Date with the Dead: Review and Giveaway

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Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the AToMR sponsored tour for Chris Myer’s fantastic YA novel, Date with the Dead.  Below you will find my review, author info, and a couple of giveaway opportunities.  If you would like to follow the rest of the tour (and I certainly hope you do) just click here.

Thanks for stopping by and happy Wednesday to you 🙂

Title: Date with the Dead Series: Ripsters #1  Author: Chris Myers Published: March 19, 2013 by Books on the Edge  (first published June 16, 2012)   Literary awards: Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Nominee (2009), Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Gold Contest Finalist for Ripsters (2008)
Title: Date with the Dead
Series: Ripsters #1
Author: Chris Myers
Published: March 19, 2013 by Books on the Edge (first published June 16, 2012)
Literary awards: Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Nominee (2009), Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Gold Contest Finalist for Ripsters (2008)

Synopsis from Goodreads: Let me introduce sixteen-year-old Jolie Livingston, ghost hunter.

“Let’s face it. Some of us can’t be too picky. My closest and only friend Drew is this really hot dead guy, but it bites that the self-absorbed princesses (SAPs) at school cannot even see him. That’s right, I can communicate with the dead.  It’s the living I have trouble with. Mom and I inherited this awesome crib in Plymouth, MA. It’s quite a step-up from the homeless shelter in New Orleans, but there’s a catch. We can’t afford the past due mortgage, so I’m working on that.

“I started a ghost hunting business called Ripsters. Somehow I’ve managed to recruit Brittany, a glamor SAP smothered in pink, and a techie who’s allergic to ghosts. Brit actually thinks he resembles the R&B singer Chris Brown. All that pink has clouded her vision. They both have special talents I’m hoping will be useful to our venture. Right now, we’re working for a family in need of major therapy due to a dead guy with a hole in his head. If we solve this case, the Paranormal Guild may invite us to join their underground society for the psychically gifted, though I’m not counting on my golden ticket anytime soon.

“Hayden, a really cute guy, who lost his Wiccan mother, wants to join us, but my grandmother warned me about his kind. I often find myself torn between my loyalty to Drew and my secret attraction to Hayden, even though it’s highly unlikely a living guy as hot as Hayden would be interested in a girl cozy with the dead.”

Source: Author for a fair and honest review

My Rating: 4½/ 5 stars

My Review: Jolie Livingston has some pretty cool super powers. She can see the dead, talk to the dead, and help the dead cross over into the afterlife. The down side? Currently, her best and only friend is a ghost named Drew, she and her mom are so poor they are on the verge of being homeless yet again, and, last but not least, Jolie has caught the not-so-wanted attention of the Self-Absorbed Princesses or the SAPs. It’s tough being in high school!

What I liked:

*The plot. Not only does Jolie need to get rid of a ghost, but she also has a murder to solve and a little girl’s life to save. Myers manages to weave all of these elements into one cohesive and massive plot that has a great tempo with lots of action and very little angst.  Angst sucks. 😦

*The major characters. Jolie is a pretty tough cookie who, because of circumstances beyond her control, has had to mature quickly. She carries a lot of weight and worry on her shoulders, but only occasionally allows herself a smallish pity party. For the most part, Jolie is smart and determined and often jumps into action rather than allowing herself to wallow in worry and self-doubt. Drew is a tortured hotty with a penchant for causing trouble. However, when the chips are down, and Jolie is in trouble, Drew is there and ready to help.

*The minor characters. The cast of minor characters is one of the novels’ absolute highlights. Here’s the rundown: Reese: the ultra-smart, ultra-rich newest member of Ripsters. Although Reese has no supernatural abilities (or does he?), he has a desire to help Jolie and hunt ghosts. Although he is surly and often a bit timid, Reese’s heart is in the right place.  Hayden: hello, not-dead hotty! This football player is so sad and so perfect all at once. Hayden has recently lost his mother, has a huge secret he thinks only Jolie will understand, and is one of the most dependable guys in Jolie’s newly-populated life. I love that Hayden doesn’t let his sadness define him. When he’s needed and/or called on, Hayden is there and ready to roll.  Brittany: I LOVE HER! By far, Brittany is my favorite character in this book. She is a SAP who wears way too much pink, is ridiculously wealthy, and willing to risk her social status by crossing the line into enemy territory when she begins to work with Jolie and Reese. For Brittany, it’s personal; she has a Revolutionary War soldier’s ghost who won’t leave her side and she is beyond desperate to get rid of him. Seriously, the guy follows her to the bathroom ☺ While Brittany is often the butt of the group’s jokes (Pink, Day-Glo Pink, Pink Barbie . . .), she is resilient, funny, smart, and tenacious. I adore Brittany and really hope to see her appear in later installments of this series.

