Re-Read Challenge Review: Alpha and Omega and Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Ack! I know I said I'd post this on Tuesday but I kept thinking that Tuesday was the 31st! I'm so off on my dates! So here it is in all its glory. lol

For this month’s challenge I decided to re-read both Alpha and Omega and Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs. I guess it was kind of in honor of the release of the newest story in the Alpha and Omega series, Hunting Ground.

Alpha and Omega (in the On the Prowl anthology)
Anna has been a werewolf for 3 years. She was changed against her will and has been thoroughly mentally, verbally and sexually abused by her pack Alpha as well as the other members of her pack. She considers herself a monster.

One day as she reading the local paper she sees the picture of a missing man. Knowing that the missing man was changed into a werewolf by her pack she contacts the Marrok, the head werewolf of all werewolves.

Bran, the Marrok, sends his son Charles, his executioner, to investigate. When Charles meets Anna his wolf instantly recognizes her as his mate and wants to take care of her. What Charles also recognizes is that Anna is not a submissive wolf, as her pack would have her believe, but an Omega. Omega’s are neither a submissive nor an alpha werewolf but kind of outside of the pack, while still being a part of it. Charles is infuriated with what has happened to Anna and is determined to find out what is going on in her pack.

This is such a short yet wonderful novella. With Anna and Charles meeting and Charles taking care of the pack situation it’s a very satisfying story even though Charles and Anna don’t get an HEA. It’s just the beginning of the relationship and that’s totally ok. You just don’t feel that there is anything left undone. This was my first read from Patricia Briggs and when I was done I immediately started reading Cry Wolf. I have to say I loved the story just as much with this read as I did the first.

Original rating: 4 out of 5
Current rating: 4 out of 5

Cry Wolf

Our story begins with Anna moving to Montana with Charles. She’s hoping that life will be better in the new state. She’s accepted that her wolf wants Charles as her mate as well and Anna is trying to deal with her life being in upheaval. She’s moving to a new state, she knows no one, she’s scared out of her mind of Charles even though she wants to be near him, and she’s going to be that much closer to the Marrok, which scares her shitless. What she doesn’t realize is that the people in Charles’ pack are still werewolves. It’s a hard lesson to learn that these people are still “monsters”, just in a different location.

Charles is trying to recover from bullets wounds and trying to make Anna comfortable. It’s taking all of his strength to try to be calm, but his wolf wants him to complete the mating bond with Anna. Charles knows she’s not ready. When the Marrok assigns Charles to go into the Cabinet mountains to hunt down a rogue werewolf Charles knows that he has to take Anna with him. As an Omega Anna might be able to calm the rogue and then Charles won’t have to kill once again. But the rogue is not what they thought. They end up facing down a witch and it’s not like anything either one of them had dealt with before.

I love this story. I loved it the first time and I loved it this time. Patricia Briggs has such a way of pulling us into her characters that I feel like I’m with them on their journeys. I actually got teary-eyed this time around where I didn’t before. It’s just good stuff.

Anna shows such amazing growth in this story. She goes from a scared, almost submissive woman to a strong Omega. By the end of the story she knows who she is, what her place in the pack is and what she needs to get done. I just admired her strength so much!

Charles *sigh* (lol) he’s just an incredible man and a pretty smart werewolf. He was born a werewolf to an Indian medicine woman and has not only his werewolf magic but a little more besides. He’s the kind of man I’d want around in a tough spot. Not because he’s an executioner, but because of his inner strength and intelligence. I love his playfulness mixed with his steadfastness - just a great combo.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good werewolf story, loves Patricia Briggs or just wants to read a well written novel. Does that cover everything?

Original Rating: 4.5 out of 5 original review here
Current Rating: 4.5 out of 5

What I've Been Reading This Week

She's baaaaack! Yes, I'm back from my weekend in the mountains. It's just so incredibly beautiful and peaceful up there. We had so much fun. I just love getting together with some of the women I know and having a weekend away. We laughed and drank wine and shopped (got some gorgeous Bass boots that were normally $109.00 for $49.00 and some Bass dress shoes that are stinking adorable for $43.00 marked down from $89.00...oh and got some stuff for hubby and kids too. lol) and read and played games. It was just relaxing and fun! I came back refreshed and feeling like I could conquer the world my office. lol
(Here's a picture of the playful racoons that were on the deck of the house last night.)

