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29 April 2013

Manicure Monday (14): The Indigo Spell

There's kind of a funny story about this week's Manicure Monday. If you follow my on Twitter or FB at all you might know a bit about it already. Last weekend when I went home to see my parents, I figured it would be a great chance to finally read the next book in Richelle Mead's Bloodlines series. So I am at the hospital waiting room, waiting for me dad to get out of surgery, and I am reading and it's great. Love Adrian and Sydney and the whole VA world. There are a few things nagging me - characters I don't remember, a few references that don't make sense. About 60 pages in, it dawns on me that I should just double check to see if the book I was reading was indeed book 2 in the series. And guess what - it wasn't. Yes, I was reading The Indigo Spell when I should have been reading The Golden Lily. But I had brought supplies home to do a manicure to match The Indigo Spell and I figured I go through with it anyway.

The Indigo Spell

The Indigo Spell

The Indigo Spell

The Indigo Spell is shown with a funky French manicure. I used American Apparel's Mount Royal as the base with Wet N Wild Black for the black tips. I freehand drew the tips. I normally would have used those French tip stickers but I was too lazy to wait for the base to be really dry in order to use the stickers. I think I did an OK job though it was a little uneven in person. This was a fun look to do and I think the colors matched pretty well. I also liked the idea of having a French manicure since it seems like the type of style that Sydney would wear if she wore polish. It's traditional but also a little unexpected - like Sydney. 

Hope you liked this week's Manicure Monday. Have you ever had a reading brain fart like me? Thank goodness I am back home now and can start The Golden Lily. Have a good week!


28 April 2013

Stacked (52)

Hello, everyone. Thanks for all the well wishes and concern about my dad. Everything went great on Friday and he's back home and doing well. By the the time you guys read this I will probably be on the road back to L.A. Since I was traveling this week, I really didn't have any time to do any book buying (which is a good thing). I actually got a lot of reading done this weekend. Now I just need to find some time to write some reviews. :) I did manage to get a few things though so check 'em out below.

For Review

Love Me (Take A Chance #2) by Diane Alberts - Received from Entangled Publishing. No cover image on GR yet even though this one releases in a few weeks. But it looks fun and Entangled usually puts out a good romance.

Desire by Design by Paula Altenburg - Another one sent from Entangled. There's no GR page for this one at all which is confusing to me since I was told the release date is May 13. This one is a bit of a mystery for now.


Just One Day by Gayle Forman - I bought this when I saw Gayle last week. There's a shy girl, a cute boy and lots of traveling in it, which sounds right up my alley. 

That's my baby haul for this week. Hope everyone is having a fun and relaxing weekend!

26 April 2013

Uncovered (61): If I Stay

Hi, everyone. Happy Friday! I am scheduling this post ahead of time. By the time you probably read this my dad will be in surgery. If you have a sec, please think a good thought for him.

Today on Uncovered, I have an older cover. I had the pleasure of seeing Gayle Forman speak at my local library this week and it reminded me of this awesome cover to If I Stay. Now this is the original hardcover. The paperback edition is very different matches the cover to the sequel, Where She Went. While I like the new paperback cover, I like this one more. There's just something about it. It's so simply and pretty. It doesn't look like your typical YA novel and it stands out on the shelves. There's something lonely looking about it with the single flower, but it's also very beautiful and serene.

That's my pick for this week. Has everyone but me read this book already? I plan to get to it soon, I swear! Have a great weekend!

25 April 2013

Try Me - Short Story Review

Try Me (Take a Chance #1)
by Diane Alberts
Publication date: 24 May 2012 by Entangled Publishing
ISBN 10/13: 1622669282 | 9781622669288
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Category: Adult Contemporary Romance
Keywords: Romance, second chances, military, ever after
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Synopsis from GoodReads:

What happens in Vegas...can lead to romance.

It took one wild night for Sergeant Jeremy Addison to realize that Vegas? Was a bad idea.

Bloody. Bruised. Dehydrated. Abandoned in the desert, and left to stagger down the road. The only way this leave could get worse was if his savior was his ex-best friend's sister...and the girl he'd loved since childhood.

