Thursday, May 31, 2012

Super Mario Costume Review



As you can see I received this costume to review from wholesalehalloweencostumes.com, my son was extremely excited when the package arrived.  He is a Mario fanatic and was very happy with this costume.


His favourite is Luigi. plus his little cousin owns a Mario costume.  This costume also came with a Stick-On Moustache for my son to wear but I wanted to save it for Halloween.  I ordered this suit in a size 10/12,  a little too big just the way I had hoped.  This way when Halloween rolls around it should be a perfect fit.
The SUPER MARIO COSTUMES are made of some good quality material and I am not scared to wash it, it also has a Velcro closure in the back for easy removal.

I have to say I am very impressed with the product and also with the customer service and prices.  Wholesalehalloweencostumes.com has a great selection! I can honestly say that you can find any costume your looking for at a great price!  

Check it out!   5 STARS for the great costumes!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chocolate Lovers Beware: Homemade Brownies!

Next to straight-up fudge, is there anything that the chocolate lover’s tastebuds relish more than the fluffy, rich, textured and still-warm taste of a homemade brownie? While fudge (with either mint or peanut-butter) may take the crown for King of Chocolate, brownies are much easier to make. This gives brownies an edge in the debate (if you weren’t aware of this debate, it exists now!).

So, now that the debate between brownies and fudge has been decided in brownie’s favor, how should you go about making a brownie that can back up that claim? All brownie recipes have similar ingredients: eggs, sugar, butter, and so on. The trick to creating a brownie that lives up to its title as Champion Chocolate is to supplement the usual star ingredients with something extra. Think butterscotch chips, brown sugar, and my personal touch, chopping up semi-sweet chocolate into chunks instead of the comparatively blasé Tollhouse chips that everyone assumes Mom loves. Hint: Mom likes Peanut-butter Marbled Brownies and/or Cheesecake Brownies better than your Betty Crocker mix and Toll House chip brownies.

Remember: Baking the best brownies is challenging, but not impossible. Next time you make brownies, do some research and add those extra ingredients to make sure that the Brownie will continue to successfully defend its choco-champion’s title from contenders like Fudge. If you are not up to the challenge, get some hands-on learning at a pastry school.

Toni's Review of Sevin by Elizabeth Amber ***4 Stars***

 



Lord Sevin Satyr indulges freely in the delights of the flesh within his infamous Salone di Passione, the talk of 1880s Rome. Surely the Humans who would deny his kind their pleasures can be persuaded to share them in a new Salone he plans just for them—above all, the beautiful Alexa Patrizzi. Fiery and spirited, she is made for sin…

Sevin’s younger brother Lucien possesses powers he cannot control. Held in the Roman catacombs as a sex slave until he was eighteen, he finds refuge in the ElseWorld—and sexual healing in the arms of Natalia, a maenad, who thinks Luc too beautiful, too young for her. But when his mirrored eyes heat to molten silver at her touch, she can only love him more…


************************************

I can officially say that Ms. Amber is consistent!  Sevin is panty melting hot, but she followed her pattern that she started with the first set of satyr men (books 1-4), ending a series quickly and abruptly, but in a good yet frustrating way.

Sevin is the brother that was always left behind.  Many years ago, his parents died and he also lost his three brothers.  Left alone at a very young age, he wondered and tries to understand his existence.  Too young to understand his heritage, his coming of age had dire consequences that marked him for life.  Now all his brothers are home, but his brother Lucien is broken and Sevin is determined to be there for him; even if that means he has to remove the one woman that makes his blood burn.

Alexa Patrizzi has nothing.  She lost her mother and brother months ago, but after what she learned about them, she is not so sure if that is such a bad thing.  She runs to Venice to escape their evil doings and has now returned to her home in Rome.  Alone and scared, she is barely holding on.  To protect Lucien, Sevin Satyr wants her gone from Rome, but she has nowhere else to go.

Their attraction is almost visual, but after the pain that her family set upon Lucien, Sevin can’t pursue Alexa.  He needs to get rid of her and fast.  Fate has other plans.  These three people are thrown together, forced to endure.  One night will change everyone and everything.

