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Saturday, December 31, 2011 | By: Traci

My Favorite Covers of 2011

Crave (The Clann #1) The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1) The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax (The Mephisto Covenant, #1) Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Dearly, Departed Starcrossed The Magnolia League (Magnolia League, #1) Demonglass (Hex Hall #2)

I've read a lot of books this year. My Goodreads account puts my book count at 115 books this year, which is 37,851 pages! That's pretty good considering before I bought my Kindle, I was reading maybe 5 or so books a year..that is if I decided to. Sometimes I never made it to that many. I just never found it to be convenient to go to the bookstore, buy a book, read it and repeat.

While I don't own any of the books above in hardcover format, I still find the covers to be beautiful works of art. I'm hoping that I can get my hands on more lovely books next year!

I haven't given any thought as to how many books I plan to read next year but I think I'm going to shoot for just a bit more books than I read this year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Shadowlander by Theresa Meyers (ARC)

Shadowlander (Shadow Sisters, #1)Shadowlander by Theresa Meyers
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book started off strong. I was excited to read a novel about the fae because it's not something that I've really delved into before. We're met with our main character Cate that can see the fae but has always been warned by her grandmother to ignore them, to never acknowledge them. She's done well with ignoring them for several years that is, until her friend is kidnapped by one which sets Cate off on a mission to rescue her.

Cate's fairy companion is Rook, a fae that has bee with her for years. He is enamored with her and is always watching her. Of course, because Cate hids her feelings, Rook doesn't think she can see him until she reveals that she can in an effort to get to the fae dimension so she can save her friend.

This book has lots of descriptions of the vast and strange fairy worlds but sometimes, the descriptions just border on lackluster. Sometimes I wonder how their world could be a fairy world because it just seems boring based upon descriptions.

Also, I realize that this is a romance but the romance just happens all the time freaking time! These characters just cannot keep their hands off each other. In my opinion, we could have delved deeper into the fae realm and the story of things if those characters would have done something else other than fondle each other. I just was not impressed with where the story went after Cate was introduced by Rook to the fae realm.

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Monday, December 26, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #7) by Charlaine Harris

All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #7)All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again, Sookie must leave her hometown to work for the vampires, and once again, all hell breaks loose.

I think this one clicked a lot more for me than the previous book. It was just a lot more interesting with a lot more action. I was glad to see Sookie reunited with Barry, a character from a few books before. While by the end, Sookie and Barry aren't exactly on the best terms, it was nice to see her interacting once again with another telepath.

I also enjoyed reading the parts about the summit. The summit at the hotel of course, is where all the action takes place. This book is all about business. We don't see a lot of Sookie really just being or interacting outside of having a job to do for her vampire employers. She's there quite simply as a lie detector and they really don't feel bad about using her. They are paying her nicely and they really do plan to use her how they wish.

I was very surprised to see how Sookie's actions towards the end before the big climax really showed how her loyalties have shifted. It was actually very surprising to see how she no longer seems to care for certain characters, but she now cares for those that at first, she felt absolutely nothing for. I think this book is a big catalyst for a lot of changes in the coming books. Of course, I haven't read past this book yet so I cannot be sure but I think Sookie is in for a lot of revelations.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011 | By: Traci

Merry Christmas!

Miscellaneous Christmas Comments
Magickal Graphics
Hope your day was filled with many books! I didn't receive any books this year but trust me, I have enough already! Happy Holidays!
Friday, December 23, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke, Leslie Meier, Laura Levine

Gingerbread Cookie MurderGingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I bought this book for two reasons: One is part of the $1 deal on my kindle and two I was looking for something fun to read for Christmas. I'm glad I got this.

This really is a cute, light, christmassy read for the holidays. I was able to read it in one day and I had fun doing it. This book is a collection of three novella's all dealing with Christmas mysteries.

The first novella deals with an annoying neighbor that winds up dead. Our lead character is accused of the murder at first but upon digging deeper, she realizes that the murderer is someone close to her!

The second deals with a woman visiting her parents in Florida for Christmas. A wealthy doctor in the retirement community ends up dead during a community play which leads everyone to question which lady could be responsible. The dead doctor played a lot of them so it could have been anyone except the most obvious.