And I did conquer the office! Well, at least part of it. The important book part. Here are before pictures of the shelves/messy office. Yes, the box and the bag on the floor have books in them, of course. (and I had the camera on the wrong setting which means the pictures were under-exposed and makes them look worse! lol)

And here's the new bookcase. Technically it's for cd/media storage but it was just so adorable and the perfect size for my office I just had to get it. I got to move my hubby's cd's (a friggin miracle) and then move some books around. I got an extra shelf out of it in the built-in bookcase and filled the new shelves with cd's (he got 1 shelf) and my books. It's beeeeeautiful! Here are photos of the finished product. Later I'll be working on total office domination (which means that the trashy fish tank that is a total eyesore but my hubby refuses to move will be gone!) but for now I'm happy with the way it is. :0)

I even grouped the books that I'd already read by author. I know, don't fall off your chairs, I was just on a roll. :) And I have a big bag of books to take to the next So Cal Blogger Get-Together!

Reading: I really didn't read that much this week but I got everything done that I needed to so that was good.
Book for The Book Binge read - check
Book for Tracy's TBR Challenge Read read - check (well almost since it was a DNF)
Book for Nath's Re-Read Challeng read - check
and a couple other stories in between.

So up first was Saving Midnight by Emma Holly. As I said in my last post, the review is up at The Book Binge if you'd like to read it.

Next up was my Tracy's TBR Challenge Read for the week: All About Men by Shannon McKenna. Sorry to say this was a DNF for me. My thoughts are in my previous post here.

Next was Out of Her Dreams by Fran Lee. This is a story about a romance author who has dreamed about a man since she was 14. She has based a series of books on him and has used the likeness from her dream for the cover of the books. One day at a book signing a man shows up and he looks exactly like her dream man! It's a cute story that has lots of sex and some sweet moments. 4 out of 5

Last were the books I read for my Re-Read Challenge. I re-read the novella Alpha and Omega and the book Cry Wolf both by Patricia Briggs. I'll post my reviews on Tuesday.

And that's it! Can you believe it? I know I was shocked too. lol Ah well, another day...another book! lol

Happy Reading!
(Sorry for the book covers going all wonky. I can't seem to fix it. I think it might be time for a new blog template - this one's driving me batty! lol)

A Few Things - and an observance

Thing 1:
Happy Friday! I'm so happy that my day is almost over! I get to leave early today (at 3) to go to a women's weekend at my boss's cabin near Lake Arrowhead. It's only about an hour and a half from here. Some women from my church are going and we eat and drink and play games and go shopping and take hikes and it's just fun and relaxing. I say cabin cuz it's in the mountains but it's like a fully stocked/equipped home. I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Thing 2:
My review for Saving Midnight by Emma Holly is up at The Book Binge. Just FYI.

Thing 3:
My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for this week was a book that I got from the book swap during the first So Cal Blogger Get Together that I attended. I grabbed All About Men by Shannon McKenna off the shelf and was looking forward to reading it. This book ended up being a DNF for me and since I can't remember who I got it from I'm curious to see what that person, whoever they may be, thought about it. And if anyone else has read it, what did you think?

It's a book with 3 novellas in it. I read the first novella and tried really hard not to chuck the book against the wall...3 or 4 times. The hero of the story was a little stalkerish at first (following the heroine 800 miles on his motorcycle cuz he wanted to "taste" her. Uh, yeah. But he was so sweet I kind of let it slide. Then the heroine made him mad and he got all sexually controlling - and controlling in other ways - throwing her stuff away cuz he didn't think it was good enough, etc. I didn't like him AT ALL! The fact that the heroine was running from a controlling boyfriend made it even worse...and that she fell in love with him. Oy. I started to think she was as nuts as the hero by the end of the story.

