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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Whatcha Got Wednesday!



Another edition of "Whatcha Got Wednesday!"
Won:
"Anytime Darlin'" by Julia Rachel Barrett - Go to her page and subscribe to her newsletter - she occasionally has contests.

Received for review:
"Dakota Child" by Linda Ford - from Harlequin.

Bought:
"Pregnesia" by Carla Cassidy - after reading the review posted some time ago at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, I couldn't help but get a copy. While the review may have been mostly negative, I had to get this book for entertainment value alone. And to reward Ms Cassidy for being such a good sport about the Smart Bitches' review. =)

That's it for me this week. I didn't get any books for Christmas, but I didn't really ask for any either. I did get a Barnes and Noble $25 dollar gift card, so I'll be using that as soon as possible. Possible on Jill Myles' new release - I love her Succubi series!

~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow

Monday, December 27, 2010

Review of "The Replacement" by Brenna Yovanoff

The Replacement I have been meaning to read this for a long, long time. Luckily, my awesome library got a copy in not too long ago. Disclaimer: This book is on loan from my local library. I am not being compensated for this review in any way, I'm just doing it for fun.

Type: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Changelings, Replacements, Creepy Towns, Even Creepier People, Cover Goodness

Why this book: Cover Goodness. I'd probably read anything with such an awesome cover. And when I read the description, well... I wanted to read it even more.

About the book: Mackie has never been normal. He always tried to keep his head down, go with the flow, not be noticed, but everyone knows. But Mackie isn't the only abnormal thing about the town, Gentry has its secrets and has for years. But he's starting to feel worse, and things are going very wrong, very quickly. Out with his friends, he is approached by a stranger who tells him Mackie is dying, and to get what he needs to live, Mackie must help the strange creatures that live underneath Gentry, no matter what they make him do.

So according to my Amazon Affiliate program, there is going to be a paperback copy of "The Replacement" coming out in January of 2011. But the cover looks different. So people! If you want this book, definitely go out and buy the hardcover! Seriously, this would be one of those covers I'd nominate for best of the year, if I had those sorts of polls. Maybe next year I will. But on to the book.

"The Replacement" was a good read, and this is the type of book I would eagerly suggest to both young adult boys and girls. Yes, the main character is male, but this is the type of novel anyone could enjoy, which is nice to see. With the influx of young adult paranormal romances, sometimes it's hard to find something that will work for everyone.

"The Replacement" definitely had a good story. And I loved that the creatures, the villains and the not-always-villainous, were never really named. Oh, old names they went by were mentioned, but they never named themselves, and the town of Gentry was so keen on ignoring their existence, that the town never named them either. That just made these creatures that much more scary. Without a name, you can't come up with any obvious weaknesses, and it makes them seem that much more "other." From descriptions in the book of habits and looks, the reader can guess what they could be, but it's just not the same as actually knowing.

This is definitely a coming of age story, and a good one at that. Mackie learns so much about himself, not just what he is, but what he can do. And I think teenagers can relate to this. Everyone can feel like an outsider sometimes, like they're not good enough or strong enough. But Mackie faces his fears, faces his weaknesses, and kicks some serious butt. And with a host of fascinating secondary characters (can I have Roswell?), "The Replacement" is definitely not one to miss.

This was a good, quick read. Spooky, chilly, and thrilling, perfect for curling up on the couch at night, under a warm blanket. I'm going to give "The Replacement" by Brenna Yovanoff a FOUR out of FIVE (4/5). A good read, a quick and fascinating story, and characters I would love to actually meet and chat up (if only) make this a must read for Young Adult fans, or just fans of good paranormal fiction. So be sure to check out "The Replacement."

Have you read this book? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! Want to read it? Pick up you own copy at Amazon.com via the link at the left!

Until next time - Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review of 'iDrakula" by Becca Black

iDrakula I still haven't heard from the prize pack winner ALYSSA - so if she happens to see this, please answer my "Winner Announcement!" email within the next day so I can get your giftcard and books to you. If not, I'm afraid I will have to choose a new winner =(

Disclaimer: This book was borrowed from the reviewer's local library. Review is posted just because. Reviewer received no monetary (or otherwise) incentive in exchange for a good review.

Type: Young Adult Fiction, Vampires, Text-speak, Email, Spooky castles, Men are Jerks, Team Abe!, New version of a classics, Cool companion.

Why this book?: Part of it was cover love - I thought this was quite a cool cover. Second, I was curious how someone could take a classic (like Dracula), and change it into something more modern. Take the general story, change ages, places, times, and technology, and see what they end up with.

About this book: iDrakula is a modern retelling of the classic Dracula by Bram Stoker. Young Jonathan Harker is an intern, sent by his office to take care of finalizing the Count's estate and his move to America. Mina begins to worry when she hasn't heard from Jonathan for days, and takes it upon herself to go get him and bring him home. But she didn't realize that would just bring all of the darkness home, and soon her life gets scary a little too fast.

As I said, I was very interested by the idea behind this book (and the cover, which I really like!). With how important texting and emailing is in our everyday lives, it's interesting to see how that technology would effect a story. And add in that the main characters are now younger, well, I just had to read it.

I quite enjoyed the little references a Dracula fan would catch. Such as booking a flighting through Tepes Travel, AskVlad, a case file #666-666. It was fun going through the book and trying to find all these little things worked in, and Bekka Black deserves a shout out for adding them. And speaking of cool, from what I hear, if you have an iPhone or iPad, there is an app you can get to go along with this book. I don't know what it does, but if anyone has it or has messed around with it, let me know!

I did notice that occasionally Jonathan did not sound like a teenager. He's supposed to be a little older than Mina, maybe nineteen or twenty, but I doubt he would mention the Count having skin like "tracing paper crumpled into a ball then smoothed back out." If a book is going to be moved entirely to being told via texting and email, and the characters moved to a slightly younger generation, then it would be better to go all out, and find some teenager-y lingo to describe the Count instead of words that sound too old for Jonathan.

And on one last note, I definitely enjoyed Mina's kick butt heroine style. She knows what she has to do, is willing to fight for it, and deals extremely well with tough situations. "iDrakula" is short, and the medium (text, email) makes the book even shorter, but you still get a sense that Mina is a dang good heroine.

I'm going to give "iDrakula" a THREE out of FIVE (3/5). I enjoyed it, it was short enough for a quick, jaunty read, and it was a definitely interesting retelling. But it didn't scream "WOW" at me, and frankly, I'm not sure I would recommend this to too young an audience. While it is definitely Young Adult fiction, there is some mention of sex, cheating/affairs, and STDs, so make sure the reader is mature enough to handle that sort of thing (even if the references are few and far between, and a little flippant sometimes). But as I said, this is a fun book to read, so if you have the opportunity to get your hands on it, do it - especially if you're a Dracula fan.

Have you read iDrakula by Bekka Black or played with the iDrakula application? Share your thoughts in the comments! Want to pick up a copy of your own? Click the link on the left to order it from Amazon.com!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winner Winner (Chicken Dinner)!!!

It's Monday, which means it's time to announce the winner of my prize pack! That's right, someone is about to have a very good day, receiving two ebooks and an Amazon.com giftcard!

So, without further ado.....


And the winner is..........................


Plugging everything into Random.org now....



Okay, finally, I'll stop teasing. The winner is
******************* ALYSSA ***********************

Congratulations Alyssa!! I'll be emailing you shortly. And as soon as you verify your email, I'll send your contact info to Jessica McHugh and Toni LoTempio so they can get you the ebooks. And your giftcard will be sent as soon as I get home from work ;)

To everyone else - Thank you so much for entering and making this contest a success! And I'm sorry I couldn't give everyone something - hopefully I will be able to continue having such great giveaways to give you guys better odds, lol.