And the third deals with the kidnapping of a young child from what the town considers to be questionable parents. Local reporter Lucy Stone feels for the boy and even the family until something about the entire situation doesn't make sense. What turns out to be a tragedy turns into a miracle.

This is a collection of cute stories that while dealing with murder and crimes have a nice flair for the holidays. They remind us of the bad things about the seasons and yet, the good things too. If you need something fast to read, but fun for the holidays, this is it!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: A Clockwork Christmas by J.K Coi, P.G Forte, Stacy Gail, Jenny Schwartz

A Clockwork ChristmasA Clockwork Christmas by Angela James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a collection of four steampunk novella's based upon Christmas themes.

Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail
This Winter Heart by PG Forte
Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz
Far From Broken by JK Coi

I think this book started off strong. Crime Wave in a Corset was by far my favorite novella in this book. This was your classic bad person realizes they're not so bad after all story. I really liked it. This one was really strong in the Christmas theme.

The second one, This Winter Heart was also good. I really liked it. Christmas was a theme but it was sort of passed over. We know it's coming but we don't see a lot of it in this story and that is what I was really interested in. Stories with Christmas themes.

Wanted: One Scoundrel has a fleeting glimpse of winter celebrations. Now we start going down hill. The story line was cute although towards the end I really didn't care to be reading the story. I was just ready to finish.

By the time I reached Far From Broken, I was pretty much done with this book. I skipped around a lot. This one just wasn't as good as the others. Either that, or I was just tired of pretty much the same theme, guy either wants girl or has done girl wrong and wants so badly to be forgiven.

My overall opinion was, this started out strong and was very promising but by the end, I was kind of done. Overall, not a bad compilation but I really wanted stronger Christmas/seasonal themes. This is the biggest reason why I picked up this book.

Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me the chance to review this book.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #6) By Charlaine Harris

Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #6)Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was a bit disappointed with this novel in the series. I guess I expected something different, something a lot more compelling and active.

While I enjoyed reading about the Vampire Queen and her love and relationship with Sookie's cousin Hadley, and I liked seeing Bill and Sookie's relationship tested even more by more problems brought on by news of why Bill was really back in Sookie's neighborhood, this book just wasn't as excellent as the others.

Also, I really can't help but feel bad for Sookie, she has all of these guys around her, all vying for her attention, but the problem is, they're not normal guys. When we find out why this is, I can't help but feel bad for her because I realize that now, because she is immersed into the supernatural world, she'll just never get a break.

I am hoping however that Bill and Sookie's relationship returns. I'm not too fond of the Were's. I'm more of a vampire person myself. It's just too much to read about all of these people constantly shifting before battles and then later shifting back and wandering around naked. I'll take a good ole fashioned vampire battle any day!

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Saturday, December 17, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Haint Misbehavin' by Maureen Hardegree (ARC)

Haint Misbehavin'Haint Misbehavin' by Maureen Hardegree
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought this was a cute book about a girl that just can't catch a break, and ends up even worse off when she realizes that she can see ghosts, and one ghost in particular isn't about to let her catch a break either.

I really liked Heather, the main character and I really couldn't help but feeling for her character as she suffered through all of the trouble her sister put her through, not to mention her sister's friends. She really has a tough time. She just can't win and if you're a young girl reading this book, you'd probably fall in love with her right away because I'm sure you can find qualities of yourself in Heather. She's just a normal girl, well a girl that can see ghosts. And that certainly complicates matters.

Audrey, Heather's older sister made me despise her instantly and I kept waiting for her time to come, where something would happen to her that would put her in her place, but sadly nothing really did happen. Nothing big, or nothing punishing enough, at least in my opinion.

One aspect that I found a bit strange was how Heather received knowing that Amy, the girl she saw around her father's grapes was in fact a ghost. It seemed to go too smoothly. I'm not sure that someone that hasn't seen a ghost before or interacted with a ghost before, especially a teenager, could take to knowing the girl she's conversing with is indeed a ghost. However, things seem to get better for Heather and she does get better at interacting with Amy and working to try and help her. At first it's just her being annoyed and frustrated and wanting nothing more to do with her ghost pal because hey, she's a teen on summer vacation. Of course she has better things to do.

