Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Raw" By: Belle Aurora Review

By: Belle Aurora

Growing up the way I did, you’d think I’d be more screwed up than what I actually am.

Soon as I turned sixteen, I left that bump in the road I called home and took my chances on the street.

Best decision I ever made.

Now, at the age of twenty six, I’m educated, employed and damn good at my job.
My friends have become my family. Like me, they know what it’s like to grow up unloved.
But the saying is true.
The world makes way for those who know where they are going.
That’s me.
I know where I’m going and I’ll get there eventually. On my own terms and at my own pace.
But then there’s him.
I feel his eyes on me. I see him hiding in plain sight. He watches me.
He makes me feel.
It’s unconventional.
But it’s real.
I’m sure you’re wondering how a person falls in love with their stalker.
So am I.
This isn’t a story.
This is my life.
My Thoughts
    Lexi, living in Australia, works as a social worker dealing specifically with children and teens. Having lived through a tough childhood and even spending time on the streets, Lexi now does what she can to ensure no other teen has to go through what she went through. Slowly, she has been noticing a man watching her from the shadows. Never really too concerned, until she is attacked outside of her apartment, Lexi’s stalker becomes her savior.
    Twitch has been watching Lexi for a long time. Attracted to her and thinking she’s in need of someone to save  her from herself, Twitch watches her from the shadows. Disreputable an less than law abiding, Twitch is intense and strong in his beliefs. When he finally makes his move to bring himself closer to Lexi, he can no longer keep himself away, even if it might be better for everyone involved.

“Monsters don't always lurk in the shadows. Sometimes they hide in plain sight.” Belle Aurora, Raw      

    Raw is what I felt when I finished Raw. The ending is emotionally draining and absolutely shocking. I read hundreds of books a year and for something to surprise me this much really tells how different it truly is.
    Lexi and Twitch are both such strong and independent characters. I loved how each complemented one another, even though the story itself was so intense. You have to suspend belief a bit (Twitch had apparently knew Alexa when she lived in the US) but I was happily along for the ride. Super sexy and frankly hot, Twitch has got the gift of speech. A bit creepy with the whole watching thing, I was able to put it behind me because of the pure emotional intensity of the characters.
     Leaving the ending wide open for a sequel, Belle Aurora delivers with Raw. I actually teared up at the ending that was just emotionally jarring and so unexpected. I can’t wait to see what comes next. Excellently written, sexy, and just plain good, Raw was fantastic.

“Kissing her once more, I tell her without hesitation, "if you promise to never leave me, I will love you. And be good to you. I'll treat you like a queen." My queen. I heard somewhere that a king only bows down to his queen. And I'm bowing down to Lexi.” Belle Aurora, Raw

Book Details
Publisher: Self Published by Author
ISBN: 2940148861119
Date of Publication: January 2, 2014
# of Pages: 333
Source: Personal Purchase

Friday, March 21, 2014

"Find a Cow Now" By: Janet Stevens and Susan Crummel Review

Find A Cow Now
By: Janet Stevens & 
Susan Stevens Crummel

Ruff! Ruff! Yip! Yip! Dog is rounding up whatever he can find in his urban apartment, even chairs. He is also driving his bird companion crazy with the commotion. Bird sends him to the countryside to find something more appropriate to herd, such as a cow. But since dog has never seen a cow, he finds all the wrong animals. After being pecked by a chicken, spattered with mud by a pig, and walloped by a donkey, Dog needs a friend. By chance a mysterious and kindly animal helps lead him back to the city, only to cause chaos there, before revealing her identity--as a cow!

My Thoughts
     Incredibly cute, funny with earthy illustrations that add relevance to the story, Find a Cow Now is great for early learners. Dog is tired of living in the city, so Bird suggests he go to the country to find himself a cow to herd. As he travels to the country, Dog encounters lots of strange animals he tries to herd but neither the pig nor the chicken want anything to do with him. When he loses his way, he is helped by a large animal who coincidentally, as he learns out later, is a cow.
     Cute story that will appeal to kids who love animals, Find a Cow Now uses simple words and sounds to tell its tale. Perfect for early readers, I personally enjoyed the different animal sounds that organically appeared throughout. The illustrations are very well done and in such a way to give credence to the story. All in all a darn cute story great for librarian’s needing a farm story in story time or that mom needing her next nighttime tale.

Book Details
Publisher: Holiday House
Date of Publication: September 1, 2012
# of Pages: 32
ISBN: 9780823422180
Source: Library Checkout


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Rock It" By: Jennifer Chance Review

Rock It
By: Jennifer Chance

Lacey Dawes is a total pro at the talent agency where she works, and it doesn’t hurt that IMO Worldwide Media represents Dante Falcone. The rock god has starred in her fantasies since she was sixteen—and remains her secret crush to this day. So when Dante picks her to be the interim manager on his Dream It tour, Lacey can’t believe her luck. Handling Dante is sure to be the most exquisite, spine-tingling, nerve-wracking mix of business and pleasure ever. Although Dante is grateful for the adoring fans who scream for one more of his full-throttle, soul-searing songs, being surrounded by a cadre of corporate types backstage is wearing thin. Then Lacey shows up. Yeah, she’s organized, smart, quick to get him what he wants before he knows he wants it—but Dante senses there’s something else going on with sweet, sexy Lacey. One kiss tells him what that “something” might be . . . and makes him hungry for more.

