Thursday, January 30, 2014

Suddenly Cinderella Bundle

I've kind of been on a romance novel kick, and trilogies to boot. So odd. But, here's another one I finished earlier this week

Suddenly Cinderella bundle - Hope Tarr
Suddenly Cinderella Bundle
So each book is based around different characters and kind of take on different princesses. At least in my opinion. In book one, Operation Cinderella, we meet Macie and Ross. Marcie is kind of a brash magazine editor, very Sex & the City and Ross is very much the morally uptight family man. He has a teenage daughter clearly going through some things, and after finding a copy of a magazine (that Macie edits) he uses his radio show to lambaste the magazine as a whole. Which leads Macie to lead the charge of an expose on Ross in an attempt to dig up dirt. Fast forward and she's almost like a live in nanny for Ross's teenage daughter and she ends up forming a meaningful relationship with her which dun dun dun... leads to a romance between the two of them. It's a fairly short book and for being under 200 pages there is a lot of story to get through, but the author manages to do it. There was some dialogue on Ross's part that seemed a bit hokey pokey, but for the most part it's a good book.

The second book, which I stupidly assumed would be a continuation is not. The Cinderella Makeover is the story of Ross's ex-wife, Francesca and Greg. Not nearly as good as the first one, but it's alright. I actually liked Francesca because she seemed kind of quirky and like she'd be fun to hang out with. She does come off as a snob and a selfish one at that, so seeing her with Greg.... I don't know if I buy it. I'm not sipping that Kool-aid. I have to say my biggest complaint on this book is that the romance scenes are duds. Total duds. And I say that after reading a book about a girl thinking of having sex with a wolf. Like, an actual wolf. Now, if that came off as better than this- we've got problems. So this book could use some real spark.

The third book, The Cinderella Seduction, gives us Nick and Stefanie. And woot woot, thank you for writing better romance scenes. Still not the kind that make you hop into the shower to cool yourself down, but they are certainly better than book two. This one even has a terrible step mother and step sister, so this one has more of the classic fairy tale to it. Basically it's about Stefanie, who was engaged to a complete jerk who ran a Ponzi scheme and lost a bunch of money. Enter Nick, the CEO of the company that loaned jerk fiance money and he is calling in the loan. Stefanie runs to dad for help, and while dad is scrambling, Stefanie is having to hold Nick over. Nick also has a daughter (are you seeing the Cinderella tie in??). Stefanie falls for Nick but is unsure how he feels given the nature of how this relationship started, etc. Honestly? This one was maybe my favorite of the three because it had the best romance scenes of all three and it had more threads of Cinderella in it.

The other nice thing about this bundle is that you don't have to read them in order, they can all be stand alone reads. There is a pair of vintage red heels that tie them all together (kind of like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but prettier) but aside from that? You could read these in any order. If you are in the market for quick reads, this is a bundle you should pick up because I finished all three over two days. Easy peasy!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The World of Nightwalkers (and GIVEAWAY)

Oh lady lambs. LAMBS.

If you are a fan of romance, and you like supernatural/paranormal stuff, you need to just add this series to your Good Reads list and then enter the giveaway. Oh yes, because I am giving away ALL THREE COPIES to one lucky winner.

Forbidden- Jacquelyn Frank
The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia’s savior doesn’t turn out to be a crazed kidnapper.
When Ram finds Docia, he has no doubt that she is his queen. But as this golden warrior sweeps in to protect her, he feels something more than body heat every time they touch. He is overwhelmed by a searing connection that goes deep into the twin souls inside him. A desire rises in him that is forbidden—this woman is his queen, the mate of his king, his leader, his best friend. And yet Docia is so vulnerable and attractive that she awakens a hunger in Ram that is undeniable, a carnal craving he cannot yield to . . . not without risking the very survival of the Bodywalkers.
Now, I'm a fan of paranormal romance and I feel like it doesn't take much to get me into anything. But I felt like I was on information overload when I read this one. It is so hard to start a series that takes readers on a really fantastic ride with really creative characters and realms, but keeping the story going while developing a romance. It's hard. And I struggled for awhile. But thank god I didn't toss it because this has become one of my recommended series. So stick with it!
It all starts with Docia. She dies, but not really, and she becomes a Bodywalker. And it's not like she has just anyone in her, she has an ancient Egyptian inside of her. Ram is basically supposed to find her, help her through the Blending, and then deliver her to the king, whenever he shows up. Everyone believes she is the Queen reincarnate and so it sets off a chain of events. We have Odjit, a Templar who is really pissed off, and they are in a state of war. 
Except Docia has a sneaking suspicion things aren't what they seem and so she tells Ram her suspicions. Which explains why he is ridiculously attracted to her, but it's also very monumental because they aren't supposed to be together. I can't tell you any more than that because it ruins it, I swear!! 
After being brought back from death, police officer Jackson Waverly receives the shock of his life: he has become host to a Bodywalker, a spirit that is reborn in flesh and blood, and part of a proud, ancient race that uses its extraordinary gifts to battle dark, evil forces. Jackson’s spirit is a powerful one—none other than the Egyptian pharaoh Menes, who longs to reunite with his eternal love, the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut.
While Menes is obsessed with finding the perfect vessel for his queen, Jackson cannot stop thinking about Dr. Marissa Anderson, the gorgeous precinct shrink who keeps pushing him to confront his grief over the loss of his K-9 partner. But what Marissa really arouses most in Jackson is intense desire, which is exactly what Menes is looking for. To fight a great enemy, pharaoh and queen must join; but to host Hatshepsut, Marissa will first have to die. Fate has given Jackson a profound choice: save Marissa from Menes’s plan or keep an entire species from the brink of extinction.
My least favorite of the three I think. I like Jackson, I don't know how much I like Marissa. But Jackson is kind of an ass who only sees things one way. But hey hey- Jackson is now a Bodywalker, just like his sister Docia, except Jackson comes back as Menes, the King. But everyone knows that the King is nothing without his soul mate, Hatshepsut, and they can't do anything without the other. It's like they are tethered, really. But in order for Hatshepsut to come back, someone has to die. So Jackson makes a huge decision and bam- we have our Hatshepsut. 
Meanwhile, poor Leo has been captured by Chatha, who is a Bodywalker as well. Except he is inside of a man who has Down Syndrome so nobody suspects him as the absolute psychopath that he is. Cue really horrific, gross, and cruel torture of human Leo. It gets kind of intense, so make sure you have book three immediately on hand to keep going!! 

