Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: Ugly To Start With by John Michael Cummings

Currently Reading

Author: John Michael Cummings
My Rating: 4 cups
Source: copy provided by the author
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Jason Stevens is growing up in picturesque, historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in the 1970s. Back when the roads are smaller, the cars slower, the people more colorful, and Washington, D.C. is way across the mountains—a winding sixty-five miles away.

Jason dreams of going to art school in the city, but he must first survive his teenage years. He witnesses a street artist from Italy charm his mother from the backseat of the family car. He stands up to an abusive husband—and then feels sorry for the jerk. He puts up with his father’s hard-skulled backwoods ways, his grandfather’s showy younger wife, and the fist-throwing schoolmates and eccentric mountain characters that make up Harpers Ferry—all topped off by a basement art project with a girl from the poor side of town.

Ugly to Start With punctuates the exuberant highs, bewildering midpoints, and painful lows of growing up, and affirms that adolescent dreams and desires are often fulfilled in surprising ways.

This was a very interesting book. Set in the 70s, the story shows you different chapters from Jason's life, a teenager living in Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

The stories are all strong and some are sad and filled with so much irony it was a little painful. Jason is living in a small town, where everyone knows everyone and where you're judged by the size of your house or the street you live in or some other simple things, like is you nod or wave to your neighbors every day.

The book touches a lot of difficult, touchy subjects, like racism, homosexuality, cancer, alcoholism, poverty, physical abuse, but Cummings manages to combine these subjects so well and even though you might cringe at some point, you're still intrigued and you still turn the page, wanting to know more.

There were moments in the book where I couldn't relate to Jason at all, like in Ugly to Start With, when he rejects a cat because she was ugly, the same cat that had stayed by his bed when he was sick. I couldn't empathize with him, but I somehow understood his reasons for rejecting her. Then there where the moments where I completely understood him, like in We Never Liked Them Anyway, where he tries to lash out at the boy who's been bullying him for a very long time and Jason does that when the boy was hurt.

I loved the open ending. It kind of gave me a sense that Jason has the ball now, he can make the big decision of whether or not he should leave Harpers Ferry and become an artist or stay in his hometown and see his dreams ruined. Though part of me wanted a firm ending, the certainty that Jason will in fact leave his hometown and continue his education, I can see how that ending is an interesting subject to talk about and debate.

All in all, the books was a good read. If you're not bothered by the occasional cursing, then you should read it.

My Rating

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cover Love (7)

Rabid Reads - Cover Love

This feature is hosted by Carmel @ Rabid Reads. The rules are very simple. Choose a cover (or two, or three), preferably new-ish, and share what you like about it. Grab the graphic or don't just so long as you link back.

My pick this week:

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)

I love her dress. That is the first reason the cover caught my eye. Second, the contrast between her elegant dress and the crossbow is amazing. I will be reading this book, as I am really curious now.

What cover caught your attention this week?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie

Pride and Prejudice. And especially the TV show (1995) with Colin Firth. Let's face it, besides his sexy accent, he's a VERY good actor. And I liked him as Mr. Darcy. That and it was a BBC production. When do those guys ever make a bad movie?


Hmm...I might watch the movie again. What's your choice for this topic?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (17)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from Ugly To Start With by John Michael Cummings:

Currently Reading

Just like that, Marty was inside our house. He was probably the only man in town who could kick my father’s ass

What's your teaser this week?

Day 18 – A book that disappointed you

I was prepared to say there wasn't a book that disappointed me, but then I remembered that's not completely true. Before I go on telling you about a book that disappointed me, let me tell you what it takes for a book to let me down.

I'm not a strict reader, I don't care if the book isn't what I expect it to be. So if I'm hoping for a book to be funny and it's actually tragic, I don't mind, as long as it makes sense. It takes a lot for me to be disappointed by a book, but the chances increase when that book is part of a long series. Series that I actually love, mind you! 

What really disappoints me is when a character acts in a manner that is so different than anything he/she ever did in the series/book. So if  a strong, manly, smart guy acts like a complete wimp all of the sudden, that might make me lose my focus. It's not about doing the logical thing. Even if I want to roll my eyes when a character does something that to me seems stupid, I realize that it makes perfect sense for said character. And to be honest, I'm not one to judge, I do stupid things all the time, like all people do. So it's ok for a character to make a mistake. But have a complete transformation and become someone else? That's something I don't understand. 

