Friday, April 29, 2011

Follow Friday #9 & 18 & Over Book Blogger Tag Along #1

It's Friday!! The NFL Draft is underway, the sun is shining (in Wisconsin, at least), and I get to watch the Brewers on TV tonight... And it's time for another Follow Friday - and I'm starting a new Friday meme - 18 & Over Book Blogger Tag Along - sponsored by Bitten by Paranormal Romance.

Let's start with the new one:
Question of the week: Do you have another hobby besides reading?
A: I have a lot of hobbies... :) I write, or try to. ;)  
I would probably consider wine a hobby- love it, buy it when I can, love to experience new types. 
 I love watching sports - baseball is my #1 love. 
I love music and movies, and collect both, and one or both is always playing in the house.

The featured blogger this week is:

Marla @ Starting the Next Chapter

Q. Keeping with the dystopian and apocalypse theme that seems to be running rampant on, I have one very hard question for you: If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only had space for ten?

A: Wow! This is hard! Ten... 

I would bring the omnibuses of The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith - they are just my favorite - so that's 2

3.) I, Elizabeth - Rosalind Miles

4.) The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter - I have it - haven't read it, yet!

5.) The Complete Works of William Shakespeare - It's a big one, but I need my Will.

6.) Sin Undone - Larissa Ione - Freaking love Conall

7.) & 8.) Lover Revealed & Lover Mine - J.R. Ward - Butch and JM - yum!

9.) Midnight Awakening - Lara Adrian - probably my fave of the series - Tegan = yum!

10.) Dang - probably Lover Awakened - J.R. Ward- I do love me some Zsadist. :)

That was hard! Go check out everyone's lists! I know I'm going to. :) 



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review - Sweet and Dirty by Christina Crooks

Sweet and DirtyFrom
Sweet and Dirty is an erotic romance book containing two short novels: In “Baring it All,” a timid dog trainer hopes to become more dominant with the help of a fetish club owner, but instead learns how to accept her submissive nature. And in “Forbidden Heat,” workaholic Nora travels to a B&B that’s really a Bondage & Breakfast, where she meets the Master of her dreams.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Aphrodisia (first published 2009)
0758238738 (ISBN13: 9780758238733)
Stalk the author:
My review:
I won this book from the author in a blog giveaway. It's actually like the second win I've had, and it was awesome getting a little swag from the author. I received the book, a promotional card for another of her books with her autograph, and the cover for her book coming out in September - also autographed. 
This book lived up to its title - it was sweet AND dirty. The first story introduced us to Michelle - originally from Alabama, she is trying to re-invent herself in LA. She meets Ro in a fetish shop, where she is buying dog collars under orders from her boss at the dog day care, where she works. Ro invites her to his new club - The Dungeon, and Michelle goes - hoping to learn how to be more dominant. 
I enjoyed getting to know these characters - we learn about their pasts, and I feel like I could really connect with them. It was endearing to watch Michelle struggle with trying to be more dominant, when really she just needed to accept her submissive side and embrace it. I loved the scenes with her and Ro - the tension was delicious. While labeled and erotic romance - and involving BDSM - the language used was much milder than other erotic romances I've read recently, so that's where the sweet comes in. 
The second story features Nora and Ryan - an engaged power couple heading to a B & B for a romantic getaway - but it stands for Bondage & Breakfast. I did not like Ryan immediately and found myself hoping Nora ditched him soon. Nora was awesome - strong, independent, yet finding she may enjoy some of the darker sides of BDSM. Sylvester - YUM... The scenes between him and Nora are absolutely delicious with tension. I love that he holds himself away from her for so long. The build-up to the finale was awesome.
This story had stronger and darker subjects than the first one - but again, the language was mild. This didn't bother me, but I did actually check the spine to see if it was labeled erotic romance - it is. :) There was new BDSM in this story that I was unaware of - the use of electricity - interesting. Also - there is discussion and the acting out of pretend rape - so if that bothers you, you may want to skip this. There is always the option of a safe word - she isn't really being raped - but her fantasy was to be taken against her will, and it is acted out. Sorry for the spoiler, but it may be a sensitive topic for some. 
Overall, I enjoyed both stories. I connected to the characters, I found myself rooting for them or booing them. I loved the scenes of sexual tension. I also loved the BDSM. Both heroines are introduced into the world of BDSM and it was nice to watch their discoveries. Nora took to it like she was meant for the lifestyle. Michelle enjoyed it at first because she thought she was learning how to be more dominant and aggressive in life, while really learning about herself. I also enjoyed watching the heroes interact with the women. Ro takes to Michelle immediately and woos her, while Sylvester is attracted to Nora, but holds himself away from her because he doesn't trust himself or women anymore. He even pushes her onto the other men in the B&B.
I live in a small town 4 hours from the nearest "big city". I would love if places like these actually existed for people to explore their curiosities. The more BDSM I read, the more curious I am and the more I want to experience what the heroines in the books experience. :)
If you're looking for sweet erotica with a side of BDSM, this book is for you. It's a quick read and well worth the time. I enjoyed it. I would rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Erotic -- a