The last person Erica expected to find on the roadside was her high school crush. She hadn't seen Jeremy in seven years—ever since the night he said he loved her, and she ran away. Losing him then had been a mistake, but wanting him now could be catastrophic if he discovered the secret that chased every other man from her life. But with a tall, tattooed Marine determined to prove he's always been faithful, can Erica resist his advances...or will she surrender ground and give love a try?


Novellas can be tricky.  How do you develop a believable story in such few pages?  TRY ME by Diane Alberts is one of the first novellas that I enjoyed.  I picked it up to read one day when I was looking for something short and liked the description and the fact that it was definitely going to be a HEA story. Alberts doesn’t disappoint with this one.

Though some of the story felt a bit rushed, which I can understand given the length of the book (only 7 chapters and an epilogue), it helped to make it more believable that both Jeremy and Erica had a previous history rather than having just met up and gotten together.  No insta-love here which helps make the story line more believable.  Jeremy and Erica both have insecurities and issues that at times feel insurmountable to them.  I think it is easy for readers to think "Oh, that isn't such a big deal."; however, the issues were real to Jeremy & Erica and a stumbling block to their being able to move forward.

Some of my favorite things about this book -

Hot cover! - Seriously, I can stare at those abs for a very long time.

One very sexy, desirable man! - Sergeant Jeremy Addison was tough, with a fun sense of humor and a good character down deep.  He also has felt the same way about Erica for seven years.  You have to admire a man who knows what he wants and when he has a second chance he goes for it.  

One not so annoying female! - Erica has also had feelings about Jeremy over the past seven years, but some things have happened that make her feel like no man is ever going to love her, including Jeremy.

And a really sweet romance to boot!  - Though the steamy parts aren't overly descriptive, they are certainly hot and sweet.  The epilogue at the end also makes you want to say "awwww".

TRY ME was the first story by Diane Alberts that I read which only made me want to read more of her stories. It is also says it is the first story in her Take a Chance series and I am holding her to more books.

Visit the author online at www.dianealberts.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @dianealberts

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

23 April 2013

The Wolverine - Trailer

I love me some Hugh Jackman and X-Men was one of my favorite comic series growing up. Though the last couple of movies haven't been awesome, I will still be seeing this when it comes out. Anyone else going?

The Wolverine releases in late July.

22 April 2013

Manicure Monday (13): Shades of Milk and Honey

Hello, Monday! Thanks for coming by for today's Manicure Monday. This week, I am featuring Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal. Shades of Milk and Honey is a historical fiction novel in the vein of Jane Austen but with magic! I wanted to do something soft and ethereal to go with magical theme and the muted colors of the cover. 

I decided to do what is called a jelly sandwich. Basically you layer a glitter polish in between coats of a sheer creme polish (a jelly) to create a cool look where the glitter can be seen but it's a much more muted effect than a straight up glitter top coat. It's kind of hard to see in the photos since the color was quite light. 

Shades of Milk and Honey

Shades of Milk and Honey

Shades of Milk and Honey

You can see the glitter a lot better in the last photo. I used a base layer of OPI Funny Bunny (sheer white jelly), then 2 coats of a funky gold glitter (whose name I don't remember) and then another coat of Funny Bunny. I don't know if I loved this combo, but it was fun to experiment, and I did get a compliment on it at work.

That's my mani this week. If you decide to participate, leave a link in the widget below. I'd love to see more bookish manicures out there.  Have an awesome week!

21 April 2013

Stacked (51): The One with Lemony Snicket

Good morning! Hope you're all having a wonderful Sunday afternoon. I am still recovering a bit from Festival of Books yesterday. I wish I could go again today but I have so many errands and things to run that I am sitting today's festivities out. But I do have some fun bookish goodies to share with you from the festival yesterday and some review books this week as well. 

For Review (NetGalley)

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden & The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen - I have been heard really good things about this author and was surprised to find a couple of her books on NetGalley. I have to go see my parents at the end of next week and think I may read one of these while I am home.

Dare To You by Katie McGarry - OK so I still haven't read Pushing The Limits but I have a feeling that I am going to really like it. So I could not resist grabbing the second book on NG when I saw it this week.

Goodies purchased at LA Times Festival of Books this weekend.

