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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.

TLC Book Tours: 103. The Miracles of Prato by Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz...

August 31, 2010
Today's TLC Book Tour stop is for The Miracles of Prato by Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz...

tlc tour

FTC Disclosure: My copy of The Miracles of Prato was provided by TLC Book Tours for this blog tour. I am an IndieBound and Amazon affiliate, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

authorsAbout the authors:
Laurie Albanese is the author of the novel Lynelle by the Sea and the memoir Blue Suburbia, which was named a Book Sense Best Book of the Year and was an Entertainment Weekly Editor’s Choice selection.

Laura Morowitz is a professor of art history and coauthor of Consuming the Past: The Medieval Revival in Fin-de-Si├Ęcle France. They both live in New Jersey with their families.

Title: The Miracles of Prato
Author: Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz
ISBN-13: 9780061558351
Paperback: 362 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2009
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

miracles of prato
drey's thoughts:
I will confess right up front that the cover here probably wouldn't have prompted me to pick up the book. And that would've been my loss, because then I would've missed out on this lovely book.

The Miracles of Prato opens with a birthing that is followed quickly by the baby's removal from his mother's side. From that heart-wrenching scene, we go back to the beginning of the story of two unlikely lovers--a Carmelite monk and a novitiate.

It is 1456. Fra Filippo Lippi is a Carmelite monk known for his art as much as for his impetuousness. In the midst of several unfinished commissions, he is struck by the beauty of a newly-arrive novitiate at the Convent Santa Margherita, and starts painting her as the Madonna in his works.

Lucrezia Buti's life is turned upside-down when her father dies, and she ends up at the convent with her sister Spinetta. Trying to reconcile her prior privileged life with the stark austerity of the convent is difficult for Lucrezia, and she's heartened when she learns of a painter living nearby.

In a world where women's fates balance precariously on the whims of man, The Miracles of Prato unveils a story of love amidst greed and covetousness, a story where one man's love is hopefully strong enough to save one woman's future. Set in the restrictive world of the Renaissance church, this one's for fans of historical fiction and those curious about the artists--and the artwork--of the time.

For a collection of paintings by Fra Filippo Lippi, visit artilim.com.

drey's rating: 3.5/5 Very Good

Challenges: 100+

102. Steelflower by Lilith Saintcrow...

August 30, 2010
steelflower
Title: Steelflower (Steelflower Chronicles #1)
Author: Lilith Saintcrow
ISBN-13: 9781599986425
eBook
Publisher: Samhain, 2008
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of Steelflower was bought on sale. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
I picked up Steelflower for my nook because it was on sale, and I'm enjoying Lilith Saintcrow's Jill Kismet series.

Anyway. Steelflower tells the story of Kaia Steelflower, who was shunned at five, ran away at sixteen, and has built up quite the reputation for herself. Then one day she picks the pocket of a red-haired barbarian, and life as she knows it starts going downhill from there. Of course, "downhill" is all a matter of perspective...

Eventually finding herself saddled with the barbarian, a prince who happens to be her twinned soul, an eight-year-old thief, and a minstrel, among others, she travels to find an old acquaintance who just happens to be readying for civil war, and wants her by his side. But is everything on the up and up?

I like Kaia's companions, I like their banter, and I really like how she deals with changing realities. Even if it is pretty predictable--main character has issues, main character gathers followers, main character and followers go on an adventure and find some bad guys--let's just say I want more, shall we? Unfortunately, the next book isn't out yet. :-(

drey's rating: 3/5 Good

Challenges: 100+

Saturday Spotlight: Truthseeker by C.E. Murphy...

August 28, 2010
Today I'm spotlighting C.E. Murphy's new book, Truthseeker, out on August 31st (wheeeeee!). Of course, you know that C.E. Murphy is my Featured Author for September, right? Right? :)


CROSS TWO EXTRAORDINARY WORLDS, TRUTH IS THE DEADLIEST MAGIC

Gifted with an uncanny intuition, Lara Jansen nonetheless thinks there is nothing particularly special about her. All that changes when a handsome but mysterious man enters her quiet Boston tailor shop and reveals himself to be a prince of Faerie. What’s more, Dafydd ap Caerwyn claims that Lara is a truthseeker, a person with the rare talent of being able to tell truth from falsehood. Dafydd begs Lara to help solve his brother’s murder, of which Dafydd himself is the only suspect.

Acting against her practical nature, Lara agrees to step through a window into another world. Caught between bitterly opposed Seelie forces and Dafydd’s secrets, which are as perilous as he is irresistible, Lara finds that her abilities are increasing in unexpected and uncontrollable ways. With the fate of two worlds at stake and a malevolent entity wielding the darkest of magic, Lara and Dafydd will risk everything on a love that may be their salvation—or the most treacherous illusion of all.

I love the worlds that C.E. Murphy creates, whether it's our world, as she did for the Walker Papers and Negotiator series, or set in a bygone time, as in the Inheritors' Cycle. So of course I'm picking this one up to see what she does here.

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

Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

101. Changes by Jim Butcher...

August 27, 2010
changes
Title: Changes (Dresden Files #12)
Author: Jim Butcher
ISBN-13: 9780451463173
Hardcover: 438 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group, 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of Changes stopped by for quite a while, on loan from my local library. I finally read it, and returned it at the eleventh hour. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
Well. You know how sometimes you pick up a book based on the title, and then you read it and find out that the title didn't quite fit the book? I know I have, and it's soooooo disappointing when that happens. Thought I'd mention it, because the twelfth book in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, is definitely aptly named!

Harry's past comes back to haunt him, and he finds a major surprise behind door #1. Behind door #2 is the Red Court going on the offensive. Door #3 opens to reveal fissures in the White Council. Unluckily for Harry, all three doors spill open at the same time. And Harry is running around trying to figure things out while trying to stay alive and stop the Red Court. You know, par for the course.

