Sunday Showcase #15

For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun. Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated — and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose. Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself — and her heart.

Why I picked it up: Because I couldn’t stop myself. This book was on the bargain bookshelf. I’d never heard of the author or the title. The first time couple of times I saw it on the bargain shelf at Walden (remember, going out of business), I passed it up. Finally, I decided to read the first few paragraphs to assess the writing style. Worked for me. Right now my youngest daughter is reading and enjoying this book, so I might give it a shot sooner than later. We’ll see.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .

For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her. Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie’s enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year. This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley’s eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her. Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance. Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader.

Why I picked it up: I’ve wanted this book for a while. I won book two of the series some time last year and kept saying I’d pick this up eventually. With the Walden sales going on, I figured this was my opportunity. So where we are. 🙂

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

It’s a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. “Tech-heads” flaunt their latest gadgets, “kickers” spread gossip and trends, and “surge monkeys” are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it’s all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules. As if being fifteen doesn’t suck enough, Aya Fuse’s rank of 451,369 is so low, she’s a total nobody. An extra. But Aya doesn’t care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself. Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity…and extreme danger. A world she’s not prepared for.

Why I picked it up: Last week I picked the first three books in the series. Well, this wasn’t on the bargain shelf like the others, but still the discount was decent enough to warrant adding it to my collection.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

What if the hottest guy in the world was hiding a nameless evil, and all he wanted was you? At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer.  But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses.  Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face? On the run and holed up in Tulsa’s Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down.  Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems.  The red fledglings have cleaned up well – they’ve even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home – but are they really as friendly as they seem?  On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Erik, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence at all costs.  Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?

Why I picked it up: For my daughter. 🙂 We have the first books in the series on our shelf. I won most, if not all of those in a couple of giveaways. She enjoyed those, so I figured I’d pick up the next in line for her. I know book one has an awesome start to it, and I almost gave it a whirl. Then I realized the start in book one was just a gimmick, so set it aside. Perhaps I’ll give it another shot one day, now that I got the disappointment out of my system over the gimmick. 🙂 Until then, my daughter gets to enjoy this one.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

When the sixteen-year-old runaway Chap is mistaken for a missing boy named Cassiel, his life changes dramatically. Chap takes on Cassiel’s identity, gaining the family and friends he’s always dreamed of having. But becoming someone else isn’t as easy as he hoped—and Chap isn’t the only one hiding a secret. As he teeters on the brink of discovery and begins to unravel the mystery behind Cassiel’s disappearance, Chap realizes that he’s in much deeper danger than he could have imagined. After all, you can’t just steal a life and expect to get away with it. Award-winning author Jenny Valentine delivers an explosive mystery where dark secrets, betrayal, and loss pave the way for one teen’s chance at redemption.

Why I picked it up: If I’m not mistaken, this is actually a reprint not set to release until February 2012. So I still have a few months to go before I pick this one up for a review. Still sounded interesting though. I’m wondering, what in the world is going on that you can just step into someone’s life and no one notices. Perhaps it really is his life, and he just has amnesia. Hmmm. I guess time will tell. I picked this one up from the NetGalley.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.… Nicolai the Vampire was renowned for his virility, but in a twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” had become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remained was a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who could help him. In her dreams, a wanton vampire called to Jane Parker, drawing her to his dark sexuality and his magical realm. But for a human, all was not a fairy tale in Delfina. Jane was the key to Nicolai’s memory…but exploiting her meant dooming the only mortal he craved.

Why I picked it up: Gena Showalter — need I say more? I’m quite fond of her Lords of the Underworld series, though I’ve yet to pick up her latest in the series. I was rather disappointed with the happily ever after against all odds… even death, so I decided to give her a little break. But I couldn’t resist trying out her latest series. 🙂 Plus, it was a NetGalley release. I plan to get to this one real quick since I believe it’s already on the market and I picked it up rather late.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

All Joss wants is to be left alone—with Dylan. But as more Talents are imprisoned by the government, everyone’s looking for a leader. Some look to Joss, some to Marco whose new criminal plan threatens Joss’s family and friends. Joss wants to stand up to Marco, but Dylan’s protective instincts are putting him in harm’s way. Can Joss find a way to embrace both the boy and her hero within?

a longer version…

In the world of the Talents, kids with supernatural powers are condemned to government research facilities from which they do not return. For a Talent, the most important thing is keeping the secret…

–Six weeks ago, Dylan Maxwell slugged it out with his best friend. Over a girl.

