Announcement!

I am still accepting books for review but on a VERY limited basis. If you are interested in my reviewing your book please check out my review policy and feel free to contact me at bookjunkie221@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tempest in the Tea Leaves Giveaway

Tempest in the Tea Leaves (Fortune Teller Mystery, #1)


TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES: A Fortune Teller Mystery 

In the fortune telling business there are a lot of pretenders, but Sunshine Meadows is the real deal--and her predictions can be lethally accurate… 
Sunny is a big city psychic who moves to the quaint town of Divinity, NY to open her fortune-telling business in an ancient Victorian house, inheriting the strange cat residing within. Sunny gives her first reading to the frazzled librarian and discovers the woman is going to die. When the woman flees in terror, Sunny calls the police, only she's too late. The ruggedly handsome, hard-nosed detective is a ”non-believer.” He finds the librarian dead, and Sunny becomes his number one suspect, forcing her to prove her innocence before the real killer can put an end to the psychic's future.

Giveaway Details:

1. Kari is giving away 1 copy of Tempest in the Tea Leaves.

2. Open to US addresses only.

3. MUST comment on Author Interview post.

4. MUST leave an email address in the comments below.

5. Contest ends September 13, 2011

Author Interview with Kari Lee Townsend author of Tempest in the Tea Leaves



Today on The Eclectic Bookshelf I have author Kari Lee Townsend visiting.  Kari is the author of Tempest in the Tea Leaves, which is the first book in her A Fortune Teller Mystery series.  Thank you for stopping by to say HI! :)

About Kari:

Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!
     
Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters. You can find out more about her on her website www.karileetownsend.com and also on the group mystery blog she cohosts, called Mysteries and Margaritas, at www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com 


Author Interview:
1. What were you doing when the idea for Tempest in the Tea Leaves came to you? 
 I actually knew I wanted to write for Berkley, so I purposely scoured their site and came up with something just for them. I love light fun paranormal, so I looked at what was already there, and then tried to come up with something that "wasn't." Fortune telling has always fascinated me, and I thought it would be really cool to focus each book on a different fortune-telling tool.

2. Of all the genre's out there why mystery?  Is there something about the genre that specifically drew you to it?

 I love Janet Evanovich books, especially the Stephanie Plum series. So I started thinking that my books already had romance in them, and some form of mystery anyways, so why not a cozy mystery series. And I love the idea of fun quirky characters that we get to revisit over and over. My heroine gets to be the ongoing star, and not just revisit the town in someone else's story. I love that. And with cozies, you get a great mystery to solve without all the gore. All the nasty stuff happens off screen :-) Romance, mystery, humor...it doesn't get much better than that.
3. There is a lot of humor and action in Tempest in the Tea Leaves, do you think it's harder to write the humor or the action?  Why?
Writing humor isn't really hard, it's just tricky. You're either funny or you're not. I realize there will be people who don't get my humor, and I'm okay with that. But trying to write in a way that's not you will show through in a negative way, like you're trying too hard. Just be yourself and go for what "you" think is funny. Chances are someone else will, too. As far as action goes, I love fast-paced stories filled with action and adventure. I do a lot of brainstorming because coming up with fresh new ideas for investigating isn't easy. I don't want it to seem like Sunny is doing the same thing over and over. So if any of you have some great ideas, send them my way :-)
4. Are your main characters Sunny and Mitch based on anyone in real life?

Sunny doesn't look like me, but she acts a lot like me. I have fun writing her, and it makes it easier for me to say...gee, what would I do in a situation like that. As far as Mitch goes, he is a total fantasy! I just love big, strong, brooding alpha males who are wounded and need help but would never in a million years admit it. It makes you want to reach out and give him a hug...among other things :-)

5. If Tempest in the Tea Leaves was turned into a movie tomorrow, who would you want to see play Sunny and Mitch?

Oooh, great question. I've never really thought about it, and there are so many great actors out there. I would have to say someone like Colin Farrell for Mitch and maybe Sienna Miller for Sunny, but heck, I wouldn't say no to anyone. For any author, seeing her work on the big screen would be amazing! I can't wait to see Stephanie Plum when it comes out.

6. What is the last "AWESOME SAUCE" book you read by another author?
Wow, there are so many great cozy books out there. I love to read them as much as I love to write them. One of my favorites is Annette Blair. I love her Vintage Magic Mysteries! I also love authors like Donna Andrews, Peggy Webb, Tamar Myers and Avery Aames.

7. If you could have a 1 hour conversation with any famous person living or dead who would it be and why?
Hands down Janet Evanovich. I truly do love her writing, and would really like to see who she is as a person. To have 18 amazing books in her series is awe inspiring. And now to think of them becoming movies is so exciting. I want to pick her brain!

8. I saw on your webpage that you like Mexican and Italian food.  Do you have a favorite dish or recipe that you REALLY LOVE? 

