Monday, October 31, 2011


Wishing you all
a safe Halloween
full of fun and goodies!! 

Hope you get your share of candy,
if you're trick-or-treating with your kids,
or a lot of dancing fun at a party!!

And don't forget...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

On My Bookshelves #6 (10/29 - 10/31)


This new weekend book meme/blog hop 
highlights the books that we, as crazy book addicts,
have purchased, and put off reading
until we finished our current ones...
except that we somehow never did read them!

Also highlighted will be those books
we have already read,
and would love to re-read, because
they're absolutely wonderful!!

Paperback, 615 pages
Visible Ink Press
August 1, 2003
Genre: Paranormal Non-Fiction

From the back cover

The culmination of Steiger's 50 years of paranormal research, Real Ghosts is a bold telling of true ghost stories and first-person encounters.  It is also a comprehensive classification of the spirit world touching on time travel and parallel universes, presenting the full range of ghostly manifestations and haunted locations.

More than 125 illustrations grace the pages, many of them from private collections.  Plus, Real Ghosts provides several appendices, including a full bibliography, selected filmography, a list of North American localities heavily populated by ghosts, and a special section on ghost hunters, researchers, and general resources.

I bought this book at a recent book fair,
and have yet to read it.
I think this weekend is the perfect time to start!
Although this is a fiction blog, I will mention the occasional
non-fiction book, if I find it appropriate for
a specific purpose.

Hardcover, 176 pages
Barnes & Noble Books
June 19, 2004
Genre: Paranormal Non-Fiction

From the Goodreads Synopsis

Steiger, a renowned expert on the strange and unknown, compiled these real-life tales from his extensive files and personal experiences as a paranormal researcher for more than forty years. Read hair-raising tales of a refined woman who continued to preach against vices even after her death; of three cynical scientists forced to face their beliefs about UFOs firsthand; of a man who could walk through doorways to different dimensions; and of Steiger's own experiences with a tricky ghost in his haunted farmhouse in Iowa.

This is another book I got at a book fair,
and again, haven't yet read...
I wonder why the heck I bought it, too, since I detest
the horror genre...
However, sometimes curiosity is an overpowering thing!
As they say, "Curiosity killed the cat."
But there's another saying:
"But satisfaction brought it back!"

Mass Market Paperback, 252 pages
Tempo Books, 1966
(first published 1939)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

From the Goodreads Synopsis

When Sabrina Archer, a lonely girl of 17, moves with her father and aunt away from their city flat to the lavish summerhome of Nuns Farthing for her father's work, she has nothing to do but explore the English country home. Finding a locked room at the top floor of the house, Sabrina picks the lock one afternoon and subsequently spends many days trying to discover the identity of the man who used to enjoy the personal study. He seems glamorous to her and it is inevitable that she falls in love with him. But can this obsession end happily?

I first read this book as a teeenager,
and was totally enthralled!
It's another of my very favorite books,
that literary group that I treasure with a special fierce fondness...

This is not the edition I own, but I can't find a picture of mine
anywhere on the Internet!
By the way, the book is out of print, so it's not easy to get
for a reasonable price.
Still, it's well worth it, because this is
an absolutely beautiful, tender story that will stay
with a reader forever and ever!

Do you have any Halloween reads
on your shelves
that you haven't gotten to yet,
or want to re-read?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday Hop #11

Happy Follow Friday!!

This weekly feature is hosted by
Rachel at Parajunkee's View 
Alison at Alison Can Read,
 which you really must go and check out!!

You can find the rules at the links above.
Join in the fun and make new blogging friends!!

This week's featured blogs are:


Today's question is:

 If you could have dinner with your favorite book character, who would you eat with and what would you serve?

Well....I'm thinking of two book characters right now: Edward Cullen and Edward Rochester...two Edwards!  Both of them hot in their own individual ways!!

I'll go with Edward Cullen first, since he's my most recent heartthrob, and with the movie "Breaking Dawn: Part I" coming out next month and all, he's been on my mind quite a bit in recent days.  I find him utterly fascinating, romantic, tender, and every thing a girl's (or woman's) heart could possibly desire!  My favorite book in The Twilight Saga, by the way, is Twilight.  It's also on my list of favorite books, period!

