Saturday, March 28, 2009

Let It Snow!

The kids are on Spring Break today. Can't you tell by the pictures I took just a little bit ago? Ignore the date on the pic, I don't know how to change the date!

Bear playing snowball baseball with the neighbor!
Miss Beautiful not impressed with the snow, because she was cold! Look how those blue eyes stand out!
It was my 10 year anniversary yesterday, and Spring Break is ending. I PROMISE, back to the regularly scheduled blogging as soon as life gets back to normal!

Take Care

Friday, March 20, 2009

Contests And More Coming Soon

I've spent the last week at the school for the most part. I volunteer a lot and we had our fundraiser and Spring pictures this week, so I felt like I worked there without pay!

Anyway, will be back very shortly (hoping tomorrow but may be Sunday) with some great give a ways and reviews!

Take Care

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Grave Sins by Jenna Maclaine

Before I start in I want to let you know that I'm teaming up with Author Island again and will kick off the contest tomorrow. Also, thanks for the well wishes for Miss Beautiful. She's doing somewhat better, but her teacher requested she not return to school yet. Apparently, there have been a lot of absences in her class, and most of them are because of a different ailment. So, in an attempt to keep her already weakened immune system safe we're keeping her home one more day. Though, nothing gets done when she's home but a whole lot of cuddling!

Grave Sins by Jenna Maclaine

In the arms of her lover Michael, Cin Craven has found satisfaction for her most primal longings, reaching heights of pleasure no mere human could ever imagine. She has also found a purpose for her unearthly powers. Cin is a member of the Righteous, a band of slayers that hunts down vampires who inflict evil upon the world. With Michael by her side, Cin's latest mission brings her face-to face with Marrakesh, a beautiful, half-mad vampire queen charged with slaughtering humans. If she's found guilty, Marrakesh will pay with her life. But Cin is convinced that someone - or something - far more ruthless is trying to steal the queen's throne. It's a mission that will put Michael and Cin against each other for the first time, awakening their darkest instincts and testing their love like never before...

I've talked about the first book in this series and you can see that here. As you can see, I enjoyed it very much. I just love it when a debut author is this good. Love it!

In Grave, it's been thirteen years since Cin has joined the Righteous and she has had no regrets with her life or her mate in all of this time. But when Drake, the Sentinel of the Dark Council shows up at Cin's old homestead (her yearly vacation spot) to tell the Righteous they have been called to investigate the disappearance of, and death of, humans in Marrakesh. While this is what the Righteous do, this particular assignment has them all a bit nervous. The suspect is none other than the Queen of the area, Marrakesh, who can see the truth of a persons soul by touch. The "gift" has turned the Queen to bouts of madness and it has long been thought that Marrakesh, not her King is the person that metes out the punishment and truly does the ruling.

But Cin has her doubts about the Queen's guilt and the Righteous find more questions than answers and danger at every turn and no one can be trusted. Aside from the question of who is out to get the queen, Drake and Michael have a past and that threatens to tear apart the loving and trusting relationship that Cin and Michael have cultivated over the past years. Cin's aunt is after them, and plans to stop Cin from practicing magic. And it seems that no one truly is what they seem.

All fingers seem to point at magic, a magic that Cin can sense, but has no idea what it is or from where it came. A dark magic that may once and for all destroy the Righteous before they can destroy it.

In a page turning tale, Maclaine had me on the edge of my seat and unable to put the book down until the end, but I wasn't satisfied, I wanted more and I wanted it NOW! The unique blend of witch and vampire that is Cin, has this reader hooked and I can't wait to find out what's in store for us next!

If you haven't read Maclaine yet, I strongly suggest you get out there and pick up these two books, they are a definite must have for any shelf of fans of the Paranormal genre. You can also send me a quote for the quote of the day in my sidebar and be entered to win a copy of any book I talk about this month, that includes this one! Send quotes to novelreads @ gmail . com (ya know, without the spaces!).

Take Care

Monday, March 9, 2009

Miss Beautiful has pneumonia again, bacterial this time. I'll try and get on here tomorrow to do some posting, but she's been needing momma a lot these last few days!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Claiming The Rancher's Heart by Cindy Kirk

Claiming The Rancher's Heart by Cindy Kirk


The sleepy town of Wildwoods* was abuzz with romance ever since a doctoral student decided to come there and find everyone's perfect match. When sophisticated city girl Stacie Summers was paired with rugged cowboy Josh Collins, they both thought it was a terrible mistake. After all, they didn't have a thing in common...other than the spark that instantly flared between them.

But even though Josh thought his survey result was way off base, he couldn't push the gregarious Stacie from his mind. And Stacie's low opinion of ranchers inched up with her heart rate whenever Josh was around. Could this unlikely friendship turn into something even unlikelier - love?

* Not sure why the name on the BCC doesn't quite match the one in the book...

