Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekend Reading

Hey guys! It's another weekend here at the casa, and since it's the end of the month I've decided to try to read as MUCH as I possibly can! I've got my books stacked up and I'm ready like Spongebob!

What's on my stack? You nerds...I knew you'd ask! *smirk*
  • Finishing up this one! 
  • Never really ventured into graphic novels. I thought this would be a good one to start with. (FINISHED)
  • Library book! 
  • Another bit of library loot!

So starting now I'm going into full reading maniac mode! Got any good books revved up for your weekend? Let me know! :) Make me jealous!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Head Trip

When two brothers are conceived a month apart--called superfetation--then are born eight months later, one of them is a full-term baby and one of them is a preemie. That anomalie affected their whole lives as one twin struggled to succeed and the other struggled to keep up. For various reasons they were envious of each other, and their journey became a real head trip, both literally and figuratively. It continually challenged them to understand their twin and the dynamic that shaped their lives.

My Review: 

Head Trip by Jack Eadon, tells the story of two brothers born from the same womb at the same time, but conceived a month apart.  An occurrence named Superfetation, which,  apparently this very rarely ever happens in humans, but is common in animals. Now this story is part of a series that looks closely at the seven deadly sins. This book’s theme is envy.  

Right away we see evidence of one brother’s envy over the other, quite literally from conception to death.  The embryos even have a mini battle in the womb right after conception.  Now I’m not going to focus my review on the religious aspect of this book. It’s relating the concept of Envy, therefore there are many allusions to religious ideas.  This isn’t my usual cup of tea, but I felt it was quite an interesting plot. 

Both babies grow at a different pace, which makes sense since they are a month apart. The bigger, older fetus would pick fights with the tinier one in the womb, thus setting up the story for the rest of their lives.  The bigger more developed baby growing a deep sense of anger or hatred over the smaller one, or the “intruder” as he is referred to in the beginning. 

As they get older, Roger and Marcus spend a good deal of theirs lives in “battle” with each other.  This is shown by one brother, Roger, constantly trying to exert his dominance over his brother.  He goes about this in very alarming and horrible ways.  He teases and taunts the younger brother, and makes him feel inadequate. The other, smaller brother has many difficulties throughout his life because of his smaller size and premature birth.  He goes through many trials and many issues throughout his life.  
Envy steps in because of these difficulties.  Marcus gets a lot of attention because he is smaller and needs more care, thus creating even more animosity from Roger.  Roger hates the attention and grows more and more hostile with his brother.   I thought that this was a great observation on how hate and envy can exist in a person and pretty much ruin their lives.  Eadon hits a home run with this concept.

Now to what I felt was a bit of a distraction. There were several parts of this book that were a little uncomfortable to read, mostly related to Marcus and his nether regions.  Now I get the reasons this is brought up. He’s underdeveloped and the writer wants to give examples. I just felt it could have been done a bit better. There are several very awkward sex scenes that were kind of hard to read. Not that they were really all that graphic, just kind of distracting from the story. 

All in all I would say this was a book with a good concept, a few flaws, but decent writing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review: My Life as A White Trash Zombie

Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She's a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she's made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay "alive"...

My Review: 

This book is more about Angel growing into the person she SHOULD be, rather than her being an actual Zombie. Yes, the majority of her story revolves around her figuring out her new life, but that's the thing..being a zombie GAVE her a new chance at  life. Yes, Diana Rowland took some liberties with the way Zombies act, but I can look past that.  I love my zombies being bad and being the enemy, but this was a interesting take on the subject. In this instance the humans are the bad guys, which is sometimes way more scarier.

My Life as A White Trash Zombie has a lot of heart. You're clapping for Angel from the first page and you want her to get her act together and make something of herself. You want her to pick herself up and dust herself off.  She's smart, funny, and tough. These are the traits I love in a main character. I felt like Angel would be someone I would be proud to call a friend.

I definitely have to read more by Rowland. I loved the way she wrote this book, so I definitely recommend this.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What are you Reading Monday?

