S.E.C.R.E.T by L. Marie Adeline

secret
As someone who is NOT a fan of 50 Shades but a fan and long time reader of erotic fiction I was hesitant to read S.E.C.R.E.T because of the hoopla surrounding it. Popular does not always equate with good and since I found the so called steamy sex scenes in 50 Shades to be very clinical and unsexy, I was expecting much of the same from this story.

My friend Andrea messaged me one day to say that I HAD to read it! It had blown her away. Now, mostly Andrea and I have different tastes in everything from reading material to music but occasionally we come together on something and when we do….. oh boy! Thus was the case with S.E.C.R.E.T. I am so glad she recommended it to me, I only regret that I didn’t read it months ago when I first got it.

Set in New Orleans, S.E.C.R.E.T tells the story of Cassie Robichaud, a widow who has fallen into the rut of going to work and going home and having the hots for her boss. One day she discovers a secret group run by some very passionate women. This group believes that all women should be comfortable in their own skin, confident in their strength and beauty as well as in charge of their own sexual experiences. Because most women aren’t comfortable with all of that, this group helps women to gain it all through secret meetings that fulfill their wildest dreams and desires.

When I started reading this book I wasn’t sure I liked the heroine (Cassie) by the end I still wasn’t sure if I did or not. Mostly because she reminded me a lot of myself I’m guessing. But over all I really enjoyed the story. The sex scenes may be short but they are definitely tantalizing, hot and steamy. The story takes place in New Orleans which becomes as much a character as the people are. It certainly has given me several ideas of restaurants and places to visit when I travel there in May.

I had this book sitting in my TBR pile for months but after reading it I had to order the second one immediately and am now anxiously awaiting the third installment. Was I excited to hear that I don’t have to wait until 2015 for it!

If you’re looking for a sexy beach read for your winter vacation or to escape the snow outside then I highly recommend giving this one a try.
And if you happen to know of such a club existing………

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 Reads.

Songs of Dusk

Last night I enjoyed a performance given by Jazz Singer Matt Dusk. I was lucky because I was unaware he was coming to town until I entered to win tickets about a week ago.

I first heard of him 6 or 7 years ago when he performed at one of the casinos in Las Vegas as part of a reality show. Shortly after that he had a concert here in town which I attended with a friend and we really enjoyed ourselves. I have to say though I have not given him much thought since then.

Matt Dusk sings what is known as the standards as well as some original songs and he has a nice voice. He is an excellent on stage performer making fun of himself and how cheesy the jokes are. There was Salsa dancing and even a few cartwheels. And yet, somehow it’s all too much without being enough. When I watch him I feel like I understand judges who say, “You don’t have IT”, to a participant. He’s fun to watch. Enjoyable to listen to but that’s all.
If you get the chance to see him perform live you should take it. It’s definitely a fun evening out.

Zombies With Heart

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588173/

Some friends and I decided to go see Warm Bodies as a “Yeah We’re Single So What?”  Valentine’s Day outing. Who says the day has to celebrate romantic love only? We refuse to be told we’re lesser than just because we don’t have dates. So we all went to dinner and a movie and had a great time.

Warm Bodies is the kind of movie that becomes a cult classic. It doesn’t pretend to be more than it is, it has the 80’s power ballad anthem song and is just cheesy enough. The movie is full of Zombie Ass-Kicking action, teen angst, romance, lots of laughs  and family drama sure to please all that see it. Wait! Let me rephrase that. Not everyone will enjoy this movie but you know what I mean.

The movie has been out for several weeks now and even though Tuesday is cheap night at our local theatre we didn’t expect the theatre to be as full as it was.  A good sign that this movie is getting incredible word of mouth. Turns out that it is very well deserved word of mouth. Though Warm Bodies won’t be nominated for any Oscars I expect to see it at the Teen Choice, People’s Choice and MTV Awards!

