Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

Since this is a back to the books giveaway, I'm thinking YA and NA books!!!  I'm giving away winners choice of any YA (Young Adult) or NA (New Adult) book up to $10.  Follow StuckInBooks and fill out the rafflecopter below!

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Now hop along to the next blog...

Delirium by Lauren Oliver ~ audio book review

Source: Purchased audio book from audible

My Summary:

Love causes the sickness but Lena can't help falling in love.  She grew up excited to be cured when she turned eighteen.  She never saw it coming and now no one can know.  If they find out then she will be cured earlier.  She wants every second possible to stay in love with him.  But as the lies she has been told all of her life starts to unravel, can she really be happy being cured at all?

My Thoughts:

5 stars - A delicious love story set where love isn't allowed

I'll start with the narrator since I listened to this book. Sarah Drew narrates this book and I enjoyed her presentation.  She does a good job with the voices and doesn't distract from the book.  That's high praise as far as I'm concerned.

The world that Lauren Oliver creates for Delirium is unique and compelling.  I can totally see how an extremest group could create an attitude of fear strong enough to cause such a extreme result.  Then control the information to prevent people from realizing what had happened.  I wonder sometimes if we are not headed for something like this as we, as a society, turn over our individual rights for the sake of safety or other equally good concepts.  So this world was believable to me.  It was incredible how those who had been "cured" didn't even see the state they were in.  Again, I could draw parallels to social problems where the cure is far worse than the problem.  I enjoyed the world.

The characters were fabulous.  I loved Alex.  He has a fun personality with a very sweet side.  One of my very favorite scenes was when he explains the "why me" to Lena.  All I'll say is that it involved a crazy dance around a statue missing a hand.  Made me smile.  Of course I love Lena too.  She has been raised to believe lies her whole life.  She resists changing that mind set but her internal dialogue is fabulous.  So normal, really, but that's what makes it so good.  I could see myself clinging to what I had alway believed in the face of evidence to the contrary.  It's human nature.  Makes her more real to me.

The story line was fast pasted and sweet.  They certainly didn't have instant love but instead developed a great relationship.  I loved how the story turned when I was expecting it to twist and twisted when I thought is was going to turn.  I did guess a few things right but, really, I read so much that I can usually guess most of it right.  Not this time.  Though I did see the cliffhanger coming.

That cliff hanger ending was heart breaking.  I do have book two and want very much to dig in but my review schedule will not allow it.  So I'm gonna put it in the next available slot so I can know something VERY important.  Hmmm... wonder if I can sneak in one or two chapters just to know.  Better not risk it.  This is the kind of book that if you start it you are gonna be up all night!!

Anyone who loves dystopia with a heavy dose of romance should LOVE Delirium!  Pick it up for sure.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Painted Blind by Michelle A. Hansen ~ Tour Stop PLUS Giveaway

I'm pleased to be part of the Painted Blind Book Tour!  

From Goodreads:

Seventeen years old and agoraphobic, Psyche Middleton vows her dad will never see the risqué photos she took during a summer modeling stint abroad, but one of them ends up on a billboard in her Montana hometown. Now everyone—especially her dad—can see it. And yet, somehow, those are the mundane things in her life because she is about to fall unexpectedly, head-over-heels in love with Erik, a mysterious young man who rescues her from a crowd of admirers, and who she’s never actually seen because…he can make himself invisible.

As strange as this may seem, it’s about to get even stranger. Erik takes her to his palace in an idyllic kingdom, and she is swept into the beauty and culture of his world, but his affection has one condition: she may not see him. Overtaken, intrigued, and still not wholeheartedly believing he’s real, Psyche is going to have to decide if she can love him blindly; because if she can’t, she may lose him forever.
My Thoughts:

3 stars -A complex version of Psyche and Eros, Painted Blind is a good story.

I've read several versions of the myth of Psyche and Eros.  Some were short and cute.  Some were set in historic times.  All were seeped in rich Greek Mythology.  This one had that same rich Mythology but a more modern feel.

