Giveaway Round-up #2 and I got me a FEATURE!!

Well, fellow readers, it’s been a busy week!

Read a ton, reviewed some–saving a few for next week, and later, blog tours.

These posts still have active Rafflecopter giveaways, if you are so inclined. Just click the linkys and hit the “a rafflecopter giveaway” link at the bottom of each post.


AMERICAN GIRL ON SATURN–signed paperback and swag

TASTE THE HEAT–Swag and $15 Amazon gift card

INTO THE FIRE–Swag and $15 Amazon gift card

WHAT ENDURES–$25 Amazon Gift card and signed books

STRIPPED–Ginormous Prize pack including a loaded Kindle Fire ($270 value)


UNREAP MY HEART–Swag and free eBook–ALSO!! Make a comment as directed for an opportunity to win a free eBook.

I, myself, have won > 15 prizes on similar giveaways this year alone, so, erm, on second thought…



*More for me that way* *ooh, the precious*

And! I’m so fortunate to have my *first* feature as a blogger!

**happy shake** **bakes cookies for no reason**

Cherie Colyer and I sat down to chat about my blog and what reading/reviewing was like in real-life. You may be entertained. I’m a bit of a moving target.

Thanks Cherie, for making me look cool.

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: August 2013

I’ve joined up with The Armchair Squid‘s once-monthly book review to link with other bloggers and offer suggestions of the best books read in the course of the month. We’re linking blogs on the final Friday of each month and each bringing you  the ‘Best of our Best’ just in case it strikes your fancy.

For my selection this month I’m discussing two novellas I found to be surprisingly good, the first two episodes in the Deadly Liaisons serial by Leigh Wilder.

Maybe it’s me, but when I hear of vampire erotica that’s ‘gayer than Twilight’ I get the giggles something fierce. I just had to bite… 😉

First up:  DRAIN ME DRY

See, I’ve read erotica. And I’ve read vampire. And I read a ton of romance. I’ve even read homoerotic tales…and I never expected this to work.

But it so did.

I really loved how Wilder created compassionate, and passionate, characters here. The setting is alt-history, small-town Pennsylvania where vampires exist openly and are allowed to feed, but not kill or turn a victim into a vampire. (Spoiler: um, yeah, sometimes either or both happens…)

Jamie is a nineteen y/o human with homoerotic desires, but has never tested himself. He’s also very insecure, undersized, and regularly abused by his alcoholic father. His Taco King job sucks and he’d like to die, but he’s too timid to kill himself. Working with a vampire, Jamie concocts a plan to have a vampire drain his blood. Reluctantly, his co-worker gives Jamie the name of a place where such a plan can become a reality.

Damian is THE vampire. The eldest of all vampires in town, he’s slumming in a blood den when Jamie approaches him, struck by Damian’s beauty.

Jamie wants this beautiful ‘angel’ to suck the life from him, but Damian realizes that Jamie’s something rather special. The result is a very well-written, tender interlude. Though it is a short read (this is the first of a serial) the end is satisfying for the reader as well as the characters.

Soon as I finished DRAIN ME DRY I downloaded Episode 2, ADDICTED TO THE BITE.

In this second episode, Damian and his Jamie-boy are back.
After one night in Damian’s bed, Jamie wants more. Especially now that his abusive father has been sorted. He is not happy to learn that he can’t be Damian’s steady lover…mostly because Damian must feed more regularly than Jamie’s body can withstand.
Damian, as head vampire, is prevailed upon to find a serial drainer–a vamp who has killed two young men in as many nights by sucking every drop of blood from their bodies. Law enforcement is on his case about the murders, meanwhile the Daybreakers, humans who hate vampires, plot to destroy Damian’s club.

Jamie, out to prove that he can survive frequent bleedings, meets a strange vampire in Damian’s club and get caught in the Daybreakers strike…

This episode moves quickly. While building upon the first story, its plot stands alone as well. Definitely more here than biting and screwing, and I’m intrigued to read on.

Next month I’ll get the linky-links for my fellow Coffeehousers–so hopefully you’ll check those out Sept 27th!

For the love of ALA 2013!

IMG_0778Oh, my aching back!


I think I need an adjustment…mainly because I carted home 23.5# worth of reading from my one-day mission at the American Libraries Association annual meeting that just wrapped up in Chicago yesterday.

