Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Christmas Fantasy

The Christmas Fantasy is the latest release by KT Grant.

Synopsis: On a mission to lose her virginity before her thirtieth birthday on Christmas Day, Mandy Lockeheart plans to seduce the only man she’s ever loved; her brother’s best friend, firefighter Jackson Montgomery. With the sexy new body she’s worked hard to earn, she’s certain she can convince him to fulfill her fantasies.

When Mandy comes to him with her sexy proposal, Jackson can’t refuse her adorable seduction. Unfortunately, Mandy’s brother doesn’t want anyone playing around with his baby sister. Jackson must choose between respecting his friend’s wishes and making love to his perfect Christmas present.

Between Mandy’s occasionally poor body image and Jackson’s honor, the lovers must fight to realize their Christmas Fantasy.

This steamy romance, featuring a hot fireman hero (who wears glasses), and the 29 year old virgin heroine (who wants to release her inner slut with hot fireman hero) can be all yours for $2.99.

I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of The Christmas Fantasy from the author. I’m a huge fan and have read almost everything KT Grant has ever published. I really loved this story. I could so see where Mandy was coming from and was cheering her on from the very beginning. I loved that Jackson is a sexy fireman who wears glasses (I love a man in glasses). Let me just say that Mandy and Jackson together was super HOT! Jackson was even sexier when he stood up the Chris, Mandy’s brother, for how he treated Mandy’s best friend Jessica. Both Jessica and Mandy both had been overweight in the past and Chris is a total ass to Jessica when she tries to seduce him. Mandy does freak out for a bit, worrying that Jackson might see her the same way Chris sees Jessica, but her fears are soon put to rest. I loved Mandy’s and Jackson’s story and hope one day Jessica will get her own HEA.

The release date for The Christmas Fantasy was December 12, 2010 and can be purchased and all of your favorite on-line bookstores.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back on Track

So I saw the PA at my orthopedic surgeon's office today and can now go back to wearing regular shoes. I was told I had to hold off until next Monday to start running again, so just a few more days until I can get back on track fitness-wise. I have to start back slowly, but I am so ready to get back to running my intervals. I plan on starting back with 2-2 intervals(run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes) for the first few weeks, and work back up to my 3-1 or 4-1 intervals. My goal for now is to get back to running my 6-mile or 8-mile runs for my longer runs, and get back to my 4-mile runs for a good short distance. Will have to settle for 1-3 miles until I get back into the the shape I was in 4 weeks ago. Not sure I'm ready to start training for a 1/2 marathon at this time, but I might start over my training for another 5K or 10K.

I will also start getting back on track health-wise this week too. My goal is to go back on my low-carb diet until I go home for Christmas. My dad always makes homemade pizza for dinner on Christmas Eve and we have a big family dinner on Christmas night. I don't want to go crazy on those few days at home, but I do want to enjoy those holiday-only foods. Once I head back home, I plan on getting right back to the low-carb diet. I feel healthier when I have fewer carbs in my diet and eat lots of green veggies and lean proteins. I also have fewer stomach issues when I stick to a lower carb diet. I'm also hoping by going back to my lower-carb diet I'll lose some of the weight I've put back on and can hopefully be able to stop taking my blood pressure medicine soon.

I have been very lazy lately with my diet, but I know I can get everything back under control.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Indulgence in Death

Indulgence in Death by JD Robb is the latest book in her popular In Death series. From the inside cover flap. ~

NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas must discover why the playthings of the rich and famous have become the prey.

When a murder disrupts the Irish vacation she is taking with her husband, Roarke, Eve realizes that no place is safe – not an Irish wood or the streets of the manic city she calls home. But nothing prepares her for what she discovers upon her return to the cop shop in New York City…
A driver for a top-of-the-line limousine service is found dead – shot through the neck with a crossbow. The car was booked by an executive at a venerable security company whose identity had been stolen. Days later, a stunning, high-priced escort is found killed at Coney Island, a bayonet stuck in her heart. And again, the trail leads to a CEO whose information has been hijacked.

With a method established, but no motive to be found, Eve begins to fear that she has come across that most dangerous of criminals, a thrill killer, but one with a taste for the finer things in life – and death. Eve does not know where or when the next kill will be, or that her investigation will take her to the rarefied circle that Roarke travels in – and into the perverted heart of madness…

I absolutely loved Indulgence in Death. The In Death series remains one of my most favorite series ever. I think Robb writes some of the best characters and I still love Eve Dallas, Roarke and all the other characters 31 books later. I’ve learned to see things much like Eve does as I read this series and usually have the bad guy figured out before Eve spells it out. I will say I missed Nadine and Mavis, but realize I can’t see every character in each book. Overall, I thought it was a great mystery with some super-sexy scenes between Eve and Roarke. I did figure out the bad guy a little early, but still loved the story.

I’m looking forward to Treachery in Death, which is the next installment in this series, scheduled for release in February 2011.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

To run or not to run...

So I finally went to the doctor the first week in November about my foot. I had continued to have trouble with my right foot since running in Percy Warner Park several weeks ago. So I couldn't get in to see my actual orthopedic surgeon, but was able to see his PA, who shares all x-rays with my doctor. I had multiple x-rays done on my right foot and Dana, the PA, told me I had lots of fluid surrounding all the bones in my foot. He said that was a sign of a stress fracture and told me I couldn't run for 4-6 weeks. I do get to see him after only 4 weeks, and I'm hoping I'm released to run again at that point. I haven't stopped exercising, but really miss my weekly runs. I've done the elliptical machine and even gone on a long walk with my brother(took off my surgical boot and wore my running shoes), but neither make me feel as great as running.

Yesterday was supposed to be my first 1/2 marathon ever. I hate that I missed out on this one, but know there is another one out there for me. I also have fallen off the eating healthy wagon I was on through my friend's program. I'm so ready to get back on track with my healthy eating and my exercise. Seems that once I couldn't run, I suddenly fell back into my old bad habits. I know this must stop and I have to get back on track.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reading Update & Running Update

I've been really horrible about posting updates on my reading in the last month or so. I've been reading quite a bit lately, but feel that I'm so far behind in doing individual post that I'll never catch up. So I'm going to do a post about all the books I've read in the past 6 weeks in one post.

First up is Can't Stand the Heat by Louisa Edwards. I absolutely loved this book. Louisa Edwards writes smart, funny, strong and sexy characters. I loved watching Adam and Miranda fall for one another. I already have her next two books in my TBR pile and can't wait to read them.

Next up is Fairy Tales Come True by Silver James. It was a sweet short story about two people finding one another again at their 25-year class reunion. Derek, know known as Deke, actually had a crush on Alexandra, or Dorothy as she was known in high school, when they were younger. I'm a big fan of Silver's and can't wait for her next book to be released.

Crimson Moon by JA Saare was a fun and sexy paranormal story. I found Jaime's books through many of my blogger and twitter friends and I'm so glad I listened. Crimson Moon is another winner in my book. Emma is a really strong character and I loved both Caleb and Trent. I must admit as much as I love Caleb, I'm a little bit more in love with Trent.

