Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To E-Read or not to E-Read

I have been debating, for a while now, about getting an E-Reader. I have noticed the a lot of authors are now putting out little novellas for e-readers in between books in series. After spending the weekend without electric, courtesy if Hurricane Irene, walking/sitting around with a flashlight trying to read I think I may have come to the conclusion that I might just have to breakdown and buy one. This does not mean I will give up my books or trips to my favorite used bookstores but just to have access to other authors and titles that I can not find in the stores and next time the lights go out I will have more that enough books to hold me over all located in one spot. Now my only question is, Nook,Kindle or I-Pad? What do you have? Anyone have a preference? Anyone love their e-reader? Please help me decide.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Winner of Fateful Giveaway

Congratulations to SUZ READS you are the winner of our FATEFUL ARC Giveaway.
Thanks to all those that entered.

~~~~~Tanya ~~~~~
random.org was used to pick the winner.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review: Sprinkle with Murder (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #1)

Author: Jenn McKinlay
Format: paperback 215 pages
Release date: March 2010
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Mystery

From the Publisher:
Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are finally living out their dream as the proud owners of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. But their first big client is a nightmare. She's a bridezilla who wants 500 custom cupcakes for her wedding.

When Mel stumbles upon the bride-to-be dead-by-cupcake, she becomes the prime suspect. To save themselves and their business, the ladies need to find the real murderer, before the cupcake killer ices someone else.

This was a tasty delightful read. I enjoyed the concept and that the owners of this cupcake shop have been friends forever. You can see that these girls would do anything for each other. Both of the girls, Mel and Angie, have great families and they of course think they know whats best for these two, so they too make great characters in the story. My favorite part maybe that the author included recipes for all the main cupcakes mentioned in the story. I can not wait to try making The Blonde bombshell. It was a light read, beach material not heavy or depressing. By the end of the book I could see where the author may go with the next book in the series, she left some plot lines open. I will keep an eye out for the next book in the series, Buttercream Bump Off, next time I go to the bookstore. Also the cover of the book, is exactly how I pictured the cupcake shop to look, everything pink and retro diner. Overall it was a light, fast and enjoyable read.

Book: 3/5 Cover 3.5/5


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: FROST by Marianna Baer

Marianna Baer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Expected publication: September 2011
Hardcover, 400pp.
Genre: Young Adult

From the publisher:

Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school starts with a cruel shock: Frost House, the cozy Victorian dorm where she and her best friends chose to live, has been assigned an unexpected roommate—confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar.
What Celeste lacks in social grace, however, her brother, David, a recent transfer student, makes up for in good looks and charm. But while he and Leena hit it off immediately, Leena finds herself struggling to balance her growing attraction with her fear of getting hurt.
As classes get under way, strange happenings begin to bedevil Frost House—frames mys-teriously falling off walls, doors locking by themselves, furniture toppling over. Celeste blames the housemates, convinced they want to scare her into leaving. And while Leena tries to play peacekeeper between her best friends and new roommate, soon the mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and David, and the reawakening of childhood fears all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. But does the threat lie with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind . . . or in Frost House itself?

Frost is an amazing debut from author Marianna Baer. It is darkly creepy without resorting to cheap gory thrills. Right until the end (and even after!), the reader is left wondering what exactly is going on in the house, which seems to have a personality of its own. The author subtly adds details which make the house seem more and more menacing, but at the same time places doubt of the sanity of its residents and the people around them.

About halfway through reading this book, I woke up to find my 5-month old puppy enjoying the book just as much as I had been, but in a completely different manner (see picture below of the destruction). I wrote to the author, Marianna, and was pleased to hear back from her very quickly. Being a dog-lover herself, she went out of her way to scan in the last few pages of her own copy to replace the ones eaten by the oh-so-mischievous Oliver.

And I was very happy to be able to finish reading the book. I would have been upset if I had to wait until when the book comes out in September to read the last five pages! This book was fast-paced, well-written, and entertaining. I would have liked to have seen the romance better developed; the chemistry was clearly there, I just wanted more of it. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book.

The destruction of Ollie.

Book: 4/5  Cover 4.5/5

*Note: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Fateful By Claudia Gray

Author: Claudia Gray

Publisher: Harper Collins Children's books

Publication date: September 13, 2011

Format: ARC

Genere: Young Adult

From the publisher:

In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets.... Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over. Featuring the opulent backdrop of the Titanic, Fateful’s publication is poised to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s doomed maiden voyage. It is sure to be a hit among Titanic buffs and fans of paranormal romance alike.


I am not a big fan of historical fiction. That being said, I was unsure of how much I was going to enjoy this book but having read other books by this author I was going to give it a try. The Titanic is a major historical event and I am pretty sure almost eveyone has seen that movie. I admit I had some preconceived notions about what this book would be like and after finishing the book I will admit I was wrong on all accounts. The author did a great job at telling this story with a new twist but also adding some actual historical facts, you can tell she did her research before tackling this. Last year there was an exhibit from the Titanic at a local museum and I remember going there with my sister and husband. At this exhibit they gave you a passenger that you would be on the voyage and at the end of the exhibit you would find out your fate. In the story I did recognize some of the passengers names from the exhibit and I admired how the author mixed history in her tale. The book had me in the first chapter. I had to know who was this strange man we met in the alley. How and why is everyone on this ill fated voyage. It is a page turner. I also enjoyed all the little secondary stories revolving around Tess and Alec. The author had just enough romance, history, werewolf and suspense mixed all together in this story for me. It was a good read. The only thing that ruined it for me(and it was of no way the author's fault) every time the Grand Staircase was mentioned, all I could picture was Leonardo Dicaprio standing there waiting for Kate Winslet.

If you are a fan of romance, werewolves, history and the Titanic this is the book for you.

Book : 3.5/5 Cover: 3/5