And, if you think that sounds greedy, you might be right.

Still, I make no apologies.IMG_0779

Check out this haul! 28 books in total and most of them ARCs–Advance Reader Copies. For a new blogger like me, those babies are manna from Heaven.

And, yes, I did pay for some books. Particularly some discounted hardcovers for my kids. Because I’m that mom. The one who gives books as gifts.

For my Exhibits Only $35 fee I was able to meet some of the most vibrant people in publishing. It was exhilarating. And, transcendent.

People say that books are dead. I’m here to report I saw them firsthand–alive and well.

And if you think I’m kidding, let me say: who among you would wait 94 minutes to meet a Caldecott medal IMG_0772winner? Many people–the line was over a 100 people long. But Jon Klassen is as delightful and compassionate as his stories. He wade a point to address each and every person in the line graciously, asking questions and being absolutely lovely.

And, I had the same treatment when meeting Oliver Jeffers, IMG_0769

Tom Angleberger IMG_0770

and Jarrett J. Krosoczka


But truly, the coup de etat of my fruitful day was snagging an ARC from a lady I truly admire as an author:  Simone Elkeles.

I’ve got my hands on WILD CARDS–so expect a review soon!


How Nancy Drew determined my reading habits

It’s come to this. I’m addicted to series reads–and I blame it squarely on Nancy Drew. Rightfully so.

Just give an impressionable, slightly rambunctious, third-grade girl a digestible mystery with fun and friendship and the *hint* of a romance and sit back. Observe. The descent into Bonafide Series Junkie is inevitable.

I didn’t stand a chance.

But, I’ve had a rather good course as far as addictions go. I started young with Christoper Pike and V.C. Andrews books. I inhaled C. S. Lewis. As a parent I fell into Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. As an adult I began re-reading with Outlander–of which I purchased two sets and had to donate them to others in order to get anything done in my house. I own both Highlander and Fever Series from KMM. MindJacker Trilogy. Hunger Games. Even the Beauty Trilogy by Anne Rice, if I’m to be totally honest here.

There are others, assuredly, but this is enough to demonstrate the common thread here: I can’t get enough of characters I adore. I’ve enlisted help from support groups at my libraries for decades now and if I’ve dumped money into feeding my habit it’s all for the good.

Currently, I’m awaiting Allegiant, Fifth Grave Past the Light, Burned and Written in my Own Heart’s Blood…in addition to falling in with some new up-and-coming authors.

When I see all the books/book deals that are coming out it seems to me that there will be fewer and fewer stand-alone books out there. And, while this totally rocks for the series addict in me, I’m a bit troubled that there won’t be enough John Greens or Judy Blumes or Sarah Dessens to write the books that need writing because everybody is looking for that killer hook that will land the big multi-book/movie rights contract.


But I’m going to continue searching that new arrivals table for the unique, too.  Help me find great reads–series or not–by listing your favorites in the comments!

Blessings abound!

It’s Saturday, and I’m having a super day. Why? Because this week I won 7 books!

1. A signed copy of: THE UNFINISHED WORK OF ELIZABETH D by Nichole Bernier courtesy of the Guide to Literary Agents Blog at Writer’s Digest. Oh! I just love that site!!! (Fourth book I’ve won as a commenter).

And a 6-pack of contemporary romance e-books from OmniFic Publishing for being part of the #Omnilicious Twitter party last night. So much fun!! I was able to interact with so many published ladies–who were great about answering any and all questions. Even Carol Oates out in Ireland who’d stayed up way past 2am local time to participate! Giant thanks to Cherie Colyer (@CherieColyer), a critique partner and OmniFic author, who invited me.

Will add reviews as soon as I finish.

On tap to read next?

TRANSPARENT by Natalie Whipple and THE BLUE BLAZES by a super awesome author Chuck Wendig. If you haven’t seen his blog at go now (just remember to come back here!)

Also making today awesome?  I had the excellent fortune to win FIVE items in the 2013 Brenda Novak Auction for diabetes research including swag but (most importantly!) I snagged a mini-critique from YA author Sara Hantz and a query critique and consultation with super-agent Gordon Warnock of Foreword Literary…I’m beside myself!

All for now!

V 🙂

PS. Still figuring out all the linky-links. And researching how to import covers…starting a blog is scary-fun…