Crave by JR Ward is the second book in her Fallen Angel series. I'm a huge JR Ward fan, and was a little hesitant to read Crave, since I didn't love Covet, the first book in the series. However, I absolutely loved Crave and now am really excited to read more books in this series. Envy is the title of the third book and will be released in October 2011.

The Princess's Bride was another super sexy f/f story by KT Grant. I'm a huge fan of KT Grant and try to read everything she publishes. She once again delivers with this sexy pirate story. I loved watching Daisy come into her own with her sexy lover Chelsey.

Double Cross is the second book in the Disillusionist Trilogy by Carolyn Crane. This is such a great series. I love Justine and her other disillusionist friends. Her attraction to both Otto and Packard keeps the readers guessing. I've always thought Packard was the better man and my feeling still haven't changed after reading Double Cross. I look forward to reading the final book in this trilogy next year.

Another book many of my blogger and twitter friends have told me about is Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane. Unholy Ghosts is the first book in the Chess Putnam series. Now, I'd heard everyone talking about how much they had "Terrible Fever" from reading this book and I have to say, I too caught "Terrible Fever". I already have the next two books in this series and can't wait to get more time with Terrible.

The final book in this update is No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon. It is the latest in the Dark-Hunter/Were-Hunter series. I absolutely love this series and really loved reading Dev and Samia's story. I actually borrowed it from the library so I could read it sooner, since I have to wait to get it in paperback. I've always loved Dev Peltier and think he and Sam are a perfect match to one another.

Hope to not get so behind that I have to post about 8 books in one post again. Part of the reason I'm so behind is due to all my running. I've been training for my first 1/2 marathon since September. I've now run two 5k races and one 10k race. The 1/2 marathon seemed to be the perfect next race to complete. However, I injured my foot a couple of weeks ago and don't think I'll be able to actually compete in my first 1/2 marathon in November. Luckily there are 1/2 marathons in the area almost every month of the year. So tomorrow I'll give my orthopedic surgeon a call and see if I can get in for x-rays to make sure there is nothing seriously wrong with my foot. I'm still good with short runs, but am not able to make it more than 8 miles without having a problem. I'll post more once I talk to my doctor and hopefully I can start training for my first 1/2 marathon again soon.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Half Marathon Training Update

So when I started running back in April, my only goal was to finish a 5k. Once I did my first 5k, I decided I wanted to see if I could do a 10k. Well, I did my 1st 10k in September, and thought what the heck, I want to try a half marathon. So I signed up for a half marathon training group and started my training in September. I've now had long runs of both 8 miles and 10 miles. I absolutely love an 8 mile run. You burn lots of calories and still feel really good when you finish. I loved the first 9 miles of my 10 mile run. After that point, the run turned into a bitch with teeth. Part of the problem was I hurt my right foot last week on the 6 mile run through Percy Warner Park. It pretty much is 3-5 miles mostly uphill, with the final mile being almost all downhill. No matter how I tried to control my speed, I ended up running downhill too fast and did something to my right foot. In my run yesterday, about mile 9 or so my foot started hurting to the point that I actually had to walk about 1/2 of the final mile.

Now I'm trying to figure out if my foot will heal enough for me to actually run my half marathon in 3 weeks. We do a 12 mile run on Saturday, and depending on how the run goes depends on if I register for the race. Luckily, the race I'm looking at doesn't sell out and you can register for it up the the morning of the race. I'm limping along today and will do a couple of short runs this week before the long 12 mile run on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Crave Booksigning – October 9, 2010

I went to the JR Ward book signing for Crave on Saturday with my cousins, who are huge fans of the WARDen just like me. Thanks to my cousin Gina, I have lots of notes from the book signing Q&A period. The WARDen was a beautiful as ever and so much fun to be around as she answered questions for over an hour (using very colorful language and visuals). I need to make sure I bring a video camera and a digital recorder for the next book signing, which she said would be when Lover Unleashed is released in April. I can't promise there are no spoilers in this post, but I do promise no information about the end of Crave is in this post. Also need to post a reminder that none of this information can be posted on her boards or the Yahoo group, but we weren't told we couldn't post on our personal blogs.

Will there be a book for Tohrment? Yes, but not any time soon.

Will the Scribe Virgin get a book? She's not a big fan of her, so that's unknown.

Also asked about the SV's father and was told much like Boo and the coffins, it would be explained eventually.

Will there be more brothers? Yes, there will be at least 6 new brothers. We weren't given details as to when we would meet them or who they are.

What about Qhuinn & Blay? There will be Qhuinn & Blay stuff in Lover Unleashed. Also re-confirmed we will get their story in a "novella" sometime after Wrath & Rhage's are published. Promised to do it right and it would focus on them. Most likely will be named Qhuinn & Blay so people know what they are getting. (her novellas will be longer than the average novella)

Is Lassiter the missing angel in Covet? She wasn't exactly sure how the two series crossed, just that the 3rd book (Envy)'s hero is mentioned in LU and the Angels end up back in Caldwell. Jim will be looking for Sissy's body.

Lassiter will get his own book, in the BDB series sometime after Tohr.

Will No' one(Xhex's mom) and Tohr get together? JR put her hands together in the shape of a heart.

Does Layla get her own story? We were told to "keep reading". Sounds like a yes to me. :)

Muhrder will not be in LU.

Who's her favorite female character? Beth or Xhex, although she really didn't like Xhex when she first showed up.

How are Manny & Butch related? She said to "keep reading". However, a few minutes later was asked if Butch and Manny's father would be revealed and she said yes. (didn't find it surprising as I thought Butch and Manny were brothers from the first time we met Manny).

Yes, the promise the Scribe Virgin demanded from Wrath will come to light, just not sure when.

Re-confirmed that JM and the brothers will never know he is Darius reincarnated.

Will Jim, Adrian or Eddie be one of the souls saved in the Fallen Angel series? Yes, but wouldn't tell us who.

V & Jane will have big trouble in LU. V is going to lose it big time over his mommy issues, with how she has treated both him and Payne. Very colorful descriptions and language at this point. Must bring digital recorder next time so I can get it all. Something big will happen with Doc Jane too and then something really BIG will happen. She almost left it out, but the story wouldn't finish without it. Makes publisher very nervous and JR very nervous. Asked if it has anything to do with BDSM and was told "What the f*** do you think it is going to be? Not like V has a fashion sense issue." The WARDen played dumb when asked if Butch would be involved...guessing and hoping he is involved. :)

Z is her favorite hero, but she has never read his story again because it is too upsetting.

Her Slice of Life novellas will be available in both print and ebook.

Will JM join the brotherhood? Yes, soon, along with Xhex and Payne.

iAm and Trez will have their own books focused on their completely different culture.

Rehv is still around, just busy as the king of the freaks. He was there when Xhex and JM were mated.

