Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New & Recent Releases I’m Excited About…

There have been a slew of recent releases that I’m dying to read or whose covers caught my eye and they’re now on my radar. Below are just some of them, but head over to your local bookstore to check out what else has slipped onto the shelves without you noticing!

Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin


The Best of Friends by Susan Mallery


The Surrender of a Lady by Tiffany Clare


Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks


Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan


Me, Myself and Why? by MaryJanice Davidson


Aching for Always by Gwyn Cready

Aching for Always Cover April 2010 Final

Friday, September 24, 2010

Poisoned Kisses by Stephanie Draven Winner!

Thank you again to Stephanie for coming on Cheeky Reads and answering some questions for us about her new Harlequin Nocturne release, Poisoned Kisses. I've seen quite a few 5 star reviews for this book on twitter this past week so I'm so excited to be giving away a copy!

The winner of that copy, as randomly selected by random.org. is...

Comment #1 - arceli

Congrats! Email me your mailing address to cheekyreads @ gmail.com (no spaces) and I'll get the book out to you soon.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BEST Audio Book EVER! (Well, mightly fine one at least)

Confession: I'm only half-way through a book and I'm ready to call it a winner. Seriously, I've been tweeting all morning on how freakin' fantastic the current Audio Book I'm listening to is. Which one you ask?

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Cruise released in audio by Brilliance Audio.

THIS is why I adore audio books and why I keep singing their praises to readers who have yet to try them out.

The story is performed by Angela Dawe and she nails every voice, owning every character. This is the first time I've written "performed by" and totally meant it. These characters come alive off the page and do great justice to Jennifer Cruise's story.

I mean it's a Jennifer Cruise story, which means chances are that it's going to be pretty good if not great, but this just raises it to another level. I can honestly say I think the Audio Book version might be better than the book itself because - I'll say it again - Angela Dawe owns these characters.

So fantastic! If you were looking for your first audio book to try, or if you tried one in the past and hated it, PLEASE try this one. It's the perfect example of what an Audio Book should be and can be!

Here's Brilliance Audio's website with a sample of this audio book. The audio book just gets better and better the further into it. :)

Here's an Amazon link.

And a Borders link.

Have you read or listened to Maybe This Time? Tell us what you thought or tell us the best Audio Book you've found!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

BLOGMANIA WINNER! Drumroll please...

Thank you to everyone who stopped by Cheeky Reads during Blogmania! If your a book lover that you'll stop back by and visit again!

With Blogmaina now over I wanted to say I had a great time visiting all the blogs and finding new ones that I'll be checking out on a regular basis. I'm also super excited about all the great comments I recieved in response to my favorite author question. So much so, that I've decided to take some time this weekend and compile a list of every author that was mentioned. I mean what better recommendation list than a list of all-time favorites! I'll post the list here and I'm planning to feature many of those authors in the coming months.

Now, for the news everybody really wants to hear. :) I wrote up all the eligible entries this morning, placed them in a bag and pulled one out.

The randomly selected winner is...

Amy! Here is a screen shot of the winning comment (with email removed) so we can be sure which Amy it is. :)

Congratulations Amy and thank you for entering. Please email your mailing address to me at cheekyreads  @ gmail.com (no spaces) and I'll ship out your items. The books and audio books will ship from me, and the chocolate I will be ordering from online so it will ship seperately.

I wish everyone else luck on all the other great giveaways!

Happy Reading
Cheeky Girl Sabrina

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Welcome Guest Author Stephanie Draven & Enter to Win Poisoned Kisses!

I'm pleased to welcome author Stephanie Draven to Cheeky Reads as a stop on her blog tour for her new Harlequin Nocturne release Poisoned Kissies! Stephanie was nice enough to answer a few questions for us, and I wanted to start us off with a sneak peek at Poisoned Kissies...
He can wear the face of anyone who has ever hurt him…

This former soldier-turned-gun-runner thinks his true identity is safe, but a mysterious woman is about to force him to face the tragic past he thought he left behind.

She can disguise herself as the only woman he’s ever loved…

It’s not easy to be a Daddy’s Girl when your father is Ares, Greek God of War. To thwart her father and all those who serve him, Kyra intends to assassinate a modern day hydra. To kill him, she needs to seduce him, but Marco Kaisaris isn’t the monster she thinks he is–and even if he doesn’t break her heart, he may still be the death of her.

Can they see past each other’s masks to find a love that’s more than skin deep?

Welcome Stephanie!

Your book Poisoned Kisses is the first of a new series called "Mythica". I'm a huge fan of Greek Mythology so I'm really excited to see a new series that uses those old myths in a new way. Can you tell us a little more about the premise behind the series and why you decided to base it on Greek myths?

