Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: Millie's Fling by Jill Mansell



Title: Millie's Fling
Author: Jill Mansell 
Genre: Chick Lit 
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Number of Pages: 512
Source: Amazon freebie for kindle :)





 
Jill Mansell's books are laugh out loud funny and chick lit at it's finest. Millie's Fling was a delight to read. I read this book while I was sick and by the end of it I wasn't feeling quite as bad as when I started it. It is a wonderful feel good book that left me wanting more.



Millie Brady is in the middle of a fight with her boyfriend when she spots someone who looks like they are in trouble. Her boyfriend is about to ask her to move in with him, and seizing the opportunity to avoid the discussion she decides to help the person in trouble. He however, thinks they should just ignore the person in trouble. Millie breaks up with him, and finds herself saving the life of best selling romance author Orla Hart. 


Orla Hart feels awful about how Millie's boyfriend just left her on the side of the road and that she inadvertently got Millie fired from her job at the travel agency where she worked, so she offers to pay Millie to give her story ideas for her next book from stuff that happens in her life.  However, Millie's life isn't as exciting as Orla would like, so she tries to fix Millie up with guys she thinks would be perfect for her. The problem is that Millie has met someone she really likes-Hugh Emerson, a widow whose wife passed 8 months ago, but she just doesn't want Orla to know about it. So Millie goes on these horrible dates that had me laughing out loud to make Orla happy.  Along the way, Millie gets roped into getting a job delivering kiss-o-grams to people, which results in equally hilarious events. 

Each chapter rotates between the voices of Millie, Millie's flatmate Hester, Orla Hart, Hugh Emerson-the guy who Millie likes and a few other characters in the book. The change in voices  took a while  to get used to, but made the story richer and fuller. 


Jill Mansell's books are not your typical chick lit books, and I look forward to reading more from her. I've only entered 2 challenges this year-and one of them is the Chick Lit Reading Challenge hosted by Chick Lit Plus, this is my first book read for that challenge-only 11 more to go-wish me luck! 






Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: Immortal Champion by Lisa Hendrix


Title: Immortal Champion 
Author: Lisa Hendrix
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance 
Publisher: Berkley
Number of Pages:  338
Source: Found for free on Amazon.









I found Immortal Champion by chance on Amazon under it's freebies list, and am so glad I found it. Every time I think I'm ready to give up on historical romances, along comes a book that changes my mind. In this case it was Immortal Champion that gave me hope that I don't have to break up with this genre after all.

Immortal Champion is book three in the Immortal Brotherhood Series, but can be read as a stand alone. I didn't feel like I missed anything by not reading the first two books in the series.

Gunnar the Red is apart of the a viking crew that was cursed by a witch long ago. The crew found out by chance that only true love can break their curse. Gunnar has long given up on finding his true love-that is until he meets Lady Eleanor de Neville.

Gunnar and the other 8 members of the crew that was cursed by a witch tend to stay by themselves so no one will discover what they are. At sunrise each day, Gunnar is transformed into a beast-and is made human again at sunset. When he rescues Lady Eleanor from a fire, he is forced to break one of his rules and stays the night at the castle because he doesn't want to offend her father-a powerful lord. Lady Eleanor is immediately smitten with him. Gunnar thinks that she is too young, and puts the incident out of his mind.

Years later, they meet up at a tournament of some kind. Lady Eleanor is bethroed to someone else, but finds herself still attracted to Gunnar. Now that she is all grown up, Gunnar finds himself very attracted to Lady Eleanor-but knows they can never be together because of his curse. This is just a gut wrenching novel because of all the missed opportunities that happen between Gunnar and Lady Eleanor, but it's tender at the same time because they never stop thinking about each other. This is what makes Immortal Champion different then other historical romances I've read. The love story manages to stay true to the time period it's in. However, this is also what almost lost me in the story. The two do find their way back to each other, but it happens very late in the story-I would have liked to have seen more of them together. I also would have liked to see the other members of the crew a bit more, and the other characters from previous books involved more. Despite those two things though, I really enjoyed this freebie and look forward to going back and reading the first two books in this series to see what I missed!

Curran Crush Meter: Medium 
Barrons Hero Hotness Meter: Low (sorry Gunnar!) 
Martini Sigh Meter: Medium 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Falling Freestyle by Vivian Arend



Title: Falling Freestyle 
Author: Vivian Arend
Genre: Erotica/Contemporary Romance
Publisher: 
Number Pages: 
Source: Bought it :)





Falling Freestyle is guaranteed to make you want to go skiing for a long weekend after reading it! Despite the somewhat unappealing cover, this is a cute, fun read-perfect for a cold winters night.
 
