Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pimpin My Faves of 2011 plus a Giveaway

I’ve been agonizing over how I wanted to do this and then I realized there was no reason for it; my blog…my rules!  So, in usual fashion, I’m just gonna wing it!
The time has come for end of the year wrap ups.  Last year, I’d had such a bad year that I decided to wait until after the first of January to look forward instead of looking back.  2011 wasn’t the best year I’ve ever had but it was good enough that I feel ok to look back on it, so here goes!  Below is my list of my favorite things from this year; books, tv shows, music and outings.  Afterwards, there’s a Sons of Anarchy-themed (what else??) giveaway; WOOT!

Fave books of the year (**Note – these are books I read this year but they did not necessarily come out this year**)

PersuaderLee Child


I read the entire series of Jack Reacher books by Lee Child this year.  I cannot say enough about how much I love these books!  Action,  adventure,  explosions, fights, mysteries, impossible challenges and, in the middle of it all, an Ex-Army MP drifter who is the BADDEST. BAD. ASS. IN. BADASS. TOWN!  I could have put several of the books in the series on this list but I picked Persuader because it’s a book early in the series and, while reading it, I was fully aware that there were several other books written in the series and I was STILL on the edge of my seat with my heart racing as I read, wondering if Jack was going to be able to make it out of the situation alive!  Now THAT is some good writing!

Pale Demon – Kim Harrison – Lots of Trent; quiet as its kept, he’s my favorite!

Dreams of a Dark Warrior – Kresley Cole – so much torturous fun!!  It sounds wrong but it was so right!

Kiss of Snow – Nalini Singh – I’d anticipated this one for a while and it did not disappoint!

Magic Slays – Ilona Andrews – Kate and Curran RULE!

Fave New TV shows of the year

Game of Thrones - HBO  – WINTER IS COMING, BITCHES!! Ned Stark.  The Iron Throne. Khal Drogo.  The Khaleesi.  Jon Snow.  Littlefinger. It doesn’t matter if you know the names;  just….just watch it.  Or read it.  AND watch it.  Trust me.  It’s worth it.  The definition of EPIC.  I say again; TRUST ME. 

Revenge- ABC – Incredible, soapy fun! 

Suits -USA - Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter is the reason to watch the show.  Period.  And Gina Torres is his boss!  SCORE!


Happy Endings - ABC – one of the best comedy ensembles on tv.  I’ve had plenty of good laughs with this show this year.  It’s worth a watch for Damon Wayans, Jr., alone.  I think he may be funnier than his father.  Hilarity.


Suburgatory - ABC – oddly enough, I don’t really like the main character of the show but I love a lot of the supporting characters.  Even with that, the show makes me laugh and that’s all I really want from my half hour comedies!
Fave  returning TV shows of the year


Sons of Anarchy - FX –


I’m pretty sure not one of you reading this is surprised to see this show at the top of my list!  I am a SOA ADDICT and proud of it!  My pimpage of the show has brought a couple of my co workers, my cousin and several of my Tweeps into the ranks of my fellow SOA addicts and I’m ecstatic about it!  This season was STELLAR!  As usual, I’m already counting down the days until September!


Justified - FX – This is one of the shows that keeps me occupied during the long break between SOA seasons.  Last season was incredible and I’m so looking forward to the new season that starts in a couple of weeks.  Timothy Olyphant as US Marshall Raylan Givens is THE. MAN.  Period.


Archer - FX – Best animated show on tv, hands down!  Very adult, very funny, very quotable and I’m very much looking forward to it coming back in a couple of weeks!


Parks and Recreation -  NBC – My favorite returning comedy.  If you were a fan of the early years of The Office and the cute development of the Jim and Pam relationship,  you should be watching Parks and Rec.  They have a couple that rivals Jim and Pam!  Plus, Parks and Rec brought us “Treat Yo’ Self” Day:



It’s the best day of the yeeeeaaarrr!



Fave Music of the Year


My fave new music of the year, by a looooong margin, was Adele’s 21.  By such a long margin, in fact, that I don’t have anything else to put here.  Oh…except my fave rap lyric of the year:


“If we ever do this whoopty whoop, I want allll that bleepty bleep” – Andre 3000
Yep.  That.


 My fave outing of the year


My trip to Authors After Dark in Philly  - met so many of my tweeps, had some successful writerly type meetings AND was introduced to a bunch of new to me authors; it was the trip of the year for me! I wrote about it here, in case you missed it.

Well, there you have it; all the high points of 2011 for me!  My family traditionally gives each other gifts on New Year’s Eve so I’m going to extend that to my blog family too!  I have a copy of the Songs of Anarchy CD, songs from Sons of Anarchy seasons 1 – 4, courtesy of my bestie Chena, to give away. 

If you want it, tell me something that you loved in 2011, whether its on my list or not.  That’s it!  I’ll pick a winner at random on January 5, 2012.  Contest is open to all. 
Thanks for hanging in there with me in 2011!  Looking forward to more fun in 2012!  Everyone have a happy, safe and prosperous New Year!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm still here!

Hello, lovely blog readers! This is just a quick note to say hi there, hello…I haven’t forgotten about you and I hope you haven’t forgotten about me! This year, and in particular, the past six weeks have been very stressful in my personal life which has kept me from reading, writing, blogging and tweeting as much as I would like to. It’s kept me from blogging AT ALL but, I didn’t want you to think I haven’t been THINKING about blogging because I definitely have! Here, for your reading pleasure, are ideas that might have become blogs in the last few months, if circumstances had been different:


1) Your "UUUNNNPH" song! - What is that song that runs in your head when you see someone that you find ridiculously attractive? Do you have one? Do you go old skool or new skool with your song choice(s)? (for the record, the song that I heard on my I-Pod that prompted this topic was Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover by Sophie B. Hawkins; that’s my JAM!)