So last week I didn't get quite the whole list that I posted completely finished. Okay I didn't get to the end of my list, BUT it was great to just read whatever the heck I wanted! That was what I needed! This week the young one is on Spring Break, so not sure if that will mean more reading time for me or less. We shall see. I do have a few scheduled reads and a couple of read-a-longs that I am participating in so I know I will get to those. So get ready for my list! (WITH PICTURES!)

  • ( Partners In Crime Tours, April 7th)
  • (April 3rd) 
  • (to finish) 
  • (read-a-long Starts April 7th)
  • (read-a-long Starts April 3rd)

      There you have it folks! My reading is gonna rock this week so hard! What are you guys going to be chowing down on, literary-wise.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Audio Book Review: UR by Stephen King

Tapping into our primal fears of modern technology that made Cell a #1 bestseller, Stephen King sets his sights on the latest high-tech gadget in UR, in which a mysterious e-book reader opens a disturbing window into other worlds.

Reeling from a painful break-up, English instructor and avid book lover Wesley Smith is haunted by his ex-girlfriend's parting shot: "Why can't you just read off the computer like everyone else?" He buys an e-book reader out of spite, but soon finds he can use the device to glimpse realities he had never before imagined, discovering literary riches beyond his wildest dreams...and all-too-human tragedies that surpass his most terrible nightmares.

From vintage cars (Christine and From a Buick 8) to household appliances (Maximum Overdrive) to exercise equipment (Stationary Bike), Stephen King has mesmerized us with tales of apparently ordinary machines that take on lives of their own. UR gives this classic theme an up-to-the-minute spin, resulting in a horror masterpiece for our time and for the ages.

My Review:
In all my years as a reader, audio books have yet to hook me. I just recently (Gasp) got my library card and decided to check out their selection. I picked up this book. I saw the words, novella and Stephen King, and decided to give it a go. I figured a novella would be a good into to audio books and I do love me some Stephen King.  So to the check out desk I went!

This was a good story. The concept is pretty "Stephen King." Wesley gets a Kindle after a fight with his girlfriend over his reading habits. His new toy comes in speedy quick time and pink as a flamingo. He discovers as he explores the Kindle that it can give him views of alternate realities. Hokey sounding, but it was a good start. That is where the promise ends.

The start seems as if it's a mere ad for the Amazon Kindle. It's mentioned in great detail many many times, which made me really want to stop listening. I rolled my eyes and double checked to make sure that it was actually a Stephen King story.  The concept was great, and the ending was good too. I just couldn't get over the feeling it was just a clever infomercial for the Kindle.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: At Grave's End

Some things won't stay buried . . . at grave's end
It should be the best time of half-vampire Cat Crawfield's life. With her undead lover Bones at her side, she's successfully protected mortals from the rogue undead. But though Cat's worn disguise after disguise to keep her true identity a secret from the brazen bloodsuckers, her cover's finally been blown, placing her in terrible danger.
As if that wasn't enough, a woman from Bones's past is determined to bury him once and for all. Caught in the cross hairs of a vengeful vamp, yet determined to help Bones stop a lethal magic from being unleashed, Cat's about to learn the true meaning of bad blood. And the tricks she's learned as a special agent won't help her. She will need to fully embrace her vampire instincts in order to save herself—and Bones—from a fate worse than the grave.

My Review: 

I  love this series. Cat is awesomeballs and Bones...*drool!* I'm thinking that Jeaniene Frost knows exactly what it is that makes me a happy girl. I really do. You have awesome writing, steamy romance, and kick ass (literally) characters thrown into a great story! My usual dilemma with a series is that after a while the story gets stale. The books start to drag and just seem like a money grab. So far, The Night Huntress books have yet to feel that way!

This time Cat has tons of new friends thrown into this book. I am not going to giveaway any of the goodies, but my favorite new character is Vlad..yup. THAT Vlad. It's not as hokey as it sounds! It's awesome! I hope he's in the future books! That's one thing that makes me love this series. Things that would SEEM hokey aren't. The sexy parts are sexy and not trashy. The action is actiony and not over done. Cat gets hurt and gets HURT. She does get healed but she's not invincible. She's a kick ass fighter but even she has her "off" moments.

