"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Monday, March 15, 2010

What are you reading (7)?

It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event now hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World Of Books. It's helpful way to take a look at what you have read and what you want to read!

It's been a really busy week for me and I'm slowly working my way out of my reading slump. I'm looking forward to a successful week of reading ahead. Work is slowing down because everyone is back from vacation tomorrow and with the time change, it'll stay lighter in the evenings so I won't feel like going to bed at eight! Also, I'm hoping to go back to the gym and start working out again. I was really lazy this winter and need to get back moving. That's another hour a day where I can go ahead and read and relax (well not really relax...larger people like myself tend to turn bright red and pant but heck that can be relaxing...right???)!

I finished three books this past week, all of which I quite enjoyed:
  1. Cooking Up Murder - Miranda Bliss
  2. The Darkest Night - Gena Showalter
  3. Aunt Dimity's Death - Nancy Atherton (review coming soon)

All three of these were the start to series, and one was really out of my comfort zone but I really enjoyed it. For next week, I'm going to keep four books from last week and add a few more. I know I won't get to all of these, but I like to have some variety to choose from. It keeps me from getting bored with my selections!

Here's what's up this week:

  1. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor - Stephanie Barron: pick from last week
  2. Night Pleasures - Sherrilyn Kenyon: pick from last week
  3. The Rest Falls Away - Colleen Gleason: pick from last week
  4. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong: pick from last week
  5. Murder on the Menu - Miranda Bliss: The second in the Cooking Class Mystery series. I'm anxious to see where Bliss takes Annie and Jim's relationship and what kind of trouble the girls get themselves into this time!
  6. The Darkest Kiss - Gena Showalter: Really excited about reading this! I can't wait to read Lucien's story. I should have read these books a long time ago!
  7. A Hunger Like No Other - Kresley Cole: I've heard good things about this series. Has anyone read this or the others in this series? I thought I'd give it a try since I enjoyed The Darkest Night.
  8. Aunt Dimity and the Duke - Nancy Atherton: This is such a cute series and I really enjoyed the first one. Aunt Dimity is so cute. However, I've heard this one is a bit different then the others in the series so I'll have to see.

So that's it for me this coming week. I'm buckling down and reading my entire lunch hour this week and making sure I get in a least an hour on the tread mill every day. That should put a dent in this TBR pile, shouldn't it?

Hope everyone has a happy reading week! Can't wait to see what you'll be reading this week!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review: The Darkest Night

Title: The Darkest Night
Author: Gena Showalter
Pages: 374
Rating: 3.5/5

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member--a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger that calms their torments...and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction--and a soul-shattering test of love....(www.bn.com)

This book was so different then anything I've read in a long time, and I really liked it. I'm looking forward to reading the next books in the series, and really look forward to seeing how Showalter tells the stories of the other Lords. They are such tortured souls!

The Lords of the Underworld have been cursed by the gods for opening Pandora's box and releasing the horrendous demons trapped inside. For centuries, they have existed, each living with a different demon trapped inside him including Violence, Wrath, Pain, and Disease. However, Maddox, the keeper of Violence has cursed for all eternity for killing Pandora. Every night at midnight he is stabbed six times in the stomach and spends the rest of the night in the depths of hell being burned alive. Man, does that make for one tortured "hero."

Ashlyn, our heroine, was born with the rare talent of being able to hear every conversation that took place in a specific location, no matter how long ago it occured. I thought Ashlyn was a weak character and one of the reason's I didn't give the book higher than a 3.5. For some reason I found her to be a bit whiny and wishy washy (nice description huh?). She just didn't grab ahold of me, and a part of me didn't really care what happened to her.

Despite my slight dislike for Ashlyn, I really enjoyed the story that this book had to tell. It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, and I flew through the pages. I wanted to see what would happen to Maddox and how is story would be concluded. I really liked the ending and how in regard to the other Lords it was left open. I'll definitely be picking up book two soon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


It truly speaks for itself:

Blog Awards!

I have to say I am super excited about this post. In the past week I've received TWO blog awards!!! I just want to thank everyone for thinking of me and handing out these awards!

And here they are:

From Cathy at Minding the Middle, I received the One Lovely Blog Award.

Ta Da!

I'm passing the award on so here's the rules:

If you are in the list, please follow the rules:

1. Put this on your blog, whether as an entirely new post like I'm doing, or on your sidebar.

2. Choose 15 other newly discovered bloggers that you love, and award them with this.

3. Send them a message/comment to let them know.

Congrats to everyone :)

I also received The Prolific Blogger Award from T at Reading Schtuff.

I really like this graphic:

Here's the lowdown:

A Prolific Blogger is one who is intellectually productive… keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content.

1. Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers. Spread some love!