I'm really simple. Tacos and Spaghetti :-) I have a great recipe for homemade sauce and meatballs to die for! That with a glass of red wine and some garlic bread is total heaven. And tacos with ALL the fixings and loads of sour cream are just delicious. Sigh...okay, back to the diet, darnit!
9. If you could travel to anywhere in the world where would that place be and why?
I've been to Hawaii, Alaska, and the Carribean. I still want to go to Italy and Greece. But I would have to say Ireland is one place I HAVE to go to! The rolling green hills, the castles, the Irish pubs....they are all just so mysterious and romantic and fun! Someday I will make it there :-)

10. What is one book that is on your reading "bucket" list?

Five People You Meet In Heaven.  I keep saying I'm going to read it, but I never seem to have the chance. I will get around to reading it someday. I've heard so many wonderful things about it. There are just so many good books and so little time. Most of the time I'm reading for research. I don't get to read for pleasure nearly enough these days.

Thanks so much for having me. It's been fun. To find out more about me and all my books, go to http://www.karileetownsend.com/ and my group mystery blog http://www.mysteriesandmargaritas.blogspot.com/ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/karileetownsend and like my Facebook Author Page at www.facebook.com/karileetownsendAUTHOR
 

Monday, August 29, 2011

ARC Review ~ Fury by Elizabeth Miles


Title: Fury
Author: Elizabeth Miles
Series: The Fury Trilogy
Genre: Paranormal YA
Format: ARC from ATW Tours
Release Date: September 2011

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

Sometimes sorry is not enough...

Em loves the winter holidays. And this year, things are really looking up: the guy she's been into for months has finally noticed her. But if she starts something with him, there's no turning back. Because he's going out with her best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase's home life is stressful and his social life's unravelling. But that's nothing compared to what's really haunting him. For Chase has done something cruel -- something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it's only a matter of time before he's exposed.

Mistakes can be deadly.
And three beautiful, mysterious girls are about to make them pay...



Review:

Fury is a debut novel that is pretty dang electrifying!  It surprised me constantly with very real and authentic characters and plot that has so many twists and turns I felt like I was on a roller coaster.  But there were times I thought that there were too many twists and turns and for me they started to detract from the story.  I thought that the idea and setup for this story was very interesting because of the use of a "plain Jane" setting, Maine, and all of the problems that arise due to the use of karma. 

I really thought that Elizabeth's writing was a bullseye for Fury.  There was more than enough suspense to keep the story moving smoothly, which I really like.  I also thought that the changes between Em and Chase's points of view flowed very smoothly.  There are enough lies, drama and manipulation in the whole book that you get caught in the web and aren't able to get get away.  Another thing that detracted from the book for me was the use of profanity, talk of sexual behavior and use of certain questionable terms, I thought that these things pushed the envelope on the book being slightly more "Adult" than YA.

Overall, I thought that Em and Chase were pretty "normal" characters with "normal" problems and pretty dang likeable.  You see a lot of very noticeable growth in them as the book progresses but I really liked how the growth was not rushed.  They both make mistakes and they both learn from them and grow from them.  Even with their own secrets both Chase and Em are able to have very down-to-earth, normal relationships with their friends.
My overall thoughts on the book are a little mixed.  There were things that I REALLY liked a lot about the book and then there were things that I really DID NOT like about the book.  I'm glad that I read Fury but I'm still on the fence as to wether I will continue on with the trilogy or not.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

AWESOME SAUCE Ashes Pre-Order Giveaway!


After reading and hearing so MANY AWESOME SAUCE reviews about  Ilsa J. Bick's upcoming novel Ashes I absolutely had to pre-order myself a copy.  Then going through my google reader I found out about this AWESOME SAUCE pre-order giveaway!

Ilsa's agent, Jennifer Laughran, is hosting this AWESOME giveaway!  Check out the link to the giveaway post and check out all the awesome details and even AWESOMER things you can win!  If you pre-order your copy(ies) by 11:59 pm on September 5 here is what you could win:

~ Everyone who forwards proof of their pre-order to the email address listed on the graphic above will win either a limited edition set of Ashes dogtags, a pin or a bookmark.

~ You will also be added to the BIG drawing of AWESOME stuff from Egmont like an Ashes survival kit OR an Ashes skinned tablet/e-reader!

HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?!?!?!?!?!

In My Mailbox August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and it was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.  This is where we show off the books that we got in the mail for review, via swap, bought, got from the library or any other means of obtaining books and bookish things.

I know that I ALWAYS find new books to add to my wishlist and I hope that you do too!









Around The World Tours:

Pure (Pure, #1)


We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
 
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

I'm currently reading this one and so far it's REALLY good!

E-Books:
Merciless


Tall dark and eligible? That’s all that matters to the women of Jacobsville when it comes to handsome and aloof FBI agent Jon Blackhawk. But if it were up to him, he would never settle down. Luckily, Jon has the best gatekeeper: his efficient and reliable assistant, Joceline Perry. Without her help, he’d be at the mercy of husband hunters – but the more he comes to rely on her, the more he notices how invaluable she really is…. While Joceline can’t deny that her boss is attractive, as a single mother with responsibilities she’s determined to be professional. But when Jon is accosted by a criminal seeking revenge, she comes to his aid – fueling the spark that is growing between them. As the attempts on Jon’s life increase, Joceline stands by his side. But when the smoke clears, will the man who avoided love realize that all he ever needed was right there all along?

I read this one in 1 sitting and it was REALLY good!

