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? I am currently OPEN for review requests for review requests. I have promotional openings for July through November open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


3.30.2012

Weekend Reading [03/30-04/01] :: OMG go away week!


You ever have one of those weeks that there are no proper words for? It was one of those. I got hurt emotionally and it's been eating away at me all week making me crazy. Makes it hard not to let it bleed into other parts of my life too. There's nothing like crying while cleaning the toilet or being incapable of enjoying a good episode of a TV show because your mind can't stop picking at the splinter in your heart.

On the good side I finished Blood on the Bayou last night and it was super good. Better than the first book. Now it's just a matter of praying the publisher doesn't can the series. Which means you guys have to buy it and make your friends buy it and buy it for other friends and... you get the idea. I need this series to keep going. It's not every day I connect with a character this much, I can only name a couple of others.

This weekend I'm hoping to make some progress on the handful I have going. Most likely will get PACK & COVEN finished. It's really different and I'm kinda liking the ways it's different. I'm finding WANTED: UNDEAD OR ALIVE to be dreadful. I can only read a few pages before I have to put it down. I think I can safely scratch Kerrelyn Sparks and Lynsay Sands off my read list. They're just not the kind of humorous vampire romance that works for me. I can see why they're well loved by others though. I hate when that happens too because I feel like I'm the only one who just doesn't 'get' them.

Not sure how much reading will really get done all things considered. I have a mani/pedi tomorrow and with everything I'm dealing with I have been forcing myself to do spring cleaning type chores just to keep busy. I finally chucked a bunch of nearly empty lotions and junk from the bathroom. It was so hard to do it—cause I felt wasteful!—but it feels so good having a cleaned out cupboard. Looking a lot less like an episode of Hoarders in there. :P lol Now if only my room didn't look like an episode of Hoarders: Special Book Blogger's Edition. ;) ;) Would any of you be interested in a box of gently (and maybe a few not-so-gently) used books as a giveaway prize? Let me know and maybe I can spring clean my book shelves a little, send some of these babies to loving homes. TTFN! -- Rhi

3.29.2012

Beauty in the Beast by Christine Danse
Romance, Steampunk, Shapeshifters, Fae
Ebook $3.99 (87 pages, CARINA PRESS)
Audiobook $4.95

Journeying by steam-powered sled to London's Frost Fair to perform, Tara and three friends are trapped in a blizzard in the woods. A gruff, handsome stranger offers them shelter—and wants one thing in return. Stories. The travellers are glad to oblige. Their host, Rolph, is especially captivated by Tara's story of an orphaned girl raised by the Fae in the world of the spirits. Equally intrigued by Rolph, and aware of an electric pull between them, Tara encourages him to share a story of his own. When Rolph weaves a tale of a man who is doomed by his own folly to turn into a wolf at the full moon, Tara suspects there is more than a grain of truth in his words. When the veil between the mortal and spiritual worlds is parted, and danger threatens, will Tara make the ultimate sacrifice to save Rolph? 29,000 words
Author Site: christinedanse.com

Multi-faceted, Engrossing Steampunk Romance (5 stars)

When their stomper breaks down in a blizzard a troupe of stranded entertainers finds themselves relying on the hospitality of a mysterious loner. Tara finds Rolph's enigmatic nature alluring as she and her friends trade stories for shelter in the storm. As she shares her tale of a girl orphaned and saved by the Fae, Rolph finds himself equally enchanted. But Rolph's somber trade, a tale of a man cursed to a beastly nature because of his own foolishness, does little to frighten her away.

Can two strangers who have seen the darkest consequences of mortal life be joined by more than mutual sorrow? If saving Rolph from his beast costs a priceless treasure will Tara be willing to give it?

If you love steampunk romances, Carina Press is the place to go. While mild on the steampunk elements they play an important part of this story's set-up. Though only novella length, there's a lot packed into this story. As each character shares their story there's a depth added. I tend to get a little blah in novellas without plenty of action but BEAUTY IN THE BEAST's action is very much in the subtleties as Tara and Rolph observe one another. I rarely like when characters have the sort of insta-love that comes with short stories but there's a smoothness to this one that was almost as satisfying as a full-length.