Forsaken - Jacquelyn Frank
As a mercenary, Leo Alvarez has signed on for a lot—but he never signed on for his best friend becoming host to the soul of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Jackson is now inhabited by a Bodywalker, and Leo is forced to grapple with a realm of supernatural beings far more dangerous than anything he’s ever encountered.
But when Jackson is wounded by an attack from a demon god, Leo must team up with another supernatural creature—a Night Angel—to save his friend from utter destruction. With skin as black as midnight, hair as white as snow, and a body of pure perfection, the Night Angel arouses a burning desire in Leo, even as he refuses to be intimidated by her power—or the power of those who would destroy his friend. An unusual alliance is forged, electrified by sexual temptation, and together the two must unite their strengths to bring down a supreme evil.
Seriously, by the time I got to this book I felt like I totally knew what was going on and I'm all in. I was all in before but WOAH. I think... I think Leo is my favorite. Yes, Ram was kind of great as was Jackson, but Leo reminds me very much of a character in Linda Howard's book Cry No More (one of my favorites) who I really loved and so that right away gave this book bonus points. 
So in this story, this is after Leo survives (barely) his time with Chatha and he's a bitter human. Obviously. Then enters Faith, a Night Angel, and she is a kind and gentle spirit but she's also a spit fire when she needs to be. Leo is attracted to her, but he's also repulsed because he has basically seen his two family members hijacked by Bodywalkers and he's been tortured, so he's not about to get in bed with another "thing". 
Oh but he does and it is glorious. 
Together they go on a journey to find a way to help Jackson, but that means relying on a Djinn for help. And hands down, my most favorite line has something to do with a "flatulent Pegasus". Don't ask because I won't tell, but it was pretty great. We also meet Wraiths in this book (or a really brief introduction of them, I suspect we'll see a LOT more of them in book 4: Forged), and they are kind of terrifying. 
But can I just say? The romantic gesture at the end with the heart box? Swoon. Seriously. He might not be a very emotionally apt guy, but seriously- that would make any girl tear her panties off. Just saying. 
Seriously- I am addicted to these books. Book four needs to come now, and I have to know how they are going to defeat psychopath god Apep, who is all pregnant and that story line freaks me out a little, but we'll see how it goes. 
Jacquelyn Frank can weave a story and give you plot twists that will keep you engaged and entertained. So excited to read more from her!! 
Now, if you want to win a copy of these three books you have to (US only): 
1. Leave a comment on this blog post WITH your email so I can contact you. 
2. Like this blog on Bloglovin: 
Follow on Bloglovin
I will draw a winner on Friday, January 31. Good luck!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Children's Literature Themed Baby Shower

To be fair, I'll tell you right upfront that I was on Pinterest almost every day for a week trying to find ideas. I really wanted every aspect of this shower to have literature thrown up on it. My friend Emily, whom I adore to bits, is an English major and she absolutely adores everything about children's literature. Plus we became fast friends over our love of books so it's only fitting that this is the shower I would give her.

Let's start with the Harry Potter themed diaper cake that was the one thing I knew I absolutely HAD to have at the shower.
I got the hat, scarf, booties, bibs and wand from Etsy. All different shops, all had to be on this cake. I found an image of the Hogwarts crest, printed that off to be in the front on the bottom tier. Also tucked in next to the hat is a platform 9 3/4 ticket. I've made diaper cakes before but this one is probably my absolute favorite.

One idea I found on Pinterest was to have literature quotes all over the party area in frames. I found a bunch of cute frames on clearance at Target that I was going to use for my office, but they worked here too.
Another book I pulled from was Alice in Wonderland. I mean, how could you not? I really want to do an Alice themed party sometime.. we'll have to cook something up. But for favors, I found mini bottles of water and put a really great Alice and Cheshire quote on them and made "drink me" tags. Also put Skittles in tulle circles (because Emily is not a chocolate fan) and made an "eat me" tag.
 So when you came in, you saw the diaper cake and the favors, along with some quotes, my Alice in Wonderland book, and the third book in the Harry Potter series opened up to the chapter "Flight of the Fat Lady" which was kind of funny because Emily is the smallest 7 month pregnant person I have ever seen.
I even stayed up the night before to make her lemon cupcakes with American butter cream frosting to go with my If You Give a Cat a Cupcake area. 
 And a few mini cupcakes for good measure.
Each table had a book in the middle with a few things. So this was The Little Engine That Could, but I also had a Knuffle Bunny, The Day the Crayons Quit, and Here We Go, Harry on tables. Instead of using table cloths, I use receiving blankets that the mom to be can take home.
 We didn't have a full lunch, but we had snack things.
 So we had meatballs (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), popcorn (Popcorn Poems), pasta salad (Strega Nona), fruit tray with pickles (The Hungry Caterpillar), cheese/crackers (The Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly  Stupid Tales), and we had blue punch and put some rubber ducks in it for Ten Little Rubber Ducks.