A book also lets me down when the focus changes too much. If the real main characters of the book aren't the same as the one's the blurb said they would be, that is so disappointing for me. It pisses me off when I'm supposed to be reading the story of a certain character, but instead the subplots take charge one too many times, making the main character actually become second character in his own story. 

There aren't a lot of things that can let me down, but when that happens, I get sort of pulled out of the story and I feel like I'm looking at the words, instead of "seeing" them come to life. Sounds weird, but it is what I feel.

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, #10)Anyway, a book that has disappointed me was Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris. The reason is that for some reason, in this installment of the series, Eric is a shadow of himself. He's not the sexy, dangerous, powerful, strong, sarcastic, fun, entertaining, manly vampire we've known for 9 novels. I don't remember anything happening that could make him change that way. It's actually the only reason I didn't finish the book the first time I tried reading it and I'm really wary of trying to read it again. I liked the old Eric, with or without his memory. But the Eric we have in DITF isn't the one I like.

What book disappointed you?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cover Love (6)

Rabid Reads - Cover Love

This feature is hosted by Carmel @ Rabid Reads. The rules are very simple. Choose a cover (or two, or three), preferably new-ish, and share what you like about it. Grab the graphic or don't just so long as you link back.

My pick this week:

I've Got Your Number

I know I mentioned a lot of times that I really, really love chick lit covers, because usually they are cartoon-like and so so cool. Also, I realized this type of cover really captures the essence of the book and (a huge bonus in my head) there is little chance of being disappointed by the cover model. I really hate it when the cover model is nothing like the main character in the book. But I'm rambling *sheepish*

I love all of Sophie Kinsella's covers, so it's really no surprise I like this one too. I love the fact that you can't see the girl's face. And that bird sitting on the "O" is amazing! I really can't wait to get my hands on this book.

What's your pick for this week?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Book Review: On Message by Joyce T. Strand

Currently Reading

Author: Joyce T. Strand
Series: Jillian Hillcrest Mysteries #1
Rating: 5 cups
Source: copy offered by the author
Blurb (from Amazon):

Murder intrudes on Jillian Hillcrest’s routine as head communications executive at a small Silicon Valley biotechnology company. She is eagerly staying “on message” to inform investors, the media, and the community about her company, Harmonia Therapeutics, and its latest drug candidate in Phase 2 clinical trials for the difficult-to-diagnose and treat autoimmune disease, lupus. When someone near to her is murdered, a determined San Francisco police inspector involves her in the investigation, convinced she is key to solving the crime. She co-operates fully only to find that solving a murder is more hazardous than writing press releases. On Message is the first of a series of Jillian Hillcrest mysteries.

A mystery after my own heart. There are so many things I loved about this book I seriously don't know where to start. First, I had no idea who the killer was. I was thinking of a different person so I was so happy and pleasantly surprised that I was wrong. Second of all, I liked that there was always a phrase or a small scene or a detail that changed my opinion of certain characters. Then there's the fact that I couldn't figure out the motive for the murders. For me, that was one of the things that kept me reading the book. I really wanted to know why.

Jillian is a wonderful character. She's smart, strong willed, funny, stubborn, friendly. Also (and this is one thing that made me love her more) she's a coffee addict. She's also still friends with her ex husband and I liked that. That might be a strange friendship, but I'm fond of those. And the romance addict in me hopes that maybe they'll get back together and stay that way :P

I loved the pacing. The book didn't stall when it didn't need to and it didn't rush when it wasn't necessary. Another thing I loved were the smaller chapters with POVs from other characters. I loved that. Besides having the previous chapter end with a cliffhanger, you would also get a view inside some other character's head and that made the entire book feel multidimensional. Sort of like one of those "meanwhile" moments in movies. I loved that.

Oh, I also loved Cynthia Anderson, Jillian's neighbor. Reminded me of one of my older neighbors back home and how much I loved her. I do believe everyone needs a neighbor like Mrs. Anderson.

I don't know if it's good or bad (if you ask me, it's a very good thing), but I can't think of a single thing I didn't like or that I wished was different. I think it's one of those mystery books that any mystery fan should read, so it's definitely on my Recommended list. I also can't wait for the next installment, Open Meetings, sometimes this year I think.

Do read this wonderful book, you won't be disappointed!

