What's Vicki Listening To?

"Your Heart To Haunt" by Glossary:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

On My Bookshelf: Past, Present, and Future

1. The Past: Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas

I cannot say enough good things about this book. It came into my life at the perfect moment. I had just gone through a dry spell as far as reading goes. It seems I couldn't finish anything- not even Melissa Marr, and everyone knows of my undying love for Melissa. Throne of Glass has action, adventure, romance, and my favorite thing of all: a kick butt heroine who isn't afraid to still be a girl. The main character loves beating all the other assassins in the King's Tournament as much as she loves shopping. She's smart and snarky as hell, too. So this was a real win- a steak dinner after weeks of Weight Watchers frozen entrees.

2. The Present: These Broken Stars
by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I'm just getting into this book, and I already love it. Two people from very different backgrounds crash land together and must help each other to survive. Maybe not the most original plot ever, right? But where I was expecting another opposites attract/ bad boy v. good girl dynamic, I got complex characters trying to survive some really fantastic world building. The charcaters are nuanced, too, with shades of gray to their personalities rather than flat polarization. Engrossing, so far.

3. The Future: DeadBlood
by Carolyn McCray

This is the second book in McCray's Praxis collection. HeartsBlood was the first, and I read and loved it a long time ago. Like, three years ago or so. :( I've been anxiously awaiting the sequel, and McCray surprised me by putting out an entire collection- all three books in the trilogy, plus bridge short stories in between. I loved the first book so much, and I'm alread
y loving what I've scanned of book two. McCray's heroine is smart, driven, and not a super model, which is always refreshing. Her magical system is one of the simplest and smartest I've ever encountered- equally refreshing, that. And there's a sexy book boyfriend to round it all out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Review: Crossing By Stacey Wallace Benefiel

Favorite quote: "I’m a white Midwestern girl who looks like every other white Midwestern girl. Sometimes this seriously bums me out and sometimes I’m glad I’m not THE MOST BEAUTIFUL because it makes me try harder at being funny and charismatic and outgoing. "

I wish I hadn't waited so long to read this book. It's one of the most original reads in New Adult Romance I've run across. This was so refreshing in a genre that has become formulaic. This is a novel about accepting love in whatever form it appears, even if (or especially if) that love challenges our comfort zone.

In a lot of ways, Liam and Dani seem made for each other. He makes her feel secure, accepted, and loved, and we can tell from early on that she does the same for him. Liam's attractive, confident, and sexy- someone Dani fears is out of her league. But he's really into her, treating her with respect and obvious physical attraction. It was great to see Liam help Dani grow in confidence. But there is one hell of a p[lot twist, and just like it did Dani's, Benefiel's twist pushed my comfort level quite a bit. It forced me to consider just how far I'd go for the guy I loved.

Crossing helped me realize I'd go pretty far.

The writing is enjoyable, as well. It's a smooth immersion into a college world not too different from my own experience, and I really liked feeling transported back to those years. The dialogue was particularly fun- it had a real pulse, and captured the banter among the closest of friends. All in all, I really recommend this read. Not just because it's good- which it is- but because it stretches the way you think. Maybe even changes it.

Bestest of all? Follow this link to get it free right now over at Amazon! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Curse Merchant- Cover Reveal!

I am so pleased to be able to participate in the cover reveal for my friend JP Sloan's forthcoming The Curse Merchant!

About the cover:

I loooove this book. I first had the chance to read one of the early drafts, and it's stuck with me ever since. So imagine my delight when I learned JP Sloan was going to become my publisher-mate and re-release The Curse Merchant through Curiosity Quills Press. One of the things I love most about the book is its urban setting steeped in illusion and secrets of all kinds, which manages to maintain a realistic "city" feel even while being imbued with dark magic. When I saw the cover, I kind of squealed a little, because it ties all these elements together so well: personable average kind of guy drawn deeper and deeper into an urban underworld. 


Dorian Lake spent years cornering the Baltimore hex-crafting market, using his skills at the hermetic arts to exact karmic justice for those whom the system has failed. He keeps his magic clean and free of soul-corrupting Netherwork, thus avoiding both the karmic blow-back of his practice and the notice of the Presidium, a powerful cabal of practitioners that polices the esoteric arts in America. However, when an unscrupulous Netherworker interferes with both his business and his personal life, Dorian's disarming charisma and hermetic savvy may not be enough to keep his soul out of jeopardy.

His rival, a soul monger named Neil Osterhaus, wouldn't be such a problem were it not for Carmen, Dorian's captivating ex-lover. After two years' absence Carmen arrives at Dorian’s doorstep with a problem: she sold her soul to Osterhaus, and has only two weeks to buy it back. Hoping to win back Carmen's affections, Dorian must find a replacement soul without tainting his own. As Dorian descends into the shadows of Baltimore’s underworld, he must decide how low he is willing to stoop in order to save Carmen from eternal damnation... with the Presidium watching, waiting for him to cross the line.

Find JP Sloan Online:

Website | Facebook  | Twitter | Goodreads

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy 4th of July

For those of you who celebrate such things, tomorrow is Independence Day in America. We'll be grilling out, swimming in the lake, and watching the fireworks over Lake Weir. We may have a bonfire- that will depend on the weather. We're still experiencing the outer bands of the Hurricane Arthur. Hopefully it will have passed on by tomorrow.

And of course, lots of people will be drinking. Sadly, some of those people will choose to get behind the wheel. So please enjoy yourselves and watch out for drunk drivers.

This is such a big family holiday that I'm going internet silent until sometime on the 5th. Feel free to contact me, but I probably won't respond until after the holiday. So thank you for visiting, enjoy the music and (picture of) fireworks, and check out the super secret Keire family recipes for 4th of July Burgers!

5 lbs ground chuck
12 oz roll pork sausage, mild or spicy, according to taste
3 tablespoons Montreal Steak seasoning
3 tablespoons Dale's steak sauce
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp Italian seasoning
a few vigorous shakes of Everglades seasoning

Mix all the above together in a huge mixing bowl. Don't be shy- use your hands and really dig in there to mix it up. Don't stop until your hands ache- that's how you can tell it's well mixed. Divide meat mixture into about 12 equal patties (we're feeding five people, including two teenagers who eat like starving bears). Of course, you may prefer to make 8 huge ones, or 14 smaller . . . whatever works for you. Grill until crispy on the outside and cooked to taste throughout.

We top ours with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, the usual condiments, pickles, pepper jack and sharp colby cheeses, and, of course, bacon. We also keep both seeded and plain buns, which we toast for a minute on the grill before eating.

NOTE: These are probably terrible for you, which is why we hardly ever make them. The fourth of July, maybe Labor Day and Memorial Day, and if someone is very very lucky, perhaps a birthday, although that is doubtful.