Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stacking The Shelves (20)

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's a fun way to share what books we recently added to our bookshelves.

*All titles link to Goodreads*
 
 
Bought:
 
 
For review:
 
Othermoon (Otherkin #2) by Nina Berry (ARC)
 
*Special thanks to Kensington!*
 
*****
Thanks for stopping by, and please leave me a link to your post so I can check out the books you received as well!
 
Also, feel free to enter my current swag giveaway if you're interested. You could win 1 of 6 swag packs! Click HERE to enter. 
 
-Shanon =)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: Eternal Kiss of Darkness (Night Huntress World #2) by Jeaniene Frost

 
Published: July 27, 2010
Publisher: Avon
Series: Night Huntress World
Format: Paperback
My rating: 4/5 stars
 
Synopsis from Goodreads:
 
An immortal war has been brewing in the darkness . . . And now one woman has stumbled into the shadows.

Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she's only imagined in her worst nightmares.

At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master vampire who thought he'd seen it all. Then Kira appears, this fearless, beautiful . . . human who braved death to rescue him. Though he burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life. Yet sending her away is unthinkable.

But with danger closing in, Mencheres must choose either the woman he craves, or embracing the darkest magic to defeat an enemy bent on his eternal destruction.
 
My thoughts when finishing this novel were, "Mencheres, old chap, I didn't know you had it in you!". If you don't know, Mencheres is an elusive vampire that has appeared in the Night Huntress series several times. Basically what I'm trying to convey here is that I am so glad I read this novel because this story sheds new light on a character that has been a mystery for far too long.

To be honest, whenever Mencheres' character would pop up in the Night Huntress books I never found myself caring too much about his character simply because he never came across as inviting in any way, and there was never a wealth of information available on his character. However, I didn't dislike him by any means. But now it is safe to say that after reading Eternal Kiss of Darkness, I have developed a new level of respect and fondness for him!

Having the opportunity to dive into Mencheres' mind for a change was a very eye-opening and delightful experience. To truly experience what this insanely powerful vampire is going through internally on a daily basis is both fascinating and a little shocking. His past is marred with a lot of sorrow, which really made me feel for him. He really starts to come alive though, when he meets Kira, a strong-willed and fierce woman who has a tragic past as well.
 
Mencheres and Kira's initial introductions to one another happens under less than normal circumstances, which leads to Kira being thrusted into a world she had no idea existed. Kira also gets exposed to Mencheres' arch enemy, Radjedef, who is keen on slaying the vampire and taking his power. There's a lot of plotting and fighting as you can imagine, which leaves Kira caught right in the middle. It is during this long power struggle that we uncover how much Kira really means to Mencheres.
 
The relationship that develops between these two characters is gradual, tender, and HOT. It was so odd to see Mencheres being awakened into this lustful, loving man. And I must say that I am highly impressed by Mencheres and his ability to seduce! Like I said, I didn't know he had it in him. But boy, does he! The heat between him and Kira is out of control and I definitely found myself blushing a time or two. You go Mencheres! ;)

The ending of this book made me smile, and I can honestly say that I had a blast getting to know the familiar stranger, Mencheres, and his new love, Kira--who is a pretty cool chick, I might add!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World #1) by Jeaniene Frost

 
Published: February 9, 2010
Publisher: Avon
Series: Night Huntress World
Format: Paperback
My rating: 5/5 stars
 
Synopsis from Goodreads:
 
The night is not safe for mortals.

Denise MacGregor knows all too well what lurks in the shadows – her best friend is half-vampire Cat Crawfield – and she has already lost more than the average human could bear. But her family’s dark past is wrapped in secrets and shrouded in darkness – and a demon shapeshifter has marked Denise as prey. Now her survival depends on an immortal who craves a taste of her.

He is Spade, a powerful, mysterious vampire who has walked the earth for centuries and is now duty-bound to protect this endangered, alluring human – even if it means destroying his own kind. Denise may arouse his deepest hungers, but Spade knows he must fight his urge to have her as they face the demon nightmare together…

Because once the first drop of crimson falls, they will both be lost.
 
This book was one I was definitely eager to read, due to my undying love for the Night Huntress series. I have been a serious long-time admirer of Spade--who is featured as a secondary character in the Night Huntress books--and when I learned that he was taking the spotlight as one of the main characters in First Drop of Crimson, I couldn't wait to dig in to this story!
 
This book is told from the dual perspectives of Spade and Denise, which I quite liked! Denise is Cat's best friend in the Night Huntress series, and she's another favorite of mine. Getting to delve into the minds of these characters was an awesome, entertaining, and romantic experience; and finding out more about them and their past was so much fun, but also a little heartbreaking.
 
