Thursday, April 30, 2009

In The Home Stretch

a.k.a. The Rant You've All Been Waiting For

So I haven't posted about the house in a long time. I've thought about posting an update a few times, but I suppose as much as I wanted to share with all of you because I know you'd all be so kind, enthusiastic and supportive and none of you would be thinking, "Oh, God. There she goes again. All she does is talk about her house. blah blah blah BLAH BLAH BLAH!!" (like I'm sure some people in my life are thinking by now... Kate? Amy?), I also didn't want to come across boastful and then other times I knew I'd type a post that was upbeat and excited, but in reality I'd be sitting at the keyboard crying. That didn't sound fun to do. Or I'd start typing with a really positive attitude and my post would quickly morph into a vicious rant. That wouldn't be cool either, because I'm really so incredibly lucky to being doing this addition and renovation in the first place and should NOT be complaining. But now... five loooooong months later, I say, fuck that! I can bitch and complain and rant if I want to and still feel incredibly fortunate and thankful for it all at the same time. Seriously. I can. In fact, I do. Poor Kenda knows I can because she somehow landed the lucky spot a couple of weeks ago as the email recipient of my three day rant on workers using my brand new toilet in my brand new master bathroom, fucking leaving drops of urine all over the toilet AND the floor! Fucking assholes. 

Deep breath.

Today is April 30, 2009. Exactly five months ago, on November 30, 2008 (Thanksgiving weekend) we moved out of our construction zone home into a one bedroom apartment about a mile and a half away from our house. The original plan was for the move to be for a week or so while the heating and plumbing systems would be shut down and replaced, but WE'RE STILL HERE! Five people in a one bedroom apartment for the last five months. And counting. We're finally in the home stretch, hopefully moving back home in 2-3 weeks.

The apartment we're living in is actually a co-op condominium that my father-in-law still owns that he and my mother-in-law used to live in before she passed away, but essentially it's one of those two story brick garden apartment kind of places. We're fortunate that we had a place to go, but it has not been easy living in such cramped quarters. The apartment is nice for a single person or a couple. But, uh.... not so great for a family of five. Husband, wife, teen, tween, elderly man and four cats. My 83 year old father-in-law has been sleeping in the living room and the girls, my husband and I in the bedroom. The girls have their twin mattresses from home on the floor and my husband and I are in a bed. Thankfully it is a decent size bedroom, but still. I don't have to point out that privacy is virtually non existent. I want to go home. :(

So why are we still here? We decided it would be easier to live here in cramped quarters than live amidst the construction, and I actually still stand by that decision, but it has not been easy. The renovation was quite extensive, affecting every single room in the house. We replaced all of the windows, so at a minimum there was sheet rock repair around new windows and new ducts installed for the heating & cooling system in each room. We also learned from other people that the sheet rock phase was the dustiest part of the whole job and so we'd be better off not being there for that. Then the whole house would get painted at the end AND the hardwood floors throughout the house would get refinished, so we definitely had to have us and all of our belongings out for that. So why not do it at one time and retain some sanity? At least the apartment gives us a place to be away from the construction and we have a kitchen!

So where are we now? The house is just about finished, but not quite. The final plumbing and electrical inspections are scheduled for Monday. Building and fire inspection will have to wait another week or so until the three new porches and steps get built. A few final touches inside like the installation of the shoe moulding throughout the whole house, the shower doors, and some touch up painting and then I think that's it! The projected time frame for the project from start to finish was 6-7 months and we just passed the seven month mark about two weeks ago. So it looks like it will really be 8 months and maybe another week or two. I guess that's not so bad compared to the kinds of delays a lot of people encounter during construction, but right now, from where I'm standing, it is too long. I want to go home. I want my space, I want privacy, I want my things (clothes, books, a comfy chair, my kitchen things, my cookbooks), I want to do laundry in my own house without needing quarters or having to lug laundry to the basement in the building next door. I want privacy. I want to be able to regulate the temperature of my home. This apartment is like a sauna... continuously at 80 F and the only way to regulate it is to open windows. What a waste of money and energy. My 83 year old father-in-law has been loving it, though. He wears thermal underwear and turtle necks 24/7/365. The rest of us are sleeping in our underwear and constantly opening windows (he's going to think we moved to the Arctic when we go home and heat is set to 68 F and the AC to 72 F)! I want our high speed Internet at home, although I do thank the dude who is allowing us to borrow some of his bandwidth here at the apartment. Did I mention I want privacy? Time alone with my husband? I want to park in my driveway, not a parking lot. I want my yard, I want to garden. I don't want to drive to my house to get my mail at the end of every day. I want to be rid of noisy and nosey neighbors who share the same walls and roof with us here.  I want to move back into the lovely house that we're so fortunate to have been able to expand and improve. I want everyone in my family to have the space we need to be comfortable and happy. I need to go home. 

