Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Favorite Reads for: Halloween/Samhain (VEDA 31, 2014)

And it all comes to an end. I did pretty good actually. I did vlog almost every day and I'm happy with the vlogs I did manage to accomplish.  Now I know what you're thinking it's only the end of August beginning of September, but I prep for Samhain as early as November 1st the year before, I hunt down decorations on half or seventy percent sale and stock up for next year. I'm always on the hunt for great deals when it comes to Halloween, that way each year my collection will grow and be better than the year before.  And that takes planning, while I like to plan and prep one of the ways I get into the mood of the season is to read Halloween and Samhain-themed books.  Samhain being the nonfiction books and Halloween being the fictions books.

Here are a few of my favorite and a few authors to check out for your selves, as well as a few more recommendations than in the video:

For Non Fiction :

For Reference, at times I turn to Halloween by Silver Ravenwolf.  It has some great fall recipes to try and a few places listed so you can find other resources.  There are many who take issue with the book, however, I feel it's like anything, take what works and leave the fluff or incorrect information behind.

For Fiction:

Anything Maggie Shayne and Heather Graham works for me.  For Maggie I especially love her Portal Series which included:  (my review is on the title, the portal series brings you to Maggie page where you can see all the series and the goodies)
Witch Moon Rising Witch Moon Waning by Maggie Shayne & Lorna Tedder Although not a part of the series by Maggie Shayne I love reading this one, it's the first time I read her writing and I have loved it ever since.

I also picked up Lorna Tedder's other work including Flying By Night which is perfect for Halloween. 

Another adult favorite of mine is Goddess of Spring by P.C. Cast, now I know what you're thinking, however, this is a Persephone retelling, and if you know anything about the myth you know it is perfect for this season.

Heather Graham's Krewe of Hunters series features quite a few books set in New Orleans and even a few set around Halloween.  (she however writes way too many for me to list here, we might be here all day).

My Favorite Anthologies:
For Young Adult:
Goddess Series by Aimee Carter *another Persephone retelling*  Click the titles to see my reviews

and of course, I love Croak which is the grim reaper series by Gina D'amico.  I also have another Persephone retelling which is Love Underground by Alicia Fields.  And last but not least is the witch series Circle of Three by Isobel Bird.

And there you have it folks, these are the books that get me in the mood for Fall, Samhain and Halloween. I'll be sharing my list of to be read books that I wish to read soon.  Do you have any favorites?? Share down in the comments below and we can discuss and gush about our favorite parts of Halloween.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

#Review: Expose Me (5th Avenue Trilogy) .@Katehewitt1

Book Title: Expose Me ( Fifth Avenue Trilogy) Book 3
Author:  Kate Hewitt |Website|  TwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Series Book 3 (Finale)
Format: Trade Paperback
Cost: $9.99
Pages: 264
How I got it: Purchased at Books A Million
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: August 2014
Add To Goodreads
Ten years ago one devastating night changed everything for Austin, Hunter and Alex. Now they must each play their part in the revenge against the one man who ruined it all. With ruthless determination, Alex Diaz has risen up from his deprived roots to become the head of a global media empire. But he has one last thing to achieve…avenge his friend by destroying the man responsible for her death, Jason Treffen. With stunning talk-show host Chelsea Maxwell about to interview Treffen live on TV, this is Alex's chance. He'll use her show to exact a very public revenge—and seducing Chelsea, if needed, would certainly be no hardship. But he underestimates Chelsea and the attraction between them, and as their relationship deepens, Alex realizes that to annihilate Treffen could also shatter the life that Chelsea has built to protect herself….
So I went to the bookstore and they said it wasn't due out until July 29th and I almost cried, but I understood. I went home and just hung my head for like three days, then went back and it was out and I freaked, snatched the book ran to the register and went home, I finished it that same night. (funny aside as soon as I finished reading it, I get an email from NetGalley saying Harlequin approved me for the title, well played Harlequin well played). Now onto the review..

This story is just as emotional as the others.  Even more so, because they hide so much from themselves and from each other.  In this one both of the characters are so deeply wounded and damaged it makes them guarded and afraid to meet someone without outing up barriers.  Alex's suspicions about his past really make him very guarded and I can totally understand why, that's gotta hurt.

 Alec is blown away by Chelsea when he realizes that the rumors don't do her justice nor do they disclose the clever and sharp mind hiding beneath the beautiful and cool smile.m   Chelsea is a complex and wounded character who at first appears one way but as the story unfolds we learn more about her hidden depths, her fears, and her reasons for having her walls.  Her past is brutal but she rose above the fray and excelled in a way no one thought she would.

As we learn more and are introduced to more characters I wanted to learn more about them, and their journeys that brought them here.  Her sister appears to be a complex and nuanced character that I wish we had gotten more of because she also helped to make Chelsea who she was.  I wanted to know who she had become, where she had been and what put the ghosts in her eyes.  Zair was mentioned in all three books and now I want more from him.