Dara, Jack and Kane have been best friends forever. When Dara overhears the two of them talking about making a move on her before it's too late, she knows she has to take action. She's always been attracted to both of them, and doesn't want to lose either of them. Dara knows just what to do-on their annual ski weekend trip she'll make a move on them...both of them. She knows that she can't choose just one of them-the problem is to convince them that the three of them can have a relationship together. 

Falling Freestyle is the first non paranormal erotic story that I've read by Vivian Arend.  It was just as good as her paranormal  erotic romances are. The characters are all lovable and I felt like I had known them forever after reading it. Dara is such a strong heroine. She knows what she wants and while she's a bit worried about going after it, she won't let fear stop her from making her move. Jack and Kane each have their own issues to deal with, and having them work them out made me love them that much more.  One of the reasons I read so few contemporary romances is that the heroines all tend to have tragic pasts, but such isn't the case with Dara. It was just nice to have a story feature an older heroine without issues.  While most of the story took place in the bedroom, it just, well worked.  There so many steamy scenes that I was sad when the story ended so soon. Fans of Lauren Danes Brown Siblings have to give this novella a try! 


Martini Sigh Meter: low
Barrons Hero Hotness Meter: Medium 
Ethan/Merit Sizzle Meter: medium 
Curran Crush Meter: Medium 





Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: & Giveaway: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning



Title: Shadowfever
Author: Karen Marie Moning 
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Fever #5
Publisher: Delacorte/Random House
Number of Pages:594













Confession: I never really understood why Karen Marie Monings fans were called Moning Maniacs until I began the wait for Shadowfever to be released. It totally turned me into a maniac and I then I got how the name came to be. These books turn you into a little bit of a maniac.

This book was just amazing. I can't remember the last time a book totally swept me away like this one did. I cursed, cried, laughed, sighed and then did them all over again. This was just one intense read. I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't read it, but I'll just say this: Pretty much all the questions we had throughout the series are answered in this book. There are a few left open-but I think that's because they'll be answered in the spin off series from this one that is being planned. I soo can't wait for those books to come out!

It's no secret that I'm a huge Barrons fan-even though he is a bit of a jerk, I still love him. I just can't help it. I know-I have book boyfriend issues. I never fall for the nice guy heroes. (The exception to the rule is Martini from Touched By Alien/Alien Tango books by Gini Koch.) I think something must be wrong with me because the jerkier Barrons is the more I love him. I liked how we got to know more about him and his men-not a whole lot more, but just enough to satisfy me.

Now, there are actually  more characters in Shadowfever and the series then just Barrons, and I love how no character is forgotten. Each one, no matter how small has a meaning.  I found myself saying "holy crap!" a lot at each new discovery with characters who didn't play a huge role in the book, but played a role with the how everything turned out-if that makes sense. I've learned one important thing from reading this series-there are no minor characters! There were also a few minor characters who I learned to love even more in this book, and I loved how her highlanders made an impact. It's like it was an homage to her fans for being such loyal readers.

The only teeny tiny problem I had with this book (and the other Fever books as well) was that no matter how many times it was mentioned that Mac was from the Deep South with all of its sunshine, I could not for the life of me picture Mac talking with a Southern Accent. I just kept picturing her speaking with a northern accent. I think it's because when Mac talks there aren't any Y'alls or southern drawls in her speech.

All in all, I thought this was a good conclusion to the series and can't remember the last time so many bombs were dropped in one book-a few of which I should have seen coming and didn't. I have to give a big shout out to Smexybooks, Fiction Vixen and Smokinhotbooks because without them and twitter I never would have discovered this series, and I would not be a Moning Maniac, and that would just be sad. I have to give a shout out to Bells from Hanging With Bells and Tasha from Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Books both whom listened to my crazy Barrons theories and made waiting for this book so much fun!!

Shadowfever is just one of those books that is impossible to describe and put into words. It's not for everyone, but I think that Karen Marie Moning definitely saved the best for last!

Thanks to TLC Book tours, I have one copy of Shadowfever to give away. The giveaway is open to US Residents only-(Sorry) and you must be a blog follower to win. Please state in the comments if you'd like to be entered in the giveaway and leave an email address so I can contact the winner.  The giveaway is open until  10:00pm January 31st, 2011. If I do not hear from the winner within two days of contacting them, I will unfortunately have to pick a new one.

Edited to add: I can't believe I forgot my meters!!  Here they are:

Curran Crush Meter: Off the charts! 
Barrons Hero Hotness Meter-Well, this is about Barrons, so totally off the charts 
Rhiannon Kick Ass Heroine Meter: Super High
Ethan/Merit Sizzle Meter: Ethan and Merit who? Just kidding. Off the Charts high! 
Sleep Meter: Low. 
Martini Sigh Meter: High Barrons actually had some great sigh moments! 