Does Devina get power from her souls? No, she's just a hoarder. Her power is independent of the repercussions from that power. She will also continue seeing her therapist. (Can't wait to see what real world issues she assigns to things in the future)

Will Lash come back? He went back to the Omega, who's not in a hurry to bring him back.

She agreed they really need to get going on the merchandise. Way past time to work on it.

She was asked if we would ever see Nalla's change? Conceivably in the next 25 years or so. She wondered which male would be brave enough to walk in that house for Nalla.

My cousin took really great notes, but I'm sure I still left something out. She talked and answered questions for a little over an hour and was so awesome. So worth any amount of travel to go to one of her book signings.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Claiming of Suzy

The Claiming of Suzy is the super sexy sequel to For the Love of Mollie by author KT Grant. Synopsis from the author’s website.~

Suzy Bean is a woman who lives in the moment and doesn't mind her overabundant curves. The man she secretly loves, JC Mosino, is the only one who can make her untamed sexual fantasies a reality. After having a bit too much to drink at a party, JC drives her home, where their passions ignite. Suzy thinks that this is night where she and JC will go from being friends to lovers. Unfortunately it doesn't happen quite like that and Suzy ends up throwing JC out because of something he says in the heat of the moment that she takes the wrong way.

Now Suzy's whole world has been turned upside down because she's given up smoking and is sexually frustrated. When she meets a handsome, flirty stranger, who makes her body respond, she becomes even more frustrated. This chance meeting is one she'll never forget, for Mr. Hunk is her new boss, Xavier Marks. Suzy feels guilty because her attraction to Xavier is growing while she still pines for JC.

JC's craving for Suzy is out of control where he wants nothing more than to work things out and become her lover. He has a plan in doing so, but has to work fast as Xavier tries to seduce Suzy. JC is having no part of that, and will do whatever he can to claim this brassy, buxom beauty for his own.

I was lucky enough to be sent an early copy of The Claiming of Suzy from the author. I’ve read almost everything KT Grant has written and loved each and every story. The Claiming of Suzy is another winner. We first met Suzy Bean and JC Mosino in For the Love of Mollie, Suzy is Mollie’s best friend and JC was initially the object of Mollie’s affection. Suzy has been attracted to JC forever, but hid her feeling until after her friend Mollie found her HEA with Conner. Suzy has now decided she will make a move on JC and everything is super hot until JC says something that Suzy, and any woman with body image issues, takes the wrong way. Even though Suzy is mad at JC, she is still wants him like she has never wanted anyone else. Then walks in her new boss, Xavier Marks and Suzy finds herself attracted to another man. Suzy must now decide if she wants a relationship with JC or explore her attraction for Xavier.

I found The Claiming of Suzy to be a fun, fast and super sexy read. I had liked the glimpses of Suzy and JC I saw in Mollie’s story and loved finding out more about their characters. As I was cheering for Suzy and JC, I fell just a little for Xavier myself (might be because he is compared to Blair Underwood who I’ve loved since he was first on LA Law). I’m happy to say KT Grant already has his story in the works and I can’t wait for the release of Xavier’s Loving Arms. The Claiming of Suzy was released today and can be ordered as an ebook from Decadent Publishing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hard to Hold

Hard to Hold by Julie Leto is one of the first books in HCI’s True Vows series. From the back cover.~

New York Lobbyist Michael Davoli feels like he’s been sucker punched when he meets Anne Miller at a concert. And it doesn’t take long for him to realize that he’s fallen hard when they wind up living in the same Albany apartment building. After all, Anne’s hot, his dog likes her, and she’s catnip to the sense when she picks a lock faster than Sydney Bristow can disarm a nuke.

Always fiercely independent, Anne’s crackerjack reporting skills and keen intellect are no match for the chemical reaction she has to this man with electric blue eyes. But while he effortlessly holds her with his gaze, he withholds the embrace she longs for. Why is he so distant? Has Anne misread his signals? Yet there is no doubt that she’s under his skin and he’s in too deep when Mike confesses that he harbors a secret that could keep them apart: He has a neurological disorder that has shadowed him since childhood, and although he’s mastered the physical tics so other don’t notice, he may never be able to hold her in his arms for fear of the bruises he could inflict.

Anne isn’t about to let anything like Tourette’s syndrome keep her from the man of her dreams. But Mike has a second secret. Will this secret be the one that even a grand passion cannot survive?

With her trademark wit and sensual artistry, Julie Leto knocks the unforgettable romance of Anne Miller and Michael Davoli out of the park and straight to the heart.

I was lucky enough to be given a copy of Hard to Hold from the author. Julie Leto is another one of my auto-buy authors and I have a keeper shelf dedicated to her books. Hard to Hold will be going on that shelf. I loved reading Mike’s and Anne’s story. I was so drawn into their story; I even had to remind myself I was reading a real-life romance. I’ve never known anyone who suffered from Tourette’s syndrome, and was really glad to learn a bit more about the disorder without it being too clinical. Anne and Mike are both very strong individuals and I loved watching them fall for one another.

Julie Leto gives her readers another beautiful and sexy story. I love that HCI is publishing true life romances and look forward to reading more books in this line.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Behind once again...

So, once again I've gotten behind in my blogging. I have 2 reviews to post this weekend(so know it won't happen before tomorrow night), a 3 mile run tonight and a 6 mile run on Saturday. The run Saturday is followed by a baby shower and dinner out with friends. I'm so ready for our Girls Night Out on Saturday night. I also have to find time to watch about 8 shows on my DVR and cheer on my Titans against the Giants on Sunday. I really need a nap just typing up my list of things to do this weekend, which doesn't even include the grocery store, laundry, and hopefully some time to read. I haven't really had much time to read since Sunday and I have to say I really miss it. Might skip dinner out after my run tonight so I'll have time to read.

My diet did take a bit of a hit over while I was home for my aunt's funeral. Must be a law somewhere in the South that states fried chicken and pound cakes are brought in mass quantities. Have to say the fresh apple pound cake was about the best cake I've ever put in my mouth. Yes, I am having to really watch what I eat now, but I'm still glad I ate a piece of cake when I was at my grandmother's house. At least I got in a 3 mile run on Monday and a 2 mile run last night to help with the calorie hit. Will have to continue to watch my carb intake until the final weigh in and measurements. Need to find out if that is happening this week or next.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fabulous run to sad Sunday

Yesterday morning I had my first 8 mile run for my 1/2 marathon training. I had never run 8 miles in my entire life and I have to admit I was a little scared to try. I woke up yesterday with the temps in the low 60's, which is perfect for a run. I tend to run about a 12 minute mile, so I knew it would take me at least 90 minutes to run the 8 miles. I actually finished in 1 hour and 43 minutes, and felt AMAZING when I was finished. I know getting my first 8 mile run in was a little bit psychological, and I'm glad the first one is behind me. I totally felt great the entire run! When I hit about mile 5, I knew I totally had at least 3 more miles in me. I only have a couple of short 3 mile runs on my schedule for this week's training, and I can't wait for my next run.