Then the second story was about a woman who worked for a head hunter. She was going after a GM of a hotel group and lied about who she was to get past the receptionist. When she got to the appointment she discovered that there had been an emergency and the GM wouldn't be able to meet her but the CEO would. She tried to leave but just couldn't manage it. The CEO and her hit it off (on the couch) and he asked her to dinner. She accepted. During dinner the CEO finds out that she's not who she says she is so he takes her to his room and has wild sex with her. (cuz that's what you do when someone lies to your, right?) She of course feels vulnerable so doesn't ever take her dress off...during 2 rounds of sex and him going down on her twice. Okaaaay. If you feel that vulnerable and uncomfortbale then leave! Omg I hate stupid women. When he finally tells the head hunter that he knows that she's not who she says she is and that he thinks she's a scam artist she says, "you thought I was a criminal and you still had sex with me?" and he says (get this), "well just cuz I thought you were a criminal didn't mean I didn't want to fuck your brains out." Oh dear God. I stopped reading immediately. The men in that book were a little too scary for my liking! lol Yet, when I looked on ratings from Goodreads I saw that there was anywhere from 2 stars to 5. Apparently those stories appeal to some women - just not me.

An Observance:
This morning after I dropped the kids off at school I saw a girl/woman walking down the street. I'm not sure if she was walking for exercise or if she was going somewhere. She had regular clothes on but she was definitely walking with a purpose so it was hard to tell. She wasn't a large woman from the back but wasn't small in size either. When I passed her I saw that she had a crop top on and when I looked in the rearview mirror I saw something similar to this:

Eeew. Is it me or are we seeing more and more of this? I see this often in my city - especially in teens. I don't think I'm a prude and think that everyone should be completely covered at all times but when you're belly's on the large side should it be put out there for the world to see? I have to think that the girls who wear outfits like this have great self-esteem (which is awesome) and don't care what anyone else thinks but then I have to they think that boys find this attractive. Just cuz it's skin doesn't mean it's pretty.
I'm not sure why I brought this up - it's just kind of been on my mind all day! lol The things I think about. :)

Ok - I'm off to finish my work so I can go and have fun in the mountains. I won't have internet access until I get home on Sunday but can't wait to see what you all have to say!
Have a fabulous weekend!

Year of the Category Review: Amorous Liaisons by Sarah Mayberry

Max Laurent has always wanted Maddy Green. But he let her go once before rather than stand between her and her dreams. Now she's on his Paris doorstep, needing a place to stay. She's just as hot and he wants her just as much. How can he resist seducing her?

When Maddy's world falls apart, it's only natural that she turns to Max for support. But fall into his bed? Never…until one steamy night, that is. And having had a taste of him, she's hungry for more. Then she has the chance to resume her career, although it means leaving him. Can she throw away the best sex—and the best friend—she's ever had?

Maddy is a prima ballerina. She has worked her way to the top and is on a road that she loves when a knee injury and the resulting surgery slow her down. Now the dance company's doctor says that she's done dancing and the owner of the company agrees and let's her go. Maddy is extremely upset and is anxious to seek out one of her friends who can make her feel better. When she thinks of that person she thinks of ex-dancer Max who was always able to make her feel better. She hasn't seen him in 8 years but what does that matter? She hops a plane from Sydney, Australia straight to Paris, France and hardly stops to pack a bag. When she knocks on Max's door he's more than a little shocked.

Max was also on his way to a fabulous dance career himself when he gave it all up to take care of his father who was ill. His father recently died and now he's following another of his dreams - of being a sculptor. Way back when (10 years before) Max had been madly in love with Maddy. The pain of leaving her and getting over his feelings were horrible. Now Maddy's on his doorstep and he's realizing that he never really stopped loving Maddy, he just pushed his feelings down into himself where they didn't hurt so much.

Maddy is not dealing with not being a ballerina so well. She's having problems with her emotions which was completely understandable. She didn't know what to do with herself or her life. She talks Max into letting her model for his sculptures when his regular model cancels even though she has to model in the nude. Max tries his best to act comfortable and not attack Maddy while she's modeling but barely restrains himself. After the first session Max has to hit a cold shower immediately only that doesn't do the trick. Maddy catches him in the shower jacking off and is suddenly seeing Max more in the "hot man" light rather than the "friend" light. Sexual relationship ensues.

I have to say that I really liked Max in this book. He was an upstanding guy who did what he needed to do when his father took ill. It wasn't what he planned to do with his life but he did it and did it well and with love. Even with his sister, who has a child with Autism, he is there for her when she needs him. He's very patient with Maddy. He more or less knows what she's going through since he had to give up dance so many years before and tries to be there for her without coddling her.

