Ashes of a Black Frost (11/1) | The Shattered Vine (11/3)
Coming soon:

drey's Giveaway Policy

FTC Disclosure: I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on covers or links here may result in monetary compensation.

Winners -- Nine Dragons and Tall, Dark and Fangsome!!

October 31, 2009
nine dragonsMore winners to announce... Randomizer was put to work to fine 4 people (there were 31 people entered) to receive a copy of Nine Dragons, and here they are!

Comment #33, enyl!!

Comment #52, cqueen2!!

Comment #65, Belinda M!!

Comment #7, Beth (BBRB)!!

tall, dark and fangsomeNext up. 33 people entered this one, so Randomizer picked 4 winners. They are:

Comment #50, Bella!!

Comment #4, Karen H in NC!!

Comment #57, Belinda M!!

Comment #48, booklover0226!!

Congratulations, everyone! Emails have been sent, please reply with your mailing information before the end of day Tuesday. And THANK YOU for swinging by!

Want the book? Click on the covers to purchase from Amazon.

Replacement winners...

Well, I haven't heard back from Stacie (for Permission Slips) or JWIsley (for Supreme Courtship), so here are some new winners!

For Permission Slips, the replacement picked by Randomizer is...

Comment #8, lag123!!

For Supreme Courtship, the replacement picked by Randomizer is...

Comment #35, pixie13!!

Congratulations!! Emails have been sent, please reply with your mailing information before the end of day Monday.

193. Waking the Dead by Kylie Brant...

October 30, 2009
waking the deadAbout the book:
Former forensic anthropologist Caitlin Fleming knows bones. So the investigator is the first one called when seven sets of skeletal remains are found dumped in a makeshift graveyard in the Oregon wilderness. Each skeleton bears the same distinctive marks. And each is minus a skull.

Cait needs outdoors guide Zach Sharper for one reason only-—to help her find her way through the Willamette Forest as she pieces together clues. Despite the attraction that burns between them, nothing will be allowed to shake her focus. Until the killer closes in to terminate the investigation... and the ones on the verge of unmasking him...

drey's thoughts:
This is the third Mindhunters novel from Kim Brant. I flew through this one just about as quickly as I flew through the other two.

Caitlin Fleming is a former cover-girl turned forensic expert. She is very aware of how her looks impact those she interacts with, but is more interested in getting the job done. And when she's called onto a site where there's nothing left of the victims but the bones, boy does she have a job to do.

Waking the Dead is just as tightly-written as Waking Nightmare and Waking Evil. The characters are interesting, and the romance doesn't push everything else in the story to the backseat. I can't wait to see what comes next.

Title: Waking the Dead
Author: Kylie Brant
ISBN-10: 0425231143
ISBN-13: 9780425231142
ARC: 326 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group,2009

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Disclosure: My copy of Waking the Dead was an ARC provided by Kylie Brant for this review.

192. Waking Evil by Kylie Brant...

October 29, 2009
waking evilAbout the book:
Buffalo Springs, Tennessee is a neighborly kind of place where folks leave their doors unlocked and crime is unheard of. But once every generation, a strange red mist settles over the town, and with it comes omens of death...

When the body of a young woman is found, forensic investigator Ramsey Clark is called in. She knows about the legend of the mist and about the curse that has the entire town afraid of the dark. But Ramsey believes in evidence, not superstition, despite what she’s told by the parapsychologist who has been dogging her every step. Then another murder rocks Buffalo Springs, and Ramsey begins to wonder if a killer is playing on everyone’s fears or if a prophecy is indeed being fulfilled—-one victim at a time.

drey's thoughts:
So, after reading Waking Nightmare, and knowing that I had all three Mindhunters books, I couldn't not pick this one up as soon as I could. So I did. Because patience is definitely not a virtue in my pocket.

Anyway, I wasn't disappointed by this follow-up to Waking Nightmare. It's just as gripping, and the characters are just as well drawn... And I don't know where Kylie Brant gets her ideas for the crimes, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to get on her wrong side...

Title: Waking Evil
Author: Kylie Brant
ISBN-10: 0425230716
ISBN-13: 9780425230718
Paperback: 359 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group, 2009

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Disclosure: My copy of Waking Evil was provided by the author for this review.

191. Waking Nightmare by Kylie Brant...

October 28, 2009
waking nightmareAbout the book:
First he learns your darkest fears. Then he makes you live them.

With a serial rapist on the loose on the streets of Savannah, hot-shot detective Ryne Robel needs all the help he can get for his task force. And he needs it now, before another woman falls victim. But Abbie Phillips isn't what he bargained for. Sent from an exclusive group of the best criminologists in the country, she's smart, fierce…and distracting. She may be a brilliant forensic profiler, but Ryne needs answers, not pyschobabble and head games.

However, Abbie convinces him that head games are exactly what this elusive suspect is all about. The seemingly random acts or torture are actually calculated to match each victim's darkest fears. And the stakes are rising. While they study the devious psychopath, he's watching them—the next objects of his horrifying obsession.

drey's thoughts:
Ok, so apparently I'm into thriller-romances... Or, at least, into thriller-romances that are more thriller than romance. Not that the romance isn't part of the story--it is--but it's so nicely written into the story that Waking Nightmare doesn't read like a romance with a mystery in between the pages... Anyway, I'll stop blabbing now...

Waking Nightmare is Kylie Brant's first Mindhunters novel. There are 3 so far--with the third coming out in November. In this one, the heroine is Abbie Phillips, who has fears of her own that she needs to overcome to find the psychopath terrorizing Savannah. And working with Ryne is complicating enough--without having to put up with his attitude.

If you like romance-thrillers with strong-yet-flawed heroines, reluctant heroes, and a satisfying mystery, then you'll want to pick up Kylie Brant's new series. I inhaled all 3--lucky me! =)

Title: Waking Nightmare
Author: Kylie Brant
ISBN-10: 0425230236
ISBN-13: 9780425230237
Paperback: 343 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group, 2009

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Disclosure: My copy of Waking Nightmare was provided by the author for this review.


October 27, 2009
Winners, winners, everywhere! I know I'm late on some of these, and I apologize. But, better late than never! Anyway, there's a bunch to announce, so here goes...

permission slipsThe three winners of Sherri Shepherd's Permission Slips are:

Comment #13, etirv!!

Comment #9, Pam!!
Actually, Pam's gotten lucky somewhere else, so the winner of this copy is Stacie from Simply Stacie!!

Comment #35, renee!!

Next, the winner of the Booklover's gift pack from Reading Comfort:

Comment #39, Pam P!!
Pam chose the Floral Sienna paperweight and the Solid Peach - with button bookmark...

floral sienna paperweightsolid peach bookmark

By the way, I had a very nice package from them when I got home on Sunday, and I cannot wait to give my "presents" a whirl! Watch for reviews coming soon...

cirque du freakAnother set of winners, this time for the Cirque du Freak promotion from Big Honcho Media. Winners will receive the Cirque du Freak book Set (all 3 titles) and a Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant Locker Mirror. For the record, 23 people voted for their favorite slogan, with 18 choosing "There's a little freak in all of us"...

