author gave me just enough to keep my addiction going but not enough for the greedy little reader in me to be fully satisfied. But as is my predictable nature I'll be up front and center for the release of The Arrangement 11...whenever she can fit the time in to have it published, that is.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Scorched Treachery by Rebecca Ethington
While Joclyn is trapped in the tormenting hell of Cail’s mind, the battle around her only continues to grow and spread.
Edmund has infiltrated the underground hallways of Prague, guiding the massacre that would end the lives of the last of the great magical race. In her attempts to stop him, Wynifred has been captured and her magic restrained. Chained up in the ancient dungeons of Prague, her fate is left in the hands of her father, who has tried to kill her before.
With Ryland’s screams and Sain’s fragmented sights as her only company, Wyn must rely on something that has been hidden deep inside of her for centuries to help them break free.
Ilyan’s whole life has been building up to one purpose. Protect the Silnỳ. He knows what he must do, and he has no doubt in his ability to do so. But when his father’s magic removes Joclyn’s mind from her body, he is left protecting the shell of the one person he loves. Desperate to find a way to break her free of her prison, he makes a choice. And that one choice changes everything. Now, Ilyan finds himself bound to Joclyn in a way that he never knew to be possible. They say that blood is thicker than water, but Black Water burns, and Ilyan’s heart may not be strong enough to keep it pumping through his veins and give the girl he loves back into his brother’s care.
Even if he can, it may not be safe to do so.
Rate & take
This one was a tough read in a way because 80% of it was written about a time period that was covered in book two, (see this post) only this was from the perspective of others in the story. I'm not saying it wasn't good writing, or that I didn't find the new bits learned helpful, but I was really hoping to get further along in the tale before the inevitable end of this book, which as predicted came way too soon.
From the author notes at the end of the story, book 4 will be out in December 2013 and book 5 in January 2014.
Monday, October 21, 2013
The Fault is in Our Stars by John Green
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
Rate & take
I had been saving this offering until the time was just right, my stars aligned, and for it not to be summer. That time had arrived so I settled in and fell in love with the story, the characters, and the writing, not even minding the tears I shed for the singular beauty found in the acceptance of the impossible harshness of life. Yes, it was sometimes painful but a good kind of pain that reminds you to be more aware in your own life while you have the ability to. I'm glad I waited to read this and I'm glad I didn't wait any longer.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Simple Perfection by Abbi Glines
Woods had his perfect life mapped out for him. Rise up the ranks of the family business. Marry the rich girl of his parents’ dreams. Pretend that wealth and privilege was all he’d ever wanted. Then a girl named Della breezed into town, a beautifully imperfect stranger who captured his heart and opened his eyes to a new kind of future. Woods is ready and willing to sacrifice everything for her when the sudden death of his father leaves him with his mother to care for and a business to manage.
Della is determined to be strong for Woods, even as she’s quietly falling to pieces. No matter how far from home she’s run, the ghosts of her past have never stopped haunting her. Struggling to hide her true feelings from Woods, Della fears she can’t be his rock without dragging him down into the darkness with her. But is she strong enough to let go of the last thing holding her together?
Rate & take
Heat Index 1 ☼
If someone would have asked me (anytime during my reading of the first two-thirds of this book) what I thought my rating was going to be, I would have said it was a solid three. But it's what happened late in the game that really changed it all for me....it was one of those 'I-did-not-see-that-one-coming' moments and really brought the story to a new level and I knew then it sure was worth the rating of four.
I have read several of Abbi Glines books and I've never been disappointed by the way she crafts a story and weaves in the emotional tones that often times just tug the heck out of my girlie side. And she is great for a plot twist or two as well. I hope she keeps writing for a very long time to come!!!
Sunday, October 13, 2013
I don't talk about this enough on this blog, but I am changing that now.
Confession; I am a HUGE fan of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. And all thanks to Starz, fans will be getting yet another fix of this phenomenal tale when the Outlander series premiers in March 2014, on the cable network. Starz also honored a small group of fans at an event in New York City on Saturday October 12.