 I had asked everyone to bring a book instead of a card, which is far more practical. People throw cards away, they love books for a long time. So then I found one of my very favorite quotes, "Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them" by Lemony Snicket. So clearly, that went on the gift table.
We had a "price is right" themed game where people had to guess the price on a few baby things. I made it with a Doctor Seuss theme to it.
Then I filled the table with our favorites, with some characters we had.
Oh yes, and then I had guests write either a piece of parenting advice for the parents to be or something funny for when they get peed on at 2 a.m. when they aren't fully awake., using the concept of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Also amazes me how many people haven't written that book. It's kind of great and it's a far better lesson than something like The Giving Tree. I fucking hate that book. At least with Harold, he figures life out for himself and takes life by the balls. Whereas in The Giving Tree, the character is incredibly selfish and dependent on everyone else. *end rant*

But you can see the fun urine fact I left her to get people started. She'll know who that came from without question.
We also measured her belly. Which was adorable because she is like the perfect pregnant person.
Overall it was a great party. I am so glad she let me give her a party, I'm so glad she's pregnant because YAY BABIES, and I'm so glad she's my friend. Emily is easily the most carefree, upbeat, positive person I have ever known and it just makes her amazing. She is going to be an amazing mom and I can't wait to snuggle her baby. I may or may not have already offered to spend an entire weekend letting them sleep so I could get my baby fix. Here's hoping that 48 hours of screaming, fussing, very needy infant will cure my uterus down.
Otherwise Matt is basically screwed. :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

In Bed with Mr. Wrong

Oh, I so needed a really fast romance novel. So, so much this week.

In Bed with Mr. Wrong - Katee Robert
In Bed with Mr. Wrong (Out of Uniform, #1)
The blind date from hell is about to get hotter…

Brianne Nave is never doing her friends a favor again. When they begged her to go on a blind date, she didn’t expect someone so perfectly gorgeous. She’s a mousy librarian—totally not in this man’s league. And judging by his odd reaction when she opens the door, he knows it, too.

Air Force Pararescuer Ryan Flannery avoids his hometown at all costs. He’s not thrilled about the date until he’s shocked silent by the prickly little librarian’s sweet curves and kissable lips…and her smart mouth. But then an argument leads to a kiss that spirals out of control. How can two people have so little chemistry outside the bedroom when they fit together so perfectly in it?

When their friends strand them in a cabin to "work things out," Bri’s not sure whether to kill him or put the industrial-sized box of condoms they find to use. Bottom line—Ryan’s career military and hates the tiny town she loves. He’ll leave, just like everyone else in her life. And if she’s foolish enough to give him her heart, he’ll take it with him.

I have probably mentioned this at least sixty three times, but I really love a romance novel where the lead male is in the military or recently out of the military. Probably because you know they are likely in really great shape, and mostly because you know they probably have a whole laundry list of issues and one thing I know about myself is that I'm a fixer. If you have serious issues, I think I can save the world. 

Absolutely loved this one. Mostly because I see a lot of myself in Brianne. Sure, I'm not a foster child, but a lot of things from her childhood and abandonment issues are things I can identify with. Plus, she is a ridiculous smart ass. To the point where she will unintentionally hurt someone's feelings. Again, I can completely relate to that. She uses her sarcasm and wit to hide things about herself and put up walls to avoid being hurt, and that's exactly what I do. 

It's like we're reading my story, except I didn't end up with a really hot para-rescuer. Sad. 

Another thing I loved about this book is Ryan is not a moron. He may see things through one lens at times, but he knows when to shut up and play along but also when to push. The story goes fast, there isn't unnecessary fluff, and it's funny. You find yourself rooting for them the entire time and LOVE the ending. 

I also love that this is first in a series, can I get a WOOT WOOT. (I hope you all did that in your cubicles at work, just so you know). I'm putting basically everything else of Katee Robert's in my "to read" pile because I love her writing, I love her wit, and she has given us great characters with just enough depth so you get the basics and she doesn't build all of this back story that just makes you want to give up on a book. LOVED this one. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The End & The Long Road

CALM DOWN, I'm not done blogging. I just have two really terrifying books to review for you. If you are a doomsday prepper, you'll love this. If you are not, you're probably going to have horrible nightmares and consider stocking up on tuna. You're warned.

The End & The Long Road - G. Michael Hopf
The endThe Long Road

The End: For Gordon Van Zandt life once was one of duty and loyalty to his country, so when 9/11 happened he dropped out of college and joined the Marine Corps. This youthful idealism vanished one fateful day in a war torn city in Iraq. Ten years later, he is still struggling with the ghosts of his past but must now face a new reality thrust on him and his family. North America, Europe and the Far East have all suffered a devastating Super-EMP attack that has caused catastrophic damage to the power grids and all electrical devices. With nothing working from cars to phones and with the total collapse of the economic infrastructure, Gordon must fight for the limited and fast dwindling resources. He knows survival requires action and cooperation with his neighbors; but as daily life continues to break down so does all sense of civility within his community. With each passing day Gordon makes choices that would seem extreme in today's world but necessary in this new world.