Comment #5, lilly of Reading Extravaganza!! (I have awesome vampire powers)

Comment #61, gaby317 of Starting Fresh!! (There's a little freak in all of us)

hex in high heelsNext up: Linda Wisdom's Hex in High Heels!

Comment #72, CherylS22!!

Comment #43, I Heart Book Gossip!!

The winner was "witches", with 17 votes, ahead of "werewolves" by 5.

Congratulations, everyone!! Boy, Randomizer was working hard... =) Emails have been sent, please reply before the end of day Friday. And THANK YOU for swinging by...

Want the book? Click on the cover(s) to purchase from Amazon.

Tour: 190. The Return by Victoria Hislop...

Today's tour is for Victoria Hislop's The Return... Many thanks to Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? for organizing the tour...

the returnAbout the book:
Sonia is in Granada to celebrate a friend's birthday with a dance class. She knows nothing of the city's shocking past, but ordering a simple cup of coffee in a quiet cafe will lead her into the extraordinary tale of a family's fight to survive the horror of the Spanish civil war.

Seventy years earlier, in the Ramirez family's cafe, Concha and Pablo's children relish an atmosphere of hope. Antonio is a serious young teacher, Ignacio a flamboyant matador, and Emilio a skilled musician. Their sister, Mercedes, is a spirited girl whose sole passion is dancing. Her talent for flamenco develops, and when she meets Javier Montero, a renowned young guitarist, an obsessive love affair begins. But Spain is a country in turmoil, and in 1936 a civil war begins that will tear their family apart. For Antonio, the pull of the battle is irresistible. For Ignacio, the allure of Franco's policies causes a rift between him and his family. And for Mercedes, caught on the wrong side of the line, separation from Javier is unbearable. Everyone must take a side and choose whether to submit, to fight, or to attempt escape.

About the author:
victoria hislopVictoria Hislop read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and writes travel features for The Sunday Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, House & Garden and Woman & Home. Her first novel The Island was published by Headline Review and held the number 1 slot in the paperback charts for eight consecutive weeks, selling over a million copies in the UK. The book has also been published in over twenty languages and has also been a number 1 bestseller in Greece. Victoria was the Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007 and won the Richard & Judy Summer Read competition. She lives in Kent, with her husband and their two children.

Visit Victoria Hislop's website for a reading group guide for The Return at

drey's thoughts:
The Return is one of those books that pull you along in its wake. Slowly. And surely. The story is Sonia's, who is dissatisfied with her lackluster life--except for the salsa lessons she takes. When she heads to Granada with her BFF Maggie, she finds Miguel, an old man who runs a cafe. Miguel starts sharing a bit of Granada's, and Spain's, history with Sonia.

And so the story is now Concha & Pablo's. And their children’s. Antonio, the idealist. Ignacio, the impish trouble-maker who takes up the art of bull-fighting. Emilio, who loses himself in his guitar. And Mercedes, who loves—who has always loved—the flamenco... and Javier, her gypsy guitarrista. When war invades Granada, their idyllic life is split and pummeled into so many bits and pieces. Can they recover? Can any of them recover?

The Return floats between history and present-day with a wistful earnestness. And your journey with Sonia as she explores a bit of the past, and realizes her path for the future, is extremely satisfying.

Title: The Return
Author: Victoria Hislop
ISBN-10: 0061715417
ISBN-13: 9780061715419
ARC: 401 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2009

Disclosure: My copy of The Return is an ARC provided by TLC Book Tours for this review.

Tour: Japan Took the J.A.P. Out of Me by Lisa Fineberg Cook...

Ok, this should be the last casualty of my unexpected absense. I promise to have all reviews posted ASAP.

japan took the j.a.p out of meAbout the book:
Six days after an InStyle-worthy wedding in Los Angeles, Lisa Fineberg Cook left behind her little red Jetta, her manicurist of ten years, and her very best friend for the land of the rising sun.

When her husband accepted a job teaching English in Nagoya, Japan, she imagined exotic weekend getaways, fine sushi dinners, and sake sojourns with glamorous expatriate friends. Instead, she's the only Jewish girl on public transportation, and everyone is staring. Lisa longs for regular mani/pedis, valet parking, and gimlets with her girlfriends, but for the next year, she learns to cook, clean, commute, and shop like the Japanese, all the while adjusting to another foreign concept -- marriage. Loneliness and frustration give way to new and unexpected friendships, the evolution of old ones, and a fresh understanding of what it means to feel different -- until finally a world she never thought she'd fit into begins to feel home-like, if not exactly like home.

Check out these other tour stops:
The Life (And Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object
The Neverending Shelf
A Sea of Books
Libby’s Library News
Bookin’ With Bingo
That’s A Novel Idea
Starting Fresh
Just Another New Blog
Blog Business World
My Friend Amy
Chick With Books
Book N Around
My Book Views
So Many Books, So Little Time
Keep on Booking
Reading at the Beach
Found Not Lost
Brizmus Blogs Books
I Read

Review & Giveaway: 189. Tell Me Something True by Leila Cobo...

October 26, 2009
About the book:
Gabriella Richards feels betrayed. Between her doting father in Hollywood and her grandmother's aristocratic family in Cali, Columbia, a few facts have been carefully hidden about her mother, whose tragic death shattered a picture-perfect marriage. Gabriella, now a classical pianist, has kept one foot in her grandmother's elegant, guarded world, visiting her every year. But this trip changes everything. In a dusty closet in a faded mansion, Gabriella finds her mother's diary, written just for her. And at a party of Cali's young and hip, she meets a man she can't resist. Soon, between her mother's shocking confessions and her new lover's secretive life, Gabriella will enter a season of pleasure, pain, and awakening--as she discovers that things are not always true or false, and that the words that matter most can be the most dangerous ones of all...

drey's thoughts:
Gabriella is one of those young women who're floating through life. Her father is nagging her to make a plan for her future, to realize her potential as a pianist. But Gabriella isn't sure that's what she wants to do. And as she makes her annual pilgrimage to visit her grandmother, she promises that she'll try.

Tell Me Something True is a warm, poignant story about a daughter who finds out that her mother was not all that she thought she was. Alternating between Gabriella's and Helena's point of view, the story slowly unravels Helena's secrets, as written to Gabriella in a diary. And Gabriella has to come to grips with that version of her mother.

On the same trip, Gabriella meets and falls in love with a very not-appropriate-for-polite-company (according to her grandmother and cousin), handsome, Angel. But she follows her heart anyway. And in doing so, eventually learns that the differing version of her mother may not have been all that bad; and eventually learns that some mistakes can never be remedied.