I'm really glad to see that this isn't one of those series that starts to wilt and wither once you get to book 7 or 8... As it is, I'm now totally looking forward to #13, and I'm off to stalk Mr. Butcher!

drey's rating: 4/5 Excellent

Challenges: 100+, Pub, Support Your Local Library

WINNERS!!

August 26, 2010
Oh yikes!! I have winners to announce...

First up is for Christopher Reich's Rules of Betrayal. I never heard back from enyl, so Randomizer picked a new winner--Sandy Jay!!

Next up is for Jane Porter's She's Gone Country! The three winners are...

Misusedinnocence!!

twifanheather!!

Mom2anutball!!

Last (but definitely not least) is the winner of Stephen Parrish's 5-book stash: Ruthie!!

Ruthie's knock-knock joke happens to be the comment Randomizer picked, too. Here it is:
knock knock
who's there
Sadie
Sadie who?
Sadie Pledge of Allegiance!

Congratulations, everyone! Enjoy your new books, and thank you so very much for stopping by!!

100. The Blonde Samurai by Jina Bacarr...

blonde samurai
Title: The Blonde Samurai
Author: Jina Bacarr
ISBN-13: 9780373605408
e-ARC: 347 pages
Publisher: Spice, 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of The Blonde Samurai was provided by the publisher for this review. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
I picked The Blonde Samurai to review based on the cover--what lovely colors it has! Alas, that was the best part of the book, for me. The story is one of a woman's journey to Japan, where she meets up with the man--the samurai from the title--who will be her lover. I pick up books set in Asia to read more about the culture and its nuances on everything that we take for granted here in the west, and what I did manage to get through, didn't explore any of that at all.

The Blonde Samurai is told from the point of view of the main character, Katie O'Roarke, who becomes Lady Carlton before running away from her husband. Lady Carlton has written her memoir, and in the book addresses the reader as if she was actually having a conversation with them. She details her meeting with Lord Carlton, the inevitable marriage, and her discovery of his sexual proclivities. In 52 pages (all that I managed to read), only the prologue mentions the samurai, Shintaro.

There is a lot mentioned about sex in these 52 pages, which I guess I wouldn't have objected to except that it was all there to provide a background to the affair. I also found the conversational tone annoying, because it felt stilted (which I suppose is a byproduct of reading a "memoir" set in 19th century England).

I only made it through about 1/6 of the book, and I'm not planning to finish it. If you've read this, and liked it, please let me know via email or in the comments.

drey's rating: Meh (did not finish)

Challenges: 100+, Pub

August's FEATURED AUTHOR: Respect for Books...

August 25, 2010
August's Featured Author Stephen Parrish writes about bookish misbehavior in today's guest post... Check out what he has to say!

Respect for books
I'll call him Marvin, the kid in my high school literature class who Mr. Stoekl caught defacing a book. Marvin was a loner, a pimply-faced introvert who probably suffered from attention deficit. During lectures he often scribbled in his textbooks, which were on loan from the school.

Teachers are obviously trained in stealth tactics, because misbehaving students never see them coming. Marvin was unaware Mr. Stoekl was onto him until a shadow crossed his desk. By which time it was pointless to slam the book shut, tuck the pen away, and conceal all evidence that he'd written "STOEKL BITES" in the margin of his poetry anthology.

"Son," Mr. Stoekl said, occupying the empty desk next to Marvin, "please don't do that."

"I didn't mean anything by it, Mr. Stoekl. I didn't mean any offense."

"Offend me all you want. Just don't offend the book."

Mr. Stoekl was unlike any of our other teachers. He grew up in eastern Europe, immigrated to the States in his early twenties, and went to work in a factory. A son he put through college became a high school teacher and spoke so fondly of his career that Mr. Stoekl got hooked. At 65 he retired from the factory and enrolled in a teacher certification program.

At 70 he graduated and was hired by my high school. At 75, one year after catching Marvin writing "STOEKL BITES" in his poetry anthology, he retired again. Our town honored him as Man of the Year.

"You think it's just a stack of pages glued together," Mr. Stoekl said to Marvin. "Abstract ink smudges. Something that used to be tree."

"Sir, I---"

"Most of those writers are dead. What they wrote has survived them. What you wrote on their distinguished pages won't survive the school year."

If a book contains history, Mr. Stoekl argued, then the book itself is a part of history. All books are time capsules. When you open the front cover you open a door to another world, a world accessible through a kind of looking glass made of hardboard and cloth. The author's voice resonates in the reader's head with the same words that resonated in his own as he wrote them. He speaks to the reader from the past. What he witnessed, experienced, learned, and discovered lives forever.

Mr. Stoekl went back to his desk at the front of the class, and Marvin sat staring at the book still open in his hands. After a few minutes he drew two neat lines through "STOEKL BITES" and put the book away.

Mr. Stoekl didn't live long after retiring from my high school. But the lessons he taught will one way or another live forever. As for Marvin, he and I lost touch shortly after this incident, although I hear he lives in Germany, has since authored a novel about maps and gemstones, and never, ever defaced a book again.

Thank you for stopping by this month, Stephen! I've enjoyed having you around, and I hope you've enjoyed your visit! 

99. Heart of Darkness by Gena Showalter, Maggie Shayne, & Susan Krinard...

August 24, 2010
heart of darkness
Title: Heart of Darkness
Author: Gena Showalter, Maggie Shayne, Susan Krinard
ISBN-13: 9780373774319
e-ARC: 328 pages
Publisher: Harlequin, 2009
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of Heart of Darkness was provided by the publisher for this review. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
I have a confession to make. I signed up for NetGalley late last year, requested some books, and then promptly forgot about it. I finally got around to checking it out again this year, which is when I realized (oops) that I had books to review! The first on that list is Heart of Darkness, a collection of short stories from Gena Showalter, Maggie Shayne, and Susan Krinard.

