Friday, September 4, 2015

Library Loot : September 2 - 8

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

My haul for this week. All are e-books through the Overdrive app! 

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody #1)
Split Second by Alex Kava (Maggie O'Dell #2 - Currently Reading)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…

So I love the Kate Daniels series. Love it. It is as amazing I imagine the Anita Blake series could have been if Anita hadn't gone turbo slut.  (I could get on board with sleeping with vamps, werewolves, etc. but when Anita slept with - I think it was a swan- and there were feathers involved...I was done.)

Anyway, I digress. Kate and Anita remind me of each other they both had screwed up childhood's and are generally kick-ass heroines. The action is pretty much non-stop with the KD series and it makes for such a fun ride.

My only disappointment with this book is that I would like to have seen more character development. I want some major changes to happen, I mean, we have Kate and Curran living together  outside of the Kepp but sometimes the non-stop action puts the character development on the back burner. I don't want to see the character development become stagnant like some series (*cough*Stephanie Plum*cough*).

This book also didn't have enough Derick for me. He's one of my favorite characters and I'd like to see him play a larger role. Hell, I'd like him to get his own book! Otherwise, I thought this was a fabulous addition to a stellar series! How long until the next book.....?!?!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Evolving Reader

Image courtesy of adamr at
After starting up the blog again, I got to thinking about how my reading habits and tastes have changed over the years.

When I started my first blog, Biblioharlot's Bookshelf, I was reading mostly YA, I was still in college and still identified with a lot of the issues and themes addressed in YA lit.

Gradually, I began delving into the romance genre. This was during graduate school when I had a ton of reading to do for school and wanted light, easy reads that all ended happily. Romances are always good for an HEA!

Currently, I find:
  • I'm getting too far removed from being a teen that I seem to have difficulty enjoying contemporary YA fiction. I'm still good with sci-fi/fantasy YA though.
  •  I'm reading less romance. I have a few authors that I always look forward to their books, Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins are at the top of my list. 
  • I'm gravitating more toward mystery, urban fantasy, and sci-fi/fantasy.

As far as my reading habits went, I hated not finishing books. Even if I wasn't enjoying it. I was determined to finish everything I began reading. I found, however, that this often led to reading slumps. If I wasn't enjoying a book that I wouldn't quit, I just avoided it. I also didn't read more than one book at a time. Hence, a reading slump.

Both of these reading habits have changed for me. Somewhere along the line I realized life was too short to waste reading something you didn't enjoy. I still feel a little guilty when I give up on a book but I do give up on books now. I also read more than one book at a time but so far it's usually only two books at a time.

I've also listened to more audio books over the years. Audible and the library make it really easy to listen with apps for my phone!  Also, e-books are amazing. Don't get me wrong I love me some actual books but e-books have made traveling and reading so much easier. Not to mention if I get them from the library, no fines!

Things that have always remained pretty constant in my reading habits:
  • Not lending out personal copies of my books. People dog ear them, spill shit on them, lose them, etc.. I just don't lend books. That's what the library is for. 
  • Utilizing the library - Free books, e-book, and audio books? D'uh. No brainer.  
  • Reading books in order. If a book is part of a series I HAVE to read them in order. I remember one time, years ago, being half way through an SEP novel before realizing it wasn't the first book. I had to stop and go back to read the previous book before I could finish it.  
So, friends, tell me how have your reading tastes and habits have changed over the years?! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Catching up on 2015 Reads

