Sunday 31 January 2010

Bliss Happy 101 Award

I had a lovely surprise & recieved the Bliss Happy 101 award from the Serpentine Librarian - she has a lovely blog so if you've not visited her before please drop by and say hi.  Thank you so much for the award hun!
For the Bliss Happy 101 award you have to list 10 things that make you happy so here are my 10:
  1. My wonderful fiance Ant
  2. My family
  3. My friends
  4. Books
  5. Our crazy cats
  6. Starbucks latte with peppermint syrup
  7. Chocolate
  8. Taking photos
  9. Snuggling up to watch a good movie
  10. Doing something creative
Now to share this award with some cupcake-sweet people:

Raila from Get the Books out of the Bookcase
Larissa from Larissa's Life
Kristi from The Story Siren
Kristen from Bookworming in the 21st Century
Melissa from I Swim For Oceans

In My Mailbox (5)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Books Purchased:
I really should put a ban on myself buying any more books until I've read all the ones in my TBR pile but I just can't seem to resist picking them up!  Oh well, perhaps I'll avoid buying any next week LOL
My buys this week are:
  1. Heavenly - Jennifer Laurens
  2. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
  3. City of Ashes - Cassandra Clare
  4. Fallen - Lauren Kate
  5. The Secret Circle (Book 1) - L.J. Smith
  6. Kitty and the Midnight Hour - Carrie Vaughn
  7. Kitty goes to Washington - Carrie Vaughn
  8. Ghost Girl - Tory Hayden
Competition Prizes:
I received this beautiful necklace from Jennifer Laurens (author of Heavenly) after winning a giveaway on her blog.  Isn't it beautiful?  It even came with matching wing shaped earings!

Saturday 30 January 2010

Review: Nation - Terry Pratchett

On the day the world ends...

...Mau is on his way home from the Boy's Island.
Soon he will be a man.

And then the wave comes - a huge wave, dragging black night behind it and bringing a schooner which sails over and through the island rainforest.

The village has gone.

The Nation has gone.

Now there's just Mau, who wears barely anything, a trouserman girl who wears far too much, and an awful lot of big misunderstandings...

Visit Terry Pratchett's website for more information

I'm a big fan of Terry Pratchett but this is the first of his books that I've read that isn't a Discworld story.  I wasn't sure what to expect but I certianly wasn't disappointed.  This book takes you through a full range of emotions - from incredibly sad, to laughing out loud and everything in between.  It is a book that makes you think - about love, loss, joy, despair, growing up, faith, religion and much more.

The story is set in a parallel universe in the equivalent of Victorian times - Mau comes from a small Island in the southern ocean and Daphne is a young lady from London who is travelling to stay with her father.  Mau has been alone on the Boy's Island as part of his coming of age ceremony and is travelling back to The Nation to finally become a man when the Tsunami hits.  Daphne is the only survivor when the ship she was travelling on is wrecked on the island by the storm.

Mau's entire village has been wiped out by the wave - everyone he knew and loved are dead.  He is also worried about his soul as he hasn't completed the coming of age ceremony.  He has to learn to deal with his loss and questions his religion - how could the God's have allowed this tragedy to happen?  Daphne has been brought up to believe that the islanders are "savages" but as more and more survivors turn up in need of assistance she begins to question everything she thought she knew.

This is a story of great loss but there is a lot of hope too as the survivors work together to re-build their lives.  This is a thought provoking book that will have you questioning everything and make you grateful to be human.  It is more serious than Terry Pratchett's Discworld series but his humor still shines through alongside a facinating insight into human nature, religion and philosophy.  This really is a book not to be missed.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Friday 29 January 2010

Friday 56 - Dead Sexy

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Storytime with Tonya and Friends

• Grab the book CLOSEST to you.
• Share the 5th sentence on the 56th page.
• Note the title & author
• Link back
The 5th sentence:
Sebastian watched me intently with the kind of concentration usually reserved for someone speaking English with a thick, alien accent.
Page 56, Dead Sexy by Tate Hallaway

Review: Dead Sexy - Tate Hallaway

Garnet Lacey should've known she'd never get away with murder.

Especially when the people she unleashed her inner goddess, Lilith, on were Vatican witch-hunters.  And anyway, it's not like she doesn't have other things to worry about, like not letting her vampire boyfriend find out that her vampire ex is stowing his coffin in her basement.

So, what with all of that, plus the zombie students popping up everywhere and the seriously gorgeous FBI agent on her trail, Garnet's got plenty on her mind.

What to do?  Well, a teensy love spell might encourage the cute FBI guy to listen to her side of the story and she could break it at any time, right?  But between love spells gone wrong and sharing her body with Lilith, pleading innocence might not be so easy...

The Garnet Lacey Series:
Tall, Dark & Dead
Dead Sexy
Romancing the Dead
Dead if I do
Honeymoon of the Dead

Visit Tate Hallaway's website for more information

This is the second book in the Garnet Lacey series & continues the story from a few months after the last book ended.  Now that Garnet & Sebastian have managed to avoid the Vatican witch hunters life should be back to normal but that all changes when an FBI agent turns up at the store to question Garnet.  He wants to question her about the murders of 6 Vatican witch hunters the year before.  Garnet panics and realising that she is the prime suspect she tries to hide her identity.  The fact that the FBI agent is psychic doesn't help so she takes matters into her own hands by creating a love spell that she hopes will get him to listen to her side of the story.

