In My Mailbox (106)



In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

for review:

"Farm Fresh Southern Cooking" by Tammy Algood




What did you receive in your mailbox this week???

Free Ebooks for Kindle! March 30


Hi everyone! 

"Overprotected" was available for free for Kindle a while back, but I know a lot of you didn't grab it in time, so here's another chance! It may only be free for the day, so double check before you click buy!

Also, another of Jennifer Laurens' books is available for free today as well!

"Overprotected" by Jennifer Laurens



"A Season of Eden" by Jennifer Laurens
 

"Wicked as They Come" Review

"Wicked as They Come"
by Delilah S. Dawson
Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: March 27, 2012

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  




Have you ever heard of a Bludman? They’re rather like you and me—only more fabulous, immortal, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.)

Delilah S. Dawson’s darkly tempting debut drops her unsuspecting heroine into a strange faraway land for a romantic adventure that’s part paranormal, part steampunk . . . and completely irresistible.

When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?
My Review:

I'm not a true fan of the adult paranormal romance genre, but I wanted to read this one because it looked so different from the norm. The circus aspect, combined with a steampunk vibe had me intrigued. I'm glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this one, and it didn't have any of the aspects that I dislike about the adult paranormal genre-it wasn't over the top violent (the heroine wasn't shooting everyone in sight), there weren't multiple curse words on each page (in fact, I'm pretty sure there was none), and the steamy scenes weren't creepy and weird. Overall, I'd say this was more of a fantasy book than a run of the mill action packed vampire book.

The only part of the book that I didn't really like was the time travel (or parallel universe travel). This theme almost never works for me, so I'm not really surprised. The present day worries really took me out of the spectacular fantasy world that was built. I have enough cell phones and alarm clocks buzzing at me in my real life, I'd much rather read about magical 'Bludmen' and a steampunk circus. I suppose time travel works for some because it injects some familiarity into a completely unfamiliar setting, but I'd rather be totally immersed in the fictional world.

The characters were great, Tish/Leticia wasn't too stereotypical. She was a bit down and out due to her ex, but she wasn't completely free of self esteem like some stereotypical heroines are. I'm not sure that Criminy was my type, but he was sweet for the most part. Maybe he had a little too much alpha male traits for me personally. The Casper storyline was pretty entertaining to me, so I'm glad to see the next book in the series focuses on him as the main character. I'm also glad that the series will be about different couples, instead of every book being about Criminy and Leticia.



Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 5/5
(the parallel universe, not the present day)
Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: Overall, a new and different type of paranormal romance that breaks the stereotypes. I'd recommend this to fans of the genre as well as those who want to read a little something different for a change.
 

"Skin Rules" Review

"Skin Rules:Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist"
by Debra Jaliman, M.D.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Source: sent by publicist

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  




Skin Rules is a concise and practical instruction manual from a renowned Fifth Avenue dermatologist on how to attain beautiful skin, a taut and sculpted body, and a much younger appearance. Actors, models, and newscasters go to Dr. Jaliman for her cutting-edge technology and the latest in skin care, as well as for her reputation for being the “last stop” doctor, the one who fixes what others can’t. Skin Rules has something for everyone, no matter where they live or how much money they have to spend. This small, invaluable guide supplies the same advice Dr. Jaliman gives to her celebrity patients, from lasers to remove sun damage and turn back the clock to suggestions for simple products and  habits anyone can adopt for a small outlay of time and money.  In Skin Rules readers will learn:
• about the one ingredient that should NEVER be in
sunscreens, but often is
• how to use inexpensive Aquaphor to heal wounds and
prevent scarring
• which drugstore products really work for acne and wrinkles

My Review:

This book is one of the most 'to-the-point' skin care books I have read. There is nothing complicated, wordy, or confusing about Jaliman's "Skin Rules." She gets to the point, gives her suggestions, then moves on to the next topic. This makes the book a quick and easy read.

As for the info, I did learn a few things that I had never heard before about skin care. You'll have to read the book to learn her secrets, but I think a few will stick with me. I also read a lot of tips and tricks that I had already read in magazines or in internet articles. But I suppose that is to be expected with any book of this type.

I was most interested in the products that she recommends, as well as the how-to regimens. But there was also a lot of information about procedures that happen in the dermatologist's office. At least these were non-surgical procedures, but still not really what I was looking forward to reading about. I was looking more for suggestions of things that we can do at home to look our best instead of medical procedures. Reading about these procedures did however help me understand how Hollywood's elite look the way they do at any age.