Okay, I think that's the end of my rant. 

Thank you to the handful of you who have already been subjected to my construction woes, sometimes on numerous occasions, whether by phone, email, or IM, and yet you still keep asking me how it's going. I appreciate your support very much. :) 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Premio Zombie Friends Fabulous Fried Chicken Blog Award

What? It's a new award! Okay, not really-- it's a conglomerate of five really cool awards that have been bestowed upon me by some really fantastic and kind hearted bloggers recently over the last few weeks over the last few months. I just threw "fried" in there, because really, who doesn't love fried chicken? Aside from vegetarians, I suppose.

Premio Dardas Award
Your Blog is Fabulous Award
Zombie Chicken Award
Let's Be Friends...Award

It's about time I spread the Blog Award Love.

The Premio Dardas Award
Given to me by Lea of Closetwriter, Anna of Anna's Book Blog, and Tracy of Tracy's Place. This award,

"Acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day."

This award is chockfull of serious stuff. Cultural, ethical, literary and personal values? Wow. I'm humbled that Lea, Anna and Tracy feel I deserve this very cool award. Either that or they ran out of people to give it to seeing as the original rules state that you should award it to 15 other bloggers. ;) Seriously, though, I contemplated the meaning of this award--although not so thoroughly as the super sleuths Carolyn Jean of The Thrillionth Page and Ana of The Booksmugglers-- and have come up with the following bloggers whose blog truly reflects those values on a regular basis:

1. Katie(babs) of Babbling About Books and More. Kate blogs about stuff from all over the spectrum, often with a great sense of humor, but also with great sensitivity and awareness to simply being a kind, open minded person to ALL people.

2. Jace of Jace Scribbles and Jace Makes. Jace blogs now and then about holidays in Malaysia, books, and her passion for crafts.

3. Ciara of Ciara Stewart. An aspiring author, Ciara's blog is perfectly balanced personally and professionally. Her topics extend from posts about her writing, reading, and worldly travel experiences and anything to do with literature in general.

4. Author Ann Aguirre; blog and website.
5. Author Nalini Singh; blog and website.
I have a lot of respect for both Ann and Nalini. Not only do I love their writing, but I also admire the way they present themselves on their blogs: sharing insights to their writing, sharing bits about themselves and their little corner of the world (Mexico and New Zealand, respectively), the way they interact with their readers, and how both always take the time to talk so highly about and promote other writers' works.

The rules to follow are:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

.  .  .  .  .  .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Your Blog is Fabulous Award
Given to me by Lea of Closetwriter and Jace of Jace Scribbles. Thanks, ladies. I think your blogs are quite fabulous, too! *muah*

Rules: List five things you are addicted to and nominate five other blogs to pass this award on to.

Five things I am Addicted to:

In no particular order:
1. Books! Particularly romance, urban fantasy and young adult fiction. No surprise there. But I could probably get lost in almost any section of the bookstore or library just browsing titles and topics. I love cookbooks, too! :)

2. Blogging. I love to visit other blogs. I can just hop along all day really reading what everyone else is talking about, and I don't just mean book blogs. I love cooking blogs, craft blogs, photography blogs, personal blogs, ... not so much political blogs, though. With regard to my own blog, I love to talk about books, books, and more books, and basically I love having a creative outlet for writing about things that interest me and make me happy!

3. Coffee. Even if I wasn't addicted to drinking coffee, I think I'd still LOVE the smell of a coffee shop. The smell of coffee and a bookstore together? Heaven.

4. Trader Joe's Kettle Corn. I have to buy two bags at a time. One for instant consumption and one to resist opening until I can't take it any longer. Once it's open... nom nom nom!

