REVIEW: Siren by Tricia Rayburn

Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.

Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a string of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair try to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.

A seductive paranormal romance full of unexpected twists, Siren is certain to make a big summer splash.

Title: Siren
Author: Tricia Rayburn
Format: hardcover, 344 pages
Genre: young adult, paranormal, romance
Source: review copy
Published: July 2010 by Egmont USA
Buy the book: The Book Depository | Amazon
Find the author online: website | blog | twitter | facebook

Why I Read this Book: You know those books out there, the ones that you’ve heard about but really had no desire to read? Sure, you’ve read the blurb but it doesn’t do anything for you. Or it’s about something (perhaps a certain paranormal/methodical creature) that you just don’t read…? That’s what Siren was to me. But then it became something completely different.

When I was asked to review Siren, I wasn’t sure if I was up for it. I checked the reviews on Goodreads and the reviews were good but the reviews were also very mysterious. I had a feeling what the book would be about just by the title and that is what made me hesitant. The reviews were not clear on whether or not my assumptions were correct but every time I asked someone about the book, someone who had already read it, they said I had to read it. I listened and boy, am I glad I read this book!

What I Liked: The author takes character connection to a whole other dimension. I felt like I was there with Vanessa. This book blew me away. And finally, the geeky, nerdy guy gets the attention of the leading lady instead of the “ultimate bad boy”. Don’t get me wrong, I love my bad boys but the geeks got to get in on some of the action too. It just gives it a nice, realistic change in the world of YA.

The cover is haunting. The cold, silver eyes appear to be looking right into your soul. The tiny little air bubbles lead me to believe the girl is under water, which leaves me breathless. The back cover is not as clear to make out; my guess is that it’s sound waves, most likely under water as well. The cover definitely jumps out at you, making you want to pick it up. Like I said – haunting.

What I Didn’t Like: I was left with some unanswered questions; questions that I’m sure will be answered in the next two installments. Simon is also due for some answers and I can’t wait to see how he takes them.

Overall Impression: Siren has unique twists and a storyline that went from interesting to very interesting. I was captivated from the start and never loss interest. This is a book that you’ll want to gobble up in one sitting and it will leave you wanting seconds. Thank goodness Siren is part of a trilogy! I am not ready to let go of Vanessa, Simon or Caleb and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them. Siren was a great summer read! The sequel to Siren will be out next summer and the 3rd installment in the trilogy will be out the summer after that.

Be sure to check out my interview with Tricia Rayburn!

The Book Vixen Rating

REVIEW: Best iPhone Apps by Josh Clark

If you want to load your iPhone or iPod Touch with some interesting apps, odds are you'll be overwhelmed by the number of choices at Apple's App Store--all 35,000 of them (and counting). What you need is a reliable guide to the best, most useful, and most entertaining iPhone apps, concisely cataloged and described. Well, look no further, because Best iPhone Apps is on its way!

Full of colorful and helpful illustrations, this one-of-a-kind catalog gives you the quick lowdown on each app, with brief tips on how to use it. No other guide can help you sort through the wealth of iPhone apps to find the true nuggets. Written by Missing Manual author and iWork specialist Josh Clark, Best iPhone Apps is the guide for discriminating downloaders.

Title: Best iPhone Apps: The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders
Author: Josh Clark
Format: PDF (Paperback version has 239 pages)
Genre: technology
Source: NetGalley
Published: July 2009 by O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Buy the book:
The Book Depository | Amazon
Find the author online: website | twitter

Why I Read this Book: I was browsing the selections on NetGalley when I came across this book. I have an iPod Touch so I thought it would be a great book to read. At first, I tried uploading it to my Kindle, however, this is not a Kindle-friendly read. This book is best display on paper or on your computer, either way – in color. So I read the book on my computer. I usually don’t read books on my computer but this was a pretty fast read.

What I Liked: I liked the way the book is organized. The book is divided into sections:

  • At Work
  • On the Town
  • At Leisure
  • At Play
  • At Home
  • On the Road
  • For Your Health

And then there are categories within each of those sections. For example, in the At Work section you’ll find the following categories:

  • To-Do Lists
  • Tracking Big Goals
  • Remembering Stuff
  • Tracking Time
  • Tracking Packages
  • Working the Web
  • Brainstorming
  • Shutting Out Noise
  • Offbeat Inspiration

For each app that is listed, the author gives you the app name, price for the app, version of the app and the app creator. Paid apps as well as free apps are listed. The author picks a Best App for each category, with a few apps getting an honorable mention. There is even a Best App for Elvis Sightings! (Who knew there was even an app for Elvis sightings?!!) Here are a few Best Apps mentioned in the book that I use on my iPod Touch:

Stanza – Best App for reading books. The Kindle App got an honorable mention. Before I got my Kindle 2, I used both of these apps. I haven’t used either of these apps lately but I still have them on my iPod Touch.