Once the action gets moving the pacing gets quick, bringing in the paranormal elements that seem to be a staple of my reading. It makes a rich blend and in the end this was a novella I couldn't wait to tell people about. While not a true Beauty and the Beast retelling, there's very little of the fairy-tale here, it's sure to entertain fans of such. The only thing I didn't like about this one was that it ended! I would very much enjoy reading more in this particular world Danse has created. Highly recommended to readers looking for a blend of romance, steampunk, and paranormal elements that enjoy novellas.



Other Reviews:
K-Books
A Book and a Short Latte

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Check this book out if you liked:

3.28.2012

WINNERS! Stacia & Stacey Giveaway Hop (+ more!)


Firstly, a huge thanks goes out to the wonderful bloggers who put this hop together and invited me to be a part of it. I honestly had begun to think I was alone in my adoration of Stacey's brilliant writing so finding a handful of other bloggers who wanted to see these series keep going really brightened my perspective. Secondly, a big thanks to all of you who dropped by and entered the giveaways. Lots of familiar faces and many whom are new to my blog. I hope you'll stick around and let me know what you're reading, ask for recommendations, or just plain buy your books through my links ('cause the tiny bit of advertising fees I make help me afford to do more giveaways, a complete win-win for all of us)!

Alas, there would only be two winners today so let's offer congrats to Nicola and Melissa!

Didn't win? No worries. You can still pick up copies of their books online and hopefully in brick and mortar stores. Since I can't drive I tend to lean toward my Kindle for most of my book buying. Plus it saves space and the hubs can't tell when I go on a book buying spree, ha!

Here are buy links for Amazon for both series:

Downside Ghosts
#1. #2. #3.
#4. #5.**
(**pre-order)

Annabelle Lee
#1. #2.

There's more good news too! I'm planning to do a giveaway for my readers who buy Dead on the Delta or Blood on the Bayou and promote the series soon. I've still got to decide my rules and how I want readers to promote it so be on the look-out over the next month for a post about it.

Now I'm off to get the tot down for a nap (pssh, yeah right, damn you terrible-two's!) and try to read the next 50% of BOTB while figuring out what to make for dinner. -- Rhi

3.27.2012

Happy Book Birthday to Stacey Jay & Stacia Kane!


All I can do is yawn and sigh today. I'm exhausted. I wasn't intending to start Blood on the Bayou in the middle of the night... but well I was checking my email really fast before sleep and apparently when I pre-ordered it there was a giftcard on my account so there was an error in processing the purchase. Which meant it was beckoning to me hardcore... I figured I'd just read the dedication and acknowledgements, maybe the first chapter. Mind you it was almost 2AM at this point.

So I'm reading through the quotes for the series and smiling 'cause I love seeing real bloggers/reviewers like Scooper Speaks getting their thoughts quoted and I get to the acknowledgements and right behind Stacey's family, editor, and author friends is MY NAME! Me. OMG it's meeeeee! There was much eye-rubbing and self-pinching to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I had no idea at all that I was listed in the acknowlegements beforehand. I know, I know... it's not THAT big of a deal... but it made me feel special and kind of famous. lol

So then I read until 3AM and got up at 8AM and chugged like 5 cups of coffee so I can get my brain even close to focusing on what I'm supposed to be doing today. I'm at 17% according to the Kindle and so far it's dayuuum good. I missed Annabelle! I'm finally starting to cast the characters in my head too... 'cause I saw a flick a while back and the actress was, in my worthless opinion, a terrific choice for Annabelle if ever there were a movie made from the series. Alas, I can't see that ever happening but a girl can dream can't she?

And I'm rambling from lack of sleep and over-stimulation thanks to all the caffiene. Let's all wish both Stacey and her buddy Stacia Kane a very, very happy Book Birthday for Blood on the Bayou and Sacrificial Magic.

If you haven't bought them yet, I recommend picking them both up ASAP. You can also enter to win a copy of each (or another book from each series) in the Stacia and Stacey Giveaway Hop but today is the last day so hurry!



