What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Monday, October 31, 2011


Congratulations to Amy of Book Lovin' Mom who has won last week's Trick or Treat Tuesday Giveaway of an e-book of Don't Fear the Reaper by Michelle Muto! I hope you enjoy it, Amy! Also, I hope you get your power back soon! I heard there were crazy insane snowstorms this weekend!

Also, remember everyone, today is the LAST DAY to enter in the Big Bad Halloween Giveaway! I'll be closing the contest at midnight tonight and picking a winner tomorrow! Make sure you enter, and Happy Halloween everyone!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris

I've been looking forward to reading this since it came out. It sounded super cute, but I was only hesitant because of the whole zombie thing. So I put it on my list for Halloween reads and decided that I'd give it a chance. Here's the summary from Goodreads: Someone's been a very bad zombie.

Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate!

She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town. . . and stay hormonally human.

What I Liked: 1) There was this whole, science-y thing going on! I mean, she, Kate, a future med student, is doing science experiments to figure out what is going on with the kids at her school, what kind of virus is causing them to turn into zombies!? I loved that because she found an answer, instead of it just being, oh, we don't know why suddenly people are zombies. 2) The descriptions. I got very caught up in this story, and felt like I was running from these creepies right along with Kate because of how well everything was described. A little too well, at some points, because there are some particularly nasty scents that I swear I could smell while I was reading it. Blech. 3) Something about Kate made me want to laugh. She was one of those unintentionally funny people that I always like to be friends with. I could just picture her standing there blinking like, "am I really seeing this?!" She was very well written and became a very real, and very likeable person. I also really liked how determined she was. 4) How casual everything seemed. This was probably what I enjoyed the most about the book, was how casual everything was treated. Oh, she's carrying around a severed foot. Ya know. Just every day stuff. This attitude just had me laughing to hard.

What I Didn't Like: Well, there was some gross stuff going on. And it's described so vividly that...yeah, you aren't spared the details. But again, it's written in such a casual manner that you can brush past it very easily. This isn't really something I didn't like, because I enjoyed everything about this book, more as a warning for anyone who may be squeamish.

Overall thoughts: An easy read (I think it took me like 2 hours to read the whole book), with a lot of humor, some creepy zombies, and a great heroine! This was a light and fun read, and I really enjoyed the characters that Miz Harris created! I'll be looking forward to reading more from her! Oh, and yes, the title does have something to do with it! Read it and find out what!

My rating: 5 candy corns

Only a few more days to enter in this week's Trick or Treat Tuesday Giveaway and the Big Bad Halloween Giveaway!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Ghost stories have always given me pause because I am one of those people with the overactive imagination who just can't watch scary movies, because then I have to stay up all night with the lights on. But something about Anna Dressed in Blood just told me that it was going to be a really interesting read. Here's the summary from Goodreads: Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

I don't know if it was because of Halloween, or this summary, or that hauntingly beautiful cover, but I was really excited about this one.

What I Liked: 1) Cas. Our main character is a teenage guy named Theseus Cassio. I don't read a whole lot of books that are written from the male perspective, but it seems like the ones that I do read, I always seem to enjoy really well. Cas is interesting because he is not a normal teen guy. He's spent the past three years as a ghost hunter (whatever you do, don't call him a ghostbuster!) and so kind of keeps to himself. He's used to being alone, so needing help, as he does later on in the story, doesn't come naturally to him. 2) The ghost story. It was a great scary story! Remember those urban legends that you told or were told at sleepovers and campouts? Anna Dressed in Blood, the ghost story is like that. You can imagine kids telling her story for years. There were parts of it that had my heart rate up, and I had serious doubts about turning off the lights when I went to bed. I jumped when my phone beeped! 3) The metamorphosis from villain to victim to hero that happens in the book. You start off fearing Anna in the beginning. Seriously, she is a freaky ghost, but then you start to like her, and you don't want her to be gone! I loved how connected I was able to feel to all of these characters. They were so well-developed that I would have wanted to be friends with all of them. 4) The love story is subtle, and doesn't take over the story. It is still at the heart of it, a horror story!

What I Didn't Like: Nothing!

Overall thoughts: If you are still looking for something to read on Halloween, look no further. Only leave one light burning and you will feel as if you are right there in the story, and suddenly, you'll be hearing every little sound the wind makes, every creek...every spooky noise that you'd normally ignore will just seem amplified. Ha ha! Okay, seriously though, I'm a big chicken, and if I can handle this book, anyone can. Another thing, this book can appeal to guys and girls. At it's core it's a teen horror story with a male protagonist, and I definitely think that guys and girls alike will find something to like in this story! I think Miz Blake's writing is absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to read more from her!

My rating: 5 candy corns

This is your last week to enter in the Big Bad Halloween Giveaway, so make sure you enter! We also have one more Trick or Treat Tuesday giveaway going on of the fabulous Michelle Muto's Don't Fear the Reaper! Don't forget to enter that one here!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (15)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books that we are anxiously awaiting!

Zombies, Ghosts....what else? Honestly, there are so many books I'm looking forward to in that genres. The next Jonathan Maberry book, the next Carrie Harris book, the next Kendare Blake book...but as for books that are upcoming soon...

My WoW pick this week is................................

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Release Date: December 8th, 2011

What books are y'all waiting on?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trick or Treat Tuesday with Michelle Muto

Last week I reviewed The Book of Lost Souls by author Michelle Muto, and loved it! And I'm so glad she agreed to join us this week for Trick or Treat Tuesday to tell us a little bit about how she is able to haunt her readers! So join me in welcoming Michelle Muto, author of the Ivy MacTavish series as well as her horror story, Don't Fear The Reaper!

The Devil’s in the Details

Horror. When it comes to movies or books, we want something that makes us reluctant to turn out the lights. Unfortunately, all too often, horror comes off campy. It’s one of the hardest genres to write. Don’t just take my word for it. Read Stephen King’s opinion on writing horror in his book, On Writing.

Every horror writer has their methods and I have my own. Pull up a seat and I’ll tell you. When I come up with a good story idea I look for ways to make it original. Take Don't Fear the Reaper. A girl who commits suicide and finds herself staring into the eyes of a reaper sounds decent enough. But how to step it up? How about if she commits suicide by slitting her wrists? On page one? Or, what if her ghost is in the morgue, alone, pulling back the sheet covering her own body? I take an idea and I look for ways to make the story bigger.

