Friday, February 27, 2009

Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Fleur Savagar is the most beautiful woman in the everyone but herself. With her oversized hands and paddle boat feet, her streaky blond hair and funny green eyes, she lives a life filled with secrets that began before she was born. That was when her bewitching mother left home to find James Dean and met Errol Flynn instead. Now Fleur has to grow up quickly, and life won't make that easy.

Jake Koranda is both New York's most brilliant playwright and Hollywood's hottest actor. Difficult, talented, and tormented, he has no patience for international glamour girls, not even ones with beautiful bodies and smart-aleck mouths. But there's more to the Glitter Baby than shine, and Fleur's tougher than Hake expects. Even with the odds stacked against her, she's fiercely determined to discover the woman she's destined to be.

And ugly duckling who can't believe she's turned into a swan...A tough-guy movie star with a haunted past...In a land of broken dreams, can two unlikely lovers trust their hearts?

I'm a late SEP bloomer. I didn't start reading her until, oh, about three years ago? Four maybe. Anyway, whenever Aint She Sweet was released for the first time, that's when I started reading her. I fell in love. I loved Sugar Baby. I hated Winnie. I loved the fact that the book created such strong emotions in me. I was hooked on SEP. I immediately went to the library and read all the books by her they had. I pretty much loved just about every book by her since.

I have to say though, that I was less than impressed with GB. I know it's a re-issue with changes. I have not read the original so I can't tell you what any of those changes were. What I do know, is that I expected more of a Romance than what I felt this one was. I expected this to be mainly about GB and Jake, but it was a whole lot of back story of Glitter Baby's mother and her story. Granted, we needed all of that information for the whole convoluted plot to make sense, but still, I just did not feel this one.

It took me days to read this book. I mean, days. Usually I have an SEP read within hours, but I was reading GB for what seemed like forever. I just wanted it to end, but found myself unwilling to give up the reading simply because it was an SEP.

One of the main things that lead to my distaste for this one is the BCC. I haven't had a good ole BCC hate fest in a while, so let me just revel in the fact that I finally have one. As I said, I expected more of a Romance because of that, and the fact that SEP wrote the book. Granted, one of the things I love about SEP is her ability to blend Women's Fiction with Romance so seemlessly that the end result is an amazing read. There was just too much in this for me. Too much drama. Too much story. Ya know?

Anyway, I have SEP's What I Did For Love in my to read stack right now. I have much higher hopes for that one. I'm still a huge fan, so I won't let my distate of this one stop me from enjoying it!

Take Care

Thursday, February 26, 2009

MacGowan's Ghost by Cindy Miles

Don't forget to send me your favorite book quotes, they can be from any genre. I don't care, just so long as they're from a book. If you're name is drawn at the end of each contest month (25-24 of each month) then I'll send you some coffee and a book!

MacGowan's Ghost by Cindy Miles

It's Hard to leave the past behind when it keeps coming back to haunt you...

Odin's Thumb Inn and Pub may be owned by brooding Highlander Gabe MacGowan, but it is actually run by a crew of ornery ghosts, who aren't eager for their home to undergo a change in management. Gabe intends to sell the pub not only to give his son a more stable environment but to escape what really haunts him - his wife's death.

Leave it to fun-loving American Allie Morgan to come to Gabe's rescue. Hired to oust the sneaky spirits, who are chasing away potential buyers of the inn, Allie winds up winning the hearts of everyone in the Scottish seaside village, including those of the ghost of a sea captain and Gabe himself. Now all she has to do is find a way to help the sexy Highlander chase away his own ghosts.

I had dished the first two books Miles published while at d&D, click here for Spirited Away and here for Into Thin Air . As you can tell, I really enjoyed Spirited but had a few problems with Into. I never did pick up the third book Highland Knight, but only because it never was stocked at my local Wally World or the out of town bookstore I frequent, or else I probably would have read it. Anyway...