Places to find Karen Marie Moning: 




Other stops on the tour:

Friday, January 21st:  Smexy Books
Monday, January 24th:  Loves to Read for Fun
Tuesday, January 25th: A Buckeye Girl Reads
Wednesday, January 26th:  Hanging with Bells
Monday, January 31st:  All Things Urban Fantasy
Tuesday, February 1st:  Mindful Musings
Wednesday, February 2nd:  Rundpinne
Thursday, February 3rd:  Dark Faerie Tales
Monday, February 7th:  Supernatural Snark
Tuesday, February 8th:  The Book Pushers
Wednesday, February 9th:  Luxury Reading
Friday, February 11th:  Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, February 14th:  Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books
Tuesday, February 15th:  A Novel Menagerie
Monday, February 21st:  Drey’s Library
Tuesday, February 22nd:  Stacy’s Place on Earth
Thursday, February 24th:  Jenn’s Bookshelves
Friday, February 25th:  The Lost Entwife

Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins



Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young Adult
Number of Pages: 372 
Publisher: Dutton 
Source: Picked up from the library 






 

Reading Anna and The French Kiss  made me smile and crave french food like Brie cheese all the way through it! A Big Thank You to Lynette from Lynettes Two Cents for her tweets on this book. It's because of them that I picked up this book at the library.

Anna doesn't really want to go to Paris for her Senior year of high school. She's quite happy to stay at home in Atlanta, with her best friend, the hope of her crush becoming more then a crush and her job at the movie theater which she loves. Her father has become a famous author, and has gotten it into his head that Anna has to spend her Senior year in Paris. Anna feels bad about not wanting to go because she knows it's a great opportunity. Just not one she wants-but no one asks for her opinion. When she gets to Paris she is surprised that it's not as bad as she thought. It's mainly because of one person: Etienne St. Claire, or St. Claire as he's known to his friends. Anna develops a crush on him, and feels really guilty about it because he has a girlfriend and she has someone who might be a boyfriend when she returns back to Atlanta.  She and St. Claire become best friends instead, and he opens her eyes to a whole new world and makes her realize that good things can come from being in Paris. 


I can not say this enough times: I loved this book with a capital L.  Stephanie Perkins made me feel like I was experiencing Paris with Anna, and I could see it through her eyes. I loved how she made the city come alive. Anna was a great character. She was strong, yet at the same time vulnerable because she feels totally out of her element. St. Clair made me love him. He was just so sweet. I think what I liked most about this book though was that Anna and her friends actually acted their age-which is rare in Young Adult books these days. There were a lot of teen angst moments, but they all worked. 

I know it's only January, but I think this is going to be one of my favorite books of the year. It was just that good.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bloggiesta Update #2


After having a feel sorry for me fit this morning, I gave myself a pep talk and am feeling much better now. I've actually made a little progress with my goals. Here's what I've done:

  • Finished all of the reviews I needed to write. I wrote 7 reviews today! I will never get that far behind again. (Does anyone believe that?) 
  • Watched the movie 300. I don't get why people love that movie so much. Gerard was great, but...
  • Made a header. I'm now working on sizing and page colors. yay!

Review: Love & Rockets, Part II


Name: Love & Rockets
Author: Anthology 
Publisher: DAW
Number of Pages: 320 
Source: Sent to me by Anita Ensal, one of the authors








Love and Rockets as a whole surprised me with how many of the short stories I ended up liking. I really thought I would just be able to read Gini Koch's story under her other name, Anita Ensal. I was so happy to be proven wrong-there were just two stories near the end of the book I couldn't get through, and that's because they were more sci fi oriented then sci fi romance oriented. Actually, most of the stories in this half were more sci fi oriented then the ones in the first half were, but I still manged to enjoy most of them.

The second half of the book had about 8 stories, and here are the ones that I enjoyed the most:

Music in Time by Dean Wesley Smith-This was about a down on his luck singer who had seen better days. He's offered a chance to make it big-but there's a catch. It's in the future, and while he won't age the trip takes a total of 90 years. This is one of the stories I didn't think I'd like because it really didn't have any romance in it, but there was just something about it that made me keep reading it. It just made me stop and think about if I could take a chance and go into the future to make it big or not.

In The Night by Steven H Silver-This was a really different kind of story for me as well. It's about a women who works on a space station, and is the voice that all the ships hear when they come into port. One of the guys on a ship she helps divert from disaster, tries to become friends with her. Dianthe, though is so used to being alone that it takes her almost the entire time the guy is in port to warm up to him. It ends on a somewhat positive note, but was just kind of sad...