Happy Monday, everyone! And of course, Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Last Day To Enter! Prize back (Books + Amazon GC)

Just a reminder! Today is the last day to enter my contest for TWO ebooks ("The Sky: The World" by Jessica McHugh and "No Rest for the Wicca" by Toni LoTempio) and an Amazon.com Giftcard!

Both of those were books I really enjoyed this year, and I'm trying to spread the great bookiness to my readers! Two awesome books, plus a $10 giftcard so you can buy yourself a little something - or maybe put it towards Holiday gifts.

So go HERE to read the rules and enter (contest link also in the right sidebar under Upcoming Excitements). All entries must be in by 11:59pm EST TONIGHT! No late entries will be accepted, and you MUST leave your email for your entry to count!

Good luck everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Contest over at HP Mallory's blog!

Happy Friday everyone! If you're here, you might as well go enter my contest for a prize pack - two books ("The Sky: The World" by Jessica McHugh, and "No Rest for the Wicca" by Toni LoTempio), and an Amazon.com giftcard! Head on over here to enter!

And now onto HP Mallory's contest. A couple months ago, HP held an awesome contest to become a character in her next Jolie Wilkin's book - well she's back at it, this time the lucky winner gets to be in her next Dulcie book!

The perks if you win:
~A written part in the next Dulcie book (integral to the plot, good character, kick-butt (not wimpy!))

~The ability to read the next Dulcie book before it's released to the public
~Added to the Acknowledgments page of the next Dulcie book
~Interviewed on my blog
~A signed (with dedication) paperback copy of the next Dulcie book
~A signed paperback copy of To Kill A Warlock

There are plenty of bonus entry possibilities (you can earn a grand total of 13 entries!), so make sure you run over and check it out! Rules are listed at the bottom of the contest post, be sure to read them before entering! I'll be adding up my entries and commenting as soon as I get home from work. ;)
Here's the link, good luck and Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Whatcha Got Wednesday? Library Edition!

First up, be sure to enter my contest for a prize back (two books and an Amazon.com giftcard!). Go to this post to enter.

 
So, I have talked about how great libraries are - I just want to show you how awesome my library is. All the books shown to the side are library books. I know they're small and hard to see, but there are some new titles in there. Starting from the left, we have some Lorelei James, "iDrakula," "Personal Demons," "Graceling," "The Replacement," "When Harry Met Molly," "Smalltown USA," "Blood Ties" (By Lori Armstrong, Lorelei James' alter ego), "Rampant," "Perfect Fifths," and several more. Sorry for the glare in the picture - but aren't all those books pretty?! And they're all organized by due date, as well. ;)





And here we have my books received for this week.
Bought: "Storm Born" by Richelle Mead - it just sounded so good...

For Review: "License to Ensorcell" (ARC) by Katharine Kerr - this is for review on Romance Reviews Today.
"Loving Two Vampires" by Cassandra Pierce, also for RRT, ebook
"The Mind Readers" by Lori Brighton, ebook

Free reads:
"Up on the Housetop" by Suzanne Rock, ebook
"Angel's Master" by Sandra Sookoo, ebook

So that's it for me this week, what about you? Get anything you're excited about?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

GIVEAWAY: Prize Pack - Books and an Amazon giftcard!

*********************** CONTEST CLOSED ******************************

Well everyone, it's December, which means it's time for the Holidays - or at least cold weather! And to me, that means curling up under a blanket with a good book. So that's my gift to you! One lucky winner will receive TWO books and $10 dollar Amazon.com gift card!

That's right, one lucky duck will get a copy of two books I enjoyed this year - "The Sky: The World" by Jessica McHugh, and "No Rest for the Wicca" by Toni LoTempio. I know I enjoyed curling up and reading them, and I'm sure you will too! And if that wasn't good enough for you, I'm including an Amazon.com gift card as well! While you're on Amazon buying gifts for your loved ones for the holidays, get a little something for yourself as well - you deserve it. =)

Want to know more about the books you can win! Well sure!
"No Rest for the Wicca" by Toni LoTempio features Paranormal Investigator Morgan Hawkes. Morgan uses her gifts and her expertise to track down a seriel killer that has been using voodoo mythology in each murder. She teams up with Inheritor Vampire Cole St. John, making this one steamy and suspenseful case.

I reviewed this book over a month ago and really enjoyed it. Fans of Anita Blake will be all over "No Rest for the Wicca." You can find my review here, and make sure to check out the author's Smashwords page as well!  Personally, I'm hoping for a sequel - Morgan Hawkes is a fascinating character. And I can't quite get enough of Cole St. John.




The second book in the prize pack is "The Sky: The World" by Jessica McHugh. Another book I reviewed and just couldn't put down. "The Sky: The World" follows pilot Jack Racine as he goes on an important mission, a mission given to him by the great Dr. Azaz himself. But is Dr. Azaz really the great man everyone things he is? Can Jack complete this mission, even if it means learning something so disastrous?

I reviewed "The Sky: The World" not so long ago, and loved loved loved it. Make sure to check out my review here, and then go browse the author's page. There's plenty to see, and I highly recommend browsing her shop ( McHugh Merch ) and looking at all the great Tshirt slogans.



And lastly - the final part of the prize pack is the Amazon.com gift card, delivered electronicly (Assuming I do it correctly!) so that you can do your shopping right away. So that said, what you would buy with the giftcard? Is there a book you've been wanting? Would you put it towards a larger purchase? Maybe just browse the deals until the perfect item jumps out at you?  Let me know in the comments!

OFFICIAL RULES:
~ Leave a comment, and include your email (No email, no entry!)
~ Contest closes Sunday, December 19th at 11:59pm EST.
~ Winner will be announced Monday December 20th, and will be contacted via email.
~ Are you a follower? State that in your comment (ex "+1 Follower") and you earn an EXTRA ENTRY!
~ There will only be one winner.

Thank you! And I hope you all have a great week. Check back Monday to see who won. Good luck, everyone!
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Monday, December 13, 2010

WINNERS Announced!

I plan to email the winners as well, of course, but everyone likes to see their name on a winner's post, right? =)

So I have two giveaways that ended this weekend, first up.. The winner of the $40 CSN gift card giveaway is....

******************** KATRINA ******************************
Congratulations Katrina! I'll be emailing you the giftcard code later today!

The second giveaway that ended is for an ebook by author HP Mallory - winner's choice! The winner is..

****************** THERESA @ THE CREATIVE WELL *****************

Congratulations Theresa! I will be emailing you later today as well. And as soon as I confirm which book you want ("Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble" book 1, or "Toil and Trouble" book 2), I will email HP Mallory with your choice!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

CONTEST reminder!!!

Remember everyone, my contest for a $40 giftcard to CSN ends TONIGHT (Saturday 12/11) at 11:59pm. No late entries accepted, and the winner will be announced Monday morning! Go HERE to enter, and make sure to read the rules.

Also! My contest for a book by the awesome author HP Mallory ends TOMORROW (Sunday 12/12) night at 11:59pm. Go enter! Winner has their choice between "Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble," book one in her Jolie Wilkins series, or "Toil and Trouble" book two in the series, just released! Winner will be announced Monday. Go HERE to enter!

Thanks so much, and good luck on the contests!
Have a great weekend!
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Friday, December 10, 2010

18+ Tag Along, and Follow Friday!

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!! I, Amanda (aka Morning Glow), enjoy reading a mix of things, but the most featured genres on here are Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy, and Young Adult fiction (of the paranormal romance or just plain romance-y variety). I'm also a reviewer for Romance Reviews Today, and while I can't post those reviews here, I do occasionally like to talk about the books if I love them enough. So please feel free to stick around, and make sure to enter my current contests! I'm giving away a $40 CSN Gift Card, and author HP Mallory stopped by for an interview and a giveaway! Make sure to read the rules before entering =)




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I have to work today, so I will be late checking out all the great blogs participating - but at least it's something to look forward to! So once more, welcome everyone, and feel free to stick around! I love to chat about books I read, and of course, I love recommendations for more!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Interview with author HP Mallory - And Giveaway!