She is still dating Sebastian but her jealousy issues are causing problems just like they did with her ex Parrish - she doesn't want him to feed from her but hates the fact that he has to feed from others to survive.  It doesn't help that she is keeping secrets from him - he has no idea that Lilith killed the 6 Vatican witch hunters or that Parrish is currently hiding out in her basement.  Throw in the fact that Garnet is coming across zombies at every turn and things are bound to get interesting.

I really loved the first book in this series but while I still enjoyed Dead Sexy I don't think it quite lived up to my expectations.  This story wasn't as fast paced as the previous one and I don't feel that there was as much comedy this time.  If you liked the first book then you'll probably still enjoy this one - it was still a cut above some other books I've read but I'm hoping that the third book will be even better.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Thursday 28 January 2010

Review: On The Prowl - Karen MacInerney

Talk about a bad hair day!

Sophie Garou is a master at taming her inner beast, which comes in handy since she's a werewolf.  With a big promotion at work and a supersexy boyfriend, Heath (whom she recently spotted leaving a jewelry store with a beguiling ring box), she's one happy girl.

But when Heath starts spending long nights at the office with his new associate - a dead-ringer for Career Day Barbie - Sophie smells trouble.  And when her professional relationship with her big new client - who also happens to be Texas's brilliantly blue-eyed most eligible bachelor - begins to sizzle, she wonders if her animal instincts are leading her in the wrong direction.

Just when it seems that things can't get any more complicated, they do.  The Houston werewolf pack has sniffed Sophie out, and their message is clear: you're either with us or against us.  And unless she can prove that she's with them, the next full moon may just be her last.

Tales of an Urban Werewolf Trilogy:
Howling At The Moon
On The Prowl
Leader Of The Pack

Visit Karen MacInerney's Website for more information

I really enjoyed Howling at the Moon, the first book in this trilogy and I wasn't disappointed with On the Prowl.  It had all the comedy, romance & mystery of the first book and Sophie's love life has become even more complicated.  I'd recommend reading the series in order but I think you could get away with reading this as a stand alone book.

This book starts a couple of months after the last book finished.  Things between Sophie and her hot human boyfriend Heath have become even more complicated than they already were - he is doing a lot of overtime & seems to be a lot closer to his new colleague than he should be.  He also has no idea that Sophie is a werewolf.

Sophie has just got a big promotion at work which means she is spending a lot of time working with the CEO of her new client.  A client who is not only Texas's very sexy most eligible bachelor & but who is also making it quite clear that he is interested in more than a working relationship.  Sophie has been told to do anything to keep her client happy but where should she draw the line?

As if 2 handsome men aren't enough to deal with there is also Tom who she is incredibly attracted to but who happens to be dating her best friend Lindsey.  Should she warn Lindsey that she is dating a werewolf?  And how does she manage to do that without giving herself away?

Relationship problems are the least of her worries though.  She has been living in Austin for 20 years without the Houston Pack being aware of her but now she has been discovered in their territory.  Sophie is summoned to a meeting with them and is told that the penalty for living in their territory without permission is death.  She now has to decide if she should join their pack (starting at the very bottom), or find a way to convince them to allow her immunity.  Things are certianly getting interesting for Sophie and she is going to need all the help she can get to deal with this.

Source: Purchased

Other reviews of this book:
Books, Books & More Books
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Review: A Girl's Guide to Vampires - Katie MacAlister

Nowadays, finding The One really can be a pain in the neck

Joy Randall should know.  She's been looking for the right guy for years.  But, as yet, no real man has lived up to the heroes of the vampire romance novels she's completely addicted to.

So when her friend Roxy suggests a holiday to the Czech Republic, Joy simply can't say no.  After all, it has everything:

A craggy, romantic landscape
Tall, dark, handsome strangers
Immortal, undead, bloodsucking fiends...

OK, the last one is just Roxy's imagination.  Because vampires don't really exist ... or do they?

Plagued by dreams of a handsome stranger, haunted by a mysterious prophecy, and pursued by three pale, brooding, sinistor suitors, suddenly Joy isn't so sure...

Dark Ones Series:
A Girl's Guide to Vampires
Sex and the Single Vampire
Sex, Lies and Vampires
Even Vampires get the Blues
Bring out your Dead (Novella in the Just One Sip anthology)
The Last of the Red Hot Vampires
Cat got your Tongue? (Novella in the My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon anthology)
Zen and the Art of Vampires
Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang
Unleashed (Novella in the Cupid Cats anthology)
Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend
In the Company of Vampires
Much Ado About Vampires
A Tale of Two Vampires

For more information visit Katie MacAlister's Website

I absolutely loved this book - it had me laughing out loud from practically the first page.  I'm just glad I wasn't reading it in public or I'd have received no end of strange looks.  I just can't wait to read the next book in the series.

Joy & her friend Roxy are both hopeless when it comes to love so they ask for assistance from a wiccan friend to find their true loves.  Miranda's prediction for Roxy is quite straightforward - she'll find her true love within a month.  However, when it comes to Joy things are not so simple - there are going to be 2 men coming into her life and if she fails to pick the right one then she will be in danger of losing her soul.

