Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stacking the Shelves [18]

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to gab on about the books we've won, bought, or otherwise received in the past week. This is another mostly digital list, but I did cave and buy a few physical ones too this week... Oops!


Vintage Attraction by Charles Blackstone
Lash by L.G. Castillo
Streaks of Blue: How the Angels of Newtown Inspired One Girl to Save Her School by Jack Chaucer
Hunted: An Erotic Retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Cerys du Lys
Crimson Night by Marie Hall
Calculated Exposure by Holley Trent
Behind Barres by Miriam Wenger-Landis, Amanda Brice, Leslie DuBois

Won [ebooks]:

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris
Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris
Thanks, Ticket to Anywhere blog!

Bought [Library Sale]:

Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs
Troy High by Shana Norris

What about you?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Blog Tour Review: Wavecrossed

Title: Wavecrossed
Author: Andrea Colt
Pub. Date: August 22 2013
Genre: Paranormal YA


A young-adult paranormal novel about selkies, tasers, kissing and secrets.
To Cassandra Kelleher, trust is a dirty word. A teenage selkie who grew up on land, all she wants is to free her family from the man who stole their sealskins long ago. With her twin brother Brennan losing hope and her window of opportunity disappearing like the beach at high tide, she’ll try anything. Before long, however, Cassandra can’t tell whether her biggest threat is the man holding her family captive, a classmate who’s discovered her secret, or her own paranoia. Battling broken friendships and alarming romantic entanglements, Cassandra finds that trust could be the key to winning her family’s freedom … or losing her own.

*Click cover for Goodreads page!*



3.5 stars, rounded up.

Overall, this is a pretty solid young adult fantasy read. I read Andrea Colt's first book, a contemporary whodunnit entitled Torched, and absolutely loved it. Wavecrossed is a completely different kind of story, and I have to applaud Colt for making such a drastic changed. I would have never thought that these books were by the same author, going on blurb alone.

The paranormal/fantastical creature that stars in this book is the selkie, which is a being from Scottish mythology that (oversimplified) is a human on land and a seal in the water. I've heard the myth and was familiar with the being, but this is my first time reading a novel with selkies as protagonists. I love werewolves and vampires as much as the next girl, but this was a very refreshing change from the paranormal trends seen lately, in my opinion.

Colt does a great job not only describing what selkies are and how they shift, but the underwater settings and the characters as a whole. It wasn't hard to dive into (no pun intended) Brennan and Cassandra's world. Speaking of which, I really liked the twin dynamic of this. Despite their mythological nature, they seemed very human and believable. They weren't creepily best friends or forever sworn enemies (which I see a lot), but a realistic combination of loving family and bickering annoyance.

I wasn't a huge fan of Cassandra by herself though. I never really connected to her, because she often came off as aggressive and controlling. I understand that her life, and her family's, are on the line, but I wouldn't have wanted to help her, that's for sure. I much preferred Brennan, who seemed less irritating as a whole.

I also found the start of the story to be a bit confusing. I'm not sure what would fix it, maybe a prologue or a back story or something. For the first few chapters I felt like I was reading the start of a sequel, like I was supposed to have already had some concept of the twins' situation and the drama that went along with it. It got better with time, but it made it a bit slow to start for me.

Despite the issues that I had with this book, it is a solid fantasy read from an author that I continue to love. I recommend it to young adult readers with any of the following- an interest in mythology, shifters, or underwater fantasy such as mermaids. If you're not a fan of those, or high school drama, then this may not be for you.

Thank you to Oops I Read A Book Again Blog Tours for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Buy now:

Amazon | CreateSpace.

About the Author

Andrea Colt grew up reading and squabbling with her identical twin. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, a fridge full of cheese, and two feline muses. Visit to get to know her better.

Author Links:

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Click here to follow the rest of the tour!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: Over the Rainbow

Title: Over the Rainbow
Author: Brian Rowe
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: August 6th 201
Source: Netgalley/Brian Rowe


Four stars.