The Long Road: It has been 6 weeks since the attacks; the United States is a wasteland of starving bands of survivors, mobs and gangs. Millions are dead and millions more are suffering and will die. For Gordon, Samantha, Sebastian, Cruz and Barone, the turmoil and chaos they dealt with before will seem trivial now as the real collapse of society plays out before their eyes.
They all have suffered great loss but what is coming towards them on the journey ahead will test their sanity. Uncertainty abounds as they all travel different paths in search of a safe place to call home. The one thing that is certain, The Long Road will take its toll on all of them.

I am in no way one of those crazies that thinks the world is going to end in some super traumatic way. I won't lie though, books like this freak me the hell out. Because in the back of my mind, I have to admit this really all is possible. And if this were to happen, I would most likely be dead within a week what with my aversion to the outdoors and having to go to the bathroom outside. I also am a fan of warm water, electricity, music, Wendy's french fries and crispy chicken sandwiches, and shopping. 

You can see how I probably wouldn't last long. 

The synopsis of these books is basically a super huge EMP is set off above the United States at the same time a huge nuclear bomb is dropped on Washington, D.C. In a matter of seconds, the country is thrown basically a hundred years back or more. No government, no modern amenities, absolute chaos, and everyone is terrified. Rightfully so. Fortunately for Gordon Van Zandt's friends and family- he's a Marine and he knows how to survive in the worst conditions. He beats himself up for not being more prepared, but when you realize how well he pulls things together in a few short hours essentially beating everyone to the punch, you hope he at least gives himself a little bit of kudos. 

Once the neighborhood, and the rest of the country, figures out what is actually going on- the grim reality of survival kicks in. It really is survival of the fittest. Those with weakened bodies obviously die first- there is no medicine to help them. Anyone who was in the hospital is basically gone because machines that kept them alive are useless. Then those who aren't in that scenario basically become wanderers. Like referenced in the book- look at Hurricane Katrina and the chaos that erupted there- this would be times a million. You don't know who to trust, and while you're raised to help thy neighbor, you also have to be realistic and save your family and yourself first, so it's every man for their own. 

If you are not a fan of post apocalyptic books, you are not going to like these. If you are, and you are really big into military training and government, you are probably going to like these. I'm in the middle. I'll be honest- I didn't really understand a lot of the military aspect of this, but I've never been in the military. I also zoned out a little on the government areas because that is a bit boring for me. What I did pay attention to was the actual scenes with people basically fighting for their lives. It really does make you think about what you would do, hypothetically, if you were in this situation. It really is terrifying to think about. I'm a pretty calm person but you better believe I would lose it. It also makes me think those people on that show Doomsday Preppers maybe aren't crazy after all. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Take You

So, this is book three of a major blog tour for Nikki Gemmell that I have read. I wasn't overly impressed with the other two, but this one... this one was a bit more interesting.

I Take You - Nikki Gemmell
I Take You
From internationally bestselling author Nikki Gemmell comes a tantalizing story of love within marriage—and alongside it.
Under her Chanel suit and designer lingerie, Connie Carven is no longer the typical banker’s wife. When Cliff’s horrible skiing accident shifts the balance of their relationship, Connie becomes a willing submissive to her husband’s every desire. Cliff is eager to explore new, and troubling, avenues of passion. Connie, ever the dutiful wife, follows wherever he leads. While at first she enjoys a perverse sense of freedom within the ever-tightening bonds of her marriage, Cliff’s dark desires soon consume her entirely. She finds herself surrendering to an act that will forever remind her that she belongs to her husband alone—to be unlocked only by him, whenever he pleases.
But it is also this act that awakens Connie from the numbness that has taken over her life. And when she encounters someone new in the communal garden of her Notting Hill home, she discovers the thrill of true intimacy . . . and the price of risking everything for it.
The author of the bestselling phenomenon The Bride Stripped Bare and the exquisite With My Body, Nikki Gemmell brings erotic writing into the twenty-first century. In I Take You she looks to the classic Lady Chatterley’s Lover for inspiration, reimagining D. H. Lawrence’s celebrated tale as a brutally honest and deeply sensual modern love story.
I'm going to call this.. the anti-Fifty Shades of Grey. I also don't even think this can be called erotica because while there is some sex, not nearly as much as you would get in a regular romance novel even, it isn't really even the theme of the book. If I had to come up with a generalized theme it would be how relationships are give and take, compromise, and nobody should ever feel obligated
Full disclosure: this book has a fairly graphic scene in chapter nine. You know by now that there isn't much that will make me squirm in a book. But there are piercings, essentially done against her will, and a padlock acting as a chastity belt almost. Let that sink in- a padlock on your vaginal opening. 
Don't worry, it took a full night to get the chills out of my system and even now, thinking about it makes me want to vomit. Because you know what I had to do, right? I had to search Google images because I haven't even seen something like this and I'm a visual person. And oh lord- the horrors I saw. Folks, you can't un-see anything like that so just take my word for it, it's not natural. 
So the story is about Connie who is married to Cliff. Cliff and Connie aren't really compatible sexually, never have been, yet she loves him and she aims to please. So when Cliff has a skiing accident that leaves him paralyzed and unable to perform, they "compromise" on other things. What ends up happening is a really odd BDSM relationship Connie doesn't really want, but it's the only way she ends up being sexually satisfied so she complies. Until the piercing. The piercing is basically the straw that broke the camel's back. 
Connie begins to drift away and contemplate a life without Cliff. He's rich and she is not, so she's stuck in the predicament that people judge her for being selfish and divorcing her poor, disabled husband, even though he's a bit of an asshole. 
But in walks hunky gardener Mel with a lifetime of baggage. And hot sex, complicated feelings, drama, and angst. Because you see, I really don't think Mel likes Connie. He sees her as a stuck up, kept woman even though he has no issues banging her in the garden. It's like he's trying to devalue her almost while at the same time she's falling in lust with him. I also don't think she really loves him either, she sees him as a ticket out of her personal hell. You're left hoping she gets the hell out, but at the same time you just want to say, do it on your own- stop depending on a damn man you loser. 
If you are looking for a really fast read, I really do recommend this only because you'll whip through it and it is a pretty good read. Her chapters are short so you could easily pop this in your purse and read a chapter or two while waiting around somewhere.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Santa Monica