But Marco had it coming. After all, it looked like he was going to use his supernatural strength to kill Joss Marshall. That should have been the end of it, but Marco’s got bigger plans for crime in Fairview than Dylan ever understood. This time he’s going after the town’s merchants with a crime wave that threatens Joss’s family’s business and all the Talents’ secrets.

–Six weeks ago, Joss Marshall was alone.

Now there’s Dylan. It’s not always comfortable being just friends with the guy she’s had a crush on forever. And the more she learns about the boy with the easy smile, who always seems to know what to say, the more she learns how much they have in common. He’s so much more than she understood, and so much more than she could stand to lose.

That was then, this is now.

And now, everything changes.

Why I picked it up: Last year I fell in love with the first book, Hush Money (see review here). When Susan Bischoff sent out an email asking folks if the wanted to review her latest work — the one I’ve been waiting like forever to read — of course I said yes! I have her prequel hiding somewhere on my Kindle. Perhaps I’ll do a quick read of that and do a double review. This copy was supplied by the author.

Available at: Available at: Barnes & Nobles, Smashwords, and The Book Depository

Nerina has lived all her life as a mermaid, fascinated by humans and land but also repulsed by sex and unable to understand love. Her curiosity gets her captured by a human male intent on awakening her lust and turning her human. But Nerina doesn’t believe the legend is real and fears Kyros will kill her when he learns she can’t transform.

This work is a novella of 21,500 words which will take the average reader 1 to 2 hours to read, depending on personal reading speed. The work is “meant” to be short.

For those unfammiliar with Kitty’s work, this story in many respects is more “tame” than some of her other work, but it is still erotica with a master/slave and kidnap element.

Fun Facts:

Nerina is a Greek name that literally means: “Sea Nymph”.

Kyros is also a Greek name. It means power that is legitimate but compassionate. Despos is generally the term used for power over a slave and Kyros was the term more used for power over a wife or someone for whom you care about their overall well-being.

Meropis is the island upon which the story takes place and it’s a mythical island that I did not create but is part of mythology and sometimes associated in some way with Atlantis. Anostos, the portion of the island that the story takes place on, is as mythology describes, covered in a red, cloudy haze.

Awakening is meant to be a mermaid fairy tale for adults.

Why I picked it up: Every work Kitty Thomas puts out is unique while still holding the sexual domination theme. I can’t help but be intrigued with each piece she puts out… apprehensive usually, but intrigued nonetheless. She definitely an author to follow. Review copy supplied by the author.

Available at: Smashwords, Barnes & Nobles, and The Book Depository

What’s in your mailbox? Pick up any new or upcoming releases?

Sunday Showcase #14

I checked out my list of NetGalley requests and see I made a decent dent in it. I decided it’d be okay to request a few more works, so I did. These aren’t set to release for over a month, so it’ll give me time to work on other books before having to tackle these.

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don’t know it’s there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

Why I Picked It up: This one I debated requesting. It sounded a little dystopia, which I’m totally into these days, but not quite. I really wasn’t sure what to make of the genre. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least read the first few pages and see if it’s for me or not. NegGalley Copy.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Identity Crisis.As a biracial teen, Nina is accustomed to a life of varied hues—mocha-colored skin, ringed brown hair streaked with red, a darker brother, a black father, a white mother. When her parents decide to divorce, the rainbow of Nina’s existence is reduced to a much starker reality. Shifting definitions and relationships are playing out all around her, and new boxes and lines seem to be getting drawn every day.Between the fractures within her family and the racial tensions splintering her hometown, Nina feels caught in perpetual battle. Feeling stranded in the nowhere land between racial boundaries, and struggling for personal independence and identity, Nina turns to the story of her great-great-grandmother’s escape from slavery. Is there direction in the tale of her ancestor? Can Nina build her own compass when landmarks from her childhood stop guiding the way?

Why I Picked It up: Another NetGalley request. My children are bi-racial, and I always wonder how they fit in with society. I wouldn’t mind seeing the perspective from another view point.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night’s experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?

Patrick Carman’s Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality.

Why I Picked It up: I just finished reading Ultraviolet (review here) and quite enjoyed it. The blurb reminded me of Ultraviolet even though the story line seems completely different. NegGalley Copy.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust…and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

Why I Picked It up: Did I mention I’m into dystopia? This world seems really messed up. I’m really excited about it. NegGalley Copy.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

The going out of business sales continue at Borders (my Walden bookstore), and I’m having a hard time keeping money in my pocket. So I stopped by again. I stuck with the bargain books this time.