My Rating:
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Follow Friday (12)


Welcome to Follow Friday hosted this week by Parajunkee and Alison!
The main idea behind FF is just to go see a bunch of new blogs you may never have seen before, and follow the ones you like (and they’ll follow you back!) It’s a total win/win, so take a peek around!

This week’s question is:

I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What's the most unique character name you've come across?

This is a difficult one. Since I've started reading paranormal and fantasy stories, novels, books (call them what you want/like) I've encountered a lot of unique names. I couldn't tell you which was the most unique, because they all are in a way. So I'm going to list some of my favorite below, with the book and author, and let you be the judge.

I could go on and on, but I'd probably bore you to death. That and I can't think of other unique names (cool too) at the moment. I love unique names, because they make the characters memorable. I will always know who Aragorn is, as I'll always know who you're talking about when you say Lothaire or Eidolon or DiStephan. 

What's the most unique name you've encountered so far?

Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book

I'm choosing a quote from a book that is very dear to me, Pride and Prejudice. I can't exactly remember when Elizabeth said this, but I love it so much:

"Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”

 I do believe I need to reread this book. Maybe I should do a Jane Austen marathon. That would be cool :)

What's your favorite quote?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 16 – Favorite female character

Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. She's a smart girl, very independent, confident in herself and does what she feels is right. Also, she speaks her mind, which can sometimes get her in trouble, but she doesn't lie to win someone's respect or appreciation. I love confident, independent heroines. 

What about you? What's your favorite female character?

Dirty Little Secret (3)

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under The Covers.

The rules are simple:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image and copy instructions.
3. Answer the weekly question.

For more information and for signing up, go to the Under The Covers blog.

This week's question:

Heroes in historical romance like the extremes - the virgin hero or the rogue rake. Which of the two makes you shudder in pleasure?

The rogue rake. While I enjoy reading about a virgin hero in my "contemporary" romances, both paranormal and non-paranormal, I like the heroes of historical romances to be more experienced. I'm not saying the heroine should be a virgin, she can be a widow with 5 kids for all I care. I don't mind it either way when it comes to the heroine.

What about you? Which one do you love most?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

An apollogy

I've had some pretty weird days lately, which is why I've been quiet for a few days. But I promise I'll be back in the game starting tomorrow. I'm keeping my schedules, I've just been down a little...more like blue. nothing to worry about, just off... See you back to normal tomorrow :D

Day 15 – Favorite male character

Hmmm... I'd say Lestat Before I go on though, I want you to know that he isn't my favorite male characters of all times. He's just the very first name that popped into my head (considering I have a massive headache right now, it's a mystery my brain didn't explode at that moment :P ). Had I waited a few more seconds, I would've told you of other male characters that I find fascinating and no, not all are vampires. I can't have an ultimate favorite, since I love so many books and so many series and almost every character in those books/series is dear to me. So keep that in mind while you're reading the rest of this post (if you're still here LOL)

Back to Lestat. He's mysterious, sexy, dark, dangerous, funny, sarcastic, handsome and sometimes he can be completely innocent and gullible. And I completely understand his love for humanity and for humans. He wasn't given a choice, he was turned against his will, so the fact that he wants, needs actually, to be human again, is understandable.

I mentioned that sometimes he's gullible. I don't mean he's stupid, just that his desire to be "good" and as "beautiful" as he sees the humans clouds his judgement. But that's ok for me, because, as you probably know already, I love imperfect characters.

Over the years I've heard a lot of opinions about Lestat and the other vampires from Anne Rice's books. Most of those opinions were the same, saying that Armand was the perfect vampire of this series. Really? For someone holding a grudge over something that happened more than a hundred years he sounds pretty imperfect to me. I think Lestat is better than Armand. While Armand had the chance to grow and develop under Marius's care and he is also older than Lestat, I feel like Lestat is more... he feels like the better vampire to me.

Comparing Lestat from the books to the Lestat we see in the movies, I have to say I believe Stuart Townsend played him better than Tom Cruise. While I'm a fan of the early movies of Tom Cruise, I feel like Lestat wasn't as bad in the book. Yes, he is still the villain, both in the book and in the movie, but I think that in the movie he was exaggerated.