Much to the dismay of her extremely religious Midwestern politician father, Zippy is a lesbian. She becomes attached to a girl named Mira through an AOL Movies forum, and though they hadn't yet met, Mira becomes a major part of Zippy's life- that is, until her father finds the messages and tries to force Zippy to go to a straight camp. At the airport, she makes a daring escape in a huge suitcase, and is put into the cargo bit of a plane headed towards Seattle, towards Mira. But when the plane crashes, she finds that people are missing. A LOT of people. This LGBT retelling of the Wizard of Oz finds the red converse wearing Zippy, a fearful little girl, a concussion-having teenager, a man with a heart-condition, and a cute little dog too, to figure out what happened in The Rapture, survive the Jurassic Park-esque post-Rapture Earth, avoid a wicked, scorned, homophobic father and find the loved ones "left below".


This book was weird. Bizarre. Utterly insane. And yet, I adored it far more than I had anticipated. There's a madness to this book that reflects both Oz and Wonderland, where things become so bat-shit crazy that it almost seems logical. And also, dinosaurs.

First, I loved both the protagonist and her love, Zippy and Mira. Zippy is strong, independent and kicks some serious butt. Nothing dissuades her from her goal of finding Mira: not dinosaurs, not car accidents, not a crazy father. She stays true to herself. Part of why I am so fond of this couple is because I am part of this couple. I met my girlfriend, Emily, on the internet. Though, we used Hotmail to chat and not AOL, before Outlook was rolled out and ruined everything, but I digress. We didn't meet for roughly two years after we "met", a similar time frame to Mira and Z. And my parents didn't know that I was LGBT until I had already met Emily in real life, when I finally chose to come out. Thankfully, neither of my parents, however, sent me to a straight camp (and like Z, they would have had a hell of a time actually getting there). And I know that if we were both left below, dinosaurs wouldn't deter us either. End mushy ramble.

I also really enjoyed her family characters. Even though they were largely unpleasant, I felt that they were well written and believable (yes, I am using that word in a book about the dinopocalypse). However, I didn't really ever feel connected to Frankie or Lyman, though Elle was adorable. They served their functions in turn, but I wasn't overly hoping for their success.

Now to the Wizard of Oz bit- I very much was amused by the parallels. Red Converse on her feet, Kansas, the people she travels with, her wicked father who didn't defy gravity in the rapture (I see what you did there, Mr. Rowe!). Like a child, I found myself often pointing and going "HA!", because I understood the reference. Then there's the names: Frankie, Elle, Mr. Lyman Balm, Judy. How fitting.

The fact that this is in the 90s made me happy. It flips between the late and early 90s, and it made me have flashbacks to when AOL chat rooms were a thing, and I pretended to be older to get into teen chats talked responsibly with new people on the amazing internet. Initially, I had an issue that technology still worked despite 70% of the population disappearing. But then I remembered how you couldn't stop AOL or those big clunky computers for anything, unless you picked up the telephone (in which case you screamed at your mother to hang up even though your 18 hour download of one Hanson song is ruined and you have to start over). I also liked the references to things like Buffy. She would have been proud of Z, I think. Willow too.

Now for the part everyone cares about: The dinosaurs and other extinct animals that pop up onto the earth after the rapture. I happen to find this twist fabulous. You see, I have a theory (keeping in mind that I believe in evolution. This is a fiction book. Bear with me.) In the beginning God created dinosaurs and saber toothed cats and bugs the size of chairs, and life was terrifying. He looked to the earth with a smirk and said "Soon." He then grabbed all his scary animal friends and kept them hidden off earth until the second coming, then he set them free with a maniacal laugh on those who didn't get saved. Is this theory what the author intended? Probably not. But that's my take away from this story and I'm sticking to it. So there.

The ending was a happily ever after, but for me it was a bit too happy. It kind of was off set from the tone of the rest of the book. There is a rapture fact about staying away from windows that I wish would have been expanded on. I would have liked more story time with both Z's family and the side characters. Those are my only real flaws with the book.

Be warned, this book is suitable for people only with great imaginations. If you will be offended by lesbians, swearing, or dinosaurs in your second-coming, then step back from this one. But, if strange worlds like Wonderland or Oz fascinate you, I'd give this a try. This is one of the best LGBT books I've read this year, but brace yourself for acid-tripping weird feelings.