Lessons in Indiscretion



Widowed Lady Julia Renwick is still young enough to crave a man's touch; but she's too old to think that the Earl of Bedingfield could see her as anything more than a family friend. Garrett Walker is handsome, charming and only 26 years old—the perfect catch for any one of this year's debutantes.
 
Garrett has no interest in the maidens vying for his attentions. He wants only Julia. With just two weeks left in the season, he makes a bold move by asking her to dance. When she counters with a shocking request of her own, Garrett eagerly agrees.

Soon, they are stealing away for passionate encounters at every society event they attend. Garrett introduces Julia to excitements she never knew existed, and her newfound confidence quickly attracts other eligible men. It's not long before Garrett realizes he must find a way to keep the lady all to himself...
The Perfect Play (Play by Play, #1)

Football pro Mick Riley is an all-star, both on the field and in the bedroom. But a sexy, determinedly single mom just might be the one to throw him off his game…

For years Mick has been taking full advantage of the life available to a pro athlete: fame, fortune, and a different girl in every city. But when he meets and beds confident, beautiful event planner Tara Lincoln, he wants much more than the typical one-night stand. Too bad Tara’s not interested in getting to know football’s most notorious playboy any better.

As the single mother of a teenage son, the last thing Tara needs is the jet-set lifestyle of Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand was unforgettable. Tara’s life is complicated enough without being thrust into the spotlight as Mick’s latest girl du jour. Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn’t intend to put herself out there again, especially with a heartbreaker like Mick.

But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind.

I really enjoyed this one a LOT!  It's a hot little number and you can read my review here.

Bought:

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, #3)

Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. But that didn’t stop him from taking risks—whether he’s scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis can’t stop looking for the next thrill.

Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules—boys lie to get their way, don’t trust a boy who says “I love you,” and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor’s daughter, she has more in common with her north-side neighbors than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meets Luis at Alex’s wedding, and suddenly, she’s tempted to break all her rules.

Getting Nikki to take a chance on a southsider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals a disturbing secret about Luis’s family, the youngest Fuentes finds himself questioning everything he’s ever believed to be true. Will his feelings for Nikki be enough to stop Luis from entering a dark and violent world and permanently living on the edge?

Bad Moon Rising (Dark-Hunter, #18) (Were-Hunter, #5)

A stunning and suspenseful new landscape emerges in the thrilling Dark-Hunter world—a world where nothing will ever be the same again. . .

Fang Kattalakis isn't just a wolf. He is the brother of two of the most powerful members of the Omegrion: the ruling council that enforces the laws of the Were-Hunters. And when war erupts among the lycanthropes, sides must be chosen. Enemies are forced into shaky alliances. And when the woman Fang loves is accused of betraying her people, her only hope is that Fang believes in her. Yet in order to save her, Fang must break the law of his people and the faith of his brothers. That breech could very well spell the end of both their races and change their world forever.

The war is on and time is running out...


Dangerous (Long, Tall Texans)
Tall, lean and headstrong, FBI agent Kilraven lives by his own rules. And one of those rules includes keeping his hands off Jacobsville’s resident sweetheart, Winnie Sinclair, no matter the temptation. Shy and innocent, Winnie couldn’t handle a man like him — a merciless man with a haunted past. And this small town may hold not only the woman he fights to resist, but the answers to a cold case that is very personal to Kilraven....
Winnie has had her own share of sorrow and senses Kilraven’s pain. Even though she tries to deny it, the gentle 911 operator feels a connection with the darkly handsome agent. When he makes the disturbing discovery that her family’s unsavory past might have a bearing on his case, Winnie is determined to help him crack it…and the ice around his heart.
As they combine forces in a dangerous investigation, the stakes rise ever higher. Winnie’s life is on the line, and she’ll need Kilraven more than ever. But if they are to have a future together, her ruthless Texan will need to confront his past and risk it all for their love.

Library (To many to post pix of so click the link to go to goodreads page):

This side of the grave - Jeaniene Frost
First Drop of Crimson - Jeaniene Frost
Eternal Kiss of Darkness - Jeaniene Frost
Uncommon Criminals - Ally Carter
Department 19 - Will Hill
So Much Closer - Susane Colasanti
Rot & Ruin - Jonathan Maberry
Chime - Franny Billingsley
Beauty Queens - Libba Bray
Bossy Pants - Tina Fey
Darkness Becomes Her - Kelly Keaton
Hereafter - Tara Hudson
A Need So Beautiful - Suzanne Young
Nightshade - Michelle Rowen
You Wish - Mandy Hubbard




 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm Flying Solo again

As a result of somethings that are going on in "Bumps" personal life she has decided to step down from blogging.  So I am flying solo again.  I'm in the process of making some changes to the blog and working on some reading challenges for 2012 as well as few other things as well.  I'm also looking for someone(s) to critique the blog as it is right now and let me know what you think and feel free to offer some constructive criticism.  If you are interested in doing this you can email me at rutrow01@gmail.com and you can also send your critiques to this address as well.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Book Review ~ The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

The Perfect Play (Play by Play, #1)
Title: The Perfect Play
Author: Jaci Burton
Series: Play By Play #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Format: E-Book
Release Date: February 1, 2011

Rating: 5/5, Awesome Sauce Award

Synopsis:

Football pro Mick Riley is an all-star, both on the field and in the bedroom. But a sexy, determinedly single mom just might be the one to throw him off his game…

For years Mick has been taking full advantage of the life available to a pro athlete: fame, fortune, and a different girl in every city. But when he meets and beds confident, beautiful event planner Tara Lincoln, he wants much more than the typical one-night stand. Too bad Tara’s not interested in getting to know football’s most notorious playboy any better.