Title: Tell Me Something True
Author: Leila Cobo
ISBN-10: 0446519367
ISBN-13: 9780446519366
Paperback: 299 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, 2009

Leila Cobo on BlogTalk Radio:

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have up to five copies of Tell Me Something True for you...
-- Contest is open to US and Canada residents, no PO Boxes please!
-- To enter, comment and share: Do you keep a diary? If so, do you write down your deepest, darkest, secrets in it?
-- For an extra entry, participate in this Facebook discussion: Do you keep a diary for your kids? Did someone keep one for you?
-- Follow for 1 extra entry.
-- Share for 2 extra entries (let me know what & where, please).
-- Every 10 people entered gets another copy in the hat, so tell everyone! =)
-- Do it all before 6:00 pm CST November 8th. Good luck!

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Disclosure: My copy of Tell Me Something True was provided by Hachette Book Group for this review.

Tour: Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman...

Another tour that I don't have a review for. This one's yet another casualty of my trip out of the country...

flesh and fireAbout the book:
Once, all power in the Vin Lands was held by the prince-mages, who alone could craft spellwines, and selfishly used them to increase their own wealth and influence. But their abuse of power caused a demigod to break the Vine, shattering the power of the mages. Now, fourteen centuries later, it is the humble Vinearts who hold the secret of crafting spells from wines, the source of magic, and they are prohibited from holding power.

But now rumors come of a new darkness rising in the vineyards. Strange, terrifying creatures, sudden plagues, and mysterious disappearances threaten the land. Only one Vineart senses the danger, and he has only one weapon to use against it: a young slave. His name is Jerzy, and his origins are unknown, even to him. Yet his uncanny sense of the Vinearts' craft offers a hint of greater magics within — magics that his Master, the Vineart Malech, must cultivate and grow. But time is running out. If Malech cannot teach his new apprentice the secrets of the spellwines, and if Jerzy cannot master his own untapped powers, the Vin Lands shall surely be destroyed.

In Flesh and Fire, first in a spellbinding new trilogy, Laura Anne Gilman conjures a story as powerful as magic itself, as intoxicating as the finest of wines, and as timeless as the greatest legends ever told.

About the author:
laura anne gilmanBorn in the late 1960’s in suburban New Jersey, Laura Anne endured only moderate trauma – and some good times – before escaping to Skidmore College. After graduation, given the choice between grad school and employment, the lure of a paycheck took her to NYC and a career in publishing, while working nights and weekends to get her writing career started.

In 2004, she and corporate America decided they needed a break from each other. Her first original novel contract in-hand, Laura Anne became a full-time freelancer, and never looked back.

She is the author of the Cosa Nostradamus books for Luna (the “Retrievers” and “Paranormal Scene Investigations” series), a YA trilogy for HarperCollins, and the forthcoming Vineart War books from Pocket, while continuing to write and sell short fiction. She also writes paranormal romances for Nocturne as Anna Leonard.

Laura Anne is also an amateur chef, oenophile, and cat-servant.

She lives in New York City, where she also runs d.y.m.k. productions. She can be found online at her website,

Check out what these other blogs have to say about Flesh and Fire:
All About {N}
Beth’s Book Review Blog
Revenge of the Book Nerds
The Neverending Shelf
Layers of Thought
Fantasy Freak
Undercover Book Lover
Carol’s Notebook
Starting Fresh
Pick of the Literate
My Friend Amy
Cheryl’s Book Nook
Opinionated? Me?
One Person’s Journey Through A World of Books
My Life In Not So Many Words
Geek Girl Reviews
Sci-Fi Guy
Wendy's Minding Spot
Found Not Lost
Brizmus Blogs Books
25 Hour Books
Temple Library Reviews

Replacement winners...

October 24, 2009
Alright, Alyce is a very lucky duck indeed, since she's already won the Hispanic Heritage Month giveaway on another blog. And, I never heard back from I Heart Book Gossip, who won Yona McDonough's Breaking the Bank. So, Randomizer went (back) to work, and here are some new winners:

For the Hispanic Heritage Month giveaway:
Comment #19, Melanie of The Scrapping Librarian!!

For Breaking the Bank:
Comment #4, budletsmom!!

An email has been sent to budletsmom, as I couldn't find one for Melanie. Please get me your mailing information before the end of day Tuesday!

Congratulations, and THANK YOU for stopping by!

Tour: Over the Holidays by Sandra Harper...

October 23, 2009
Today's tour is for Over the Holidays, by Sandra Harper. I apologize for not posting a review, but I was out of the country and without the book. It'll come soon!

Anyway, on with the tour!

over the holidaysAbout the book:
The best holiday traditions are meant to be broken.

It's only December 1, and Vanessa Clayton has been dreading Christmas since she spotted tinseled trees at her local mall in September. Thankfully, she and her husband, JT, can't afford to drag their twin boys across the country to New England for the annual celebration at her stuffy sister-in-law Patience's home. Not that Vanessa has prepared a proper Christmas for her family in years, and she has less time than ever since she agreed to consult on the script of a local play. Her older sister, Thea, is no help -- she'd rather make art and flirt with surfers than babysit her nine-year-old nephews. Then Patience drops a holiday stress bomb: Her family will come to California instead.

In between "baking" cinnamon rolls for the school potluck and overbearing Patience testing her patience, Vanessa can't stop thinking about the difficult but charming playwright at work. Meanwhile, Patience's teenage daughter, Libby, obsesses over a college boy she has met by the pool, and Thea searches desperately for the meaning of Christmas -- for her latest installation, of course. As their holiday plans go comically awry, these four women discover the true spirit of the season is hidden in every festive surprise.

About the author:
sandra harperSandra Harper is the author of the play, Magpie's Tea Room, which enjoyed a successful run in Los Angeles at The Ventura Court Theatre. She has written a cooking column, "The California Cook" for the newspaper, Skirt. A script reader for Pathe Studios and Springcreek Productions, she also wrote and produced fashion and rock videos for Elvis Costello, Chaka Khan and Vidal Sassoon, among others. Ms. Harper received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Southern California and has completed a children's book, The Witches Club.

And, just because I don't have a review, doesn't mean that there aren't any... Check out these tour stops to see what they have to say about Over the Holidays:
Frugal Plus
The Life (And Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object
Wendi’s Book Corner
Opinionated? Me?
Me, My Book and the Couch
Libby’s Library News
Bookin’ With Bingo
Books, Movies, and Chinese Food
Psychotic State
That’s A Novel Idea
All About {N}
Starting Fresh
A Sea of Books
Just Another New Blog
Blog Business World
My Friend Amy
Cheryl’s Book Nook
One Person’s Journey Through A World of Books
I Read
So Many Books, So Little Time
Keep on Booking
Reading at the Beach
Found Not Lost
Brizmus Blogs Books
Book Reviews by Buuklvr81

188. Nibble & Kuhn by David Schmahmann...

October 22, 2009
nibble & kuhnAbout the book:
An unraveling law firm. An unwinnable case. An unworkable love.

Derek Dover has it all.