2. Each Prolific Blogger must link to the blog from which he/she has received the award.

3. Every Prolific Blogger must link back to This Post, which explains the origins and motivation for the award. Passing it on to:

And the Award goes to:

So congrats to all the winners and thanks again!!

Review: Cooking Up Murder

Title: Cooking Up Murder
Author: Miranda Bliss
Pages: 233
Rating: 4/5

Annie and Eve are life-long best friends who have absolutely nothing in common-except a lack of skill in the kitchen. So when they sign up for a cooking class at the local gourmet shop, they figure the only things at risk are a few innocent fruits and vegetables. But on the first night, Annie and Eve see their fellow student Beyla arguing with a man-a man who later turns up dead in the parking lot. Now the friends feel bound to uncover whatever secrets she's hiding, before someone else's goose-perhaps one of their own-gets cooked (amazon.com).

What a cute read!

I've never really jumped aboard the "cozy" mystery train before. I've bought a few here or there, but haven't really picked any up and given them a chance yet. However, I'm really glad I read Cooking Up Murder and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Annie Capshaw and Eve Decauter have been friends almost their entire lives. Annie is recovering from a horrible divorce and Eve feels like the best way to help is by signing them both up for cooking classes. The bad thing is, Eve is the worst chef in the history of chefs (literally...lol). However, their instructor Jim has lots of patience and he's absolutely delicious to look at so it makes the class that much better.

After their first night of class, Annie and Eve discover a body in the parking lot of the cooking school and from there the ride begins. And what a fun ride it was! I absolutely adored the character of Annie Capshaw and could relate to her in so many ways. And Eve was the perfect best friend. Her personality is so different from Annie's but together they made one heck of a detective team.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the girls' detective skills improve and where Bliss takes Annie's relationship with Jim. Currently there are five books in the series, the most recent published in December of 2009. All the books have a cooking them and come with lots of yummy recipes. I can't wait to try the recipe for "Eve's Baked Apples" that is in the back of Cooking Up Murder. I'll have to let everyone know how that turns out!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Eclipse Teaser Trailer!!

Summit Entertainment released the first "teaser" trailer for Eclipse which opens on June 30th 2010. I cannot wait!! Here's the trailer:

Hmmm, I know I'm all about Team Edward, but I have to say Jacob looks awfully nice there...

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I am super excited about my pick this week and cannot wait for this book to come out. I'm counting down the days on the calender!!

Rules of Attraction

Author: Simone Elkeles
Release Date: April 13, 2010

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

This is the sequel to Perfect Chemistry which I read last year and reviewed here. It was probably one of my absolute favorite reads in 2009, and I'm hoping the sequel is just as good. Plus to make things even better, the book trailer was released today.

Here's a peak:

Doesn't that look good? What are you waiting for today?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday Teaser (6)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

**Grab your current read
**Open to a random page
**Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
**BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
**Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

The top line had gone up in flames but I could read the block letters of the second line well enough. And what I read didn't exactly make me feel warm and fuzzy. "You are next." (59)

~Cooking Up Murder - Miranda Bliss

I'm really enjoying this book so far, and I can't wait to figure out the mystery of it. Plus there's some really yummy looking recipes in the back!!

Monday, March 8, 2010


I pulled the winners for my book giveaway and just wanted to give them a little shout out here on the blog.

I've sent you all an email asking for your mailing address. Once received I'll get your shipment of books out to you!!

And here's the winners!









Thanks so much for participating and enjoy your books!!

What are you reading (6)?

It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event now hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World Of Books. It's helpful way to take a look at what you have read and what you want to read!

I'm in a reading slump. Nothing, and I mean nothing has been holding my attention. After I finished Shutter Island, I tried finishing up Angel's Rest and I'm just not feeling it. Not that it isn't an awesome book...it is. It's just me. I think its too heavy of a read for me right now maybe? I'm not sure. So I took a break from reading this weekend and instead cleaned off my bookshelves. This was a huge undertaking, considering that I have five bookshelves and they are filled to the brim (double and triple stacked in some places...). However, I was able to sort through everything and get all my series together and found a lot of books that I forgot I had. So I'm going to switch up the genre's this next week and see if it makes a difference!

Here's what I finished this past week:
  1. Shutter Island: Dennis Lehane

Here's what I'd like to read this coming week:

  1. The Darkest Knight - Gena Showalter: Umm let's see...I really like the cover for this one. That's motivation enough for me :)
  2. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor - Stephanie Barron: The first in the Jane Austen mystery series. I've had this one for a long time and just haven't given it a try.
  3. Cooking Up Murder - Miranda Bliss: I think these look really funny and I can't cook at all so maybe I'll something?
  4. The Rest Falls Away - Colleen Gleason: This book has been sitting on my shelf since it originally came out, and it's been compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer so I'm really interested to read it.
  5. Night Pleasures - Sherrilyn Kenyon: The start of the Dark Hunter series. These books are supposed to be pretty good.
  6. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong: I don't think I've ever read a book about werewolves before so I'm interested to see if I enjoy this one or not.
  7. Aunt Dimity's Death - Nancy Atherton: This is a re-read for me, but it's been almost two years. I'd love to read the rest of the series, but definitely need a refresher!