Twitterrific– Best App for Twitter. I agree! I’ve tried lots of Twitter apps and this is the only one I’ve stuck with. Twitter now has its own app (not mentioned in the book because it’s a fairly new app) which I only use when Twitterrific is on the fritz. But Twitterrific remains to be my main, go-to app for Twitter. Twitterrific has done a very shady tactic by no longer supporting their current version. They have come out with version 3 but have taken away all the perks, which you are now required to pay for. I am now going with Echofon. – Best App for checking your finances. I use this app all the time!

Here’s one app that won Best App that I disagree with:

Wikipanion Plus – Best App for browsing Wikipedia. What?!! And it’s $4.99! I am not sure when the official Wikipedia app came out but that’s the one I use. And it’s free – Bonus!

What I Didn’t Like: The screen shots of the apps in the PDF copy of the book I had were blurry. I assume (and hope) that this is only a problem with the PDF file and is not a problem with the bound version.

This book was outdated the day it was published. Technology is extremely fast-paced and there are hundreds of new apps that come out each week. To paint you a picture, check out these stats I found on Wikipedia and from Steve Job’s 9/1/2010 Keynote:

55,000 - Number of available apps on iTunes on 7/11/2009 (2 days after the book was released) [Wikipedia]

250,000 - Number of available apps as of 9/1/2010 [Keynote]

That’s 195,000 new apps that have come out in a little over a year since this book was published!

Overall Impression: I think it would be better to have this type of information available on a website as opposed to a book. Funny thing is, there is a Best iPhone Apps website that discusses newly released apps. And this website has a lot (if not most) of the same information given in the book. Did I just debunk their secret?

I cannot justify spending $9.99+ on this book only to have it be outdated as soon as it hits the shelves. Was this book helpful? Yes, it was. But it’s best to get this one from the library.

The Book Vixen Rating 

Book Review: The Unidentified Redhead by Alice Clayton

The Unidentified Redhead by Alice ClaytonTitle: The Unidentified Redhead
Series: Redhead, #1
Author: Alice Clayton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: February 2010 by Omnific Publishing

When Grace Sheridan returns to Los Angeles to become a working actor, it's a second shot at a life-long dream. With some help from her best friend and agent, that dream could become a reality, but at thirty-three, has Grace missed her chance at the big time? Will an unexpected sizzling romance with the entertainment industry's newest 'it' boy shine an uncomfortable spotlight on her life?

Alice Clayton spins a playful and erotic May to December romance in this, her debut novel. Clayton's funny, borderline neurotic heroine is perfect in her imperfections, and the off the charts sexual chemistry between her and her charming, yet blissfully unaware leading man are the true heart of The Unidentified Redhead. With laugh out loud dialogue and a super steamy romance that will get your heart racing, sneaking around in L.A. and dodging the Paparazzi has never been so fun.

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

MatchedTitle: Matched (Amazon)
Matched, #1
Ally Condie
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Published: November 2010 by Dutton Juvenile

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

The Vixen is Back!

*waves hello*

I am back from my hiatus and I’m ready to get back in the saddle. You’ve probably been wondering why I was on this hiatus in the first place so I am going to satisfy the curious cat – I am now a SAHM (stay at home mom).

I left my job at a place I had been working at for over 9 years to take care of my children full time. Part of the reasoning behind that decision was the fact that my oldest started Kindergarten this year. While she’s off at Kinderland having a ball learning stuff for half a day (really it’s only for 4 hours), I’m battling the household chores (armed with my trusty broom and mop) and taking care of my little man (he’s 3). Oh, and I may or may not have been in the arms of Vin Diesel while I was away. My representation has advised me to neither confirm or deny this allegation so we’ll just have to leave it at that. And if any pictures surface from this so-called scandalous affair, all I have to say is it wasn’t me.

So there you have it. That’s what’s been going on with me recently. Reading and blogging had taken a back burner while I got through this transition but now that the dust has settled, I”M BACK!

I would like to also take this opportunity to give a huge THANK YOU to all my fellow book bloggers and authors who kept The Book Vixen doors open. Without them, the place would have felt so lonely and empty so I greatly appreciate their help in keeping the cobwebs away. Oh and Ms. Fiction Vixen – I found your panties in the freezer. Not sure how you’re going to explain that one…..hmm, maybe you better not.

In case you missed any guest blogger’s post, here’s the run down:

Jenn from Book Crazy talked about mantras and mottos and shares with us the one that has made an impact on her.

Sophia from Fiction Vixen gives you the inside scoop on what I was really up to during my “hiatus”. Can’t anyone keep a secret anymore?!!

Kelli and Natalie from I’d So Rather Be Reading answered some questions like what makes a book “stalker worthy”.

Natalie from Mindful Musings shared her list of authors that are on her auto-buy list.

Lisa from A Life Bound By Books told us which 2011 books she has on her radar.