Good morning everyone! Today I have a special treat - an interview with author HP Mallory! And because she's such an awesome person, she has included a giveaway of one of her books as well, so look for the rules and details after the interview. So without further ado, please help me in welcoming HP Mallory!
Tell us a little about yourself: I'm 33 and I live in California. I'm married with a 19 month old that keeps me on my toes! I wake up every morning at 5am to get my writing time in!

Favorite part about being a writer?: My readers. There is nothing like getting emails from people who just love my books. It's a wonderful feeling.

Do you have any quirks or things you MUST do while writing (example: play music, sit in a certain place, etc)?: No, not really. I write at my desk in my office from 5 - 6:30am every day. It's really the only time I have to myself. Sometimes I will listen to music if I want to be in a certain mood for a scene.

Do you get writer's block or have trouble starting? How do you deal with that?: No, not really. I'm a big planner. I outline everything and I plan everything out in my head prior to writing it so I always know what to write and what will happen.

Out of everything you've ever read - what's your favorite book? Or maybe a favorite author?: Well, I was an English major so that's a tough question. One of my favorite authors is Jane Austen. And favorite book? I don't know if I can answer that, LOL. I recently read "The Art of Racing in the Rain" and that book was amazing. So I'll say that is a current favorite.

Which book was your favorite to write? Were any of them particularly difficult?: Um, my favorite to write so far was Toil and Trouble. A big part of that is due to the fact that I had two people, Mercedes and Christine, who were actually real and I was writing them into characters in my book (they had won contest to become characters in my book). That was so much fun! And the Jolie series is definitely more difficult to write than the Dulcie books because there seems to be more I have to remember, LOL.

You chose to independantly publish your books, has it been a good experience?: It has been an amazing adventure so far. I've absolutely exceeded my own hopes and goals and then some. It was the best decision I've made and I thank my lucky stars every day!

How do you feel about self promotion? Just part of the job, or something you enjoy?: I do enjoy it and really now I don't do much marketing at all. When I started, I spent a lot of time on the forums for Kindle. Then I started emailing book bloggers and reviewers and asked if they'd like to read my books and little by little, my books started taking off. I enjoyed every second of it.

Do you plan to continue your Jolie Wilkins series? How about spin-off books for certain characters?: Yes, there will be 1-2 more books in the Jolie series. And I think everyone wants me to write a Sinjin spin-off, LOL.

If you had to pick between Rand and Sinjin, which one?: Ooooh, this is a tough one. I love Rand. I love his sense of honor, and his stubborness and how good he is. But I do have to admit that I love Sinjin - for exactly the opposite reasons. I adore his sense of humor and his sexiness. Can I say both? Lol.

Do you like to hear from readers? If so, how can they contact you?: I love love love hearing from readers. It's one of the highlights of my day. People can reach me at hpmalloryauthor@yahoo.com