But originality is just the beginning. What other tricks do I use? Empathy. Because we can’t feel frightened for characters we’re not emotionally invested in. Opening scenes where a girl trips over a tree root while running from something unseen in the woods? Yawn, right? Get the reader to know her, connect with her or sympathize with her in some way and there’s a better chance readers will stick with the story. Well, I’d argue that she’d be better off in a dark basement or hallway of an old insane asylum, than tripping over her feet in the woods, but that’s probably just me.

Know your audience. What scares you? This is the important part. It’s also the most fun. I ask people this all the time. The answers vary, but it’s always good to listen. I never know where my next good idea for a scene will come from.

Description. Telling someone that my character is alone in the morgue with a dead body is one thing. Describing how the corpse’s blood has settled along its back and detailing how her once mossy colored eyes have turned a milky, fetid green is better. But, why stop with just sight? I prefer to incorporate at least one more of the five senses. In a morgue, I’m sure a body would have a slight rank undercurrent to it despite being kept in a refrigerated cooler. The skin might still feel pliable to my main character’s touch.

Originality, Empathy, Characters, and vivid description born from the darkest parts of my imagination. Good. Now we’re getting somewhere! Imagination plays a big role, clearly. But so does reality. Paranormal fiction has to feel real, feel grounded. I’ve never been dead, so I can’t for certain say what it’s like, but I can imagine it – at least, my version of what it might be like. The hard part here is to reveal just enough detail and explanation that the reader suspends disbelief. I want them to believe in ghosts and a whole world they can’t see with mortal eyes.

My childhood fear was always the Thing Under the Bed. As a child, I always checked under the bed before turning out the light. I used a broom handle to raise the dust ruffle and peek underneath. I grew up fearing the things I couldn’t see more than what I could see. I suspect I’m not alone in that. From my own experience, I believe the reader’s imagination is something to build on. Give just enough details that their own powerful imagination fills in the blanks.

Readers may not really believe that there’s something waiting in a darkened room or under a bed, but a horror writer’s job is to make them doubt that when it’s time to put the book down and turn off the lights. Can you make it across the room to your bed? If you hurry back to the light switch, will your hand brush against something…unnatural? Are you sure that the sounds you hear in the house are the floorboards settling, or your cat? Or maybe I can make you consider, however briefly that demons really could be right there in the room, mere inches away from you, whispering dark secrets about death? If a writer can manage to stay under your skin (all puns intended) after you’ve set the book down, they’ve done one hell of a job.

Sweet dreams, dearest reader.

It's been so great having Michelle on the blog today, and believe me, the personality that you see in her guest post here also comes out in her writing. I thoroughly enjoyed The Book of Lost Souls and have her horror story, Don't Fear the Reaper on deck as my Halloween read! I'll be the girl who jumps every time the trick or treaters ring the doorbell! And as always, Halloween may be about the tricks, but it's also about the treats! Michelle has offered one e-book of Don't Fear the Reaper to one of our lucky readers! So fill out the form below to win. This, the final Trick or Treat Tuesday Giveaway will end on Saturday, so make sure you enter!

This contest is now closed. Watch for more fun giveaways on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books!

Cheers and Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Congratulations to this week's winners of In My Dreams by Cameo Renae!

Physical Copy


Congrats again, and I hope y'all enjoy the book as much as I did!
And tomorrow will be our last Trick or Treat Tuesday, so make sure y'all stop by and enter! Cheers and Happy Reading!

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

It's Zombies, Ghosts and Other Spooks Week here on FCB! I'd never read a Zombie book. To be honest, they freak me out. I can handle the vampires, the werewolves, even ghosts and stuff. But zombies, man those dudes are creepy. But between it being Halloween and seeing Mr. Maberry at Austin Teen Book Festival, I decided to check this one out. Here's the summary from Goodreads: In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

What I liked: 1) The post-apocalyptic setting. It didn't really surprise me that I liked this setting, given my love of post-apocalyptic dystopian books. But it was fun to be in that setting without it being really a dystopian society. 2) The writing. You know those books where you actually forget you're only looking at words on a page? This was like that for me. It drew me into the action and I actually had to stay up late to finish it! 3) Benny. I liked how well Benny was developed as a character. He grew up a lot in this story, but you didn't have to look for some hidden clue that he was maturing. It was refreshingly obvious, and I thought it was great. 4) Zoms. The language that Mr. Maberry used was fun. My bookshelf is littered with female writers. I can count on one hand the number of male authors that I've read recently. Reading Mr. Maberry's writing really made me stop and think about the differences I see in writing styles between men and women. It was cool!

What I didn't like: I can't come up with anything!

Overall thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by this book! For my first foray into the world of zombies, Mr. Maberry's book did not disappoint. There was a good mix of interesting characters, a plot with great twists and surprises, and of course zombies! Zombies still freak me out, but in a way that I like! The second Benny Imura book, Dust and Decay is definitely on my TBR list! I got a chance to meet Mr. Maberry at the Austin Teen Book Festival, and let him know that he will forever be the author who made me like zombie books. (He said that he gets that alot!) ;-) He was a cool guy, and I'd definitely recommend Rot and Ruin to any zombie fan or anyone who hasn't ever read zombies!

My rating: 5 candy corns

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

I've read a lot of good things about this book so I decided to add it to my list to review for Witch Week during Halloween. Witches are portrayed in so many different lights on tv, in literature and movies. Glinda the Good Witch, the Three Witches of Shakespeare's Macbeth, Ursula the Sea Witch of The Little Mermaid, or Hermione Granger. Literature is peppered with legends and lore of witches, and we can now at to that list The Near Witch. Here's the summary from Goodreads: The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

What I Liked: 1) This book has a timeless quality to it. It's set in a time before computers, phones, electricity, even. But don't try and decipher what time it is set in. It's is a product of pure and unadulterated imagination. The same with the small town of Near. You couldn't find it on a map, so don't try. It's lovely to be whisked away into this simple little place with a rich and vibrant tale. 2) Imagery. This book is rife with visual imagery that really enhanced the beautiful language. 3) The Fairy Tale. Remember those bedtime stories that you were told as a kid? This reminded me of stories like that. It was simple, and complex at the same time, if that makes any sense! The story itself was a simple tale of good versus evil, but the overlying themes stretched it into a more complex story about being accepting of new things, ideas, and people. And of course, magic. 4) The mystery. There was a great mystery involved that kept me hooked more than anything else. I wanted so badly to know what was going to happen that it really kept the pages turning. 5) Lexi. I really loved her protectiveness towards her sister Wren. Call it a big sisterly thing, but I really understood her desire and need to protect her.

