Bibliophiles ‘R’ Us

Archive for April 2009


I came across the Naked David Boreanaz Club when visiting Amanda Ashby’s blog.  Marta Acosta made the button, so thanks to her!  If you’d like to be a part of the club, feel free to add it to your blog’s sidebar.


I only got two books in the mail last week.  The first was Enemy Lover by Bonnie Vanak:


I won this from Bonnie’s blog when she was doing a contest for her newest release, Midnight Cravings.

The next book was You Wanna Go To Williard? by Linda M. Holbrook:


I won this from the Readaholic blog.

Both authors very graciously inscribed the books to me, so thanks to Bonnie and Linda!

Burning Alive: The Sentinel Wars


Burning Alive: The Sentinel Wars
Author: Shannon K. Butcher
Publication date: May 5, 2009

Warning: This review contains mini spoilers.  I really mean mini by that.  Just small little details.  Nothing that really ruins the book.

Burning Alive: The Sentinel Wars is the book I got by accident that belongs to KMont.  She let me have the opportunity to read it before I had to send it back to her, so I did.  (Thanks Kenda!)  And since I got to read an advance copy of a book, I reviewed it, plain and simple.  Here’s the blurb from the book: 

“They are the Sentinels.  Three races descended from ancient guardians of mankind, each possessing unique abilities in their battle to protect humanity against their eternal foes: the Synestryn.  Now one warrior must fight his own desire if he is to discover the power that lies within his true love.For too long, Helen Day has been haunted by visions of her own death, surrounded by flames as a dark-haired man watches her burn.  So when she sees the man of her nightmares staring at her across a diner, she attempts to flee–and ends up in the man’s arms.  There, she awakens a force more powerful and enticing than she could ever imagine.


The instant the Theronai warrior Drake touches Helen, the anguish he has borne for years fades away.  He is determined to know why this beautiful, fearful woman has such power over him.  The answer lies in his very blood–and in Helen’s as well.  For together, they may become more than lovers.  They may become a weapon of light that could tip the balance of the war–and save Drake’s people.”

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

The first time Helen saw Drake, it was in a vision of her own fiery death.  So imagine her fear when she finally sees the man sitting across from her in a diner.  Helen’s alarm is brought to the attention of the waitress serving her, a woman named Lexie, who is also Helen’s friend.  Lexie knows about Helen’s vision, and from Helen’s sudden fear and comments deduces that Drake is the man in the vision.  Lexie decides to help Helen escape the diner by distracting Drake and the men sitting with him.  The distraction goes awry, and Drake realizes he has an unavoidable attraction to Helen.  They are both drawn to each other–and neither knows why.  When Drake touches Helen, the pain he’s been enduring all of his long life disappears.  Helen soon pushes him away, and all that excruciating pain comes crashing back down upon him, crippling him temporarily until Drake’s companions make Helen touch him again.  Together, they discover the how’s and why’s of this phenomenon, and it inevitably leads them to becoming a weapon for the Sentinels, and a hope for mankind.

Helen, the heroine in this story, is constantly plagued by fire.  Her mother died in a house fire, her own home has burned down a few times, and even the diner in the beginning burns down.  The vision of her death fuels her fear for fire, and seeing Drake in the diner only made her panic even more, because she believed he was going to watch her die soon.  What irritated me was the fact that, although she eventually believed Drake didn’t want to harm her, she wouldn’t talk about her vision with him, believing he’d still watch her die, even though he had risked his life to save her.  I thought she was a little daft about that.  I mean, you don’t sleep with the guy when you think he’s going to watch you bite the dust soon!  Her unwillingness to confront and overcome her fear of fire is a turnoff for me.  Helen’s character is not as fleshed out as possible, and that detracts from being able to connect with her.  I felt hardly any connection to her.  She’s a bit two-dimensional and on the boring side.

Drake, the hero, is a physically strong and handsome Sentinel.  Although he is not human, he is very human-like in his thoughts, feelings, actions, and appearance, which makes it easy for the reader to connect with him.  He is in continuous pain, both from his grief over the deaths of so many loved ones within his 600 year lifespan, and from the fact that a trait of his race is that they collect power from all around them and store it within their bodies, much like a battery, but they have no way of using it or releasing it.  So all that power builds up, and it gets harder and harder for the Sentinels to store it.  When Helen touches him, she absorbs his power, absolving him of pain.  This comes as good news to Drake, because is he close to dying, and only bonding with Helen can save his life.

Drake and Helen are only together for a few days and they fall in love.  I’m a little skeptical about stories where the hero and heroine fall in love quickly, but I’ve learned to take it at face value. 

All in all, it’s a decent book.  I like the story and the ideas behind it, and I believe I’ll like where Butcher’s going with this series.  There’s lots of action (of all kinds *wink*), humor, and sex.  Character development needs a little work though.  I give it four stars.  (By the way, I need to come up with my own personal system of ratings. If you have any ideas, let me know, I’d be glad to consider what you think!)

I like the cover too!

1. To mark your page you: use a bookmark, bend the page corner, leave the book open face down?
I use bookmarks now.  When I didn’t have any bookmarks, I’d used whatever I could find, like scraps of paper, pieces of junk mail, tissues (not used, I swear!), receipts, etc.  I never bend the pages, and rarely leave the book open face down unless I know I’m going to get back to the book in a few minutes.

2. Do you lend your books?
Not very often.  The last time I lent some books out, the person I lent them to damaged the books.  I wasn’t very happy about that, because I am very careful with others’ belongings, and want other people to treat mine the way they’d treat theirs.  But if someone asked me to borrow some books, I’d let them, because I love talking about books with other people.

3. You find an interesting passage: you write in your book or NO WRITING IN BOOKS!
I never write in my books.  Never.  If I find an interesting passage, I just mark it with a bookmark or something.

4. Dust jackets – leave it on or take it off?
I usually take them off, unless they’re affixed to the book already.

5. Hard cover, paperback, skip it and get the audio book?
I like both hardcover and paperback, although I own a lot more paperback books than hardcover.  I don’t really like audiobooks though, because I can’t read at my own pace with an audiobook.  And usually the person’s voice distracts me from enjoying the book.

6. Do you shelve your books by subject, author, or size and color of the book spines?
All of my shelfs fit different size books, so I have to be conscious of a book’s size to be able to fit it on a particular shelf.  But I try to keep the same authors books together, especially if I have different series.

7. Buy it or borrow it from the library later?
For a very long time, I’d only borrow books from the library.  But in the past 3 years, I’d buy almost all my books.  Not this year.  Strictly from the library, or if I happen to win a giveaway.  I mostly read books first before I decide to buy them, but I’ve bought some books because they were bargain books on the Barnes and Noble website or from their covers and the blurbs, and I’m glad I did buy them.

8. Do you put your name on your books – scribble your name in the cover, fancy bookplate, or stamp?
Nope.  The only writing in any of my books is if I found books at a garage sale and they already had writing in them, or if I get a book signed or inscribed by an author.

9. Most of the books you own are rare and out of print books or recent publications?
I actually have a mix of both.  I spent 50 dollars on two rare out of print books once because my library didn’t have them, and neither did any major online bookstore, except from a used bookseller on Barnes and Noble.  Most of the books are probably recent publications though.

10. Page edges – deckled or straight?

11. How many books do you read at one time?
A few.  I read some books, and then go back to them later after I finished another.

12. Be honest, ever tear a page from a book?
Never have.  The blank pages in books are annoying, but I’ve never tore any out before.  Probably won’t ever do it, either.

If anyone else does this, let me know so I can read your answers too.


Do you love bookmarks? I do!!! I used to use anything I can find for a bookmark, but now that I’ve won a few contests this year, I’ve received my fair share of bookmarks. So no more using envelopes, tissues, postcards, and library checkout slips. I’m reading in style!! 😀

my bookmarks

Here’s most of my bookmarks. It’s not that great of a picture, because I had to use my camera phone. I STILL can’t find my USB cord for my camera, and my sister stubbornly refuses to let me use hers. But you can see my Twilight, Ravenous, La Vida Vampire, Immortal Danger, Blue Diablo, You Had Me At Halo, The Magic Knot, Last Vampire Standing, and Zombie Queen of Newbury High bookmarks, as well as a few others. I REALLY REALLY LOVE BOOKMARKS!!!

If any of you know where I can get some free bookmarks, please let me know. I’ve decided I want to collect them.

Over at MariReads, there’s a “show me your bookmarks” contest that you can enter, with prizes! You can enter until midnight on Friday, May 1st.

Here’s the link:

Over at Novel Reads, there is a celebration for the release of Angie Fox’s second novel The Dangerous Book For Demon Slayers.  For prizes, there’s signed books, t-shirts, cover flats, and signed galley pages!!!  It’s really easy to get entered to win these great prizes, so head on over to Novel Reads and enter!

Here’s the link:

Author Anya Bast is starting a contest today which she has dubbed “Ginormous Vegas II Celebration Contest” in order to celebrate the release of What Happens in Vegas…After Dark (May 1st).  This is a month long contest with great, fabulous prizes!

Grand Prize: $100 GC to
Runner Up: $25 GC to B&N and a box of surprise paperbacks and other goodies (like chocolate, bath goodies, ect). This is going to be a NICE prize!
Runner Up: $25 GC to B&N and a box of surprise paperbacks and other goodies. (same as above)

Plus chances to win books (almost) every day for a month!


Go to for details on how to enter.

ATTENTION AUTHORS, PUBLISHERS, AND PROMOTERS: If you would like me to review one of your books, please drop me a line at jaam121388 AT yahoo DOT com. Please put something along the lines of "Book Review" in the subject line so I know it's not spam. I'm not really adverse to any genre except most non-fiction, but my favorites are paranormal and romance (all subgenres). Refer to my review policy if you have any questions, as it will answer most of them. If your question or concern isn't answered there, feel free to contact me via email. Thanks!

If you would like me to put your blog or website on my blogrolls, please email me!

If anyone has promotional items they'd like to donate to me, please email me. I like to pass on bookmarks and such to friends, family, co-workers, and winners of contests here on my blog, and any donation is very welcome.

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Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran
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Lucan by Susan Kearney
Coming September 20

A Highlander's Temptation by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
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Seduced by Shadows by Jessa Slade (ARC)
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A Drop of Red by Chris Marie Green
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Tempt the Devil by Anna Campbell
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Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta
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The Lady & The Libertine by Bonnie Vanak
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When You Believe by Jessica Inclan
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For the Earl's Pleasure by Anne Mallory
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A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi
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Mommy and the Millionaire, The Second-Chance Groom, and Falling For the Lone Wolf by Crystal Green
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