Friday, February 27, 2015

Dark Secrets: Edge of Evil by Shea Berkley (Dark Secrets #2) 
Publication Date: March 3rd 2015
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance

What if nightmares, best kept in the dark, refuse to stay hidden?

Dr. Maya Kelbeck believes no matter how unusual her patients’ delusions, she can help. When billionaire Alden Caldwell seeks her counsel to escape a controlling relationship, she’s intrigued by his unusual diagnosis, lycanthropy—her patient actually believes he is over 400 years old and a werewolf.

Alden Caldwell’s life is not his own and hasn’t been since the middle ages, not since he was transformed into a werewolf. The once noble knight now finds himself no more than a slave to a female vampire who is without morals, without conscious, without a soul.

Maya promises Alden she can help him, and at first it looks like she can, until the supernatural world in which he lives wants him back. Can Alden convince Maya his delusions are real in time to save her, or has he just sentenced a woman who cares for him despite his past transgressions to a fate worse than death?

Purchase Book 1:

Shea Berkley started out writing nonfiction (not so fun) and quickly moved into fiction (totally fun), and knew she'd found her calling. (Her family was thrilled she'd found friends to play with even if they weren't technically real.) She's still pleasantly surprised people are willing to pay to read her stories. Besides writing, her many diversions include kickboxing, reading awesome books and hanging out with her loud and rambunctious family. With five kids (all girls), her biggest job is to make sure the little darlings don't harass the neighbors and then play dumb when the cops come knocking on her door.

Friday, February 20, 2015

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Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common.

But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

I was so excited to find a YA fictional novel that was set in El Paso that I didn't even bother much with the synopsis beforehand - and I'm glad I read it, too, as this is such a beautiful story! As the synopsis describes, this is a novel about the growing friendship between two teenage boys who have always felt like outcasts.

One of the main themes of the novel is the heritage struggle - both Aristotle and Dante come from Mexican-American families, and grew up on the border, but neither feel that they truly fit in with their cultures. Dante doesn't speak Spanish, and doesn't consider himself to be a "real Mexican." He feels alienated from both his family and his culture - part of which is because he has light skin, and the majority of his extended family doesn't speak English. But Aristotle is dark-skinned, speaks Spanish, and still feels the same alienation towards his family and his culture that Dante feels.

Personally, I felt that I could really relate to Dante, because I, too, am a Hispanic El Pasoan who doesn't speak Spanish. It may not seem like a big deal, but growing up on the border I have often felt alienated because of the language barrier, especially since I, too, have family on my mother's side that I can't communicate with unless my mother acts as a translator. 

I especially enjoyed reading about the camaraderie between Aristotle and Dante, however. It was great to see two "outcasts" with totally different personalities (Aristotle was more quiet and reserved, while Dante could charm the hell out of complete strangers) gain so much understanding of each other. I don't want to give any spoilers, but this novel is categorized as a coming-of-age LGBT novel, so I feel I can at least say that it was also very heartwarming to read about their growing relationship, in addition to their growing friendship, without really giving anything away.

I haven't read anything that was set in my hometown before, and it was a nice surprise that the first book I came across with an El Paso setting ended being so touching. This was truly a beautifully written novel and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!

Monday, February 09, 2015

2nd Annual Love For Books Read-A-Thon

Monday, February 09, 2015 with 5 comments

So the 2nd annual Love for Books Read-a-thon starts today, and I thought I'd sign up and give it a go. Granted, I've recently started reading Outlander for a challenge I'm a part of (HERE), so my real goal is just to finish it as it's pretty long (but very good!). Still, I'm hoping that reading it for this read-a-thon will help me focus on it more, and get through it with enough time in the month to read some of my library books, before starting on book two, Dragonfly In Amber, in March.

I am reading Outlander on my Kindle, since it was free on Amazon once upon a time. At the start of this challenge, I was already 35% through it. My goal is just to finish the book, as it's pretty long.