What I Didn't Like: 1) Well, did Cole have a name? I mean, Lexi gave him that name and he said at one point that it wasn't his name, but then he never told her his real name. That's not a real complaint, but still. I continue to wonder. 2) The love story felt a little out of place. I think I'm alone in thinking this, but it was the only part of the story that felt at all disjointed.

Overall thoughts: This was a fun fairy tale, and took me back to the days of bedtime stories and multiple cups of water. I think people of all ages can enjoy this sweet story with it's vivid characters and timelessness. Get ready to be caught up in the small town of Near, alongside Lexi and a mysterious stranger as they attempt to save the town's children.

My rating: 4 candy corns

And don't forget to enter the Big Bad Halloween Giveaway! Cool stuff to win, and it's going on until midnight on Halloween!

Follow Friday (11)

Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read! Every week, we answer a different question so you can get to know your blogger friends a little better!

This week's Question
What Superhero is your alter-ego?

My Answer
I would so totally be Storm, from X-Men. I have a fascination with weather, and would completely love to be able to command it. Plus, hey, if I could control the weather, that would mean I would always know what weather to dress for and if I was going to need an umbrella! I even think her white hair is kind of cool!

Who would yours be?

This week's Feature is Heather at Book Savvy Babe (who, in my humble opinion, is AWESOME!). Head on over and check out her blog and show her some Follow Love, eh!

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend! We'll be wrapping up Witch Week with another review a little later today and don't forget that you still have time to enter this week's Trick or Treat Tuesday Giveaway for the chance to win a copy of Cameo Renae's In My Dreams, and the Big Bad Halloween Giveaway to win some other super cool stuff!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto

I was drawn to this book based on the cover alone. It just makes me think of magical things, doesn't it you? Anyway, The Book of Lost Souls is the first Ivy MacTavish story by author Michelle Muto. When Michelle contacted me regarding a review of her story, I immediately knew it would be perfect for Witch Week here on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books! Here's the summary from Goodreads: When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Ivy has heard it all before - that her father, who left when she was seven – was involved with the darkest of magic.

Making the rumors worse, someone uses an evil spell book to bring back two of history's most nefarious killers. Ivy's got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But she’ll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits that want her and her friends dead: the school’s resident bad boy and hotter-than-brimstone demon, Nick Marcelli. Nick’s offering Ivy more than his help with recovering the missing book – he’s offering her a way to ditch her scaly reputation as a lizard-lover. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and as Ivy soon discovers, it’s going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to survive long enough to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week’s end.

What I Liked: 1) This is teen fiction at it's finest. Miz Muto knows teens well enough to have been able to write them incredible realistically. I could easily have seen these kids at my high school, or any high school, really. That was one of the first things I noticed about the story, was how realistic the characters felt. 2) There are so many books out there is seems that have these awesome paranormal characters that hate each other! You know what I'm saying, the vampires don't get along with the werewolves, and so on and so forth. Well, get ready for some old school teamwork in this book. It was great to see a story where these characters got along in this, global paranormal community. 3) I love, love, loved how some historical villains were brought into the story. In fact, I would have liked to see even more. At one point, we've got Vlad the Impaler running around with Elizabeth Bathory and it was awesome in a creepy way. 4) This book kept me hooked from beginning to end. There were interesting things happening on every single page, and I didn't want to stop reading until I knew what was going to happen! 5) I liked the concepts of the Kindreds and the Regulars. I'm not going to explain it, you'll have to read it to find out, but it intrigued me in a way few books do. 6) I guessed the ending, but it wasn't for lack of plot twists and turns. It's definitely not one of those jump out and smack you in the face kind of endings. More like one of those where you are like, "oh, man! I knew it was gonna be *so and so*." 7) I like demons. <---Nick. Heh. 8) I like to talk about how talented writers are, and Miz Muto is no exception. There was so much going on in this story that it had to potential to become disjointed and convoluted. However, the concise writing and excellent flow made everything come together very cleanly and wasn't at all confusing.

What I Didn't Like: 1) One small thing is that it took me a while to figure out if the non-magical community knew about the magical community. It took a while for that to really become clear to me as a reader. And I'm the type of person who gets distracted by questions like that. (ooo...something shiny!)

Overall thoughts: This is an absolute must to put on your list of Halloween reads. (Aside from the characters being witches and vampires and werewolves and so on, it's also set in the days leading up to Halloween!) There was so much going on in this story, that it just captures the imagination and runs with it. Add this one to your TBR list, stat!

My rating: 5 candy corns

And next week, we'll be hearing from the author herself as she joins us for Trick or Treat Tuesday! Don't forget that you still have some time to enter in this week's Trick or Treat Tuesday Giveaway, and the Big Bad Halloween Giveaway! Cheers to my favorite holiday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (14)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights the books that we are eagerly anticipating!

It's Witch Week, so of course I have a Witch book that I'm waiting on! This week's WoW is........................................

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Release Date: February 7th, 2012

What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Trick or Treat Tuesday with Cameo Renae

This week, I'm pleased to welcome Cameo Renae, author of In My Dreams! I haven't reviewed In My Dreams yet, but it was a fabulous and chilling ghost story that I absolutely loved! Cameo and I both love Halloween, and I'm so excited that she agreed to share some of her thoughts on writing suspense with us today! So without further adieu, welcome to FCB, Cameo!

Halloween is coming! Mua-ha-ha-ha! I love Halloween, and not only because I get free candy, by sorting through my kids bags and pulling out the “good-stuff” to stick in my secret stash! ;) Okay… okay… maybe that’s the main reason, but it’s creepy - and I like creepy. (But not creepy people.)

So anyway… this is a post on how I came up with my supernatural novel, In My Dreams. First of all, I have to say that I had no idea the story would turn out the way it did. It’s a very dark and suspenseful story with murder and ghosts. I know it sounds cliché, but the characters just sort of popped into my head as I started writing. Their personalities, voices, roles… all manifested during the writing process. I didn’t have an outline or plot when I started. I just wrote and it all seemed to come together. I know… I was lucky, and I must say that I’ll probably never write that way again. I do have outlines now.

Do I have any special tips and tricks? Hmmm. I don’t really have any tricks, but I do have a tip: to keep a pen and paper handy at all times. I’m still learning that one. I come up with ideas at the weirdest times… while driving, in the shower, in bed half-asleep… mostly places I don’t have a pen and paper handy. I’ve written ideas on the back of receipts, gum wrappers, envelopes, etc… But now, I have a pretty, baby-blue book that travels with me everywhere.