I'm interested in reading the second book in this series because it was a fun, light read. I would like to know where Heather goes next with her abilities, not to mention what happens to her next.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee (ARC)

Forbidden (The Books of Mortals, #1)Forbidden by Ted Dekker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This synopsis of this book sounds like this is an amazing book. It really does. However, it just didn't blow me away.

I found the concept interesting. This is something that hasn't been done before, and it's execution for the reasoning behind how the human body lost all emotions except Fear was good. However, the execution of the entire book just wasn't that great.

I felt that there were a lot of internal dialogues that were full of questions. Instead of full thoughts we're met with question after question. Sometimes these questions span several paragraphs and even continue onto the next page. It was boring and sometimes hard to read.

I feel that the first two chapters were great; they pulled you in and really made you want to read more, but after the opening, the books becomes drab, hard to read and full of thoughts that are disjointed or are full of telling more than showing. Also, some parts of the story were not surprising. They were predictable. I saw things coming before they happened which didn't make for a great story either.

Also, the characters were really one dimensional. Sure, you could argue that the characters were the way they were because they lacked emotions, but really, they were not deep reaching people. Saric had only one intention. He behaved only one way. Avra, Rom's friend and love interest behaved one way. I could go on but I will save that for you to determine on your own. The way the characters were written just did not pull me in or make me like them in any way.

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This book was provided to me by NetGalley for review.

Saturday, December 10, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly, DepartedDearly, Departed by Lia Habel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OK, I have to admit, I was really skeptical about reading this book and liking it. This was a completely different book concept, one that I'm not really used to. I have read zombie novels before, but this one, this one is completely different.

We have a world that is far beyond ours, where the people have gone back to the Victorian way of living with extremely advanced technology and a world where zombies exist. The thing is, these zombies may or may not want to eat your flesh. The amazing thing about this zombie virus is that some zombies are still capable of living without acting aggressively or violently.

I did enjoy the world of New Victoria. I'm fascinated by all things Victorian so I thought it was a really interesting concept to see the world go back to a different way of living. There is also a bit of steam punk within this book too so if you're a steam punk fan you may enjoy this novel.

I fell in love with our main character Nora. She's not entirely enamored with the ways of New Victoria, but she follows them enough. She has a good personality, and her back story is painfully sad and it makes you very angry when you find out a lot more about what lead her to where she is.

Bram, a coherent non-violent zombie is also a wonderful character as well. We actually open with his story and we meet up with him again later once Bram rescue's Nora from an attack. These characters are all so wonderfully written, I almost hated to read the ending for fear that something would happen to these characters that I've become fond of.

This was wonderfully written even if it was still a bit hard to wrap my mind around the story. I grew to love it and I would like to know more about this world.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: A Storm of Swords by George R.R Martin

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If there is one thing that I have learned by reading these books is that, slowly, one by one, the story really starts to go deeper, with bigger plot twists and turns each leaving me either utterly shocked or very, very angry that these things occurred.

This book is slow. Painfully slow in some parts. It works on slowly building up suspense, giving you bits and pieces of the story one by one. It's painful really to read through the chapters because you're handed only bite sized pieces of information and you don't want bite sized pieces, you want everything at once. This book leaves you hungry for more.

The events in this book will shock you, especially if you've grown very fond of certain characters. You'll be angry, you'll be shocked, you'll want revenge and in the end, you'll be so surprised you won't believe what you've just read! This book has one of the biggest plot twists by far than the other books did.

While this book has made me want to start reading the next because I really, really want to know what happens, these books are so large I feel the need to take from one book before I begin another because they take me so long to read! With that being said, I am definitely reading the next and continuing on with this series.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Nobody's Princess by Esther M. Friesner

Nobody's PrincessNobody's Princess by Esther M. Friesner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really like this book. It was definitely something different, something that I've never really read before. I liked reading about Helen's younger years. While I am not too familiar with Greek stories, I do enjoy mythology and reading about people worshiping gods in a different way.

I liked seeing Helen rebel. I liked her spirit and her go getting attitude. I'm more surprised at how easily so many people were at letting her do things that were not common for a girl, or a girl so young. Yes, some characters do break the mold, but not many do. I guess I'm more surprised at how willing Helen is to lie to her parents and people meant to protect her for her own personal gain.