Thank you Netgalley and author Brian Rowe for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review: Friday Night Alibi

Title: Friday Night Alibi
Author: Cassie Mae
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: July 29th 2013
Source: Netgalley/Flirt


Two stars.

Kelli knows just how to earn herself a steady cash flow (until she gets her trust fund that is)- for a very reasonable fee, she will be the excuse you give to your parents or your friends. Your alibi. Complete stories, full of detail, she will be the perfect "good girl" so parents never grow wise. But that persona- as well as her business- are going to be challenged when she meets college student Chase, a boy like she's never experienced before. What is she willing to risk for love and happiness?


This isn't a bad book. I just have some problems with it that added up quickly.

First of these issues- this- in my mind- is not in the New Adult category. She may have graduated early, but she is still at a high school mentality. The evidence of this is clear in the dialogue scenes, where there is an abundance of teen speak: OMG, BFF, convo, deets. And she graduated early? I'm in college, and I don't know anyone that still talks that way outside of a frat house. (Nothing personal against Greek life. Just my own experience.) As it was, the "convos" felt a bit forced. I think it's because the town in which it's set is something that I don't relate too. There's a lot of "first world" problems about rich kids that I'm not really sympathetic towards. Maybe it's just a sign of the times, but I don't enjoy listening to the upper class whine about such pointless things.

Another part of this book that made it seem younger was the lack of sex. Now, I can respect clean romance and values in a book. But New Adult in general involves such content- it's what separates it from young adult and is why it's separating to a category of it's own, because it reaches beyond a teenage level to a more mature mindset. This might be young adult or clean romance, but to me the new adult title just doesn't work here.

With all of those unpleasantries out of the way, I really do like the concept of this book. I can't say that enough. Protagonist Kelli is great at her job. She goes into insane details with her alibis, including plot points in the movie she names for a discussion topic, and the color nail polish used at a sleep over. She had a great business model, which is why I think the teen speak was such a disconnect. It didn't give her enough credit as a character.

Between this apathy and the lack of mature situations, this just came off as dull. There was nothing either horrible or amazing about it. In my mind, it was just for a younger audience than myself with different life views. To me, it'll get lost among the other teen romances.

If you are a YA reader who likes clean romance, by all means check this out. I sincerely hope you like it more than I did. But if you're accustomed to new adult reads like Beautiful Disaster or Easy, I think you'll be disappointed.

Thanks to Netgalley and Flirt for the chance to read this title.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: Unfed by Kirsty McKay

Title: Unfed (Undead #2)
Author: Kirsty McKay
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: August 27th 2013
Source: Netgalley/Scholastic


Four stars.

Unfed is the sequel to the novel Undead. In this story, Bobby has survived her trip.... But her best (totally not boy-) friend Smitty is missing. She wakes up in a quarantined Scotland, and is told that four survived, her mother not among them. But something doesn't add up. When she finds a clue, she gets new hope, and knows that she has got to find Smitty and fast. It becomes a race against time, the undead, and a few other nasties to solve this unraveling puzzle, and to save the living.


I have to admit, Unfed has impressed me. Initially, I was drawn in by the cover. I mean, look at it. That's pretty cool. I was prepared for the spot of disappointment that normally fills me up after I read a zombie book. But this one exceeded expectations, and is honestly the first zombie book I've read so far that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Another problem I thought I might encounter was the fact that this is book two, when I haven't read book one. This didn't make a difference on my reading experience at all. I never felt that I was missing out on previous story or wondering what had previously happened to cause this. Everything is well explained or reintroduced in this sequel.

I love Bobby. She reminds me a little bit of Buffy, in that she knows that she has butts to kick and isn't afraid to do so if it means saving the people that she loves (or humanity. You know, whichever comes first). She's sassy and hilarious. I laughed out loud more than once while reading, and part of this is due to the dark British humor.