2) The novels of Lee Childs – Jack Reacher, the main character of the series is (excuse my French) THE EM EFFIN MAN!!!! He deserves a blog post all his own and still may get one in the near future.

3) My blog anniversary - Sigh. Yeah. Turns out, I kinda missed it. Sigh. That fact should surprise no one. BUT, I had a big post and giveaway planned for the month after the anniversary but then we had a serious ailment befall a family member and all plans for EVERYTHING (work, play, blog, reading, writing…everything!) got shifted to the back burner. Soooo..happy belated to blogiversary to us all!  :-)

4) Sons of Anarchy (of course!!!) - THIS. SEASON. Oh my goodness! I had MEANT to steer those of you that are still non watchers towards Netflix to get caught up before this season started but it doesn’t seem to have worked out that way. Seriously, though, if you’re not watching the show….WHAT. IS. WRONG. WITH. YOU?!?!?!

5) The End of the Harry Potter Saga - It was an idea but, quite frankly, I think I still might be just a little too emotional about this situation to write about it yet.  Yes, it's THAT serious!

I could go on listing ideas, but just know that I really do have posts PLANNED and I truly have MEANT to be writing them...but it just hasn't worked out.  And now, it's November again and I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) once again so I'm writing like crazy this month, just not blogging that much.  But, hey, I did manage to do this one! 

I have a big end of the year post planned, along with several giveaways to thank you for hanging in there with me, inconsistent blogger that I am.  I HOPE to write more posts before then, but if not, we have that to look forward to, at least!!  Thanks, as always, for stopping by!  I appreciate you!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

KLB Virtual Journey - REVIEW - Decadent Dreams by Ty Langston



Beth Mason seemingly has it all. A successful bakery/cafe calledDecadent Dreams, good friends, and a nice home in Stamford, New York. After her boyfriend dumps her for not spending enough time with him, Beth decides she's been through enough and she wants more in a relationship.Throwing herself back into the dating scene, Beth decides to go onto an online dating website called 'A Foreign Affair.'
Enjoying the different types of men from all over the world that ‘A Foreign Affair’ catered to, Beth became struck by a handsome man from Belarus named Yuri who was the former manager of the famed Rhapsody night club. After realizing that they had a lot in common, the two struck up a close, intense relationship. Yuri, who’s been depressed since his nightclub burned to the ground and watching his best friend’s parents both die from a terminal illness, decided to take Beth up on an invite and join her for a fun-filled weekend in New York City. With both of them full of emotions, will the weekend be just what they needed or more than they bargained for?

This story was a new experience for me.  I don’t read a lot of erotica or novellas.  Don’t get me wrong; I like the down and dirty…I just think I like it in a longer form.  (wait…that sounds dirtier than I wanted it to!)  I was intrigued by the synopsis of this story though, so I decided to read it.
I really liked the concept of the Foreign Affairs website.  The full service aspect of the site and the way it caters to its members lends itself to a great premise for a wonderful relationship stemming out of an online encounter.  I don’t think the novella format gave enough time for the relationship to truly develop, organically, so that the reader is fully invested in the love story of Yuri and Beth.  Their story was interesting; I just think it needed a bit more fleshing out.

And speaking of flesh J, this story certainly lives up to it’s erotic billing!  Yuri and Beth share some scorching hot scenes, once they are together and able to do the things they’ve only been dreaming about during the months they’ve been in contact online.  I may have mentioned it before but I’m a big fan of shower scenes and bathroom scenes and this story delivers on both fronts!  I particularly liked the nightclub bathroom scene!

There were several secondary characters introduced in the story, complete with back stories.  Their inclusion in the story, while taking a little bit of time that could have been used to further develop Yuri and Beth, did intrigue me, as well.  Yuri’s best friend Nik, in particular, is an interesting character who seems as if he's being set up for his own story.  I’m looking forward to his story to see how his situation works out. If you are a fan of the novella length book and are looking for some sizzling sex, give Decadent Dreams a try!

Thanks to the ladies of KLB for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.  To join the ladies of KLB and participate in a conversation about this book, please click here.  Thank you, as always, for dropping by! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One More AAD Philly Post


A week ago today, I returned home from my first ever con, the Authors After Dark Conference in Philadelphia, PA, also known as AADPhilly.  It’s been a week and I’m STILL on a high from the fun I had! I wanted to go through all of my swag and have a giveaway ready before I did this post but that hasn’t worked out, so we’ll consider this my part one post.  Once I have everything together for my giveaway, I’ll do a part two. Deal?  Cool!
Months ago when registration first opened for AAD, I had no knowledge of the conference and, therefore, no interest in going.  I saw that several of my tweeps were discussing it on Twitter but I wasn’t paying much attention.  There was a frenzy amongst my tweeps when registration opened and I got caught up in it when my friend Adrienne of DrensBSpot urged me to register, informing me that it would be a great opportunity to meet so many of my buddies on Twitter .  I decided to register, for that very reason.  From that point, my main motivation for going to AAD was the opportunity to meet and hang out with my tweeple.  I knew that it was a conference for authors and readers to hang out together and I knew there was going to be a big signing on Saturday and several authors I am familiar with were going to be there so I was also interested in that.  Recently, I found out that there would be some industry folks at the conference, willing to meet with aspiring authors, such as myself, so I also started to look forward to that.  But, first and foremost, I was most excited about the time I would get to spend with some of the folks I speak with on a daily basis on Twitter. As a result, my expectations going in may have been a little different than many other attendees.  I write all of that to say…I had a BALL!  The trip met and far exceeded my expectations and I’m so very glad Dren talked me into it!

