Review: Halfway to the Grave – Jeaniene Frost narrated by Tavia Gilbert

October 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Happy BookerBy Jeaniene FrostNarrated by: Tavia Gilbert

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 11 hour(s) and 17 min.
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. (March 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003F238J0
  • synopsisHalf-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father; the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership. In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner; are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her new found status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Tavia Gilbert did an amazing job narrating Halfway to the Grave, she brought to life the personality of each of these amazing characters. 
Generally speaking, I normally don’t enjoy paranormal romance. After reading a couple of books that were recommended to me, I was forced to rethink my position on the genre.  I think my issue was not with paranormal romance,  I was simply reading the wrong books. Halfway to the Grave was a perfect mixture of romance, excitement, and an exhilarating plot.

One of the things I enjoy most is when I find a book that contains characters that I would want to know, that I would want to hang out with. I was so happy to have found this in this first novel in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. Although Cat, the heroine, is the strong female character that I always look for in novels that I read, it was Bones, her vampire boyfriend that stole the show for me. Biting sarcasm, dominant masculinity, and his own brand of integrity  made his character stand out to me. 

I thought that the Frost’s writing was brilliant, setting up scene after scene of nail-biting suspense, not to mention some truly heart pounding sex scenes, that successfully brought this story to life. My highest compliment to this book is that before I turned the last page, I had already bought the rest of the series that are available and am planning to finish them all before starting on anything new.

I’ve read so many reviews about this book, and I’m so glad that I followed the recommendation of a couple people who have similar tastes as me to read this. I would certainly recommend this series not only to fans of paranormal romance, but also to fans of urban fantasy that haven’t found paranormal romance to be to their liking. 

Rating: 5 – I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. 



Fun Follow Friday (October 29)

October 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to this week’s book blog hop hosted by Crazy For Books and Parajunkee. The question of today is:
“What is the one bookish thing you would love to have, no matter the cost?”
I would love to have a signed first edition hardcover of each book in the Harry Potter series. I absolutely love those books. They are the ones that  I re-read every year. 

“If you have, or would have a daughter, what book would you want your daughter to read?

I would love for any of my children to love books as much as I do. There aren’t any specific authors that I would want them to read, although it would be nice if they were as attached to HP as I am! 

Review: Crown Of Crystal Flame by C.L. Wilson

October 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Publisher: Avon Books
Published: 01 November 2010
Format: Paperback 480 pages
ISBN 13: 9780062018960
ISBN 10: 0062018965 synopsis: Elvish Seers had long foreseen an extraordinary destiny for Ellysetta Baristani. Already, she had won the heart of the Fey King, saved the offspring of the magical tairen, and fought beside her mate against the threatening evil of Eld…. But the most powerful — and dangerous — Verse of her Song had yet to be sung. As a cataclysmic battle draws nigh and evil tightens its grip upon her soul, will Ellysetta secure the world for Light or plunge it into Darkness for all eternity

Absolutely wonderful! Crown of Crystal Flame is the best yet of the 5 novels in the Tairen series. This culmination of the Tairen Soul series was an action packed, heart stopping, breathtaking ride. The story begins right where the the 4th one ended, we join Ellysetta and Rain as they wait for the Eld attack they know is coming and try to deal with King Dorian’s distrust, the effects that their unsealed bond is having on Rain, and disorder amongst the allies. Ellie’s courage is tested repeatedly as she is faced with challenges far greater than she expected and Rain is forced to rethink some of the oldest beliefs and customs of his people. 

This story took so many unexpected twists and turns. The battle scenes themselves were described so vividly that I could almost hear the shouts and screams and roars of the Tairen. The fast moving plot, to me, never felt rushed, instead kept me constantly on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. As fascinating as the plot was, the characters in this series were what made these books so amazing. I had no ambivalent feelings about any, even the more minor characters. I either absolutely loathed them or or was concerned about what would happen to them. Either way, I was fully invested in their stories. And Wilson did not disappoint, making sure to tie up all loose ends by the end of this incredible novel. 

This book, as well as the earlier 4 books in this series will appeal to many types of fantasy readers. There is heartrending and passionate romance, some happy and some tragic. There are epic battles, fairytale creatures of all kinds, mythical beings, magic both dark and light, and an enjoyable tale that’s both dramatic and highly entertaining. 

There are so many times, when, at the end of such an epic story, there are still minor plot lines that I’m left to wonder about. I didn’t find that at all with Crown of Crystal Flame. Although I’m sad to see an end to one of my favorite series, this novel left me with a feeling of satisfaction. 

I can’t wait to read more of C.L. Wilson’s wonderful work. 
No doubt in my mind, this deserves a rating of 5


Review:Soulless by Gail Carriger

October 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 10 hour(s) and 52 min.
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Recorded Books (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TLSM20 synopsis: Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. 

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

This book was recommended to me by MadScientist at

From the book:
“Miss Alexia Tarabotti was not enjoying her evening. Private balls were never more than middling amusements for spinsters, and Miss Tarrabotti was not the kind of spinster who could garner even that much pleasure from the event. To put the pudding in the puff: she had retreated to the library, her favorite sanctuary in any house, only to happen upon an unexpected vampire.”

Soulless by Gail Carriger is a fun and quirky book right from the first paragraph. My first foray into steampunk transports me into an unlikely world of gadgetry, flamboyant vampires, authoritarian werewolves, not to mention a preternatural minx with devilish wit and impeccable fashion sense as well as a penchant for getting herself into awkward predicaments. Alexia Tarabotti is a dynamo that literally leaps off the pages, armed with her parasol and her cunning intellect, ready to face down rude vampires and overbearing werewolves, and anyone else who gets in her way.