5. My iPhone. I got it as a hand me down from my husband when he upgraded to the 3G last July. I accepted it, but didn't think I'd use it for more than anything other than a phone. What was I thinking???!? This phone is genius and I use it for everything all the time. Constantly. I probably use about 14 of the applications every day. I'd now be lost without it. Literally. That maps app is so helpful. ;p

I'm awarding the Your Blog is Fabulous Award to:
1. Amy of the Romance Book Wrym for consistently finding, posting about, reading, and reviewing books that are a bit off the beaten path. Yes, she reads a lot of the books everyone else is reading, but she's got this uncanny knack for finding some fantastic hidden treasures.
2. Orannia of Walkabout for writing wonderfully insightful posts about herself and the books she reads. She's fairly new at writing book reviews, but you'd never know. Her reviews are intelligently written and thought provoking.
3. Brie of Musings of a Bibliophile for having similar tastes in books as me (including YA lit!) and very often giving them the same grades as me. I think that's a valid enough reason for thinking her blog is fabulous, don't you? ;) Seriously, though, I love the selection of books Brie reads and reviews. Some of them are the popular books everyone seems to be waiting on and some are books she chooses that are a bit more unheard of. She also started a Contemporary Romance Challenge this year that I joined.
4. Angie of Angieville for her eclectic selection (to me, anyway) of reading material including YA, fantasy, urban fantasy, and romance. Angie's reviews are concisely written, always providing the reader with just the right amount of detail or emotion to raise interest in the book.
5. Kmont of Lurv à la Mode because she rates her books by scoops of ice cream and who doesn't love ice cream?! Seriously, Kmont's blog is busy busy busy! She reviews a lot of ARCs so her blog is one of my favorites for the first word on latest releases. She reads mostly urban fantasy, fantasy, and paranormal romance, but every once in a while she throws in an historical romance and steampunk! She's smart and sassy and very sweet. Her blog isn't named Lurv a la Mode for nothing. ;)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Zombie Chicken Award
Thanks to Kimberly of Darque Reviews blog and the nifty new Darque Reviews website for awarding me this award!

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all...

These are the first five bloggers who come to mind immediately after hearing the words Zombie Chicken. I love these bloggers and they'd keep blogging right through an invasion of zombie chickens, for sure!

1. CJ of The Thrillionth Page
2. Ana & Thea of The Book Smugglers
3. Kmont of Lurv à la Mode
4. Ravenous Reader at Tales of a Ravenous Reader
5. Kimberly of Darque Reviews blog and Darque Reviews website. (I know she gave it to me... but I'm throwing it right back at her!).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Let's Be Friends... Award.
I received this charming award from Kimberly Swan of Darque Reviews blog and Darque Reviews website. Thanks, Kimberly! :)

"The Let's be Friends Awards stands for this: These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers." What? Only eight??!!? I'm going to cheat... ;) 

These are the bloggers who visit my blog regularly even when I neglect coming to theirs. LOL Now, I know it's not about keeping 'score' like that. Our little world of book blogging friends know better than that. We all get busy with our jobs, families, friends, travel, whatever... and sometimes life puts us through the wringer, you know? But these eight bloggers just keep visiting (or emailing me!) regardless of my lack of presence on their blog. Or my own! I cherish your blogging friendships! Thanks, guys! :)

I can only give this award to eight bloggers??!
1. Amy of The Romance Book Wrym
2. Katie(babs) Babbling About Books and More.
3.Taja of Books and Games
4. Renee of Renee's Book Addiction
5. Lea of Closetwriter
6. Tracy of Tracys' Spot
7. Azteclady at Karen Knows Best
7 1/4. Kmont of Lurv à la Mode
7 1/2. Ana & Thea of The Book Smugglers
7 3/4. Brie of Musings of a Bibliophile
7 97/100. dd03 of Thoughts of a Daydreamer.
7 98/100. Orannia of Walkabout
7 99/100. Carolyn Jean of The Thrillionth Page
8. Kimberly of Darque Reviews. (Again, right backatcha, babe.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

On the first 35 pages (and last 6!) of Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

Spoiler level of this post: Extremely low.

On the last 6 pages...

It's not what you're thinking! I NEVER read the end of a book first. EVER. In fact, I don't even like spoilers past the first few chapters. In this case, I'm referring to the last 6 pages bound in Blue Diablo, which happen to be an excerpt from Doubleblind, book 3 in Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax Sci fi romance series.  Of course I had to go there right away!

If you're all caught up in the Sirantha Jax series, you know Wanderlust ended on a bittersweet note of sorts. So when I started reading the excerpt, I put my mind where it was upon finishing Wanderlust and without conscious thought, my heart went there, too! Combine heart wrenching remembrance with an alarming chapter excerpt of Doubleblind and wham! I really need it to be October asap, you know?

