RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! Thanks for visiting, be sure and follow me on social media for MORE awesome content.

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? Due to high demand and a very busy schedule, I am currently CLOSED for unsolicited review requests. Thank you for thinking of me though!

I do have promotional openings for October 2017 through February 2018 open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


Review: Wilder's Mate by Moira Rogers

Wilder's Mate (Bloodhounds #1) by Moira Rogers
Paranormal Romance, Steampunk, Werewolves, Vampires
Ebook $4.50 (SAMHAIN)
Think a vampire-hunting bloodhound is dangerous? Try threatening his woman.
Bloodhounds, Book 1
Wilder Harding is a bloodhound, created by the Guild to hunt down and kill vampires on America’s frontier. His enhanced abilities come with a high price: on the full moon, he becomes capable of savagery beyond telling, while the new moon brings a sexual hunger that borders on madness.
Rescuing a weapons inventor from undead kidnappers is just another assignment, though one with an added complication—keeping his hands off the man’s pretty young apprentice, who insists on tagging along.
At odds with polite society, Satira’s only constant has been the aging weapons inventor who treats her like a daughter. She isn’t going to trust Wilder with Nathaniel’s life, not when the Guild might decide the old man isn’t worth saving. Besides, if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that brains are more important than brawn.
As the search stretches far longer than Wilder planned, he finds himself fighting against time. If Satira is still at his side when the new moon comes, nothing will stop him from claiming her. Worse, she seems all too willing. If their passion unlocks the beast inside, no one will be safe. Not even the man they’re fighting to save.
Warning: This book contains a crude, gun-slinging, vampire-hunting hero who howls at the full moon and a smart, stubborn heroine who invents mad-scientist weapons. Also included: wild frontier adventures, brothels, danger, betrayal and a good dose of wicked loving in an alternate Wild West.

Author Site: www.moirarogers.com

This Ain't Your Mama's Paranormal Romance (4 stars)

In this imaginative restructuring of your typical wild west located romance just about anything goes. Satira is a young lady apprenticed to a weapons inventor who works with the Guild, a group who spends their energies trying to rid the west of the evil vampire race. When Satira's mentor, Nathaniel, goes missing the Guild sends Wilder Harding, one of their Bloodhounds, out to pick up the trail and find him. It might be a damned dangerous mission but there's no way she's letting Wilder go off in search of Nate without her.

As a Bloodhound, Wilder has some distinct physical advantages but is given over to the moon's phases without much control at its peaks. Become a wolf-ish monster at the full moon, becoming an insatiable sex-starved beast at the new. Can Satira handle both sides of her new companion as they journey into the Deadlands in search of her mentor? Will they even find Nate in time?

This is a hard mix of genres to pull off. Fortunately the team that writes as Moira Rogers pulls it off with panache! My biggest issue here was that this really was far too short, coming in at novella length it didn't give me enough to really believe the romance/mating bond between the hero and heroine. Could I have seen it happening? Most definitely. But so quick? Not really. Plus, this is an awesome world! With all the wildness of the American West, the gothy goodness of vampires and werewolves, toss in a nice bit of steampunk and you have a really interesting and fun world to work within.

Satira was a girl I really liked but I did have a hard time being sure of her age. She mostly came across as about fifteen but seemed to have this vast sexual knowledge that kinda surprised me. Wilder definitely had the smoothness I like in a hero without being too alpha and I enjoyed how he kind of teased Satira at times. They played nicely off one another. The secondary characters weren't particularly interesting save for Satira's prostitute friend, Ophelia, whom I think would make a nice heroine for another tale. I'm not gonna lie, I was mostly distracted from the Nate-rescue-plot by the hot smut.

Overall I think this is definitely buyable, the sex scenes were mighty steamy (no pun intended) and I look forward to more Bloodhounds stories! If you're new to steampunk I think this would be a perfect starting point if you like any of the other elements (vampires, wild west) because it's not too heavily bogged down with mechanical things.

Other Reviews:
Crystal of Reading Between the Wines
Mama Kitty Reviews

Notes: Received an ARC from the author.


AFK for a little while...

If you've been reading my blog over the past month or so you know how nervous I've been about this. It doesn't matter if most people have no problem with the surgery or that it takes less than an hour to perform. I am a control freak. Just thinking about being completely vulnerable to a bunch of strangers with drugs and sharp instruments is utterly terrifying. I'm trying not to let myself think of all the crap that could go wrong but I've always found I do better if I am completely prepared with all of the facts beforehand.

Because I know I'm gonna be tired and probably not feeling very sociable for a few days at the very least I've decided to just put the blog on a short vacation. Hiatus no, vacation yes. ;)

At minimum I won't be back before Monday, at maximum I don't intend to be AFK for longer than two weeks. I'm not supposed to lift anything over 10lbs so I think I'm gonna go crazy during my recovery time not being able to carry my toddler or my cats. Fortunately books don't run that heavy usually so I'm going to try and get some reading out of the way.