As far as coming up with ideas for the supernatural… Well, I watch a lot of ghost shows. Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State, Ghost Stories, Swamp People… (Oh wait ~ Swamp People shouldn’t be on that list! Oops. Sorry!) I’ve also had a few “ghostly” experiences myself. So…yeah. I’ve had a lot to go off of. Most of my research came online, especially for the locations, and information on the native Shaman. I love the world-wide-web because most of my information is just a click away.

As far as abilities with the Paranormal/Supernatural, I think the more you push the envelope, the better. Really… anything goes. I’m learning to step out of the “comfort-zone” and find new abilities. Yes, almost every ability has probably been used multiple times, but there are always ways to put new twists on them, and that’s what I’m looking for. I like twists, and suspense. It keeps the reader engaged.

So thank you for reading my ramblings. I hope you enjoyed it, without having to pop an Excedrin. And a special thanks to Courtney of Fuzzy.Coffee.Books for letting me visit! ♥
Happy Halloween!

Thanks Cameo! And it's not Halloween without some treats, now is it? Cameo has offered one e-book and one physical copy of her book, In My Dreams up for a giveaway. Make sure you enter, because this is a book you don't want to miss!

This contest has been closed.

Happy Halloween and Happy Reading!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Congratulations to the Winner of last week's Trick or Treat Tuesday Giveaway, a set of Derrolyn Anderson's e-books!

This week's winner is...............
Kait M.

Enjoy the books, Kait!

And make sure you guys check us out tomorrow when we have yet another awesome author talking to us about Halloween and writing supernatural characters, and another fun giveaway!

Happy Reading and Happy Halloween!

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Seems appropriate to kick off Witch Week with Melissa de la Cruz's Witches of East End. This is billed as an adult fantasy series (took me forever to find it, cause I was looking in the YA section). I haven't read anything else by the author, but thought this one looked promising. Here's the summary from Goodreads: The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

Okay, don't think that this is a re-telling of Updike's The Witches of Eastwick. There are some similarities, but this is a magical story in its own right.

What I Liked: 1) North Hampton - this little hamlet of a town was a great invention on the part of Miz de la Cruz. It was a sweet little place that was seemingly untouched by modernization. (Well, they had cars and cell phones and computers and stuff). But she managed to keep it from being all Stepford, because it definitely had the potential to go that way. 2) This is a very...girl power book. These ladies were not damsels expecting a man to swoop in and save them. Actually, the men played a rather weak role in the book, sort of there just to move the plot forward. Don't expect to fall in love in this book. 3) The Norse Gods tie-in. I guess I wasn't expecting it, but it was definitely a welcome surprise. I know very little about Norse mythology (I had to look it up), but I am looking forward to learning more about it. 4) The epilogue. Do you ever read a book where you think you're finishing it and you are completely satisfied with the ending, and then suddenly, in the last page, you are yanked back in? I don't know if all of her books are that way, but man, that was awesome. 5) I read a lot of YA books, but this was a nice change of pace. I'd consider this a great adult book for people who like YA books! It wasn't really graphic or anything, the characters are adults, but at the heart of it, the plot can match pace with any great YA book. 6) Loved the magic. The magic that the three Beauchamp women weave was great fun, and simple enough to believe.

What I Didn't Like: The only thing I'll say for this book is that I didn't find a character that I really just connected with. But that was just me. I do think that other people will find things to connect with within these characters. It's the only thing that kept me from being completely swept up in the story.

Overall thoughts: This was definitely the nice start to a new series. For a YA author jumping into the adult lit world, I think Miz de la Cruz is just dipping her toe in the water, easing her way in, but it definitely worked. For fans of myths and magic, even YA fans, this book is a fun way to spend an evening. I'm definitely curious about what's next for the Beauchamp family and plan on reading book 2 when it's released!

*side note - I both read and listened to the audiobook of Witches of East End. The audio version was enjoyable, but I liked reading the book better. The ending moves a little fast, and for myself (who multitasks with audiobooks) it required more attention than I could dedicate to the audiobook.

My rating: 4 candy corns

Don't forget, you've still got some time to enter in the Big Bad Halloween Giveaway! Go on over and enter!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

After getting the chance to hear the lovely Miz Jackson Pearce speak as a part of the Supernatural Suspense panel at the Austin Teen Book Festival, I knew I had to read her books. I picked up a copy of Sisters Red (and also Sweetly) while I was there. And it didn't take me long to figure out that Sisters Red was going to be perfect for Werewolf Week here on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books! (don't ask me what it replaced!) So here is the summary from Goodreads: Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

What I Liked: 1) The cover. The colors alone are enough to draw my attention. But it's the Rorschach test design that really make it interesting. What do you see? For all my budding psychologists out there, I saw the girls first. It took me days to see the wolf. What does that say about me? 2) The concept. I've always loved fairy tales, Disney movies, all types of Happy Ending stuff like that. So naturally, I am attracted to fairy tale retellings such as this one. And this one was a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, so....awesome! 3) 2 great female leads. I almost didn't know who to root for! I mean, first you have Scarlett - the older sister. I related a lot to Scarlett because I am the big sister and I would do anything and everything to protect my younger siblings. If my life has to be harder so theirs can be easier, so be it, I'll do it. That's the attitude that Scarlett has adopted her entire life. But then, you've got Rosie. And instead of being the selfish little sister, which she could have been, she felt so much gratitude towards Scarlett for everything she's done for her, and made her own sacrifices to deal with it. I think a lot of people will be able to find pieces of themselves in both girls, and it made them both very easy to relate to. 4) Silas. :) Who doesn't like an axe-wielding woodsman whose fighting for the good guys? 5) The simplistic writing. I hate the way that sounds. It wasn't simple, but it was simplistic in a way that completely enhances the fairy tale aspect of the story. 6) Fairy tales are more than Disney. What I mean by that is if you go back and read original fairy tales (before Disney got a hold of them), they are grim and scary and sometimes gruesome. Sisters Red fell somewhere between gruesome and Disney-fied, and I really appreciated that. (I love Disney, please don't think otherwise!)

What I Didn't Like: 1) Rosie and Scarlett had a really strange relationship. It bordered on creepy to me. My sister is one of my absolute best friends, despite our seven year age difference. I mean, seriously, if we were any closer, we'd be attached at the hip. But the whole..."we are of one heart" thing was a little strange to me. I get that they had a super close relationship and they were all each other had, but...I think the way it was written just made it a little awkward.

