Sunday, December 26, 2010

Miranda Neville's The Dangerous Viscount

It has been forever since I’ve had time to write about anything, and really, when given the choice between writing and reading, when I’m out of school it’s going to come down to reading. Sorry peeps. In honor of my first day off in 12 days, I figured there was no time like the present to tell you about the book I finished Christmas Day...

I honestly cannot remember why I decided to read The Dangerous Viscount... seriously, it has the stereotypical romance cover I abhor (is that girl dead?), the title is almost as bad as some of those overly descriptive The-Notorious-Rake’s-Blind-Pregnant-Widow-Bride that haunt the romance genre (honestly, the man is not even a Viscount until page 79), and really, who wrote the back cover for this book? Did they bother reading the book first? These three features seriously hinder the appeal of this book from the outset.

The back cover glosses over the most overarching concept of the whole book - Sebastian’s sheer geekiness, and just says he has no interest in love or marriage. The virgin male is a rare character in romance, especially historicals, this is not something to skip over when trying to attract the reader’s interest. Honestly people. How hard is it to read a book and pick out the most unique features of that book and highlight those features in a couple sentences? The one on the author’s website, while similar to the one on the back cover, is way better and actually shorter, btw.  

Somehow, this book ended up waiting at my local library for me. This happens sometimes, I request books in the wee hours of the morning and don’t remember it happening, so I checked it out (cover down), hid it in my book bag, took it home, and eventually got around to picking it up... and fell madly in love with it.    

I realized about 50 pages in that this book was the second in a series (The Burgundy Club Series)... and yes, I will be picking up the first and the third (once it comes out). Missing the first didn’t hamper my enjoyment at all; I was just made delightfully curious as to what happened by bits of information dropped in this book.

So, on to the story. It is extremely rare that I am brought to laugh out loud by a book, especially a historical romance, a sly giggle, maybe, but a true laugh, almost never. This book did that to me in the first chapter (page 5, read it and hopefully you have the same reaction). I loved the eccentricities and obliviousness of Sebastian (sadly, I could totally relate to the poor awkward guy way more than the heroine)  and the whimsical Montrose family is so delightfully refreshing in their atypical historical romance parents attitudes and reactions that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about them.

Diana, in her quest to distance herself from her bizarre family, is refreshingly not bitchy. Usually when a heroine in a romance desperately wants away from her family she’s horrible about and to them, not so in this book.  Diana’s previous husband is also not demonized, a “novel” concept for historical romance that I dearly appreciated as it gets rather tiresome for the bar to be set so low for the hero to come in and rock the heroine’s world when the dead guy was an abusive jerk.

Without spoiling a good portion of the book, geeky and awkward Sebastian was raised to despise women, and has never even been interested in er... carnal delights... until he glimpses some pink stockings while a lady is riding a horse and then touches said lady’s leg while encased in said pink stockings and then he’s just lost.

I loved every single character in this book from our Super!Geek hero to his evil nemesis cousin to Diana’s eccentric family and even Sebastian’s unintelligible staff in Northumberland. Miranda Neville has written a book so engaging that I never caught myself looking ahead to see if I could skip a couple pages here and there. I am desperately looking forward to reading Sebastian’s friend’s tales.    

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Making Fun of Stupid People

Ah, plagiarism. It's not cool. Don't do it. And if you do... prepare to be ridiculed for like... ever.

Enjoy. I'm in the middle of a few research papers, so I'll leave you with this delightful parody from the Boston Globe.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

B.J. Daniels' Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch

Have you ever read a book so amazingly bad that you have to finish it just to find out what sort of crack the author is on and what else they can come up with to fill a few hundred pages? Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels was that book for me. I was so stunned by how sucktacular this book was that while reading it I felt compelled to share passages with my sister, who was also amazed that not only was it as horrible as I was saying, but also that I was somehow still reading. Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch was one of the first free books I got for my Nook(ie) a full year ago, but I didn’t get around to reading it until I went on vacation a couple of weeks ago.  And it’s still free pretty much everywhere... including as a pdf from Borders: if you want to follow along with me on our quest to find out what exactly is going on in this book.

Now, I’ll admit that I do usually stay away from the Harlequin Intrigue line in general because I have yet to read one I like. Seriously, there are so many romance authors who manage to throw together a mystery and a good bit of romance and yet Harlequin’s entire Intrigue line in rather blah... though I haven’t read them all, so if there’s an amazing one let me know.  

The first tip off that there might just be something up with this book is that it is roughly 250 pages and it has a full page list of characters in the front of the book. Now this tells me one of a few things: 1) this is a series and the characters have been developed in other books but not this one, 2) the author didn’t have time to do any character development so figures a list of characters will be sufficient, or 3) the author was told there are too many characters in the book for the reader to keep straight.

1.    Apparently this is meant to be a series, “The Montana Mystique series”... and yet, it’s the first in the series, so this is where the character development should happen. (BTW, I will not be reading the rest of this series.)
2.    This is the one I’m going with... thought being the operative word.
3.    There are a lot of characters in this book... it’s only 250 pages for cryin’ out loud. And important characters like the best friend, Hilde, and Dana’s dad, Angus (a main suspect for the murder), are not mentioned in the list, which is a bit spoiler-y in its descriptions.

The book has a too stupid to live heroine, seriously, she almost gets killed by the murderer because she’s not perceptive enough to realize what the one thing mentioned over and over and over and over in the book signifies when the killer comes a callin’, named Dana who used to run Cardwell ranch but now is part owner of a sewing store?

The hero of the book, Hud (which is probably the worst shortening of Hudson, ever) apparently ran away from home to work for the LAPD and has now come back to be interim marshal... because that makes sense. Yeah. He also may or may not have accidently slept with Dana’s sister back when he and Dana were engaged, but he doesn’t remember it.

I had the hardest time keeping people straight in this book. Hud and Dana’s fathers, Brick and Angus, read like the same character, despite the author’s firm “one’s bitter and one’s a drinker” it’s like she wrote the same guy twice. Every scene just sort of bleeds into the next, leaving the reader’s head spinning trying to figure out who is where and what characters are involved.

Finally... the hero and heroine decide that they were meant to be and hook up... and seriously, if there were any more purple prose to go with the dumbest apologies to share one scene I would have killed them both with a red high heel myself.

But wait... that’s not the end. There’s still a killer (maybe) and a stalker (also, maybe) on the loose. And a crazy family made up of people from that list at the front of the book. And a missing will????

