Friday, October 24, 2014

Weeding Time

Oh, boy. This gem hasn't checked out since 2009...which  coincidentally is the same year Jon and Kate got divorced. 

Bye bye Jon and Kate plus 8.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Discard Friday

Bye Bye Kathie Lee and Cody. 

This gem hadn't checked out in 6 years. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spotlight: Just a Little Crush


Just a Little Crush
By: Renita Pizzitola
Releasing October 21st, 2014
Loveswept



Good girls stay away from Ryder Briggs . . . or, at least, they try to. In Renita Pizzitola’s emotional novel of heartache and seduction, one college freshman just can’t get enough.

Brinley Dawson doesn’t drink, she studies—and despite the accusations of her alcoholic mother, she’s still a virgin. But if Brinley’s life is so put together, why is she freaking out to be going to college with the gorgeous, green-eyed jerk she kissed on a stupid dare in high school? Ryder Briggs can have any girl he wants . . . and the rumors say that he does. So why, after publicly embarrassing Brinley four years ago, is he suddenly acting like he’s interested?

Ryder never forgot Brinley. In fact, those perfect seven minutes permanently raised the bar for what a kiss could be. The truth is, Ryder doesn’t dare get too close to anyone. He knows how that worked out for his parents. But when his roommate takes a shot at Brinley, Ryder can’t contain his jealousy. Now he must do the hardest thing he’s ever done: forget about sex and convince Brinley his feelings are real.


Brinley isn’t sure whether she believes Ryder, but for the first time, her body isn’t playing by the rules. Then she discovers that she’s an unwilling part of a cruel game, humiliating her all over again—and Ryder might be to blame. Has Brinley’s little crush turned into a huge mistake . . . or has she found the one guy worth trusting with her heart?

Renita Pizzitola is the author of New Adult contemporary romance and Young Adult fantasy. When not writing, she can be found feeding her caramel macchiato addiction and reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two children.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Interview with Maya Banks



Maya Banks is one of my favorite authors. She writes in many different romance genres and I haven't found one that I don't love yet. When I was given the opportunity to read her newest, Keep Me Safe, along with interview her, I jumped. Keep Me Safe marks the 20th Maya Banks book that I have read and I have no intentions of stopping soon. I currently have 3 of her books checked out from the library, plus 2 on hold. I was very excited to meet her at RT14 in New Orleans this year. I got Colter's Woman, Be with Me, and Never Seduce a Scot autographed. 




If you haven't ever read any Maya Banks' books then you are missing out. If you like suspense, she has her KGI series. Historical? Try the Montgomery & Armstrong trilogy (Never Seduce a Scot!) or the McCabe Trilogy (Seduction of a Highland Lass!). Menage? She has plenty to try, but I would go with Colter's Woman or the novella Stay with Me.

Her newest, Keep Me Safe, centers around a young woman, Ramie, who has a gift that allows her to find missing women by connecting with them. It is more of a curse, then a gift. Though she is able to find dozens of kidnapped and tortured women, Remie is drawn into their hell. Remie feels their pain and lives through the ordeal with them every time she connects to a woman. Over and over again. She goes off the grid to recuperate and hide from a stalker when Caleb Devereaux tracks her down. Giving her no choice, Caleb forces Remie to connect with his kidnapped sister. He would do anything to find her...even force Remie to live through his sister's hell. Now he owes Remie. She turns to him, months later, to rescue her from her crazed stalker. Will Caleb be able to help Remie?

In the past I have done author reviews and I try to keep them lighthearted and fun. I have always been fascinated with Ms. Banks writing so most of my questions center around her writing style and thought process. I hope you enjoy the interview. 


1.     You are an author that has a versatility to write in many different genres of romance. From historical, contemporary, ménage, and so many more. Do you have a particular favorite to write?

Quite honestly, no. That may sound odd, but what I love or rather my “favorite” is the ABILITY to be able to move from genre to genre with each book I write. It keeps things fresh and interesting for me. If I had to ONLY write books in one genre for one series and that’s all I ever wrote, I’d be bored silly. This way I look forward to each and every book because I know it will hold something new and different than what I just wrote.

2.     Did you always know that you would be a writer? If not, how did you end up writing?

There is a huge difference between always WRITING and always “knowing” you would BECOME a published author. I’ve written all my life. I’ve written ROMANCE my entire life. In junior high, I would write full length novels in 5 subject notebooks and fill the pages front AND back with as many words as I could. But it never occurred to me that I could ever BECOME an “author”

For me that was an unobtainable pipe dream. I never even considered it! It wasn’t until after my third child was born and I was obviously well into my adulthood that I thought why not give it a TRY? What have I got to lose? I had a few years before my two youngest “babies” would enter school at which time I’d planned to go back to work and so I decided to use that time to try to realize my dream. Fortunately for me, it only took four years and a LOT of ups and downs and “almosts” before I signed contracts with two different publishers and began my journey as a “profession author.”