Overall thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed Sisters Red. Miz Pearce managed to find the line between the sugary sweet fairy tale and the all out scary one to create a fun, modernized version of the classic, Little Red Riding Hood. With lively characters and a touch of humor, Sisters Red is definitely a book to check out if you are a fan of fairy tales!

My rating: 4 candy corns

And don't forget to enter to win The Hollow (the whole trilogy!) by Jessica Verday, and/or a new, custom blog design by Blogovation Designs in The Big Bad Halloween Giveaway, going on from now until October 31st!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

I started reading Shiver back in early September. I'd just finished reading Nightshade, and I was struggling to get into another wolf book right away. So I put it back on the shelf, and decide to read it again for Werewolf Week! Here's the summary from Goodreads: Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.

What I liked: 1) Different myths. I liked that Miz Stiefvater ignored the usual myths about werewolves (the silver bullets, the full moon) and created something unique. Sam and the rest of the pack change into wolves when the temperature changes. This really had a huge impact on the entire story. The temperature was even listed at the start of each chapter (which was a nice addition!) 2) Sam and Grace. They had a very...Bella and Edward-esque romance about them. In the way they moved around each other, and the way they read each other. It was a very...uplifting kind of love. Makes you feel good just reading about it. 3) Focus. This is something that I don't comment on a lot, but this book was very focused. It wasn't going off in a lot of different directions, so the storyline flowed clearly and cleanly. 4) Descriptions. Miz Stiefvater has a way of describing things so precisely that all of your senses become engaged. There is this one scene in a candy shop where I swear I was gaining weight reading it because it was so acutely described, I might as well have been eating the candy!

What I didn't like: 1) I'm not a big fan of first person alternating narration. When I get into a story I tend to miss things like chapter breaks. So when the narrator alternates, it throws me off.

Overall thoughts: This was a well-written and unique story that left me wishing for Winter. Miz Stiefvater has managed to create a sweet love story in the midst of a paranormal plot with the potential for dangerous outcomes. The whole trilogy of The Wolves of Mercy Falls (of which this is book one) is already on shelves (which means I'm super late reading this one). This didn't leave us with a major cliff hanger, so I'll be waiting a while to read Linger (book 2).

Overall rating: 4 candy corns

Don't forget to enter the Big Bad Halloween Giveaway, which is open now until Oct. 31! Happy Halloween and stick around for more Werewolf fun!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (13)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books that we are most eagerly anticipating!

Can you guess what my WoW is for Werewolf Week? This week's WoW is........................................................

If you guessed Bloodrose, you'd be correct!

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
Release Date: January 3, 2012

So what books are you waiting on this lurvly Wednesday?

And don't forget to enter into this week's Trick or Treat Tuesday for the chance to win a set of e-books by Derrolyn Anderson!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Trick or Treat Tuesday!

It's time for another Trick or Treat Tuesday! We're taking a break from the werewolves this week and Miz Derrolyn Anderson, author of the Marina's Tales series has taken the time to tell us about a different supernatural being, the mermaid! Miz Anderson has written the first three books of Marina's Tales, Between the Land and the Sea (which I reviewed here), The Moon and the Tide (which I reviewed here) and The Fate of the Muse, which I'll be reviewing a little later on! So join me in welcoming Derrolyn Anderson!

“I know… Let’s pretend we’re mermaids!”
Sitting by the poolside while my daughters play in the water takes me right back to my own childhood. I think every little girl who has ever gotten into a pool or bathtub has fantasies of becoming a mermaid, breathing underwater and darting around in the sea with fish and dolphins. Watching them swim with their legs stuck together, diving for treasure and acting out all sorts of underwater drama, it occurs to me there must be something about this fantasy that runs very deep in the human psyche.

Mermaids. Half woman, half fish. What are they really like and how do they live? What do they look like and what can they do? I’d never really given much thought to the details until I found myself writing “Marina’s Tales”, a YA series with mermaid characters. I had to ask myself, if I was lucky enough to meet a mermaid, what would she be like?

First, I thought of all the mermaid stories and images I’d grown up with. Who didn’t love the sweet mermaids in the movies “Splash” and “Aquamarine”? Ariel is adorable in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, but when you look at the classic fairytale the cartoon is based on you’ll find a real tragedy. In fact, the more I dove under the surface (hah!), the darker, scarier, and more freakish the stories became.

Mermaid legends abound, and in many of them the ladies are downright dangerous. Murderous and cunning, beautiful mermaids were said to lure sailors to their doom in order to consume their souls. Victorians found the sea maiden’s sexual allure threatening, a symbol of wanton independence they found frightening in women. A Russian tale describes them as virgin murder victims, transformed when they died before their wedding night, seeking revenge by (again) luring men to a watery death. A number of legends involve uppity women and girls being driven into the sea as a result of their disobedience! In fact, nearly every culture has a mermaid myth, and a surprising number involve sinister and violent forced transformations.
It’s a good thing that little girls in pools don’t know what deep and disturbing waters they’re swimming in!

I decided that my mermaids were neither docile and meek, nor were they murderous monsters. In fact, apart from some shared anatomy, I didn’t see them as having very much in common with people at all. I imagined them to be more animal than human; closer in nature to sea creatures like whales, dolphins, seals and otters. Wild and powerful, yet playful and innocent, they exist in an abundant world without want. They have no need to work, build, or plan for the future. They don’t understand people at all, but they’re not stupid, just ignorant of human society. They are joyful, free, and largely unaware of the magical powers they possess.
I saw mermaid civilization as a feral sisterhood of the sea, and if I had to equate it to anything, it would be something like bees or ants– two complex animal societies that are virtually all female. My mermaids are curious about people, but wary and shy. Their loosely organized society has only one main rule: avoid the dangerous humans!

No doubt, I disappoint many by choosing not to include mer-men in my undersea world. Nothing against the guys, but I see my mermaids as a purely female force of nature, symbolic of creation and inspiration, transformation and independence. This begs the question of mermaid reproduction, and without giving too much away, I can say that there is some hybridization taking place in my mer-world!
Physically, my mermaids are all stunningly beautiful, with a wide range of coloration. I gave them webbing between their fingers, and slightly iridescent skin, similar to fish scales. Like many other sea creatures, they fluoresce in the absence of light, and of course, they have spectacularly finned tails.
My first book, “Between The Land And The Sea”, introduces the mermaids, and the connection that my heroine, Marina, has with them. Book two, “The Moon And The Tide”, describes them a little more, explaining why contact with humans can be so very dangerous. In book three, “The Fate Of The Muse”, Marina comes to terms with her place in the world and her purpose in life.