There were a few honest to goodness sad parts in this book. I don't have any problems saying that one in particular got me big time. I was like *GASP....SHOCK* and was very tempted to read the end to see if it all worked out! That was a neato twist.

Again, so no spoilers for those that haven't read this series. Just a suggestion:  GET ON IT! NOW!

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

I had another very awesome week of reading, and hope for another one this week! I don't have any blog tours scheduled either! So my lovelies, I have decided to have my own special week o' reading extravaganza! I'm going to have my stack of books nearby and just read my freakin' heart out! :)

Here be the stack:
  • (FINISH) At Grave's End
  • Grave Mercy-READING
  • City of Bones
  • Night Shift (Lilith Saintcrow)
  • The Better Part of Darkness
  • Destined for an Early Grave
  • My Life as A White Trash Zombie-READING
  • Rosemary and Rue
  • First Drop of Crimson

So there you have it! I'm going to go nuts with the paranormal, it seems! I don't mind one bit! :)What are you reading this week?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blog Tour: A Grand Murder AND Giveaway!

About the Book:
A Grand Murder is the first book in the Catherine O'Brien mystery series. When a prominent local businessman and friend of the chief of police is murdered on the front steps of his posh Grand Avenue Hill home, Catherine O'Brien a pithy, vertically challenged, St. Paul, Minnesota, homicide detective with a monstrous coffee habit and her partner Louise are given two days to find his killer. They soon discover their victim had a list of people with motives to murder him, including his fashion designer ex-wife, his mistress's husband, and the chief of police. The only evidence they have to go on is a missing cell phone, a stolen book, the victim's letter opener, and an ugly pair of Alpaca wool mittens.

About the Author:
Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota.  After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.
Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband and her daughter.  Her Catherine O'Brien mystery, A Grand Murder, is available from Before the Fall Books.  Her second Catherine O'Brien mystery Murder is a Family Affair, will be released shortly.  Stacy is hard at work on her third book in the series.

Visit Stacy on the web at

My Review:
I started off really liking Catherine and her partner Louise. They both balance each other out pretty well. One is feminine and in total control and the other is the opposite. Together they have been the most entertaining duo I've read recently. The mystery is pretty nice too. I was impressed by how it had me guessing from the start to the end. I didn't know who the killer was until it was announced, which for me is pretty awesome!

This will definitely satisfy anyone that loves a good mystery. The characters are solid and the writing is very smooth. It's  a quick read but it's a juicy one! I highly recommend it.


The Giveaway: 

I've been given the opportunity to give 1 (one) lucky person a copy of this book! Please use the rafflecopter below to enter! Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Guest Post: Music Inspiration for "The Weeping"

Music Inspiration for "The Weeping"

One of the questions many people ask me is, “What type of music do you listen to when you write?”
My answer is typically something along the lines of, “I don’t listen to music while I’m writing, I find it too distracting.”
While I don’t listen to music while I write, I do listen to a lot of music between writing. Not only does it calm me, but I also find a lot of inspiration in songs for characters, and for those hard to write scenes.
When I wrote “The Weeping”, there were three specific songs that I always listened to when I needed to “feel” a certain character -- namely Catherine, Heath & Molly.
Catherine, when she was alive, had a very rough life. She didn’t have many friends, thanks to her mother’s crazy ways, and people didn’t take her seriously. The only thing that kept her going was her love for Phillip. Even after he broke up with her, she held onto him because he was the only bright spot in her life. Even after her death, she clings to him. The power of her love, and her need to know he loved her back is what keeps her from moving on.
I felt that Jason Walker’s “Down” perfectly describes what Catherine is going through. Here are a few of the lyrics:
Not ready to let go
Cause then I'd never know
What I could be missing
But I'm missing way too much
So when do I give up what I've been wishing for.