The 2 friends are both obsessed with reading vampire novels and love author C J Dante who writes a series about the Dark Ones.  Roxy is convinced that the Dark Ones are real and is determined to meet the author & convince him to tell her how to find them.  Joy is sure that they aren't real but is happy to go with Roxy to the Czech Republic to search for Dante.

They arrive in the Czech Republic & find themselves in the middle of a Goth Festival and soon start attracting plenty of attention, both good and bad.  Roxy is determined to find a Dark One but with people from the festival walking around dressed as vampires spotting the real thing is going to be difficult. 

I don't want to give any plot information away so I'll just say that there are plenty of crazy antics & twists to the story and I love the way the ending isn't what you're expecting.  The book is filled with comedy, romance and lust with plenty of hot sex thrown in for good measure.  If you want something light hearted but still with a paranormal twist then I'd definitely recommend this series.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Review: Veil of Midnight - Lara Adrian

Bound by blood, addicted to danger, they'll enter the darkest - and most erotic - place of all.

A warrior trained in bullets and blades, Renata cannot be bested by any man - vampire or mortal.  But her most powerful weapon is her extraordinary psychic ability - a gift both rare and deadly.  Now a stranger threatens her hard-won independence - a golden-haired vampire who lures her into a realm of darkness...and pleasure beyond imagining.

A combat-loving adrenaline junkie, Nikolai dispenses his own justice to enemies of the Breed - and his latest quarry is a ruthless assassin.  One woman stands in his way: the seductive, cool-as-ice bodyguard, Renata.  But Renata's powers are put to the test when a loved one, a child, is threatened and she's forced to turn to Niko for help.  As the two join forces, as desire fans the flames of a deeper hunger, Renata's life is under siege by a man who offers the exquisite pleasure of a blood bond - and a passion that could save or doom them both forever....

The Midnight Breed Series:
A Touch of Midnight (Novella included in The Midnight Breed Series Companion, now also available separately)
Kiss of Midnight
Kiss of Crimson
Midnight Awakening
Midnight Rising
Veil of Midnight
Ashes of Midnight
Shades of Midnight
Taken by Midnight
Deeper than Midnight
A Taste of Midnight (Novella)
Darker After Midnight
The Midnight Breed Series Companion
Edge of Dawn
Marked by Midnight (Novella)
Crave the Night
Tempted by Midnight (Novella)
Bound to Darkness
Stroke of Midnight (Novella)
Defy the Dawn
Midnight Untamed (Novella)
Midnight Unbound (Novella)
Midnight Unleashed (Novella)
Claimed in Shadows
Break the Day

Hunter Legacy Series:
(A series of standalone romances set in the Midnight Breed world)
Born of Darkness
Hour of Darkness
Edge of Darkness

Visit Lara Adrian's website  for more information about the Midnight Breed series you will find excerpts from each of the books.  Lara can also be found on Facebook & Twitter where she posts regular updates or you can join other fans to chat about the books over at the LAMB (Lara Adrian Midnight Breed) Forum

This is book 5 in the Midnight Breed series and I'd really recommend reading the books in order so you can keep up with the continuing background plot.  Although there has always been an ongoing war that continues throughout the whole series, the previous books have all concentrated mainly on one warrior & his Breedmate.  I did feel that this book tended to focus more on the action than the romance so you don't really get to know Niko & Renata as well as you've come to know the other main characters.  Having said that I really enjoyed the action in this book, the war is hotting up and things are getting faster paced as the Order try to track down Dragos & the Ancient he released from hibernation.

Although we don't know much about Niko before this book I do like his character.  He is as tough as nails & loves guns and explosives.  The oldest members of the Breed are being targeted by a trained assassin & Niko has been sent to Montreal to look for one of the Gen Ones and warn him.  When he's looking for Sergei he comes across Renata, Sergei's bodyguard, and she uses her Breedmate ability to floor him.  They don't get off to the best start but that changes when Renata needs Niko's help to save someone she cares about.

I love Renata - it is great to see a female who is capable of protecting herself, even against members of the Breed.  She knows her way around weapons but it is her unique Breedmate ability that gives her the advantage.  She's had a hard life and is wary of trusting anyone, particularly a member of the Breed but deep down she longs for a family & sense of belonging.  I really liked the way she brought out Niko's caring instincts - particularly at the end of the book.

Overall I really liked the book, I'm a big fan of this series & am looking forward to reading more.  Although this may not be my favorite book so far I still really enjoyed it & it's a lot better than many books I've read by other authors.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
Pearl's World of Romance
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Over The Top Award

I received this award from Raila from Get the Books Out of the Bookshelves - if you haven't visited her blog before you should visit her & say hi.  She has a lovely blog & writes great reviews.

Rules for this award: Answer each question with a one word answer and then pass along to five other bloggers.

