Saturday, April 30, 2016

2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge Update ~ April

BookishResolution Challenge 2016

Laura @Trips Down Imagination Road and Michelle @Because Reading are once again hosting the Bookish Resolutions Challenge in 2016. I participated in this challenge last year and it was a good way to keep me motivated in certain areas, so I decided to do it again this year.

My Goals for 2016
  • Blogging Goals
    • Keep up with commenting back weekly
    • Link up my challenge posts bi-weekly
    • Learn some HTML to change up format of posts
  • Reading Goals
    • Raise my Netgalley rating to 50%
    • Read books my kids *need* me to read
      • Alice in Wonderland
      • Death with Interruptions 
      • Everything is Illuminated
      • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
      • Listening for Lucca
      • School of Good and Evil
      • The Things They Carried
      • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
      • Wonderstruck
  • Personal Goals
    • Stick to my daily schedule

Progress made in March

Blogging Goals
  • I've continued to do a fairly good job at keeping up with commenting back this month. :) I apologize for not being the greatest at commenting. It's been a very busy month personally with preparing for end of year events in music and my daughter's graduation. 
  • I've linked my New Release Challenge reviews. I didn't have any other reviews to link for my challenges. Yep, it's been that sort of reading month.
  • I've thought about Code Academy. Does that count?!?
Reading Goals
  • I didn't post any reviews to Netgalley this month. BUT I'm participating in the Clean Sweep ARC Challenge in May so I should get at least a few posted. :)
  • I didn't get any books read off my Kids' Recs List in April, but I hope to get at least one read in May.
Personal Goals
  • I'm still struggling with with a schedule and finding balance. I continued working at my exercising goal. But as always, there's still room for improvement there. I'm *still* dealing with snow y'all...can you believe it? Keep your fingers crossed that my daughter's graduation day is dry. Seriously! Eventually the snow will melt (and the mud will dry) and I'll get back to exercising outdoors. :) As far as writing, I've put a lot of thought into it, and got some feedback from some friends, and made more changes to my schedule so I can fit more writing time in. Y'all may notice some of the changes but I'll be talking about them more soon. Getting my book completed is an important goal for me so bear with me as I work at finding a way to make writing a priority and balancing that with my family and blogging. <3

Clean Sweep & Mini Blog-Ahead Challenge Sign-up Post

Clean Sweep ARC ChallenheI've decided to participate in the Clean Sweep ARC Challenge hosted by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer because...well, y'all know my Netgalley rating is in the tank, right?!? I'm not creating a list of books to read this time around - I learned my lesson and besides, I have so, so many books to choose from! LOL Honestly though, with being gone to BEA and with my daughter's graduation all in the same month, I'll consider it a win if I can get 5 books knocked off my Netgalley TBR. (yep, I have a journal with Netgalley titles I've yet to read!) I'll get that rating up this year though. I WILL!

If y'all are in need of a challenge to knock out some ARC reading too, click the button above for all the challenge details.


I've also decided to participate in the Mini Blog-Ahead Challenge hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup. It's only 15 days in length (May 1-15) but I really need to get posts completed and scheduled to get me through not only the month of May but June as well. I'm going to be gone twice during the month of June and it'll be a relief to know that I have things taken care of here. :D

If y'all are interested in joining this challenge to get yourself ahead around your blog, click the button for all the details!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Blog Tour Review & #Giveaway ~ Debauched ~ Jennifer Dawson

I'm so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Jennifer Dawson's Debauched. I'm a big fan of this series. Below you'll find the details for the book, my review, and a giveaway. Enjoy!

Debauched by Jennifer Dawson
Undone #3
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Source: I received an ARC as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2016NewRelease
Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ B&N

One night in a moment of sheer madness I confessed my secrets to him. All my life I’ve been pretending. Pretending to be the woman I thought I should be instead of the woman I really am. I’ve been faking it and I am good. No one has ever guessed. Except him. He just looked at me and knew.  

Chad Fellows is not the man I want, but he’s fast becoming the man I need.  

One night in a moment of sheer madness I held her in my arms and let her cry. I did the right thing, letting her walk away, no matter how much she calls to the part of me that wants to rescue her. We are nothing alike, and she’s a mess of complications in a life I’m trying to keep simple. But then I touched her and made her tremble and now I can’t turn away.   