Due to the following content - this post is 18+ please. I'm going to be talking about some adult topics. :)

Every time I say "erotica" Madonna's song runs through my head - hence the title of this post... I tried to capture part of the song. Ha ha. 
Anyway - the purpose of this post: I have a lot of YA on my TBR, and already read on my shelves. I enjoy reading paranormal and some contemporary YA lit, but lately - it just hasn't been exciting me.  Then, the Forbidden Bookshelf 
hosted a month-long event on BDSM and I started to check out some erotica authors.

I found a lot of free or inexpensive ebooks and e-novellas on Amazon that I could read on my iPod -- and now I'm addicted. Check out my "Books Read in 2011" page. It's full of erotica. I'm not even sure on dates that I finished them, because I read a few at a time on my iPod-- before bed, in the car, while watching TV, everywhere. 

I've discovered that not only do I enjoy erotica - I enjoy reading about menage - m/f/m; m/m; and BDSM. I actually haven't met an erotica I haven't liked. It's not just the sex. The books and novellas I've read have interesting plots, that amazing physical connection between characters that leads to something deeper. And as unrealistic it may be in real life - I still like to read about it. I enjoy the Dom who takes complete control in the bedroom, but cares for his sub and is wholly focused on her pleasure. 

The ones that get me the most are when the characters are friends and suddenly discover they want each other, and it goes deeper. That seems to be a recurring theme in the erotica I read, but I thoroughly enjoy it. The plethora of hot men, of course, is nice. And the female leads are hardly ever perfect - they aren't super-skinny, or gorgeous, and a lot of them have insecurities - like real-life women, but the men always make them feel like the most beautiful, cherished woman in the world. Maybe that's why I enjoy these so much. 

Anywho - check out the widget for some of my faves, or my Books Read page - has all the links. Let me know who your favorite erotica author is, I'm always up for new suggestions! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Follow Friday #8

It's Friday, once again!! Time for Follow Friday!

There are a few simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers -
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog! 

And the question of the week is:
Q: What is on your current playlist right now? 
A: I LOVE music... almost as much as books. :) So it depends on my mood. Right now, I'd probably have
Framing Hanley
30 Seconds to Mars
Art of Dying
Stone Sour
Kings of Leon
The Pretty Reckless
Breaking Benjamin
Three Days Grace

And then a mix of other new rock songs -  a lot of which, the bands only have one or two I'm familiar with. I love rock music. :) On the other hand - I also have Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, P!nk, Lady GaGa, Britney Spears, JLo, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias on the playlist I want to shake my booty to. :)

What a fun question! I love talking about music!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Vampire Relationship Guide Volume One Tour!

For this stop on the tour, I'm so excited to have author, Evelyn Lafont here for an interview!

1.) What inspired the idea for a "Vampire Relationship Guide"?
I was working on a satirical magazine article about breaking up with your vampire boyfriend and it made me start thinking of all the practicalities involved with dating a vampire. Once I started thinking about them, Josie came to me and I knew I had to write it down. 

2.) Who is your favorite character in the book?
 I'm torn between Josie and Walker. I feel protective of Josie because she's kinda...naive and also very open. But Walker is so antagonistic that I'm totally drawn to him.

(There is something about the "bad boy" that is so appealing)

3.) What's your favorite scene? If you can divulge without spoilers. ;)
 My absolute favorite scene takes place when Josie comes home after spending the night...elsewhere. She comes home to a surprise that she really wasn’t expecting.

 (I really enjoyed this scene, as well... )

4.)Is paranormal a new genre for you, or have you always had an interest in it?
 I love the paranormal romance genre. I've been reading it off and on since I read Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches series in the 80's. 

(Good books!)

5.) What is your favorite place to do your writing?
I like to do it at home in my office. I have a desk in front of a big window with trees and a bird bath out front. 

6.) What is your favorite part of the writing process?
 Fantasizing about stuff. I mean, how can you go wrong when you have a legitimate excuse to daydream?

7.) Least favorite part?
 Typing. Because I work as a full time freelancer, I type thousands of words each day. It starts to hurt after a little while.