Author Elizabeth Kolodziej gave us a glimpse into the story behind the vampires she created.

Natasha from Wicked Little Pixie told us which books of 2010 have made her favorite list.

Eleni from La Femme Readers shared her 5 Favorite YA books of 2010.

Patti from Book Addict shared her Top 10 list of books she didn’t think she’d like but ended up loving.

Kate from I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read! told us who her favorite author is and why.

Dee from Good Choice Reading shared her Top 10 Lists.

King Mho Fho reviewed Renegade by Lora Leigh.

Contemporary Romance Author Casey Crow talked about second chances at love.

I’ve been catching up with my reading and thus I shall have lots of reviews for you in the upcoming weeks. My review of Matched by Ally Condie will be up later today.

On My Wishlist (44)

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. If you want to know more click here.

The Fallen: Volume 1 by Thomas E. Sniegoski


On his eighteenth birthday, Aaron begins to hear strange voices and is convinced he is going insane. But having moved from foster home to foster home, Aaron doesn't know whom he can trust. He wants to confide in the cute girl from class, but fears she'll confirm he's crazy.

Then a mysterious man begins following Aaron. He knows about Aaron's troubled past and his new powers. And he has a message for Aaron: As the son of a mortal and an angel, Aaron has been chosen to redeem the Fallen.

Aaron tries to dismiss the news and resists his supernatural abilities. But he must accept his newfound heritage -- and quickly. For the dark powers are gaining strength, and are hell-bent on destroying him...

Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

In the dim light of the darkroom, I'm alone, but not for long.
As white turns to gray, Kate is with me.
The background of the dance studio blurred, so the focus is all on her
legs extended in a perfect soaring split.
The straight line to my squiggle,
my forever-best friend.

Sixteen-year-old Liz Grayson is photogirl—sharp, focused and ready to take the world by storm with her camera. But Liz's entire life is called into question when her brother is accused of a crime—and the accuser is Liz's own best friend. As the aftershocks from that accusation rip through Liz's world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship and herself, shifts out of focus. And for the first time in her life, Liz finds herself unable to trust her own point of view. Told in stunning, searingly raw free verse, Exposed is Kimberly Marcus's gut-wrenching, riveting debut and will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson and Virginia Euwer Wolff.

Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

The Other Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5) by Jeaniene Frost

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they’ve triumphed over the latest battle, Cat’s new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance…

With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous “ally”—the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war. …to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.

If you haven’t already read books #1 - #4 then you’re missing out. You can read my review on the series.

What’s on your wishlist?

GUEST POST: Contemporary Romance Author Casey Crow

The Book Vixen is pleased to welcome Contemporary Romance Author Casey Crow to the blog today.

REVIEW: Ties That Bind by Anne Patrick

Sheriff Austin Garrett enlists the help of FBI profiler, Jo McDaniels, to help him solve a string of murders plaguing his community. Unlike most profilers Jo has an unusual gift that allows her to get to know the victims better than anyone else. She not only feels their emotions; she feels their pain. But the last time she relied on her physic ability it almost cost her career as well as her sanity. As the case progresses and the body count rises they soon realize that Jo’s sanity isn’t all that is at risk. She has become the killer’s ultimate kill.

Title: Ties That Bind
Author: Anne Patrick
Format: eBook
Genre: romantic suspense
Source: review copy
Published: May 2010 by Awe-Struck Publishing
Buy the book:

My Thoughts
I like a good mystery and I love reading romantic suspense novels so when I read the blurb for Ties That Bind, I knew this was a book I had to read. Forensics fascinates me; I enjoy watching those types of TV shows and I enjoy reading about the subject. This novel encompasses all of these elements, which made it a enjoyable read.

The characters in Ties That Bind are intelligent and, with the exception of the villain, are likeable. The main character, Jo, has a dual Masters in criminology and Psychology, a perfect and fitting background for a FBI Criminal Profiler. Jo also possess a unique psychic gift that assists her with her investigations. This gift, along with the stress of her job, takes a lot out of her but she remains completely dedicated to her job and saving the lives of others.

The relationship that blossomed between Jo and Austin was realistic and took a slow and steady pace. Here is one of my favorite dialogues between Austin’s teenaged daughter and Jo. I get a chuckle every time I read it.

“Sorry. It’s just that Dad’s never brought home a woman before, much less cooked for one.”

“Your dad doesn’t date?”

“What are you kidding? Look at the man. Of course he dates. He just hasn’t ever brought one home.”

One thing that felt a little odd was that religion wasn’t much of a factor until the end of the book, at which point it was laid on a little thick. It seemed to come out of nowhere. I think it would have flowed a little more smoothly if the religion aspect was brought into the character’s profile early on. I would have also liked to have seen a little more sizzling interaction between Austin and Jo.