Ruby Stiles is not the woman I want, but she’s fast becoming the woman I need.

If you've been following me for the last six months or so, you know I'm a fan of this series. JDawson sucked me into these characters' lives and into the scene with aplomb. And while I know D/s stories aren't for everyone, I'm going to try to explain why Debauched is my favorite in the series so far and why this series is worth a look. 

I have no experience with this lifestyle outside of books but what I think JDawson does so well, and I mentioned this in my review of Unraveled, is explain the psychology behind the relationship dynamics and all the elements required for it to be successful. This was even more acute in Debauched as Ruby was vehemently against the D/s relationship. The ways in which JDawson had Chad and Ruby explore her perceptions and feelings was brilliant and enlightening. It also demonstrated the depth of feeling, honesty, commitment and trust a D/s relationship requires.

It'd always liked Ruby but getting a deeper glimpse of her in Unraveled had me eager to get to know her better. Because on many levels I identify with Ruby so the thoughts she had, the way she was stifling herself professionally and personally by trying to be what she thought others wanted/expected her to be without realizing it, was something I can relate to. She had certain ideas about what she thought her life should look like but those ideas/beliefs were coloring her perception of things - things that could unlock, for lack of a better word, all her potential. Meeting Chad, realizing he was a Dominant, knowing he was stable, staid...those things all flew in the face of what she envisioned for herself. And yet she couldn't deny the magnetic pull between them.

Chad, for his part, couldn't stay away from Ruby. She truly was a complication he didn't feel he needed in his life but there was something about her that spoke to him. Watching as he slowing, patiently broke through all the barriers Ruby placed between them was awing. It showed so much about his character that he took the time to help Ruby understand and accept something so elemental in her makeup. I fell for him just as hard as Ruby did. Maybe it's because he's not as alpha as Michael or Leo (the other men of this series)...I'm not sure. Maybe it's just because Chad is more my idea of the perfect guy. Whatever it is, I connected with him on a deeper level.

I wanted to say something about the smexy scenes as well. Debauched doesn't have any bondage or voyeurism scenes. Not one of the scenes is gratuitous. They each show Ruby working through something with Chad's help. And this is one of the hottest books I've read!

If you don't like stories with a D/s foundation, there's probably not much I can say that will convince you to give the Undone series a try. But I hope you do. Debauched made me thing without my realizing it was making me think. It resonated deep with me because I'm completely invested in these characters. And it's a story that's going to stay with me for quite some time.

Previous Books in the Undone Series

Crave Undone #1
Buy Links: Amazon|Barnes&Noble|Kobo|iTunes

Sinful Undone #2
Buy Links: Amazon|Barnes&Noble|Kobo|iTunes

Unraveled Undone #2.5
Buy Links: Amazon|Barnes&Noble|Kobo|iTunes

Jennifer Dawson is the author of the popular Something New series; spicy, small town romance released with Kensington, and pens the dark and edgy contemporary romance series Undone.   Jennifer grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day, she still maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later, they are married and living in a suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog. These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer, writing her next novel, chasing after her kids, keeping an ever-watchful eye on her ever-growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her husband. Jennifer loves connecting with her readers and invites you to check out her website, Facebook page, and join Dawson’s Darlings, her private Facebook Fan group. Sign up for her monthly Newsletter for exclusive insider peeks, new release information and more.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Release Day Review ~ Mr. Perfect ~ JA Huss

Mr. Perfect (Mister, #1)Mr. Perfect by JA Huss
Mister #1
Release Date: April 27, 2016
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #2016NewRelease
Goodreads ~ Amazon

Wanting the perfect man doesn't make me crazy. I just know what I like.

A powerful billionaire in a suit wasn't even my first choice. McAllister Stonewall was never on my radar, I didn't even know he existed.

But I do now.

His hands are all over me at work. The heat of his chest pressing against my bare back as he bends me over the desk is the only thing on my mind.

He is my most forbidden desires unleashed. He is my new secret obsession. He is my Mr. Perfect.

Until the moment I realize... There's no such thing as perfect.