And finally, tell us about your newest release!: My newest release is the next book in the Jolie Wilkins series, Toil and Trouble. It picks up where Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble left off and really gets into the characters of Rand and Sinjin. I have to admit, it's my favorite so far!
~~~~~~~~
Again- thank you for dropping by HP! It was fun learning more about you, and I know I can't wait to read "Toil and Trouble" and see what Jolie gets up to next.
Visit HP's website at http://www.hpmallory.com/
Read her blog: http://www.urbanfantasyauthor.blogspot.com/
And contact her: hpmalloryauthor@yahoo.com

And now for the GIVEAWAY! HP has offered up one copy of either "Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble" OR "Toil and Trouble." That way, if you haven't read the first book, you can catch up on the series!
RULES:
~ Leave a comment to enter stating which book you'd choose, "Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble" OR "Toil and Trouble."
~ Please leave your email in the comments so I can notify you if you win. No email, no entry!
~ Contest closes at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday 12/12/10. Winner will be announced Monday 12/13
~ No late entries will be accepted.
~ Good luck!

~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Whatcha Got Wednesday?


Aha! Another installment of Whatcha Got Wednesday. This week wasn't a big one, but I'm very excited about everything I got, and can't wait to read them... as soon as I work through my pile of other review books/library books. =)

First up is "Hungry For You" by Lynsay Sands. I'm a big fan of this author, in fact, I think I've loved everything I'd read by her. Her historicals are witty and romantic, and her Immortal series is equally so, with a little action and suspense thrown in. I already added it to my Lynsay Sands bookshelf (which is full, eek!) and I'm eyeing it with NEED. You could say I'm quite "hungry" to read this one. Hahaha, what a terrible pun...

Next up!! "Toil and Trouble" by HP Mallory. I was lucky enough to read and review the first book in her Jolie Wilkins series "Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble" and I can't wait to read this one too! I'm willing to risk keeping some library books overdue if it means I get to read "Toil and Trouble" sooner. Want to get a copy of your own? Here's a link to HP's Smashwords page, where you can purchase all of her books.

Stay tuned, another contest coming your way in the next day or so. ;)
Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

GIVEAWAY! CSN giftcard!

************* THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! *****************************

Good morning everyone!! I hope you're all excited to enter my newest giveaway - I'm giving away a $40 giftcard to CSN stores!

Not familiar with CSN? I'm in LOVE with this company - in fact, I have two CSN products sitting nearby, two gorgeous bookcases housing some of my all-time favorite authors and series. But CSN doesn't just sell bookcases, ohhh no! They also sell lamps, luggage sets, laptop cases/covers, desks, kitchen appliances, and so much more! There are plenty of stores to choose from, and plenty of items you didn't know you needed until you start browsing. ;)  Maybe you have something in mind to get, maybe you'll make up your mind at the last minute, maybe you just want to use the giftcard for some last minute holiday gift shopping - whatever it is, CSN has a store for it, and you'll be pleased with the excellent service!

Now that that's out of the way, on to the contest itself!

HOW TO ENTER and the RULES:
~ Leave a comment telling me if you would use the gift card on yourself, or to purchase a gift for someone else - Don't worry, I won't judge ;)
~ You MUST leave your email, so I can notify you if you win (No email, no entry)
~ Extra point for being/becoming a follower (please state that in your comment, example: +1 Follower)
~ Contest ends at 11:59 PM Saturday 12/11/10, any late entries will not be counted!
~ Winner will be announced Monday morning, 12/13/10
~ US only (sorry!)
~ $40 Gift card is one-time use only, and does not include shipping (don't worry, plenty of items have free shipping!)
~ One gift card, one winner.
~ I am not being compensated for this giveaway.

That's it! Good luck! I wish I could give you all something, but alas, there can only be one winner. However, stay tuned for another contest coming within the next few days! ;) Two possible prizes!
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Yayness - Ebook reader edition!

 What is that you may be asking? Why it's the fancy shmancy cover I bought for my brand new SONY TOUCH EBOOK READER!! Yay!! I mentioned last week that I purchased it, and I promised pictures and details as soon as I received it. The cover was shipped via a different company, so of course that came first, arriving on Friday. And then Saturday was the big day - the day the ebook reader itself arrived! I would have spent all Saturday playing with it, but I spent some time with my mother making cookies for the Holidays - a total of seven different kinds (two kinds of chocolate chip, peanut butter, Andies Candies mint chocolate chip, slice and bake Christmas cookies, 7 Cup Cookies, and No Bake cookies). But Saturday night I spent some time installing software, uploading books, and just playing around. But it's so different from my old ebook reader (an eBookwise), I think it'll take some time to get used to... But without further ado - more pictures!
 Here it is with the case opened, and the reading light (part of the case) on and shining bright. The camera made it seem a little more glare-y than it actually is, my apologies. But doesn't it look so pretty?! And delicate! Much smaller than my old one, it'll take some getting used to!
And here we are with the reader on and a book cover pulled up. First off - yummy cover. Second, yay! Look how clear! That's with the book at the smallest setting, to read the text, I actually had to change the font to medium. That book was formatted the best out of all of them, unfortunately it looks like I'll have to go through and mess with most of my others. They were all set to the formats supported by my old reader, so I should have figured things would need to be different, lol.

So far, I have only played around with it - getting things started, making sure text looks okay. I plan to give an update and maybe even a review when I finally start reading books on here! And my library (also my work) has ebooks you can borrow, I'm excited to finally be able to try that out on an ebook reader instead of just my computer - I'll make sure to tell you all about that as well!

Have a great week! And stay tuned - I have some great content (and CONTESTS) coming soon! Plenty chances to win some great prizes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Review of "Eden's Hell, I: The First" by Dawné Dominique

I was actually given this book and its sequal "Dark Diary, II: The First," so make sure to keep an eye for that review! Want to learn more about this author? Click here to visit her webpage!

Disclaimer: This book and its sequel were given to me by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Type: Romance, Erotic Romance, Series, Vampires, First vampires, Religion, age-long disputes

Why this book?: As mentioned, I was given this book and its sequel in exchange for a review. But I agreed to it because I did like the ideas behind the books, and I was eager to read them. I just wish I could have gotten to it sooner, but with vacation, and the holidays, everything got pushed back some. But now that I'm done with the first one, I'm not sure how long I can wait to read the second. =)

About the book: While strolling on his private beach, vampire Addison finds a young girl running towards him, puncture wounds in her neck. Addison knows this girl, Eva, has been contracted as his neighbor Satrina's, also a vampire, new pet. But he knows there is something different about Eva, and he finds himself drawn to her, beginning to feel emotions he hasn't felt in centuries. But Satrina isn't about to let Eva go without a fight. Eva is shocked to find that vampires truly exist, and that she is now the target of one of the oldest vampires in creation. And speaking of creation, Addison has quite the past, one that Eva isn't sure she's ready for.

While reading this book, I originally thought it was the characters that kept sucking me back in, but after finishing it, I've realized it's truly a package deal. The characters were great, and the religion/creation story part of it was another big draw. The story starts with Addison on his private beach, and I was instantly struck by how flowing and beautiful the descriptions were. Battle scenes were done well, and the sexual scenes were incredibly sensuous and, well, let's just say I got a little flushed from time to time. But this book is so much more than battle and sex scenes, in fact, that comprises only a few bits of the book. So if graphic tales turn you off, no fear, this is still a good book for any vampire-lover.

As I mentioned, the characters and their backstories were fascinating - Satrina and Addison especially. Satrina is deliciously evil, and I definitely respect a strong woman, even as a villain. Her interactions with her "pets" were what really did it for me, everything fit her character to a tee. Addison was equally interesting, emotionless and cold when compared with Satrina's burning evil. I will say it felt like Addison fell for Eva a bit too quickly, but when you live for centuries (or longer!) without much emotion and brightness in your life, I'm sure you'd know what love was, and pretty quickly. Eva did feel slightly wimpy and weepy to me (except at the very end - yay Girl Power!), but again - this can be explained. The way she finds out about vampires is by waking up with one attached to her neck, and in reality, she's not given long to come to terms with these ancient beings before everything goes to hell (literally?!), so it's no wonder she's not kicking butt.

The laws Satrina and Addison live by, or at least Addison does, are fascinating. I always love the idea of a sort of council ruling over vampires, and the way this one is set up and was created is interesting in and of itself. And the religious aspect! I wish I could go into more detail, but I'm afraid of spoilers, so I will just go so far as to say Lilith is the original vampire, and she actually seduces Adam into becoming one as well, after Eve leaves him after the fall of Eden. The backstory only grows from there, and the details are so interesting, I wish I could talk about more of it, but as I said, no spoilers. So instead you will all have to read it and come talk with me about it.