As the single mother of a teenage son, the last thing Tara needs is the jet-set lifestyle of Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand was unforgettable. Tara’s life is complicated enough without being thrust into the spotlight as Mick’s latest girl du jour. Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn’t intend to put herself out there again, especially with a heartbreaker like Mick.

But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind.


First Line: "Sweat dripped down Mick Riley's face and arms."

Review:

I have been wanting to get my hands on a copy of this book for a while now and I finally got tired of waiting so I downloaded a copy onto my Barnes and Noble Nook.  Honestly, what first drew me to this book was the cover...Yeah I want me some of that right there!  Once I got started reading I got completely sucked into the story right away.  And OH BOY is this one HOT, HOT, HOT, HOT!  Not only because of hunka hunka burnin' love Mick either! ;)

The chemistry between Mick and Tara is explosive right from the beginning and only builds as their relationship grows.  Tara is a very strong leading lady, she's been dealt some hard knocks pretty from the get go in life and she's just gotten stronger as a result.  She's also the kind leading lady who as much as she REALLY enjoys the really great sex she's having with Mick she puts her son first.  Mick is our leading man, who despite what Tara sees (perfection) he does in fact have a flaw.

Liz, Mick's agent, is written as the villain of the story but I think that she thought her heart was in the right place. Even the queen of 'cold' has a soft side...and it comes in the form of Mick's little brother Gavin.  I think that Jaci did an excellent job of building up to Liz and Gavin's story and I can hardly wait to start reading that book too!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review ~ Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Shut Out
Title:  Shut Out
Author:  Kody Keplinger
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC from ATW Tours
Release Date: September 5, 2011

Rating: 5/5, Awesome Sauce Award

Synopsis:

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

Inspired by Aristophanes' play Lysistrata, critically acclaimed author of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) Kody Keplinger adds her own trademark humor in this fresh take on modern teenage romance, rivalry and sexuality.


First Line: "There is nothing more humiliating than being topless in the backseat of your boyfriends car when someone decides to throw an egg at the windshield."
Review:

I really enjoyed Kody's first novel The Duff but I think that I like Shut Out even more than The DUFF. I really liked the concept that this book is inspired by the Greek play Lysistrata. Kudo's to Kody for using a piece of Classic Literature for inspiration.

The story starts out with our main character Lissa "parking" with her football player boyfriend Randy. Then someone or according to Randy a soccer player decides to egg his car. There has been a rivalry between the football and soccer teams at Hamilton High School for about 10 years and it has finally gotten to the point that it has started taking it's toll on the relationships of not only the players but their girlfriends (for the players that have them anyway). Lissa is tired of coming in second to this rivalry so she comes up with a plan to end the feud and enlists the help of the other girlfriends on both teams. The plan? Without sexual favors.

In the beginning the strike is pretty harmless but once the boys catch wind of the plan they up the ante....the boy, Cash, that leaves Lissa all hot and bothered takes up the reins and leads the boys. This is were things start to go awry. See Cash and Lissa have history and Lissa views Cash's tactics as a way to manipulate her into ending the strike. Then it isn't so much about ending the team rivalry, it turns into an all out battle of the sexes. Feelings get hurt, relationships end, friendships are formed and heck even new relationships blossom. Do the rivalry end? You'll have to read the book to find out.

Overall, I really liked Lissa. She's had a tragedy come up in her past that has made her into something of a control freak. At times I thought these tendencies controlled her too much. I really didn't like her with Randy at all...A little too toxic for my liking. I did enjoy her relationship with Chloe. Chloe is freaking hilarious in my mind. I also liked watching her relationship with Cash and all the back and forth banter between them. Her relationship with her dad and brother were pretty sweet to read about too.

Oh my goodness! Let's talk about Cash. I think I'm in lust with a fictional character! He's the kind of guy that just when you think you have him pegged...it turns out your COMPLETELY wrong about him. He's also that talk, dark and athletic type that I have a thing for.

I really enjoyed the secondary characters too, well with the exception of Randy. Even though they were secondary characters Kody wrote them in a way that made them just as important and special as the main characters. I really like when an author does that. To me it says that the author left no "rock" (detail) unturned when planning out and writing their book.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. I literally received it in the mail Saturday morning and finished it early Sunday morning (after a few hours of sleep of course). Another book I can across that once you start it, it sucks you and doesn't let go! This book is also being awarded the coveted and seldom given out "Awesome Sauce Award."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (1) - 10 Books I LOVED but didn't review



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!


Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

1. Charlotte's Web by E.B White - I LOVED this book when I was growing up.  A great story about friendship.

2. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls - Another book that I LOVED growing up.  I remember my fourth grade teacher reading this one to us out loud.  Not a dry eye in the classroom.

3. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - AWESOME SAUCE!  Very good but sad.