Really the whole end of the book is a tying-up-loose-ends-apaloosa and I’m sure some of these loose ends were never mentioned until the very end of the stinkin’ novel.

Anyone else read this freebie? What did you think?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Michelle Rowen's The Demon in Me

Since my reviews have seemed like such downers lately, I figured I’d get November started out on a positive note. I discovered Michelle Rowen’s The Demon in Me while browsing a book site that asked me to rate books and it recommended books... I rated another of Michelle’s books and it brought up The Demon in Me, which I had never even heard of, so I requested it from my local library and, since I read books in the order in which they are due to the library, I got to read it as soon as I picked it up.  

Insecure of her psychic abilities, poor Eden Riley lives a lonely life as part owner of a dismally failing detective agency and sometimes police physic. While out on what could very well be her last police case she finds a serial killer... and promptly gets possessed by arguably the hottest demon evah. Yum.

Darrak of the demony hotness, was cursed by a witch to be bodiless (not her intention) for eternity, hopping from host to host as they were killed/committed suicide, whichever came first, but always within a year at most.

Bonus, to the whole being possessed by Hottie McDemon and yet sadly, going to perish within the year situation - because of Eden’s physicness Darrak can take bodily form during daylight hours (thus the whole knowing he’s sex on a stick). Darrak and Eden set out to try and separate, exorcists are called in, experiments are conducted... all very entertaining.  

During the evening hours Darrak is still around, he’s just back inside Eden’s body (dirty, I know), I absolutely love when characters talk to themselves, fight with themselves, etc within earshot of others who are unaware that there is actually someone else cohabitating inside their head. Makes me giggle. Darrak tagging along on Eden’s date with Detective Ben “Handsome” Hansom (who I felt bad that I liked at the beginning of the book by the end of it) was a scene I felt she could have done more with, but Rowen packed so much hilarity into it that more would have probably been overkill. I’ll admit to laughing through 99% of this book, and yeah, I’ll admit to laughing at some parts that I’m not entirely sure were meant to be funny, but I do love me some good crazy exorcists.

The set up is there for the next book (Something Wicked), the Malleus are looking to be even more creeptastic than they were in this book, the whole Eden/Darrak soul-killing love thing is kind of sad... and yet I’m looking forward to it because I know it’ll be a thoroughly funny and entertaining ride.
And I’m only #20 (I started as #120, so there has been progress) on the library’s waiting list for Something Wicked.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Brenda Joyce's The Promise

I requested Brenda Joyce’s The Promise from my local library because it was recommended in Fresh Fiction’s October Books Not to Miss.  Yeah, I fell for the advertising. Do these people even read these books before recommending them?
To the best of my knowledge this is the first Joyce I’ve ever read, and I had no idea this is the 8th(!!) in “The de Warenne Dynasty” Series. Now, if you know me you know I’m a stickler when it comes to series, I generally feel compelled to read the entire series (in order) even if there’s just one that’s caught my fancy, I don’t see myself having that problem with this one (though I am marginally intrigued by the character she’s apparently set up for the next one).
So, this book claims to be a romance. The cover is all embarrassingly never-read-outside-the-house-romance-y, and my library kindly added their little heart romance sticker in case there was still any question of classification... and yet until literally the last chapter I wasn’t sure this couple was even likeable, let alone romance novel worthy.
It’s about a sea captain (the schooner on the cover serves as your warning for that, either that or the girl on the cover is sitting on the edge of a tempestuous bathtub with a very realistic tub toy ship, either way) he’s gorgeous and ridiculously wealthy (of course) and a serious man whore (who isn’t in romance novels?) and through a series of horribly contrived events he ends up married to the girl he believed from childhood he was destined to marry... and is all pissed off about it.
So angry sea captain guy, we’ll call him Alexi, since that was his name (though in a typo the book does call him Alexis at one point), up and leaves for the sea directly from his wedding... yes, no consummation, not even a kiss before or after the one little “you may now kiss the bride” one, for serious, the infuriating man up and leaves the poor girl for SIX FREAKIN’ YEARS...
So, we’re about a third of the way through the book when we discover that during the SIX FREAKIN’ YEARS Alexi has been gallivanting around the globe, his wife Elysse has been in London cultivating the image of being blissfully happy in her marriage, so blissfully happy she’s been getting down and dirty with a wide variety of men... but wait, she’s still a virgin... you mean she’s been telling people that she’s so stinkin’ happy to be married to ole what’s his name that she has to share that happiness by being a dirty dirty trollop? For reals?
So, Alexi comes back, somehow knowing about his wife being a dirty whore, and yet not knowing that she lives in London, the hometown of dirty whoriness? Uh huh. BTW, man whore is still hooking up with everything on two legs, but acknowledges the double standard, so it’s okay.
I’m going to fast forward here... there is way too much glaring and posturing in this book, I was starting to root for someone to get run over/shot/drown/thrown from a horse... anything to put me out of my misery. These people don’t hook up until well over three quarters of the way through the book... and he’s too drunk to remember it and thinks he raped her... and is still pissed off at her... and he leaves... for China... for like a year.
This is the point where the book actually gets interesting... yeah, just after page 300. The events from here until the rest of the book are actually good story telling. While the hero and heroine don’t really meet up again until like the last chapter, maybe that’s a blessing in disguise, as I said they are a bit obnoxious when facing off. There’s adventure ahoy on the high seas- pirates, stereotypical African “savages,” squicky slave traders... if Joyce could have spread this part of the book out longer and cut down the “you’re a dirty whore who trapped me into marriage”/“you don’t love me, and no I didn’t” diatribe to a chapter or even two it would be immensely more enjoyable.
Read it, don’t read it, if you do read it, skim most of it and start in on the conveniently placed “Part Three” header on page 303.               

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Land of Frustration

I’m still mired in schoolwork craziness... so here’s a quick multi-review I’m going to call “The Land of Frustration,” these are books that were nearly insanity inducing just to finish for one reason or another (and yes, I did finish them all):

     1.      Alan Deniro’s Total Oblivion, More or Less: This had the makings of an awesome book... part teenage girl coming of age, part entirely wacky post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure, and part maybe-time-travel-but-that’s-never-really-explained... yeah. There’s a little something for everyone in this book. The one thing that’s lacking: quotation marks. Seriously. You want a quote... in quotes? Not gonna find it here. Frustration, thy name is Deniro. Oy. I made myself finish this book, I had to suspend my brain and just read the words and let it all come together in pieces, but I finished it. Not cool. I checked this one out from my local library.       
    2.  Christopher Moore’s Bite Me: I have been waiting for the next Christopher Moore book to come out for like forever, I love all of his other books, but not this one. I was annoyed by Abby in the other books her character appears in, especially You Suck, but will admit to finding her marginally entertaining as an ancillary character... I really didn’t need an entire book devoted to her nonsensical ramblings. More Emperor and his dogs... less Abby Normal. K? Thanks. I bought this book from Barnes and Noble for my Nook(ie).