MacGowan's was a bit different from the previous two Miles books I had read, as it's not actually a ghost or other supernatural entity that is the hero, rather Gabe, the hero is haunted by the ghost of his late wife and also has a group of ghosties that have been a part of his life and that of the towns for as long as they can remember. As he's wanting to sale his pub, and the local ghosties don't want him and his son to leave, he hires Allie to get them to leave, or at least behave until he can find a buyer.

But as soon as Allie arrives she is immediately charmed by the lot of ghosties as well as the pub, the town and Gabe. Soon though, Allie understands that it isn't any undead soul that may need mending as much as it is Gabe's.

I have to say, that I really did enjoy the story, as Miles is a strong storyteller, and she weaves her stories well. BUT, I missed the medieval aspect. I missed the ghost getting the girl and becoming real. While I hate to discourage an author from going out and trying something different, I was fairly disappointed that the ghosts seemed to be mere ghosts in getting Gabe and Allie together.

Am I sorry I read it? Absolutely not. I found myself once again transported by Miles' strong characters and realistic dialogue. Miles is skilled with the written word and a great addition to any Romance readers shelves.

Am I glad that the next book out will be more of the Miles I had come to enjoy? You bet! If only we could go back to the cutesie covers!

For a chuckle or two, and some down right heartwarming moments, I say grab MacGowan's Ghost. I think you'll be glad you did!

Take Care

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Monthly Coffee and a Book Contest

Wanna win a book and a container of flavored coffee? All you have to do is e-mail me with one of your favorite book quotes for my new Quote of the Day. The quote can be funny, sad, silly, touching, sexy, anything, just so long as it's one of your favorites. Send as many quotes as you like, only the first 10 of each month however will go into the drawing.

Each month, I will draw a winner for all the names who sent me a quote. That's all you have to do to win. So send me an e-mail to novelreads at gmail dot com (you know the drill) with the quote, who said it and in what book. Contests run from the 25th of each month to the 25th of the next. Coffee will be your choice of one of these or one of these and the book will be your choice of one I've talked about that month.

Authors, want to sponsor the contest one month? Simply send me an e-mail to same one above. I'll supply the coffee, you can supply the book :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Romance With Kristan Higgins...

... her books, that is, Kristan Higgins' books. And let me just state, this isn't a new thing, either. Nope, I've been in love with Higgins' since I sat down with Millie and read her story in Fools Rush In. I think I've probably scared a few people in bookstores as I hand sell these books. I personally have bought at least 8 copies of FRI and multiples of Catch of the Day and Just One Of The Guys. I send them to friends. I give them to my sisters. I gave one as a teacher gift last year. This is not a joke, people. I love these books so much that if The Hubs ever leaves me, I will marry them! The last three trips to the bookstore I've managed to talk over 5 people into buying her books, only to have my favorite sales lady tell me they came back in and asked if I had more recommendations because they LOVED those Higgins' books.

And it's not just because I'm quoted (though I no longer get the credit for them) in the front of all but Fools Rush In! NO. I adore these books and let me tell you why - Higgins doesn't write characters in a novel, Higgins writes your best friend. Your neighbor. You. She crafts stories that you live. Stories that feel like you're with Millie, Maggie, Chastity, and Grace, laughing and crying with them as they discover themselves and love. So indulge me, if you will (and as a side note: I picture myself saying that in a very Rocky Horror Picturesque way), as I gush my love of all things Higgins.

You can see what I'm quoted from by clicking here, and then read the review I did of this book by clicking here there's even a bit of an interview included in with that review. None of my feelings have changed. In fact, I may actually love this book even more. You all know I've quit smoking. Now I'm trying to get fit and stay in shape - by running. That's right, Chari-Dee is running. It's scary how bad I am. I mean, me and "in shape" aren't even in the same universe right now. What's really funny though, is that if you want a glimpse of what me running is like, pick up this book. Millie will have you laughing your head off, I know I was, until I started running that is. I just finished a re-read of Fools and my heart still broke with Millie and my heart still smiled at the end, just as if it was the first time I had ever read it. For me, Fools is a must for any true Romance reader.

