Archive for September, 2012

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is hosted by BookJourney.
 
Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!
 
This is the first It’s Monday that I’m participating in since I created The Paranormal Palace.  So far I don’t have very much content up yet.  I’ve got a couple of reviews posted and I have a couple more scheduled for later in the week.  I’ll be posting links to my current content below.
 
What I’m Reading:
 
Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1)
 
Plan for the week:
 
~ Create the “Laci Recommends” feature.
~ Create a Twitter account for The Paranormal Palace.
~ Move relevant reviews/posts over from my old blog.
~ Visit at least 10 new to me blogs.
~ Respond to all comments that are left on the blog.
 
Posted Content:
 
Book Review ~ Into the Dreaming by Karen Marie Moning
Book Review ~ Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Book Review ~ First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Discussion Post ~ State of the Blog Address (repost)
 
Upcoming Content:
 
Book Review ~ The Selection by Kiera Cass posting 10/2
Book Review ~ Ballad by Maggie Steifvater posting 10/4
 
 
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First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Genre: PNR/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Format Reviewed: EPUB file
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: February 1, 2011
ISBN 10: 0312662750
ISBN 13: 9780312662752
Source: Nook Lending Group on Goodreads

Rating: 4/5

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper
Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.
This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

I had read so many great reviews for this series of books that I had to get my hands on a copy of them. When they were first released they didn’t really trip my trigger because I wasn’t reading a lot of PNR at the time but now I’m reading significantly more and I’m really glad that I gave this series a shot.

Charlie is the Grim Reaper. Meaning she can see the dead and they pass through her on their way to the other side. Charley is also a part-time PI and with her skills and “gift” has helped her father and her uncle, who are/were cops, solve numerous cases. Charley has a wicked sense of humor too. She’s been having some issues recently with someone invading her dreams and having their wicked way with her in dreamland.

Then there is Reyes. What is Reyes? Well I’m no going to tell you, you’ll just have to read this book to find out. Though I can tell you that he is TOTAL Alpha male and sex on two legs. And he keeps Charlie on her toes in dreamland.

Overall, I was beyond impressed with this book. I’m kicking myself for not getting to this series sooner. It’s chock full of humor, action and a kick ass heroine. I don’t know about you but I like my heroine’s strong and if they are kick ass that’s an added bonus! Each character in this book brought something to the table, even if they were little itty bitty secondary characters. Beside’s Charlie and Reyes my other favorite character was Angel. He’s one of Charlie’s partners in crime. Seriously, if you haven’t read this book pick it up NOW!

 

This discussion post is one of my personal favorites from my old Book Blog.  I wrote it at a time when yet again, shit had hit the fan in Book Blogging Land. This was originally post on April 8, 2010 but I think that the content is still relevant.  Like I state in the State of the Blog Address, I triple dog dare you!

The State of the Blog Address ~ April 8, 2010

I’ve been going through some of the back log that is my google reader and I’ve come across several posts about the current “condition” of the book blogging community. I’ve noticed it while I’ve been out and about visiting people as well and it saddens me that something that is supposed to be fun has turned into something, that in some cases, that is nasty and very un-fun. So in advance I would like to thank Becky from The Bookette for her Honesty post, McKenzie from The Book Owl for her Blogger Relations post, Staysi at Lost in Ink for her observations post, and In Which A Girl Reads for her posts here, and here.

So here it is….The State of the Blog Address:

I started book blogging way back in September of 2009 (which really isn’t all that long ago) so I’m not really a new blogger but I’m not really an “old” blogger either. The thing that I LOVED about joining this community was that I was expressing my love for a hobby with other book bloggers out there all over the world. I wanted to read, review and post as many books as I possibly could. I wanted to gather followers as fast as I possibly could. I wanted everyone to like me.

 But now that I’ve been blogging for a while now I have come to realize some things, some of them good, some of them bad and some them are just plain UGLY:

1. You don’t gather followers faster than the speed of light. If you are a new blogger who is reading this…It’s true. In the beginning I started to follow blogs just hoping that maybe they would follow me back…In some cases yes that did happen, but in MANY that was NOT the case. It takes time and a little elbow grease to develop a committed readership. In all honesty, recently I have taken to COMPLETELY IGNORING the number of followers I have. I really don’t blog to gather followers…I blog because it is and should be a fun HOBBY.

2. Keeping it REAL can lead to GREAT discussion. I came across a comment while I was reading one of the posts on the subject at hand, where the blogger was afraid to post an honest opinion of the books they were reading because they didn’t want someone to disagree with them and start a “conflict.” In the beginning I was like this too, but I quickly said “nuts to this” and started keeping it REAL. If I don’t like a book I say “hey I didn’t like the book” but I give reasons why I didn’t like the book. If I LOVE/LIKED a book I say “hey I really liked this book” and I give reasons why. By keeping it real you can start some really interesting discussions about all sorts of different types of books.