8.) Sum up the book in one sentence... :)
When a naïve woman dates her very first vampire, nothing turns out like she’d imagined.


Evelyn Lafont

Aka The KeyboardHussy 
Evelyn Lafont is an author and freelance writer with an addiction to Xanax and a predilection for snark. Her debut novella, The Vampire Relationship Guide, Volume 1: Meeting and Mating is available on Amazon , Barnes and Noble and Smashwords .

You can stalk find Evelyn at her website, her blog, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Evelyn! I appreciate you being my very first author interview!!

And thanks for stopping by on the Vampire Relationship Guide book tour!! Check out the next stop on the tour Supernatural Bookworm.

And check out the cool contest!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Vampire Relationship Guide: Review & Upcoming Tour!

Here are the AMAZING blogs you can visit to find fun guest posts, exciting interviews and read snippets from the book. There's also a number of chances to win yourself a copy of the book!

April 15 – Judith Leger
April 17 – Ren’s Blogging About 
April 18 –The Wyld Hollow
April 19 – Reality Bites 
April 20 – Supernatural Bookworm
April 22 – The Wormhole
April 23 – Paranormal Opinion
April 26 – Rabid Reads
April 27 – vvb32 Reads
April 30 – Books Devoured
May 1 –  Romance Author Buzz 
May 7 – The Bookish Snob
May 10 – P.S. I Love Books 
May 11 – A Chick Who Reads
May 12 - Reader Girls
May 15 – Romance Book Junkies
May 16 - Author Evelyn


For those following this tour, Evelyn is giving away an AMAZING opportunity for one lucky reader -

The chance to be a BETA READER for her
next installment of this fun series!

(For those unsure what a beta reader is, you get a sneak read BEFORE the book is released!)
Hope to see you all there and
here's to finding sexy Vampire Lovers!
If you didn't notice, tune in here tomorrow for a fun interview from author Evelyn LaFont!
Without further ado, here is my review for The Vampire Relationship Guide Volume One.

This was a fun book! It was a quick, easy read, and thoroughly enjoyable. I love, love, loved the MC - Josie. Her narration was funny and witty and I really wanted to hang out with her because she seems like someone who would just be hilarious. I enjoyed the witty banter she had with other characters and her sarcasm was awesome. 
The plot moved along, there was dating, action, sexual tension,  steamy sex scene, mystery, suspense, and a nice resolution. My only complaint is it was too short. I wanted more. I really wanted more depth to the characters - more development. They seemed to do complete 180s abruptly and I think a little more development would have made the turns seem more likely. This is a compliment, though. I liked it so much, I wanted more! I am eagerly looking forward to the next installment! Overall I'd rate it 4 out of 5 stars. :)
Stop by all the blogs on the tour for giveaways and exciting features! Stop by tomorrow for an interview with author, Evelyn LaFont!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Follow Friday #7

So, it's the end of tax season and I work in an accounting and tax place... Needlesstosay, this week has been crazy and I've been so tired. :) So I haven't blogged at all! Sad...
BUT - I HAVE to do Follow Friday... and it's #7!! Which means I've been blogging consistently for at least 7 weeks. That's pretty exciting to me. Now, without any more blabbing from me....

This is hosted by Parajunkee, go check her out. :)
The featured blog this week is

Marie and Brie @ Romance Around the Corner

And the question is:

Q. Do you have anyone that you can discuss books with IRL? Tell us about him/her.


The funny thing is my closest friends have always made fun of my reading obsession. And, until recently, made fun of my paranormal obsession. So I found where I can talk books and swap books with people. I have dabbled on several different author discussion boards, and now have met so many great people in the blogosphere -- but I don't have anyone close that I consistently talk books with.


The closest in real life would be my mom and sister - we share some similar reading tastes. I got my mom hooked on the Sookie Stackhouse series when she couldn't stand True Blood, and we both like to read Margaret George and Philippa Gregory. All 3 of us used to read James Patterson and share those, but I moved away from those types of books, and now read mostly paranormal. 


So I guess in a long way, my answer is Not Really. :)  But I do get my love of reading from my mom and my sister shares it, as well. So we do discuss some books. I do try and get them to read my series-- I've been trying to get my sister to read BDB for years... I want them to read more of the books I do, so I can gush about them to someone! :)

Thanks for stopping by!!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Top 5 Sundays #5

Yay for Top 5 Sunday! A weekly meme, hosted by Larissa...Check out her site for rules, and the other Top 5 Sundays participants...

The theme for today is:
Favorite Character Names!