Enter to win any Kindle ebook from the Annabelle Lee series by Stacey Jay AND any Kindle ebook from the Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane! Ends 03/27

3.23.2012

Weekend Reading [03/23-03/26] :: Book ADD & Some R&R


Yeah, that's pretty much how my week's been... just like this guy... everytime I'm like 'ooh yay' something gets in the way and takes away my happy. Which is weak sauce since it's actually been a good week. I told my grandma it's like ants... they're tiny but get enough of them together they can move mountains. Enough with the rotten little things pissing on my happy!

With Lucky-in-Love Week over I'm getting back to work on my review pile. It was fun wasn't it? If you didn't win a prize don't worry. I'll have many more giveaways coming up soon. Thanks again to Laura Kaye, Lisa Kessler, Cheryl Brooks, Brooke Moss, Moira Rogers, P.T. Michelle, and Meljean Brook for being here, sharing their endearing and sometimes funny stories and having goodies for the readers here.

This weekend I'm bouncing between books a bit. With ROMEO REDEEMED not being released for a long time I kind of don't want to finish it so soon but it's nice getting back to the story. Meanwhile, I picked up PACK & COVEN before I had started some of these others and it's not holding my interest though I'm liking something about it at the same time. Mostly, I'm trying to get UNHOLY GHOSTS moved along. With the latest in the series being released next week and being part of the hop I've gotta at least know what all the hype is about. ;)

It's bound to be a quiet weekend other than reading and hopefully playing a little SWTOR to destress. Maybe I'll catch up on Spartacus and give myself a mani/pedi if time permits too. ;) Wanted to go see The Hunger Games but our sitter is heading to a concert tonight. The review I read said it was very mild, lacking the violence and darkness that makes the book good. What are you guys reading this weekend? Got any special plans? Seeing THG movie? Whatever you've got planned have a great one! -- Rhi

3.20.2012

Review: Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler

Loss (Riders of the Apocalypse #3) by Jackie Morse Kessler
Young Adult, Supernatural, Social Issues
Paperback $8.99 (272 pages, GRAPHIA)
Ebook $8.99

Fifteen-year-old Billy Ballard is the kid that everyone picks on, from the school bullies to the teachers. But things change drastically when Death tells Billy he must stand in as Pestilence, the White Rider of the Apocalypse. Now armed with a Bow that allows him to strike with disease from a distance, Billy lashes out at his tormentors...and accidentally causes an outbreak of meningitis. Horrified by his actions, Billy begs Death to take back the Bow. For that to happen, says Death, Billy must track down the real White Rider—who is lost in his memories.
In his search, Billy travels through White Rider’s life: from ancient Phrygia, where the man called King Mita agrees to wear the White Rider’s Crown, to Sherwood Forest, where Pestilence figures out how to cheat Death; from the docks of Alexandria, where cartons of infested grain are being packed onto a ship that will carry the plague, to the Children’s Crusade in France—all the way to what may be the end of the world. When Billy finally finds the White Rider, the teen convinces the man to return to the real world.
But now the insane White Rider plans to unleash something awful on humanity—something that could make the Black Death look like a summer cold. Billy has a choice: he can live his life and pretend he doesn’t know what’s coming, or he can challenge the White Rider for his Crown. Does one bullied teenager have the strength to stand his ground—and the courage to save the world?

Author Site: jackiemorsekessler.com

What exactly happened here? (2 stars)

Billy Ballard's life is a series of just-getting-by moments as he takes beatings and harassment from his classmates and struggles to help care for his Alzheimer's afflicted grandfather. But little does Billy know that the nightmare figure from his childhood that promised him a ride on his white horse in exchange for bearing his crown is about to become the most challenging thing in his life.

Charged by Death with the task of bringing back the wayward White Rider, acting as Pestilence in his stead, Billy faces his own demons. Bearing the Bow of Pestilence can give him revenge on his tormentors but at what cost? For it is the duty of the Riders to maintain the balance before the end of days when the Four ride as one. There's only one way Billy can bring Pestilence back into balance and it will take him finding his inner strength to do so.

Unfortunately for me as a reader this series has continued to decline in it's authenticity. While HUNGER rang true with the author's personal experiences to rely on, RAGE felt lacking, and LOSS felt even more so. The biggest struggle I had with this book was that it felt like she was pantsing her way through it trying to force it to be about one topic (Gramp's Alzheimer's) while neglecting the one that I thought was supposed to be central.