Derek’s up for partner at Nibble & Kuhn just as that most proper of Boston law firms comically tries to ‘rebrand’ itself for the Google era. Pompous and arbitrary, the ruling junta of partners saddles him with a high visibility lawsuit just weeks before trial. The diligent young attorney arranges things so that Maria Parma, a new associate in the firm for whom he’s fallen hard, also gets named to the case. Maria, in turn, can’t keep her hands off Derek, but it’s complicated because she’s engaged to someone else.

As Derek prepares his case on behalf of seven young victims of an industrial polluter, his anxieties about his career and his torments over Maria’s mixed messages only increase. Have his eccentric WASP superiors handed him a ‘toxic’ case to ruin his chances of becoming a partner? How can he get his opponents to settle – an outcome the presiding judge all but demands – unless his unorthodox ‘expert witnesses’ perform with enough gravitas to match that of the other side with its Harvard Medical School scientist? Will Nibble & Kuhn survive the partners’ spectacularly bad business judgments? Does it even matter to Derek, given that his looming fiasco of a trial and his indiscretions with Maria seem set to sink any chance he ever had at partnership?

Ultimately, Derek sets into motion a line of inquiry that spins events entirely out of the control of the judge, jury, and any and all attorneys.

drey's thoughts:
I liked Nibble & Kuhn. Not least for the name... There's just something about a law firm with the name of "Nibble"... *grin* Brings to mind that one joke (yeah, only one) about lawyers and the bottom of the sea...

Anyway. Never mind the bad lawyer jokes. Derek is a good guy. He's pretty smart, works hard, bills as he should... As he's coming up for partnership though, some things happen... He falls for Maria, and he gets assigned a huge case--taking over for an elevated-to-judgeship lawyer at his firm. Now, Maria. Maria is more than she seems. She's a good girl, who happens to fall for a not-quite-family-approved boy. Of course, they can hardly approve of Derek if they don't even know that he exists, right?

Nibble & Kuhn is part emotional drama, part comedy, and part satire. All told in a crisp, clean narrative by author David Schmahmann. You'll shake your head at some of the goings on at the moving-on-up law firm, wince at Derek's case, and laugh out loud at the re-branding of Nibble & Kuhn. All while rooting for Derek and Maria. Not a bad way to while away a fall evening at all...

Title: Nibble & Kuhn
Author: David Schmahmann
ISBN-10: 0897335929
ISBN-13: 9780897335928
ARC: 279 pages
Publisher: Academy Chicago Publishers, 2009

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Disclosure: My copy of Nibble & Kuhn is an ARC provided by Academy Chicago Publishers for this review.

187. Undead and Unwelcome by Mary Janice Davidson...

October 21, 2009
Undead and UnwelcomeAbout the book:
Fifty Thousand Angry Werewolves.

That's what Betsy is facing when she takes her werewolf friend Antonia's body to Cape Cod, where the Pack resides at Wyndham Manor. Because Antonia died in her service, Betsy is alive and well--and wracked with guilt. She has no idea if the Wyndham werewolves will greet her with fangs or friendship.

While Betsy and her husband, Sinclair, try to make nice, their legal ward, BabyJon, freaks out every werewolf he meets. Meanwhile, Betsy's posse back at the St. Paul mansion is not LOLing. Increasingly frantic e-mails alert Betsy to her half sister's increasingly erratic behavior. Looks like the devil's daughter is coming into her own--and raising hell. All in the name of making Betsy's life easier, of course.

drey's thoughts:
It's been a while since I picked up a Betsy book... I'm pretty sure I read the first few books in the series, way back when... =) Anyway, I was reminded of why it was "way back when".

Betsy is like that fluffy thing-on-a-stick that you get at fairs and ball games (does it still come on a stick?)... All fluffiness, and not a whole lot else. Everything that happens is taken care of by those who love her.

Granted, the book is funny--I especially enjoyed Marc's acronym-laden emails, and his diary entries. But that was pretty much it. You'll like this book for a few hours of brainless, mindless, fluff, or if you're a fan of Betsy's. Otherwise, skip it.

Title: Undead and Unwelcome
Author: Mary Janice Davidson
ISBN-10: 0425227731
ISBN-13: 9780425227732
Hardcover: 281 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group, 2009

Challenges: 100+, Pub, Support Your Local Library, Vampire

Disclosure: My copy of Undead and Unwelcome stopped by for a short jaunt, from the local library.

Giveaway: Run For Your Life by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge...

October 20, 2009
run for your lifeToday's giveaway is for the Patterson fans out there. You know who you are!

About the book:
A calculating killer who calls himself The Teacher is taking on New York City, killing the powerful and the arrogant. His message is clear: remember your manners or suffer the consequences! For some, it seems that the rich are finally getting what they deserve. For New York's elite, it is a call to terror.

Only one man can tackle such a high-profile case: Detective Mike Bennett. The pressure is enough for anyone, but Mike also has to care for his 10 children-all of whom have come down with virulent flu at once!

Discovering a secret pattern in The Teacher's lessons, Detective Bennett realizes he has just hours to save New York from the greatest disaster in its history. From the #1 bestselling author comes RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, the continuation of his newest, electrifying series.

Read an excerpt:

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have up to five copies of Run For Your Life for you...
-- Contest is open to US and Canada residents, no PO Boxes please!
-- To enter, comment and share: Are you a Patterson fan? Who is your favorite Patterson character?
-- Follow for 1 extra entry.
-- Share for 2 extra entries (let me know what & where, please).
-- Every 10 people entered gets another copy in the hat, so tell everyone! =)
-- Do it all before 6:00 pm CST November 2nd. Good luck!

Winner of Margaret Campbell Barnes' The Tudor Rose!

the tudor roseOK. The next winner announcement is for Margaret Campbell Barnes' The Tudor Rose... According to Randomizer, the lucky duck is...

Comment #23, Jo-Jo of Jo-Jo Loves to Read!!

Congratulations!! Email has been sent, please reply with your mailing information before the end of day Friday! Thank you for swinging by!

Want the book? Click on the cover to purchase from Amazon!

Winners of Yona McDonough's Breaking the Bank!!

breaking the bankOk... More winners to announce... I'm so sorry these are late, I'm out of the country with pretty spotty internet connection... Anyway. According to Randomizer, the two lucky ducks getting a copy of Breaking the Bank are:

Comment #38, I Heart Book Gossip!!

Comment #7, Kat Bryan of Kat Bryan's Corner!!

Emails have been sent, please reply with your mailing information before the end of day Friday. Thank you for swinging by!!

Want the book? Click on the cover to purchase from Amazon.

Hispanic Heritage Month winners!!

hispanic heritage banner'Tis time to announce the winners of Hachette's Hispanic Heritage Month giveaway... There were 99 entries from 51 people, for the following 5 books:

  1. Zumba® by Beto Perez, Maggie Greenwood-Robinson
  2. Evenings at the Argentine Club by Julia Amante (review coming)
  3. Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz by Belinda Acosta (review)
  4. Tell Me Something True by Leila Cobo
  5. Amigoland by Oscar Casares (review coming)
According to Randomizer, the 5 lucky ducks getting a package from Hachette Book Group, are...