The excitement begins when Spade gets roped into helping Denise combat a demon who is hellbent (pun intended) on murdering Denise's family to get what he so desperately seeks. I must say that the introduction to demons in this book was very fascinating and creepy, and it definitely made the plot more intense! Denise and Spade get caught up in a wild adventure, and Denise goes through a significant physical and personal transformation; gaining powers and strength she never had before. I won't give anything away, but I will say that Denise kicks major ass and I was rooting her on the entire time.
 
My favorite thing about this book, though, was the romance between Spade and Denise. Spade makes my heart melt with how much he cares for Denise; and though I was yelling at Denise to just hurry up and give into Spade already, the wait and buildup leading to their union was well worth it! These characters also gained some much-needed closure from their haunted pasts, which happens because of their shared bond. I just love these two as a couple!
 
If you are curious to learn more about Denise and Spade, then definitely pick up this book and be prepared to be swept up in their highly eventful and sexy story! Thank you, Jeaniene Frost, for giving us a more intimate look at Spade!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Sunshine Tour book signing: Recap & Giveaway!!

On March 3rd, my best friend Sarah (The Book Life) and I drove 3 hours to Clearwater, FL to attend one of the stops on The Sunshine Tour!
 
All of the authors listed above were there, with the exception of Laura Sullivan who couldn't make it.
 
Me & my best friend, Sarah! =D

Top row: Kristen Simmons, Trish Doller, Gaby Triana, Heather Burch, J.A. Souders.
Bottom row: Jenny Torres Sanchez, Karen Amanda Hooper, Lucienne Diver, Anna Banks.

 
 
I can't even tell you how much fun this event was! I've never been to a signing that featured this many authors before, and I can safely say that this is one of the most entertaining events I've ever been to!
All of the authors are so nice and incredibly funny, and I had a blast chatting with all of them.
 
They did a Q&A that proved to be very interesting and the questions ranged anywhere from "What is your writing process like?" to "How much control do you have over picking the cover of your book?". I was actually a bit surprised to learn that sometimes they really don't have any control over what their covers look like. Also, hearing a little bit about what each author's writing journey is like was very inspiring and intriguing!
 

 
After the signing the authors posed for us making hilarious and silly faces!
 
 
 
In the above picture you can see that Jenna (Making the Grade) and Sarah Nicolas (Sunshine Tour manager, YA Rebels) were there and posed with the authors. Jenna is on the far left, and Sarah is on the far right. These ladies are pretty awesome!
 
Me with J.A. Souders (author of Renegade
Me with Heather Burch (author of Halflings
I got pics with J.A. Souders (A.K.A. Jessica) and Heather Burch! Squee! They're so sweet and fun to talk with.

Later that evening, Sarah (The Book Life) and I had the privilege of having dinner with Jessica Souders, Trish Doller, Trish's lovely daughter, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Lucienne Diver and her husband, Jenna, and Sarah Nicolas! We drove to the neighboring town of Tarpon Springs and had dinner at this cool Greek restaurant there. I feel so lucky to have been able to do that! It was so much fun, and everyone was laughing and in such a good mood.


Above are the books I came home with from the signing. I also got some cool swag (pictured below) to give away to you all today! So now that I've finished sharing my Sunshine Tour experience with you, it's time to move on to the giveaway!
 
Giveaway Info:
 
 
There will be 6 WINNERS! Each swag pack comes with at least 1 SIGNED swag item! Here's a breakdown of what each winner will get:
 
Winner #1
-SIGNED Avenger card by Heather Burch
 -Breaking Point card by Kristen Simmons
-Halflings bookmark by Heather Burch
-Guardian bookmark by Heather Burch
-SIGNED Renegade bookmark by J.A. Souders
-Sunshine Tour bookmark
-SIGNED Of Triton bookmark by Anna Banks
-Vamped tattoo by Lucienne Diver
 
Winner #2
 -SIGNED Avenger card by Heather Burch
 -Breaking Point card by Kristen Simmons
 -Guardian bookmark by Heather Burch
-SIGNED Renegade bookmark by J.A. Souders
-Sunshine Tour bookmark
-SIGNED Of Triton bookmark by Anna Banks
 
Winner #3

-SIGNED Avenger card by Heather Burch
 -Guardian bookmark by Heather Burch
-SIGNED Renegade bookmark by J.A. Souders
-Sunshine Tour bookmark
-SIGNED Of Triton bookmark by Anna Banks
 
Winner #4
 -SIGNED Avenger card by Heather Burch
-Halflings bookmark by Heather Burch
-Sunshine Tour bookmark
-SIGNED Of Triton bookmark by Anna Banks
 
Winner #5
 -Halflings bookmark by Heather Burch
-SIGNED Of Triton bookmark by Anna Banks
 
 
Winner #6
-Halflings bookmark by Heather Burch
-SIGNED Of Triton bookmark by Anna Banks
 
*****
To enter the giveaway, read the contest rules and then fill out the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win!!
 
