Wednesday, April 25, 2012

That Boy by Jillian Dodd

Title:  That Boy

Author: Jillian Dodd

My Rating: 5 Stars

Purchase for Amazon Kindle



Summary (from

You know, being friends with two cute boys does have its benefits.

There's Danny. Danny is a golden boy in every way. He has dreamy blue eyes and blonde hair that always looks perfect, even when it’s windblown or been stuck under a football helmet. He’s the boy every girl crushes on. The boy I get into trouble with, the boy I fight with, the hot quarterback no girl can resist, not even me. Being with Danny is like being on an adventure. He has a bright, contagious smile and abs to die for. He’s pretty much irresistible.

Equally crush worthy is Phillip. Adorable, sweet Phillip, who I have known since birth.  Phillip has dark hair, a perfect smile, brown eyes, and the sexiest voice I have ever heard. He’s the boy I talk to every night before I go to sleep. The boy who rescues me, the boy who can read my mind, the boy who is always there for me, the boy who tries to keep me out of trouble, the boy who irritatingly keeps getting hotter, and whose strong arms always seem to find their way around me.  And when he gives me that grin, I can never say no.

One boy will give me my very first kiss.
One boy will teach me to make out.
One boy will take me to prom.
And finally, one boy will ask me to marry him.
They will both be my best friends.
But only one of them will be the boy I fall in love with.
Only one of them is That Boy.

My Review:

Never judge a book by the cover.  That statement applies in full force with this book.  I probably would never have picked it up had it not been recommended to me by fellow readers. But I do have to say, that after reading the book and seeing the little doodles throughout, the cover is fitting.  I loved the doodles by the way, especially the "chicken shittedness" one!

I loved the voice in this book.  It was not perfect, choppy at times...well, maybe choppy isn't the right word.  No it was more like getting sidetracked and going off on a tangent, sort of how your brain works as thoughts run through your head...sort of like I am right now.  Anyway,getting back on track, it was like we were right inside JJ's head, hearing her thoughts as she had them.  Again, I loved it because I was able to relate since it was almost like reading my own thoughts.

JJ is a riot, with 2 male best friends, both of whom are hot - gosh I'm jealous!  She had me laughing throughout the book and then there are times when it was like BAM, and I find myself bawling my eyes out.  WTF!  How does she do that?  But in the end, there was a happy ending and that made me happy.

Wow, I don't know if any of that made any sense, I think my mind is still mush from staying up too late reading.  In summary a perfect, non stressful love triangle + hot guys + laughter + crying + staying up late to read and being a walking zombie the next day = this book earning 5 stars from me.  Can't wait to read That Wedding!

Man Abs, CJ West, and Free books...Oh My!

Man Abs, CJ West, Free books, $500 Amazon gift I have you curious yet?  Well, keep reading then!

CJ WestMy friend, Author Jillian Dodd, recently met author CJ West. Aside from writing great books, she couldn’t help but notice that he was pretty darn cute. (Check out the picture, I would have to agree with her.) So she politely inquired about the possibility of him appearing on one of her MANday blog posts. (Actually, I beleive her exact words were "Do you have good abs?") After a little help from some of her female author friends, they convinced him (okay, bribed him) into agreeing.

So here’s the deal:

If we can get 5,000 people to comment on his website, he will be featured on MANday! In case you have never seen a MANday post, feast your eyes on this and this. (Be sure to wipe the drool from your face and keyboard and come right back here!!)

First, we need to get those 5,000 comments, so head on over to CJ's blog and leave a comment of encouragement letting him know that we do indeed want to see those abs.  (I hear he is doing some heavy duty workouts to prepare.)  If we reach our goal, not only will he pose for MANday, but one lucky winner will get a $500 Amazon gift card.

(But again, come right back because there are more prizes!)

Second, to thank you for helping, one person from my blog will get a prize package of 11 free ebooks by both CJ West and Jillian Dodd, as well as some of their friends. The books included are:

  1. That Boy  by Jillian Dodd
  2. That Wedding by Jillian Dodd
  3. The End of Marking Time by CJ West
  4. Sin And Vengeance by CJ West
  5. Drawing Free by Elena Aitken
  6. Devil Unknown a novella by Steena Holmes
  7. Elemental Magic by Angela Wallace
  8. Again by Diana Murdock
  9. Telesa by Lani Wendt Young
  10. Exiled by MR Merrick
  11. The Bridge Club by Patricia Sands

You can enter to win that package by following the prompts below.  The more you do, the more chances you have at winning!