My only real complaint about this story is how it sometimes tends to drag on a bit. It doesn't happen often, but it does and it's a little frustrating. I will say though, I am a bit disappointed that this book wasn't longer! I have the second and I can begin reading it at any time, I just hoped that I would have more to read! It was such a short little snippet I'm ready to read the next as soon as I can!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: The Merchant's Daughter (ARC) by Melanie Dickerson

The Merchant's DaughterThe Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I really wanted to like this story line, something about it just wasn't sitting well with me. The main character Annabel just seemed a tad flat. She was always one sided; she always acted one way, refused to act another way. She is a very rigid character. While I enjoyed reading about her life, and while I hated how her family treated her, she was treated as more of a money-maker rather than a human with feelings. I really disliked how they wanted nothing more to do with her other than money.

I liked the Lord of the story. He was hard to read, tough on the outside, soft on the inside. It seems his transition to thinking differently other than how he originally thought, occurs a lot easier than Annabel's did.

I was aware that this was a more religious centered book when I wanted it for review, but I was able to read objectively. I was surprised to read that the religious aspects were a lot more free thinking than I had expected. I was expecting something more rigid, more this is the only true way. While some people hold those beliefs, it does not ring true for everyone in this story.

And I will admit, I was rooting for Annabel to finally come to her senses and see that love, rather than a nunnery is where she belonged. So I was interested in seeing how she would come to her senses.

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Friday, November 25, 2011 | By: Traci

Black Friday Book Bonanza Hop

This hop is hosted by, Book Savvy Babe, The Bawdy Book Blog, and Alive on the Shelves!

-This Giveaway is US Only
-The Winner will be contacted and have 48 hours to respond, if they do not respond, I will pick another winner!
-The Winner will receive a copy of The Pack (ARC) by Jason Starr.
-Enter using Rafflecopter, and then enter other blogger giveaways by using the links below!

Thursday, November 24, 2011 | By: Traci

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just stopping in to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been MIA for the past few weeks. I haven't been feeling well, pair that with working full time and wanting to do other things, it's been hard to get to reading books. And, I'm also one of those crazy Black Friday shoppers so I'll end up going out tonight shopping so it's hard to pin me down this time of year but I hope to have more book reviews posted soon.

Also as a reminder, stop by tonight or something this weekend for my next giveaway hop, The Black Friday Book Bonanza hop which will go live tonight around Midnight and go through Sunday. There are only about 76 blogs on the hop list, so this is relatively small and would be great to enter to see what you can win! Hope to see you guys there!

Sunday, November 13, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Sleepers by Megg Jensen

Sleepers (The Swarm, #1)Sleepers by Megg Jensen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Something about this book just didn't set too well with me. I really wanted to be in love with this book. I really like the idea of it but I suppose I really expected something a lot darker than what I was truly presented with.

I really liked the general idea, and I really like Lianne, the main character. I love her personality, how she's ready to fight for what's right, risk her life to save a friend even if that friend has accepted their fate.

My biggest problems with this book were some scenes were just tossed out there. There was no depth. We were presented with a scene and instead of being fleshed out, it seems rushed. The scene and moment is over at the drop of a hat and then we go to another moment a few paragraphs later where there is no depth. It's explained and then accepted by the characters without a question or thought until much later.

It's not a bad start and I am interested in seeing what happens next!

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Thursday, November 10, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: A Spy in the House (The Agency #1) by Y.S. Lee

A Spy in the House (The Agency, #1)A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The beginning of this novel really grabbed my attention. I don't want to give much of the story away, but it's really interesting to see our young character Mary in such a predicament at such a young age. It's very enlightening to see someone come along to save her and to offer her a better chance at life than what was going to happen.

I was expecting to see a bit more of Mary at school or a bit more of The Agency that she was so easily inducted into. It wasn't made out to be such a big deal even though she really was undergoing a lot for her work with the agency. She undergoes some sort of training, training of which we don't see her go through and then she's thrust into her assignment.

Aside from those little issues above, once Mary gets to her assignment, things start to get a little more interesting. However, I just didn't find the story completely riveting. It's surprising to see what's really happening behind the scenes and to see who is really stealing artifacts because it is someone so completely unexpected.