You can see where I'm quoted from for this book by clicking here. What can I say, I loved Maggie's story as well. If not as much as Millie's, it still had the same effect. I closed the page and immediately missed my friend, Maggie. I had a smile in my heart and on my face and just plain felt good about life and love in general. I bawled my eyes out while reading this book. I mean wept people, huge wracking sobs that had my husband a bit worried, and damn I have to go re-read this one now. Who hasn't loved the wrong person and have that love not reciprocated? Maggie's story, like Millie's that will have you laughing and crying and just so darn glad to be a reader. Plus, Higgins won the Rita for this one, so you really should be reading it!

Now it's time for a small confession and one I'm not very proud of. It took me a while to get this book. I was working a lot of hours. Our local Wally World (only place to buy books that's close) did not have it. dee had told me she'd send me a signed copy and she forgot. I was getting irritated. It had seemed like the fates did not want me to have this book. Quotes in it be damned, I was not to have this book. Then finally I had time to run out of town and go book shopping. I grabbed this book as well as many, many, many others, only to not read this one right away. I was mad that it took so long for me to get it. Mad that I have loved and cherished all her other books, bought them as close to release as possible, only to have to wait forever for this one. Mad that it was getting rave reviews everywhere I turned and I still hadn't had it in my hands. Let's face it, I was a big baby throwing a pity party. I had it for a couple of months before I actually read it on our trip to Texas at Christmas time. The minute I reached The End, I opened it up and read it all over again. Then I was mad for a completely different reason, because it had taken me so damn long to grow up and read the thing!

Holy Crap! I LOVE Chastity and Trevor. Lovelovelove them. I didn't think any one could replace Millie in the top spot of favorite, but I was wrong, Chastity had me from go. And, like Millie, Chastity runs in this book. Unlike Millie, Chastity is a very verra good runner. I wanna be Chastity when I grow up. I already have my Trevor, but I'm nowhere near as cool as my new best friend Chastity. This book goes with me everywhere. It's in my purse almost constantly and every long(ish) trip we take, I'm reading this. The spine is wearing out. It really is sad, but in a good kinda way, right? I've bought copies and sent them to friends. This is one of the books that I nearly scared the book store customer with my recommendation. I'm sure I looked a bit like a fanatic while expelling the virtues of Just One Of The Guys. This book has gone from me being mad at it, to me loving it for all eternity. It has surpassed just about every book I've read and landed itself as Numero Uno on my Keeper Shelf. I'm giddy just thinking about it!

Upon the release of Higgins' latest book, too good to be true, I wasn't foolish enough to wait this time. I rushed out to the book store and nabbed it up. I read it the minute I got home. I enjoyed it, but hate to say that Chastity kind of stole the show from Grace. I really did enjoy just about every aspect of Grace and her story, but her irrational worship of her younger sister kind of bothered me. While still a definite keeper and a book I'm sure to re-read multiple times, tgtbt and Grace just didn't grab me has hard as Millie and Chastity. But I definitely recommend this one!

Now tell me, am I the only one who goes nuts about certain authors and their books? Are there any books you absolutely adore and can read over and over and over again?

Take Care

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bragging Auntie

Just wanted to share these pics my sister just e-mailed me. I don't get to see my Texas family much, and I miss them. Look how BEAUTIFUL my youngest niece is. I promise, back to books tomorrow!


I want to thank everyone for the kind words of sympathy on the loss of my cousin. I must admit, that the funeral hit me a little harder than I had expected. There have been a lot of changes in my life this past week - for instance, I quit my job and am back to being a full time mom again. Now, if the volunteering would slow down a bit I will be able to be more regular here, where I really want to be. My last major function of the year is tomorrow so it won't be long!

I am working on a post, but may not get it up until tomorrow evening, so I wanted to say a quick thanks, and let everyone know that prizes have all been shipped earlier this week. Should be arriving soon.