I’d originally made plans to take the train up and to stay at a different hotel than the con hotel but circumstance worked out so that I ended up riding with Adrienne and rooming with her in the con hotel.  I’m so glad of both of those things; Adrienne was the BEST. DRIVER. EVER (thanks 5 Hour Energy!) and being in the hotel was extremely beneficial to my all around experience. 

Adrienne and I arrived early on Thursday after having left NC at 12:45am.  Adrienne did all the driving and I did all the sleeping; thanks buddy!  When we arrived, our room wasn’t ready yet so we started meeting people before we’d had a chance to freshen up and get situated.  I considered hiding until I’d had a chance to pull myself together but then I caught sight of my buddy Bells from Hanging with Bells and all thoughts of not meeting my girls right then flew right out the window!  Right before the Welcome event, I met Bells and Marq from Love To Read For Fun, Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About, Pam from Wicked Lil Pixie, Mandy from Smexybooks, Danielle from Lush Book Reviews and Kat from Tigris Eden’s Garden of Books. After that, the meeting and greeting was fast and furious!  I met Felicia aka @FERISHIA and her friend Dina.  I saw Jennifer Estep, whose books I already love and I also met Monica Burns, a new to me author who was a complete riot and whose books I can’t wait to read now!  And all this was before we ever checked in!  We did finally get our room and I was able to hit the afternoon panels and appointments a little more put together.  Big shouts to everyone that was on board with that whole "we're all going to pretend that we DIDN'T see Penny in her road ensemble earlier" plan; love you ladies!  J

From that point forward, the con was a big, happy, fun blur of panels, meals, balls (heh heh; yep…I’m 12!), pictures (more about the LACK of those below), books, swag and laughter! I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I attended as a reader but got so much out of the con as a writer, as well.  I met some of my favorite authors as well as a bunch of new to me authors and came home with bags full of books to add to my TBR shelf.   I had so many fun moments and met so many great folks that I’m afraid to list them all out, for fear I’d miss someone.  What I will do, though, is list just a few of the many highlights for me:

-Meeting and spending time with authors Larissa Ione, Lara Adrian, Nicole Peeler, Jennifer Estep, Carolyn Crane, Monica Burns, Caridad Pineiro, JA Saare, PJ Schnyder, Jessa Slade, Meljean Brook, Dakota Cassidy, Melissa Ecker, Ava Riley, Eliza Gayle, Kris Cook and Karin Harlow/Tabke.  They were all so approachable and down to earth! And so tolerant of so many of us going into full fangirl mode in their presence!  It was awesome!  Some were new to me, some were my tweeps and a couple were already amongst my fave authors but I came away with a new level of love for each of them.

-Meeting so many of my Twitter friends and gaining new tweeps!  I loved all of the Tweep meet ups; usually distinguishable by all the hugging and squeeing!

-The Pin the Penis on the Founding Father game.  Yup….take a minute to soak that in. Imagine Thomas Jefferson littered with paper peens...with smiley faces!  It happened and it was FABULOUS!

-The Guess the Author by the Sex Scene panel.  All of the panelists were fantastic but Nicole Peeler deserves special attention for her fantastic, dramatic sex scene readings!  Loved the twist of using names of attendees and their fave male celebrities instead of the character names in the readings.  And the scenes picked were great; I’m not even a little bit ashamed to say that I knew the J.R. Ward scene two sentences in!  And I was by no means alone; folks all over the room started nodding their heads.  Good times!

-The Mythos Ball.  I don’t do costumes and had considered not attending either of the balls but I’m so glad I did.  It was great to see those that did dress up; everyone looked lovely!  Plus, the music was great and the company was top notch.  It was great seeing all the authors, publishers, editors and readers all getting their collective groove on.

-The impromptu birthday party for Larissa Ione in Bells, Marq and Cat’s room.  We got to spend time with Larissa Ione and Lara Adrian and the Sisterhood of the Werefly was born.  Plus….CAKE!  It was, as Cat would say, THE BIZNAZ! 


-The times I was in the middle of a conversation with a new friend…only to realize that I was actually talking to someone I already knew from a blog or Twitter!!  That’s what happened with @Toriaimeegirl, @Katiebabs, @j_hussein, @iqb2001 and @JeanniePBlair. 

-The Aspiring Authors Mixer.  Great information shared by a bunch of industry professionals.  So glad I attended and glad to have met so many people willing to help newbies like myself.

-Sitting with Jen from Not Now...I’m Reading at the SteamPunk Ball during the Sideshow performance.  She saved my night with a picture of Randy Orton.  Now that’s a good friend right there! 

-This picture.  Thanks to Jen for getting us all together for this pic; I’m so glad we have this memento of our time together!



-The ride there and back with Adrienne.  Lots of laughs and lots of creativity.  Thanks again for everything, Dren!