I guess I just expected a lot more from this novel but I did not find this to be a disappointing read. I was just looking for a more fleshier novel.

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Monday, November 7, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Crave by Melissa Darnell (ARC)

CraveCrave by Melissa Darnell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is your classic tale of star crossed romance. One that feels so great but really is oh so wrong for many reasons. However, this is a different take I think on forbidden romances. The paranormal twist is nice. We have a group of people that have magical powers and abilities called The Clann that control the use of powers. Tristan is the son of the leader and Savannah comes from a family that was forced to leave the Clann because her mother married a Vampire and had Savannah as the result.

Savannah is always kept in the dark. While we read a lot of stories where teens are kept from knowing their magical heritage, you would think it gets boring. I don't think this story was boring or overly done. I think the author went about it in a great way, portraying all the ways a concerned family might work to keep their beloved child safe.

I really like how magic is portrayed. There are rules and while people in the story use magic, they don't overly use it. Sometimes their uses are more practical helping accomplish a household task, other times it's used for protection or training. My favorite aspect of magic we see in this book has to been dream connecting. It's quite fascinating really.

Also, I'm really rooting for these two. This is kind of like a modern take on Romeo and Juliet except it has a paranormal twist rather than the usual boy and girl can't date. I am really excited to read the next.

Thanks for NetGalley for allowing me to review this book!

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Friday, November 4, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3) Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3) by Richelle Mead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first started reading this series, I really wasn't sure how much I would like it. It was definitely outside of the normal vampire fiction that I was reading, but slowly, I'm really starting to get into this novel.

At first, I found Rose to be a really unlikable character. She was annoying, rude, crass and very hot headed. Thankfully, in this novel, Rose is starting to develop into a likable character. She's starting to grow, learn more things about life and herself, and finally, she's starting to stand up for herself.

I think my biggest issue so far with these novels has been the idea that these protectors of the vampire families have nothing to do but to care for and protect someone else. I'm really happy to see that this idea is starting to fall through for Rose and she's starting to think about herself. I'm also happy to see other ideas in the Vampire Academy world are beginning to change but I won't go into that here. That's something that really needs to be read yourself as a reader to fully understand and appreciate.

With all of that being said, I found this novel to really be heartbreaking. Rose is a character that doesn't have much. Sure, she has friends, but that is about all she has going for her. She's slowly starting to gain respect, but respect isn't everything. Her mother is off fighting, barely around to see her. She doesn't call and she certainly doesn't show a lot of love or give her any attention. There is not father in the picture, so naturally, certain plot aspects of this novel were heartbreaking. It was painful to see Rose finally gain something that she felt to be precious only to have it taken away in the worst way possible.

All in all, I feel that this is the best of the books I have read so far and the ending of this is really setting up the next book for a great adventure with more information unfolding about this very strange world that I can only assume we still have not learned everything about.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | By: Traci

Spooktacular Blog Hop Winner! and News

And the winner of the Spooktacular Blog Hop is lucky # 55, Bethany B! Bethany has been notified. Congrats! Please remember to stop by later this month for the Black Friday blog hop where I will be giving away another ARC donated graciously by a friend. Also, I just noticed that I'm at 100 followers. If you've stopped by the contest page, you may have noticed that I put up a note saying that once I reached 150 followers, I'm going to hold a follower appreciation giveaway. So, tell your friends to follow us via GFC and watch the numbers rise. Once I do, I'll be giving away a box of book goodies!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the WindThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've never been one for large fantasy books. In fact, I really just started reading longer fantasy books when I joined the bookclub on LJ. I'm glad I decided to read this book this time around because it was really, really good.

The beginning for me was a bit slow. It was sort of hard to get into because the story slowly unfolded. Don't get me wrong, I like suspense, I like building up to things, but it took a long time for us to really get the story. I think that is what made the beginning so slow. We really weren't sure what was going on. It took quite awhile for the story of Kvothe to build and that made it painfully slow. However, when the story finally unfolded, it really took off and I am so glad I read it.

I think what made this book so great to read was, it felt like speaking to an old friend. The story telling from Kvothe to Chronicler was smooth, it transitioned well and it wasn't boring. I really liked the short story breaks where Kvothe paused to do something, or to gather his thoughts. It really made it feel like we were sitting in a room with someone while they were talking and telling us stories. Kvothe kind of feels like an old friend that you're sitting and catching up with.