Take Care

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Cousin - May He Rest In Peace

My cousin died yesterday. He was killed in an accident at work. From what I know, he was working on scaffolding when the storm kicked up faster than expected and blew him off. He will be missed.

I was around 11 or 12 when he was born *I think* I can't tell you exactly. I remember being at the hospital, trying to keep his older brother amused and I can remember hearing him cry one of his first cries. I remember him as a cute little ragamuffin with the blondest of blond ringlet curls, and a smile that promised mischief. He was a loving little guy, but whoo boy did he like to be ornery!

I remember that, but I can't say that I really knew the young man he had become. I know he was to deploy over seas soon. I know he had an absolute shit for dad, and not much more for a mother the first few years of his life. I know that, despite, or perhaps in spite, of that, he was a sweet kid. I know my parents would drive the hour or so out of town ever so often to take him and his brothers out to buy new clothes and just spend some loving time with them.

I know that he was a sweet kid. I know that, despite his fathers faults, he loved him and saw something good. I know that, if not for him, his father may not have found a way to act half decent. And I know without him, my mother worries very much about her baby brother and how he will be now that the one son out of three that loved him is gone.

I know that part of my family is gone and I feel it in my heart. My family may be large, but I find each and every one of them necessary and irreplaceable.

I know that he is with his true Father and that He is holding him and seeing to his happiness. I know that he is looking on us with love and I know that Heaven is blessed with one more angel. I know this, but it doesn't stop me from wishing that just once more I could have hugged that big bear of a young man and made sure he understood how loved he was.

Take Care

Reviews to follow tomorrow.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

And the winner Is...

Congrats! E-mail me at novelreads at gmail dot com (ya know the drill) with your snail mail addy and choice of your favorite flavor of coffee!

AND, since there were quite a few entries, Miss Beautiful wanted to pick more names, so:



if you'll send me your snail mail addy and your choice of ONE of the books I had up for grabs, I'll send you a copy as well, compliments of my beautiful daughter.

For everyone else, check back often, I plan on holding contests more often, because it makes me happy to give good books, and times are tough, I need to get with the happy things!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Last Day To Enter

To Enter, just leave me a comment here! You could win the following:

Dogs And Goddesses by Jennifer Crusie, Lani Diane Rich and Anne Stuart.

At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost

Mistress of Pleasure by Delilah Marvele

Wages of Sin by Jenna Maclaine

And your choice of one of these flavored coffees.

So hurry and enter to win. I'll close the contest at midnight tonight.

Take Care

Monday, February 2, 2009

WIn Dogs And Goddesses by Jenny Crusie, Anne Stuart and Lani Diane Rich

OK, so crappy week with severely sick daughter. Can't find What I Did For Love at any store near me in my little piece of nowhere Kansas. Did my taxes today and discovered it would be more beneficial to us as a whole if I quit my job. Just crappy all the way around lately. BUT, I was lucky enough to find this book yesterday, a book I've been drooling over! And I'm loving it.

SO, since it's brought some happiness to me in my crap filled days lately, I'm making it the final book to go in my prize package to make some one else happy, especially with tax time here!!! You won't be getting mine, as it will already be on my keeper shelf before the contest ends!

So, to read more about this fantastic book you can view the website Dogs and Goddesses or the authors individual sites. Jenny Crusie , Anne Stuart , Lani Diane Rich

Quick Note: All books will be new unless specified and unsigned, I'll be shipping them straight from an online store.

Novel Chats Paranormal Style - Part the First

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes going out to Miss Beautiful. We were pretty scared for a while. She has pneumonia, strep poisoning and scarlet fever. Thanks to a shot of Rocephin at the hospital and heavy doses of twice daily antibiotic she's on the mend. And although we had a note saying she could return to school today, the school thought it best that she rest one more day before trying it. I agree. She's still very congested and she tires very easily. And now, on with it!