Unfortunately, what I don’t have to share with you is my own personal pictures.  Don’t ask me why; I have no idea.  I had my camera phone with me everywhere I was but I was too busy smiling and posing for pics to worry about taking them, it would seem.  I did manage to take all of ONE picture while I was in Philly; this is me and Decadent Publishing Executive Editor Heather Bennett sharing a bag of ball cookies.  Make of that what you will.  J


Thankfully, all of my wonderful tweeps took lots of pictures and have posted them, with their own memories and recollections of the conference.  Please click on the links below to for pictures and many more memories from some of my con buddies.

Jen - Authors After Dark 2011 Wrap Up
Tigris Eden - The Good, the Bad and the Sad Ugly of AAD Philly
Bells - My AAD Philly 2011 Experience
Danielle (@iqb2001) - Authors After Dark Recap
Ava Riley - What #AAD Philly Taught Me...
Marq - My AAD Adventure
Spaz P - Spaz Goes to A...NOT ANOTHER AAD POST! Philly 
Jen - Authors After Dark 2011 Part 1 and Part 2
Dren - AAD Philly - A Writer's Perspective - Full of Win!
Dren - AAD Philly - A Blogger's Perspective
Though I had a spectacular time and got everything I wanted out of the con, I know there were those that did not.  There were some unfortunate and, in at least one case, ugly incidents that I became aware of that did mar the experience for several people. I was not personally affected but some of my friends were and I didn't care for it at all.   As a result, I will most likely not attend next year.  I am very glad, however, that I did attend this year.  My first con was everything I wanted it to be and more.  Thanks to everyone I met and spent time with; you were the ones that made the trip so much fun. 

An AAD swag giveaway will be coming soon as well as some reviews for several of the books I received so look for those posts in the near future.  Thanks to all who made my experience so great and thanks, as always, for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WINNER of Dead, Undead and Somewhere in Between by JA Saare

We have a winner!!  Random.org picked commenter number 5 so CONGRATULATIONS to

Les121 !!!!!!!

Your PDF copy of the book will be coming directly from KLB Virtual Events. 

Thanks to all who entered!  I appreciate your comments!!  :-)   And thanks again to KLB for allowing me to be a part of their Virtual Tours!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

KLB Virtual Journey - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY - Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between by JA Saare

I am, once again, THRILLED to be participating in another KLB Virtual Event!  Thanks to the ladies of KLB for allowing me to be a part of this Virtual Journey! 


One bad corpse can ruin your whole day. No one knows that better than Rhiannon Murphy. She’s left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she’s managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her – until now.
                                           
The deliciously good-looking vampire Disco knows her secret, and when he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, she discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no.

But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.

I've been interested in reading this book since I started hearing great buzz about it months ago on Twitter.  However, anyone who reads this blog knows that I am a sucker for a hot blonde and anything that has to do with Sons of Anarchy.  So, when my buddy Bells put a picture of Charlie Hunnam (Jax from Sons of Anarchy) on her blog and said that's who she saw in her mind as Disco....wellll....you KNOW I had to MAKE.IT.MY.BUSINESS. to become acquainted with this man!

Disco lived up to his billing!  Hot, blonde, bad ass...everything I like in a hero!  He and Rhiannon don't click right away because she also lives up to her billing; she's quite the prickly pear, our heroine.  They have a slow burn type of relationship that builds up to some....well, I don't want to give too much away...but there's some hot steaminess, folks!  Both are flawed and we learn about the darkness in their respective backgrounds as the story unfolds.  I like the way they are able to help each other through the fallout of their tragic pasts.

The story begins in a strip club; my kinda story!!  If you like your urban fantasy gritty and raw, this is your type of story.  Bar fights, blood, knives, guns, vampires, necromancers, ghosts, demons...its got it all!  Plenty of action and a very strong, kick ass heroine.  Disco is the main man in this story but by no means is he the only man candy!  There are a few other intriguing characters to obsess over, as well, with just enough of their stories revealed to make you wish for more.  But even if the characters didn't leave you wanting for more; the ending surely will!  No spoilers but I did NOT see that ending coming!  I can't wait for the next book in the series!  I love the concept and can't wait to see how it plays out!

Would you like a chance to meet Rhiannon and Disco and find out why the ending left me with my mouth hanging open in shock?  Leave a comment on this review and I'll enter you in a drawing for a PDF copy of Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between!  It's the special edition re-release which includes an author's note, vignettes, and the first two chapters of the next book in the Rhiannon's Law series, The Renfield Syndrome. A winner will be chosen at random from comments posted before 11:59pm EST on 5/31/11.

Thanks for stopping by!  Thanks again to KLB for the opportunity to review this book!  Be sure to stop by all of the blogs on this virtual journey for additional reviews, interviews and chances to win.  Next up will be Tawania at Wicked Readings by Tawania.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

KLB Virtual Journey 10 Days 10 Blogs: Alien in the Family by Gini Koch

I had so much fun doing the KLB Virtual Journey for Eternal Rider that I talked my best friend into joining the newest journey!  I present a guest review of Alien in the Family by Gini Koch by Chena (aka Beans628 on Twitter) for the KLB Virtual Journey,
Alien in the Family
Series: Katherine "Kitty" Katt
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance
Author: Gini Koch
Format: Paperback, 457 pages
Published: April 5th 2011 by DAW

Summary from BarnesandNoble.com

Super-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt and the Alpha Centaurian she loves, Jeff Martini, should be finalizing their wedding plans. But that was before she discovers Jeff is in line to become Emperor back on his home world. Kitty knows she is everything a royal family wouldn't approve of, and is bracing herself for the worst. As it turns out, the royal family is just the beginning. Especially when extraterrestrial Amazonian terrorists are determined to start and end Kitty and Jeff's nuptial festivities with a bang.