Discount Armageddon by Seanean McGuire - I have been wanting to read this series for a while now and finally picked it up from the Mysterious Galaxy book. Love the cover.

A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin - This fantasy series was recommended by YA fantasy author Cindy Pon.

Black Prism by Brent Weeks - Another fantasy series. This was given to me at the Mysterious Galaxy booth for buying 3 books. I have been wanting to read this and was excited to snag a free copy.

What Tears Us Apart by Deborah Cloyed - We ran across Deborah at the Harlequin booth. This is a romance set in Kenya. Deborah had actually been in Kenya before she wrote this. The unique setting sold me and I was able to get a signed copy.

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest - This was the last book I picked up at Mysterious Galaxy. Steampunk story that has been on my wishlist for a while.

Now for some fun stuff. I love picture books and there were a plethora of great authors signing this weekend. I was able to get a few books signed by some of my favorite authors/illustrators.

Heart In A Bottle The Hueys In The New Sweater by Oliver Jeffers - Love, love Oliver Jeffers. The Incredible Book Eating Boy and Lost and Found are two of my fave picture books. I was able to get two more books signed by him this weekend. Look at the cute illustration!

The Dark by Lemony Snicket & Jon Klassen - OMG the line for this was insane! Thank to my friend Crystal for braving it with me. I am a huge fan of Jon Klassen and of course like Lemony Snicket as well. I was really excited to learn that they were doing a picture book together. We had to stand in line for over 2 hours but it was worth it.

I also could not resist this adorable Hungry Caterpillar tote from Out of Print Clothing (picked up at the Vromans booth). They have so many awesome styles and I want them all!

That's my book haul for this week. Hope all you locals get to go out and experience Festival of Books as well. It's always lots of fun (and hot). I may be a bit scarce this coming week. My dad has to have heart surgery (again). I don't think it's major but, let's face it, any heart surgery is probably pretty intense. So I will be going home at the end of the week to be with my family. So think good thoughts for my dad if you can. I'd appreciate it. And I will try to schedule posts before I go so the blog isn't bare, but we'll see how that goes. Have an awesome week, everyone!

20 April 2013

Frosted - Short Story Review

Frosted by Wendy Sparrow
Publication date: January 2013 by Entangled Publishing
ISBN 10/13: 1622668601 | 97816226688601
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Category:  Adult Paranormal Romance
Keywords:  Romance, fantasy, ever after, contemporary
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Synopsis from GoodReads:

Seven years ago, Kate Finley fell through the ice into the Winter World and straight into the heart of its king, Jack Frost. Then cold feet set in and Kate ran from the one man who made her feel complete.

Jack let his queen go back to the mortal world to say goodbye but she escaped out of his reach to sunny Florida. Now time is short, and he must convince his runaway bride to give him a second chance to melt her heart.

Recently, I was on a hunt for novellas that were happy ever after stories. I like something short for when I don't have a lot of time or to squeeze between longer reads. As I was perusing Entangled Publisher's website, I noticed this one by Wendy Sparrow. I have followed Sparrow on Twitter for awhile and was curious to read her book.

In Frosted, Sparrow has created two characters who are both flawed and in many ways, relationally challenged. Kate Finley is a young mortal woman from a broken family. Both of her parents had no idea how to be married and as a result, Kate suffers from fear of repeating their patterns. Jack Frost isn't exactly what we have seen before. He has lived essentially alone in the Winter World for 200 years. He is impulsive and not really very good about communicating but better at showing or doing. There is a prediction that Kate will enter his world to be his queen. He is excited about this but has no idea how to really court her or be in a relationship with this mortal. Kate is fascinated and overwhelmed by her arrival in Jack's world. She does not fully understand the meaning of everything and beings to feel trapped at the prospective of a forever relationship with Jack.

After the introduction to Jack & Kate, the story picks up seven years later. Jack and Kate have essentially been estranged for all those year except for during the evening/in her dreams. Much of the story deals with how Jack has been trying to win Kate back and how Kate has misunderstood much of his attempts. When Kate realizes that there may be serious consequences to her choice, and Jack begins to communicate more, the two have some significant decisions before they can reach their happy ever after.