Being the rabid fan that I am I have 'Liked' as many pages as I can find on Facebook that have anything to do with the Outlander Universe, one of which is the Outlander/Starz page that posted this on October 9th,
"Starz will be hosting a private Outlander event, not open to the public, with Diana Gabaldon and Ronald D. Moore this Saturday, October 12th, at 1:00pm in Manhattan!
Attendees will get a first-hand look behind the scenes of the upcoming series and participate in a live Q&A, followed by an intimate lunch.
Email for a chance to attend! Limited admittance, no guarantees. First come, first seated.
I sent my email that day thinking that was the last I would hear about it. Friday night at 11 p.m. I found this had been sent to me the hour before;
So I spent the next hour freaking out and wondering if I should wake up my sick hubby (plagued with a cold) and talk about how I was going to get sleep, get ready, and travel 160 miles all in about 12 hours. Luckily hubby woke up on his own and at the end of our discussion I decided not to go because there was no guaranteed entry. Even declaring that, I still set my alarm and made a list of what I would need to take. When the alarm did go off I felt comfy and warm and was planning on going back to sleep when suddenly I was wide awake and firmly decided on going, even if I didn't get in. Just over an hour later I was driving the 96 miles that would lead me to a train station and a commuter train that would take me the rest of the way.
This would be a good time for me to mention I have only been to the city three other times and have never traveled solo anywhere. None of that mattered to me because it was Diana!!!!
I arrived at the venue with just over an hour to spare before the doors were to open...only to find a line (of course there was - even though the invitation said not to form a line, what did they expect us to do??) of about 60 people. The line grew and grew and I had no idea how many people would be let in. Eventually Starz brought out a camera crew and were interviewing people in line (I ducked behind the person in front of me) and then came a black Town car that was redirect but came back a few minutes later and about 30 feet from my place in line out stepped Herself, Diana Gabaldon, and the executive producer of the show, Ron Moore. Just before this we were each verified to be on the list by a few individuals that came around with I-Pad's (Yay, I was on the list!!!), some folks brought friends that did not have emailed invites, they were told to go to the back of the line and they would see if they had enough room when all were seated. I think all told there was about 150-200 of us that did get in. There was no way that entire line made it in.
This is a photo Starz posted. I am not visible but was around the second black doorway.
As always, Diana looked amazing and Ron looked great in his kilt.
Shortly after their entry I was lead with a group of 16 people to an unremarkable door further down the building. Once we entered it looked like we were in a wood paneled hallway....it was actually an elevator that inched us up to the top floor. The elevator was dim, but the hallway and the room we were seated in was really dim, so I did not take pictures of the décor, which I was told was designed to look like a prohibition era speak easy. There was a wooden bar at one end and lots of curved booths along the periphery. It had a very cool vibe to it.
I was able to take a photo of the small stage since it was well lit. On the stage were two captains chairs that were flanked by two large screen televisions.
Partially empty stage
Now a full stage
We were treated to a brief clip that showing the prep work that was taking place in Scotland as that very moment, such as, sword fighting practice, Gaelic and horse riding lessons. At the very end was a nice message from the two leading stars of the series, extending their apologies for not being with us but hoping we understood they needed to be in bonny Scotland just then.
Just after this Ron spoke a bit about the process that will take place over the next several months (Starz is contracted to produce 16 shows that will encompass the first book in the series...hopefully it will be such a success that the all the books in the series will also be filmed). I know Diana thought that Ron was a good choice to bring her epic work to the small screen but I knew very little about him. In listening to him talk about being true to the story and his passion for the project (he even sent people to a castle ruin in Scotland to make a mold of the outer wall so it could be reproduced on set buildings) and the fact that he did not want to disappoint any of the fans, or his wife, who is also a long time fan, made me think he was the right choice as well.
At this point there was a Q & A session, I had no questions but enjoyed listening to those of others. I didn't learn anything new from the session (thanks to my stalking any and all information from Diana and the shows production) but rather got a bit more depth into some of the production intricacies. About 30 minutes in we were told the session would have to end as lunch was ready for us, we were asked to follow a piper up the stairs to the rooftop restaurant where a buffet lunch was waiting.