In the midst of all this mermaid drama, Marina meets gorgeous surfer Ethan, and together they must contend with some of the ups and downs of first love.
I know that not everyone agrees with my version of mermaid mythology, but that’s what makes for so many diverse and interesting stories. Seductive sirens, vicious monsters, boy crazed teens, or wild sea creatures– mermaids can be anything we make them out to be. Whether they’re virtuous or wicked, building elaborate undersea kingdoms or living in a state of pre-rational innocence, they have clearly captured the imagination of us terrestrial bi-peds!

It’s funny, but now I see them everywhere I look, and I think the recent spate of mermaid themed books and movies is a fantastic development. The mermaid’s time has clearly arrived, so take the plunge and check them out– the water’s fine… Last one in is a rotten egg!

Thanks Derrolyn for sharing your mermaids with us! For all of you mermaid lovers out there, click here to take her mermaid survey and answer a few question about these awesome supernaturals!

Now, it's not Halloween without a little treat, is it? Derrolyn has offered up a set of her Marina's Tales (in e-book form) to one lucky FCB follower, so fill out the form below to enter! This mini-giveaway runs until Saturday the 15th, so make sure you enter!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fateful by Claudia Gray

Welcome to Werewolf Week! This week is dedicated to the furry, howl at the moon types, and to kick it off, I have a review of Claudia Gray's Fateful for you! Summary from Goodreads: In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets....

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

Featuring the opulent backdrop of the Titanic, Fateful’s publication is poised to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s doomed maiden voyage. It is sure to be a hit among Titanic buffs and fans of paranormal romance alike.

Now what about that doesn't sound cool? Although, the summary says the the publication will coincide with the 100-year anniversary, which isn't until April 2012. It's okay, cause I wouldn't have wanted to wait any longer.

What I liked: 1) A paranormal story set on the Titanic. How clever of Miz Gray to even come up with that! I find the Titanic morbidly fascinating (even pre-Leo DiCaprio) so I was really excited to see where she went with this. 2) Alec - hot guy name alert! Alec was such a gentleman, it made me almost want to be there. (Until I remembered that they were on the Titanic, yikes!) Swoon-worthy? Yes. 3) You know how it ends! I didn't anticipate liking this part of it so much, but I really think that it shows off how creative Miz Gray is as a writer that she was able to fit this story into a little box, with a known beginning and ending. 4) I found myself rooting for Tess and Alec. The love story part of this book was very sweet, though it has to play itself out very quickly. 5) The supporting characters. I really liked the relationships between Tess and the supporting characters like Irene and the rest of the Lisle family and staff.

What I didn't like: Here's the thing. I liked the Titanic aspect of it. I really did. But it almost took away from the rest of the story. And it's entirely possible that this only happened to me, so take from it what you will. But I was anticipating the whole Titanic sinking thing so much, that it detracted from the other aspects of the story.

Overall thoughts: I'm a fan of Claudia Gray. And this was a good book. But I think I was a little...underwhelmed. Honestly, I feel like if the Titanic part of the plot was taken away, you'd just have an average paranormal story. The Titanic does make it unique though. I wasn't blown away by it, but she does get major points for being able to combine the history of the Titanic and the paranormal. I feel like I contradicted myself a lot with this review. But that's really how I felt about the book. Kinda conflicted. One thing is for sure: I would have been less interested if the Titanic had not been a major plot point of the story. If you're a fan of Miz Gray, you should try and check it out at some point though. Her creativity is the shining part of the book.

My rating:

Don't forget to enter in the Fuzzy.Coffee.Books Big Bad Halloween Giveaway! Great stuff!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Congratulations! (Mortal Obligation E-book Winners)

Because of the interest in her book and her incredible generosity, author Nichole Chase has agreed to give away 8 e-books of Mortal Obligation!
Here are the winners:

Cheah Ming Yi

The winners have been notified via email. Congratulations to our winners and make sure you check out next week for another great author guest post and giveaway! And this week is Werewolf Week, so be looking for some reviews of our favorite furry Halloween creatures!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Awakened by PC and Kristin Cast

I started reading the House of Night series after the 4th book came out (based on the fact that I have 1-4 in paperback and the others I have in hardback). So with Awakened, being book 8, we are pretty far into the story by now and this summary is FULL OF SPOILERS if you haven't read Burned (book 7). My review, however, is not. Here's the summary from Goodreads: Exonerated by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High Priestess at Tulsa’s House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on Zoey. Dominion over Kalona is only one of the weapons she plans to use against Z. But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there. Being Queen would be cool, wouldn’t it? Why should she return to Tulsa? After losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same – and her relationship with her super-hot-warrior, Stark, may never be the same either…

And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim? The Raven Mocker refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their relationship? Does he betray his father or his heart?

In the pulse-pounding 8th book in the bestselling House of Night series, how far will the bonds of friendship stretch and how strong are the ties that bind one girl’s heart?

What I liked: 1) Something I liked about all of the HON books is that they pick up right where the last one left off. None of that, 6 months later that leaves you needing to catch up on everything that happened between books. 2) Throughout the course of all the books, the characters have matured (and become much more likeable, for me). When I read the first book, I almost stopped there, because the characters were so immature that I had trouble relating. But the storyline is very addicting. 3) Stevie Rae is my favorite character. She's been my favorite throughout the entire series. She's this big ol' southern sweetheart. She has her quirks, but still. I think she's a sweetie. 4) I definitely liked that we finally got back to the actually House of Night in this book. We'd spent so much of the past few books away from the school, and I was missing it.

What I didn't like: 1) I've felt for the past few books that this story is kind of, spiraling out of control. There are so many side stories going on and it's getting a little hard to keep up with everyone. 2) I'm ready for some resolution in this story. Maybe I'm spoiled because I've been reading so many trilogies that I'm just used to resolution after three books, but this is one story that's been just going on and on. Don't get me wrong, I love HON, but the poor characters have just been through the ringer! 3) Something happens in this book that honestly, I just hate the authors for doing. Seriously, ladies, why did you have to do that!?! (it was a pretty major plot point, but I may have screamed in frustration and then cried when it happened!)