All in all, Ties that Bind is a great romantic suspense read. It just dove right in to the storyline and it held my attention all the way until the end. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put my Kindle down. It had good strong characters and a plotline that twisted and turned and kept me on my toes. Just when I thought I had the villain all figured out, the author threw me a curve ball. I’m definitely going to explore other books written by this author.

The Book Vixen Rating 

Where to find Anne Patrick online
website | blog | twitter | facebook

GUEST POST: Kate from I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read!

I just wanna sit here and read The Book Vixen is pleased to welcome Kate from I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read! to the blog today.

Thanks to The Book Vixen for letting me share about one of my favorite authors, Kelley Armstrong. Last year I was a staff member of an online book review/news website and we had a list of books that needed to be reviewed. Somewhat of a divine intervention drew me to Kelley’s Women of the Otherworld series. I read the first book, Bitten, and I was hooked! My only experience with paranormal at that point was Twilight and that book is just the tip of the iceberg. There was a whole mess of books out there that were undiscovered to me and after that first book I could not stop. The WotO series explores different paranormal creatures (werewolves, vampires, witches, etc.) linked together throughout the series. Each book has a different female narrator which is pretty awesome because you really get to know these women. Plus there are some pretty hot romance scenes mixed in (<3Clay Danvers).

When the anthologies for this series came out, I just had to have them! I love Men of the Otherworld which explores the main men characters in the series a little more deeply. Like I said, I <3 Clay Danvers. :) And Tales of the Otherworld is another anthology that has some short stories about the characters as well.

After those books, I realized that Kelley was doing a YA series, The Darkest Powers, that was in the same universe, the Otherworld, but with teenage main characters. Again, her writing was fantastic and I was hooked. Soon she will be doing her second YA series and I see no stopping for this fantastic author. Everything she does is utterly magnificent and if you have not experienced her books yet, get to it!

Where to find Kelley Armstrong online
website | twitter | facebook

Where to find Kate from I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read! online
blog | twitter | goodreads

GUEST POST: Dee from Good Choice Reading

The Book Vixen is pleased to welcome Dee from Good Choice Reading to the blog today.

Hey Everyone! Dee here from Good Choice Reading :0)

I am guest posting today for Book Vixen since she is away for a little bit. I thought I’d take the time to talk about, what else? Books! Lately I’ve been reading some really GREAT books and discovering some really awesome authors.

So I would like to give you my TOP TEN list of Books, Authors, book couples & more.

Okay, so I mostly read Paranormal Romance and YA, but once in a while I like to get lost in a contemporary romance. Basically, I read/watch anything with a good love story….throw in some action and even better!

Now onto my list…. Keep in mind, these list have changed about 20 times this summer. :-P

(Not in any particular order)

  1. Hush, Hush By Becca FitzPatrick
  2. NightShade by Andrea Cremer
  3. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  4. Evernight by Claudia Gray
  5. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
  6. Twilight by Stephenie Meyers
  7. Shade by Jeri Smith Ready
  8. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
  9. Winter Longing by Tricia Mills
  10. The Van Allen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz


(Not in any particular order)

  1. Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian
  2. Sin Undone by Larissa Ione
  3. Lover Awakend by J.R. Ward
  4. Running Scared by Shannon K. Butcher
  5. Shadow of The Vampire by Meagan Hatfield
  6. Blood Magic by Jennifer Lyon
  7. Almost Human by Melanie Nowak
  8. The Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands
  9. Immortal Danger by Cynthia Eden
  10. Dangerous Highlander by Donna Grant


(Not in any particular order)

  1. Finding Perfect by Susan Mallery
  2. Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
  3. At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks
  4. Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey
  5. The girl most likely to… by Susan Donovan
  6. Falling for Gracie by Susan Mallery
  7. Nothing But Trouble Rachel Gibson
  8. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
  9. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  10. The Kept Woman by Susan Donovan



  1. Patch and Nora (Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick)
  2. Jace and Clary (The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare)
  3. Lucas and Bianca (Evernight Series by Claudia Gray)
  4. Ren and Calla (Nightshade by Andrea Cremer)
  5. Jack and Sky (Blue Blood Series by Melissa De-La Cruz)
  6. Ash and Meg (The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa)
  7. Bella and Edward (Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyers)
  8. Cane and Felicity (Almost Human Series by Melanie Nowak)
  9. Rose and Dimitri (Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead)
  10. Shay and Gabriel (Crave by Melinda Metz and Laura J. Burns)



  1. Bella and Zsadist (Blackdagger Brotherhood series by J.R Ward)
  2. Tegan and Elise (Midnight Breed Series by Lara Adrian)
  3. Lori and Reid (Buchanan’s series by Susan Mallery)
  4. Allie and Noah (The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks)
  5. Wraith and Serena (Demonica Series by Larissa Ione)
  6. Thomas and Inez (Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands)
  7. Declan and Alexia (Shadow of The Vampire by Meagan Hatfield)
  8. Ian and Toni (All I want for Christmas is a vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks)
  9. Adele and Zac (Not another bad date by Rachel Gibson)
  10. Pia and Raoul (Fool’s Gold Series by Susan Mallery)



