About Me

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I am an avid reader, animal lover, devourer of guacamole, storyteller and the author of An Unexpected Obsession, A Dose of Reality, Witch Way, A Coven by Christmas, Love Spells, Summer Solstice (coming soon), Flirting With Death, Flirting With Murder and the rest of the upcoming Assassins Anonymous series. I attended Arizona State University (go Sun Devils!) and make my home in the Valley of the Sun with my husband and three pampered pets. I like to discuss everything funny, sexy, sassy and absurd. But mostly I like to talk about books... and shoes... and outrageously expensive purses... and Chanel sunglasses ...oooh, and anything sparkly... or fluffy! So, come on in and let's chat!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fantastic Read - The Baby Thief by L.J. Sellers

The Baby Thief is yet another book by an author I stumbled upon and am now addicted to. With a delicious blend of warped morals, twisted motives and thrilling turns, L.J. Sellers has hit the mark when it comes to the ultimate in suspense.

Description (from Amazon product page):

"Thirty-two and still single, Jenna wants a baby before it's too late so she visits a fertility clinic. Soon after she meets Eric, a charming reporter, and their attraction is powerful. Meanwhile the clinic doctor, after one look at Jenna, makes other plans. The doctor and her lover kidnap Jenna and steal one of her eggs—a simple procedure that the “donor” should no have memory of. But from the beginning, things go terribly wrong. When Jenna disappears, Eric is confused and heartbroken—but can he find her in time to save her?"

The Baby Thief is incredibly engrossing and I highly recommend. Normally, I'm all about chick-lit, but every once in a while I just need a break and this was the perfect detour! Currently only $2.99 on Amazon, there is absolutely no reason not to give it a try.

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 23, 2012

She's Baaaack! Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

Okay, so this always happens when I'm nearly finished with a project... I start procrastinating! What is my favorite way to pass the time when I'm in procrastination mode? Read, of course!

I've been hemming and hawing over reading J.E.'s latest because the reviews are so mixed. I mean, Explosive Eighteen actually has more 1-star ratings than 5-star, which I find mind boggling. I can understand the complaints about price. $13.99 for an ebook that was released nearly six months ago? Ridiculous. Sorry, I love Miss Evanovich, but the pricing by the big publishers really ticks me off. So what did I do? Bought the damn thing.

And I loved it! Reviewers have been dead on with the past few books in that they were getting a bit repetitive and lacking in the surprising bursts of laugh-out-loud humor J.E. is famous for. Not Explosive Eighteen! Usually when I have a written LOL moment, it's really more of a small grin, maybe a slight chuckle. Yet, finally, I can write that I seriously laughed, deep belly chuckles, more than once while reading this book. Do I wish Stephanie would make up her mind? Yes! Well, only if she picks Ranger, but that's a personal preference.

Then again, if Explosive Eighteen is any indication of a return to the former glory of the Stephanie Plum series, I don't want her to make a difinitive choice... because then it would be over. And it can't be over. I need a go-to author who keeps me turning the pages and inspires me to new heights.

I won't rehash the plot, because if you're a fan you know what you're getting here. But I will say all those 1-star reviews are misguided in my opinion. If you're holding out for the same reasons I was, don't. Well worth the read. (Even more worth it if you can get your hands on the paperback or a used copy... $13.99? Really? Okay, enough said. I'm over it now. Promise.)

Bitching aside, I highly recommend Explosive Eighteen. Fun, fun, fun read!!!

Happy Page Turning!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blood Orchids by Toby Neal - Aloha!

I was first drawn to this book because it has nearly the same title as one of my all-time faves by Stuart Woods. I'm so glad I took a chance and actually read it! Blood Orchids by Toby Neal is a fantastic book! I'll start with the scenery - The Big Island of Hawaii is one of my favorite places on this earth. And while I've only been to the Kona Coast portion of the island, I really enjoyed the imagery of Hilo and the surrounding parks and and beaches.

Lei, the main character of this novel is an interesting and engaging heroine. Her background is vivid and compelling. There were times I almost felt like a voyeur because her history was so well-written and fleshed out. The mystery? Wonderful, and, as the book description says, "un-putdownable."

Then there's her faithful companion - Keiki. I love animals and it seems I always fall in love with books where I fall in love with the animal/s portrayed in them. Keiki can come live with me any day!

Romance is definitely an important element in Blood Orchids, but it's not overpowering or mushy. Toby Neal put just the right amount in to make it true to the story and, especially, to the characters. Bravo! I also love series, so I can't wait to find out what happens to Lei next.

Blood Orchids is currently $2.99 on Amazon and worth every penny. If you enjoy mystery, suspense, and romance all wrapped up into one fabulous read - this is the book for you. I highly recommend!

Happy Reading!

Golden Lies by Barbara Freethy is... Golden!

Golden Lies is the second book I've read by Barbara Freethy. And this one is definitely my favorite of the two! Let me start with the cover, because I absolutely love it - although after reading the book, other than the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, I didn't find it really suited the content. But it is a beautiful image and was definitely a deciding factor when I downloaded the book.

The story revolves around three central main characters who are drawn together when a mysterious dragon statue is found. I really enjoyed the Asian culture in the book and found it original and refreshing.

The romance and chemistry between Riley and Paige sparked and drew me in. Theirs was a romance I could get behind and root for. Every character was well drawn and their histories were portrayed with depth and realism. What I really liked was how quickly the pace moved and how, with so many different threads being woven together, I never felt like I missed anything, or something wasn't explained. Golden Lies is the epitome of romantic suspense. You won't be able to put it down.

(Possible spoiler?) The ending is what I expected, but I wouldn't have had it any other way... happy endings are always a must-have for me. Golden Lies is ridiculously inexpensive, too. I actually downloaded it as a freebie, but when I went to Amazon to check on the price just now I saw it is only $1.99. BARGAIN! For romance and romantic suspense lovers, you won't want to miss this one.

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Hunger Games Trilogy - A Review by a Chick-Lit Lover

I was late to this party, but I'm glad I finally gave in. Definitely not my normal reading fare, but the story really is quite engrossing. I have to admit it took quite a while to get used to the first-person present-tense style. I actually like first person... it was the present tense that threw me. I did become accustomed to it after a brief period, that might have been shortened if I had connected more with Katniss from the beginning. I didn't. In fact, I never really fell in love with this character.
After The Twilight Saga madness (and, yes, I fell under Edward's spell quite quickly), and when the media made such a big deal about how this series was going to be even bigger, I had to see what all the hoopla was about. I had high expectations for this story and I can't say it necessarily disappointed me, but while I'm sure it was intended to be a character-driven plot, I found them (the characters) to be a far second to the world-building that went on. In this, Suzanne Collins did a wonderful job of painting the imagery quite vividly with her words. Throughout all three books, I never had difficulty picturing where the story was taking place.

But... I still never fell in love with the characters. The antiwar message came through loud and clear, and was an enjoyable ride, but I felt let down that Katniss never aspired to greatness. For a heroine, she was a disappointment to me. Every accomplishment was more luck than skill, and I saw very little growth in her throughout the series until the very, very end - which was a little rushed, in my opinion, after all the buildup and still painted her as flat and rather emotionless. I realize this is due to the emotional damage she'd suffered and is probably a more apt demeanor for someone who has lived the life she has, but it left so much to be desired. Where was the hope? I didn't necessarily need a happy ending, but I felt nearly depressed after it ended. In one word - The Hunger Games is: Sad!

*Possible Spoiler Alert*

Speaking of the ending... I wish there had been more about what happened to the country in the aftermath. From others, I went into these books believing I was going to be swept up in a love triangle, which, okay, maybe it was... kinda, sorta. But since I never felt a connection to any of the trio (other than feeling a bit sorry for Peeta), and since there was more action than drama, I felt the lack of details, lack of a vivid picture of what happened, was sorely lacking.

*End Possible Spoiler*

Now, I know I compared the two series before, so I will elaborate a bit more. Twilight was all drama. You felt more than the mechanics of the characters - even though I did not overly enjoy all the redundant musings found in the books and skimmed through about 50% of the stories. In contrast, The Hunger Games had a much better plot and was far superior in the writing style, but it lacked passion. It lacked emotion. Well, emotions other than fear, hatred, and violence. It was brutal and dark.

One must take into account that I am truly a lover of Chick Lit. I need light and happy. I definitely enjoyed this foray into the dark side, but I am at a loss as to why these books are so incredibly popular. They're actually quite depressing - especially considering that they're written for a YA audience. Maybe as someone who is several years past "young" I just don't get it. I know many YA books that spread like wildfire are popular because of a certain theme, which, in my estimation is young children doing things that are more "adult": fighting wars, torid romances, grand adventures without parental oversight, etc. So, maybe in this instance I didn't connect because I know the real life consequences of what was occurring.

In the end, I'll watch the movies. I'd recommend the books to a friend as something interesting to read. But when it comes down to it, I wouldn't re-read the series. The Hunger Games is definitely a unique experience, but when it comes to all the hysteria - I'll take a pass. I am not team Gale or team Peeta (whose name makes me hungry for Greek food). I don't suddenly feel the need to visit an archery range. I'm glad I spent the time to read the series so I can speak intelligently when the topic comes up in conversation, because the avalanche has begun and there's no getting out of the way. But as I watch it unfold, all I'm inspired to add to the pile is a careless shrug and a noncommittal, "Meh."

Let me know what your thoughts are on the subject. And, "May the odds be ever in your favor." ;-)

Happy Reading!