Gena Showalter's The Darkest Angel is hot. An angel decides to kidnap the harpy who's his greatest temptation. Of course, being male, he hasn't quite figure out what he's going to do with that harpy once he has her. This one's irreverent and sensuous, and a lot of fun to read.

Maggie Shayne's Love You to Death twines lost love, death, and redemption in a romantic tale that will have you rooting for the boy and girl. Along with an ending that will have you holding your breath until all's said and done.

Susan Krinard's The Lady of the Nile weaves reincarnation with Egyptian gods, sacrifice, and second chances (albeit ages later).

For those who love their romances spiced liberally with the paranormal, Heart of Darkness provides satisfaction in quick bites.

drey's rating: 3/5 Good

Challenges: 100+

98. Apocalypse Happens by Lori Handeland...

August 23, 2010
apocalypse happens
Title: Apocalypse Happens (Phoenix Chronicles #3)
Author: Lori Handeland
ISBN-13: 9780312366025
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, 2009
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of Apocalypse Happens stopped by from my local library. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
Well, well, well. In book #3 of Lori Handeland's Phoenix Chronicles series, we find out about Liz's mom, and let me tell you, she's a nutjob! Liz is still fighting (ok, sometimes indulging) her attraction to her two men--ex-boyfriend Jimmy and shaman Sawyer--neither of whom she's certain of, or trusts. Must be from all the bad ju-ju floating around!

Liz is still kick-ass, and tougher than she's ever been. Of course, she's also darker than she's ever been. Due to decisions made in Doomsday Can Wait, she can no longer hear her former mentor Ruthie. Instead, she's got new voices in her head, and a bespelled collar to keep her newfound darkness contained. To add to her headaches, now Jimmy's stand-offish, Sawyer doesn't quite put out the I'm-on-your-side vibes, and a seer seeking refuge is murdered at her doorstep.

Between figuring out what to do about the bad guys, worrying about the boys and her group of seers and DKs (demon killers), and trying to find the traitor in their midst, Liz sure has her hands full in this third book. I'm off to get number four.

drey's rating: 3.5/5 Very Good

Challenges: 100, Support Your Local Library

Winners: Rules of Betrayal!

August 22, 2010
My giveaway for Christopher Reich's Rules of Betrayal is over, and the two winners (according to Randomizer) are...

enyl!!

wheels209!!

Congratulations, y'all! Emails have been sent, reply before the end of day Wednesday or I'll have to pick new winners (and you know I hate to pick new winners!)...

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

Want the book? Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

Saturday Spotlight: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins...

August 21, 2010
Today's spotlight is on Suzanne Collins' third installment in The Hunger Games trilogy, which will be released on the 24th. If you haven't read the books--The Hunger Games and Catching Fire--go pick them up!

mockingjay

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

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

Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

97. Doomsday Can Wait by Lori Handeland...

August 20, 2010
doomsday can wait
Title: Doomsday Can Wait (Phoenix Chronicles #2)
Author: Lori Handeland
ISBN-13: 9780312947163
Paperback: 337 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, 2009
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of Doomsday Can Wait was a library book that waited patiently to be read. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
I'm really enjoying Lori Handeland's Phoenix Chronicles series so far. I didn't review the first book, Any Given Doomsday because I read it a while ago and it had to get back to the library (because I was this this close to late!). But I liked it enough that I got the next few in the series, and practically devoured this one.

One reason I like this series: the heroine--Elizabeth Phoenix--lives in Milwaukee. Gotta root for the local kick-ass gal! She's an ex-cop who's bartending for her former partner's widow. And, she's also the head honcho for the forces of good in the race to stop the Apocalypse and defeat the evil minions of Satan. (All of a sudden I have the theme song from Transformers floating through my head...)

Now, being head honcho has its benefits, but also drawbacks--especially the all-the-bad-guys-want-to-kill-her kind. I won't tell you what happens because you really should read it for yourself. But Doomsday Can Wait packs in non-stop action, romantic tension, and quite a few surprises. I'd read the rest of the series even if Liz didn't live in Milwaukee!

drey's rating: 3.5/5 Very Good

Challenges: 100+, Support Your Local Library

96. Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn...

August 19, 2010
voices of dragons
Title: Voices of Dragons
Author: Carrie Vaughn
ISBN-13: 9780061798948
Hardcover: 309 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of Voices of Dragons swung by for a visit from my local library. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
I love Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series. So when she wrote a new book, I had to eventually get my hands on it.

Voices of Dragons takes place in a world much like ours. Much, except for the fact that WW2 was between humans and dragons, and the current-day world has borders and a very uneasy peace between humans and dragons. When Kay Wyatt falls into the river on the dragon side of the border, she is unexpectedly rescued by one. Then she finds out that he speaks English, that he reads, and that he would like to be friends. And so she starts sneaking off to visit her new friend--not telling anybody.

However, on one of their excursions together, they're seen by a human pilot. All of a sudden the military's sending planes into the dragon side of the border. And stalking Kay. And next thing you know, it's war.

Carrie Vaughn's characters in Voices of Dragons are not complex--about the only drama here is whether Kay's ready to date her best friend Jon. However, the world is interesting, and I do want to know more, so I will definitely be picking up any sequels.

drey's rating: 3.5/5 Very Good

Challenges: 100+, Pub, Support Your Local Library

August's FEATURED AUTHOR: Stephen's favorite books...