4. The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom - There's a lesson to be learned from this one.

5. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara - I'm a big history buff and this book is AWESOME!  Plus, the movie Gettysburg is loosely based on this book.

6. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephan Crane - Another "history" book!

7. Dances With Wolves by Michael Blake - I saw the movie first and LOVED the movie, then I saw that a friend of mine had the book so I borrowed it and LOVED it almost as much as the movie.

8. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry - I finally read the book last year after watching the mini series a "million" times and loving every second of it.  The book is just as awesome as the mini series!  Don't let the fact that this is a western turn you off of this book.  I'm actually going to re-read it and review it shortly because I want to share it soooo much.  IT'S EPIC AWESOME SAUCE!

9.  The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond - I follow PW (that's what her "groupies" call her) blog religiously and this now book started as a way to fill a slight blogging funk that came along...Then it turned into a "we have to have more!" thing and now we have this book!  LOVED it!  The Black Heels to Tractor Wheels was thought up by a blog reader as part of a contest...Pretty cool. :)

I'm having trouble coming up with a number 10 at the moment.  I've been up all night (I work third shift) and my brain is sending me urgent sleep messages.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Monday August 22, 2011



It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  D  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!   This event is hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney.

NOTE:  I will be doing this meme starting this week every 2 weeks, it just works better that way with my schedule.  I've also got some giveaways going on here on Bumps in the Road...You can find the link to those in the right hand sidebar at the top.

Finished:

Lessons in Indescretion  by Karen Erickson - Review coming soon
Merciless by Diana Palmer - Review coming soon
A Plague Year by Edward Bloor - Review Coming Soon
Fury by Elizabeth Miles - Review Coming Soon
Shut Out by Kody Keplinger - Review Coming Soon

Currently Reading:

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

Coming Soon:

Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Numbers by Rachel Ward

I have a BUNCH of books in at the library so I'm going to keep my options open at this time.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Creating the "Bucket List" list giveaway!

I am in the process of creating a new reading challenge for 2012.  The new challenge will be called 2012 "Bucket List" Reading Challenge.  Basically, this challenge is a challenge in which you challenge yourself to read as many books that are on your reading "Bucket List" as possible through out the year.  I am looking for volunteers to add their "Bucket List" books to the already created list on Goodreads, to provide a "reference" for challenge participants.  As an added incentive I have decided that I am going to giveaway $20 in books via Book Depository or a book off of their bucket list to 1 random contributor.

To find the list on Goodreads please click HERE.

NOTE:  There is NO limit to the number of books you can add or vote (well goodreads limits you to 100) for on the list.

Giveaway Rules (NON NEGOTIABLE):

1. If you vote or add books to the list you MUST leave your Goodreads name on this post to be eligible for the giveaway.

2. You do NOT need to be a follower of the blog though it would be a nice added bonus. :)

3. You do NOT need to be a goodreads follower though, again, it would be a nice added bonus. :)

4. You MUST leave a way to contact you if you happen to be the winner (Email address or Goodreads name preferred).

5. Open to anywhere Book Depository delivers too.

6. Runs from August 20 - October 10, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In My Mailbox August 14, 2011



In My Mailbox is hosted by the lovely Kristi over at The Story Siren.


In My Mailbox is an opportunity for bloggers to share the books that they received in the mail, through the library, via RAK, or any other way that you may obtain books.  I now that my wish list always grows after seeing every one's IMM posts.  I hope that you find a bunch of books to add to your wish list while your out and about visiting!







Shut Out

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

Inspired by Aristophanes' play Lysistrata, critically acclaimed author of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) Kody Keplinger adds her own trademark humor in this fresh take on modern teenage romance, rivalry and sexuality.


NOTE:  I'm a little over 110 pages into this book and it's AWESOME SAUCE!

Library:

The Lonesome Gods

The Lonesome Gods is Louis L'Amour's biggest and most important historical novel to date, a sweeping adventure of the California frontier. Here is the fascinating story of Johannes Verne, a young man left to die by his vengeful grandfather, rescued by outlaws and raised in part by the Indians of the desert. Strengthened by the love of two women -- Miss Nesselrode, whose mysterious past fires her ambitions for the future and Meghan, a willful young beauty -- Verne grows to become a rugged adventurer, a man strong enough to embrace the awesome power of the Palm Springs desert, and bold enough to stake a claim in the bustling world of opportunity that was early-day Los Angeles.

Return to Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #2)

Caleb Becker left Paradise eight months ago, taking with him the secret he promised to take to his grave. If the truth got out, it would ruin everything.

Maggie Armstrong tried to be strong after Caleb broke her heart and disappeared. Somehow, she managed to move on. She's determined to make a new life for herself.

But then Caleb and Maggie are forced together on a summer trip. They try ignoring their passion for each other, but buried feelings resurface. Caleb must face the truth about the night of Maggie's accident, or the secret that destroyed their relationship will forever stand between them.

Numbers (Numbers, #1)

Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.

Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris
wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review ~ Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Forget You

Title: Forget You
Author: Jennifer Echols
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary YA
Format: Paperback, 292 pages
Release Date: July 20, 2010

Rating: 4/5
Synopsis:

Why can't you choose what you forget . . . and what you remember?