So finally, I'll leave you with my favorite quote from the book before we get to the rating. "He was her Lancelot and Dracula all rolled into one" (pg 157). And now, the rating- I'm giving "Eden's Hell, I: The First" by Dawné Dominique a FOUR POINT FIVE out of FIVE (4.5/5) stars. Satrina's evilness alone makes this a great book, but as I said, the descriptions and the great backstory really make his whole book wonderful in my opinion. It's a good read, and trust me, you'll be sucked into the world in no time. Make sure to keep an eye out for my review of the sequel "Dark Diary, II: The First."

You can find and buy this book and more by the author via her page at Purple Sword Productions LLC - Dawne Dominique !

And again, the link to her author page!

I hope you all have a good weekend, and of course - Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Whatcha Got Wednesday, and a couple DNFs

It's time for another installment of "Whatcha Got Wednesday!"

The only book I received this week is "Edge of Sight" by Roxanne St. Claire. I was lucky enough to win this one in a contest being offered by the author - So thank you Roxanne! It's been added to the TBR pile, and I can't wait to read it. :) Want your own copy? Voila! A link to Amazon.com on the left!

Now, as mentioned in the post title, I'm also going to talk about two DNFs (Did Not Finish)- unfortunately, they both occured on the same day. I started reading Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, and I was so disappointed. This book fully embodies the old saying "don't judge a book by its cover." Such a gorgeous cover image, and it felt like nothing happened in the book. In fact, It took until around page 400 for there to be any real action, and even more time for there to be a villain. Bethany seemed more like a petulant child than an angel, and Xavier, the boy she loves, had no character flaws - which made him seem so less human. Finally, I made the decision to put this book down, and not waste any more time on it. I had much better things to read!

So after setting "Halo" aside, I picked up another Young Adult Fiction book, also featuring angels, called Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith. I figured this one HAD to be better than "Halo." And while there was action in "Eternal"... indeed, from the fifth page or so, I couldn't get into Miranda's character, especially once she had her little mishap in the cemetary. And her relationship with her "master" just made me uncomfortable. So after forcing myself to read way more pages than I wanted incase it got better, I gave up once again.

What are your thoughts on DNF (Did Not Finish) books? At one point does a book become not worth your time?

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow~!~

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review of "Paranormalcy" by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy Finally I got my hands on a copy of this. And I'll say it, I rather like the cover thank you very much.

Disclaimer: This book has been borrowed by the reviewer (me!) from her local library system. No money or incentive was given in exchange for a positive review.

Type: Young Adult, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Faeries, Shifters, Government organizations, Elementals, Wanting to be Normal, Lockers

Why this book?: Obviously I love young adult fiction. I also love a good paranormal story. I kept seeing reviews of this book, and I know I wanted to read it.

About the book: Evie works for IPCA, bagging and tagging paranormal creatures. See, Evie can see past glamours; seeing the corpse beneath a vampire's smooth skin, or the wolf eyes beneath a werewolf's human face. But other than that, Evie is perfectly normal, or so she thought. After a particularly eventful day at the IPCA center, Evie discovers a strange creature wearing her boss' skin. This creature turns out to be a boy, near her age, named Lend. As the two begin to spend time together, Evie realizes her feelings for Lend have grown beyond friendship. But how can she even try to have a normal relationship when she is beginning to realize she is more paranormal than she thought...

So.. the cover, and every synopsis of this book I read, made the story seem a lot darker than it came across. Yes, there are some heavy moments, some dark and daunting trials Evie must deal with. But at the same time, there are just as many, probably more, times when all that darkness is brightened up by Evie's bouncy personality, and the absolutely adorable relationship that is growing between her and Lend. Instead of some dark, haunting tale, I would say "Paranormalcy" is more a tale of an abnormal girl wanting a normal life and relationships more than anything else. Reading about Evie's life in the Center was almost depressing, so you feel for her character - you want her to be able to get out and experience the real world.

I really enjoyed the world this story was set in. The creatures were fascinating, and the way the different government systems dealt with these creatures was equally so. And even better, there are private groups working within and even against these government organizations, trying to make life safer for not just humans, but the paranormals too - giving them a real life instead of practical forces slavery and obediance under IPCA. I especially enjoyed the role of the faeries not as some elegant, perfect being... but as the tricksters they are. They're not necessarily evil, not necessarily good.. just "other."

I did wish for a little more description during the action scenes. I think I wanted them to pack a little more punch - the real, normal life scenes had so much bop and vitality to them, I would have liked to see an equal yet opposite amount in regards to the big action sequences. And I can definitely say I prefered Lend's character more when he was a prisoner in the Center, as opposed to him in his regular life. In the Center, Lend seemed to know what he was doing. He was a strong, mysterious, interesting character, but he lost a little of that glamor when he and Evie left. However, in the end, I still enjoyed them both, and I look forward to seeing more of them in the next installment in this series - Supernaturally, which is supposed to come out fall of 2011. Can I wait that long? We'll see.

So, in conclusion, I'm going to give "Paranormalcy" by Kiersten White a FOUR out of FIVE (4/5). I had a friend coming over, and I risked not having enough time to clean because I wanted to continue reading. Despite this book not being what I originally expected it to be, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I highly suggest checking out her blog ( kierstenwrites.blogspot.com ), as she seems to be quite hilarious.. or maybe just overly caffeinated. This is definitely a book I'm planning on picking up - and oh look! There's such a good price on Amazon.com!

Have you read "Paranormalcy"? Share your thoughts in the comments! Want to read it? Find it at Amazon.com  via the link at the left.

Happy Reading! I'll be back tomorrow with a slightly wimpy version of "Whatcha Got Wednesday."
~!~ Amanda, aka Morning Glow ~!~

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Yayness - I bought a Sony Touch Ereader!

Good morning world! I'm so excited to share my news! On Black Friday (via online shopping, I'm too scared to brave the stores!) I bought an ebook reader!! After going through the different types, judging them against each other, finding what features I liked, didn't, or maybe just didn't need.. I decided on buying myself a Sony Touch ( Sony prs600). I ordered it Friday, and it already shipped! I'm so excited to get it, and start reading!

Yes, I have an ebook reader already (eBookwise), but while I think it's a good choice for anyone that wants a sturdy eReader for a cheap-ish price and doesn't read ebooks often.. I'm starting to get too many ebooks to review/too many ebooks in general (buying, contests, freebies, etc). So I decided to invest in something I know will be a little better - I even bought myself a nice thick cover too!

Stick around, as soon as I get my ereader in the mail, I plan to take some pictures, talk about it, maybe even do a review of it (one I read a few books to get the full experience). I hope you'll be interested in reading that - and maybe my thoughts will help someone decide what sort of ebook reader is best for them!

I hope you have a great week, and come back tomorrow for new reviews.
Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow~!~

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Whatcha Got Wednesday? (Holy cow edition)

Another installment of Whatcha Got Wednesday! And.. it is indeed a "Holy Cow!" edition? Mostly in thanks to one person... Anna from Anna's Book Blog!  I entered a contest on her blog, and won a box of books! TWENTY of them! A big huge giant thanks to Anna! And be sure to visit her blog - she has some great content, and awesome contests.

                                             
WON:
"Every Which Way But Dead" - Kim Harrison, "The Immortal Hunter" - Lynsay Sands, "Play Dirty" - Lorie O'Clare, "Desire Unchained" - Larissa Ione, "Sleeping With the Fishes" - Mary Janice Davidson, "What Happens in London" - Julia Quinn, "The Rogue Hunter" - Lynsay Sands, "The Selkie" - Melanie Jackson, "Seducing the Heiress" - Olivia Drake, "Shadow of Midnight" - Lara Adrian, "Passion Unleashed" - Larissa Ione, "The Renegade Hunter" - Lynsay Sands, "Vampires are Forever" - Lynsay Sands, "Then Things I Love About You" - Julia Quinn, "The Accidental Vampire" - Lynsay Sands, "Twice as Hot" - Gena Showalter, "Dark Slayer" - Christine Feehan, "Bite Me If You Can" - Lynsay Sands, "Taming the Highland Bride" - Lynsay Sands, and finally "A Bite to Remember" - Lynsay Sands.
      Good thing I love Lynsay Sands, hmm? Her Argeneau/Rogue Hunter series is one of my all time favorites, and her historicals are great - Strong men and witty women, my favorite!


BOUGHT:
"City of Glass" by Cassandra Clare - I wanted the whole trilogy before I started reading.

FOR REVIEW (For Romance Reviews Today):
"The Bards of Bone Plain" by Patricia McKillip
"Demon underground" by S.L. Wright
"Mercy Blade" by Faith Hunter
"Absolutely, Positively" by Heather Webber

Funny story about the Lucy Valentine books (by Heather Webber) - I have received all three of them to review, from different places. The first through Librarything.com, the second directly from the publisher, and now the third via Romance Reviews Today.

I can't wait to read these. Plus I have a huge tote bag of library books to get through - it's going to be fun!

