summer’s end reads…

I’ve had the privilege of reading a number of wonderful books this summer so I thought (since I now have camera issues… we’ll talk about that another day) I would talk books. Oh I love books.

Widow’s Web is the newest installment in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series and it does not disappoint. If you’re looking for amazing world building, a very kick ass heroine, and a lot of dark grittiness to your Urban Fantasy I highly recommend you go back and start with book #1. By far one of my favorite book series – I did a full review of this book here. Oh and speaking of the UF genre – I also read (and really liked) Gunmetal Magic which is the new Ilona Andrews (and yes, once again best read in order starting with this book).

I am now starting on Kelly Gay’s “Charlie Madigan” series which has some really great potential. Another pretty dark read – I’m interested to see how the characters develop and what all Charlie can do with her powerful new abilities and such. It came highly recommended and I am told they just keep getting better.

Now for something completely different – let’s talk historical romance. Tessa Dare has a new book out today (HOORAY!!!) that can be stand-alone, but really I love it best read in the order of the series because we get scenes with these characters in each book. Oh, but it is just one of my favorite reads of 2012. It is fabulous – you can see my full review here. I love the characters of Spindle Cove – I can’t wait to get back there! Not as amazing, but still one of the best Eloisa James books that I’ve read, is the Ugly Duchess. If you’re into that trope, you may want to check that one out.

Back to UF (because somehow I keep ending up in the urban fantasy genre this summer) I read, loved, and can’t wait for the next in the series-  Blade Song by J.C. Daniels. Kit has a sword that can be called to her, is fearless, works in investigations, and is getting in deep with supernatural politics… the book was really a great read and unique too. I can’t wait for another!

That’s all for today’s recommended reads – I’d love to hear what you are reading (and loving) these days!

On a crafty note – the new Studio Calico kit is out, and it is FANTASTIC!! I spy Amy Tangerine, and so much more goodness… you can check it out here. I may be ordering one right now… I’ll be sure to share results soon as I get it.

Adopt [WIN] a book.

May loves books. May believes books should be read, loved, and held. May is also sad that her Borders is closing, and a few days ago when she went in, she was distressed to see some of her favorite titles still sitting there, waiting for a good home. Poor things! Why haven’t they been chosen?!

sometimes May talks to her books, and refers to herself in third person. May is crazy. She tried to warn you…

So a few dollars later these (seriously discounted) five books came home with me, ready for new homes. This post holds FOUR give-aways in one!! on SATURDAY (20th) I will announce winners and next week mail the books to their new homes. Here’s the deal. These are FAVORITE – as in – 5 Star/A /fave reads. So take a look – and let me know which one(s) you might want to adopt…

Ye olde tale of tomboy-ish girl who decides to ‘target practice’ her efforts for landing a husband on her brother’s friend… only to fall madly in love with him. Tessa Dare’s first novel – and still one of my favorites from her.

My #1 FAVE Kinsella book – this one is about a girl on a plane who confesses ALL her deep dark secrets to stranger on plane only to find that stranger is owner of company she works for. And craziness + funny things ensue. I recommend this one – often.

Courtney Milan is a mad genius/artist with her words. AMAZING would be not strong enough a word to describe her books. This one? Can’t say enough or try to explain. It’s awesome ye olde England love story – full range of emotion and soooo fantastic.

Thea Harrison writes dark, plot twisty, utterly fantastic Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance. ZOMG! Crazy good. So far just 2 books – and yes they’re the start of a series… and winner will get BOTH books. Just read #2 (Storm’s Heart) and loved it.

So what’s your pleasure? Tell me what you prefer, or if any at all would be nice and I’ll throw all names in hat + pick winners on 8/20. Good luck! I hope to send these awesome books to good homes soon…

Entertaining May: 6/5 edition

I’ve been so busy blogging about so much stuff – I haven’t done an entertainment post in a few weeks! Here’s what’s new and hopping in my world:


10 things I love about you by Julia Quinn gave me the post-reading good book bliss that I look for in a truly great happily ever after tale. I only read maybe 10 historical fiction books a year, and Julia Quinn is one of the few authors who can seduce me (hee hee) into reading her regency era stuff. It had it all – super creepy bad guy, hero with big secret, likeable heroine, cameos by characters from previous books… I loved it. sooo much. I have so little to say about it because I just LOVED every bit. I know one of my favorite people/bookworm friends Doris Sander loved it too – so consider it double recommended if you like a lovely romance tale.

Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep is book #2 in her series about Gin Blanco, an assassin who is pure awesome. What I love about this dark & gritty series is that while you’d think that an emotionally tormented, hard killing machine of a heroine would be too cold, too much yuck factor to relate to, she’s not. The author weaves in bits and pieces about her loyalty, love of cooking, and other little bits and pieces that make me absolutely love this character + series. Oh, and FYI – Jennifer Estep gets a big thumbs up from me on a personal level for responding to reader fan mail (yeah, from me) quickly, and with WAY more than just “hi, thanks for buying”. Made me feel great about taking the time to write her about my love of her books (hello, Karma Girl still an all time fave!!) and all.

Key Lime Pie Murder: I’m done with the Hannah Swensen series. This was my 5th or 6th book (I went out of order accidentally it seems) but this is the NINTH book in the series and Hannah continues to toy with two men who are in love with her (since book #2 at least!) and both are proposal serious about her, and know about the other man, and somehow are kind of ok with this?! I just call B.S. and no way am buying it. I’ve heard that even in book #13 she remains in limbo. I have lost major respect for her heroine for this crap so – I’m out. The fact that the murder/mystery part was lame + boring on this didn’t help matters. BUT – let me just say the recipes in all her books ROCK. Will be keeping them and using recipes for years I’m sure.

One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare is the 1st of 3 books she’s coming out with this summer, and I did enjoy my reading time with this first offering. I couldn’t help but like the horse loving hero! (The heroine… eh. wasn’t so crazy about her) I adore Tessa Dare’s writing + she’s super nice on-line too. I LOVE authors who will chat/respond to you when you talk at them via twitter or email. I think that the rest of the series will determine my overall feelings from good to potentially great, as there are a number of unresolved plot lines involving murder and the horse the three men are part owners in… we shall see. Tessa is one of 4 currently writing authors that can get me to pick up a “ye olde times” (as I like to call them) novel and love it. So I’m excited to get more summer reading time with her again later this month.

Finally I watched Leap Year the other night, and Amy Adams (as always) drew me in and held me captivated and entertained. That said, soon as I turned off the television I thought to myself “well, that was a really dumb movie.” The plot is that she goes to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend (who’s not proposing to her) and on way finds travel trouble and potentially a new (awesome) country Irish dude. THAT IS IT. *sigh* SO tired of trying to watch romance/romcom movies now a days. Seems like there’s zero plot or they try to cram the “happily ever after” into too convenient a plot. Is it just me or are movies in general getting WORSE in recent years with the good ones being more & more rare?

It’s back to books for me… I’ve got a to-be-read pile waiting for deadline madness to pass me by, including one book I keep peeking at that was a birthday gift… and another that was a gift to myself…

As always – suggestions, recommendations, and comments encouraged!

PS- HOW do I find time to read? Well, I get 45min-1hr most every day at gym doing cardio, and I sneak a chapter in here & there as a special treat here at home. You’d be amazed where and when you can find a bit of time to read if you want to…