Confession time - this is the first category Romance I've ever read. GASP! I know, right?! I have a few in a box somewhere (some one gave them to me), but I've never read them. Why, you may ask? Well, I guess I just don't have a good reason. I've made assumptions about the category as a whole, and while I'm never proud of myself for making assumptions, I continue to do so. First of all, I've ASSumed that the shorter length would make the story pacing too rushed for me to enjoy. Secondly, I figured that the shorter length would mean the ending would be less than belivable because, really how could two people reasonably fall in love within the span of roughly 200 pages? Thirdly, I felt that the characters would feel two diminsional and be lacking in any plausible traits. Lastly, I feared that I'd want more, and not be satisfied.

Well, all but my last assumption turned out to be just that - ASSumption. When I entered a contest over on Kirk's joint blog, The Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills, and did not win, but Kirk ended up giving everyone that entered a prize of some sort, I figured now was as good as time as any to give a category a chance. I'm pleased I did.

Stacie has come to Sweet River, with her two roommates, Anna, Sweet River native, and Lauren who is working on her dissertation project of male-female compatibility. When Lauren's computer program spits out Stacie a match, and that match turns out to be rancher Josh, Stacie is less than pleased. She doesn't like ranchers, "She liked her men more artsy, preferring the starving-poet look over a bulky linebacker any day." It doesn't matter that when she first meets him her body immediately reacts. It doesn't matter, because she's on a mission to find her "bliss" and a rancher like Josh was not in her plans.

Josh isn't much happier with Stacie than she with him; he's been burned before by a woman just like her, when his ex-wife decided he wasn't enough. But friendship comes so naturally for the two that it becomes harder and harder for the two to ignore the flame that's growing hotter and hotter between them every time they meet.

I really enjoyed Josh and Stacie and wish I had more time with them. Wish I could have watched a little longer as they discover that past mistakes and future dreams don't have to stop one's true "bliss". And aside from a few choppy moments of dialogue that I felt didn't really jive, Kirk has made a category reader out of me, and I can't wait to read more from this very talented author.

For a Romance that's all heart read this book. Then look for the next book from Sweet River Your Ranch or Mine? in July.

Take Care

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Falling For Gracie by Susan Mallery

I got my books yesterday and all I want to do right now is read! I quit reading on the two books I already had started and have cracked open Evil In Carnations by Kate Collins! I LOVE Kate's books, if I haven't made that clear before now, and am so happy to finally have this book!

Falling For Gracie by Susan Mallery

First comes love, then comes marriage...

At least, that was Gracie's plan at the ripe old age of fourteen. She loved eighteen-year-old heartthrob Riley with a desperation that made her a town legend. Even now that she's all grown up, the locals in sleepy Los Lobos won't let her forget her youthful crush.

And how can she, when she's face-to-face with Riley at every turn? The onetime bad boy has come back to town seeking respectability - but the sparks that fly between them are anything but respectable! Gracie's determined to keep her distance, but when someone sets out to ruin both their reputations, the two discover that first love is sometimes better the second time around.

This is actually a re-issue. I read this book when it was first released, LOVED it, ended up giving it to my sister to read, and never saw it again. Oh, I've looked at the bookstore from time to time, to see if perhaps a stray copy was left on the shelves, but had had no luck. Until I saw the title with a shiny new cover! YAY! I snatched it up and read it again as soon as I got home.

Mallery has always been a hit or miss author with me. Most of her books I enjoy, but others just put me off so badly I think I may never read her again. But FFG has got to be up there as one of my all time favorite Romances.

I loved reading the lengths young Gracie had gone to to get her man. I laughed out loud at some of her stunts, and loved how the town pulled for Gracie at the tender age of fourteen because she knew how to love with her whole heart.

I hated that her mother sent her away and never let her come home. I hated that her sisters were such self-centered bitches. I hated the selfish way her family acted, and the way Gracie dearly wished she was part of their group.

I loved the tension between her and Riley. My heart ached for her when she realizes she'll never have the relationship she wants with her mom and sisters. I was furious when some one tried to ruin her cake business. And I cheered for her when all the pieces started to fall into place.

And that was how I knew this book was such a keeper. I felt these characters as if they were my neighbors. I was emotionally invested in the characters because Mallery's crafted them so incredibly well.

The banter between Gracie and Riley is easy and seems to flow freely. The relationships with Gracie and everyone around her are all so believable. The HEA had my heart smiling for days after and even now as I type this.

I fell for Gracie, and think that any reader of Romance should have this as a must read!

Take Care

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Daddy Daughter Ball

Ignore the date on the bottom of the pic, I'm not sure how to fix it! Anyway, last night was the annual Daddy Daughter Ball and The Hubs and Miss Beautiful were in attendance.

The Hubs bought our little Princess a corsage. They went out to eat first, then to the high school gym for the big dance, where they danced the night away. A good time was had by all!

And this pic, is from my weekend of fun. Friday night was GNO and we had an absolute blast! Last night, after the Ball, The Hubs took me and my friends out to see our favorite band play at a local club.

Back to books tomorrow!

Take Care