     3.      Karen Kelley’s Double Dating with the Dead: While I will admit this was a pretty darn funny story, I would like to recommend a thesaurus. If the characters in this book used the same words to describe the EXACT SAME THING one more time, I was fairly certain my brain was going to explode. Instead of being a work of humorous art, it comes across more like an adolescent got really lucky with an interesting plot, but was lacking the skill to make magic. I bought this book from Barnes and Noble for my Nook(ie)... on sale. Woot.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Since I have No Time...

Since I'm in the middle of midterms and have almost no time to eat or sleep, I decided to share this interesting article (and some quick experimentation) with you. I saw this link: Putting the Page 99 test to the, er, test | Books | The Guardian over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and got curious.

So I put a few books sitting around my shelves to the test:

Rebecca Brandewyne’s Jacaranda Tree (mass market paperback): Page 99 actually gives the reader a rare lighthearted moment in this book. Could be very misleading.
Dakota Cassidy’s My Way to Hell (trade paperback): Page 99 is HILARIOUS, a great taste of the entire book.
Michael Crichton’s Congo (hardback): Page 99 reads like a technical manual for the book, it discusses laser technology... boring. And this is one of my favorite books of all time.
Patrick Neate’s City of Tiny Lights (trade paperback): Page 99 is a scene that utterly personifies the entire book, if I hadn’t read it before it would have told me exactly what to expect.
Teresa Medeiros The Devil Wears Plaid (mass market paperback): Page 99 is literally a summary of the adventure of this story, while any aspect of the romance is absent, it would definitely tell the reader what to expect from this “travel” tale.

From my quick test of books I’ve already read, this test seems much more accurate for trade paper backs than mass market, probably because trade paperbacks are bigger and thus have shorter page counts you’re further along in the story at page 99 in a trade paperback than in a mass market paperback.

Try it out. What do you think? I don’t think I’ll be trying this with books I haven’t read any time soon, I’m a purist and get frustrated with the book blurbs that ruin too much of the story, it would kill me to know what to expect on page 99.

Happy Reading!

Update: I got an e-mail from Marshal Zeringue who let me know that over at his blog, the aptly named, Page 99 Test they've been putting this to the test since 2007... very interesting stuff.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lynsay Sand's Born to Bite

I have been looking forward to Born to Bite FOREVER! Or at least since the end of The Renegade Hunter, the first book in the totally awesome (and thus highly recommended) Argeneau Series to have a cliffhanger-ish ending. So Frustrating! I stayed up until 1am on release day to get this one downloaded onto my Nook and then spent the next few hours reading the first half of the book before sanity took over and made me sleep, then got up early and finished it before work. What can I say; I think I have an Argeneau problem.
My curiosity’s been piqued about Armand Argeneau since the first time he was mentioned in the series (Vampire Interrupted, maybe or earlier?) the poor man had three (vampire) wives die. Now, even if you’re not all up on the whole Argeneau-Vampires-Are-From-Atlantis mythology of the series you should still be able to acknowledge that three accidental deaths in a row of any vampire takes some seriously bad luck... or foul play (duh duh dun). That alone made me curious... add the fact that he’s a recluse farmer too... and what can I say, the idea of a vampire farmer interests me greatly.

Eshe, the female side of the story, has been in the series before... what I hadn’t realized was how OLD she is supposed to be. I always thought she was young-ish (for a vampire) nope, not so... apparently she’s closer in age to Lucian (WAY OLD) than she is to Armand (one of Lucian’s “little” bros.). I felt the romance in this book happened a little too fast, there wasn’t really any build up at all, both are unattached vampires experienced in the ways of life mates so when they discover they are what they are they just accept it and jump right to the raging vampire sex, leaving me a little cheated out of the romance portion of the story... no tension, no wooing... but good nonetheless.

Unlike the other books, I found myself having to rethink about all of the character’s ages and to keep reminding myself that they all look young constantly while reading. What work. Maybe it’s because we’ve been introduced to the Argeneaus and the hunters and known them for so many books that these new “civilian” vampires are an oddity, or maybe I’m just losing touch with reality and fiction and can’t keep a thought straight long enough to process someone who acts like a sweet old grandmother really being a super hottie vampire.

I enjoyed this book, like all of the Argeneau books it was over too soon, but it was a fun journey and it was nice to see a bit more of the extended family. Luckily the wait for the next book is super short, Alex Willan (the last of the Willan sisters who needs a life mate before their sister will go vamp) is apparently going to get her own Argeneau man in November. Woot.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate Series

It took me about six months to finally pick up the first book in this series (despite owning it since it came out) and about eight hours to read the last one (I had to finish another book first) after it came out... here’s what’s what with this intriguing series...

So far I am finding the books of the Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger to be thoroughly entertaining... the main character Alexia Tarabotti is reminiscent of Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody (especially Amelia of the first Peabody book) in believing she knows exactly where her life is headed and the way we see the world through her eyes.

The first book in the series, Soulless introduces us to a rich, beautifully revisionist steam punk world where both vampires and werewolves live out in the open as members of this Victorian society. Alexia Tarabotti is not out in the open, for she carries a secret few know- she has no soul. Her soulless state does not make her evil; instead it makes her very analytical and prone to being an outcast because of her lack of frivolity (especially from her obnoxious, marriage minded half sisters). Soullessness is an antidote for the supernatural, one of those “who sucked all the supernatural out of the room? Oh Alexia I didn’t see you there” types.

This book has a good bit more romance than the others; they have to get together in the first place, right? The romance is spot on, neither really wants to be attracted to the other, a soulless with a werewolf is scandalous in its own right, when a werewolf takes notice of what everyone else thinks is just a normal girl it gets downright awkward at times, which I personally think makes for some awesome romance.

The non-romance aspects of the plot, crazy inventors run amuck, vampires! Werewolves! Queen Victoria! Oh My! Make it a story anyone can get in to.