Also, the story, once we start digging into the past of Kvothe, is really, really interesting. I liked his university days and I liked hearing about him learning magic. I think this book took a completely different turn when it came to magic. Other books dive in and just show someone using it. Rothfuss dug as far as to actually show us how he used it, not to mention the mechanics behind the things used to conjure and use magic.

If you're in the mood for a long fantasy read, this is definitely a great one to get into. It will not disappoint!

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Monday, October 31, 2011 | By: Traci

Mailbox Monday # 12

In this edition of Mailbox Monday I have two books from Amazon and several ARC's to write about. I bought from Amazon. I bought the second book from the WV Book Festival so I bought the first as part of Amazon's 100 books at $3.99 or less so I could begin with the first.

Freebie on Amazon. I've never read it so I decided I wanted the chance to.

I also recieved two books from NetGalley. Cinder and Shadowlander. I haven't found links to those two novels yet but they'll be up here when I get around to reviewing them.

Sunday, October 30, 2011 | By: Traci

Reminder: Spooktacular Blog Hop

This is just a reminder to let everyone know that the Spooktacular Blog Hop ends tomorrow night at Midnight! So if you haven't already go ahead and fill out the form to enter. I'll announce the winner of the Hop by November 2nd with a little surprise if some of you haven't figured it out yet! So go ahead and enter and if you feel up to it follow me for future giveaways.
Saturday, October 29, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Diagnosis Death by Richard L. Mabry

Diagnosis Death (Prescription for Trouble, #3)Diagnosis Death by Richard L. Mabry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I enjoyed the story line and the plot, I wasn't completely immersed in this story and that is why I had to give this book a 3 star rating. The story is interesting, but for some odd reason, there are several points within this book where the story seems to drag on a bit before picking back up and getting interesting.

And while Elena is a likable character, she's sort of set up as a one dimensional character. She's a woman that just left a residency job after the death of her husband. That's about it. We see her slowly work through her grief of losing her husband a few months prior but even that plot seems to take a back seat to the story after several chapters.

The mystery portion was a good idea but for some reason, it just didn't play out well. It seems like it was just put out there, it was over with quickly and we don't get a lot of explanation except for a few spoken words at the end while everyone is at a public restaurant.

Also, there is one small plot portion where we don't hear a lot more about it. This character was turned into the cops, we find out it wasn't their first time and that's about it.

The book is a fast read however. It's not filled with too many boring details or situations that have no relevance to the plot. It's just the story and nothing else. Not a bad read but not exceptional either.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Jenny Pox by J.L Bryan

Jenny Pox (The Paranormals #1)Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm really glad I waited until this book was free before I decided to get it and read it.

This book starts out pretty normal. We have our outcast character going through the motions of being someone that is cursed with the ability to give every living thing she touches the plague. Then we move to current day where Jenny is living with her father trying to avoid touching people for fear of spreading a terrible illness and possibly killing them in the process.

Things quickly get really, really strange from there. We meet a lot of the local teens that Jenny attends school with. Most of them are pretty regular characters until we meet Ashleigh, a girl that is very, very hard pressed for attention and will stop at nothing to get what she wants, regardless of whom she hurts in the process. She's a fraud but lucky for her, she has powers too and can make everyone do what she wants, when she wants simply by touching them. However, Ashleigh isn't the only one with powers. You'll have to read the rest to find out more.

This book is classified as a YA novel, but really, there are some parts that are definitely not YA material. I'm a pretty open minded person and I believe in letting teens read things they are mature enough to handle, but there is one, very large scene in this novel that I'm not sure I'd want any teen to read. It's just not appropriate for a YA novel.

There are one or two parts in this book that just seem out of place or at least a very incorrect thing to place at the time. Sometimes they're quite childish and they left me wondering why I just read what I read. Was it really necessary? To me they didn't seem like something that needed to be a part of the plot.

Also, on the topic of Ashleigh, she's an extremely one dimensional character with only one thing on her mind and I'm not sure how everyone was so willing to believe her. I know she had the ability to change people's opinions and make them do things for her, but it doesn't seem logical that she'd have the ability to touch EVERY SINGLE PERSON to make them believe her. It doesn't seem logical that an adult character that was not falling for her charms, would not be able to make other people see what she was up to.

