Double Reviews & Giveaways: Chick With A Charm by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Wendy from Wall-to-Wall Books and I are teaming up for this bewitching mini event. Keep reading below for my review and giveaway then grab your broomstick and fly on over to check out Wendy's review/giveaway.


**Just a quick warning, there is a big spoiler for Blonde with a Wand (Babes-on-Brooms #1) in the below Goodreads Summary and in my review of Chick with a Charm.

  If you haven’t read Blonde with a Wand you should consider stopping here or skipping to the giveaway. Click here if you'd like to check out my quickie review of Blond With A Wand.



Lily Revere is free-spirited and fun-loving-two dangerous qualities in a witch. Lily needs a date for her sister Anica's engagement party, and she's determined to bring hot Griffin Taylor. But the jaded divorce lawyer claims his job has warned him off romance. Slipping a love elixir into Griffin's drink may not be the noble thing to do-but it sure works! There's just one problem: Are Griffin's feelings the result of some truly good witchcraft-or could he really be in love?

My Review:

In Blonde with a Wand, Anica got herself into a heap of trouble when she turned her date into a cat. After a lot of turmoil and heartache her story ended with a happily ever after but will her sister, Lily, have the same outcome in Chick with a Charm?

It was obvious that Griffin Taylor would never ask her out on his own so Lily decided to give him a magical nudge in the right direction. The nudge worked like a charm (pun intended) and everything was going as plan until she started having real feelings for Griffin. How can she tell whether his feelings are a real or just magic in the works? Can she lift the spell? And would she even want to?

Chick with a Charm has a lot of similarities when compared to Blonde with a Wand. I enjoyed both and would recommend them if you’re looking for a nice light read. I should also mention that there's a lot of sex in this book. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing ;-) BUT if you're not into books with sex (or you're underage) then this may not be the book for you.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Giveaway:

I'm giving away four witchy bookmarks made by yours truly.



  • To enter just comment below with your email address.
  • Contest is open internationally
  • Enter by 11:59 pm June 7, 2012
  • Winner will be chosen via random.org

FLY ON OVER TO WALL-TO-WALL BOOKS 
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF CHICK WITH A CHARM!!


Winner: Bookish Bucket List


The winner of the Bookish Bucket List giveaway is...

Jennifer L. Bielman

Congrats Jennifer!! You get to pick one of the books from my Bookish Bucket List :)

Shelf Candy Saturday (9): Rhiannon Frater

Shelf Candy Saturday is hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews

I decided this is Rhiannon Frater weekend here on At Random! Yesterday I reviewed The First Days (As The World Dies #1). See my review here. Because I liked The First Days so much I decided to stalk scope out Rhiannon's website. I ended up finding some quite disturbing covers and because I love disturbing covers I wanted to showcase some of them today.



Pretty When She Dies (Pretty When She...Trilogy #1)


Amaliya wakes under the forest floor, disoriented, famished and confused. She digs out of the shallow grave and realizes she is hungry...

... in a new, horrific, unimaginable way...

Sating her great hunger, she discovers that she is now a vampire, the bloodthirsty creature of legend. She has no choice but to flee from her old life and travels across Texas. Her new hunger spurs her to leave a wake of death and blood behind her as she struggles with her new nature.

All the while, her creator is watching. He is ancient, he is powerful, and what's worse is that he's a necromancer. He has the power to force the dead to do his bidding. Amaliya realizes she is but a pawn in a twisted game, and her only hope for survival is to seek out one of her own kind. But if Amaliya finds another vampire, will it mean her salvation... or her  death?





Pretty When She Kills (Pretty When She...Trilogy #2)


I didn't find a summary for this one but I still wanted to post it.



The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel


walled city surrounded by lush land, protected by high mountain summits, and fortified by a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, the Bastion remained humanity’s last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. On one fateful day, the valley gate failed and the Inferi Scourge overran and destroyed the human settlements outside the walls, trapping the remaining survivors inside the city. Now, decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city of dwindling resources…and dwindling hope.

Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her entire life within the towering walls of steel. She yearns for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.

Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate, reclaiming the lost lands and energizing the populace with renewed hope for the future. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from  extinction.