And while Tom Cruise managed to show him how bad Lestat could get at some point, I think Stuart Townsend managed to show the "real" Lestat. He showed that Lestat could be flirty ("I'm very ticklish" *drools*), dangerous (the park scene), adventurous, completely helpless, sarcastic, sexy. I could go on, but I'd probably end up reviewing the entire movie, which is not the point right now.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cover Love (5)

Rabid Reads - Cover Love

This feature is hosted by Carmel @ Rabid Reads. The rules are very simple. Choose a cover (or two, or three), preferably new-ish, and share what you like about it. Grab the graphic or don't just so long as you link back.

My pick this week:

A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters, #2)

I'm waiting for the girl to turn around and scare the bejesus out of me. I'm assuming it's a girl, because if it's a guy, I'm really jealous of that hair!

Oh, speaking of the hair, the snake coming out of the pony tail is sooo cool! I love that.

It's the second book in the Gods & Monsters series. Sounds interesting enough, right?

Blurb (Goodreads)
Myth and mayhem inhabit a richly reimagined New Orleans in this sequel to Darkness Becomes Her.After the epic graveyard battle at the end of Darkness Becomes Her, Ari and her friends know what they’re up against: Ari is facing the Medusa curse and is haunted by the image of what she will become. To make matters worse, the heinous goddess Athena has kidnapped young Violet and is threatening to destroy Ari.

Ari, along with the superhot Sebastian, is doing everything she can to learn more about Athena and to get Violet back. But the battle of good and evil is bigger than she realizes, and she’s about to be pulled into a world more horrific than she could ever imagine....

What's your pick this week?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Review: Midnight Playground by Eliza Gayle

Midnight Playground

Author: Eliza Gayle
Series: Pleasure Playground #1
My Rating: 4 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Eve's desperate denial only means one thing...she has a lot to learn.

Eve Blake has been working at Altered Ego, a studio specializing in fetish photography, for three months when a custom order comes in for a plus-sized redhead. Ready for an adventure, she volunteers for the job. Chase, her boss, reluctantly accepts. Maybe pretending to be a sexual slave for Chase’s camera will get her one step closer to the two men she thinks can satisfy even her darkest needs.

Chase can’t believe he’s agreed to this deal. The cardinal rule in any business is not to get involved with your employees and that includes your sexy receptionist. He and his partner Murphy learned that lesson the hard way. Now Chase has a hunch the first time they touch their rope to Eve’s creamy flesh, there will be no turning back. They’ll have to have her.

One shoot leads to another and Eve finds herself at a playground at midnight. When the scene takes a dark turn, Eve sinks deeper into sensation at the hands of two masters who push for her ultimate surrender. Will she reach the limit of how far she can go, or will the ties that bind form bonds of love?

I have a confession to make: I love menage books. I never tried two girls and a guy though in my stories. Will try it sometimes, but there's just something about a heroine having two men at her feet. Not like she's dominating them, but like they worship her.

But back to the story. I read the second book in this series, Power Play, last month and I liked it a lot, so I decided to read the first book in the series and let me tell you WOW. I loved this book too.

First of all, both Chase and Murphy are so damn sexy and dominant. They act so tough and it's actually fun to see Eve making them squirm and stay on their toes. And Eve...I loved Eve. She's amazing. She's actually one of the few characters that, in real life, could be anyone. She isn't perfect, she doesn't have a perfect figure, but those things make her real. I love characters like that, male or female, because they aren't fake.

Second, this book is so very unique and memorable. You read about private BDSM clubs, about BDSM parties, but I don't think I've ever read about a photography studio specialized in fetish photography. That's what makes this book and series amazing. It is fresh. If you haven't yet read this book, you have to.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Follow Friday (11)

Welcome to Follow Friday hosted this week by Parajunkee and Alison!
The main idea behind FF is just to go see a bunch of new blogs you may never have seen before, and follow the ones you like (and they’ll follow you back!) It’s a total win/win, so take a peek around and follow me!

This week’s question is: 

What would your prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?

100s of mediocre books. First, because the chances of finding something I'd like is, of course, bigger than rereading the same book over and over. Second, because while I love rereading some of my favorite books once in a while, I feel like I'd lose any enjoyment after a while. Though I admit, after the 10th mediocre book, chances are bigger for me to reread my favorite book at least twice.

What about you?

Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer

This one's easy. Since yesterday I said Marc Levy could be called one of my favorite authors, the book I love most is Seven Days for an Eternity. I don't know if the book has been translated in English, though. They really should, in my opinion.