In the meantime family and friends balloons and flowers are always nice. *nudge, nudge* Amazon giftcards are even better. :P Blogging buddies... emails and comments might not be answered right away but I'll miss you while I'm resting. See y'all soon! -- Rhi


Review: American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout

American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout
Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Witchcraft
Book Size
Mass Market Paperback $7.99 (336 pages, MIRA)
Ebook $6.99

Buried in the Heartland is a town that no one enters or leaves. Graf McDonald somehow becomes its first visitor in more than five years…and he was only looking for a good party. Unfortunately, Penance, Ohio, is not that place. And after having been isolated for so long, they do not like strangers at all.
Jessa's the only one to even remotely trust him, and she's desperate for the kind of protection that only a vampire like Graf can provide. Supplies are low, the locals are ornery for a sacrifice and there's a monster more powerful than Graf lurking in the woods. New men are hard to come by in this lonesome town, and this handsome stranger might be Jessa’s only hope for salvation.
Even if she has to die first...

Author Site: www.jenniferarmintrout.com

Love It Because It's NOT The Usual (5 stars)

En route to his sire's Independence Day bash in Washington, D.C., Graf McDonald finds himself with a broken GPS and not a lot of patience for his situation. He's a vampire and quite happy with it. If only it would have given him an inner sense of direction so he could get back on track. Deciding to stop at a closed gas station to steal a map he discovers a frightened young woman who might be crazy. Until the monster she's hiding from rears its ugly head and chases the two.

Happy to get back on his way and leave the young lady to her plight Graf discovers that he can't leave. Ending up right back where he started Graf has to rely on Jessa, who sure as heck doesn't want the responsibility of a stranger in a town that hasn't seen a newcomer in five years. She's a smart girl stuck in a town full of small minded folks and an ex-boyfriend she can't seem to shake her feelings for. Supplies are slim, a monster that could attack at any time and people disappearing make for one high tension situation to throw a hungry vampire into the midst of. If they can just figure out how Graf got in, maybe they can figure out how to get out.

Everything I loved about this book is probably stuff other readers will hate. Graf, to start off, is a jerk. Plain and simple. He turns the brooding vampire trope on its head and shakes it for the change in its pockets. He's happy as a vampire. There's no apologizing for what he is or whining about his lost humanity and I loved it! It was a refreshing change even though I like broody bad-boy types too. Jessa was also easy to like. She sticks up for herself and takes care of herself, her independent spirit earned high marks in my book. Her only real weakness was her annoying obsession with her terrible ex-boyfriend. I didn't get her thing with him based on his personality so I had to assume he wasn't always like that or she was darned naive when she first started dating him.

The monster and town trapped by it plotline was certainly an unusual choice for a paranormal romance. I really enjoyed it though. That extra bit of tension, worrying that at any moment "It", as they call the monster, was going to come raging in added an urgency to it that kept me reading when the romance wasn't. The townspeople were definitely cliched and a little bit hillbilly in their closed-mindedness but for this story it worked. The whole "grab your pitchforks and torches" mentality they had added another dimension to the already nailbiting nervousness of the story.

Overall, I do think purist paranormal romance fans should skip this one. The romance is not the core of this book and while I did enjoy it myself it could have been a little less rushed. If you're more of an urban fantasy reader or love monster-terrorizing-small-town movies you're more likely to like this one. I loved it because it was very different from most of its genre mates I've read. This was my second book by Armintrout and I hated the other so this says something for her versatility as an author.

Other Reviews:
Dear Author
Dirty Sexy Books
Rabid Reads

Notes: Received ARC via Netgalley.


Weekend Reading [02/18-02/20] :: I'm all broken & My Man Candy

Poo! I finally got to the doc about my knees. I could barely walk by the time I saw her. Each step was like having burning knives stabbed into them. Thankfully I now know what is wrong. What I have is a syndrome with a lengthy name I couldn't pronounce after I left the doc's office. LOL (Aren't they all kinda like that?) But basically I have the knee version of tennis elbow, they call it Runner's Knee. Basically my knees move kind of sideways (curving outward) instead of straight (up and down). Weird huh?

Since I'm already going to be down and out on a resting regimen after the end of next week—the big surgery is Thursday and owie my arm still hurts from the pre-admit bloodwork!—I guess this is good timing. I'll basically be spending the next 3 weeks off my feet as much as possible. The doc agreed with me that this sucks though. Here I was trying to improve my health and I injured myself instead. Rotten, yucky luck.