August 18, 2010
Stephen Parrish, August's Featured Author, stops by today to share some of his favorite books.

It All Began With Dr. Suess...

And he's still a favorite. One of the benefits of becoming a parent is getting to read him again. I love the stories, the lyrical writing ("On the fifteenth of May, in the Jungle of Nool, In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool..."), and of course all the fuzzy-headed creatures.

My favorite YA book was Rascal by Sterling North. I cried each time I read it, but since boys weren't supposed to cry, I must have had a cold. I read it again a couple of years ago, for the first time since my early teens, and darn if I didn't come down with something.

My grade school participated in a reading program with Scholastic Books. Every couple of months students could select books from a Scholastic catalog, and our English teacher would place the order for us (do schools still do such things?). My stack was always biggest, in fact sometimes as big as all others combined. And you know what? I don't remember disliking any of those books. Too bad we get grumpy as we age.

Leon Uris, more than any other author, made me want to be an author. Mila 18 is a great novel. Hemingway was also a big influence. When he was good, no one was better. (When he was bad, no one was worse.) Early Vonnegut (Player Piano, Cat's Cradle). Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes; many people don't know it started out as a short story that was so well received (won a Hugo) that he expanded it into a novel. All Creatures Great and Small, by James Herriot. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand.

If I had to choose an all-time favorite book it would be The Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter. I didn't just suffer from a cold when I finished it, I was ambulatory.

Oh! And I have friends who write as beautifully as any of the quacks listed above! Check out my five-book giveaway!
Thanks for sharing, Stephen! And yes, y'all should check out his five-book giveaway

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

95. Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr...

August 17, 2010
Title: Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely #4)
Author: Melissa Marr
ISBN-13: 9780061659225
Hardcover: 340 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of Radiant Shadows came from the library. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
This next installment in Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series deals with consequences. For Sorcha, the Unchanging Queen who tied a mortal to her world by making him faery. For Devlin, the High Queen's Bloodied Hands, who kept secrets from his Queen. For Ani, one of those secrets, whose maturing has drawn the attention of War.

A tale of changes--even for the Unchanging Queen, chaos erupting, Faerie unbalanced. And through it all, Devlin tries to do his best to protect Faerie, Ani, and Seth, even if it may not comply with his High Queen's wishes. When it all winds down, Faerie is behind the Veil, and there is a new court to balance the Unchanging Queen's influence.

Radiant Shadows is my favorite Wicked Lovely so far!

drey's rating: 3.5/5 Very Good

Challenges: 100+, Pub, Support Your Local Library

94. The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu...

August 16, 2010
iron hunt
Title: The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss #1)
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
ISBN-13: 9780441016068
Paperback: 305 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group, 2008
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of The Iron Hunt came from my public library. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
I picked up The Iron Hunt because I'd heard quite a bit about it--all good, of course. I love the cover--yes, there's a chick with tattoos, but in this case, the tattoos actually serve a purpose. Of course, the chick is the heroine, and her name is Maxine.

Apparently, Maxine is the latest (and last?) of a line of demon hunters--each born to the previous, each inheriting the mantle upon their mother's death. And those tattoos? They're her armor, rendering her invincible during the day. At night, they're tricky little demons who will stop at nothing to protect her. With an appetite for anything from Snickers bars to teddy bear stuffing, the five are entertaining little buggers.

Marjorie Liu's The Iron Hunt is a fast-paced read, with a world full of demons and zombies and other bad things that go bump in the night. Not that it's all about Maxine and those she hunts. There's the boyfriend who has a penchant for song, a zombie queen who manipulates everyone she can, and a few new "friends" who're there to help her in the upcoming apocalyptic battle for the souls of humanity.

With an interesting backstory and potential for a really gripping rest-of-the-story, I will definitely be picking up the other books in the series.

Check out Ms. Liu's website for an excerpt

drey's rating: 3/5 Good

Challenges: 100+, Support Your Local Library

Saturday Spotlight: Cast in Chaos by Michelle Sagara...

August 14, 2010
Today's spotlight is book #6 of one of my favorite series. It's on its way to my house, and I will probably drop everything to read it at least once (or twice) next week!

cast in chaos

Kaylin Neya is a Hawk, part of the elite force tasked with keeping the City of Elantra safe. Her past is dark, her magic uncontrolled and her allies unpredictable. And nothing has prepared her for what is coming, when the charlatans on Elani Street suddenly grow powerful, the Oracles are thrown into an uproar and the skies rain blood...

The powerful of Elantra believe that the mysterious markings on Kaylin's skin hold the answer, and they are not averse to using her-—however they have to-—in order to discover what it is.

Something is coming, breaking through the barriers between the worlds. But is it a threat that Kaylin needs to defend her city against—-or has she been chosen for another reason entirely?

I love Michelle Sagara. Check out her website at msagarawest.wordpress.com, and take a look at her bibliography, especially the Chronicles of Elantra page, where she has excerpts for each Cast book!

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

Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

93. Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City by Holly Denham...

August 13, 2010
scandal in the city
Title: Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City
Author: Holly Denham
ISBN-13: 9781402241147
Paperback: 535 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City was provided by the publisher for this review. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
I never did get a chance to read Bill Surie's Holly's Inbox, but am glad I did get my hands on the follow-up, Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City. One thing I want to point out--the cover of my copy is pink, not the blue-ish tone as depicted, but I can't for the life of me find a pink cover image.

Anyway! About the book itself! It's fabulous! Especially if you like British chick-lit. Holly's life is looking good. She's in love with the yummy Toby, gets promoted at work, and her family drama is at a minimum. Unfortunately for her, things don't stay that way for long. Toby's trips to France has her paranoid that he's got a French mademoiselle on the side. And the new catering manager is trying to put her down and steal Toby.