As it turns out a few of you are still following me! Yay! I thought I'd catch you up on what I've been reading so far this  year.  I've read 27 books of my 75 book goal for 2015. I've read a lot of really great books this year but these were some of my absolute favorites:
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand - This was the heartbreaking and inspiring story of Olympic athlete and POW, Louis Zamperini during WWII. I don't know how one person could survive so much. Also, this was about 1000x better than the movie. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Edward Herrmann (the grandfather on Gilmore Girls!) who was a fantastic narrator!
  • Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews - Ilona Andrews. 'Nuff said.
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - This was so much fun. I listened to the audio book, narrated by Wil Wheaton which really upped the nerd factor. The story takes place in 2044 when the world has gone to shit and the majority of people spend their time in the Oasis, a virtual reality utopia. People go to school, work, and spend their leisure time in this virtual reality. The creator of the Oasis, a Steve Jobs type, created intricate puzzles hidden within this world, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with 1980's pop culture and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. It's the story of Wade Watts and his adventurous race to win the ultimate prize and to stay alive. It's a really, really fun book.
  • Mosquitoland by David Arnold is one of the best contemporary YA novels I've read of late. It's quirky and sweet. As my Goodreads "review" stated it made me "feel all the feels!"
  • The Martian by Andy Weir was another book I loved. It was the first book in a long time that I started, read, went to bed then had to get up and read more because I HAD TO KNOW what would happen next. It's about an astronaut that accidentally gets left behind (his crew though he was dead) on Mars. It chronicals  his struggle to communicate to NASA that he's alive and to survive until the next mission can pick him up (FOUR YEARS AWAY). It has a lot of science-y stuff that can get a little old but the main character, Mark Watney is so funny, self-deprecating, and sarcastic yet through his whole ordeal he has hope and fights to survive. I just really loved this one. They're making a movie based on it too. I'm glad I didn't look up information about the movie until after I finished because the cast does not match up to the characters I'd imagined. Although I'll probably end up seeing the movie! 
I would say those are the highlights of what I've read thus far in 2015. I've really enjoyed almost everything I've read so it was difficult to just highlight a couple! 

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Burn for Me
Then Came You
The Darkest Minds
All the Light We Cannot See
Mean Streak
Still the One
I Was Here
Ready Player One
Not a Drop to Drink
Paper Towns
The Martian
Get A Clue
A Game of Thrones

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Long time, no post....

Helllooooooooooo! Is anyone out there still following me? It's been nearly four years since my last post. GULP.

FOUR YEARS. Wow. I stopped blogging because I was pursuing a Master's degree and could not keep up with reading and reviewing.

Since that time, I've left the job I was at (as a librarian at a technical college) for a librarian position at a newspaper. After a year and a half at the newspaper, I was let go (budget cuts) and was unemployed for 6 months before getting a library position at the Health Sciences Library at a local university. I have been there a little over a month now. I've been reading a lot more and had been considering blogging again. So, I figured I'd say hello and see if anyone is still following me!

Recently read:

Naked In Death - Finally started this series. Loved the first book and am looking forward to reading more in the series.
The Passage by Justin Cronin - This was my book club's selection and I really liked it. Reminded me of a Stephen King or Dean Koontz. I'm looking forward to reading the follow-up, The Twelve.
Currently, I'm reading Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie and wanted to get the book read first. I'm not too far into it so I haven't really formed too many opinions on it yet!

Whew, ok my first post in four years...not great but give me time to get back into the swing of things, folks! If you're still out there, say "Hello" below!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bitterblue & An Update

So I had to come out of hiding for this news! Kristen Cashore's Bitterblue finally has a cover! The release date is May 1st! Can't wait. If you haven't read Cashore's Graceling or Fire...what the heck are you waiting for. Graceling is easily one of my all time favorite reads and Fire is up there as well!
As for my absence in the blog-o-sphere. I have to admit I've had no desire to read YA or romance; with the exception of Lola and the Boy Next Door which I just picked up from the library and Maureen Johnson's The Name of the Star, hello, it's about Jack the Ripper. I'm so in! I've actually been reading a lot outside of my normal genres. My book club read the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which I loved and then devoured the rest of the series. Followed by a viewing of all the Swedish movies courtesy of Netflix.

