Monday, June 20, 2011

Review - Amaretto Flame

Title: Amaretto Flame
Author: Sammie Spencer

Synopsis (Goodreads):
When Olivia Landry screams, people die. No wonder she's been shunned by humans her whole life. When Olivia makes a huge mistake, she's banished for a summer to a human town; forced to live as one of them. She's out for revenge when she discovers the humans are different than she imagined, especially the rugged, sexy guitarist, Jackson Vance.

Pretending to be human isn't as hard as she thought it would be...until the witch hunters attack. Now Olivia must somehow protect herself, her family, and her new human friends. There's a problem with that. When you go around screaming, people are bound to learn your secret. Can love really conquer anything?

My Review:
When you pick up a book, you want to feel connected to it. You want to be absorbed in it. That is exactly how I felt while reading Amaretto Flame. Sammie Spencer does a wonderful job of creating this unique cast of characters. And by the time I was done reading this book I was crying my eyes out...
You know you've struck gold when you finish a book and you are crying your eyes out! =D
I loved every minute of reading Amaretto Flame. Olivia reminded me of myself in so many ways, it was so easy to connect with her. Her undying loyalty to her family and friends and her strong personality made for a very likable and well developed character. Although a few times during the book I wanted to slap some sense in to her. LOL.
As for the amazingly sexy Jackson??? Can we say RAWR!!! *Sigh....Oh yea. Too Scoops please! ;-D The chemistry between the two of them made a habanero look like a red hot. 
As for the rest of the cast? Each one had their particular moment to shine.
Seriously though, this book was very well crafted and well written and there was a bit of a twist that I didn't expect. But it really made the story. Here's my quick summary:
Olivia has been punished and forced into seclusion by one of the only people she's ever trusted. After being sent away to a human town, Liv-vy's stubbornness starts to surface and she takes a job at a local bar. Here she starts to let her guard down a bit, befriends some of her co-workers, and even starts to ignite a romance. But when the Venator attacks one of her coven family members, all bets are off. She must now fight to defend herself, her friends and her coven, while trying to discover what or who the Venator are after.
 My favorite scenes? Definitely the poker scene in the bar. And the ending of course!!!
I very much hope there is a sequel, because I would love to read more about The Eagleton Coven.
Fantastic Job Sammie.
(and just so you know, I was drinking my coffee with my Amaretto flavored creamer when I finished this book.)

My Rating:
An Amazing Wedding Cake

pick up Amaretto Flame @
Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bookish: An Apple for Zoe by Thomas Amo (The Forsaken #1) (...

Bookish: An Apple for Zoe by Thomas Amo (The Forsaken #1) (...: "Genre: Horror, Thriller, Supernatural Publication.Date March 21st 2011 Pages: 309 Published By: Create Space Website Thomas ..."

AWESOME REVIEW by my buddy Evie @ Bookish!!!!
Friday, June 17, 2011

Review - A Lost and Found Land

Title: A Lost and Found Land
Author: Rick Sand

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Irving Davies finds a magical key buried beneath a heap of used retainers in the school’s lost and found box. The key unlocks a gateway to another world – one away from dodge ball “accidents,” disinterested parents, and his boring English class.

Irving’s idea of paradise is lost inside a maze of moving trees, when he is separated from Emily, his best friend and loyal protector, who tagged along to keep him out of trouble. Their roles are reversed when Emily is captured by a moderately evil and excessively insecure preteen witch, who is determined to permanently enslave Emily as her new “best friend.”

In his race to rescue Emily, Irving must play doctor to a band of hypochondriac giants, escape a mounted cavalry of witchdoctor monkeys in a haunted forest, outsmart a trickster troll, navigate a giant underground ant farm, challenge the dreaded bright-eye beast, and enlist the aid of a goofy ranger girl that commits acts of near-super-human derring-do without losing any of her femininity.

As vultures circle overhead and the obstacles seem unending, will Irving find the strength to overcome the mighty power of the witch?

