Vampire Vacation (The V V Inn #1) by C.J. Ellisson

Vampire Vacation
by C.J. Ellisson

Series: The V V Inn #1
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Vampires, Romance
Publisher: RH Publishing
 
Meet Vivian. She’s a 580-year-old vampire who exudes sex, has a talent for drama, and is passionate about two things: her human husband, Rafe, and their resort for the undead. Her ability to project physical illusions has created the perfect vacation spot- a dark, isolated Alaskan hideaway where visitors can have their wildest fantasies come true.

Vivian knows the best performance requires perfect timing, but the powerful vamp is put to the test when she discovers a corpse in a locked guestroom minutes before the next arrivals. Always cool-headed, Rafe hides the body, convinced he and Vivian can find the culprit without disturbing their guests. Juggling the increasingly outrageous demands of their customers while tracking a customer isn’t easy.

Will their poking and prodding give them the answers they need, or will it uncover secrets Vivian would kill to protect?

Vampire Vacation on Goodreads, Amazon ($3.03 right now), and Barnes & Noble
The Hunt (The V V Inn #2) is .99 on Amazon right now.
C.J. Ellisson’s website

 
My Thoughts:

I’m sure you know by now that I have a habit of not reading book summaries. This is an example of a time when I was expecting something based on the cover alone, shame on me. I was expecting a light, humorous read. What I got was very different, it was sexy and it was a good mystery. Speaking of sexy, I wouldn’t recommend reading this if you don’t enjoy some spice in your books. Personally, I loved it and Vivian is one hot tamale!

I’ve been pretty much burnt out on vampire books and have really only read a couple this year so it’s saying something that I enjoyed this one. Vampire Vacation makes me want to start to slowly venture back into the world of vampires.
 
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5    

Frigid by Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J.Lynn

Series: Frigid #1
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
I received this book at BEA (Book Expo America ’13), from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review

For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn’t anything new. They’d been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the ‘man’ in man-whore. He’s never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn’t want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him she’s perfect and she’s everything. But the feelings he has for her, he’s always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of the tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they’re stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor-easter, there’s nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Website

My Thoughts:

I have a confession. I actually read the first few pages of this book months ago and quickly dismissed it as one of ‘those’ New Adult books that would frustrate me to no end. I put the book down and then only picked it up again recently on the reassurances from Krista (Krista’s Dust Jacket) that it wasn’t what I thought it would be. So a quick thank you to Krista for twisting my arm encouraging me to continue reading.

Despite my false start, I did end up enjoying Frigid and I flew it very quickly. It’s a book about two people who like each other but both think the other couldn’t possibly be interested. They both deal with this doubt in very different ways. Kyler’s ‘dealing’ really irked me in the beginning (and a couple other times) but I fell for both him and Syd and I was rooting for them to have their happy ending.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Friday Foodie Affair: Halloween Fun Foods


 ...where I profess my love for food and food related things.
 
Since Halloween is creeping up on us (see what I did there?!) I decided to surf the interwebs to find a few spooky treats that would be great for Halloween parties. Each recipe name is linked to the source where I dug it up.
 
Seeing all of these recipes ALMOST makes me want to throw a Halloween party...almost.
 
Mmmm...eyeballssssss
 
Creepy little buggers aren't they?!
 
 
 Such a cool idea!
I hate peppers so these look especially gross to me!
I think these are my favorites!
 
 
 
 
 
This one is clever but also kind of gross, haha!
 
 
 
Do you have any favorite Halloween fun foods?

Children’s Book Review: Poopendous & The Butt Book by Artie Bennett

Poopendous

Rhyming couplets feature Professor Poopdeck and two young friends as he takes them on a type of poop safari. Words for poop (i.e. guano, number two, ca-ca), its forms and styles (cubes, tubular, wet and dry), and myriad of uses (i.e. souvenirs, a means of tracking and marking, housing insulation, food, fertilizer, fuel) are all conveyed with humor and a certain demand for respect. It’s a book that says: Don’t just flush this stuff away! While it may dismay and stink, there’s more to this stuff than you might think!

 
 
 
The Butt Book
 
Make way for the butt!

Tall butts, short butts, round butts, flat butts.

Butts on mummies and butts on mommies. Butts on giraffes and elephants and dogs and … FISH?

Yes, even fish butts are celebrated in this tribute to backsides, rumps, tushies, keisters, heinies, and derrieres. Dozens of funny rhymes and pages of laugh-out-loud pictures pay homage to a body part that keeps kids and grown-ups giggling with glee.

 
 
Artie Bennett on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
Artie Bennett’s Website

 
My Thoughts:

At the Celebrate the Book (Carlisle, PA) event last weekend, I had the chance to attend a children’s book reading with a friend’s little girl. We’ll call her Miss A so I’m not plastering her name all over the internet. Shout out to Miss A!!

Miss A and I both had a good time at the reading. The author, Artie Bennett, read Poopendous and The Butt Book and told us some interesting facts as well.  Did you know that dried out cow pies were (are?) used like Frisbees? Because of fun facts like that…and the sheer entertainment value of talking about poop I decided that Poopendous was my favorite of the two. Miss A decided that her favorite was The Butt Book.

You can tell that the author really enjoys what he does; he was very engaging for both the kids and the adults. In fact, I think the adults chuckled more than the kids, haha.  So if you ever have the chance to see him do a reading I say go for it whether or not you have a kid in tow ;-)

Overall Ratings:

4 out of 5 for The Butt Book
5 out of 5 for Poopendous

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me
by Tahereh Mafi

Series: Shatter Me #1
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Publisher: HarperCollins

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Shatter Me on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
Tahereh Mafi’s Website
 
My Thoughts:

It had been a LONG time since I read the summary of Shatter Me so I wasn’t really sure what to expect going in. I was very quickly hooked and ended up finishing it in a day…well less than a day since I read another book as well.

I also have to say that I was very impressed with the author’s writing style. I can see how it could be too…verbose for some people but not me, I loved it. It’s so poetic and I’m kicking myself for not marking some of those passages that really stuck out to me!

This book, along with as Divergent, Hunger Games, and Perry Road, has really made me realize how amazing the dystopian genre can be.

And can I just say how much I love, LOVE the covers in this series...
 
 
 Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Wallbanger
by Alice Clayton

Stand Alone Novel
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.

Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and – was that a meow? – punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.

Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…

Wallbanger on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
Alice Clayton’s Website

My Thoughts:

Have you ever accidentally (or not so accidentally) overheard strangers doing the deed? No wait, maybe I don’t want to hear the answer to that, haha.

Wallbanger is great characters all wrapped up in a funny, sweet, and sexy story. I could easily see myself hanging out with Caroline and her friends and having a great time. It’s a small detail but I love that she talks to her cat, Clive, as if he’s a person….because really, what pet owner doesn’t?! Clive ends up being a fun addition. Cover to cover this book is an entertaining read. Heck, even the summary alone makes me want to read it again.

My only gripe would be that the book felt long. Although I did like the ending it just seemed as though it wasn’t really needed and it could have ended at a different spot.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
 
 

Shelf Candy Saturday (50): Kelsey Sutton, Jessica Sorensen, & Susan Dennard


Shelf Candy Saturday is hosted by A Night's Dream of Books
 
 
 
 
Some Quiet Place and Where Silence Gathers
Books 1 & 2 in the Some Quiet Place series by Kelsey Sutton
 

 
 
 
Forget Me Not
 by Jessica Sorensen
 
 
 
 
 
Something Strange and Deadly series
by Susan Dennard 
 

 
 
 
 
I love all of these covers. Kelsey Sutton's covers are so unique and Susan Dennard's are fantastically dark and yet so beautiful! I love that with both of these series the covers were made so you can clearly tell that they go together. Forget Me Not's cover reveal was fairly recent and I was immediately drawn to it.
 
What do you think of these covers? Love them or hate them?


Friday Foodie Affair: Recipe Review & Taste the Heat Winner


 ...where I profess my love for food and food related things.

First I'd like to announce the winner from last week's Friday Foodie Affair with foodie author, Rachel Harris.



 If you missed my interview with Rachel Harris you can check it out here.


Also, if you're a fan of the Love and Games series, book 2 Seven Day Fiance has been released!

Book Links
Taste the Heat (Love and Games 1) on GoodreadsAmazon, and Barnes & Noble
Seven Day Fiancé (Love and Games 2) on GoodreadsAmazon, and Barnes & Noble

The winner of last week's giveaway for Taste the Heat (Love and Games #1) is...


 Pam

Congrats! I'll be contacting you this morning.

- - - - - - -


Now on to this week's recipe review...



PUMPKIN DIP



 Woohoo!! I actually took a couple pictures this time! 


Ingredients

2c.       Pumpkin Puree
1 c.      Dark Brown Sugar
2 tsp.    Ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
½ tsp.   Ground Ginger
1 pkg   (8 oz) Cream Cheese, Softened
¼ tsp. Nutmeg


Directions

Cream together pumpkin and cream cheese until smooth.
Add in all other ingredients until well blended.
Refrigerate overnight to set flavors.
Serve with gingersnaps or graham crackers.

My Thoughts


Go make it...right now! Yes, that's how much I love it!

This recipe quickly became a family favorite. In fact, it's a requirement for entry into my family's Thanksgiving Dinner, haha. Essentially it's like a pumpkin pie but better, and without the crust.