So ends my last post of the week; I'm taking the rest of the week off for a little Thanksgiving break. To those that celebrate Thanksgiving - Happy Thanksgiving! To those that don't - Happy Almost Friday!

I'll be back Monday with new reviews, and there might be a contest in the future - I'm in the holiday gift-giving spirit ;)

Happy Reading everyone, and I'll see you next week!
~!~ Morning Glow aka Amanda ~!~

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review of "One Enchanted Evening" by Lynn Kurland

One Enchanted EveningHoly cow, I was told I'd be getting this book to review back in May.. I received it earlier this month (November).

Disclaimer: I was sent this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. No funny business here.

Type: Historical Romance, Time Travel Romance, Faeries, "Paranormal Oddities," Castles then and now, This entire family is cool, I hate Cinderella, Total Fashion Domination

Why this book: Ever since I read "Outlander" I've been a little obsessed with Time travel romance.. so when I saw this book as something to request to review, I was like "YES!" - I was told to expect a copy.. I had just about given up hope when it showed up out of the blue.

About the book: Persephone, aka Pippa, is on her way to England to begin her total Fashion World Domination plan. A wealthy Englishman is interested in helping her with her design business, and her sister Tess has set up a meeting for the two. But like always, Pippa's oldest sister Cindi comes in to ruin the day, trying to keep Pippa from reaching her dream with a series of "mishaps" - one of which is "accidentally" shoving Pippa... right through a gate in time, and back to the 1200s. Lucky for her, the owner of the ramshackle castle, Montgomery, is there to catch her as she falls. Filled with evil sisters, amusing banter, battles between Montgomery and the castle's former owners, and a love that literally spans the ages, "One Enchanted Evening" is not a book you want to miss!

This is my first book by Lynn Kurland. But if this book is anything to go by, I will be needing to read the rest of this series, featuring more of Montgomery's amazing family. I should mention there there are indeed other books, and for the most part, "One Enchanted Evening" seems to be able to stand alone. Near the end, when Montgomery meets more of his family in both time zones, things can definitely get a little confusing. In the beginning, I found this book to be a little dry, but once Pippa lands in England, it's one thrill ride after the next. And beware, it's addicting.

Pippa and Montgomery are amazing characters. Pippa is resiliant, bright, and willing to work hard for her family and for her dreams. She's an excellent seamstress, and she has worked and planned for years to finally get the chance that Stephen, the Englishman, is offering her. Unfortunately, things get a little sidetracked when she gets thrown back into the past. Even more unfortunately, Cindi falls back in time too. While Pippa is such a shining character, Cindi is the evil wench. Cindi is the character readers will love to hate, and eagerly want to throttle. You have to hand it to the author, she wrote an excellent evil character, even if said character can get on your nerves. Montgomery had moments of modern-ness to him, but that can be explained by the odd-ness of his family and their history (and future). Montgomery was by far my favorite - witty, wise, and brave. Despite the turmoil occuring in his own home, he put Pippa, and even Cindi's life above his own.

As mentioned, the ending can get a little confusing, once different relations start showing up - it's just too many people at once. But don't let that stop you, the ending is worth it. I hope to see this series continued, and Pippa's sisters, or at least the good ones - Peaches and Tess, get their own happily ever afters. I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of historical romance, and definitely time travel romance. I would probably recommend the whole series, despite not reading it - though now it's all added to my Wish list. Lynn Kurland knows how to weave a fantastic tale of adventure in both the past and present, and I cannot wait to see more from her.

I'm going to give "One Enchanted Evening" by Lynn Kurland a FOUR POINT FIVE out of FIVE (4.5/5). Loved it, can't wait to read more, and I want a Montgomery of my very own.. actually, if I could get a time gate of my own, that would be great. And a castle. This would be a perfect 5 out of 5 except for the confusion at the end, which would probably be avoided by reading the rest of the series first. But as I said, this can, and does pretty well, stand alone.

Have you read this or any other book by Lynn Kurland? Share your thoughts in the comments! Want to pick up a copy? Find it at Amazon.com via the link on the left.

Up next: Whatcha Got Wednesday, then a break for the Thanksgiving Holidays!
Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow ~!~

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review of "How to Say Goodbye in Robot" by Natalie Standiford

How To Say Goodbye In Robot Another example of my YA addiction. I blame Forever Young Adult.

Disclaimer: This book is on loan from my local library. I am review this book for my own pleasure (sanity, maybe?).

Type: Young Adult Fiction, Awesome loner dude, Robot Girl, Ghost Boy, Twins, Parental troubles, Radio shows.

Why this book: Ugh, seriously, blame FYA. I'm still working my way through their "Top YA couples of all time" but they mentioned this book, and I couldn't pass it up. So I went searching and found it via the library (yay libraries!).

About the book: Beatrice Szabo and her family just moved to Baltimore so her father could teach at Johns Hopkins. This means another new school, this time a private school filled with kids who have known each other since kindergarten. But Beatrice, aka Robot Girl, manages to make friends all the time, yet finds herself more and more drawn to the ultimate loner dude Jonah, aka Ghost Boy. Jonah hasn't been the same since his mother and twin brother died years ago, still feeling like a part of him is missing. Bea begins to hang almost exclusively with Jonah, and after an extremely important call from a care facility, the two learn Jonah's brother is still alive, and begin to search for him. But Jonah has an ultimate plan, will Beatrice be a part of it?

About halfway through this book, I paused and just thought about it for a second. By that point, we had already hit several major points, things I was sure had to be the major reveal of the book, so where could this story be going? It's the type of book where it just keeps going and I'm not sure where, but I like it so much I'm going to follow along, dangit. And man am I glad that I did. I think, if pressed, I would compare "How to Say Goodbye in Robot" by Standiford to "Sweethearts" by Sarah Zarr. They had a similar thing going for them - with the awesome (yet slightly creepy) loner dude. So if you like "Sweethearts," you'll love "How to Say Goodbye in Robot." Even if you didn't like "Sweethearts," you'll probably love this one.

No spoilers here, but I LOVED the ending. It felt so right. What Jonah did, how Bea reacted, it was perfect. But I still wanted something more. And lord love Natalie Standiford - she gave it to me. The last two chapters were exactly what I needed and wanted, and as I said - it felt right. And the characters felt so right, as well. Being a teenager is awkward enough, but Bea has moved several times, been thrown into new schools, of course she's going to be a little more awkward than most. And she's not your normal kid (being normal is soo overrated, in my opinion), but she's just so cool. What amuses her is just.. fascinating. She's funny, witty, morbid. And she finds a match in Jonah, who is so similar.

But this book isn't some sappy teenage love story. These two characters bond, deeper than either of them can explain, but it's not really love. They're not dating, they're just together - as friends or something even better than that. And I think that is part of what makes this book so great. It's hard to classify, it's just perfect. And to add to the awesomeness of this book, there is a Midnight Radio talk show, that Jonah gets Bea to listen to. And the occasional scripts we see from this show are great. Even better when we get to meet these people for a Holiday dinner.

So.. in conclusion, I'm giving "How to Say Goodbye in Robot" by Natalie Standiford a FOUR out of FIVE (4/5). Loved it, really. Such a good story with such great characters. And yes, there is heartbreak, there is drama, but still - Read it, people. You'll thank me for it in the end.

Have you read "How to Say Goodbye in Robot"? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! Want to read it? Get your copy at Amazon.com via the link on the left.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow ~!~

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why libraries are so important

This is a quick musings post, just to throw my "Thank you, Libraries!" feelings out there.

Yes, I work in a library, but I don't think that makes me biased.. too much. The position I am in now (Reference) is my third position in my library system, so I have the great advantage of working in several departments, and being able to see the library from different angles. I have to say, Reference is definitely my favorite. I love helping people research. I love helping people find new and awesome authors to love. And I certainly love finding new and awesome authors because the patrons are so excited about their new find they need to share it with someone.

Every week, my library sends out a newsletter (if you subscribe to it, anyways) that tells you what new materials are now in the system. Because of that newsletter, I have thirty some items on hold. THIRTY! But there are so many books that fellow bloggers mention as being the best, that I cannot help but put one of those in request if it's in the system. And then there's the statewide system my library is apart of. We don't have the book - you can get it from MORE - an Ohio library system where each library that is apart of it, lends materials to the others - if they can, that is. That opens a whole new set of opportunities for learning and good fiction.

And then, here's the part that a lot of people (even avid library goers) seem to forget. We have PROGRAMS! That's right. Libraries offer fun and fascinating programs for people of all ages. I've actually met several wonderful authors because the library system has brought them to chat - and I had an absolutely blast each time. All these programs are there to help you. And with the economy, pretty much every library system has had to cut back - but Libraries are still going, and still trying to bring you the great programs and materials that patrons want or need.