What I didn’t like:

*Reese’s attitude: Overall, I like Reese and know he will be a major factor in later books, but he has got to get the multiple chips off of his shoulder.   Seriously, he has a bag of Lay’s on his shoulders right now.

* Jolie’s dad: I know, I know, Dad is one of the major hooks to keep the reader coming back for more, but this book had just too little of him to make much of a difference.

The bottom line: This book is an award-winner and doesn’t have much I don’t like.  Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to the second installment of the Ripsters series. I like the humor, the detailed and intriguing plot, and the characters, who are quite fun and just quirky enough to keep me wanting more. Without reservation, I would absolutely recommend this book to young adult and adult readers alike.  I told you, it’s an award winner!!  Go buy it, now 🙂

Where to find Chris Myers:

Twitter           Facebook          Website          Blog          Goodreads

Wanna buy Date with the Dead?  Amazon

Wanna try and win a copy of Date with the Dead?  Click on the appropriate  ‘copter links below:

US ONLY Giveaway                   US/International Giveaway

Cover Re-Reveal: Awaken (Patronus #1) by Sarah M. Ross

Original Realease Date: January 27, 2012Age group/Genre: YA, Fantasy/ParanormalCover Designer: Donna Dull of Sharp Cover Designs; http://www.sharpcoverdesign.com/
Original Realease Date: January 27, 2012
Age Group/Genre: YA, Fantasy/Paranormal
Cover Designer: Donna Dull of Sharp Cover Designs;
http://www.sharpcoverdesign.com/

Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours

Synopsis:  Lucy Donovan was supposed to have a weekend of fun in the sun,  celebrating her upcoming graduation from college. In a split second, everything changed. A drunk driver ended Lucy’s mortal life. Lucy opens her eyes to a world she never imagined possible and a new destiny: as a Patronus, a guardian
of spirits. Adjusting to her new role and abilities while negotiating this confusing realm will test her limits and push her further than she ever dreamed she would go. From wayward spirits who don’t want her help to soul stealing vampires, and even a stuck-up British royal, Lucy must brave them all to save
one spirit she can’t bear to lose. Further complicating her confusing life is an inexplicable yet growing connection she feels to a member of her team, Max, whose mysterious behavior leaves her both confused and intrigued. Waking up dead was just the beginning of her problems. Lucy’s death is about to become
the greatest adventure of her life.

Author Photo

 About the Author: I started my obsession with reading at an early age, getting in trouble for sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class in elementary school. I would read any fiction book I could get my hands on. I knew it was an addiction when instead of grounding me from TV or music, my mom would take away my books as punishment (The Horror!). My love of all things paranormal was inspired by my good friend Laurie, who convinced me that books with vampires, witches, and all things shifter were amazing. After a little reluctance, I gave it a shot with the Sookie Stackhouse books, realized she was right, and the rest was history.

I grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with my degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as I do for several years. I will always be a proud member of the Steelers Nation, but I couldn’t take the cold and moved my frozen tush to Florida where I now live with my family and two cats. You will find me now with my trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!

Where to find Sarah M. Ross: Blog          Facebook          Twitter

Want to Buy Awaken (Patronus #1)?

Amazon          Barnes & Noble          Smashwords          Kobo          iTunes

Woo and Hoo!!  Awaken (Patronus #1) is on sale for .99!!

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton: Review

Format: Paperback, 300 pagesPublished:  November 27th 2012 by OmnificPublishing (first published November 25th 2012) ISBN:  1623420024 (ISBN13: 9781623420024)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Wallbanger
Format: Paperback, 300 pages
Published: November 27, 2012 by Omnific Publishing (first published November 25, 2012)
ISBN: 1623420024 (ISBN13: 9781623420024)
Edition language: English
Original title: Wallbanger

Goodreads                         Alice Clayton’s Goodreads page

Synopsis from Goodreads: Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.
Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.
Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…
In her third novel, Alice Clayton returns to dish her trademark mix of silly and steamy. Banter, barbs, and strutting pussycats, plus the sexiest apple pie ever made, are dunked in a hot tub and set against the gorgeous San Francisco skyline in this hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 4½/5 stars

My Review:

**Adult-only read**

 Wooooooo!  I knew I was buying this book the moment I saw its cover and man am I glad to say the book lived up to the awesomeness of the cover.  Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger is a hysterical and hot little read which kept me awake far too late the last two nights!

Caroline is a twenty-something interior designer (not a decorator!)  who has just about everything a girl could want: a posh new apartment, a great job with an established firm, two fabulous best friends, and a cat, Clive, who adores her.  What Caroline doesn’t have is a boyfriend or her orgasm, or more simply, O.  Since Caroline is no longer looking for wham bam, thank you ma’am hook-ups she can deal with no boyfriend but her missing O is a bit troubling.