Mr. Perfect is not typical Huss - a sexy story served up with a nice side of mind-twisting suspense. No, Mr. Perfect is more straight-up sexy and fun. And for the most part, I quite enjoyed it.

Ellie can admit she is wasting her talent as the celebrity concierge for Stonewall Entertainment, but the day she has the worst day of her career, she decides maybe she's had enough. Not only did she almost kill her rock star client, she had an interesting run-in with her new boss who happens to be H.O.T. But is also clearly an ass. Ellie, though...she has dreams. She just needs the confidence to reach for them.

McAllister didn't mean for his first meeting with Ellie to go so wrong. He's actually kinda smitten with this adorable girl - whose texts of her dream life he inadvertently received. Ellie sparks his interest - in more ways than one. She makes him think and re-evaluate. She also fogs his brain with lust. If only he can get her to see his side of things...

Thus begins this crazy office romance. And like I said, it was fun. I had several giggle moments. I had several gasping moments. I even had some fan myself moments. The interactions and banter between Ellie and Mac were at times light and at times cringe-worthy. I could see things progressing between them. But I felt there was that little something missing. And it really hit me once that something was delivered. That something was what made the story meaty. There were revelations that made both Mac and Ellie more complex - even more interesting. There were discoveries made - realizations - that showed their entire character as well as how their relationship affected who they are and where they were going - both individually and as a couple. There were questions raised about taking risks, the value of dreams, and blazing your own path. And while I enjoyed their story up to that point because it was sexy and a good time, I couldn't help but wish these events had happened a little sooner since they gave Mac and Ellie so much more depth.

I can't deny that I had a good time with Mr. Perfect. This couple was entertaining and their chemistry was combustible. There were interesting secondary characters introduced and I enjoyed them. Huss, as usual, was stellar at painting the backdrop of a unique office building in the Denver Tech Center juxtaposed with rolling pine covered hills dotted with cows. The only thing that was missing was that little bit extra early on - that meat. With that, Mr. Perfect would have been fabulous rather than just great. However, as this is the first in a new series where there are 5 guys, the Misters, with a connected past, I'm expecting things will just get better from here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

New Release Review ~ Possessed by a Dark Warrior ~ Felicity Heaton

Possessed by a Dark Warrior (Eternal Mates, #9)Possessed by a Dark Warrior by Felicity Heaton
Eternal Mates #9
Release Date: April 9, 2016
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2016NewRelease
Goodreads ~ Amazon

A powerful warrior and commancer of the dark elf legions, Bleu is a loyal and devoted male, and one who has never failed in anything--except one thing. Love. When an elusive female dragon shifter surfaces in Hell again, giving him a mission to hurl himself into, he gladly returns to his hunt for her and the deadly blade she stole from his prince seven centuries ago, but as he closes in on his prey, fate reveals she is far more than his enemy.

Having escaped from the black market arena and her life as a slave, Taryn sets her sights back on the task she began seven hundred years ago when her brother stole a precious sword, but in the three centuries she's been captive, everything has changed. Corrupted by a craving for power, her brother has become dangerously obsessed with finding the blade and using it to claim the ultimate treasure--the position of King of Hell.

Faced with having to end her beloved twin brother to stop him from bringing all of Hell to its knees before him, will Taryn be strong enough to use the very blade he seeks against him? And when Bleu finally catches his elusive prey, will he listen to his head as it demands he complete his mission or his heart as it demands he claim his eternal mate?

Finally, finally we got Bleu's story. It's been a long time coming and it's a story I was eagerly anticipating. One I must say was worth the wait.

Possessed by a Dark Warrior is the 9th in the series, and I've reviewed the previous 8, I'm finding it difficult to create new ways to express my appreciation of elements I feel Heaton excels in. She never disappoints me in:
  • characterization
  • setting
  • choreography of action scenes
I was thrilled to get to spend time with some of my favorite characters from previous installments - even if only briefly. I liked how Vail's plot line was further developed as well as the advancement of what I see as the over-arching plot line. The camaraderie between Bleu, Loren, and Vail (yes, Vail) further developed the characters of these males. They are strong warriors but are first and foremost loyal friends. The romance, while maybe not quite as exciting as I was hoping for, was satisfying nonetheless. And the battle was pretty epic. The pacing of Bleu's story was a bit smoother - it kept me eagerly flipping through the pages.