I love, love, love that part of the proceeds for each book go to very worthy charitable organizations working for teen relavent issues. But what surprised me was that in this time when Bullying is getting lots of press and groups are rising up to teach children how to handle it... why is this book not focused on that aspect of Billy? This time the proceeds are for Alzheimer's, which I respect but feel mixed about with this being a YA novel.

I really liked Billy and his relationship with his grandfather but spent most of the book waiting for anything interesting to happen. Even the bullying lacked the genuine feeling of fear I watched my brother, who was so badly bullied he dropped out before high school, go through. The bullies were two-dimensional stereotypes like you see in movies and the bullying was such a small part of the actual plot I blinked when I finished LOSS wondering what the heck I'd just read.

Mostly it's a lot of Death and Billy talking, Billy seeing 'flashbacks' of the White Rider's life (I won't spoil it but this all felt silly and contrived too), and the same stuff over and over until I wanted to just stop reading. But I wanted it to get better, I wanted to at least rate it okay, and in the end I didn't like this book enough. It's saving grace is that Billy really is a likable character. As I finished it I was left thinking 'what on Earth did I just read?'. Unless you're a die-hard fan of this series I just can't recommend it.



Other Reviews:
Bibliopunkk

Notes: ARC received via Amazon Vine.

3.19.2012

Stacia & Stacey Giveaway Hop!!! [03/20-03/27]


If you've been a follower of my blog for long enough you know how rabid a fan of Stacey Jay that I am. Not only because her books are amazing but because she's one of those authors that's just a cool person, if I'd just met her at random before reading her books I'd want to hang with her. All you have to do is read her blog to see she's good people. :)

Last year when DEAD ON THE DELTA came out I loved it vehemently, even made the hubs read it. So imagine how frustrated I was when reviews began pouring in next to mine that hated it! I mean, that's okay, I value an honest opinion, but the thing I was seeing is that no one was "getting" Annabelle and that was why they didn't like the book.

If you've ever suffered from addiction or self-harming behavior you will understand her. She's flawed and makes tons of bad decisions but that's what I loved about her... I could relate. I'm a recovered anorexic (as my form of self-harm 'cause it was easier to hide than cutting) who briefly struggled with pain-pill addiction. No, it ain't pretty, or glamorous like in the movies, but I'm not ashamed of it one bit. I was in a dark place and eventually I started seeing it for what it was, got my shit together, and hope to help other people understand what drives folks to the sort of destructive behaviors I was putting myself through. Which is why I can't wait to read BLOOD ON THE BAYOU... I want to see Annabelle growing as a person even as she's forced to deal with a really crappy world. I want her to get her shit together the way I did even if it takes a whole series for it to happen. Because it can happen if a person wants to overcome it.

For today's hop I was originally planning to only giveaway one of Stacey's Annabelle books since I have yet to crack one of Stacia's. But as it happened I was going through my TBR piles (your mind would be blown if you saw just my physical TBR shelves, boxes, and stacks) and saw UNHOLY GHOSTS sitting there. I know I'll like it so why haven't I read the damned thing? I have lots of excuses but with it currently 99¢ on Kindle I really should have read it by now. So this week I'm going to juggle Stacey's ROMEO REDEEMED and Stacia's UNHOLY GHOSTS, and bask in the awesome. Which means I have to offer a chance at both an adventure with Annabelle and one with Chess. ;)

I hope if you're like me and have tried one series and not the other my giveaway will be the perfect chance for you to give it a try. In the meantime feel free to use the linkies to find out more about Stacia and Stacey and their books. Good luck and thanks for hopping by!

It's Monday, Get Your TV On!

I am draggggging today. Apparently I'm just as infected as everyone on TWD? It's going to be a long wait until fall now. What an exciting conclusion to the second season though! Then tonight we'll have the supposed "A" reveal on PLL... I'm skeptical 'cause they've teased this before. The good news is Castle is finally new again this week! I missed OUAT last night 'cause of TWD, usually we find a way to fit both and Shameless in but it wasn't working. And next week guess what show is joining TV Mondays? Game of Thrones!

And on that note I'm getting this posted before my horrid head-neck-back ache drags it any later into the day. Happy reading and enjoy your boobtube!