The Heart-Throb Zombie is R played expertly by Nicholas Hoult, sure to become one of this generations leading men. Some of his credits include Xmen: First Class and the upcoming Xmen movie,  About  a Boy, A Single Man and the soon to be released Jack the Giant Slayer. Look out Johnny Depp, Ryan Gosling and Zac Efron I have seen the competition and his name is Nicholas Hoult.

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3582835200/nm0396558

When our main Zombie and a group of his friends go hunting they come across a group of young humans out scrounging for medical supplies. Somehow in the midst of the feeding frenzy he falls for Julie (get it yet?) and saves her from being eaten or kidnaps her depending on your point of view. Julie has lost her mother and now her boyfriend in this recent feeding frenzy. She also happens to be the daughter of the leader of the remaining humans. Julie is played by Teresa Palmer. Some of her credits include Bedtime Stories, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and I Am Number Four where she herself plays an alien. Teresa was very believable as both a kick-ass zombie fighter and someone with a big enough heart to give peace a chance.

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2078450176/nm1954240

Other things I enjoyed about this movie: Julie’s bestfriend played by Analeigh Tipton, R’s bestfriend father figure played by Rob Corddry and of course John Malkovich as her Dad. And lets not forget that at least parts of this movie were filmed in Montreal.

If you are looking for a movie to take a tween/teen sibling, niece/nephew or kid of any relation to you than this may be the one you would both enjoy.

I give this film 5 out of 5 Film Reels.

I will definitely be adding this one to my movie collection.

Dualed byElise Chapman

A couple of weeks ago I read a copy of Dualed because a friend had posted a clip of the audio version on their facebook page, it intrigued me. As I walked by my book case I noticed I had an advanced copy on my TBR pile so I thought Why Not?

Dualed by Elise Chapman brings together bits and pieces of all my favourite YA Dystopian novels yet stands all on its own. West Grayer is a strong female character that I’m pretty sure could take down Katniss (especially the Katniss in The MockingJay), could give Triss a run for her money and show Saba (from Blood Red Road) a thing or too about pushing people away.

In the town of Kersh every citizen must prove their worth before their 20th birthday by killing their ALT, a genetic replica of themselves. Only the strongest, fastest, smartest are desired in this safe town in a world that’s been destroyed.  West has been preparing for this all her life but when her turn comes after losing almost everyone she’s loved she makes some decisions that take her on a journey she would never have expected taking.

How does one survive ones conscience in a town where every adult has committed murder? Where winning means not only better food, a job and a better life but also that you have killed a carbon copy of yourself? Dualed presents these questions and many others to the reader while taking them on a journey filled with strife, survival and romance.

Dualed is Elise Chapman’s debut novel and is expected to be followed by a sequel in February 2014. I look forward to reading it and more from this new Canadian author.

I give Dualed 4 out of 5 Reads

They Came. We Saw. They Conquered!!!

Today was the BIG EVENT!!!

I’ve been waiting 9 months and it finally came, The Smart Chicks Kick It Tour rocked Chapters Dartmouth!

Though the turn out wasn’t quite the numbers I had hoped for the authors were incredible and enthusiastic. They had the crowd laughing, cheering and  quivering with anticipation. Participants came from near and far to see their favourite authors and ask the questions they were dying to have answered.

Though all of the authors were incredible I have to say that Sarah Rees Brennan stole the show. She made many new fans today. I’m told it was her first Canadian signing and I am glad I was there to see it. She was promoting her newest book, Unspoken, which is a favourite of mine but her wonderfully cheery disposition has enticed me to now read her Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy.

Here she is crawling across a table to play host:

 

She caught me off guard which is why it’s a little blurry.

 

The panel included Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr, the incredible brains behind the Smart Chicks Kick it Tour! I am so grateful they put this together. I can’t wait to read their collaborative book called Loki’s Wolves:The Blackwell Pages Book 1. And I swear one of these days I WILL get to the RT Book Lovers Convention where they do an amazing job with the YA events. At least from what I’ve seen in the magazine.