As anxious as I'd been for Bleu's story, I had no idea what direction Heaton would go. It was the ultimate irony that the thing Bleu most long for - love and his mate - had been in his life for a long while. The circumstances of his acquaintance with Taryn were unfortunate. Had those circumstances not arisen, they'd both been spared much pain. However, they might not have crossed paths either, so...

I admired Taryn's strength - both physical and mental. She'd survived so much and knew she still had a major undertaking ahead of her. That she took it upon herself to save all of Hell was admirable - especially since it meant facing off with her twin.

The romance between Bleu and Taryn, despite the fact they were mates - felt almost slow-burning as they both had thick walls surrounding their hearts. And maybe it's cliche - each of them afraid to love and lose - but it felt genuine in their case. I do think they would have a bit more to overcome with regards to the apparent PTSD Taryn suffers but I liked where they ended up and appreciated being along on the journey.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Post #12

Sunday Post

As y'all probably all know, the Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba @Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share my news from the week whether it be book, blog, or just life news. Since I read so many of your Sunday Posts and I wanted to add something new in 2016, I've decided to join in the fun!


As y'all know, hubs and I took Sky to Portland for Admit Day at Reed College. We had a bumpy start as a huge snowstorm moved into Colorado and affected air travel. Our original flight was canceled and we had to re-book a flight for 11 hours later in the day. This was funny because although we had 3 feet of snow at our house, the airport only had about 5 inches. This was not funny because it meant we lost an entire day in Portland. We also had some rental car issues and hotel issues but it all worked out and with the exception of Sky coming down with a cold, our time in Portland and the event we attended at Reed were excellent! If y'all can believe it, it was sunny and in the 80's there!!

I've continued to work at my Spring Cleaning list and am getting things accomplished. That's left me feeling pretty good. I'm working on a couple of projects that I've been doing for the music department for the past several years that have to be done in the next few weeks, working on projects for Sky's graduation, and working at getting ready for BEA!

Reading-wise, I'm still listening to Like Gravity by Julie Johnson. I finished The Gamble by Kristen Ashley (I incorrectly stated I was re-reading Rock Chick Reckoning by Kristen Ashley - got ahead of myself! *haha*). I've started Possessed by a Dark Warrior by Felicity Heaton, and will also be starting Debauched by Jennifer Dawson. I had to return Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake before I finished it, so I'll have to request it again from the library. :D It's really good, y'all, I just didn't have time for reading last week!

How was y'all's week?!? I hope this upcoming one fantastic! :D


Bookworm BrandeeBlogger ShameNew Release Challenge 2016 - (un)Conventional Bookviews2016HWLogoButton

Challenge Updates
I made very little progress in a few of my challenges this week. 

#ShelfLove - 32
Blogger Shame - 5
New Release - 12
Goodreads - 51
#2016HW - 6

How are y'all doing with your challenges?

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged #87 ~ Small Haul

Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged is a weekly meme, hosted by TalkSupe, where I share with you the books I have bought, borrowed, or bagged (gifted or won) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, and any other bookishness I want to share. :)


This is the one where despite it being two weeks since I last posted, I didn't add *that* many books to my shelves. ;)

Second DeathSaven Deception (Saven #1)#1 Crush (Loose Ends, #1)Bon Bons to Yoga Pants
I one-clicked Second Death and Saven Deception after seeing a character interview @TalkSupe and a review @Lola's Reviews respectively. Second Death was only 99 cents and Saven Deception was *free*. I also picked up #1 Crush and Bon Bons to Yoga Pants as freebies!

One SecondOne RideThe Lie

I received One SecondOne Ride, and The Lie for review. Thanks to Tantor Media!

Last Two Weeks' Reviews
Upcoming Reviews
Debauched by Jennifer Dawson
Possessed by a Dark Warrior by Felicity Heaton
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
The Siren by Tiffany Reisz
Legal Ease by Lori Ryan

Friday, April 22, 2016

Historical Romance Review ~ The Guardian ~ Margaret Mallory

The Guardian (Return of the Highlanders #1)The Guardian by Margaret Mallory
Return of the Highlanders #1
Release Date: May 1, 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Purchased on nook
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: Historical Romance Challenge 2015

Four fearless warriors return to the Highlands to claim their lands and legacies. But all their trials on the battlefield can't prepare them for their greatest challenge yet: winning the hearts of four willful Scottish beauties.