Now, since Edward is a vampire, there's no human food that I could possibly serve him, since it wouldn't be appetizing to him.  However, I could instead engage him in a conversation about his favorite classical musicians, for example, since he plays the piano beautifully.  I know he loves Debussy.  He probably likes Chopin as well, and I wouldn't be surprised if he also loved Tchaikovsky and other Romantic composers.  Or I might ask him about his favorite 19th-century British writers.  He and Bella seem to like Wuthering Heights.  I would explain why I don't like that particular writer, and ask him to tell me why he does.  We could go on to discuss Austen, Dickens, Thackeray, the Romantic poets Byron and Keats, and the other Bronte sister -- Charlotte.

I would also offer him some fine red wine.  I've discovered that's something most vampires seem to enjoy drinking (for obvious reasons).  Since Edward, of course, has excellent taste, I would offer him an award-winning wine from Wiederkehr Wine Cellars, such as a Merlot, Shiraz, or Burgundy. 

My other literary crush is Edward Rochester, from my other all-time favorite book, Jane Eyre.  He's a brooding, moody character, but passionately romantic at the same time.  However, he needs to be, shall we say, domesticated a little bit?  So I would serve him breakfast instead of dinner.  Besides, the night before, we would have dined at the elegant soiree held at the home of one of his friends.  This would be the...ahem...morning after...

I think this Edward, being a red-blooded human being, would enjoy a typical English breakfast.  He is, after all, an Englishman.  The breakfast would look somewhat along these lines:

Admittedly, this is a modern English breakfast.   I would say, though, that the menu hasn't changed all that much since dear old Edward trod the well-appointed rooms of the venerable Thornfield Hall!

Book Blogger Hop #7 (10/28/11 - 10/31/11)



This is a very interesting book meme!
It's hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books,
and runs every week,
from Friday to Monday.

Be sure to check out her blog for
the hop participation rules!

Here's this week’s question:

“What is your favorite Halloween costume?
Even if you don’t celebrate, what kinds of costumes do you like?”

Well, this is a real easy one to answer!  I've been wanting to dress up as Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series for at least two years now, but for one reason or another, didn't get all the costume components until this year.  So, on Monday, I'm going to work in my costume!  And I decided to add Professor McGonagall's hat, too, for good measure!!   I'm also wearing the Gryffindor scarf.  Oh, it'll be loads of fun!! 

This is the only picture I could find!
The adult version is basically the same,
but larger, of course!  Lol.

This is Professor McGonagall's hat.
Beautiful, isn't it?

And here are the tie, scarf, and magic wand!!

What's your favorite Halloween costume?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #16

This is a weekly book meme, hosted by
which features future releases that we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!

Here's my pick for this week!!

Hardcover, 336 pages
Philomel (Penguin Young Readers Group)
Expected Publication Date: Dec. 8, 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

From the Goodreads Synopsis

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon....

Some people out there might groan, muttering
"Not another love triangle!"
True, there's a love triangle in this novel,
and those of us who love the young adult genre know
that love triangles seem to be ubiquitous
in this particular literary category...
But still.
This plot sounds very, very interesting,
Besides, the novel has several five-star reviews
on Goodreads, so I'm willing to go for it!!

Besides again, I'm absolutely enthralled by the cover!


I crave this book for my already bulging shelves!! 
Well, it won't be long now...

Thank the good Lord for that!!

What wonderful, exciting, scintillating,
wildly romantic,
and altogether fascinating books
are you all waiting for this Wednesday?

Book Review: Wolfsbane, by Andrea Cremer

Title: Wolfsbane
Author: Andrea Cremer
Format: Hardcover, 390 pages
Publisher: Philomel (Penguin Young Readers Group)
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance. Urban Fantasy

The sequel to the enormously popular Nightshade is even more exciting, and equally riveting! 

At the end of the first book, Calla and Shay were back at Bosque Mar's mansion, desperately searching for more answers to the riddles of the Keepers' world, but with an important object in hand -- Haldis, which Shay was sure was most likely a weapon of some sort.  They were suddenly attacked by various supernatural creatures, and Bosque himself showed up, much to their surprise.  However, the battle  became even more complicated by the equally sudden appearance of Searchers, who captured both Shay and Calla, just as the library doors burst open to reveal a horde of horrible beings rushing in for the kill.  And then one of the Searchers knocked Calla unconscious...