As the book progressed I laughed, teared up a bit, got furious with things that were happening and wanted so much more.  On page 209 I laughed because Kate's Britishness peaked through when she called the bandages "sticking plaster"   Then of course when Chelsea meets Alex's mom and she cuts right to the heart of the situation  I was floored, Holy Crap, I love her!!

I love that they are both in unknown teritory and that's it's not just the girl wanting this to work that the are both vested and emotional.  I loved how they learnt to both trust and use each other, that the plan hinged on Chelsea being willing to accept the truth, that she be willing to not just stand up for self but also for a young woman too wounded to fight anymore.  I loved watching the unfurling of Chelsea as a woman, and as a survivor, instead of hiding she embraced herself once again and lived!!!

The book is extremely well written, especially because it didn't give a perfect happy ending.  There is still more to be done, But it gave us the full story we had been working towards.  Those last few moments as they worked towards that justice were pretty freaking tense, I was speed reading trying to get to the end so I could see how it went down and it was epic!! Man I really felt like I was there in the room when it happened. Ain't no spinning this story now jackass (yes I'm talking to the villain). I loved that even though it appeared like it was the men who were bringing the revenge that each story hinged on the courage of the women they met and their decision to seek justice, to stand up, and to speak for all the women who couldn't.

The saddest part about these books of course is knowing that there are women in these situations.  That they are actually women who are living with this horror daily.  They don't have someone like Chelsea/Alex or Katy/Austin or Zoe/Hunter to avenge them and that's the worse part.
While I would have loved an epilogue, I get that there wouldn't have been a way to end it that would satisfy everyone.  In reality these things sometimes take years especially if the villain has money to hide behind.  But I can imagine the justice I want and that's an even better ending!!  I highly recommend the series.  Have you read them?? What do you think of the subject matter? I must say I'm happy that romance novels are finally talking about more than just them meeting and falling in love, even though I love those kinds of stories too.  Leave it in the comments!!

Happy Reading

Friday, August 29, 2014

#Review: Scandalize Me ( Fifth Avenue Triglogy Book 2) .@megancrane

Book Title: Scandalize Me ( Fifth Avenue Triglogy Book 2)
Author: Caitlin Crews |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Series Book 2
Format: Trade Paperback
Cost: $9.99
Pages: 264
How I got it: Purchased from Books A Million 
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: July 2014
Add To Goodreads
TEN YEARS AGO ONE DEVASTATING NIGHT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR AUSTIN, HUNTER AND ALEX. NOW THEY MUST EACH PLAY THEIR PART IN THE REVENGE AGAINST THE ONE MAN WHO RUINED IT ALL. Hunter Talbot Grant III, sports figure du jour, wealthy beyond measure and disreputable by choice, has cultivated a reputation that masks the shadows of his past. When the opportunity to ensure financial destruction for Jason Treffen arises, he can't refuse. But first he must shake off the woman sent to tame him! Zoe Brook, PR agent extraordinaire, never fails to transform a tarnished star. And Hunter's no different. Except there's a catch. Beneath their scorching mutual attraction, Zoe has a secret, she's also been on the wrong side of Jason Treffen, and she has as much of a taste for revenge as Hunter does!
Ha I laughed so hard when I started reading this, Zoe was totally a kick ass woman and she was so not expecting Hunter to be who he was. I loved her plans and I couldn't wait for them to learn more about each other.  While reading page 42, the second paragraph was like a kick in the gut,  God to be trapped with no way to get out and no one to tell. On page 110 iDied, I can't with Hunter, why would you go so hard with him??And then on page 122 Yes Get it Zoe!!

Hunter is doing even worse than Austin is, because he loved Sarah and he never knew she was in trouble.  On that last night, he hurt her when she needed him and he can't forgive himself because he had made assumptions about her and he thought he was the injured party.  For that Hunter has been punishing himself for ten years, and he's been doing it publicly.

It's sad to see how Sarah's choice is rippling across the lives of her friends and loved ones she left behind.  How it almost broke her sister, how it hurt her friends and all because she needed to get away from one bastard.  One man's evil hurts so many people and he doesn't even care.

This book took you and made you care. The story flew by and I was rooting for Hunter to stop hiding from his past and the pain. For Zoe to kick her demons in the nuts with her killer heels and for her vengeance to truly come through.  This book carried on the story well, picking up where Avenge Me left off, peeling back the layers of the characters and exposing all their flaws, fears and desperate need for redemption.

Zoe's story made me hurt and made me angry; because the sad part about these stories?? Is knowing that this is all too real, that this can take place anywhere in the world and women are always trapped beyond their control.  Women who saw the golden ticket, the perfect opportunity to get their dreams to only discover the nightmare hidden within when they were too far gone.  Zoe's struggle felt real and never made it too far out of the realm of possibility. At times it felt all too real.