There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.

But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them?

Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her.

Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.


Review:

I ordered this book a few weeks ago to get free shipping on my Amazon order.  I'd been wanting to read it for a while now and I just went ahead and purchased a copy.  Does it make me a "bad" person to admit that I bought a book just to get free shipping?

Anyway back to the book, I had heard great things about this book and I really wanted to LOVE it but  that just didn't happen.  I really did LIKE it a lot though.  Our main character Zoey, works at her lowlife father's water park as a lifeguard and is also dealing with a seriously depressed mom.  Zoey has always been the definition of "good girl," if you looked up the word there would be her picture.  Then there is a horrible accident involving Zoey's mom that has Zoey taking more chances than she usually does.  Which leads up to the car crash that leaves Zoey with no memory of the events prior to the crash.

I really didn't care for Brandon at all and I really didn't see what Zoey saw in him either.  I thought that he was pretty much a prick but that's just my opinion.  I also seriously disliked Zoey's father.  I guess as far as I'm concerned this book has two "villains."  I did like Doug though.  He was our tall dark and mysterious character and I really liked how the relationship between Doug and Zoey grew.  At times Zoey could be really annoying, it started to bother me that she had to keep reminding people that Brandon was her boyfriend...Almost like she had to remind herself so she had a reason to attempt to keep her hands off Doug.

Overall, I really did like this book.  I'm still really happy that I bought it, even if it was just to get free shipping.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who hasn't read a Jennifer Echols book before.  Jennifer is a new to me author and now I can hardly wait to pick Love Story, which I also purchased in that order too.

In need of some car buying tips/suggestions...


2012 Chevrolet Sonic 1LT Sedan

So this little beauty is the new Chevy Sonic.  This is one of the three types of Chevy cars that I am looking into purchasing in the next few months.

I've been driving around for almost 7 years in a 2002 Mercury Sable that has been nothing but headaches for me for a pretty long time.  Let's put it this way, I have electric windows that haven't gone down in almost 2 years, I rolled 100,000 miles on the car and the engine started making a rattling sound, the power steering rack has gone out of it, I hit a deer with it and when I took it into the dealership in which I bought it they proceeded to keep my car for a MONTH, the AC belt went out of it, there is sooo much more to this story but I won't bore you with the details.

Basically, I'm in need of a new fuel efficient vehicle.  Did I mention that the fuel mileage on my beast SUCKS!  Also, there will be a baby joining our family in March so I'm looking for safety features as well.  And it would be great to drive around in a car that's not going to break the bank to maintain.

So here are my list of "demands" for my next vehicle:

1. Fuel efficient ~ I want Prius gas mileage (or close to it) without the Prius price

2. Safety Features ~ Can't be driving around the countryside in an unsafe car with a new baby

3. Not going to break the bank to maintain

4. WARRANTY! ~ I got screwed on this with the purchase of my current vehicle

5. Low monthly payment ~ $300 (310 at the very highest) or less to not break my budget, I don't mind paying longer to stay within this range.

So here are my questions to you: 1. Do you have any other tips/suggestions for me to use? 2. What do you drive? Would you say it's fuel efficient and safe? 3.  Is there anything else that I forgot?

Book Review ~ Moon Called by Patrica Briggs


 

Title: Moon Called
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Release Date: 2006, January 31
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Paperbackswap.com

Rating: 5/5
Synopsis:
Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they'll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I'm not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too.
Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.

But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself ... and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.
The "Short Story:"
Were-wolves, shape shifters, vamps and more oh my!
The "Long Story:"
Now that I've actually read the first book in the series so many things from the last book I read in this series makes sense.  I really like Mercy....She's a "no nonsense" take no prisoners type of heroine...I really LIKE ass kicking heroines!
I also was really impressed by all the attention to detail towards how the relationships between all the different types of paranormals in the book work as well as the politics.  I'm not usually big on politics but I think that the politics in this book were pretty alright.
Alright....I'm jealous of Mercy.  Who doesn't want to have the attention of not 1 but 2 sexy werewolves?!
The suspense kept me turning pages.  All the twists and turns kept me wanting MORE! I really hated to put the book down.  The only thing I didn't really care for was how LONG it took me to get this book read....DANG YOU REAL LIFE!

Friday, August 12, 2011

ARC Review ~ In Bed With A Highlander by Maya Banks

In Bed with a Highlander (Highlander, #1)Title: In Bed With A Highlander
Author: Maya Banks
Series: Highlander #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: ARC won on Goodreads giveaways
Release Date: August 30, 2011

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his—until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan’s clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.

The illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn—and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband makes her crave his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin’s strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons—and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.

Review:

I won this ARC on Goodreads giveaways a few weeks ago and I picked it up and read it through in one sitting.  I LOVED this book!  I totally want to get my hands on the next two books in this series!  I have to know what happens next for each of Ewan's brother's!

As the daughter of King David, Mairin Stuart is a hot commodity.  So far she has spent most of her life in a convent, so she's never married, never had a child and comes with a dowry that any man would give his left nut for.  In Bed With A Highlander begins with Mairin in the convent where soldiers for the villain, Duncan Cameron, are looking for her.  Duncan's plan is to marry her and get her pregnant so that he can acquire her dowry for his evil plan.