Also in the last week of my fitness challenge. I've lost 10 pounds so far over the first 4 weeks, and don't think that will change any for this week. However, I've really noticed the change in my body more than any actual weight loss. Most of my dress pants for work are now too big and I really need to buy a couple pairs of running shorts in a smaller size again. Still being very careful with my carb intake, but know the next few days will be a bit of a struggle.

My great aunt Jane passed away this morning. She had been in the nursing home suffering from Alzheimer's and lost her fight today. I know she is in a much better place now, but that doesn't make me miss her any less. She was such a wonderful and special lady. When I was growing up, my sister, cousin and I would go spend a week every summer with Jane. She totally spoiled us rotten the entire week. We got to spend time at her apartment pool, go to any movie we wanted to see, pick out all the food for the week at the grocery store, and usually make at least one trip to the Space Center in Huntsville. Jane worked there for years and it was one of my favorite place to visit when we were at her house. After I moved to Nashville, I would go down and visit Jane on the weekends. We would visit with many of her friends and go to movies and the Space Center, much like we had when I was a kid. I'm so glad I have all these special memories of Jane.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lucky Streak

Lucky Streak is the second book in Carly Phillips’ Corwin Curse series. From the back cover.~

Long ago, a witch proclaimed an eternal curse that every Corwin male who married for love would be destined to lose his woman and his fortune…

When Mike Corwin awakens after some wild partying in Vegas $100,000 richer and married to Amber, the gorgeous woman he met the night before, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot. The bad news is that Amber’s a con who takes his money and runs. Seems the family curse has finally hit him. Hard.

But to Amber, Mike isn’t business as usual. If only she didn’t need the money to ensure her father’s safety, she might actually have fallen for the intense lawman. Instead, she’s forced to betray him.

Now Mike’s hell-bent on divorce and Amber’s on the run…but when a twist of fate reunites them, can they turn their run of bad fortune into a lucky streak?

Carly Phillips is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. She is an auto-buy author for me and all of her books are on my keeper shelf. Carly delivers another winner with Lucky Streak. I really loved Lucky Charm, the first book in the Corwin Curse series, but loved Mike’s and Amber’s story even more.

Mike, understandably is pretty pissed off at Amber when he wakes the morning after they get married to discover she is gone and took his $150,000 in Vegas winnings with her. Unknown to him, she only took the money to save her dad. However, being a lawman, he really looks at life in a pretty black and white way. Amber shows up on Mike’s doorstep and they soon realize she needs his help to stay safe. Although, Mike is still angry at Amber and really doesn’t trust her, he can’t fight his attraction to her. Mike and Amber are so hot together. Mike decides the best way to keep her safe is to take her to his dad’s house in his hometown. Of course, Mike’s dad doesn’t really like change and is obsessed with the Corwin Curse. Edward Corwin is one of the funniest characters I’ve ever seen in a book. He made me laugh out loud many times. I really loved Amber and think she was my favorite character in the book. She is such a strong woman and will do anything to help out those people she loves. Mike will also do anything for the people he loves, he is just much more guarded about his feelings.

I really loved Lucky Streak and have Lucky Break, the final book in the Corwin Curse series in my TBR pile. I read so many different genres of romance, I forget how much I enjoy contemporary stories until I find a great one. Lucky Streak definitely counts as one of the great ones in my opinion.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Faerie Fire

Faerie Fire is the second book in the Tir Nan Óg series by Silver James. Synopsis from the author’s website. ~

In the second book of the Tir Nan Óg, the feud between the two faeries, Manannan Mac Lir and Abhean the Harper, which has simmered throughout time, finally bubbles over. Continuing the theme of reincarnation and chances missed in the past affecting the present, Faerie Fire introduces new characters, descendants of the families first met in Faerie Fate.

Old grudges. Family secrets. Vows intended but never sworn. Memories of lives entwined then ripped apart…

When Moira O’Connor first touches SAS Captain Duncan Ross time turns topsy-turvy. She recalls memories of a former life, one in which Duncan was her lover—one in which he arrived too late to save Moira’s life as she was burned for a witch.

In their present life, while Duncan faces his own demons, he must save Moira from the Irish terrorist threatening her father, a US Senator. This time he’s determined to save the woman he loves, even if he must sacrifice his life for hers. Will Duncan and Moira survive to say the vows, binding their lives for all eternity?

On Midsummer’s Eve, when the veil between the realms thins, will faerie magic work miracles or will the lovers succumb to Faerie Fire? Without the words, history is doomed to repeat itself.

I was lucky enough to win a digital ARC of Faerie Fire from Silver’s blog, and was lucky again to receive my paperback copy in the mail on Friday for my keeper shelf. Thanks to Silver for my ARC and The Wild Rose Press for shipping out their new releases early.

I loved Faerie Fire every bit as much as I loved the first book in this series, Faerie Fate. Silver James writes beautiful stories filled with strong characters. Faerie Fire is the story of Moira O’Conner and Duncan Ross, their past life and their present life. There was just something about Moira that pulled me to her from the very first. She is a strong woman, and has the ability to read people as she meets them. Duncan became another one of my book boyfriends. He is just so sexy and tough, yet around Moira, he is so gentle. The combination of all these characteristics made Duncan into a perfect hero in my opinion. We also have another stellar cast of supporting characters. I have to say a couple of the characters were pretty unlikeable in the beginning, but I did like at least one of those characters by the end of the book.

Silver James again gives her readers a fabulous story full of magic, mystery, and romance. The scheduled release date for Faerie Fire is Friday, September 17, 2010, and it can be ordered either in eBook or paperback at www.thewildrosepress.com.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Latest Fitness and Training Update

So I started a fitness challenge called “6 Weeks to Your Skinny Jeans” 4 weeks ago. In the first 3 weeks, we pretty much stuck to a low carb Atkins-type diet. In week 4 we were able to bring certain fruits and whole grains back into our diet, and we get to keep those items in for the final 2 weeks of the challenge. The biggest things I’ve had to give up are baked chips, the occasional light beer, candy, and most of the snacks I kept at work. I have to say that after the first few days, I’ve done pretty well without the crap I was eating before. My lunches would usually be a frozen Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones meal. Sure it is really cheap to eat those meals for lunch each day (about $2.00 per day), but I was having all sorts of stomach issues and nothing I was taking was making it better. Imagine my surprise when I switched over to eating no frozen meals and all fresh food, my stomach issues almost completely went away. I still have some problems, but nothing like I was having before I changed my diet. I’ve also been on Weight Watchers since mid-August of last year. In that time, I lost a good bit of weight. In the last 4 weeks, I’ve lost 10 pounds. That’s right 10 POUNDS!!! Granted I’m probably eating fewer calories and I know I’m exercising more, but I haven’t lost weight like that since right after I joined Weight Watchers. I actually canceled my Weight Watchers membership this week and plan on continuing calorie counting and fat gram counting until I reach my actual goal weight. I'm still really limiting myself to the number of fruits and whole grains I'm eating each day, but don't feel like I'm cheating anymore if I want fruit or a whole wheat bagel thin.