Monday, April 23, 2012

An interview with Colleen Hoover

If you are connected to me in anyway socially, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, my blog, or even in real life  you probably know that I have been obsessed lately over the Slammed series by Colleen Hoover.  I have been recommending these books to everyone and anyone that will listen.

These books are the hot diggity! 
Off the Richter! 
The best thing since indoor plumbing!

As one of my friends stated in her review, "Slammed is one of those books that screws it up for ALL of the other books you read after it. Everything else seems to pale in comparison and your left wanting, needing, desiring something more and more and more. You keep picking up a new book here and there in the hopes that it will ignite your heart in the same way and it just doesn't."

Colleen HooverBut behind every great book is a great author and great describes Colleen Hoover to a T.  Not only is she a fantastic writer (a.k.a. the creator of swoon worthy Will Cooper) but she is super nice and super funny.

But I am a curious (nosey) person and I wanted to know more.  I went and did some Colleen Hoover research...ehem...stalking and found out that, although she loves to write, it is not her profession.  (At least not yet.  I predict that she will have so much success that she will be able to quit her job and write full time.)  She is married and has three boys...God help her having to live with all that testosterone!  She loves the Avett Brothers and Diet Pepsi, despises Nickelback, and it is rumored that she is a retired ninja.

But online stalking can only get me so far and I wanted to know the story behind Slammed and what inspired her to write such an addicting piece of literary art.  So I politely asked if I could interview her for my blog and she said yes!  *fist pump*  It probably has to do with that fact that she is just so darn nice but I kinda wonder if she secretly hopes I stop stalking her after this.  Sorry Colleen - you can't get rid of me that easily!

Me: What inspired you to write Slammed?
Colleen: It was a culmination of things, really.  It was December when I got the idea for it.  My 8 year old was in a community theater play and I would sit in the auditorium for a few hours each night, so I would read on my Kindle.  I was searching for a book one evening and wanted to read something about slam poetry.  I've always loved to watch slam poetry on YouTube, so I thought it would be cool to read about a character that slammed.  I couldn't find one.  I started thinking of ways I could incorporate it into a book and started making character notes that night.  I practically didn't stop writing until it was done.  I wrote all day every day (and night) for a month solid.

Me: What is your favorite part of Slammed?
Colleen: My favorite part of the book is probably the scene where Lake is avoiding talking to her mother and she's at Will's house cleaning. I love it when Will tries to calm her down and throws her in the shower.

Me: What was the hardest part to write? 
Collen: On an emotional aspect, I don't think any of it was hard to write.  I'm not a very emotional person, which may be why I was able to write an emotional book.  As far as the actual writing, I loved every second of it and never thought of it as 'hard' or 'work.'  It was a blast!

Me: How did you name your characters?
Colleen: Hmmm.  Layken would have been my daughter's name had I not had three boys. LOL.  Eddie was my fathers name.  I always thought Eddie would have been a cute name for a girl, but again I had all boys so I never got to use it.  Kel is actually a play on one of my own children's names, "Cale."  I was writing in Caulder's character and opened up a baby book, pointed to the page and it landed on Caulder.  I thought it was fitting, so I used it.  I've always loved the name "Will" so that was a given for him.  Gavin was actually the name of a young man who was in the community theater with my son.  He was sitting next to me when I was writing in his character, so I used his name.  Gavin's brother who was also in the play, Reece, got a name in Point of Retreat.  Their mother picks awesome names for her kids.  I should let her name all the characters in my next novel! ;)

Me: Was there a person in real life that inspired each of the characters?
Colleen: No, not really.  I didn't have anyone in mind while writing their characters.  Well...Kel is pretty much a spitting image of my son, "Cale."  Definitely marches to the beat of his own drum, but in the best way!  I actually got the idea for the snowman scene because my boys did that last winter!

