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?

Novel Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

***Here’s something odd. I was going through my posts and noticed this as a draft. Apparently, I never posted it. Oops. Guess that’s good in a way, cause I haven’t read a book for this week’s Monday review. Guess what you get. :)***

I’ve been sitting on Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost for awhile–since July 2010. I started reading it, then a book by one of my favorite authors arrived, and I set it aside. It’s so difficult for me to pick up a book once I set it aside. Not sure why, but I finally decided to try this one again. Before I get into the second chance I gave this book, how about the blurb from Ms. Frost’s website:

Flirting With The Grave…

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father – the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unlikely partnership.

In exchange for help finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner – are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side … and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Cat played a strong, though immature heroine. Given her age of 22, I think it was fitting. Then there was Bones, the older mentor. The contrast between the two was wonderful and believable.

One of the first things I noticed about Halfway to the Grave is pretty much all the information was heavily front loaded. Cat came into the situation virtually clueless about the life of vampires, while Bones knew all. 🙂

My husband introduced me to a term a while back called the Audience Surrogate. Though Cat was the main character, she played that role, asking all the needed questions to fill in the back story. I wasn’t fond of the style as it seemed like an easy way out and a bit telly rather than showy, but at the same time it was nice not to be clueless about the rules of the game.

The novel started a bit slow for my liking. It’s about 350 pages or so, but it wasn’t until about 150 pages into the story I actually got an inkling of the plot. Prior to that, Cat just lived her life with Bones, knocking out small task after small task. In the end, Bones’ quest set the real stakes to the story.

This is one of those books I’m having a horrible time rating. Here’s the thing. The first third of the book was rather bleh and full of information rather than story. The second third introduced the plot (Bones’ quest). It was interesting but not spectacular (so-so). Then I hit the last third of the book and was blown away. The stakes were high and full of thrill. 🙂 I’m going to give her next book a chance just because of the ending. If One Foot in the Grave is as good as the end of Halfway to the Grave, I can definitely see myself becoming a fan of Jeaniene Frost.

Find Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost at the following locations:

Barnes & Nobles

The Book Depository

My Name is Reena and I’m Addicted to Books

Okay. I’ve got it bad. I used to order just a couple of books at a time. Devour them, then head back to the book store. Something’s happened to me though. It’s like I can’t get enough of books. I’ve taken to just shoving them in boxes as they come in, cause I know I can’t get to them as soon as I want. There are just TOO MANY of them!!! And they just keep coming and coming and coming. I think it has something to do with my constant ordering. I’m afraid I might need help. Anyone know of a Books Anonymous club I might join?

Well, until then, allow me to share the most recent books to my collection.

About a month ago, I was the fifth winner of a Bloody Bookaholics‘ giveaway and had a choice of several books. One of Jeaniene Frost’s books was amongst the selection. Thing was, I I was an Young Adult (YA) kick at the time. So I skipped this selection since it seemed like my typical reads, Paranormal Romance (PR). Later, someone mentioned what a great series this was, and it’s been on my mind ever since. Anyway, I mentioned in an earlier post I received a Pandigital Novel (post here). So instead of blindly ordering novels from my reading list, I decided to read some samples on my e-Reader first. Halfway to the Grave passed the test and went in my shopping cart.

Next up! I finally got tired of everyone talking about this book and being left out of the loop! Again, I picked up my usually trusty Pandigital Novel and read a sample. I’ll be honest. If this were an adult PR, I might not have made the purchase. The first few chapters were intriguing, but not to the point it jumped right out at me. The saving point was that it was YA which I’m craving these days. Currently, my daughter is reading it and enjoying it. She tells me it’s interesting enough to keep her attention, but not the best book she’s read this year, which currently happens to be Hunger Game, which also happens to be my current favorite of the year. The review on that tasty treat will be available this coming Monday. And that leads to my most recent acquisition!

Yes! Just thinking about this book makes me sigh. Catching Fire is the sequel to Hunger Games. I immediately ordered it after finishing Hunger Games. It was that good! Yes, I used the Pandigital Novel to read a sample. Not because I wasn’t sure about it, but rather because I COULD NOT WAIT!!!!! Now, I’ve been tasked to read this novel before Sunday so my daughter can take it with her to my mother’s house. Americans, you may notice the cover is different from your US version. Why is that? Well, I ordered all these from the Book Depository which allowed me to choose between the UK and US cover even though I live in the hot and humid state of North Carolina.

Anyway, I need to start reading Catching Fire. I’ve been stroking it off and on while typing this post and find myself getting strangely aroused. The whole thing is odd and starting to creep me out.

The Book Depository

If no one’s let you in on it yet, The Book Depository is having a birthday coupon thingie. 10% off your order. The offer is good until August 31, 2010. If you’re interested in receiving one either send me an email at reenajacobs@reenajacobs.com or leave a comment. I’d be happy to send you coupon love.