I liked Eros a lot.  He makes some mistakes and he learns from them.  Of course he's gorgeous, how can the God of love not be?  But he is so much more then that.  I enjoyed his feelings for Psyche, not just his love but his tenderness, his thoughtfulness and his passion.  I really loved his mischievous side. Erik invisible was so fun. I missed him when he wasn't around, which was too often for my taste.

Psyche was an interesting sort.  She has some issues with heights and she struggles with that throughout the book.  She goes through some pretty tough challenges and grows up a lot over the course of the book.  She starts out as this typical kind of teenager but she's been in Europe all summer modeling.  Under the baggy clothes she wears at home, she has this rocking bod.  Her best friend is the popular social one of the two.  I wasn't sure how to reconcile all of that into one teenager.  I did like how she was strong and confident, standing up to some pretty intense cruelty.  She had a tender heart for those that had been wronged - as she had been.  Her trust wasn't easily won but once you had it she would do anything for you.  I like all of those characteristics.

I really loved some of the secondary characters.  Psyche's dad was one favorite.  I loved that he was this construction/business guy that was a fabulous cook.  I loved how he freaked out over Psyche but he wasn't mean about it.  You saw his love for his daughter.  There was one little detail at the end for him that really surprised me.  I really thought he was more down to earth.  Won't say what but I loved it.

This book had a lot going on.  The story is complex, twisting and turning with rich details.  There may have been a few too many sub-plots going on for my taste.  In the end, all the details were tied up and resolved.  I was pleased with the outcome of the book.

Enjoy Greek Mythology?  Then this is good choice.

****Tour Giveaways**** 

US only Print addition

a Rafflecopter giveaway

International 5 signed postcards and 10 eBooks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the rest of the tour here!!!

Swoon Thursday ~ 8/30/12

The fabulous girls over at YA Bound created this super HOT meme.  Here's how it works.

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering.

Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog! I want to know & so do the chicks at YABound!

It's been another really busy week and no new swoons for me, so I went to my favorite author for this weeks swoon.  In her adult book, Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn otherwise known as Jennifer L Armentrout, she gives us Chase and Madison.

His lips hovered over hers.

"No," he snarled.

Madison wasn't sure to whom he was talking, but then his mouth was crushing hers, and her world became him-the touch and feel of his lips pressing down, forcing hers to respond.  It wasn't a gentle kiss or a sweet exploration.  It was angry and raw, breathtaking and soul burning.  (Kindle location 916)

Yeah, you really did want more didn't ya?  Sorry about that. :)

What about you?  Any swoons this week?  Leave me a comment.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Inbetween by Tara Fuller ~ tour stop & GIVEAWAY

So happy to be part of the blog tour for  

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Source: Netgalley - thank you

My Summary:

Finn may be dead but his heart is very much alive and in love with Emma.  He'll do anything to protect her and she definitely needs to be protected from the evil he's responsible for unleashing.   Ever since the car accident that killed her father, Emma has survived one accident after another.  Believing she's crazy and trying to avoid life, Emma doesn't seem interested in boys that is until she meets the reaper.  How can a dead boy make her heart race like no living boy ever has?  If she's not crazy, then Finn is real and an evil is trying to kill her.  How can Finn keep Emma safe when the reaper rules say to stay out of it?  It may cost Finn the only thing he has left...his soul.

My Thoughts:

4 stars - He'll go through hell to prove that the strongest kind of love - his love for Emma- can't be snuffed out by death!  Finn convinced me.

Reaper stories - not such a fan... usually.  Not this time.  Loved the world that Tara build in this book.  It's a little of the normal afterlife lore but it adds this middle ground - this gray area called the inbetween.  I loved how unique that felt.  I will admit that it took me a bit to get the deets on what was going on with this different world, but when I did I liked it.

More than the world, the characters make this story rock.  One character in particular that is.  Finn.  He may think he is at fault for all things bad that happens to Emma but he is way too hard on himself and he is genuinely a kind soul.  His devotion to Emma is incredible.  It's not instata love cause they knew each other before but they do react to each others chemistry quickly! It's almost like they are two halves of the same whole, which is even said at one point in the story.  I truly loved Finn's love for Emma, what he was willing and what he did sacrifice for her.   It was perfect how he felt.  I did like Emma but not like I did Finn.  She was okay but I was much more happy when I was reading from Finn's POV.