A few examples from my own library system - classes in Resume basics, classes in Microsoft Word, an English Conversation Group (for those who do not speak English as a first language), Basic Genealogy programs, even ebooks! Yes.. my library now lends ebooks. It's a great little tool I could spend hours searching, I just wish my ebook reader was compatible. Alas, no, so I read them on my computer. And there are fun programs too - for Halloween, the library brought an author who specializes in ghosthunting to talk about his experiences. Local poets have been asked to speak or read, and there are mini "cafe series" where local (and quiet) music is played by a small band in the background as people enjoy the library.

Ahem... so everyone... Go out and use your library!! Support your library system by browsing any "New Titles" feature, joining in some new programs, maybe even volunteer!

Happy Friday, folks! Have a great weekend, and as always - Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow ~!~

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review of "The Sky: The World" by Jessica McHugh

The Sky: The World Holy cow! This is one of those books that amazes you.. how so much could happen in so few pages.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the author/publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Type: Alternate History, Fiction, Egyptian Mythology, Redemption, Science Fiction

Why this book: The author contacted me about a review, and she said I could choose from any of her novels. I went with "The Sky: The World" because I liked the idea of an alternate history type of historical fiction. And it's slightly steam-punky, which is a new obsession of mine.

From the back of the book: " WHO IS DOCTOR AZAZ? It is the 19th century, and Azazian England is at its pinnacle. Aeroplanes rules the sky, and crystalline technology has transformed life itself. But for stunt pilot Jack Racine, life is little more than an endless tailspin into liquor, laudanum and loose women. But all that is about to change. For Jack Racine is about to have an audience with the architect of the age, the mysterious Doctor Azaz...  "

This book was so complex, so awesome, that I was unable to do a proper summary, so I had to rely on the back of the book. As I mentioned, there is just so much to this book that it's amazing how much action the author jampacked into 159 pages. The beginning of the book is heavy with details, and there was a time or two I forgot just which brother was the main character, but once past the detail-heavy intro, it was like a switch flipped. Suddenly I couldn't put the book down - I just had to know what was going to happen to Jack and his crew, what Jack was getting himself into, who was Dr. Azaz, really?

The world in "The Sky: The World" is complex and breathtaking. There are a whole different set of rules to Azazian England, such as "triaps" - babies born from physical love, as opposed to being conceived in the fertilization pool - are not allowed to be in the airforce, and are looked down upon. Doctor Azaz and his creations have bettered the world in so many ways, and yet they have also turned so many natural processes into something disgusting and frowned upon.

And the characters - so incredibly deep and fascinating. Jack has so many vices, so many regrets, so much that would make someone want to pity him. But at the same time he's such a strong person, proud, that the reader can't help but love him, and root for him as he takes on a task he doesn't quite believe he's right for. But he's so honored, how can he say no? Every so often, readers come accross a character  they would want to study, want to delve a little deeper into his psyche - I think Jack Racine is the perfect example of this.

I'm so glad I got the chance to read "The Sky: The World" by Jessica McHugh. This is definitely an author to watch for any fans of good fiction. I'm looking forward to some of the books she has on the "Upcoming" section of her page, and I totally want to buy practically everything from the store. Especially the "Ask me about my novel (I'm going to tell you anyway)" shirt. Christmas presents for my writing group, perhaps?? Check out the author's website (with links to her merch store, upcoming works, blog, etc) HERE.

I'm going to rate "The Sky: The World" a FIVE out of FIVE (5/5). It sucked me in, I loved it, and it was quite the wild ride. As mentioned, this is definitely an author to watch, people! Check out her backlist, and make sure to mark your calendars for her upcoming releases. I hope you all get a chance to read "The Sky: The World" (or anything/everything else by Jessica McHugh)!

Have you read this book, or another by Jessica McHugh? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! Want to check it out? Find the book at Amazon.com via the link at the left!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Whatcha Got Wednesday?

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments)Alright, this is a sad week. Only one book, so I decided not to do an actual picture. This week, my only book purchase was "City of Ashes" by Cassandra Clare. I own, but still haven't read, the first one, but my friend said once you finish the first one you NEED the second one... and I couldn't pass up the sale price of FOUR DOLLARS!

But that's it for me this week, now back to reading!

So what did you get this week? Anything come in (or that you will get soon) that you want to talk about? Share your thoughts in the comments!

~!~ Morning Glow

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review of "The Year of Living Scandalously" by Julia London

The Year of Living Scandalously (Secrets of Hadley Green 1) "The Year of Living Scandalously" is Book 1 in the "Secrets of Hadley Green" series - look for Lily and Tobin's story coming soon (not sure if there's a date yet).

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by me, the reviewer. I am reviewing it because I wanted to, not in exchange for anything.

Type: Historical Romance, Mistaken Identities, Awesome Names Like Declan, Haunting Pasts, Going to Jail (Or Not?)

Why this book: I heard some good things about it, and thought I'd maybe get it if I saw it around. Then the author posted on FB about five things Declan would never say, then five things Kiera would never say. And I was so amused that I just had to get it.
About the book: Declan O'Connor just bought himself a fine horse and was about to pay up when he was summoned to see the Countess of Ashwood, the horse's previous owner. Assuming the summons was for a quick trist, Declan was shocked to see not the new Countess, but Kiera Hannigan, his neighbor from back home, masquerading as the new royalty. Kiera didn't mean to impersonate her cousin, but the two look so similar, she was quickly mistaken for Lily. There were matters that required immediate attention, and Kiera had to act in her cousin's best interest. But as this farce gets more daunting and difficult, Kiera begs to coerce Declan into helping her maintain Ashwood for her cousin. As much as Declan hates the idea of deceiving people, and his bad past with Kiera tells him he should leave, he just can't make himself go.

After reading the Prologue, I thought this was going to be a different story, or turn out differently. And while the events of the prologue do pop up as a secondary plot later in the book, it focuses more on characters that will be featured in (hopefully) the next book by this author. I enjoyed this book, but I'm definitely, totally looking forward to Lily's story.

Some of this book seemed a little too far fetched. I firmly believe in artistic license, especially with historical romance, but it was hard for me to believe Kiera could get away with not only the mistaken identity, but some of her little plots as well. And Declan and Kiera's past just seemed off. It was there, Declan seemed haunted by it, but at the same time, it didn't feel real enough for me to understand why it bothered them so much. The death in their past came up in what felt like random moments - I wasn't sure it always jived in that part of the story.

I thought the ending was alright, but a bit of a let down. After all the angsting over what will happen to Kiera since she impersonated her cousin, after the reaction of the people she had ruled over while pretending to be the countess, the rest of it just sort of fell flat. Maybe Kiera and Declan will have to deal with those repurcussions in Lily and Tobin's book? As much as I wanted the characters to have a happy ending, it just felt a little too easy when it happened.

But one thing I did like - Declan. Declan, first off, has quite the awesome name. Secondly, he's the type of hero that bargains for kisses. Let's be honest, most of Historical Romance readers go for this type of hero - the type that wants to stay away, but just keeps getting sucked back in, and falling for the heroine even though he's fighting hard not to. Despite the issue of his and Kiera's past (the unrealness of their shared traumatic moment), Declan was the real one in all of this - he made rational and believable decisions, and he fought hard against Kiera's impersonation of her cousin.

All in all, if you're a fan of Historical Romance, this book is probably a good read. I enjoyed it enough while I was reading it to keep going, because I wanted to see how it would end. And despite my mediocre feelings on this particular book, I will definitely be picking up the next one - Lily and Tobin's story. Now those two definitely have a past I can get into, and even the glimpses we have of the two in "The Year of Living Scandalously" have depth and the basic "realness" to them.  So I'm giving "The Year of Living Scandalously" by Julia London a THREE out of FIVE (3/5).

Have you read it? Share your thoughts in the comments. Want to read it, buy it from Amazon.com via the link on the left. =)

Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow ~!~

Friday, November 12, 2010

Follow Friday time!

Happy Friday everyone! It doesn't feel like a Friday to me, since I'm working the next four days in a row, but help me make it more Friday-y by joining in on Follow Friday.