  1. Lara Adrian
  2. Becca FitzPatrick
  3. Cassandra Clare
  4. Larissa Ione
  5. Meagan Hatfield
  6. Claudia Gray
  7. Susan Mallery
  8. Nicholas Sparks
  9. Cynthia Eden
  10. Lynsay Sands



  1. The Notebook
  2. Underworld series
  3. The Covenant
  4. The Crow
  5. The Count of Monte Cristo
  6. R.E.N.T
  7. Star Trek
  8. West Side Story
  9. Grease
  10. Joy Ride



  1. P!NK – MisSUnderstood
  2. Backstreet Boys – Millennium
  3. Britney Spears – Opps I did it again Album
  4. The Veronicas – Secret life of The Veronicas
  5. RENT Soundtrack
  6. Anything Eminem
  7. Wisen and Yandel
  8. Rakim and Ken Y
  9. Kenny Rogers (Yes, I love me some Kenny)
  10. Staind

Well, that is it! I could share more, but this list looks LONG enough already LOL. I want to thank The Book Vixen for having me and letting me share my Top Tens with everyone! :0) I love her blog and always come by to check out what great books she is currently reading.

Okay, I would love to stay and chat right now, but duty calls (in the form of a 7 month old baby). But please share your thoughts on my TOP TENS. I will keep coming back periodically to read your thoughts. :0) <3 TTFN

Where to find Good Choice Reading online
blog | twitter | facebook

Will You Hand Me My Invisibility Cloak Please

I am going to disappear behind the shadows for the next week to get some preparations in order for my return on 9/27. You won’t see me - I’m going to be invisible. I won’t be on Twitter. I won’t be checking my Google Reader. I won’t be online (well, not that you’ll be able to see anyhow).

So what will I be doing this upcoming week?

  • Catching up on book reviews. I have 5 of them to type out from my notes.
  • Work on some other posts (like author interviews and giveaways).
  • Read. And read some more. And when I’m done with that, read even more.
  • Clean off the cobwebs.

I have guest posts scheduled through the week and one book review by moi. Next week, I will have 5 reviews up.

To whet your appetite, here are the reviews that will be coming up on The Book Vixen in the very near future:

  • Ties That Bind by Anne Patrick
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • The Unidentified Redhead by Alice Clayton
  • Best iPhone Apps by Josh Clark
  • Siren by Tricia Rayburn
  • Summer in Paris by Michele Ashman Bell
  • Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Even though I’ll be away in seclusion, I will be answering email. So if you have a question or need to get in contact with me, send me an email.


This post was written while jammin to the tunes of No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom album. Because that’s how I roll.

Guest Review: Renegade by Lora Leigh

The Book Vixen is pleased to welcome King Mho Fho to the blog today. King Mho Fho is reviewing Renegade by Lora Leigh.

Renegade by Lora LeighTitle: Renegade
Series: Elite Ops #5
Author: Lora Leigh
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: guest review
Published: August 2010 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

As a bridal shop owner, Mikayla Martin helps make women’s wedding dreams come true. Her own life, however, has become a nightmare since she witnessed a murder — and got an up-close-and-personal look at the killer. What’s worse: She knows she knows him. But the police, after doing an alibi check, don’t believe her. It’s up to Mikayla to prove them wrong…and do whatever it takes to solve the murder by herself.

Elite Ops agent Nikolai Steele, code name Renegade, is asked to pay an old comrade a favor. This friend swears he’s no killer—and Nik believes him — even though he’s been mistaken as one by Mikayla. So Nik goes to set her straight…but the moment he lays eyes on the fiery and determined beauty, he knows he’s in too deep. A woman this irresistible can only mean trouble and, sure enough, after sticking her nose in one too many places, someone wants Mikayla dead. Now Nik must find a way to keep her safe, clear his friend’s name, and find the real killer, who remains on the loose…

On My Wishlist (43)

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. If you want to know more click here.

Orchard Valley Grooms by Debbie Macomber

Valerie rushes home to Orchard Valley, Oregon, when her father, David, suffers a heart attack. She and her two younger sisters, Stephanie and Norah, are gathering at his side, praying he’ll live, fearing he’ll die.…

At a time like this, falling in love is the last thing on Valerie’s mind. And with Dr. Colby Winston, of all people! He’s David’s heart surgeon, a renowned specialist who enjoys small-town living, while Valerie is a high-powered businesswoman who prefers city life. They’re complete opposites in every way. Yet David keeps insisting she and Colby are a perfect couple.

Meanwhile Stephanie has other worries besides her father’s health. She’d fled Orchard Valley three years earlier after her humiliating rejection by local journalist Charles Tomaselli. Now she’s home, and it’s not long before they begin reliving past battles—and renewing old feelings. He was the reason she left. This time, will he give her a reason to stay? David seems to think so.…

Does their father know something Valerie and Stephanie don’t?