I've been able to get in a little bit of extra reading time here and there though which has been nice. I have this BIG stack of Vine and unsolicited review books waiting for my attention. Not including my NetGalley choices. I'm also getting excited for Amazon's 2011 ABNA event. It starts the day I have my surgery but as long as nothing goes wrong I'll be able to just relax in my room and do the reviewing stuff. Any of you other bloggers/readers/reviewers taken part in something like that? This is my first time so I'm both excited and scared I'll muss it up.

So what's going on with my reading this weekend? I picked up White Witch, Black Curse and got it started but so far it's about as interesting as watching snails make love. :P You know it should be interesting but it's too slow to keep your attention for long. LOL It's bugging me so much that I'm not liking The Hollows books right now. Maybe I've just changed as a reader and they don't work for me anymore? I dunno. Anyone ever have that happen?

The hubs is having his birthday this weekend. He doesn't know it yet but he's getting a Kindle. He's not as big of a reader as I am but the more I thought about it the more I thought it was a good gift for him. Plus we can share our library that way. I also bought him a GelaSkins for it that has Dr. Gonzo from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, a book he enjoyed when we were in our dating phase. Isn't it cool? I figured it's different and not at all girly so he'd like it. I wanted to get him one with koi—perfect for my Pisces man candy—on it but the ones I found seemed a bit too feminine. Gawd, I hope he doesn't hate it! Ya never know with my man.

And speaking of my man... today he's got an interview for the Countdown to This Side of the Grave (which I just realized I'm gonna have to pre-order for the Kindle so the hubs has something to read right away!) over at Reading Between the Wines. I don't share my lova' with just anyone but Crystal runs one hell of an awesome blog. So if you'd like a little sample of my man candy head on over!

In the meantime folks have a fab weekend filled with reading and hopefully no more damned snow. Seriously watching the weather channel is like a montage of a decades worth of bad snows... except they're all within the past day. So not cool Mother Nature. I'm off to try and wrangle the hubs into figuring out our birthday dinner/cake/going-to-see-I Am Number Four-plans and if I'm lucky I won't be the last person in this house to get a shower this mornin'. *wince* -- Rhi

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey #3) by Julie Kagawa
Young Adult, Fantasy, Fae
Book Size
Trade Paperback $9.99 (368 pages, HARLEQUINTEEN)
Ebook $8.99

My name is Meghan Chase.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.

Author Site: www.juliekagawa.com

Not the best in the series, but still enjoyable (4 stars)

Meghan Chase finds herself banished from the faery world and standing outside her home after a year away. It has been a year filled with adventure, romance and hardship. But with the love of the Winter Prince at her side somehow she will make it in the human realm. Until, naturally, she is called back into the Nevernever to fight the battle that Summer and Winter are losing.

The false king, who would claim the Iron glamour Meghan has lurking in her after killing King Machina, is ready to destroy the entire Nevernever in his quest. Only Meghan, with her half-human heritage, can fight him and live. When Mab and Oberon offer she, Ash and Puck a lift on their banishment from the faery world in exchange for her killing the false king she is willing to do it. Joining with Iron court rebels and finding allies in the gremlins of the Iron court Meghan will adventure farther than ever before, learn her true power and hopefully save the Nevernever from destruction.

I love this series. I love the originality of the world and I like every character very much. The dribbles of other favorite tales have always been an easy sell on me as a reader. What I discovered as I read The Iron Queen though was that I really don't see the romantic chemistry between Ash and Meghan. Don't get me wrong, I have a dreadful fangirly crush on Ash but I'm finding his reasons for loving Meghan aren't quite working for me. By the end of the book I realized I think Puck would make a better match. Don't hail me with rotten tomatoes please, it is what it is.

I enjoyed the adventure of this story. Meghan, Puck, Ash and Grimalkin are always a fun group to tag along with. Their personalities seem to be stronger when they are on a quest together. By the end of the book though I was getting a little sick of Puck's quips at the "love birds". I did enjoy the interesting Iron rebel characters immensely though. One thing I've always wondered is whether the Iron Fey were supposed to all be evil villains or just another type of fey. This is our first real glimpse into the Iron Court and I very much liked what I saw. Though I felt it was a convenient plot device, the gremlins were a great addition to the Iron realm. I adored Razor's blind devotion to Meghan.

Though I try not to comment on other reviews I do have to agree with those who have said there seems to be less and less danger to Meghan with each installment. The Iron King was scary. I could barely put it down because every time I was ready for a break Meghan would get into another life threatening situation. What I can comment in defense of that is that it does fit the place she's at now. With Ash and Puck protecting her it's kind of hard for anyone to attempt to rape or wound Meghan. She even has Ash train her to use a sword this time around. Would I love to have some more nail-biter moments? Yes! But would they seem forced? Maybe. Fortunately we can look forward to The Iron Knight and hopefully some more dangerous adventures.