I’m so happy with my progress to date. I went shopping yesterday to find a couple of pair of dress pants for work and a pair of jeans. None of my jeans have fit for a while, but it hasn’t been cool enough to worry about it until just recently. I went to the Goodwill store in Franklin. It seems crazy to go to the mall to buy clothes at every size, so I’ve tried to save a little money by going to Goodwill until I hit my goal weight. I’m also bagging up clothes as I go along and donating them to Goodwill. I never really know what size to look for, since the majority of the clothes have been worn and you never know if they have maintained their original size. However, I found a pair of jeans that still had the store tags on them and they were at least 1 size down from the ones I wore last year. Bigger bonus, they were from a regular clothing store, not the women’s stores I was shopping in last year. No, I’m not in my skinny jeans yet, but I’m at least one size closer to being in the size I want. I also found 2 pairs of really great dress pants for work, which were also down a size from ones I bought about 2 weeks ago. No more clown pants at work…I know my co-workers will be happy.

Part of the weight loss progress can be attributed to the amount of jogging I’m doing each week. I started training for my first half marathon on Saturday. Last week, I managed to jog 15 miles total for the week. That is the most I’ve run in a week ever! I jogged 6 miles on Saturday. All half marathon trainees were given the choice to run either 4 or 6 miles. I chose to run the 6 miles because I might run in the Nashville half marathon in November rather than the half marathon I was originally looking at. That race is 3 weeks earlier, so I need to make sure I’m ready to jog/walk 13.1 miles by November 20. I actually kept a pretty good pace the entire run and jogged with one person the entire run. I didn’t run 1 whole mile without stopping, but was very happy with my time. I know I can complete a half marathon, and also know I won’t set any records when I do it. I’m just excited to work towards this goal. At this time, I’m hoping to run 1 half marathon before the end of the year and then run the Country Music Half Marathon in April. That would give me 2 half marathons run before I turn 40 and would make me very happy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Savor the Moment

Savor the Moment is the third book in Nora Roberts’ popular Bride Quartet series. From the cover flap.~

Laurel McBane has always relied on her friends for support, especially when her dream of attending culinary school is almost ruined by her parents’ financial problems. Now Laurel is repaying the kindness of her friends by creating extravagantly luscious tiers of cakes and other confectionary delights that add the perfect touch to their clients’ weddings.

As for romance, Laurel believes in it-in theory. But she’s too low-key to appreciate all the luxuries that other women seem to long for. What she does appreciate is a strong, intelligent man, a man like Parker’s older brother, Delaney Brown, on whom Laurel has had a mega crush since childhood.

But some infatuations last longer than others, and Laurel is convinced that the Ivy League lawyer is still out of her reach. Plus, Del is too protective of Laurel to ever cross the line with her, or so she thinks. When Laurel’s quick-silver moods get the better of her-leading to an angry, hot, altogether mind-blowing kiss with Del-she’ll have to quiet the doubts in her mind to turn a moment of passion into forever…

Once again, Nora Roberts gives her readers another winner. I loved the first 2 books in this series, and Savor the Moment was just a wonderful. Laurel has pretty much had a crush on Del her entire life. Once she kisses him, their relationship begins to change. After the way Del freaked out when Emma and Jack got together, I had to laugh a bit when Del realized he was interested in Laurel. Laurel and Del are so great together. As always, Laurel has her friends’ support of her dating Del. Even Parker, Del’s sister, wants Laurel to be open with every aspect of her relationship with Del.

We see the strength and love in the friendship of Parker, Laurel, Mac, and Emma again in Savor the Moment. The friendship of these four women makes me think of the friendship I have with my own friends. We are always there to support one another and love each other like we are really sisters. I love reading about strong women, and Nora Roberts really delivers with this series. The final book in the series, Happy Ever After is scheduled for release on 11/02/10. It will be Parker’s books and I can’t wait to see her fall in love and lose control a bit.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Reading and Running Updates

So, once again I've gotten behind on posting my thoughts on books I've read recently. My plan is to post about all 3 books I've read in the last couple of weeks this weekend. The three wonderful books I've read recently are Faerie Fire by Silver James, Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts, and Lucky Streak by Carly Phillips.

However, tomorrow morning I have my first long run with my half marathon training group before I go shopping and hopefully find a couple of pairs of dress pants and some jeans. Most of my dress pants don't fit anymore, and none of my jeans fit. So changing over from Weight Watchers to calorie counting/fat gram counting is really working for me. In the past 3 weeks, I've cut out the majority of the carbs from my diet and have started to run more miles each week. I am slowly adding back in carbs (fruits and whole grains), and will know on Monday if it is a problem.

I also am upping my run time in my intervals. I even managed to run almost an entire mile last night before I had to walk. I really hoping to have my walk time reduced significantly before I run in my first half marathon. I had upped my run/walk interval to run 5 minutes and walk 1 minute. I was feeling so good at the end of the first 5 minutes; I decided to see how long I could actually run without walking. I made it 11 minutes before I had to walk and ran a distance of .95 miles in that time. Pretty sure if I had just run for another minute I would have run my first mile without any walking. I would love to be able to run my first mile in the morning without walking, but will see how I feel when I get started. I do plan on running at least one of the six miles tomorrow without walking, just not sure if it will be at the beginning or the end.

So after my run, clothes shopping, grocery shopping, and the regular weekend cleaning, I'll start working on my 3 post for the weekend. Also hope to find some time over the weekend to read one of the 4 books I'm currently reading.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

First 10K Run

Yesterday I completed my first 10k run. Now usually on Labor Day, I'll sleep in and do nothing more than read a book or catch up on some of my favorite shows. It has always been a day I do nothing if possible. However, yesterday morning I was up my 5:00 am (my usual workday wake-up time) and out of the house by 6:15 to drive to the race. I'd run my first 5k back in July and started training not long after for my first 10k (6.2 miles) run. Until yesterday, I'd never run more than 5 miles at one time. Now, I'm still running intervals, so I don't actually run the entire time, but still 6.2 miles seemed like a long distance to me. Luckily, I have friends who have totally gotten behind me and my running/jogging, and my friend Fran also got up early to run. Something about having someone in the race with you, even if you don't run the entire race together, just keeps me going. I finished my 10k in 1 hour and 18 minutes. No, I'll not set any speed records with that pace. However, I'm very pleased with my results. At the 5k mark, I was running about 2 minutes faster than I did in July and at the 5 mile mark, I was already 5 minutes faster than what I ran it in last weekend.

Up next I'll start half marathon training. I'm training with 3 of my friends for a half marathon in December. Now, at this point I haven't actually registered for the race. Still trying to decide if I'll run in Memphis or just use this training to get into really good shape before training to run the half marathon in Nashville in April. I would love to say I ran 2 half marathons before I turned 40 (next October), and could still pull it off even if I don't run in December. Will see how the first few long runs go and then decide.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Bed of Roses

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts is the second book in The Bride Quartet series. From the inside cover flap.~

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts cordially invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac-the founders of Vows, one Connecticut’s premier wedding planning companies.