Comment #4, Pam!!

Comment #52, Lee P!!

Comment #1, Book Bird Dog!!

Comment #, Alyce of At Home with Books!!

Comment #72, Confessions of an Overworked Mom!!

Congratulations, y'all! Emails have been sent, please reply with your mailing information before the end of day Friday. And THANK YOU for swinging by!

Fun stats: 42 of you said yes, it's important to learn another language. Two were waffly, and 7 said no.

Want the books? Click on the titles to purchase from Amazon.

Tour & Giveaway: 186. Feelin' the Vibe by Candice Dow...

October 19, 2009
feelin' the vibeToday's tour is for Candice Dow's new book, Feelin' the Vibe, the much-anticipated follow-up to Caught in the Mix and Tappin' on Thirty...

About the book:
Clark Winston nearly had a nervous breakdown after her dream man, Devin Patterson, married the other woman. The untimely death of her best friend--the mother of her niece and nephew--only added to her mental instability. Given sole custody of her ten-year-old niece, Clark knew she had to go on and did so with her therapist Dr. Kenneth Winston.

Now ten years later, Clark is the director of a Baltimore group home for girls. By stroke of luck she and Devin are brought back together through their career choices and suddenly find themselves in an affair just as intense as their early relationship. Can they make love work? Or will they decide to try again at their failing marriages?

About the author:
Candice Dow is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Johns Hopkins University. She resides in Maryland with her son and loves to travel. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Candice is the author of six novels and is currently hard at work on her next. Find her online at

drey's thoughts:
Feelin' the Vibe is my first Candice Dow novel. And after reading it, I'm not sure if I liked the book... It didn't seem like there was a whole lot of redeemable characteristics in the characters. Devin wants what he wants, and that's it. Clark commits adultery (& Devin too, since it's not something you can do solo). And to use love as an excuse just seems to cheapen love, to me...

I have no complaints about the writing though. It effortlessly takes you through events and Devin & Clark's ups and downs. If you're a fan of the more romantic side of things, you'll like the HEA. If you're a fan of characters finding their true selves and going after it, you'll like the story. So, I guess what I really mean is, I must've liked enough of the book, character behavior notwithstanding, to know that some of you will, too.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have up to five copies of Feelin' the Vibe for you...
-- Contest is open to US and Canada residents, no PO Boxes please!
-- To enter, comment and share: Do you read urban lit? If so, who are some of your favorite authors?
-- Follow for 1 extra entry.
-- Share for 2 extra entries (let me know what & where, please).
-- Every 10 people entered gets another copy in the hat, so tell everyone! =)
-- Do it all before 6:00 pm CST November 1st. Good luck!

Tour stops:
10/14: Just Another New Blog
10/15: Author Exposure
10/16: Libby's Library News, Book Junkie, Metroreader: Reading One Mile at a Time
10/17: Readaholic
10/19: drey's library
10/20: Reading at the Beach, Rundpinne
Crazy Book Slut

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Disclosure: My copy of Feelin' the Vibe was provided by Hachette Book Group for this blog tour.

185. Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs...

October 17, 2009
hunting groundAbout the book:
Anne Latham didn't know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son--and enforcer--of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn't know how dangerous it could be either...

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran's controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan--and it seems like someone else might be, too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all--or risk losing everything...

drey's thoughts:
Hunting Ground is Patricia Briggs' follow up to Cry Wolf, where Anna finds out that instead of being a worthless submissive in the pack, she's actually a rarity--an Omega. The one that all pack members strive to protect, and not because she's weak. But because she's outside of the pack's hierarchy.

In this sequel, Anna and Charles head to Seattle to attend a summit with the Alphas from the other continents, to discuss the "outing" of the werewolves. While there, they run into the most feared European Alpha, nicknamed "The Beast" because, well, he is. (ha ha)

Things turn tense when Anna is attacked by vampires, and another Alpha's spouse is killed. Hunting Ground is precisely that, as Anna and Charles try to stay ahead of their enemies, while trying to figure out who they are.

While I prefer the Mercy Thompson series, Briggs' Alpha and Omega books display another dimension into the werewolf. And this is not bad reading, at all. Pick it up if you (a) like weres, (b) like Charles, (c) want a good story to go along with your weres (and Charles)...

Title: Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega #2)
Author: Patricia Briggs
ISBN-10: 044101738X
ISBN-13: 9780441017386
Paperback: 286 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group, 2009

Challenges: 100+, Pub, Series, Support Your Local Library

Disclosure: My copy of Hunting Ground came from my local public library. It went back home safely after this review was written.

A little break..

October 16, 2009
Hey everyone... Just wanted to let you know I'll be away from the blog for a little bit. Anything that's already done and scheduled will post. Everything else will catch up when I return. Thank you for your understanding.

Review & Giveaway: 184. Tall, Dark and Fangsome by Michelle Rowen...

tall, dark and fangsomeAbout the book:
Sarah Dearly's vampire life is not all B-positive cocktails. A curse made her a nightwalker, the most vicious vamp there is; the charm she wears to curb her deadly tendencies is losing its juice; and a hunter from hell is turning up the heat. Gideon Chase will kill the ones she loves most if she doesn't obey his orders. That includes breaking up with master vampire Thierry and turning Gideon into an immortal vamp so he can escape a doom of eternal hellfire.

Making things worse are Sarah's growing feelings for Gideon, a bad boy who keeps showing a vulnerable side . . . but is it for real? Will Sarah's dark side take over? Or can she cure herself of the nightwalker curse in time to stop Gideon and finally live happily ever after with Thierry . . . forever?

drey's thoughts:
Tall, Dark and Fangsome is a book I jumped at when it was offered, mostly because I'd seen Michelle Rowen's Stakes and Stilettos floating 'round the blogs earlier this year... I mean, how do you not want to read a book called Stakes and Stilettos? Especially if you like shoes... And vampire books... *grin*

I liked Sarah. She's funny. Compassionate. Did I mention funny? But how oh how could she have feelings for Gideon?? I mean, the dude's a nutjob. Gideon aside, there were a few other things that put this firmly on the border of "ok" and "like" for me, instead of firmly in the "like" category. Like the Red Devil. Wait till you find out who it is. Like that wasn't a bat-signal in the sky (sorry, the Mr. is playing Batman: Arkham Asylum right now--really cool graphics, but that's so beside the point here...).

So, where was I? Oh yeah. Beside the Red Devil, there was the teenage dude aka The Darkness, who was supposed to eradicate Sarah's nightwalker curse. And the vamp who is Sarah's ex-boyfriend's wife--which makes (er, made?) Sarah the other woman. In a nutshell, a cast of characters who are either a little ridiculous, or make Sarah seem to need a therapist's couch.