The thing about Mairin is that she's a fighter and she never stops fighting throughout the whole book.  She's also pretty funny, which I really enjoyed.  Because of Mairin's fighting nature she's saved a little boy from the wrath of Duncan, a little boy who is the son of a true warrior and leader of his own clan.

Ewan, our hero, is a very intelligent very driven man.  Who is not only leading his clan but trying to rebuild it after a prior massacre by Duncan and his men.  When Ewan's little boy goes missing he sends his brothers out in an effort to find the little guy, Mairin is brought into the clan's keep.

After learning who Mairin really is and what her dowry would do for his clan her decides to marry her.  He doesn't force it on her, he bargains with her.  Between the two of them they find themselves in some pretty interesting situations and engage in plenty of verbal sparring.  Oh, yeah and lets not forget the white hot sex with a hot as hell highland warrior.  As the story progresses feelings grow stronger and a rapid succession of events keeps things chugging right along.

I really enjoyed watching this story unfold.  I loved how the author gave a voice to our heroine in a time when women really didn't have a voice.  Each character brings something special to the story and I really liked that a lot.  Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a really good historical romance, sexy highlanders, or just the sexy warrior type.

Book Review ~ Turn It Up by Inez Kelley


Turn It Up

Title: Turn It Up
Author: Inez Kelley
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: E-Book
Release Date: August 1, 2011

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

Dr. Bastian Talbot and self-proclaimed sex goddess Charlie Pierce heat up the air waves with their flirty banter as radio hosts Dr. Hot and the Honeypot. Off the air, they're best friends…but Bastian wants to be so much more. He wants Charlie—in bed, and forever.
 
Problem is, Charlie doesn't do commitment. Sure, she's had X-rated fantasies of Bastian, but he was always just a friend—until he impulsively proposes and unleashes the lust they've been denying for years. Charlie's willing to explore where their wild chemistry leads, but she won't marry him. And he won't have sex with her until she accepts his proposal, despite her seductive schemes.

What are Dr. Hot and the Honeypot to do? Ask their listeners for advice on how to tame a sex kitten and turn a perfect gentleman into a shameless lover. The Race to Wed or Bed is on…who will turn up on top?

Review:

I want to thank The Fiction Vixen for turning me on to this book.  I found out about Turn It Up via a review that I found on The Fiction Vixen blog.  FV gave the book an A- but I had to give this one 5/5.  There was only one small part of the story that I was lukewarm on but it wasn't enough to detract from the rating.

Charlie has been "Honeypot" on her radio show - Honeypot and Dr. Love - for as long as she can remember.  The best part of the scenario is that she gets to do the show with her BFF Bastian.  Then Bastian goes and changes up the very foundation of their relationship by telling her that he wants to be more than just her friend...That he's IN love with her and actually wants to marry her.  This is the part where Charlie freaks out.  The real "fun and games" begin when Bastian announces on the air to all their listeners that he wants to marry her but Charlie takes it in stride and issues the challenge that she thinks they'll end up sleeping together before they ever even think about getting married.  Thus beginning the battle of the sexes.

I LOVED this story.  Once I downloaded it onto my Nook and opened it up I didn't put it down until I was done reading it.  Turn It Up is one of those books that sucks you in and doesn't let go.  The only part of the book that I was lukewarm on was "the kiss," you'll have to read Turn It Up in order to find out what I'm talking about. One of my favorite aspects of the story was all of the sexual innuendos that were sent flying left and right by all parties.  I spent a good portion of my reading time giggling because of it.  I thought that it was really sweet and enduring that Bastian wanted to get married and build a life with Charlie and show her that he's not like every other guy in her past.  All while Charlie is doing her dangdest to get in his pants and find out what kind of lover he really is.

There were a couple of times I thought that Charlie was a little over the top but then you learn about her past and it all makes sense.  I viewed Bastian as the rock that keeps her sane, even with the battle of the sexes raging on.  The secondary characters I thought were fabulous.  I hope that Bastian's little brother gets his own story soon.


A Couple of Giveaway Winners!

Bumps is back in the saddle again after some pretty tramatic things happened in her "real" life.  So better late than never she has drawn the winner of the Divergent giveaway....

The winner is: Jasmine @ The Bookish Mama

Now here is Jamie, who is picking the winner of the Retribution giveaway.....

The winner is: Shadow_Kohler

Book Review ~ A Lady Like Sarah by Margaret Brownley


Synopis:


She's an outlaw; he's a preacher. Both are in need of a miracle.

Sarah Prescott has never known a respectable life. Just a hardscrabble childhood and brothers who taught her to shoot first and ask questions later.

Justin Wells left Boston in disgrace, heading out alone on the dusty trail to Texas. But when the once-respected clergyman encounters a feisty redhead in handcuffs with a dying U.S. Marshal at her side, their journey takes a dramatic turn.

His high society expectations and Sarah's outlaw habits clash from the start. With a price on her head and towing an orphaned baby rescued from the brink of starvation, Justin and Sarah make the difficult journey toward Rocky Creek. There, justice will be meted out. Perhaps—they hope—with a healthy portion of grace.