Which brings me to the fabulousness that was reading from Finn's POV.  This book is split between Finn and Emma's POV.  I love that.  It's become my favorite type to read.  I really love reading the male POV and knowing what Finn was thinking was awesome.

The secondary characters were great too.  I loved Cash.  What a great name.  I think the ending set him up to be the focus of book 2, which I'm thinking might be a companion book.  I must say that I hope it is and I love reading series' like that.  The ending of this book was great - NO CLIFFHANGER.  I'm still very interested in this world and want to read book 2 but I'm not left in a puddle of goo as I mourn the wait between books.  Can I have more like that, please???

I will say that it took me a while to love this book.  The first part seemed slow to me but once I got past that, I raced through it and was hanging on the pages.

This book is a great choice for peeps that enjoy LOTS of romance in their paranormal.  I think I fit in that category for sure!


I have two tour giveaways to offer you.  
The first is for an eBook copy of Inbetween.  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The second is for $15 Amazon GC and a bookmark.  Check that one out below.
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About the Author:  
 Tara Fuller

Tara Fuller writes novels. Some about grim reapers​. Some about witches. All of course are delightfully full of teen angst and kissing. 
Tara grew up in a one stop light town in Oklahoma where once upon a time she stayed up with a flash light reading RL Stine novels and only dreamed of becoming a writer. 
She has a slight obsession with music and a shameless addiction for zombie fiction, Mystery Science Theater, and black and white mochas. 
Tara no longer lives in a one stop light town. Now she lives with her family in a slightly larger town in North Carolina where they have at least three stoplights.

#CuddlesByVal ~ 8/29/12

This is my version of Waiting on Wednesday but with more cuddles, books I can't wait to cuddle for various reasons.

Spirit (Elemental #3) by Brigid Kemmerer 

With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

Why am I grumpy about waiting until MAY of 2013???

I finished reading Spark (Elemental #2) by Brigid Kemmerer this last week and now I really NEED book 3, Spirit!  I LOVED Spark - my review will be coming soon. All of these brothers need to be cuddled but I really feel for Gabriel and, frankly, I'm thinking I even like Hunter!  Spirit is his book and I really am excited for it.  Might need to cuddle Hunter and I for sure want to check in on Gabriel!!!

What about you?  What are you waiting to read (cuddle)?????

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Madly Series Tour

I so love this series and am so excited to be part of this tour.  I'm very impatiently waiting for the next book!!!

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Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl—for a princess, that is.

Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in the small town of Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, the magically-protected home of Madly’s race. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants. 

In order to save her home, the lives of her family, and all of humanity, Madly must learn to wield her exceptional powers and recapture the Lore before it’s too late and all is lost. But Madly’s only help are her two best friends and the Sentinel, Jackson Hamilton, that threatens both her heart and her destiny. Madly has loved Jackson as long as she can remember, but he is the one thing even a princess can’t have. Can she resist love to become the queen she was fated to be? Or can she find a way to have both?

This novelette introduces you to Madly and prepares you for the quest of a lifetime

Check out my review of Madly here! Pick this one up FREE!

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MADLY & Wolfhardt

Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in the small town of Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, the magically-protected home of Madly’s race. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants. 

The first spirit to arrive is that of Ulrich Wolfhardt, a man that was once obsessed with wolves and a young maiden he would follow through the woods. After a bite from a wolf, Wolfhardt’s obsession with the girl became an unnatural hunger and the young maiden’s grandmother cursed him with a fate worse than death. And now he’s back…with a vengeance and a bite that can infect others as well.

Madly must learn the identity of Wolfhardt’s descendant and stop him before he kills again and spreads his curse across the earth. But the only person strong enough to helpMadly is Jackson, the Sentinel who vowed to protect her and the one person capable of breaking her heart. Can Madly resist forbidden love long enough to save the world from Wolfhardt? Or will she have to sacrifice her heart and her destiny to save the ones she loves?

Check out my review of book 2 here!