Me: What are your favorite authors/books?
Colleen: Honestly, I don't read a whole lot at all.  In fact, until this month I've never even read a romance novel! lol.  I've got a few books going right now that people have been raving about.  I just finished Liz Reinhardt's "Double Clutch" and I've got Stephanie Campbell's "Grounding Quin" on my tbr pile.  Also on my tbr pile are Tammara Webber's "Between the lines" series and Laura Rede's "Darkride."   Unfortunately, my tbr pile just keeps getting bigger.  I'm trying to focus on my third book right now, so it's taking up all my free time.

Me: What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Collen: I'd love to be asked this question. "Do you have anything to say to the readers?"

I would answer:

I...Freaking...Love...You!!!  I love the time you take to create such beautiful reviews.  I love the emails and Facebook messages explaining what the books mean to you.  I LOVE the reviews that were fashioned into slam poems themselves.  I love the way you spread the word about the books.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!

See, I told you she was nice!  Thanks Colleen for taking the time to answer my questions.

But this leaves me with one question.  My 10 yr old son loves Nickelback but there are lots of people, Colleen included, that don't like them.  I want to know where you stand.  Leave me a note in the comments and let me know if you are Yay or Nay for Nickelback.  Explanations are not necessary but if you care to share, I would be curious as to your reasons.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Check what was in my mailbox when I got home today!


Seriously Colleen, you rock!! My weekend has been made!

And if you haven't read this yet, what are you waiting for.  The ebook is only $2.99.  Go grab it now!

Purchase Slammed on Amazon Kindle.
Look what was in my mailbox!

What a Boy Wants by Nyrae Dawn

Title: What a Boy Wants

Author: Nyrae Dawn

My Rating: 4 stars

Purchase for Amazon Kindle







My Review:

 ♪♪ What a boy wants, what a boy needs ♪♪

The title of this book makes me want to start singing the song by Christina Aguilera (with altered lyrics of course) and that brings me back my younger years which in turn sets me in the right frame of mind for this book.  It really is a perfect circle. That being said, as a thirty-something mom of 3 kids, this book may be considered a little young for me. That, however, did not stop me from reading it.  After all, YA books are great for making us aging folk feel young at heart, right?

What a Boy Wants is written from the perspective of teenage boy, Sabastian, who has decided he doesn't believe in love after experiencing his mother's heartbreak time after time.  He is cocky, confident, and has decided that all he ever wants or needs from a girl is a hook-up.  However, his simple plan is set astray when he starts noticing his best friend in a different way that she has ever seemed to him before.  Is this love?  And more importantly, is he capable of love?

This was a very cute, sweet, funny and light-hearted read for me.  Ms. Dawn did a very good job writing it in the male's perspective and her writing style reminded me alot of Tammara Webber's (whom I absolutely love!) And then there is the cover...I have to say that the cover fits Sabastian perfectly.

I am not sure that the book grabbed me from an emotional standpoint and it seemed fairly predictable to me, since I sort of figured out what was going to ensure during the first chapter.  The emotional aspect may just be because of my age and I wasn't able to relate.  Add a little more mystery and some more emotion and this would have been a 5 star book for me though.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes to read a story from a male's perspective and wants to experience a light-hearted, sweet, teenage story.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Friends in Rising Places

So, I'm part of this little book club. It's sort secretive and exclusive, but yet not. Well, especially not secretive now that I told the whole internet about it. I know, I ramble. Basically, not just anyone can join and you have to be handpicked by people who are already members. It's really a true honor.

One of the best parts of the book club, besides the fact that it is the sole reason my to-read pile is no longer a pile but rather a mountain, is that I get to rub [virtual] elbows with some of the best authors around. No, those authors are not people like Stephanie Meyer, Suzanne Collins, or Stephen King - those authors have no clue I even exist. *pause for a small tear to fall*  Rather, the authors that I so proudly consider my friends are self published authors that, honestly, I was oblivious to until I got my Kindle. Thank you Amazon for creating this wonderful piece of technology!

I really wish that I had room in this post to mention each and every one of those authors. They all rock and I would highly recommend their books to anyone, as I often do when someone asks for a book recommendation. However, to keep this post short enough so that people might actually read it, I will limit my mentions to 3 special people whose books are so amazing that they are currently ranked within the top 100 Kindle books on

Tracey Garvis Graves
Tracey is the author of On the Island.  This extraordinary book is about a teenager in remission from cancer and his adult tutor who find themselves stranded on an uninhabited island after their plane crashes.  They must struggle to survive, finding food, water and shelter as days turn to weeks and then months. As time passes and this teenager turns from boy to man, the couple must also struggle with their feelings as their companionship also seems to blossom into more.