Overall, this was my least favorite of the series. I loved a lot about it but had enough issues with little things that I can't say it earned a five star rating for me. Fans of the series and Team Ash members should certainly not miss it. But if you've been only mildly interested I just don't think you'll find this book to be a big selling point for ya. I'm certainly not done reading Kagawa's work and I'm very much still a fan but I think she's written better adventures in earlier installments of the series and look forward to hopefully seeing more in the future.

Other Reviews:
Books With Bite
Dark faery Tales
Dirty Sexy Books

Notes: Received ARC via NetGalley.


Get Dianne Duvall's Darkness Dawns for FREE! (Limited Time!!!)

Mornin' guys! I have a chocolate hangover and would much rather be back in bed reading but someone has to care for my kiddo so I'm up and trying to face the day. Blech! Was doing a quick check of my "dailies" and saw that Dianne Duvall's debut novel, Darkness Dawns, is up for free on Kindle! I missed out on the last time it was free so I paid for a copy but I wanted to let anyone who was still looking for it have a chance to save a few bucks and get it now. These free deals don't last long so hurry!

Hope y'all had a good Valentine's Day. :) Mine was pretty much ruined by people who hate the holiday making blog posts and such crapping on it by saying things about how people who have someone to love make people who are single feel bad. I think that's awfully negative thinking and I never felt that way when I was single so... ah well. Then my mother called and I just hate talking to my mom but she made me miss part of Castle and the hubs' falconry stuff made me miss Being Human. Yeah can I call do-over? :P

Ok. 'Nough of me whining, I'm grumpy today. Go get your free book! -- Rhi


Happy Valentine's Day! & Follower Love Giveaway WINNER!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I know there are a lot of folks who HATE this holiday with a passion but I've always had a bit of a warped idea of it. I never have viewed it as a purely romantic love only holiday. For me it has always been more about giving a special treat to the people who enrich my life with their love or friendship. My kids, my friends, my extended family and of course my very own hero, the hubs.

I could share a tale of a Valentine's Day spent sick in bed at my best friends' house watching Disney and eating chocolate that hurt my throat. Or how I would always put extra conversation hearts with the phrase "Kiss Me" in the cards for my elementary school crushes. Even the one where I cried my eyes out because my the guy I was in love with had broken up with me two weeks earlier and I was stuck sharing an apartment with him (fortunately he came to his senses and we've been married for more than a decade). I do NOT hate Valentine's Day at all. My dad still sends me a sweet card every year and even though no one ever asked me to dance at the junior high Valentine's dance I understand that the heart of the holiday... as commercial as it truly is... is to keep your heart open to love in all its forms.

This past week we all had fun with the Follower Love Giveaway Hop. The response here has blown my mind. For every two followers I've more than doubled my following. If you were only here to win loot I'm totally okay with you removing me from your blogroll. ;) What had me getting a little sniffle-y this morning was all of the kind comments and praise many of you left. You didn't have to say anything but many of you did and your kind words of encouragement and letting me know what you liked really warmed my heart. I hope to always keep this blog a comfortable, reader friendly place without being stuffy or snooty. Sometimes though that also makes it seem like no one likes what I write here. I can't afford lots of giveaways and I'm a slower reader than most but I love sharing me passion for reading and all things paranormal/supernatural with you all.

Okay, enough of me blabbering on. I've got a tot who needs lunch!

The winner of the Follower Love Giveaway Hop is... Mary of BookHounds!

Congrats Mary! I've sent an email your way so you can claim your prize.

Thank you again to everyone who entered the giveaway and for making my day brighter as I read through all of the comments added on the form. When I have a little more time I'm gonna have to check out all of your blog links too! Have a super Valentine's Day, whether you're curling up with a book boyfriend or the real deal, have a girl's night planned or just dinner with your kiddos. XOXO -- Rhi

It's Monday, Get Your TV On!

Dude! My weekend sucked! My knees are in really bad shape. I've gotta see a doc. Then to top it off we're working on turning part of our gigantic basement bedroom into an office area for me. The plan was to move some of our sparse furniture over and whatnot. So I figured even though I was injured I could move a dresser by myself. The whole process ended up with me on my butt in the corner by our closet. And my butt was soaking wet.

We live in a marsh so some homes here have flooding issues but ours does not. But what happened was that we'd had a lot of snow and a very fast thaw with nowhere for the water to go. So it went into the window well... and filled up to the edge of the window... and slowly seeped inside... running down through the wall and up through the carpet. Naturally, we did not discover the issue until 10:30 at night. Our small shopvac would have helped the issue on the outside if it weren't insanely loud and very late at night. My husband had to go out and fill buckets every 3 hours to empty it while I sat there with the carpet steamer soaking up as much as I could from the carpet. It did ruin a box of magazines and soaked into a pile of cast-off hubby duds that I hadn't managed to sneak into the trash yet. *head/desk* Fortunately my side of the closet (where boxes of books and baby clothes are stowed) did not suffer any damage.