My Review:
What an adorable, fun, and exciting read! This is definitely one of those stories every child should read. It was full of laughter, danger, and it even had some good morals.
While some younger children might get a bit frightened during the latter half of the book, I think it would be perfect for 9-13 year olds. My favorite part of the book was when Irving met the dwarves who have the most ingenious little names! I loved how they were named after food - for example: Pumpkin Olive-Jam, Mustard Cherry-Milk, and my personal favorite Raspberry Bacon-Taco.  And that their food had human names! Who wouldn't to eat some Mashed Lindas and Tom.
Overall I thought it was a very clever book, that in the end taught children the importance of friendship and over coming your fears. 5 stars.

My Rating:
An amazing wedding cake

pick up this book @

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

they say it's my birthday....

"You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you."
- The Beatles

Well thank you John, Paul, George and Ringo!
It is always nice to be celebrated on this wonderful day!
First, I'd like to give a shout out, to my amazing mother...
without whom, I would not be here today. Thank you Mom, for, well you know. (You didn't really want me to go into all the gory details...did you?).

Ok...anyways, just a quick post. Today is my birthday...YAY for me.
And I'll be at work all day! YAY...again...for me.
So I expect lots and lots of birthday comments...
ok well just one then is fine...
no pressure.


oh and if any of you just happen to get into the baking mood....I would so love this cake...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review - Twilight

Title: Twilight
Author: Stephenie Meyer

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife—between desire and danger. Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

My Review:
First, I would just like to say, if you haven't read my previous blog romancing the non-romancer, please read it first. You will then understand, why now, and only now, am I just reading and reviewing Twilight.


Yesterday I walked into Borders and purchased a copy of Twilight. Here it was, almost 6 years since the book was  first published, and  I still had not read it. Read the previous blog, you'll understand.
I took it home and immediately started to read. I couldn't put it down. The writing was superb, and I found that I was taken in by this little town called Forks and its inhabitants. I read a little over 55% of the book last night and finished it this morning. My final analysis? A very good and fast paced read. I felt that the characters were developed well, as was the plot. The relationship between Bella and Edward was a little frustrating to me. It seemed very hot and cold, as to say that Edward seemed to be a bit bi-polar. I was very thankful that their relationship wasn't sugar coated like I thought it would be. The sexual tension between them did seem to fly off the pages at times. And in the end I did love the loyalty that they had for each other. I do wish there had been more action, I felt that the lack there of, made the last few chapters fall short for me. And there wasn't as much of Jacob as I had expected there to be.


Coming from the "Joss Whedon" brand of vampire, I do have a new appreciation for Stephenie Meyer's imagination. A vampire who sparkles in the sunlight is actually pretty interesting. It makes him seem less lethal. But you know when he goes hunting that it is the very polar opposite. I am looking forward to continuing my journey with this interesting bunch of characters. So far my favorite's are Alice and Carlisle (I know, I'm such a rebel. I rarely choose main characters. lol). As for my team of choice??? There wasn't enough of Jacob in the story for me to make an honest choice. And Edward, although alluring, was frustrating at times. 
SO...I will have to say, I am...

because, who wouldn't want to play baseball with them. ^_^

Great Story.

My Rating:
A very cute birthday cake

Saturday, June 11, 2011

romancing the non-romancer

once upon a time there was a girl who loved to read. she devoured everything that was put in her path, especially books on death and murder. comedy was allowed, as was science fiction. she would give any and all books a chance, if she liked the summary. romance - or any books with a hint of it - were out of the question.

deviating from her usual routine, was out of the question. 

until today.


I don't follow trends. It isn't me. It took me almost two years, before I even thought about touching a Harry Potter book. (why on Earth I don't know).  And to this day I am so thankful I did.

I hate the feeling that I am part of a crowd. That my decisions are being made for me. That I am not independent. I try and stay unique in my own little ways.

I don't abhor romance. Honestly I don't. It just isn't my cup of tea. I would much rather read about bisected bodies, and serial killers.
I enjoy a chick flick every once in a while. Ex: I very much love While You Were Sleeping. Very cute Sandra Bullock film. 
Although, in the end, I do much prefer action, suspense, and horror. It is just me.