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license — for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world — and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Why I Picked It up: I’ve seen this book on other blogs, but never bothered to read anything about it. I figured it was a contemporary YA novel about some ugly kid in school who didn’t fit in. My daughter, who’s read the entire series, straightened me out. I rather like the concept, so I picked it up.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect. Perfectly wrong.

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

Why I Picked It up: Couldn’t resist buying the sequel which was also on the bargain shelf.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

“Special Circumstances”:

The words have sent chills down Tally’s spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor — frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally’s never been ordinary.

And now she’s been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.

Still, it’s easy to tune that out — until Tally’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete. Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.

Why I Picked It up: See above.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

SOME NIGHTMARES NEVER END.

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They’re just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody’s talking. When Janie taps into a classmate’s violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open — but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie’s in way over her head, and Cabe’s shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability — and it’s bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what’s to come is way darker than she’d feared….

Why I Picked It up: I debated pretty hard about this one, since it’s a sequel. I think it was only $2.99 though. My daughter said it was a decent book, so I picked up it, thinking I’d find the first one in time.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out. . . .

Why I Picked It up: See above.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Self-taught tinkerer Kali McAlister is determined to build an airship and escape the frigid Yukon forever. Unfortunately, she’s the heir to the secrets of flash gold, an alchemical energy source that tends to make her a popular target for bandits, gangsters, and pirates.

With the help of her bounty-hunting business partner, Cedar, Kali has outwitted and eluded attackers before, and she thinks she’s prepared for anything. Then her ex-fiancé strolls into her workshop.

As if fooling her once wasn’t enough, he aims to embroil her in a fresh scheme. Meanwhile, a new nemesis is stalking her, a shrouded figure with an arsenal of deadly machines that make Kali’s inventions seem like toys. This time, it’ll take more than her ingenuity and Cedar’s combat skills to survive.

Hunted is a 27,000-word steampunk novella.

Printed page count equivalent: 120

Why I Picked It up: I really enjoyed Flash Gold (review here). When Lindsay Buroker said she’d released the sequel, I couldn’t help but pick it up.

Available at: Smashwords  and Barnes & Nobles

Seems like I’ve picked up enough books this month to last the rest of the year and beyond. Have you all able to pace yourself? Or are you going crazy too with all the available books on the market?

Sunday Showcase #13

Welcome to this edition of the Sunday Showcase. This was a big week for me in terms of purchases. Didn’t spend too much, but gathered quite a few books.

The Blushing Bounder by Meljean Brook – An Iron Seas novella of 15,000 words: The search for a killer puts Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth’s life in danger and her assistant, Constable Newberry, in the line of fire. But Newberry faces a danger of another kind: to his heart, by the woman forced to marry him. What will it take for this prudish bounder to convince his wife to stay?

Vixen by Jill Myles – A shifter novella of 15,000 words: Miko’s denied her were-fox nature for far too long and turned her back on her vixen heritage. But when she meets two very sexy cat-shifters, she has to decide if she truly wants to give up on her frisky side, or embrace it. Because the were-fox in her doesn’t want to choose between both men…it wants them both.

Kitten-tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane – A Disillusionists novella of 20,000 words: Sophia Sidway, Midcity’s most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption…but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all.

Why I Picked It up: I’ve been following Carolyn Crane’s Disillusionist series, so yeah… had to get this one. Plus it has Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas work. I’m all for seeing what Inspector Mina is up to with her iron heart.

So I had $7 in cash when I set out to find birthday presents for my husband on Friday. Not much, but enough to make stopping at the local used book store worth it. 🙂 These were my finds.

National Geographic on Indians of the Americas a color-illustrated Record

Why I Picked It up: I’m fascinated with early Native Americans… before Europeans pushed them onto reservations and such. It’ll be interesting to sift through this one. Cost me a whopping $2. Sorry. This book is an ancient one, and I could find a decent picture. I will say that it looks a bit like an encyclopedia.

Twilight tempted the imagination. New Moon made readers thirsty for more. Eclipseturned the saga into a worldwide phenomenon. And now, the book that everyone has been waiting for…Breaking Dawn, the final book in the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga, will take your breath away.

Why I Picked It up: Mostly for my daughter. She read the first two books. This was cheap ($1), so figured I’d pick it up for her. Now I’ll have to keep a look out for book #3. The other two books I also picked up from the used book store, by the way.

