Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review: Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Title:  Dead Beautiful
Author: Yvonne Woon
Release Date: September 21, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion
Source:  Bought

Description from Goodreads:

A haunting love story about desire, danger, and destiny. After Renee Winters discovers her parents lying dead in California's Redwood Forest in what appears to be a strange double murder, her grandfather sends her off to Gottfried Academy in Maine, a remote and mysterious high school dedicated to philosophy, "crude sciences," and Latin: the Language of the Dead. It's here she meets Dante, a dark and elusive student to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they get to know each other better, Dante can't seem to control his attraction either, and their desires gradually deepen into a complex and dangerous romance. Dangerous because Dante is hiding a frightening secret. A secret so terrible, it has him fearing for Renee's life. Dante's not the only one with secrets, though. Turns out Gottfried Academy has a few of its own… Like, how come students keep disappearing? Why are the prefect-like Monitors creeping around campus during the night? And what exactly are the Headmistress and Professors really up to? Renee is determined to find out why. Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.

My Review:

  Renee Winters finds her parents in the woods dead.  The cause of death for both of her parents was identified as heart attacks.  Renee doesn't believe it cause they have gauze in their mouths and coins were scattered around the bodies.  Renee's new guardian- her grandfather- decides to send her to Maine to attend Gottfried Academy.  Gottfried Academy is like no other school and she will soon find out why when she starts digging into its history and the truth behind her parents' deaths. 
  Renee makes friends with Eleanor her roommate, right away and she is able to show Renee the routine and rules of Gottfried Academy.  She meets Dante Berlin there also and is immediately drawn to him.  She will learn why there seems to be a magnetic bond between them later.  He and Renee grow closer when they are paired together in class.  He also tutors her in Latin which is known as "Language of the Dead".  He's always cold and he won't kiss her on the mouth but he'll kiss her on the neck.  What can Dante be hiding and will Renee be able to dig into the school's past in time to save herself and her friends?
  Let's start off with the cover- I don't love the cover, but I like it.  It makes the story look a bit fairy taleish (is that even a word?)  and from an earlier period in time.  This was no fairy tale and it took place in the modern time period so I was thrown off a bit.  The cover is catching but just a little deceiving in my opinion.  The colors are a bit dark and she is wearing all black so I pretty much assumed that someone was gonna die eventually or it was gonna have to do with death without even reading the description.  Overall, it is an ok cover for the book.
  To be honest- I was a bit bored at the beginning, but after Dante entered the book, I was able to stay focused on the story and it was able to keep my attention.  I was a bit confused on why the students had to take Horticulture.  I just don't understand what plants and soil have to do with the story. I must have missed that somewhere in the book, but I do know it is popular among the Board of Monitors of the school.  Plants just don't interest me enough to really pay attention to all the details Yvonne gave.
  The school was very strict and I would not want to live by their rules.  They had a dress code obviously but the other rules are a bit too much.  There is to be no artificial light of any kind after dark.  They are to use candles only ( Well it sure would save on the electricity bill) but suck when it comes to reading and homework- talk about straining your eyes- the kids are gonna need glasses and that is more expensive than an electric bill.  They are not allowed to be in the opposite sex's dorms or date anyone from the school.  I think it would be impossible to ban people from liking each other if you sit with them everyday in class and grow close.  Feelings are eventually gonna develop among some of the students so they should just let it happen and keep an eye on them.  Oh well, that is just my opinion.
  I enjoyed being able to snoop and spy right along with Renee on her quest for answers.  Upon discovering their secrets, I was better able to understand the characters and their previous behavior which would clear up a lot of questions I had going on in my head.  In the end, everything starts piecing together and you won't believe the ending (If that's what you want to call it).  It's a cliffhanger ending that is gonna have you craving the next book, that is if there is one.  Please Yvonne, write a sequel so your readers don't go crazy wondering what happens next!!  

4 1/2 Stars




Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.

Passion by Lauren Kate
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Delecorte

Description:
Before Luce and Daniel met at Sword & Cross and fought immortals at Shoreline, they lived many lives. . . .
 
 Okay so there isn't a ton of information on passion yet, including a description or finished cover. Which I can't wait to see! But half the world and I are awaiting the release of Passion the 3rd book in the Fallen series. It is due out June 14, 2011 and it can't come soon enough for me. I have been wanting this book ever since I read Torment. So in a little over 6 months we can expect it to be released *dances*

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cleaning out my old books with Ebay!