Lucien is more confused than ever.  His hatred for the Patrizzi family has fueled him and now revenge is out of his grasp, but there are more pressing matters at hand.  A new travel embargo has just cut off the Satyr Lords from their supply of life saving grapes.  Not to mention the arrival of a fountain has a strange but strong pull on Lucien.  One touch and he is gone.

Natalia is oddly attracted to the godlike statue.  She doesn’t dare to look or even touch it.  The beautiful statue suddenly appeared at the temple over a decade ago and has been worshipped and revered ever since; seen as the savior to save their dying lands.  WHO WAKETH HIM, SHALL SAVE OUR LAND.  One stumble and touch later and Natalia has given her people hope, but she has also sealed her fate. 

Lucien wakes to find a beautifully alluring woman pleasuring him.  She is touching him, but for someone who despises to be touched it is a strange yet wondrous experience.  He doesn’t trust these feelings though.  Now after years of torment he is a prisoner yet again and is forced to comply with his captors, but he senses his last remaining enemy nearby.  Lucien will get his revenge if it is the last thing he does.

Forced together, they find comfort.  Can her training as a healer save Lucien?  Can he get past his fears and allow love into his heart?  These two broken people need each other and together they can find happiness.  Can Lucien return to his brothers and save them before the next full moon?

These two short stories blend beautifully together.  They flowed seamlessly from one to the other.  All-in-all I’m satisfied with Sevin.  Would I have wanted longer more detailed stories for these two brothers?  Yes.  Would I have missed out on their stories?  No.  I have mixed feelings about this novel. 

Are you confused yet?  Well if you read the about the Tuscan Satyr’s you would be up-to-date, but not to worry, I’ll see what I can do.  Ms. Amber has written seven books of the Satyr Lords and her seventh book is smartly titled Sevin.  Books 1-4 are about the Tuscan clan set approximately 60 years prior to the Roman clan.  The first four books do not need to be read to enjoy books 5-7, but Ms. Amber has written an amazing world so I personally wouldn’t want to miss out on them. 

Her consistency that I mentioned earlier is this; she wrote full novels for the first of the brothers, but for some reason she has ended the sub-series by combining the last of the clan into one final book.  So book four had two characters short stories and so did Sevin, book seven. 

Book four titled Dominic, also contained Vince’s story.  These characters really could have held their own novels, but their short stories were still very enjoyable reads.  This can be said for Sevin too.  Sevin and Lucien are two brothers I really wanted full novels written about.  I did not expect their books to be combined and because of that, I am disappointed.  Being titled Sevin, I truly expected it to be solely his own.  Both of these men didn’t deserve to be swept under the rug and be quickly wrapped up.

Even though Ms. Amber did combine their stories, their short stories are still very good.  They do feel rushed, but they are filled with love, lust and suspense.  These are well written books that really need to be enjoyed.  The Satyr Lords are amazing virile men with lots of love to give.  I enjoy Ms. Amber’s world building, her characters are amazing and the storytelling is fantastic.  These novels are not for the timid at heart though.  The Aphrodisia line of Kensington is very erotic and explicit, so be prepared for many steamy sex scenes that will leave you breathless with your heart pounding.  I love these novels and I hope Ms. Amber continues to enchant us with many more tantalizing satyr men.

Thanks for reading - Toni

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Toni's Review of The Belle Stalker by Minnette Meador ***5 Stars***



For a year, Belle Stark has struggled to conquer fears plaguing her since being attacked by a maniac, who continues to roam free, and the murder of her father. And she nearly succeeds, until she discovers her lover’s murdered body spread over the furniture, making Belle a prime suspect. Certain her attacker is to blame, she seeks help from her ex-husband, homicide detective Mike Cranston, the one person she swore she would never let back into her life or heart.

In their hunt for answers, the two uncover more than a lunatic: a supernatural underworld hidden beneath the tall skyscrapers of the city and a secret that could kill them both. Faced with a terrible choice, Belle surrenders herself into the hands of a monster, and Mike must solve an ancient mystery before it’s too late to save her...