This story was part second chance and part HEA. Readers will find themselves experiencing the same emotions that Jack and Kate struggle with through the story. Jack's attempts to court Kate are charming. Kate's struggle to recognize that her parents' relationship is not necessarily the one she is destined to have with Jack was frustrating at times though understandable. Though the romantic scenes are not very explicit, there is still a steamy element to their relationship. And the end was very sweet and charming.

I definitely enjoyed this short story and read it in one sitting. I am looking forward to further stories from Sparrow.

Visit the author online at www.wendysparrow.com and follow her on Twitter @wendysparrow

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

19 April 2013

Uncovered (60): The End Games

Hi, all. Welcome to Uncovered, my weekly cover love post. This week I have a really cool cover for T. Michael Martin's The End Games. This is the kind of cover that would totally catch my eye in a book store and make me take it home. It's dark and creepy and I love the symmetry and the way the title plays into the illustrations. The ominous tree figures seem to loom over our two unsuspecting heroes and I want to find out what happens to them! 

The End Games does not come out until May 7, 2013. Anyone else excited for this one?

17 April 2013

Magic Bites - Review

by Ilona Andrews
Publication date: 01 April 2007 by Ace
ISBN 10/13: 0441014895 | 9780441014897
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Adult Urban Fantasy
Keywords: Urban fantasy, weres, shifters, vampires, mercenaries, magic
Format: Mass market paperback, eBook
Source: Purchased


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.


I've had this book on my shelf for a couple of years now. It's been patiently waiting for me while I flitted about with other books, all the while biding its time. I have no valid excuse for why it took me this long to finally read it except for the fact that perhaps my unconscious brain knew how much I would like it and the obsession that would ensue and was allowing me time to fully prepare. Once I started, I simply could not stop and I read my way through five books in the series as well as one spin-off book in a little over a week.

Magic Bites drops us right into the middle of a future Atlanta where magic and technology fight for dominance and magic is winning. It's a world in which vampires and shapeshifters exist but where horses are a favored mode of transport. While there is a lot of information to process and it took me a while to remember all of it, I liked that Andrews is content to let the reader figure it out themselves. There's no obvious info-dumping and the world and its rules are revealed in a very natural way. I also liked her unique take on vampires. Instead of the glamorous, sexy creatures we're used to, they are horrible, grotesque creatures that are the stuff of nightmares.

Kate Daniels is one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines to date. If you looked up "badass" in the dictionary, you would probably find a picture of her. Kate is the first person to run into a fight, swinging her sword and smack-talking the whole way. The upbringing that honed her into a fierce fighter has left her with some emotional scars and she's not always the friendliest person. But there's more to Kate than meets they eye and she is extremely loyal and kind. She is also hiding a BIG SECRET which I am sure we will learn more about as the series goes on.

Now we get to Curran, aka the Beast Lord. He is arrogant but he has reason to be. Alpha of all of the shapeshifters, he is very powerful and protective of his people. He also annoys the hell out of Kate and she, in turn, is a thorn in his side. I don't know about you guys but insta-love is not my thing. I am all about the insta-hate, as my friends call it. I love it when two characters can't stand each other. If the level of dislike is any indication of how much chemistry two characters have, then Curran and Kate are combustible. Though there's no real romance in Magic Bites, you can feel it brewing and the fighting between Curran and Kate is just foreplay.

I really enjoyed immersing myself in this new world. The mystery was unexpected and smart, with lots of twists and turns along the way. If you like fantastic world building and kickass characters, then you need to read this series! I can't wait to see what trouble Kate gets into in the next book.

Visit the author online at www.ilona-andrews.com and follow on Twitter @ilona_andrews and Facebook.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

16 April 2013

Top Ten Series I'd Like To Start But Haven't Yet

Hi and welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a rewind week where you can choose a topic you missed or one you want to re-visit. I am going with Top Ten Series I'd Like To Start But Haven't Yet since I missed it earlier this year. For clarity I just listed the first book in the series.

1. The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns) by Rae Carson - So many people keep telling me that I need to read this series and I want to, I just haven't gotten to it yet.

2. Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura) by Jonathan Maberry - I am woefully behind on my zombie reading and this series is at the top of my list. The covers creep me out, too.