I shot for the sky
I'm stuck on the ground
So why do I try, I know I'm gonna fall down
I thought I could fly, so why did I drown?
Never know why it's coming down, down, down.
Oh I am going down, down, down
Can't find another way around
And I don't want to hear the sound, of losing what I never found.
The character of Heath had a very easy life before the accident that killed his friends. Heath is an only child, was very good at sports, and one of the most popular guys in school, but after the accident, things changed. Heath is left with a lot of guilt. He feels his friends are dead because of him and he can’t let that go. In his mind, everyone blames him and it gets to be too much for him. When he meets Molly, he is immediately attracted to her, but he knows he could never date her. Not only is his friend Luke interested in her, but Molly is so lively and fun. Heath doesn’t think he would be good for her. My inspiration for Heath – especially pertaining to his feelings toward Molly – was the song “Belong” by Cary Brothers:
The moon is the only friend I have outside
One more drink and I'll be healed
I told you the words and then knew it was a lie
I wish I could offer an appeal

You're wrong
I don't belong
You're wrong
I don't belong to you
As I mentioned before, Molly is lively and fun, but she is also very down to earth, and though Heath won’t admit it in the beginning, she is exactly what he needs. After losing both of her parents, Molly understands Heath’s sense of loss and the pain he is going through. My song for Molly was Elisa’s “Dancing”, which fits for several reasons. First of all, Molly is a dancer, and I often visualized her pouring out her feelings while dancing to this song – a song about wanting to rescue someone and hold onto them even if it means she may get hurt.
I'm dancing in the room as if I was in the woods with you
No need for anything but music
Music's the reason why I know time still exists
Time still exists
Time still exists
Time still exists

So I put my arms around you around you
And I hope that I will do no wrong
My eyes are on you they're on you
And I hope that you won't hurt me
YouTube Link to the song:
YouTube Link to a performance on SYTYCD:
I had to throw the dance video in there. That is one of my all-time favorite numbers from “So You Think You Can Dance”, and it fits the tone of Molly and Heath's relationship pretty well, too.
So there you have it - the music that inspired three of my characters. What do you think? Do you love the songs? Hate them?
I’d like to thank Melissa for having me today!

Blog Tour: The Weeping

(from goodreads)
Twenty years ago, Catherine Whitley was the victim of a horrible crime. Betrayed by her friends, including the boy she loved, she was left to die when the Rock Harbor Opera House caught fire, taking a disturbing secret with her to her grave.

Seventeen-year-old Heath Ingram was driving the night his Jeep careened off the road, killing three of his closest friends. Once a popular, outgoing athlete, Heath now suffers from severe depression and crippling anxiety. His parents decide to send him to stay with his uncle in Rock Harbor, Oregon for the summer, praying that by getting away he will be able to put this awful tragedy behind him.

When Heath starts working at the newly renovated Rock Harbor Opera House, he meets Molly, a young dancer who awakens in him a desire to start over and move on. But, when he begins having visions of a half-burned girl in a white dress, he starts to think he may be slipping even further over the edge.

As the apparent hauntings become more intense, Heath begins to fear for his safety. With the help of his friend Josie, Heath discovers an unsettling secret that ties the mysterious girl to both their families. When two of their friends die unexpectedly, Josie and Heath realize that something, or someone, is after the children of those who wronged Catherine, and they are next.

My Review:
This was a story more about redemption and overcoming the past than it was about the dead, or ghosts. Heath has a lot of personal baggage for a young man. He has a lot to overcome and a lot of emotional and physical scars he has to learn to deal with. It was quite interesting to watch his journey.

The "ghost story" aspect of it, while nicely done, was not what drew me in. I did feel sad for Catherine, but I felt like Heath's story was the shining point. I'm sure others would disagree. That's the beauty of a story like this. All in all this was a well written book that kept my attention from start to finish. I enjoyed it and hope to read more by O'Dell Hutchison.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What are you Reading Monday? -10

Last week was the bombdiggity! I finished all my books on my to read list, and almost completely caught up with my read-a-longs! Woot! So this week I hope to make it a streak! I'm crossing my crossables and hoping! :)