********************************

This is one story that surprised the heck outta me!  I knew the bad guy was bad and there was going to be thrilling suspense, but I didn’t see this story coming!

Belle once lived a quiet life.  She is a divorced woman who enjoys teaching and waiting for her next expedition.  One year ago, her quiet existence changed.  Now she is constantly looking over her shoulder and it’s about to get worse.

Mike Cranston went from being a homicide detective to the quiet life.  He now works in community service for the department.  He may be bored, but he was burned out and needed a break.  His ex-partner has returned and now wants Mike’s help on a case.  This case will turn his world upside down and show him things he never expected.  It will also put him back into the path of the only person he has ever loved.  He lost her once because of his job, now his job experience might be the only to save her.

I normally don’t talk about the bad guy, but this one is the corner of this twisted love triangle.  Is Tequelin good, evil or just plain crazy?  There are points in the book is one and all.  He wants what he wants and he wants Belle.  With an army at his disposal, he will get what he wants.  Now he just needs to control her or he may end up killing her.  After two thousand years, Tequelin will finally have what he desires.  During his long wait he has changed from what he once was into something to be feared and loathed. 

Portland is under siege and Belle just may be the catalyst.  One misguided move on her part and she herself will be changed forever.  Mike is back in her life, but to protect him, she must sacrifice her happiness and possibly her life, to keep him alive.

The suspense starts from the very first page and doesn’t let go.  The Belle Stalker storyline only is a few days in length but they are several days I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  I had nagging questions along the way, but they were all answered and I wasn’t left wanting.  I was shocked, satisfied and very pleased with this story.  My only regret is that I didn’t read this sooner.  

The love story is very prevalent in the plot but not in your face, so you really cannot call this a romance novel.  This is more of a paranormal thriller.  The evil that Tequelin commits is can be graphic at times and Ms. Meader doesn’t hold back and sugarcoat it.  Her plot is solid and she kept me captivated with her storytelling.  I can’t say this is a pleasant read at times, so don’t go into it expecting that.  The blood is real, the action is intense and circumstances of Belles fate are horrid.  I will say this with 100% certainty though; The Belle Stalker is one kick ass story that will knock you on your butt.  Consider yourself warned!

Thanks for reading - Toni

Monday, May 28, 2012

Toni's Review of His Dark Embrace by Amanda Ashley ***3.5 Stars***



A VAMPIRE’S KISS. A WOMAN’S SURRENDER.


Tall, dark, mysterious—and with a faint scar on his cheek that only makes him more gorgeous—Kaiden Thorne is one schoolgirl obsession Skylynn never forgot. Now, returning to her childhood home after eight years, she can’t believe her reclusive neighbor is still living across the street—and hotter than ever. Skylynn doesn't know how Kaiden manages to stay so young, virile, and impossibly attractive. But she knows she wants him…even if he harbors a fearful secret he refuses to tell her.

When Kaiden sees the beautiful young woman Skylynn has become, he can no longer control the bloodlust that is his true nature. Once he pulls Skylynn into his arms, presses his lips against hers—and accidentally draws blood—he longs for more. Only she possesses what he wants and what he needs. Only she can save him or destroy him. But once Skylynn agrees to help Kaiden battle his darkest desires, there is no turning back…


*****************************

Skylynn knows pain and she is living it again right now. 

She lost her parents at a very young age, but she had the love of her grandparents to comfort her.  Then she lost her grandmother, but her grandfather was there for her, her touchstone.  Life has been good up until a few months ago.  Now her beloved brother is missing in action in Iraq and she just buried her grandfather.  Her life is at a crossroads.  Does she go back to her life in Chicago or stay at her grandfather’s home and start a new life?  Well for the time being she has a bit of time.

Kaiden Thorne has lived on the outside of his neighbor’s life for years.  Watching Paddy’s grandchildren grow up has been a calming and an amazing experience.  Through the years he grew very close to Paddy and they have had a very beneficial relationship.  Kaiden may have left Vista Verde years ago, but he never lost contact with Paddy and he secretly watched over his granddaughter.  Now Skylynn is all grown up and his feelings for her have grown all the more personal.  But that isn’t the only thing he needs from her.  She is now the keeper of Paddy’s secret; a secret that very well could ruin Kaiden and Skylynn’s forever.

Skylynn has always had a secret crush on Kaiden and Kaiden has developed a burning lust for her.  Circumstances have propelled these two together and things are about to get steamy.  There is nothing in the way for them now, except Kaiden’s hunger; a hunger so primal that it could killer her.  But there may be something else in their way…an old enemy that has been lurking around the O’Brien house unbeknown to Kaiden.  This is a man that will do anything to get his revenge on Kaiden, even turn his back on all he has ever known.

His Dark Embrace is a lovely sweet story.  It is well balanced and I truly enjoyed it.  The vampire lore in the story is pretty standard, but with a very nice twist.  Intimate relations are very much behind closed doors. So if you like your romances with a little more love action, this book is not for you.  But if you are familiar with Ms. Ashley’s writing you will already know that she writes sweet sensual romances not steamy hot burn your fingers type. 

His Dark Embrace has a good plot with emotion, sensuality and intensity.  Her character development is on the light side, but getting into their mind set is not hard.  This is a very enjoyable read that kept me engaged but not gripped.  I would recommend His Dark Embrace for a quiet evening when you just want to relax, lose yourself in a book and get away from the overly sexed novels out there.  While this might not be a bodice ripper, it is still a lovely escape.

Thanks for reading - Toni

Here is a little something extra from Kensington!!




GET A COPY & ENJOY A HOME SPA DAY ON US!
Visit facebook.com/kensingtonpublishing, click Book Extras and then Giveaways, and enter to WIN a copy of the book along with a Bath & Body Works Splish Splash gift set! Don't wait—contest ends 6/30/12.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

WINNERS FROM 1 YEAR PARTY!!!






THE WINNERS OF THE 1 YEAR 


ANNIVERSARY PARTY ARE!!!!!



Deena Remiel  will be giving away:  Winner's choice of one of her Ebooks.


WINNER IS: YAMI NEKO



Mysterious's Mysteries they'll be giving away:  A Short 

Story called "The Christmas Flower"


WINNER IS: CHRISBAILS



Lisa Beth Darling   She will be giving away:  1 Ebook of 

"OBSESSION" 


WINNER IS: SLAPPYLILY



Shanon Grey  She will be giving away:  3 Digital versions of 

her book "The Shoppe of Spells".


WINNERS ARE:  BAMA, LAUREN HUNTER, ERIKA 

HAYDEN


Amanda Gray   She will be giving away:  A $5 Amazon.com 

Gift Card.


WINNER IS: SHANON GREY



Gray Toast   Gray will be giving away:  A $5 Amazon.com

 Gift Card.


WINNER IS: BOBBIE B.


Marilyn Baron  She'll be giving away:  A Free PDF copy of 

"The Edger" her new humorous women's fiction book.


WINNER IS: AMANDA GRAY


Kat Deacon  She will be giving away:  A copy of her Ebook

 "The Gift"


WINNER IS:  LISA MARKSON


Lauren Hunter   1 Ebook copy of her paranormal romance

 "The Coffee Shop"


WINNER IS: DEENA REMIEL


E.H.James   1 Ebook copy of her paranormal short "Laura"  

and 1Ebook   paranormal short story  "The Visitor's Room"


WINNERS ARE:  CHELSEA RAFFERTY, TONI


@mamaboo7907  Assorted book swag and a couple of 

signed books. 


(US and Canada ONLY)


WINNER IS:  TIANA DAWN



Kallysten 5 Swag Bundles (bookmarks, postcards, romance 

trading cards, magnets, ect.) 


MARILYN BARON, SHANON GREY, BAMA, YAMI NEKO, 

CHRISBAILS



J.L. Spelbring   Bookmarks of "PERFECTION" which is only 

out in May 2013!


WINNER IS: JUNE M



JL Oiler  JL will be giving away:  A $5 Amazon.com Gift 

Card


WINNER IS:  SHANON GREY


Erika Hayden   She'll be giving away:  Winner's choice of 2



WINNER IS: RACHEL AT THEJEEPDIVA


Congrats to all!  To claim your prize please email me at 

leanne@booksnmakeup.com

With your name, address and let me know which prize please!!!




Saturday, May 26, 2012

1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!

Hi ALL! 

WELCOME TO BOOKS READ 'N' MAKEUP DONE'S

1ST ANNIVERSARY PARTY!

We'll be taking a 24 Hour Cruise in the Mediterranean to celebrate and if that's not enough for a good time there's tons of prizes to be given away!  Thanks to our many friends here at BRNMD.


Our friends have each brought something for us all to enjoy, for instance Lisa Beth Darling has brought lots of Rum to drink.
Deena Remiel brought us some great music to dance to!


How about we start our tour of the Cruise Ship and I'll let you know what else our friends have brought to the party.

Here is the Main Lobby, on the wall next to the staircase you'll find the maps.  I'm sure they'll come in handy because this place is huge!

The next place that we are sure to enjoy fully is the pools and the surfing waves, lots of eye candy!






Amanda Gray wasn't sure what she wanted to bring so I thought maybe I'd ask her to bring the boogey boards and surfers ;)



How about we visit the Spa to?  A great place to relax, unwind and gossip.  While there we can enjoy some of the delicious chocolate treats Authors Kallysten and JL Oiler brought for us to all share. From the Spa we'll go for some lunch at one of the many restaurants.  How about we stop at the buffet that has been set up by some more of our friends.  You can have a chance to taste Mysterious's Mysteries Potato Salad or Kat Deacon's delicous Tropical Rum Cakes.   Or we could all dress up and go to a dinning room that very fancy.

Gray Toast brought the perfect thing for us to dress up for this dinning experience.  "Enchanted Rings that shoot fireworks and enchanting spells"  how fabulous! 
If your not hungry we could all head to one of the many bars or dance clubs.  One of them is featuring the band "Train"  kindly provided by Author Lauren Hunter.


While we get our groove on we'll enjoy some of the Tequila that Erika Hayden provided along with her sparkling personality and wit.  Hehehehe at least that's what she told me she was bringing, bet she thought I wouldn't actually post it :D  There's lots of streamers, balloons, noise makers and glow sticks around the bar thanks to E.H. James for bringing them along.  Our servers here at the bar are actually Fallen ANGELS in hiding and guess you provided them....
Kat Deacon did ;)  @mamaboo7907 has also brought swag book goodies to pass around and mango mai tais for all.


Your all welcome to go play shuffle board or max and relax pool side. There's so many great things to see and do.  You could also go visit Shanon Grey's Magic Shop or J.L. Spelbring's Cupcake Emporium. 

If at any time you feel a little sea sick your welcome to go visit Marilyn Baron's room because she brought Ginger snacks to help with that and also there are some male nurses around in case you need some TLC.  
As our Party comes to an end after 24 hours of partying hardy we'll be giving away some prizes.  Listed below are what each person is up to on the ship and the prizes they have provided.

Thank you all so much for the support and for being part of this milestone for BOOKS READ 'N' MAKEUP DONE.  I also want to say thank you to someone who is extremely important to this site, she provides a lot of reviews and giveaways on this site and it would be nothing without her.  Thank you so much TONI!!! 
Now without further ado here is what our friends are up to and what they are giving away to you.

Deena Remiel is swimming with the dolphins and will be giving away:  Winner's choice of one of her Ebooks.

Mysterious's Mysteries is being mysterious and hiding around any corner, they'll be giving away:  A Short Story called "The Christmas Flower"

Lisa Beth Darling is doing absolutely nothing! LOL She said: "I want to sit in the sun and have little rum drinks brought to me on demand by a really hot waiter."  She will be giving away:  1 Ebook of "OBSESSION" 

Shanon Grey has set up her laptop way above everyone so she can write and watch dolphin and people below having fun. She says "I'll sip wine and eat lobster and have people available if I need anything.  In other words, I'll be spoiled rotten."  She will be giving away:  3 Digital versions of her book "The Shoppe of Spells".


Amanda Gray will be showing everyone how to make "Hurricane's" at the bar.  She will be giving away:  A $5 Amazon.com Gift Card.


Gray Toast will be performing Super awesome pyrotechnics and fighting stunts for your entertainment.  Gray will be giving away:  A $5 Amazon.com Gift Card.


Marilyn Baron will be sitting on the deck, looking at the ocean and reading.  She plans to start with her own new humorous women's fiction, "The Edger".  Then she'll move on to some other Kindle books.   She'll be giving away:  A Free PDF copy of "The Edger" her new humorous women's fiction book.


Kat Deacon wants you all to join her in dancing the "Conga"!  She has a few sexy angels that want to dance the night away!  She will be giving away:  A copy of her Ebook "The Gift"


Lauren Hunter is also laying around and soaking up the sun.  She will be giving away:  1 Ebook copy of her paranormal romance "The Coffee Shop"

E.H.James will be eating and then eating more lol!  E.H. is giving away:  1 Ebook copy of her paranormal short "Laura"  and 1Ebook   paranormal short story  "The Visitor's Room"


@mamaboo7907 is off eating everything she can, checking out hot guys, getting tipsy and dancing since she is tipsy and doesn't care who sees her. LOL Then she'll shop and try not to get sun poisoning while swimming or reading by the pool.  She will be giving away:  Assorted book swag and a couple of signed books. 
(US and Canada ONLY)

Kallysten wants to meet everybody, dance, snorkel, swim, lounge in the sun, try new cocktails and new food.   Then she'll write about it all...  She'll be giving away:  5 Swag Bundles (bookmarks, postcards, romance trading cards, magnets, ect.) 


J.L. Spelbring wants to relax under the sun with a drink complete with a skewer of fruit and umbrella.  J.L. will be giving away:  Bookmarks of "PERFECTION" which is only out in May 2013!


JL Oiler will be found dancing and drinking with her buddies! JL will be giving away:  A $5 Amazon.com Gift Card


Erika Hayden will be enjoying her "little time away from kids" and she'll be shopping away with the company of her friends.  She'll be giving away:  Winner's choice of 2 BOOK BUDDIES

WOW!!!!!! Talk about some awesome prizes!  Thank you so much all!  Now the way to win these great prizes is to POST POST POST!
The more you chat and post the more chances you have to win!  Not too hard I hope :D
Well, I hope everyone has an awesome time, let your imaginations flow and begin the party!

HUGS,

Leanne


Sunday, May 20, 2012

5 STARS for "In Deep Voodoo" by Stephanie Bond







Start With Bad Mojo . . . 

There's something strange afoot in the small town of Mojo, Louisiana. Yet even as the annual voodoo festival gets underway, Penny Francisco, who runs a health food business, refuses to believe in black magic. Her mind is on celebrating her divorce from her lying, cheating husband Deke.

Add a Pinprick of Revenge . . .

Fueled by run-ins with her ex-mother-in-law and Deke's busty mistress, Penny is eager for the "emancipation party" her friends plan. When she receives a Deke voodoo doll as a gag gift, she sticks it with a pin as a joke. But when Deke winds up fatally stabbed, the police aren't laughing.

And Watch Things Boil Over . . .

A junk-food junkie P.I. offers his services, and although Penny is wary of the sexy Cajun's motives (and his diet), she's desperate. Dodging a media sideshow and a looming murder rap, Penny realizes that somehow she's landed herself "In Deep Voodoo,"

**************************************************************

This was a great read, it kept me guessing all the way through.  I would consider this a fun and quick read, a book that will help you to relax and get your imagination flowing. 

I enjoyed this story and it's characters so much that I have bought the second book in the series.  
There is an array of characters and they were well written, so much so that I am able to remember each one individually and their backgrounds.  

If your looking for a small town series with great characters to meet and learn this is a good one for you.  There's even a great mystery with lots of twists and turn.  

I highly recommend you give this series a try!

5 STARS!!!