The second book opens with Calla waking up slowly and disoriented, to discover that she's in Searcher territory.  She is soon reunited with Shay, and meets Ethan again, whom she had fought against in Nightshade.  Other Searchers enter the picture -- Monroe, Connor and Ariadne (known as Adne), who is a Weaver of portals that lead from one location to another. 

The Searchers confirm Shay's suspicion that the real enemies -- of the Guardians as well as the Searchers -- are the Keepers, who have been lying to their faithful wolves for centuries.  They have even lied about the origins of the Guardians.

Calla and Shay immediately join in the war against the Keepers, returning to Vail to try to rescue Calla and Ren's packs.  What they find, however, is something so incredible and shocking that they can scarcely believe it...

Once again, Andrea Cremer has created a highly compelling tale that is really hard to put down.  The characters are well-fleshed, their relationships totally believable.  It's especially interesting to see how Calla and Shay, initially distrustful of the Searchers, end up even considering them as family. Although the emphasis of the plot is on Shay and Calla, the reader learns about and comes to care for the Searchers as well.  Whereas in the first book these people were shadowy and menacing (this was from the Keepers' point of view), in this book they become human and real, with real stories and personalities.  Especially poignant is the relationship between Monroe and Adne, two Searchers who play a pivotal role in the story.

It is in this second novel that the author gives us readers quite a bit of background information on the world she has created.  Through the Searchers, we learn how the Keepers first came to be, and where their dark power comes from.  We also learn the true origin of the Guardians, and how the Keepers have used them for centuries to do their will.

Shay finally lays claim to Calla's heart, and she to his, although she's still thinking of Ren, worrying about how her betrayal might have affected him. I love how Shay acts around Calla.  Although, in this book, he does become a little too overprotective of her, down deep he has always respected her as a leader, and admires her for it.  He's just so wonderful to her!  He's tender, loving, yet he has a humorous streak.  He has constantly been challenging Calla to go beyond the world as she has so far known it, to find the truth for herself.  

Of course, I love the character of Calla!  She's a fearless leader, yet will follow her heart when she feels she has to.  Although she's torn between Shay and Ren, since she loves them both, she does attempt to put the needs of her pack above her own personal needs.  She is fiercely loyal and determined, and very courageous in battle.  In fact, I think she's the perfect mate for Shay!

The love triangle in both of these novels makes me somewhat uncomfortable, to be quite honest.  While it does create emotional tension in the story, I have never really been satisfied with Ren as Calla's potential mate, in spite of his noble actions toward the end of Nightshade.  I just think he's much too easily manipulated by the Keepers.  If push comes to shove, will he choose them over Calla?  I think that the possibility has always been there.

However, there's more to Calla's conflicted emotions over Ren than just her love for him.  She also feels guilty for having left her pack behind, as well as the way of life that had been instilled in her since birth.  She's a very strong character, but also one with a kind, compassionate heart.  Therefore, it makes sense that she would feel torn between her new life and her old one.

It's also very obvious that Shay represents the new existence opening up for Calla, while Ren is symbolic of the old one, with its set pattern of submission to the Keepers.  While these mysterious beings (they are really witches) have always provided for the Guardians' every need, they also control the Guardians' lives. 

The themes of the new versus the old, the known versus the unknown, freedom accompanied by the uncertainty of survival versus bondage with every need provided for, the individual against the state -- these are all timeless human issues common to dystopian novels.  I find it highly fascinating, as well as fitting, that Cremer should so skillfully interweave them into these novels that, on the surface, deal only with the problems inherent in paranormal relationships.  But then, adolescence and young adulthood are both periods in human life in which a person is searching for an authentic identity.  These periods are also marked by high idealism and passionate hopes for a better world.  

The romance is there, the problems are there.  A human falls in love with a werewolf already promised to another werewolf.  So there is the element of forbidden love, so dear to every female heart, especially in those turbulent times already mentioned.  However, there are deeper things going on, and they give these novels their power and fierce beauty, not to mention their quintessentially American character.

Needless to say, this series is already occupying a proud space in my library, right next to The Twilight Saga, the Harry Potter series, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I already have the third novel, Bloodrose, in my Amazon wish list, awaiting purchase when it's released in January!   Furthermore, just as with these other beloved books, it will definitely be re-read several times in the future! 


Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Award!!

Here's a belated, but very heartfelt "thank you" to

for this wonderful award!!