Maddy took some getting used to. She was very wrapped up in herself but I tried to see things from her point of view. She had lost the biggest thing in her life and didn't know how to go on. But it seemed that she was set to go in one direction and then she'd change her mind and go another. After a bit I was rolling my eyes at her. I couldn't quite say that I enjoyed her character until near the very end of the book.

The story I wasn't too much of a fan of. As much as I liked Max it was 2 adults who had no clue how to communicate with each other unless it was as friends or having sex. When it came to a loving relationship I'm not sure they knew what to say to each other. They couldn't speak their feelings but yet at one point one couldn't understand why the other didn't know how they felt. It's that whole, woman expects man to just know how she's feeling. And yeah, as far as I know, that never really works out. Some men just have to be told. It was frustrating to read for me.

This was my first Mayberry book and though I wasn't completely thrilled with the story itself I really enjoyed Mayberry's writing. It was easy to read and I never felt like I wanted to put the book down or just move on to the next chapter.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks Contest

Until the end of the month there's a contest going at Omnilit and All Romance eBooks. Answer a question a day and you are entered to win a $25.00 gift certificate that can be used at Omnilit or ARe. They are also giving away an iPod Touch to one lucky winner. Very cool.

Who doesn't love free ebooks?

Breaking Midnight Reviw is posted

My review for Breaking Midnight by Emma Holly is now up guessed it: The Book Binge.

Edmund is an elder among the upyr, a shape-changing race of immortals. Kidnapped by rivals, he’s now a pawn in a deadly game to control the world, and only the love of the mortal beauty, Estelle, can save him.

Edmund has been captured and his family has no idea where he’s been taken. His family is at a loss without him and not quite sure what to do. Graham, his son, decides to take matters into his own hands and makes the decision to become upyr.

Estelle, Edmund’s fiancĂ©, dreams of him though and is able to ascertain that he is in Switzerland. When it comes time to get a rescue party together his entire family wants to be involved. It is decided that everyone will go. But there are many bumps in their road and the rescue will not be easy. Read more---->

What I've Been Reading This Week

I can't believe that the "summer" is over for my kids! Back in school and they seemed to like their teachers ok so that's good. No complaints so far. :)

I took the kids out to shop and had to buy a pair of shoes for my youngest - her foot has grown so she needed new tennis shoes. While there my oldest decided to get her foot measured too - just for fun. Turns out her foot has grown 3 sizes in 2 months! She's a ladies size 7 for crying out loud (yes, she's only 11.5). Don't ask me how she wore her size 4 shoes to school for 3 days - she said they didn't hurt but still! Crazy. She's like a big footed rabbit or a kangaroo! lol

I've been horrible with my blog lately. I know the only reviews I've been posting are for another site and that sucks. I will try to be better in the future.

My diet's going ok - I've lost 2 pounds so far. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Right?? lol (Patience is a virtue, Tracy!)

I also bought a new bookcase to put in my office! My books were starting to take over and I finally decided on one. It's stinking adorable! Not huge but just big enough for what I need. After I get it (I had to order it online) I'll take a picture and show you.

Ok - what I read this week - some pretty good books!

First up was the second book in the Fitz Clare Chronicles trilogy by Emma Holly, Breaking Midnight. After finishing Kissing Midnight last week I wanted to jump right in and read more. I'll let you know when my review posts on The Book Binge.

Next up was At The Bride Hunt Ball by Olivia Parker. This was a very sweet historical about a Duke who has decided not to marry, ever, so he decides to hold a week long party at his estate to find a bride for his brother who will be his heir. Seven women are chosen to attend and at the end of the week the "winner" who will then be engaged will be announced at The Bride Hunt Ball. One of the women who gets chosen does NOT want to be there and makes it loudly known to the Duke that she is against what he's doing. Of course they start to have feelings for each other and the romance is on. I very much enjoyed the book. I think some people would say it was too sweet but I didn't think so at all. I have to say I was left with some questions at the end of the book but luckily Parker's second (and follow up book) is releasing on Tuesday so hopefully some of my questions will be answered. 4 out of 5

Riding on Instinct by Jaci Burton was my next read. This is book 3 in the Wild Riders series. I thought it was a good installment. We got to know the characters and their backgrounds well which was nice. 3.75 out of 5