Contest rules:
*U.S. only (sorry!)
*Must be 13 or older to enter
*Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email before another winner is chosen
 
Good luck!
  

Review: S.E.C.R.E.T. (Secret #1) by L. Marie Adeline

 
Published: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Broadway
Series: Secret
Format: ARC
My rating: 4/5 stars
 
Synopsis from Goodreads:
 
Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the sudden death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed. The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying journey through a series of ten rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately. Equal parts enticing, liberating and emotionally powerful, S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T is a world where fantasy becomes reality.
 
S.E.C.R.E.T. is an empowering, sexy read about second chances and taking risks. L. Marie Adeline has written a wonderful novel that will resonate with any woman who knows what it's like to be stuck in a rut and unsure of herself. She writes wonderful erotica, but also provides us with a story that does not lack substance by any means! This book is filled with relatable topics, sexy men, steamy encounters and some delightful humor.
 
Cassie is the main character and she starts off as this sad, reclusive woman that has found herself stuck in her own life with no means to move on from the emotional turmoil of her past. She knows that she wants better for herself, but has no idea how to make it happen. Her entire life and outlook changes one day when she finds a notebook left behind by one of her customers at the cafe she works at. This notebook is filled with accounts of uninhibited romantic encounters that pique Cassie's interests, to say the least!

Basically, finding that notebook leads to Cassie's exposure to an alluring secret society made up of women who are dedicated to giving women such as Cassie the opportunity to break out of their shells and explore their sexual sides. They offer to Cassie the encouragement and support she so desperately needs. I found the whole idea of this secret society to be interesting and quite entertaining. One of the things the committee does is make your fantasies come true, and in doing so, they allow you to complete certain steps that lead to the completion of your transformation into a more confident you. How great is that?! Yes, please!

The fantasies that the committee arranges for Cassie to participate in are red hot, let me tell you! As the story progresses and she has more drool-worthy encounters, she really starts to find her own voice and confidence. I really enjoyed seeing her morph into the happy and engaging woman she was always meant to be. I especially enjoyed her connection and tension-filled moments with her friend and boss, Will. Will is quite the catch, and I was mentally yelling at Cassie for not snatching him up immediately!

The conclusion of this book had me on an emotional roller coaster right along with Cassie. But there's definitely light at the end of the tunnel and I'm very excited to find out what is in store for her in the next book! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review: The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab

 
Published: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Format: ARC
Series: The Archived
Rating: 5/5 stars
 
Synopsis from Goodreads:
 
Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.
 
The Archived is a spectacular read that left me dazzled and craving more! Victoria Schwab has created an intricate story with impressive world-building and unforgettable characters. There's also a delightful supply of mystery, darkness, detective work, fighting, and a little bit of romance to top it off. Once you start reading, it's incredibly hard to stop!
 
Mackenzie, A.K.A. Mac, is the female protagonist and on the outside she appears to be a normal 16-year-old girl, but she's actually very special. Mac has some very special gifts and a lot of responsibility for someone her age. She's a Keeper: someone whose job is to return escaped Histories--which are records of the dead--back to the Archive. The Archive is a vast library of the dead. It sounds slightly confusing, but once you start reading it all comes together rather brilliantly!

There's so much going on this book, and I really like how easy it was to connect with Mac. She is dealing with a lot of emotional turmoil at times, and on top of that she's trying to do her job as a Keeper as efficiently as she can, but Histories keep popping up more frequently ever since she moved into a new apartment with her parents. Their new residence was one of my favorite things about this book because they are living in what used to be a hotel that has a very colorful and interesting past. Moving into this place definitely helped provide allure and mystery to the story.

One of the things that made me love this book, aside from the amazingly unique and awesome storyline, is the characters! I absolutely adore two of the male characters in Mac's life: Roland and Wesley. Both of these characters captured my heart and they are very important to Mac. Roland is a Librarian, and he's pretty darn cool! Wesley is just plain adorable and charming, and I'm completely rooting for him and Mac as an item. I also really love the fact that Wesley isn't your typical book boyfriend hottie: his nails are painted black and he wears eyeliner, but it totally works for him!
 