Hey Guys! I am cleaning out all of my 2010 books, I have listed them all on Ebay and will be adding some 2011 books January 1st. All their prices are below retail price and are all negotiable with the best offer option. I plan on adding quite a few books over the next couple of days. Some of the ones already listed are even AUTOGRAPHED! If there is a certain book that you are looking for and can't find it in my listing, let me know I may have it, and just haven't posted it yet. You can email me at sparklingreviews@gmail.com

Review: Deadly Little Secret (Touch #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: Deadly Little Secret

Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz

Release Date: Nov 10, 2009

Publisher: Hyperion

Source: Bought


Description from Goodreads:Some secrets shouldn't be kept...


Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.

From the best-selling author of Blue is for Nightmares comes a story of paranormal romance that's sure to be a thrilling and chilling teen favorite.



My Review:
 
Just after reading the first chapter, I knew this was gonna be a great story!
 
Camelia was in the school parking lot on the last day of school, when she has to squat down to search for an earring that slipped off.  Next thing she knows, there's a car heading straight for her and she is frozen like a deer in headlights.  All of a sudden she is pushed out to the curb and out of the way by a mysterious guy.  Camelia thinks this mysterious guy is incredibly handsome too.  He makes sure she's ok, touches her stomach, and then hops on his motorcycle and drives away.
  So who is this mystery guy you ask- Well Camelia is about to find out.  When school resumes three months later, she finds out about the new student- Ben Carter.  Ben is not welcomed with open arms like most new students- quite the opposite really.  There are already rumors going around that he is a killer and pushed his girlfriend of a cliff to her death, but Camelia won't believe the stories about him since she knows firsthand that he's a hero and saved her life personally.
  When she approaches Ben, he denies being the guy who saved her, but she knows she's not mistaken because she notices the same scar on his arm is the same one she saw when he saved her.
  When she gets home from school, she gets a photo of herself with a heart around it and realizes when she keeps getting mysterious gifts, photos and messages that someone is stalking her.  When they start, its as if she has a secret admirer but as they progress and come more often, she knows someone is out to hurt her.  Ben tells her that she's in danger but is she in danger from him or is someone else out to get her?  Is Ben the killer that everyone says he is?
 
  I've read this book twice now because its just that good!  Its full of mystery, humor, and romance that will make your toes curl. 
 
Camelia is my favorite character.  If I were her, I would have told my parents right away what was going on.  In my opinion, she was right to trust Ben when they first met cause she knew he was a real hero for saving her life.  Camelia is a brave character too.  She sticks with what she believes in and rides off with Ben in the middle of the night instead of believing the rumors.  Camelia also does pottery, which brings me to my favorite scene out of any books that I've ever read.  If you've seen the movie "Ghost" with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, then you  know about the love scene they do with the clay and the pottery wheel spinning.  Well, that is what happens in one of the scenes of this book between Camelia and a boy. I Absolutely loved that scene and being able to picture it while I was reading it.  It makes me want to learn pottery just so I can experience what Camelia does.
  I recommend this book to everyone.  Seriously, I do!  The characters are entertaining.  The settings are fun, romantic, and mysterious.  The plot flows easily from beginning to end and I wasn't bored for any of it.  Read this book cause I know you'll love it too!!!
 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Review: Make Mine Midnight by Annmarie McKenna

Title: Make Mine Midnight
Author: AnnMarie Mckenna
Release Date: Dec 29, 2009 
Publisher : Samhain Publishing
Source: Amazon

Description from Goodreads:

New Year-s resolutions have never looked so good.


New Year-s Eve. The party is rockin-, and Claire is in her usual spot holding up the wall. It-s all right. She-s much happier scribbling in her trusty little notebook than mingling. Especially since those notes turn into the sexy erotic romances she pens in secret. Those two gorgeous gods across the room are perfect hero material and-oh dear, are they headed her way?

Mason and Hunter know she won-t remember them as the scrawny geeks they were in high school. She also doesn't know they've been lusting after her for ten long years, waiting for her to meet a man and have a normal relationship. They-re through waiting. The time has come to make their move-and show her exactly how much they've changed.

One night in the middle of a Mason/Hunter manwich, and Claire has enough research material to fill a hundred notebooks. Good thing she-s got OfficeMax on speed dial to order more. Except suddenly her two hunks have this crazy idea that keeping her is selfish. Selfish? She may be mousy, but this mouse is about to roar-

Warning: Threesomes! Light bondage, blindfolds, breakfast made by two hot men who used to be geeks. Parades, cotton candy, more sex, and convincing said men they are WRONG and threesomes are RIGHT.