After years of fighting abroad. Ian MacDonald comes home to find his clan in peril. To save his kin, he must right the wrongs from his past...and claim the bride he's long resisted.

As a young lass, Sileas depended on Ian to play her knight in shining armor. But when his rescue attempt compromised her virtue, Ian was forced to marry against his wishes. Five years later, Sileas has grown from awkward girl into an independent beauty who knows she deserves better than the reluctant husband who preferred war to his wife. Now this devilishly handsome Highlander is finally falling in love. He wants a second chance with Sileas--and he won't take no for an answer.

Oh, but Highlanders are a bloodthirsty bunch!

The introduction to Ian, Connor, Duncan, Alex, and Sileas was cleverly done. Seeing how close they were as children solidified their bond and my connection to them as adults. And knowing their futures as told to them by the village seer grew my anticipation for the story.

Ian and Sileas were forced to marry for several reasons. Ian, no wanting to have his bride forced upon him, leaves the day after the wedding and doesn't return for five long years. Five years in which Sileas has to endure the gossip and taunting from their clan over the fact that Ian didn't want to be with his wife. Now Ian and his cousins have returned to see to it the rightful heir to the Chieftanship takes his place.

The Guardian was an exciting read with much intrigue. There are some wily Highlanders who would stop at nothing to get what they want. Ian and his cousins face danger from all directions. And while trying to do right by his clan, Ian finds himself wanting to do right by his wife.

Mallory did well in creating fascinating characters. Sileas was fiery-tempered, head-strong, and brave - just as a Highlander woman should be. Ian, while pig-headed at times, was a good man and a courageous warrior. I'm eager to get Connor's, Duncan's, and Alex's stories as well, as they all have very distinct personalities.

I wouldn't have wanted to live during this tumultuous time in history though. It was very bloody and I'm certain you could never quite be sure whom to trust. Mallory does inject humor into the story. And it was welcome. With a well-constructed historical setting and robust characters, I look forward to continuing this series.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

That's What HE Said #60 ~ Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #41

That's What He Said is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies @Chapter Break. Here's the deal: every Thursday, post a line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind, these are direct quotes from dialog in the books. The quote doesn't have to be romantic - just something our hunky hero said to his lucky lady. Be sure to link up over at Chapter Break as well.

My pick this week for That's What He Said is from:

The Gamble by Kristen Ashley

Yep, a repeat performance of The Gamble because Max...he's just that good with words. ;)


"It kills me to say this, babe, the guilt burns so bad, but this week I couldn't help but think about what life would be like with you and the ways it would be better than what I had with Anna. And knowin' you throw beer bottles and give back as good as you get, I like it, Duchess, that passion. It's in everything you do and, swear to Christ, I don't think I've ever seen anything that beautiful. Anna loved life but, honey, when you forget to let those little fears you got cobble you, fuck, you devour it. It's unbelievably amazing, awesome to witness."


Nina, despite living in England for a lot of her life, *knows* how to whip up awesome American fare!

...I'd just slid into the oven my world-famous nachos (this wasn't strictly true; I hadn't won a competition or anything, but I called them that anyway because they were really good). They were smothered in kidney beans and hamburger meat spiced with taco seasoning and a mixture of three cheeses (cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack, the latter two they didn't have in England). After the desired cheese melting, I would load salsa, sour cream, and fresh jalepenos with tomatoes for Max, which he told me he loved but I hated. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Books & Crafts #3 ~ #BookBlogger #CraftCircle

Welcome to Books & Crafts, a craft circle composed of book bloggers, a sporadic meme where we share our other creative pursuits aside from reading and blogging. Everyone is welcome to join, just add yout tag/label links below and you're good to go!


I thought I'd share a pretty yet utilitarian craft this month. I made these decorated lunch pails using lunch pails (of course ;) that I got at either Michael's or Hobby Lobby, paper, ribbon, ModPodge, and embellishments. 