I'd also like to finish Angel's Rest eventually this month. I just hope this fresh stack of books will stop the slump, because I'd love to read some of the books I listed last week!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review: Shutter Island

Title: Shutter Island
Author: Dennis Lehane
Pages: 368
Rating: 5/5

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple-murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems (Cover Blurb).


Not much of a review there, I know, but I am in such amazement of this book, I can hardly think of anything to say but wow.

I stayed up late to finish this because I couldn't stand to go one more night without knowing the truth behind Shutter Island. From the minute I started this book on Monday, it crawled under my skin, seeped into my brain, and stuck. It's all I could think about.

Shutter Island is the home of Ashecliffe Hospital - an institution for the criminally insane. Federal Marshall Teddy Daniels and his new partner Chuck Aules are sent to the island to investigate the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando. Solando is a war widow who killed her three children by drowning them in a lake. Daniels becomes convinced that her disappearance has to do with Andrew Laeddis, the man who killed Teddy's wife - Dolores.

From there, the story becomes a quick web of secrets tangled with the truth. Just what is going on at Shutter Island? Should it be stopped? Just who is Rachel Solandis? And finally, what is happening to Teddy Daniels?

Shutter Island was not really a genre that I would regulary read, but I am so glad I went "out of the box" and gave it a try. It was one of the best books I have read this year, and I cannot recommend it to enough people. I'm hoping to see the movie in the next week or two, and I can't wait to see how it compares to the book!

Here's a sneak at the trailer:

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I'm really really looking forward to my pick this week:

The Storm Chasers

Author: Jenna Blum
Release Date: May 27, 2010


As a teenager, Karena Jorge had always been the one to look out for her twin brother Charles, who suffers from bipolar disorder. But as Charles begins to refuse medication and his manic tendencies worsen, Karena finds herself caught between her loyalty to her brother and her fear for his life. Always obsessed with the weather-enraptured by its magical unpredictability that seemed to mirror his own impulses- Charles starts chasing storms, and his behavior grows increasingly erratic . . . until a terrifying storm chase with Karena ends with deadly consequences, tearing the twins apart and changing both of their lives forever.

Two decades later, Karena gets a call from a psychiatric ward in Wichita, Kansas, to come pick up her brother, whom she hasn't seen or spoken to for twenty years. She soon discovers that Charles has lied to the doctors, taken medication that could make him dangerously manic, and disappeared again. Having exhausted every resource to try and track him down, Karena realizes she has only one last chance of finding him: the storms. Wherever the tornadoes are, that's where he'll be. Karena joins a team of professional stormchasers-passionate adventurers who will transform her life and give her a chance at love and redemption- and embarks on an odyssey to find her brother before he reveals the violent secret from their past and does more damage to himself . . . or to someone else (amazon.com).

I read Blum's first novel, Those Who Save Us in 2008 when I first started blogging. I absolutely adored it and my review for it can be found here. I was so excited when I found this book the other day on Amazon, that I almost shouted out loud. I am really looking forward to reading this, and hope that is is as good as the author's first work!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday Teaser (5)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

**Grab your current read
**Open to a random page
**Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
**BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
**Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:

I decided to go ahead and get out since it looked like the whole town was standing outside but when I tried to, I noticed there weren't any door handles. Then I noticed there weren't any way to roll down the windows (131).

~Angel's Rest - Charles Davis

They got an electrified fence around a septic processing facility. They got a ward inside a fort. They got under a hundred patients in a facility that could hold three hundred (150).

~Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane

Monday, March 1, 2010

February in Review

Febraury was another great reading month for me. I again finished eight books putting me right on track with my goal of reading 100 books this year. I read some really great titles this month but my favorite had to be the first Percy Jackson and the Olympians novel - The Lightning Thief. I can't say enough good things about this book.

I was bogged down at the beginning of the month with a horrible case of strep throat and then pink eye, which seriously slowed down my blogging. I still managed to post 15 times this month, which isn't too bad for me. I'm getting into more of a routine with my blogging and really enjoying partcipating in the different memes found around the blogosphere.