Do remember awhile back I was talking about doing posts about songs that for whatever reason, remain near and dear to me? And then I kind of forgot about it? Well today I was listening to my iPod on shuffle and this song came on and every single time- I'm forced to sing out loud.

Everclear: Santa Monica

When I hear this song, it brings me back to the summer before high school started. My best friend in the whole world at the time, Allena, and I were so into MTV's Alternative Nation, that she figured out a way to record the episodes onto VHS tapes, then record the audio onto cassette tapes. Which clearly dates me as far as age and I realize this sounds confusing to those of you under the age of 23. But trust me when I say, doing this resulted in the most amazing mix tapes, even if they sounded far away.

But this song was easily one of our favorites. We really thought this band was great, and we'd sing the entire album this came off verbatim, a capella. Because we were amazing 15 year olds.

This particular day I had spent the night at her house the night before so we could get ready for Spartan Camp, get our freshman year information and do picture day. After all of that, we were supposed to go to my house. Neither of our parents were around to give us a ride and we obviously couldn't drive, so we decided to walk the five miles to my house from hers in 100 degree heat. Somehow, we were wearing jackets and carrying a boat load of shit, decided to take the longer route past the oil refinery, and I'm pretty sure heat induced delirium happened. Because we sang this song repeatedly, all while picking up a random 2x4 chunk of wood, a hubcap, and a bunch of cat tails.

For no damn reason.

I had that chunk of wood for years. She actually still has the hubcap.

In hindsight, we were kind of odd.

But we were damn cool to us.

So every time I hear this song, it reminds me of hanging out with her and having her as my friend during some real formative years. She moved away in tenth grade and I never really recovered from that. But ninth grade was our year. We thought for sure we'd meet really hot rocker boyfriends in an AOL chat room and they would totally let us run away from them, and then we could become groupies and just go to concerts all of the time.

That didn't happen for either of us, but we could have been the real life Banger Sisters. (And if you don't know the greatness of that movie? We can't be friends.)

Monday, January 13, 2014


Guess what? I got to read a book you wasn't even available for sale at the time. That's because I'm kind of awesome. Just kidding. HA!

Copied - S. M. Anderson
Adopted off the black market, Alexander Mitchell, has no idea his DNA is copyrighted and property of military weapons giant Texacom Defense. Nor that his DNA is being used to develop an army of clones. When the company discovers he was not properly disposed of 17 years ago, they send an assassin copy, BETA23, to terminate Xan and cover it up
After he narrowly escapes BETA23’s first attempt, Xan teams up with Lacey, a genetically engineered genius he’s surprised to find common ground with— only they’re awkward together. Half of the time she stares at Xan like the science project he is and the other half…let’s just say Xan can’t keep his eyes off her lips.
When they manage to capture a company copy by luck and sheer stupidity on Xan’s part, Lacey is determined to see the good in their prisoner to the point she believes BETA23 can be persuade to give them the intelligence they need to keep the company forever off Xan’s back. Xan’s not sure if he can trust the darker version of himself, not when it means gambling with the lives of his family and the possibility of losing Lacey.

When I started this, I was super intrigued. During the middle I got a little bored. At the end? Loved it. So overall, I'm going to give this 3.5 out of 5 stars. A pretty solid rating for a book I wasn't even sure if I'd be able to finish, but I am glad that I did. And I'll tell you right now, it feels like this is first in a series? I could be wrong, but there is enough questions left at the end that the author could easily keep going with the story. And I want to talk about those.. but it would ruin major plot points for you and that's no fun. 

Basically, this is the story of Xan, who finds out that essentially he is a clone. He has no idea about this until BETA23 comes around trying to kill him. In walks Lacey, the ubber smart class mate of Xan's, that is helping him figure out just what the heck is going on. Xan is kind of falling for Lacey but she isn't and you never really know why. That's not a spoiler, FYI. Lacey feels some kind of a connection with BETA23 because after they miraculously capture him, he's held captive in Lacey's storage room and she is determined to see the good in BETA23. (He has no name, and he's Xan's clone. It's creepy.)

But the best part of the story is feeling it all unravel. The limited information Xan is able to get from BETA23 about the clones, the mystery about Lacey, and the general ramifications of clones. The whole genetic altering aspect of it is also kind of creepy when you think about it. BETA23 basically tells Xan the purpose of his clone was for organ harvesting- Xan was never meant to survive. He's supposed to just incubate parts until another clone needs them. Creepy. I admittedly got a little bored in the middle of the book because I felt like it wasn't moving fast enough for my liking. But the ending more than made up for it. Can I just say that the clone recycling tank? Creeped me out. Do not read this before bed because you will have terrible dreams about yellow fluid tanks. Just sayin. Except I was left with a lot of questions. So instead of taking points from the book based on that, I remain hopeful there is a sequel which will answer those questions. 