Each of these covers are dark and creeptastic in their own way! One of the things that sticks out to me are the eyes on the second and third covers...talk about scary eyes! The fonts also really stand out to me and seem very appropriate. The first two have a very eerie font and it allows you to see that they are in the same series. The third book has a font with more of a spacey/futuristic feel to it. I also love the awkward pose in the second book!




Rhiannon's Website
Rhiannon on Goodreads
Rhiannon on Barnes & Noble
Rhiannon on Amazon

The First Days (As The World Dies #1) by Rhiannon Frater



The morning that the world ends, Katie is getting ready for court and housewife Jenni is taking care of her family. Less than two hours later, they are fleeing for their lives from a zombie horde.

Thrown together by circumstance, Jenni and Katie become a powerful zombie-killing partnership, mowing down zombies as they rescue Jenni's stepson, Jason, from an infected campground.

They find sanctuary in a tiny, roughly fortified Texas town.  There Jenni and Katie find they are both attracted to Travis, leader of the survivors; and the refugees must slaughter people they know, who have returned in zombie
form.

My Review:

The First Days isn’t filled with the happy go lucky zombies like in some of the recent zombie books. This book gets to the nitty gritty of a very dark and creepy existence. It makes you wonder how long you would survive and how you would react if it were happening to you. 

If you have a weak stomach this may not be a book for you. Right from the start you’re thrown into this frightening new reality and throughout the book the characters are forced to fight for their lives. It’s definitely not a flowers and lace kind of life. This book is disturbingly creepy and I loved every second of it!

I don’t normally gush over books…it’s just not my style. But if I were a gusher (no, not the fruity snacks, haha) this book would definitely be gushed over. I will say that if you can handle a little blood and gore I highly recommend this book!

 
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Codename Dancer (Dani Spevak Mystery #1) by Amanda Brice


Aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak is thrilled when hit TV show Teen Celebrity Dance Off comes to the campus of her performing arts boarding school. She trades the barre for the ballroom and gets set to cha-cha-cha to stardom with Hollywood wonderboy Nick Galliano.

At first their partnership is awkward, because Dani is in awe of her longtime teen idol crush. But soon their chemistry is heating up the dance floor and the attraction moves into real life.

Her excitement is short-lived, because someone wants her off the show. Bombs, poisoning, arson… Will Dani’s 15 minutes of fame be over before she reaches age 15? Dani and her friends are suddenly at the center of some serious sabotage. And if she doesn’t find out who is behind it, her next pirouette could be her
last.

My Review:

Codename Dancer is a young adult book that’s geared more towards younger of the young adult range. It’s about Dani, a 14 yr old dancer, who earns a spot on a Teen Celebrity Dance Show. But there’s a problem…someone is trying to sabotage the show and frame her for it. Along with her friends she launches her own investigation because she’s not about to go down without a fight.

I knew who the culprit was almost right away but it was still interesting seeing the characters sleuthing their way through the mystery. I also enjoyed the bit of action towards the end of the book. I think this would be a cute movie and I would love to see all of the dancing.

This book would be a great read-a-thon book, it’s short, cute, easy to read, and entertaining.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Bookish Bucket List Blog Hop



Do you ever wonder what it would be like to meet up with your favorite literary characters and have an adventure? Or how about hopping in a book to try one of the tasty treats being baked? Well a group of bloggers got together and made our very own Bookish Bucket Lists where we listed what we would do and where we would go with different characters.

Before I post my list and giveaway, I thought I would post a list of the other participating bloggers. There are still giveaways going on so don't miss out!

Bookish Bucket List Hop Schedule:


May 14th - Kate @ Epic Chocolate Fantasy (with giveaway)
May 15th - Tiffany @ A Purrfect Read (with giveaway)
May 16th - Alison & Daphne @ Winged Reviews (with giveaway)
May 17th - Kayleigh @ K-Books (with giveaway)
                - Guest Post by Renée on A Purrfect Read
May 18th - Sonnie @ Lit Girl (with giveaway)
                - Guest Post by Lindsey on Epic Chocolate Fantasy
May 19th - Chris @ Reading is FUNdamental
                - Guest Post by Wendy on Winged Reviews

My Bookish Bucket List:

Spend a week on Le Floret Island…and a sighting of a certain Scottish werewolf wouldn’t be so bad either **winks**
Werewolf in Seattle (Wild About You #3) by Vicki Lewis Thompson