Since she was a little girl, Emma Grant has always loved romance. So it’s really no surprise that she has found her calling as a wedding florist. She gets to play with flowers every day and work with her three best friends in the process. She couldn’t ask for a better job.

And on the surface, Emma’s love life seems to be thriving. Slim and sultry, she brings color into every room she enters, just like the arrangements she creates. Men swarm around her, yet she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. And the last place she’s looking is right under her nose.

But that’s just where Jack Cooke is. He’s been best friends with Parker’s brother for years, which makes him practically family. The architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. And when Emma returns his passion-kiss for blistering kiss-thing start to get complicated at Vows.

Jack has never been big on commitment. Emma yearns for a lifelong love affair. If the two are to find common ground, they must trust in their history-and in their hearts…

I’ve been a fan of Nora Roberts since I read one of her first books when I was 12 or 13. I like her stand alone books, but I love her books in a series best. I love getting to see favorite characters over the course of the series. I loved meeting the quartet in Visions in White. It is so great to read a book about four strong women who happen to be best friends and support each other unconditionally.

Emma and Jack had been friends for years and recently they both have noticed a new attraction to one another. Jack had been attracted to Emma for a while, and almost acts on it when he finds her stranded on the side of the road when her car dies. From that point on, it was fun to watch Emma and Jack explore their attraction for one another. Of course, Parker, Mack and Laurel all are in Emma’s corner and support her and Jack as they explore their relationship. However, Jack makes a big mistake in holding off telling Del, Parker’s brother and his best friend, and Del finds out and is royally pissed off at Jack. Del has always been the protector of the quartet and he and Jack come to blows when he finds out that Jack and Emma have been dating. After a few punches and a beer both men are much better. Emma figures out early on she is in love with Jack, but doesn’t want to tell him for fear she will influence his feelings. Emma is all about romance and wants it all with Jack.

At the heart of these books is the strong love and friendship of the women who have been friends their entire lives. I’ve now read the first three books in the series and loved them all. Nora Roberts once again delivers a beautiful romance filled with strong characters.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Icing on the Cake

The Icing on the Cake by Alison Kent is a True Vows book, which is one of the first reality-based romance series. From the back cover.~

MATCHMAKER, MAKE ME A MATCH…dot.com! An online dating service is not Michelle Snow’s idea of how to find love, but when the Big 3-0 hits, Michelle decides she has nothing to lose since she hasn’t brought a date home in ten years, she’s professionally burned out, and her climb up the corporate ladder has come at the expense of abandoning her sweet dream: to own a boutique cupcakery.

Todd Bracken, early thirties and a successful technology consultant, isn’t exactly a player after being off the market and pours himself into his dual passions of martial arts and home-sweet-home renovations. Only there’s no one to come home to so he decides to give Match.com a try. Todd isn’t so sure the Internet dating scene is his thing-until a message pops up in the wee hours on a weekend night: “I like your smile.” Todd likes-a lot-the whole package that glides into a French bistro in Washington, D.C.

It’s serious mojo-at-first-sight, but will love find its way in the digital age with a “You’ve Got Mail” courtship? And when Todd challenges Michelle to not only go for her dream but let him share it, will they be able to make it happen together despite obstacles more plentiful than a show of rainbow sprinkles?

Alison Kent’s cutting-edge style smartly takes the contemporary pulse of love and wraps it in timeless truths as she journeys into the open hearts and secret dreams of Michelle Snow and Todd Bracken. The Icing on the Cake is a delicious treat that’s as delectable as it gets!

I love reading about character’s HEA (Happily Ever After), and was really excited to give HCI’s new line of True Vows books a try. Alison Kent posted on facebook and twitter she had books available for review, and I jumped at the chance to read her story. I’m a big fan of romance, and Alison totally delivers as she tells Michelle and Todd’s story. I knew all along this story was about a romance between two real people who met on Match.com, and even knew the outcome of the story from an article I’d seen on-line. I was still hooked from the very beginning and couldn’t wait to see what happened between Michelle and Todd. We got to see romance, loss of a family member, job loss, starting up a new business, and most of all what it takes to make a relationship work.

I’ve been a fan of Alison Kent’s for years and she once again gives her readers a beautiful romance. I fell more in love with Michelle and Todd as a couple with every page I read. I think it is amazing they have a book that tells their love story from the very beginning. Must say I’m a fan of HCI’s new True Vows line and will be purchasing and reading more in this series.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

For the Love of Mollie

For the Love of Mollie is one of the latest novellas out for release by new author KT Grant. Below is information on the story from the author’s website.~

**Winner of Decadent Publishing's Novella Contest! For the Love of Mollie will be in the Relay For Life ‘Read For a Cure’ feature for August During August all of the publisher's profits will be donated to the American Cancer Society**

Synopsis: Mollie McGree is on a mission to seduce her best friend, the sexy masseuse Juan-Carlos. But she wants to lose a few extra pounds first. She joins a gym run by self-made millionaire and personal trainer, Conner Bean. Conner thinks Mollie doesn't need to lose any weight, and is perfect just the way she is. He plans to seduce the curvy Mollie by giving her his own special training sessions in passion and desire.

Soon Mollie is enjoying a no-holds-barred love affair with the vibrant and skilled Conner. But self-esteem issues on her part, as well as her unresolved feelings for Juan-Carlos, cause her to second guess Conner's motives. Conner will stop at nothing until he claims Mollie's heart for his own.

For the Love of Mollie was another super sexy story by KT Grant. Mollie is much like every woman in America and feels like she needs to lose some weight. She has had a crush on sexy masseuse Juan-Carlos for what seems like forever and believes the only reason he isn’t interested in her is because she needs to lose weight. On her first day of working out at her new gym, owned by her best friend Suzy’s brother, she meets super sexy trainer Conner Bean, who also happens to be Suzy’s cousin. Conner is immediately attracted to Mollie, and thinks she is perfect just as she is, but decides he will be her personal trainer so he can convince her how perfect she is in his eyes. However, Conner isn’t only interested in working out with Mollie in the gym…he wants her in his bed too. The chemistry between Conner and Mollie is off the charts from their very first kiss and only got hotter as they spent more and more time together.

I really loved seeing Mollie change and become more confident as this story progressed. She was always a strong and beautiful woman, but with Conner’s help she was able to see herself as others did. Grant once again tells a beautiful story filled with humor and passion. KT Grant’s next story currently out for release is The Princess’s Bride, which is currently available for download from Ravenous Romance and next up on my ebook download list.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hell Week...Diet Style

According to our fearless leader, Amy, the second week into the 6 Weeks to Skinny Jeans diet is called Hell Week. The first week you are so pumped up to give this diet a try by eating the right foods and exercising each day. I have to say that losing 6 pounds in the first week (from my weigh in with Amy on 8/14 to my weigh in at home on 8/23) really made me happy. Woohoo for me! I finally got off the plateau I'd been living on for the last 2 months.