First, I’d like to thank you for having me as a guest on Cheeky Reads! The central premise of the Mythica stories is that love turns men into monsters, sometimes quite literally. I tend to use the tagline, “What if the monsters of ancient myth still walk the earth...and what if you found out that you were one of them?”

I chose Greek myths because they are primal stories from so far back in our past that they still evoke basic fears about ourselves. I’ve always loved Greek mythology and the chance to update those stories and put a sexy twist on them is something that I relish.

Characters can really make or break a book for me and I love hearing from authors about how they would describe their hero and heroine. What three words would you use to describe each?

What a great question. Okay, let’s see:
Hero, Marco Kaisaris: Honorable. Wounded. Loyal.
Heroine, Kyra, Daughter of Ares: Brave. Dangerous. Vulnerable.

Your heroine is a nymph and I know from your blog that you are particularly interested in them and have written other nymph characters. What is it about nymphs that inspires you so much?

Nymphs are an archetype of women outside the realm of social constraints. They were powerful, deeply connected to nature, and independent. They didn’t need men, but when they fell in love, they loved intensely. They were everything the ancient Greeks feared about the nature of women, but also what they may have secretly desired.

Now that we know more about your characters, what was it about them that had you wanting to write that HEA for them? Was there a particular scene that was the most fun for you to write?

Kyra is such a badass with her sharp assassin’s knife and her casual indifference to the normal rules of human morality...that I was surprised to discover in her a very vulnerable core. When she falls for Marco, she falls so fast, and so hard, that it shames her. She doesn’t want to be pathetic. She just wants to be loved in return, but she knows better than to even hope for that.

Meanwhile, Marco hasn’t ever found anyone to truly understand him. He’s never met anyone as committed to any cause as he is. He’s very much alone, and he’s lost himself. Kyra helps him come to terms with what he’s become...and what he could be.

I desperately wanted these two to find their happy ever after. As for the scene that was most fun to write, I’m not sure I can pick just one, but every time Ares or Hekate made a guest appearance, I had a blast. Ares as a modern day arms dealer. Hekate as a fortune telling gypsy! I’m not comparing myself to Neil Gaiman but I was certainly inspired by American Gods, and those scenes made me grin.

I always find that authors have the best book recommendations. Have you read any good books lately or or a discovered a new author?

The most recent thing I’ve read is Jeannie Lin’s The Taming of Mei Lin, which I loveloveloved!

What's up next for you? Would you tell our readers a little bit about the next book in the series or what you are currently working on?

The next installment will be a novella about a young rock-star diva in Annapolis who unwittingly snares an ancient guardian of the sea with her siren song. After that, next year there’ll be a full-length novel about a mind-controlling Minotaur and a sexy sphinx!

In other news, I also write historical fiction as Stephanie Dray and my debut historical novel, Lily of the Nile: A Novel of Cleopatras Daughter, will be released in January 2011!

Do you love Greek or Roman Mythology? What about books that feature myths as part of their world-building or characters? Do you have any favorite myths you'd love to see featured in a book? Let us know and you can be entered to win a copy of Poisoned Kissies!
This giveaway open to US residents only.

Stephanie Draven is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.

Stephanie has always been a storyteller. In elementary school, she channeled Scheherazade, weaving a series of stories to charm children into sitting with her each day at the lunch table. When she was a little older, Stephanie scared all the girls at her sleepovers with ghost stories.

She should have known she was born to hold an audience in her thrall, but Stephanie resisted her writerly urges and graduated from college with a B.A. in Government. Then she went to Law School, where she learned how to convincingly tell the tallest tales of all!

A longtime lover of ancient lore, Stephanie enjoys re-imagining myths for the modern age. She doesn’t believe that true love is ever simple or without struggle so her work tends to explore the sacred within the profane, the light under the loss and the virtue hidden in vice. She counts it amongst her greatest pleasures when, from her books, her readers learn something new about the world or about themselves. Stephanie also writes historical fiction as Stephanie Dray and has a series of forthcoming novels from Berkley Books featuring Cleopatra’s daughter.

Website: http://www.stephaniedraven.com/

Follow Stephanie on her blog tour with the following upcoming stops:
9/17/2010 - http://www.accessromance.com/blog/ - Access Romance
9/17/2010 - http://www.romancejunkies.com - Romance Junkies
9/18/2010 - http://www.cherrymischievous.com - Cherry Mischievous
9/19/2010 - http://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com - Cheryl's Book Nook
9/20/2010 - http://dearauthor.com - Dear Author
Complete Blog Tour List Link: http://stephaniedraven.com/poisoned-kisses-blog-tour/

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

BLOGMANIA 2010 IS HERE! Everyone Deserves a Little Romance...

I'm extremely excited to be a part of Blogmania this time around and hope that new visitors to Cheeky Reads will take some time to look around the site. Cheeky Reads is a romance book review site that covers all genres of romance as well as Urban Fantasy and Paranormal titles. I also ADORE audio books and do reviews on those as well. Thanks for stopping by!

