Epic Reads Book Tag

Hello and Happy Saturday!

So while I have a book review and a recipe to post up, I thought it would be fun to post a book tag. The last one I uploaded was the Book Cake Tag which you can see here. 

Let's get started!

If you could invite any author and fictional character to tea, who would you invite and what would you serve them?
This one was hard. Regan mentioned Hermione Granger as her fictional character and  I totally saw Hermione in my head before she answered the question... so there's my fictional character-
Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

My author of choice is probably the most difficult. I don't think it would be any fun to choose an author that is still alive as we are being immersed into a fictional scenario here so I'm going to say Shaespeare. Is that too cliche? I just think it would be great to play Mad Libs with Hermione and Shakespeare. O.o

I'm thinking a classic tea party preparation would be ideal foodwise. So scones, cucumber chevre sandwiches, cookies and a wide array of loose leaf tea for their brewing pleasure. :)

What book/series do you wish an author would write a prequel for?
Aside from J.K. Rowling writing any kind of prequel to the Harry Potter Series (as that seems to be the most obvious answer), I think Karen Marie Moning writing a prequel to the Fever series would be phenomenal. It could literally be anything about what the Nine have been up to or Dani's life when she was younger (though maybe that would be too graphic and unappealing so scratch that) or even Mac's life before Alina's death and ya know - Barrons.

Which two characters from different books do you think would make a good couple together?
Ian from the Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost and Bree from the Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan. Why? Well Ian is kind of a douche. He's used to having things his way though when push comes to shove, he's always there for his good old friend Bones. I think much can be said about the similarities between him and Bree from Sweep who, by the way, is a total bitch at times and a straight-shooter. I think the sparks would fly between the two of them and there's enough stubborn-ness between the two of them to create an amazing story.

If you ran into your favorite author on the subway, who is it and what would you say to them?
Honestly, the author I was the most intimidated to meet was Melissa Marr and I kind of sort of met her at RT14 last year and yeah, that was a nightmare. My nerves were all over the place and I don't think I gave much to that conversation other than total fangirling... it was embarrassing. 
Aside from her, I would have to say Karen Marie Moning from the fever series as I don't think I would ever run into J.K. Rowling on the subway and if I did, I might just run the other way because I might be terrified of fucking that up. Yup, I just cursed. 
Oh! And I might just praise KMM for the sheer genius of the Fever Series/ world. I don't know. I'm in love.

What book made you a reader?
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. 

This was the first book I sat down and read in its entirety in one sitting. I think I was in 4th or 5th grade when I read it and although I did enjoy reading books from an early age, I never really found one that I felt like I needed to devour all at once. The Harry Potter series woke me up to a world I did not know existed and well, the rest is history.

Your bookshelf just caught on fire! Which books will you save?
This is my nightmare

I would save my Sweep Series as it's the oldest series I own. And then... I don't know. I DON'T KNOW.

What dystopian world would you want to live in?
*sigh* I don't like this question. Most dystopian worlds are shitty and I don't know. Right now, all I can think about is the Fever Series - can you tell I just finished reading Burned? Aside from that, I would have to say the world of the Chicagoland Vampire Series by Chloe Neill? 

The question mark there is because this is not a dystopian novel. It is seriously just an alternate reality to the one we live in now but with vampires, witches and shifters as a bonus. I'm playing it safe :) #katanasforthewin

What is the most epic read of all time?
CRAP. I don't want people to hate me and think I'm lame and focused purely on the Fever Series. SO I WILL NOT MENTION IT (though I kind of just did and I kind of really think this is my series of choice). Instead, I will say the Hidden Legacy Series by Ilona Andrews. 

This is really early on in the series for me to make such a statement. But have you read Burn for Me?! I freaking loved that book. It was the best book I read in 2014 and the world that Ilona Andrews has created is so magical and unique that I am seriously looking forward to rereading it before the next book is due to release later on this year. I don't want to go in-depth of my love for this book because I think I have talked about it enough but in case you're interested, you can see my review of Burn for Me on the VBC, here.

Tag the people you want to do this tag!
Everyone- do this! Michelle from Sporadic Liasion should do this and Sabrina (@theGeekyJunkee) and Patti (@lovesFABromance) and Rachel (@parajunkee)!

So, that's it! I hope you enjoyed the Epic Reads Book Tag! Let me know if you decide to participate.

What would you answer if you were to do this tag?

&& here is where you can find me on the interwebz:
Vampire Book Club:
Book Depository Affiliate:

Until next time-



Recipe Adaptation | Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

Hello everyone & happy Tuesday!

So a week or so ago I was having some serious cravings for cookies. I knew I wanted a cookie with brown sugar because I was thinking of a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate (don't judge me) but then... I don't know. My cravings are usually pretty specific so I figured I would just make something myself instead of fighting the cold and walking somewhere... #NYCStruggles

Anywho, my journey to satisfying my cravings led me to Smitten Kitchen which is my favorite food blog, ever. I love how Deb shares stories with her readers while enlightening us on delicious and well-constructed recipes. So, ya know, I then stumbled upon her recipe for Brown Butter Brown Sugar Shorties which she also adapted from Gourmet Magazine. Is this recipe adaptation inception?!

Here is the recipe which, by the way, can be made Gluten Free by replacing the All-Purpose Flour with Almond Meal/Almond Flour. I tried this and I think I even like the consistency/texture better with the GF option. Hm. The more you know!

Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

Yield: about 30-32 cookies

Ingredient List
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup well-packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar; however, Deb prefers dark brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (can be replaced with almond flour for a GF option)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (try to use a flaky salt - I used a flaky sea salt. You could always just use Kosher salt though I wouldn't recommend the iodized table salt)
  • demerara sugar (sugar in the raw) OR any coarse sugar for rolling the dough in (optional)
  • Cut up butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. You want to make sure that you are stirring frequently to brown the butter evenly and continue cooking until the the bits at the bottom of the pan are light brown and there is a general nutty-type fragrance. Takes about 5 minutes.
  • After browning the butter, transfer it to a medium to large mixing bowl (which we will be using to mix all the ingredients together later on) and allow it to cool at room temperature for about 1 hour. You want it solid but still soft and pliable.
  • Once the butter has cooled, whip together the brown sugar and butter together until it gets nice and fluffy and changes color (you can use the picture above for reference). You can also either do this in a stand mixer or with a hand whisk (which is what I used).
  • When the mixture is light and fluffy, you can go ahead and add the vanilla. Once it is mixed, add in the flour and salt until it is just combined (we don't want to over mix this dough).
  • Transfer the mixture to a clean surface or on wax/parchment paper to prevent the mixture from sticking.
  • Roll it out into a 12-inch log which should give you about a 1 1/2 inch diameter.
  • Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour or until firm.
  • After the mixture is firm, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap it from the plastic wrap and roll it in the coarse sugar. I just sprinkled a thin layer of the sugar onto parchment paper and then just rolled the log in the sugar. Whatever was left over, I placed back in the sugar container.
  • You can now cut the cookies into 1/4 inch thick rounds and place them about 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. They should take 10-12 minutes in the oven. You are just looking for them to have a dry surface with a light golden brown along the edges.

**If you don't want to cook all of the cookies, cut what you want to bake off and wrap the log (whole) in plastic wrap and freeze it! When you are ready to bake the rest, just thaw it, cut it, and bake it with the same directions as baking off the freshly made cookies. They should last about a month in the freezer.

So, that's it! I hope you enjoyed my recipe adaptation. The cookies came out amazing and I am sure will now be a staple in our household as my boyfriend could not stop eating them. They are the perfect balance of a sweet and slightly salty and nutty cookie.

If this is your first time making/trying brown butter, I know you will love it. Be sure to let me know if you have any questions!