(1) Your Cell Phone? Overused
(2) Your Hair? Long
(3) Your Mother? Loving
(4) Your Father? Loving
(5) Your Favorite Food? Chocolate
(6) Your Dream Last Night? No idea
(7) Your Favorite Drink? Dr Pepper
(8) Your Dream/Goal? Family
(9) What Room Are You In? Lounge
(10) Your Hobby? Reading
(11) Your Fear? Needles
(12) Where Do You Want To Be In Six Years? Here
(13) Where Were You Last Night? Bed
(14) Something That You Aren't? Sleepy
(15) Muffins? Blueberry
(16) Wish List Item? Books!!
(17) Where Did You Grow Up? Kent (England)
(18) Last Thing You Did? Read
(19) What Are You Wearing? Clothes
(20) Your TV? On
(21) Your Pets? Cats
(22) Friends? Fun
(23) Your Life? Good
(24) Your Mood? Hungry
(25) Missing Someone? Grandparents
(26) Vehicle? Car
(27) Something You Aren't Wearing? Shoes
(28) Your Favorite Store? Waterstones (bookshop)
(29) Your Favorite Color? Orange
(30) When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Today
(31) Last Time You Cried? Yesterday
(32) Your Best Friend? Bubbly
(33) One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Bookshops
(34) Facebook? Yes
(35) Favorite Place To Eat? Curry House


Trisha at Trisha's Book Blog
Jo at Once Upon a Bookcase
Becky at The Bookette
Nina at J'adore Happy Endings
J.Kaye at J.Kaye's Book Blog

Teaser Tuesdays - A Girl's Guide To Vampires

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!  Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

Taken from A Girl'sGuide to Vampires  by Katie MacAlister

[Pg 11] "...I mean size does matter, no matter what they say, right?  And since we are talking the man for me, my soul mate, he'll be the only one I sleep with for the rest of my life, so I think he should have really nice personal equipment.  Something memorable.  The phrase 'hung like a horse' comes to mind."

[Pg 240] "So what does it feel like when you're drinking someone's blood?" Roxy asked .... "Do blood clots get stuck in your teeth?"

Monday 25 January 2010

Win a signed copy of Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison

Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.

When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.

When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?

The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything.

Doesn't it sound like a great book?  I love the song in the trailer & and am looking forward to reading the book when it comes out.  The hardback is available in the UK on 18th May but why not head over to Trisha's Book Blog and check out the great guest post by Angela Morrison - she is offering 1 lucky winner a signed copy of the book.

It's Monday, What are you Reading? (3)

Thanks to J. Kaye for hosting this meme click here to join us

Books read last week:
  1. Succubus Blues - Richelle Mead
  2. Midnight Rising - Lara Adrian
  3. Beautiful Dead book 1 Jonas - Eden Maguire
  4. Beautiful Dead book 2 Arizona - Eden Maguire
  5. Succubus Nights - Richelle Mead
What I'm reading now:

What I'll be reading next:

I've got so many great books in my TBR pile that I really can't decide what I'm going to read next - I'm just going to pick and choose as I go along this week I think.

Challenge updates:

Paranormal Reading Challenge - Read 16/50

Contests won:

I was really excited to find out I won a necklace from Jennifer Lauren's blog.  Jennifer is the author of Heavenly which really does look like a fantastic book & I can't wait to read it (hurry up with my delivery Amazon!!).  The necklace represent's Zoe's heart under Matthias' protective wing & I think it is beautiful - here is a picture from Jennifer's website:

What are you reading?

Sunday 24 January 2010

Review: Succubus Nights - Richelle Mead

Georgina Kincaid's job sucks.  Literally.

Love hurts, and no one knows it better than Georgin Kincaid.  If she so much as kisses her new boyfriend, she'll drain his life force.  Georgina is a succubus - a demon who draws her power from men's pleasure.  Admittedly, the shape-shifting and immortality perks are terrific, and yes, Georgina did choose to join the ranks of hell centuries ago.  But it seems completely unfair that she can't get hot and heavy with the one mortal who knows and accepts her for who she is.

It's not just her personal life that's in chaos.  Doug, Georgina's co-worker at a local bookstore, has been exhibiting bizarre behaviour, and Georgina suspects that something far more demonic than double expressos is at work.  She could use help finding out.  However Bastien, an irresistibly charming incubus and her best immortal friend, is preoccupied in the suburbs with corrupting and ultra-conservative talk radio star - and giving Georgina some highly distracting come-hither vibes.  Georgina is going to have to work solo on this one - and fast, because soon, Doug's life won't be the only one on the line...

Georgina Kincaid Series:
Succubus Blues
Succubus Nights (Called Succubus on Top in the US)
Succubus Dreams
Succubus Heat
Succubus Shadows
Succubus Revealed

Visit Richelle Mead's website for more information

Succubus Nights is the second book in Richelle Mead's Georgina Kincaid series & I really loved both books.  These books are probably easier to read as stand alone than some other series out there but I'd still recommend you read them in order to get the most out of them.

Georgina is a fantastic character - obviously as a succubus she is beautiful but she has a great sense of humor and a caring personality that shines through.  She cares deeply about her friends - both immortal & human and does her best to look after everyone.  As a succubus she has to have sex with humans in order to steal their life force & retain her immortality which she really hates doing.  This makes life particularly difficult in regards to her relationship with Seth Mortensen her famous author human boyfriend.

If Seth & Georgina so much as kiss her succubus instincts will kick in & she'll end up taking years off his life.  Now that they are officially an item this is a major issue within their relationship, not to mention the fact that Georgina has to sleep with other men in order to survive so she constantly feels like she is cheating on him. 

