Friday, April 8, 2011

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's.. a REVIEW of "My Superhero Sister" by Toni LoTempio!

My Superhero Sister (Superhero Diaries)Why this book?: I'm a fan of Toni LoTempio, and she asked if I would be interested in reviewing her YA novel - Heck yes! Also, it counts for my Teen Reading Challenge at work!

Disclaimer: This book was given to me in exchange for a review.

Type: Young Adult, Superheroes (and Heroines!), Highschool can suck, Freaks and Geeks, BUGS, The uncool little sister, I'll take both Ed and Tad, thanks.

About the book: Holly Hamilton is a normal highschooler. That wouldn't be so bad if her Dad hadn't been a superhero, and now her sister is one too - Suprema. Talk about pressure, not only is her sister Miss Perfect, but she saves the city on a daily basis, how is a mortal younger sister supposed to deal? But when an evil supervillian steals Suprema's powers, it's up to normal Holly to save the day. But being super isn't as easy as she always thought...
My Review: "My Superhero Sister" is an incredibly cute young adult novel with some adult appeal. I used to love reading comic books, and I'll admit, I still love watching superhero movies. There's something about having powers that is just so.. cool. And if you read comics, as gritty as they can be sometimes, they also have moments of extreme cheesiness, or hookyness. This book has all of that hookyness that I've been missing. I think a lot of middle grade and teen readers will enjoy picking up "My Superhero Sister" because it is quick, easy, and amusing.

Some of this book was a little too predictable, and just when I thought I could guess what was going to happen next, a little curve ball was thrown into the playing field and I was surprised by what happened. Characters that I thought would turn out evil ended up being the good guys, and how Holly rises to the occasion at the end - I could have never seen that coming! With cute boys, family pressure, and school troubles, "My Superhero Sister" is an excellent, clean story for young adults.

Cover Loving: I love it! I think it's incredibly cute.

Recommendation: This was a fun read. Fans of quick, amusing young adult novels will enjoy "My Superhero Sister."

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE (4/5). Fun, quick, good read. Enjoyable for sure.

Have you read "My Superhero Sister" or another book by Toni LoTempio? Share your thoughts in the comments! Would you like to pick up a copy of this book? Get it from Amazon.com! Or by clicking here.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

"Cursed Mates" WINNERS!

It's Friday, which means it's time to announce the winners of "Cursed Mates" by Cara Marsi! So please help me congratulate the three lucky ducks...

And they are...

Dun dun dun...

CONGRATULATIONS:

Wanda B

Miranda from Sweet Vernal Zephyr

Stephanie R

YAY! Congrats guys! I've sent your contact info off to Cara, and she will get back to you with your books. Enjoy! It sounds like a great story.

Have a great weekend!
Happy Reading =)
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's Friday.. Friday.. Follow my book blog Friday..

Another Friday? Already?! YAY!

Welcome to all - new and old friends. My name is Amanda - I'm 23, I work in a library, and I review books.. whenever I manage to find the time. For the past couple weeks I've had a slightly wonky reading and reviewing schedule, but I have a good reason! I'm currently in a musical ("Urinetown.. The Musical!"), and we're right in the middle of rehearsals. It's going well, but rehearsals will be picking up soon, so I will have even less time.. but luckily I still have plenty of great giveaways, guest posts, and more going on to keep everyone busy!

Giveaways currently running:
Ends 4/14: Giveaway with author Becca Dale. Winner gets either "Untamable" or another book from her backlist. Go HERE to enter.
Ends 4/14: Giveaway with author Jill Noelle. Two winners, each will receive an ecopy of "Mine" by Jill! Go HERE to enter.
And make sure to check out Rachel Thompson's, author of "A Walk in the Snark," guest post!

And now for the hop-ty hops!


Do you judge a book by its cover?: I hate to say it.. but I do. A cover is what gets me interested enough to pick a book up. And I've missed out on great books because I was hesitant about the cover, I know that. But I also read terrible books because the cover was pretty... "Halo" for example. I've learned my lesson! Somewhat..

Book Blogger Hop

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Question: Make up your own question for this week! Hmm.. List a book series you will continue to read, no matter what happens.

I can't wait to visit everyone's blogs when I get home from work!
Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

GIVEAWAY: Two copies of "Mine" by Jill Noelle!

************************CONTEST CLOSED, THANK YOU!**********************
Good morning! Today I have another treat for you - Author Jill Noelle has offered up two copies of "Mine" for me to giveaway as part of her Virtual Blog Tour!

Let's learn a little about this book:
In a decadent empire of the far distant future, Gabriella is chosen to serve as a sexual companion for the king. However, Brie has no intentions of joining the Select Few. In fact, she has another mission, entirely...one that is destined to alter the future of the kingdom's poverty-stricken population.



