My Book Rating System

My book rating system is based on 5 stars. The book must be rated at least 3 stars for a review.

3 Stars: Good story, good plot, good writing.

4 Stars: I was wowed, but something about the story fell short of perfection.

5 Stars: I was either drooling, on the edge of my seat, or falling in love.

If you would like me to review your book, please contact me at

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Rewind!

Okay, pretties, it's the 2013 rewind, when I look at the books I read in 2013 and pick my faves. I don't think I read as much as I wanted to, 33 books, but I read more than I did in 2012. I call that a good year! I also read a couple of books that I'm not counting, since I haven't reviewed them (with an exception, but I'll get to that later), but they'll go in the 2014 bucket.

Let's go! Did one of your favorites make my list??

I picked my favorite covers...which was hard to limit myself!


Yeah, don't think I have to say anything here...the cover speaks for itself.


Hooded, dangerous-looking guy in black-and-white. Love it!


Love that blue's eye-catching.

Best of...everything

Everything about this cover draws me in: the colors, the layout, the light, the shadows.

Adult Fantasy - Indie
In this category, indie includes not only self-published authors, but those authors published by small press publishers. There are some rockin' books in this category, so never, ever sell an indie book short just because it's indie. There's a lot of untapped talent out there.

Crux, by Julie Reece

Loved the characters, loved the pace, loved the Viking mythology thrown in, which is new and refreshing. Moved forward at a good pace. Couple of sub plots that I'm not sure were needed. Couple loose ends, which I'd like to have seen tied up at the end. Couple of surprises, but some things were predicable (hard to fool us savvy reads *all* the time, ya know).

Slow Boat to Purgatory, by Vernon Baker

An incredibly well-written fantasy. There is a story within a story within a story, which was quite well crafted. I read the back page, about the author, and it's his first book. The fact that this is his first book is just plain wow-some.

And at #1...
Dead of Eve, by Pam Godwin

The story is gritty and real, devastatingly sad yet profoundly happy. You love the characters; Evie is strong and tough and loving and kinda bad-ass. You can't help but love the 3 men who come into her life, her 3 guardians. Each one serves a clear-cut purpose, and it all ties together in the end. They are there to help guide her through her trials and tribulations, help her become the woman she needs to be...for all of humanity.

Young Adult Fantasy - Traditional
What this category really comes down to for me is memorable characters and/or outrageous imagination.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor

Karou is a great character, vivid, real, like-able. The author weaves in such a creative, imaginative world right alongside our own. You can feel, hear and see things seeping from the pages. And there's Akiva. Mm mm mm. Beautiful angel, in all the right ways except his personality. He's hard and cold and distant and absolutely yum. It's wonderful to see that exterior begin to crack as he clashes with Karou. The ending is epic. A twisted betrayal that unfurls like the sails of a boat as the wind picks up. The story follows a strong undercurrent of secrets and lies of a past that isn't what it seemed, and that comes back to haunt both Karou and Akiva. It's an ending that will have your mouth dropping open.

Under the Never SkyVeronica Rossi

A YA dystopian novel that really rocks the boat. You have fear, violence, secrets, betrayals and uber sexy guys. A perfect setting for a perfect (energy) storm. The start of this book is creepy. The guys are creepy, and you can just feel the tension under their daring foray into the off-limits dome, you just know something is up with these guys and it ain't gonna be pretty. It wasn't. It was scary. I was scared for Aria, our main character. The plot moves forward *most* of the time, with enough twists to give you whiplash. I like me some twists. I like to say, "Dude, didn't see that coming!" There's a couple of nice moments just like that in this book.

And at #1...
Enclave, by Ann Aguirre

Where to start? How about the beginning. The book starts off with the dramatic living situation of the people living 'down under' (and that's down under the earth...not Australia). It's dark. It's dank. It's crowded. No one lives past 25. There are strict rules. No loving, no learning (except what's absolutely needed), no real living. Just doing your job that you've been assigned, listening to the elders, and not breaking the rules. Of course, *someone* has to break the rules! A must-read for any dystopian fan.

Young Adult Fantasy - Indie
Young Adult fantasy indie writers really shine, and they are well-deserved.

Don't Fear the Reaper, by Michelle Muto

I loved the tension and interaction between the characters. I thought the pacing was excellent. Keely's motivation throughout was clear, and she pretty much stuck to her guns. I'm a little disappointed that we didn't learn of Daniel's past...why he is what he is and what his motivations were. And was the ending a tad predictable? Perhaps a little. There were one or 2 things that did catch me by surprise, and all the little trails wound around the story and tied together in the end.