The pairing was exceptional, I was engaged from the beginning,   The sexy times ... holy smokes, it was off the charts; the characters had great chemistry in spades and I loved that it took time for their relationship to build up.  The inital time between their meet and their getting together  took place over months and it wasn't insta love or like.  They both worked each other's last nerves when they met and then it took time for trust to bloom before they were able to get together without all the baggage in the way.  Hunter as a character was well done as well, he was a man on a mission to punish himself for failing the woman he loved; even though he like everyone else didn't really see the signs, and Sarah herself never told anyone she needed help.  When given the chance to enact revenge Hunter is slow to the task but eventually comes around when he realizes this isn't about him anymore, and I loved him for that.

I chose bot to read the book's synopsis so I was unaware I was going to be reading Hunter's story, I just went in knowing as book 2 it was going to be carrying on the story.  And I wasn't disappointed.  Can I just say I want more from Zahir?? Can he get his own story?? Characters were well developed, I totally need more on Zahir though so ladies, get on that!

I can't wait until the 29th of July so I can get the third book because it's going to be epic! They have already gotten two pieces now they need to trap him and it's game over bitch!!  I highly recommend the series.  .

This was a great follow up to avenge me , this one really explored the main losses not from a outsider's point of view but from those most affected by the actions of Sarah and the villain.  And it's done wonderfully.  This is a story of revenge and redemption and I loved how it was resolved.  How it came together in the end and gave us a satisfactory ending but left us open for the third.

Don't forget to enter in for a chance to win an autographed copy of Avenge Me!!  Good Luck
Happy Reading

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#Giveaway (CLOSED) & #Review: Avenge Me ( FIfth Avenue Trilogy 1) .@maiseyyates

Book Title: Avenge Me ( Fifth Avenue Trilogy Book 1)
Author: Maisey Yates |WebsiteTwitter| Facebook|
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Series Book 1
Format: Trade Paperback
Cost: $9.99
Pages: 264
How I got it: Book Expo America 2014
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: June 2014
Add To Goodreads
TEN YEARS AGO ONE DEVASTATING NIGHT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR AUSTIN, HUNTER AND ALEX. NOW THEY MUST EACH PLAY THEIR PART IN THE REVENGE AGAINST THE ONE MAN WHO RUINED IT ALL. Austin Treffen was born into a world of privilege, but behind its gilded doors lies a corruption so sordid New York's elite would never believe it—especially as his infamous philanthropic father is at its core! With everything he believed in shattered, how can Austin take down his father—risking his family name and those he loves—without any proof? Until one earth-shattering night with Katy Michaels unlocks not only their deepest, most passionate desires but also the key to bringing Jason Treffen's reign to an end. But with an intense sexual attraction that combines a heady mix of exquisite pleasure and sublime pain, will they satiate their thirst for revenge and each other…or lose themselves forever in the darkness
A good story with a great start to the series.  This is a good take on a touch matter, it explores why victims might not come forward. Why an educated woman would stay and the repercussions to the families after tragedy strikes.  Reminds me of the episode on Law & Order SVU about the judge who was known as an advocate for women who turned out to be abusing his position of power along withs several of his friends.

The soul searching that Austin did and his fear of being his dad, made him fight harder,  Many people wouldn't see the clues and would turn a blind eye because they don't want to see and they would rather not deal with the ugliness.  I loved the discussion between domination and abuse of power, and the differences and the fine line that is walked to make sure dominance doesn't become abuse; not just in 'polite' society but in between the players.

 They were nuanced, flawed, and kick ass, they were raw, emotional and they just felt real. Their reactions, discussions, conversations and even their thoughts felt like something you would think in the situation they found themselves in.

Covers of the Books:
Each cover showcased each character that plays apart of the pack the friends have made. Each of the models do well as the characters, and the simple suits and the men with stark colors behind them just make for a beautiful and simple cover.  This cover model has Austin's intensity down pat!! I like it!!

World Building:
Mostly done in the prequel "Take Me by Maisey Yates, and done well, it gave us the sense of NYC which in it's own way becomes a character,  The author's gave us a general background of the college and they became friends and how it affected each of them. This makes it easy to root for the good guys.

The story is told in a way that's believable because sadly it's dealing with a topic that way too many women deal with (perhaps not to this extreme) but it's there. Eventually this book becomes a love story, however the overarching plot isn't lost; because their reasons for meeting has to do with the main plot. I loved how it wasn't a love story, the love wasn't even on the horizon at first, it was a revenge tale and remained a revenge tale until the glorious end.

I can't wait to read the other ones in the series.  and I'm going to enjoy the trilogy because Avenge me was totally more than I expected.