Win a gift card for a free cupcake every day for a year from Cakes By The Cup.
Sugar Rush (Cupcake Club #1) by Donna Kauffman


Spend a few months with the red scarf crew following and experiencing the circus.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


Learn about magic and climb around in trees with Yelena.
And while we’re doing that, Valek can be carving something extra special for me as a souvenir.
The Study Series by Maria V. Snyder


Have a breakfast with Max, talk about life, and listen to his stories. He would of course make his famous baked eggs for me.
Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto


Go to Mundy, Alaska and spend time with Mo, Cooper, Maggie, Nick, and the rest of the locals. And maybe get a couple cooking lessons from Mo.
Naked Werewolf Series by Molly Harper


Have the chance to interview Gretchen Lowell…as long as I don’t become her next target **shivers**
Gretchen Lowell Series by Chelsea Cain



Spend a day with Verity Price meeting some of the cryptids, running the roof tops, and maybe watching one of her dance competitions.
Discount Armageddon (InCryptid #1) by Seanan McGuire


Sample each of Julia’s creations…and maybe spend time making some chocolaty treats with her.
Julia’s Chocolates by Cathy Lamb


Be a Swan Maiden for a day...or two...or three. I would love to be able to fly!
The Next Full Moon by Carolyn Turgeon



 Giveaway:

  • Comment with your email
  • Winner will be able to choose ONE of the above books
  • Contest will end May 27, 2012 at 11:59 PM (EST)
  • Open Internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your country

 Good Luck!

Destiny with Death by Judith Post (novella)

Goodreads Summary:

Loralei has always been able to see souls who stayed behind when they died. But when Loralei takes Death for a lover, she develops the gift of being able to call a spirit back after it left this realm. Now she is able to communicate with the dead to help families find the bodies of missing loved ones. But when a grieving mother and father ask her to locate their daughter, Mandy, Loralei gets more than just a body. Mandy's battered body is lying beside another girl's, and when the police dig up both girls' remains, their killer knows someone tipped them off. The killer learns about Loralei and her gift--a gift that can point the police in his direction. He's killed before. He can kill again, but Death has no intentions of losing  Loralei.

My Review:


Destiny with Death is a perfect lunchtime read. It’s very short and is interesting enough to hold your attention despite break room distractions.

Just for fun, I’m going to use a dorky kayaking analogy for this novella.

The beginning of the story is like paddling in high winds, the water’s choppy and it takes more time and concentration to make any progress. Then once the winds die down you’re able to relax and enjoy your journey.

If you don’t speak Kayak, here’s a translation…
The descriptions in the first few pages of the book almost felt awkward and/or forced and because of that it was harder to read. But once through that the story began to flow more smoothly. There are also a lot of interesting aspects of the storyline that were unique to me.

I think overall I would rate this novella a 3.5

Birthday Books

My birthday was last week and I had a fantastic, book filled birthday! 


My mom is giving me an Amazon gift card and a couple of friends told me to keep an eye on my mailbox so I may do another post later in the month.

Here are the birthday books, etc. I've received (titles are linked to goodreads)…




Partials by Dan Wells – From Kay at K-Books
Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover– From Tiffany at A Purrfect Read
Once a Witch by Carolyn McCullough - From Brittany
Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey – Also from Brittany
A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont – From Anna
Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep – From Emma
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep, a cool bookmark, and some eye candy swag – From Maria
Naked Dragon by Annette Blair – From Ali at Winged Reviews
Black Wings by Christina Henry – From Sonnie at Lit Girl: Confessions of a Future Librarian
Somebody to Love by Kristen Higgins – From Vanya at YA Story Teller
The Selection by Kiera Cass and a cute bookmark – From Wendy
The Missing Ink by Karen E. Olson – From Ash
Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey – From Ash
Sex, Lies, and Vampires by Katie MacAlister – Also from Ash
A very cool book scarf with text from one of my fav books (Jane Eyre) – From Renée
A Modern Witch by Debora Geary – From Wendy @ Wall-to-Wall Books
A Hidden Witch by Debora Geary – From Wendy @ Wall-to-Wall Books
A Reckless Witch by Debora Geary – From Wendy @ Wall-to-Wall Books
Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig – From Mandy
Midnight Rescue by Elle Kennedy – From Mandy
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – Also from Mandy


So many awesome books! A huge thank you and lots of hugs to you all!