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MADLY & The Jackal

How deep does love run? Deeper than the ocean? Deeper than memory? Deeper than magic?

Following their plan to save Atlas, Madly and Jackson return the spirit of Wolfhardt to his prison beneath the sea. But even the best laid plans couldn’t account for the surprises they find. This time, Lore aren’t their only challenges. 

Madly is special in ways no one could have guessed and dark forces seek to control her. They want her power, but first they must weaken her. They need her beaten. Vulnerable. Near death. And alone. But that task isn’t an easy one with Jackson at her side. The strongest of their kind, the only way to separate Jackson from Madly is to destroy his love for her, to erase it from his mind. And his heart. 

Is it possible to steal Jackson’s love from Madly? Or is their love the only truly unbreakable thing?

Check out my review of book 3 here!

 Today, I have an interview with the author, M. Leighton for you!  I love her.  She's so much fun.  Check this out.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

The second week of June, 2009. LOL How’s that for specific. I never even considered it before then. Not once. I had just finished a Twilight marathon—all 4 books in 3 days—and I felt like all my friends had moved away. The only solution I could see was to write my own story with my own set of friends and characters that wouldn’t be gone until I said so. I had just left a nursing manager’s position at the time and was home “re-evaluating” my life. I talked it over with my husband and we decided I’d take two weeks off to figure out what to do next. During those 14 days, I worked day and night, obsessively, writing the story that had started plaguing me. At the end of those two weeks, I had completed a 105,000 word adult paranormal romance. My very first book. I’ve never been the same since.

Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?

Well if you call letting your mind wander a routine, then yes:D LOL I just sit and think. Sometimes about nothing in particular, sometimes about a plot, sometimes about specific characters if some have already started to form in my mind. Once I get those first tiny seeds of an idea, it very quickly grows and the story starts taking shape, the characters begin taking on lives and voices of their own, so often I just think of them. They all have a story to tell. I just write it down.

You have one of the most creative minds. Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?

Anywhere. Everywhere. Nowhere. I have to say, though, I have the best brainstorming partner in the world! My husband is as crazy as I am, so I can start a conversation with something like, “You know what would be cool?” and I’ll tell him my idea. Very often, he can help me flesh it out, or at the very least let me talk it out to make it more concrete in my mind. For whatever reason, that is a great way for me to find plot holes. Go figure:P LOL

What books have most influenced your life?

I’d say four different ones have had the most impact. First would be The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It’s one of the first romances I read from my mom’s stash and I fell in love right along with Aislynn. Second would be a tie between Stands A Calder Man and The Thorn Birds. Those books were both so sad, so heartwrenching, I suffered for days afterward. It taught me both how powerful words can be and why I never want to write sad endings. Both great books, though. Lastly would be Twilight, for obvious reasons. I really should send Stephanie Meyer a fruit basket or something, huh? Bahahahaha

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Watch movies. Or eat. Or eat and watch movies. I’m easy to please. hehe

She's too funny!!!  Hope you enjoyed.  


Check out the rest of the tour below:

Teaser Tuseday ~ 8/28/12

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To participate you:
* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser comes from

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My head spun with the force of it.  Something was wrong here.  Nothing about this felt like a standard reap.  But I'd swear I felt this before.  Once...Memories pulsed through my mind in blinding flashes as I inched toward the vehicle.  Soft-as-satin lips, warm whispers against my neck, smiles like the sun...The pull intensified, like the pounding in my chest, and my knees buckled.  I knelt down to the broken window.  Something like hope surged through me, followed by a cold rush of fear.  I could only think of one other time that it had felt like this.  Back when I'd peeled a soul from a frail, bloody body, packed in snow.  The day that had changed me forever. (Kindle location 52 of 3315)

Yeah, broke that two sentence rule again.  Oh well.  Loved this quote and cutting it would ruin it.  My review for Inbetween is Wednesday.  