Changeless, the second book in the series, tackles a new side of Conall Maccon (werewolf hunk extraordinaire), that of pack leader... not of the notorious Woolsey pack, but his “real” pack, the ones he’s related to by blood. This book, while quite thoroughly enjoyable left me a couple times wondering what on earth was going on... maybe I was not in the right state of mind when I read it, but I kept getting confused about the action. I did, by literally the end of the second chapter, have the main plot point of Blameless worked out without even knowing about the third book... so I saw that one coming a million miles away.

Anywho... I do feel that the plight of the poor normal-abnormals could have been focused on a bit more, especially for the humorous angles presented when vampires and werewolves in highly evolved societies are handicapped overnight without knowing why. The flight of Conall Maccon out of London, without a word to his wife struck me as out of character for a man who, in the last book, was shown as so devoted and sees Alexia as a partner in running the Woolsey pack. Alexia’s following him is much more pitch perfect, but that’s when the crazy “what is going on here?” feeling starts and stays for the rest of the book. Perhaps also, due to a very American upbringing (or just a well developed sense of French villainy in fiction), I like neither Angelique nor Madam Lefoux the two prominent French characters in this series and was unable to keep my interest on the parts with the two of them, keep that in mind for the next book.

Blameless, the third book in the series, begins with Alexia back with the Loontwills (I love the surnames in this series!) and miserable. Without spoiling the book, which is extremely hard to do since the entire thing revolves around the main plot point (which I figured out way back during the second chapter of book two, so if you’ve read a good description of book two you probably have too), I will say that Alexia and Madame Lefoux flee to “the continent” in search of the Templars, who are apparently in-the-know about all things soulless.

The good points: Professor Lyall is a much bigger character in this book, which is awesome to me since he is, by far, my favorite character in the series. Second, Floote has a bigger role in this book. Third, sadly those two awesome characters are filling the hole left by Conall’s absence. Boo. Lord Maccon spends most of the book drunk (a very difficult feat for a werewolf), but at least he is funny while he’s at it.

I had a really hard time liking this book, as usual for the series the dialogue was spot on, leaving me to reread scenes just for the giggle factor. I think Conall’s a dolt for believing bad things about Alexia... especially considering the events of Changeless (well duh Conall, really). Alexia becomes a little Spineless (maybe a title for a future book??) and just runs off with the semi-creepy Madame Lefoux. Lord Akledama goes missing for a good part of the book, taking a lot of its color with it... there are just so many things awry in Alexia’s world that it leaves you feeling a little “off” about the whole thing in the end.

Monday, August 30, 2010

MaryJanice Davidson's Undead and Unfinished

I discovered MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead and Unfinished while loitering in Barnes and Noble one day, which is weird considering I usually pre-order MJD’s books this one completely took me by surprise.  My only excuse is that June was a very busy month for me, though that’s really no excuse considering the pre-order habit mentioned above. Anywho , I finally read this last week after mooching it off the library (I figured I’d already missed it coming out, I might as well just read it for free).

First things first, I don’t know if it’s because of the economy and the need to put out as many books as possible or not but has anyone else noticed how short paranormal series books have become? Go ahead, take a look at the last few Southern Vampire books versus the first several… see what I mean? This book was short. While it is hardback it’s also very narrow, giving it the appearance of being longer than it really is as well. The chapter structure makes it seem longer than it is too simply by wasted space, I adore short chapters, it makes it easier for me to read in the stop and go fashion I’ve had to adapt in order to accomplish school, work, and my reading addiction. But a page and a half chapter times 90 or so leaves a lot of blank space in your book.

Other than the mechanics of the book will preface this review by simply saying this was not my favorite book in the series. Betsy is witty and entertaining throughout the book but I was left feeling as if I had just watched a complete stranger traverse time and then face herself in the future. There was so little feeling from Betsy or any of the other characters in this book that I was left wondering if this was fanfiction that someone managed to get published under MJD’s name. Seriously, while all the characters were there (except Baby-Jon in any of the scenes when they are at the house, which I find very strange) it’s like they were given names but no soul.

Eternal vampire hottie Sinclair even got  a personality transplant, though I think a bit of that may have been for the (massively shaky) plot it was still unnerving to see this character that has been detailed so lovingly in other books tossed aside without an excuse for his attitude. The Betsy of the previous books would have called him on his behavior before she started internalizing and fretting over how selfish she has been… forever, which we all knew.

Admittedly this book was funny, who wouldn’t want to be able to call their perfect Sunday school teaching little sister the antichrist and be able to get away with it, because it’s true? Poor innocently perfect Laura who is expected to take over hell one day has a much bigger role in this book than she has in the previous ones. It’s the flow that bothered me, as if there was an outline for the story and the blanks were merely filled in as quickly as possible without regard as to whether the pieces fit seamlessly or not.

Finally, without spoiling the big ending, I call shenanigans… they’re vampires; someone would have smelled that considering how long that thing’s been in the house. And they used to have a werewolf living there, even if you can say the vampires in this universe don’t sniff each other, you can bet the wolves still do. Really.  I don’t buy it.  

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tate Hallaway's Almost to Die For

Every review I’ve read of Almost to Die For so far has had nothing but praise for this book… and I’m no different. I loved this book. It’s short, I read it in less than a day. It’s just long enough to drag you into Ana’s world and make you want to come back and find out what’s going to happen next to this unique set of characters.

Raised her entire life to be a “true witch” Ana believes she’s doomed for failure when it comes time for her initiation into her mother’s coven and she’s never done even a spark of magic. Her best friend, Bea, is a super witch with a less impressive pedigree than Ana’s. Enter Ana’s long lost, never discussed, father. The vampire king. And vampires just happen to be the worst of the worst enemies of the “true witches,” poor kid.

This is another book (I seem to have discovered several this summer) with vampires that aren’t entirely yummy. I will admit that there are a couple that are closer to yummy than not, but the vampire society as a whole presented in this book is kind of squick worthy.

A sixteen year-old who can avert a massive act of witch on vampire street violence, and gets accidently engaged to a vampire hottie (did I mention that she is also dating a vampire hunter?) is someone I want to read more about. 