Orchard Valley Brides by Debbie Macomber

Norah Bloomfield is feeling a bit unneeded these days. Her father is recovering from his heart attack, and her sisters, Valerie and Stephanie, are busy planning their weddings. But then a cantankerous Texan named Rowdy Cassidy who’d been Valerie’s boss…and who’d demanded she marry him. Now he’s Norah’s patient, and in all her nursing experience she’s never encountered a more difficult man. Or a more irresistible one! Except…is he still in love with her sister?

When Norah’s friend Sherry Waterman leaves Orchard Valley, Oregon, for Pepper, Texas, she’s definitely not in the mood for Lone Star Lovin’. But if anyone can change her mind, it’s Cody Bailman – a hardworking, good-looking rancher. Not only that, Cody has a twelve-year-old daughter who thinks Sherry’s “just perfect for Dad”!

Texas men are a breed apart…


Finding Sky by Joss Stirling

When Sky catches a glimpse of Zed for the first time, lounging against his motorbike at school, she is drawn to him just like every other girl in Wickenridge. But Zed sees something special in her that the other girls don't have. Zed tells her they are both Savants - people with special powers like telepathy and the ability to see into the future. Not only that, she is a Savant too, and his soulfinder - meant to be together. When a soulfinder speaks telepathically to her partner, it's like all the lights coming on in a building. You lit me up like Vegas. But for Sky it's just not that easy - she's a mystery to herself, haunted by nightmares from her past before she was adopted, and riddled with doubt and insecurity. Just when Sky is slowly coming round to the idea of being with Zed she is kidnapped by a family of criminal Savants. In a chilling twist, Sky and Zed's relationship is put to the ultimate test and the fate of those she loves lie in Sky's hands. Will Sky have the strength to embrace her power and be brave enough to control her own destiny, or will the dark demons of her past prevent her from realizing her true potential?

What’s on your wishlist?

Kindle 3 Pictures

This is just a quick post to show you the new Amazon Kindle 3. I’ve included some side-by-side shots with the Kindle 2. Review to come soon! Enjoy the slideshow. (You can also check out the pictures in my album.)

BBAW: Future Treasures

We’ve been visiting each other and getting to know each other better…now is your chance to share what you enjoyed about BBAW and also what your blogging goals are for the next year!

BBAW: Forgotten Treasure

BBAW_2010_Image Sure we’ve all read about Freedom and Mockingjay but we likely have a book we wish would get more attention by book bloggers, whether it’s a forgotten classic or under marketed contemporary fiction.  This is your chance to tell the community why they should consider reading this book!

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. It’s a 2-year old book so it hasn’t been touch on recently. I read this book last year, in April of 2009. I was at Target (I swear every time I go to Target I have to browse the book section and every time I browse the book section I end up buying some.) when I spotted it. The cover caught my attention even though there really isn’t much to it; it’s just a small bird holding a letter and a mail slot. The title peaked my interest a little bit more but it was the blurb that put this book in my cart.


The story of marriage, family, and forgiveness that has become not just a bestseller but an instant classic.

Their story begins with one letter on their wedding night, a letter from the groom, promising to write his bride every week-for as long they both shall live.

Thirty-nine years later, Jack and Laurel Cooper die in each other's arms. And when their grown children return to the family B&B to arrange the funeral, they discover thousands of letters.

The letters they read tell of surprising joys and sorrows. They also hint at a shocking family secret-and ultimately force the children to confront a life-changing moment of truth...


The Wednesday Letters is a story of unconditional love. I won’t give too much away but I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Nicholas Sparks, Debbie Macomber and the like. You won’t be disappointed. I originally read this book in my pre-Book Vixen days so you won’t see a review of it here, yet. But I will be re-reading this book soon and will put my review up on the blog.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]: Meet Me in Manhattan by Judith Arnold

Ted Skala and Erika Fredell were the perfect New Jersey high school sweethearts. Like many teens Ted and Erika spent plenty of time in parked cars under the stars, but there was so much more between them than the chemistry that ignited their courtship, and Ted couldn't imagine a life without Erika. By graduation he was ready to get engaged. Erika, however, was ready to spread her wings and faraway she flew to college. She broke his heart. She sailed the world.

Fast forward 15 years. Living in Manhattan, Erika successfully climbs the corporate ladder but her love life stinks. Ted is also living the life of a successful businessman in Manhattan, and he's involved in a serious relationship. Problem is, he still can't get Erika out of his system. When fate intervenes and their paths cross, the result is emotionally explosive and that old black magic is back with the force of a super nova. But Erika once ravaged his heart: How can Ted ever trust her again? And now that he's seriously involved with another woman, how can Erika hope for a second chance with the man she never should have let go?