Holly and her friends are wickedly entertaining, and the emails flying around can be absolutely hilarious. This is one that'll go down as smoothly as a perfectly-made flan.


drey's rating: 3.5/5Very Good

Challenges: 100+, Pub

92. The Tavernier Stones by Stephen Parrish...

August 12, 2010
tavernier stones
Title: The Tavernier Stones
Author: Stephen Parrish
ISBN-13: 9780738720562
Paperback: 367 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink, 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of The Tavernier Stones was provided the author for my reading pleasure. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
Stephen Parrish is my Featured Author for the month of August. And when your Featured Author sends you his book, what do you do but read it? So I did.

I didn't have to like it, or think it was good. But y'know what? I did like it. It is good. Starting with the first sentence--"There's a dead guy out there."--The Tavernier Stones pulls you along on its roller-coaster of a treasure hunt as its cast of characters decipher clues to find the world's most notorious missing jewels. Amongst that cast is an excommunicated Amish cartographer, a jewel thief and his ex-model girlfriend, a no-longer-able-to-afford-to-keep-up-with-the-Joneses ex-banker, an ex-convict, and a policeman who finds out his wife is cheating on him. Phew! I hope I didn't miss anyone important!

Along with the characters to follow, love, and/or hate, Stephen provides cartography, cryptology, history, and a quirky sense of humor to tie the present-day treasure hunt with the clues from the past. Who'll unravel the clues first? Who'll get their hands on the treasure? Who will double-cross whom? And the ending will be here before you know it.

The Tavernier Stones is a little gem you should set aside time to read, or face some tired mornings from staying up too late into the night!

drey's rating: 3.5/5 Very Good

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Winners--Cold Rock River!!

August 11, 2010
My giveaway for Jackie Lee Miles' Cold Rock River is over, Randomizer has worked its magic, and the two winners are:

Benita!!

traveler!!

Congratulations! Please email me your mailing information before the end of day Saturday. Thank you for swinging by!

Want it? Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

August's FEATURED AUTHOR: Stephen Parrish's book!!

Stephen Parrish is August's Featured Author, and his lovely debut novel is a blend of mystery and history where cryptology and cartography play a major role.

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

the tavernier stones

When the body of seventeenth-century mapmaker Johannes Cellarius floats to the surface of a bog in northern Germany with a 57-carat ruby clutched in his fist, the grisly discovery ignites a deadly twenty-first-century international treasure hunt to unearth the fabled Tavernier stones. The hoard reputedly contains some of the world's most notorious missing jewels, including the 280-carat Great Mogul diamond and the 242-carat Great Table diamond.

Scrupulously honest Amish-born cartographer John Graf teams up with outlaw prospector and gemologist David Freeman in a ferocious race to find the treasure and break a secret code that will unravel the centuries-old Tavernier stones mystery. But other fortune hunters, opportunists and criminals alike, are in hot pursuit of the mismatched partners--and they'll stop at nothing to possess the legendary jewels.

91. Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson...

August 10, 2010
emma and the vampires
Title: Emma and the Vampires
Author: Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson
ISBN-13: 9781402241345
Paperback: 289 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of Emma and the Vampires was provided by the publisher for this review. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
I have to say, I never remembered Jane Austen's Emma as being a so, well, clueless. Or petty... But I guess she was, because I sincerely doubt Wayne Josephson completely rewrote a classic!

I requested a copy of Emma and the Vampires because I'd just gotten into the whole re-imagined classics genre with Jane Slayre, and thought it would be fun to read another. But I have to admit, I didn't enjoy this one very much. I didn't like Emma very much--she stuck her nose where it didn't belong, had a completely inflated opinion of herself, and was quite petty and a tad rude, just because somebody else dared to impress her friends and neighbors. In fact, I thought she was quite the brat.

And maybe I'm just getting old and cranky, but I found that I really wasn't in the mood for brattiness. This one was just ok to me. If you have a different opinion, please do comment and share your thoughts!

drey's rating: 2/5 Ok

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Giveaway: She's Gone Country by Jane Porter...

August 9, 2010
Today, I have up for grabs: 3 copies of Jane Porter's She's Gone Country, thanks to Hachette Book Group!!

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

About the book:
Shey Darcy, a 39-year-old former top model for Vogue and Sports Illustrated led a charmed life in New York City with a handsome photographer husband until the day he announced he'd fallen in love with someone else. Left to pick up the pieces of her once happy world, Shey decides to move back home to Texas with her three teenage sons. Life on the family ranch, however, brings with it a whole new host of dramas starting with differences of opinion with her staunch Southern Baptist mother, her rugged but overprotective brothers, and daily battles with her three sons who are also struggling to find themselves.

Check out She's Gone Country:

Rules:
This one's open to US and Canada residents only (no PO Boxes, please!). To enter, comment and let me know if you're a city mouse or a country mouse. I am such a city mouse. The Mr. is more of a country mouse. So we compromised and are suburban mice! *grin*

Retweet for an extra point--comment separately with your status link (please @dreys_tweets). That's it. Do it all before 6:00pm CST August 22nd!

Can't wait? Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

Saturday Spotlight: West of Mars!

August 7, 2010
Today's spotlight is a little different from the others so far... Instead of showering attention on a book, we're going to highlight a friend (to me and to other bloggers!!) and her website!

west of mars

Susan is an author (see my January Featured Author posts), blogger, and general all-round fun person. Her official author blog is at The Meet and Greet (see tabs on her website), where she ruminates about writing, and shares lil' stories with us. Rocks 'n Reads is where she reviews books, and Win a Book is where most other bloggers knows Susan best--it's where she shares what's going on in our world, selfless wonder that she is...