Next up was Heaven Sent 3: Hell by Jet Mykles. What a great story. After reading the first two books I got the impression that Brent was a hidden gem but needed a strong personality in his life. Hell definitely provided that strength. I just loved Hell in all his lavender goodness. Good book. 4.25 out of 5

I continued with the Heaven Sent series by Jet Mykles by reading the 4th book Faith. Another good addition to the rockers stories. At times Darien seemed like a great big puppy to me and I thought he fell a little quickly for Chris but it was still good. 4 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge Read for the week was About A Dragon by G.A. Aiken. This is book 2 in the Dragon Kin series and I really liked it! This was about Briec the Mighty aka to the heroine of the book Briec the Arrogant. He was certainly arrogant! Briec saves Talaith from being hanged by her village and decides that he's going to keep her. Talaith wants nothing to do with Briec and needs to be moving on. Briec knows that Talaith is hiding something but he has no idea what. This book has love, romance, friendship, humor, sibling interaction, battles and lots of arguments - something for everyone! lol I'm almost happy that I waited to read this since the next book, What A Dragon Should Know, comes out on Sept. 1. This way I don't have to wait too long to read the next book! :) 4.25 out of 5

Last but not least was Amorous Liaisons by Sarah Mayberry. Renee was nice enough to send it to me and I decided to read it for the Year of the Category Challenge this month. I'll post my review later this week.

Happy Reading!

Guest Review for Kissing Midnight by Emma Holly

Hop on over to The Book Binge if you'd like to read my review of Kissing Midnight by Emma Holly.

Edmund Fitz Clare has been keeping secrets he can’t afford to expose. Not to the orphans he’s adopted. Not to the woman he’s been yearning after for years. This seeming professor of history is a shapeshifting vampire, determined to redeem past misdeeds.

Estelle Berenger knows better than to fall for her best friend’s father, but he holds the key to a mystery: that ever since she was struck by lightning, she’s had abilities no normal woman should be able to call upon.The question is, can these star-crossed lovers survive a vampire war?

Estelle has been in love with her best friends father since she was 15 and first met him. While it was a completely innocent love at first, since she's come of age she has anything but innocent thoughts about Edmund Fitz Clare. Read more---->

The first day of school

Well today was the first day of school and it seemed to go well. My oldest was disappointed that she didn't get the teacher she wanted but she quickly adjusted. My youngest has 2 teachers that job share so we'll see how that goes. Here they are in all their glory (oldest in 6th grade and youngest in 2nd).

notice my youngest is sticking her tongue out - stinker!

Guest Review for Out of the Light, Into the Shadow

The Book Binge has posted my guest review of:

Out of the Light, Into the Shadow by Lori Foster, L.L. Foster and Erin McCarthy

This is an anthology by 3 authors that each have 2 interwoven story lines within 4 novellas.

In Have Mercy by Lori Foster we meet Wyatt Reyes and Mercedes "Mercy" Jardine. They've been dating for 6months and Mercy is ready to take their relationship to the next level: marriage. She really feels it's something that needs to be done, especially before she gives birth to the baby that she's not quite told Wyatt about yet. Read more---->

What I Read Last Week

Good morning everyone (or afternoon to some others)!

How are you this fine Monday morning? Doing well, I hope. I'm doing fabulous! My kiddles came home yesterday and damn I missed them! It was so nice to have the house back to normal. As much as I enjoyed some time with my hubby it was a little like a tomb most of the time they were gone. They had a wonderful time but they're not going anywhere without us any time soon. :)

I've been very good about my diet and exercise for the past couple of week. I haven't weighed myself since last Monday but at that point I'd only lost a 1/2 a pound. That's OK! I figure that it took a while to get the weight will take a while to get it back off. IMHO it should be just as easy to get off as on but that's just me. I did take a Cardio Barre class this past Saturday and I'm still really stinking sore - especially my thighs. I want to go back but don't know that I'll survive! lol

I read some good books this past week! Here they are:

First up was Compromised by Kate Noble. I have to tell you that I tried to read this twice back in March of 2008 and couldn't get past the first chapter. After reading Ana's review I decided to give it another whirl. Well it was good! It was a very sweet and charming book about Gail and Max. Max is being forced into marriage by his father and ends up compromising Gail's sister Evangeline. Max and Gail don't really get along but they get along better than Max and Evangeline. When they discover that they have feelings for each other what will they do? Just a good, sweet historical read. 4.25 out of 5

Next up was a new YA series by Rachel Vincent, My Soul To Take, which is the first book in the Soul Screamers series. This was a pleasant surprise. Anna had a short ARC review that grabbed my attention so when I saw it in the store I had to grab it. I'm so glad I did. Even though I had been intrigued by the review I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the book since I don't normally read YA novels. This was the story of Kaylee who keeps having "episodes" where she feels the incredible urge to scream and she knows when a particular person is going to die. Her best friend and a new friend, Nash, try to help her deal with it. Nash explains more than she ever imagined and together they try to figure out why teens are dropping like flies. I thought that the story was well done and the relationships between Kaylee and her family was given as much attention as her relationship with Nash. I'll be looking for other books in this series. (There is an audio prequel out now, but I haven't listened to it yet.) 4 out of 5

Next was Sindustry Volume II another m/m anthology by Dreamspinner Press. Like volume I all of these stories involve rent boys, strippers, hookers and porn stars and them finding happiness. I didn't like this one quite as well as the first but there were still a few stories in there that I liked. 3.75 out of 5

My next read was a Quickie from Ellora's Cave - a new release by Savannah Stuart (aka Katie Reus) called Adrianna's Cowboy. This was an erotic tale of a woman and the ranch hand at her father's ranch finally exploring the attraction they've had for each other for 4 years. It was a hot one, to be sure, but I enjoyed the story as well. 4 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for the week was Wild Card by Lora Leigh. This is the first book in the Elite Ops series but it is kind of a continuation of a story that we first read about in Leigh's SEAL books. This story was about Nathan Malone. He was captured by the enemy and beaten almost to death, among other things. He gave up his identity, his family, including his wife, thinks he's dead. He's now known as Noah Blake and is being put on assignment at a garage in his hometown. The garage he used to own as Nathan and is now owned by Sabella, his wife. I liked the story in this book but it was so hard to get to. It was a very long book considering the story but it had heaps of sex and there was a lot of repeating of the same thing. I found myself wanting to skim stuff, which I didn't, but I wanted to and that's never a good sign. There were a couple of characters in the Elite Ops that I'd like to know more about so I might read the next full length novel, Maverick, eventually. 3.75 out of 5

I read the next story in the Elite Ops books by Lora Leigh, Night Hawk, next. It's considered book 2 in the series but it's just a 15 page short. It gave us some good set-up info for the the next book and showed us two people who are attracted to each other and about to break some rules to act on that attraction...but then it ended. A little disappointing to be sure. 3 out of 5

Last for the week was Kissing Midnight by Emma Holly. This one I read for The Book Binge so I'll let you know when my review posts.

Happy Reading!

A Battle of the Alphas a Guest Post by Kris

Please welcome Kris from Kris 'n' Good Books! She has finally agreed to do a post for my blog...and it only took bribery! (No, I won't say what it was!)

A couple of weekends ago, I made the grave error of reading a Christine Feehan and a Lora Leigh on the same day.
I know! What the hell was I thinking?!

Let’s put aside the fact that I nearly OD’ed on testosterone and was forced to go lay down with some soothing cool washcloths and turn on my trusty electronic device.

What?! No, not THAT, Tracy! Jesus. Mind outta the gutter, Cali-butt-girl. I’m talking about my air con, of course. *tsk, tsk*

Anyway, whilst recovering from my severe case of the ALPHAS it suddenly hit me...

Tracy, why are you giggling? No, I wasn’t referring to THAT. I swear to God you have a one track mind at the moment. I thought you said your husband was back from his trip?

Whoa. TMI.

Where was I?? Oh, yes. A thought *glaring* suddenly occurred to me...

... should the heroes out of Christine Feehan’s and Lora Leigh’s stories ever meet up, who do you think would win?

Granted LL’s Breeds have certain advantages when it comes to barbs and what knots (Get it? I crack me up!), but would CF’s mix of genetically engineered soldiers, kitty cats and toothy Carpathians be able to take ‘em? What do you reckon?