What's your teaser this week? Leave me a comment.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green ~ Audio Book Review

Source: Purchased audio book from Audible

My summary:

Being diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at age 13 has brought Hazel to the edge of death.  But a experimental drug has kept her alive longer than anyone thought possible.  At age sixteen, she struggles with breathing and tries to live each day the best she can but it's a waiting game.  Then she meets Augustus Waters at a support group and Hazel has to re-think her waiting game.  Augustus is in remission, beautiful and interested in her.  What kind of relationship can anyone have when they could die at any time? How is that fair to him to get attached when you know you will break his heart? But it's hard not to love Augustus and the passion that he brings to her life.  His great desire is to have a legacy and to have Hazel as his girlfriend.  Will she let him in?

My thoughts:

5 stars - Unashamedly cried my way through the tender pages of this fabulous book.

There are books that help you run away from the stress of life with vampires, demons or angels.  There are stories that help you see the possibilities of life and pick you up to do better things.  There are real life stories that make you cry or laugh or scream.  There are all kinds of stories.  Then there is The Fault In Our Stars.  This book causes you to be a participate in the worst pain of life - dying.  It shows the strength of living each day, the love of family, the effort of struggle, the pain of loving, and the realization of death.  It is not a happy story but it was full of laughing and living by two fabulous characters who loved each other despite the cancer that ate at them.  It was not a happily ever after story but is was full of hope and love.  It was a life story.  A story that can and will help teens and adults alike understand that not everything is about being popular, pretty or athletic.  It's about true love - the kind that's for better or worse, good times and bad, and living or dead.  I loved this book.

I had decided to pass on this one.  Really, I'd read too many emotional reads lately and thought I couldn't handle another one.  Then my Daemon (Lux Series) faced Augustus in the #YACrushTourney.  There was so much passion on Augustus' side.  I was confused.  I had to meet this guy.  So the day of round one, I downloaded the audio book and started listening to it.  This is an emotional read but it didn't feel hard to read.  It felt real.  And Augustus was the most fabulous character.  He was happy and I loved how he always called Hazel, Hazel Grace - never just Hazel.  He supported her and cared for her even when she just wanted to be friends.  He loved her for who she was - which was this incredibly strong girl.  He had his own secrets and when they came out Hazel and him just grew together even more.  I think Daemon would be proud to know Augustus Water.  I'm glad I decided to read this book.

Since this was an audio book, let me say that the narrator did great job with this book.  I loved her voices.  Her Augustus fit him so well.  Her Hazel sounded winded as she should be.  Would definitely recommend the audio book.

Anyone who loves YA should consider this book.  It may be emotional but it's also fabulous.

Cover reveal ~ Naturals by Tiffany Truitt

Available April 9, 2013 
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About NATURALS: Tess is finally safe from the reach of the Council, now that she is living in the Middlelands with the rebel Isolationists. With James having returned to Templeton, she easily falls back into her friendship with Henry, though her newfound knowledge of Robert’s chosen one status still stings. Even surrounded by people, Tess has never felt more alone. So she’s thrilled when James returns to the settlement, demanding to see Tess — until she finds out that it’s because her sister, Louisa, has been recruited into Tess’s old position at Templeton, and that the dangerously sadistic chosen one George has taken an interest in her.

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NATURALS is the second book in The Lost Souls trilogy, and follows the dystopian hit CHOSEN ONES.

About Chosen Ones:

Life is bleak but uncomplicated for sixteen-year-old Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity's extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly. 

When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

About Tiffany:  Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don’t call her a Southerner. She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of  one McDonald's and Banana Rats (don't ask) she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).

Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. The earliest books she remembers reading belong to The Little House on the Prairie Series. First book she read in one day? Little Woman(5th grade). First author she fell in love with? Jane Austen in middle school. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. She refused to read anything considered “low brow” or outside the “classics.”
Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom. She currently teaches the following novels: The OutsidersSpeakNight, Dystopian Literature Circles: The Hunger GamesThe GiverThe Uglies, and Matched.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

JLA Readathon Prizes!

 It's TIME to award the prizes from the JLA Readathon!!!

Let's review the prize pile, shall we!