Then week 2 came along. I'm sticking to this low carb 1,500 calorie diet like no body's business. In fact, I'm usually under my calories for the day no matter how much food I put into my body each day. I must say it takes a ton of veggies to equal any real calories if you aren't putting crap on the veggies when you fix them. My biggest challenge right now is to get all my calories in each day, which looks even worse on the days I run. Seems I burn at least 300 calories with each run, so on those days I only net out about 800-900 calories. With this plan, you don't actually get to net out your calories, but www.myfitnesspal.com automatically does it, so I see it on my run days. Luckily, I found out last week we could in fact have sugar free chocolate pudding, so I can get my chocolate fix each day and even add a few more calories in for the day (60 calories per serving).

Exercising has been a bit of a challenge for me. Not my running, as I have it set up on a schedule and I stick to it each day. Doing the 3 sets of exercises Amy has set up for the book is sometimes hard. As much as I hate them, I do them, but not sure I have all the positions right. Was hoping to get some pointers at our group exercise this week, but Amy was sick and it was canceled. The moves are available on the Internet, but much like any other group aerobics class, I need to see it in person to really get it sometimes. We will meet this Tuesday, so I'll be ready with questions and my papers to take notes. Will say I can feel it in my legs and butt after each exercise period.

Going through this with my friends is also extremely helpful. I know there is always at least one person, if not 3 I can talk to when I want something that isn't allowed. I really haven't had a huge urge to cheat on this diet. I do miss chips and guacamole once a week, but have found I can eat guacamole on a salad and skip the chips and I'm just as happy. Overall, this diet is getting easier, but I really think it is more about my attitude to succeed than anything else.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Passion Unleashed

Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione is the third book in her popular Demonica series. From the back cover.~

Forbidden Temptations

Serena Kelley is an archaeologist and treasure hunter-and a woman with a secret. Since she was seven, she’s been the keeper of a powerful charm that grants her health and immortality…as long as she stays a virgin. But Serena isn’t all that innocent. And when a dangerously handsome stranger brings her to the brink of ecstasy, she wonders if she’s finally met the one man she cannot resist.

Fatal Desires

Wraith is a Seminus demon with a death wish. But when an old enemy poisons him, he must find Serena and persuade her to give him the only known antidote in the universe-her charm. Yet, as she begins to surrender to his seductions and Wraith senses the sure is within his grasp, he realizes a horrible truth: He’s falling for the woman whose life he must take in order to save his own life.

I was late getting to this series, but I’m so glad I found it, as it is one of my favorite series out right now. I’ve had a soft spot for Wraith since the first book and was so happy to get to read his story. He is part vampire and part Seminus demon, but hates the vampire side of himself because of the abuse from his mother and her people. Serena Kelley pretty much has no fear, since she knows she can’t be hurt due to her charm. However, she starts to suffer small injuries and realizes something is not right with her charm anymore. Upon meeting Wraith, who she believes is actually someone else, she knows her charm is in danger. She has never been so attracted to anyone and isn’t sure she can continue to fight her attraction to Wraith. Wraith, who has never thought of anyone but himself and his brothers, realizes he has real feelings for Serena. Thinking of her before himself, he is willing to die so she can live, until he discovers the poison that is killing him could eventually kill his brothers too.

I loved watching Wraith fall and start thinking of someone other than himself. He had been through so much with the torture him mother and her followers inflicted on him, he had every right to be selfish and think of himself first. He does love his brothers, but as I read the series, I knew it would take a super special woman to win his heart. Serena, with all her strength, is the perfect woman for Wraith.

Ecstasy Unveiled is the next book in this series and I currently have it in my TBR pile. Sin Undone, which release date is 8/24/10, is the final book in this series. I’ve held off reading Ecstasy Unveiled until I have Sin Undone in my hands, so I can read the final two books back to back.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

6 week journey to skinny jeans

So a few of my friends were getting ready to participate in a 6-week fitness plan called 6 Weeks to Skinny Jeans, and asked me to join them in this fitness/weight loss plan. I’ve been on Weight Watchers for the past year and have hit a plateau over the past few weeks, so I said I would do it. Now they had each been getting emails about the plan for some time, and I was going in blind. Imagine my surprise when we were talking about it a couple of days before everything starts and I find out for the 6 weeks of the plan I can have no alcohol or chocolate and must stick to a 1,500 calorie a day diet, which totally limits my carbs. If that isn’t enough, you also are expected to do workouts everyday, in addition to the running I’m already doing most days. I still agreed to do this, not only for myself, but as a way to support my friends as they went on this journey. We had out last “no carb left behind” dinner on Saturday night (everyone else got to continue with carbs on Sunday, but I had a colonoscopy on Monday, so no food for me on Sunday) and our fitness journey began on Monday, August 16.

I think my body is still trying to adjust to a reduced carb diet. I’m pretty lucky that I love so many veggies listed on this plan. However, it still is a challenge to come up with 3 meals and 3 snacks a day and keep things different each day. So far I’ve pretty much had to stick with eggs for breakfast each day, but I’m trying to put them with something different each day. Lunch has been spinach salads with either fish or chicken, dinner has been another salad with either fish or chicken, and my snacks have been almonds and sugar free jello or sugar free pudding made from part skim ricotta cheese. Now I’m only on day 3 and I’m not alone in looking for new snack ideas and meal ideas. Lucky for my friends and me, Amy Cotta (www.amycotta.com) is really answering our call with suggestions. Since this is her fitness/weight loss plan, she has so many great recipes and tips to get us through this program.

As I mentioned earlier, we are also expected to do a different workout routine each day, in addition to our regular cardio. Amy is working out with us only 1 day a week each week of the plan. Making this plan work is all on each of us, just as it would be if we went out and bought her book or exercise video. Last night we had our first group workout and all I can say, my butt is still killing me. I think I’ve finally found the exercises to make my butt smaller (Woohoo!), and I’ll be the first to admit she totally puts out a kick-ass workout. The only thing that made it any easier, and even a little fun, was having 2 of my friends with me as Amy kicked our butts. There are 3 different workouts in Amy’s plan and I’ll do the first one on my own tonight (wasn’t allowed to exercise at all on Monday), once I run 2-3 miles after work. I know without even looking at the workout I will be so sore tomorrow.

Since I’ve been on Weight Watchers, I’ve lost 45 pounds and given away all of “fat clothes” as they became too big. I gave all my skinny clothes to my sister a few years ago when she lost a bunch of weight, so I don’t really have any skinny jeans left in my house, with the exception of a pair of size 4 Lucky Jeans I could wear about 7-8 years ago. Now, I’m not crazy enough to believe I will be skinny enough to fit into those size 4 jeans after 6 weeks (it wouldn’t be healthy for me to drop that much weight that fast), but I am hoping this fitness/weight loss plan kicks me off the plateau I’ve been living on for the past couple of months.