Welcome! For anyone new to my blog, my name is Morning Glow (aka Amanda), and I've been blogging for a year and a half now. I started this blog so I would have somewhere to talk about the books I've read, since once I finish a good book, I want to tell everyone about it. I read a little bit of everything, but mostly Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance. However, I was raised on Science Fiction and Fantasy, so expect some of those, and I like to throw in the occasional Mystery just to confuse people.

So again, welcome! And have a great weekend! =)
Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review of "In the Company of Vampires" by Katie MacAlister

In the Company of Vampires: A Dark Ones Novel OMG IT'S FINALLY HERE! The book I have been waiting years for! THANK YOU, KATIE for finally get Ben and Fran's story out there.

Disclaimer: This book was purchased for me by my aunt, because she is awesome. I was not given this book, nor anything else, in exchange for a review. I am an Amazon Affiliate, which means... please buy via my link?

Type: Paranormal Romance, Dark Ones, Reunion, Vikings run amok
, Weasel Gold, Regaining a soul (or not), A were that knows nothing about relationships

Why this book?: DUH, it's BEN and FRAN! I've been waiting for this since finishing book two of the Goth Faire series!

About the book: Francesca Ghetti's best friend was just kidnapped. Fortunately, Fran managed to find her, but after a frantic phone call or four, she notices her mother has also gone missing. So Fran decides to return to Europe to hopefully find her mother and maybe see her exboyfriend Ben - oops, I mean just to find her mother. But more and more things are going missing, and life with Ben is getting interesting, so maybe she won't be running away again after all... Toss in some secret relatives, a gaggle of amazingly hilarious Vikings, a romance to sigh over, and you have the start of an AMAZING book.

This is it, the book I have been waiting for FOREVER, or at least it feels like it. When I started reading Katie MacAlister, I read *everything* by her, including her teen fiction series, the Goth Faire books, under the name Katie Maxwell. I inhaled them, and I still pick them up and re-read them from time to time. But they ended far too soon, after only two books. I resigned myself to never hearing more, until Katie announced Ben and Fran would be the hero and heroine of the next Dark Ones book. I followed all the status updates giving hints about the books, I eagerly read the blog posts, I entered all the contests hoping to get an advanced copy.. but alas, no. So instead, on the release day, November 2nd, I went to SIX stores to find my copy.. and ended up only getting it at 9:45 PM that night. My Mom ran out with me (it was a 30 plus minute drive there), and my aunt was kind enough to give me a gift card to buy it with. So there you have it, my not-so-epic tale of anticipation for "In the Company of Vampires." Maybe now I should get to the review.

I laughed out loud in the car, earning weird looks from my family. I snorted and threw my hands up during frustrating moments, earning weird looks from people in other cars on the interstate. And when it was over, I felt.. empty still. Katie MacAlister has recently mentioned that while Ben and Fran will feature in other Dark Ones books, they will not be the main characters again, at least it's not likely. And while Ben and Fran's story is mostly told, there are so many questions left unanswered, it was hard not to feel a little let down at the end of the book. In the first few Dark Ones books, things were mostly wrapped up by the end of each book, but we've started getting more and more questions in the past several books in the series - and now "In the Company of Vampires" added a dozen or so more.

I'm not sure readers that are not familiar with the original Goth Faire books would truly appreciate all of the jokes, and most importantly - Ben and Fran's relationship. And lucky for those readers, the two Goth Faire books have been released as an omnibus with a swankified new cover! That's right, Katie MacAlister released "Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend," so any interested reader could get caught up. Even without reading these books, however, I think ItCoV can stand on it's own as a hilarious story - the Vikings will literally make you laugh out loud. But I really do recommend reading "Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend" as well as the previous Dark One novels, not just for the backstory.. but because they are quite awesome. But anyways, I thought the book was handled well - Ben and Fran had been apart for so long (or barely seeing each other), that they had to re-learn who the other is, which means any reader new to the Ben and Fran books can re-learn right along with them... Or just learn, as they would not really be re-learning but.. Well, you know what I mean.

So I'm giving "In the Company of Vampires" by Katie MacAlister a FIVE out of FIVE (5/5). Any book that can make me laugh that hard and squeak in public deserves the highest rating possible. I'd probably give it a six if that wasn't fangirl-y overkill. If you need a laugh, and love a good reunion story with some paranormal friction tossed in, be sure to pick up "In the Company of Vampires".. or really any of Katie Mac's books.

Have you read this book? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! Want to read it? Pick up your copy at Amazon.com by clicking the link to the left.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow ~!~

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Whatcha Got Wednesday?

Yay! Another installment of "Whatcha Got Wednesday!" One of these books I got before my trip.. the rest were waiting for my upon my return (which was an extra special treat).



Received as a gift:
"In the Company of Vampires" by Katie MacAlister - I went to SIX stores the day this was released trying to find it, with no luck. So my Mom called a few stores, found one that had it and had them set it aside for me. And then my aunt gave me a gift card to buy it with. My family can be the sweetest. =)

Won:
"Captured" by Julia Rachel Barrett - she was running a contest via her newsletter, can't wait to read it!
"Hot Wheels and High Heels" by Jane Graves
"The Raven Prince" by Elizabeth Hoyt
"A Hint of Wicked" by Jennifer Haymore - These three were part of a romance collection giveaway.

So that was my week - what about you guys? Get anything you want to share or are excited about? Or maybe you just want to brag? Comment away!

Check back tomorrow for a new review, and Happy reading!!
~!~ Morning Glow ~!~

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review of "Trial By Desire" by Courtney Milan

Trial by Desire (Hqn) I'm back from vacation! Back, and with a host of reviews to share. So let's get right down to it!

Disclaimer: I won this book in a contest. I was not given this book in exchange for a review, positive or negative. But I am an Amazon Affiliate.

Type: Historical romance, Strong women, Tortured men, Trust, Misunderstandings, Reunion

Why this book?: When I first started seeing reviews of this book, I desperately wanted to read it. It just sounded so good! I love reunion stories - where couples were together in the past, but something pulls them apart, and they reunite down the road. Lucky me, I won this book in a contest, and the author signed it for me.

About the book: Lady Kate Carhart has been alone for the past three years. But Kate refused to pine her life away, waiting for her husband to return from China. Instead, she came up with something that kept her more than busy - saving women from their abusive husbands. Up until now they were all women Kate knew only by aquaintence, but this last case was her only friend Louisa. In fact, it is after securing Louisa away in a small cottage that Kate happens gets in the middle of a terrible accident, a horse goes wild after being startled and Kate is almost trampled. She's saved by a kind gentleman who gets her out of harms way and frees the horse from the buggy, and it's only later that Kate finds out the man is none other than her wayward husband. Ned expected things to be different when he came home- he thought he could pick up where he left off, just slightly more in control, but Kate still leaves him feeling powerless. And after a walk down to a cottage that should be abandoned yet now hides Lady Louisa, Ned knows there is way more to his wife than he and everyone else thought. So Ned comes up with a plan to seduce his own wife, learn her secrets, and hopefully earn the right to her heart.

I really enjoyed this book, both of these characters are strong and real - if these two fictional beings were real people I would love to be friends with them. Ned has a great sense of humor, witty little comebacks and such that had me giggling every few pages. And Kate has had to withstand so much in her time alone, and while she has her own set of failings and weaknesses, she is a driven woman who will risk herself to help others. And the villain of this story - Harcroft, is so deliciously evil. He's the type of smarmy, demented man that any reader will love to hate, and the ending is all the more sweet because he's so dark and awful. The characters were what really made the story for me, and while the plot is almost as good, the characters were what really stood out to me as a reader.

And speaking of plot, I knew I would probably like it since I'm such a fan of reunion stories, but this one surpassed by expectations because of the intensity of what these two great characters have to go through to get their happy ending. There are many obstacles in the pair's way, Harcroft and Lady Louisa, the couple's past, and even Ned's mental health, and it was a delight to be caught up in Ned and Kate's story. This is one of those books you just can't put down, because you need to know the characters are alright, that they get some sort of happy ending, that the bad guy doesn't win in the end.

This is the first book I have read by this author, but I know she has another book, "Proof By Seduction." I'll definitely be checking that one out as soon as possible. And be on the lookout for "Unveiled," coming out January of 2011. Trust me, this is definitely one of those authors to watch, especially if you're a lover of Historical romance.
I'm going to give "Trail by Desire" a FIVE out of FIVE (5/5). It has a good, complex plot, it had characters I fell in love with almost instantly, I'll recommend it to any lover of Historical romance (or romance in general!), I'm so going to pick up anything and everything else by this author, and it was just a danged good book. So be sure to pick up your own copy of "Trial By Desire" asap!

Have you read it? Share your thoughts in the comments! Want to read it? Pick a copy up at Amazon.com!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow