Brenda Novak's Auction to raise money for Diabetes research

Do you know someone who has Diabetes? Chances are you do. It's, unfortunately, very common and if not treated properly (and sometimes even with treatment) diabetes can cause a snowball effect of other complications. In my family alone, I know at least 5 people who are dealing with the disease and since it's so prevalent in my family there's a good chance I will get it in the future as well.

Because I've seen what people can go through I was excited to find out about Brenda Novak's auction to raise money for diabetes research. Last year I enjoyed being able to bid on a wide variety of items all while raising money for a great cause. I look forward to the same this year.

You can bid on anything from signed books, meet and greets with authors, ARC's, autographed sports/celebrity items, ereaders, vacations, jewelry, naming a murder victim in a book, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. This year I also decided to donate two sets of bookmarks to the auction (pics and links below). Most of the auctions, including my bookmarks, are open for bidding May 1st - May 31st.

Any and all bids are very much appreciated as every little bit helps
when it comes to raising money for the cause!


From Brenda Novak's website:

"As a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, Brenda has been able to count on her fans and her peers to support her annual online auctions, which runs May 1 – May 31st, helping her raise over $1.6 million so far!

Brenda is an active mother of five whose youngest son, Thad, was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at the age of five. There began her personal crusade to fight a disease that affects millions. The 2011 statistics on diabetes are alarming — and clearly establish a challenge Brenda is trying to meet: improve lives by helping to raise money to battle this devastating disease. Data released by the ADA January 26, 2011 reveals there are 25.8 million children and adults in the United States — thus 8.3% of the population have diabetes. Another 79 million people have prediabetes. In 2010, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed."


 I donated the two below sets of bookmarks.
Set #1




*book not included*
You can bid on them HERE
(Bidding opens tomorrow, May 1st)



Set #2



 *book not included*

You can bid on them HERE
(Bidding opens tomorrow, May 1st)




Series Reviews: Kate Daniels # 2

Goodreads Summary:
Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…
As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest –and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…

My Thoughts:

After finishing book 1 (Magic Bites) I immediately dove into this one. I am so glad I did. I loved this one even more than the first. I am really kicking myself for putting this series off as long as I have, it is fantastic so far.

The characters just pull you right into their world. Kate is definitely a heroine that can hold her own in a fight. Curran...*sigh* is such an Alpha male. The tension and banter between them is as funny as it is frustrating.

As for the side characters, I really like Derek (a wolf) and Andrea. Her little reveal in this one was a shocker! Raphael (a hyena) is another character I want to know more about too.

I would definitely recommend this book. So far the series has not disappointed!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Add to Goodreads.
Buy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Find Ilona Andrews on Goodreads or her Website.

Correct Reading Order:

√ 0.5- "A Questionable Client"*
√ 1- Magic Bites
√ 2- Magic Burns
3- Magic Strikes
3.5- "Magic Mourns"*
4- Magic Bleeds
4.5- "Magic Dreams"*
5- Magic Slays
5.3- "Magic Tests"*
5.4- "Magic Gifts"*
5.5- Gunmetal Magic
5.6- "Retribution Clause"*
6- Magic Rises- Release date: 07/30/13
*~short story

BEA Madness!!



Late December, shortly after registrations opened, I did it. I pressed that button and it was official. I was going to BEA (Book Expo America) which is one of the coolest book events EVER!! But even knowing that I registered it still didn't really hit me.

Now that BEA is a little over a month away I'm starting to realize how insane (in a good way) this is going to be! It's the ultimate book dorkdom. A huge, HUGE event with publishers and more authors than you can imagine, all there to sit on panels, hold discussions, and sign books. How do you even begin to plan for something like that?!

There are sooooo many things to consider, like

Travel & hotels- How will you get there? Will you be rooming with someone? Should you stay in New York close to the convention center? Or maybe take the slightly less expense (ok, MUCH less expensive)route and stay in New Jersey? Will you schedule time for sightseeing? What sights will you see?

What to take- What do you pack? What will NYC weather be like in late May? What should you wear to the events? What will you need to carry with you when actually walking around the event? Is it better to use a backpack or tote bag? Should you have business cards for your blog? How many business cards? How will you carry the books you get at the event? Should you check an empty suitcase at the event? Is it safe to even do that? Will people steal your precious books?