Of course, should Acheron turn up, he would seriously kick some Breed and paranormal arse.

I’m picturing a ring filled with chocolate sauce as opposed to mud.

I agree, Tracy. It would definitely be slurpiliscous. *g*

Kreativ Blogger Award

Following in my blogger award spew of last week I want to keep things going with the Kreativ Blogger award. I was given a different Kreativ Blogger award back in December by CJ but this is a tad different (I think) and definitely greatly appreciated. This one was awarded to me by Jenre at Well Read. Jenre's blog is wonderful and if you haven't been to her site - go, really, go.

So I'm supposed to think of 7 of my favorite things and then nominate 7 bloggers to pass the award onto. It's hard to come up with 7 things - I'm really a simple woman who finds beauty in so many things that it's difficult to come up with 7 specific things but here's my list:

1. Cuddling with my kids. We mainly do this while watching movies - we all crowd on one pillow and practically dogpile - but even if we only cuddle for a moment when the time is available it's the best thing ever. I'll take it any way I can get it!

2. Sitting in my backyard with a good book (when it's not 110 degrees outside).

3. Reading (duh!)

4. Going on dates with my hubby. Not something we do often enough but it's fabulous when it does happen.

5. Family birthday celebrations with my side of the family. We all get together and my mom makes our favorite food. We usually end up talking about funny shit that happened when we were younger (I'm the youngest of 4 kids so there's a lot of funny shit). A good time is had by all.

6. Having my head massaged. Sounds odd but it's friggin bliss I tell you. Bliss.

7. Hearing my daughters laugh.

So I'm giving it to 7 bloggers who I think are always Kreativ in what they do:

Stacy from Stacy's Place on Earth

Blanche from There's No Such Thing As Too Many Books

Nath from Books, Books and More Books

Carolyn Jean from The Thrillionth Page (yes, another one CJ! lol)

Anna from Anna's Book Blog

Tumperkin from Isn't It Romance?

Ana and Thea from The Book Smugglers

What I Read Last Week

Greetings and Salutations! How y'all doin? Well I hope.

I had a very quiet week at home. With no kids and no hubby it was freakishly quiet in my house. I tended to stay at work longer than usual and spent time with friends which was nice. Hubby got back on Saturday evening and I'm very, very, very happy to have him home.

My previous (recent) attempt to lose weight was completely half-assed. Honestly...I said I was doing it but my head wasn't really in the game. After going on vacation and gaining back the very few pounds I'd lost plus 1 I am determined to get the excess weight off. This past Monday I started diligently keeping track of my food and I actually exercised 3 times which I can say sucks the big ten incher. I hate exercing but I admit I really do feel much better when I do it. I even got out my Polar Heart Rate Monitor that I hadn't used in 3 years but the battery had died so as soon as I get that fixed I'll be even more accurate about the calories I burn.

So onto what I read this past week:

I started the week out with How To Marry A Marquis by Julia Quinn. I picked this one up on Sarai's recommendation while I was in KC. It was a very cute book that I very much enjoyed. The story of a companion raising her 3 younger siblings and she's decided that she must marry since they have virtually no money. She finds a book in her bosses library that's called How To Marry A Marquis. She decides to try some of the practices from the book on the new estate manager but little does she know that he's a Marquis! I have to say that as much as I enjoyed the book I thought that the heroines reaction to the Marquis revelation about being a titled gentleman was a little over the top but I did understand. 3.75 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge Read for the week was Secret Fantasy by Carly Phillips. A story about a woman who has run from her wedding due to some information she found out about her fiance. Her sister sends her to a private island - kind of like Fantasy Island. She gets her secret fantasy and no one is the wiser. Only a reporter from Chicago is there to get his story. He has no plans to hurt the woman but he wants to get his story about her ex-fiance. I had a hard time with this story at first because I wasn't sure I wanted to read a book where the hero was the type who would put his story first but I ended up liking it. The romance was pretty good and it showed the hero growing in his emotions which led to growth in his professional life. 3 out of 5