If This Were A Romance by Shannon Page and Jay Lake-You know with a title like this, it's not going to end good...but I still liked it. This is about Loren, a girl who works on the docks of a big space ship. She becomes infatuated with the captain, and hopes to become his consort. She ends up being caught by the guards when trying to see him after his image haunts her for days. Instead of being offered the consort job, she's offered another job instead. This was another hauntingly sad story...

While most of the stories in the second half of the book were darker and sadder then those in the first half, they were still compelling to read. This was the perfect break from the Urban Fantasy and romances that I normally read. Every now and then it's good to try something new. :)

Bloggiesta Update


Well, I've totally sucked at my goals for Bloggiesta this time around. Why? I got sick. Again. I wish winter would go away soon so I'd stop catching every blasted thing that came my way. I've only managed to:


Write One Review
Finish Millie's Fling


How sad is that? I didn't even finish watching 300! I did however watch The Craigslist Killer. My question is: How did his finance  not know that stuff was under the matress??  Whenever I make my bed my matteress moves around a lot. Other then that I just felt sorry for the girl. 

I'm still feeling crappy, so I don't think I'll get anything done, but there's always next time, right?

 .

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bloggiesta: Goals





This is my first time doing the Bloggiesta that is hosted by Maw Books. The Bloggiesta is about improving your blog it runs all weekend. Here are my goals:

Friday:
  • Catch up on my reviews. I'm 5 or 6 behind. How does that happen?? I want to get at least two done on Friday.
  • Update my review and giveaway policy
  • Finally finish watching the movie 300.
  
Saturday:
  • Work till 4pm
  • Work on putting past reviews on Goodreads. I'm bad about putting my reviews on there!
  • Finish Reading Millie's Fling by Jill Mansell

Sunday:
  • Finish putting books I've reviewed on my review page tab thingy.
  • I'd really like to create my own header and blog button or at least get started on them.

    ARC Review: The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard



    Title: The Fates Will Find Their Way 
    Author: Hannah Pittard 
    Genre:  Literary Fiction
    Publisher:Ecco 
    Release Date: January 25, 2011 
    Number of Pages: 256








    The Fates Will Find Their Way tells the story of 16 year old Norah Lindell who goes missing one night. The boys in the neighborhood who knew her best tell their story and as they grow into men still can't shake the question that has bothered them since they were 16: what if? What if she hadn't disappeared? What if their group of friends hadn't grown close in the wake of her disappearance...would they still be friends? What if they really knew what each other was up to?
    The most important what if of all, what happened if..Norah had just run away. Was she leading a different life somewhere else..what would she be like at their age? What if Norah had died that night? How did it happen? What if she hadn't disappeared, would her little sister turned out the way she did?  What if this happened, what if that happened? The disappearance of Norah shapes the boys lives in ways they never expected or thought it would.


    This book confounded me. It's not a light read, yet I couldn't tear myself away from it. While I couldn't tear myself away from it, I had a few problems that plagued me all the way through it. One of the problems I had was that it was really hard to follow the time period transitions. The transitions  jumps  from the time to when the boys were 16 to when they are adults, to when Norah might be an adult back to the boys being 16 then to them being adults again. By the time I figured out which time period the book was in, it was onto a new one. The unpredictability of knowing what time frame you'll be in is part of the charm of this book. 

    One of the hardest things about this book were the voices of the boys in the book. I just couldn't get past that the author was female and heard her voice a lot of times telling their story instead of the boys voices coming through, if that makes sense.

    Despite all the problems I had with this book, and the fact it's not a genre I normally read, The Fates Will Find Their Way is still stuck in my head, and I'd like to re-read just to pick up everything I missed the first time around. Fans of literary fiction will love this book, but if you are expecting a HEA, this might not be the book for you.


    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Winners!

    Congratulations!! Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaways! 

    The winner of Prom and Prejudice is: Jolene Allcock and Family 
     and  the winner of Touched by An Alien is Twimom227! 