I also read Devil in the White City about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. The story alternates between the struggles of building the fair with the serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims. Sounds pretty interesting right? Unfortunately, it was fairly boring. The architecture portions were too long, the serial killer sections too short. Although there was a lot of really great info about Chicago. It was also interesting to read about some of the brands that first appeared at the fair. It contained a lot of interesting tid bits. For example, did you know that the "Blue Ribbon" in Pabst Blue Ribbon came from the blue ribbon it won at the World's Fair. Also, the White City is what influenced both Frank Baum's Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz and Walt Disney's amusement parks?! Fun stuff. But overall I found the book pretty tedious. However, Devil in the White City referenced the scandal surrounding Frank Lloyd Wright's affair that apparently rocked Chicago's world back in the day. That intrigued me so I picked up Loving Frank by Nancy Horan a fictionalized account of Wright's affair with Mamah Borthwick Cheney, the wife of one of his clients. It was really good as well.

I'm currently reading In Cold Blood by Truman Capote which is everything a non-fiction book should be: engaging, well-written, and utterly disturbing. Of course I keep telling people I'm reading In True Blood....oops!

I've started back to grad school as well. It's a Master of Education in Instructional Technology. I'm only taking one class at a time but class has definitely encroached on my leisure reading time and my desire to blog. But I wanted to let y'all know that I'm still here plugging away. I've been reading your blogs but haven't been commenting. Sorry, blogger friends! Hope all is well with you!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Romancing the Countess Book Tour

I have a very special guest today, Ms. Ashley March! I had the pleasure of participating in Ashley's March Madness, a celebration of all things historical romance and today she's here to tell us a little about her upcoming release, Romancing the Countess and give us a sneak peak inside the mind of its hero, Sebastian Madinger!

An Interview with Sebastian Madinger, Earl of Wriothesly: The Beginning

A huge thank you to Mollie for hosting me today as I get ready for the upcoming release of
ROMANCING THE COUNTESS on September 6th! I’m going to post an interview with my hero soon, but first I’d like to give you a little background about the book.

ROMANCING THE COUNTESS begins when Leah George and Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, receive the news that their spouses have died in a carriage accident. While Leah is sad,
she is also relieved because she’s been carrying the secret of her husband’s affair for a year. She’s ready to move on with her life and finally find some happiness for herself. In contrast, Sebastian
never suspected that his best friend and his wife would betray him. After going through various stages of grief and anger, Sebastian must confront Leah when her actions risk the revelation of their spouses’ affair and the subsequent questioning of his son’s legitimacy.

DISCLAIMER: The following interview was conducted toward the beginning of the book.

ASHLEY: What do you like about Mrs. Leah George?

SEBASTIAN: A better question would be what do I not like about Mrs. Leah George, which would be most everything. To begin with, there is her smile. A woman who recently became a widow should not smile as she does. If she doesn’t grieve for her husband, she should at least have some care for propriety’s sake and pretend as if she’s miserable. She should be affected somehow, not appear as if she could burst into song or dance at any moment.

ASHLEY: I suppose you do not smile, then?

SEBASTIAN: No, I don’t. But I… *stares into the distance* I don’t wish to discuss it.

ASHLEY: Very well. Let’s return to Leah. How well do you know her?

SEBASTIAN: We are acquaintances of a sort. Or rather, a bit more than acquaintances. Her
husband was my best friend. We dined at one another’s houses, moved in the same social circles. My son practiced his bowing in front of her. But until the carriage accident, I only knew her as Ian’s wife, nothing more.

ASHLEY: And now, after the carriage accident?

SEBASTIAN: I’ve realized that I do not know her at all. The Leah George who I thought I knew—the woman the entire ton believed her to be—was a calm, obedient, and sensible woman. She was propriety’s golden standard, utterly predictable and reasonable. Now--*shakes head* Now she’s gone mad. I’m not sure if she’s completely changed since the accident, or if it she’s simply been hiding her true character all this time and has finally begun to show it. Regardless, I wish she’d return to the proper Leah George I once knew.

ASHLEY: I heard a rumor about Leah hosting a country house party. Surely that’s not true! Only three months into her widowhood?!?

SEBASTIAN: As I said, she’s gone mad. But I refuse to allow her to incite the gossips’ speculation about why a widow would show such disrespect for her husband’s memory. No one can know about the affair. No one will dare to question my son’s legitimacy as my heir.