Of course relationship issues aren't all Georgina has to deal with - her incubus friend Bastien is in town & needs her help to corrupt a local radio talk show host, her human friend Doug & his band are acting very strangely & she still has her day job at the bookstore to contend with.  It's enough to drive anyone crazy.

Her immortal friends from the last book make regular appearances with all the humor they showed in the first book.  They are constantly teasing Georgina about the fact she is dating a mortal and add a lot of comedy to the story.  The book is fast paced and has plenty of twists and turns that are guaranteed to keep you reading right to the last page.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
Tynga's Reviews
Brooke Reviews
Sweet Vernal Zephyr
Chrissie's Corner
I'd So Rather Be Reading
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

New Layout

When I first started this blog I settled for one of the blogger templates because I didn't know where to start when it came to making my own.  With a lot of help from Trisha I have finally managed to work out how to do it & I'm really pleased with the results!!  Thanks so much for your help Trisha :o)

So I'd love to know what you all think.  Let me know if there is anything you dislike or if you find anything hard to read as I can always make some changes.

In My Mailbox (4)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Books Purchased:
My Amazon delivery finally turned up so I've had a really good week for books :o)
I received the entire Dark Ones series by Katie MacAlister:
  1. A Girl's Guide to Vampires
  2. Sex & the Single Vampire
  3. Sex, Lies & Vampires
  4. Even Vampires get the Blues
  5. Just One Sip
  6. The Last of the Red Hot Vampires
  7. Zen and the Art of Vampires
  8. Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang
As you can probably tell from the titles this is a very funny series.  I read a few of the books in this series early last year & really loved them so I treated myself to the set for Christmas!
I also received On the Prowl & Leader of the Pack - the last 2 books in the Tales of an Urban Werewolf trilogy by Karen MacInerney - and Dime Store Magic (book 2 in Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series)
Library Finds:
I also had a really successful trip to the library this week.  I managed to find books 2, 3 & 4 of Richelle Mead's Georgina Kincaid series (Succubus Nights, Succubus Dreams & Succubus Heat) and the first 2 books in her Dark Swan series (Storm Born & Thorn Queen).  On top of that I found books 2 & 3 of Tate Hallaway's Garnet Lacey series (Dead Sexy, Romancing the Dead) and the first 2 Beautiful Dead books by Eden Maguire.
Competition Prizes:
I entered a contest to win an ARC of His Darkest Hunger by Juliana Stone.  Unfortunately I didn't win the ARC but I did win a coverflat that Juliana signed for me.  I have to say I LOVE the cover for this book & really can't wait to read the book when it comes out in the UK on 1st April (which just happens to be my birthday so I know one of the presents I'll be asking for LOL)

Saturday 23 January 2010

Review: Beautiful Dead Book 2 - Arizona - Eden Maguire

Not alive.  Not dead.  Somewhere in between lie the Beautiful Dead.

There's been no sign of the Beautiful Dead for weeks.  Darina achingly misses Phoenix all over again.  Surely he will return to help solve the remaining mysteries.

It's been almost a year since Arizona drowned in Hartmann Lake.  Suicide, it would seem.  But something doesn't add up...  Drowning herself in a lake does not sound like strong, confident Arizona: Ellerton High School's high-maintenance drama queen.

Darina must help Arizona the way she helped Jonas.  But invisible wings are beating, the Beautiful Dead are in danger and time is running out...

Beautiful Dead Series:

Visit the Beautiful Dead website for more information

I really enjoyed the second installment in the Beautiful Dead series.  It took a while for the action to get started in book 1 as the author had to explain the world & introduce the characters.  As that has already been done this story was able to jump straight into the thick of things.  I would recommend reading this series in order although as each book concentrates mainly on solving the mystery surrounding one of the Beautiful Dead I suppose you could read them as stand alone books.

This book concentrates on finding out what happened to Arizona.  This is going to be easier said than done though because Arizona doesn't seem to want to help Darina find the answers.  In life she didn't have any close friends & Darina knew practically nothing about her so she has no idea where to start investigating her death.  Even now Arizona is keeping her secrets close to her chest and she uses sarcasm & snappy comments to push Darina away.

As the book develops & we get to learn more about Arizona we find out why she acts the way she does.  It is easy to understand her behavior and Darina's opinion of her is turned around.  The mystery element of the story is good and it keeps you guessing about how Arizona died right until the end.  I also love the way the bad guys in this series really get their comeuppance by the end of each book.

If you liked the first book in this series I'm sure you'll like this one even more & I'm looking forward to reading Summer's story when it comes out. 

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Thursday 21 January 2010

Valentines Contest by Jennifer Laurens

Want to win this fantastic Valentine's goodie bag?  Check out the contest on Jennifer Lauren's Blog.

Jennifer is the author of Heavenly which looks I've not read yet but I have already ordered because it looks so good!

Review: Beautiful Dead Book 1 - Jonas - Eden Maguire

Not alive.  Not dead.  Somewhere in between lie the Beautiful Dead.

Something strange is happening in Ellerton High.  Jonas, Arizona, Summer, Phoenix.  All dead within a year.

Jonas Jonson is the first to die, in a motorcycle accident.  But there are many unanswered questions, and the three deaths that follow are equally mysterious.

Grief-stricken Darina can't escape her heartache or visions of her dead boyfriend, Phoenix, and the others who died.  And all the while, the sound of beating wings echoes inside her head...