Authors- What authors will be there? Should you go to any of the author breakfasts? What is an author breakfast? When will BEA release official schedules? How do you maximize your time and see a lot of authors? Will certain authors require tickets? How do you know which ones? How do you get the tickets? Will there be other author events outside of the BEA convention? How do you find out about them?


Feeling overwhelmed yet? Take a few deep breaths, I'll wait...

The best advice I can give you is  research, research, research!! There are a TON of bloggers who have posted tips and tricks to surviving the BEA Madness. Read them!! Read them all! And read them again...ok, maybe that's a bit much :) but you get my drift. I have read countless posts and I was also lucky enough to find a BEA group on Goodreads which has been a lifesaver!  I have a few posts linked below to get you started.

The Irish Banana has a series of helpful posts
Steph's Stacks also has a few posts
Krista's Dust Jacket posted a couple times from a newbie's perspective
Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog
Reading with abc
Poisoned Rationality has some posts and she also has links to posts from other bloggers.

And now I'm off to go have a much needed planning session with my travel buddy/roomie/partner in crime!

Happy planning to anyone else attending BEA :)


Posts on Pages (3): Unfinished Series


Posts on Pages

Who handwrites things these days? Not many people I'm sure. I'm a big list person so I'm always writing (and rewriting) lists, etc. and I thought it would be fun to do a series of Posts on Pages where Wendy and I will hand write blog posts. Please excuse any messy writing or white out marks :)

The topic of this month's Posts on Pages is Unfinished Series.
See Jen's Unfinished Series Posts on Pages.

If you missed our first two months of Posts on Pages you can find them at the below links

Books that changed our reading habits -  Jen's Post and Wendy's Post
Book quotes - Wendy's Post and Jen's Post




*SERIES I HAVE YET TO FINISH*

• Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead)
- I am up to book #6 "Last Sacrifice", I just keep putting it off.
• Sisters of the Moon (Yasmine Galenorn)
- I am only a few books behind on this one. Up to book #11 "Shaded Vision".
• Lords of the Underworld (Gena Showalter)
- No reason why I haven't caught up on these yet. Up to book #7 "The Darkest Secret".
• Newsflesh Trilogy (Mira Grant)
- I doubt I will ever continue these. The "shocker" at the end of "Feed" was a complete let down.
• Women of the Otherworld (Kelley Armstrong)
- Again, I am up to the last book and I just don't want it to end. "Thirteen"

**Are there any series you have started but not finished? What about ones you don't plan on continuing?**




Posts on Pages (3): Unfinished Series


Posts on Pages

Who handwrites things these days? Not many people I'm sure. I'm a big list person so I'm always writing (and rewriting) lists, etc. and I thought it would be fun to do a series of Posts on Pages where Wendy and I will hand write blog posts. Please excuse any messy writing or white out marks :)

The topic of this month's Posts on Pages is Unfinished Series.
Stop back tomorrow for Wendy's Posts on Pages.

If you missed our first two months of Posts on Pages you can find them at the below links

Books that changed our reading habits -  Jen's Post and Wendy's Post
Book quotes - Wendy's Post and Jen's Post



Unfinished Series

I have a ridiculous amount of unfinished series!! Some I plan to continue…and some I don’t. For this list I’ll pick a few of the series that I will absolutely continue.

Raised by Wolves – Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Charley Davidson – Darynda Jones
Wild About You – Vicki Lewis Thompson
Tumble Creek – Victoria Dahl
Revenants – Amy Plum
Denazen – Jus Accardo
Holloway Pack – J.A. Belfield
Healer – Maria V. Snyder (I’m actually caught up on this series…for now)
Kowalski Family – Shannon Stacey
Chocolate Lovers – Tara Sivec
Recipe For Love – Louisa Edwards
The Body Finder – Kimberly Derting
Katherine “Kitty” Katt – Gini Koch
The Grey Wolves – Quinn Loftis
Pretty When She Dies – Rhiannon Frater
Vampire Chef Mystery – Sarah Zettel
Shade – Jeri Smith-Ready
Blood Singer – Cat Adams
Jessica McClain – Amanda Carlson
Lux – Jennifer L. Armentrout

And this is why I sometimes have a hard time choosing what to read next. Believe it or not, the list continues!!