It's definitely a young adult novel that I think is more geared toward 17-19 year olds? I did enjoy it and if there is a sequel, I would definitely be interested in reading it! You can purchase it on Amazon HERE

Saturday, January 11, 2014


It's book review time! And buckle up, because over the next few weeks I'll have a bunch of them for you.

Eyrie (Society of Feathers #2) - Emma Michaels
Eyrie (Society of Feathers, #2)
The truth is being unveiled and Iris’ past is unlike anything she ever could have guessed. For Stryx, finding your missing half doesn’t always mean finding your mate. Iris has been missing a part of herself for so long that no one is sure she will be able to put the pieces back together and her ever reliable dreams may be forcing her astray. Coping with the death of someone she loved, she is forced to face the truth and break free from the lies that have caged her.

So if you have read book one, I highly recommend you re-read it before you read this one. Otherwise you'll end up like me who read it awhile ago and some of the details are a wee bit foggy and I have no fracking clue what is going on. 

I didn't have time to re-read Owlet fully, but I skimmed it and it helped. Kind of. 

But I really liked Owlet. This is a young adult series and it's about Stryx (which is like,  half human/half bird) and they aren't really shifters because they don't turn into the bird, but instead they have bird like qualities? It's really strange. I thought I understood it during Owlet, but during Eyrie I far more confused. And "Eyrie" is the name of the governing group of the Stryx. I think. So by that definition I really thought we would learn more about the Eyrie and basically learn more about what is going to happen to Iris. 

But no. You only learn a little bit about it, and this book feels like it's even more back story. Sure, Iris is trying to figure out what the heck is going on. She has Falcon (her boyfriend/soul mate type guy) and he's nice. She has a group of people willing to help and she basically becomes lead for a sea of change. She befriends people tradition says she shouldn't, and she's learning more about the society she is a part of, good and bad, and I feel like this book sets the tone for the third. In fact, I almost think half of this book could have been part of book one, and the other half would merge with the third book. Yes, it's building information and more back story, but at this point.. it feels too much. 

Though of course it leaves you with a sad and terrifying cliff hanger. It really started getting good in the final 50 pages when she starts having nightmares that are possibly premonitions, she learns some really helpful but confusing information about Ravens, and then you find out the stupid Osprey lives. But of course you don't know who the Osprey is until literally, the last page. I really hope the third book comes out soon otherwise I feel like I'll lose interest by the time it comes out. 

I do suggest that you read book one then book two back to back otherwise you will get lost as I did. You can purchase this book for your Kindle HERE or your Nook HERE. The author is also doing a giveaway for a $10 Amazon card that you can enter here for: 
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Friday, January 10, 2014

Who would hide your sex toys?

I don't know what page it was on yesterday, but that was the sentence that jumped out at me. And it could have been in the context of a lot of things, but for me- I took it as if hypothetically I were to die today, who would  hide my sex toys? Maybe sex toys can be used as a metaphor for just your clothes and other random vanilla things if you're too prudish to admit to having an entire drawer full.

And maybe a second box.

And that third box you hide in your closet to rotate through things.

Hypothetically, of course.

It wasn't always easy, for years I had huge groups of friends. I had all sorts of people I could hang out with. But it really does take one really shit hole of a situation to weed people out. And it happens so fast that sometimes you wonder what's worse- the original betrayal or finding that most of your friends disappear?

So when I think of this, it takes me no time to think of who would do this for me:

Tammy. My friend Tammy and I have been friends for ten years. Which doesn't seem like it's been that long but at the same time, how is it not longer? Her and I totally get each other and she has always been my go to friend when I have had major problems with Matt or just life in general. I know that no matter what happens, I can call Tammy at any time and she'll bail me out. Like the time I ripped my own nose ring out of my nose and had to go to her to help. And she made her husband basically re-pierce my nose. Or the time we drove to Hinckley for donuts in the middle of the night for no reason just so we could complain about our husbands. She is always my friend who is game for just about anything. She's easy going, laid back, I could trust her with any thing. Which is why, if it came down to it? Tammy would be my first choice to hide my sex toys.

Emily. Emily and I have been friends for a relatively short time, but she is hands down, the most positive, optimistic, easy going, carefree person I have ever known. No matter how bad things are, she always sees the positive, and you can't help absolutely loving life when you are around Emily. We met at work and I'm so glad we've stayed friends. She also is a fellow book slut and I know that if it came down to it, she would chip in wherever I needed her.

Amy. Amy is one of my longest running blog friends. I haven't actually met that many in real life, but she was the second, and she's been with me the longest. For all of the things we don't have in common, we both like adventure so I know that if I ever wanted to go on a crazy ass trip? I could probably count her in. And despite living a few hours apart, I talk to her the most often with almost daily emails. It's nice to always have someone I can email a raging email to!
Amy, Tammy, me, and Emily. Rochester, Minnesota for Amy's birthday way back in 2011. 