Overall thoughts: House of Night is a fun series, but I think some of the earlier books were better than this one was. It felt a little...like the authors were running out of plot ideas, so they took a whole bunch of events and threw them together. It felt very disconnected and frankly, a little boring. Its redeeming quality was that we got all of our characters back to where they started, at HON Tulsa. Maybe that's a hint of what's to come in Destined, the next book of the series, coming out later this month. This book worked as a transition from the globe-trotting back to home base, and I am expecting a more focused story from Destined.

My rating: 2 candy corns

Don't forget to enter in all the awesome giveaways going on right now right here on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books! Check the sidebar under Current Events for links to all the fun stuff!

Follow Friday (10)

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison @ Alison Can Read. Each week, we answer a different question so you can get to know your blogger friends a little better!

This Week's Question
If you could pick one character in a book, movie or television show to swap places with, who would it be?

My Answer
If I could be any character in a book, I'd want to be Calla Tor from Andrea Cremer's Nightshade (and Wolfsbane). I honestly think that Calla is one of the greatest "written" role models for teenage girls. I even had the pleasure of meeting Miz Cremer at ATBF and telling her that at Austin Teen Book Festival last weekend (and get my copy of Wolfsbane signed!)She's strong and confident, and I think that the way she handles herself when problems arise can really teach people grace under fire. Sure there are some things that Calla has to deal with that I wouldn't want to handle (hello, arranged marriage anyone?) But all in all, she's fabulous. And it never hurts that she's got two swoon-worthy boys panting (lol) after her. Team Shay! If you haven't read this awesome series, you can check out my review of Nightshade here.

This week's Feature Blog is A Neverending Fantasy! So head on over and show 'em some follow love, eh?

Who do you think you'd like to be?

Don't forget to enter the Big Bad Halloween Giveaway going on from now until Oct. 31! There are some really great prizes!

Cheers and Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

It's just not Vampire Week without a little Richelle Mead, now is it? I have a confession: I haven't read any of the Vampire Academy books. I know there are only six, so there really isn't any excuse. But I read a review of Bloodlines (which is a spinoff from the Vampire Academy books) and thought that it sounded interesting. So I asked the reviewer, Miss Jessica @ a GREAT read if she thought it was easy to jump into if you hadn't read the VA series. She assured me it was, so I decided to add it to my list! Here's the summary from Goodreads: When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

What I liked: 1) Well, first of all, Jessica was right. You can definitely get into this story without having read the VA books without feeling lost or like you missed something. If I hadn't known that this was a spinoff series, I might have wondered more about why people were having trouble trusting Sydney, or who this Rose character was that everyone was talking about. (She shows up for a few pages). But I knew that going in and expected it. 2) I really like the hierarchy of the vampires in this world. Not so much a hierarchy but the different types of vampires. It's not just vampires and humans. There are the Moroi, the Strigoi, and the dhampirs. Also, we can't forget about the alchemists, which is really where this story lies. I think having these different types of vampires gave this story good dimension. 3) Sydney's great. This story, while being featured during vampire week, was mostly about Sydney and her dealings as an alchemist with the vampires. I think she's a strong character, she's funny at times, but her struggles are very understandable. She struggles with doing what's necessary with her job, versus what she knows is right. I liked her a lot. 4) There was a lot of activity in this book. Little things that really had no bearing on the plot, but added a level of realism that could have otherwise been missing from a book based around mythical creatures. 5) There were multiple plot lines going on at once, but it didn't feel confused. Having Sydney's alchemist world somehow infringe on the world at Amberwood Prep School was cool. It made it not so much a place they were hiding out, but a real place. A reminder that life goes on outside those 4 walls. 6) I really loved how complete the book felt. It is going to be a series, but the ending was very satisfying. All of the questions I'd had throughout the book were answered. The ending, just because I have to say it, was not completely unexpected, but I didn't want it to end that way. You know when you just don't want the bad guy to be the bad guy? That was me.

What I didn't like: 1) How isolated I felt Sydney was. She's the main character that we are following throughout the story, and there is never any mention of her being isolated. But I felt like so much of the time she was alone. Let the girl have a little fun. That's all I'm saying. 2) The alchemists. Maybe, because I haven't read the VA books, I just don't understand them as well, but for now, they are on my *screen calls* list.

Overall thoughts: Don't hesitate to read this book, even if you haven't read the Vampire Academy. The biggest risk you run is that you'll want to go read the Vampire Academy books. I know I do, because I enjoyed Miz Mead's writing style a lot. Will I read them? Well.....maybe once my TBR pile is no longer the size of a skyscraper. Bloodlines was a great vampire story, and I really enjoyed that it wasn't so much a love story. Not that I have anything against those, but it's refreshing to get into a paranormal nonromance. I didn't want to put this book down once I opened it, because the plot kept me interested and engaged!

My rating: 5 Candy Corns

Don't forget to enter into the Fuzzy.Coffee.Books Big Bad Halloween Giveaway! It's open now, and runs until October 31st at Midnight (oooo...spooky!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that highlights the books we are anxiously awaiting!

In honor of Vampire Week, my WoW this week is.............

Destined by P.C. and Kristin Cast
Release Date: Oct. 25th, 2011 
This is book 9 of the House of Night series! I've read them all, and am curious to see where it's going next!

What books are y'all waiting on this vamptastic Wednesday?

And don't forget to enter to win some super cool stuff from Trick or Treat Tuesday and The Big Bad Halloween Giveaway

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trick or Treat Tuesday!

Welcome to Trick or Treat Tuesday! This is a feature that will happen every Tuesday during the month of October. You'll get some tricks from paranormal authors about how they go about creating their supernatural characters!

And to kick it off, I'd like to welcome Nichole Chase, author of The Dark Betrayal Trilogy!

Hello. I am Nichole Chase, author of Mortal Obligation, Book One of The Dark Betrayal Trilogy. I’m honored to be writing a guest post for Fuzzy.Coffee.Books and the Halloween Celebration! In honor of my favorite holiday, Courtney has asked that I discuss how I came up with the different creatures in The Dark Betrayal Trilogy. Mortal Obligation started out with one scene: The image of a girl who knew she was being followed by something. Immediately I knew that the girl was important, and that the fate of many would rest on her shoulders. With the thought of this young, important girl in mind, I began scouring websites for a name. I came across Alastriana (Ah-las-tree-ahna) on a site with Irish names and fell in love with it. I should probably fess up and admit that there was a sound clip of a man saying the name in his beautiful Irish accent. This means that he could have said “Fish and Chips” and I would have swooned a little. However, the fact that Alastriana meant “Savior of humankind” was too perfect to pass up. It fit perfectly with the story that had been percolating in my mind. (Don’t worry too much, I did give her a nickname: Ree. I couldn’t be so cruel to my character as to make her go through her imaginary teen years with the full name of Alastriana.)