My hubs contributed to my signed book buying spree last month but I already posted about those so I won’t add the books here.

And I bought myself some birthday books. I also have a few more on the way.



Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy
Too Hot To Touch by Louisa Edwards
Darkness & Light by J.A. Belfield <=I've read this one of course but wanted a paper copy :)
Touch by Jus Accardo
Spirited by Kat O’Shea – An anthology with a Maria V. Snyder short story
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Unleashed by Nancy Holder

Darkness & Light News

For it's (almost) 1 year birthday, Darkness & Light by J.A. Belfield (the ebook version) is getting a makeover! It will be getting a new cover (released next month) and will include THREE short stories in Sean's pov. If you haven't read Darkness & Light then you're in luck, the ebook will be available for .99 in June! All of that is very cool, but it gets better!! There were many squees and squeals to be had when I found out that I'm quoted on the cover!! Check it out...



J.A. Belfield's Blog
Darkness & Light on Amazon
Darkness & Light on Barnes & Noble

Winners

Before I announce some winners I thought I'd tell you about a blog hop that started today!



A bunch of friends and I decided to do a Bookish Bucket List Hop! The first post went live today over at Epic Chocolate Fantasy. Check it out and follow the blog hop at the below links

Bookish Bucket List Hop Schedule

May 14th - Kate @ Epic Chocolate Fantasy (with giveaway)
May 15th - Tiffany @ A Purrfect Read (with giveaway)
May 16th - Alison & Daphne @ Winged Reviews (with giveaway)
May 17th - Kayleigh @ K-Books (with giveaway)
                - Guest Post by Renée on A Purrfect Read
May 18th - Sonnie @ Lit Girl (with giveaway)
                - Guest Post by Lindsey on Epic Chocolate Fantasy
May 19th - Chris @ Reading is FUNdamental
                - Guest Post by Wendy on Winged Reviews
May 20th - Jen @ At Random (with giveaway)


Now on to some winners



Spring Blog Carnival Winner is...

Rachel Chen

Congrats Rachel! You can choose one of the options in the original giveaway post



Sunday Swag Bag #1 Winner is...

Anna

Congrats Anna! 
I randomly pulled the below five pieces from the swag bag for you!




Congrats again to the winners! 
Don't forget to stop back on Sunday for my Bookish Bucket List post and giveaway!

Shelf Candy Saturday (8) Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick


Shelf Candy Saturday is hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews.

This week I picked a book that I got from the Traveling Book Box. I (of course) love the blue and black colors but it's also a very striking cover. The first line of the summary is also attention grabbing. I know it's going to be a dark read but I'm still drawn to the cover and description.

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire. 

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain... magnetism. 

And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.

Ilsa J. Bick's website
Drowning Instinct on Amazon
Drowning Instinct on Barnes & Nobles

Witches of Santa Anna - Book #18

Has anyone noticed how hard it is to find any information on the Witches of Santa Anna series by Lauren Barnholdt?!?

My original post on the series has received a lot of hits over the past year so I thought I would do another quick post to let you know about the most recent book that has been released in the series.


Book #18 - Risen


Risen on Amazon
Risen on Barnes & Nobles


Here are the other books in the series (titles are linked to goodreads):

Books #1-7 (Season 1) <= currently .99 on amazon

#1 - Claimed
#2 - Tricked
#3 - Rumored
#4 - Hushed
#5 - Pursued
#6 - Enticed
#7 - Ruined

Books #8-13 (Season 2)

#8 - Denial
#9 - Suspicion
#10 - Isolation
#11 - Paranoia
#12 - Fear
#13 - Oblivion

Books #9-18 (Season 3 - not a complete season)

#14 - Forgotten
#15 - Broken
#16 - Stolen
#17 - Taken
#18 - Risen


Update: Since I've posted this book #19 Given has been released!
Amazon
Barnes & Nobles

Traveling Book Box Fun




The Traveling Book Box is organized and run by Erika at Moonlight Book Reviews.
Click here to learn more about the Traveling Book Box.

Essentially a box of books & swag is sent from person to person. You can take out whatever you want as long as you replace it with other books/swag.

I was thrilled when I got this yesterday! I sorted through everything and made my picks. Here's what I took out of the box.