Available at: The Book Depository and Anne Rice returns to the mesmerizing storytelling that has captivated readers for more than three decades in a tale of unceasing suspense set in time past—a metaphysical thriller about angels and assassins.

The novel opens in the present. At its center: Toby O’Dare—a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. A soulless soul, a dead man walking, he lives under a series of aliases—just now: Lucky the Fox—and takes his orders from “The Right Man.”

Into O’Dare’s nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions comes a mysterious stranger, a seraph, who offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare, who long ago dreamt of being a priest but instead came to embody danger and violence, seizes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth-century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children suddenly die or disappear . . . In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love.

Why I Picked It up: I’ve wanted to read this for quite some time. I’m not a huge fan of Anne Rice’s works since she let the vampire and witches series go, but I continue to remain curious about what she writes. Hoping this one is interesting.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Nora Grey’s life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn’t pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He’s more elusive than ever and even worse, he’s started spending time with Nora’s arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott’s totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him – despite her lingering feeling that he’s hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything – and everyone – she trusts.

Why I Picked It up: Last time I went to Walden, I picked up Hush, Hush. When I found this one on the bargain shelf, I was so pumped. Hopefully Hush, Hush and leave me highly motivated to dig into this one.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

It should be the best time of half-vampire Cat Crawfield’s life. With her undead lover Bones at her side, she’s successfully protected mortals from the rogue undead. But though Cat’s worn disguise after disguise to keep her true identity a secret from the brazen bloodsuckers, her cover’s finally been blown, placing her in terrible danger.

As if that wasn’t enough, a woman from Bones’s past is determined to bury him once and for all. Caught in the crosshairs of a vengeful vamp, yet determined to help Bones stop a lethal magic from being unleashed, Cat’s about to learn the true meaning of bad blood. And the tricks she’s learned as a special agent won’t help her. She will need to fully embrace her vampire instincts in order to save herself—and Bones—from a fate worse than the grave.

Why I Picked It up: I’ve actually been keeping an eye out for TBD to offer book #2 in paperback. I saw these two available for 1/2 price at Walden and decided to pick them up in anticipation. A bit bummed I couldn’t find book #2. Oh well.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they’ve fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it’s time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She’s having visions of a vampire named Gregor who’s more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn’t know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won’t stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor’s hold over her. She’ll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she’s ever faced . . . even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

Why I Picked It up: Same reason I picked up book #3. 🙂

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

So what about you? Have you taken advantage of any going out of business sales this year?

Sunday Showcase #11

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted a Sunday Showcase. Well, I’ve whittled down some of the reads from Netgalley and thought it might be okay to put in a few requests. And so I did. 🙂 Surprise! They approved me for five more reads…

Okay… five is a little much. I think I’m going to have to double up on reads… two books a week to catch up on some of these Netgalley copies PLUS meet my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

And as folks know, Borders is closing. We don’t have a Borders, but we do have a Walden Books which is a store under it… so they’re having an going out of business sale also. It’s a shame. Last time I went in there (before the big announcement, I mean), I asked the salesclerk about the store staying open. That was around the time Borders was closing a mass of stores to cut costs. She was confident it would since the store pulls in pretty good business. <sigh> I guess the thought of the entire corporation going bankrupt didn’t occur to her.

Well that’s another story. I picked up one book for myself while I was in the area.

The Art of Steampunk seeks to celebrate the world of Steampunk: a world filled with beauty and innovation.  A world in which steam power and technology intertwine to create machines that are not only functional and practical, but unique and striking.  

Inside, you will find the fantastical and stunning artwork of Steampunk artists from around the world.  The 17 artists featured on these pages, among the frontrunners of the Steampunk genre, have had their work displayed at an exhibition at The Museum of History of Science at the University of Oxford, UK and have attracted the media attention of BoingBoing, one of the world’s largest blogs.  Their artwork consists of everything from clocks and watches to light fixtures and jewelry, but every piece demonstrates hours of painstaking work and devotion from its creator.  You will find that the artists themselves are just as unique and colorful as their masterpieces.  Fully embracing Steampunk ideology, many have adopted a Victorian alter ego—a mad scientist persona to match the complicated intricacies of their artwork.

The Art of Steampunk brings the vision of the Steampunk artist alive on the page, providing a unique insight into the captivating and dynamic world of a vastly underground genre.

Why I Picked It up: Lindsay Buroker, I BLAME YOU! That is all. I received this from NetGalley.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

McKinley challenges nominal Christians to take a deeper look at themselves.