The story itself is entertaining, if you can get over (or don't have) my hang-ups. It's light enough to read in one sitting, and what better thing to do indoors, now that the weather's way colder (we had frost last night. FROST.), other than read? Give it a try yourself & let me know what you think. Read on for how...

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have up to five copies of Tall, Dark and Fangsome for you...
-- Contest is open to US and Canada residents, no PO Boxes please!
-- To enter, comment and share: Have you read any of Michelle's other books? Which ones? Did you like them?
-- Follow for 1 extra entry.
-- Share for 2 extra entries (let me know what & where, please).
-- Every 10 people entered gets another copy in the hat, so tell everyone! =)
-- Do it all before 6:00 pm CST October 29th. Good luck!

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Disclosure: My copy of Tall, Dark and Fangsome was provided by Hachette Book Group for this review.

Winners... Lots of 'em!

October 15, 2009
It's time to pick winners, and boy do I have catching up to do! Anyway. Without further ado, here we go...

argentine club30 people entered this contest, so Randomizer picked 4 winners from 61 entries:

Comment #18, Pam!!

Comment #44, Jo-Jo of Jo-Jo loves to read!!

Comment #27, enyl!!

Comment #14, Kristen off BookNAround!!

Next up, Christopher Buckley's Supreme Courtship...

supreme courtshipOnly 23 people entered this one, so Randomizer got to pick just three winners. And they are:

Comment #21, JWsley!!

Comment #7, Irene Yeates!!

Comment #18, Debbie Rodgers of ExUrbanis!!

Congratulations, everyone! Emails have been sent, please reply before the end of day Sunday! And THANK YOU for dropping in...

Want the books? Click on the covers to purchase from Amazon.

Tour & Giveaway: 183. Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly...

nine dragonsAbout the book:
LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is off the chain in the fastest, fiercest, and highest-stakes case of his life.

Fortune Liquors is a small shop in a tough South L.A. neighborhood, a store Bosch has known for years. The murder of John Li, the store's owner, hits Bosch hard, and he promises Li's family that he'll find the killer.

The world Bosch steps into next is unknown territory. He brings in a detective from the Asian Gang Unit for help with translation—not just of languages but also of the cultural norms and expectations that guided Li's life. He uncovers a link to a Hong Kong triad, a lethal and far-reaching crime ring that follows many immigrants to their new lives in the U.S.

And instantly his world explodes. The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.

About the author:
Michael Connelly, a #1 New York Times bestselling novelist and a former journalist, has won numerous crime fiction prizes. He lives in Florida.

drey's thoughts:
I never knew Kowloon meant "nine dragons." Although, once I read it, it was like, duh! Anyway, that's neither here nor there... =P

Nine Dragons starts off slowly, compared to the frenetic pace of the rest of the book... This is my first Harry Bosch book (I believe there are 14 others), but Mr. Connelly's writing is so good that I didn't feel like I was missing anything from the previous books.

In this one, Harry's got a gang-related murder to solve. When all the evidence--that they have, anyway--points to the triads, Harry asks for help navigating the complexities of Asian gangs. While he's involved in this case, and dealing with a skittish partner, he gets word (or, in this case, video) that his daughter's disappeared. In Hong Kong. Two plus two equals four (right??), so Harry hops on the first flight over, to find his daughter before the triad hurts her. Or so he assumes.

Nine Dragons is detective drama at its best. It will grip you and not let you go until you've turned the last page.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have up to five copies of Nine Dragons for you...
-- Contest is open to US and Canada residents, no PO Boxes please!
-- To enter, comment and share: Have you been to Hong Kong? If yes, when, & what did you do there? If no, would you want to & why? I've only been twice--both times I spent 5 hours at the airport, on the way home, and on the way back. So while I have set foot on HK soil, I haven't actually been. Not sure I want to, either...
-- Follow for 1 extra entry.
-- Share for 2 extra entries (let me know what & where, please).
-- Every 10 people entered gets another copy in the hat, so tell everyone! =)
-- Do it all before 6:00 pm CST October 28th. Good luck!

Tour stops:
10/13: Revenge of the Book Nerds, Chick with Books, Review from Here, Just One More Page...or Two

10/14: Pick of the Literate, Book Series Reviews, Bookin' with Bingo

10/15: drey's library, Starting Fresh, Froggaritaville's Bookcase

10/16: Rundpinne, Wendy's Minding Spot

10/17: Readaholic, Booking Mama

10/18: One Person's Journey through a World of Book, A Bookworm's World, Pop Culture Nerd

10/19: Just Another New Blog, Reading at the Beach, Booksie's Blog

10/20: A Few of My Favorite Things, Bermudaonion's Weblog

10/21: Libby's Library News, A Book Blogger's Diary

Disclosure: My copy of Nine Dragons was provided by Hachette Book Group for this blog tour.

Tour & Giveaway: Linda Wisdom & (182.) Hex in High Heels...

October 14, 2009
Today, we welcome Linda Wisdom, who has a brand spanking new book out! Come and check out what she has to say...

linda wisdom
drey: Hello Linda! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this Q&A for my readers and I!
Linda: Thank you for having me!

drey: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was this a when-I-grow-up kind of thing, or did it jump out at you one sunny morning?

Linda: I always wanted to write. My parents said I’d be so impatient for them to read to me I’d try to figure out the words in a book or just make up my own stories.

drey: Was it always going to be romance? What's your favorite part about writing romance?

Linda: In the beginning I just knew I wanted to write. When I discovered romance books I knew that’s what I had to do. My favorite part is taking two people who might not seem to have much in common and bring them together.

drey: When & how did you branch out into the paranormal romance sub-genre?

Linda: I wrote my first paranormal in the late 1980s, a Harlequin American Romance titled A Man for Maggie. I was totally hooked and was able to write several more.

drey: How did you come up with the cast of characters? A witch and a were, a bunch of icky elves, a gargoyle named Horace, magickal bunny slippers... What an interesting ensemble!

Linda: LOL! I always visualized Jazz wearing bunny slippers, but not the cute fuzzy kind. Hers would have fangs and get into mischief without a second thought. I’m a big fan of the animated series Duckman and I patterned Horace after Duckman. As for the elves, there was no doubt we wouldn’t see happy perky Santa type elves in one of my books. Jake, the Were Border collie, first showed up in 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover, but I didn’t know he’d be a Were then. It popped into my head when I wrote Wicked by Any Other Name and it was so much fun that Nick and Trevor are joking that the witches haven’t figured it out when they have.

drey: What's next for this crew? Or will there be a whole new and exciting crew to read about?

Linda: A new crew. Maggie, who’s introduced in Hex in High Heels, will have her book along with a very sexy half fire demon named Declan. But there’s always a chance previous characters could show up.

