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Entries in book recommendations (10)

Monday
Aug042014

What I've Been Reading: Smexiness, Male/Male, YA, and Thrillers, Oh My!

 

Maybe it's because I brought home like fifty books from the RWA conference and I'm feeling the weight of my TBR pile, but I've been on a bit of a reading binge over the last week or two. And I've been on a pretty good streak of books--no DNFs in a while--so I figured I'd share some of what I've been reading.

 

The Saint by Tiffany Reisz (erotica)

Yes, Tiffany is a friend, but that is not why I love her books. This is one of my favorite series out there right now. Smart, sexy, dark, and epic. Don't start with this one, though, if you haven't read the rest. The Siren is book one.

 

Take (Temptation Series Book 2) by Ella Frank (male/male romance)

First, let's just say OMG this cover. *shamelessly stares* Okay, moving on. This is book two in a m/m romance series, so if you haven't read book one (TRY), start with that one. This is a filthy hot series that follows the same couple throughout. I'm thinking there is going to be a third book, but the cliffhangers aren't shameless because certain threads are wrapped up with each one.

 

Still Missing  by Chevy Stevens (thriller)

Okay, I think this book traumatized me a little. A realtor is abducted and kept in a cabin by a psychopath. It's very intense but was a compelling read.

 

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake  by Sarah MacLean (historical romance)

Why do I always forget I love historical romance? I've had this book on my shelf forever but had never picked it up. When I saw Sarah speak at RWA, I realized I needed to fix that. It was such a sexy, adorable story. Loved it. And it's only 3.99 in ebook. :)

 

The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger (YA)

Okay, I know I'm like years behind on this one. Julie Cross has been telling me to read it forever, and I finally listened. Such a great story. And it's going to be a movie. 

 

Those are some of the ones I've been buried in lately. What are you reading?

 

 

 

Monday
May192014

Must Read Monday: The Best of My Book Binge 

After I turned in a honking pile of writing, including short stories, a novella, and a novel mid-March, I was in desperate need of a break. And what do breaks mean? Book binge! :) So since I'm just getting back from the RT Booklovers Convention and haven't quite recovered my brain yet, I thought I'd share my favorites from my most recent book binge.

And I'd love to hear in the comments what you've been reading and loving lately.

Here goes, in no particular order:

Foreplay: The Ivy Chronicles by Sophie Jordan (New Adult)

Really sexy and fun AND only 99 cents right now!

 

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan (YA)

A few years in the future and they've learned how to identify the kill gene. What happens when a good girl tests positive for the gene? I loved the concept and I loved the book. I'm anxiously awaiting the sequel now.

 

Hard Time by Cara McKenna (erotic romance)

A convict hero. Yep. Every time I read a premise for a Cara McKenna book, I'm like, how is she going to pull that off? Then she does. She's become an autobuy for me.

 

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (YA)

Dude, I just went to grab the pic for this and it's on sale for 31 cents! Go buy it. I loved this book.

 

And for something a little different...

600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster (lit fic)

This one follows a man who has Aspergers and OCD. It was recommended to me and I really enjoyed it. I'd say it's more a lit fic type book, but had a good pace and kept me reading. 

 

Spin by Catherine McKenzie (women's fic)

I don't read a lot of women's fiction but this one sounded like a fun premise. Reporter goes undercover in rehab to get a story about a starlet but finds out she really needs rehab herself. Ended up really liking this one.

 

So those are my faves from the last few weeks, what are some of yours?

 

*As always, none of these authors solicited me for reviews. I don't take review requests and any recs I give are from my own personal TBR pile and based on my own leisure reading.

Monday
Mar112013

Must Read Monday: A YA Romance Set in 1986

Last week I was in NYC for both business and a bit of a vacation. The trip was fantastic, even though a few things went awry--like me getting strep throat and having to find a doctor in an unfamiliar city because I barely could swallow and couldn't stop getting the chills. (Btw, have I ever mentioned how miraculous antibiotics are? Ohmigod. I've never been so happy to see those big, pink pills.) Thankfully, the medicine saved the second half of my trip and I was able to enjoy the vacation.