Jesus divided the world into two groups—those who follow him and those who don’t. But what happens when someone thinks he or she is a Christian, but isn’t? With his witty, engaging style, Mike McKinley takes readers on a journey of what it means to be a Christian. He asserts that “manipulative evangelism techniques and a poor understanding of the gospel have resulted in an abundance of professing Christians who have no idea what it means to follow Christ.” 

Each chapter title begins with “You’re not a Christian [if/when/just because you]…” As he surveys what it means to be Christian, McKinley offers criteria for evaluating one’s standing before God. Readers are guided through a series of challenges to reflect, repent, remember, and report to another person. Am I Really a Christian? ends with chapters on salvation and the local church. This unique book is written for nominal or new Christians and can be used in personal or small-group study.

Why I Picked It up: Mostly because of America. Some statistics show about 75% of Americans believe they’re Christian and have a ticket to heaven. According to the bible, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14 (NIV) So I want to see what this guy has to say. I received this from NetGalley.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Two of today’s most popular genres–Romance and Amish fiction–together in one volume.

“Healing Hearts” by Beth Wiseman: Levina Lapp and her husband Naaman are alone for the first time in 30 years. When Naaman left to visit cousins in Ohio, Levina wasn’t expecting him to be gone a year. Now that he’s back, will they be able to move beyond this estrangement and fall in love again?

“What the Heart Sees” by Kathleen Fuller: A tragic accident rocks a peaceful Amish community, leaving Ellie Chupp blinded and Christopher Bender’s future shattered. But they find love and forgiveness in a place they least expect.

“A Marriage of the Heart” by Kelly Long: Rachel Yoder is tired of her Amish lifestyle and her domineering father’s ways. When handsome Joseph Lambert comes back from the Englisch, she lies to force a marriage of convenience, providing the perfect means to escape her father’s rule. But Rachel never imagined she’d fall in love with Joseph so quickly or irrevocably.

Why I Picked It up: After my first and only Amish read, The Promise of an Angel by Ruth Reid (see review here), I’m on an Amish kick. I received this from NetGalley.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

When 28–year–old Emma Donahoe becomes a nanny to John Chen’s daughter, Simone, she does not expect to be drawn into a world of martial arts, magic, and extreme danger, where both gods and demons can exist in the mortal world.

Emma gradually realises that John Chen is no ordinary businessman and that nearly all the demons in hell would like to see him dead. John and his American bodyguard, Leo, begin to teach Emma their particular brand of martial arts and special defensive techniques … they also begin to realise that there is something that is different about Emma but exactly what it is, nobody can say.

A fabulous, fast–paced and very entertaining fantasy adventure … a trilogy based on Chinese mythology, set in modern–day Hong Kong, where an ancient god falls in love with a young Australian woman …

Why I Picked It up: Okay. Here’s the thing. I don’t read too many Asian book, and this one looks freakin’ cool. So that’s the first thing. next, I saw on Goodreads that the reviews are pretty decent. I’m sold and can’t wait to get to this goodie. I received this from NetGalley.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Although proud of living apart from the world, Marianna Sommer’s newly relocated Amish family is discovering that life in the remote mountains of Montana requires working together with the Englisch. As Marianna pours her life into helping those around her-and receiving their help-her heart further considers two directions. She’s torn between the Amish man from Indiana whom she has long planned on marrying and the friendly Englischer who models a close walk with God like she’s never seen before.

Who should have young Marianna’s heart? What is God asking of her through ongoing family struggles and this romantic and spiritual tension? The answer is found along the wooded paths.

Why I Picked It up: Stuck on Amish. So here we have, two more Amish stories. Let’s see if this genre will become my new love. 🙂 I received this from NetGalley.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her…until Patch comes along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Why I Picked It up: This one has been on my reading list for ALONG time. It just never made my purchase list. Well, the Walden going out of business sale reduced the price on this baby. I picked up the Hardback for less than $4.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

So that’s what I’ve received these past few weeks. I have got to get some major reading done. I think I’m 4 books behind on my 2011 Goodreads Reading Challenge.

In Other News

If you haven’t picked up I Loved You First, what are you waiting for? Use it for your next, In Your Mailbox Meme! I released it yesterday, and it’s available at Barnes & Nobles,Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, and Smashwords. One thing I will mention, it’s on sale at Amazon for $0.99 for this week only. If you don’t have a Kindle, great news. For the same week, it’s on sale at Smashwords IF you use the coupon below:

Promotional price: $0.99
Coupon Code: FA89H
Expires: August 5, 2011

Add I Loved You First to your Goodreads List.