Sept jours pour une éternitéThis book is funny, romantic, witty, sarcastic, what's not to love about it? It's about God and Lucifer, making a pact. Each has to send their best warrior on Earth and do more deeds in the name of his "boss". They have seven days and the one that at the end of the week has a bigger score, wins and gets to rule over Earth and human kind for ever. God sends Zofia and Lucifer sends Lucas.

Lucas and Zofia weren't supposed to meet, but they do and, naturally, fall in love. There's one very funny scene where Lucas was trying to be romantic and send her flowers. Thinking any flower will do, he sends her water lilies. He actually filled her bathtub with water lilies. It's a very funny scene, but not the only one in the book.

I love all of Levy's books, but this one for some reason is more dear to me. One thing I love most about Levy's books: most of them have two or three characters that are in all of them. They're not main characters, but they sort of connect the books. Of course, all books except The First Night and The First Day are stand-alones.

So this is my favorite book by my favorite author. What's yours?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dirty Little Secret (2)

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under The Covers.

The rules are simple:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image and copy instructions. 
3. Answer the weekly question.

For more information and for signing up, go to the Under The Covers blog.

This week's question:

So it's V-Day. You are all dressed up in your tiniest, yet most expensive undies (go figure!), got a dress on your mother would definitely disapprove of and enough condoms to keep a football team happy, where are you going and which of your favourite book boyfriends are taking you there?

The beach is where I'm going. And somewhere warm, away from all the Siberian cold influences and snow and freezing wind and rain and cloudy days. On an island probably. But one that doesn't have sharks. Or deadly fish or other creatures that might transform an otherwise happy vacation into a hellish vacation. Now as for my book boyfriends, that is a difficult choice. I think I'd go with Acheron, leader of the Dark Hunters. Let's face it, that man is a god, so he can probably keep me safe from anything and anyone. Plus, he's so tall, I wouldn't have to be afraid of wearing high heels around him. (I'm not a mountain, but I'm not exactly petite either).

Who would you bring? And where would you go?

Day 13 – Your favorite writer

Difficult choice. I think the only writer that makes me want to read everything he's ever written in the French author Marc Levy. You probably know the movie Just Like Heaven with Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon. That movie is based on one of Levy's books, If Only It Were True. So if wanting to read every book he's written makes him my favorite writer, then that's what he is for me.

But honestly, I have a lot of authors that I love and try to read as much of their works as possible. I'm really weird, if I get to read something by an author and I like it, chances are really high that I'll like his/her other books.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Book Review: Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Hotel Transylvania (Saint-Germain, #1)

Author: Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Series: Saint-Germain #1
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb: (from Goodreads):

France 1743 (Sun King era). Le Comte de Saint-Germain - cultured, well-traveled, articulate, elegant, learned, honorable, an alchemist, and a man of many secrets - he is a mystery to the court of Louis XV. For Madelaine de Montalia, making her debut in society, he is as fascinating as he is enigmatic, an admiration he returns. But others are interested in her as well. The dark folly of her father's youth exposes her to danger that only someone of Saint-Germain's vast experience can comprehend or repulse.
In this first book of the Saint-Germain cycle, Saint-Germain establishes himself as the compassionate hero whose adventures span continents and millennia.

This is one of the books that have a real special meaning for me. First of all, it was the first vampire book I read after Anne Rice's that I loved. Second of all, it was a book recommended to me by a girl from college (the same one who introduced me to Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman). There's another reason, but I'm going to tell you about it a bit later.

If you haven't yet read this book (and the series), you shouldn't wait any longer. I think this is one of the best horror books I've read. Saint-Germain is one sexy vampire. I was actually disappointed by the fact that he can't have sex, but the author makes up for it. He's dark, sexy, mysterious, compelling. I can't think of a flaw this vampire has (besides being impotent, of course).

Madelaine is a sweet, innocent young woman that becomes a target for the villain, Saint Sebastien. She also catches the eye of our sexy vampire. Saint-Germain falls for her, though he tries hard to hide his true nature from her. He ultimately decides to risk exposure to save her from the bad guy and his friends and followers.

I loved the difference between what is believed to be evil (the vampire) and what really is evil (the Satan worshipers). I really wasn't that surprised by the ending, but it still made me hold my breath a few times.

The thing I loved about this book were the letters. I loved how every chapter started with a letter. It was something very new, a glimpse "behind the scene", small subplots that developed at the same time as our main story.