Now that I knew who the girl was walking through downtown Savannah, I needed to know what was following her. Whatever was following her, had once been human, but moved with an alien grace. They were deadly, evil, and terrifying. That started the ball rolling and I went with it. What if the dark creatures, these Dark Ones, were infected with a disease? Something that killed their soul and destroyed their humanity? Where had this disease come from and how was it spread? These were questions that had to be answered. I have always had a fascination with mythology so turned to that for my answers. I love the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths but couldn’t find anything that fit just right with the idea of the Dark Ones. Well, what if the disease came from gods I didn’t know? What if this disease was a weapon being used in a secret war between the gods that I knew and dark gods that weren’t necessarily from this planet? This was the beginning of The Dark Betrayal Trilogy. Alastriana was the gods answer to the terror the dark ones introduced to Earth.

However, while Ree has powers to help level the playing field, she is not as physically strong as the dark ones. To help counter the odds against Ree, she is given a Guardian-- someone of immortal descent, who is strong, fast, and capable of defending her. Because there are rules about this silent struggle, the guardians had to be born of human parents. This introduced something similar to demigods to the story. They were bred with a purpose, so are referred to as Guardians, or if someone is feeling snarky—a godling. The guardians in the book, have some of the funnest characteristics to write about. They develop fangs, super strength, and speed. They heal quickly and occasionally show signs of the powers their patron gods are famous (or infamous) for having.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little about the origins of my characters. An author’s mind can be a twisted maze of half thoughts and dead ends, but nothing compares to the feeling of when everything clicks into place.

If you would like to learn more about Ree, her guardians, and the dark ones that hunt her, please check out my website or blog.

Nichole Chase

Nichole's Website

Nichole's Blog

Thanks so much for sharing a little bit about how you come up with the supernatural characters in your story with us, Nichole!

Okay, we know Halloween isn't just about the tricks, so I guess it's time for a little treat! Nichole, in her awesomeness, has offered up some e-books of book one of her trilogy, Mortal Obligation (which I reviewed here)! This little treat of a giveaway will run from Oct. 4th until Oct. 8th (Saturday). Then I'll announce the winners on Sunday! So just fill out the form below!

This Giveaway is now closed, but make sure you look for other great giveaways during the month of October!
Yay! Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Welcome to Vampire Week! This week on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books we'll be celebrating the awesomeness of vampires, be they sparkly, vegetarian, carnivorous, good, bad, or otherwise! To kick it off, I have a review for you guys of Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst.
Here is the summary from Goodreads: Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees.

The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

I try not to make judgments based on the summary of a book. At least, not a negative one. But when I read the summary for this book and hit the word "unicorn," my brain just automatically went....uh........hm. Well, this might not be too bad...

What I liked: 1) Pearl. Talk about a girl who doesn't take any crap from anyone. The things that came out of her mouth were just hilarious, I was laughing the whole time. But she also had some vulnerabilities that, while they didn't show up often, really added to her character and made her all the more likeable. 2) This book didn't take itself seriously, which I loved. I really felt like it was ironic and sort of sarcastic. If a book could laugh at itself, this one would. And I mean that as a really good thing. There are so many vampire books out there that are seriously lacking in the comedy department, and this was a welcome change from that! 3) I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about Evan for a minute. Evan seems to be like, the perfect guy. He's this modern day, teenage version of a Disney Prince (which is, of course my definition of a perfect guy. Sigh.) except for one glaring little thing. Which I'm not going to tell you about until you read it. HA HA! 4) Pearl's mafioso-esque family. Take the Corleones, add fangs, and you've got this Family. This was a neat twist on the common "vampire coven" idea.

What I didn't like: 1) I questioned some of the events that took place. Like, how easily everyone seems to take to Pearl on her first day at school, despite her lack of knowledge of social norms. And then, just as quickly, they don't like her. And....then they like her again! Bouncing around like a bobble head. Now, I can understand that maybe this is meant as some sort of ironic statement about high school. What's cool one minute isn't cool the next, or whatever (the whole book drips of irony) but it was a little...strange. (Oh, get over it Courtney. There's a unicorn. It doesn't get much stranger than that.) 2) How quick everyone is to believe that she and her family are vampires. That was what startled me the most. Pretty much everyone just kind of accepted it as fact once she told them.

Overall thoughts: When I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I was sure this book was just going to be too fantastical for me to be on board with. Unicorns just have that effect on me. But it worked! It really did! With a great combination of characters and writing that is unabashedly sarcastic and ironic, not to mention great comedic timing, Drink, Slay, Love is a funny novel that you'll laugh your way through.

My rating: 4 Candy Corns

Yep, we're rating things with candy corn instead of espresso this month! And make sure you enter to win something awesome in the Fuzzy.Coffee.Books Big Bad Halloween Giveaway! It's open all month!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

September Wrap-Up

October's here! I love October, and plan on celebrating Halloween to the fullest both on and off the blog. But for now, let's do a quick wrap up of everything I reviewed here on FCB during September!

5 Shots
Double Clutch by Elizabeth Reinhardt
Frost by Wendy Delsol
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Between The Land and The Sea by Derrolyn Anderson
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Stork by Wendy Delsol

4 Shots
The Moon and The Tide by Derrolyn Anderson
The Hammer of Thor by S. Evan Townsend
Vixen by Jillian Larkin
Stolen by Jodie B. Cooper
Mortal Obligation by Nichole Chase
Heist Society by Ally Carter

3 Shots
Blood's Voice by Aine Massie
I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs (3.5 shots)

2 Shots
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Books I read but didn't review (yet)
Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Zeigler
Fateful by Claudia Gray
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
The Witches of East End by Melissa De La Cruz
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
The Fixer-Upper by Mary Kay Andrews
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mlynowski
Wildfire by Karsten Knight

I only managed 26 books this month, but I knew I wasn't going to have time to read 30, like I have the past few months. If I didn't post a review of something I read, you can check out my rating on Goodreads. I promise that several of those will be reviewed soon here on FCB! Lots of great stuff coming up though! Make sure you guys come back tomorrow, when the Fuzzy.Coffee.Books Big Bad Halloween giveaway is open for business!

Cheers and Happy Reading!