I LOVE names... I read into names, and I think it's important a character's name fits him or her. I probably have more than 5, but here are my top-- I think :)

1. Aislinn (Wicked Lovely) - I'm a sucker for Irish names and this one- pronounced Ash-leeng-- is beautiful. 
2. Qhuinn (BDB)- oh yes... not only is he amazing, but his name is lovely... I love to say it... ;)
3. Anya - (LOTU) - This is what we call my daughter. 
I prefer the Celtic spelling - Aine - but I still love this name, have since I was younger and saw it in a mythology dictionary.
4. Rome Masters (Tales of an extraordinary girl) - Gena does it for me again. There's something powerful about this man's name and I just love it. Say it - Rome Masters... mmmm
5. Conall (Demonica) -- mmmm, and Irish again. But I love this name. I also love any Connor in any book, because that is my favorite all-time name. 

Others I like - Asher from Anita Blake, Galen from Merry Gentry and I know there's a Galen in another series, too. Kisten from Rachel Morgan, and I'm sure there are more, but I can't think right now. :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Follow Friday #6

That time again!
Follow Friday - hosted by Parajunkee
The featured blog this week is Lesley @ My keeper shelf

And the question is:

Q. Do you judge a book by it's cover?

A. YES! I do, I admit it - I am a marketing whore... :) A cover with graphics on it that interest me will make me pick it up to read the back. I like my covers dark and oozing paranormal or eroticism. I also judge a book by its title-- if the title intrigues me or includes something I may like - I'll usually give the book a chance. 

What about you? Leave your link and I'll stop by your blog to see your answer. :)



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review - The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch, #1)

Read about it on goodreads: The Iron Witch
Follow the author: Karen Mahoney
Twitter: @kazmahoney

Alrighty... Well, I had been looking forward to this book for awhile. I read good reviews for it around the blogosphere, and the cover is gorgeous. :) And it has witch in the title - so I was intrigued. It sounded like a good and interesting premise. Alchemists, faeries, elves, the elixir of life.
The book is wonderfully written. The author has a beautiful style of writing, describing everything in detail and painting a picture in the reader's mind. And while the general plot of the book wasn't that original -- outcast girl's one true friend gets kidnapped, she meets gorgeous boy who is immediately into her, they save her friend together, she discovers a strength inside her she didn't know she was capable of-- the faeries and elves and alchemy was all refreshingly new for me.

I enjoyed the relationship between Donna and her best friend, Navin. As well as her newfound relationship with hot half-faery, Xan, which is short for Alexander -- love that! Yet, I didn't find myself connecting with Donna -- in fact, she irritated me a little. Plus, I wasn't sure if she was weak or strong, she would be whiny and weinie one minute, then all defensive and confident the next. It confused me a little, but maybe that is because she is 17 years old, and still finding her way.

While I enjoyed the author's descriptions, I felt like there was soooo many. It really slowed the book down for me, and I had to force myself to keep reading when I was tempted to just give it up. Also, there was so much describing of the past and backstory, ugh. I know the author is setting up the series and must build the world for us, but it really dragged for me.

Maybe I shouldn't try to read a YA book in the midst of reading adult series and erotica ebooks... because this one just came off young. Even the characters seemed a little immature at times, even for a YA novel. -- the MC and her male best friend tickle each other while play fighting - when I was 17, my boyfriend used tickling as an excuse to kiss me... That scene just felt weird to me.

Anyway, I'm getting nitpicky, and I don't mean to. It was a good book. It was well-written and the descriptions are lovely. However, I felt like it tied up quite nicely at the end, and I'm not left thirsting for the next installment of this series. All in all, I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Mandy :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review - Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9) 
If you don't know about this book, yet - go check it out on goodreads.  :) It's the story of Payne - twin to Vishous, daughter to the Bloodletter and the Scribe Virgin. We met her in past books-- and Manny - Dr. Manuel Manello - who worked with Jane - we met him a while back.
**WARNING** I may inadvertently include some spoilers here...
Okay. Let's talk about the brothers. Not Jonas, not Bellamy. Black. Dagger. Brotherhood. Feel me? I picked up Dark Lover in 2006 and I've been lost ever since. This latest installment was a little... well, it was like a bridge book. There was Payne and Manny - but there was also V and Jane working stuff out. There was the introduction of Xcor and his band of bastards. And there was the introduction of Veck - who is the main character in Envy - the third installment of the WARDen's Fallen Angels series - coming out later this year. So this book was a bridge - from the wrapping up of all the storylines in the last book - to the beginning of some storylines for future books.
There was not whole lot concentration on the Payne/Manny relationship -- since they both fell in love immediately. Most of the angst came from how he was going to fit into the BDB world - and that got wrapped up pretty nicely. Although - it was foreshadowed way back in V's book. :) Love it when the WARDen does that.