I usually serve the dip with Scooby Snack graham crackers, partially because I get some sick enjoyment out of eating something called Scooby Snacks :) and partially because it's easier than breaking apart larger graham crackers. This time around hubby wanted the above pictured mini grahams and they worked out perfectly.

Fun Facts about me

I LOVE plain cream cheese. And plain brown sugar is quite tasty too.













Recipe Source
I'm not sure where I originally found this recipe but I hunted it down and found the same one here.


3 Liner Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
by Holly Black

Stand Alone Novel
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books
I received this book at BEA (Book Expo America ’13) from Little Brown Books, in exchange for an honest review.

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
Holly Black’s Website

My Thoughts:

I know I’m probably in the minority here but this one falls in the good but not great category for me. I liked the characters and the concept but I wasn’t able to get swept up in the emotions or the story line. Even the action scenes didn’t have me biting my nails in suspense.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
 

 

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!



I really have never stopped loving Halloween and even at 30 I would still dress up and trick-or-treat if I could. Why should the kids have all the fun!? Haha! Because I love Halloween so much I join up with the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop each year to spread the spooky love.

Fill out the form below to enter to win one of the below books from Book Depository. The giveaway is open internationally as long they ship to your country.

The winner can choose one of the following books...

Truly Madly Deadly by Hannah Jayne
The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry
Countdown by Michelle Rowen
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick (my review)
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (my review)
Life as We Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer (my review)


 
 














Movie Review: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

 
 

Photo Source: IMDB.com

Night of the Living Dead
1968 - George A Romero

This was my first time watching any of the classic zombie movies and it’s amazing to see how much has changed in 45 years of filmmaking!

Once I noticed that Night of the Living Dead was a black and white film I really wasn’t sure what I would think of it. Normally I tend to watch movies made in the 80’s or more recent. Overall I enjoyed my first adventure into classic zombies but I will admit that I ended up chuckling at some things and some of the characters. Like Barbara. I can’t help but compare her to Maggie or Michone on the Walking Dead (I’m so excited that the new season has started!!), Katie or Jenni in Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies series, or even Ashley in Dana Fredsti’s Ashley Parker series. The roles that women play and how they’re portrayed has drastically changed in movies and books. Women are fighting back and women are now surviving!

Although I did enjoy my time spent in 1968, I’m a huge fan of special effects, kick butt action scenes, and strong women and because of that I have to say that I still prefer current films over the classics.

Shelf Candy Saturday (49): Code Zero (Joe Ledger #6) by Jonathan Maberry


Shelf Candy Saturday is hosted by A Night's Dream of Books
 

Code Zero
By Jonathan Maberry
 
 
Series: Joe Ledger #6
Genre: Adult, Horror, Zombies
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
 
 
Description from Amazon
For years the Department of Military Sciences has fought to stop terrorists from using radical bioweapons – designer plagues, weaponized pathogens, genetically modified viruses, and even the zombie plague that first bought Ledger into the DMS. These terrible weapons have been locked away in the world’s most secure facility. Until now. Joe Ledger and Echo Team are scrambled when a highly elite team of killers breaks the unbreakable security and steals the world’s most dangerous weapons. Within days there are outbreaks of mass slaughter and murderous insanity across the American heartland. Can Joe Ledger stop a brilliant and devious master criminal from turning the Land of the Free into the land of the dead?
 
 
Code Zero on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
Jonathan Maberry’s Website
 
 
I thought this cover would be perfectly gruesome since Halloween is right around the corner. I love the blood, the skin tears, the bone, and the overall creepy feel of this cover.
 

Friday Foodie Affair: Foodie Author Rachel Harris


 ...where I profess my love for food and food related things.


The lovely Rachel Harris has stopped by for this week's Friday Foodie Affair. Keep reading to learn more about Rachel and her foodie romances and don't miss the giveaway at the end of the post!

Love and Games series
 
Taste the Heat (Love and Games #1)

One sexy fire captain. One Cajun chef, One combustible kitchen…

When chef Colby Robicheaux returned home to New Orleans to save her family restaurant, the last person she expected to reconnect with was her brother’s best friend and her childhood crush. As tempting as a sugar-coated beignet, Jason is one dish she doesn’t want to taste. Colby is counting down the days till she can leave the place where her distrust of love and commitment originated and go back to Vegas.

Fire Captain Jason Landry isn’t looking for love, either. He knows he should focus on finding the perfect mother for his daughter, but when he first sees Colby, all grown up and gorgeous, he can’t help but be drawn to her. And when she suggests a no-strings-attached fling, Jason doesn’t want to say no.

As their relationship grows more intense, Colby finds that Jason isn’t as easy to leave behind as she thought. Could turning up the heat on something real be worth the possibility of getting burned?