I saw Gini Koch’s name and raves for her Alien series all over Twitter for weeks before I decided to give them a try. It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because this series is awesome – and keeps getting better! We rejoin Katherine “Kitty” Katt, Airborne leader extraordinaire as she’s planning her wedding to sexy alien, Jeff Martini. Of course, nothing thus far has gone smoothly for these two so why would their wedding be any different?! This time around, Kitty, Martini and the Scooby gang (as I affectionately like to call them) are embroiled in what has become their specialty: multi-faceted plots, all in play at the same time. They’ve got a menagerie of aliens set on crowning the king of their choosing, man-hating Amazons determined to brain all of the men in Kitty’s life and an evil, suddenly sentient being out to control all worlds. And if all of that wasn’t enough, the representatives from Alpha Centauri are en route to attend (or is it disrupt?) the nuptials.

This installment took a closer look at Kitty’s relationship with her BFF, James Reader. (Insert fan girl SQUEE here) I LOVE READER!! There were some tense moments in this book when it looked liked he wasn’t going to make it. I tell you now: if that had happened, I might not have read the series anymore. Reade is THAT amazing! He and Kitty bonded from the moment they met. The traffic-stopping ex-model has helped her navigate her new life amongst the Alpha Centaurians and keeping her sane in the process. Martini has always been jealous of their closeness and he’s awfully lucky Reader is gay. Because I’m not sure which one of them Kitty would have picked otherwise. Reader has a way of keeping the Kitty craziness in check while always having her back.


Koch also gives major face time to Kitty’s oldest BFF, Chuckie, in this book. I actually like Chuckie. He’s a former nerd, current C.I.A. badass and conspiracy theorist. Due to the unknown intentions of the soon-to-arrive aliens, Chuckie temporarily takes over the Alpha and Airborne units. His needling of the always jealous Martini is priceless. Chuckie is less persistent in his efforts to win Kitty back than he was in book two. Once he realizes that he will always be her friend and that she truly loves Martini, he backs off. I found him to be incredibly charming.

Koch deftly handles the addition of new characters and manages to weave them into the story without being too confusing. The newest Airborne team member, Tito Hernandez, doctor/MMA fighter adds not only skill but laughs as well. He is a quick thinker like most of the other humans on the team. There are also a number of aliens who join up with Airborne to fight the baddies, but they fit in seamlessly (even with Kitty’s nicknames…and their REAL names!).

One of the biggest developments in this book was the maturity and evolution of Kitty and Martini as a power couple. In the first two books, Martini’s jealousy overshadowed the entire relationship and Kitty’s uncertainty and paranoia didn’t help them. As they move closer to the wedding, they deal with all of their fears and questions just as like any other real-life couple. I enjoyed the two of them so much more when they dialed back their insecurities and ramped up their commitment to each other. The wedding, when it FINALLY happens, is both sweet and laugh out loud funny.

In addition to Koch’s kick ass characters and witty dialogue, I think she’s also may have written the best bachelorette party EVER. EVER! Of course, MY dream party would include Rick Springfield, but that’s just me (don’t judge me!)! And, ahem, she also includes a hot (I mean, smoking!) bathtub scene!!! I’m already anxiously awaiting the next book in the series, Alien Proliferation in December. I’ve got the A-C fever…and I don’t give a damn!!

Special thanks and shout out to the ladies of KLB Virtual Events for giving me the opportunity to participate in the AITF tour! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

WINNER - KLB Eternal Rider Virtual Journey Giveaway

And the winner, chosen via the random number generator on Random.org, is..........

KAHEA!!!

The winner has been contacted via email.   Thank you to all for your wonderful comments and welcome to all of my new followers!  Thanks most of all to Larissa Ione for stopping by (I haven't stopped squeeing over it yet!) and to the ladies of KLB Virtual Events for including me in this book tour.  Happy Reading, all and congrats to Kahea!

Monday, April 18, 2011

KLB Virtual Events Blog Tour - Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione - Day 8 - Review + Giveaway

Title – Eternal Rider
Author – Larissa Ione
Series – Lords of Deliverance Book 1 (related to the Demonica series)
Pages – 412 (includes a 10 page excerpt of Immortal Rider, the next book in the series)
They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.
Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can't-or won't-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman's safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara's life.

Hello and welcome to Day 8 of the KLB Virtual Events Blog Tour of Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione.  I thank the wonderful ladies of KLB for including me in this blog tour! 
Have you read Larissa Ione before?  I’m a fairly new reader to her books but I can tell you that her books include great world building, rich characters and snappy dialogue.  Oh yeah…and BLISTERINGLY HOT SMUTTINESS!!  Oh my gracious!!  And this book was no exception!  Ok…sorry…didn’t mean to yell..and maybe I should discuss the storyline before I get into the hotness.  I guess.

I have not yet finished the Demonica series but I wanted to be a part of this blog tour and figured any information I needed from the Demonica series would be included in this book and I was correct.  Usually, I prefer to read all books in order, even if they aren’t all required to be read, as such; I’m just a stickler like that.  If you have an issue with spoilers, you may want to read the entire Demonica series first since this book does give away some events from the Demonica series.  Also, there is a BUNCH of information and a fairly large number of characters introduced in the beginning of this book, if you are not already familiar with the myth and lore of the Demonica series.  It’s needed for readers, such as myself, who did not read the entire Demonica series but may feel like a bit of a re-tread for those that have read it.  Don’t let that put you off, though; the story moves right along and you need the information in order to understand the events.