Read this book immediately if you are looking for a story that will blow your mind and keep your attention until the very end. Seriously, once you read this book you will be mad at yourself for not digging into it sooner, because that is exactly how I felt after I read it--it's quite the treasure! I'm sure the next book in this series, The Unbound, will be just as amazing!

Waiting on Wednesday: Death Takes a Holiday (F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation #3) by Jennifer Harlow



"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine where we feature our most anticipated upcoming releases.
 

Expected publication: August 8, 2013
 
Goodreads description:
 
A supernatural love triangle + one indecent proposal.
 
 Beatrice Alexander can crush a sixty-foot snake with her mind, but she can't take any more of the drama that's tearing apart F.R.E.A.K.S. Should she give it all up -- her job as a secret agent and the possibility of a relationship with Will, the gorgeous werewolf? Bea's hoping to get it all figured out on a trip home for Christmas. But soon her hunky ex-boyfriend wants to rekindle their romance. Then, a powerful (and super hot) vampire lord offers Bea an impossible ultimatum: leave San Diego and her family forever -- or become his lover.
 
This is the third book in the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation series. Jennifer Harlow is an awesome writer, and her books are filled with mystery, humor and fantastic characters. Bea, the protagonist, is kickass, snarky and hilarious! This is definitely one of my favorite series and I can't wait to read Death Takes a Holiday!
 
*****
 
What's your Wow pick for this week?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Stacking The Shelves (19)


Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's a fun way to share what books we recently added to our bookshelves.

*All titles link to Goodreads*
 

 Bought:
 
Article 5 (Article 5 #1) by Kristen Simmons (Signed)
Breaking Point (Article 5 #2) by Kristen Simmons (Signed)
Halflings (Halflings #1) by Heather Burch (Signed)
Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon #1) by Anna Banks (Signed)
Riding the Universe by Gaby Triana (Signed)
Bad Blood (Latter-Day Olympians #1) by Lucienne Diver (Signed)
Vamped (Vamped #1) by Lucienne Diver (Signed)
Grasping at Eternity (Kindrily #1) by Karen Amanda Hooper (Signed)
Various swag, some signed
 
-Last weekend I attended one of The Sunshine Tour events in Clearwater, FL with my bestie, Sarah! There were 9 authors there, all from Florida, and I had the pleasure of chatting with all of them. I also got a nice haul of signed books while I was there, as well as some cool swag to give away on my blog. I'll probably be doing a recap of the event soon, as well as a swag giveaway, so be on the lookout for that if you're interested!
 
For review:
 
 
-I'm very excited about this one! I never get tired of vampires...
 
Gifted:
 
Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi (ARC)
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
 
-Thanks Sarah (The Book Life), for these awesome books! =D
 
****
 
 Thanks for stopping by, and please leave me a link to your post so I can check out the books you received as well!

-Shanon =)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Stacking The Shelves (18)


Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's a fun way to share what books we recently added to our bookshelves.

*All titles link to Goodreads*
 
 
 Gifted:
 
 Bookmark and Trading Card: Coveted by Shawntelle Madison
Bookmark: This Brilliant Darkness by Red Tash
 
-Big thanks to Braine of Talk Supe for sending me this awesome swag!! =D
 
 
Guitar bookmark
 
-My friend and co-worker, Shelly, recently took a trip to Nashville, TN and brought me back this really cool guitar bookmark from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum! Thanks Shelly!
 

Bought:
 
Signed bookplate
Vinyl stickers
Bookmark from Little Shop of Stories bookstore
 
 
eBooks:
 
Wait for You by J. Lynn
 
-Maureen Johnson announced that anyone who pre-ordered her book from select independent bookstores would also receive a signed bookplate and 7 stickers designed by her. I'm a big fan of hers so of course I was all over this! I love the stickers, some of them are pretty funny, much like Maureen.
 
As you can see, I'm on a serious Jeaniene Frost kick right now! I can't get enough of her Night Huntress books! I already read First Drop of Crimson, and I am halfway done with Eternal Kiss of Darkness. Spade, Mencheres, and Vlad....SWOON! =P
 
I just read and reviewed Sealed With a Curse (Weird Girls #1) and it was SO GOOD, so I figured I should definitely read the novella, The Weird Girls. As for Wait for You, I love anything JLA writes so I'm so excited to read this!!
 
****
 
Thanks for stopping by, and please leave me a link to your post so I can check out the books you received as well!

-Shanon =)
 
 

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