Friday, February 25, 2011

Fridays with Fred & Book Blogger Hop

I’m combining today's post with Fridays with Fred and Book Blogger Hop. I’ve been so busy lately that I figured what the hey.

Today’s Fridays with Fred is another shot of Fred as a puppy – kind of like this one.  But this is one of my fav shots of Fredster.  If you can see, he even has a doll sweater on.  Those were several years ago but this pix was so darn cute, I couldn’t help myself.  Enjoy!

Before I forget, please take moment to check out Schatze over at Mary/Bookhouds. She’s just so adorable I can’t stand it.

And now onto my Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop
This week's question comes from Jen B. who blogs at I Read Banned Books:

"Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?"

Excellent question!  My answer….absolutely not!

First off, I’m not changing my name.  Enough said.  And as far as the tag, “books for paranormal & mystic minds" - that’s exactly what you get when you're on my blog.  If you look at my header image – the woman with the worn book and creepy face - that’s how I feel when I write/read paranormal, horror, and mystical books. It sucks me in and takes me away like magic. That’s why I chose image and the tag. This blog and my writings are dedicated to the creepy side of things and that’s precisely how it will remain.

Next question…

Thanks for stopping by. If you missed one of my earlier reviews, check out Beautiful Creatures posted earlier this week.

Until next time...have a great weekend.

Mina B.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book Review: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Beautiful Creatures

Today I’m finally getting a chance to post my review for Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s  Beautiful Creatures.  Whew!  It’s about time too.  Okay, where to start?  How about the back cover?

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations.  But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met.  When Lena moves in the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Overall I liked this book, but I did think it was a bit long and drawn out.  It left me with more questions than answers which can be good and bad when you’re reading a new series.  Ethan Wate tells the story through his perspective, which I enjoyed since it was rich with his southern drawl.  I loved the intricate details of Gatlin and how the authors delved into the Deep South’s undying love for the Confederate Army.  The beginning was like reading a southern melody about Gatlin’s coming and goings – or lack thereof.  What I loved most about this story was in the small backward town of Gatlin.  Nothing’s really quite what it seemed.  On the surface its M.U.N.D.A.N.E. but once the story peels back its dull layers, a mystical intriguing, possibly Goth-like world exist. That...was really cool – authentic even.

Here are a few spoilers, folks.  Even though the story revolves around a romance between Ethan and Lena, it plunges into a southern and creepy underworld with Seerers, Incubus, Castors/Witches, Holy-Rollers, Ghosts, Talisman, insane Mortals, mystical Librarians etc… I really liked Ethan – probably more than I cared for Lena.  With his Mom recently dead and a delusional Father - he appeared to me to have less of a family than Lena.  Ethan and Lena obviously were connected throughout the entire book – which I thought was endearing, especially for a YA novel.  But some of the storyline – like I mentioned earlier - left me with more questions than answers.  Without saying too much, Lena and Ethan are from different worlds and that leaves their relationship doomed.  One character I couldn’t get enough of was Uncle Macon.  He oozed darkness and wore his sophistication and arrogance like one of his fine, expensive outfits.  He was extremely protective of Lena and I couldn’t get enough of him (and possibly Boo Radley too.)

Being from the South, I appreciated this mystical, original, southern YA tale.  It was like sitting down to one of my family’s country style meals; some parts were to die for while others were just plain okay – but overall…very satisfying.  Beautiful Creatures was a 3.5 for me.

Until next time…try something dark, magical and sweet, Beautiful Creatures.

Mina B.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fridays with Fred: Going Gray

I didn’t realize Fred was going gray or white on his face until about a year or two ago.  He’s still handsome to me, but I can’t help but reflect on these old pictures and get sad.  Take a look below and see what I mean.  In fact, if you look at some of my earlier FwF posts, you'll see even more gray/white.  Time sure does fly and Fred’s kind of looking like an old man.  And sometimes he’s grumpy like one too…but we’ll get to that subject another time.  To me, he’s still good looking, but now more in a distinguished sort of way.  It’s definitely an evolution of some kind.  Anyway, I thought I’d share this with you because he’s definitely changed.
Enjoy your weekend.

Be sure and check out Schatze over at Mary's from BookHounds. 
Until next time...I wonder if his spots will go next?
Mina B.

Monday, February 14, 2011

And the winner of my Love Hop is...

The winner of my Follower Love Giveaway Hop is… Elisquared!  Congratulations, E!  That’s awesome.  The winner was chosen through the established and reputable

A whopping THANKS to everyone who participated.  Doing book blog hops are a ton of fun.  An unbelievable amount of new visitors hopped by; some stayed and became followers, others just stopped by.  The beauty of these hops are everybody usually has fun and someone always wins.  And next could be you.

Coming up, I’ve got a ton of items on my hit list this month.  Right now I’m still editing my YA novel and hope to have that wrapped up soon.  Between that and work – oh and that little HUGE thing called a family – I’ve been insanely busy.  But never fear.  This is not a chore by any means.  I love my blog. I’ve said a billion times before…I love to read and I especially love to write.  What's made it all worthwhile are my followers and my commenter’s.  So if I haven’t said it enough…THANK YOU.

Now, as far as reading, I have several books on my list, including the ones under my “Dying To Read” section and other’s under my “Creepy Classic” section.  On my DTR section, I’ll be reviewing Beautiful Creatures – sometime this week.  So look for it and be sure and comment.  I’m also dying to know what you guys think.  As for this month’s Creepy Classic, I’m reading/reviewing JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  Ooooh I can’t wait that one.  Hey, that reminds me….do you have a creepy classic lit book that you’d recommend?  I love recommendations!  Comment on my post, and I’ll be sure and put it on the list. 

And last but not least, I’m sure I’ll be doing another Free Book contest.  I’ve gotta get with the “Free Sh**” fairy and see what she’s got brewing…like maybe even Kresley Cole.  We’ll see and so will you. Stay tuned.

Thanks again to everyone for playing.

Until next time…

Mina B.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fridays with Fred: Patience

Today’s Friday’s with Fred isn’t just about Fred’s mad skills as a JRT.  I know what you guys probably think – that Fred’s somewhat tortured into doing ridiculous tricks.  Well, I’m here to tell you that is entirely false.  Let me assure you that my dog Fred LOVES to do these tricks.  First of all, he gets treats.  And second, he spends quality time with me. :0)

But that’s not what this post is about today.  No, this post is all about patience.  Fred appears to have this virtue down, right?  Yeah, I’d say he’s pretty darn good at it.  Anyway, after taking this shot, I got to thinking how much little patience I have when it comes to certain things.  And when I see Fred and how perfect his stance and resolve is as he listens for my command “wait”, I wonder…why can’t I be more like that?  It’s an art and clearly Fred has mastered it.  Well, I can tell you I won’t be walking around with a bone on my nose, but I will be reflecting back on this moment often to summon patience for the things worth waiting for.  Patience is another lesson my best friend Fred’s taught me.  What would I do without him?

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

The Best!
If you miss last week’s Fridays with Fred – you have to check it out.  Also, check out Schatze's over at Mary's from BookHounds.   We love her!

Until next time…

Mina B.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Follower Love Giveaway Hop: My Love Fest

Love Hop.  Love Hop.  Looooove Hop!  It’s finally here!  Time to show some love to my minion followers with the Follower Love Giveaway Hop!   A HUGE thanks to Kathy from I’m a reader not a writer for putting this event together.  It’s a ton of work - not just on her part - but also my Free Sh** Fairy’s part.

But seriously, folks…I racked my brain to source something cool to give away and that’s when I remembered something lovely.  No.  More like something beautiful.  And when I think of things of beauty and I combine them with creature of the night type books – I think of one thing.  Beautiful Creatures.  You guessed it folks.  That’s my yummy giveaway.  BUT WAIT THERE’s MORE.  And I’m not talking about a set of steak knives.  Like any book addict, we love our coffee and what goes better with a book than a $10 dollar Starbucks gift card?  Am I right?
I know.  I know.  Stop.  It’s okay.  Breathe.  Just breathe.  Inhale.  Good.  Now exhale.  Better?  Good.

Okay, now here’s the gist.  As much as I’d love to giveaway a ton of “free sh**,” frankly…that can’t happen.  The Free Sh** Fairy has a budget too and that means only one (1) winner can win a NEW copy of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s bestselling YA thriller Beautiful Creatures plus a $10 dollar Starbuck GC.  It’s a retail value of 20 bones so…that ain’t so bad, eh?

A thing of beauty.

Anyhoo, this is one series I’ve been dying to read & review for some time now.  So stay tuned as I plan on reviewing this bad boy.  I can’t wait.  So listen up.  I’ll try to keep this simple.  My love fest for my minions/Love Hop starts today Tuesday, February 8th and ends Sunday, February 13th, end of day.

And of course with every contest…there are rules.  I’ve said it before…my blog, my rules.

To enter…

You MUST be a follower of my blog and MUST fill out this entry form. (And yes, I do check.)

Extra entries…
+2 NEW/OLD Followers on Twitter @MinaBurrows
+1 if you Retweet this (limit 1 retweet)
+2 For Becoming my Fan/Like on Facebook

That’s it. The contest runs from 12:01 AM on Tuesday, Feb. 8th to 11:59 PM on Sunday, Feb 13th.  Contest is for US residents only.  Want to see who else is participating? Take a look at the links below and hop on by.

Mina B.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Book Review: Larissa Ione's Eternity Embraced

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of reading Larissa Ione’s novella, Eternity Embraced ,and boy did it get me salivating for her Demonica World again.  Man do I love that realm and all those delicious characters!

For those of you that don’t know, The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2, originally published Ione’s story along with a compilation of other author's works including Jennifer Ashley – another one of my fav authors.  Anyway, Ione recently released Eternity Embraced as a stand alone novella in e-book format.  This short story was just enough to tie over all of her insatiable Demonica readers (like me) until the release of her new spin off series, Eternal Rider.

Before reading this tale, Ione mentioned that the story takes place in the Demonica World, “somewhere after Book 3.”  That being said, the tale opened up with vampire slayer, Andrea Cole, who sneaks into a billionaire's home that’s infested with vampires.  She’s been in this predicament before - slaying vamps and all - but that’s not what worries her this time around. Oh she knows she’ll stake some vamps, she’s just praying it won’t be the love of her life, Kaden Quinn.  The novella revealed that her boyfriend, Kaden, was captured by vamps and yes…he was turned.  And what’s Andrea to do now?  Her one and only true love is now a fanged beast!  Who will kill who first?  Will Andrea stake Kaden and put an end to their dead end relationship?  Or will Kaden suck the living daylights out of Andrea?  Ooooh all that blood is quite the aphrodisiac.

I know what you’re thinking – all you Buffy fans.  If you haven’t read the series, you're probably automatically assuming this vampire slayer story is just another remake of Joss Whedon's hit series.  Well my friends…you couldn't be furthest from the truth.  This is a tale about eternity embraced – not eternally doomed.  It’s a paranormal romance, guys so sit back and enjoy the ride as these two lovers – Andrea and Kaden – try to find a way to be together, despite being on opposite sides.

I totally enjoyed Eternity Embraced and frankly it’s got me primed and ready for Eternal Rider.  On my MB KilloMeter, I gave it a 4.  Yeah, that was a nobrainer. 

Until next time…Demonica, Demonica, Demonica…need I say more?

Mina B.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fridays with Fred: It's Nubbin

Today’s Fridays with Fred is all about nubbin.  Fred’s nubbin.  No, I’m not talking about anything crass – I’m talking about his tail.  So get your mind out of the gutter.  The point is he doesn’t really have one – a tail I mean.  And that’s why we call it his “nubbin.”  A lot of times when dogs come from puppy mills, they will cut the tail too short and that’s what happened to Fred.  You see, the JRT breed is a hunting breed.  Most people already know that, but what they don’t know is the tail is supposed to be long enough for a hand to wrap around and grab it.  That’s because back in the day when JRT’s would hunt their prey, tracking them into a hole, the JRT owner could easily grab their tail and pull them out.  That’s a fun little tid bit from me to you.  Anyway, it’s kind of funny seeing Fred wiggle his tail.  He can’t wag his tail like most dogs...but we still love him anyway.

Enjoy your weekend.

Poor Fred. :0(

If you miss last week’s Friday’s with Fred – you have to check it out 5.  Also, check out Schatze's over at Mary's from BookHounds.

Until next time…Fred's tail is a nubbin.

Mina B.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

And the winner of Larissa Ione's Pleasure Unbound is...

Congrats to Marie O. the winner of my Free Book Contest for Larissa Ione’s Pleasure Unbound.  The winner was chosen through the established and reputable

Thank you to everyone who participated.  And a special thanks to Larissa Ione for reposting this contest on her FaceBook page.  Is she the coolest or what?  And thanks to her, I have a bunch of new Ione followers, following my mystic blog.  How sweet is that?  Now, for those that haven’t read the Demonica novels…get on it.   And remember, Eternal Rider , Lords of Deliverance Book 1 – a spinoff series of the Demonica Novels - releases this April.  Want to read an excerpt? Click here.  Also, stay tuned as this month I’ll review Ione’s novella, Eternity Embraced.  You can read an excerpt of this here too.  Oh yeah…I’m pumped for that one and so should you.

Now coming up next, I’m participating in I’m a Reader not a Writer’s Love Hop this month.  The dates for this Valentine’s Day hop are Feb. 8th - 13th so you don’t want to miss out.  There are over 200 blogs participating in this hop, giving away a ton of free sh**.  And for those stopping by my blog during the hop – you can enter to win some free sh** too.  Hey, remember the Free Sh** fairy?  Well…she’s back playing cupid this time around so don’t forget to check oit ut.  The fun starts Feb 8th.

Until next time...

Mina B.