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland
From The Author's Website:

Darkness will summon her…

Elizabeth Phoenix once used her unique skills as a psychic to help in the Milwaukee Police Department's fight against injustice. But when Liz's foster mother is found viciously murdered—and Liz is discovered unconscious at the scene—her only memory of the crime comes in the form of terrifying dreams...of creatures more horrific than anything Liz has seen in real life. What do these visions mean? And what in the world do they have to do with her former lover, Jimmy Sanducci?

To places she's never been before…

While the police question Jimmy in the murder, Jimmy opens Liz's eyes to a supernatural war that has raged since the dawn of time in which innocent people are hunted by malevolent beings disguised as humans. Only a chosen few have the ability to fight their evil, and Jimmy believes Liz is among them. Now, with her senses heightened, new feelings are rising within Liz—ones that re-ignite her dangerous attraction to Jimmy. But Jimmy has a secret that will rock Liz to her core…and put the survival of the human race in peril.…

I received this book quite some time ago, and truth be told, I almost didn’t read it. I had seen that Handeland was a NYT Bestseller and that it was part of a series from the cover, and just assumed (I have to learn to quit that!) that it was a mid-series novel. Plus, I had never read Handeland before and the touting of bestseller always makes me nervous when I haven’t read the author before. Anyway, with a tip from a Yahoo! Group I belong to from a fellow reviewer, I went ahead and read it. They had enjoyed the book, plus I was seeing a lot of reviews – all good – all over the net. That, coupled with the fact that this was the FIRST book in a series had me cracking the spine.

All in all, I enjoyed the book. The concept is exceptional, but the writing I found to merely mediocre. While enjoyed the actual plot, the characters left me somewhat cold. I did, eventually warm up somewhat to the people of this fantastic world, but unfortunately, it didn’t last long. I’ll definitely give the second book a try, but it’s not one I will be rushing to the stores to own. I give this one a C.

Blood Bargain by Maria Lima


Keira Kelly has settled in at Wild Moon Ranch with handsome Adam Walker, her vampire lover, but her life is not so hot. Not only is Keira still struggling with the Change that will bring her an as of yet unknown paranormal power, but Adam’s avoiding intimacy and mysteriously growing weak. At least she has Tucker, her 1200-year-old shapeshiting ex-Viking brother, around to help. When a ranch hand is reported missing and some teens disappear, Keira and Tucker have a heap of unexpected trouble piled on ‘em. There’s a lot of weird doing down around Rio Seco, Texas, and after Keira and Tucker stumbled across some dangerous clues in an abandoned cemetery, things get even stranger…

Bargain is the second book in the Blood Lines series, and I had talked about he first book, Matters of the Blood here. I can’t link to a purchase button right now, as Bargain and Matters were both Juno releases and as you know, they’ve partnered with Pocket Books, According to Lima’s blog though, it looks like they should get re-printed from Pocket later in the year.

When I read Matters it was a dark tale. Terrifying yet witty. Scary yet Romancy. I had expected Bargain to be the same and was eager to delve into this richly written world with its complex characters yet again. I quickly noticed one thing – this wasn’t the world and the character I had left when Matters closed. Keira seemed more fluff in this book. She had apparently gotten used to the good life with Adam, and lost all of her edge. Even when the mystery starts, the lack of characteristics that made Keira so complex and fantastic in the first book left a huge gaping hole in this fictional world. The tone was far lighter even when the plot would have left much room for some dark, kick ass Keira moments. All in all, the tone was entirely too different from the first book and left this reader feeling betrayed. The third book will be released in November and I’ll eagerly crack the spine in anticipation that the dark and twisted world, balanced perfectly with wit and humor has been restored, and the light, trying too hard to be comical Keira is gone. If this were the first book in a series, I would grade it much higher, but since the feel of the book and overall character assassination was too much for me to handle, I have to give this one a D. Lima can do better, she’s already proved that.

Don’t forget to enter the contest! You have two more days.

Take Care