I have the second book in this wonderful series, The Palace, but I'm pondering about reading it. The reason for that is that you can read these books in two ways: either in the order in which they were published, of chronologically. I decided to wait a little while and buy the entire series and then decide how I'm going to read it.

Remember there was a third reason this book was special to me? Well, this is going to sound weird a little. I first read this book 5 years ago, during my first semester in college. I think it was either November or December. I remember it was a work day and it was about...7 or 8 pm. Anyway, there was a blackout for about an hour, no electricity whatsoever. This book gets creepier if you read it surrounded by candles and with classical music as a soundtrack.

Anyway, I loved this book and I can't wait to read the entire series.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Top Five Things I Hate About a Book

I was recently chatting with a friend about what we love and hate about books and series. This made me think about the things that make me want to scream in frustration about a book. I'm not talking about the content, but the ACTUAL book, as an object. So here are the five things that I hate about a book, in no particular order:

  • Hardbacks
I know all the reasons why hardbacks are better than paperbacks. The binding is done more carefully, the paper that's used has a higher quality, the book has a better chance of remaining in good, if not perfect, conditions over the years. I know all that. But the hardbacks are so huge and heavy! For a girl used to carry one book in her  bag, a hardback is inconvenient, especially since my bags are small. And let's face it. If you're in college and you want to read during class,  you need a paperback. Less chances of getting caught with those small books :D
  • Dust jackets
I've always had a problem with dust jackets. I always tear them or bend them or, even worse, loose them. I like my covers attached to the book. 

  • Paper errors
This sometimes happens with manuals or text books. When there's one page (or more) where there's a lot of extra paper in one corner and it's bent in a really odd shape. I know I can cut it, but I'm weird about books and scissors near each other.

  • Price tags
This is something I often find in bookshops, small or big. They stick the price tag directly on the cover. Sometimes I manage to take it off nicely, sometimes I don't. Why would you stick something on the book? I'm crazy like that, yes. 

  • Size
When it comes to series, my OCD takes over any rational thought. Some of the series I have (like The Southern Vampires and Lord of the Rings) have books the same height and width. And I'm so happy with that. Others, like Harry Potter, aren't the same size. You might blame the edition. It's not. It's the same edition, only the guys who published Harry Potter in my country decided the last 4 books were too big for paperbacks so they made those 4 books hardbacks. While I grumbled and whined and moaned at that, at least they were acceptably big, not weapon-like huge. BUT. It wasn't enough they changed from paperback to hardback, they changed the shape for books 6 and 7. So now I have 3 paperbacks, 2 hardbacks that look like actual bricks, and 2 hardbacks that are smaller in width and the spines are rounder and softer-looking. And before you asked, no, they didn't publish a paperback version for those 4 books, only hardbacks. I like my books to look like they actually belong in a series. Not to mention that I love to be able to arrange them in  order. *blush* I did say I'm a freak!

  • White Paper
The white bugs me. I have really sensitive eyes and the white paper makes it uncomfortable to read sometimes. I have to read books with white paper in certain conditions for my eyes not to hurt. And I can't read with my glasses on *oops*

Keep in mind though, just because a book has one or all of the above "qualities" doesn't immediately mean I won't read it. The exterior has nothing to do with the content of the book. If I don't find another version of the book, one that isn't a hardback or with a dust jacket, then I'll silently curse my luck and still buy it, because ultimately it's the content that matters. So this is my bitching about the book as an object. Is there something that bugs you in a book as an object, not it's content.

Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore

No book comes to mind that fits this category. I mean, if I loved a book five years ago, chances are I still do. Of course, I believe every book has it's moment when it makes more sense and it has a special meaning. If I would read now the first romance book I've ever read, I probably would have a more cynical take on what happens in that book. That doesn't mean I'd hate it.

Do you have a book that you used to love but now you don't?

Cover Love (4)

Rabid Reads - Cover Love

This feature is hosted by Carmel @ Rabid Reads. The rules are very simple. Choose a cover (or two, or three), preferably new-ish, and share what you like about it. Grab the graphic or don't just so long as you link back.