And as such I want to share the awesomeness with you. One lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of Avenge Me by Maisey Yates!!!  Enter down below to win.
Happy Reading & Good Luck!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#Review: Hard Knox .@nwilliamsbooks

Book Title: Hard Knox (Outsider Series 1)
Author:  Nicole Williams |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: New Adult Romance
Series/Standalone: Series Book 1
Format: ebook
Cost: $3.99
Pages: 310
How I got it: Blog Tour Company
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | KOBO
Publication Date: August 12, 2014
Add To Goodreads
Knox Jagger. The name inspires resent in every male at Sinclair University, want in every female, and contempt in Charlie Chase. Charlie can be summed up in three words: independent, independent, and independent. To Charlie, Knox epitomizes everything that’s wrong with college males: prolific one-night stands, drunken senseless fights, and a body that hints at prioritizing gym time over study time. As an up-and-coming writer for Sinclair University’s newspaper, Charlie’s tasked with getting to the bottom of who’s been dropping little white pills into girls’ drinks at parties. In an ocean of All-American boys sporting polo shirts and innocent smiles, Knox is the obvious suspect. As evidence piles up against the bad boy of Sinclair, Charlie becomes more and more certain it isn’t Knox. But when her drink is dosed at a party and she wakes up on Knox’s couch the next morning, Charlie’s left with more questions than answers when it comes to Knox Jagger. How can Charlie ever hope to uncover the truth behind a guy so closed off he’s become . . .
This is the first time I have read Nicole Williams' writing, and it won't be the last at all.  I'm so looking forward to Damaged Goods which is book two and I have no idea what it's about but I'm going to enjoy reading it that's all I know.

When I first started i thought " Ugh, why already her attitude is tired. Shut up judgmental bitch. I hate characters who are "superior" only in their own minds because they put others down" Yeah then she turned around and made me eat those words.

I bitched about this book but it actually pulled me in.  This relationship reminds me of Jess and Riley in Sweet by Erin McCarthy, in how frank, real, and raw they were together.  It's funny how much of who they ere was hidden from others but not really from each other.  They fought hard to remain separated and their own people yet they become pretty essential to each other.  When the book first began I hated Charlie because I hate when characters thing they are better than others. Charlie or Ms Chase was a bit of an asshat , shes really naive if she truly thinks that some effing sayings on her shirt is going to save the world. Seriously??? Bitch please, if the Dali Lama who actually works towards world peace can't make it happen you think your passive aggressive t-shirts are going to enlighten someone?? She looked up to a mentor who I disliked from the get go.  The privilege coming off these characters annoyed me so much, then shyt got real and someone got in her face and called her on it and I wanted to scream it was so amazing.  I hated that there were almost no positive female friendships within the book. Not every sorority girl is a bitch, we aren't all out to make other girls look bad, we aren't all dumb because of how we dress, or the letters on our clothing.  Charlie judged women harshly and I wanted to tell her if maybe if she wasn't such a smug judgmental bitch then maybe she would have more friends.

Knox isn't your typical "bad boy"  he's a badass and a bit of a bad guy and he embraces it, and even uses it.  Completely embraces it which makes him pretty unique as a character because normally the bad boy is a guy who really isn't trying to be, nope not Knox, he does his best to live up to his name.

Knox as a character is complicated, it's one thing if you didn't know the consequences of your actions it's another when you do and you still do it. I'm sympathetic to his plight, I get why he did it, he was desperate and needed help and there was no one to help him so he did what he had to do, I get we can't punish kids for their indiscretions because well they're to put it politely.. freaking idiots it's a wonder the world hasn't ended with the different generations but seriously my dude??  Does his actions later make up for his actions before?? I don't know but when we find out his back story I both wanted to kill him and to cry. UGH Nicole you suck!!

The devil however is going to get his due eventually and it's never who we think will pay the price who ultimately does.  Knox paid in the worst way possible and I wouldn't wish that on even my worst enemy.  It brought his actions home in the worst way possible and he could never have expected it and I'm of two minds, while I wouldn't want that to happen to anyone, and yet this way he got a taste of what others had to deal with because of his decisions.  His need to survive fueled their despair.  Nicole doesn't make this easy at all, the ethical dilemma is a hard one, and the clear black and white lines aren't as clear as they used to be in this one.

Can I just say I picture Knox and Charlie as the two people I follow on instagram??  He's big and she's little as hell, they met in college and they both cuss up a storm like Knox??  Yeah they totally remind me of F & D.  Isn't it sad thought that the university of course would rather cover it up?? Than face the truth?? Which is eerily real because recently a couple of big name schools got in trouble for this including Yale University (which is right where I live). (Article here)

This book wasn't cut and dried and it didn't make it easy to like the characters because they were convoluted and complex and flawed like hell but in the end, Nicole pulled it all together and gave all the feels that could be felt.  I highly recommend it. I yelled at the characters, I called them names, I freaked out when things went wrong and I totally loved them by the end.
Go read it y'all and come back so we can compare our notes on Charlie and Knox.  Have you read it?? Did you hate it, Love it, Like it?? Share down in the comments. 
Happy Reading

Monday, August 25, 2014

#Giveaway (CLOSED) & #Review: Sugar On The Edge ( Last Call 3) .@bennettbooks

Book Title: Sugar On The Edge (Last Call 3)
Author: Sawyer Bennett  Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher:  Big Dog Books LLC
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone:  Series
Format: ebook, paperback
Cost: $3.99
Pages: 200
How I Got It: Blog Tour Company 
Get Yours:  Amazon| B&N | BAM
Publication Date: July 28th, 2014
Add To Goodreads

He’s utterly alone…

Tortured and existing in a dark spiral of despair, bestselling British author, Gavin Cooke, has come to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to escape the seedy lifestyle he had been living in London and in a desperate attempt to regain his writing focus. He’s twisted, bitter and angry at the world. He’s a loner… needing not a single thing other than his Scotch and a laptop upon which he can bang out his next erotic, dark thriller.