Events that occur in Sin Undone, the last book of the Demonica series, set the action of this book into motion.  Reseph, one of the siblings who would become the Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse, has his Seal broken which changes him into Pestilence.  Just so you know…Pestilence is NOT a nice guy!  He bares no resemblance to the man he used to be.  Larissa is very good at writing characters that are very bad!  I was actually taken aback by a few of the things Pestilence does and says in this book (in particular, a line about ripping someone a new orifice and then..ahem…enjoying the new hole….gave me pause!) but that’s a good thing; it’s a mark of good writing that I was so disturbed by his evil deeds!  Now that his Seal has been broken, next up is Ares who will become War.  Pestilence is determined to find a way to break his Seal, Ares is determined not to let it happen and Cara unwittingly becomes a major player in their conflict.  That’s about as much as I can give you without giving away too much; after all, I DO want you to read it for yourself!

Now…back to the hotness! I’m not necessarily a big fan of war in general…but WAR in the guise of Ares….COULD GET IT!  Violence and aggression and conflict turn him on.  And a turned on Ares, quite frankly,  makes your panties sweat.  Phew!  Two words folks; Shower. Sex.  I’m a big fan and Larissa does NOT disappoint.

As far as the romance is concerned, I believed the relationship.  They started as a emotionally scarred timid woman and an emotionally unavailable, unyielding man but they had believable growth and grew to be what they needed to be for their partner.  I liked Ares a bit more than I liked Cara, especially in the beginning, but I usually like the guy more; go figure! 

If you’re read the Demonica series, you’ll be happy to know that there are several cameos from familiar characters and some scenes set in Underworld General Hospital.  I smiled each time a character I knew showed up; I always like to know what’s going on with characters after the events of their specific books.

A host of new characters (for me, at least) were developed in this book and there are two I’m extremely interested in knowing more about.  Limos, the female sibling of the four, is one bad ass chick and I can’t wait to hear more about her!  And Thanatos, who will be Death if his Seal is broken, is the big blonde one of the bunch.  And, if you read this blog regularly, you know I like the big blonde ones!  J  I’m glad to have had an opportunity to read and review this book and look forward to the rest of the series.  I give Eternal Rider a strong 4 out of 5 stars. 

Leave a comment below for your chance to win either a $15 gift certificate from Borders or an equivalent book purchase from The Book Depository.  Please be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win.  The contest ends 4/20/11 at 11:59pm so get your comments in quickly!  The contest is open to all who care to enter.  Thanks again to the ladies of KLB for including me on the book tour and thanks to you for stopping by!

Monday, April 4, 2011

REVIEW - Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward *Contains Spoilers*

Title – Lover Unleashed
Author – J.R. Ward
Series – Black Dagger Brotherhood - Book 9
Pages – 489
Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother:  A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either. 
When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world.  Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.
As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy.

 
Before I start, I have a couple of confessions to make.  First, I LOVE this series.  This is one of the few series that I will consider paying FULL PRICE for a hardback in the series.  That, in this age of weekly coupons and discounts and markdowns (not to mention ridiculous gas prices keeping my pocketbook on lock), is a big thing for me.  As it happens, I did pay full price for this book…plus some, in order to get a signed copy.  Keep that in mind as you read this because the price that was paid might have added to my….passion.  (or is that vehemence?  You decide).  Secondly, I am usually in the minority in my feelings about this series.  I am not on Team Qhuay (I LOVE Qhuinn….I like Blay….I’ve never wanted to see them together.  I am on board for a threesome HEA though, so that my boy Qhuinn can get all of his tastes satisfied whenever he wants, but I believe I may be the only member of Team Qhublayla.  Hmph.) .  I like Jane and always have.  I thought the fact that V’s glowing hand could make her corporeal was a beautiful thing that meant they belonged to each other.  I liked Phury’s book, which I know a lot of folks HATED and consider one of the least romantic of the series.  On the other hand, Z’s book, which is considered one of the most romantic of the series, is one of my least favorites (note – one of my least favorites in the BDB series is equal to some of my most favorites in many other series so please understand that does not mean I didn’t like the book; I just didn’t like it as much as several others). So, knowing that I usually fall on the other side of popular opinion, I was not worried when I started seeing ratings on Goodreads and comments on Twitter indicating that this book was getting mediocre ratings.  From the comments I did read, I could see that the Team Qhuay folks were upset that there was no significant progress with their relationship and the romance fans were disappointed in the lack of focus on Manny and Payne.  Neither thing bothered me that much so I figured I’d LOVE this book and, once again, be in the on the opposite side of popular opinion. 
Not. So. Much.
I did not hate the book but I did have some issues with it.  There were things to like so I will end on a high note and discuss those things later.  We’ll start, however, with what did not work for me.  There are two items that I’m not going to specifically name…but I’m going to try to work them into my reivew.  See if you can spot them!
-The word “verily” can quite verily KICK. ROCKS.
-Annnnnnnnnnd where was Lassiter?  And what was the whole subplot about Murhder doing in the last book if there was to be no progression on it at all in this book?
-Annnnnnnnnnnnnd from what I understand, Veck was introduced because he’s to be featured in a future fallen angels book.  I would have preferred he be introduced in that series so that more time could have been spent on the characters of this series that I care about.  True?
-Ohhhhhhhhhh yeaaaaaahhhhhh…..ANNNNNND I know that John is with Xhex now and can take care of himself blah blah blah but Qhuinn IS responsible for his life.  You think they might have wanted to spend more than three minutes in each other’s presence for the whole book?  Ya feel me?
-I love Qhuinn and V.  They are two of my favorites in the series.  I gotta admit, though, I was NOT in love with Qhuinn’s whole since-I-can’t-have-Blay-I’m-gonna-kill-myself-by-starving vibe and I didn’t really believe V’s whole I-was-jacking-it-but-I-can’t-tell-my-girl-EVEN-THOUGH-SHE-KNOWS-I-DO-IT-SINCE-SHE-LIKES-TO-WATCH-ME drama.  It just didn’t ring true with me.  True?
-Annnnnnnnnnnnnd Qhuinn without his piercings?  BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
-Annnnnnnnnd ohhhhhhhh shiiiiiiiiiit….Manny can cure paralysis with just a look at his junk?!?!  For reals?  My back hurts; you think it’ll be fixed because I just read about his cure all junk?  Maybe? 
Ok…I think that’s enough of that.  On to a happier subject; the things that did work for me.
-I was just happy to be back in Caldwell.  I love those Brothers; I truly do!
-I like the Manny and Payne pairing, even with the whirlwind romance and the dick of destiny.
-I LOVE the way Butch figured out how to help Vishous!  Their relationship is still one of my faves.
-I like that we got to check in with Detective De La Cruz and now know that he’s still looking for Butch.  I like the continuity there and I think that’s going to lead to more in the future.
-I like getting a little more insight into Saxton and Layla.
-I am not yet invested in the story of the new rogue band of bastards WITH THE EXCEPTION of when they were GETTIN.IT.IN with Kandy!  LITERALLY!  J.R. Ward is always good for some down and dirty and she did not disappoint!  Yeah…it wasn’t the featured couple but…hey…smut is smut and we’ll take it! 
-Loved the scene with everyone hanging out together; I like the happy family moments!  I’m a sap like that!
All in all, I give the book at 3.5 out of 5.  It wasn't my favorite in the series but it wasn't my least favorite, either.  And, my motto still remains, some BDB, whether its the best or not, is always better than no BDB!   And trust…I will be buying the next one as soon as it comes out because I love these characters and this series.  Ya feel me?  Verily.  True?  Word.  J