On the Island is currently sitting at #10 in the Amazon Kindle Best Sellers list and has been within the top 100 for 30 days!  At the bargain price of only $2.99 for the ebook, this contemporary romance novel should be a must read on everyone's list.

Jaime McGuire
Jaime McGuire's book Beautiful Disaster is so addictive, I read it in one sitting.  Thanks to my husband, my children were well cared for during this time and a call to child services was avoided.  Beautiful Disaster is about good girl Abby Abernathy and bad boy Travis Maddox.  Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match. 

Beautiful Disaster is currently sitting at #38 in the Amazon Kindle Best Sellers and has been within the top 100 for 20 days.  This book is also bargain priced at $2.99 for the ebook but worth way more than that.  Jaime is also currently working on writing Beautiful Disaster from Travis' point of view and all BD fans, myself included, are anxiously waiting for it.

E. L. James
Ms. James' books have been all over the press lately.  Her erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey is about virgin college student, Ana, who is pursued by rich, successful entrepreneur Christian for a dominate/submissive relationship.  Christian is so intrigued by Ana, that he uncharacteristically makes sacrifices in his demands to keep Ana around. "Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever." [taken from book summary on]

Fifty Shades of Grey is sitting at #1 on the Amazon Kindle Best Sellers list and #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list.  Number one!!  That is phenominal!  And to top it off E. L. James has also been named as one of Times 100 most influential people.

This post is my way of personally congratulating these 3 authors on their much deserved success.  I am very honored to be able to call them my friends, friends who are rising to high places, and to thank them for sharing their literary works of art with us.

If you have not read these books yet, you should most certainly look into doing so in the near future.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

Title: Point of Retreat

Author: Colleen Hoover

My Rating: 5 stars

Purchase for Amazon Kindle



Summary (from Amazon):

Hardships and heartache brought them it will tear them apart. Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will's past emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built.

Will is forced to face the ultimate to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop 'carving pumpkins.'


My Review:


22 hours is all it took
for Colleen Hoover to reclaim my heart
The characters she writes
that boy
that girl
tear at my heartstrings
and send my emotions a whirl.

(That's my mini slam dedicated to Colleen Hoover.  Colleen: I think you are one of my favorite people right now!)

Point of Retreat is the second book in the Slammed series by Colleen Hoover and is as bemazing as the first!  As I did with Slammed, I skipped right past reading the synopsis and dove right in, so I was utterly surprised to find that this is written in Will's POV. Seeing things from his side, gave me a whole different light to him.  In Slammed I saw him as very mature, responsible, mostly in control, and sometimes a little hard-headed.  Although I still see some of those after reading Point of Retreat, I also got to see the vulnerable and not-so-much in control side of him, his struggles, his heartbreak, but also his determination and strength.

Will loves Lake, Lake loves Will, this cannot be denied.  But is their love for each other for the right reasons?  And is their love strong enough to survive being questioned?

"Sometimes two people have to fall apart, to realize how much they need to fall back together" – Author Unknown

I lost count on the number of times that I cried throughout this book.  My emotions were all over the place (that damn vase had a lot to do with it).  One minute I was laughing and the next minute I found myself crying or frustrated beyond belief with one of the characters.  When a book is able to do that to me is when it deserves 5 stars, and that is just what I gave it.

Okay, time to play suck and suck is that there is a wait until the next book is released.  My sweet, however, is that I have a new favorite author and a couple new books in my re-read category.

If you haven't read Slammed, the first book in this series, you need to stop what you are reading now and go buy it.  While you are there, pick up Point of Retreat because it is so butterflying amazing and a great follow-up to the first book.

(Note: if you are confused with my choice of words such as bemazing and butterflying, go read the book and it will all make sense.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Slammed by Colleen Hoover


 Title: Slammed

Author: Colleen Hoover

My Rating: 5 Stars

Buy for Amazon Kindle

Summary (taken from Goodreads):

'Slammed' is the first of a two book series. The second book, "Point of Retreat," will be available for download after March 2nd, 2012.

After the unexpected death of her father forces eighteen year old Layken and her family to move across the country, away from everyone and everything she knows, her outlook on life is anything but hopeful.