Michel also serves the king. It's his job to train Brie to suit the king's sexual preferences. Trouble is, Michel wants Brie for his own.


Publisher's note: Although this book is set in the distant future, the setting and tone are more "historical" in nature. Mine is a re-release, previously published by Loose Id, LLC. A Night Owl Romance Reviewer Top Pick.Make sure to check out The Noble Romance Publishing website for information about the book and other great authors!

RULES and GUIDELINES:
~ Contest begins today 4/7 and Ends Thursday 4/14 at 11:59PM EST.~ Enter using the form below. Comments are nice but do no count as an entry.
~ Two winners will be chosen randomly, and announced Friday 4/15
~ One entry per person, all duplicates will be deleted.



Thanks so much to Jill for the giveaway! Be sure to follow Jill on the rest of her tour! See the dates here.
 



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Whatcha Got Wednesday #23

Another edition of Whatcha Got Wednesday! WGW is my own little weekly meme where I mention what I bought/received this week, whether it be for review or just for fun.



FOR REVIEW:
"Seduce Me In My Dreams" by Jacquelyn Frank
- I've heard some great things, I'm excited.

WON: Thanks to Steph @ Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust!
"Love At First Bite - A Vampire Lover's Cookbook"
- Not that I'm a great cook, but I'm can't wait to try some of these recipes.
"My Soul to Take" by Rachel Vincent - I've been wanting to start this series.
"The Time Machine" by HG Wells

BOUGHT:
"Eternal Rider" by Larissa Ione - Love this author, couldn't help but buy it when I saw such a great deal..
"Fallen Rogue" by Amy Rench - Only two bucks at Walmart. Thought it was worth a try!
"A Hunger Like No Other" Kresley Cole - I wanted to start this series, and it was only four dollars!

That's it for me this week. What about you guys, did you get anything you were excited about?
Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

GUESTPOST: Rachel Thompson, author of "A Walk In The Snark"

Please help me welcome Rachel, aka RachelintheOC to Novel Addiction! Today we are trying to push her book "A Walk In The Snark" up to the best sellers list! Now, raise your welcome signs and give a big, warm welcome to Rachel!

A Walk in the SnarkSometimes I think I'm too jaded. Then I think no, it's just the lighting. ~ Rachel Thompson, A Walk in the Snark.

People ask me all the time about my motivation for my book A Walk in the Snark, Sure, my husband is a really good guy and we’ve made it this far but come on -- there are lots of silly things he does that kinda drive me crazy. I wrote my first essay Men are from Seinfeld, Women are from Friends  about a year ago on my blog. The response was huge, overwhelming. Clearly I wasn’t the only chick out there whose husband suffered from an allergy to household paper products.


Why can men change the world but not a toilet paper roll?

I found that writing about Mancode issues really helped me understand the way men think. Not that it makes any sense – I am a chick after all. More like having the keys to a really loud, remote-controlled kingdom. For example, why do they clutch the TV remote as if all of mankind depended on it? My guy has literally torn the house apart in search of the remote (while I couldn’t care less. I’ll just read or write, play with the kids, organize my sock drawer). *whistles*

I felt as if I were in an episode of that old Leonard Nimoy program (on tonight’s episode of “In Search Of…” observe the male of the species find a little box without which he cannot function). And don’t get me started on the volume. Let’s just say my folks can hear what he’s watching…and they live 500 miles away.


I expanded on the Mancode into Chickspeak, cause I have many guys who tell me they really want to understand the way women think. In my book, I hand them a secret decoder ring while deconstructing Shoe Math, Chick Time, and what “I’m fine” really means and send them on their way.

(I include many essays from my blog in the book but I also included original material – in fact, about a fourth of the book is original because I wanted readers who paid for the book to know they were getting exclusive new writing.)

One fella says my Chickspeak essays have become like a bible for him and his fiancĂ©. I’m no therapist—if you want to learn how to make a dirty martini, I’m your girl—but I’m thrilled he’s found my writing helpful in figuring out their closet space issues. (Hint: give her as much space as she wants and don’t question her purchase of yet another pair of black shoes. Yes, they are different than the others. Yes, she does need them. #asif)

It’s this interplay, the interaction that fascinates me and why I keep writing about men and women. My husband is a good sport, as well as a constant feedback loop of research so it’s a win/win. And it’s not just stories from my own life--I love and am so grateful for my Twitter and blog followers so much because they share their funny stories with me every day and continue to inspire me.