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

THE TRIUMPHANT ONE IS......

(yeah...for SOME reason this week, I'm not inclined to use "winner".  Hmph)  Sorry about the late post; the "Lost Glasses Caper of 2011"  had me a little discombobulated yesterday! Anyway....thanks to Random.org, the Triumphant One is commenter number TWO:

QUEEN CITY E

Congrats, Erica!  I'll contact you about your gift card shortly!

Thanks, as always, to all who stopped by, read and commented on Twitter, FB and on here.  Much appreciated!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pimpin my February Obsessions

It is that time again; time to discuss my obsessions for the month.  February was a good month, tv-wise, for me because a couple of my favorite shows returned. 
Archer  - The very adult cartoon that comes on Fx on Thursday nights is one of my favorite things EVER!  It makes me laugh hysterically which is something we all need sometimes, ya know?  If you haven’t watched, I highly recommend it.  Just know that it is definitely not for children, even though it is a cartoon.  Also, there are a lot of in-jokes so you might want to start with Season 1, in order to get it all.  But truly, even if you just watch one episode, you’ll be laughing.  And your mouth might be hanging open in shock at some point, too.  I swear, the show is SO inappropriate!  I LOVE IT! 


Justified – You will see a theme on this blog with television shows on the Fx channel.  Apparently, Fx is my favorite channel and a bunch of the shows I’m obsessed with air there.  Justified joins Sons of Anarchy and Archer as “can’t miss” tv for me.  The writing is sharp and witty and the action is great but the real reason to watch Justified is Timothy Olyphant’s portrayal of Raylan Givens, the US Marshall assigned to the backwoods of Kentucky where he grew up.  Raylan Givens is, quite simply, THE. MAN.

WWE – I was a big fan of the WWF/WWE back in the day, when Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H and, of course, The Rock were the main stars.  My love of wrestling goes waaaay back to the days of Dusty Rhodes and Jimmy Supafly Snooka and Magnum TA in the NWA (I DID grow up in North Carolina, after all!) but I haven’t watched in years, mainly because all of my faves have moved on.  Well, that has certainly changed in the last month and there was one moment that changed it.  THE PEOPLE’S CHAMP IS BACK!!  LONG LIVE THE ROCK!!  I won’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched this video but I will mention that, even though I KNOW that’s he’s coming out, my heart skips a beat EVERY time I watch it and I hear, “IF YOU SMELLLLLLLLL…” 

Oh, that man.  Welcome back, Rocky!