    If I don't hear from the winners within two days, I will unfortunately have to pick new ones

    Review: Love & Rockets, Part 1



    Name: Love & Rockets
    Author: Anthology 
    Publisher: DAW
    Number of Pages: 320 
    Source: Sent to me by Anita Ensal, one of the authors





     
    I admit that I was a little hesitant to read this because the only sci fi romance books I've successfully been able to read are Gini Koch's Kitty Kat Series (Touched by an Alien and Alien Tango) and Wanderlust by Ann Agguire.  There are about fifteen short stories in this anthology, and I have to admit they have been the perfect length for someone new to the genre. The only problem I've found with them is that some of them are just too short! With most of them only being 10 pages in length, by the time I found myself getting into the stories they were over.  Of the fifteen, I've read about half. Here are my favorites:

    Second Shift by By Brenda Cooper-This is about a women who works second shift for a rocket company that sends astronauts on journeys they might not return from. They hire people to talk to the astronauts while they make their journey. Kami has broken one of the major rules-she's fallen in love with the astronaut she talks to, knowing she might not see him again. I was amazed at all the emotion I felt reading this super short story. It was just heartbreaking and warming all at the same time.

    Wanted by Anita Ensel-This is Gini Koch's other alias, so it should come as no surprise that this was my favorite of the stories I read! It's the story about a girl who is rescued by a mining ship and falls in love with it's cankerous owner, who is trying to find out who she is on the run from and what she's done.  The ending will surprise you-it did me. It's very different from the Alien series, but I liked it all the same!

    Gateway Night by Nina Kirki Hoffman-This one surprised me the most. It's about a women who works on a space station and it's her first time off of her world. There were so many different types of aliens in this book, that it surprised me at how I found myself wanting to know more.


    The Women Who Ate Stone Squid by Jay Lake-I had the hardest time with this story, mainly because it was just so different then what I normally read. It's about an astronaut who goes to a world looking for life that is non human and is surprised by what she's found. It's very outside the box, and I'm still thinking about it all these days later.

    I can't wait to read the other stories in the book. I've enjoyed this book mainly because it's a genre I normally don't read and was surprised that I liked it. These aren't you typical romances, and are more on the sci fi side of things, but they have made me think that I might actually be able to read a sci fi book one of these days!

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Review: Not Quite Paradise by Jan Zimlich

     
    Title: Not Quite Paradise
    Author: Jan Zimlich
    Genre: Sci Fi Romance
    Publish: LoveSpell
    Number of Pages:








    Seeking refuge in the Mississippi home of single mom Laura Malek, handsome alien star traveler Aayshen Rahs longs for the day he can return to his own world and vows to make his beautiful hostess his own. (from Amazon.)




    When I wouldn't shut up about Touched By An Alien  & Alien Tango by Gini Koch, Tasha from Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books told me I should give this book a try. Well, it's as cheesy as the description makes it sound. It's 90s old school romance at it's best. :) I read this back in October, and I remember thinking: "I can't believe I'm reading this book!" It's one of those guilty pleasure books that one saves to read on a rainy day or when you're really sick. 

    What I remember most about are the side characters. Laura's little boy, Brian is adorable..and Aayshen's co pilot on the shuttle he was flying that crashed into earth, was hilarious. However, what still stands out in my mind happens at the end of the book. The locals find out that Aayshen is an alien, and people come from all over to look at the space craft that has come for him, and when the FBI is closing in on Aashen and Laura they the crowd starts chanting:  "UFO boy, UFO boy" or something to that affect. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard at a climax in a book.

    While this book will never be a classic, it's one to keep on hand for a nice comfort read-despite all of it's cheesiness, (or maybe because of it.) I really enjoyed this book. :) 

    Curran Crush Meter: Medium 
    Rhiannon Kick Ass Heroine Meter: Low
    Ethan/Merit Sizzle Meter: Medium 
    LOlz lines: High 
    Martini Sigh Meter: Medium

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop


    This giveaway is now closed!!
    Welcome to Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer  & Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf  The Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop runs from 12:01 AM Friday, January 14th to 11:59 PM Monday, January 17th. 

    I am giving away one of my favorite books of last year
    Touched By An Alien by Gini Koch. I just want everyone to love this series as much as I do! 


     How can a sexy marketing manager join forces with an Alpha Centauri male in Armani to save the planet-using hairspray, a Mont Blanc pen, and rock n' roll? Easy... She's Touched by an Alien    Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt steps into the middle of what appears to be a domestic dispute turned ugly. And it only gets uglier when the man turns into a winged monster, straight out of a grade-Z horror movie, and goes on a killing spree. Though Kitty should probably run away, she springs into action to take the monster down. In the middle of the chaos a handsome hunk named Jeff Martini appears, sent by the "agency" to perform crowd control. He's Kitty's kind of guy, no matter what planet he's from. And from now on, for Kitty, things are going to be sexy, dangerous, wild, and out of this world.

    To enter the contest you must be a blog follower either through blogger or Google Friend Connect. Please state that you want to enter the contest and leave an email address so that I can contact you if you are a winner. So spammers don't get you please leave your email like this: buckeyegirlreads at gmail dot com, or something similar. Good Luck! 