So, why spotlight Susan today? Because we were corresponding, and she pointed out that while I have 527 gajillion followers (which I'm pretty darn sure is a total exaggeration!), she only has 87. And that made my eyes pop out. Like, what? How?

And I thought I'd try to remedy that. One reason for the out-of-whack numbers is Susan's GFC (Google Friend Connect) widget is on her main blog, The Meet and Greet. And Google does not allow her to put it on another--the one that's probably most likely to be dropped in on--Win a Book. So. If you have some time this weekend, hop on over to West of Mars, and help bring Susan's numbers up. Like, UP! Because, duh, she totally rocks.

What're you waiting for? Go... *grin* And while you're there, read that lil' snippet on Trevor and swimming...

Winner: Fatal Affair!

August 6, 2010
Gee, I'm late on picking winners for this one... But never fear, Randomizer rose to the occasion, and picked...

Jackie P!!

Jackie, I don't have an email address for you. Please email me before the end of day Monday and let me know what yours is, or we can't send you the e-copy of Fatal Affair, and that would be a crying shame.

Thanks to everyone for swinging by, and a huge thank you to Marie for her post.

90. City of Veils by Zoe Ferraris...

city of veils
Title: City of Veils
Author: Zoe Ferraris
ISBN-13: 9780316074278
ARC: 389 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of City of Veils was provided by the publisher for this review. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
Zoe Ferraris' City of Veils is a simple enough whodunnit--there's the victim, the victim's family and friends, and the investigators. What makes this more than just another whodunnit is its setting--in the Saudi city of Jeddah. Where women's movement and activities are limited, the police investigator's first thought is that the battered body found on the beach belongs to a housemaid--they're numerous, often abused, and without much recourse.

Then they find out that the victim--Leila--is outspoken, rebellious, and an aspiring film-maker who's been filming the not-so-pretty side of life in Jeddah. In a world where women can't do anything without a man (& not just any man, but a relative), part of the appeal of City of Veils was the figuring out of how Leila managed to maneuver herself into the situations she filmed--and whether her filming had anything to do with her death.

One of the other players in this story is Miriam, whose bodyguard-for-hire husband goes missing just as she returns from a visit home to America. The pages describing her experience at the airport (a room in the airport for Unclaimed Women!) really punctuate how different their world is from the West. And the description of Miriam's attempt to move while wearing the burka highlights how restrictive the simple day-to-day stuff is for someone who's used to much more freedom--not just in dress and verbal expression, but also in movement.

Tying Leila's death and Miriam's story together is the investigative "team"--the detective, Osama Ibrahim; the coroner's assistant, Katya Hijazi; and her friend, Nayir Sharqi. In the course of this story, Nayir's strict views on the edicts of Islam is tempered by his exposure to Osama's more balanced interpretation, and he realizes that when so much is expected of women, men must step up too.

Religion, murder, and mayhem combine into an engrossing mystery in City of Veils.

drey's rating: 3.5/5 Very Good

Challenges: 100+, Pub

89. Rules of Betrayal by Christopher Reich (& a giveaway!)...

August 5, 2010
rules of betrayal
Title: Rules of Betrayal (Jonathan Ransom #3)
Author: Christopher Reich
ISBN-13: 9780385531542
Hardcover: 372 pages
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of Rules of Betrayal was provided by the publisher for this review. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
I wonder how it is that I've never read Christopher Reich before. Especially since I picked up Rules of Betrayal, whilst half-awake due to lack of sleep because my son's been up coughing for the last 4 nights, just to read a few chapters before I took a quick nap so I could get through the rest of the evening. And I could NOT put it down. So, thanks, Christopher--I'm now even more sleep-deprived than I was a few hours ago (no, I never made it to the nap).

In Rules of Betrayal, Jonathan Ransom is doing the do-gooder thing (to make up for the not-so-good things he's done in his past), treating the sick in Afghanistan, when he is kidnapped by a local warlord-slash-druglord-slash-all-'round-bad-guy. Not for money, oh no. But to heal his father, a top-of-everybody's-terrorist-list bad guy. Guess it runs in the family. However, through no fault of Jonathan's, bad guy's dad is offed while he's there. And he gets dragged heels kicking into the world of international espionage.

Not that he had much choice. Especially since the poor guy still loves his wife, an infamous spy herself. Never mind that he has no clue where she's at or what she's doing. Which is a good thing, since what she's doing is pretty dangerous, and a girl could get herself plenty hurt at it. Anyhoo.

The plot is tight with the usual cast of characters you'd expect in a spy thriller. Hero? Check. Lost love interest? Check. New girl interest? Check. Bad guys galore? Check. Some sort of weapon that could blow us all into a gajillion bits? Check. Double-crosses and twists and turns? Definitely. And, of course, spies galore. And while at times I could just imagine Matt Damon as Jonathan (who couldn't, after watching Damon in the Bourne movies?), I found that reading Mr. Reich is definitely less heavy on prose and more to the point than reading Mr. Van Lustbader. After all, who needs to wander all over Pakistan on a mule when you can just ride in a Humvee?

Thriller fans should pick this up. Or better yet, win it--read on!

drey's rating: 3.5/5 Very Good

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Giveaway!
Thanks to the awesome folks at Doubleday, I have two copies of Rules of Betrayal up for grabs, if you're a US resident (no PO Boxes, please!). To enter, comment and tell me you're a GFC follower--I'm shamelessly promoting my blog! Include an email address where you can be reached. +1 entry if you tweet (comment separately with the tweet link, please). +1 entry if you blog or link in your sidebar (comment separately with the link, please). Do it before 6:00pm CST August 18th. Good luck!

August's FEATURED AUTHOR: Stephen Parrish!!