The Losers – I’ll admit; unless a movie is a Harry Potter movie, a Marvel comics movie or….yeah that’s about it….I’m usually notoriously late on seeing it.  I don’t really care to go to the movies that much and even though I have Netflix , I catch up more on TV using that.  So, I’m usually months behind the crowd seeing most movies.  Which is why The Losers is in my obsessions post now…instead of sometime last year!  Jeffery Dean Morgan + Idris Elba + Oscar Jaenada + Chris EM EFFIN Evans = HELL. YES. 
I was also obsessed with Twitter and several Facebook Games (Bejeweled Blitz, Zuma Blitz and Family Feud, just in case you’re wondering) this past month.  What I wasn’t obsessed with, unfortunately, was writing, reading or exercising!  I need to be devoting as much time to those things as I am to my other obsessions but, in order to do so, I’ve got to scale something back.  So, you may not see me as frequently on Twitter this month.  Or on Facebook.  And I may not get to watch everything I want.  But I hope when it comes time to do my March obsessions post, I have good news to share on the writing, reading and exercising front. 
So, what were you obsessed with in February?  Do you share any of my obsessions?  Do you plan on checking any of them out, if you haven’t already?  Leave me a comment below to be entered into my monthly drawing for your chance to win either a $15 gift certificate from Borders or an equivalent book purchase from The Book Depository.  If you want to be entered into the giveaway, just let me know in your post & don't forget to include your email address so I can contact you.  You don’t have to be a follower to enter but I’d appreciate it if you’d become a follower if you aren’t one already. The contest ends Sunday 3/6/11 at 11:59pm EST and is open to all who care to enter and can benefit from a Borders gift certificate or a book purchase from Book Depository.  Thanks, as always, for stopping by!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Guest Post by Erica (Queen City E) - TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF!

Today, I present Penny Pimpin's first guest post by my sister, Erica (QueenCityE).  She is pimping a concept that is so perfect for this blog because it includes some of our favorite books and tv shows.  Oh...and a whoooole lot of shirtlessness!  Enjoy!   

Pimpin a concept: Take Your Shirt Off!

I was talking to a male friend the other day, who was also a fan of the Legend of the Seeker series (based on the Sword of Truth fantasy series by Terry Goodkind). We discussed how much we enjoyed the Seeker concept and the actors and actresses chosen for the series. From the male perspective, it seems there were no bad choices as far as the females featured on the show (though many of them were annoying, he found most of them easy on the eyes.) For me, one of the selling points was how often The Seeker (Craig Horner) was filmed without a shirt on.


I mentioned this, and he seemed to be surprised I'd be interested in such a small guy. I had to school him on one of my philosophies...and a concept I'd like to "Pimp" here on my sisters blog; the more shirtless, the better.

I find many of my favorite television experiences in recent years have had a lot to do with how much bare chest I get to see. There is a direct correlation to how well a show is doing to how much skin is shown or is that just my personal opinion?

I'm not the biggest fan of the True Blood series, mostly because I loved the Sookie Stackhouse books, but I did not miss an episode with Eggs; because he was almost certain to be shown sans shirt. To be honest, all the shows that Mehcad Brooks has been on understood that the more you show his rippling and glistening chocolate body the better!


His character, Jerome, from The Game may have started out in an Skybox suite trying to impress his bosses, but before long he was sunning poolside in Miami showing off his amazing abs. With his background in basketball (he starred in the movies Glory Road and Just Wright) it's no surprise the producers of The Deep End had him showing off his guns in a basketball scene, but I think the show would have made it longer if they'd had him play in a skins vs. shirts game, with Brooks being on the skins team! The same is true about his other failed series, My Generation, which showed him in a wife beater, but not out of one!
The 6'5 native Texan, Brooks, seems to have hit gold with the AllState commercial, in which he is the wished for "new boyfriend" who appears, surprise, surprise, shirtless! Oh yeah. No surprise that is my favorite commercial.


True Blood may not have a script I enjoy, but I can't complain about some of their overall casting choices. Another 6'5 hunk is Alcide, played by Pittsburgh native Joe Manganiello.

He's of course been shirtless in that Louisiana heat, but fans of How I Met Your Mother will remember his shirtless scenes in NYC. His character, Brad, was only in five or six episodes, but made the biggest impression on me when he surrendered the shirt off his back to his friend Marshall on his wedding day and then ran around the wedding with nothing on under his jacket. I'm starting to think that's how I'd like my groom to dress:D

There are other shows that understand shirtless is better. Dmitry on So You Think You Can Dance showed that a little chest never hurt anyone. And the producer's of Dancing With The Stars, unlike his counterparts on the football field, had no problems not covering Ochocinco.



Another friend just reminded me of how much Shonda Rimes must subscribe to my theory, as well, because the Grey's Anatomy cast is always featuring at least one of the physicians without their scrubs or lab coat. These days 6'1 former teacher Jessie Williams, aka Dr. Jackson Avery, has been doing the topless taunt more often than not. Wasn't McSteamy's first episode one in which he walked out the shower in just a towel?
 Ms. Rimes, I think we could be friends.



Finally, the producers that really understand and put into action the "Bare is Better" mantra is Smallville. Whether it's Clark Kent (Tom Welling), Oliver Queen (Justin Hartley), or Aquaman (Alan Ritchson), when they are not in street clothes, often times they are missing half their apparel altogether. In addition, another bonus is they often show members of this terrific trio wet, sometimes just standing topless in the rain.





It goes without saying that a period piece like Spartacus has a lot of bronzed beefcake...which is another great reason to give the Starz series a look. However, the History Channel also gives you some strong sternums to eyeball, so don't sleep on them either.

All in all what I'm basically saying, and the overall message I want to convey here, is the same thing I used to yell at my TV during Legend of the Seeker. Come on, "Take Your Shirt Off!!!"

Here, here!  Thanks for the post, Erica!!  So, what do you guys think?  Is there enough shirtlessness on tv or is more needed?  And more importantly, are there any shirtless shows out there that we're missing?  Let us know!!

As always, thanks for stopping by!