Simon aka Wallbanger is the smoldering hot guy next door who has a harem of women (affectionately known as Spanx, Purina, and the Giggler to Caroline) who parade in and out of his apartment on a regular basis.  While Caroline doesn’t care who Simon bangs she does care that his sexcapades tend to happen late at night and often wake her up.  Simon’s bed banging against their shared wall (hence the nickname) only serves to infuriate Caroline especially given the fact there is no O of her own to be had.  One night Caroline reaches her breaking point which results in her storming across the hall to bang on Simon’s door and telling him exactly what she thinks of both him and his harem.  Up to this point Wallbanger is a good read; after the tether snapping, it gets all kinds of better 🙂

The absolute highlight of this book is the finely crafted, super funny dialogue and interactions between the characters.  Caroline is ridiculously funny, witty, sarcastic, and always calls it like she sees it. (The hot tub scene in Tahoe, for example)  Her skills are matched and even tested by Simon who takes great pleasure in both taunting Caroline and shamelessly flirting with her.  The conversations between Simon and Caroline (both real and by text) and the flirtations often left me laughing out loud or panting just a little.  And the fun doesn’t end there: the interactions between Caroline and her girls, Sophia and Mimi and are just as entertaining as the interactions between Simon and his boys, Neil and Ryan.  Add to all of this the drama of the boys and the girls hooking up and you quite simple have a fast and funny read which will pull you in immediately.  Clayton has a way with words and she certainly passes that way along to her characters.  I can’t believe I am about to say this but I was actually far more taken with the dialogue in this book than with the naughty bits and I adore naughty bits!

And now, on to the naughty bits J  There are certainly some pretty awesome naughty bits in Wallbanger but you would be mistaken if you assume this book is all about the naughty and nothing more.  You understand from the beginning Caroline and Simon are going to have sex and while their steamy scenes are numerous they all make sense within the overall plot and none are gratuitous.  The journey the two of them take to the bedroom is funny, sweet, sometimes frustrating but above all necessary.  After all, a girl can’t go forever without her O, right?  Additionally, the journey to the bedroom (and kitchen and bathroom) allows each of the characters to grow as well as allowing the plot to move forward.  At its core, Wallbanger is a very good read that also happens to have some really impressive sex scenes.

Bottom Line:  Wallbanger hooked me with the fantastic cover and reeled me right on in at page one.  The story is engaging and slightly naughty with characters who are both likeable and excellent additions to the overall story.  Clayton has really managed to pull everything together in order to create a lovely and easy read which will satisfy nearly all who choose to indulge.   Due to the language and naughty bits I can only recommend Wallbanger to adults but do I highly and enthusiastically recommend this novel.  Bang on!!

Favorite quotes: I rarely ever add quotes to my reviews but these three made me laugh out loud.  You can thank me later 🙂

“Sweet Lord, there were out-of-control pussies on both sides of this wall tonight.” (Pages 10—11): this will be so much funnier when you read the scene this comes from 🙂

“I was tired, I was horny with no release in sight, and my cat had a Q-Tip sticking out of his mouth that looked frighteningly like a tiny cigarette.” (Page 26): again, funnier when you know more about Clive the cat.

“I allowed myself a moment to indulge in a fantasy where I was then quickly flipped and ravaged to within an inch of my life, but I wisely got control of my inner whore.” (Page 138): context be damned, this is just funny!

Want to buy Wallbanger?

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A Royal Marriage by Rachelle McCalla: Review

Format: Paperback, 288 pagesPublished: November 27, 2012 by Love Inspired ISBN:  0373829442 (ISBN13: 9780373829446)Edition language: EnglishSeries: Protecting the Crown
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Published: November 27, 2012 by Love Inspired
ISBN: 0373829442 (ISBN13: 9780373829446)
Edition language: English
Series: Protecting the Crown

Goodreads          Rachelle McCalla’s Goodreads page

Synopsis from Goodreads: Despite her protests, Princess Gisela, headstrong daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, must enter into a diplomatic marriage. Yet en route to her wedding, her ship is attacked and she’s gravely injured. Rescued by a renowned healer, King John of Lydia, Gisela recuperates at his Mediterranean castle. The handsome, widowed ruler soon has her reevaluating her beliefs on love and marriage…but only if King John could be her groom. Their love is forbidden, and duty requires him to deliver her to her betrothed. Unless they can find a way to join their hearts—and kingdoms—with love, faith and honor.

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review: There is just nothing like a novel that opens with drama and doesn’t stop until the very last word.  A Royal Marriage opens with King John of Lydia warily watching as a ship, flying the royal flags of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, approaches his coast.  Neither King John nor his advisors can think of a reason why the emperor or one of his envoys would be making an unplanned and unannounced stop in Lydia.  What comes off the ship is surprise to all and sets in motion a series of events with the potential to cause two great nations, the Holy Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire to wage vicious war against one another.