    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Author Interview with: Belinda Kroll (Chatting w/Buckeyes Series)


     Welcome to Chatting with Buckeyes, where every month I interview an Ohio author about what they have coming out or past books they have written. This month help me welcome, Historical Romance author Belinda Kroll!



    I’m a word nerd, history geek, and computer dork. I’m Belinda Kroll, author of historical romance and the mind behind Worderella Writes.
    I am a usability analyst and user researcher. I received my Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering with a minor in English, and a Masters of Science in Human Computer Interaction Design. I reside in central Ohio with her laptop, handmade-over thrift shop furniture, and books. Many, many, delicious books.
    On average, I write a blog post once a week to review books I’m reading, talk about books I’m writing, and discuss other related topics. Don’t ever feel out of the loop, subscribe to Worderella Writes!
    I also have a newsletter, where I let you know about advance releases, contests, and freebies.'













    1. What made you write historical fiction?
    I grew up reading books like A Lantern in Her Hand, the Little House books, Little Women, etc. Whenever I wrote something, it was historical. I've tried to write other genres... once I wanted to write a contemporary novel. First draft didn't work. So I made it a time travel. But that didn't work either. So I gave up and made it a historical again and never looked back haha.

    2. Do you have a favorite time period? If so, which one is it?
    I love the late Victorian era. I used to read everything under the sun about the Regency and burned myself out... the late Victorian era is the foundation for much of today's Western mores. Cliches like "Cleanliness is close to Godliness" didn't exist until the late Victorian era, and today's American obsession with British royalty came from the American heiresses in the 1870s whose families wanted to be "established" in society.
      
    3.  What makes your books stand out from other historical fiction books?
    Most of the time, I read genres outside of historical fiction, which influences my writing. My latest book, Haunting Miss Trentwood, has this absurd premise of father knowing best, even after death. I write what I call "quirky" historical fiction because I will pull elements from other genres to give the genre an extra kick.
      
    4. How many books do you have published? What are they and how can we find them?
    I currently have two books out, Catching the Rose and Haunting Miss Trentwood. I am in the process of giving Catching the Rose a refresh by doing some heavy editing, so I won't go into much detail about that one. I wrote and published it in high school, and though it has sold fairly well over time, after seven years it could do with a wake up call.

    Haunting Miss Trentwood is the story of Mary Trentwood, beginning the day of her father's funeral. She is the only one who sees her father crawl from his grave, and is dismayed to find he is just as bossy in death as he was in life. Things complicate even further when a lawyer appears on her doorstep claiming he has traced a blackmailer to her address and he will not leave until he has exposed the criminal. You can find Haunting Miss Trentwood through multiple channels in print and eBook formats at Bright Bird Press (http://brightbirdpress.com).
      
    5. Do you read any other historical fiction writers? Do you have a favorite?
    I love Amanda Quick and MJ Rose because they pull fantasy into historical fiction, and they do it well. Tasha Alexander and Deanna Raybourn do wonderful historical mysteries. Of course I adore Jane Austen, but she isn't really historical fiction but classical. I have read a couple of Candace Camp books, but to be honest, I tend to stay away from the straight historical romance.

     Ohio Questions:
      
    1. What's your favorite place to visit in Ohio?
    Hmmm good question. I have to say my favorite spot to visit is Mirror Lake on Ohio State's campus. I went there for undergrad and that lake was my refuge after a long day of programming. I would walk down to south campus and sit at the edge of the lake watching birds, dogs, and people as they went about their business. Very peaceful.
      
    2. Do you have a favorite Ohio food? (ex:Mine is Esther Price Candy)
    I love the local food scene in Columbus. The restaurants are sometimes hard to find, but they are worth it when you do. I can't say what food I love best because I love to try all sorts of foods. In terms of a recognized brand from Ohio, however, you can't go wrong with Graeter's Ice Cream. Or Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Both are delicious in their own right.
      
    3. How long have you lived in Ohio?
    My entire life, minus the two years I lived in Indiana for graduate school.
      
    4. What is your favorite C City-Cincinnati, Columbus or Cleveland?
    Columbus! I've only visited Cleveland once or twice, and I think I've only been to Cincinnati once. The only thing I know about Cinci is King's Island is near there, and there's an Ikea I need to check out.

    Thanks for having me! O-H! No, thank you for being here and an I-O to you!

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Review & Giveaway: Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg


    Title: Prom & Prejudice 

    Author: Elizabeth Eulberg 
    Genre: Young Adult 
    Number of pages: 231
    Publisher: Point                                                        
    Source: Sent to me by the publisher to review                                                     





    This was one of the cutest and refreshing Young Adult books I've read in awhile and I can't quite put my finger on why-other then it's just full of fun and goodness.