And, to finish off, the Proust-lite:
  1. What is your idea of earthly happiness? Chocolate
  2. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
  3. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in fiction? Yasmine Galenorn’s Fae sisters
  4. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in real life? My mom.
  5. What sound do you love? Rainfall
  6. What sound do you hate? People talking at the movies
  7. The quality you admire most in a man? Someone who’s there for the bad as well as the good
  8. The quality you admire most in a woman? Willingness to help you bury the body (ROFL!)
  9. If not a writer, you would be a fashion consultant.
  10. What is your favorite swear word? Hm, you don’t have any soap to wash out my mouth, do you? I have a habit of saying “bloody hell!” Since I’m Irish you’d think it would be something else. (I can't comment here, I say that all the time...)

A HUGE "Thank You" goes out to Linda for taking the time to stop by!

About the author:
Linda Wisdom has published more than 70 novels with 13 million copies sold worldwide including traditional, paranormal, humor, action/adventure romance and romantic suspense. Her bestselling books have been nominated for Romantic Times awards and the Romance Writers of America Rita Award. She lives with her husband in Murrieta, California.

hex in high heelsAbout the book:
Feisty witch Blair Fitzpatrick has has a crush on hunky carpenter Jake Harrison forever--he's one hot shape-shifter. Just when Blair thinks the relationship is really starting to sizzle, Jake pulls back--the last thing he wants to do is involve Blair in his dysfunctional family dynamics.

Jake's nasty mother and brother are after him to return to his pack, and a bunch of unruly elves start causing all kinds of chaos. Blair is trying hard not to unleash the ultimate revenge spell, but when Jake's enemies try to force him away from her, Blair is pushed over the edge. No one messes with her boyfriend-to-be, even if he does shed on the furniture!

drey's thoughts:
Hex in High Heels is a funny, fun read. How could it not be, with fuzzy bunny slippers that bite? Well, fuzzy bunny slippers that turned themselves into tattoos, that bite... Linda Wisdom's characters are entertaining, with their capers and antics throughout the story. When werewolves threaten to upset the peace in the area, boy do the witches go all gangbusters. Not that the wolves don't deserve it, of course...

Pick this one up to while away a few hours this fall!

Thanks to Sourcebooks, I have two copies of Hex in High Heels for you...
-- Contest is open to US and Canada residents, no PO Boxes please!
-- To enter, comment and share: Werewolves and witches and elves, oh my! Which do you prefer, and why?
-- Follow for 1 extra entry.
-- Share for 2 extra entries (let me know what & where, please).
-- Do it all before 6:00 pm CST October 27th. Good luck!

Tour stops:
10/1: Yankee Romance Reviewers
10/2: Savvy Verse & Wit, Fresh Fiction
10/6: Long & Short of It, Night Owl Romance
10/7: Anna’s Book Blog
10/8: Midnight Café
10/9: Bitten By Books
10/12: Star-Crossed Romance
10/13: Literary Escapism, Peeking Between the Pages
10/14: drey’s library, Night Owl Romance
10/15: A Journey of Books
10/16: Love Romance Passion
10/19: So Many Books
10/20: Pop Syndicate, Night Owl Romance
10/21: Cheryl’s Book Nook
10/22: Wendy’s Minding Spot
10/23: Fang-tastic Books
10/26: Night Owl Romance

Disclosure: My copy of Hex in High Heels is an ARC provided by Sourcebooks Casablanca for this blog tour.

Calling Cirque du Freak FANS!!

October 13, 2009
You there. Yes, you. To celebrate the upcoming movie release of Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (in theaters October 23rd!!), I'm hosting a giveaway from Big Honcho Media. Keep on reading...

vampires assistant posterWhat is this, you ask? Well, they made a movie out of a book. Yeah, crazy, I know. Anyway. So, what's it about?
Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, based on the popular series of books by Darren Shan, is a fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.
CIRQUE DU FREAK has been rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned - Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) for sequences of intense supernatural violence and action, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language.

Want more? Check out the movie trailer:

Want even more? Check out these links:
The Vampire's Assistant Website
The Vampire's Assistant Facebook Fan Page

Now, you want to know about the giveaway, right? Are you ready for this?

TWO (2) winners will receive the Cirque du Freak book Set (all 3 titles – see below for titles and descriptions) AND a Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant Locker Mirror.

How do you enter? Well, let me count the ways... *grin*
-- Contest is open to US residents only**, no PO Boxes please!
-- For one entry, tell me why you want this.
-- For 2 extra entries, vote for your favorite T-shirt saying using the widget below. I'm kinda partial to "There is a little freak in all of us." myself. Disclosure: I could win an iPod Touch and the movie soundtrack if y'all tally the most votes. So vote! Please?
-- Follow for 1 extra entry.
-- Share for 2 extra entries (let me know what & where, please).
-- Do it all before 6:00 pm CST October 26th. Good luck!

**The Vampire’s Assistant giveaway is open to legal US residents who are at least 13 years of age as of October 1st. Prizing is only available to United States mailing address only. (International readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.)

Vote for your favorite Cirque du Freak T-shirt saying!!

About the books:
THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT and Other Tales from the Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan


Do you love to be scared? Then don't miss the terrifying adventure that begins when Darren and his best friend, Steve, get tickets to the CIRQUE DU FREAK, a wonderfully bizarre and creepy freak show. Brace yourself for thrills and chills as the boys witness a parade of grotesque creatures and face their deepest fears by entering the darkest world of the vampire. In the blood-curdling tradition of Anne Rice and Stephen King, CIRQUE DU FREAK will have you shrieking for the next horror show!

181. How Not to Make a Wish by Mindy Klasky...

how not to make a wishAbout the book:
While cleaning an old lantern, Kira Franklin releases a genie. But this gender-morphing, appearance-bending creature doesn't do "big" wishes. So forget stopping world hunger or ending war. And still heartbroken from the jerk who dumped her, Kira doesn't believe in the perfect man.

So she wishes for her dream job. Stage manager at the hottest theater in town, the Landmark. And presto: she's running Romeo and Juliet. Except, like everything else these days, this is one crazy production. And now Teel, the genie, insists she finish her wishes so "he" can move on.

Her second wish is about her appearance, which isn't exactly catching her third wish's eye. And there's the rub.

Because that old saying about being careful what you wish for is so spot-on. And Kira is about to discover that moxie, not magic, is what can make all your dreams come true.

drey's thoughts:
How Not to Make a Wish is chick-lit with a heroine you'll like. A hero who kind of stays in the background (heh). And a story with a genie in a lamp. Yes, lamp. Like in Aladdin. Do I need to tell you to be careful with genies?

Anyway. While I liked Kira's character, I'm not sure I liked some of her decisions. I guess the first one made sense--there's no sense in becoming a lawyer if you can find something (anything!) else to do, right? But the second? Didya think nobody would notice the change? Gee... As for the third, I have no clue what Kira saw in Drew. Seriously, girl--what were you thinking? *shakes head* Like, really...

Mindy Klasky's latest offering is fluffy chick-lit that you read with hot chocolate (with marshmallows, or a dash of Bailey's). And while it's entertaining, and I totally get the 3-wish thing, I wanted Kira to make good decisions for herself. Because, even though we read chick-lit for an escape from the mundane, I still want my heroines to be better.