She’s running in place and getting nowhere…

Savannah Shepherd’s life is falling apart. Her dream of being a wildlife photographer seems a distant memory and she’s barely able to make ends meet. Driving herself forward with no clear goals apparent, she’s about ready to pack up her bags and head home with her tail between her legs.

Two unlikely lovers…
He’s raw, forceful and a dirty talker. She’s a flowers and romance type of girl. Yet within each other, they find a mutual craving that can only be satisfied by giving in to their desires for one another.
Lust turns into something more… something they were not looking for but tentatively accept. Will it be enough to push them past the obstacles of Gavin’s bitter past?
*SUGAR ON THE EDGE can be read as a stand-alone*
 However if you want to read them:
Book 1: On The Rocks
Book 2: Make It A Double
Book 3: Sugar on the Edge
This book is extremely steamy.  At first when we get to meet the characters, I was like man oh man he's a bit of an ass, then the female lead calls him out on it and I laughed so hard.  I loved her so much!!  I'm glad the author knew certain sections where way too corny and had the characters talk about it., That made me laugh so hard!!  I loved that he was an author and that we got glimpses of his work and how what happened with him influenced his characters and what he wrote influenced him as well.

I loved how even though Savannah was a quite woman, she had a backbone of steel and gave Gavin as much as he tried to give her. Gavin was a wounded man and lashed out at whoever would attempt to get close, when he realized Savannah wasn't willing to fall over and be impressed, nor was she unfazed by him.  Their clashes were epic and steamy at times, and sometimes just wonderful to read as they clashed and learnt their limits with each other.

I loved that there was no real battle or horrible thing to prevent them from coming together, just them, I hate when it's a huge thing keeping them apart, It was good to see the other characters from the books and to see the way they loved Savannah and took Gavin in and then when he got his butt handed to him because he was too stupid to be a smart man and learn his lesson.

I enjoyed the characters growth and development and the fact that even though it's companion, it didn't feel that way. Enjoyed reading it so much.  Deeply engaging although even though he was British his thought patterns and inner monologue and wording were truly "Yankee".


Enter to get your own copy of Sugar on the Edge:
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Good Luck!!
I hope you take the time to check out Sawyer's work.
Happy Reading my loves

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#Review: The Wanderer (Thunder Point 1) .@RCarrWriter

Book Title: The Wanderer (Thunder Point 1)
Author: Robyn Carr |WebsiteTwitter| Facebook|
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Series
Format: Paperback
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 384
How I got it: ARC From Blogger Friend 
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million
Publication Date: April 2013
Add To Goodreads
From Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Virgin River novels, comes Thunder Point-the highly anticipated new series that will make you laugh, make you sigh, and make you fall in love with a small town filled with people you'll never forget. Nestled on the Oregon coast is a small town of rocky beaches and rugged charm. Locals love the land's unspoiled beauty. Developers see it as a potential gold mine. When newcomer Hank Cooper learns he's been left an old friend's entire beachfront property, he finds himself with a community's destiny in his hands. Cooper has never been a man to settle in one place, and Thunder Point was supposed to be just another quick stop. But Cooper finds himself getting involved with the town. And with Sarah Dupre, a woman as complicated as she is beautiful. With the whole town watching for his next move, Cooper has to choose between his old life and a place full of new possibilities. A place that just might be home.(l
The Wanderer is an excellent first in series book, Robyn laid the groundwork for us to see the entire town, To learn the layout, the quirky inhabitants, the hidden love stories, the long lost loves, the future residential loves, the newcomers and everyone who had been through.

I personally loved that we got to know the side characters, the towns folks and to really get to know Cooper before he met his love interest.  Hank Cooper is a Wanderer, a former Army helicopter pilot he's spent the last few years wandering wherever the wind blew him,  when his friend passes away he ends up in Thunder Point to say goodbye to his comrade and get the shock of his life.  I loved reading and getting to know Cooper, he wasn't an overly complex man, he had lived it up during his years in the military, he had had relationships and knew how they worked but he's never felt the need to settle down and be in one spot. Thunder Point works it's magic and gives him a glimpse of what life in a community feels like and he hangs around for a little bit.

I loved reading the budding romances of the other characters especially because I know she's going to flesh them out in their own stories. We meet some fresh new blood to the town, and even see the hidden lives of a few of the older crowd.  Of course you have your characters you want to push out a window, or give a good slap because they clearly need it.  And then there are the characters who are so slow they didn't even realize they were about to lose a good thing until it was almost gone.  I loved reading those lines and laughing so hard.