August 4, 2010
Holy wow, it's August. Yikes!! The year's running out faster than I can catch up to my TBR pile. But enough about me. This month, y'all lucky ducks are going to enjoy the company of Stephen Parrish, a pretty darn funny dude who writes. Yes, I said "dude". Come and meet Stephen... and stay for the giveaway!!

stephen parrish
About Stephen:
A gemologist and cartographer by training, Stephen Parrish has married his love of both along with a dose of mystery, into his debut novel The Tavernier Stones.

The Interview:
drey: Hello Stephen! I’m glad you’re visiting drey’s library in August as my Featured Author! A big “thank you” to Aerin (of In Search of Giants) for the introduction to Stephen. Let’s get started, shall we?

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

When did you know you wanted to be an author? What were you doing?

Stephen: I was in my early teens, a heavy reader of novels, and I happened to say to my mom, "Wouldn't it be cool to write one of these things?" And she answered that doing so was just a matter of choice. That struck me, because I'd never really thought of writers as having ever been muggles, but it's true.

drey: Tell us about The Tavernier Stones. And how long has the story been percolating before you let it out?

Stephen: A lost cache of priceless gems. A global race to find them. And lots of steamy sex. Actually hardly any sex at all, but there's nothing stopping readers from having some while reading the book.

The story nagged me for four years before I finally relented and put words to paper. I believe that's how all novel ideas should make the cut: when the author has no place else to hide.

drey: Can you share your first sale experience with us?

Stephen: The editor sent me a message discussing timetables for publication. I showed the message to a couple of writer friends who assured me it was, indeed, an offer.

drey: Who and/or what inspires your writing? How do you get from idea to pages?

Stephen: Fear. Fear of eternal anonymity, of an unmarked grave, of becoming dust scattered by fickle and indifferent winds. Also money.

I write very sloppily: I put things down just for the sake of filling blank space, then I cut what I don't like. I do a lot of cutting, so much in fact it's probably fair to say I cut stories rather than write them.

drey: What do you indulge in when not writing?

Stephen: Painting is my second love, and I especially enjoy painting with my daughter. But since she's now in her mid-teens she doesn't have much time for me anymore. So most of my not-writing time nowadays is spent not-not-writing.

drey: Do you have a favorite accompaniment to chocolate?

Stephen: Red wine. Ignore connoisseurs who say the two don't go well together.

drey: What? Who says they don't go together?? Some people have no taste (buds?). Sheesh.

Screen versions of your book: If The Tavernier Stones was to be transferred to film, who would be on your dream team?

Stephen: Aerin selected Brendan Fraser to play the role of John Graf, so that deal is pretty much inked, even if Brendan doesn't know about it. I should add that Aerin covets him in the biblical way, therefore her motives don't necessarily serve cinemagraphic art.

drey: LMAO! Aerin, honey, you've been busted. *grin*

Smackdown: Your two favorite characters face off in the ring. Who are they, which one wins, and why?

Stephen: I'll take this opportunity to plug a couple of my friends' books. Daisy Lockhart from PLUM BLOSSOMS IN PARIS, by Sarah Hina, takes on Kate Darby from FREUDIAN SLIP, by Erica Orloff. They wrestle naked in oil. What was your question?

drey: Sigh. Boys and their wrestling... But, WHO WINS?? Or is that going to be a topic for another day?

Electronic readers are becoming more affordable and available. There's been quite a bit of discussion about their impact on paper books, the environment, people's reading & buying habits... What's your take?

Stephen: I suppose the conclusion that ebooks will eventually dominate is inescapable, but there's going to be at least one serious downside. I grew up in a house full of books. It was inevitable that I would love to have them all around me when I got a house of my own. It was likewise inevitable that my daughter inherit the passion, and even the ambition to write. Can you imagine future generations claiming their love for literature was born of seeing an e-reader on the coffee table?

There is no better wall decoration than a shelf of books. Merely gazing at them brings pleasure, merely entering a library inspires awe for the intellectual wealth of our civilization.

drey: On the publishing side--what do you think publishers and authors ought to do about the digital revolution? Jump in wholeheartedly, and blaze the path for others to follow? Watch from the sidelines till there's some consensus on what the new business model is going to be for the digital age? Cross their fingers that this is all just a fad & will blow over soon? Name one thing publishers could improve in regards to eBooks.

Stephen: Tavernier hasn't been made into an ebook yet, and I think that's a mistake. I'd prefer to give customers a choice of all formats at once. One lesson I learned as a jewelry salesman was to sell the customers while they were in the store. Otherwise they got run over by the be-back bus. An impulse buyer who wants an ebook isn't likely to keep checking back to see if yours is finally available.

drey: Hear, hear. Not all readers are as fanatical as I am about checking back to see if their favorite books are available in e-format..

What are you looking forward to next?

Stephen: Getting the beta reads back on my second novel. Selling it. Glory.

To bring this to a close, the Proust-lite:
  1. What is your idea of earthly happiness?
    Peace of mind.
  2. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    Regret for things not done.
  3. Who is/are your favorite hero/heroine(s) in fiction?
    Those, like Huckleberry Finn, I got to know when I was young.
  4. What is/are your favorite hero/heroine(s) in real life?
    At the risk of being unoriginal, Abraham Lincoln.
  5. What sound do you love?
    My daughter's laughter. And the rain.
  6. What sound do you hate?
    My daughter crying.
  7. The quality you admire most in a man?
    Intelligence and self esteem.
  8. The quality you admire most in a woman?
    Lots of intelligence and lots of self esteem.
  9. If not a writer, you would be a ... Cartographer.
  10. What is your favorite swear word?
    Boner! As in, that's what this interview gave me! Thanks Drey!
drey: Um... You're welcome?