Prize Pile:

(1) (2) (3) Signed copy of Elixir (US)
(1)(2)(3) Cursed t-shirt (US)
(2)(3) Obsidian paperback + Daemon bookmark(US/Canada)
(1)(2) Onyx paperback (INT)
 (2) Choice JLA Book (INT)
Daemon Bookmark (INT) 

Here's how it will work, peeps!  I will list the winners of the all categories here in the order  they will pick from the pile.  I will email the first winner and once they have picked I will cross that prize off and email the next peep.  Winners, please don't contact me about your choice until I email you.  So here is the list of winners:

Author Chat winner - Heather Self ---> Signed Elixir
Challenge 1 winners - Amy Fournier ----> Choice JLA Book and Daisy Richeson ---> Signed Elixir
Challenge 2 winners - Lindsey----> Onyx & Michelle L. Lynn ----> Book of choice
Challenge 3 winner - Daisy Richeson----> Cursed t-shirt & Samantha S. ----> Onyx paperback
Rocked their plan winners (Randomly picked from everyone who rocked their plans) - Stephanie ---> Bookmark & Lindsey Greer-Smith-----> Obsidian plus bookmark
Read the most -  savanna ucinski ----> Cursed T-shirt & Lea Krnjeta ----> Daemon Bookmark

Hope everyone had fun.  I will for sure do something like this again - though I doubt it will be during the school year.

Thanks to Spencer Hill and Entangled press for the prizes.  Some of the prizes also came from me! :)

I'd also like to thank the peeps who helped with the playlist challenge and made our fab banners!  You guys rock!!!

Haunting Obsession by R.J. Sullivan ~ Blog tour

It seems that my blog is being haunted today by the Haunting Obsession Blog Tour!  I have a blog post from one of the characters in this book.  It's pretty interesting too.  Check it out!!

From the blog of Daryl Beasley

Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey Stuff

Posted 8/11/2012
Wuv and Mawwage

Tomorrow is a big day. I'm getting married.

Well, no, I'm not actually getting married tomorrow, but I'm taking my first steps to make plans to get married tomorrow. Tomorrow Loretta is coming over. As far as she knows, her birthday is in two weeks. is. Of course it is.

But I mean, she thinks we're going to Castleton Square Mall to shop for her birthday present.

Which...we are.

But also, as we're walking the mall hitting our favorite stores, I'll take her past the jewelry store. It's right between GameStop and the Hollywood Frame shop. And she won't be able to take it. So she'll lead me over and she'll coo over the rings, and I'll pretend I hate it, all the while making note of everything she's pointing out, so I can double back and get it a few days later.

Which really won't fool her, but what the hell, I can pretend I'm clever, right?

I mean, there's nothing to decide, really. We've been together eighteen months and she still digs me, I mean, she really digs me. She digs the Star Trek; she digs the Doctor Who. She can quote more consecutive lines from Star Wars without making a mistake than I can, and that's saying something. She knows FOX didn't betray all science fiction fans when it canceled Firefly; FOX had already betrayed all science fiction over a decade earlier when it canceled Alien Nation. Her X-Men comics look really nice next to my Spider-Man comics.

And video games? She kicks my ass on Nintendo DS Mario Karts. I have the edge on her on Halo 4, but maybe not much longer. We've been exploring Pandaria together ever since World of Warcraft launched the beta. She exposes Morgan Webb for the poser she is. And I used to crush pretty serious on Morgan Webb.

She even gets the old movies. Well, most of them,

She prefers Keaton over Chaplin. Okay, that's fair.

She prefers Christopher Lee over Bela Lugosi. I can live with that, too. Besides, it's just an excuse to watch them again and debate about it.

Of course, the Maxine Marie flicks don't always go over so well.

I mean, she knows I crush on Maxine Marie. Not like Morgan Webb, it's a different kind of thing with Maxine. It's about beauty and vulnerability and tragedy and seduction and all those things that keep Maxine Marie fans lifelong Maxine Marie fans. I fell for the hype back in college and have been stuck in that mindset ever since.

Maxine was gorgeous; she was vulnerable; she was maybe a bit insane.

Well, maybe just very insecure. But in a way that came through even in her movies. Most of them were very good, which is why Loretta doesn't mind my watching them. Much.

But she doesn't really dig them, either.