 

 

I got to meet Jeri Smith-Ready who writes a fabulous YA trilogy about ghosts (and their rights) and her awesome series for adults the first of which is called Wicked Game and is centered around a radio station owned and operated by Vampires but run by their former con-artist turned marketing manager Ciara.  All of the authors are very interactive online with their fans but Jeri takes it a step further with her WVMP website and playlists or Twitter accounts for some of her characters

www.wvmpradio.com

I went into this event as a huge fan of Kelley and Jeri, a recent (yet passionate fan) of Melissa Marr and Sarah Rees Brennan. Both Carnival of Souls and Unspoken -respectively-  Enthralled me.

I just started reading Charles de Lint’s novel Under My Skin which I am really enjoying and will recommend to fans of Kelley’s YA Trilogies but I have to say honestly I have only read book one of Melissa De La Cruz’s teen series and have just purchased, like yesterday, her first adult novel Witches of East End. I love that events like this can lead people (myself included) to try new authors.

 

So now the event is over, facebook has exploded with posts and pictures, and we are home (or on our way home) happy with our autographed books.

I can not thank the authors enough for including us in this tour. I hope it will help us to entice more authors to the East Coast. A round of applause to all the fans who came out bringing a wealth of questions and enthsiasm but most importantly for making all the authors feel welcomed.

And the staff.  My wonderfully supportive co-workers and managers who support these crazy ideas of mine and work hard to make them so successful. Julianne and Nicole, part of the book club and a couple of fans who missed the event to run the best ever bake sell to raise money for The Love of Reading Fund! The managers and Mathieu for organizing everything. The on duty staff who help fans and customers alike. You are inspirational and make work fun! Thank you.

To the former staff members who came out to make the event a success especially Becky,  photographer extraordinaire and soon to be internet critic supreme.

Check her out at IronGrayPhotography or on YouTube at 

Last but not least to the members of book club and honorary member Samantha who came in early to set up, help with the bake sale, keep the lines moving and so on. We did it!!!!! Thank you all for your hard work. I say we aim for the RT Convention in 2014.

www.kelleyarmstrong.com

www.melissa-marr.com

sarahreesbrennan.com

www.jerismithready.com

charlesdelint

www.melissa-delacruz.com

 

 

13….. The End Of an Era

Just about 11 years ago I went from being a Nanny to working at  a bookstore and the box office of  a 1,000 seat theatre.  I enjoyed both jobs and met many interesting people. One of the girls I worked with at the box office introduced me to a book called Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. While we all exchanged favourtie book or authors and I made many new favourites because of it, the Kelley Armstrong series was a game changer for me.

It became the book I recommended to ANYONE looking for a great paranormal read. If you were a fan of Laurell K Hamilton I was suggesting you read Kelley Armstrong.  All before Twilight hit the world. Then I found out she was doing a teen trilogy. Imagine my joy at being given the opportunity to read the manuscript! Did I mention that Kelley writes so well that the crawl space scene in The Summoning gave me goosebumps in broad daylight? I was thrilled when they released it before Breaking Dawn came out and it had the chance to snag some fans. Then Kelley came to our store to promote No Humans Involved. It was a great year!! Can you  see why I call it a game changer for me?

Bitten is the story of Elena Michaels, the world’s only knowing female werewolf. She has left the pack to make a life for herself and she’s tired of it. By returning to the pack she starts to find her place in the world, and what a world it is. Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series is an incredible journey of magic, mystery and romance. Her characters are such that you feel like you’ve made a new friend or friends.  You cheer for them, jeer at them and hope all goes well for them. Through the years  the series has brought me many new friends as we started discussing the Otherworld.

You might think that reading 13, the final book of the series would be a sad or bittersweet moment and it certainly could have been. I tell you in all honesty that when I received a copy of 13 a couple of weeks ago I was feeling very trepidatious  about reading it. These books had been part of my life for 10 years and though there were a couple that weren’t my favourite and a moment or two where I thought they might have jumped the shark, they never did. What if it happened here, now in the finale? What would I say to the Random House Rep when she came to the store? To my fellow fans and friends at the store? To the author when she came in September?