~~~~~ Tanya ~~~~~


I will be giving away my signed copy of this ARC to one lucky reader. All you have to do is fill out the form below. You can only enter once and you do not have to be a follower. If you are a follower you will get one extra entry. (Sorry at this time only shipping to US addresses) Giveaway will run from August 11th through August 27th. Good Luck!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Giveaway Hop Winner!

We are pleased to announce the winner of our first ever blog hop is....


We had 140 individual entries, with 115 being followers, for a total of 255 entries.  We used random.org to pick the winner from those entries. 

We had a great time and plan to do another giveaway hop in September!  Hope you'll all come back to enter again then! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Stunner

This week I have decided to do a Stunningly Horrible cover. I don't believe I need to explain why I think this cover is horrible. I think it speaks for itself.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review: Paradise by Jill S. Alexander


Jill S. Alexander
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication date: July 2011
Format: ARC, 248 pp.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction (12 & up)

From the Publisher: 

Paisley Tillery is the drummer for a country rock band. If they can make it to the stage at the Texapalooza music fest, then Paisley will be closer to her dream of a career in music and a ticket out of her small Texas town.
Drumming and music are what Paisley has always wanted. Until the band gets a new lead singer, the boy from Paradise, Texas. With Paradise in her life, what Paisley wants, and what she needs, complicate her dreams coming true.


This book caught my attention a lot quicker than I expected it to. I was engrossed from page one, and sped through the first half. I really enjoyed the way the characters were introduced and the glimpse into small-town Texas life. But, what I found interesting at first became almost unbearably frustrating about halfway through. The mother in the story is so unlikable and repetitive, I wondered how any of her family could even stand to be in the same room with her, let alone actually love her. Maybe it is because I'm not from the South, but I cannot imagine any teenager (let along two) allowing a parent to mess up their lives so much without fighting even a little bit. The romance was pushed way too fast without any depth added to the main characters feelings for each other. They barely have a conversation and then the reader is expected to believe they are so in love? It makes the ending seem falsely emotional. I did enjoy the main plot and its focus on the music. I believed in this band and was rooting for them to succeed. The book moved quickly and was broken up with song-lyrics, which helped to push the story along.

If you enjoy small-town romances (complete with purity rings!) and country music, you will probably enjoy this book. Everyone else should probably skip it.

Book: 2.5/5  Cover: 2.5/5

Note: I received a free ARC/uncorrected proof of this book in paperback from the publisher as part of the Goodreads "First-Reads" program.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: Beauty Queens

Author : Libba Bray
Format: Hardcover 390 pages
Release date: May 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Young Adult

From the publisher:
The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program--or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan--or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again

GIRL POWER is the phrase that just kept running through my mind as I read this book. This book is funny, sarcastic and so empowering for young girls to read. I had the pleasure of meeting Libba Bray at a local signing and reading. (see previous post) Having heard the author read helped me understand what she was going for with this book. Its a satire. The story is about a plane full of beauty pageant contestants that crashes and they have to work together to survive. Each of the surviving contests could not be more different from each other and yet they are all so similar. The author tackles the subject of sexual orientation, gender roles, academic pressure, family pressure, cultural pressure and any other kind of a pressure a teenage girl feels at any given time. The contestants really discover what they are made of. That they have their own opinions & ideas about who/what they want to be and not who or what family/ society says they are. I really did laugh and enjoy how the author put commercials in the book. Whenever one of the contestants needed/used a beauty product there was a commercial for that said beauty product that was made by The Corporation. The Corporation being the sponsor of the pageant . This book I think is for the older Young Adult, maybe 15 and up. If you liked Mean Girls or Bring it On, this may be the book for you. I can see this as an ABC Family movie. This was an enjoyable read and I would be stuck on an island with these girls anyday.

Book: 3.5 / 5 Cover: 4/5

~~~~~Tanya ~~~~~