I guess I made too much of my adoration of Maxine, too early in the relationship. I remember we were watching one of Maxine's sillier comedies, Stop the Bus, I think. I was rattling off some silly trivia, like I do whenever we're watching something, and Loretta, out of the blue got all upset. "Maxine, Maxine! I'm tired of hearing about Maxine! Here's what I have to say about Maxine."

And Loretta threw herself on top of me and gave me a big wet kiss. It turned out to be a really good night.

What, you were expecting a fight? No. I mean, I felt bad at the time, but it turned out kinda okay.

So if that's how our fights are gonna go, I gotta marry that girl!

I mean, seriously. It's not like there's really anything to be jealous of, right?

Maxine Marie has been dead nearly 50 years. It's not a real competition. She gives great photo, but it doesn't hold a candle to a real warm body and the laughter of a beautiful redhead curled up next to you, someone who truly understands you--and loves you anyway.

And there's nothing a long-dead movie star can do to ruin that.

Not even when you're Maxine Marie.

Haunting Obsession Synopsis

“She wants to be loved by you…alone!”

Daryl Beasley collects all things Maxine Marie, whose famous curves and fast lifestyle made her a Hollywood icon for decades after her tragic death. Daryl’s girlfriend, Loretta Stevens, knew about his geeky lifestyle when they started dating, but she loves him, quirks and all.

Then one day Daryl chooses to buy a particularly tacky piece of memorabilia instead of Loretta’s birthday present. Daryl ends up in the doghouse, not only with Loretta, but with Maxine Marie herself. The legendary blonde returns from the dead to give Daryl a piece of her mind—and a haunting obsession he’ll never forget.

Book trailer

About the Author 


R. J. Sullivan resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. His first novel, Haunting Blue, is an edgy paranormal thriller about punk girl loner Fiona "Blue" Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. R.J. is hard at work on the next chapter in Fiona's story, Virtual Blue, coming soon from Seventh Star Press.  R.J. is a member of the Indiana Horror Writers.


Stacking MY Shelves ~ 8/26/12

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  Make sure to checkout her post with links to all the other participates.

I got two books this week for review.  Didn't buy any - who had time this week.  It was the first week back to school with students.  Pretty crazy busy.

Add to Goodreads
Thank you Little Brown for Surviving High School byM. Doty

From Goodreads

What's the secret to surviving your freshman year of high school?

Emily Kessler thinks she has it all figured out. She eats, sleeps and trains for competitive swimming. All she has to do is keep her grades high and swim times short -- short enough to live up to her sister Sara's. But walking the crowded maze of unfamiliar high school hallways is like diving headfirst into shark-infested waters. Shark #1: Dominique, her biggest competition on the swim team and all-around mean girl. Shark #2: The adorable and popular Ben Kale... Emily can't resist his smile no matter how hard she tries. When the pressure builds to the point where Emily isn't sure she can stay afloat, she begins to question the strict path her life has always followed.
Maybe there is more to life than studying and swimming. Maybe the secret to surviving high school is just to have a little fun.

The hit mobile game Surviving High School comes to life in an original novel about perfection, failure, and following your dreams.

 Thank you Harlequin for Return to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs

From Goodreads

Sonnet Romano's life is almost perfect. She has the ideal career, the ideal boyfriend, and has just been offered a prestigious fellowship. There's nothing more a woman wants - except maybe a baby.sister? When Sonnet finds out her mother is unexpectedly expecting, and that the pregnancy is high-risk, she puts everything on hold - the job, the fellowship, the boyfriend - and heads home to Avalon. Once her mom is out of danger, Sonnet intends to pick up her life where she left off. But when her mother receives a devastating diagnosis, Sonnet must decide what really matters in life, even of that means staying in Avalon and taking a job that forces her to work alongside her biggest, and maybe her sweetest, mistake - award-winning filmmaker Zach Alger. So Sonnet embarks on a summer of laughter and tears, of old dreams and new possibilities, and of finding the home of her heart. At once heartbreaking and uplifting, Return to Willow Lake plumbs the deepest corners of the human heart, exploring the bonds of family, the perils and rewards of love, and the true meaning of home.

What about you?  What's stacking your shelves this week???  Leave me a comment.