On the baby front, we didn't do anything with the doctors this past month because I developed ovarian cysts. It was actually nice not to have to worry about the hormone injections, and I was much calmer to be around...lol. Once I start my cycle this month, I'll go back for another ultrasound and see if the cysts are gone and then be able to start trying again. So lots of baby dust to me :)

I'm looking forward to an exciting and productive March. Works been going well, and I've been really staying on top of keeping the house clean and organized. Hopefully this dreary Ohio weather will break and we'll see some sunshine in time for Easter. I can't wait for spring to start working in my flower beds and getting my house all ready for summer!!

What are you reading (5)?

It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event now hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World Of Books. It's helpful way to take a look at what you have read and what you want to read!

I'm sad to say that despite my good intentions, this was a rather slow reading week for me. I think I had one of those "my eyes are bigger than my stomach" moments and loaded up my plate a bit too much this past week. Plus I was largely distracted this week but I'll get to that later.

This week I finished up two books and I'm almost finished with a third:
  1. The Box Children - Sharon Wyse
  2. The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan

I've now read 16 books for the year, and I'm hoping to keep up this pace through March. I'm pretty sure this is where I ended up losing stream last year because the weather started getting nice, and I was spending more time outside. However, considering the fact that we still have about a foot of snow on the ground, I don't think that will be a problem this coming month...

I also went and saw Percy Jackson and the Olympians - The Lightning Thief in theaters this past week. You can see that review here.

This coming week I'm again setting the standards high and hoping to finish up at least 4 or 5 of these books:

  1. Angel's Rest - Charles Davis: This is a repeat from last week, and I'm halfway through this one already and it is really shaping up to be a fantastic read.
  2. Me and Emma - Elizabeth Flock: Repeat from last week
  3. The Lost Mother - Mary McGarry Morris: Repeat from last week
  4. The Weight of Silence - Heather Gudenkauf: Repeat from last week
  5. The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan: This is the third book in the Percy Jackson series and I am super excited to start this one. From the book description it sounds like it is going to be an awesome read. I can't say enough good things about these books!!
  6. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins: I'm pretty sure I'm the last person on earth that hasn't read this book. I've obviously heard really amazing things about it on over the blogging world, and the third book in the trilogy comes out 8/24/2010 so I'd like to be caught up by then.
  7. Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane: I will never actually read seven books this week, but I've been wanting to see this movie since I first saw previews six months ago. I have to read the book before I see the movie so I'd like to remember to read this in the upcoming weeks.

And now to explain my distraction this past week. About a month ago, my hubby was on the hunt for a new TV show to start watching. We have our favorites, that we watch every week, but we've seen every episode so re-runs and such don't really hold our attention. Plus, DH is the typical man and can't stand not be watch TV. I normally tune it out, except for the few shows I never miss. However, the new show he came up with can not be ignored. I present to you....


OMG. I cannot say enough good things about this show. It's creepy and addicting and has one of the best overall arching plotlines I have seen in a series since say...Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We only have four episodes left in season four and Netflix can't get them to the house fast enough. I love this show, and Sam and Dean, the main characters are not too bad to look at...here's a little preview. If you think it might be your thing, definitely check it out. It's so worth the time, but don't blame me if you miss out on reading time!!

Review: The Sea of Monsters

Title: The Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
Pages: 279
Rating: 4/5

After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson is finding his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson, a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any normal friends. But things don't stay quiet for long.

Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders that protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters. To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters, the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia. Only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new name: The Bermuda Triangle.

Together with his friends, Percy must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed. But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family, one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor or simply a cruel joke (goodreads.com).

I'm really enjoying this series by Rick Riordan, and I am so glad that I started them when I did. As each book ends, I have a mix of emotions - excited for the adventure had, and sadness that I'm one book closer to the end.

The Sea of Monsters starts off with a bang, and the adventure never really stops. Camp Half Blood has been poisoned, and it is again up to Percy to save his friends and the other demigods. However, during this adventure, Grover is in severe danger and Percy takes the chance of losing his best friend. Also, we find out that Percy has a half brother, a cyclops named Tyson, who is a pretty handy guy to have around. I really liked his character and hope to see him back in the remaining books in the series.

I didn't rate The Sea of Monsters quite as high as I did The Lightning Thief because I felt that the end of this book drug a bit. It seemed to me to take forever until we got to that jaw dropping, OMG you have to be kidding moment I was waiting for. However, that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the first one. I still enjoyed hanging out with Percy and his friends and tagging along on their adventures. I think this sluggishness found at the end of the book might just be the curse of the second book. I've read quite a few series, where I've felt the second book lacked the little extra bit of oomph that the first book had.

All in all, I'm quite please with this series and look forward to reading the next book. I'm curious to see where Riordan takes the new twist he provided on the last few pages of Sea of Monsters. I have a feeling its going to create quite a story!!

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