The love story wasn't insta love, they didn't fall into bed right away either, they were older people with a few years and a few heartaches under their belts so they came at the relationships a little differently.    I loved the good slow build to the relationship. I loved the flares of temper, the building of connections that would become friendships and the healing the characters embarked on. Yeah it's safe to say I'm in love with the town and can't wait to return in the next one!!
Have you tried Robyn's writing?? If you haven't I suggest you do, she writes in a way that makes you really feel like you're there and could go driving into town any moment.  Have any suggestions based on this book?? Share them down in the comments my loves and I'll see you later.
Happy Reading

Monday, August 18, 2014

Austen In August 2014: Modern Adaptations: Books & Movies

This Austen In August Read a Long and monthly feature is hosted by Misty over at The Book Rat blog. She's been doing this for a few years now and this year I've decided to be apart of the festivities instead of just watching from the sidelines.

My Austen In August TBR is here and below I have my participation for this year with my collection of modern adaptations of Austen, a few I own and a few I have discovered online and love!!

You can watch the video and scroll down to find all the information in more details here as well as a few more links:


Based On Pride & Prejudice:

My absolute favorite is Bride & Prejudice featuring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and a whole cast of amazing characters that just make you love them!!   This is a Bollywood adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. I absolutely love this movie!!!! The cinematography and the music just blow you away and make you love the story. You must watch if you're a lover of Jane Austen.

Bridget Jones Diary based on the book by Helen Fielding which is based on Pride & Prejudice.

Lost In Austen Featuring Jemima who is a huge Janeit, and she gets sucking into her favorite book. I loved this BBC adaptation that made me re-fall for Mr. Darcy (because Colin Firth is too awesome but man listen this Mr. Darcy?? Yasss!!)  Where To Watch

Death Comes to Pemberley  a BBC adaptation coming in the Fall of 2014. Based on the book by P.D. James, this is supposed to be a what happens after the end of Pride and Prejudice. I haven't read the book but I plan to before the show comes out.

Lizzie Bennett Diaries a youtube adaptation, that is done Vlog style and is absolutely wonderful!!! I really enjoyed watching this and I marathoned the entire series in a few days (I had vacation time so yep enjoyed it)  (Watch the Playlist )

Based on Emma

Clueless a real modern adaptation, and perhaps one of the best version but least known as an adaptation.  This had a wonderful movie and a spin off show ( i never watched the spin off but hey, it lasted a while so it might have been good).

Emma Approved  (another from the Pemberley Digital Group)

Based On Persuasion:

Bridget Jones and the Edge of Reason the follow up to the first book and movie is apparently based on Persuasion.


Young Adult Persuasion Adaptation

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Perterfruend

Adult Adaptation :

Bridget Jones the Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding

Pride & Prejudice Adaptations:

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding

The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo

Me & Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter

Using Jane Austen for Inspiration:

Austenland Shannon Hale

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

Haven't Seen Yet and Will be watching

  • Pride Prejudice and Zombies by Quirk Books  (Doesn't come out until 2015) 
  • Jane Austen Book Club
  • Emma Approved
  • Becoming Jane Austen
  • From Mansfield Park with Love
  • Welcome to Sandtion
  • Miss Austen Regrets
  • Austenland
  • Aisha (From Bollywood)
  • Sense & Sensibilities the BBC version

So there you have it my loves.  What are you doing for Austen In August?? Have you seen any of these movies, loved any of these books, have any good recommendations??  Leave it in the comments, and I'll add it into the growing list of ways to become a better Janeit!!

Thanks for stopping by

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book #Review: Bachelor Unclaimed by Brenda Jackson | Bewitching Bibliophile

Book Title: Bachelor Unclaimed (Bachelors In Demand)
Author:  Brenda Jackson |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Harlequin Kimani Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Series Book 4
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $3.99, $6.25
Pages: 224
How I got it: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: Jan 2013
Add To Goodreads
Are his playboy days over for good? In the wake of political defeat, former mayoral candidate Ainsley St. James does something totally out of character-she has a one-night stand with a seductive stranger. Never expecting to see him again, she accepts a job covering a breaking story in Hilton Head, South Carolina...only to discover that the island's most desirable recluse is the lover she has yet to forget. Winston Coltrane can't get that incredible night-or the sexy, sophisticated beauty-out of his mind. The marine biologist is developing a secret formula that could be a major medical breakthrough. But there's something Winston is keeping from Ainsley: his feelings for her have grown beyond the bedroom. Kiss by breathtaking kiss, Ainsley is transforming his oceanside sanctuary into a sensual retreat. Will they be able to turn a passionate fling into forever in each other's arms?
I always enjoy Brenda's writing and this one was of course another great addition to the read pile.  I did take away a star because of some of the thoughts the male protagonist had; they were kinda creepy and I really didn't feel like they went along with the characterization she had been giving us up until that point.  Other than that creepy moment, this story was a wonderful quick romantic, sensual read that I gobbled up really quickly, because I didn't want to leave until I saw how it all panned out.

I found the characters to be awesome,  Brenda gave us a believable story that was steamy hot and they just clicked together so well.  I loved that the characters believed that they were here for one story and totally walked away with something different.