There is gore in this book, but that's kind of to be expected in a zombie book- especially one with a girl holding a bloody chainsaw on the cover. I found it to be dark but not overly so, and often times this ew-factor was amplified by some humor. It's a great mix of brain eating and wit.

I definitely recommend this for fans of zombies and especially to young adult readers. This was a refreshing change for me, and I hope you enjoy it too. If you prefer more horror movie type mature zombies, or contrarily, dislike any amount of gore, be warned.

Thanks to Netgalley and Scholastic for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mini Review: Together in Cyn

Title: Together in Cyn
Author: Jennifer Kacey
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: June 12th 2013
Source: Netgalley/Ellora's Cave


Three stars.

Cyn is tired of being just another one of the guys. Especially when it comes to her best friends, and fraternal brothers, Jared and Chris, who always are surrounded by women, much to Cyn's dismay. But everything changes when Jared and Chris accidentally read her little purple journal- full of the countless BDSM fantasies that she's had about the boys. They've wanted Cyn for a long time, and now is their chance to show her off at the private club that they own.

This is going to be a short and sweet review.

First, I love the concept for The Library. From the cards to the club itself, a place like that would definitely gain my attention and intrigue.

And then there's Jared and Chris. Oh lord. No wonder Cyn fantasized about them as she did. I can't blame her. Two leather clad brothers who own and Dom at a BDSM club? Yes to that please, where can I apply for my library card?

But the writing as a whole was rather unforgettable. It wasn't bad, but it's not something that I will remember a few books down the road. I also didn't really care too much for Cyn, which made connecting to this short story a bit more difficult.

If you're a fan of erotica and menage, then this book might interest you if it comes into your possession. Ultimately, however, I wouldn't go and seek this story.

Thanks to Netgalley and Ellora's Cave for my copy.

Review: The Dominant

Title: The Dominant (The Submissive Trilogy #2)
Author: Tara Sue Me
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: August 6th 2013
Source: Netgalley/NAL Trade


Four stars.

The Dominant is part two in a BDSM erotica trilogy. It retells the story of the first book The Submissive, but instead of being from the submissive Abby King's point of view, it is told from the Dominant Nathaniel West's perspective. Nathaniel is a successful CEO who in his free time is a notoriously strict Dominant. When Abby's submissive application falls into his hands, he should ignore it. She's not even trained, and he doesn't bother with training new subs. But he cannot resist her, and soon their lives entangle in a complicated mess that has Nathaniel questioning himself and feeling things that he's never experienced before.


I'd like to go on the record by saying that though I am familiar with this trilogy, I have not read book one. This review will be based solely on the writing of book two, The Dominant. I am severely torn with my rating of this book, hovering between a three and a four. Ultimately, my inexplicable addiction to this book made me round up.

I'd like to get the faults with this book out of the way. Because yes, there are faults, and they are plentiful. If you are new to the BDSM scene, please, please, do not look to this book for an example of how D/s relationships should be run. Nathaniel West makes crucial mistakes, such as neglecting aftercare, answering this new sub's questions, and being 100% honest with his sub. These are red flags. What gave me the ability to put these mistakes at bay, is the fact that near the end of the book he acknowledges them. This can also be said about the fact that he never really trains her in this book. It's more of a natural submission. Book three is entitled The Training, and with the way The Dominant ends, I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt that these things are picked. I'm also keeping in mind that this is fictional- liberties are allowed to be taken for the sake of plot.

Another brief note, at time the time lapsing for this book was a bit jagged and random. It didn't interfere with my reading too much, but should still be noted.

I adore that this book is from the Dom's perspective. Often times, my issue with this new trend of BDSM-style erotic literature is that I find the girls to be whiny and stupid. But, because this was from Nathaniel's view point, I was unable to hear the girl's thoughts, and I rather enjoyed that aspect. Of course, I'll get to reading book one, but for me personally I think it was a good idea to start with this book. It successfully lured me into the rest of the trilogy.

I loved Nathaniel. Despite the aforementioned mistakes and bastard moves, I have an inexplicable attraction to him. I don't know if it's just the Dom factor, or because he cooks and plays piano and loves his dog... I honestly don't know. I would tell you if I could. I also related to Abby, being a submissive future librarian myself. I liked that she was a bit sassy, and I enjoyed the moments when the pair could be playful with one another. The intimate scenes between them were also well written, dirty without being overly redundant or grossly crass.