My Review:

Claire is an erotic writer and she's never experienced what she writes about.  Until now.

She's at a New Year's Eve party - not talking or dancing like other guests, but writing her New Year's resolutions.  Her number 5 resolution: "Sleep with first non-squicky, non-stalkerish, non-ew-type man to offer."

  At the party, she sees 2 hunky men who would make perfect heroes in her books, but little does she know is that these two men have been waiting ten years since school for their chance  to be with Claire and show her how much they have changed. 
  Mason and Hunter used to be total geeks, but not anymore.  They've bulked up and become the men that most women fantasize about.  Now is their chance to approach Claire and take her home and show her just what she's been missing out on all these years.
  They leave the party and head back to her apartment where they can all prepare to have the night of their lives.  What Claire doesn't know is that Mason and Hunter don't just want Claire for one night, but to be with her always - if she's willing.

This is a short story full of explicit sex, hot men, and fantasies being fulfilled.  It contains threesomes, which is something I've never read about before.  I found the flow of the story smooth and the characters were so hot they were making me melt.  I really enjoyed this and I think Annmarie should write a sequel to this so we can know what happens later.  If you act quickly, this is a freebie for the Kindle on Amazon.  Check it out- you have nothing to lose.



Selling Sex Toys On Ebay!

 
I have a ton of sex toys that I have received that are duplicates of ones that I already own. So I am selling them on Ebay... You can find the direct links below to the pages if you are interested in any of them.

Naughtibod Vibrator  - it is a vibrator that works both with and without your ipod.
LELO Luna Beads - a kegel exerciser.
Bcurious Vibe - A contoured vibe.
Fleur De Lis Seduction - A unique powerful vibe.
Maui Travel Vibe in Pink - Tiny Travel Vibe
Maui Travel Vibe in Purple - Tiny travel vibe
Promise Finger Ring Bullet in Pink - A wired waterproof bullet
Bottle Rockets Apollo in Pink - A small discreet vibe

All of these are new and unused. They are in their original packaging with all the paperwork and accessories that they come with. If you have any questions about the pricing or if I have a different item don't hesitate to email me at sparklingreviews@gmail.com , I have many more that I haven't listed yet. I might even list some books once I have a chance to go through them all.

In My Mailbox (16)






This week I got some pretty awesome books in my mailbox!

Night School (A Blood Coven Vampire Novel) - Mari Mancusi (Jan 4, 2011)
Hexbound (Dark Elite, Book 2) - Chloe Neill (Jan 4, 2011)
Karma - Cathy Oslere (March 31, 2011)
Wolfsbane: A Nightshade Novel - Andrea Cremer (July 26, 2011)
Demonglass (A Hex Hall Novel) - Rachel Hawkins (March 1, 2011)
Hex Hall (Book 1) - Rachel Hawkins ( Thanks Becky!)
Once in a Full Moon - Ellen Schreiber (Jan 1, 2011)

Well that's what I got this week... All books that I am super excited to read! What did you get?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays


Hey Everyone, I hope that you all have a really great holiday season with your families. This is my daughters first x-mas and she is having a blast! She wouldn't tear open presents, but had no problem eating the wrapping paper after the fact... it was very cute. I will have to post a picture in a couple days. Anyways I hope you all have a great holiday, no matter what holiday you celebrate.

Happy Holidays from my family to yours.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Love Things That Sparkle!


Merry Christmas
Keeping with the Christmas spirit. Now up until Christmas, I am going to post a Christmas light show.
Why do you ask? Well its not that hard to figure out! I love things that sparkle and Christmas lights help me get into the Christmas spirit. So a couple of times a day until Christmas I will post a Christmas lights show... Enjoy The Show!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Just had to share...

 
I just had to share with all of you that I received Wolfsbane in the mail today. I guess the ARC's won't officially be going out until March and was requested by Andrea Cremer to hold me review until the spring. But I am so freaking Excited that I got this in the mail today that I had to share! I did a crazy happy danced and jumped around for a while... I will be starting this very soon... I just can't hold off on reading it but my review will come out in the spring. The cover is even more beautiful in person!

Fallen Blood By Martin Sharlow


Hey Guys! Happy Hump Day! I have been notified by Martin Sharlow who is the author of Fallen Blood and Shades of Twilight. That his book Fallen Blood will be on sale on Amazon for a couple of weeks. It is only .99 for your Kindle. Fallen Blood is a great indie book, with a fantastic twist on vampires. I have included the description below. You can also read my review on it HERE. You can also get Fallen Blood on your Nook for .99, for the next couple weeks! What a great sale. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention! Also check out the other great books by Martin while there. I have included links below. 