All in all, it was an OK read. I'm not sure this is something I'd pay to read and I'm not sure I'd continue the series. It's a really strange story that I think will just continue to grow stranger.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel by Jonathan Maberry (ARC)

Dead of Night: A Zombie NovelDead of Night: A Zombie Novel by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to start this review by saying I've never read a zombie novel before this. In fact, I really didn't start to enjoy the zombie genre until a year or so ago and even then I slowly immersed myself in it. So with that being said I'll move on to my review.

I felt the opening of this was a bit slow. And at first, I wasn't very keen on Officer Fox. I thought she was kind of brash and really trying to prove something that she didn't need to prove. However, as her story began to play out, I became very fond of Fox and wanted her to make it out alive. The partnership between her and her partner JT was wonderful. I really thought those two characters worked together well and it was very apparent that these two characters cared for each other and were willing to do what it took to ensure each other's safety.

Now, when it comes to the outbreak of the zombie virus, I thought it was very well done. The idea behind this zombie outbreak is not one that I've heard before. I've heard lots of things about failed government experiments but I haven't heard anything about doctor's seeking revenge and really doing it in the worst way possible. It seems that this was meant to fail from the beginning and the evil of our first zombie victim just was not meant to end.

The action in this book built up slowly. It just kept building and building and building until we finally reached an all out zombie war full of guns and other weapons meant to take down the walking dead. I think one of the better parts about reading through this book is the few chapters from the perspective of a zombie. We find out that this person is fully aware of what they're doing and yet, they cannot stop their actions no matter how hard they try. This makes for great insight I think because we really are only thinking about how horrible this outbreak is rather than, do the zombies think? Do they know what they're doing? Do they even want to stop?

I also feel this book ended on a good note. We're left hanging but it's not in a bad way. Some books ends are a terrible point, they leave us wanting more. I didn't feel that way with this book. I felt like, even though we're left hanging, we're left at a good point. We may be left wondering but if you have any sort of imagination at all, you should be able to fill in the blanks as to what happened next.

This is a definite must read! Thanks to LibraryThing for this novel for review!

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Monday, October 24, 2011 | By: Traci

WV Book Festival Recap

So I left on Saturday morning for the WV Book Festival. About an hour or so into my trip I realized I didn't bring my camera. Thank goodness most phones today have a camera otherwise I wouldn't have anything to show for the trip! My GPS ended up getting us lost so we made it there a little later than I expected but that's OK. The first thing on my agenda was to check out the book sale. We did end up buying some books but not as many as I thought. I think this sale is so big the best thing to do is show up as soon as the doors open to begin looking. It was pretty empty when we got there and we showed up about 3.5 hours after the sale began. That's OK though, while the selections we bought aren't recent they're still pretty interesting looking nonetheless.

So, after the book sale, there weren't any presenters we were too interested in so we went to the mall. Thankfully the mall is right across the street from the Civic center so it made the trip easy. We found this really awesome tea place so naturally, we had to buy ourselves bubble tea! Cake batter flavor which was amazing. Anyway, rambling.

When we went back to the Civic Center, we had a bit to wait for Alex Flinn, so I bought a hardback version of her book Cloaked and we went to the presentation room. Alex spoke about her books, the inspiration for writing the fairy tale retellings and she talked a bit about writing her first books.

Here's Alex during her presentation.
And a copy of my signed book!

I'm definitely thinking about going back next year. However I think next year I'll plan to spend an entire weekend going to more presentations and just enjoying the weekend in another location!

SPOOKTACULAR Blog Hop Giveaway

-This hop is hosted by I am a reader, Not a Writer
-This contest runs from October 24-October 31st.
-Open to residents of the US only.
-Fill out the Form and click submit.
-Following is NOT required for this giveaway but it's very much appreciated! So is sharing and tweeting about this giveaway. This encourages me to hold more giveaways in the future.

I will be giving away my ARC copy of Will Lavender's Dominance. I reviewed this novel in the past and as this is a spooky giveaway, I figured a novel about a madman murdering people is a perfect book to giveaway! So enter, share and come back the week of November 1st to see if you're the lucky winner!