I enjoyed that, while this is a YA book, it doesn’t sugarcoat teenage life. Ana’s fears and misgivings about her parents, friends, the mean kids at school, it all rings true to me. All in all, I can’t wait for the next one in this new series.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer's Wild Ride

I put off reading this book because of the reviews. Everyone who has read Wild Ride (and then posted about it at least) seemed to greatly dislike it (or worse). So I put off reading it until I read a good description of the book... theme park, ambulatory clowns (shudder), ex-military guy with a chip on his shoulder and bullet in his heart (a must when Crusie and Mayer team up, right?), and... wait for it... demons. Being held as prisoners in an amusement park.

No Joke. This is the setup for the book. I had to read it.

The most important thing to remember when reading Wild Ride: It. Is. Not. A. Romance. Novel. Yes there’s romance, but no more than you would find in a Ken Follett novel. Seriously. Lie Down with Lions had way more romance, if not the potential for a happy ending (and yet, somehow Ellis remains my romantic non-vampire ideal fictional man). So, got that into your head? This is an action/adventure-y novel, with a good hefty amount of fantasy thrown in. Not a romance. Period.

Now that that’s out of the way, I really enjoyed this book. Maybe it’s the fact that I have never been overly fond of amusement parks, even less of the traditional carnival verity due to the possibility of clowns but reading about Dreamland from the viewpoint of someone deeply in love with the park and helping to restore it and give it life kind of gave me warm fuzzies. What didn’t give me warm fuzzies, being told this was a romance and then finding out the hero and heroine are brother and sister... un huh. Not fuzzy at all, kind of a splash of cold water, leaves the reader floundering around trying to figure out what the crap the author has planned (probably the reason for at least some of the angry reviews). Of course, this being a standard non-genre novel allows both the hero and heroine to be introduced at the same time without them being meant for each other. See my point above, and someone please tell Crusie’s agent that yes, books can be marketed in different genres. Fans appreciate honesty in advertising.

There was so much going on in this book at times I quite literally lost the plot, but it wasn’t an uncomfortable flipping back to re-read lost, it was a “let’s see where this goes” lost. Oliver, known as coke-bottle glasses guy for most of the book was my favorite character from the first time Mab sees him, and I have no idea why. Sadly the book has already gone back to the library or I would flip back through to see if there was any foreshadowing to why I should have liked Oliver back when he was just some guy in a bar or at the Dream Cream. Maybe I just liked the weirdo, who knows.

I loved the Demon brigade; the five untouchable demons imprisoned in Dreamland are hilarious. From Kharos (the worst of the worst, aka “the Devil”) using the excuse “well look at her, she’s hot” for cheating on his demon mate, to Vanth, who only wants to love the souls being sent to hell, they are all characters in their own rights and only add to the ambiance and flow of the story.    

The Special Forces people in the story, because as I said, what Crusie/Mayer collaboration is complete without Special Forces people of some sort, are a tad bit annoying. It could be their gung-ho attitudes that repel me, but before the stuffed velvet dragon I could not stand Weaver. Though part of this also comes back to (to beat a dead horse... or romance) the idea of Mab and Ethan being “the” couple of the book, and Weaver, as Ethan’s love interest messing that up (not to mention the whole revelation of them being brother and sister). Either that or I just didn’t like her attitude before Beamer (the aforementioned dragon), it could go either way.

So, read it, don’t read it. Look for adventure and fun and you’ll find it, just don’t look for a formula romance, because it’s not there.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Nicole Peeler's Tracking the Tempest

I was excited to pick up Tracking the Tempest if for no other reason than the universe Nicole Peeler is fun. Pure and simple. Tempest Rising (the first in the series) is not my favorite book of all time, it was actually a pretty slow read for me because I just couldn’t immerse myself fully in it, but by the end I was enamored of the characters and the world in which they “live.” From the first chapter I was totally sucked in and committed to Tempest Rising.

Jane True’s life is so interesting, so charmed, that the weirdness she encounters only adds to the appeal of it all. Her boyfriend Ryu (every girl should have a HOTT vampire boyfriend, right?) is another vampire I’m not entirely digging, though he is probably one of the sweetest fictional boyfriends of all time the whole having to seduce other women to feed thing is kind of a romance deal breaker for me. And let’s face it, Anyan has my heart. I think I understand how all of the Bella/Jacob fans feel.

So let’s talk about Anyan for a minute... in this book he gets to walk around outside of his doggie body, sadly clothed (unlike the walking around he did in the last book) but still in human form, interacting with Jane. We get to explore his home through Jane’s eyes, and learn more about what makes him tick beyond being a mysterious BA barghest (and he can cook too). Most important of all you can tell how much he genuinely cares for Jane through every single action he takes, while it’s true Ryu loves her, he still focuses on his job more than Jane (especially when those two overlap).

The plot of this book, Jane helping to hunt another Halfling, is a good one. The action and adventure outside of my Jane/Anyan ‘shipper world is spot on and keeps you guessing to the very end.

Now if I could just stop calling Anyan Anikan every time I start to say something about him everything would be all good.

I am very excited to read the next installment of this series, out sometime the beginning of next year.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tate Hallaway's Honeymoon of the Dead

I went into reading Honeymoon of the Dead knowing it is the last in the series and knowing that the author didn’t know it was the last in the series when she wrote it (she did find out in time for edits though according to her blog)... which is the reason it sat on my bookshelf for over two months before I could bring myself to crack the cover. I have this problem with incomplete endings... I can’t deal with them, drives me absolutely crazy when all the little danglies aren’t tied up in a nice little package at the end... especially after I’ve been reading a series as long as this one.

Curiosity finally got the better of me and I read Honeymoon of the Dead a couple weeks ago. I have to say I think this is my favorite in the series... though I enjoy the newness of Tall, Dark, and Dead I've always had trouble falling madly in love with Sebastian... until this final book.

Sebastian’s my fictional type too - vampire? Check. Older than history? Check. Deeply angsty? Double Check. But I’ve just never been convinced that Sebastian is a true vampire hero. I think his attachment/preoccupation with his ex annoyed me (hello, pay attention to Garnet already) and having her safely zombified and being babysat by my other least favorite character (Garnet’s ex, also a vampire I just don’t find sexy) in a different state for the entirety of this book really helped. This book finally brought Sebastian to life for me, it allowed me to see what Garnet loves about him and let me see that while he’s not my hunka hunka vampire man he can be right for her.

If you’ve felt bad reading about Garnet having to run and live in Wisconsin without any friends or family from her old life in Minnesota, this book lets you off that hook too. Through learning about Garnet’s past both the reader and Garnet herself realize that her life in Minneapolis before the mass murder (that is one of the main focuses of the entire series) was not so cool. That she was kind of an evil whore pre-Wisconsin is only one discovery made on Garnet and Sebastian’s honeymoon journey.