3. A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) by George RR Martin - I told myself that I would finally read the first book in this series this year but, so far, I haven't. :(

4. My Life As A White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie) by Diana Rowland - I bought the first book when it came out and I think that was 2 years ago. Book 3 is just about to come out which means I bette get a move on this series.

5. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer) by Michelle Hodkin -  I think I may be the only person who has not read this book yet.

6. One The Edge (The Edge) by Ilona Andrews - Now that I have finished the Kate Daniels series, I want to read Andrews's other series. I think this series has a lot more romance. :)

7. The Iron Hunt (Hunter's Kiss) by Marjorie Liu - Looks like a series with a kickass heroine.

8. Pushing The Limits (Pushing The Limits) by Kate McGarry - This looks like a really good contemp YA novel with some romance in it. Not sure why I haven't gotten around to it yet.

9. Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) - I have a signed HC, people. Why have I not read this yet? I vow to read it this year.

10. The Taken (Celestial Blues) by Vikki Pettersson - I keep hearing awesome things about this series and the covers are gorgeous.

That's my Top Ten Tuesday this week. Anyone else have a series they've been meaning to read? Let me know in the comments below.

15 April 2013

Manicure Monday (12): Magic Bites

It's Monday, which means it's time to show off my current read and manicure. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a little sneak peek I posted over the weekend of today's mani.

Magic Bites

Magic Bites

As you can see, my Kate Daniels obsession continues and this week's MM is Magic Bites with Color Club Editorial. By the time you all read this I will actually have read all of the published books in the series as well as the one spinoff book. After reading Magic Bites, I knew exactly which polish I wanted to use to represent the book. Editorial is a really love green and gold duochrome. If you don't know, a duochrome is a polish that has color shifts. As you can see, this one shirts from a dark, mossy green to gold. I thought this color embodied the idea of the shifters with the way it changes color. The shapeshifters are very important in the Kate Daniels world and the dual nature of this polish seemed like a perfect fit. I also like that one of the colors in it is a really brilliant gold, reminding me of a certain furry pack leader's eyes. :) 

Thanks for stopping by this week. Let me know what you're reading or wearing on your nails in the comments below.

14 April 2013

Stacked (50)

Hello! Welcome to another week of Stacked, my weekly haul post where I share what I have bought, borrowed and received for the week. This week was a pretty light book week for me. I have been sort of obsessed with the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews and have just been reading that. You'll be seeing more of that obsession making itself known on the blog hopefully next week. There were some good e-book deals though and I made a quick stop to the library as well. Check out my haul below.


The Duchess War by Courtney Milan - I haven't had a chance to buy Courtney Milan's newest book yet and was excited to see it go on sale for Kindle last week. You bet I bought it realy quick.

Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost - Frost's newest novel in her Night Prince series also went on sale for 50% off for Kindle last week. I had been planning on getting this one anyway. With the sale I was able to buy myself a copy and one for my friend as well. 


Written In Red by Anne Bishop - Found this for 7 day loan at the library. A friend whose judgement I trust really loved this one and I have been meaning to get it. More urban fantasy for me!

It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn - Historical romance by one of my fave authors. This is book 7 in the Bridgerton series. I actually haven't read 6 yet but I figure I can make do since I have read the other 5 books in the series.

I also have to start my book club book soon. This month it's Shades of Milk and Honey. I was in a bit of a reading slump but Kate Daniels knocked that right out of me and it's fun to be excited about a series again. Any great book or series you're obsessing about? I would love to know what they are. Thanks for hanging out and have a wonderful weekend!

12 April 2013

Uncovered (59): Summer And Bird

Happy Friday! Thanks for visiting Stacked this week. I am going to keep it pretty short since I am super tired right now and I want to get in some reading before bed. This week's cover is Summer And Bird by Katherine Catmull. I love the illustrations on this cover. I really like bird motifs and it's really cool to see all of the different birds on this cover. The branches make me think of a forest and the birds make me think that this book is some kind of fairy tale or that something magical is going to happen in it. The font is also great and really pulls the cover together.

I haven't had a chance to pick this one up yet but I may have to grab it the next time I am out at the bookstore. Thanks for checking out Stacked this week. Have an awesome weekend!