I’m hard at work on my next book The Mancode: A Survivor’s Tale which I plan to release late summer. Meanwhile, I’m participating in a wonderful promotion by the Indie Book Collective (which I cofounded) called Bestseller For A Day between now and this Wednesday, April 6th where my book will be just 99 cents! Help me launch up the Amazon charts! Tell your friends, your mom, even your dog! Remember, , you don’t need a Kindle to read my (or ANY) eBook. Just a computer or a smartphone.

As our Bonus Buy (2 for the price of 1), you can also purchase a fabulous collection of short stories and poems by fab fellow author Kimberly Kinrade. Her book Bits of You & Pieces of Me is also just 99 cents BUT if you return to the site and fill out our fairly painless form, Kimberly will rebate the purchase price. #Woot! Also, you get five entries into my contest to win up to FIVE $10 Amazon Gift Cards!!

Thanks to Amanda and Novel Addiction  for this opportunity to connect with you. Please email me if you have any questions or comments at RachelintheOC@gmail.com or come visit my blog anytime RachelintheOC.com or Twitter or Facebook or Goodreads. I’m everywhere (except, ya know, the kitchen). I also teach writers ePublishing, social media and other cool stuff over at the Indie Book Collective so find me there as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you, Rachel, for dropping by! I can't wait to check out "A Walk in the Snark." Readers, make sure to get yourself a copy - it's been marked down in price for her Best Seller For A Day promotion.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Now I'm scared of Vein Star.. REVIEW: "Mind Games" by Carolyn Crane

Mind Games (The Disillusionists Trilogy: Book 1)Why this book?: I heard so many good things about it. I finally found another library system that owns it (mine doesn't! Big sad face), and I got it from there. YAY.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Type: Paranormal Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Psychic Powers, Trilogy, Book One, Must have Book Two NOW, Hypochondria

About the book: Justine is a hypochondriac, constantly living in fear of dying via the illness that killed her mother. All she wants is to be normal, and when a strange man named Packard promises to give her that, she thinks it's a load of bull. She gets one zing, and lives a month of complete normalcy.. how could she not go back to him? But it comes with a price, she has to become part of his team to disillusion criminals using her hypochondria. As much as she isn't sure about this group, about Packard, and about what they're doing, she can't help but love being around similar people, to feel like she belongs.

My Review: I really, really enjoyed this book. This is another story where I found the main character so incredibly geniune and real feeling. I would love to see more characters that aren't perfect, more characters with this sort of attitude. Justine has managed to deal with her hypochondria, even though that meant numerous trips to the ER and even more time spent in MRI machines. Her attacks, and how she feels afterwards felt spot on, and it was almost refreshing to find a character so real. Continuing on with the characters - I know it's hooky and cheesy, but I loved Packard's "masters and minions" talk. He talks like someone of a different age, or the evil villian in an animated movie. I so enjoyed the fact that Packard's nemesis is actually called The Nemesis.

Normally I hate the villian in any story because, well.. he's the bad guy. But I couldn't hate either of the possible villians in this story - because I wasn't sure who the real one was. There's something good about both of them. Oh, the crazy scary people Justine disillusions earlier in the book scared me something fierce, but our final two villians, the final showdown of "Mind Games" as it were, I'm so torn. But at the same time, I like it, because Justine is also torn and confused - and that creates further connection between the reader and the main character.

"Mind Games" was an incredibly original story - the whole idea of disillusionists, working together ot reform criminals. There are so many little things in this story that aren't a huge deal, but work together to make this book something special. I couldn't put it down, and I honestly cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel. I hope you all get a chance to read this!

Cover Loving: Excellent. I think it suits the book.

Recommendation: Recommended for everyone - specifically fans of urban fantasy. But this book was good enough that I'm more than okay about making everyone I know read it.

Final Rating: FIVE out of FIVE (5/5). Loved it. Couldn't put it down (and hated when I had to), and I eagerly await getting book two, which I might just buy instead of having to wait to get it from another library system via interlibrary loan.

Have you read "Mind Games" or the sequel by Carolyn Crane? What are your thoughts? Would you like to get your own copy? Get it from Amazon.com!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Monday, April 4, 2011

RAK: Random Acts of Kindness April Edition

Book Soulmates



It's another month of RAK! I started participating rather late last month, so I figured I'll get in this month in the beginning. RAK is a great way to share some love and kindness with others, and to get some love in return! Just write up a post with your wishlist and join the fun over at Book Soulmates!

My Wishlist!:
"Awakened" by Ednah Walters
"Master of None" by Sonya Bateman
"Fourth Comings" by Megan McCafferty
"A Hundred Words for Hate" by Thomas Sniegoski
"The Demon Trappers Daughter" - Jana Oliver

Yay! I'm excited to participate once again!
Happy Reading,
~!~ Amanda ~!~

GIVEAWAY! Win "Untamable" by Becca Dale!