On the first 35 pages of Blue Diablo...

I don't often blog about books before I'm finished reading them. Usually I wait until I write a review, but already after having only read the first 35 pages of Blue Diablo, I thought of a few things I wanted to share that I probably wouldn't mention in a review. First, is the fact that the chapters in Blue Diablo have titles! I've become so accustomed to chapters simply being numbered, that I forgot how much I really love titled chapters. It just adds a little layer of creativity, sometimes a play on words as it pertains to the story and almost always offers foreshadowing that increases my anticipation about what's going to happen next. Chance Met, West of Normal, If Wishes Were Candy, Soul of Discretion, and The Fiddler Calls the Tune are just a few examples. And yes, I had to peek ahead just to check out some of the chapter titles, but don't they make you want to read what's in them? It certainly makes me want to read just one more chapter every time it's time to put the book down.

The other thing I wanted to share is that after having merely read the first 35 pages of Blue Diablo, my personal vocabulary has been expanded by six words--seven if you count the short chapter excerpt of Doubleblind in the back (Thanks, Ann!)! I would estimate that I probably have to look up maybe 0-3 words in a typical book I read, but some of my favorite authors make me hit that dictionary widget way more than others. Nalini Singh, Meredith Duran, Meljean Brook and Ann Aguirre all come to mind. I can often figure out the word in context, but I usually look it up anyway so that I have a precise definition.

My Blue Diablo vocabulary list (pp. 1-35):

1. deluge
2. ostensibly
3. parlay
4. benighted
5. unguent
6. gewgaws

... and from the Doubleblind excerpt:
7. limns

I'm too lazy to type the definitions, though, so if you don't know their meanings, you'll have to just go look them up. ;p

Finally, I'll share my first impressions of the story so far. Again, I've only read the first 35 pages of Blue Diablo, but already Corine is a character with depth and complexity that I'm itching to get to know better. The story is told in the first person past tense, so the reader gets all kinds of tidbits and glimpses into who Corine Solomon really is. The narration from her point of view, and through her thoughts and reflections on the past and present, the reader is discovering what makes her who she is. The narration is both thoughtful and entertaining, providing the reader these little pieces to the Corine Solomon puzzle. Just as some pieces fall into place, though, the need to find even more missing pieces arises, keeping me speculating and wanting to know more, more, more. She's a very interesting character and now that her ex just came on the scene, I want to figure out both Corine and Chance and how they fit together. I'm not saying they necessarily belong together, but they do fit together in some way or another. There's only one way to find out. Keep reading!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

REVIEW: Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

Wallflower series, Book 1
Published: November 2004

TBR Challenge REVIEW (March 2009)
This is in essence my review for last month's TBR Reading Challenge. I actually read all the books for my four Reading Challenges before the end of March, but just didn't get around to writing the reviews. Ah, C'est la vie.

Secrets of A Summer Night is the first book of four in the Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas. The story opens outside a London theater in 1841 with the heroine Annabelle Peyton and her adolescent brother Jeremy setting out to see the latest panorama show. Hard times have befallen the Peyton family since Annabelle's and Jeremy's father died, leaving them and their mother facing great financial difficulties despite their well-born social class. Much to their disappointment, Annabelle and Jeremy discover that they do not have enough coins between them to buy two tickets to the show after all. However, an acquaintance of Jeremy's named Mr. Simon Hunt approaches them and insists on treating them to the show. It is there in the theater, when the lights go out for a brief moment, that Simon Hunt steals a tender, albeit passionate kiss from Annabelle, murmuring his apologies just before disappearing into the darkness. The lights come back on and Annabelle is shocked and embarrassed by the kiss, but also acknowledges her own willing and heated response. Noting the effect Mr. Hunt had on her and aware that he is born to a lower social station as she, Annabelle makes a point to herself to avoid him at all costs.

Two years later, Annabelle is at the end of the third season and still has not found a husband. While she has had offers of financial stability in the form of a mistress to several men, Annabelle is determined to enter a respectable marriage and refuses such a relationship. By now Annabelle has become a wallflower at balls, nearly never asked to dance, for the men know she is on the hunt for a husband. The only man who does ask her to dance is Mr. Simon Hunt, who attends some of the same balls. Simon appears to be the only man not weary of Annabelle's intentions of securing a husband, and repeatedly asks her to dance. She is set in her resolve, however, that he is a dangerous man and she in turn repeatedly declines him.