And I cannot friend my far away friends Shirley (Arizona), Shannon (Nebraska), Kimberly (Tennessee) Gini (Nebraska), and Jennifer (Michigan). All of them are blogger friends, all of them I adore for different reasons. Shannon just gets my humor and my love of book boyfriends, Gini is just hysterical and I want to be her when I grow up, Kimberly is also amazing and hilarious, Jennifer is a god damn riot and I just love her, and Shirley? Well I love Shirley. Shirley is my pretend lesbian lover friend. Shirley is the one I'll message when ben wa balls get very stuck. If I had to hide a body, I bet you anything Tammy and Shirley would help me dig a hole. Of all of my friends, I bet you Tammy and Shirley would get along the best because without even knowing each other, they have the most in common with me. We'd be a dangerous trio. 

And if you aren't mentioned? It doesn't mean I don't love you. I love you long time. It just means that you probably wouldn't know where my toys were (all of them) and would probably respond with a "oh hell no" if I had left it in my will for you to take care of it. And it's totally understandable, which is why I love you. I have to have the yangs to my yings.  

I'm just really thankful that I have such great friends that would hide my sex toys. I could trust all of them implicitly with anything. They don't judge me, they accept me and my crazy for what we are, and they love me despite it. They wouldn't even judge the things they found in the closet because they would just know it's something clearly I would do. Because I'm nuts and that's just how I am. 

But the lesson in this is that it's taken me all of these years to find this group of friends. I see kids on Facebook have all of this damn drama with their "friends" and yet.. continue to be friends. And then I look at my group and I'm lucky. I haven't ever fought with my friends. None of my friends would ever do anything to intentionally hurt my feelings or "get back at me" for anything. Maybe I just got lucky or maybe that's just what happens as you get older. But it's worth asking- who would hide your sex toys? 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


You guys. If you haven't started reading Jay Crownover's Marked Men series, you are a loser and I don't know if we can even be friends. Get on it.

Rome - Jay Crownover
Sometimes the wrong choice can be just right . . .
Fun and fearless, Cora Lewis knows how to keep her tattooed “bad boy” friends at the Marked in line. But beneath all that flash and sass is a broken heart. Cora won’t let herself get burned again. She’s waiting to fall in love with the perfect man—a baggage-free, drama-free guy ready for commitment. Then she meets Rome Archer.
Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn, rigid, and bossy. And he’s returned from his final tour of duty more than a little broken. Rome’s used to filling many roles: big brother, doting son, supersoldier—but none of those fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the dark demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer through it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes a blinding flash of color in a sea of gray. Perfect may not be in the cards, but perfectly imperfect could just last forever . . .
So this is the third book in the series, but you really don't have to read the other two to fully understand this one. I'm still recommending you read the other two because they are great. Also, can I just say I'm in love that Nash's story is next and I am putting in my request for Rowdy and Asa's stories? I feel like Jay and I can come to agreement that this should happen. 
To me, this is is maybe my favorite story of the three so far because at no point did I want to smack Cora. Cora has been pretty hurt from a serious relationship where she was cheated on and her fiance basically kicked her to the curb. Because he was a jack weasel. So she has kept herself busy by Facebook stalking him and essentially taking car of the boys in the tattoo shop she manages and helping those boys get a grip on reality and go after the women they love. Go Cora! 
But then enter Rome, Rule's older brother, battle worn and clearly suffering from PTSD from his military war tours. He kind of adores the fact that Cora is sassy and can tell a boy when to shut up and that's what he needs. She kind of loves that he sometimes leaves her speechless and it doesn't hurt that he's super hot. 
So, like any red blooded American girl would do, she basically had sex with him. A lot. But lots of sex and no protection means... unplanned baby! In the middle of all of this, Rome struggles with PTSD and finds help in Brite, the owner of a biker bar full of veterans. Except Rome inadvertently pisses the wrong one off and danger happens and I can't really tell you any more than that other than it's good and you'll like it. 
I kind of loved this book. Sure, Cora is kind of a mess who doesn't understand that just because you encounter one jack weasel, doesn't mean they all are, and is terrified to let Rome all the way in. Even when she is knocked up, I can understand her reluctance. She's wrong of course, but still, I get it. And I loved Rome. He's genuine and I never doubted for a second his feelings for Cora. I think that despite being a mess from war, he's actually very clear headed about life and what he wants, it just takes a few wake up calls to make it obvious for him. 
Overall? Love. Love how their story isn't 100% finished, I love how at the end Nash's story is introduced. I really appreciate how it's not so cookie cutter. Jay is really a good writer and I am excited to see this continue. You definitely need this series in your life. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Freeze yer balls, and Christmas.

Don't even try to shame me in being this late on Christmas posts. The week of Christmas was insane, I'm up to my boobs in book reviews and I'm in the midst of planning a baby shower and trying to figure out where in the hell Jackson's snow pants are all while I'm pretty sure my eight year old is like pre-puberty because she has burst into tears for basically no reason no less than 6 times since we got home at 5.

It's only 7:30.

It's kind of my life basically.

So here is basically the last week of December:

 We finally went to Bentleyville this year. It's been bitter cold, and by bitter cold I mean like 30 degrees BELOW zero. So we went on a day when it was like 5 degrees ABOVE zero. Which is still ridiculously cold, so you can't really see the children in this terribly dark picture, but you see the lights and you see the bundles that are shaped like my kids. It was particularly terrible for me because I went without a real winter jacket and boots that are more fashion than function.

But more on that later.
 After standing in line for an hour to see Santa, we hustled it through the lights. I basically got no pictures of any lights because I could no longer feel my toes. But the moon looked pretty over the lift bridge, and if you live here you are obligated to take pictures of this bridge. You don't even realize how many you have until you look through.

It took me four hours to thaw out. Even my nipples hurt, they were that cold. I really probably could have cut glass.