I cut the paper to size, typically using 2 different patterns for the 'body' and a coordinating pattern for the top, inside the top, and on the bottom of the pail. The paper doesn't always make it all the way around the pail, so I use 2 pieces per pattern and put the seam on the side. I cut out a place for the latch in front and on the top, I cut out around the handle parts and have a seam in between them. I use ModPodge and a 1 inch foam brush to adhere the paper to the pail. (I use the glossy kind but you can use matte if you prefer.) Once that is dry, I put a ribbon around the middle to cover the seam between the paper. I also tie ribbons on the handles. And lastly, I adhere an embellishment of some sort. Here's how it turns out:

I mentioned they're not only pretty but also utilitarian...I use them to store bookmarks I've made, like the one below, as well as for cards I've made.

Do you craft too? Wanna get in on the fun? Just add your link below. And don't forget to check out the other hosts' crafts! :D
(I had problems with the linky - I've included it below. BUT if it doesn't appear correctly or doesn't work, head over to Talk Supe and link up there. Thanks!)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Audio Review ~ Two Minutes ~ Dannika Dark

Two Minutes (Seven, #6)Two Minutes by Dannika Dark
Seven Series #6
Narrated by: Nicole Poole
Release Date: April 25, 2015
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Source: Audible
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms

After years of living abroad, Maizy returns home to the only family she's ever know--a pack of wolves. When she confronts her childhood watchdog to see where they stand, his resentment leaves her uncertain about where she really belongs.

Behind Denver's charming smile is a tragic past--one that's made his wolf savage and unpredictable. Only Maizy has been able to tame that darkness, and when they're reunited after many years apart, he no longer sees a child he once protected. She's captivating and intelligent--a woman with the world at her fingertips and two suitors offering more than he ever could.

Torn between two worlds, Maizy must choose how her fairy tale ends. Tragedy, murder, passion, and imprisonment all collide with a heart-stopping twist.

Destiny will find you.

Two Minutes was the story I'd had my fingers crossed for since Seven Years. When Denny became Maizy's watchdog, it forged a bond between them that seemed to intensify as Maizy aged. The way they were together, I'd always felt they were soulmates.

Two Minutes sees Maizy returning home to the Westin pack after being away to school and travel. The synopsis says Maizy was unsure of where she belonged but I thought it was more a case of knowing what she wanted but being unsure if she could have it. Things between she and Denver are strained since he stopped visiting her when the pack did and made sure to stay away when she visited. Denny had his reasons and it broke my heart for him. But he doesn't know Maizy's secret - one she only learned about recently. And it's a secret that completely changes the game.

Another barrier for Maizy and Denny to overcome is one very handsome, very powerful Alpha, Prince. Prince came into the Westin pack's life during the trouble they faced with Lexie and Maizy's dad in Seven Years. Prince took a shine to Maizy then and he's stayed involved. However, Prince is aware of Maizy's secret and is determined to woo her away from Denver. It is all almost for naught when Denver is arrested and could possibly be sentenced to death for his crime.

Dark once again dazzled me with her incredible cast of characters. I feel I know them all so well at this point, they're like friends. And I could probably identify them all by their mannerisms and catch phrases since she makes them so distinct. There was also plenty of tension and suspense in Two Minutes with dealing with the Council and the Higher Authority, the mess with another pack, and the push and pull between Maizy and Denny. I was enthralled by the story and listened as often as I could.

Nicole Poole is an excellent narrator and I continue to be impressed with her ability to keep the characters' voices separate and distinct, as Dark created them.

I'm thrilled to have binged on this series in audio. My only regret is that the series is almost done!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

#ShelfLove Discussion ~ Library Love

Bookworm Brandee

As part of the #ShelfLove Challenge, we have monthly discussion topics. April's topic is love for our local library. 