It's so cold here, in Europe, I believe we need some hot, hot covers to counter the chills. So here are my two hot picks this week:

If you don't recognize the hottie on this cover, it's Paul Marron, the cover model from Lothaire, Lover Avenged, Nauti Intentions and many more covers. (By the way, fans of Lora Leigh, he is exactly how I pictured Alex in Nauti Intentions). What can I say, he looks good on this cover, with scars on his chest and longish hair. And that gaze *shivers*

Playing to Win (Play by Play, #4)

I believe Jaci Burton has some of the sexiest covers in the world. I really do. Especially her Play by Play series. I'm not much of a sports girl, but the covers for the books make me want to reconsider that. I can't wait to read this book. And please, please, please, don't let it be the last one.

Do you still feel the cold? I know I'm starting to feel warmer. Just a little bit. (Though I really, really miss spring right now.)

What is/are your pick/s for this week's Cover Love?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 11 – A book you hated

I missed yesterday's appointment and I'm sorry. Had to do some stuff and I didn't have time. Ok, a book I hated.

After I started being what could be called a "serious reader" (one that reads more than 3 books a year and finished those books in less than a month) I wanted to see how far could I go in terms of genres and explore my limits. Like I said a while ago, my first contact with horror stories was through Anne Rice's vampires and while I loved the books, I wanted to see if I could handle stories that where scarier, bloodier, with more graphic details and more...let's say gore. Before you think I'm a psycho, I'm not. I come from a family full of doctors, so detailed stories about surgeries and bodily fluids during lunch where a daily occurrence. That and I studies psychology. So to say I can handle a lot of gore and graphic details is to put it mildly. (Just please, no insects or injured kids. That I can't handle!!)

'Salem's Lot
So I started to ask around and most of my friends that liked horror novels told me Stephen King was so much more than Anne Rice. I was excited. I immediately tried to find a book that had the two things I loved most at the time: suspense and vampires. My best friend heard me talking about that and she bought me Salem's Lot for my birthday.

Color me excited. I tried reading the book twice. There where so many things that drove me crazy about that book. First of all, nothing happened for about 200-250 pages. NOTHING. The only thing I remember was that the main character was going out on a very, very boring date. There where also tinny, tinny details about the house. I don't exactly remember why the house was so special or so scary, but it was.

Also, no vampire in those first pages. I was disappointed. You know how in the movies you sometimes get a little scene with a guy/girl going inside a house and it's dark outside and the door closes after him/her and a second later you hear a scream? I was waiting at least for a scene like that. There wasn't one.

I remember seeing a colleague of mine from college reading the book and I asked him at what page he was and if something had happened until then. He was halfway through it and he said "Nothing new".

I can't deny that I liked his descriptions, the way he built his characters. But I think this book is for someone who likes slow-paced books. I am aware that this is one of King's first books, so maybe his writing style improved, but I'm not really sure I'm ready to try another of his works.

Anyway, this is a book I didn't like. What's yours?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Follow Friday (10)

Welcome to Follow Friday hosted this week by Parajunkee and Alison!
The main idea behind FF is just to go see a bunch of new blogs you may never have seen before, and follow the ones you like (and they’ll follow you back!) It’s a total win/win, so take a peek around and follow me!

This week’s question is: 

Q: Define what characteristics your favorite books share. Do they all have a kickass heroine or is the hot love interest the Alpha Male?

There are so many shared characteristics, I don't know how to start. First of all, the main characters are strong. They're not moaning and bitching every 5 seconds, nor do they cry in every scene. Crying is good, but does it have to be all the damn time?

Second, there's a little mystery in the main plot. There's always a little something that will be discovered at the very end of the book, something that I couldn't anticipate. I hate it when I decipher the clues way too early on when the author shows me every card he/she has up his/her sleeve. If there's a serial killer to be tracked down and locked up, don't tell me who he is, it will make me want to throw the book across the room and I don't like that.

Another characteristic most of them share is humor. I say most, because some of them don't have humor, but most of the books I read have a funny scene at least. Either that, or I find the sarcasm of a certain character hilarious, which is just as good. I love a character that is sarcastic, without being disrespectful.

There are many, many more characteristics, but these are the most important for me.

What about you?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dirty Little Secret (1)

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under The Covers.

The rules are simple:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image and copy instructions.
3. Answer the weekly question.

For more information and for signing up, go to the Under The Covers blog.

This week's question:

If you could travel back in time, what era would you like to find yourself in and why?

Ancient Egypt. First of all, I love Egypt and the history of Egypt. So I'd love to spend at least a day in Ancient Egypt, seeing the world as they saw it and see the pharaohs and their queens. Second of all, I'd love to know how they really built the Pyramids and the temples.