    Longbourn Academy isn't just famous for being a good school, it's also famous for being obsessed with prom. Their students always make the pages of Vogue and other fashion magazines because their dresses just make that big of a fashion statement. Lizzie Bennet though is there on a music scholarship and could care less about Prom and all the dresses that go with it..except that her room mate and best friend, Jane is suddenly caught up in Prom Fever when she starts dating Charles Bingley who just returned home to Pemberley Academy  from a semester in London with his good friend Will Darcy.  Lizzie knows that Jane wants her to be nice to Will Darcy, but she just can't. He's insufferable and for some reason has a grudge against kids who attend Longbourn and Pemberley on scholarships-since that includes her, Lizzie doesn't see why she should have to bother with him at all. Especially after she meets the cute & charming Wickham, who tells Lizzie just how awful he thinks Will Darcy is and why.

    Just when it looks like both Lizzie and Jane will be asked to prom, Lydia, Jane's younger sister embarrasses them both horribly at an upperclassmen party, and everything falls to pieces. The only saving grace is that Lizzie has been asked to perform a super hard piece on the piano for the schools recital.Who cares about Prom when you have this honor, right? However, Lizzie finds out some things that make her question herself, and those around her. Has she become as insufferable as she accused Will Darcy of being? 

    This was such an cute take on Pride and Prejudice. While it did take me awhile to get used to Lizzie and Jane being BFF's and not sisters, and Lizzie being good on the piano and other minor changes were made to modernize the story, the main characters and elements of the original story remained true to form and nothing was lost in this retelling. A lot of people have said that the dialogue seemed old fashioned to them, but honestly I didn't notice it. It's just a nice refreshing read and as I've said many times, I'm all for getting the younger teen group to know the classics any way possible. 

      THE GIVEAWAY:
    The publisher was nice enough to have two copies of this book to give away to US residents. The giveaway  is open  until Jan 17th at 10pm.  The Rules of the giveaway are that:  you must be a blog follower through blogger or Google Friend Connect and somewhere in your comment you must state that you want to be entered in the giveaway and leave an email address so that I can contact you if you are the winner. :)  To find out more about the book see the trailer below!





    Where to find the author:




















    After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be — especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.
    Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?
    Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season — prom or otherwise.

    Saturday, January 8, 2011

    Review: My Fair Succubi by Jill Myles


    Title:  My Fair Succubi 
    Author: Jill Myles 
    Genre: Paranormal Romance
    Series: Succubus Diaries #3
    Number of Pages: 384
    Publisher: Pocket Star










     Living as a succubus has a bit of a learning curve, but with sexy fallen angel Noah to scratch her sensual Itch, Jackie Brighton is finally starting to feel ahead of the game. She almost doesn’t miss her gorgeous vampire master Zane—or his sinful, teasing mouth. She’s trying to convince herself of that, anyway.
    But Jackie’s past mistakes catch up with her, spinning her life out of control once more. Just as her friend Remy’s inner demon comes out to play, Noah and Jackie are arrested by the angelic Serim Council. When Jackie seizes the chance to escape, she falls right into Zane’s waiting arms. As she’s pulled into a game of cat and mouse between vampires and angels, she finds she must also choose between the two men in her life. Can she decide between Noah and Zane, or will she lose everything she’s ever wanted? Because there’s more at stake than just her heart. 


    I discovered something in this third Succubi book. I'm totally Team Zane. I'm sorry Noah-as much as I was torn over who to choose from in the last two books, you bored me to tears in this one. Jackie, I defended you over and over again. I told people that no, you weren't TSTL, but in this book you came dangerously close several times to being TSTL. My thoughts on this book are kind of all over the place. I just wanted more..but not sure what I wanted more of. 

    Maybe it was because I had the flu the when I read this, but while I found myself enjoying new characters like Ethan, I thought that the story took a long time to build. Jackie was still amusing, I thought she just should've been  a bit smarter in her actions after everything she's been through, and found myself missing Remy and Zane. I wish that they had been in more of the first part of the story then they were. I found myself also wishing Jackie would just make up her mind over who she liked: Zane or Noah and stick to that decision. It seems like with each book, Noah takes up half the book, and Zane the other half and it would be nice to have them more entangled in the storyline together somehow if that makes sense.

    I'm not sure what it was, but My Fair Succubi  just didn't have the same feel as the other two books in this series had for me. That being said though, I still like Jackie, Noah, Remy and Zane enough to keep coming back for more!