Sunday Swag Bag: April Winner

Thank you to Faye at A Daydreamer's Thoughts  for creating this button. 
If you like Faye's handiwork check her out at the above link as she's just starting out 
with designing graphics for bloggers.

April's swag winner is...
Patty
Congrats!!


Series reviews: Kate Daniels .5 & 1

I have decided to work on some of the series that I have started and just haven't gotten around to finishing. I will be reviewing all of the books in the series as well as the short stories (when possible). I will also let you know where (in what anthology) the short stories can be found as well as the correct reading order.

I am starting out this week with the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.I started this series last year and only read the first book. No real reason why I stopped, just that other books got in the way I guess ;-)
Correct Reading Order:

0.5- "A Questionable Client"*
1- Magic Bites
2- Magic Burns
3- Magic Strikes
3.5- "Magic Mourns"*
4- Magic Bleeds
4.5- "Magic Dreams"*
5- Magic Slays
5.3- "Magic Tests"*
5.4- "Magic Gifts"*
5.5- Gunmetal Magic
5.6- "Retribution Clause"*
6- Magic Rises- Release date: 07/30/13
*-short story
0.5 "A Questionable Client"

Synopsis-

A Questionable Client, is a prequel to her award-winning Kate Daniels series. In a world beset by magic waves, Kate Daniels works as a mercenary. She is tired, hungry, and there is foul-smelling blood on her boots. All she wants to do is to go home, but when Mercenary Guild offers her a job she can't refuse, she finds herself protecting a man against Russian wizards.

My Thoughts:

This was an excellent preview of what is to come. There was a lot of action as well as a bit of mystery/suspense. Kate Daniels is a kick-ass heroine and I am so excited to read this series (finally)

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

"A Questionable Client" can be found in the anthologies:
Dark and Stormy Knights and Magic Graves (links will take you to Goodreads).

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews


Synopsis-

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings; and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league but she wouldn't have it any other way...

My Thoughts:

I forgot so much of this I had to re-read it and was quickly absorbed in the story. There were some parts I vaguely recalled, but not many. The world building doesn't overwhelm the reader it sucks you in and makes you want more. The action does not stop. The book starts with the murder of Kate's guardian and her taking on the task of finding the killer. I won't go into many details as I don't want to spoil anything. Suffice it to say this is certainly a must read and what I am sure is going to be a fantastic series!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Add to Goodreads
Buy it from Amazonor Barnes & Noble.
Ilona Andrews on Goodreads and her Website

Double Review & Deleted Scene: Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective


Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden

Summary

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

Book/Author Links
Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes and Nobles
Author's Website



Deleted scene
A couple of years ago, when I was attending a local junior college, I had a friend named Jen who loved to read fantasy novels. Despite her best efforts, she never got me to read them, but she loved to tell me all about the adventures of sword and sorcery and, to a lesser extent, tales of modern fantasy.
            I told her stories about my family, too. On more than one occasion she would burst out laughing and tell me I ought to write my ideas down.
            I guess she never actually believed that I come from a long line of sorcerers. Considering how normal I turned out, I suppose I can't blame her.
            One day, as we were chatting after class, my mom sent me a text message asking if I could pick up a couple dozen eggs on the way home from school. I mentioned the message to Jen, who got an oddly pensive look on her face. Then she said, “If your mom's a sorcerer, why's she texting you?”
            I drew a blank. “Because she's out of eggs?”
            “No,” Jen said, “I mean, doesn't magic cause modern things to break or something?”
            “Why would it do that?” I suspected that whatever she was on about had something to do with the books she liked to read. Though I'd never been interested in those types of stories myself, I was truly intrigued by the idea that magic and modern technology might not work well together.
            “Well, because magical energy and things like electricity might interfere with one another.”
            “You are aware that our bodies send out lots of electrical impulses, right? I mean, it's just a force of nature, like heat or sound.” I was picturing someone having a heart attack every time they managed to cast a spell.
            Jen frowned. “I hadn't thought of that. I guess it's not electricity, then, just modern gadgets.”
            “So what, anything invented after 1353?”
            “All right, all right, I get it,” Jen said. “But why would a sorcerer use a text message when she'd have magical alternatives?”
            “You mean, like a journey book, where she writes a message on her end and it shows up on mine?”
            “Yeah, something like that.”
            “Well,” I said, drawing out the answer for effect, “I guess it's because a journey book requires human blood and the cell phone company just wants a two year contract and a monthly service fee.”