Needless to say I am not working out tonight. So I'm gonna do the RICE thing (rest, ice, compression and elevation) for my bad knees and watch the tube. No special Valentine's plans for me. *sigh* I hope y'all have something more romantic to do but in case you don't here are tonight's watchable sneaky-peeks!

Was Sally murdered? *bites nails*

A crime of passion on Castle...

I totally have a Caleb crush. Pretty much exactly the type of boy I went for when I was in high school. ;)


It's Here! Valentine's Day of the Undead! (& an impromptu giveaway)

*doing a fangirly happy dance*

Most of you, my dear followers, weren't around when my great-grandpa passed away in 2009. I was already pregnant with the baby and going through some stuff and we knew it wasn't far away. When he passed it was difficult because both of my grandfathers were already long dead so he was really the only one I had gotten to know as an adult. The family skeletons have since come out of the closet but at the time I was quite devastated by the loss.

Strangely enough, at the time I was reading a book called You Are So Undead to Me that I had picked up at Walmart 'cause the cover caught me eye. It was humorous and witty, very intelligent and the characters just leapt off the page. I'm also a big fan of cemeteries. My grandparents lived behind one so... I pretty much learned to ride my bike there. I was a morbid kid I guess but I have always loved the quietness and the stone monuments, the flowers and tokens left behind.

My family has a grieving ritual where we meet at the cemetery privately the night after a funeral, light candles and talk about the person we've just buried. As I sat there freezing in the chilly spring air I was momentarily drawn back into Megan's world and felt guilty for letting my mind wander away from the moment. I've never told anyone, not even Stacey, but it was a very welcome distraction because my extended family pretty much imploded after that. Sinking into a world where I could just sit there and pretend the cemetery was not the site representing our sadness and deep, dark unspoken family secrets... where I could instead think "wouldn't it be crazy if zombies started popping out of the ground right now?"... it helped me deal with it all in small doses.

It's probably morally disgusting to have let myself laugh and escape into fiction like that while one of the worst things to happen to my family in years was unfolding but I don't care. I'm a proud fan of Stacey's work and wish things had worked out differently (the zombie trend is only heating up ya idiots!). So I am calling out to all of the Megan Berry fans and non-fans to go to Amazon or where ever they buy ebooks and get a copy of Valentine's Day of the Undead. If it does well then Stacey can afford to write more Megan books and I want them. No, I need them. They're like crack for a zombie YA lover. Plus Ethan is hot and Monica is snarky and she's my favorite bitchy teen character in fiction. Please? *puppy dog eyes*

Anywho, I've got so much housework piled up from the family being sick and my husband and I finally worked out a new "office" arrangement for me so we're moving furniture around today. Errr... well, he's moving it since I can't because of my knees being all farked but I'll be doing the other stuff. Gotta love having all these pillows and comforters to wash. Not! Then I've got to hit up Walmart for some milk and Lysol. *lightbulb* Tell ya guys what... I'm gonna do an impromptu giveaway!

FOLLOWERS of my blog who email me (always.and.never AT gmail DOT com) with a copy of their receipt from buying a copy of Valentine's Day of the Undead using the above linkage to Amazon will get 3 points (buy it from another source and I'll give ya 1 point) toward a a copy of A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang. Just make sure you block out your private info (ie. address) on your receipt for safety's sake and let me know your Follower Name. Make your subject line Valentine's Day of the Undead so I'll know not to can it as spam.

From all the eligible entries received by 12PM (that's noon) MST on Wednesday, February 16th, I will draw a winner and hopefully mail your book out on Friday when my Follower Love Giveaway Hop box (if that's what the winner chose) goes out. Which means this is a US only giveaway, sorry!

Because the prize is an adult title this is open to 18 and older entrants only.

If you email me with a link to a blog post you made directing folks to this post/giveaway when you send me your receipt I'll give you one extra point.

And yeah, I normally hate using points but since this is a) impromptu and b) requires a purchase which will limit entries... this will be my test run for using them for possible similar giveaways in the future. ;)

I know, this giveaway is totally spur of the moment and random but I want this book to sell and I'm willing to act a damn fool to promote it. :P Thanks guys! -- Rhi


Parajunkee's Truth or Dare Friday!

This morning I stumbled on this little thing Parajunkee has going on and thought "gee that looks fun!". I thought I'd take part 'cause I always enjoy doing a little something new when I have a free minute. Today's Dare is to "find a song that reminds you of a book". The book has to be paranormal (as if that's hard for me lol). So I gave it a nice little ponder and came up with...

In honor of a very special privilege I was given I want to share "Dig" by Incubus. It is one of my favorite songs ever and reminds me of Valentine's Day of the Undead by Stacey Jay.