The following is taken from Gini Koch's website:

This award was created to honor those whose blogs
exemplify the qualities Katherine "Kitty" Katt has --
those who always stay cutting edge, who always
find the fun, the funny, and the cool,
and who are always one step ahead of the competition.

Due to my very busy schedule,
I did not post this earlier, for which I do apologize...

There was a contest attached to this award, too,
sponsored by the author of the 'Alien' series,
Gini Koch....

Oh, well.

Even though the contest has already ended,
I feel lucky to have discovered yet another
fantastic author, whose books
I can now add to my TBR pile!!

And I love these covers!!

Gini Koch
Mass Market Paperback, 389 pages
Daw Books
April 6, 2010
Genre: Science Fiction, Humor

Gini Koch
Mass Market Paperback, 428 pages
Daw Books
December 7, 2010
Genre: Science Fiction, Humor

Gini Koch
Mass Market Paperback, 457 pages
Daw Books
April 5, 2011
Genre: Science Fiction, Humor

Gini Koch
Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Daw Books
Expected Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Genre: Science Fiction, Humor

I would like to thank yay once again for nominating me
for this awesome award!!

On My Bookshelves #5

This new weekend feature highlights the books
that we, as crazy book addicts,
have purchased, brought home, placed on one of
our bulging shelves, and put off reading
until we finished our current ones...
except that we somehow never did read them!

This book meme will also highlight those books
we have already read,
and would love to re-read, because
they're absolutely wonderful!!

If you'd like to join in, write your own post,
grab my meme button (or create your own),
and add your post link to the list!
Have fun hopping over to other blogs to see what
books others want to either read or re-read!

Here's my list for this week!

Hardcover, 642 pages
Little, Brown and Company
June 14, 2005
Genre: Urban Fantasy

From the Goodreads Synopsis

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of--a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known--and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler....

Well, this is definitely not the type of
vampire novel I usually enjoy reading!
However, I've heard so many good things about this book,
I went ahead and bought it.
Then I got sidetracked by some other fascinating
novel I discovered somewhere, bought it,
and the cycle went on and on...

Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
February 1, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance,
 Urban Fantasy

From the Goodreads Synopsis

Daisy O'Donnell doesn't get the attraction some women feel for vampires. She likes her men with a heartbeat. And she's just met one who's full of life: Erik Delacourt, the unreasonably sexy man she keeps meeting at a popular L.A. nightclub called the Crypt. She barely knows him, but there's no resisting the connection she feels. . .

There's one important detail Erik hasn't gotten around to telling her yet. He's a powerful vampire out to hunt the Blood Thief who is draining young vampires all over the city.

If only he knew that Daisy has something of her own to hide. . .

Amanda Ashley is one of my very favorite
 vampire romance authors!
I have read several of her previous books,
and been totally swept away!
I bought this one some months ago, in one of
my book-buying frenzies...
The cover looks so very tempting...
I don't understand why I haven't gotten to it yet!

Hardcover, 304 pages
Warner Books
July 1, 1988
Genre: Paranormal Romance,
Urban Fantasy

From the Goodreads Synopsis

Sean Seamus Desmond, newly-announced Nobel Prize winner, relished the unknowns of science, but a real-life mystery of love and the form of a beautiful woman who says she's his guardian angel? Impossible. Yet there in his New York hotel room is an enchanting creature named Gabriella Light, who inexplicably and dramatically has just saved his life.  

Voluptuous and exquisitely dressed, sexy Gabriella, angel or not, is determined to keep him alive as a terrifying web of intrigue closes around him....

I bought this one on eBay not that long ago,
attracted by the plot, which sounds
like it will deliver a very romantic read!
Greeley is a bestselling author, sociologist,
and Catholic priest, all rolled into one,
incredibly enough!
I've read only one of his books thus far,
and must really do something about that!

Trade Paperback, 732 pages
Simon Pulse
April 21, 2009
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Urban Fantasy

From the Goodreads Synopsis

This omnibus volume collects three full-length L. J. Smith Night World vampire romances. The plotlines are taut and riveting: The half-vampire vampire hunter of Huntress must stalk her own kind; in Black Dawn, Maggie Neely stumbles upon a Night World realm where nothing is quite as simple as it first seems; and Keller, the shapeshifting panther heroine of Witchlight, falls fatefully in love with the Wild Power's soulmate. More than 700 pages of unworldly fascination.