One of the other things that went awry was the big snowstorm that wreaked havoc on my flight on Friday. We had a cancelled flight, and I ended up spending about 13 hours in airports and planes before getting home around 11pm. However, the long day wasn't as bad as it could've been because for a big part of the day I was completely absorbed in a book. I had brought my Kindle with me, which has probably about 100 unread books on it, and decided to start a new one. How to decide which one? I wanted to make sure I picked a fabulous one because I knew I'd be reading for a while at the airport. Well, I had seen Julie Cross's post about Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell  before I left, and she's my go-to girl for YA and NA recommendations. Our tastes almost always line up, so I figured it was a safe bet to pick that one up first. And boy am I glad I did. I almost forgot I was so tired and stuck in an airport.

Eleanor & Park is set in 1986 and is the story of two quirky teens who connect in the sweetest, most simple (yet poignant) way possible - on the bus. This story has humor but also some heavy family issues, so it's not a "breezy" read. But it channeled a bit of John Hughes for me. I think I saw someone on Goodreads describe it as Pretty in Pink (which came out in 1986, btw) if Andie had gone for Duckie. (And, hello, I ALWAYS wished she'd gone for Duckie instead.) So it was perfect for me. The ending was a bit open-ended, and I understand why it was that way, even though I prefer my HEAs wrapped up with a bow. But don't let that deter you. It was a fantastic book. In fact, as I'm writing this, I'm thinking I may go back and change my 4-star review to a 5-star because I'm still thinking about the book, and I'm starting to better accept the choice of ending, lol.

So anyway, here it is, go read it... :)

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Blurb:

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

Anyone else read this one? Any other Duckie fans out there? And how do you feel about left-to-interpretation endings?

Tuesday
Jan012013

Most Popular Posts of 2012 and Introducing Must-Read Mondays

Putting 2012 in our rearview mirror (kidlet does this with a cape)Happy New Year!

First, before I get to today's post, I want to say thank you to everyone who helped me celebrate FALL INTO YOU's release yesterday even when you were busy doing your own holiday thing. *hugs* I hope those of you who bought it, enjoy it, and those of you who didn't--come on, get to it. Don't let those book gift certificates waste away! ;)  But seriously, I'm always indebted to each and every one of you who read my books. You rock. Thank you.

Now, on to today's post..

It's that time of the year to look back and evaluate what has gone right and wrong so we can decide how we want to move forward in the bright, shiny new year. So I thought it'd be interesting to see which posts were the most popular here on the blog in 2012. And though I knew which one would be number 1, the rest were a bit surprising. So here's what the numbers look like and what I'm going to do about it. :)

 

Top Posts of 2012

 

1.  Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog - My Story - Yeah, this wasn't a fun situation, but the post went viral and seemed to resonate with a lot of people. So, though I'd prefer not to have gone through it, I'm very glad it helped all of us learn how to do the right thing with regards to pics on our blogs.

2.  What to Read If You've Read 50 Shades of Grey and Want More BDSM Romance - Not too surprising considering the 50 phenomenon, but I was surprised that people found their way here considering the glut of info about 50 out there.

3.  BDSM Romance: What To Read If You've Never Tried It Before - This one is probably here for the same reason as number 2.

4.  Want Private Inspiration Boards? Alternatives to Pinterest - I did this post before Pinterest implemented access to 3 private boards. Clearly, it was something a lot of people were looking for (especially after my photo debacle.)

5.  What Will Make An Agent Gong Your Pages - We all want to know, don't we? :)

6.  Zang...Best American Idol Performances Ever #atozchallenge - This one surprised me. It was kind of a random post.

7.  Readers Face the Slush Pile: A Few Hard Truths - This one talked about how readers are now going to have to sift through the slush since it's hard to tell what is good and what isn't now that the indie movement is so big. (I wrote this last May and since then, have read many indie books. I've discovered that how I sift through the slush is simple--I wait for recs from friends and reviewers I trust before I buy a book. And I read samples on occasion.)