By the time I finished reading Honeymoon of the Dead I was at peace. I felt that everyone would be okay, there was nothing hanging over any of the character’s heads (even Mátyás, who if any character were in a difficult situation it was his, got a fitting resolution) and despite not everything being tidy, everything in this particular universe is okay by the end of the book.

Really, what more can you ask for?

Monday, August 9, 2010

David Sosnowski's Vamped

I discovered Vamped purely by accident. I was wandering Barnes and Noble after a particularly rough day (some people drink, I buy books) and just saw it out of the corner of my eye. I whipped it off the shelf, was stunned by the awesomeness of the blood-juice box on the cover and figured I had somehow missed this new book. I opened it up and imagine my surprise when I discovered this little gem was published 6 years ago. No joke. The best vampire fiction you’ve never read.

I ended up buying it on my Nook (I do that a lot in the store, mentally computing Barnes and Noble member price vs. their e-book price while standing in front of the shelf pointing my Nook at the book like it will do a direct download or something) and promptly forgot about my purchase (remember that horrible, no good, very bad day mentioned above). I got around to reading Vamped last week and regret the two months it spent in obscurity lost on my Nook.

From the beginning it’s hilarious (and not a little disturbing at points), a view into an all vampire world where humans are more myth than reality and vampires are jaded and bored of their humdrum lives. Written a little ADD, it does jump around a bit, but in a way meant to facilitate the flow of the story, you learn about pertinent details through Marty’s memories before they’re needed. Written first person, told through Marty’s eyes, this book is a quick read and those disturbing parts are usually disturbing to Marty too so it makes it a little easier to stomach and let pass without a second thought.

Marty’s one of those jaded vamps, marginally suicidal, and looking to end it all without having to end it all by driving fast without a seat belt and a disabled airbag (those vamps, they’re so edgy) when he stumbles upon a six year old human girl covered in blood and hiding out in the woods. Who promptly stabs him in the gut. Oh yes. Perfectly executed little kid taking down the big bad vampire humor.

While Marty’s looking for a delayed gratification snack by taking her back to his apartment, the six year old Isuzu Trooper (best kid’s name ever, BTW) instead takes over his life and despite living in a world where she would be eaten on sight without a moment’s thought, grows up.

This book, while a level of blatant humor just a notch of ridiculous below a Christopher Moore novel, is truly about fatherhood and the lengths a father will go to for his child. Marty’s stress over a sneeze (no doctors = no medicine = Isuzu’s going to die), his obsessive baby monitoring while he’s at work (no childcare in a childless world), his search for a mother who won’t eat her, and so many more episodes of parenting presented in this book tell of someone who loves his adopted daughter more than anything he ever did in life. At its heart it is all about the relationship between Isuzu and her dad... everything else is just window dressing.

If your dad has a sense of humor and can handle a good amount of cursing (and vampires in general) this would be a great father’s day gift.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grace Coopersmith's Nancy's Theory of Style

 Nancy’s Theory of Style is a (loose) spin off of Marta Acosta’s Casa Dracula books. Under the new penname Grace Coopersmith she has given (vampire-free) life to Milagro’s bestest buddy Nancy. I was excited about this book because the last Casa Dracula book left me a little depressed, and I was looking forward to some more of Marta Acosta’s unique brand of humor. I was also not looking forward to it because I really didn’t like Nancy as a person (character, whatever) and was not sure I wanted to be stuck in her head for several hundred pages. Luckily for me, since I promised to read it to write a review in return for the book, Nancy grew on me.

Nancy's Theory of Style is a humorous look at what happens when a woman who has planned her life to be absolute perfection realizes that manufacturing perfection is not the same as achieving perfection. It is a story that almost anyone can relate to, the idea of trapping yourself in a situation whether it's a marriage, job, or even friendship that you later realize does nothing but make you unhappy.

Nancy sets out to try to find herself a life, while still not admitting her marriage is over, by moving away from her husband and starting her own business. She gets the gay assistant she's always wanted, the abandoned child she never ever wanted, and discovers that nothing she believed in for her life was true... except for her theories of style.

The humor of the novel is spot on, you'll laugh, I promise. Sometimes vacuous Nancy resembles every fake woman you've ever met and yet as she begins to grow she still manages to keep her outlandish personality... especially if you're a fan of made up words or know someone who enjoys flabbergasting others with their "unique" vocabulary.

My single problem, other than getting over my initial dislike of Nancy, is Nancy’s attitude towards infidelity. Call it my one pet peeve in life, but infidelity really bothers me, cheaters are not cool, and it is no way to start a lasting relationship. Despite the fact that Nancy’s husband is a total d-bag the idea that he is sitting home waiting for her to come back while she’s boinking gay-Derek’s brains out really put a damper on the book for me.

Dakota Cassidy's My Way to Hell

My Way to Hell came out while I was out of town on vacation without my beloved Nook, upon this realization we hit up a couple bookstores with no luck, then after a bout of Barnes and Noble-ing on my phone (while standing in a Books-a-Million) I was able to reserve a copy in the next town over. My book secured, I dug in immediately (having someone else who can drive when you’re out and about is frickin’ awesome) and stayed there until I finished it.

I will freely admit that I had a bit of a crush on Kellen from Kiss & Hell... in fact I was much more enamored of him than I was Clyde, the male lead from that book. So I was ready to go for Kellen’s story, Marcella’s story, not so much. Marcella was Delaney (the female lead from the first book, and also Kellen’s sister)’s obnoxious, standoffish, flashy (demon) best friend. So imagine my surprise when in the first chapter Dakota managed to endear even Marcella to me, and all through a marginally (or not so marginally) insulting conversation held in limbo with a dead dog. Oh yes, there is a talking dead dog as a supporting character in this book. A talking, often questionable hooker/druggie body-inhabiting talking dog who dishes out advice like the most wizened sage.  

Marcella’s back-story is a doosey... I didn’t see it coming; it wouldn’t have been half as impactful if it had even been hinted at in the first book, but WOW, sucks to be Marcella. Except when she’s facing down the geeky iPhone toting Satan, then she’s probably the coolest ex-demon ghost on the block.

There were so many giggle out loud moments in this book that my sister surely questioned my sanity several times during our travels, and just enough tension between Kellen and Marcella to make it believable when two characters who both have had the hots for each other admit it (and one of them just happens to be visible only to the other). Oh yes. Hotness.