So go ahead and check out this week's schedule, watch the previews, and discuss last week's episodes. You know you need someone to dish to and I do too!

Please be aware that if you're behind there may be unmarked SPOILERS in the comments.

Monday:
   
Thursday:
Friday:
Sunday:
 

(all synopsises courtesy of TVguide.com or the show's site)

3.17.2012

Lucky in Love with Rhianna/RhiReading [+ GIVEAWAY!]

My dearest readers,


One of the toughest parts about putting together a themed multi-author event is that authors need time to write. I never even heard back from some of the authors I approached and others had to decline because of deadlines. Would I ever whine about that? Heck no! As I told them 'I'd rather have you writing books for me to read than writing a guestpost for my blog!'. I hope you all agree with me there. ;)

But being the awesome gal she is, Meljean Brook offered to let me do a BIG paperback giveaway for her Iron Seas series! So essentially she's sponsoring my chance to tell you my own Lucky-in-Love story. Thanks Meljean!


And they lived geek-ily ever after...

I don't really remember what it was like to be cool. I have a vague impression that from kindergarten until I moved to another school between 3rd and 4th grade I was one of the popular kids. In lots of plays, gifted learning classes, invited to lots of birthday parties, had tons of friends in my large Girl Scout troop, and was never without a 'boyfriend'. I even had two at the same time in 3rd grade. Oh, yeah... I wasn't just cool, I was a tramp. lol

But when we moved that first time everything in my life changed, not just the city or the house. In the 4th grade I learned what it was like to be essentially mother-less and about as outcast as one could get. I didn't have the Esprit outfits, New Kids on the Block lunchboxes, soccer trophies, and pet rabbits that made the popular girls cool. My obsession with dance and making jewelry, riding my first bike and reading books were very uncool. They didn't so much pick on me as ignore me other than the occasional sneers at my uncombed hair and the cold lunches I had to make for myself.

Moving every year—sometimes twice a year—from then on until high school didn't help me find much acceptance. It's never been easy to be me, my life story reads like a Greek tragedy, but the one thing I've done alright maintaining is a thin thread of self acceptance. I may not have always let my freak geek flag fly high but I never took it off the flagpole either. Because if there's one thing I had learned from all the moves was that while I'd always have to say good-bye to my friends... I could never say good-bye to myself. If people didn't like my collection of action figures, fascination with the English language, passion for vintage clothes, or love of just sitting in my room playing video games then to hell with them. Why would I want people in my life who wouldn't let me be me?

Even still, finding a guy to love me kind of became an obsession from about 8th grade on. Looking back I know a lot of it was 'daddy issues' and a desperate desire to be 'rescued' from an unhappy childhood. I never crushed on attainable guys and the guys who expressed any interest in me never did so at a time when I was available for whatever reason. How is it once you're off the market you suddenly get lots of male attention you never had before? lol

I have never believed in soul mates and believe it even less so now. Jaded? Maybe a little... seeing every single man in your family cheat on their wife will do that. No, I believe that real love, lasting love, is all about the evolution of two people sharing a life together for better and worse. If you're not happy and healthy as individuals you'll never be truly happy as partners.

When I met Adam we were both in difficult situations of our own and in some way I believe we found refuge in one another. I never would have expected him to be attracted to me, let alone ask me out. We went out and saw Blade after working a very long day of retail on Black Friday and shared post-movie snacks at a nearby restaurant. Our childhoods only had one thing in common... a lot of moving. But we both liked hockey, were Star Wars geeks, and wanted to attend the Art Institute of Seattle.

I loved him immediately and passionately. He brought me a rose and an action figure within that first week after our date! Thirteen years later he still buys me action figures, and sometimes roses too. We play video games together and obsess over Halloween costumes. Neither of us ever made it to art school and we fight about stupid things. But at the end of the day even when we're broke or stressed about our kids' grades, dealing with the latest thing to break in our house or worrying how we're going to juggle all our errands I welcome every bit of it. No matter what hellacious things life has thrown (or will throw) at us we make it through. Even if he doesn't always understand my obsessions and vice versa we're happy to let one another be ourselves and even though we don't always 'get it' we support one another's passions. We're also really good at pulling each other into new ones. ;)

They say that the perfect person for you will love you 'warts and all'. But if there's one thing Adam has taught me about being truly lucky in love, it's that the right person will love you for your warts and wouldn't ever want you to stop being you.