Enter Will Cooper: the attractive twenty-one year old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry. After a night together that turns out to be everything but the expected, both Layken and Will are left with feelings they never knew they could have. Unfortunately in Layken's life, things are never what they seem. Just as quickly as it develops, their relationship is derailed by a shocking revelation, sparking a tumultuous battle between their hearts and their ethics.

As if the dramatic turn of events in her life isn't enough, Layken is slammed again when her mother reveals a secret of her own. A secret so intense, all of Layken's current problems pale in comparison to her seemingly insurmountable future. Unable to confront the changes that lie ahead of her, Layken ignores her conscience as she turns to Will for solace. Struggles ensue as both Layken and Will search for a balance between that which keeps them apart and the feelings that pull them together.

My Review:

I got schooled this year
a book that I'm seriously,
deeply, madly, incredibly,
and undeniably in love

When a book dominates my Goodreads feed with 5 star ratings, I jump at the chance to see what the hype is about.  That is the situation with Slammed by Colleen Hoover.  I had no idea who Colleen Hoover was (*hangs head in shame*) and I had no idea what her book was about, but with that many 5 star ratings, what do I have to lose, right?

I jumped blindly into this book without even glancing at the synopsis but came out with my eyes wide open (albeit, a little bloodshot from crying.)  Slammed is about poetry, love, heartbreak, death, sacrifice, responsibility, The Avett Brothers (had to throw that one in there for you Colleen) and overcoming hurdles that life throws at you. I don't want to attempt a summary of the book for fear that I will give away spoilers, but I will say that it is an emotional journey that you shouldn't dare miss. 

I give Slammed 5 stars due to the emotional turmoil it put me through, the heartache I felt for the characters, the way that it made me laugh out loud, and the fact that it kept me from sleeping because I just couldn't put it down. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that loves YA and loves to experience an emotional journey and with a price of only $2.99 for the Amazon Kindle book you can't go wrong.  So go!  Click over to Amazon and pick up this book now!

And with that, I am off to Google poetry slams in my area.  After reading about them, I kinda want to experience one for myself. 

(By the way, the opening of my review was an adaptation of a poem from slammed, giving all the credit to Collen for that one.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fissure by Nicole Williams

Title: Fissure
Author: Nicole Williams
Rating:  4 Stars

Purchase for Amazon Kindle

My Review:  

In Nicole Williams' Eden series, we follow the story of Bryn Dawson and her swoon worthy, perfect, every bit of a man, William Hayward. In Fissure, we get a story of William's every bit as swoon worthy brother, Patrick.

I fell in love with Patrick with the little bit of him we got to experience in the Eden series so I was overly excited to read a story that was not only dedicated to just him but is also told from his perspective. *insert girly squeel here* While it is not necessary to read the Eden series before this one, I think it is beneficial so that you know the background of the story and characters.

This story picks up approximately a month after United Eden in which Patrick had professed his love to Bryn right before she was betrothed to William, the love of her life and Patrick's brother. Not surprisingly, Bryn chose William but this left Patrick with a big whole in his heart that he didn't know how to fill despite the many women that would no doubt line up to try and help him fill it.

In an attempt to get him out of his funk, Patrick's father enrolls him at Standford. Patrick is not amused with this idea and spends the first couple of days lounging around campus, cat-calling as the co-eds of Standford passed by on their way to class. When he finally does attend class, he ends up sitting next to the one person that had the nerve to call him out during his cat-calling escapades, Emma Scarlett...and her big, beefy boyfriend of 6 years.

Patrick soon finds that Emma is to be the one to fill the void in his heart, however, her, her boyfriend and her brothers do not make this an easy feat for Patrick.

I loved this book, I love Nicole's writing style and I so love Patrick's wittiness. This book has romance, it has action, and it has a little bit of paranormal. I so badly wanted to give it 5 stars. I agonized over it but I just couldn't put that last star to it for a couple of reason's. First, it wasn't until the ending that I found myself not able to put the book down. The ending is very action packed, but I would like to have seen more of that throughout the rest of the story. Second, I really, really would have liked to have seen more of the paranormal aspect of the story with the immortality show through. However, I have no doubt that we will witness more of this in the next installment of the Patrick Chonicles, Fusion.