What comes off the ship is the lovey yet badly injured and on the verge of death, Princess Gisela who was, before her ship was attacked by Saracen pirates, on her way to meet her betrothed, an Illyrian prince.  For King John this information is troubling on several levels: 1) his reputation for healing is well-known but Gisela’s injury is quite severe; 2) the herb needed to help Gisela is across the border and into enemy Illyrian territory and; 3) if Gisela dies both the Illyrians and Charlemagne are going to be very cranky.  For King John, the peace his father’s life bought for Lydia and the protection of his citizens is paramount and the only possible way he can ensure the two is to save Gisela’s life.  What John doesn’t count on is the strength and determination of Princess Gisela.

Gisela may be a princess from one of Europe’s most powerful courts but she is no shrinking violet.  Despite her injury, Gisela is determined to minimize the risk to King John and his people.  To this end, she rides with John to find the herb needed to heal her and discovers along the journey just how honorable and good the young king is.  All seems to be going according to plan until John and Gisela inadvertently alert the Illyrians to their presence; from this point forward it is a race to avert war!  During the flight back to the safety of Lydia’s castle, Gisela decides her place is by John’s side as he fights for the safety of his kingdom.  Her ulterior motive?  Gisela really, really has no interest in marrying an Illyrian prince especially as she begins to learn more about King John.  As the plot unfolds many secrets and truths are revealed including why King John has refused to re-marry, how and why the Illyrians attacked and killed John’s father, who John’s head-strong younger sister is in love with, and how John and Gisela will navigate some incredibly tricky political waters in order to be together.

The bottom line: this loosely based on history novel is a fairly fast-paced read with a healthy dose of intrigue, romance, battle, and resolution.  Gisela and John are both fine characters the reader can easily get behind and root for as Gisela is quick-thinking, capable, and determined and John is kind, intelligent, and compassionate.  Gisela fits easily and comfortably into John’s world which allows her relationship with him to progress in a quick though believable way.

Throughout, John and Gisela are supported by a decent cast of minor characters who are sure to play a much larger role in future installments of this series.  A Royal Marriage is a read which is quite easy to fall into and carries the reader smoothly through from beginning to end.  There is plenty of action and intrigue mixed with romance which will keep lovers of all of the above interested , entertained, and turning pages quickly.

Want to buy A Royal Marriage?

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OOH! Look What I Own and Forgot About!

Dear reader,

As Wednesday’s post demonstrated I have been cleaning and organizing my book collection in order to prepare myself for the year ahead.  (She says all loud and proud of herself!) Needless to say, I have come across a ton of titles, both physical and electronic, I have completely forgotten about.  (She says with her head hung down in shame.)   On the bright side, going through all the titles has really fired me up about reading!  Below is a list of titles and covers I own, have forgotten about, and am now excited about once again!!  I won’t lie, it’s sort of like finding a treasure trove of new cool stuff that isn’t actually new to you and already paid for!!

Format: Paperback, 300 pagesPublished:  November 27th 2012 by OmnificPublishing (first published November 25th 2012) ISBN:  1623420024 (ISBN13: 9781623420024)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Wallbanger
Format: Paperback, 300 pages
Published: November 27th 2012 by Omnific
Publishing (first published November 25th 2012)
ISBN: 1623420024 (ISBN13: 9781623420024)
Edition language: English
Original title: Wallbanger

I came across this title when Julie at A Tale of Many Book Reviews (yep, it’s a shameless name drop 🙂 ) ran a cover reveal last month.  Didn’t even have to read the synopsis to know I was going to buy this one.

Format: Kindle Edition, 201 pagesPublished:  October 23rd 2012 by Lakehouse Press ASIN: B009W9QTVYEdition language: EnglishOriginal title: Confessions of an Alli Cat (The Cougar Chronicles, #1)
Format: Kindle Edition, 201 pages
Published: October 23rd 2012 by Lakehouse Press
ASIN: B009W9QTVY
Edition language: English
Original title: Confessions of an Alli Cat (The Cougar Chronicles, #1)
Format: Hardcover, 368 pagesPublished: August 21st 2007 by St. Martin's Press ISBN:  0312363044 (ISBN13: 9780312363048)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Agnes and the HitmanURL http://www.crusiemayer.com/agnes/book.htm
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Published: August 21st 2007 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 0312363044 (ISBN13: 9780312363048)
Edition language: English
Original title: Agnes and the Hitman

This one is a mom-tastic recommendation.