Having issues with blogger

So I seem to be having issues with blogger right now. I have a great post all ready to go about the new fitness/weight loss challenge I'm currently doing, but can't get blogger to let me paste the post so I can publish it. Hopefully, when I get home from work, I can get it to work on my home computer. I've now emailed the post to my house and hope to get it posted tonight. I also need to get post up about the last two books I read. Plan on getting at least one up tonight after my workout and dinner.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Reading Slump in July

I just finished reading Larissa Ione's Passion Unleashed. I try to update my spreadsheet of books read as I finish reading each book (yes I have to keep a spreadsheet to keep up with my books each year...I know I'm a geek). Upon updating said spreadsheet, I realized I only managed to read 3 books total in July. My reads in July were the following books:

Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between
Friday Night Bites

I did managed to read a few stories, that are not yet published, but overall I hit a major reading slump in the month of July. My week at RWA didn't help in adding to my reading list for the month. I had a wonderful time at RWA, but didn't find any spare time to read while I was there. In fact, if I found any spare time, I usually grabbed a power nap to help me get through the rest of the day.

I hope to find time to post a longer post on my first RWA experience over the weekend. I can only say at this point, I've almost caught up on my sleep and still need to put away my suitcases and clean laundry.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between

Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between is by J.A. Saare. I bought the book for the Kindle on my phone, so I went to the author’s website to get the back cover blurb. ~

One bad corpse can ruin your whole day. No one knows that better than Rhiannon Murphy. She’s left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she’s managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her – until now.

The deliciously good-looking vampire Disco knows her secret, and when he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, she discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no.

But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.

I decided to read Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between after hearing so many of my twitter and blogging friends talk about the sexy vampire, Disco. Thanks to Bells, Stacy, MamaKitty, and everyone else who suggested this book to me. I loved Rhiannon from the very beginning. She is such a strong and kick-ass character, with a bit of vulnerability underneath. I was smitten with Disco from the beginning (might have something to do with all the love he gets on twitter and blogs), but fell hard for him as the story progressed.

I don’t really want to give away any spoilers to the story, but I will say there are a few curve balls thrown in the story. I’ve heard lots of people complain about the ending to Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between, but I loved it. Can’t wait for the next book in the series! This was my first book by J.A. Saare, but it won't be my last.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kiss Me If You Can

Kiss Me If You Can is the newest contemporary romance by NYT best-selling author Carly Phillips. From the Net Galley site.~

Sam Cooper (“Coop”) has just become the most eligible bachelor in New York City. Now that he has foiled a jewelry-store robbery and has been rewarded with the ring of his choice, single women all over the city are fawning over the crime reporter. But Coop isn’t interested in the admirers sending racy underwear his way. His attention is centered solely on Lexie Davis, the only woman in the city who claims not to be interested in his bachelor status.

Instead, free-spirited Lexie is interested in Coop’s antique ring, and its – potentially scandalous – history in her family. But Coop is quickly becoming more than just her route to the ring. When his investigation starts to uncover the truth, will she trust her heart – and her family secrets – to this most eligible bachelor?

Carly Phillips gives her readers another winner with Kiss Me If You Can. Sam Cooper is a reporter for the crime beat who finds himself the center of his own beat after he stops a jewelry-store robbery. When he is given a ring as the reward for stopping the jewelry-store robbery, he becomes the most eligible bachelor in New York City for his own paper, on the run from all the women of New York City. That is until Lexie Davis contacts him about the ring he was given matching a necklace that belongs to her grandmother.

Sam and Lexie are instantly attracted to one another, but soon find out they each live life differently. However, that doesn’t stop them from exploring their attraction. Sam and Lexie are so very hot together and it was so much fun to watch them fall for one another.

I absolutely love Kiss Me If You Can and can’t wait for the next book in this series. I have been reading many different genres of romances lately, and Carly Phillips once again reminded me of my love for contemporary romances. The official release date for Kiss Me If You Can is Tuesday, July 27. Everyone needs to either run to the bookstore or order from your favorite on-line retailer ASAP!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Friday Night Bites

Friday Night Bites is the second book in the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill. From the back cover.~


You’d think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, we’re enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite-fending off paparazzi, who are only slightly less dangerous than cross- and stake-wielding slayers. Don’t get me wrong, Joe Public isn’t exactly thrilled to be living side by side with the undead, but at least they haven’t stormed the castle…yet.

All that will change once they learn about the Raves, mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behavior-but that doesn’t make good copy for a first-time reporter looking to impress his high-society family.

So now my “master”-centuries-old yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan-wants me to reconnect with my own upper-class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires…and to keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesn’t want people and vamps to play nicey-nice-someone with an ancient grudge.

I love the Chicagoland Vampires series. Merit is still dealing with becoming a vampire. She is also moving into Cadogan House, to better protect the House and to give Mallory and Catcher their space. She even is dating Morgan, head of Navarre House. If all these changes are enough, Ethan is now asking her to reconnect with her family, so they can find out what is going on with one of the high-society reports who is trying to find dirt on the vampires in Chicago. Of course, Merit and Ethan are still butting heads whenever they are in a room together. They truly have a love-hate relationship, with lots of lust thrown in for good measure. I seriously hope they end up getting together at some point in this series (I’m totally Team Ethan).

Merit seems to be in the center of a storm once again. Only made bumpier by the return of Celina and her vendetta against Cadogan House and especially Merit. Merit must become the vampire buried deep inside her in order to save both herself and her House.

Chloe Neill gives her readers another winner with Friday Night Bites. It is a fun story filled with a bit of mystery. The verbal volleys between Ethan and Merit are so entertaining and watching Merit grow and change was really fascinating. Twice Bitten is the next up in this fun series and is currently in my TBR pile.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My 10K Training starts...now

So we had our reunion meeting tonight for my 5K No-Bo training group and it was so great to see everyone again. We all laughed that we didn't recognize each other in regular clothes when we were not covered in sweat. I actually had started running out at Tin Roof 2 with a group of runners on Monday night, so I had already seen many of the people I ran with during No-Bo.

I had to decide what I wanted to do next...and have decided to run my first 10K on Labor Day. There is a 10K in Franklin, TN and I plan on signing up for the race by the first of August. A few of my friends will start 1/2 marathon training on September 11 for a 1/2 marathon in Las Vegas the first weekend of December. I know I'm going to do the training with them, and if I can come up with the money to travel to Vegas, will run the 1/2 marathon with them.

Of course, training for a new race means I won't even be able to take off from running while at RWA. I talked to a few of the people I ran with each week, and was told as long as I ran at least once or twice while gone, I should be fine with my training. I has already planned on bringing my running shoes, now I know I will use them at least once while I'm on vacation.

I still plan on running a 5K each month while training for both the 10K and the 1/2 marathon, because that was my goal once I started my first training. Will also train in January, as planned, for the Music City 1/2 Marathon in April. I love the group of people I met while running and look forward to my runs each week.