Swag:
The Morganville Vampires postcard is signed which is awesome!!


Books:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
I'm probably one of the few who haven't read this yet.

Drowning Instinct by Isla J. Bick
This is a new book for me. I love the cover and it sounds like a dark and fascinating read.

Girl Parts by John M. Cusick
Interesting concept, I'm curious how it will play out.

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Variant by Robison Wells


And here's a sampling of what I put in the box. I don't want to show it all and ruin the surprise for the next person.

Swag:

Books:

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Virals by Kathy Reichs
Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon


A huge thanks goes out to Erika for organizing this, it was so much fun finding new books!

Spring Blog Carnival – Henna Booth



The Spring Blog Carnival is hosted by Pure Imagination, Reading Angel, Candace's Book Blog, and The Book Swarm

Step right up and try your hand at winning some great books!
Don't be shy, all you have to do is match the tattoo to the celebrity!!



Drew Barrymore
Pink
Graham Elliot Bowles
Jacoby Shaddix
Johnny Depp


To Enter:
  • Email your answers to me at lratrandom@gmail.com
  • If you have the answers correct you will be entered to win.
  • The winner will get to choose ONE of the below options.
  • Giveaway is open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your country.
  • Contest closes May 13th at 11:59pm (EST).

Your email should be in this format.
 
A. Name of Celebrity
B. Name of Celebrity
etc.


 
Adult Option #1:
The Missing Ink AND Pretty in Ink by Karen E. Olson




Adult Option #2:
Moon Called AND Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs




Young Adult Option #1:
The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn AND Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs




Young Adult Option #2:
Tattoo AND Fate by Jennifer Lynn Barnes





For more carnival fun, check out these blogs

Linky Code:

Sunday Swag Bag #1

I have a lot of swag that I've been wanting to pass along. Some of it is duplicates from what's in my personal collection and some of it's from books or genre's that I don't think I'll read. So I've been trying to think of a way to give it to other swag lovers. That's where Sunday Swag Bag comes in.

I will post a contest on the first Sunday of every month until the swag bag is empty. Each contest will be open for a week. Then I will do a post on the second Sunday of every month where I announce the winner and I will blindly grab anywhere from 2-5 pieces out of my swag bag. It's luck of the draw for the winner but there's a lot of really awesome swag so don't miss out!

Are you curious what's at stake? Well here's a picture of the swag that's currently in the swag bag. Most of it is not signed but there's about 6 pieces that are.



This week's contest is open until Saturday, May 12th at 11:59 pm (EST). I'm out of town next weekend but I'll try to post the winner late on Sunday, May 13th.

Contest is open internationally.

To enter just comment with your email address.

Shelf Candy Saturday (7) Somber Island by T.Lynne Tolles


Shelf Candy Saturday is hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews


Somber Island by T. Lynne Tolles


Pheobe MacIntire, who is a servant to her father and sisters in her own house in Scotland in 1855, is an ordinary girl, with no big dreams for the future. She's perfectly happy in her humble life, with her cot in the basement and her little garden in the backyard. But when her father up and sends her to Newfoundland to be the lifelong servant to Lord Jacobs, she finds her life gets turned upside down.

Her journey across the Atlantic to her new home is long, scary and very unpleasant. When she arrives at the manor on a small island, she finds the beautiful place abandoned and only a note waits for her explaining her duties, the strange dietary requirements, and sleeping habits of her new master.

The very first night in her new home she's haunted in her dreams by a woman who clearly does not want her there and a strange blue-eyed man-wolf creature that follows the woman. Her dreams become more and more violent and mysteries start to be uncovered about a woman who was killed in a fire on the island, a creature that preys on anyone that comes to the island and a love story gone wrong that dates back over a hundred and twenty two years.

Join Phoebe as she explores the past, delving into witchcraft, and vampirism to help a brother save another from a life of sadness and misconception, making some amazing and surprising friends along the  way.


I really like this cover. It's dark and dreary with splashes of red which make for great contrast. The girl on the cover is almost awkward but it really works. There's also some interesting details if you look closer, like the candle she's holding, the illumination around her head, and how her hair looks like it's dripping red.


Author's Site
Somber Island on Goodreads
Somber Island on Amazon
Somber Island on Barnes & Nobles
My Review of Somber Island