So, what's my giveaway theme? EVERYONE DESERVES A LITTLE ROMANCE! To one lucky winner, I'm giving away the following worth over $120!

Return to Sender by Fern Michaels - Audio Book
Her Mother's Keeper by Nora Roberts - Audio Book
The Perfect Poison by Amanda Quick - Print Book
Enemy Lover by Karin Harlow - Print Book
Your choice of Dark or Milk French Chocolate Fondue to make your reading time even more luxurious!

To Enter to Win: Leave a comment letting me know who your favorite author is and include your email address. For an extra entry (+1) follow this blog with GFC (on the upper left sidebar) and leave me another comment letting me know. Following is not required to enter, and only follow if you really want to! :)  This contest is open for US and Canada addresses only.

Here are all of the blogs hosting a BLOGMANIA 2010 giveaway. They are labeled with US, US/CAN, or INT based on who their giveaways are open to - US residents only, US/CAN residents only or INT - world wide!!! Each blog should have this link list - in case you are looking for specific giveaways only - at the bottom of their giveaway post. However, BOOKMARK this page and keep track of what number you are on - Good Luck and HAVE FUN!!


THE FINE PRINT: Please read each giveaway 's directions carefully as entry methods differ, and giveaways may be open to different world areas than previously noted on our list. Please make sure you leave a way (valid email address) with your entries to be contacted if you win. All blog's are responsible for drawing their own winners and contacting those winners for their shipping addresses. All blogs are responsible for providing this information to the companies that are shipping the prizes to the winners or providing the prizes themselves directly to the winners in a timely fashion. Parker Pr Online and BLOGMANIA 2010 are not responsible for any giveaways or prizes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Audio Book Review: Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

Audio Book Review: Wicked Appetite
By: Janet Evanovich
Read by: Lorelei King
Macmillan Audio
Unabridged CD - Run time 7 hours 
3 Heart Review

Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.

I've had the hardest time ever writing this review. Please know that right off the bat. A fan of the Stephanie Plum series, I was super excited to learn that Janet had a new series coming out and was excited to see something different from her. Don't get me wrong, I love the Plum series, but after so many books I was looking to something refreshingly different but with the fun I knew would always be in Janet's writing.

What I personally felt about Wicked Appetite was that it felt too much like the Plum series. That was not helped by keeping the same narrator from the Plum series for this series. I love Lorelei King as a narrator and think she has made the Plum series come alive in audio, but in order for Wicked Appetite to really have it's own "voice" they should have chosen a new narrator.

Having Lorelei narrate this book only served to highlight how much of it mirrored the exact type of situtations, humor, jokes, etc that a reader would have in the Plum series. Yes, the Plum series is awesome but with a new series it SHOULD feel different and this just didn't for me.

Yes, Diesel is a cross-over character readers are already familiar with but I felt like Lizzie was a Stephanie clone. Add in Carl the Monkey and too many scenes where you forgot this is Lizzie instead of Stephanie and I just couldn't get into it.

It is a very fun story and maybe it would have been better this time for me to read the book. Not having Stephanie's exact "voice" might have helped me seperate the stories more. As it was, Lorelei King is Stephanie to me and I couldn't hear her reading this story and not be thinking Plum the whole time.

If you haven't done the Plum series by audio that might not be an issue for you or if you read the print book. If you love Evanovich then you will probably really enjoy this new book and series, but if you are looking for something new from her this isn't it. Yes, I wanted fun and zany but this was too similiar. It felt like when a favorite author's book has been re-released with a new title and cover and you buy it only to get a few pages in and realize you've read it before - it's still a great story, but it's not that something new you were hoping for.   

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Winner Of The Audio Download Of Mating Call by Emily Ryan-Davis

Thanks again to Emily for stopping by and talking Audio Books with us (one of my favorite topics!!) and for offering a free download to a reader.

The winner, as chosen by random.org, is # 8 - JellyBelly!

Congrats and email me at cheekyreads @ gmail.com (no spaces) and I'll send you the information on the download.

Happy Reading & Listening!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome Author Emily Ryan-Davis & Enter to Win An Audio Book Copy of Mating Call!

Audio Books: Read Together

Happy Wednesday everyone! Cheeky Reads is the first stop on my audio book blog tour, which launches along side my first audio book release, MATING CALL, available now at AudioMinx.

MATING CALL is the first of a paranormal romance serial trilogy crammed full of dragons both solid and ephemeral. I'm happy to say books two and three, DRAGON DANCE and DRAGON BOUND, will be releasing in September and November of this year (don't forget Tuesdays are discount days at AudioMinx).

But less about THE audio book and more about audio books in general.

