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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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