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

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.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Burned is the latest book in the House of Night series by mother-daughter writing team P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast. From the inside cover flap.~

Things have turned black at the House of Night. Zoey Redbird’s soul has shattered. With everything she’s ever stood for falling apart, and a broken heart making her want to stay in the Otherworld forever, Zoey’s fading fast. It’s seeming more and more doubtful that she will be able to pull herself back together in time to rejoin her friends and set the world to rights. As the only living person who can reach her, Stark must find a way to get to her. But how? He will have to die to do so, the Vampyre High Council stipulates. And then Zoey will give up for sure. There are only seven days left.

Enter BFF Stevie Rae. She wants to help Z, but she has massive problems of her own. The rogue Red Fledglings are acting up, and this time not even Stevie Rae can protect them from the consequences. Her kinda boyfriend, Dallas, is sweet but too nosy for his own good. The truth is, Stevie Rae’s hiding a secret that might be the key to getting Zoey home-but it also threatens to explode her whole world.

In the middle of the whole mess is Aphrodite:ex-Fledgling, trust-fund baby, total hag from Hell (and proud of it). She’s always been blessed (if you can call it that) with visions that can reveal the future, but now it seems that Nyx has decided to speak through her with the goddess’s own voice, whether Aphrodite wants it or not. Aphrodite’s loyalty can swing a lot of different ways, but right now Zoey’s fate hangs in the balance.

Three girls…playing with fire…if they don’t watch out, everyone will get Burned.

The House of Night series is one of my favorite YA vampire series on the market right now. Burned was good, but not my favorite one in the series. I really think it’s because we didn’t get to see Zoey as much in this book. Once her soul was shattered, she wasn’t the Zoey Redbird I’d come to love in the series. I did enjoy Aphrodite finally stepping up in a take-charge role. I think the biggest thing I disliked about the book was Stevie Rae and her lies. I’ve always liked Stevie Rae and as she lied over and over to her friends and her Red Fledglings, I lost some respect for her. She is supposed to be the first High Priestess of the Red Fledglings, yet she seemed a bit selfish in this book. I’m fine with her being imprinted with Rephaim, a Raven Mocker. I just don’t feel that she is honoring Nyx by not being honest with her friends about Rephaim.

I’ll continue to read this series, as I want to see what becomes of Zoey and her friends. I’m hoping my concerns and questions are answered in the next House of Night book. Awakened is set to be released either at the end of December 2010 or the first week of January 2011.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Only the Good Spy Young

Only the Good Spy Young is the 4th book in the Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter. From the inside cover flap.~

When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start as soon as her junior year. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when she faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her.

Now the danger follows her everywhere, and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most trusted allies is actually a rouge double agent, Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers-or even her own heart.

In this fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series, the Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the truth as they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie’s future may lie deep in the past.

I’m a huge fan of the Gallagher Girl series and loved Only the Good Spy Young. Cammie and her friends, Bex, Macey, and Liz must figure out a way to keep Cammie safe. Since she isn’t allowed to leave campus, it should be pretty easy to keep her out of harm’s way. Of course, Cammie and her friends are really not much for sitting around and waiting for others to tell them what is really going on. So as they continue to look into Cammie’s kidnapping attempts, they discover it is tied into Cammie’s past.

With much action and lots of adventure, Only the Good Spy Young gives Carter’s fans another edge of your seat ride. I know I’m not saying much about the book, but I really don’t want to post any spoilers about this wonderful series. I devoured this book and can’t wait for the next book in this series, which I hope will be sometime next year. Luckily, Ally Carter has a second amazing series out and hopefully Heist Society 2 (title to be determined) will be out soon.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Some Girls Bite

Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill is the first book in her Chicagoland Vampire series. From the back cover.~


Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was mine. I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world-and then a rogue vampire attacked me. But he got only a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker…and this one decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

Turns out my savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now I’ve traded sweating over my dissertation for learning to fit in at a Kenwood mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred-year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude-and servitude. Right…

But my burgeoning powers (all of a sudden, I’m surprisingly handy with some serious weaponry), an inconvenient sunlight allergy, and Ethan’s attitude are the least of my concerns. Someone’s still out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?

My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war…and there will be blood.

Once again, I’m taking the advice of a friend when reading a new author. My friend Stacy had talked about Chloe Neill’s books on her blog, so I knew I needed to give them a try. I’m so glad I did too. I loved Some Girls Bite! Merit is such a fun and sassy character. She never planned on becoming a vampire and even fights against it a bit in the beginning…even challenging her maker Ethan. She does finally accept the fact that being a vampire is now her life. However, she still seems to butt up against Ethan every chance she gets, and also fight her attraction to Ethan every chance she gets. Luckily, Merit has her best friend and roommate Mallory, her grandfather, and many of his co-workers to help her learn more about being a vampire. Merit also becomes the object of desire from Morgan, a vampire from House Navarre.

I have the next book in the Chicagoland Vampire series, Friday Night Bites in my TBR pile and added Twice Bitten on its 7/6/10 release date. I can't wait to see what happens between Merit, Ethan and Morgan.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

3 Seductions and a Wedding

3 Seductions and a Wedding is the latest Blaze release from Julie Leto. From the back cover.~

Why wait for the wedding night?