So now I’m left raring for Catalina (street kid saving demon) and Dameal (scary BA demon?)’s story... which will hopefully have its own book in the near future. My curiosity is most definitely peaked.   

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mary Balogh's Huxtable Series

There is one self imposed rule that you need to understand when looking at my reading list... to read one book that is part of a series; I have to read the entire series (unless I’ve already read it). This is VERY important as we begin this reviewing journey.

I picked up the first in Balogh’s Huxtable series, First Comes Marriage, on sale as an e-book. Honestly, if it hadn’t been $2 I would never have bought it. Once I started reading it I began to think that I paid too much... I don’t know if her editor fell asleep or if an unedited proof somehow got published as the e-book version, but the copy on my Nook is HORRIBLE... closer to what a drunken illiterate might produce than an experienced published author who is (hopefully) in possession of a good editor. I’m one of “those people” who will endlessly proofread, it takes me out of the story to have bad grammar, spelling mistakes, and especially misused words. To be fair, the other four books in the series were much cleaner, lending credence to the unedited “oops” e-book version.

So I trudged through First Comes Marriage... and about half way through when it comes time for the proposal scene (and the scene after it) I was completely vindicated and giggling hysterically. Balogh has a gift for straddling the delicate line between funny-awkward and painfully-awkward in all of her books (or at least the five that I read) that leaves you happy you’re not the character, but not feeling sorry for the character’s predicament if that delicate distinction in humor is important to you.

First Comes Marriage is my least favorite in the series; Vanessa is supposed to be strong, experienced, and willing to do anything to secure a future for her brother and sisters. She comes off whiny more often than not, with an unnatural attachment to her dead husband (who she admits was more like a brother anyway) and hey, she knew he was dying when she married him, so it’s not like it should be such a big surprise that he kicked the bucket so soon into the marriage.

Next Comes Seduction... while the first quarter of the book is massively cringe worthy (men’s club betting = totally not cool) but after the wedding I believe Jasper is one of my new favorite romance heroes. This is tied for second of my favorites in this series with A Secret Affair because of the genuine emotion this sparked from beginning to end, when I read I don’t usually feel for fictional characters, but having been a teenage girl I can totally relate to Katherine jumping headlong into a danger she doesn’t fully understand exists, and when we pick back up with her as a young woman, she is immensely relatable in that stage of life too. 

At Last Comes Love, finally the eldest sister finds someone. This is the hardest book in the series for me to get behind plot-wise because of, well let me count the ways... secret baby, secret not-quite twin, random awkward loss of virginity (probably the most realism ever seen in a historical romance), runaway wife (with sister in law’s betrothed no less), the list goes on but my suspended disbelief kept slipping. This book, to me at least, does offer just about the sweetest ending of any romance novel I’ve ever read. Add the ending to the secret baby plotline (always a favorite of mine) and it's not my least favorite of the series.

Seducing an Angel was very hard for me to get into, after spending three books getting to know Stephen as the sweet little brother of the Huxtable girls; I had a bit of a problem (mentally) adjusting to Stephen the sex bomb. Despite the Pretty Woman feeling I got at first, Stephen’s story is my other second place favorite in the series. I particularly enjoyed the ineptitude Cassandra displays as she sets about becoming a mistress (by force!), and yes, even the naiveté of Stephen to fall into that trap (and I’ll even admit to a little sisterly pride as Stephen stands up, literally, and deals with the situation with aplomb). Be warned, I didn’t like Cassandra a single bit, at all, until she took the cook’s child shopping, and even after that I still didn’t like her much. 

The final book in the series, A Secret Affair, is my favorite. First Comes Marriage, despite ending with Vanessa joining her husband in the anti-Con club, kind of ruined all possibility that Constantine would steal from his mentally challenged brother for his own ends. So going in to A Secret Affair, even before the “big reveal” I felt like I knew exactly what was going on, and I did. Balogh takes a pair of characters, neither of whom are likeable at face value, and places them in exactly the type of relationship that would make them both as truly scandalous as they appear on the outside, yet allows them the opportunity to discover that neither is even remotely the image they project to society. In fact, both Hannah and Con should probably be sainted.

A quick note for the entire series, and especially on my favorite character’s development: Balogh gave too much of Con’s story away in the prologue for First Comes Marriage, if Jonathan’s situation had been told second hand to the reader, from someone other than Constantine while reflecting at Jonathan’s grave, would have at least given the reader some suspense of whether Con was the good guy he projected to his Huxtable cousins, or the bad guy his cousin Elliott believed him to be.

All of the Huxtable books, except First Comes Marriage, were provided by my local library

Summer Reading Extravaganza

Greetings on my very first blog post! Come on in, sit down in your favorite chair, and follow me into HappySappyBookReaderland... where there are no bad books, just misunderstood ones. Actually that's not where I've led you at all, I've led you into ItIsWhatItIsville where you get to decide if a book suits your fancy after I have blazed sometimes terrifying territory first.

While I have always known I have a slight reading problem (or book problem according to my sister who packed them all for my last move), it has really become apparent this summer after three straight semesters of graduate school. I have a new policy with myself that if I intend to actually escape from graduate school that I am not allowed to read for leisure while school is in session (excepting holidays, mid-semester breaks, long weekends, and the occasional new release I just can’t wait to crack open). I held to this, mostly, last semester and had fantastic grades and a ridiculously long backlog in my TBR (to be read) pile. Seriously, if I weren’t so enamored of my two e-book readers, I would be completely buried in books.

Thankfully I have taken all of the summer classes my program offers, so I have had a blessedly book filled summer. I had kept a list going into the summer of what I wanted to read and I figured a list coming out would be stabilizing to my mental state, and a bit of a souvenir of this literary journey.

The books I have read were either purchased by me (very few in number due to my college broke-ness), checked out from the library (I have 18 libraries in the county I moved to last year, very very exciting), or generously given to me by two very awesome authors as ARCs.   

Coming up are reviews (or at least one or two words) of everything I have read (and will still read since school doesn’t start for a couple weeks still) this summer. Some have been lackluster; but some have been jewels I will read again and again, most fall somewhere between like some happy Bell curve of well rounded reading.

Watch out, here they come...