After reading reviews for this saga, I was really hesitant to read this, but I am so glad I did. I recommend this to fans of the 50 Shades-esque genre of erotic BDSM. Sticklers for accuracy of this lifestyle will not be happy with this book.

Thanks to Netgalley and NAL Trade for my copy.

Review: Serving Him

Title: Serving Him: Sexy Stories of Submission
Editor: Rachel Kramer Bussel
Authors: Various
Format: Paperback, 232 pages
Pub. Date: April 9th 2013
Source: Editor, Rachel Kramer Bussel


Four stars.

Serving Him: Sexy Stories of Submission is an erotica anthology in which each teasing little story features bottoms who are eager to serve and strong, male Doms who are happy to boss. Serving Him contains 22 stories that feature a variety of kinks and desires that will be sure to satisfy anyone's lustful hunger.

Rachel Kramer Bussel has a great skill for piecing together stories in an anthology that are radically different and yet all stick to a central theme. It's no wonder that so many people gobble these anthologies up, myself included. Though all of the stories follow the same general theme, they never grow boring or redundant.

For me personally, three stories stood out more than the others:

Coffee Break by Kristina Wright tells the tale of a no-nonsense Dom who coaxes his sub into trusting his instruction and into being a bit naughty in the bathroom of a coffee shop. A steamy note, an unlocked door, and delicious writing? Yes please. A double shot of that.

I Always Do by Kiki Delovely is a story that circles around a baby girl style relationship and perfectly narrates the needs, pride, and satisfaction that comes from pleasing your partner in a relationship. I rarely find well written stories on this topic, so this one definitely popped for me.

Pinky by Kissa Starling follows a sub who rebelliously changes her hair color without permission from her Dom and must face the punishments. This particular story contains surprise menage, which was very steamy in its writing and had an overall warm tone throughout.

Of course, I did enjoy some stories more than others. In some instances, that fact was due to a personal issue with the view point of the writing. But mostly, it just happened that those stories that I didn't like involved a kink that I don't have. You can't win 'em all.

Plus, look at that cover. I know that's not how you should judge a book, but it's pretty hard not to in this case.

To any fan of male Doms, BDSM, kinks, and general naughtiness- this collection is bound to have at least one story that makes it worth the read. If sex or BDSM and the various topics surrounding them bother you, this isn't for you.

I received this book from the editor, Rachel Kramer Bussel, in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Stacking the Shelves [17]

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to gab on about the books we've won, bought, or otherwise received in the past week. This is another all-digital review, since I'm not going to put the books I needed for college on here. (But if you're interested, Dracula and Hamlet are among them!)


Desire (The Dining Club #1) by Marina Anderson (Review here.)
The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski
The Scarpetta Cookbook by Scott Conant
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Waiting to Catch Fire Promo by Kat Falls / Jeff Hirsch / Suzanne Weyn

What about you?

Review: Tethers by Jack Croxall

Title: Tethers (The Tethers Trilogy #1)
Author: Jack Croxall
Format: Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Pub. Date: February 5th 2013
Source: Author, Jack Croxall


Four stars.

What starts as a mere curiosity soon spirals into a much bigger picture filled with lies, powerful artifacts, and conspiracy. Teenagers Karl and Esther come across a strange journal among their shenanigans, a journal filled with random passages and strange, almost dream-like quotes. It isn't long before they also discover a strange stone. They must together leave their home and figure out what is going on, and more importantly, save their skins.


I am so impressed with this book. I wasn't sure if it'd be something that I would enjoy, but I am so glad that I did.

+The writing of this book is pretty smooth and detailed. I was easily able to picture the settings and artifacts in my mind. Dialogue did seem a bit artificial at times, but it wasn't enough of an issue to really bother me while reading.

+The characters are well written. Though it was slow for me to get into this book, once I kept to it, it wasn't long before I was cheering the protagonists on and was emotionally attached to the outcome of their adventure.