Format: Hardcover, 358 pagesPublished: March 22nd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers ISBN: 1442409053 (ISBN13: 9781442409057)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: WitherSeries: The Chemical Garden #1Literary awards: ALA Teens' Top Ten Nominee (2012)
Format: Hardcover, 358 pages
Published: March 22nd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 1442409053 (ISBN13: 9781442409057)
Edition language: English
Original title: Wither
Series: The Chemical Garden #1
Literary awards: ALA Teens’ Top Ten Nominee (2012)

Yet another gorgeous cover that has completely drawn me in!

This will be one of my first reads in the steampunk genre so I hope the story is as good as the cover.

Format: Hardcover, 351 pagesPublished: February 1st 2009 by Harcourt ISBN:  0152063846 (ISBN13: 9780152063849)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark SideSeries: Jessica #1LIterary awards: Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee (2011), Voya Perfect Ten (2009)
Format: Hardcover, 351 pages
Published: February 1st 2009 by Harcourt
ISBN: 0152063846 (ISBN13: 9780152063849)
Edition language: English
Original title: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Series: Jessica #1
LIterary awards: Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award Nominee (2011), Voya Perfect Ten (2009)

This one sounds like it might have some practical information 🙂

Format: Kindle EditionPublished: November 4th 2010 ASIN: B004ASOTCISeries: The Cordelia Chronicles #1
Format: Kindle Edition
Published: November 4th 2010
ASIN: B004ASOTCI
Series: The Cordelia Chronicles #1
Format: Hardcover, 352 pagesPublished: July 3, 2012 by HarperTeen (first published July 1, 2012) ISBN:  0062089641 (ISBN13: 9780062089649)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Team Human
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Published: July 3, 2012 by HarperTeen (first published July 1, 2012)
ISBN: 0062089641 (ISBN13: 9780062089649)
Edition language: English
Original title: Team Human
Format: ebook,  254 pages  Edition language: English ASIN: B009WWNZBS
Format: ebook, 254 pages
Edition language: English
ASIN: B009WWNZBS
Format: Hardcover, 392 pagesPublished: July 31, 2012 by Harlequin Teen ISBN:  0373210493 (ISBN13: 9780373210497)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Pushing the LimitsSeries: Pushing the Limits #1Literary awards: Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel RT Book Reviews Nominee (2012)
Format: Hardcover, 392 pages
Published: July 31, 2012 by Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 0373210493 (ISBN13: 9780373210497)
Edition language: English
Original title: Pushing the Limits
Series: Pushing the Limits #1
Literary awards: Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel RT Book Reviews Nominee (2012)

I was a tiny bit crushed when I requested this one from Netgalley and they shot me down.  😦

Clearly I got over it given the fact I forgot I bought this title 🙂

Format: Paperback, 294 pagesPublished: May 10, 2011 by Otherworld Publications LLC ISBN:  1936593106 (ISBN13: 9781936593101)Edition language: English
Format: Paperback, 294 pages
Published: May 10, 2011 by Otherworld Publications LLC
ISBN: 1936593106 (ISBN13: 9781936593101)
Edition language: English
Format: Paperback, 348 pagesPublished: April 30, 2012 by MadeGlobal Publishing/Create Space (first published April 26, 2012) ISBN:  147526612X (ISBN13: 9781475266122)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: The Fall of Anne Boleyn
Format: Paperback, 348 pages
Published: April 30, 2012 by MadeGlobal Publishing/Create Space (first published April 26, 2012)
ISBN: 147526612X (ISBN13: 9781475266122)
Edition language: English
Original title: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

I am a super-big fan of historical fiction and particularly love titles involving British royalty.  I have a really hard time turning down an Anne Boleyn read no matter how many I have already read.

Format: Hardcover, 208 pagesPublished: March 9, 2010 by Aladdin ISBN:  1416990844 (ISBN13: 9781416990840)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: It's Raining Cupcakes
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
Published: March 9, 2010 by Aladdin
ISBN: 1416990844 (ISBN13: 9781416990840)
Edition language: English
Original title: It’s Raining Cupcakes

I love cupcakes nearly as much as I love my husband and daughter 🙂

Near my home is a little drive-thru cupcake business that makes me all kinds of happy!

Format: Paperback, 412 pagesPublished: March 1, 2007 by Mira Books (first published June 1, 2004) ISBN:  0778324338 (ISBN13: 9780778324331)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Poison StudySeries: Study #1Literary awards: Compton Crook Award (2006)
Format: Paperback, 412 pages
Published: March 1, 2007 by Mira Books (first published June 1, 2004)
ISBN: 0778324338 (ISBN13: 9780778324331)
Edition language: English
Original title: Poison Study
Series: Study #1
Literary awards: Compton Crook Award (2006)
Format: Paperback, 332 pagesPublished: September 8, 2011 by Flux Edition language: EnglishSeries: Witch Eyes #1
Format: Paperback, 332 pages
Published: September 8, 2011 by Flux
Edition language: English
Series: Witch Eyes #1
Format: Hardcover, First Edition, 392 pagesPublished: May 6, 2008 by Hyperion ISBN:  142310921X (ISBN13: 9781423109211)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Generation DeadSeries: Generation Dead #1Literary awards: Florida Teens Read Nominee (2009)
Format: Hardcover, First Edition, 392 pages
Published: May 6, 2008 by Hyperion
ISBN: 142310921X (ISBN13: 9781423109211)
Edition language: English
Original title: Generation Dead
Series: Generation Dead #1
Literary awards: Florida Teens Read Nominee (2009)

Last but not least, a cheerleader novel.  I love all things cheerleader with no rational explanation for why.