The first time I chose an audio book over a print book was Christmas four years ago. My now-husband, Chris, and I were going to undertake a four-hour drive to visit my family for the holiday. I'm not a verbal entertainer by nature and I worried Chris would be bored to death traveling such a long distance, his hands glued to the wheel instead of free to flip pages or wield knitting needles (like mine).

Together we chose Christpher Moore's A DIRTY JOB. I chose it more for him than me because I figured I'd knit or something if I didn't like the book. For the record: love A DIRTY JOB. I highly recommend it (not romance, though: you've been warned).

Chris and I went out of our way to keep driving so we could finish listening to the book together. We loved the voice acting, we loved being able to laugh together the way we would if we were watching a movie, and we didn't experience any of that awkward “you've GOT to read this! it's hysterical!” bumbling that occurs when you try to communicate hilarity to someone who's not been reading along with you. That audio book was the perfect joint-reading solution to our long drive.

When Audio Lark opened for submissions last year, my first thought was of the A DIRTY JOB experience. I immediately put together submission packages for my contemporary paranormal Dragon Queen series. The Dragon Queen books were my first e-books, my first print books and wouldn't it be fitting if they were my first audio books, too?

This afternoon, I was listening to proofs for DRAGON DANCE (book 2) and my husband was sitting on the bed putting on a pair of socks when the voice actress hissed a vehement curse followed by incredulous exclamation. I started laughing and so did he (it was meant to be a laughing bit) and in that moment, I knew I HAD to make audio books a more regular part of my life. What better way for reading households to do things together?

I'm not sure I'd advocate spicy romance as read-together subject matter...but I'm not sure I'd caution against it, either, ifyaknowwhatImean.

My question for blog visitors today is, in what circumstances do you “read” audio books? Your commute? Gym time? In the winter, when your hands are busy knitting up homemade socks? Tell me a) the last audio book you “read” and b) why you choose audio when you do choose audio, and you'll be entered in a drawing to receive a free download of MATING CALL.

Emily Ryan-Davis writes for Ellora's Cave, Liquid Silver Books and Freya's Bower. News of projects, releases and blog appearances can be found at ScorchedSheets.com. MATING CALL, DRAGON DANCE and DRAGON BOUND are currently available in electronic and print format at Freya's Bower.

Fun with Book Trailers: Eve Silver's Otherkin Trilogy

Book Review: All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

Romance Book Review: All I Ever Wanted

By: Kristan Higgins
4 Heart Review

One happily-ever-after rocking chair…

And no sign of any forthcoming babies to rock in ol’ Georgebury, Vermont. For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track, because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company’s new Miss Perfect. If that isn’t bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a 3-0 birthday bash in the family funeral home.

Bad goes to worse when she stirs up a relationship with the town’s most eligible — yet not so warm and fuzzy — veterinarian, Ian McFarland, in order to flag Mark’s attention. So Ian’s more comfortable with animals… So he’s formal, orderly and just a bit tense. The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it’s time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But, dang — if he doesn’t shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for Vermont’s unlikeliest eligible bachelor…

I cried. Really, there's a point toward the end of this book that had literal tears going down my face. The hubby was sitting next to me on the couch and looked at me and said "Are you serious?" Me in my warble-est voice ever said, "I can't help it. There this (insert plot point) and then this (more plot) happens and it's just so sad!" Yep. It's a good book. A really good book and a wonderful read that I think you'll really enjoy.

Kristan Higgins writes wonderfully original, yet relatable, contemporary stories that have me coming back again and again because she creates stories and characters that I see myself in and that's half the battle to finding a good romance.

This book was no different, but the only reason this wasn't a 5 Heart Review for me was that I wanted to know more and get a deeper understanding of the hero. The heroine Callie is wonderfully fleshed out and we learn so much about her and where she's been and what her motivations are. With our hero Ian, that's a little harder to discern. Now, part of that is because his character is reserved and mysterious, but I wanted to see him bloom a little with Callie. More so than he did at least.

The above back cover copy does help explain the premise of the book, but I was very happy to find that the plot of the engagement of Callie's boss takes a backseat to the romance between Callie and Ian. I wouldn't have liked the book as much if the focus on that initial incident had been played up too much. There was a very nice balance of Callie being hurt by Mark's engagement, and in seeing her grow past it.

It's so hard to say exactly why I loved this book, expect to say that I just did. It all worked for me, even without further insight into Ian, and it was all I could do to not go back and read the one book by Kristan that I have on my TBR pile but hadn't gotten to yet. Sometimes needing to read the latest books to review is hard! I want to throw a tantrum and say "No, I will read what I want!" LOL - alas I have resisted the temptation, but it was hard. Kristan Higgins pulls me in and I'm sure it won't be long until I give in to temptation and read that missed book (The Next Best Thing).


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