The red headed piper and our lunch venue
Drinks were generously flowing, red wine, white wine, beer, or bottled water that were labeled on one side Outlander and the other, Starz. (Also notice the ceiling banner flags were also Starz/Outlander). Just behind the lovely lady at the buffet Diana and Ron had their lunch with some of the folks from Starz. I sat just two tables away. When lunch was over Diana and Ron began going from table to table but that did not last long as people further away came up and formed a line to talk to them, get autographs, and photos. I stayed out of the well ordered melee as I had met Diana previously had done all the above. I just enjoyed watching others have their moments.
Ron and Diana in action
Here are photo's of conceptual art boards that Starz had made
As things began to wind down I asked one of the Starz folks if there would be more, or if it ended after the autographs. I was told yes it would end after the autographs, but that they had t-shirts and books for us on the way out. Somehow I managed to thank her while masking my total shock, after such a well thought out afternoon they had yet more for us, it was almost too much to comprehend!! Below is the loot.
The book is autographed by both Diana and Ron
And here is the back of the shirt (OH YES!)
So in closing I can say I am one lucky girl to have lived this unexpected dream day and that I'm glad I was brave enough to take the chance rather than clinging to home and my warm bed.
Friday, October 11, 2013
Eyes of Ember by Rebecca Ethington
Joclyn is in hiding, hunted by the man she still desperately loves. Ryland is gone, his mind erased, no memory of Joclyn remains. But, Joclyn’s heart desperately begs her to hold out hope. While, in reality the black eyed monster that possesses him, attempts to kill her over and over.
If it wasn’t for Ilyan, Joclyn would be dead by now.
Ilyan. The man who once stalked her, is now Joclyn’s protector, the only thing she has left. He protects Joclyn from the men who seek to end her life, and while she is haunted by dreams where Ryland begs her to break the bond between them.
Ilyan is there. Always there.
Ilyan trains and prepares her, teaching her everything she needs to know in the hope that one day she can avenge Ryland, if not protect herself from him.
And then there is her father.
The man who has never been there, is suddenly responsible for everything. And who he is has made Joclyn into something she never wanted to be.
Rate & take
I just had to continue on in this series and I got rewarded with an enjoyable read for my efforts. I will say there was a small section that drove me a little nuts though....the main female character was told she had to have something revealed to her, then was told she wasn't ready to hear it...a lot...and when they finally said she was ready she wasn't sure she wanted to hear it. This felt like it played out over a few weeks but I was shocked to learn it was only three days in the story. When the big reveal did happen it was something I had already suspected anyway. I was undaunted and read on to some really great scenes that even had me a bit scare/creeped out. So dear reader just know that as soon as I finish writing this review I will crack open (turn on) book three....once I finish reading that I will have to wait, for who knows how long to get my next fix of the story. ;-(
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Kiss of Fire by Rebecca Ethington
Joclyn Despain has been marred by a brand on her skin. She doesn't know why the mark appeared on her neck, but she doesn't want anyone to see it, including her best friend Ryland, who knows everything else about her. The scar is the reason she hides herself behind baggy clothes, and won't let the idea of kissing Ryland enter her mind, no matter how much she wants to.
The scar is the reason she is being hunted.
If only she knew that she was.
If only she had known that the cursed stone her estranged father sent for her 16th birthday would trigger a change in her. Now, she is being stalked by a tall blonde man, and is miraculously throwing her high school bully ten feet in the air.
Joclyn attempts to find some answers and the courage to follow her heart. When Ryland finds her scar; only he knows what it means, and who will kill her because of it.