Annabelle develops a camaraderie with three other young women who are also considered wallflowers and together the girls make a pact to help each other secure a husband, one by one until all four of them are married to a man of proper wealth and station. Once the pact is made, the wallflowers decide to attend a holiday at the country estate of the renowned Lord Westcliff, hoping to secure a husband for Annabelle. It is on this holiday that Annabelle and Simon cross paths yet again. Initially Annabelle is a bit short with him, but as their contact continues, their banter becomes more witty and friendly and she begins to develop feelings for him. Feelings that she tries to dismiss so that she can find a suitable husband, but in the end, circumstances drive them together.

First, I have to say that I love the premise behind the Wallflower series. I just never thought about the title of the series until it was spelled out for me in the early pages of Secrets of a Summer Night. I found the notion that these four women have forged a friendship out of their similar and somewhat dire situations quite endearing. Secrets of a Summer Night is clearly Annabelle Peyton's story, yet getting to know each of the women through their developing friendship was simply ... nice. I'm most definitely curious to find out how the other three women--the American sisters Lillian and Daisy, and the shy, overprotected Evie-- find their happily ever afters. I sure hope all four wallflowers continue to meddle in each others' affairs a bit. All good natured and with good intentions, of course.

At first, the plot and characters of Secrets of a Summer Night appeared rather straightforward to me. Basically, a young woman seeks husband of proper station to maintain respect among her peers and save her family from complete financial ruin, and she instead falls for the man of lower station that she's trying to dismiss, who happens to be rich and cares a great deal for her. That about sums it up, actually. However, the author somehow develops the characters right between the pages, unbeknownst to you and before you know it, they are so refreshing and do not fit any mold. Not only that, but the sub conflicts--and the development of the love between Annabelle and Simon, are unexpected, yet always realistic, so the story is entertaining, captivating and very importantly, believable. One of Lisa Kleypas' many talents as a writer is her ability to take an otherwise straightforward romance and turn it into something so much more beautiful and memorable with surprisingly fascinating characters and interesting twists in the story lines.

Another one of this author's talents, I think, is the how she incorporates a coming of age type element into the heroine's story. In Secrets of a Summer Night, Annabelle is adamant about marrying a proper man of her equal or higher station. It is so incredibly important to her, largely due to the fact that society expects this to be the norm. However, as circumstances bring her together with Simon Hunt and she learns more about the world beyond her little circle, Annabelle learns--completely on her own, mind you--how unfair and unbecoming it is to favor one person over another simply because of their social station. By the end of the novel, she learns one of life's most important lessons. That is, to judge someone's character by their character, not by their social status or by how other people judge them. Seeing Annabelle come to this revelation, and the fact that she came to it on her own with no pressure from society or even from Simon, was great and a very important element to the story.

Secrets of a Summer Night is a pleasant and endearing romance between two very charming characters whose story is equally charming. I'm looking foward to reading the next Wallflower book, It Happened One Autumn.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

These chocolate bunnies . . .

. . . make me laugh every time!  

Which end do you bite first?  I go for the ears. :)

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate. If you don't ... have some chocolate, anyway. :) 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Congrats, IRON KISSED by Patricia Briggs!

In case you haven't already heard, Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs won the DA BWAHA Tournament last night!!! By a very narrow margin, I might add! Wow, that was close. Both novels are phenomenally written by two tremendously talented authors. If you haven't read one or both of these books yet, I strongly suggest you do. They are both really awesome reads.

So thanks to all of you who voted for Iron Kissed whether you voted because you read and loved the book or because you were thinking of me and Carolyn Jean. Wow... your votes could have been the ones to push Iron Kissed over the edge for the win. Thank you!

Carolyn Jean is so excited about her win that she is hosting an 'OMG I'm so excited I won' contest on her blog, The Thrillionth Page! She's giving away four books from the bracket, how cool is that? All you need to do is comment on which book from the entire bracket you're interested in reading and you're entered!

I have actually read a lot of the 64 books in the tournament (a few more are on my TBR pile) and of those I've read, 9 made it to the last 16 spots that made up the second tournament. Now I'm very interested in reading Be With Me by Maya Banks. It nearly beat The SpyMaster's Lady in the final four, so I've got to read it now, for sure.

Have you read Be With Me by Maya Banks already? Did you love it?

Sunday, April 5, 2009


URGENT!!! Please vote Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs for the win at on Monday, April 6, 2009 from 9 am EDT to 11 pm EDT.