To Read:
  • The Weeping (E-book)
  • A Grand Murder (plus giveaway)
  • At Grave's End
  • First Drop of Crimson
  • The Bedlam Detective
  • Dune
  • House of Leaves
  • 11/22/63

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quick Review: Spin

(from amazon):
Kate's To-Do List:
  1. Go to rehab
  2. Befriend/spy on "It Girl"
  3. Write killer expose
  4. Land dream job
Piece of cake!
When Kate Sandford lands an interview at her favorite music magazine, The Line, it's the chance of a lifetime. So Kate goes out to celebrate—and shows up still drunk to the interview the next morning. It's no surprise that she doesn't get the job, but her performance has convinced the editors that she'd be perfect for an undercover assignment for their gossip rag. All Kate has to do is follow "It Girl" Amber Sheppard into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop—and complete the thirty-day program—they'll reconsider her for the position at The Line. Kate takes the assignment, but when real friendships start to develop, she has to decide if what she has to gain is worth the price she'll have to pay.

My Review:
I liked it! It was fluffy and predictable and just the thing I needed. Kate or Katie, whichever, is a fun loving gal that I think almost anyone could relate to. Going out is fun. Going out and drinking can be fun. It's just sometimes hard for some people so see when they have reached their limit.

For Katie, there is no limit. She's either drunk or she's not having fun. This lands her right smack in the middle of the WORST job interview ever! What makes it even more horrific is it's a job interview for her DREAM job! Unprepared and still drunk from last night, she bombs big time! Luckily, the company also runs a gossip magazine that needs some inside scoop on a celebrity that's just checked into rehab! What person do they tag to go in undercover? Why that drunk chick that showed up to interview for a job! That's who! 

That's the set up. Spin is rather far fetched but it's got a sweet heart. It's also got very solid characters and good writing. Catherine McKenzie has a great mind for storytelling and while Spin isn't a totally new concept, it still reads with freshness. Prepare for fluff. Prepare to laugh. Prepare to enjoy!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Blog Tour: Best Seller

Best Seller Book Summary:

Thirty-five year old fiction writer, Richard Rossi would do just about anything to get his manuscript published. However, months of rejection and unanswered prayers have strained his capacity to hope. Alone in New York City, he teeters on the brink of alcoholism, as his hope erodes into desperation.

His prayers are finally answered when a simple misdirected piece of mail spawns a chance encounter with an extraordinary man, Seth Volos, Publisher. And while their unholy alliance thrusts Richard to the top of every Best Seller list in America, the horrifying outcome for the book's legions of fans is anything but a happy ending.

Timothy B. Sagges Bio:

Fifty-year-old actor, director and playwright, Tim Sagges has been tormented by a series of recurring night terrors since 1967, long before there was a name for such a curse. It is only recently that he has found the courage to formulate some of these visions into works of literature. In an effort to purge himself of the unrelenting horror of his dreams, he has created Best Seller, the first in a series of nightmares exorcised from his mind and onto the page.

He is currently the owner of Eye Candy Vision in Philadelphia. 
My Review: 

This book could have been awesome, but there were a few flaws that I found. Don't get me wrong it's not horrible in the least bit, but a few things held me back from flat out loving it! It IS a different take on the old, "words have power" trope. Words do have power, but not in a good way. I did like the twist and I really respected that no one was seemingly safe. This is a plus for Best Seller, there is a sense of confusion and it keeps you reading.

The characters could have been fleshed out a little more. I wished I could have said that I had a favorite, but I didn't "get to know them" as well as I'd like. Rich starts off as a bleephole, underpaid, underemployed, writer/barista, and ends up a best selling writer. His personality changes, but it all seems a little superficial. The secondary characters are also a little flat. I think that it's safe to say if these were given a bit more time, this book would have been nearly flawless.

The plot saves this book for me. I did plow through it in half of a day, so that says something! It's entertaining if you can just focus on the story and not linger too  much on what should have been with the characters.

Price: $14.99
ISBN: 9781456478193
Pages: 326
Release: February 2011

Amazon buy link
Barnes& buy link buy link

*thank you tribute books for providing a copy for review*