Are the visions real?  Or do the Beautiful Dead only exist in Darina's traumatized imagination?

Beautiful Dead Series:

Visit the Beautiful Dead website for more information

This book surprised me - from the cover & reading the description I found myself expecting Angels or something similar - I wasn't expecting zombies!!  However, these zombies were so far from the typical kind you see in horror movies that I don't think the name really suits them (even though that is what they call themselves in the book).  I think I'd have prefered it if they'd stuck to calling themselves the living-dead but don't let the whole zombie thing put you off reading the book as I ended up really enjoying it.

4 high school students have died in mysterious circumstances in the last year - Jonas, Arizona, Summer & Phoenix.  When Phoenix's girlfriend Darina first sees them she thinks that she must be loosing her mind - they can't possibly be alive can they?  It turns out that they are the Beautiful Dead - they have come back from limbo to try and uncover the mysteries surrounding their deaths.  They need to find out what happened or they'll be never be able to move on to the afterlife & they need Darina's help to do this.

The first book concentrates on discovering what happened to Jonas.  Darina is also trying to come to terms with the fact that her boyfriend has come back from the dead.  In order to see him she has to agree to help find out what happened to the others.   I don't want to give away any more of the story but I will say that I wasn't expecting what happened at the end & I liked it.

If you're looking for a typical zombie story this isn't the book for you but if you want a paranormal story with romance and mystery then give this a try - I'm sure you won't regret it.  Now I'm off to read book 2 - Arizona's story.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
One Person's Journey Through A World Of Books
Dark Faerie Tales
Bloody Bookaholic
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Review: Midnight Rising - Lara Adrian

In a world of shadows and dark, consuming hungers, desire is the deadliest weapon....

Fueled by pain and rage over a shattering betrayal, the warrior Rio has pledged his life to the war against the Rogues.  He will let nothing stand in his way - least of all a mortal woman with the power to expose the entire vampire race.  But now an ancient evil has been awakened, and a stunning darkness is on the rise.

For journalist Dylan Alexander, it began with the discovery of a hidden tomb.  Suddenly she is at the center of a gathering storm of violence and secrets.  But nothing is as dangerous as the scarred, lethally seductive man who rises from the shadows to plunge her into his world of dark desire and endless night.  Here she is powerless to resist Rio's touch, even as she uncovers a shocking link to her own past.  Now Dylan must choose: Leave Rio's midnight realm, or risk it all for the man who has shown her true passion and the infinite pleasures of the heart....

The Midnight Breed Series:
A Touch of Midnight (Novella included in The Midnight Breed Series Companion, now also available separately)
Kiss of Midnight
Kiss of Crimson
Midnight Awakening
Midnight Rising
Veil of Midnight
Ashes of Midnight
Shades of Midnight
Taken by Midnight
Deeper than Midnight
A Taste of Midnight (Novella)
Darker After Midnight
The Midnight Breed Series Companion
Edge of Dawn
Marked by Midnight (Novella)
Crave the Night
Tempted by Midnight (Novella)
Bound to Darkness
Stroke of Midnight (Novella)
Defy the Dawn
Midnight Untamed (Novella)
Midnight Unbound (Novella)
Midnight Unleashed (Novella)
Claimed in Shadows
Break the Day

Hunter Legacy Series:
(A series of standalone romances set in the Midnight Breed world)
Born of Darkness
Hour of Darkness
Edge of Darkness

Visit Lara Adrian's website  for more information about the Midnight Breed series you will find excerpts from each of the books.  Lara can also be found on Facebook & Twitter where she posts regular updates or you can join other fans to chat about the books over at the LAMB (Lara Adrian Midnight Breed) Forum

I know I've said it before in other reviews but I really do recommend that if you are new to the series that you start with the first book Kiss of Midnight.  Although each of the books can be read seperately if you just concentrate on the relationship that develops between the main 2 characters you will miss out on information in the ongoing war between the Order & the Rogues if you read the books out of order.  Whether you are new to the series or part way through it I'd recommend you only read reviews of the next book (all of the reviews I have written so far are linked in the series list above).

Rio makes a fantastic tortured bad boy & I really love how his character develops in this book.  When we first met him in Kiss of Midnight he seemed like a happy go lucky guy who would take everything in his stride, of course - not surprisingly - that all changed after he was almost killed in an explosion after the betrayal of his Breedmate Eva.  Since then he has suffered enormous physical and emotional pain.  He is filled with rage against Eva and suffers with blackouts and half of his face and body are covered with horrific scars.

Rio was given the task of destroying the hibernation chamber of one of the Ancients that was discovered by the Order in the Czech Republic but he has failed to carry out his mission.  He has been living in the cave for several months, slowly going mad from his physical and mental anguish that has been increased by his hunger. He is desperate to end his suffering and is planning on destroying the cave with himself inside it.  Before he can carry out his plan he is discovered by Dylan who finds the cave when hiking in the mountains while on holiday with friends.  Before he realises what is happening she has managed to take photos of both the cave & Rio.

The very existance of the photos threatens the Breed with discovery by humans so Rio has to make sure Dylan doesn't make them public.  Things get even more complicated when he discovers that Dylan is a Breedmate and he has no choice but to ask for assistance from the Order to help him fix his mistake.