Obsidianby Jennifer L. Armentrout

Loved the characters, loved the writing, loved the friction between Katy and Daemon, loved the story! The voice in the book just pulls you in. Katy is a nice character, a good girl who's also spunky and alive and doesn't take any lip...she also doesn't like being told what to do. My kind of girl! The only thing keeping this book from being #1, were the Twilighty moments. There were quite a few.

And at #1...

Breed of Innocence, by Lanie Jordan

Jade is 16 and sassy and sarcastic and strong. She's endearing in the nobody-loves-me kind of way, and oh my gosh, funny as hell. I rarely chuckle out loud when reading, but found myself doing that here and there. Sometimes I'd go back and re-read something just for the thrill of re-reading it again, it was that good. The author's writing style had that sumthin-sumthin that just appealed to me right from the start. I gobbled every word, sentence, paragraph, page.

Adult General - Indie
This general category is a pot-luck, filled with contemporary, mystery, suspense, thriller, horror. I don't read enough in each of these genres to expand on each one separately. And despite that, only one book made the list in this category.

And at #1...
Dirty Business, by Tracy Sharp

I love this sassy, cussing, slightly damaged main character, Leah. She's not perfect, has faults, and does things she knows she's not supposed to. But what's redeeming is that she knows she's slightly damaged and does things she's not supposed to and tries to fix herself. The characters are well-developed and three-dimensional. Even the sub-characters have, well, character.

Young Adult General - Traditional
I don't read a whole lot in this category, but what I read, I liked! Golly, I should read more in this genre.

And at #1...

Game (The sequel to I Hunt Killers), by Barry Lyga

Okay, so I fell in love with this author and Jasper in book one, and the love just continues to grow. The character continues his internal battles of what he is or isn't or might be or might not be. He's so afraid of triggering the "thing" that will turn him into his dad, that he doesn't allow himself to be a normal kid. What if that one thing is the trigger that will make him snap? How can he be sure? What I didn't like? The ending. I mean really. There are so many loose ends that I just want the next book NOW. You got short hairs? You won't after this ending, cuz you'll be hanging by them!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book Review: Masquerade, by Cambria Hebert

Cambria Hebert

Initial Thoughts: Simple and Sweet

My Rating: 3 Stars
I'm disfigured. Scarred. Ugly.
When I look in the mirror, I see a stranger. When I look over my shoulder, no one's there…
Yet I feel watched. Hunted. Afraid.
And then he tells me I’m beautiful.
He tells me I’m safe.
I believe him.
Until someone tries to kill me.
Secrets abound, danger is near, and still… my heart desires a boy with whiskey-colored eyes and far too many secrets.
Secrets that could cost me my life.
To stay alive I have to look deep, beneath the masks everyone wears, to find the truth.
To find myself.

My Thoughts:
The synopsis is tantalizing, yes? I agree! It made me want to pick up this book and read it. Which I did. Obviously.

The story is simply sweet. The romance is sweet. The plot is not complex. There are no red herrings. There are no dead end trails. It's just a straight-forward read, where you know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.

There were, however, 2 surprises. I'm not going to reveal them, cuz that wouldn't be fair, but as I was reading, 2 thoughts began to emerge in my head.

1. I was worried that I was reading another werewolf shifter story (of which I'm not a fan)'s not! 
2. I was worried that it was one of those hit-the-bible-over-your-head-cuz-I'm-gonna-preach-to-you's not!

Actually, the "demon" in this story is one I've never read about, so I was very intrigued and a little fascinated, I have to admit. I don't mind shifter stories where the shifting goes into monster form...I like monsters. Dark. Creepy. Dangerous. Those are my kind of shifters. This demon fits the bill. I would read more of this kind of bad guy.

What didn't quite pull me in were the characters. I liked them, but I wasn't swooning or falling in love or drooling. I like to do all 3 when I'm reading. When I analyzed my lack of swooni-ness (ok, if I make up a word, I get to make up the spelling, right?) I think it's because there isn't a lot of visceral description. I didn't feel what the characters were feeling, because I was told what the characters were feeling.

There was a lot of redundancy in the writing, some repetition, which slowed the pace for me.

This is a read for those who like sweet romance, but not necessarily dark paranormal.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Saturday Smiles!

I was supposed to write a book review, and didn't. Instead, I saw someone post these pictures on FB, and I laughed *out loud* thought I'd share these instead of working!