I know, I know... you guys are going "uh WTF that isn't even out yet". Remember me talking about beta reading a book for an author? I got to have a first look at it! And if you're a big ol' Megan Berry fan like me you'll know why this video reminds me of Megan & Ethan's little problem at the end of Undead Much? and will give you hope for the new story! Speaking of which... you need to RUN over to Stacey's blog to find out how you can get a copy!

Happy—early—Valentine's Day everybody! XO -- Rhi

Weekend Reading [02/11-02/13] :: Valentines & Vampires

I am so wiped out this weekend guys. I'm not sure if it's my miserably injured knees. The visit with my tot to the doctor which resulted in lots of screaming (even though he is an awesome pediatrician she's at the age where she "gets" the visit's purpose and expects shots). Maybe it's having dealt with the sick family all week. Or it could be that I've been working out almost every day and simply haven't built up the stamina I need yet. Whatever it is I just wanna pull on my plushy robe and snuggle in to read.

After the above mentioned doc visit we stopped into Target to see about a knee brace. I'm one of those folks who avoids taking myself to the doc unless I might be dying so I thought it might be a nice solution to try before some doc tells me I need another damned surgery. While there the vampire wallets I've coveted for months had dropped from being $9.99 to $2.48! I actually had bought one for myself already but since they had gotten so cheap I bought a couple more. I'm thinking they might make a cool giveaway item paired with a bookstore giftcard or something vampire themed.

And speaking of wallets. I totally stumbled on this cool little site called Pocket Vomit. If you're like me and have this itching curiosity about what people carry around with them in their purses or pockets I think you'll find it as entertaining and interesting as I did. Someone on there even has the vampire wallet!

So what are y'all reading this weekend? I kind of accidentally got sidetracked on Wednesday night. My Wifi was not working so my Kindle was giving me the virtual finger and it was so late I couldn't be shoved out of bed if my pilow was on fire so this weekend I am tearing through American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout. I thought it had come out last month for some reason and saw it in my TB Reviewed (from NetGalley) list on the Kindle and thought I'd read a few pages to see if I wanted to review it or not. Fortunately I can say that yes, yes I do. I'm very surprised by how enjoyable it is. I love Jessa and I love Graf. I rarely like both the hero and heroine equally. I've never read Jennifer Armintrout, though I have one of her books here somewhere in the TBR monster pile. I may have to put her higher on my priority list. Any fans out there?

I am so stalled on The Hollows series. I'll get into a scene and then there'll be two chapters of boring. It's frustrating. I loved the first five books. *sigh* I may start skimming—something I try never to do—since I won't be reviewing it. Do any of you sometimes find it helps ya get through a book in a series you love that just isn't delivering the goods you expect?

With everyone here still sick as heck I'm planning on hitting the gym tonight more for the sake of getting away from the coughing and vomiting than 'cause I want a toned booty. Fortunately the MIL and I have been enjoying it a lot. We spend the stretching time and drive home gabbing about books. Gotta love having a workout buddy who loves to hear ya dish about the newest book news. :)

Maybe if I can find the time over the weekend I'll actually get to seeing the other giveaways in the blog hop. What have been your favorite giveaways from the hop? I've been pretty tempted to throw some chocolate into the goody bag for mine if that's what the winner chooses. Afterall, who wouldn't want candy around Valentine's Day? When the hubs asked what I wanted I said flowers. 'Cause he doesn't buy me flowers often and when a girl is working out to try and fix her muffin top... candy seems like a bad idea. LOL Maybe I should just ask for an 8-pack of Guiness? :P We were debating the merits of beer and health the other night so perhaps it's better for me than chocolate but won't require me remembering to add water for a few days...

Well, dear readers, I am off to rest my knee while the tot naps. May your weekend be filled with romance and relaxation! -- Rhi


Kerrelyn Sparks Free Kindle Pre-Order

Just had to pop up really fast to share this because it might be a limited time thing. Someone on the Kindle forums posted that How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire w/ Bonus Content was free for Preorder. Now rumor has it this is only a sample of the book but since I don't know and see no reason it could hurt to share, here be the linkage...

On the Left is the Preorder & on the Right is the regular Kindle version so you can see which one this is supposed to be. Enjoy! -- Rhi

Kate Pearce Release Party @ Bitten By Books!

Okay, so I totally haven't started Kate Tudor Vampires series. I actually had contacted Kate ages before the first one came out but there weren't any ARCs available at the time and well... I was busy with other reviews and kiddos being on summer break by the time it released. Needless to say it slipped through the cracks. But I LOVE historicals featuring vampires, werewolves and the like. So I keep watching for the series to have a few books in it so I can sit down and read them back to back. Koori, you know what I mean!

That said I've been pouting over her latest release Blood of the Rose: The Tudor Vampire Chronicles. The cover is so striking! Not to mention it's about Anne Boleyn as a vampire. How can that not turn out to be a really fun plot?