May luck and love find you! Happy St. Patrick's Day everybody!

And if you're really lucky and your husband gives you shit about being Irish for thirteen years and thanks to Ancestry.com finds out he's just as Irish as you are... harass the hell out of him the way I'm going to be teasing my rotten husband all day!

Now step right up and enter this GREAT giveaway from Meljean Brook!


3.16.2012

Lucky-in-Love with P.T. Michelle [+ GIVEAWAY!]

Since Rhianna is celebrating Lucky-in-Love and my guest post falls on the day before St. Patrick's Day, I thought it fitting that I incorporate something very Irish! :)

When my husband and I got married, our honeymoon was a weekend in the mountains. A day after we arrived at the cabin, a heavy snow    storm threatened. There we were with a brand new car (that wasn't    built for snow) and a new job starting on Monday. Needless to say,    our weekend was cut short. Fast forward a dozen years later, I'd    been writing for about three years and all I could talk about was    Ireland. I'd researched this beautiful country for a book I was working on and had fallen in love. You know how sometimes you just really feel connected to a place? That's how I felt about Ireland/Irish music/the Irish culture. I really wanted to go there and experience it firsthand. That year for Christmas, my husband gave me a trip to Ireland. To say I was ecstatic was an understatement. I spent the next six months planning/booking B&Bs and Castles, along with tours of interesting places. I was going to make the MOST of this trip! :)

In July we flew to Ireland. Our very first night, we got lost trying to find the Castle we were booked in for the night. We ended up driving up a steep, bumpy dirt road that was so narrow brambles and brush scrapped both sides of the car. When it became apparent that the road went nowhere, my husband said, "Do you hear the DELIVERANCE song in your head like I do?" I snickered, loving that he could always make me laugh, even in the face of uncertainty.  Ah, but we finally made it to the Castle, which turned out to supposedly be haunted (see that story here if you're interested).

Then we traveled to the Newgrange tomb in County Meath. Did you know Newgrange is older than Stonehenge? And that it's perfectly (mathematically) aligned such that ONLY on the Winter Solstice (Dec. 21st), for about 15 minutes, a sliver of sunlight will pour into the small window at the front of the tomb, then snake its way down to the passageway that leads into the ground where that tiny bit of light illuminates the entire chamber underground below? If you ever go to Ireland, it's truly worth your time to tour this amazing wonder.

Continuing West, we visited Galway where I took this fabulous rainbow picture.


Then we took a ferry to visit the biggest of the Aran Islands, Inishmore. On our way to Inishmore, the Irish Coast Guard did a rescue drill on our boat. That's not something you see every day. LOL :)

From there, we went South to Dingle, where we went horseback riding on the beach. What a rush!
Each night we hung out in the pubs and listened to the locals sing and play traditional Irish music. Everywhere we went, the Irish people were very friendly and welcoming.
On our last night in Ireland, while we were in a pub listing to an older man sing a rendition of Danny Boy that brought tears to my eyes, my husband leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Happy belated honeymoon. Did Ireland live up to your expectations?" Raising my mug of Guinness to click with his, I smiled and said, "And then some. How soon can we come back?"

Not only did I get to experience Ireland during the best weather possible (70 degrees and sunny almost the entire time we were there), but the highlight was that I got to experience it with my husband and best friend.

That makes me feel very Lucky-in-Love. :)

Now for one of you to feel LUCKY-IN-LOVE! I'm giving away an eBook copy of BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS (which features a swoon worthy guy named Ethan. ;). To enter for a chance to win, fill out the Rafflecopter Rhi has provided.


GOOD LUCK!



 
Buy Brightest Kind of Darkness at:

Coming Spring 2012: BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS, book 2: LUCID!


ABOUT P.T. MICHELLE

P.T. Michelle is the young adult pseudonym of Patrice Michelle, author of fifteen romance novels and novellas. When P.T. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading or taking pictures of landscapes, sunsets and anything beautiful or odd in nature.  

 
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