+I am blown away that this is a debut novel. This is a more-than-solid start to a very promising future. I sincerely hope that this isn't the end of Jack Croxall's writings (or the Tethers story!)

I recommend this book to fans of fantasy, young adult, and adventure. It might be hard for you to start, as it was for me, but the story is worth the read once you make it past that lull.

My copy of Tethers was provided by the author, Jack Croxall, in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Audiobook Review: Beautiful Bitch

Title: Beautiful Bitch (Beautiful Bastard #1.5)
Author: Christina Lauren
Format: Audiobook, 3hr26min.
Narrators: Grace Grant & Kirby Heybourne
Pub. Date: July 9th 2013
Source: Once Upon A Twilight blog


Three stars.

Beautiful Bitch is a short novella that is meant to follow the book Beautiful Bastard. Bennett and Chloe have just reunited after a time apart, at a time when Chloe's getting a new career, but Bennett refuses to let her go. I will be reviewing the audiobook version of this story.


Right off the bat, I'd like to say that I have not read Beautiful Bastard, though it is on my to-be-read list. I feel strongly that if you haven't read the first book, you shouldn't read/listen to this novella as I did.

I didn't feel as though I got to learn anything about the characters. I'm sure that if I had read Beautiful Bastard, that wouldn't be the case. But throughout Beautiful Bitch I felt disconnected from both sides of this couple, and I wasn't really emotionally invested in their story.

That being said, the steamy scenes were well written and very tempting. A few times the story would begin to heat up only to stop suddenly, teasing the reader. The writing in this book was by no means bad, though there were a few more "fucks" than necessary, in my humble opinion.

To continue from that, I wish that I had gotten a print or ebook copy of this instead of an audiobook copy. To be fair, I am picky with my audiobooks in the first place. But hearing a male reader narrate sex to me was just kind of awkward, and I wanted it to stop. Nothing personal against the writing or the reader on the audio, just my own quirk apparently that I don't want erotica playing aloud from my computer. Lesson learned.

If you loved Chloe and Bennett in Beautiful Bastard, by all means give this story a whirl. You might love it. But as someone unfamiliar with the first book, this was a short and admittedly steamy narration that was simply okay. If you didn't read Beautiful Bastard, I'd recommend skipping this for now.

Thanks to Once Upon A Twilight for my audiobook copy.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Release Day Book Blitz: Wavecrossed by Andrea Colt

Title: Wavecrossed
Author: Andrea Colt
Pub. Date: August 22 2013
Genre: Paranormal YA


A young-adult paranormal novel about selkies, tasers, kissing and secrets.
To Cassandra Kelleher, trust is a dirty word. A teenage selkie who grew up on land, all she wants is to free her family from the man who stole their sealskins long ago. With her twin brother Brennan losing hope and her window of opportunity disappearing like the beach at high tide, she’ll try anything. Before long, however, Cassandra can’t tell whether her biggest threat is the man holding her family captive, a classmate who’s discovered her secret, or her own paranoia. Battling broken friendships and alarming romantic entanglements, Cassandra finds that trust could be the key to winning her family’s freedom … or losing her own.

*Click cover for Goodreads page!*


Buy now:

Amazon | CreateSpace.

About the Author

Andrea Colt grew up reading and squabbling with her identical twin. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, a fridge full of cheese, and two feline muses. Visit to get to know her better.

Author Links:

Newsletter SignUp

Come back on August 31 to see my review!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday [11]

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is:

Top Ten Things That Makes Life as Bloggers Easier/Better

1. Goodreads

Goodreads is what started my book blogging adventure. A friend of mine on a site called Vampirefreaks introduced me to GR, and honestly I don't remember how I functioned without it. In addition to the features, like shelves and book groups, their First Reads program definitely helps fill my shelves.

2. Netgalley

I've only recently discovered this little gem. Though I got a bit overwhelmed when I first got it (come on, didn't we all?), now I know how to request only what I really want to read. I love this site, and I'm happy to be involved with it. It's introduced me to some great books.