Filled with mishaps, laughs, and adventure, Margaret Brownley's inspiring romance will keep readers cheering for Sarah as she struggles to become a true lady.


Review:

This is my first ever Christian fiction novel and I really enjoyed it a lot. In the past Christian fiction hasn't really been something that I thought would "trip my trigger" so I just avoided that section at all costs in the bookstore. I'm glad to say that I was WRONG about the genre.

The story is about two characters who are trying to find God in unlikely places and circumstances. Sarah Prescott is an outlaw and a member of THE Prescott gang, who has always dreamed of having a "normal" life and Justin Wells is a Reverend who is out of his element, trying to bring God's word to the rough and tumble town of Rocky Creek.

Through many danger's, toils and snares....Justin and Sarah find the answers to their prayers. As well as one thing that neither of them had counted on at all....Love.

Overall, I really enjoyed the first book in this series and I can hardly wait to tear into book number 2...A Suitor for Jenny.



Rating: 4/5

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book Review ~ Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices Series #1
Genre: Fiction, YA, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: 2010, August
Format: Hardcover, 479 pages
Source: Purchased - Ebook

Rating: 4.75/5

Synopsis (from Barnes and Noble):

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Review:

This is the first book by this author that I have ever read.  I definitely will be reading more of her books in the future!  Awesome Sauce is what it is and I LOVE me some Awesome Sauce!

Even though I think this book was Awesome Sauce I did think that it got off to a slow start.  I also was confused as to how exactly Will found Tessa at the Dark Sisters house.  Did he senses her while she was in someone else's body, a random tip?  That bothered me a little bit.

There were times when I thought Will was more than a little bit of an ass.  Now I like "bad boys" but there's a difference between being a "bad boy" and being verbally and emotionally abusive.  I think at times Will walked a little bit too close to that fine line for my taste.  I guess that makes me a member of Team Jem then.

I found the writing style to be of my liking also.  Once I got past the slow beginning I thought the story was a definite page turner.  The action throughout the book was very well described also.  You felt like you were there.  I also liked how the bad guy wasn't completely obvious (at least to me) until you got closer to the end of the book.  Just when you think you have it all figured out it turns out our completely WRONG!

Overall, I really enjoyed Clockwork Angel.  The cliff hanger ending has me thinking that December will NEVER get here!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book Review (Contains Spoilers) ~ The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Iron Fey #2
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 2010, August 1
Format: Paperback, 359 pages
Source: Bought via Barnes and Noble web page
Rating: 5/5
Synopsis:
Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.
Review:
I LOVED The Iron King and I could hardly wait for the second book in the series to come out. This book came out and because I ordered it with a pre-ordered book I had to wait for it!  It was the LONGEST 26 days EVER!
The story starts out with Meghan saying good bye to her family, yet again as she's about to fulfill her contract with Ash and head for enemy territory. When Meghan gets to the Winter Court she is basically a prisoner to Queen Mab and Prince Ash abandons her.  Needless to say that the Winter Court is NOT happy to have Meghan around at all.  SPOILER AHEAD>>>When the Scepter of the Seasons is stolen and Prince Sage is murdered by the Iron Fey, Mab becomes enraged, because she doesn't not believe that these Iron Fey exist and think that Oberon took the Scepter, and a war between the Courts is in the works.  The Iron Fey are looking forward to the long trail of death and destruction that will come from the war. END SPOILER.  Now Meghan and her crew are on a journey to find the Scepter of the Seasons, return it to the Winter Court and stop the bloody war that is taking place.  All of this while being hopelessly in love with Ash.
Book number 2 in this series is just as captivating as The Iron King was.  The writing is very intense and extremely passionate.  In book 2 Julie Kagawa continues to build the world of Nevernever even bigger and badder than in the first book.  Nevernever only gets even more dangerous (as if that were even possible) in this book.  There are new characters that will have you completely mesmerized.  The plot, I think is better in this book, there are all sorts of twists and turns and it keeps you guessing.
This book is very fast-paced and I totally felt like I was there in Nevernever and as another member of Meghan's team trying to get back the Scepter.  I had a hard time putting this book down.  Ms. Kagawa does an excellent job of describing Faerie politics in this book, just to show how very dangerous the Fey can be.  The book is also a little bit of an emotional roller coaster.....Meghan learns some things along the way...some good and some not so good.
I was really happy with Meghan's personal growth along the way.  She's powerful and yet vulnerable as well....You mash those two things together and you get a pretty bad ass combination if you ask me.  There are times when she's struggling pretty badly with all the things that are going on around her.  She also makes some pretty bad decisions too....But in the end she rises to the occasion.  Meghan really is a force to be reckoned with!
OMG!  The romance triangle! As much as I love Puck I'm Team Ash (I have a "thing" for the "bad boy" types).  Puck has a lot of amazing qualities and when things started to heat up with Meghan I got a little bit worried.  But then along comes Ash, who has long since given in to his feelings for Meghan, and things get a "little bit" explosive.
My new favorite character is most defiantly Ironhorse!  He's a bad guy turned good.  And that's HOT!
Overall, I'm hopelessly hooked on this series and I'm finding it VERY difficult to wait until February for the Iron Queen to come out!