Cheerleader movies are my train wreck – I can’t stop watching 🙂

How Is a Girl to Choose?

Three days ago I decided to really embrace the coming of the new year.  What better time is there to organize, clean, and really get my books in order and ready to read?   This needed to be done for I have  set myself two monumental challenges for 2013:

1) I will read 100 books and;

2) I will write 75 reviews

What the Holy Hell (this is a title I discovered on my iPad while organizing, BTW!) was I thinking? So, here we are three days later and I have one ridiculously long list of random book titles and notes about various series I have wanted to check out in the past.  Which leads me to the following: How in the world is a girl to choose where she should begin reading?  Answer: Ask the blog ‘o sphere.  So, dear reader, I have randomly chosen 15 (I am embarrassed to tell you the real total) of the series  I have made notes about and am asking you for your thoughts and opinions.  Are any of these series worth it?  Is there one or two or even more among the group you just couldn’t put down?  Do any of these suck so hard they hang on?  I am begging you, please advise.  The list is in alphabetical order by author and I have included the cover of the first book in each series for your viewing pleasure.  🙂

Format: Paperback, 354 pagesPublished: February 25th 2012 by Evolved Publishing ISBN:  1469998165 (ISBN13: 9781469998169)Edition language: EnglishSeries: Valkyrie #1
Format: Paperback, 354 pages
Published: February 25th 2012 by Evolved Publishing
ISBN: 1469998165 (ISBN13: 9781469998169)
Edition language: English
Series: Valkyrie #1
Format: Paperback, 216 pagesPublished: August 8th 2009 by Midnight Ink ISBN:  0738714801 (ISBN13: 9780738714806)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Pretty is as Pretty Dies: A Myrtle Clover MysterySeries: A Myrtle Clover Mystery #1
Format: Paperback, 216 pages
Published: August 8th 2009 by Midnight Ink
ISBN: 0738714801 (ISBN13: 9780738714806)
Edition language: English
Original title: Pretty is as Pretty Dies: A Myrtle Clover Mystery
Series: A Myrtle Clover Mystery #1

  Although garden gnomes kind of freak me out I am able to ignore the little bastards because of the awesomeness of the title and the other titles in the series.  Yes, I will totally judge a book by its title!!  Stop judging, you do it too 🙂

Format: Paperback, 378 pagesPublished: October 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Casablanca ISBN:  1402244428 (ISBN13: 9781402244421)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour, #1)Series: Sinners on Tour #1
Format: Paperback, 378 pages
Published: October 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402244428 (ISBN13: 9781402244421)
Edition language: English
Original title: Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour, #1)
Series: Sinners on Tour #1

The Sinners on Tour series first pinged my book radar when I read Autumn’s review at The Autumn Review.  (Yes, I just shamelessly name-dropped with a hyperlink yet again 🙂 )  Since reading Autumn’s review I have seen many more excellent raves and reviews.  I hear there are some very good naughty bits in this series.  I like the naughty bits.

Format: Kindle Edition, 30 pagesPublished:  July 1st 2011 by Kensington Publishing Corporation ASIN: B00564ON7GEdition language: EnglishSeries: Mythos Academy #0.5
Format: Kindle Edition, 30 pages
Published: July 1st 2011 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
ASIN: B00564ON7G
Edition language: English
Series: Mythos Academy #0.5
Format: Paperback, 198 pagesPublished: January 7th 2011 by The Edge ISBN:  1597489727 (ISBN13: 9781597489720)Series: The Alchemists Academy #1
Format: Paperback, 198 pages
Published: January 7th 2011 by The Edge
ISBN: 1597489727 (ISBN13: 9781597489720)
Series: The Alchemists Academy #1

I really want this one to be good so someone please tell me this is a solid read and not all kinds of angsty.  I don’t do angst 😦

Format: ebookPublished: October 25th 2010 by Gemma Halliday (first published July 1st 2006) ISBN13: 9780984857401Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Spying in High Heels (High Heels, #1)URL: http://www.gemmahalliday.com/books_adult/Spying.htmlSeries: A High Heels Mystery #1Literary awards: Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, National Readers Choice Award, Judge a Book by its Cover (JABBIC), Anne-Bonney Readers' Choice Award finalist, Booksellers' Best Award finalist
Format: ebook
Published: October 25th 2010 by Gemma Halliday (first published July 1st 2006)
ISBN13: 9780984857401
Edition language: English
Original title: Spying in High Heels (High Heels, #1)
Series: A High Heels Mystery #1
Literary awards: Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, National Readers Choice Award, Judge a Book by its Cover (JABBIC), Anne-Bonney Readers’ Choice Award finalist, Booksellers’ Best Award finalist

This series has won a crap-load of awards plus it has a fun title!!  Can you really go wrong with an award winner?