8.  Author Websites: Layering Yours With Sticky Extras - I think this one was popular because sometimes we focus so much on our blogs that we forget that readers (especially non-blog-readers) might want a little more on your author website.

9.  Kink & BDSM 101 - What It Is & Why It's So Popular In Books  - I probably have to credit 50 Shades on this one too.

10.  Because Good Smut Should Be Shared...Book Recommendations

11.  The New Adult Genre: Here To Stay This Time? - This genre is on fire right now, so I'm not surprised a lot of people stopped by.

12.  Finding Your Novel's Theme and Your Universal Theme 

 

So what was pretty interesting to me in this list is how it's changed so much from years before. Usually, my writing posts have been the big winners each year. This year, after an effort to balance my site a bit more so that I could provide content to readers and not just writers, it seems to have shifted. I was surprised at how popular the book recommendation posts were. 

Therefore, since I love doing the book rec posts, and y'all seem to appreciate them, I'm going to continue those this year in a more structured way. I'm making Mondays - Must-Read Mondays. Now, if I don't have something to recommend, I won't do a post. But generally, I'm reading enough that I always have a good book to share. And this will NOT be a place for other authors to solicit me for reviews/guest posts/etc. I'm happy to host people on occasion on other days, but I don't accept books for review. Anything I review, I picked up on my own. Plus, I want y'all to know that if I'm recommending a book, it's with no ties or strings or author-is-my-buddy bias--it's just me loving a book as a reader and wanting to pass along the word.

Now for the rest of the days on the blog, I'm still going to cover writing and social media topics when I come across something I haven't covered before. And I'll continue Fill-Me-In Fridays where I round up all the best links. However, those round up posts may be spaced out instead of every Friday because I've been too busy with writing lately to surf the web and have enough links to share each week. Also, I'm not sure if people are still loving the round up, so let me know if it's something you want me to keep around. 

I'm still working on some other features, but that's what I'm changing for now.

Now, go buy FALL INTO YOU, and enjoy your New Year's holiday! ;)

Are you making any changes to your blog this year? What posts are you most likely to stop by for here?

Wednesday
Dec192012

My Unforgettable Reads of 2012

So as it stands right now, I've read 41 books this year. Not quite there on my 50/50 Challenge, but close. And frankly, there are a few half-read or almost-finished-but-lost-interest books in the stack.

However, I thought today would be a good day to go through my read list from this year and pull out my top reads. These are the books that I can still remember when I look back at the list. Others, though I may have enjoyed them, fade and become murky. So the ones I can still remember certain characters and scenes get put on this list. Enjoy!

New Adult

So I've been on a big New Adult kick lately and I've found some winners (including one I just finished this week and loved.)

Easy by Tammara Webber

Really likeable characters you were pulling for.

 

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

One of those you cannot stop reading. Worth it for the Facebook updates alone.

 

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Sexy and angsty and an Irish hero--hello.

 

Women's Fiction

More Like Her by Liza Palmer

Funny in parts, tearful in others.

(Warning - there is a school violence scene in this one)

 

The Reason Is You by Sharla Lovelace

A little romance, a little paranormal, and lots of memorable characters.

 

Erotic Romance:

An Ordinary Girl by Barbara Elsborg

Very angsty and a tragic backstory but really enjoyed it.

 

The Principal's Office by Jasmine Haynes

Super smexy. And liked that it was an older heroine.

 

Sheltered by Charlotte Stein

Ignore the weird cover. LOTS of sexy tension in this one.

 

The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden

A geeky, dominant hero. Need I say more?

 

Dark Erotic:

The Angel by Tiffany Reisz

One of my favorites of the year.

 

Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts

Very, very dark. I blogged about it here.

 

Male/Male Romance:

Hot Head by Damon Suede

Soooo much sexual tension. Gah. Loved this one.

 

Horror/Thriller:

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Think And Then There Were None meets high school.

 

The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff

College, empty dorm, ouija boards. Scary fun.

 

So those are my picks. What were some of your favorite reads of 2012?