I loved how spunky and tenacious Ainsley was and it's so funky that her town was so stupid.  I really liked Ainsley because she reminded me of me, she was a modern, fun, funky and happy woman. I want to meet the woman who decided doing what she did to Ainsley was smart or even really the way other women should be done  and just pop her in the mouth.  Ainsley was my favorite character because she didn't let Winston intimidate her and I loved how she handled him once they confronted the elephant in the room.

" Love didn't hurt you, someone who claimed to love you did" I say this on facebook the other day and this was perfect for the book. I just loved it.  This is a lesson both Winston and his cousin Virgil need to learn,. I can't wait to read the other god-brothers stories and enjoy the fullness of their fall.  I especially want to read Z's and Virgils' tales.

I really loved that Brenda dropped some serious history within the story.  Especially about the Civil War, Robert Small, the Gullah people and islands, and Mitchellville.  It all so awesome to read a story that discusses my history without making it a trite piece or somehow lessening the impact and the power of the tale. Also I totally love the little tidbits about marine biology that she interspersed within the story.

I loved that Winston's a cook, low country boil indeed, yes sir, I need the universe to send me one of these!!  Winston was a good character to read, he was educated, fun, funny and so smart, but yet, he wasn't as smart as he thought.

A definite must read and going on my faves of 2014 because it was humorous and sensual and I love Ainsley she deserves all the happiness. I can't wait to read the other stories. Brenda sure knows how to spin a tale . Now I want to go down south again.
I hope you enjoy Ainsley and Winston as much as I did.  Happy Reading

Friday, August 15, 2014

Austen In August 2014 TBR @thebookrat

Hey everybody, I don't know if you are aware of Misty at the Book Rat who has a Austen In August read a long in August. It happens every year but this is the first year I will be participating.

I've mentioned before that I grew up on a all women's college campus, my mother was a Linguistics professor, I spent many a childhood afternoon hanging out in the English Department and because of it my mother kept me occupied each summer with reading of 2-3 classics per summer month and I had to write a report for her sharing my interpretation of the story and what lessons were to be learnt.  I was in the 6th grade when I read about Mr, Darcy for the first time and I can't help but to think he's why I was ruined for men for all time, I mean him, and Ossie Davis, Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Bob Marley and Dr. King (before I heard a rumor that he cheated on Coretta), with those beautiful specimens of male ideal what real man can hope to compete?? I'm willing to admit I'm not a hardcore Janeite, but I'm at a time in my life where I believe I would love to be one.  I'll also admit that I love Sense and Sensibility just a little bit more than Pride and Prejudice (because as a teen drama is what I wanted and Marianne was my kind of girl, willing to give up on life for love?? Be still my 15 year old heart), but not too much because after all P&P has Darcy.

 Here are the books I'm reading:

In my pile is:  ( I have an actual list on Goodreads as well, on there I have books I'm going to be pulling from).

Emma by Jane Austen and I'm going to re-read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Death Comes to Pemberley PD James  (This is going to be made into a show that will air on BBC/PBS in October 2014.)

Me and Mr.Darcy by Alexandra Potter

In Movies:

I'm going to watch the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice, from BBC.and the Keira Knightley one, because well Keira Knightley!! 

I'm also going to watch Austenland  which Priscilla over at the Readables just gave a great star rating. I'm excited especially because Keri Russell is in it!!

and I'm re watching Lost In Austen which  I LOVE SO MUCH!!!! Which can be found on HULU 

I also plan to watch Emma, Sense and Sensibility and the modern adaptations which I will be sharing in a separate post!!!

What are you reading and watching to get your Jane Austen Fix?? Share down in the comments below my loves and I'm going to catch up with Mr. Darcy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Author Guest Post: The Real Thing by Cassie Mae

A big THANK YOU! to this site for letting me invade for THE REAL THING tour :) (squishy hugs)

"Why don’t people date their best friends? We’re past the getting-to-know-you part, so we can jump right into the getting to know your body parts." 

Ah... my main character made it sound so simple in those sentences ;) But as someone who fell for their best friend, it is not without its hurdles. 

Let me take you back to when I was a 15 year old, embarking on her first new job (and to this day I don't know why they hired me at 15. I must've had a great recommendation from my mom, lol) at Jungle Jim's Playland. (Which is basically Chuckie Cheese but with way better rides and much lazier staff.) 

There I was, redeeming tickets for prizes when I looked up and saw an adorable guy with about ten kids hanging off his arms (oh his arms!) and they were all begging him to give them more tokens for games. He teased them for a bit, saying he didn't have any more, but he obviously did with his bulging pockets and the "jangle" when he walked. After they all got on the floor and begged, he rained tokens on them and made these kids the happiest ever! 

I was swooning under my fuzzy red and white uniform hat. His eyes locked on mine and I fumbled with the tickets, tried to be as good with the kids I was helping as he was with the ones he was tending. He must be there for a birthday party. Big brother, cousin, someone who I'd probably never see again. And he was walking up to me, jamming his hand into his back pocket. I jolted when he hopped the counter and set my time card on top of the ticket counter. 