Growing up, I wasn't the typical teenager. Boys were not my fascination, until late into my teen years. I was focused primarily on school, acting, and sports. And of course, reading. I watched some television, but I usually was never watching the current teen show on The WB or other major network. I didn't care who Dawson was with, or who kissed Joey. Whatever. Alas, this changed. When the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired, I was hooked. I never stopped watching. I had done what hundreds of thousands of other teenagers did. I had followed a trend. I then started to care! I was a Buffy-ite. I had posters, cards, whatever, you name it. I wrote to the cast, I even had autographs from Sarah Michelle Gellar, and David Boreanaz. I was obsessed. And did I mention, I was in total love with vampires????

I had deviated. I watched the show, for the puns, the action, the laughs. The hot vampire? Oh yes the hot vampire, who I was going to marry. Marry? Oh yes, I had fallen victim, to the one thing that I had detested - romance. Alas, my oh so happy vision of me marrying Angel, had come to end. When Angel left the show to have his own, I felt betrayed. And when I read the article that said David Boreanaz to wed,  I was crushed.  My young teen dream smashed to pieces. I had allowed myself to be hurt, by something that didn't even exist!


Flash forward to today. I am still one of the biggest Buffy fans you would ever meet. T-shirt, cross necklace, board game... =) With the ending of the show, I was left with one thing that I kept with me. The "Joss Whedon" Vampire. I had always been a fan of vampires, Dracula, Nosferatu, Interview with the Vampire, the list goes on. I even read Bunnicula when I was a child.
But the vampires from Buffy were the one's that stuck with me. For me, there were no other. Vampires couldn't be in sunlight, stakes could kill them, as could beheading. Holy water, crosses, invitations to come inside...etc.

When I first heard about Twilight, I didn't give it much thought. I didn't care. Then it spread like wildfire.  All I heard was Team Edward, oh Edward. Or Team Jacob, oh Jacob. I tried to ignore it, but it was everywhere I went. It was the last straw for me when I was told that vampires sparkle. WTH???
Sparkling vampires??? I just didn't understand. I didn't want to. I buried my head in the sand and thought, "NO! They DO NOT SPARKLE!!! They burst in to flames, then burst into dust in sunlight....arrggggh! *Face Palm." 

I had become an anti-Twilightian.

 I wanted Buffy to Stake Edward.
 I wanted Angel and Spike to make him see stars.
I was absolutely frustrated.


When they started making the films, I ignored it. I figured that it would go away soon like most trends do. I had people at work telling me I should read the books, even customers were saying I should read them. Just like during the Harry Potter craze, I ignored them. 


This morning I read this blog post by the amazing Allie Burke (author of Violet Midnight, and Emerald Destiny).  I just have to say thank you Allie.
In this post Allie talks about her pre-Twilight days. And she talks about when she gave Twilight a chance. I was moved. I was moved so much, I was frustrated. *Facepalm!
Dare I say it.....after reading her post...I....the anti-Twilightian, the Buffy maniac....wanted to give Edward a chance???? Oy Vey! Had she, by her blog post, just romanced me - the non-romancer - into wanting to read Twilight???


I'd like to share the segment of her blog that moved me - 

"Cuddled up on the couch in my apartment, three-hundred and fifty pages into it without a break in existence, I was floored. I was angry. Pissed off. I was crying.
Before that  moment, I'd never read a book that had the power to steal tears from my eyes

I thought - Damn! The power to steal tears from my eyes? I really missing out on something here? Am I being that pig headed?

So alas, today I did the unthinkable. I walked into a Borders.....I walked around the young adult section.....I almost had a panic attack. (No seriously. I felt light-headed. I felt that if I picked up that book, if I bought it, I would betray myself, I would be giving in to what I hated.) I walked to the horror section. I breathed. I walked back to the young adult section. There on the table. The black cover, with the ghostly looking hands with the apple.

I bought it.

I bought a copy of Twilight.

I breathed. 

And now as I sit here finishing this post. I am excited. I am actually excited. Twilight sits next to me - waiting to be devoured. I guess the next question would be....

Who am I?


* thank you again to Allie Burke. This is for you.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Review - 33 Days: Touring In A Van. Sleeping On Floors. Chasing A Dream.