What about you?

Day 10 – Favorite classic book

Pride and Prejudice

I'm ashamed to say that I didn't read many classic books. I tried to, but they didn't appeal to me. The only classic book that I loved and read more times than I can count, is Pride and Prejudice. I can't give you an honest answer as to why I loved it. I just do. Maybe it was because I loved Elizabeth Bennet and her strength, charm, wit. Or maybe it was because of Mr. Darcy, who, despite being rich and uptight, he has a certain something, sort of a boyish attitude sometimes. I remember thinking he was even a little shy around Elizabeth and he was trying to act tough and bad to hide the way he felt about her.

It's also a very special book to me, in terms of firsts. It was my first classic book, my first book read in English (I remember I was about 12 or 13 and it was actually a hard read, but I managed to read it :P ), it was my first
historical romance, my first British novel. You can imagine, at 12-13, this book meant a lot of firsts in my journey as a reader. Mind you, it wasn't my first book though LOL

What's your favorite classic book?

Women of the Otherworld Reading Challenge

I've heard so much about this series, I'm feeling like I might be one of the very few people on this planet who hasn't read them. So while I was doing my daily blog stalking I saw this Reading Challenge on Lucy's blog (Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf) and I thought it was the best opportunity for me to read them :D

The reading challenge is really easy. Here are the guidelines:

Each month beginning March 1st, 2012, challenge members will read or re-read the title for that month. In addition, challenge members will either post a review, their reading experience, character castings or anything else related to that title. You have freedom to have fun with your monthly post so be creative! Seeing as this series is 13 novels long, this challenge will last 13 months.

PLEASE NOTE: **You do not have to have a blog to enter this challenge. You must, however, have a Goodreads account if you don't, so that you can link to your posts there.**

**You do not have to participate each month if you don't want to. I want this to be a fun experience for everyone so, if there only a few books you want to read, please feel free to join!**

**If you did not find time to read the title of the month, feel free to write a post about it and indicate why. This will allow you to link up to qualify for monthly challenge giveaways as well!**

To read more about this challenge and to sign up, visit Lucy's post.

I do think it's easy, though I'll have to learn patience and not read ahead schedule. That might become difficult, but I'll behave. Or try.

Happy Reading!

  1. Bitten
  2. Stolen
  3. Dime Store Magic
  4. Industrial Magic
  5. Haunted
  6. No Humans Involved

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

Oh, there are a number of books that I start reading with this fear. I had this fear when I started reading The Warlord Wants Forever, thinking that it couldn't be that different from other paranormal books I read until then.   I was glad I was wrong and I enjoyed it a lot and I had to read the rest of the books.

Another book I was having doubts about but ended up loving is, like I said hundreds of times before, Harry Potter.

I think about a third of the books I read start like that. I'm skeptical with recommendations so that's why I start the books this way. Just because someone liked a book doesn't mean I will, so I usually don't start those books too hopeful or too skeptical. I just pay extra attention to detail :D

So what's your answer?What's a book you didn't think you'd like but you loved instead?

January In Retrospect

I'm actually glad January is over. Means we're almost there for spring and I'm ready for spring. So, so ready! So let's see what happened in January at Ruby's Books

Book Reviews:

Power Play - Eliza Gayle
Lethal Remedy - Richard L. Mabry
Lothaire - Kresley Cole
The Truth About Us - Dalene Flannigan
Casual - Oksana Robski
The Dragonslayer's Sword - Resa Nelson
The Iron Maiden - Resa Nelson
Lust On The Rocks - Dianne Venetta

Also, I hosted my very first guest post. Resa Nelson, author of the incredibly wonderful series The Dragonslayer, stopped by ant talked about creating and designing a sword for dragonslayers

Movies and TV shows 

This month has been a little slow in the movie department. I only say A Dangerous Method which was, in my opinion, amazing. I loved it and I think I'm going to see it again soon. I was very excited when I heard about it and I now had the chance to see it and I think the actors and producers and writers did an amazing job. 

I was more into TV shows, unfortunately there weren't that many new episodes for the shows I love. I started watching Criminal Minds, the early seasons, while I'm waiting for new episodes.

This month has been a little slow. I promise I'll be more active in February. I'm thinking some higher temperatures would help (I turn into a lazy, slow-moving creatures during winter *blush*)

Happy Reading!

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