***************************CONTEST CLOSED, THANK YOU!**********************
Welcome to part two of the Novel Addiction stop on Becca Dale's virtual blog tour! Becca has generously offered an ecopy of either her currently touring book "Untamable" (my review HERE) or the winner's choice of one of her backlist!

Untamable About the book: Eight years ago Lily Swanson left Havashaw County with a broken heart. Now circumstances have brought her back to the cowboy who still drives her crazy. Seeing him again stirs erotic memories, but the pain of his betrayal refuses to be soothed with a sexy smile.



Lily left him. That inescapable fact drives Thor Hanson to succeed more than any other. Her return to Havashaw triggers anger, lust and regret, but when she reveals the truth behind her leaving, he's determined to rein her in and show her that what they have is more than a memory.


Neither can deny their passion, as untamable as the broncs Thor trains. But will it be enough, and can Thor convince Lily she's right where she belongs?About the author: Born and raised in rural South Dakota, Becca Dale represents the girl next door personified. The open prairies and quiet, pine-covered hills of the Upper Midwest feed her creativity and keep her work grounded in reality while the stoic, can-do attitude and twisted sarcasm of her family and friends provide endless inspiration. A farmer’s daughter, an engineer’s wife, and a high school teacher, she brings a hint of the common woman to her writing. Although her characters, especially the paranormal ones, sometimes reflect the ordinary on steroids, there remains a sense of reality. As a multi-published author Becca strives to walk the line of romantic erotica—venturing into the wild while never forgetting that the main focus should always be love. Her work has received top reviews world wide, and she loves to hear from fans and critics alike.Helpful Linkies:
Amazon: Untamable
Author's website: Becca Dale
Contact Becca: Contact

RULES and GUIDELINES:
~ Contest begins to TODAY (4/4) and ENDS Thursday 4/14 at 11:59 PM.
~ Enter using the form below. Comments are nice, but do not count as an entry.
~ One winner will be chosen randomly and announced on the blog Friday 4/15.
~ One entry per person, and all duplicate entries will be deleted.



A big thanks to Becca for offering up a copy to giveaway!
Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Yeehaw! Review of "Untamable" by Becca Dale

UntamableWhy this book?: Reviewing this book as part of Becca Dale's Virtual Blog Tour. Stop by tomorrow for a giveaway!

Disclaimer: I received my copy of the book in exchange for review.

Type: Novella/Short Story, Erotic, Yummy cowboys, Reunion story, Romance, Contemporary

About the book: Lily is back from Chicago to visit her best friend Mara. They've planned to visit the old haunts, spend some time with Mara's parents. Just as long as they avoid Mara's brother, and Lily's former boyfriend, Thor. But Lily isn't even in town a day before they cross paths, and it's like a knife in the chest. Years ago, when Thor had his accident, he forced Lily out of his hospital room, out of the hospital, and out of his life. She took the hint and left, but even now, she still feels connected to him. And she's not the only one. Can Thor convince her to stay, or is that love just a distant memory?

My Review: Sometimes it's hard to review a novella, because there's so little of it - especially when I want more. I want more angst! I want more arguments that end up in stolen kisses! I want more Thor and Lily! But alas, there is no more - but "Untamable" definitely had a good run. A good reunion story with a happy (and steamy!) ending is something everyone can enjoy now and again, or in my case.. more now than again. For being only 73 pages, author Becca Dale packs a lot of punch into Thor and Lily's tale - the misunderstandings, the bullheadedness that comes when one has to face something they've been trying to avoid - it's all there in spades. And it was a treat finding out how Lily and Thor dealth with all that and more.

I wasn't a fan of Thor's nickname for Lily - "Peace Lily" - but I'm fairly positive that was because I didn't know it was an actual plant until about five minutes ago. Now that I know, I don't think it's so bad, cute even. But despite Thor's interesting nicknames, he was by far my favorite. I always do fall for the wounded hero - and Thor was that, literally and figuratively. He's the type of guy I would love to tease and get teased by in return, and I was happy with how his and Lily's story ended.


Cover Loving: I like it. I think it could be better if the cowboy was shirtless.. but I feel like everything is instantly better when you add a shirtless cowboy.

Recommendation: Fans of erotic short stories, especially ones featuring bullheaded cowboys, should check out "Untamable."

Final Rating: THREE POINT FIVE out of FIVE (3.5/5). Good, enjoyable novella. I liked the characters, and I there was a significant amount of development, especially considering how short the story was. Definitely a fast, fun read.

Have you read "Untamable" by Becca Dale? How about one of her other books? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! If you would like to pick up a copy of Untamable or another book by Becca, visit Amazon.com. Or come back tomorrow and enter my contest for a copy!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~