&& here is where you can find me on the interwebz:
Vampire Book Club:
Book Depository Affiliate:

Until next time-



Book Review | Naughty Bits by Joey W. Hill

Hey guys, hope everything is going well. I know I've been out of the loop for a while but I've just been trying to figure out a schedule for posting and filming that will work with my new school & work schedule. Finally created a schedule & am hoping I can stick to it! 

I thought I would start the year off with a review of Naughty Bits by Joey W. Hill.

I also want to start off by saying that No, I do not like the cover. And honestly, this is the only thing that I do not like about this book - joy!

Here is the blurb:
To better serve the customers of her lingerie shop, Madison must explore the pleasures of giving up control...

After inheriting her sister’s North Carolina lingerie shop, Naughty Bits, Madison jumps at the chance to dump her boring finance career and try her luck down South. But even before Madison can settle in, she catches the attention of the owner of the neighboring hardware store. Sexually dominant Logan Scott recognizes a submissive when he sees one. And what he sees, he wants.

He presents her with three very tempting gifts—handcuffs, erotic cards, and an open invitation to start her sexual training. She has to accept. After all, how can she hope to sell fantasies to lingerie customers without embracing her own? Now, she’s about to discover just how far her fantasies can take her—and how far Logan will go to make every one of them come true.

 If you couldn't tell, this is an Erotic Contemporary Romance (heavy on the erotic side). When I first started reading, I wasn't sure how to feel about it and ended up setting it aside for a couple of days while I finished another novel I was reading for review. Thankfully, I decided to give it a second shot and I fell in love. 
What I loved the most about Naughty Bits was the heavy BDSM elements intertwined with different plot points in the story. Obviously, it is going to be a major aspect of the romantic relationship between the female protagonist, Madison, and her likely love interest, Logan. But it is so much more than that. Madison is dealing with the failure of all of her past relationships, the death of her sister, and a ridiculous amount of self-doubt and general self-esteem issues. The scenes that they play out together help Madison with the problems she has and just every sexual type scene in the novel is placed so carefully and with such precision so as not to feel excessive or simply for superficial purposes. In other words, it's not sex for just sex. 
I also really enjoyed that the novel was just in Madison's perspective and didn't wander into Logan's. Now, I'm not saying that I wouldn't appreciate a scene or two in Logan's POV but by keeping the book in Madison's perspective, you're able to go on this journey of self discovery with her. Since she is new to the dominant/submissive relationship, there is a lot of brief explanations about what is happening along with easing into a world a lot of us aren't familiar with.
All in all, I think Hill did a fantastic job at creating a unique and modern romance. She is also helping those unfamiliar with the BDSM lifestyle/scene understand and (hopefully) appreciate the complexity and beauty of such a negatively viewed world.

Basic info. about this book:

Name: Naughty Bits
Author: Joey W. Hill
Review Source: Provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Publishing Company: Berkley Trade
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Rating (out of 5): 5

Recommend? Yes!

Where it can be purchased: The Book Depository 

Author online: goodreads

So, that's it! See you soon with a recipe for some ridiculously delicious Brown Butter Brown Sugar cookies :)

&& here is where you can find me on the interwebz:
Vampire Book Club:
Book Depository Affiliate:

Until next time-



Top 10 Books of 2014 & Top 10 Goals of 2015

Hello & happy new year!

I thought the best way to start the new year is to recap the top books I read in 2014 and set myself up some goals for 2015.

Here is the video I uploaded yesterday for my top 10 books of 2014:

Here are my top 10 goals of 2015:
  1. Visit more small book shops
  2. Read 52 books
  3. Create a blogging schedule (and follow through)
  4. Begin a weekly exercise regimen - Yoga
  5. Read more classic novels
  6. Read more literary fiction
  7. Finish series I've purchased and haven't read or series I've started and haven't finished
  8. Create a BookTube schedule (and follow through)
  9. Finish at least level 1 of Rosetta Stone - Turkish
  10. Start posting cooking/culinary type videos

What were your top books of 2014 & what are your goals for the new year?

&& here is where you can find me on the interwebz:
Vampire Book Club:
Book Depository Affiliate:

Until next time-


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