3. The Book Depository

Free shipping. Enough said.

4. Google Calender

I love this feature of Gmail. It helps keep me organized when it comes to posts and archive dates. It emails you the day before an event as a gentle prod to get stuff done.

5. Other book bloggers.

So many blogs helped to inspire my choice of starting up my own. To name a few: Jean BookNerd, Ensconced in YA, Aestas Book Blog, Winter Haven Books, and Books a la Mode.

6. Rafflecopter

To be honest, I rarely even bother with giveaways if they don't use Rafflecopter. For me it's the easiest, fastest raffle site. When I host my own first giveaway (soon), I know that's what I'll be using.

7. My Kindle

I got my Kindle as a Christmas gift from my girlfriend, Emily, this past year. It is no doubt the best gift that I have ever received. Don't get me wrong- I adore my physical books, and I prefer them. But I frequently travel from my home of Chicago to get to school six hours away, and to Emily's house, which is three hours from Chicago and 9 hours from my school. It's so much easier to have a collection of books in one little gadget than to try to pack books for a train ride that long.

8. Amazon

In addition to helping me get the Netgalley titles I receive, Amazon has great prices for both physical and Kindle books. Though lately, I haven't really wanted any of their deals of the day. But, sometimes there's some great freebies.

9. Twitter

Twitter makes communication SO much easier. Whether it's with a blogger, a reader, or an author, I've found that I get way more interaction on Twitter than any other social networking site. I was hesitant to get it at first, but now I even have two accounts: one for blogging and one for personal use.

10. Bigelow's Cinnamon Stick Tea

I drink it when I read because it relaxes me and helps me focus. Which helps me stick to my deadlines. Which helps make me a happy blogger, and I'm sure makes the publishers who send my titles happy too.

What about you?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Review: Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums: Inside Abandoned Institutions for the Crazy, Criminal & Quarantined

Title: Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums: Inside Abandoned Institutions for the Crazy, Criminal & Quarantined
Author: Jamie Davis
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 8th 2013
Source: Netgalley/Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.


Three stars.

Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums: Inside Abandoned Institutions for the Crazy, Criminal & Quarantined is a travel guide that gives insight and information, as well as personal experiences within some of America's most haunted places.


In a nutshell, this is a good starter book for someone with an interest in haunted places mentioned in the title. This is also a good guide for people who are interested in planning a vacation to these locations.

+ The author does a good job explaining techniques and equipment that are commonly used in paranormal investigation. It's put into simple terms so even the most unfamiliar reader can understand what's being used throughout the book.

+ There are small stories and histories associated with each place. These are more factual than urban legend, despite how the back blurb of this book reads. There are photographs peppered throughout the book that help the narrative and show the reader a glimpse of what to expect.

+ It was useful to me that included after each landmark/haunt, there was a list of prices, websites, and additional information that the reader can use if planning to visit.

- The author also tells stories from their own paranormal investigations. In my opinion, these came off as rather unprofessional and altogether a bit lacking in evidence.

- I also felt like I was left with only an introduction to each haunt. I've researched most of these places in my spare time, since I do want to visit a few of them in the future. Because of that, I didn't really gain any additional information. Most of these facts can be found online, and don't really require this book to learn them.

All in all, I'd recommend this for travelers or newcomers to the topic. If you have no intention to visit these places, expect a ghost story, or are a relatively well versed person in regards to haunted places, then this book isn't for you.

Thank you to Netgalley and Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. for my copy.

Mini Review: Desire: The Dining Club: Part One

Title: Desire: The Dining Club: Part One
Author: Marina Anderson
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: August 20th 2013
Source: Netgalley/Forever


Two stars.

David needs more from Grace. Their relationship is great, from her perspective, but David's kind of love is far more challenging, and far more darkly lustful. He invites her to a special club where he can be himself, The Dining Club. There, she will face her erotic trial. If she passes, she will remain with David in his world, and get all of the bliss that him and the club have to offer.... But if she fails, she loses it all.


Desire: The Dining Club: Part One is the first short story in an eight part series. Since this is a short story, this review will be brief.