3.     Is there one of your books that you have found that fans gush about more than any other?

Actually yes! A universal reader favorite seems to be Sweet Persuasion and the hero, Damon Roche, in particular.

4.     When you aren’t writing, what do you enjoy reading? Is there a particular book you recently read that you want to rave about?

I have very eclectic reading tastes. I’m pretty simple to please. All I require is a YUMMY romance and an HEA and I’m happy. So I read widely across many genres and have favorites in all types. Unfortunately my reading time has been nonexistent this year because I’ve been writing furiously to meet my deadlines after health issues sidelined me for a bit earlier in the year.

5.     Is there one genre that you have wanted to explore with your writing?

Honestly, no! I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to write widely across genres my entire career. I established myself very early on as a multi-genre author and have consistently written in separate genres since the start. So there isn’t much left! Any genre I’ve ever had the thought of “Hmm, I’d love to write one of THOSE stories” well, I pretty much have already!

6.     How does your new series, the Slow Burn, differ from other series you have written?

In some ways it’s quite different but it’s definitely vintage Maya Banks and my voice is very recognizable even in a different series. It’s definitely contemporary romantic suspense and not paranormal romance at all. Not even remotely paranormal! It’s set in the real world and merely poses the question “what if someone out there today had psychic abilities?”

So while readers can expect something “new” from me, the voice, the writing style, the trademark angst and emotion prevalent in so many of my books will be times TWO in this series! :)
7.     Are you a fast and furious writer or do you take you time to brainstorm out the plot and characters?

No, I don’t plan out my books or have it all completely “figured out” because if I did then I wouldn’t be able to write it because it would be no “fun” for me! I write much like I read. I don’t know what happens next until I turn the page. It’s so much fun when the story or characters take you in a direction you hadn’t considered and then I write as fast as I can to see where the twist takes me and how it impacts the overall story. So if I knew everything before I wrote it, I’d no longer want to write it and it would bore me to tears!

8.     How long do you spend writing each book?

It varies WIDELY and is completely dependent on each individual story. There are some that have literally almost written themselves and it’s all I can do to keep up with the typing while others I labor over each and every word, striving to make it as perfect as I can. There’s definitely no “one answer” for this question. At least not for me!

9.     How do you deal with writer’s block?

I don’t believe in writer’s block. If I’m not writing, it’s for one of two reasons. Either I’m being lazy and or unmotivated and simply not writing. OR, something is wrong with the story and I veered off the tracks at some point hence me struggling in the present.  The solution to the first is obvious. The solution to the second reason is simply to go back and reread over everything I’ve already written, figure out where I went wrong and fix it.

10.  Are you left or right handed?


Right.


Author Info

Maya Banks is a #1 USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, Scottish historical romances. She is the author of the Breathless Trilogy, the KGI novels, the Sweet series, and the Colters Legacy novels.

She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a Calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter as well as in her Yahoo! Group.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Last month I posted a review of The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. I loved this book...except for the cover. 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 


Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

I had issues with the vertical text and the font. Turns out I wasn't the only one. Several of you agreed with me. I'm also glad to report that the cover for The Winner's Crime, which is set to be released in March 2015, is much better. 

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them

Gone is the vertical text (thank you!) and I'm much more impressed with the blue dress vs the pink scheme. Not only does it stand out more, I think the deeper color fits more with the character of Kestrel. I'm very excited about The Winner's Crime and if you haven't given The Winner's Curse a chance yet then you are missing out!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

7 YA novels that are on my radar (and should be on yours)!

There are lots of great YA books coming out this Fall but a few have been popping up everywhere. I have listed the ones I keep hearing the most about. These are the ones I can't wait for and will devour immediately. Now I just have to wait patiently for my hold at my library to come up.

Which book are you highly anticipating this Fall?




Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodges
Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.


I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.


 Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . 
.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty...no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.


Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

SPOTLIGHT: A Princess by Christmas by Jennifer Faye


Displaying A-Princess-by-Christmas-Jennifer-Faye.jpgA Princess by Christmas
By: Jennifer Faye
Releasing October 1st, 2014
Harlequin



A royal kiss under the mistletoe…

Displaying Cover.jpgPrince Alexandro Castanovo arrives in snowy New York intent on protecting his royal family from scandal. And when Reese Harding—down-to-earth and heart-stoppingly beautiful—finds room for him at her inn, it seems like the perfect twist of fate.

Not long ago Reese's world came crumbling down, shaking her foundations. But this enigmatic stranger intrigues her! She's learned to be wary of secrets…but when she discovers Alex's true identity, might there be enough magic in the air to make this regular American girl a princess by Christmas…?



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Displaying Jennifer Faye.jpgAward-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming romances. Jennifer has won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous awards. Now living her dream, she resides with her patient husband, amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter is off chasing her own dreams) and two spoiled cats. She'd love to hear from you via JenniferFaye.com




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