What I Talk About:

Abe ( 1 ) Alan DeNiro ( 1 ) Amusement Parks ( 1 ) Animal Rescue ( 1 ) App Time ( 3 ) Argeneau ( 1 ) Artsy ( 1 ) Athens ( 5 ) Atlanta ( 1 ) Austin Powers ( 1 ) B.J. Daniels ( 1 ) Baby! ( 3 ) Bad Books ( 1 ) Bad Day ( 2 ) Badge Ho ( 1 ) Barnes and Noble ( 2 ) Bathroom ( 9 ) Bedtime ( 25 ) Best Buy ( 2 ) Birthday ( 13 ) Black Dagger Brotherhood ( 1 ) Blogger ( 1 ) Blu Ray ( 4 ) Bob Mayer ( 1 ) Book Tricks ( 1 ) Books ( 8 ) Box o Fun ( 3 ) Boyfriend ( 28 ) Braves ( 1 ) Breakfast ( 3 ) Brenda Joyce ( 1 ) Candy ( 2 ) Car ( 6 ) Casa Dracula ( 1 ) Chalk Paint ( 1 ) Chick-Lit ( 1 ) Christopher Moore ( 1 ) Closet ( 1 ) Clowns ( 1 ) coffee ( 3 ) Cold ( 7 ) Concert ( 1 ) Conference ( 1 ) Cookies ( 1 ) Corpy ( 2 ) Craig's List ( 1 ) Cubicle ( 1 ) Daily Kelly ( 272 ) Dakota Cassidy ( 2 ) David Kushner ( 1 ) David Sosnowski ( 1 ) Day Off ( 4 ) Death ( 1 ) Demons ( 3 ) Dental Hygiene ( 1 ) Dhampyrs ( 2 ) Dinner ( 16 ) Disney! ( 2 ) Dog ( 5 ) Dorkilicious ( 3 ) Down Syndrome ( 1 ) Dr. Pepper ( 1 ) Dreams ( 1 ) e-books ( 2 ) EarlyReviewers ( 2 ) Entry ( 1 ) Evan! ( 9 ) Extravaganza ( 7 ) Eye Doctor ( 5 ) FaceTime ( 2 ) Fail ( 1 ) Family ( 11 ) fathers ( 1 ) Fedex ( 1 ) Flood ( 1 ) Food ( 10 ) Free Books ( 2 ) Frustration ( 2 ) Funeral ( 2 ) Gail Carringer ( 1 ) Games ( 6 ) Ghostbusters ( 1 ) Ghosts ( 1 ) Glasses ( 6 ) Gluten Free ( 3 ) Grace Coopersmith ( 1 ) Gradschool ( 5 ) GSSA ( 28 ) Hair ( 12 ) HangOut ( 2 ) Headache ( 8 ) Headphones ( 1 ) Headset ( 8 ) Historical Romance ( 3 ) Holidays ( 15 ) Home ( 1 ) Home Delivery ( 2 ) Home Improvement ( 4 ) Hospital ( 1 ) Hotel ( 3 ) Housekeeping ( 1 ) Huxtables ( 1 ) Icee ( 2 ) Internet ( 3 ) iPhone ( 4 ) J.R Ward ( 1 ) Jennifer Crusie ( 1 ) Joachim Masannek ( 1 ) Karen Kelley ( 1 ) KickStarter ( 1 ) Kids Books ( 1 ) Kitchen ( 3 ) Kitties ( 71 ) laundry ( 1 ) Library ( 14 ) Life ( 1 ) Links ( 1 ) Living Dead Love Story ( 1 ) Lone Ranger ( 6 ) Lynsay Sands ( 1 ) Mactastic ( 4 ) Mag-NETO ( 1 ) Maggie Robinson ( 1 ) Magic! ( 1 ) Mail ( 6 ) Makeup ( 4 ) Marriott ( 1 ) Marta Acosta ( 1 ) Mary Balogh ( 1 ) MaryJanice Davidson ( 1 ) MCT ( 2 ) Meme ( 3 ) Michael Crichton ( 1 ) Michelle Rowen ( 2 ) Miranda Neville ( 1 ) mornings ( 2 ) Movie ( 5 ) MRI ( 1 ) Neurologist ( 1 ) New Job ( 21 ) New Toy ( 20 ) Nice Shot ( 2 ) Nicole Peeler ( 1 ) Noms ( 8 ) Nook ( 6 ) Nookie ( 1 ) Not a Selfie ( 32 ) NYC ( 3 ) OfficeSpace ( 72 ) Oops ( 3 ) Ouch ( 29 ) Painting ( 1 ) Paranormal Romance ( 6 ) Parasol Protectorate ( 1 ) Patrick Neate ( 1 ) Pete ( 3 ) PhotoBomb ( 1 ) PhotoBooth ( 1 ) Plagiarism ( 1 ) Polar Vortex ( 1 ) Pollen ( 5 ) Poo ( 1 ) Power Outage ( 1 ) Power tools ( 3 ) Presidential ( 5 ) Projects ( 1 ) Queen Victoria ( 1 ) Random ( 59 ) Reading ( 4 ) Rebecca Brandewyne ( 1 ) Recipe Time ( 3 ) Reviews ( 3 ) Romance ( 2 ) Rusty Fischer ( 1 ) RWA ( 1 ) Sale ( 1 ) Sanding ( 1 ) Satan ( 1 ) scars ( 1 ) Sci-Fi ( 1 ) Selfie ( 236 ) Series ( 15 ) Shoes ( 1 ) Shopping ( 17 ) Sick Day ( 6 ) Sickness ( 5 ) Skype ( 1 ) Sleep ( 13 ) sleepy ( 30 ) Sonicare ( 1 ) Sporty ( 1 ) Star Trek ( 1 ) Stupidity ( 1 ) Tate Hallaway ( 2 ) Taylor Swift ( 1 ) Teresa Medeiros ( 1 ) Textually Active ( 7 ) The Burgundy Club ( 1 ) Toys ( 1 ) Train ( 1 ) Training ( 2 ) Travels ( 27 ) TV ( 1 ) Up ( 3 ) Vacation? ( 4 ) Vampires ( 11 ) Vegetarian ( 2 ) Vet ( 1 ) Video ( 5 ) Warehouse ( 3 ) Warm Bodies ( 1 ) Weather ( 6 ) Werevolves ( 1 ) Whimsy ( 1 ) Wild Kingdom ( 1 ) William Shatner ( 1 ) witches ( 1 ) WonderTwins ( 15 ) YA ( 1 ) Yum ( 1 ) Zombies ( 11 )