Get Fallen Book For 0.99 by CLICKING HERE

Blurb:
What mystery surrounds an abandoned house now owned by the Federal government, that would bring men dressed in black to a frightened teen's home in the middle of the night? That would have them drag her parents from their home? What would have them desperately searching for her, to keep whatever secret they hide. Her only hope is a lovesick teen with a secret of his own to hide.

Vampire blood. Is it a curse, or is it a blessing? For two people in love it's about to be a little of both.
   Fallen BloodFallen Blood
  Storytellers (Storytellers Saga)Storytellers (Storytellers Saga)
Storytellers: Adept (Storytellers Saga)Storytellers: Adept (Storytellers Saga)
 Shades of TwilightShades of Twilight
 Fallen BloodFallen Blood ...In Paperback

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sparkling Reviews Is Now Available in a new format!


So do you love Sparkling Reviews? Do you check up on the blog all the time and wish there was an easier way? Well Sparkling Reviews is now available on the Kindle! Yes you read correctly... You can get all the goodness of Sparkling Reviews with a monthly subscription from Amazon. The price for the monthly subscription is $1.99  in US dollars. Now you can take Sparkling Reviews with you everywhere that you take your Kindle! And you can read it without connecting to the WIFI feature or 3G. I am currently working on more ways to access Sparkling Reviews. Such as an App for both Android and Iphone platforms.

Check Out EdenFantasys!


Hey Guys, Have you gotten your holiday shopping done yet? believe it or not there is still plenty of time to shop online! Don't believe me?!? Check out EdenFantasys.com you can pick up Sex Toys, Candles, Massage Sets and much much more. And you can still have all this by Christmas. If you spend 150.00 or more you can get FREE next day shipping. Next day shipping is available on all orders, but on orders that are 150.00 or more, next day shipping will be FREE and you will have all your goodies by Christmas!

EdenFantasys is a great site to pick up everything you need to spice up your love life. You can get sexy lingerie, massage candles, sex toys and so much more! You can also pick up things like lotion and body powder for the in-laws! Its really a one stop shop for everyone! All shipping and billing is discreet and you will get your order fast! So what are you waiting for... go finish up that last minute shopping at EdenFantasys.com!

Cutting Edge Review, from a different Sparkling Reviewer!!

Hey there! My name is Hilary and I am so happy to have been one of the few chosen by Mary to be on this blog! I have been following this blog for awhile, and when the opportunity came up to be apart of it, I couldn't wait! I can't wait to get to know all of you, and for all of you to get to know me! Hopefully, if you guys like me you'll be seeing more and more posts from me! :D

So who is the mysterious person behind the keyboard, typing furiously away? I'm a college-aged mom and I live in Georgia. I have been reading for as long as I can remember. I'm sure that if you could get books into the womb, I would have been reading them there!! I love escaping into foreign lands with devilish creatures, and going on otherworldly adventures!

Here is a list of a few things that make me not your typical reader/reviewer:

  1. I ALWAYS read the end of books before I start to read them! I started after watching the movie When Harry Met Sally, and I've been doing it ever since!

  2. I read the entire Harry Potter series the week before the 7th book was released! (One book a day!) That series is by far one of my favorites.

  3. I really don't like the Twilight series. I won't say hate because I did read them all, but I really don't enjoy them. (Hides from the eggs being tossed.)

  4. A few of my favorite series (with vampires) that I think you should read if you haven't: The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead, The Blue Blood Series by Melissa de la Cruz, and The House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristin Cast. But those are just a few!!

I hope to see more of you guys in the future and now time for my review!!!

Title: Nightmare
Author: Robin Parrish
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0607-8
Published: July 1, 2010
Source: Bought

Buy the book on Amazon

Book Description from Amazon:
Ghost Town is the hottest amusement park in the country, offering state-of-the-art chills and thrills involving the paranormal. The park's main ride is a haunted mansion that promises an encounter with a real ghost.

When Maia Peters visits during her senior year of college, she's not expecting to be impressed. Maia grew up as the only child of a pair of world-renowned "ghost hunters," so the paranormal is nothing new. In fact, the ride feels pretty boring until the very end. There, a face appears from the mist. The face of Jordin Cole, a girl who disappeared from campus a few months ago.

Convinced what she saw wasn't a hoax and desperate to find answers to Jordin's disappearance, Maia launches into a quest for answers. Joined by Jordin's boyfriend--a pastor's kid with very different ideas about the spirit realm--Maia finds herself in a

struggle against forces she never expected to confront.