Saturday, October 22, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (Steampunk Chronicles, #0.5)The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this novella. It was interesting to see Finley in her days before she began working with other individuals to take down a mad man with his machines. I wasn't exactly sure how everything in this book would connect to the first book in the series, but it quickly became clear right before the book ended.

It was touching, rather sad really and while depressing, it was kind of shocking. I think I would have been more shocked by the story if I hadn't figured out what Lord Vincent was planning before it was actually revealed. That's sort of a pet peeve of mine when it comes to books. I'm not a big fan of books that tend to give away a major part of the plot before it actually occurs. It ruins the story.

I was going to give this book a three star rating but after reading through the end, I had to give it a better rating. I really thought the point where Finley and Lord Vincent met and fought was well written. It was action packed, not overly done, not rushed and descriptive.

I think one of my other issues with this novella was how easily and willing Finley's newest employer, Lady Morton was to employ her even after hearing what she did that cause her to be fired in the first place. While I understand her wanting protection for her daughter after she realized something wasn't right with her daughter's engagement, I'm just have a hard time believing that someone would be so willing to employ someone that someone else has considered 'dangerous'.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Warrior (Dragons of Starlight #2) by Bryan Davis (ARC)

Warrior (Dragons Of Starlight, #2)Warrior by Bryan Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book begins pretty might right where the last book left off, which I think is a good thing. It helps us jump right into the story line without having to try too hard to remember where we left off.

I wasn't too happy with this book though. While the first book immersed us into the world, this book began in the world and jumped back and forth between the plane of dragons and enslaved humans, and the world where humans currently live as free people, it just didn't seem to be full of the same descriptive properties of the first novel. I felt like I wanted to know more and to experience more rich imagery than I was receiving.

Also, for me the story was kind of slow. It seemed to me that while we learn many surprising things about the dragon world, prophecies and the startling truth about a few characters, it just didn't pick up until we're almost at the end and we're trying to find out what is going to happen with the dragon plot. We're left wondering which set of dragons to cheer for, and we're left wondering what will happen to Tibber and Elyssa back on Darksphere. There are many more holes opening up that will have to be filled by the next book because there are just so many things that are left open.

While I enjoyed reading this one, I felt that it could have been written in a more appealing manner. Fight scenes between humans and dragons seemed quite rushed, weren't descriptive and were over before you realize what's going on. The first book had a much slower pace which I think suited it better. It's much easier to immerse yourself in the first and much harder than in this one.

Thanks to Goodreads for allowing me to read and review this book.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011 | By: Traci

Upcoming Event: The West Virginia Book Festival

This is the first I've actually heard of this event occurring in my state. So naturally I'm pretty excited because it seems like a pretty interesting event. I think what's more interesting is the people that will be in attendance this year. I wasn't expecting this festival to draw very many popular authors but previously, Diana Gabaldon attended the event so they do draw popular authors. This year, Alex Flinn will be attending and giving a talk. Lee Child will also be in attendance, also known as the author of the Jack Reacher novels. Dave Pelzer will also be in attendance, author of "A Child Called It". So, this festival is a 2.5 hour drive for me but I'm seriously considering attending. There is the slew of famous authors not to mention the giant used book sale that is drawing me in. So far, I'm planning to go, so if I do, you can expect some pictures and maybe even a surprise or two! I'm not sure what I'll get into exactly but it sure sounds like fun!

WV Book Festival

Monday, October 17, 2011 | By: Traci

Mailbox Monday # 11

So I picked up a few books from Amazon this week. I also received a book from Good Reads from their reviewer program.

Warrior was won from Good Reads. I have already read the book. The review will be coming within the next week.

I just bought Seed from Amazon. It's currently priced at 0.99 and I hear it's a really spooky read which is great for October! It's almost Halloween afterall.

I just bought Jenny Pox last night. It's actually free for the Kindle right now so jump on it while you can. I'm also currently reading this one so I'll have a review up soon.

I also went to a book sale at a local church on Saturday afternoon. I picked up a total of 18 books, a handful of them children's books for my classroom. I can't remember the entire list of books that I bought but I'll post some of them below. The rest are currently in my car so I can go through them later.

As always, clicking a picture will take you to Amazon so you can check out the books.

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