Have you been following DABWAHA? It's the March Madness tournament for romance-- a tournament created by Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books that involves 64 favorite novels from different romance genres, a few hundred reader participants, voting polls, and in the end... ONE winner! Well... actually two. There is the Grand Tournament and a Second Chance Tournament.

The Second Chance Tournament popped up after the round two, for which participants where given the opportunity to submit a second chance bracket. Pretty neat for someone like me whose pick for the win lost very early on. I voted Flat Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy. I don't know why... I didn't even read it! I heard so much positive buzz about it when it came out and it seemed like everyone was reading it except me and I was missing out on a winning book. I guess that notion stuck with me and I just ran with it when I filled out my bracket! LOL Oh, well. Thank goodness for second chances!

Tomorrow is the final vote and it is down to two exceptionally written novels, both of which I've read and LOVED! But Mercy Thompson ... she's my heroine. Best heroine ever. Love her.

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs vs. The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne.

So here is where the URGENT part comes in.

If Iron Kissed wins the vote, Carolyn Jean of The Thrillionth Page WINS THE WHOLE TOURNAMENT!!!! Carolyn would acquire incredible FAME (sort of... in romance land ... maybe for a day or so... ) and great FORTUNE (a Sony Reader)!! So cool!

But wait! There's more!

If Iron Kissed wins, yours truly (that would be me) WINS THE SECOND CHANCE TOURNAMENT! Wooohooo! I, too, would acquire FAME (well, not really ... who pays attention to the second chance tournament, anyway?) and FORTUNE (an iPod Touch)!

If you'd like to help me (and Carolyn Jean) out, please vote for Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs in the DABWAHA poll today! It would be awesome!

The poll will be open from 9 am EDT to 11 pm EDT!!

Thank you!!!!! :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Passion Unleashed WINNERS!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read my review of Passion Unleashed and enter the book giveaway. I used the List Randomizer function at to generate a randomized list of all the entries (see the list below) and the first five names on the list are the five lucky winners of Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione:

Terri W.
Amy S.
I Heart Book Gossip

April 1, 2009, 10:56 pm EDT
Edited to Add: RachieG could not wait and bought Passion Unleashed today! (I don't blame her one bit. She needed her demon fix.) She wants to give someone else a chance to win the book in her stead. I used again for a replacement winner and the new winner is . . .

Karen! (Karen spelled with an 'e').


Please email me at krauscakes @ verizon . net (without the spaces) with your mailing address. Prizes not claimed by Sunday, April 5, 2009 will be forfeited and a new winner will be selected.

Thank you to Hatchette Book Group for supplying the copies of Passion Unleashed for the giveaway.

I'm including the randomized list that established the winners for the giveaway below, so you can verify that your name was included in the drawing. And I got to thinking about the poor person who came in last . . . [keep reading . . . ]

List Randomizer
There were 49 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

• Terri W.
• RachieG
• housemouse88
• Amy S.
• I Heart Book Gossip
• mindy
• Bonnie Ferguson
• Melissa
• Kris
• kathy55439
• Bonnie Ferguson
• Venus Vaughn
• Aleksandra
• Stephanie
• Una
• Greta
• Karen
• Marie
• CrystalGB
• Pamk
• Cathy M
• jdmimi
• Nicole D
• HockeyVampiress
• Irwirum
• nancyg1950
• lamie
• Carmen R
• Roanaid Luckwell
• Michele
• Nathalie
• Susan B.
• Kim S.
• julie
• Karin
• lillie_80
• Lisa F.
• MJ
• Brandy W
• Heather P.
• azteclady
• Sharon M
• liane66
• Renee G
• malleycc
• Lady Roxi
• Sarai
Timestamp: 2009-04-01 14:13:12 UTC

Poor Sarai. Way at the bottom in last place. Ugh. That's got to feel just awful, huh? Well, not today it won't, because I decided to throw in a sixth book to the prize pool and give it to the last place 'winner,' and that lucky person is:

Sarai !!!

No, this is not an April Fools' Joke. ;)
Sarai, please email me with your mailing address and I'll send you a copy of Passion Unleashed.

To those of you who didn't win, thanks again for playing along. If you haven't tried Larissa's Demonica series, I encourage you to give it a try, starting with Pleasure Unbound. To those of you who have been reading Larissa's stories, I hope you rush out to buy your own copy of Passion Unleashed today. You won't be disappointed.

Happy Reading!