I pre-ordered a hardcover edition of The Ruby Circle on Amazon immediately after I finished the series last year. I'd like to finish Outlander before starting this one, but I shall make no promises. Also, I haven't yet decided if I'm going to re-read the series before starting this one, since I read them at the end of last year & might not really need the re-fresher, but I haven't decided. This book is acting as my back-up goal, since I'm not even sure if I'll finish Outlander by the time this event ends. I'm crossing my fingers, though!

2/09 Monday
Currently Reading: Outltander by Diana Gabaldon
Percentage Read: 45% (only 10% progress, as I was 35% through it at the start of the event)
Memorable Scene: Spoiler, highlight to read: When Jamie beat his Claire for disobeying him. This is a great story, but guys, that is NOT okay!!! *End*

2/10 Tuesday
Currently Reading: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Percentage Read: 47%  (too much work today left me with hardly any time to read)
Memorable Scene: Bedbugs!

2/11 Wednesday
Currently Reading: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Percentage Read: 49% (see why I only chose Outlander as my initial goal?! Only 2% today!)
Memorable Scene: The sex, of course. What else?

2/12 Thursday
Currently Reading: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Percentage Read: 49% - No reading today.
Memorable Scene: None - I didn't read today.

2/13 Friday 
Currently Reading: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead - I put Outlander on hold, as I really don't want to wait much longer to start reading The Ruby Circle. (This is a re-read.)
Percentage Read: 15% - I was too sleepy!
Memorable Scene: The alchemist meeting at the beginning of the novel is really what stuck with me - they really seem like a cult.

2/14 Saturday
Currently Reading: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Percentage Read: 70%
Memorable Scene: Sydney's developing friendship Adrian. Basically any Sydney/Adrian scene is most memorable for me. I love them all!!!

2/15 Sunday
Currently Reading: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead (This is also a re-read.)
Percentage Read: 65% 
Memorable Scene: Adrian's reaction to Sydney's dress at the Halloween dance.

If any of you are participating, please let me know in the comments so I can cheer you on!


Monday, February 02, 2015

I am so thrilled to help Melissa Landers with her release week launch party for INVADED! See a note from Melissa below and make sure to enter the giveaway!

Hey, fiction lovers. I’m Melissa Landers, author of the Alienated series (YA sci-fi from Disney-Hyperion), and today I’m bouncing with excitement because THE SEQUEL IS FINALLY HERE!

It’s been a year since we left Aelyx and Cara onboard the intergalactic transport, and INVADED begins with an emotional goodbye as they part ways—Aelyx returning to Earth to salvage the alliance, and Cara continuing to L’eihr to serve out her part of the student exchange. While they’re apart, our star-crossed lovers will face assassination attempts, betrayal, crippling self-doubt, and a sadistic alien Phys Ed class. (Because there’s no escaping PE, even in another galaxy.) When Aelyx and Cara finally reunite…well, let’s just say it’s combustive. ;-)

What do reviewers think? I’m glad you asked!

“Readers will love the seamless blend of suspense, humor, and romance set against an interstellar landscape. Dual narratives and a tightly plotted mystery keep the suspense running high, and the chemistry between Aelyx and Cara smolders.” –Booklist

“Excellent character development and integration between modern reality and science fiction. Teens will be rooting for the galactic couple while enjoying the action and suspense that runs through the two volumes.” –School Library Journal

“The protagonists' forced separation gives greater depth to their romance. Each learns to turn a critical eye upon the flaws of their native societies while confronting genuine obstacles to a future together. These complications only underscore the growing sense of menace that propels the narrative to an action-packed climax.” –Kirkus

I hope you’ll make tracks to the nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of INVADED! If you’re snowed in, here are some easy links to bring the sequel right to you:

Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information, or just to say hello, visit

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble and an autographed swag pack, complete with mini posters of BOTH books! This giveaway is open internationally, and due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

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