Carriger’s writing paints a vivid picture of Victorian London populated with supernatural, preternatural, and ghostly residents. Soulless is entertaining from start to finish, each of the characters were original, the plot was fast-paced and exciting, and I found myself laughing or gasping out loud several times throughout the audio.

I want to add here somewhere that I’m generally not a big fan of vampire/werewolf romance so I was a little hesitant to follow MadScientist’s recommendation to read Soulless as an introduction to Steampunk. I’m SO glad that I did though. I was thrilled with the unique way Carriger brought her characters to life. Lord Akeldama, rove vampire, head of a harem of handsome drones, and owner of an impressive rococo themed home is one of Alexia’s closest friends and and his peacockish ways was a source of hilarity for me. Lord Maccon, Earl of Woosley, alpha werewolf and head of the B.U.R. is alternately besotted and annoyed with Alexia’s antics. Listening to those two bickering between kisses was another thoroughly enjoyable highlight.  One of my favorite aspects was the fashion which was a frequent topic of discussion. Bustles, corsets, gaudy feathered hats, and glorious confections of taffeta and ruffles almost makes me wish I lived in that time period.

This review is for the audio book from narrated by Emily Gray. Emily Gray was a wonderful narrator and did an amazing job of bringing these outrageous characters to life.

I want to thank MadScientist for recommending this book, and I, in turn, would recommend it to anyone else who wants to know about Steampunk.

Overall, I would rate this a 5, this series will undeniably become one of my favorites.

Spooktacular Book Blog Giveaway Hop! $25 Gift Card!

October 25, 2010 § 108 Comments

Thanks for stopping by my blog today for my part of the Spooktacular Book Blog Giveaway Hop hosted by I am a reader, Not a writer

Halloween is a busy and exciting time of year in my house. My youngest son’s birthday is Oct. 30, so we have always combined any Halloween activities with his birthday celebration. Anything from Trick or Treat at the Aquarium, haunted hay rides, and Halloween/birthday parties with tons of games and activities. Our favorite Halloween party game to play is the “Toilet Paper Mummy Wrap” this can be played by either children or adults or any combination of the two. How it works: One person takes the roll of toilet paper and begins wrapping their partner as fast as they can without breaking the toilet paper or they have to start over with a new roll. The first pair done wins. So much fun for everyone involved!!

How does your family celebrate Halloween?

Giveaway details: Your choice of
1. $25 E-gift card (sent to your email) from Amazon
2. $25 E-gift card from Barnes and Noble
3. Up to $25 in books from The Book Depository.

How to enter:
You must be a follower of this blog, leave a comment on this post with your email address and which of the 3 choices you prefer. Random winner will be chosen on 10/31. Good Luck and Happy Halloween!!!!

Extra entries:
Follow me on Twitter: @Donna224 +1
Grab my button for your sidebar +2
Share this on Twitter or Facebook (leave link in comments) +2
If you’d need a suggestion of a great Halloween read, check out the Downside series by Stacia Kane, starting with Unholy Ghosts! Definitely my favorite this year and very appropriate for Halloween.

Don’t forget to use the linky list below to go to the next stop on the Spooktacular Book Blog Giveaway Hop!

Review: Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn

October 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

  • Pub. Date: October 2010
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Format: Hardcover, 400pp
  • synopsis: Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king’s fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river. 

     It’s there that Zoe realizes she is a coru prime ruled by the elemental sign of water. She must return to     the  palace, not as an unwilling bride for the king, but a woman with power in her own right. But as Zoe unlocks more of the mysteries of her blood — and the secrets of the royal family — she must decide how to use her great power to rise above the deceptions and intrigue of the royal court

Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn was an enjoyable stand alone set in an original magical world that focused on the five elements, earth, wood, air, fire, and water. The writing style was easy to read, giving a clear understanding of how this world works without getting lost in endless descriptive detail. I was thoroughly drawn into this world and the array of unique personalities that inhabit it.
The main character, Zoe Ardelay, was fascinating. Being raised by her father in exile and growing up in a small village far from court intrigues, she had to overcome a lot of obstacles to find her place as the head of one of the five families, which constitutes nobility in this world. Given insight by both the blessings bestowed upon her at birth by 4 strangers, and the blessings drawn from the baskets at various temples, Zoe learns that her strength lies in the elements of water and blood. Zoe then uses this affinity to help her navigate the complex scheming of the court, sometimes letting her temper cloud her judgement on how to best use her new found power. 
The relationship between Zoe and Damien Serlast remained rather combative, it was clear from the beginning what direction they were heading, however, I felt that this romance was a bit underdeveloped and not quite believable. Darien alternately helps her and hides things from her throughout the book.
Some of what I found most fascinating were the blessings themselves. There are 43 blessings, 8 from each of the elements, and 3 that do not belong to an element. Each blessing describes either a personality trait or something to expect, for example, some of the blessings include love, beauty, change, surprise, joy etc. I loved how these affected the lives of those who drew or was given each blessing. 
The ending, for me, felt rushed and incomplete, leaving a lot of questions unanswered for a stand alone novel. 
Overall, I would rate this a 4, the incredible world that Shinn created in this novel makes it one I would definitely recommend to fans of fantasy. 


Book Blogger Hop

October 22, 2010 § 19 Comments

Book Blogger Hop

Join Crazy for Books for this weeks Book Blogger Hop!

This weeks question: “Where is your favorite place to read? 
Well, I read just about everywhere. I read while sitting at my computer “working” my 9-5. I listen to my audio books either while playing Zuma on my computer or while curled up on the couch. I read on the porch when the days are warm and breezy. I don’t really have a favorite place, I love to read and I do it any and everywhere I can! 

Where Am I?

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