I really like the way the relationship develops between Rio and Dylan.  They both have issues from their past that they need to deal with but the way they are drawn to each other is very believable.  If you've already started reading this series you'll find this book is still fast paced with plenty of action as I'm sure you'll have come to expect.  I found that this book spent more time concentrating on the main characters than some of the other books have which I really enjoyed.  I also like the way the background story of the ongoing war is developing.  Rather than having just one single enemy throughout the series the Order defeat one threat only to discover an even more evil plot.  I can't wait to read Niko's story in Veil of Midnight!

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
Pearl's World of Romance
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Wednesday 20 January 2010

Paranormal Reading Challenge 2010

OK so I know I REALLY shouldn't be signing up for yet another reading challenge but how can I resist this one when I read sooooo many paranormal books?  I tried but I just couldn't do it so here goes!  This one is being hosted by Storywings & here are the details for anyone who wants to join me:

1. The Paranormal Reading Challenge is for anyone who loves reading ANYTHING paranormal!!!
- Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Ghosts, Angels the scope is pretty big!!!
- The books can be any sub genre under Paranormal - romance, YA, mystery, etc.

2. The book has to be a book. No free short stories, or writing sites.

3. If you are a blogger please post a link back to this challenge on your page to let others join in the fun. -Non-bloggers - it's ok, you can join to and you can keep track of your progress by yourself, and post a comment on the wrap-up page, or you can send comments to this page to keep track of your progress.

4. Cross-overs from other challenges are accepted. As are re-reads. Books that were started in 2009 don't count.
5. Challenge starts from 1st January 2010 and ends on 31st December 2010

6. Levels:
Human - 5 books
Witch - 10 books
Oracle - 20 books
Were - 30 books
Vampire - 40 books
Angel - 50 books

7. To join the challenge go to Storywing's sign up post

I'm going to aim for the Angel level which I'm hoping should be quite easy for me to achieve :o)  I'll post a list of my reviews below:

January (see links to other January reviews here)
  1. Bloodlust & Initiation - Alex Duval
  2. Ritual & Legacy - Alex Duval
  3. High Stakes & Hunted - Alex Duval
  4. Howling at the Moon - Karen MacInerney
  5. Firestorm - Rachel Caine
  6. Thin Air - Rachel Caine
  7. Kiss of Midnight - Lara Adrian
  8. Kiss of Crimson - Lara Adrian
  9. Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick
  10. Midnight Awakening - Lara Adrian
  11. Tall, Dark & Dead - Tate Hallaway
  12. Succubus Blues - Richelle Mead
  13. Midnight Rising - Lara Adrian
  14. Beautiful Dead book 1 Jonas - Eden Maguire
  15. Beautiful Dead book 2 Arizona - Eden Maguire
  16. Succubus Nights - Richelle Mead
  17. Veil of Midnight - Lara Adrian
  18. A Girl's Guide to Vampires - Katie MacAlister
  19. On the Prowl - Karen MacInerney
  20. Dead Sexy - Tate Hallaway
February (see links to other February reviews here)
  1. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
  2. Succubus Dreams - Richelle Mead
  3. Succubus Heat - Richelle Mead
  4. Heavenly - Jennifer Laurens
  5. Kitty and the Midnight Hour - Carrie Vaughn
  6. Nearly Departed - Rook Hastings
  7. Storm Born - Richelle Mead
  8. Thorn Queen - Richelle Mead
  9. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  10. Ashes of Midnight - Lara Adrian
  11. Sex and the Single Vampire - Katie MacAlister
  12. Dancing with the Devil - Keri Arthur
  13. Stray - Rachel Vincent
  14. The Devil Inside - Jenna Black
  15. Romancing the Dead - Tate Hallaway
  16. Hearts in Darkness - Keri Arthur
  17. Shades of Midnight - Lara Adrian
  18. Rogue - Rachel Vincent
  19. Pride - Rachel Vincent
March (see links to other March reviews here)
  1. Prey - Rachel Vincent 
  2. Demons of the Oceans - Justin Somper
  3. Leader of the Pack - Karen MacInerney
  4. Rising Shadow - Jacquelyn Wheeler
  5. Covet - J.R. Ward
  6. Memory Zero - Keri Arthur
  7. The Devil You Know - Jenna Black
  8. Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
  9. Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins
  10. Chasing the Shadows - Keri Arthur
  11. The Demon's Lexicon - Sarah Rees Brennan
  12. Pleasure Unbound - Larissa Ione
  13. Generation Dead - Daniel Waters
  14. Desire Unchained - Larissa Ione
  15. Kiss the Night Goodbye - Keri Arthur
  16. Tide of Terror - Justin Somper
  17. Sex, Lies and Vampires - Katie MacAlister
  18. Need - Carrie Jones
April (see links to other April reviews here)
  1. Passion Unleashed - Larissa Ione
  2. The Rest Falls Away - Colleen Gleason
  3. Generation 18 - Keri Arthur
  4. The Devil's Due - Jenna Black
  5. Shift - Rachel Vincent
  6. Stolen - Kelley Armstrong
  7. His Darkest Hunger - Juliana Stone
  8. Beneath A Rising Moon - Keri Arthur
  9. Kiss of Life - Daniel Waters
  10. Beneath A Darkening Moon - Keri Arthur
  11. Winterborn - A.D. Roland
  12. The Iron Hunt - Marjorie M. Liu
  13. Strange Angels - Lilith Saintcrow
May (see links to other May reviews here)
  1. Hard Magic - Laura Anne Gilman
  2. Penumbra - Keri Arthur
  3. Blue Diablo - Ann Aguirre
  4. Dark Lover - J.R. Ward
  5. Full Moon Rising - Keri Arthur
  6. Shadow Game - Christine Feehan
  7. Lover Eternal - J.R. Ward
  8. Fire In His Eyes - Stella & Audra Price
  9. Moon Called - Patricia Briggs
  10. Dead If I Do - Tate Hallaway
  11. Succubus Shadows - Richelle Mead
  12. Lover Awakened - J.R. Ward
  13. Linger - Maggie Stiefvater
  14. Mind Game - Christine Feehan
  15. Blood Bound - Patricia Briggs
  16. A Hunger Like No Other - Kresley Cole
  17. Darkness Calls - Marjorie M. Liu
  18. Guardian of the Dead - Karen Healey
  19. The Demon's Covenant - Sarah Rees Brennan
June (see links to other June reviews here)
  1. No Rest for the Wicked - Kresley Cole
  2. Dido - Adele Geras
  3. Low Red Moon - Ivy Devlin
  4. Blood Lust (Kept, Claimed & Mated) - Zoe Winters
  5. Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
  6. Frostbite - Richelle Mead
  7. Shadow Kiss - Richelle Mead
  8. Halfway to the Grave - Jeaniene Frost
  9. Kissing Sin - Keri Arthur
  10. One Foot in the Grave - Jeaniene Frost
  11. Siren's Call - Devyn Quinn
  12. I Married A Demon - Beverly Rae
  13. Blood Promise - Richelle Mead
  14. Gale Force - Rachel Caine
  15. Impossible - Nancy Werlin
  16. At Grave's End - Jeaniene Frost
  1. Iron Kissed - Patricia Briggs
  2. On The Prowl - Anthology
  3. I Married A Dragon - Beverly Rae
  4. Circle of Fire - Keri Arthur
  5. Fallen - Lauren Kate
  6. Speak of the Devil - Jenna Black
  7. Circle of Death - Keri Arthur
  8. Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead
  9. Night Game - Christine Feehan
  10. Chasing Brooklyn - Lisa Schroeder
  11. Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night - Kresley Cole
  12. Tempting Evil - Keri Arthur
  13. Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs
  14. Claire de Lune - Christine Johnson
  15. Circle of Desire - Keri Arthur
  16. The Alchemyst - Michael Scott
  1. Playing Easy To Get - Anthology
  2. Destined for an Early Grave - Jeaniene Frost
  3. Shadow of the Vampire - Meagan Hatfield
  4. Cape Storm - Rachel Caine
  5. The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett
  6. Shade - Jeri Smith-Ready
  7. Conspiracy Game - Christine Feehan
  8. Dangerous Games - Keri Arthur
  9. A Hat Full of Sky - Terry Pratchett
  10. Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  11. Wintersmith - Terry Pratchett
  12. Immortal Remains - Rook Hastings
  1. I Shall Wear Midnight - Terry Pratchett
  2. Raised by Wolves - Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  3. Forget-Her-Nots - Amy Brecount White
  4. Embraced by Darkness - Keri Arthur
  5. Torment - Lauren Kate
  6. Honeymoon of the Dead - Tate Hallaway
  7. Undone - Rachel Caine
  8. Immortalis Carpe Noctem - Katie Salidas
  9. Taken by Midnight - Lara Adrian
  10. Angel - L.A. Weatherly
  1. Shadows - Amy Meredith
  2. Cattitude - Edie Ramer
  3. First Drop of Crimson - Jeaniene Frost
  4. Total Eclipse - Rachel Caine
  5. The Trouble with Spells - Lacey Weatherford
  6. Demon Hunts - C.E. Murphy
  7. The Crescent - Jordan Deen
  8. Alpha - Rachel Vincent
  9. The Fallen Volume 1 - Thomas E Sniegoski
  1. The Body Finder - Kimberly Derting
  2. Dark Visions - L.J. Smith
  3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  4. Deadly Game - Christine Feehan
  5. By Midnight - Mia James
  6. Witchfinder Dawn of the Demontide - William Hussey
  7. Eternal Kiss of Darkness - Jeaniene Frost
  8. Some Girls Bite - Chloe Neill
  1. Last Sacrifice - Richelle Mead
  2. Crux - Moira Rogers
  3. Dark Prince - Christine Feehan
  4. The Eternal Ones - Kirsten Miller
  5. Awakened - Ednah Walters
  6. Black Swan Rising - Lee Carroll
  7. The Devil's Playground - Jenna Black
  8. The Darkest Kiss - Keri Arthur
  9. Monster High - Lisi Harrison
  10. Crossroads - Moira Rogers
  11. Once Bitten, Twice Shy - Jennifer Rardin
  12. Nightshade - Andrea Cremer
  13. Secret Lives - Gabriella Poole (Review coming soon)
I completed this challenge on 19th March but I'll continue to update the list to see how many paranormal books I manage to read in 2010


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