There were some great scenes between V and Jane, and V and Butch - love that bromance going on there. Let's face it-- V needed to work some shit out. And he did. So that's good. I enjoyed this little subplot thoroughly.

Xcor and his band of bastards - hmmm... I found myself forcing my eyes to not skim these sections, and to actually read them. I know they are here for a purpose - the WARDen would not spend so much time on backstory for them, if not... but... they failed to excite me - either in a bad or good way. I did enjoy the menage scene with Xcor, Throe, and Kandi, though... Thanks, WARDen :) I am a little intrigued to find out if they are there as enemies or future allies. I found myself liking Xcor and Throe a little, as they both showed they were at least honorable vampires. Throe and his vendetta to protect helpless women. And the way Xcor protected Payne when he discovered she was Chosen. Like he truly respected the position of the Chosen.

Veck - Thomas DelVecchio - Jose's new partner... And we know he is going to be the MC of the next Fallen Angels book - so I'm glad we got to meet him, but we met him a lot, and got a lot of detail, and he had a lot of facetime, almost like Envy was running long and the WARDen needed to include more backstory on Veck somewhere else. I hope it's not all repeated in Envy...

Finally, Qhuinn and Blay - my favorites and the first thing I did when I got this book was flip through it for Qhuay scenes. I am glad Qhuinn finally admitted out loud his feelings, even if it wasn't to Blay. He is one step toward making all us Cellies very, very happy... I am also glad he laid it all out to Layla - I just don't like her very much, and yet I want her to find an HEA - just not with Qhuinn, in any way, shape, or form. I am not sure what Q's vision meant, and I only hope it means she surrogates for him and Blay. I know the WARDen said that Qhuay would only get a novella, if anything, but I can't help but wonder who the next book will focus on? We didn't see any of Murhder in this book, or No'One - both of whom I know will be featured in future books... I will just have to stalk the BDB board and see if I can find any info.

All in all, I did not race through this book as I have with others in the series - but I did love it as an installment in the lives of these characters that I have fallen so in love with. And now I have to wait sooo long for the next book-- which I know nothing about.. .GAH!!!
I would probably give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Top 5 Sundays #4

It's time for another Top 5 Sundays! A weekly meme hosted by Larissa. A little about this meme: (from Larissa's blog)
Every Sunday I will post a TOP 5 list on the blog. It can be about anything and every week I'll have a new theme {You can vote on next week’s theme on my left sidebar!} and I will ad the Mr.Linky bellow the post so you can do a list with the theme and add you link to it.
  1. Write a post listing your TOP 5 choices within the theme I chose (or was chosen on a poll) for the week.
  2. Mention this Blog on the post and link back to it.
  3. Fell free to use the Feature's image (there is a smaller size version of it bellow)
  4. After you've finished your post, add you link (of the post, not your blog's main page) to the Mr.Linky at the end of that week's post.
  5. If you don’t have a blog to post, just leave your list in the comments =)

And the theme for this week:
Fave Paranormal Y.A. Series!
The hard part for me with this theme is narrowing it down... Hmmmm.
Sorry for the lack of graphics, but I'll link each series to a page on Goodreads, if you want to check them out. 
1. The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith - teenage witches, a dark power, a shy, new girl who comes into her power, a thwarted romance that tugs at your heartstrings. I have loved these 3 books since 1992. :)   

2. Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine - I love Rachel Caine's writing. I love the world she has built in Morganville. I love that Claire is a different kind of heroine... And, Hello?? Shane , Michael -- YUM! :) 

3. Sweep by Cate Tiernan - Witches again. :) And it feels like it could all be real, because she uses real parts of Wicca. Another shy girl comes into her own power and deals with learning that there isn't always a definite line between good and evil. See my review for more. :) Also- nice romance = bonus... 

4. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz - I love Schuyler. I love Oliver, I love their relationship. and I love the evolution of her relationship with Jack. Plus a new twist on vampires makes it ultra cool and totally different from other vampire stories. 

5. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - I was immediately pulled into this world when I read the first book. I have the last two sitting on my TBR - as yet unread. I think I just don't want it to end. I love how kick-ass and sarcastic Rose is, yet vulnerable. I really enjoy the relationships in this series-- between all the characters, and I liked the evolution. I will get to finishing it soon. But it still makes me sad. 

Others that I love --
House of Night by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Vampire Beach by Alex Duval
Dead is  by Marlene Perez
There you go. Hope you enjoy my list. And stay tuned for a review of Lover Unleashed-- coming soon... :)  Have a great Sunday!