Today, Bitten By Books is hosting a chat and giveaway (Kindle!!!) with Kate and I wanted to share (plus it gives me points for the giveaway too) the linkage.

Awww crap... told y'all my kid and husband were sick yesterday and the kiddo just ran past me to puke. *head/desk* Guess it's time to get back into the mommy trenches. Have a good one and don't forget to check out the event! -- Rhi


Going Into Quarantine. (+ FREE ebook from Carina Press)

[insert panicked beeping and people running around in hazmat suits here]

Oh yeah people... the nasties have invaded. Sore throats, fevers, coughing. My house is now a fog of humidifier steam, Lysol and chicken broth. The hubs and the son-child both came down with it in the past 24 hours. When I called the school to let them know I was keeping my kid home with a fever they said his grade has been hit the hardest. Last week it was the digestive sick and this week it's this fevery flu-ey thing.

:( My parents were not nurturers when it came to being sick. There was no TV, our one form of sustenance was ramen noodles (with strips of cheap lunch meat and mixed frozen vegetables, a combo which to this day turns me green just thinking about it). Since we were very poor seeing the doctor was a luxury and if we were very lucky he or she would have some samples of the expensive antibiotics because I'm allergic to both of the commonly used ones. Taking care of my family when they're sick is far from being my favorite thing to do. I love them, of course, but I don't love their germs! Or the whining. Fortunately I had some leftover cooked chicken I could toss into a pot with some tiny diced carrots, a little garlic, some noodles and a can of chicken broth so lunch was survivable. I will be downright shocked if I'm not bedriddden with what they've got X 2 by the weekend though.

How do you survive a full on household case of the crud? I've got a box of lotion-tissues, some Emergen-C (my go to when I am sick or taking care of sick people) and my Kindle's on the charger. I might have to pick up a box of alcohol wipes to take care of all the phones, remotes and such over the weekend because I'm trying really hard to keep everyone from being around the baby since she's still seemingly *knocking on wood* sick free.

Alright, on that note I am off... but I saved the best for last. Today at the Carina Press website you can download Silver Bound by Ella Drake for free! I'm heading over to grap it before I forget.

If I don't pop up between now and Monday I do apologize. Having the sickies on top of trying to read, review and all my normal daily duties plus the new workout routine may keep me away from the computer for anything more than checking the email. I was hoping to hop around with the Follower Love myself but there just hasn't been any time. *pout* Hope y'all are enjoying it, let me know who has the best giveaways eh? Happy hump day! :P -- Rhi


Follower Love Giveaway Hop [February 8th thru 13th]

Welcome to the Follower Love Giveaway Hop hosted by the oh-so-awesome Kathy of I'm a Reader, Not a Writer! I'm toward the end of the list of blogs taking part and with 200+ other blogs looking for some love this Valentine's weekend you're bound to find some sweet giveaways.

Since this hop is all about the followers I'm doing something I don't usually do and making my giveaway only open to followers. That said, please don't follow or enter if you're not really interested in my blog. Look around, read my reviews, see if RhiReading is something you really want to see content from!

You'll have the choice between entering to win a $10 Amazon.com Giftcard or a Paranormal Romance Goodie Bag! It's winner's choice which prize they want.

But first, here be the official rules & details:

• Giveaways are open to US residents age 13* and up.
(*If you are under the age of 18
please choose the giftcard as your prize choice unless you have parental permission to receive a box of smutty romance novels, I'm a mom and I don't want to piss your parents off!)

• You MUST be a follower of RhiReading via Blogger or Google Friend Connect.

• Only ONE entry per person. While "spreading the word" is always appreciated no extra entries will be allowed.

• To enter the giveaway please fill out the form below. No comments are required to enter the giveaway but if you leave a comment about a book you're currently reading I would love to see what you're working on.

• Winner will be chosen via
random.org, announced and emailed sometime during the day of February 14th, 2011.

• I reserve the right to disqualify any entrant I feel has not followed the rules (ie. multiple entries).

The winner will have the choice of a $10 Amazon.com Giftcard which will be sent via email or the Paranormal Romance Goodie Bag which includes a few little surprise goodies and a couple of swag items along with the following books:

The Calling (Immortals, Book 1) by Jennifer Ashley Brand New
Burning Up (Anthology) Brand New
Pleasure Unbound (Demonica #1) by Larissa Ione Brand New
Steamed: A Steampunk Romance by Katie MacAlister Read Once, Looks Brand New
Kissed by an Angel Collector's Edition: Kissed by an Angel the Power of Love Soulmates by Elizabeth Chandler Bought Used, Looks Brand New
Midnight Awakening (The Midnight Breed, Book 3) by Lara Adrian Bought Used, Battered Spine
The Nymph King (Atlantis) by Gena Showalter Bought Used, Battered Spine

Why am I giving away some "used" books in the goodie bag? I do a LOT of used book buying in thrift shops and I sometimes buy doubles—heck, sometimes I do it with brand new titles too!—by either accident or for my MIL and sometimes she already has them. Since I have no use for extra copies I am happy to give them to a loving home where they will be wanted in spite of their bent corners or lined spines. Instead of dumping them off at the thrift store again I'd love to see them tick some books of the wishlist of someone who visits my blog. The actual cash value of the goodies and books is about $40 so if you'd like any of the books in the goody bag it's a very valuable prize compared to the giftcard. ;)

If for some freak reason this form is not working please drop me an email to always.and.never AT gmail DOT com pronto!