My Review:

The story opens up with Maia attending a "haunted house" with two girls she knows from school. As they're waiting in line, the girls are shivering with nervous excitement. Maia is extremely bored and wondering why she even came. "Growing up, I'd seen and done things that those two weren't equipped to imagine. I knew it would take more than a fun house to rattle me-a lot more-no matter how technologically advanced it was."


When they finally enter the house, at the end of the "scare tactics", Maia experiences something that she's only seen on a few occasions. Maia sees an intelligent apparation, one of Jordin...someone who's not supposed to be dead. The next day when Maia finds out Jordin has gone missing, from Jordin's fiance Derek, Maia becomes even more worried. She sets out, with Derek, to find Jordin.


"Do you know the question? Look at every quest, every journey that's ever been undertaken, and at it's heart you will find a question. A question that needs answering. And that drive for answering it is what fuels the quest. The search for the paranormal is no different than any other quest. At it's core, there is a question that needs to be answered. Do you know that question?"


Maia Peters asks Jordin Cole this when they meet for the first time. Jordin is trying to enlist the help and guidance through the paranormal from Maia. Maia has grown up around it her whole life. Her parents, Malcolm and Carmen Peters, are famous for their paranormal investigation reality television show. When Jordin aproaches her, she knows that she's asking someone experienced. Maia flat out refuses.



"I really hated when people recognized me. Fame had never agreed with me. It wasn't really my fame they were recognizing, anyway. I was just famous by association. Or perhaps infamous."


Maia has left the paranormal life behind and has decided to pursue a criminal justice degree at Columbia University. Jordin is very persistent and finally convinces Maia (with a LOT of money) to help her feel the paranormal.


I couldn't put this book down once I started reading, the author has a way of sucking you into his world. The bad thing was, I am such a wimp when it comes to ghosts and scary things that like! So I would have to tear myself away from the book, because I wouldn't be able to sleep at night!!


The way the book is set up, helps the story move along quickly. Every other chapter switches between Maia and Derek's investigation, to Maia and Jordin's paranormal investigations. It's a very fast-paced book, that will certainly keep you on your toes. The author has a way of making you think. Not just experiencing the story, but delving into your mind.

When Maia and Jordin go on their very first paranormal investigation of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, the author answers all the questions you could have about the paranormal.


"...has evidence ever been collected? Has the paranormal ever been proven?..Any scientist will tell you there are infinite numbers of things in the universe that we cannot explain. And no one will argue that proving what happens to us when we die is a question we still can't answer. Whatever label you apply to it-the paranormal, the afterlife, the unexplained-almost everyone agrees that things exist that are outside of our ability to perceive. But defining it, quantifying it, cataloging the exact scientific parameters of what it is and where it is and how it functions...no we've never achieved that."


He even goes through and explains the different types of hauntings. It was really helpful to have someone like Jordin who didn't know anything about the paranormal, because I didn't know anything either! Having it explained to me by Maia, made me feel like I was Jordin, soaking in her every word.


When it switches back to Derek and Maia, Derek is the complete opposite of Maia. Their beliefs about the paranormal are vastly different. Whenever they get the chance to hash it out, it brings up new thoughts in your mind, but at the end of the argument, you're at the same place you were before, bewilderd.



"Even the disciples believed in ghosts. That was their first thought when they saw Jesus walking toward them on the lake. And also when He was resurrected. I know that one by heart. He said, 'Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.' He doesn't lecture them on whether ghosts are real or not. He's alive that's what matters. And that's just the New Testament. Don't get me started on Saul using the Witch of Endor to conjure up Samuel. Are you telling me Samuel was a demon?"

"Why would a ghost wear clothes?..Most reports of so-called hauntings feature a dead soul that's seen wearing the clothes he or she wore most often when they were still alive. It makes no logical sense. People die, clothes don't."


The author takes you on a journey, along with Maia and Jordin, to learn about the paranormal. You'll experience everything they do, the heaviness in your chest, the feeing of dread and even the room around you will get colder. You're not just reading you are experiencing. Robin Parrish is going to explain everything about the paranormal and take you to ACTUAL "haunted" places such as Waverly Hills Sanatorium, The Stanley Hotel and even Alcatraz. He will leave you breathless and searching for the answer to the question that drives every paranormal investigator, "What happens when we die?" I wouldn't normally pick up this book, but I'm glad that I did and you will too!! It was one of the best books I've ever read. :)



Hilary
 
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