ASHLEY, leaning forward to the edge of her seat: What do you intend to do, my lord?

SEBASTIAN, frowning: Whatever I must. Leah George may once have been a respected
acquaintance, but she has since made herself my enemy. I depart for the country house party at

To read my next interview with Sebastian and my interviews with Leah, make
sure to keep up with my ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour (details at

But for now, I’d like to celebrate the release of ROMANCING THE COUNTESS next
week by giving away books! In ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, a large portion of
the story takes place at a country house party. What’s your favorite backdrop for a
historical romance?

One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book,
ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, and will get a chance to send a copy of my debut,
SEDUCING THE DUCHESS, to a friend (open internationally)! Also, find out how
to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance
novels by visiting!
About the author:
After spending countless hours memorizing both traditional and simplified Chinese characters, perfecting her tones, and practicing her speaking with any Chinese native she could find, Ashley successfully graduated with a degree in Mandarin Chinese. She was determined to be the next best Chinese translator in the world... Then she discovered writing romances was as much fun as reading them, and her Chinese capabilities have never been the same. When she isn't writing, Ashley stays busy trying to entertain her two young daughters, attempting to do housework, and hiking in the beautiful foothills of Colorado.

Thank you for stopping by Ashley! I can't wait to get ANOTHER copy of Romancing the Countess, I swear my roommate's dog ate my copy and that's why I don't have a review for you! The tried and true "dog ate my homework" excuse! I should have taken pictures of the aftermath....

By the way my favorite backdrop for a historical romance is anything that takes place in Ireland or Scotland. I can't help it, it's an obsession!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Harper Perennial Promotion: 20 e-books for $20 dollars!

Harper Perennial is offering the following twenty books for .99 each! You can purchase via Kindle, B&N, ibookstore, and the Google ebookstore! For direct links to each book check out their Facebook page.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Movie Review: The Help

About a month ago, a marketing person contacted me via my Book Club contact info offering free passes to an advanced screening of The Help. She found our Book Club page and saw that we read The Help as one of our selections. Of course, everyone (mostly) in my Book Club jumped at the chance to see the movie early. Everyone loved the book and we had planned to go see the movie as a group when it came out anyway.

We got there super early (2 hours) because we weren't sure how many people would be showing up and we wanted good seats. Well turned out we were the first ones there. Yay! Hahaha. It was quite an interesting crowd, the ages varied but was definitely comprised of an older audience. Like, my parent's, grandparents even, age. We were some of the younger people there. We didn't care, we loved the book and were stoked to see the movie!

I have to say as far as movie adaptations go, I thought this was excellent! Not as good as the book, the movies rarely are, but still an excellent movie. Emma Stone (Easy A) plays one of the lead roles, I have to say she was not at all how I pictured Skeeter however, I LOVE Emma Stone and I thought she did the role justice.

The movie included all the major parts of the book that readers would expect to see. One storyline that they trimmed from the movie was the Skeeter/Stuart storyline. She still dates him in the movie, however his whole pedigree, family, and previous engagement are all but eliminated from the movie, whereas their relationship played a more prominent role in the book.

The one storyline that I would have liked to see more of was the Celia-Johnny-Minny trio. That was one of my favorite story lines in the book and while they do include some of it, they didn't include enough for my liking.

Like the book, The Help made me laugh and cry; it is a heartwarming, uplifting tale of family, friendship, love, loss, and fighting prejudice. If you haven't read The Help, the movie release is a great excuse to read the book then see the movie. You can't go wrong with either!

The Help will be in theaters on August 10th.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Vacation & Reading!

Just a quick update. I went to Cancun recently for a friend's wedding. It was AMAZING. If you're ever looking for an all inclusive (adults only) resort in Cancun...The Royal in Cancun is where it's at! They also have a resort in Playa del Carmen. Seriously, the place was awesome!

As for reading, I've been devouring Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. I'm a little over halfway through the third book. Really, really enjoying this series!

That's all for now folks!
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