I'm so lucky to have a branch of my county library system only 15 minutes from my home. Y'all know that for most things, I have to make a trip 'down the hill' since I live in the mountains. Having a library so close is a treat! And our library is lovely. First of all, it's set against a backdrop of a mountain. It's gorgeous, both inside and out. The kids and I love spending time in the library - whether we're in there searching for something in particular or just leisurely looking for a treasure (my favorite way to visit!). Our library has really neat summer reading programs which culminate in prizes and special parties for top readers. My son has enjoyed a few of those. And we all make use of the ability to request a book online, then pick it up once it's been pulled for us. I haven't made use to digital reading through our library yet - mostly because I haven't taken the time to figure out the process. But it is an available service that I'll use one day. Recently, I've been using my library as a way to read new releases. It's a great way to keep from adding even more books to my already overloaded shelves at home. :D

How about y'all? Do you visit your local library often? Ever? What are you favorite things about your library?

Friday, April 15, 2016

New Release Blitz & #Giveaway ~ Werewolves of Chicago: Howard ~ Faleena Hopkins

Werewolves of Chicago: Howard:
New Release Sale and Kindle Fire Giveaway Blitz!

Not every wolf gets a cool name. some of them have to earn it. An action-packed tale of courage, love, good vs. evil, and leaps of faith. 

In the wake of taking down the Russian mafia, runt wolf Howard has finally come into his own. And now that he's falling for a blue-haired girl, he has to discover what it means to be powerful before facing the greatest challenge of all, his past. 

Bonus Content: the novel Werewolves of Chicago: Curragh is included in this Limited Release eBook Edition. Available in Kindle Unlimited or on sale for .99 during this blitz.


Who am I trying to kid? 

I slow down as I near the end.

"HOWARD!!" Xavier yells, pissed off. 

I grab onto the chain-link fence and bend over, panting and humiliated. "I can't." 

Draik mutters really quietly, "He can't do it," so I know I wasn't meant to hear it. And the thing is, had it been a couple months ago, I wouldn't have been able to. But I did hear it. And it makes me angry. 

He. Can't. Do. It. All my life I've been hearing that. My whole fucking life.

A heat launches into me. One I've not felt since that night at Kruglov's, and never before then. I don't have a name for it because it's foreign, but it feels like there is literal fire in my chest as a voice inside my guts says, I can and I will. 

The dirty fence clatters behind me as I push off from it, running with gaining speed. My hair starts to tingle, wind whipping though it. The exposed parts of my skin feel cold from the sudden sting of the chilled night air. My muscles come alive, burning and expanding like they're growing with every hit to the sidewalk even though my feet feel separate from me. I let go of my mind and allow my body to show
me what it can do. My arms pound back and forth, maintaining my balance. I start to make a sound I've never made. 

I hear Xavier say, "That's it," from a faraway place. "He's feeling it." 

I make it to the fence, whip around and race back in the other direction, pushing myself to cut however little time that took, in half. My chest feels like it's going to explode in volcanic ash. 

I'm pure energy. Possibility. I'm ALIVE. 

I run so fast that, unable to stop my velocity, I hit the fence with a loud SLAM. 

Falling in a heap on the ground, I begin to laugh. 

Draik and Xavier stroll up to loom over me, and I'm still laughing. They've got grins on their faces bigger than I've ever seen. 

"You found it," Xavier says.

I pant, "What? What did I find?" smiling wide. 

Draik tips his head up. "Courage."


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I've written seventeen novels, and six of them are about werewolves. In my books it's real life. The world does not know they exist. But they do. Never did I anticipate writing about a wolf named Howard. But there he was, showing up in Werewolves of Chicago: Curragh (also included in this one download for a limited time, since you really should read it first). Howard was then a scrawny wolf who just wanted to play with the big boys, and who they called upon for help since he's a doctor. Then from out of nowhere he did something so brave that he grew into the wolf he was always meant to be - one like them. All muscle and power. I never planned that. I don't plan plots and never know where a story is going or how it will end, when I begin it. After releasing Curragh's book, fans wanted to know more about this sweet, unassuming and courageous wolf, as did I. Werewolves of Chicago: Howard was born.


"The first book I ever wrote I tied with yarn, illustrated with crayon, and sold to my parents for a buck. I was about five years old. Ever since, stories of love and redemption have always struck a cord in me." An actress and director, too, Faleena Hopkins currently lives in Atlanta, GA, where she loves the unpredictable weather patterns after having lived in LA for twenty years. "Last night a thunder storm, today 75 degrees, tomorrow snowflakes drifting in the night sky. Can't beat it." 
Learn more about her filmmaking career at:


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