I don't really have much to say about it. The writing isn't awful, but it grows a bit redundant, vocabulary-wise (for example, David says a lot of things quietly).

My main issue is as follows: nothing happens in this first book. It feels like someone took the first chapter of a novel and released it independently. This first part only discusses what the club is, and that Grace is to visit. You don't really learn about the characters much and they come off as cold.

This novella gets two stars based on the concept. I'd very much like to see how this goes. However, I'm not going to collect pieces of eight like it's some kind of literary trading card. I'd rather just wait until they're all out and read them as one full length book than sit through snippets like this. I'd very much recommend that other readers do the same.

Thanks to Netgalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stacking the Shelves [16]

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to gab on about the books we've won, bought, or otherwise received in the past week. Since I've been moving around, all of my goodies this week are via the internet.


xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths by Kate Bernheimer
Relativity by Cristin Bishara
Revealing Us by Lisa Renee Jones
Dexter's Final Cut (Dexter #7) by Jeff Lindsay
Awakening by Elene Sallinger
Bread and Butter by Michelle Wildgen


Playing Hooky by Rita Webb

What about you?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Spotty Posting

Hello my lovely readers.

I'm just writing a quick note to you to say that posting this weekend may be a little sparse. I made the 5 hour-ish trek from my home back to college for the fall. Today I got all settled in, and am trying to get my bearings. (I'm not new to the school, but I'm new to this half of campus and it's freaking me out a little!) Anyway, with that said, I am going to be forced into "welcome back, like your floormates!" events in my building and on campus. And if that's not enough fun, my first day of classes is Monday. Oh, the excitement. I can hardly contain myself. Nothing says "Hello, monday!" like back to back literature classes topped off with elementary Latin!

I will be doing a STS tomorrow, and I'm hoping that I can finish my current ebook today (I'm surprisingly loving it, go figure). To all my school aged followers or readers with kids who are attending- study hard, play hard, and have a great, safe school year! If those don't apply to you... Then wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

Your faithful blogger,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday [10]

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is:

Top Ten Favorite Books With X Setting

What am I replacing the X with, you ask? Fantastical! I'm picking my top ten books set in fantasy worlds/settings. These books are in no particular order. Allons-y, shall we?

1. Eragon by Christopher Paolini (as well as the rest of the Inheritance Cycle). With the exception of Harry Potter, this is probably my favorite fantasy book. Set in the world of Alagaesia, the hero must encounter dragons, an evil ruler, magic, and so much more.

2. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. What can I say? This wizarding world is so finely detailed that it's easy to lose one's self completely in the setting alone. These books changed so many lives, and I am no exception.

3. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. These classic works kind of speak for themselves, though I admit I have a newer appreciation for them since the blockbuster movie series came out. Elves, Hobbits, and evil jewelry? Count me in.

4. The Inkworld series by Cornelia Funke. This series plays on the idea that reading aloud can place people into a book, and bring things out of them as well. I always thought I'd love to live in a book, but when villains and the like come into play like in this series... Maybe not!

5. City of Masks by Mary Hoffman. Now, this is book one in a series, but I haven't read the others. But this book has a really cool twist on time travel/parallel worlds. Plus, the setting is in Venice, which is beautiful in and of itself.

6. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Again, part of a series that I haven't yet continued. That being said I loved this book. It's like Harry Potter and Star Wars had a love child. It's well worth the hype.

7. The Kingdom Series by Marie Hall. Now, this one is a leap from YA. It has adult content and themes, and I adore them. Marie Hall gives classic fairy tales an erotic twist, and I adore the ones I've read so far!

8. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. I mean, who hasn't fantasized about going through the rabbit hole at one point or another? This is probably my first encounter with fantasy, and it'll always be a favorite of mine.

9. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. This can arguably be defined as science fiction as well, but I'm basing the label of fantasy off of the fact that it's a retelling. Great setting, a great new twist on a classic. I can't wait for Cress to come out!

10. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I know this makes me a cliche Lewis fan, but this particular book of the series is my favorite. I wish that I could find a whole new world in the back of my closet. Don't you?

What's your favorite setting?