Bottom Line: I was able to take away some new tips that I hadn't heard before, all in a short, easy to read and understand guide.

In My Mailbox (105)



In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

for review:

"The Immortal Rules" by Julie Kagawa


 Wow, a new series by this great author! Can't wait to read it!

"War Horse: The Making of the Motion Picture" by Steven Spielberg


A beautiful book about the making of the movie War Horse.

"How to Ravish a Rake" by Vicky Dreiling


I have been needing to read a great historical romance, and this is one by one of my favorite authors! 

"Sixty Acres and a Bride" by Regina Jennings


I've seen some rave reviews of this one already!

"The Secret Me Book" by Rachel Kempster and Meg Leder


This one is a journal, should be fun!

What did you receive in your mailbox this week???

Free Ebook for Kindle and Nook! March 24


Hi everyone! 

I first heard about this YA romance anthology from Heather at Buried in Books, and now it's free for Kindle and Nook! There should be lots of new YA authors to find here! Enjoy!

"In His Eyes" Anthology




"The Three Colonels" Review

"The Three Colonels"
by Jack Caldwell

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: March 1, 2012

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  




Love reigns supreme for our three brave colonels at the start of this epic tale. Colonels Buford, Fitzwilliam, and Brandon are enjoying their courtships and their early married lives with three beloved Jane Austen heroines. The couples lead tranquil lives- until Napoleon escapes from exile. While the military men set out to meet their destiny on the fields of Waterloo, Anne, Carolina, and Marriane defend their hearts against the fear of losing their loved ones.
My Review:

I try to limit the Jane Austen variations that I read because there are so many and some of them seem to be very repetitive. However, Jack Caldwell's books are on my must-read list. This book along with "Pemberley Ranch" have both been respectful to Jane Austen's vision while being completely new and different at the same time. Not an easy task!

While "Pemberley Ranch" was a completely different setting, "The Three Colonels" takes the original setting and time period of Austen's books, but still adds something new and different. The characters from different books interact, and we get to take a closer look at some of the secondary characters and what their life is like after the original books ended. The book focuses on three romances, all very different, and at different stages of love.

I was really caught up in all of the romances in the book, and very excited to see where their love would lead. I was less interested in the war aspects of the book, but it was all combined very well.

The stories intertwined very naturally, and it was nice to see the very different ways that all of the characters, and the three couples dealt with their issues.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line: Another truly refreshing Jane Austen variation from Jack Caldwell.
 

"Hazel Creek" Review

"Hazel Creek"
by Walt Larimore

Publisher: Howard Books
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  




In the Hazel Creek Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains, Nathan and Callie Randolph, with their five unique daughters, wrestle to maintain their farm, forests, family, and faith against an unforgiving wilderness. An evil lumber company manager is seeking by every means possible to pilfer their land and clear-cut their virgin forest. A cast of colorful characters, including a menacing stranger, gypsy siblings, a granny midwife, and a world-famous writer—even a flesh-and-blood Haint—collide in a gripping struggle of good and evil amid eruptions of violence and tragedy. Our heroine, fifteen-year-old Abbie Randolph, has to help save her family’s farm and raise her sisters while preserving her faith. This important story, based on almost ten years of research and four years of living in the area, captures the speech, ways, and beliefs of these unique pioneers at a crucial and irreversible turning point in this Smoky Mountains community of the Southern Appalachians. With the march of the industrial age, especially commercial lumbering, the traditional life and ways of our southern highlanders in general, and the Randolphs in particular, were about to change forever.

My Review:

The main reason that I wanted to read this book was the setting, the 1920s Smoky Mountains. I'd say that in this facet, the book didn't disappoint. I did enjoy the setting, but the story wasn't really a hit for me. There were some extremely sad aspects that just weren't for me, personally.

The heroine is very young, which reads a little differently than what I was expecting. She's young and she acts young. In a way, it's sweet, but in other ways it's a little slow. I really liked her relationship with her family, especially her father. However, on the flip side, that made the tragedy so very sad.

There was quite a cast of supporting players (the "Haint" was especially fun), and the pace was slow and steady. Both of these are things that I liked a lot about the book. It was just the sad overtones that made in into a less enjoyable read for me. If you love a tearjerker, you may like this one a lot!

Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: A tearjerker with a great setting and characters, just a bit too melancholy for me.
 

Waiting on Wednesday (107)


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!


This week I chose:

"Ironskin"

by Tina Connolly
Tor
Release Date: Oct, 2012

The following description is from goodreads.com:

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It's the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain -- the ironskin.

Now Jane returns to the war-torn country to help a fey-cursed child. Helping the unruly Dorie suppress her curse is hard enough -- she certainly didn't expect to fall for the girl's father, the enigmatic artist Mr. Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio -- and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows he cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things are true? Step by step Jane must unlock the secrets of her new life -- and discover just how far she will go to become whole again.

What are you waiting for this week???

Winners Announced!!


Winner Announced!!

The Winner of "The Garden Intrigue" by Lauren Willig is:


MissKallie2000

The winner of  the "Mighty Macs" DVD is:


  
Alex!
 


Winners were chosen via random.org random number generator. Congrats to the winners!! I have emailed the winners for her/his mailing addresses. Winners have 3 days to respond :) A huge thank you goes out to everyone who entered!! Congrats!!



 

In My Mailbox (104)


Hi everyone! It's been a great spring break and now I'm back to the blogosphere! Here's my last two weeks' worth of books!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.



for review:

"Warrior Sheep Down Under" by Christine and Christopher Russell


 I loved the previous book in this series, it was so fun!

"Wicked as They Come" by Delilah S. Dawson


A little something different, but I'm giving it a try.

"The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine" by Jayne Fresina


contest wins:

"The Turning of Anne Merrick" by Christine Blevins



Won from Darlene at Peeking Between the Pages. This book came from the publisher in a fun package with bayberry candles!

What did you receive in your mailbox this week???

"Zero the Hero" Review

"Zero the Hero"
by Joan Holub and Tom Lichtenheld

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: Feb 28, 2012
Source: sent by publisher and author

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  




Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. That’s what all the other numbers think of Zero. He doesn’t add anything in addition. He’s of no use in division. And don’t even ask what he does in multiplication. (Hint: Poof!) But Zero knows he’s worth a lot, and when the other numbers get into trouble, he swoops in to prove that his talents are innumerable.

My Review:

This children's picture book is hilarious and still has a heart of gold. This is a book that adults will love reading to their kids just as much as their kids will enjoy reading it. There is a great message about both accepting yourself and accepting others. And as a great bonus, there is a lot of MATH to learn here! It's not everyday you read a great story and you can also teach your kids a little something about basic math principles.

The illustrations are totally adorable and there are some extra jokes and gags hidden within the illustrations and speech bubbles of the characters.


Bottom Line: I loved this book, and I think any child and her/his parents would love to read it too!

Waiting on Wednesday (106)


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!


This week I chose:

"Kissing Shakespeare"

by Pamela Mingle
Delacorte
Release Date: Aug 14, 2012

The following description is from goodreads.com:

Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school’s staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she’d like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he’s a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen’s really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lose its greatest playwright.

Miranda isn’t convinced she’s the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it’s her only chance of getting back to the present and her “real” life. What Miranda doesn’t bargain for is finding true love… with no acting required.
Ooh, Shakespeare! I must read this!


What are you waiting for this week???

Teaser Tuesday (55)

Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:



  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser Tuesday pick:




" He hoped Janet wouldn't ask anything more.How could he explain that he loved a girl he'd never met? "




p 92 "Under the Same Sky" by Genevieve Graham

"Demons at Deadnight" Ebook .99 Cents!


Hi everyone!

I just found out that the ebook of "Demons at Deadnight" by A&E Kirk is on sale for .99 cents! 

You can check out my review here!


Nook .99 cents


 Also, check out the contest that A&E are having for the book tour! You can win a Kindle Fire with a Demons at Deadnight skin or a swag box full of fun stuff related to the book!

Demons at Deadnight Blog Tour Banner



Team Ayden

Team Ayden...Tristan...Logan..Matthias??

In My Mailbox (103)


In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.


for review:

"The Selection" by Kiera Cass
 

So excited to read this one! Sounds really unique!


"Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal" by Grace Burrowes


The new book by one of my favorite historical romance authors! Yay!
 
"Skin Rules" by Debra Jaliman





What did you receive in your mailbox this week???
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