February is a short month, and this one was super busy for me. I took part in another challenge, and I completed it. That made me very happy!

As promised, I don’t have 25 books for you. Aren’t you glad? This month I have 9 books and that takes me to 34 for the year!! That’s awesome!

I looked at my bookcase today, and I can actually SEE the progress I’ve made! Woot! I’ve a long way to go, still, so I can’t stop. I’ve even completed a book for March already. Woot! I signed up for the March challenge – hopefully that means I can continue to watch my progress move right along!

I got a few books down for the alphabet challenge with my selections this month. I didn’t really focus on it as much, because of just how crazy my February was.

The challenge this month in my group was to read another nine books, all by authors I hadn’t read before. Since I’d picked up a book I’d been itching to read to start at the tail end of January, that didn’t make me too happy on that one small part. However, I had a stack of books by authors I’ve never read. The good news is I had some I could loan my mum, who also joined the challenge! (See, not ALL the books I read came from her… just most!) Unfortunately a couple were ones I’d wanted to read, but I was generous. I let her take them. See how nice I am?

Here’s the great thing about this challenge: I read some books that probably otherwise would have languished on my shelves while I read authors I know and love. That meant, I found new authors to know and love!! There were several books I instantly fell in love with!

The bad thing about this challenge? I found a new author and a new series that I was hot for. We’re talking fire hot. Smokin! And then? No, it wasn’t a series… the author passed shortly before the book hit the shelves. NO!!!!!! I was crushed.

It was a good month reading. My boys joined in (sort of) and decided to try a new series/author themselves. A friend loaned them Patterson’s Maximum Ride series. Man, those kids are hot for those books. They are burning the pages right up. Friend, they’re hitting my TBR. I’ve heard too many good things. Hope I can get them back to you soon… but these challenges are making me crazy!

So, without further ado… my reading list for February 2009!

1) Tall, Dark, and Dead by Tate Hallaway: I got two words – Vatican Assassins. I love it! The main character is a witch. She fears witch hunger assassins sent out by the Vatican. But she’s not got it so bad. She’s just met a sexy vampire, and he’s into magic as well. And with the secret to making vamps – those Vatican Assassins are hot for his bod and not in the same way she is. They might be OK except his son shows up with the Vatican on speed dial. How on EARTH do you go wrong with this story? I have book 2 and 3 on the TBR and they will get read sooner rather than later.

2. The Front by Patricia Cornwell: This was a novella. It had promise but I didn’t like it. By the time I finished it (which wasn’t long after I picked it up) I decided that it wasn’t Cornwell or the characters I disliked. Or even the plot. It was the book itself. It was too short. I blinked and it was over. It felt like it would have made a great 350-400 page novel I’d love. Where people have time to become more than just 2-D characters. Shame. I’ll probably try something by her again, I’ll just make sure it’s full length.

3. The Vampire of Venice Beach: OK, forget the title (which is pretty fun). It’s not paranormal at all. It was a murder mystery on the zany side. I loved it. Found out it’s actually like book 3 of a series or something so I need to get the other books FAST. Identical red headed twin PI’s. Complete with their sidekicks: The Three Bruce’s. (As in Bruce Willis.) In Venice. In between finding out who killed local “vampire celeb” at a huge goth event, they take time out to help their aunt feed the homeless. They feed while she donates Rodeo Drive Coutre clothes, spritzes them with designer perfume, and otherwise try to improve their lives. Oh, did I mention the hot pink Harley the girls tool around on? This book had more hijinks than Laugh In.

4. Blue Moon by Lori Handeland: Nazis. OMG, everything is better with Nazis. You make them Nazi created Werewolves? Ooooohyeaaaah. And they are ganking on some Native American Lore. And then there’s the secret government agency hunting the Nazi created Werewolves. It’s like the wet dreams of the editor at Weekly World News. Oh yeah, I loved it. Got a couple more in this series and I look forward to digging in!

5. The Haunting by Hope Tarr: OK, normally I don’t do Harlequin. But this was a local author and it was set here in town. Gotta support your locals. Plus, it did have a ghost and some civil war history. Really, the story was fantastic and that was great! But the back flap snagged me. Seriously, with the way those books like to do historical romance and how historical my town is… why don’t we have more stuff set here? Hello! We aren’t called “America’s Most Historic City” for nothing. The story was a bout a civil war ghost haunting the home of a new homeowner – the reincarnation of his earthly love. Trust me, there’s more ghosts in this town than you can shake a stick at. What I loved about this book is that the character never left downtown. She hit a bunch of great local places that locals know and adore. I cackled in glee when she popped into Goolrick’s. I snickered when she went to Hyperion. Everyone wants to put a book in DC or NY or LA. Or BFE farm state. If you do manage to get a nod to my town, it’s always Central Park which was not here 15 years ago. (It is neither park nor central for those not from here. And my town WAS here in the 1700’s… so you see the annoyance.) Locals: You gotta read it!

6. Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel by Ronda Thompson: I loved this book so much. And was crushed when I found the author was no longer with us. Man, I hope she’s writing the sequel on the other side cause man do I wanna know what was up in Nevada!!! This book had me laughing at loud in many places. She’s a genetically engineered supermodel with a slight hair problem. And she’s being stalked. Her confessions are the start of every chapter and they are absolutely crazy. I also liked the fact that she is a foodie. She eats. Real meals. I highly recommend this one if you are just looking for a funny read. Try not to get too interested in Nevada.

7. This Is How It Happened… (Not A Love Story) by Jo Barrett: Buy it, check it out, PBS it, whatever it takes. This is a must read for everyone. It’s freaking hilarious. I heard about this book on one of my social websites last year and managed to score a copy in February on paperbackswap.com. I am glad. The story is that the main character’s lying, cheating, bastage scoundrel, jerkwad of a long term “just haven’t told my rich daddy” boyfriend and business partner dumped her. By email. And stole the business that she created. Oh did I mention he broke up with her by email the day she told him she was pregnant? Yeah, he deserved every bit of wrath she spit at him. It starts with her plotting his death with a friend. Does she kill him off? Does she pick up the pieces? Read the book. Trust me when I say there is so much humour in this book, you will love it!

8. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs: Not another werewolf book. Ok it isn’t… but they are in there. I like this one cause it goes Native again. It plays on the Indian SkinWalker legends. In this world the fae are “out” to the world and the weres are on their way. The main character is a Walker. She’s a mouthy headstrong mechanic that turns into a coyote when she wants. She was raised by wolves, werewolves that is. Let’s put it this way, I’m on book 2 right now.

9. I Love You To Death by Amy Garvey: This had three short stories that were almost the same. Couple has blind date. There’s a dead body. They end up “in love”. I don’t know, it didn’t do it for me, but I know some would probably like it. I only finished it because there was no way I had time to read anything else for this challenge. It was disappointing, especially after the other 8 books. (Even The Front.)

So that is my February reading! Look below for my status for the year:

The Alphabet Challenge:

(The) Accidental Werewolf
Blueberry Muffin Murder
Circus of the Darned
Dead Over Heels
Fudge Cupcake Murder
I Love You To Death
Lemon Meringue Pie Murder
My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon
Plum Spooky
(Doctor Who: The) Resurrection Casket
(The) Scot, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Tall, Dark, and Dead
(The) Vampire of Venice Beach
Welcome to the Jungle

Books completed in February: 9
Books completed in 2009: 34
Books for alphabet challenge: 16

I’m moving right along. I feel pretty good about my reading! March’s Nine in ’09 is going to be rough. I’ve got a semi-sort of game plan. I hope it works out. I’ve got a few other challenges I’ve found that I may try to weave in. Especially if it helps with my Nine in ’09. Even if I don’t get the Nine in ’09 March theme completed, I am really hoping to get nine books done at least.

Now, I have a book waiting. Happy reading!

–Lady O