Rate & take
This book had been sitting on my virtual shelf for a bit and as I was in one of those infrequent moments of 'what to read next', I gave it a go and I'm glad I did. At first I was worried because the writing felt a little shaky, but since that cleared quickly and did not return I am thinking it was just the way the author chose to present the teenage female lead. This is the first book in the Y.A. series called Imdalind, there are currently three books out (I am reading book two now, review to follow) and a fourth is due to be published later this year. The story evolves at a nice pace, which is perfect considering the non-humans in this story have a long history that would be a complicated/confusing read if the writing were rushed, thankfully that is not the case.
Monday, October 7, 2013
How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox
As program director for the Camelot Community Center, Amber Clark knows how to keep her cool. That is, until a sudden tornado warning forces her to take shelter in a darkened basement with a hunk of man whose sex appeal green lights her every fantasy. With a voice that would melt chocolate, he asks her if she is okay. Now she's hot all over and wondering: How does a girl make a move?
Building contractor Tony Mazzara was just looking to escape nature's fury. Instead, he finds himself all tangled up with lovely Amber. Sweet and sexy, she's ready to unleash her wild side. Their mutual desire reaches a fever pitch and creates a storm of its own--unexpected, powerful, and unforgettable. But is it bigger than Tony can handle? Can he let go of painful memories and let the force of this remarkable woman show him a future he never dreamed existed?
Rate & take
Heat Index 1 ☼
This title starts the Camelot series and from what I understand each book is focused on a different coupling from the individuals mentioned in this story. This first book was novella length...not sure if the rest will be that way as well. I did find myself liking the characters, so overall I did enjoy the story, the only drawback for me was the quickness that each obstacle was turned into a positive without any real depth and struggle. If short, sweet, and a little naughty is your thing, this book is a good one for you.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Starlight by Mimi Strong
So, I fly my rockin' curves off to LA for the big Peaches Monroe (that's me) underwear shoot.
I'm nursing a broken heart from you-know-who, when along comes Keith Raven. Sexy, tanned, and nearly naked. He's my new co-model, and let me tell you, Keith is the full package with a big package (wink, wink).
My new bestie Mitchell warns me that all male models are walking disasters, but I think Keith's different. He meditates, for example. And, unlike some people, he doesn't toy with my affection.
Staying at Keith's apartment in LA and swimming in his pool is heavenly, not to mention the more intimate details of our Rebound Arrangement. What's a Rebound Arrangement, you ask? It's a fixed-length romance and a great way to turn your world upside-down.
Meanwhile, Dalton Deangelo is trying to redeem himself and win me back. He sucks at redemption, but he is charming.
Somebody please stop me, because if I keep slamming my heart like this, it's going to break.
Rate & take
Heat Index 1 ☼
The fun continues in this book (see my last post for review of book one in this trilogy) and so do the laughs and jaw drops. Petra "Peaches" Monroe will let go with just about anything, so she is a girl after my own heart....even if she only resides in a book.
The final book in the series is due out this December and I sure will be happy to devour that book just like I did the first two.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Stardust by Mimi Strong
There I was, minding my own business at Peachtree Books when this lunatic comes racing in the door and knocks me into his arms. I would have ripped him a new one, but he was kinda familiar, and hot. Like I-want-to-have-your-sexy-babies-now hot.
Turns out he looks familiar because I stare at his gorgeous face on TV every week. Yup, Dalton Deangelo. In the oh-so-firm flesh.
I let him hide out from the press for a while, then I thought he'd be on his way, and I could breathe normally again. But no. He found me interesting. He wanted to tag along to my cousin's wedding with me. I couldn't say no to that face ... or THOSE EYES. Before the night was through, he was saying sweet things, then dirty things. Very dirty things.
I try to keep my eyes wide open. I've made terrible, stupid mistakes in the past. But Dalton Deangelo's touch turns me to Jell-O.
I'm just a regular girl, and he's rich and famous with no body fat. The guy has a butler! So, why is he chasing me? And why can't I say no? And what is this sordid secret of his the reporters are trying to uncover?
Rate & take
Heat Index 1 ☼
I was feeling a little blue and this book fixed me right up with a few laughs and a jaw drop or two. If you are looking for fluffy fun with a bawdy main female character that is likely to say or do anything, this book is for you.