Next up was a Yaoi Manga book called Kissing by Teiko Sasaki. This was the story about 2 20 something men who had grown up together. One had fallen in love with the other over the years and had finally come out and declared his feelings for his best friend. His best friend was freaked out and stayed away from the other man for a while. But then he realized that maybe his feelings for his friend weren't just platonic and they should explore this new side of their relationship. It was a pretty cute story and the graphics were good as well. 3.5 out of 5

My next read was Utopia X: Looking For Some Touch by K.Z. Snow. This was a recommendation by Kris (yes, she's my m/m book pimp lately) and it was a good one. This was the story of Pablo who is a male prostitute in a futuristic time. He has a bad experience with john and decides to try to get a job with a coven of three Alterationists. The three men aren't really who they say they are - but it's all good. Especially for Pablo and one of the men, Win who have a strange and wonderful attraction to each other. This is mainly the story of Pablo and Win but it does give you some insight into the other coven members, Tole and Zee. 4.25 out of 5

I liked the first Utopia X book so much that I immediately went and got the next 2 books in the series. Utopia X: Seeking Something Wicked by K.Z. Snow is more or less Tole's story. He's troubled by the relationship between Win and Pablo and ends up finding solace in the most unlikely place - in a vampire's arms. Ridley is a vamp who ends up being in the right place at the right time for Tole and they start an affair. When trouble starts and Ridley gets taken Tole is all about finding him and bringing him back. This was another good story in the series and I really liked Ridley a lot. 4 out of 5

Book 3 in the Utopia X series by K.Z. Snow is by far my favorite so far. Utopia X: Exploring Savage Places has Zee, of the Coven of Three, going to Pleasureplex to find out if there are shady dealings going on. Zee has pretty much been dumped by his current lover and is anxious to get the heck out of dodge for a while. Meanwhile Ridley from book 2 (that lucious vamp) has decided to leave town because he feels that his life as a vamp is hurting Tole too much and he can't bear to hurt the man he loves. This story has so much more going on than what I've said but I don't want to give too much away. This book had my chest aching for the pain the men were feeling and then smiling widely by the end. I certainly hope that there are more of the Utopia X stories in the near future cuz they're good! 4.5 out of 5

Last up was the anthology Out of the Light, Into the Shadows by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy and L.L. Foster. This was a book that I read for The Book Binge so will let you know when my review posts.

Happy Reading!!

I'm over at DIK

Hey there!

I'm over at the DIK blog for the next few days so come on over and see me.

FYI I'll be posting what I read last week later today. :)

Happy Monday!

Rated E For Excellent

Excellence is subjective. Let's face it. What I think is excellent may not be what the next person thinks. But that's what makes life so interesting, true?

But I think in this case I'm going to have a whole host of agreement when I hand out the Excellent Blog Award (given to me by Renee - thank you). This is to let you know that I find all your blogs excellent in your own unique and wonderful way.

(In no particular order)

Amy from Shaymless Aymless

Ciara from Ciaralira

Kati from Katidom

Rowena, Casee and Holly from The Book Binge

Sarai at Thoughts of an aspiring writer

Bridget Locke at Good Books, Bad Books and Every Book Inbetween

Kris from The Reading Spot

Monroe from Monroe With A Twist (even though my IE never lets me comment there so I hope she sees this! lol)

Tam from Tams Reads

Lily at I Love Books

I always enjoy going to your Excellent blogs - keep up the good work!

I'M OK...and UR OK Too

Yep - it's yet another blogger award - in a manner of speaking. It's more the I'M OK/UR OK token that I was given by Lisabea last March (I see your mouth gaping open. I told you I was behind on my giving!). There aren't any real rules for this one but it was Lisabea saying: I'm particularly drawn to bloggers who review across the spectrum of genres in romance, who do so with laughter and a good will, and who aren't limited by the expectations of their audience. They open doors. That was just too darned to cool for words so I'm going to attempt to pass this wonderful token on to three blogs, that are relatively new-to-me, who I feel do that as well.

Hicia from Impressions and Musings of a Bibliophile. Hilcia is always fascinating me with her varied reading material and I love reading her reviews.

Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm. Her reviews are well thought out and I very much enjoy reading them. I think part of it is that English is her second language and it just amazes me. Besides that, have you seen that woman's bookshelves? Holy mackeral!

Orannia from Walkabout. Love her blog. Her sense of humor as well as her ability to break down a book to the basics has me gobbling the reviews.