3. Don’t post just to post. I did this in the beginning and I think in the long run it hurt me. I was reading, reviewing and posting reviews just to get them posted and I can honestly say that I have learned from that mistake. If your going to blog about books, then blog about books YOU feel are blog worthy. If your going to participate in meme’s do them because you enjoy them and just as a reason to get another post out there. If you’ve got nothing, it’s ok NOT to post. In the long run posting just to post WILL burn you out.
 
4. Don’t follow blogs just to follow blogs. This is one that I can say I am VERY guilty of. I am currently following close to 300 blogs. I bet you can only imagine what my google reader looks like?!…Trust me it’s a very scary place right now. JUST DON’T DO IT!

5. Since when are new bloggers NOT worth the effort and why is it assumed that they are just in it for the “FREE BOOKS and ARC’s”? This would be one of those “just plain ugly” things I’ve observed recently. We all were new bloggers at some point! I bet there are a bunch of new bloggers out there who don’t even know that there are such things as “free books and ARC’s” and are just blogging because they enjoy it and want to share what they like and don’t like with the rest of us. New bloggers are MOST definately worth the effort. I’ve just recently found a couple of blogs that I am now following who are new bloggers and I LOVE what they have to say. We ALL love encouragement so why aren’t we encouraging new bloggers? Why are we assuming the worst about them?

Ok, so I don’t turn this into a big ole “we suck and must be punished” post I am going to stop right there with my observations and tell you what I am going to do about it here on my blog and THEN I am going to go and issue a challenge…Just cause it’s my blog and I can do that sort of thing on my blog.
 Recently, I have found that posting has turned into a second “job” for me. I’ve already got one of those and really don’t need another one thank you very much. So from now on I’m only going to post when I have something to say or a really awesome photo that I took and I want to share with you. So yes, there will be LESS posting in the future but it should be about quality and NOT quantity right?

Because I’m following close to 300 blogs I will be going through and unfriending some. I NEED to get myself down to a manageable number…It sucks logging into my google reader and finding I have over 1000 unread posts (trust me it has happened). If I do unfriend you it’s not because I don’t enjoy your blog…I just need to get things under better control around here. If you feel the need to unfriend me that is unfortunate but I won’t hold it against you either…We’ve all got to do what we’ve got to do sometimes.
 I’m only going to participate in meme’s that interest me. I’m not going to post just to have a post up. I hope this one is pretty self explanatory.
 Now that I will be following less blogs I am hoping that this will give me more time to get out there and comment. I’m sure that some of you have noticed that I don’t comment very often. There is a reason for this….I’m feeling overwhelmed.
 I am here to encourage new bloggers. If your a new blogger, drop me an e-mail  if you want…I check it religiously and I promise to get back to you….it doesn’t even have to be book related. Making new friends is ALWAYS fun. If you have questions about blogging feel free to approach me…I’m no expert but I can share what has worked for me with you.
 If your an older blogger, drop me an e-mail if you want. Again making new friends is always fun. Who doesn’t like getting an e-mail that just says “hey have a great day!”? I an open to constructive critisim when it comes to my blog but please know that if you are rude, malicious or nasty I will respond in the same fashion. My blog is my space to say what I want and on MY blog turn about is fair play. (Not trying to be rude, nasty or mean. Just honest.)
I’m on Twitter, Goodreads, Bookmooch and many different Ning groups too. I really don’t think that there is anyone that I haven’t friended.

So my challenge to you is this: Go out and drop some random blogger an e-mail. Go out and leave a new blogger an encouraging comment. I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU!

Stacking the Shelves #1

Posted: September 29, 2012 in Stacking the Shelves
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly bookish meme to feature all the books that have made their way into our homes this week!   Please feel free to leave links to your STS posts in the comments section below.  I can hardly wait to meet see what everyone got this week!
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.
 
Bound Books:
 
Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1)
All the creatures of the night gather in “the Hollows” of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party…and to feed.

Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining – and it’s Rachel Morgan’s job to keep that world civilized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she’ll bring ’em back alive, dead…or undead.

 
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
THE GREATEST FANTASY EPIC OF OUR TIME

The dark, fearsome Ringwraiths are searching for a Hobbit. Frodo Baggins knows that they are seeking him and the Ring he bears—the Ring of Power that will enable evil Sauron to destroy all that is good in Middle-earth. Now it is up to Frodo and his faithful servant, Sam, with a small band of companions, to carry the Ring to the one place it can be destroyed: Mount Doom, in the very center of Sauron’s realm.
 

The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)
The Fellowship was scattered. Some were bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Some were contending with the treachery of the wizard Saruman. Only Frodo and Sam were left to take the accursed Ring of Power to be destroyed in Mordor–the dark Kingdom where Sauron was supreme. Their guide was Gollum, deceitful and lust-filled, slave to the corruption of the Ring. Thus continues the magnificent, bestselling tale of adventure begun in The Fellowship of the Ring, which reaches its soul-stirring climax in The Return of the King.
 