Format: Hardcover, 403 pagesPublished: January 11th 2011 by Sterling ISBN:  1402784031 (ISBN13: 9781402784033)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Tiger's CurseURL: http://www.tigerscursebook.com/Series: The Tiger Saga #1.Literary awards: Next Generation Indie Book Award Nominee for Young Adult (2010)
Format: Hardcover, 403 pages
Published: January 11th 2011 by Sterling
ISBN: 1402784031 (ISBN13: 9781402784033)
Edition language: English
Original title: Tiger’s Curse
Series: The Tiger Saga #1
Literary awards: Next Generation Indie Book Award Nominee for Young Adult (2010)

I have had this trilogy sitting on my shelf for well over a year now and just haven’t talked myself into picking it up.  I can’t believe I have let this gorgeous cover sit for so long.

Format: Hardcover, 310 pagesPublished: February 1st 2011 by St. Martin's Press ISBN:  0312662750 (ISBN13: 9780312662752)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: First Grave on the RightSeries: Charley Davidson #1Literary awards: Romance Writers of America RITA Award for Best First Book (2012), Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for Best Paranormal Romance (2009)
Format: Hardcover, 310 pages
Published: February 1st 2011 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 0312662750 (ISBN13: 9780312662752)
Edition language: English
Original title: First Grave on the Right
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Literary awards: Romance Writers of America RITA Award for Best First Book (2012), Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for Best Paranormal Romance (2009)

The Charley Davidson series is another series I am hearing some very good things about.  In fact, my mom called me a week ago and told me I need to get my hands on this book and dive into it immediately!  I may be nearly 40 but I still listen to my momma, most of the time 🙂

Format: ebook, 1st Edtion, 255 pagesPublished: February 1st 2012 by Tribute Books (first published January 24th 2012) ISBN13: 9780983741855Edition language: EnglishSeries: The Angel Chronicles #1
Format: ebook, 1st Edtion, 255 pages
Published: February 1st 2012 by Tribute Books (first published January 24th 2012)
ISBN13:9780983741855
Edition language: English
Series: The Angel Chronicles #1
Format: ebookPublished: November 15th 2008 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2006) ISBN:  0446550434 (ISBN13: 9780446550437)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Bitten & Smitten (Immortality Bites, Book 1)Series: Immortality Bites #1, Sarah Dearly #1
Format: ebook
Published: November 15th 2008 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2006)
ISBN: 0446550434 (ISBN13: 9780446550437)
Edition language: English
Original title: Bitten & Smitten (Immortality Bites, Book 1)
Series: Immortality Bites #1, Sarah Dearly #1

This is a series I came across on Amazon one day while trolling for new reads.  I love the titles in this series and am hoping this is a funny series with lots of good dialogue and intriguing characters.  Is it too much to ask and hope for a Katie MacAlister-esque type series?

Format: ebook, 450 pagesPublished:  March 15th 2012 by Stephanie Rowe ISBN13:9780985179229Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Darkness Awakened (Order of the Blade: Primal Heat Trilogy, #1)Series: Order of the Blade: Primal Heat Trilogy #1
Format: ebook, 450 pages
Published: March 15th 2012 by Stephanie Rowe
ISBN13:9780985179229
Edition language: English
Original title: Darkness Awakened (Order of the Blade: Primal Heat Trilogy, #1)
Series: Order of the Blade: Primal Heat Trilogy #1

Like the Sinners on Tour series, I have some seriously high hopes for this series.  The cover immediately drew me in: sword and matching tattoo, what’s not to love?