Double Review

Wendy’s Review:


Let me start off by saying...WOW! I was immediately sucked into this story and I could not put it down. I think the book was well written and the storyline is enthralling.

Cassie was a smart and strong willed character despite feeling like an outsider within her own family. Without spoiling it, let me just say her family really ticked me off, well her parents anyway. 

Anyhow, I really want to know more about her and Evan!


This was an excellent start to what could be a fantastic (and long) series, and there are so many directions it could go. I will be reading the next book as soon as it is available

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5


Jen’s Review:

This book was an enjoyable read and a great way to pass an evening. I felt for the main character, Cassie, she's trying to make the best of an uncomfortable situation. She's a black sheep in her family, the only kid of 7 that was born without a magical special talent. Can you imagine what that would be like? And of course things manage to get much worse for her. Among other things, she is thrown into a paranormal investigation even though she was determined to be a 'normal' detective. In this book, she faces mystery, vampires, family drama, and a scorching scorcerer that she knows is bad news. If you're looking for a quick yet entertaining read I recommend checking this book out.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
 


Blog Tour: Resonance (Holloway Pack 2.5) by J.A. Belfield



Author Bio


Best known for her Holloway Pack Stories, J.A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, three cats and a dog. She writes paranormal romance, with a second love for urban fantasy.
Links:

 Resonance (Holloway Pack 2.5)



Release Date: April 2nd 2013
Title: Resonance
Series: Holloway Pack 2.5
Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing




Blurb:
Guilt is a heavy burden for the one carrying it.

Jem Stonehouse is no exception to this rule.

What if she’d acted sooner? What if she’d fully recognised the threat? What if she hadn’t allowed the male pack members to head into the witches’ ambush?

For one, youngest pack member Josh Larsen wouldn’t be trapped in the sleep of the dead.

Now, Jem is convinced it’s her job to bring him back to life no matter what it takes— learning more about her heritage, risking pack exposure, or travelling to places she couldn’t have imagined possible.

Even if the journey endangers her soul.

Excerpt:
Whiteness reflected back at me from the ceiling above—a blank canvas of nothingness. For two weeks, I’d spent a few hours each day in the lilac bedroom. For two weeks, I’d prayed for a
miracle. For some kind of enlightenment. Or at the very least, for Jess to find a way to wake up Josh.
Some days, the emptiness dulled my senses to a warble of incoherency. Thankfully, on those days, Sean came to my rescue, reminding me life still existed beyond the four, pale purple walls. Somehow managing to convince me that everything would work out.
If Sean believed Josh would awaken, what right did I have to dispute him?
If the rest of the pack believed, who was I to douse their flames of hope?
Yet, no matter how many hours, how many days, how many weeks I spent at Josh’s side in a show of optimism, the ache in my heart belied any positivity I feigned.
Rolling onto my side caused the mattress to dip, but even that jostle didn’t stir Josh. I flicked at an errant, dark blond curl, poked at his cheek. Still, he didn’t move, didn’t flinch, didn’t acknowledge my prodding.
Again.
Poor kid had probably been poked more in the past fortnight than he had his entire life.
As my heavy sigh eased out, footsteps ascended the stairs outside the room. I knew from sound alone who they belonged to, didn’t even need to inhale to confirm. That didn’t stop me, though, and my lids lowered as my mate’s bouquet found home within my olfactory.
Seconds later, Sean’s body filled the doorway and cast a shadow across the carpet. “Hey.”
“Hey,” I whispered without looking up.
“Anything?”
I tapped my fingertip along Josh’s jawline, willing him to react yet knowing he wouldn’t.
Josh hadn’t moved the entire two weeks he’d been under. Heck, we’d barely moved him. No toileting. No sweating. He didn’t seem to feel, hear, taste, see or smell.
All thanks to being in a death sleep, Jess had said.
I slaughtered the witches responsible for putting Josh under—for bewitching him in the worst possible way. At the time, their deaths had seemed fitting. That had been before I realised Josh’s predicament.
With a small head shake, I rubbed my hand along Josh’s arm as if the friction would help a body lacking in heat. “I’ve been thinking.”
“Thought I heard the turning of rusty cogs.”
My gaze skittered to the left and landed on Sean’s lopsided smile. Dark hair stood on end above dark eyes staring back at me. All male, all muscle, all mine, Sean Holloway got me like no other.
“You going to make me pry it out of you, Jem?”
Rolling my eyes at the suggestiveness of his tone, I brushed a kiss across Josh’s cheek and wriggled off the bed. At the door, I grabbed Sean’s hips and steered him backward across the landing and into our room.
His left eyebrow arched up. “You do want me to pry it out of you.”
I breathed out a laugh as I trotted over to the bed and sat crosslegged, tugging him along with me until he mirrored my pose. Nudging his hand up, I placed my palm flat against his, studying
the size difference as male dwarfed female in a way I rarely noticed. “I’ve been thinking about what you said.”