My Thoughts
     Lacey Dawes has it all, or so she thinks. Her dream job, in her dream city, with everything going right, Lacey is on top of the world. Her talent agency has just signed with Dante Falcone, one of the hottest rock stars on the planet and coincidentally, her crush since she was a young teen.
    Dante has been a rock idol for so long, its almost as if he’s forgotten how to be a normal guy. When he meets Lacey, he suddenly sees himself wanting to change and be different for her. He wants to be a better person for her and uses her crush for him as a catalyst for a relationship.
      I found this book on Netgalley and was incredibly excited just by the cover alone. Isn’t it gorgeous? Loving rock star heroes, I was sure I would love this book...unfortunately, that’s pretty far from the truth. Pretty cover does not equal pretty book.
     I found both Dante and Lacey to be poor characters. Dante is this mythical thing in Lacey’s mind, she’s followed him for years. Suddenly when faced with touring with him, she jumps at the chance. That part didn’t bother me, but the immediate jumping into bed with him without a how do you do drove me insane.
    Dante felt empty. We are supposed to believe he’s been this star for these many years, but he just seemed juvenile and devoid of character. Again, he’s super attracted to Lacey immediately and doesn’t find the fact she was a rabid fan before creepy at all. Not even enough to be a little cautious, they are just friendly in the biblical sense in the beginning.
    The book had promise and even the story itself isn’t that bad. I enjoy the idea of fan and star falling in love, but with this one it is just poorly executed. Not realistic in the least and the characters fell flat. Poorly executed and flat, this may be one to skip.

Book Details
Publisher: Loveswept
Date of Publication: March 4, 2014
# of Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-0553390957
Source: Netgalley - For Review


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Moonlight on my Mind" By: Jennifer McQuiston Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the 
Moonlight on My Mind Blog Tour!

Moonlight on My Mind
By: Jennifer McQuiston
Releasing March 25th, 2014

To ruin a man’s life once takes a regrettable mistake.
To do so twice takes a woman like Julianne Baxter.Eleven months ago, Julianne’s statement to the authorities wrongly implicated Patrick, the new Earl of Haversham, in his older brother’s death. The chit is as much trouble as her red hair suggests, and just as captivating. Now she has impetuously tracked him to the wilds of Scotland, insisting that he return home to face a murder charge and save his family from ruin. A clandestine wedding may be the only way to save her reputation—and his neck from the hangman’s noose.
Julianne has no objection to the match. More and more she’s convinced of Patrick’s innocence, though when it comes to igniting her passions, the man is all too guilty. And if they can only clear his name, a marriage made in haste could bring about the most extraordinary pleasure…

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

My Thoughts
       Ahhh!! So cute and fun. I loved this one. I thought I was really going to hate Julianne but it turns out, for all of her contradictions, she's a really wonderful person. A delightful story of righting wrongs, even though it may be hard and finding that one person to love, McQuiston has created a lovely story of the perfect love. I enjoyed the realistic way the characters reacted but the romance was pretty magical. McQuiston was magical, like always. Fantastic addition to the Avon collection.

About the Author

Jennifer McQuiston is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Victoria-era historical romance, including What Happens in Scotland and Summer is for Lovers. The third book in her series, Moonlight on My Mind, will be released March 25, 2014. A veterinarian and infectious disease researcher by training, Jennifer has always preferred reading romance to scientific textbooks. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, two daughters (who got a pony out of mom’s book deal!), and a house full of pets.

Find Jennifer at:
| Site | Facebook | Twitter |

Follow the Blog Tour Here

1 copy of What Happens in Scotland + Summer Is For Lover & Pack of Mother Mae's Chocolate Chip Shortbread Mix

To Enter:
Special thanks to Jennifer McQuiston & Tasty Book Tours for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.
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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mexico Audrain Library Visit

So I recently traveled to Mexico, Missouri for a training day. 

We talked about databases, and while that was fun, 
I spent the afternoon walking about checking out all that is the Mexico-Audrain Library

Gorgeous, with a fantastic staff and a wonderful story, 
it was a pretty great afternoon.
Fiction Stacks
So, I'm going to admit, I might have talked one of my friendly librarian friends into giving us a tour of the library. 

So ready for the cool story?

Originally, the library was in an old Carnegie building. 

My library is a Carnegie, so I love it, but the Mexico Library soon grew out of it. So they moved into the old post office. A HUGE HUGE HUGE building. And then they GREW out of that, so they actually bought the old Carnegie back and moved it NEXT to the Post Office.

The following pictures are in the "new" building but in the "old" Carnegie. 

Check out that window!

Lovely Mexico Librarian explaining to us how they moved the Carnegie to its current location.

Loved this so much!