I can hardly believe that I haven't read this yet!
L.J. Smith is one of my very
favorite authors!
Besides, I've read the first two omnibus volumes,
and greatly enjoyed them!
I like this series much more than
her acclaimed The Vampire Diaries, too.
The Night World series really should be
made into movies, or a TV series,
since it's so full of compelling characters
and exciting, riveting plots!!

What wonderful books are waiting
for you to read them?
What beloved books would
you like to re-read?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Beneath an October Moon

The days were getting shorter, the shadows was that time of year again, when things somehow started to look a little more mysterious, more otherworldly..I walked through half-dreamed streets, and felt that special something in the cool night air...temperatures were coming down, sweaters were starting to appear in stores...

The moon beckoned, as I looked up toward its inscrutable, ageless face.  Then I saw them -- two strange, dark silhouettes against that bright, white orb...flapping, leathery wings, supernatural whispers stirring in the breeze...

He was standing beneath a street lamp as I walked down the deserted, wind-swept sidewalk.  I saw the billowing cape, felt his electrifying presence.  Slowing my pace a bit, I sighed, wondering if I was seeing what I thought I was seeing.  He was leaning casually against the lamp's metal pole, but its meager glow did not reveal his features.  Paradoxically, I was not afraid, although a strange languor suddenly began stealing through my limbs... Inexplicably, I also wanted  to get closer to him...

Something brushed against my legs, and I looked down.  I was not surprised to see a wolf, his golden, intelligent eyes staring right into mine.  I reached down, as if by habit, stroking his soft, reddish-gold fur.  A low growl emerged from his throat.  It seemed to be some sort of warning, I thought vaguely.

Pushing away any thoughts of danger, I continued to walk toward that street lamp, stretching myself out deliciously.  The man suddenly straightened, and I caught the sharp glint of his eyes, before his face was once more hidden by the impenetrable shadows around him.  The night breeze carried his soft, yearning whisper to me. "Maxine..."

And I remembered...I remembered dancing with him at Versailles, swimming with him in Jamaican waters, climbing Everest with him in the middle of a blizzard.

I had thought him lost forever.  Gerald.  My man.  My muse.  The other half of my soul...

Sighing softly, regretfully, I slowly close my paranormal romance novel, and steal a look out the window.  It's already midnight-dark outside, and it's only 6:30 PM.  I slowly get up from my comfortable armchair, and decide to stretch.  I'll have to be going out there, into that inky blackness, but I'm fine with that.  I feel no fear, no apprehension.  I simply have to run a little errand, right across the street.  Just have to go do my hair, at my friend's house.  She's a great hair stylist, and doesn't charge me much.

I gather my purse, the hair color lotion, and make sure I have some money in my wallet.  Then I briefly gaze at myself in the bathroom mirror, just before I walk over to the front door.

I smile as I look into the mirror, barely noticing the small puncture wounds.  He's such a smooth operator, my beloved.  No one would notice, unless they looked very, very closely.

As I head toward the door, I glance into the bedroom.  There he is, still asleep.  As I gaze lovingly at him, I see him stir slightly, and blow him a kiss.  Then I walk firmly toward the front door, checking inside the hallway closet on my way.  Yes, his cape is in there, where he always hangs it just before he climbs into our bed, as the sun begins to rise in the morning.

Smiling, I step outside, and close the door.  As I do so, a stray neighborhood cat freezes on the front sidewalk, staring at me in terror.  I purr reassuringly at her.  She arches her back, hissing, but, as I continue to purr, she calms down, and hurries off into the night.

Just before crossing the street, I check my watch.  I'm not due for another feeding yet.  Satisfied, I cross the street, toward my human hairdresser's own front door, my paranormal romance firmly tucked into my black backpack, just in case she has other clients tonight as well.  In that case, I will have to wait. 

I can't stand waiting with nothing to read. 

Just before I cross the street, I catch a glint of bright orange in my peripheral vision.  Turning my head slightly to the right, I see the eerie, winking grin of a jack o'lantern, poised upon a neighboring lawn.

I look up at the huge, full moon right above me.  Against its bright white orb, two mysterious-looking silhouettes wheel and glide, wheel and glide...

Yes, it's that time of year again...