Now, the whole purpose of a Blog Hop is to find and check out new blogs. When I first came on the blogging scene I was a little confused and baffled by the concept and honestly it's only been in the past few months I started paying attention to and "getting" them. I can now say I found some of my favorite blogs through hops, maybe you will too! :)

So pick a starting point and work your way through the following list, the giveaways for this hop are all supposed to be book related so you're bound (no pun intended) to find a blog or two you'll become a fan of. XOXO -- Rhi

Review: Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Cloaked by Alex Flinn
Young Adult, Magical Realism, Fairy Tale Retelling
Hardcover $16.99 (352 pages, HARPERTEEN)
Ebook $9.99 (HARPER COLLINS)
I'm not your average hero. I actually wasn't your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.
It all started with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.
There wasn't a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I've ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Everglades.
Don't believe me? I didn't believe it either. But you'll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got cloaked.

Author Site: www.alexflinn.com

Unusual, Original and Enjoyable Magical Realism (5 stars)

Johnny knows more about shoes than princesses. He and his mother have been running the family shoe repair business and just barely making ends meet for years. There isn't enough money to attend college but he's a good boy and knows what losing the shop would mean to his family legacy. His only dream is to design gorgeous shoes, shoes that'll see far beyond the South Beach hotel his little shop sits in.

But when a gorgeous European princess comes to stay at the hotel his life is forever changed. There's magic in the world and a whole lot of trouble comes with it. Witches, frog princes, talking animals and magic cloaks seek to tangle his shoelaces. If Johnny can save a royal family, help a flock of swan siblings and battle giants then maybe the family business can be saved.

Ugh, my summary there does nothing for this story. I'm sorry! Cloaked is one crazy hodgepodge of lesser known fairy tales twisted into an unusual modern retelling. The blurb for the book does nothing for it. It sells this story short and then some.

This was my second read from Flinn who is fast becoming my go-to author when I want a story I can share with my kids. I'm a huge fan of classic fairytale retellings and she is one author who does it refreshingly and with passion. With that in mind Cloaked is a little different. Instead of retelling a single fable it blends elements of some less common ones. I was very pleased to find that she included an author's note section explaining some of these further. When I was little one of my favorite bedtime stories was The Valiant Tailor so the bits inspired by that one really brought a smile to my face.

I will admit I found the combination of themes to not always mesh seamlessly. The story flowed a bit weirdly at times and the pacing could be a little stop-start because of it. In spite of that I had a terrible time putting it down. I needed to know what was going to happen next and NOW. It's also a very boy friendly adventure.

The book is recommended for ages 12 and up but I would say it's appropriate for some readers younger than that with an adult to read with them. My 10-year-old (at the time) really enjoyed Flinn's Beastly so I am going to see if he'd like to read Cloaked on his own. Girls will like the strong female characters and boys will love the motorcycle chases, fighting giants and other great adventure elements. Simply put I loved this story and think it's an interesting blend of magical realism, boyish adventure and family loyalty worthy of sharing with others.

Other Reviews:
Eating Y.A. Books

Notes: Received ARC via Amazon Vine Program.

It's Monday, Get Your TV On!

Monday again? *yawn* My how time flies.

How was your weekend? My spa date with my MIL was pretty nice. Our spa moved into new facilities and we tried something new. Let me just say getting your eyebrows waxed smarts but is soooo worth it if you're able to get it done. I also figured out what it is that has held me back from shaping my brows myself. I have dark brows and "invisible" brows so I have a spot on one side where I looked bald after my waxing. Thank goodness they can tint your brows 'cause now I look browrific. :D lol

I'm not sure I'm gonna get home from Curves in time for Being Human tonight but last week I was able to rewatch it on Syfy on Friday night. If you're having trouble catching it too I think they do it every week. Anyone else really enjoying it? I am definitely a fan. I'm also wishing they'd put the "score" out on CD or MP3 or something. I really dig the music on the show. But then I am a bit of a collector of scores I like. Meh anyways here be tonight's shows...

Yay! New Castle tonight!

And of course later this week you can catch Face Off (Wednesday) & Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (Friday). Both of which I am totally loving BTW.

Don't forget, the Follower Love Giveaway Hop starts tonight. Be sure and drop by tomorrow to enter my giveaway! -- Rhi


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