Title: Meet Me in Manhattan
Author: Judith Arnold
Format: paperback, 249 pages
Genre: reality-based romance
Source: review copy (
TLC Book Tours)
Published: October 18, 2010 by HCI
Buy the book:
The Book Depository | Amazon

My Thoughts
When I was given the opportunity to review a Reality-Based Romance™ novel (also know as RB Romance™), I was a bit hesitant at first. The first thought that came to my mind was reality TV, which I do not like. There are only crazy people making complete fools of themselves on reality TV. But once I read the blurb for Meet Me in Manhattan, and found out that it was about a lost love between two people and their journey trying to rekindle that love, I knew I had to read it. I love nothing better than a finding a lost love story. And now that I’ve read a Reality-Based Romance™ novel, I have to admit, I’m ready for some more of this new genre!

I love reading a romance novel that stirs up my emotions and Meet Me in Manhattan did just that. It was funny at times, where I’d find myself grinning ear to ear or even laughing out loud. At other times it was heart-achingly sad where I’d find my eyes filling with tears. And then there were tears of joy.

One thing that keep going on in the back of my mind while reading this book was that I kept wondering how much of this story was real. Did *this* really happen? Or was it added in for effect? I found myself wondering how much of the book is fact and how much was embellished by the talents of Judith Arnold. I tried not to dwell on it but I couldn’t help but wonder.

I really liked that the author took the time to bring the reader back to where it all got started. I got to see how Ted and Erika meet and got together, what split them apart, who wanted to end the relationship and who tried everything to keep it going. Told from third narrative from both Erika’s POV and Ted’s POV, the story was easy to follow and fall in love with. I couldn’t help but root for their love to go on. But at the same time I understand why Erika didn’t want to settle down at such a young age and I applaud her for pursuing her dreams.

The ending seemed a bit rushed. Where the rest of the book was cruising at a steady speed of 35 mph, the ending seemed to be going 65. I would have like to read more about the resolution between the two main characters. Other than that, Meet Me in Manhattan was a great romance story!

Meet Me in Manhattan was a fun, fast read that I couldn’t put down. I stayed up until midnight reading because I wanted to know how everything would end between Ted and Erika. I didn’t make it to the finish line that night but I did finish the book the next morning. I will definitely check out Judith Arnold’s backlist! She’s a new-to-me author and I can’t wait to see what other goodies she has written.

I really like the idea of these Reality-Based Romance™ novels. Not only is it nice to read a true love story but it’s also a fresh of breath away to get away from the world of fantasy once in a while. If you’re interested, you can submit your own story, which could possibly be used in an upcoming book in the True Vows series.

The Book Vixen Rating 

Where to find Judith Arnold online



Meet Me in Manhattan Vows-Icing-on-Cake1-194x300 Vows-Hard-to-Hold-194x300

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and HCI, I have the whole series of 3 books to giveaway to one winner!! Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only (No PO Boxes). Comments are appreciated, however, you must fill out the form below in order to enter the giveaway. Please read the Contest/Giveaway Policy for complete list of rules. Giveaway ends Friday, September 24th, 2010. Good luck to all who enter!

BBAW: Unexpected Treasure

BBAW_2010_Image We invite you to share with us a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger.  What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?

I signed up for the 2010 YA Reading Challenge earlier this year. I love YA and figured this would be a good way to discover some new-to-me books and authors. As a judge, I would read 2 YA books from the list (I submitted my preferences but ultimately the books were assigned to me) and I would pick one of the books to advance to the next level of the challenge.

The books that were chosen for me to read were The Season by Sarah MacLean and Ash by Malinda Lo. Before reading either of these books, I had somewhat of a biased opinion about each of them. I had had Ash on my TBR list and couldn’t wait to read it. The Season, on the other hand, was not my cup of tea. I didn’t really have any desire to read it because it was historical (regency) romance and I hadn’t read historical romance before. I never really had an interest in reading it but I had a job to do and I was going to do it.

I ended up reading The Season first, since that was the book I was able to get my hands on first. And boy, was I pleasantly surprised! There was suspense, mystery and romance. And I wasn’t confused with historical dialogue! That was my biggest fear - that I wouldn’t be able to make out what the characters were saying. In the end, I chose The Season to advance to the next level in the challenge. Surprising, isn’t it? It wasn’t what I had expected either.

I am glad I got the opportunity to read The Season as it has opened up my palate to historical romance. That’s not to say that I’m going to dive right into this genre; I’m a gal who needs to start off slowing by sitting at the shallow end with just sticking my feet in first. But I will say that I have Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean on my TBR list. I enjoyed her writing style in her YA book and I’m ready to dabble in a little adult historical romance.

To find out what I thought about The Season and Ash in detail (and to see why I ultimately chose The Season instead of Ash to advance in the challenge – you know you’re dying to find out!), you can click on the links in the titles and you be directed to my reviews.

GUEST POST: Patti from Book Addict

The Book Vixen is pleased to welcome Patti from Book Addict to the blog today.