The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3)
While the evil might of the Dark Lord Sauron swarms out to conquer all Middle-earth, Frodo and Sam struggle deep into Mordor, seat of Sauron’s power. To defeat the Dark Lord, the One Ring, ruler of all the accursed Rings of Power, must be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom. But the way is impossibly hard, and Frodo is weakening. Weighed down by the compulsion of the Ring, he begins finally to despair.
 
E-Books:
 
Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1)
My name is Gin, and I kill people. They call me the Spider. I’m the most feared assassin in the South — when I’m not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.
Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I’m battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction…especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin, #2)
Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.

I’m Gin Blanco.

 You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.

 
 

Into the Dreaming (with bonus material)

Into the Dreaming by Karen Marie Moning


Genre: Paranormal Romance/Historical Romance
Format: Hardcover, 253 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: April 24, 2012
ISBN 10: 0345535227
ISBN 13: 9780345535221
Source: Personal Purchase

Rating: 4/5

Aspiring romance novelist Jane Sillee was completely in love with her fantasy man — the hot and strapping dark-haired Highlander who’d been coming to her in her dreams for years and inspired her sensual flights of literary fancy.

But it was more than her imagination that conjured up the brilliantly woven tapestry sporting the spitting image of her magnificently arrogant warrior. It was more than a dream that transported her to medieval Scotland to break an evil spell. And it was more than she could handle when she found herself wrapped in the muscular arms of Aedan MacKinnon, who had his own fantasies to fulfill…

Review:

I read this book a couple of months ago. I even started writing the review for it even. Then my stress level sky rocketed and I just wasn’t into writing reviews anymore. Now I’m feeling much better and it’s now time that I get around to writing reviews again.

What I really liked about this book was that it was that there were historical romance elements mixed in with paranormal romance elements. I hadn’t read any of the other books in the Highlander series prior to this book so I didn’t really now what to expect but I was really happy with the outcome. Our main characters each have their own set of demons. Aedan has been bound to the Unseelie King for 500 years and Jane is struggling to get her book noticed by publishers.

I really enjoyed the involvement of the Seelie Queen and the Unseelie King in this story. In addition to their involvement with the main characters, it does appear that the two have history together. Makes for interesting times 😉

In the beginning of the book Aedan is a bit of a tyrant and isn’t very like able. Then Jane comes into his world and shakes everything up, whether he likes it or not. As the book progresses I really liked how Aedan grew from a tyrant to a loving individual. I think of the books that I’ve read lately, Jane is one of my favorite heroine’s. She’s thrust back in time and gets stuck with this tyrant and she’s bound to make him love her, because they have met before…In the Dreaming.

There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about this book. I’m having a hard time coming up with things I didn’t care for. I guess the one thing that I can come up with was the length. I thought it was a little short. Other than that I really enjoyed it very much. If you haven’t read this book I highly recommend it!

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Release Date: August 7, 2012
ISBN 10: 1599906953
ISBN 13: 9781599906959

Rating: 4.75/5

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.



Review:

I was pretty much sucked into Throne of Glass from the first page.  Our heroine Celaena, is a well known, well trained assassin who has is currently imprisoned at a salt mine.  But Prince Dorian offers Celaena a chance at freedom, compete against 23 other criminals to determine who will be the King’s assassin.  What really drew me into the story was that I was going to be inside our skilled assassin’s head.  I was really looking forward to seeing what Celaena was thinking and feeling.

But I did find a fault in this seemingly “perfect” novel.  I felt at points the story was dragging on, to the point that I felt the story was not progressing.  Honestly, for me anyway, the first 100 or so pages felt a little “info dumpy” to me.  So I set the book down for a day and went about life.  When I picked Throne of Glass back up, I was able to tear through the rest of the book no problem.

One of the things that I really liked about Throne of Glass was that all the key “players” in the book were all very complex.  Just when you think you have them figured out the author throws you a curve ball and your back to square 1.  I really thought Celaena was a really well written “bad ass” heroine.  Even though we (the readers) don’t get to really see the assassin side of her, the subjects of the kingdom and the Royal family are all aware of her “dark side.”  I wonder if we will get to see more of the “dark side” in later books?  Prince Dorian is probably my favorite prince so far this year.  He’s the anti-royalty royal. Then there is his loyal friend and Captain of the Guard, Choal.  I think these two guys complement each other very nicely. I really enjoyed seeing how each of the guys interacted with Celaena.  There is a hint at a potential love triangle, but honestly, there was minimal romance in this first book.

The place where this book takes place at one time had magical elements to it.  I was hoping to read about some pretty serious fantasy elements, but then we learn that the King came through and did away with anything or anyone who maybe magical.  Needless to say, my high hopes for “pretty serious fantasy elements” were kind of dashed a little bit.  I’m not going to say that there isn’t any magic in the book, but what there is is VERY hush hush.

Overall, I was really happy with Throne of Glass.  The ending was completely crazy, in a good way, which I enjoyed immensely.  If I were going to recommend this book to someone I would recommend it to a person who enjoys their heroines with a set of “stones.”  Likes their hero’s slightly unorthodox and likes a little “dark magic.”