Title: How Not to Make a Wish
Author: Mindy Klasky
ISBN-10: 077832737X
ISBN-13: 9780778327370
Paperback: 327 pages
Publisher: Mira, 2009

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Disclosure: My copy of How Not to Make a Wish was provided for review by Mindy Klasky herself.

180. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent...

October 12, 2009
my soul to takeAbout the book:
She doesn't see dead people, but…

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next…

drey's thoughts:
I've been hanging around Rachel Vincent's blog for a while now, and was really excited to read her books. I was (very) unsuccessful in trying to win copies of her Shifters series, and my library doesn't carry them. (boo hiss) Anyway, I was excited to see this offered, so I signed up lickety split to put a hold on it.

I wasn't disappointed. Rachel draws a world inhabited by bean sidhe who sing for the newly-departed souls, and reapers, who come and "collect" them... Can you imagine--a world of reapers, whose only job is to collect souls and usher them on? Like, whoa.

Paranormal inhabitants aside, we go along for the ride as Kaylee and Nash try to figure out why teenagers are dropping like flies. And find that even the most well-oiled system has its rogues.

I will definitely keep trying to get a hold of Rachel's other books. I think I'll enjoy them as much as I did this one.

Title: My Soul to Take
Author: Rachel Vincent
ISBN-10: 0373210035
ISBN-13: 9780373210039
Paperback: 279 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen, 2009

Challenges: 100+, 1st in Series, Pub, Support Your Local Library

Disclosure: My copy of My Soul to Take came from my public library, and went back safely after this review was written.

For the booklover...

So... I know some of you are already Christmas shopping. And some of you are already done. I hate you.

Ok, ok, I don't. Not quite. BUT, I thought you might want to take advantage of this giveaway from Reading Comfort, for the book lover / bookworm / readaholic on your list. Or, enter just for yourself. I won't tell. Promise!

reading comfort paperweightWhat is it, you ask? Well, the cool folks at Reading Comfort will send one of you an elegant paperweight and a 4-ribbon bookmark of your choice. I'm partial to the Mi'Lady and the green bookmark, myself... 'tis too bad they don't match, but I'm not that fussy...

reading comfort bookmarkHow do you get in on this awesome offer? Read on!
-- Contest is open to US residents ONLY, no PO Boxes please!
-- To enter, head on over to the Reading Comfort website and tell me which paperweight and 4-ribbon bookmark pattern you'd like. Easy, isn't it? I'm sure they won't mind if you perused through their other offerings as well. Here's what I thought of their Book Buddy.
-- Follow for 1 extra entry.
-- Share for 2 extra entries (let me know what & where, please).
-- Do it all before 6:00 pm CST October 25th. Good luck!

A varied Loot!

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Have you noticed I'm so having fun trying to come up with titles for my loot? *grin* Please do let me know when they start getting really silly, ok?

Anyway. This week's Loot has one from my hold list, and 3 I picked up just for giggles... I never should've walked past the "New" section. *sigh*

once on a moonless nighthunting groundthe city and the cityundead and unwelcome

Winners of Sue-Ellen Welfonder's A Highlander's Temptation!!

October 11, 2009
Ok, 'tis winner time again. Only 28 of you entered this contest, so Randomizer got to pick 3 winners. And they are:

Comment #29, Carol L.!!

Comment #13, CrystalGB of Conversing with Crystal!!

Comment #6, Morning Glow of Novel Addiction!!

Congratulations, everyone! Emails have been sent, please reply with your mailing information before the end of day Wednesday. And thank you for swinging by!

Want the book? Click on the cover to purchase from Amazon.

179. Walking Dead by C.E. Murphy...

October 9, 2009
walking deadAbout the book:
For once, Joanne Walker's not out to save the world. She's come to terms with the host of shamanic powers she's been given, her job as a police detective has been relatively calm, and she's got a love life for the first time in memory. Not bad for a woman who started out the year mostly dead.

But it's Halloween, and the undead have just crashed Joanne's party.

Now, with her mentor Coyote still missing, she has to figure out how to break the spell that has let the ghosts, zombies, and even the Wild Hunt come back. Unfortunately, there's no shamanic handbook explaining how to deal with the walking dead. And if they have anything to say about it--which they do--


drey's thoughts:
I so don't want to wait till 2010 for Book Five! Write faster, Catie! =) Ah well... In the meantime, let's talk about the current book, shall we? Walking Dead picks up a bit after Coyote Dreams left off. Joanne's now a detective, hoping to not regret the decision she made to take the promotion. She's also dating. Yeah. Crazy, I know.

Even crazier? Joanne's hosting a party. A Halloween party, to boot. And while she's all caught up in the getup Phoebe got her in (get it? =P), her party goes a teeny tiny bit awry. And so begins this next installment in the life of Siobhan Grainne MacNamarra Walkingstick.

Zombies and ghosts, mediums and exorcists, and the full complement of the Wild Hunt all put in an appearance in this fast-paced read from C.E. Murphy as Joanne tracks down a missing cauldron, follows lost souls, and solves a centuries-old cold case. Read the first three books--Urban Shaman, Thunderbird Falls, and Coyote Dreams--to get the back story. You don't have to, to enjoy this one, but you'll want to, because Joanne's one of my fav urban fantasy babes. So there. =)

Title: Walking Dead
Author: C.E. Murphy
ISBN-10: 037380301X
ISBN-13: 9780373803019
Paperback: 376 pages
Publisher: Luna, 2009

Challenges: 100+, Pub, Series, Support Your Local Library

Disclosure: My copy of Walking Dead came from my local public library. It went back home safely after this review was written. And I will most likely buy myself a copy to add to my series collection (unless someone wants to gift me one?)...

178. Simon's Cat by Simon Tofield...

simon's catAbout the book:
Simon Tofield's animations have taken YouTube by storm. Now, the feline Internet phenomenon makes his way onto the page in this first-ever book based on the popular animated series. SIMON'S CAT depicts and exaggerates the hilarious relationship between a man and his cat. The daily escapades of this adorable pet, which always involve demanding more food, and his exasperated but doting owner come to life through Tofield's charming and hilarious illustrations.

drey's thoughts:
I've never tried to review an "art" book before. But I wanted to give this one a try. Mostly because the YouTube animations are hilarious... And I wasn't disappointed--the illustrations are just as hilarious as the animations.

I can see Simon's cat hunting birds, or teasing them. Or messing with the fish. Or getting the dog in trouble. Licking the frozen birdbath. Words are quite unnecessary in this edition. After all, who needs words when you have a cat? This is a lovely book for all the cat fans out there. *grin*

Title: Simon's Cat
Author: Simon Tofield
ISBN-10: 0446560065
ISBN-13: 9780446560061
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, 2009

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Disclosure: My copy of Simon's Cat was provided for review by Hachette Book Group.
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