Giveaway

J.A. Belfield has an awesome giveaway going on! You may have seen my entry earlier this week. 

Everyone who enters will get a copy of Resonance then on top of that you're also entered to win this goodness



You can learn more about the giveaway HERE and you can also enter using the below rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday Swag Bag

Thank you to Faye at A Daydreamer's Thoughts  for creating this button. 
If you like Faye's handiwork check her out at the above link as she's just starting out 
with designing graphics for bloggers.

I'm a week late with this BUT...

It's time again for my Sunday Swag Bag giveaway!!

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 grab anywhere from 4-5 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!



-giveaway is open internationally
-to enter fill out the form below
-you must enter by 11:59pm (EST) on April 20th


One unruly book and a giveaway entry...

J.A. Belfield just released a Holloway Pack novella, Resonance (Holloway Pack #2.5), and is holding a contest (click here for more info). Basically all you have to do to enter is post a review of Blue Moon (Holloway Pack #2), which should be read before Resonance, and/or take a picture of yourself with the book. Sounds easy enough right?! So I brought Blue Moon to work with me earlier this week to do just that...take a picture of the two of us. Boy was that a mistake because that little bugger is quite unruly!! She (yes I'm thinking this book should be a 'she') was getting into trouble all over the office!!

She tried to copy herself (shakes head)


And weigh herself on the postage scale


She even tried to laminate herself!
Thankfully I caught her before she got too far, can you say ouch!?!



Once she got tired of office equipment she moved on to other things.
Like strutting her stuff while singing...

I'm a model and you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk on the catwalk yeah
I shake my little touche on the catwalk

I didn't want to encourage her but I had to laugh at that one.


But she enjoyed the attention and then started singing Elvis into a Sharpie.
And, of course, it had to be Blue Moon...what can I say she loves that song (shrugs)



And then she tried to run away with my coffee.



That's where I put my foot down and said enough!!

I let her talk me into doing a more fun picture but only because
she agreed to be good the rest of the day.
We both LOVE The Walking Dead!


Who knew one little book could get into so much trouble!!

Come back Sunday for my stop of the Resonance Blog Tour.







Book of Lists: Today I saw...

This idea (and the text below) came from Kapachino blog but I actually saw it on Cat's Thoughts blog. 


"Every month there will be a topic for a list, and the object is to craft it on a blank page, take a photo of your list, then blog it. You can get elaborate scrapbook-style, or even jot it down with your favorite pen. If you want, you don’t even have to make a book and you can just blog about the list topic (even though then it’s not really a book of lists, but that’s cool). My style is somewhere in the middle."


The first topic was 'wishlist'.
The second topic was 'looking forward'
The third topic was Perfect Day
Last month's topic was I'm good at
This month's topic is Today I saw.


Today I saw...

Snow
a friend
a pretty sunrise
a big project finished
cool tattoo pics
a good movie
more snow
pics of my niece
baby shower plans come together
a gorgeous book cover
my hubs acting like a nut
my new 31 bag
a BEA author list
vacation time approved
a book in my mailbox
a new craft to try
a cool new restaurant

Next month's topic is with me at all times.