So Christmas Eve we go out to Matt's parents' house per usual and that was alright.
 Olivia brought out the sewing machine my blogger friend Jamie gave her because Grandmas knows what to do. Mommy does not. But I kind of love this picture because Olivia looks like such a little lady.
 And to kill time, we take pictures. Olivia and I.
 Not to be outdone by Jackson and his beloved dog.
The obligatory in-front-of-the-tree picture. I always think it's funny their tree is actually tethered to the ceiling but they do have dogs and I've been told the dogs will knock it down otherwise.
 Fun fact. The sweater Matt is wearing? Is old. Like well over 12 years old. He wore this exact sweater to a wedding we went to at a bar when we first started dating 12 years ago. I kind of hate the fact he still fits in it. Jerk.
 Last picture from their house on Christmas Eve. Jackson got this Batman belt from Aunt Kate and he had to put it on right away, obviously. So I made a comment about how he's all dressed up with a Batman tool belt and he declares, "Yah, mom... Batman gets fancy some days." I stand corrected.

So after all of that, we headed home. This is the first year since having kids (so 8 Christmases) that we have not had to wrap all of the presents after they went to bed first year. It felt good. I don't know if it felt good enough to have my shit together next year, but it was nice this year.
 The kids put cookies out for Santa, carrots out for reindeer, I remembered to sprinkle the reindeer food out on the sidewalk which I'm sure some random neighborhood animal ate because it was all gone Christmas morning. Then we put the presents under our wonky shaped tree. Seriously- I don't know what the hell happened to this tree between last  year and this year. It's leaning forward, looks like chunks are missing- it's just sad. But I'm also too broke to replace it so Wonky Tree will see another year.
 I'm that mean mom that makes people get themselves dressed before we open presents. I also make them wait until I'm ready, we've had breakfast, I've peed, the animals had been fed, all the while they are bouncing off of the walls. Parenting = power.
 Olivia got the much anticipated Nintendo 2DS. The best part about this is that she is absolutely amazed at how good I am at Super Mario Bros. Between that and Mario Kart, Tetris, Final Fight 2, and Mortal Kombat 3, those are the only games I can play.
 Story behind the giant fucking turtles. So, my brother got Jackson a Ninja Turtle Van. He informs me no guys come with it. Which, lame. So I figured I'm one gift short for Jackson, I'll buy him the four Ninja Turtles and call it one gift. Except I'm trying to do this the Saturday before Christmas like every other jack ass. So I order them, have to pay expedited shipping to get them here by Monday, and my total is like $90. For FOUR turtles. This is almost more than Olivia's big gift. So I get the package and it's huge. Then I open it to see that the turtles? Are the size of my god damn HEAD. Like, almost a foot tall. Clearly are not going to fit into the van. Fortunately for me, Jackson thought they were kick ass and now wants his own weapons. Like real weapons. He's already put the birthday request in for nun chucks. I'll give you one guess as to what he is not getting for his birthday.
 Christmas madness in motion!
 OH! So Jackson's big gift this year was the Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack for the Xbox 360. He's been asking for months. We have had months of emotional melt downs at every store that carries these things. His response of hugging the box (repeatedly) has made these meltdowns worth it.
 Olivia's big gift was the American Girl doll that looked like her. Which was sold out online and I am very fortunate to know someone who was not only going to the store right before Christmas, but was willing and able to pick one up for me and I could pay her on payday. Again, totally worth it- she kept saying she was really worried Santa forgot because I made sure it was the last one she opened.
 While I cleaned up the madness, the boys played Skylanders.
 Olivia played on her DS.
 And Twinky tried to hump his new toy while in his Santa suit.
 After all of that, we had my parents, my uncle, my brother, and my grandparents come over for gifts and dinner that consisted of appetizers and desserts. Here's my mommy! You don't see her much on my blog but she's the best.
 Jackson opening a bow and arrow which he's already shot me with, Matt trying to assemble Ninja Turtle Van, and my Uncle Ron watching madness.
 My brother is also the best. The kids adore him.
 My and my little bro who's bigger than me.
 Olivia and her two American Girl dolls. Seriously- she dresses them everyday and carts them around every where.
 At the very end of the night, we watched my favorite movie, Christmas Vacation, and then followed that up with The Great Outdoors. Because honestly, any movie referring to hotdogs as lips and assholes is family friendly.
 Olivia and I. She's wide awake, I was tired. Real tired.
But you're all, "what did Matt get you? Did he fail AGAIN?" And like you, I expected an epic fail. I really did. He not only did NOT take my list, but he waited until the last minute. He ended up getting me that box of chocolates (which I've eaten them all. Except the cherry cordials, coconut and the fruit and nut things. Gross.), a used Wii (that my cats already ate the fucking sensor bar so I need a new one), some underwear (standard, but this year it fits!), and two dirty romance novels and some costume jewelry I took pictures of. The best part is that afterwards he asks me if I knew what those books were about, because he wasn't sure if I really wanted them for me. I was like, "Yeah- they have light BDSM but it's fine- it'll probably be really good." He almost choked on an ice cube. Honestly, he clearly doesn't pay attention to what's on the nightstand.


My parents got me knives and the Coach perfume I wanted, and I got some gift cards from my grandparents and brother. Overall, it was a pretty great Christmas. I feel like we did a lot in the month of December, even though there was some other Christmas things I wanted to do, like ride the train in Duluth, see the reindeer in Fitgers, etc- but it was too fucking cold to do any of that.

So on to New Years. More later. xx