33 Days  
Touring In A Van. Sleeping On Floors. Chasing A Dream. 
Bill See

Synopsis (Goodreads):
For 33 days in the summer of 1987, Divine Weeks toured in a beat up old Ford Econoline van, sleeping on strangers’ floors, never sure they’d make enough gas money to get them to the next town. This deeply personal, coming of age, on the road memoir follows critically acclaimed 80s indie alt rock band Divine Weeks’ first tour. Liberated from alcoholic upbringings and rigid cultural constraints, all they have is their music and each other’s friendship. The road is filled with yuppies, brothels, riots, sleeping on floors, spiked drinks, DJs with no pants, and battles with racism. They set out on the road to discovery to drink in all they could and maybe sell a few records. They grew up instead.

My Review:
Epic. Just plain epic. 
First off, this isn't my usual read. But as I read more and more I was so moved by what was happening with this band. I wish I hadn't been born in 1988.  I would've so been a groupie for Divine Weeks! 

Bill See tells a wonderful coming of age story here in 33 Days.  I laughed, sighed, got angry ( I really wanted that racist lady to get punched in the face....), and the epilogues just really touched me. This story really shows what happens when you have a dream and decide to follow it and not give up. During these 33 days  on the road - Divine Weeks' first national tour - they trek from L.A. to Canada to the eastern and midwest parts of the US. It is during this set of travels that they uncover the true love and respect that they have for their music and each other. Through the trials and tribulations, as well as the best times they face, they never forget their deep love for their music - it is what holds them all up and together.
There were times I actually I felt like I was right there in the room with them during one of their breathtaking performances. Just Amazing.
After reading this book, I skipped on over to the 33 Days you can check out Bill's blog, video's of Divine Weeks, as well as listen to some of their songs....
My favorite...Bitterness. =D

~don't give up on your dreams.

My Rating:
An Amazing Wedding Cake

pick up 33 Days @

Review - Violet Midnight

Title: Violet Midnight
(The Enchanters #1)
Author: Allie Burke

Synopsis (Goodreads):
"He knew she was gone the second her cool touch withdrew from his arm. He never saw her but had felt her disappear into some cold, dark place. He perceived the black emptiness where she had been summoned, her deep anxiety filling his heart. But he couldn't reach her. He didn't even know her name." 

Elias moved to Hazel Grove, California to get away from the rain, his parents, and everything that was taken from him in Hayward, Washington. But he thinks he may be going crazy when he starts seeing purple glitter in the air, the scent of rosemary is everywhere, and he is hearing a beautiful voice.

Jane is content in her life of solitude in the quiet town of Jasmyn Lake, but when her special magic sends her on a journey to meet the man she has been dreaming about for months, she cannot resist.

Look into the world of The Enchanters, where water has a sense of humor, trees scare people, and love - is destiny.

My Review:
    A fascinating and intriguing read. I've always enjoyed books that dealt with the elements, and this will be another to add to my favorites shelf. 

Jane is an Enchanter. But she's special, she is The Enchanter. One of a kind, with the ability to control all of the elements. 

Elias Lindin is an artist who is mourning the death of his twin brother. 

When the two finally meet......It is just magic. 


Usually I don't read romances. It's just me. But this one was so adorable. I particularly loved that she had been dreaming about him for so long, and that when he finally saw her, he was just awed. Although their relationship does progress rather quickly, I didn't feel that it detracted from the story. And the love scenes...well.... =D *blushes*.... super sexy......
I do wish that some elements of the story had been elaborated more on, i.e. the mob involvement, and why the other Enchanters were after her... but there are two more books, so hopefully those questions will be revealed for me. 
What I loved best about this book were the amazing descriptions Allie gives. Everything is so detailed, I felt like I was right there in Jasmyn Lake. I also loved the fact the Jane's aura was violet, but it changed color when it rained. Super awesome! Great story with steamy love scenes and a few twists that I didn't see coming.

My Rating:
An Amazing Wedding Cake

pick up this sweet book @


(The Enchanters #2)

What I've Read.

Fahrenheit 451
To Kill a Mockingbird
Mistletoe Murder
The Devil Wears Prada
Breaking Dawn
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Lovely Bones
Like Water for Chocolate
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Bridget Jones's Diary
Life Seemed Good, But....
The Nanny Diaries
Exiled, Book 1
Beautiful Sins
The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood
The Hunt for Red October
The Silence of the Lambs
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Ashley's favorite books »