    Edited to add: I was so sick when I wrote this review, I forgot my meters. Here they are:


    Curran Crush Meter: Low
    Ethan/Merit Sizzle Meter: Low
    Martini Sigh Meter: Low 
    Rhiannon Kick Ass Heroine Meter: Low 

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Review: Never Have I Ever by Alisha Rai


    Title: Never Have I Ever 
    Author: Alisha Rai 
    Genre: Paranormal Romance/Erotica
    Series: Reyonlds Pack #1 
    Publisher: Samhain Publishing
    # of Pages: Couldn't find as it was released only in e-book form. 





    Note: I'm still really sick, so if these reviews seem a little off, I'm blaming it on the Z Pack. :)

    When I saw this novella reviewed at Smexybooks I thought that Never Have I Ever by Alisha Rei sounded a bit different the most paranormal romances I've read, and I wanted to check it out. I'm so glad I did.  I really liked the fact that the couple in this novella was a married one, and still struggling to get to know each other after only being married one year. 

    Ana Hudson thought that she knew everything about her husband and that her marriage was great. That was until she got a picture sent to anonymously through email that said otherwise. The picture showed her husband when he was younger doing things that well, never even crossed Ana's mind to do with him. She thought he was perfectly happy with their sex life, but after seeing that picture she isn't so sure. Ana plans a romantic getaway at a friend's cabin to she how husband just how wild and kinky she can be.

    Ana's husband, Taylor is shocked by this side of Ana. He's not sure what has brought on this change in her. While he likes this new, wild side of his wife, he's afraid of losing all the control he's built up over the years to keep one very important secret hidden: he's a werewolf. Taylor just knows that if he tells Ana what he is, that he'll lose her-and he doesn't want that to happen. So as Ana works to make him lose control, Taylor fights to keep it all the while testing each other inside the bedroom and out.  What I liked best about this novella was that that the couple was married and knew each other so well, yet at the same time were able to find new ways to test each other sexually without pushing the boundaries to far out of their comfort zone if that makes sense.  There were a couple of really smokin' scenes that I loved, but I just wished we had seen more of the animal side of Taylor then what we got to. All in all though, this was a cute, light fun read-perfect for a winters night in. :) 



    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Review: A Little Harmless Sex by Melissa Schroeder

    Title: A Little Harmless Sex 
    Author: Melissa Schroeder 
    Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotica 
    Series: Harmless #1
    Number of Pages: 193
    Publisher: Samhain Publishing
      





      





    I hope that everyone had a Happy New Years! I've been sick with one thing or another since New Years Eve so I haven't liked 2011 very much-and it's why I haven't posted anything in forever. I finally feel like I'm on the mend, but it's just been annoying being sick this time of year!
      

    Every now and then a girl just needs a story that is just pure fun to lose herself in. A Little Harmless Sex did just that for me. This novella will forever hold a place in my heart because it was the first ever e-book that I read on my brand new Kindle, which I named Martini. (As in Jeff Martini from Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch)  The funniest or most horrifying part was that one of my brother in law's was in love with my kindle and kept peaking over my shoulder to read it. I told him: "G-this is a romance! A.Romance. I wouldn't keep reading over my shoulder if I were you.' Did he listen to his wise sister in law? Nope. When we got to a part that should how much Max wanted Ana I heard a gasp behind me and a "what are you reading?" Everyone laughed, and I told him: "G, I said to stop reading!" After that moment I had my kindle to myself and was able to read the rest of the story in peace. :) 

    Ana and Max were unique because it was Max doing all the chasing to get Ana convinced that he was the right one for her instead of Ana mooning over Max the whole time. I loved how Max had to bring on his A game with Ana. She was one tough cookie-sure they had been friends forever, but a one night stand doesn't mean Ana is ready for a serious relationship with Max, especially after she just broke up with her last boyfriend and he with his finance. 

    They both have a lot of issues to deal with- it annoys Ana that Max can be so controlling, & it annoys Max that Ana is so afraid of committing to something other then her business.  It was fun watching these two battle it out. Max knows that Ana is the one for him, and will stop at nothing to convince her of it. Ana finally admits to herself that she has had a crush on Max since college, but she is afraid if they take the next step that their friendship will be ruined forever and she's not sure she wants to risk that. The only problem I had with this story was that I thought the whole Ana's ex boyfriend from high school trying to make Max jealous just didn't seem to fit with who Max was.  All in all though, this was a great first book to read on my new kindle and was a great steamy read!

    Curran Crush Meter: Medium 
    Martini Sigh Meter: Medium 
    Ethan/Merit Sizzle Meter: High