Tying the Knot

Jessie might not forgive Leo for his long-ago betrayal, but after one scorching kiss, she can’t fight the chemistry anymore. But a girl can’t base her future on great sex. Or can she?

Take This Man

Can hunky Drew convince his longtime crush Annie that he’s the man for her? All he has to do in sweep her off her feet…then make her forget that he’s a much younger man…

Bedded Bliss

When playboy billionaire Ajay is ready for real commitment, he thinks sexy, sensible Mallory is his woman. Too bad her only desire is to experience his reputed prowess in bed!

3 Seductions and a Wedding is the story of a group of friends preparing the way for their friends Bianca and Coop to get married. Each short story was fun and sexy.

In “Tying the Knot”, Jessie must decide if she can finally forgive Leo for cheating on her in college. It’s been 10 years and they have both really grown up in that time, but their attraction for one another has never gone away.

In “ Take This Man”, Annie, who is Coop’s older sister must decide if she can trust Drew, who is Bianca’s younger brother. Drew has been attracted to Annie since they first met years ago. Annie, who has just gone through a divorce, is attracted to Drew, but is worried about him being so much younger than her.

In “Bedded Bliss”, Mallory has decided to seduce Ajay to prove to herself she is still desirable after a bad breakup. Ajay has always been able to enjoy women without ever falling for them. However, he falls fast and hard for Mallory. Now he must convince Mallory of his true feelings.

Julie Leto gives her readers a winner with these 3 connected stories. Each couple is given their own assignment to make sure the wedding for Coop and Bianca comes off without any problems. It was fun to watch each couple as they realized their feeling for one another. Being a Blaze book, the reader is also treated to 3 steamy stories. Since 3 Seductions and a Wedding is a June Blaze release, it might not be on bookshelves anymore. However, it will still be available for order from

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Nightkeepers is the first novel in The Final Prophecy series by Jessica Andersen. From the back cover.~

The end of time looms, and Mayan demons have surfaced from the underworld to trigger an apocalypse. But as the final day approaches, the descendants of ancient warrior-priests prepare to fight back..

As a Miami narcotics detective, Leah Daniels never knows how her day will turn out. But she certainly doesn’t expect to be strapped to a stone alter as the human sacrifice in an ancient Mayan ritual meant to coax a demon from the underworld-or to be saved by a handsome warrior-priest king, who claims to recognize her from his visions.

Striking Jaguar thinks he is the last of the Nightkeeper warrior-priests, but as the end-time approaches, his mentor reveals there are twelve others. In reuniting them, Strike-king by birthright-gains the power to summon a Mayan god to combat the demons. But the woman of his visions is the gods’ chosen sacrifice. Now he must decide between love and duty…or find another way to invoke otherworldly magic in a death-defying race against the end of time.

Nightkeepers is yet another book recommended to me by my friend Paula. My cousin Beverly also told me to make sure I move this book up in my TBR pile. With suggestions from 2 people I totally trust about books, I knew I needed to give Nightkeepers a try, and I’m so glad I did. I’m not sure that I really believe the end of the world is going to happen in 2012, but I absolutely loved this story. Andersen gives her readers strong characters and a fabulous story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

I really loved both Strike and Leah. They are put into an almost impossible situation when they meet. Strike is sent Leah where she is set to be a human sacrifice to demons. After Strike rescues Leah, neither can fight their attraction to one another. Since Strike is a Nightkeeper and future king of his people, he really can’t be with human and needs to mate with another Nightkeeper or member of his race. However, Strike and Leah keep running into one another and they really can’t seem to keep their hands off one another. With the end of the world on Strike’s shoulders, he must decide if he will lead the other Nightkeepers and be the king he was born to be.

Nightkeepers is an action packed story filled with romance, battles against evil, and Mayan history. I’m lucky enough to have the next 3 books in this series in my TBR pile and can’t wait to read them soon.

Monday, July 05, 2010

My first 5K

Here is the family running across the finish line together. Thanks to my friend Melissa, I have tons of pictures from the race.

My first 5K was on Saturday in Brentwood, TN. My friend Melissa ran the race with me, and my time was 39:56. Since I really wanted to finish the race in about 40 minutes, I was very excited to finish at just under 40 minutes. My dad and 2 of my aunts also came in to do the race with me. My Aunt Clay finished in about 42 minutes and my dad and Aunt Suzie finished in about 53 minutes. My youngest niece even got in on the action by running the last few hundred feet with me as I crossed the finish line.

My No-Bo training through Fleet Feet really helped me get ready for the race and I'm already training for a race in August(yet to have picked one yet, but will continue to train). My plan is to run at least one 5K per month through the end of the year. I also hope to run one 10K by the end of the year. In January, I'll sign up to start training for the Music City Half Marathon, which is always scheduled for the end of April. I've been told Nashville has one of the toughest courses to run due to all the hills. So I know I will need to start running lots of hills over the next several months.