Anyway, thank you so much for stopping by, Stephen! I hope you enjoy your visit here this month. Everyone, check out Stephen Parrish’s website at http://www.stephenparrish.com/, blog at stephenparrish.blogspot.com, and check out his contest going on at tavernierstones.com.

Aerin also created a book trailer for The Tavernier Stones. Check it out:

Giveaway!!
Stephen has a lil' something something for y'all. Actually, five lil' somethings! What are they? Well, take a look-see:

tavernier stones
IndieBound
Amazon
The Book Depository
plum blossoms
IndieBound
Amazon
The Book Depository
freudian slip
IndieBound
Amazon
The Book Depository
moonlight secrets
IndieBound
Amazon
The Book Depository
diamonds for the dead
IndieBound
Amazon
The Book Depository

How do you enter? Easy peasy. Comment and tell us what your favorite cover is out of the five. Don't forget to include your email address. This one's open to US residents only. Do it by 6:00pm CST August 25th!

ps: Want extra entries? Comment (separately!) with a knock-knock joke. They're apparently hard to come by in Germany.

88. Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr...

August 3, 2010
fragile eternity
Title: Fragile Eternity (Wicked Lovely #3)
Author: Melissa Marr
ISBN-13: 9780061214714
Hardcover: 389 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2009
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: Fragile Eternity came for a visit from my local library. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
Ah, Seth. Aislinn finally confess her feelings for him, just as she takes Keenan's test for Summer Queen. And passes. So now he has the girl, but he has to share her with the entire Summer Court. Which probably doesn't rankle as much as the fact that Keenan is King of said court. Tired of feeling left out, knowing that Keenan's just waiting for Seth's mortality to take its toll, Seth decides to take matters into his own hands and goes looking for the only faery who can give him what he wants most--to be immortal, so he can stay with Aislinn forever.

While he's gone, however, the balance between Keenan, Aislinn, and Donia starts to fray. And what Seth is most afraid of--losing Aislinn--might well happen because he's not there for her.

This third book in Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series focuses more on the complicated knots around Seth and Aislinn, Aislinn and Keenan, Keenan and Donia, and Niall and the other three regents. And all around them, Bananach weaves her web for war and discord. Radiant Shadows is up on the "reading" block, but only after I'm done with a few others that're waiting for review. So many books, so little time!

drey's rating: 3.5/5 Very Good

Challenges: 100+, Support Your Local Library

87. Another One Bites the Dust by Jennifer Rardin...

August 2, 2010
another one bites the dust
Title: Another One Bites the Dust (Jaz Parks #2)
Author: Jennifer Rardin
ISBN-13: 9780316020572
Paperback: 318 pages
Publisher: Orbit, 2007
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: My copy of Another One Bites the Dust came from the library after I picked up Once Bitten, Twice Shy and enjoyed it. I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

drey's thoughts:
Can I start by saying I love the cover? I mean, how totally simple is that?? And the blood droplets... The perfect finishing touch! *grin*

Anyway. Another One Bites the Dust picks up with Jaz's next mission. This time she's tracking down a missing armor that was stolen from a super-secret military testing center, along with a super-villain who's trying to achieve dragonhood (dragondom?). The usual hijinks ensues, and this time it's boosted with extra ampage from a cast of characters who're still trying to get used to the fact that they're all working together. Of course, the bad guys all lead back to the uber-baddie on the CIA's list, so Jaz and gang have to try to neutralize the threat, retrieve the armor, and find someone who'll lead her to the top of the baddie pile-up. All without getting killed by her dreams of her past. Whew. The girl knows how to stay busy, huh?

I like Jaz. I like that she's trying to deal with her loss and with the realization gained at the end of Once Bitten, Twice Shy (I can't tell you what it is, it's a dead giveaway if you haven't read the former)... I like that she makes mistakes, but tries to think fast enough on her feet to remedy any ill effects if she can. I like her interactions with those she loves, and I love her interactions with those she loathes. If you're looking for an easy-to-read series with a character who'll make you laugh out loud, pick up Jennifer Rardin's Jaz Parks books. I'm going to track down #3.

drey's rating: 3.5/5 Very Good

Challenges: 100+, Support Your Local Library

Hachette's Sizzling Summer Nights GIVEAWAY!!

August 1, 2010
Hoo boy, do I have a hot (and by that I mean HOT!) giveaway for you today!! Thanks to Hachette Book Group, here is a five-pack of sizzling hot reads for 3 of you lucky ducks!

sizzling summer nights

The books
'Cuz I'm pretty darn sure you want to know what the books are, right? Right? Well, here they are:

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


Rita Herron's Forbidden Passion
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository



Cynthia Eden's Deadly Fear
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository



Lilli Feisty's Dare to Surrender
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository



Cara Elliott's To Surrender to a Rogue
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository



Paula Quinn's Ravished by a Highlander
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository



The details:
  • Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only, no PO Boxes please!
  • To enter, comment and let me know that you're a GFC follower (which means that you MUST be a GFC follower to enter!).
  • Make sure your entry has your email address for me to contact you. If you forgot one or the other and need to put in another comment, please delete the invalid comment.
  • Do any or all of the following for extra entries. Please place each activity in its own comment.
    +1 Follow me on twitter: @dreys_tweets. Comment with your twitterid.

    +1 Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to add me: @dreys_tweets. Comment with your tweet link.

    +1 Blog this giveaway. Comment with your blog post link.

    +1 Post this on your blog sidebar. Comment with your blog link.

    +1 Like my facebook page. Comment with your facebook profile.

    +1 Comment and tell me if you liked one of my June or July reviews--which one, and why.
  • Do it before 6:00pm CST August 31st!
Good luck, everybody!
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