How awesome are these posts?
Nonfiction stacks - The ceiling with the green walls just provided such a serene place to be.

 After exploring the Carnegie building, we headed over to the old post office side of the library.

 The library was filled to the brim!
Displays abounded! 

Super neat artist rendering of the move!

I didn't go upstairs, but just up these stairs were all of the Children's materials

Young Adult Books...

The ceilings were gorgeous everywhere you looked.

"Front" of the library. 

"Side" view of the library

Carnegie Library

Both the old post office and the old Carnegie create one pretty awesome library.
So if you are ever in Mexico, Missouri...
be sure to check out their amazing library. 

Great people and a fun environment filled with books. 
Can it get any better?

Friday, March 14, 2014

"Who's Who" By: Ken Geist Review

Who’s Who
By: Ken Geist

Over in these pages where it's hard to tell who's who, live six pairs of twins who are the best at what they do.
"Laugh!" say the twins. "We laugh!" So will you.
And you'll giggle as you read while you try to tell who's who.

My Thoughts
     I’m not a children’s librarian, and although I do enjoy a good picture book, I sometimes don’t agree with what’s on the best of lists. I read them purely for enjoyment, and some more than others as with everything in life, are simply better. This is not one of those books. While the illustrations are incredibly cute and playful, the text and rhyming rhythm of the book seemed off to me.
     The story is comprised of small poems in the wildlife kingdom. From a farmyard to the jungle, the author describes two animals’ antics through rhyming. While it was a cute concept, it didn't work for me. The rhyming doesn’t seem well done in places and the story is disjointed.  In contrast, the illustrations are well done in pastel and earth tones. I enjoyed the subtle jokes within the illustrations, especially the twin bats with the “Batman” shirts. So I guess I would suggest this one for the pretty pictures, but definitely not a good one for read alouds or using to learn rhyming words.      

Book Details
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Date of Publication: August 7, 2012
# of Pages: 28
ISBN: 9780312644376
Source: Library Checkout


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blog Tour: Three Weeks with Lady X By: Eloisa James

Three Weeks with Lady X
Desperate Duchesses #7
By: Eloisa James
Releasing March 25th, 2014

The next fabulous romance by New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James. Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized façade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India. Exquisite, headstrong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks. But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them. Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option. But there is only one thing that will make India his . . . the one thing Thorn can't afford to lose . . . his fierce and lawless heart.

Desperate Duchesses Series at Goodreads
To Buy...
Barnes & Noble
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Author Info
New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa's very first book that she "found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar;" later People Magazine raved that "romance writing does not get much better than this." Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Currently she is a distinguished professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Her "double life" is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she's written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women's magazines such as Good Housekeeping and More to writers' journals such as the Romance Writers' Report.

Author Links
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/86778.Eloisa_James
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eloisajames
Website: http://www.eloisajames.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EloisaJames

(A Print Copy of Desperate Duchesses #6,
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"Three Weeks with Lady X" By: Eloisa James Review

Three Weeks with Lady X
By: Eloisa James

Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized façade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India.

Exquisite, head-strong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks.

But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them.
Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option.

But there is only one thing that will make India his—the one thing Thorn can't afford to lose...

His fierce and lawless heart.

My Thoughts
    Lady Xenobia India (a mouthful right) or better known as Lady X, fixes problems of the aristocracy. Left almost penniless by her free spirited parents, India travels to different estates in order to refurbish them to their former glories. Having worked for years, India is known for having that perfect eye for decorating while also earning her generous wages. Desperate to never return to her former life of scavenging for food and not having enough for basic necessities, India saves money where she cans and works independently, unlike many of the women of her time.
    Thorn’s stepmother, Eleanor, knows of India’s abilities and hires her to refurbish Thorn’s country estate. The illegitimate son of a Duke, Thorn (also known as Tobias) is brash, hardheaded, independent and smart, more from necessity than anything else. Spending much of his young life as a destitute ruffian, Thorn is now a successful businessman searching for his future wife. With a long list of desirable qualities, Thorn thinks he knows the perfect candidate, but as with everything in life, things never go as planned. Little does he know, India, his new decorator, may very well fit the bill.
    Eloisa James is one of my favorite authors. She writes smart books with clever characters and enticing stories. I stinkin’ love her. That said, Three Weeks with Lady X rocked my socks!
     My favorite thing about James’ books is how smartly written they are. Excellent use of words, they just are intelligent books that tell are really well rounded story. Thorn and India are polar opposites. She’s prim, proper, and believes everything has its place. Thorn is wild, has a devil may care attitude, but is intelligent and runs his own empire despite being a bastard. Steamy scenes and a completely believable ending round out an almost perfect story.
     James has strong character driven novels and this one is no exception. Featuring characters from A Duke of Her Own, its feels almost as if you are coming home. All of our favorite characters have fantastic cameos. I devoured Three Weeks with Lady X in a few short hours over a weekend and have already begun my rereading. Brava Ms. James, I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Book Details
Publisher: Avon
Date of Publication: March 25, 2014
# of Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780062223890
Source: For Review from Publisher