Format: Hardcover, 293 pagesPublished: August 24th 2010 by Hyperion Book CH ISBN:  1423116364 (ISBN13: 9781423116363)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: The Candidates (Delcroix Academy #1)Series: Delcroix Academy #1
Format: Hardcover, 293 pages
Published: August 24th 2010 by Hyperion Book CH
ISBN: 1423116364 (ISBN13: 9781423116363)
Edition language: English
Original title: The Candidates (Delcroix Academy #1)
Series: Delcroix Academy #1
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 411 pagesPublished: June 26th 2012 by HQN Books ISBN:  0373776985 (ISBN13: 9780373776986)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Wicked NightsSeries: Angels of the Dark #1
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 411 pages
Published: June 26th 2012 by HQN Books
ISBN: 0373776985 (ISBN13: 9780373776986)
Edition language: English
Original title: Wicked Nights
Series: Angels of the Dark #1

I. Love. Gena. Showalter.

I have long been a fan of Showalters’ Lords of the Underworld series and was quite delighted with her Tales of An Extraordinary Girl books.  This one looks like it will be all kinds of naughty – she says while crossing her fingers 🙂

Format: ebook, 73 pagesPublished: September 20th 2006 by Ellora's Cave ISBN: 1419907484 (ISBN13: 9781419907487)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: BacchusSeries: Phantom Warriors #1
Format: ebook, 73 pages
Published: September 20th 2006 by Ellora’s Cave
ISBN: 1419907484 (ISBN13: 9781419907487)
Edition language: English
Original title: Bacchus
Series: Phantom Warriors #1

I have some seriously mixed feelings about this series and I am honestly not sure why.  This series could easily be scrapped unless there are some super stellar recommendations.

Format: Paperback, 296 pagesPublished: November 13th 2012 by Entangled Teen (first published October 30th 2012) ISBN:  1620611279 (ISBN13: 9781620611272)Edition language: EnglishSeries: Raven Chronicles #1
Format: Paperback, 296 pages
Published: November 13th 2012 by Entangled Teen (first published October 30th 2012)
ISBN: 1620611279 (ISBN13: 9781620611272)
Edition language: English
Series: Raven Chronicles #1

RoloPoloBookBlog: It’s Aliiiiiiive

Hello Blog ‘o Sphere!

I can’t believe this day has finally arrived: December 30, 2012! While most of you are totally stoked for it almost being New Year’s Eve and such I am stoked for the launch of my blog, RoloPoloBookBlog.  Although I am totally new to the whole owner/operator of  a blog thing, I have been in the game for the last two years as a reviewer and worker monkey for my long-time friend (since 1st grade), Julie at A Tale of Many Reviews and A Tale of Many Book Reviews.  Yes, that is a shameless name drop with hyperlinks and I will totally do it again 🙂

By way of introduction, I thought it might be nice if I showed you around the space and place where this little gem of a blog was created.  In my non-blogging life I am an art history professor who, after seven years on-site went totally online.  Once you figure out exactly how technologically inept I really am, the previous sentence will be all kinds of funny.  I digress.  Since I teach online, I work from home (yes, I teach in my pajamas nearly every day!) and have managed to turn the front room of my home into a lovely little nest where all my brilliance spills out into the universe.  Maybe not brilliance per se but I am awfully efficient and get alot of work done despite being surrounded by all kinds of awesomeness.  Take a look for yourself ;

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    I am just old-school enough that I still use a large paper calendar; all the post-its are reminders about upcoming bloggy-type stuff 🙂

My students know me as “The Queen” and the pink sign above the bulletin board reads “I didn’t ask to be Queen but hey . . . if the crown fits!”

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Of course there are bookshelves!!  Although most of my for pleasure reading is done with my iPad (whose name is Sheldon after the Big Bang Theory character) I still need the bookshelves for all my art history books and collectibles.  I am a fiendish collector of all things Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Yoda, and Einstein.

DSCN1383 The super-awesome fish tank is the latest addition to my office.  It is a 29-gallon monster filled with all manner of fish that entertain myself and my two cats.  See the little step-ladder in front of the tank?  That’s for one of the cats; no kidding!

Notice how I conveniently located the fish tank directly under the five degrees earned by myself and my husband 🙂  Tricksy!!

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I always have company while I am working.  This is my twelve-ish year old black Lab, Duke.  He is spoiled rotten and spends his days looking out our two large front windows from the comfort of his overly large pillow.  Notice the window sills are conveniently located at chin level; the rat bastard doesn’t even have to get up to bark and growl at the mailman!

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 This wretched little beast is Cooter Brown.  Yes, I know her name sounds naughty, get over it!  She is roughly thirteen and once thought to be the dumbest cat on Earth.

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This is Booger Ray, the dumbest cat on Earth.  Thank goodness this one is sweet and pretty!  Booger is actually my daughter’s cat but can often be found hanging with me in the office during the day.  I think this is primarily because of the presence of the fish tank; remember the step-ladder from above?

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Last, but in no way least are the two people who have helped make all of this possible.  This is my husband Ray and our daughter, Piper Ray.  Ray was the first person to ask me why I don’t have my own blog and Piper has been there to help me clean the office and interrupt me while writing nearly every book review I have written.  🙂  These two make me smile every single day and I am grateful to them for supporting me on the home front.   I am also grateful for you, dear reader, for taking the time to read this post and hopefully, for following my fledgling blog.

Cheers!!