I started reading and set the book down. Started again and set it aside. Finally I picked it up and began reading, really reading. From that point on I had to make myself stop and savour the story so I wouldn’t just plow right through. And I kicked myself for ever having doubted.

I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it yet so I will just say that it picks up where Spellbound left off. Savannah and the gang are still looking for the missing kid and those who are behind the movement to expose Paranormal beings to the rest of the world. All your favourite characters are here to play the roles they were born to play.  It’s a great ride full of just the right amount of ups, downs, steep hills, dramatic curves and gut wrenching loop the loops before you arrive safely into the station.

As a long time reader of the series, as well as Kelley’s other works, I was very satisfied with 13. It wraps the  series up nicely with lots of leeway for the characters to pop up as needed in other stories or even down the road in another story line.

I am most excited to have others read it so I will finally have someone to share it with!

Hodge Podge of Entretainment

I realized today that it has been awhile since I posted and I decided that I needed to write something immediately. The problem is that I don’t have anything that I felt I just had to share.

I was very excited to enter a contest to win fabulous prizes from Meagan Spooner.  To celebrate the release of her amazing story Skylark she is hosting The Sky’s The Limit Contest which you can enter here http://www.meaganspooner.com/the-skys-the-limit-contest-for-skylark/ but I’ve already blogged and tweeted about that and really the fewer of you who know about the better my chances of winning.

I read a long awaited book and was thrilled by it but as it’s still two weeks away from release date I’m not allowed to discuss it. Ah the joy and anguish of receiving advanced copies!

I didn’t go see any new movies this week al though I did watch St. Trinian’s during Coast2Coast Movie Night on Friday and that was a lot of fun. Rupert Everett and Colin Firth lead a star-studded cast in a delightful teen angst romp where the girls of St. Trinan’s are a wild but lovable bunch trying to save their school. Colin Firth is the minister trying to shut it down and Rupert Everett plays both the Head Mistress and her brother.

I haven’t seen the second one yet and apparently there is a third in development. This movie is one of those cult classics that I love and for $2.99 well worth the cost as I will watch it many times over.

I bought some new Kameleon pieces from their new line. These are more stone then silver therefore less expensive while still beautiful. Gotta love less expensive when you are addicted to this gorgeous line of jewellery.

 

This is the pendant I bought but not the pop.

This week brought the  new season of Big Brother with all it’s twist and turns but as we’re only two episodes in and their hasn’t been too much drama I don’t have much too say about it. Yeah Yeah Yeah Dude is Russell’s brother, big whoop. I’m torn about the coaches thing. I like most of the coaches they brought back but seriously can’t they just have new contestants.  The most exciting thing about last night’s show was finding out that next year we will have Big Brother Canada!

I also started watching The Glee Project. I came in on the third episode and there is a some great talent this year. The mash up’s  that they’ve done were so much fun and seeing Jane Lynch on the last episode (out of her Sue track suit) was very entertaining. The problem is that most of them feel or look like characters that are on the show. Charlie looks like Finn (especially in the video for Moves Like Jagger/Milkshake).

Abraham could be Mike Chang, Aylin could be Sugar (all be it with a better voice), Blake is another Sam, and so on. That’ s not to say that they aren’t good but it feels like been there done that. Nellie is great with a different look then characters we’ve already seen and Lily is fabulous. It will be interesting to see who wins and how they are integrated into the show. Sadly I found out today that Damian McGinty from last year’s Glee Project will not be back  next season.

The other thing that ‘enterTAYned’me this week was learning how to change chords during my guitar lesson. After some practice I am able to go from G to E Minor to C and then D. Not smoothly or even well but I can do it. Now the challenge of learning a different order.

And on that note maybe I should go practice.