Thanks so much Book Vixen, for having me over! I love visiting my bloggy friends, and today I thought I'd talk about one of the reasons why: One thing I love about blogging is all the great book recs I find. Sometimes if I just look at a book blurb, I might pass it up, but then if I see another blogger rave about the book and it piques my interest, I'll usually write it down in a notebook for when I'm book shopping. Sometimes, I'll see another blogger rave about a book and think "that's not for me". But then, I'll see another squee-fest review, and another, and another. And I start to wonder, what is it about this book that's got everyone's panties aflutter? Could it really be that good? I'm finding that usually the answer is yes. Here's my top 10 list of books I didn't think I'd like that I ended up loving (the order changes daily, LOL):

10. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater: I didn't even realize this was a werewolf book until this year, and while I occasionally read YA, it's not my top choice. When Ms. Stiefvater came to New Orleans I bought a copy and STILL waited several months to read it - I'm so glad I finally did - I loved it!!!

9. Rachel Gibson's Chinooks Hockey Series: I'd read some of her other books and liked them, so when I saw this at my local used bookstore I picked it up. Then, when I got home and saw it was about hockey, it went straight onto my TBR pile. I think I was in a reading funk when I finally picked it up (I was desperate!) and ended up loving it - it doesn't matter that I've never seen a hockey game (I didn't even know the US had a hockey team, let alone several), I love these guys and am always excited when another Chinooks book is coming out! This series led me to look for other sports-themed books.

8. Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone: An erotic historical romance with a heroin addicted hero? Really? Yes, really, and it was so well-written and so sensual - I couldn't put this one down. It's one of my favorite reads from last year. (Thanks Vamp Fan Girl!)

7. Saving Francesca by Marlina Marchetta: Danielle at Alpha Reader recommended this book to me, and her review was stellar. It focuses on a teenage girl who's attending a former all-boy's high school as one of the first groups of girls to be admitted. Even after she sent me the book, I put off reading it because I was afraid I was going to hate it and didn't want to have to tell her "thanks but it sucked". Luckily, I loved, loved, loved this book!

6. Comfort Foot by Kitty Thomas: I saw a review of this book over at Cecile's place and I thought that while it wasn't something I would normally read, her enthusiasm of the book was catching. So I bought it, and it sat on my kindle for awhile. Then I read it, and read it again. I'm still wowed by this book just thinking about it. And I'm planning to buy the hardcover version when it comes out in the Fall.

5. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews: I don't remember how I came to hear about this book. I know I picked it up and put it down several times - I was pretty sure there was no sexin' in this book and therefore wasn't sure I wanted to put my hard-earned money down for a book I wouldn't like. It took a few pages, but I fell right into the I Heart Curran Club (Rowr!).

4. Touched by an Alien: You know, although I love watching Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation, that's about as far as my sci-fi love goes. Or so I thought. I had absolutely no intention of picking up this book. This is another book Danielle at Alpha Reader put on my radar, but it was the fact that my son bought it for me as a birthday gift that made me read it. Now I am anxiously awaiting her next release and dreaming of Jeff Martini :)


3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Say it with me ladies: "Jamie Frasier" *collective sigh* My aunt actually recommended this book, and I thought okay, sure. Then when I saw the size of it I thought, WTH - it's a doorstop! It took me a bit to get into the book, the beginning is slow going, but I'm so glad I stayed with it. This is one of my comfort reads when I'm feeling sick or down.

2. Dark Lover by J.R. Ward: If I knew then what I know now.... I saw these Black Dagger Brotherhood books mentioned on Charlaine Harris' reader discussion boards. I looked them up on Amazon and thought - a blind vampire king and his brothers who fight dead guys? No thanks. But a co-worker's mother had read them and she lent me Dark Lover. I don't think I need to say anything else, except maybe "John Matthew is mine."

1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: I mentioned above that YA is not my first choice for reading material, but sometimes it surprises me. I read and loved Twilight, then I read the House of Night series and thought it was just okay. I thought Vampire Academy would be more of the same - oh, was I wrong. I don't remember why I picked up the first book, but once I started reading I went back for the next 3 all at once. Not only is this my favorite YA series, but one of my favorite series in general. Last Sacrifice, the last book in this series, will be out December 7, and while I'm excited to read it I'm also sorry that this series is ending. I believe Ms. Mead has said there will be a spin-off series though, so I'm looking forward to that.


I've still got a few books in my TBR that I hear great things about that I just haven't been able to start: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley, Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, and Rachel Caine's Weather Warden Series to name a few...

Does anyone else do this - give books a try that you don't think you'll like based on other blogger recommendations? If so, what books did you surprise yourself with?

Feel free to stop by my blog and say hi: - I've got a little football challenge set up for any bloggers who are also football fans - Can your team beat the Saints? Put your Blog where your mouth is!!!



Where to find Patti from Book Addict online
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