Taste the Heat on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble


Seven Day Fiancé (Love and Games #2) releases next week!! October 14th to be exact!


Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé – a fiancé that doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look – and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solver her fiancé problem.


Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.

Seven Day Fiancé on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble



Here's a teaser of Seven Day Fiancé to wet your appetite...





About Rachel


Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, watching soap operas with her grandmother, and staying up late sneak-reading her mama’s romance novels. Today, she still stays up late reading romances, only now she does so openly.

A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.


She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches countless hours of Food Network and reality television with her amazing husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult Fun, Flirty Escapes, and LOVES talking with readers!



Interview with Author Rachel Harris

What made you decide to write a ‘foodie’ book? 
Growing up in New Orleans, I was surrounded by food. Almost every social event and family gathering had food at the center of it, and we passed down rich family recipes from generation to generation. My husband also grew up there, and he loves to cook, too, so it’s just a part of our lives. Watching Food Network and cooking-related shows is a favorite in our family, and watching the show Chopped actually inspired the idea for this book. It was a firefighter cook off, and there was a moment of flirtation between one of the firefighters and a female judge, and the entire story just popped in my head.     



How did you settle on Cajun food as the star cuisine in Taste the Heat (Love & Games #1)?
I’m from New Orleans, so I’d say Cajun food is obviously the best food (he he). Really, I wanted to write a series set in my hometown, to show the unique culture we have there, the relationships, the humor, and food is such an integral part of that culture that it all just made sense to combine them.
  
 
Can we expect the same in book 2 in the series? 
The first three books in the series are about the Robicheaux family, two sisters and a protective big brother who own a family restaurant, so food will be an important part of all three books in some way. Book 2, Cane and Angelle’s story, is slightly different as we experience all the humorous differences between New Orleans Cajun and Cajun country. I call it Sweet Home Alabama meets The Proposal, set in a Duck Dynasty world.
  
I had a lot of fun with this book…and I must admit that I fell hard for my tatted up, reformed playboy ;)
“…Sweet Home Alabama meets The Proposal, set in a Duck Dynasty world.” I LOVE all three of those! I’m sold!

  
What is the one dish you would recommend to someone who has never tried Cajun food?
Depends on if they want sweet or savory. Sweet, I’d definitely go with a beignet because, well, come on. Who can resist fried dough covered in sugar?? But for savory, I’d go with either jambalaya, gumbo, or the tried and true fried shrimp Po-boy. I lived in North Carolina for a few years and I remember making all of those dishes for some friends, and I’ll never forget them asking, “Shrimp on bread?” It cracked me up because it’s rare that I eat shrimp not on thick, crunchy French bread.  So darn good! And now I’m hungry…
Me too! I’ve never tried Cajun food but you’re definitely making it sound tasty!
  

Sweet or salty?
Sweet please!
  
Cake or pie?
Pie. Pecan pie
 
Favorite thing to cook/bake?
Cookies because they are yummy and easy, but I think my favorite is cooking all the favorites on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our stuffings, homemade macaroni and cheese, gumbo, and, of course, the pies.
 
What food could you eat every day?
Chocolate. But if you mean an actual meal (he he), I’d probably say red beans and rice. It’s a tradition in New Orleans to make it every Monday, and growing up we’d always have left overs to munch on for the rest of the week. Yum!

What’s one food you love that gets you strange looks when you tell people?
If you’re not from the south, crawfish is always one that people can get squeamish about… especially if you suck the heads. I don’t do that, but almost everyone in my family does. And of course, the shrimp on bread definitely earned me an odd look. That still tickles me…



A Family Recipe from Rachel

Grandma Genevieve’s Pumpkin Pie



½ cup Sugar
1 tbl Flour
½ tsp Salt
¾ tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Cloves
1 tsp Ginger
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1 ¼ cup canned or fresh Pumpkin
1 tbs Molasses
1 tbl Margarine
2 Eggs
1 cup Milk
9” Pie shell



1.                   Mix sugar, flour, salt, and spices together.
2.                   Add pumpkin. If fresh pumpkin, make sure to drain it well.
3.                   Add Molasses and margarine and blend thoroughly.
4.                   Beat slightly, then add milk and eggs to pumpkin mixture.
5.                   Pour into 9” pie shell.
6.                   Bake in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then 350 degrees for 35 minutes.




Giveaway




To celebrate next week’s release of Seven Day Fiancé, Rachel is so kindly offering an ebook of Taste the Heat to one lucky winner! All you have to do is fill out the form below.

 

-Entries must be received by 11:59pm  (EST), October 17th.
-Giveaway is open internationally
-Winner will be selected via random.org and announced October 18th.