And he uttered the first words he ever spoke to me. "I can finish up if you want your break."

Oh. My. Gosh. This was my boss! 

How old are bosses around here? Everyone I knew was either 16 or 80, so I'm instantly thinking, he's a twenty-year-old fart and I should not be thinking how cute he was with all those kids and how his smile really is one of those half-smiles that you only see in movies or read in books. (Fun fact... he actually got hit in the mouth with a baseball when he was younger, so only half his mouth will smile. No joke!) 

Anyway, I went to clock out... and ended up talking to myself by the timepunch. Like, out loud talking to myself. I don't remember the conversation... but I do remember looking up and there he was with my other boss, and they're both staring at me like I've lost my marbles. He laughed as he clocked out too, then we walked back to the break room together, my face a bright red tomato as I spurted who knows what just to try to prove to him I wasn't crazy. 

We talked the full half hour break... then the rest of that night. Found out he was a freshly graduated 17 year old. (Birthday in the summer like moi.) And he was into Star Wars hardcore! Video games, played the guitar, worked on trucks, and basically awesome. I was sort of against dating at this point in time. Up until him I'd always fallen for my friends and they ended up dating one of my other friends, so I didn't allow myself to have major crushes. He also told me I was too young and he didn't want to date someone he worked with. (He told me this later... like much later... like after we were married later when I asked him what took us so long to get together, lol.) 

So instead of dating or getting into a what I thought was one-sided infatuation, we became friends. He soon became my best friend. Talked on the phone daily, we'd carpool to and from work, and then when he quit he still took me to work. And mostly we'd just play video games and I'd make fun of his Princess Leia figurines while he made fun of my Harry Potter clad room. 

Totally not joking... he still has it, lol
Then one day, two and half years after we met, we were sitting in the dark theater for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and he leaned over and said, "Is this a good time to tell you I love you?"

That was when I finally allowed myself to fall for my friend, and I kissed him... after the movie, of course. I mean, it was Harry Potter ;) 

And the benefits of falling in love with your best friend? 
1. You already know their family, so you don't have to do the awkward meet-and-greet with their parents.
2. You already have an in with their other friends too.
3. You've most likely passed gas around each other, so you don't have to worry about that first part of the relationship when you need to hold it in till you pass out.
4. You've been buying birthday presents for each other since you became friends, so there's no stressing out any more than you usually do for gifts.
5. After you've gotten through the hot first part of the relationship when all you do is kiss, you'll still have stuff to talk about or do together when you're not lip-locked. 
So that's my own best friends to lovers story and why I love reading about them so much. :) You can catch these two best friends falling for each other in The Real Thing, info below! :)

Buy Me!
In this electrifying novel from Cassie Mae, two close friends surprise themselves by shifting from platonic love to sexual attraction.
Eric Matua has one friend—his best friend and childhood sweetheart, who needs a place to stay for the summer. Mia Johnson has thousands of friends—who live in her computer. Along with her email chats and Facebook notifications, Mia also devours romance novels, spending countless hours with fictional characters, dreaming of her own Romeo to sweep her off her feet. When she starts receiving supersweet messages from a stranger who thinks she’s someone else, Mia begins to believe that real love is possible outside her virtual world.

When the two friends become roommates, Mia finds herself falling harder than she ever thought she could. But Eric keeps his desires locked away, unsure of himself and his ability to give his best friend what she deserves in a boyfriend. As her advances are continually spurned, Mia splits her time between Eric and her computer. But she soon realizes she’s about to lose the only real thing she’s ever had.
Advance praise for The Real Thing
“Cassie Mae is awesome! The perfect balance between laugh-out-loud funny and achingly poignant, The Real Thing is the ultimate escapist read. I didn’t want it to end!”—Lauren Layne, author of Isn’t She Lovely
“Watching two best friends figure out how to fall in love makes The Real Thing a summer read of swoon-worthy perfection.”—Jolene Perry, author of The Summer I Found You
“Cassie Mae’s The Real Thing made me want to close out every social media app and electronic device I have, but I couldn’t manage to stop reading!”—Rebecca Yarros, author of Full Measures

Cassie Mae (who dawns the name Becca Ann on occasion) is the author of a few hundred... okay, maybe not that many... books. Some of which became popular for their quirky titles, characters, and stories. She likes writing about nerds, geeks, the awkward, the fluffy, the short, the shy, the loud, the fun.
Since publishing her bestselling debut, Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend, she has published and sold books to Random House, Swoon Romance, and Spencer Hill Press. She has a favorite of all her book babies, but no, she won't tell you what it is. (Mainly because it changes depending on the day.)
Along with writing, Cassie likes to binge watch Teen Wolf and The Big Bang Theory. She can quote Harry Potter lines quick as a whip. And she likes kissing her hubby, but only if his facial hair is trimmed. She also likes cheesecake to a very obsessive degree.
You can stalk, talk, or send pictures of Dylan O'Brien to her on her Facebook page: