Monday, 31 October 2011

Review: Vampires Rule - K.C.Blake

Series:  The Rule 1
Genre: YA UF
Pages: 247, ebook
Published: 2011
Review by Lis


They don't call him Jackpot for nothing. 

Jack has always beat the odds... at least until now. When he was attacked by a werewolf, vampires saved him. When he got tired of living the vampire life, another werewolf attack freed him, making him human again. Now Jack just wants to live a normal life, but what's normal about a hunter girlfriend, a brother who wants to stake him to be on the safe side, and a head werewolf building an army to rule the world


Judging from the many vampire books out there, we all know Vampires rule in some way or another. I recently had a discussion with a friend and it came to my attention that I know waaaaaaay too much about modern vampires than is probably good for me. So, I agree, Vampires Rule. 

However, that is not what this book is about. It’s about Jack Creed, a boy who was human, but turned into a vampire when his parents were killed about a werewolf and turned into something more than human when he’s attacked by a werewolf while trying to save a beautiful girl. Confusing yet? Nah, it’s not really, but it did have my head shaking back and forth. On top of that there is Jack’s not so little brother Billy who’s now a hunter out for revenge, who isn’t quite convinced that his brother’s not an animal blood sucking vampire anymore. 

While reading this book I was turn between liking it and condemning it, and I’m afraid I’m still somewhere stuck in between. It’s not a bad book to read – in fact it’s quite entertaining – but it also doesn’t have me sitting on the edge of my seat. 

Both Jack and Silver – the girl he rescues and with whom he has a great big destiny awaiting him – are likable characters. As are the brother and big evil baddy teacher sprouting poetry: Jersey Clifford. Jack is all about being the tortured vampire, much alike to Stephen from the Vampire Diaries. All he wants to be is normal and human. His character is fleshed out. Silver, I found, while likable was a little over the top. Sweet, tough and guiding, she and Jack do fit together. 

Lucky for us, the story is mostly angst free. Very unlike Twilight, for which I was happy. Though at points I found it a little too emotionally detached. However, that could just be me. 

So why didn’t I like it as much? Well, one of my major hang-ups with this book was the problem with most self-published books: lack of editor and spell and grammar checking. There were a lot and the book would have benefitted from a good check. 

My second problem was with the plot itself. It’s riddled with prophecy and destiny, which makes this much like the great fantasy novels: the great big evil which needs to be defeated. I found it was a bit too big for this book and the story would have benefitted from an easier start, because now there were all this holes which make the story unnecessarily complicated. 

Overall, this book wasn’t too bad and while it was not my werewolf on a full moon night, it might just be your bloodsucker in a crypt. So, while I didn’t like it as much, you just might.  


- Self-published. Bit problematic



------------------------------

Note from Blodeuedd:

I am guest reviewing today over at Book Lovers Inc, come say hi :D
 The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley


Could a secret from 1914 end a century of heartache?


A tiny figure stands at the cliff edge - hair flying in the breeze. Grania Ryan is hypnotised by the enchanting vision, unaware this young girl, Aurora Lisle, will change her life in countless ways. For Grania is suffering and has returned to Ireland and the arms of her loving family, in the hope her wounds might heal.


As their paths begin to entwine, Grania's mother becomes deeply troubled … because almost a century of entanglement has brought nothing but terrible tragedy to their two families.


The past is set to repeat its sorrows. A suitcase hidden in the attic of a magnificent house in London during the First World War is where it all began, but could it now hold the key to ending the heartbreak that has beset the Lisles and the Ryans for so long?

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Review: Hitler's Ashes - John T.Cox

How Hitler's Assassination Leads to the Development of Germany's Atomic Bomb 
Genre: historical fiction
Target audience: adults
Publisher: iUniverse
Review by Anachronist

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Hermann Göering, Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler and Martin Bormann are also dead. And the leader of the assassination plot, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, is the new Chancellor of Germany.

Stauffenberg unleashes Germany's wonder weapons, the Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter, the Arado 234 Blitz Bomber, and the Type 21 super submarine. But it may be too late. The massive Soviet army is marching relentlessly to the west. And the Americans and British are bombing Germany day and night, wrecking its war machine, killing hundreds of thousands, and paving the way for an invasion in 1944.

Germany is running out of time. But it still has one super weapon left, and that's the atomic bomb, originally approved by Hitler in 1934 but abandoned by him in 1940. Professor Werner Heisenberg and his team of nuclear scientists, now decimated by Hitler's anti-Jewish hysteria, are Germany's only hope.

Can Germany snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by unlocking the secrets of the atomic bomb before the scientists of the Manhattan Project? Can this terrible weapon be used against the Americans and the British to force them out of the war, and then smash the Soviet Union? Can Hitler's dream of a thousand-year Reich be achieved even as his ashes lie at the bottom of a lake on the outskirts of Berlin?

What I liked:

I certainly was impressed by the historical premise and the author’s imagination. Mr Cox tried to answer the question what would happen if the last attempt to assassinate Hitler while having a conference in the Wolf’s Lair headquarters actually succeeded. The era pf WWII is often an enticing subject, at least to me. Mr. Cox even continued his story till nearly contemporary times although he did it in a rather sketchy way. Still I am sure it took him a lot of preparation and it seems he did his homework and then some. For example his military knowledge concerning weaponry used during WWII is, as far as I know, extensive At the end of the book Cox presents e.g. information regarding some technological problems, including the Junkers jet engines and their short operating life time. 

What I didn’t like:

Firstly let me say that, as a reader, I had huge issues with the way of narration was led. We are told about different dramatic events just “overhearing” the conversation of three friends, one  of them condemned to death and awaiting an execution in a prison cell. Leaving aside the question whether a man who is going to die in just few hours would like to lead such a conversation at all, I must admit that I didn’t enjoy being a fly on the wall. It also bugged me that so many chapters were introduced by a well-worn phrase:” It started like this…” or “ It looks like it happened this way…” which made me think of these old silent movies with faded-out jumps between particular parts. Perhaps it is just me but in my very humble opinion a normal, typically novel narration (like third or first person) would work definitely better.

Also the characters were cardboard thin and underdeveloped to say the least of it. It’s a pity we almost never know what they think and how they feel, we just listen to them and see them doing this or doing that. There was a very weak attempt at describing some romance in the second part of the book, between one of the main characters, Johann Rinehard, and a voluptuous Swedish nurse. It revealed how painfully cumbersome the writing style was – we are given firstly a rough description of Rinehard’s recovery, featuring the said nurse but just as a prop, and then, all of a sudden, bam, we are in the middle of a sex scene. It was so artificial that it made me laugh out loud. While the author can defend himself describing action scenes, romance is definitely not his cup of tea and he should steer clear of it or get some training. Overall I had a feeling I was reading a movie script, not a novel. Once again it was a pity because there was certainly a lot of material for a fully-fledged, enthralling historical thriller.

Now a bit about history. I am far from being an expert on the World War II or Hitler but I had some issues.  Firstly, in order to have the technology available for the development of a German atomic bomb Cox stated that the origin of German atomic research happened two years earlier than it really took place. He also places the assassination plot in November of 1943 so about 8 months before the July 20, 1944 date of the actual attempt by Count von Stauffenberg, at the “Wolf’s Lair” headquarters in East Prussia (currently Poland). This date actually coincides with another actual attempt on Hitler’s life, organized by Axel Freiherr von dem Bussche-Streithorst but that officer was never mentioned in the book. 

Taking into account the fact that there had been about 20 attempts on Hitler’s life before November 1943 and he never moved anywhere without an active corps of bodyguards, it was unlikely that any assassination attempt would have gone as smoothly as Cox has it happen. After getting rid of Hitler and his cronies everything goes on very smoothly – which is as far from the reality as you can get. I know this book is just a fiction but still…

Final verdict:

This book was a bit of a damp squib. It is unfortunate that something with such an interesting premise ends up providing you with definitely less than you expected.




Saturday, 29 October 2011

Review: Deadtown by Nancy Holzner + ebook deals

Series: Deadtown #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 327
Published: 2009
Publisher: ACE
Source: Library

They call it Deadtown: the city's quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders-but Victory Vaughn, Boston's only professional demon slayer, isn't exactly human. 

My thoughts:
Maybe I will just try to make it short for once. Sure I liked it, I could read it and all that. But there were also those times when I was bored. I liked what was happening, but I was not swept away of invested in it. But I do not want to mark it as just ok, but I fear I just have to. But I would read book 2...if someone gave it to me, and after I had read all my other books. I have no urge to read more. I kind of do not have the urge even to tell the library to get book 1...yeah.

My I feel mean, do not get me wrong. It was an interesting world. A plague hit and some peeps in Boston are zombies. Our heroine Vicyy is a shapeshifter and demonkiller. Some people do not like the paranormals and most states to not accept them. Solid action, not so solid romance, I never felt anything there, was I supposed to?

But if it sounds like a good UF book for you then go ahead and read it. It does have a bit of everything thrown in, I was just a bit more bored then usual. But I can still like thins even if I feel bored. I just do not know about this one. Now when I have finished it I feel that I am left with no feelings at all.

Conclusion:
I have no snappy final words.

Cover:
Well at least the cover is cool

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I bring thee ebook deals






Halloween Spotlight: Plain Fear Forsaken for $2.99! 
(10/25/2011 – 11/03/2011)

Plain Fear Forsaken by Leanna Ellis
Hannah Schmidt pines for Jacob, the boy who saved her life when she drowned, bringing her back from the brink of death by breathing life into her. But Jacob is gone, buried. Levi Fisher loves Hannah. But he knows how much Hannah loved his brother Jacob. He also knows the troubling event that took Jacob out of their lives.

Vampires, Werewolves, and Witches, Oh My! Paranormal Romance for $0.99! 
(10/28/2011 – 11/03/2011)


Wicked by Any Other Name by Linda Wisdom
Stasi Romanov uses just a little witch magic in her lingerie shop, running a brisk side business in love charms. A disgruntled customer threatening to sue over a failed love spell brings Trevor Barnes to town.

Kiss at Your Own Risk by Stephanie Rowe
Trinity Harpswell is a cursed Black Widow--death and mayhem are all part of the job description.

The Wolf Next Door by Lydia Dare
Rogue, Rake…Werewolf. Years ago on a full moon, Lord William Westfield gave way to his inner beast and nearly ruined young Prisca Hawthorne. Knowing he can never trust himself in the arms of the woman he loves, he throws himself into a debauched lifestyle.

Merely Magic by Patricia Rice
The daughter of one of the strongest magical lineages, Ninian Malcom Siddons is a powerful witch. Determined to only use her magic for good, she lives a simple, solitary life as a healer in her village, where she meets Drogo.

Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear
Devlyn is a beta male werewolf in a pack of grays, Bella is the female red werewolf he rescued as a pup. When the pack’s alpha male tries to rape her, she flees and lives as a lone  werewolf until Devlyn comes to bring her back to the pack.

Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase
When all-star pitcher and shape-shifter Jason Falco buys a small apartment building, he sees it not only as an investment but as a place to escape the demands of major league baseball. That is, until he meets his tenants.

Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson
In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires.

The Wild Sight by Loucinda McGary
Haunted by visions of Druid priests and Celtic warriors, Donovan O’Shea left home in Northern Ireland and immigrated to America. With his father ill, he returns to help sell the family property and pub, and now, to his dismay, the “sight” has returned.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Interview and Contest: Anita Clenney with Embrace the Highland Warrior

Today I welcome Anita Clenney to my blog. She has a new book out, Embrace the Highland Warrior and at the end of interview you can win it.


1. Tell me 3 fun things about yourself.
I love bargains. It torments the ever loving life out of me. I’m always on some kind of kick. Lately it’s mercury glass candle holders. It’s killing me, and my husband, who says our living room is starting to look like an altar.  
I won’t even talk about my passion for mirrors…and diamonds. 
I have really intense dreams. If I could truly capture them in my stories, one day I’ll be rich.

2.  Could you tell me about your new book,  Embrace the Highland Warrior?
Embrace the Highland Warrior is a book of secrets, betrayal, and love...and there’s a LOT of mystery and romance. Cody McBain’s family spent over two decades protecting the identity of a powerful female warrior who was targeted by an ancient demon when she was a child. Fearing for her life, they even kept the secret from her, but years later, when she discovered that her entire life had been a lie, she turned her back on her clan and Cody, who had been her best friend since childhood. Now, the demon who left Shay for dead has discovered her empty grave and is looking for vengeance, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. But the vampires also want the book. 

Shay knows she can’t fight this evil alone, so she returns to her clan and the Scottish Warrior who betrayed her…the only man she’s ever loved, where she discovers that betrayal isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s far worse.

3. Did this series come to you as a whole, or are you still thinking of things you want to write about?
It came in layers, and just when I think I have it all settled, another exciting element is born. But I love creating and brainstorming the plot. It’s my favorite thing to do, and I love these warriors. They’re like my family. Each one has a story, and I would love to have time to tell them all.  

4. Give my readers 4 reasons why we are gonna love the hunky Scottish warrior in this book…
#1 Cody spent his life protecting Shay, even though he lied through his teeth to do it. He and Shay have so much history between them – so much sentiment and passion along with the secrets! 
#2 He’s a really good guy, always tries to do the right thing, but he’s lost everything he loved because of it. Now, he’s breaking the rules and playing for keeps.
#3 He might have pretended to be the tough boy next door, and he’s good at hiding things, but he’ll be stunned when he finds out what’s been hidden from him.
#4 Cody’s is one bad warrior! 

And readers keep telling me how much they love all the warriors and want to see all their stories. Who knows what time till bring, but I will tell you a little about the others. There’s Faelan, from Awaken. He was the most powerful warrior of his time, the only one ever assigned two ancient demons, which was unheard of. Born in the 19th century, Faelan was trapped in a time vault and slept for 150 years, waking to a strange world filled with modern technology and even stranger, modern day females. For God’s sakes, they’re even warriors now. He came from a time when females were to be cherished and protected. What’ll they do next, send children into battle? Then there’s Ronan, 6’3 inches of sexy male, better than Robin Hood with his bow, and equally at home with a sword or a pretty lass. Shane is quiet, but the fastest with a sword, and Niall is a one-man army, built like a tree trunk. There’s Duncan, who has loads of passion and emotion simmering under that stoic surface, and Sorcha, who likes flirting almost as much as she loves killing demons. Anna is fierce beauty who’s determined to be a warrior forever, but destiny has a different plan. 

5. How does one create a rich history, demons and Scottish warriors? Does it take a lot of time? 
It takes a lot of work to build a series from the ground up. You have settings and characters, and with a paranormal series, you have rules that have to be figured out. But what takes so much time is building in the cliffhangers and the twists. I love twisty plots.


6. What is coming next from you?
 Unleash the Highland Warrior will have some elements from the first book. More time travel and lots of surprises. It’s going to be fun, intense, and sexy. 

Thanks!
Thanks so much for having me here. I adore your readers. They’re the best. My publisher will give away two copies of Embrace the Highland Warrior to random commenters. My question is: What 
book have you read that stuck with you over the years, and what made it stick?


GIVEAWAY
2 copies of Embrace the Highland Warrior

1. US and Canada
2. Ends Nov 7
3. Just go ahead and answer Anita's question.
(and if you are really shy, just say hi and that's it)

Have fun!



Embrace the Highland Warrior - Out now
When the powerful demon that left Shay for dead discovers her empty grave, he comes seeking retribution, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. Knowing she can't fight the demon alone, Shay returns to her clan and the Scottish Warrior who betrayed her...the only man she's ever loved, where she discovers that betrayal isn't always what it seems. Sometimes it's far worse.



You can find out more about Anita Clenney and  her books at:
http://www.anitaclenney.com
http://www.facebook.com/anitaclenneyAUTHOR
http://www.twitter.com/anitaclenney
http://www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com
http://www.goodreads.com/anitaclenney
http://www.redroom.com/anitaclenney


And Embrace can be purchased here:
http://www.amazon.com/Embrace-Highland-Warrior-Anita-Clenney/dp/1402251262
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/embrace-the-highland-warrior-anita-clenney/1100076266
http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Embrace-Highland-Warrior/Anita-Clenney/9781402251269
http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/embrace-the-highland-warrior/id468777516?mt=11

And I’ll leave you with an excerpt from Embrace the Highland Warrior:



Cody sighed. Might as well get it over with. He removed the shackles, returned them, and bent over her. “Shay, wake up.”
Her eyes flew open. She planted both hands against his chest and shoved, knocking him on his back, then sprang on top of him. “How dare you handcuff me to a bed?” she yelled, punctuating each word with a shake that rattled his brain. He didn’t fight back. She had to get it out of her system, and he didn’t blame her. He’d be more than pissed if someone shackled him.
She landed a fist into his stomach, and the breath rushed out of him. Okay, enough was enough. He captured her hands and rolled, trapping her under him.
“Get off me, you oaf.”
“I’ll get off when you stop beating the snot out of me.”
She let out a war cry and lunged for his throat, teeth bared. Intrigued, he hesitated a second too long, and she sank her teeth into his neck. A jolt of desire shot straight to his groin. He’d never been one for the rough stuff, but damn! He pulled back before she could do more than leave a bruise. He trapped her legs with his and held her hands above her head, letting his full weight press her into the soft mattress. She still struggled but could move only enough to get him excited.
“I’m sorry, Shay. I had to do it. It was too dangerous to let you go traipsing through the woods. I had to keep you safe.”
“What if he was hiding in one of the other bedrooms and sneaked in here while I was handcuffed to the bed? You left me so I couldn’t even protect myself.”
“Lach heard him out in the woods, but that’s why I locked the door, just in case. If this guy had broken it down to get to you, you would’ve screamed, and I would’ve come running. I was never far from the house.” He’d heard every name she called him.
Her eyes still flashed fire, but her breath was steadier, and she kept glancing at his mouth. He thought that was a good thing. He wondered if she’d calmed enough not to hit him, because he should move. She had to notice the effect all the wiggling around was having on him. He felt her hips push against his, and he groaned. He relaxed his grip and lowered his head, letting his lips touch her chin. He kissed his way to her mouth, and she head butted him in the nose.
While the stars exploded in his head, she shoved him aside and bolted out the door. He jumped up and went after her as she pounded down the stairs. He caught up with her outside. She was swinging her purse like a whip, headed for the car.
“Where are you going?” he demanded.
“Get away from me.”
“You can’t leave.”
“Watch me.” She opened the door. “I’m tired of people hiding things from me. I thought you were going to stop. Now you’re handcuffing me to the bed.”
“I explained it to you.”
“Don’t touch me,” she said, jerking away when he grabbed her arm.
“You’re not leaving.”
Shay straightened her shoulders. “You can’t stop me.”
He grabbed her, tossed her over his shoulder, kicked the car door shut, and stomped up the steps.
“Put me down!” Shay kicked and twisted, cursing at him. He dumped her on her feet inside the door.
She blew her hair out of her face, and as soon as she could see, she threw a punch at his chin. He deflected it and grabbed her arm. “Stop hitting me.”
“How dare you throw me over your shoulder like some kind of caveman,” she spat, trying to wrench her arm free. It didn’t work, so she used her knee.
“Ah, not there.” Cody trapped her knee. “I made the mistake of letting you leave here nine years ago without listening to me. By God, I won’t do it again. You’ll listen if I have to sit on you,” he growled.
She drew back her other arm, and before she could throw the punch, he had her on the floor and was sitting astride her, pinning her wrists to the floor. She bucked and twisted, but he held her down. “We can do this all night if you want, but you’re going to listen to me this time.”
“Listen to more lies? You’re still hiding things from me. Like the fact that you have Nina’s entire house under surveillance. Like the fact that you’ve got a Bat Cave in your basement. Like the fact that you were in Scotland when the stalking started.”
“You think I’m your stalker?” he yelled. “Me! I’m trying to keep you alive. We’re all trying to keep you alive. That’s what the clan’s been doing your whole damned life, trying to keep you alive! And just like always, you’re making it hard as hell. Your father wasn’t a bloody spy, and that thing in your living room wasn’t a man!”


Bio
Anita Clenney grew up an avid reader, devouring Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books before moving on to mysteries and romance. After working as a secretary, a Realtor, teacher’s assistant, booking agent for Aztec Fire Dancers, and a brief stint in a pickle factory (picture Lucy and Ethel--lasted half a day)…she realized she'd missed the fork in the road that led to her destiny. Now she spends her days writing mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense  about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil and Destined Love. Anita lives in suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, with her husband and two kids. You can learn more about her writing at www.anitaclenney.com




Thursday, 27 October 2011

Review: The Thread - Victoria Hislop

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Fiction
Pages: 384
Published: October 27, 2011
Publisher: Headline
Source: For review

Thessaloniki, 1917. As Dimitri Komninos is born, a fire sweeps through the thriving multicultural city, where Christians, Jews and Moslems live side by side. It is the first of many catastrophic events that will change for ever this city, as war, fear and persecution begin to divide its people. Five years later, young Katerina escapes to Greece when her home in Asia Minor is destroyed by the Turkish army. Losing her mother in the chaos, she finds herself on a boat to an unknown destination. From that day the lives of Dimitri and Katerina become entwined, with each other and with the story of the city itself. 

Thessaloniki, 2007. A young Anglo-Greek hears the life story of his grandparents for the first time and realises he has a decision to make. For many decades, they have looked after the memories and treasures of people who have been forcibly driven from their beloved city. Should he become their new custodian? Should he stay or should he go.

My thoughts:
This book opens in the modern era, and ends there, but the rest is all 1917 and forward. A young man is being told the story of his grandparents a and why they do not want to leave the city. Making this a mix of historical fiction and modern fiction.

It was a good story about the Katerina and Dimitri, but it was just as much a story about Greek modern history and especially then Thessaloniki history. Because they see so much since they live through it. Honestly I can't even begin with all the twists and turns, war, politics and civil wars, it's always there in the background as life goes on, as life always does.

If I first look at all of this because it has such a big impact on things. First they fight with Turkey which brings young Katerina to Greece from Smyrna, and all the Muslims have to leave Greece. Tragedy from the beginning. Then there is of course WWII which brings Greece into another turmoil and lots of fighting, and the chapters I found the hardest. The Germans come and then they send away the Jews to Poland. And they think everything will be ok while I scream do not go. But of course they go. I will never understand the cruelty of humans, and why some just stand by. But all these things brings such a reality and impact to this story.

The story of Katerina and Dimitri is one that is long in the making. We know they will end up together but the road there is long because of war and its impact on both of them. And Dimitri is rich, but with a troubled family life. Katerina is poor, but with a loving family. But something brings them together, I will let something be a secret. I do like both of them, and their friends and family. Since the books spans over a big portion of time there will be losses, heartache and sorrow, happiness and new paths to take, weaving it all to beautiful story that takes a hold of you.

It was a lovely portrait over a family and a city. I must say that a lot of things happened in Greece, and it does make it a rich settings for a story.

Conclusion:
I read the book pretty fast because I wanted to know what would happen, and it would be a fiction book that I recommend. 

Cover
Fitting

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Review: A Midnight Dance - Lila DiPasqua

Series: Fiery Tales #3
Genre: Historical romance (steamy)
Pages: 320
Published: August 2011
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Source: From the author


Inspired by the tale of Cinderella, Lila DiPasqua weaves a steamy historical romance that offers a glass slipper, a dangerous deception, and an impoverished beauty determined to find her handsome prince…and make him pay. 

Born into wealth, Sabine Laurent and her twin sister lived a life of luxury, their father’s prestigious theater frequented by royalty and aristocracy alike. And Sabine dreamed of her own prince charming—the devastatingly handsome Jules de Moutier. That was before the loss of her sister and her family’s fall from grace—a disaster Sabine blames on the Moutier family. Now, with her father’s death, she’s inherited his sizable debt and the responsibility of caring for his spoiled long-time mistress and her two wastrel daughters. But with the help of Sabine’s eccentric friends—the balance of her father’s acting troupe—she plans to get very close to her old infatuation, seduce the rake—and make away with a fortune.  Resisting Jules’s skillful mouth and tantalizing touch is not as easy as Sabine supposed. And soon she must decide whether her desire for vengeance is greater than her desire for her one and only prince.

My Thoughts:
Now this was a very hot fairy tale re-telling, but then it is not a fairy tale, it is a Fiery tale.  Yes it does say book three, but this is a stand alone novel, it is just the third re-telling of fairy tales.

Sabine has lost almost everything because of aristocrats. Her plan to save her family is damn right stupid, but it does show that she is willing to do anything. She is afraid, but still brave. She is loyal and not afraid of hard work.So even with her foolish plan I like her. 

Our hero is Jules de Moutier, a former aristo who wants his title and land back, and now he is a privateer. He may not show it at first but he is still a noble who looks down at the peasants and think they are lazy if they starve. I did like this side of him, the arrogant stupid noble, not because it was a good side, but because it was the true side. of course he would look down at peasants and think that his kind was the best. 

And the story is about how Sabine wants to steal from him since it was his family's fault they now can't pay taxes. But as always things do not work out, she has fancied him for ages and passion brews when they meet. This is an erotic historical romance after all. And they waste no time getting to know each other. Passion explodes of the pages so if you are looking for that then you have come to the right place. Because yes it is one steamy tale, they do have fun ;)

There is also the mystery of a missing sister, who ruined de Mouiter family name, and if these two can have a happy ending. And we all know they will get one and I must say I was very happy with the end they got. I shall not say why, but it was very fitting. 

Conclusion:
It was a hot fiery tale where Cinderella got her prince, there were even glass slippers for those who wondered.

Rating:
A hot one

Cover.
Nice

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Review: Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning

Series: Fever #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy/paranormal romance
Published: Oct 13, 2011 (2007)
Publisher: Gollancz
Source: For review

MacKayla Lane's ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland's shores and was plunged into a world of deadly sorcery and ancient secrets. In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh-a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over both the worlds of the Fae and of Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she cannot trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and irresistible men: V'lane, the insatiable Fae who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman, and the ever-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious. For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.


My thoughts:
I can't say that a lot happened in this book, well ok things happened, but not in the aspect that we got to know any big secrets. Moning is holding on to those for sure, but then there are more books in this series.

I liked Mac more in this one, she was starting to hold her own. But then she did go from sunloving beach girl to trying to find her sister's killer. And I do like that she has not let go of it completely either. The love for sun and colors is still there. 

Barrons then, I actually did not think he was that big an ass this time around. I do not know, he just has his own agenda and goes for that. He does try to protect her, sure the chemistry I can't see, but yes I kind of...like, no, approve of him. 

The OOP being hunted here is an amulet. And she will also deal with the repercussions from the last book. There are people who are not happy, and the bad guy, yes a very gross bad guy. The Unseelie Fae are also shown a lot and there is this scary vibe over it all. You really feel how Dublin is falling deeper into darkness. 

What did I think then, I do not trust those Fae seers, they have their goal and no I can'r trust them. V'Lane is his usual death by sex self (a little toned done though) and I sure do not trust him. That leaves Barrons and his secrets that I just want! 

It is those secrets that make me want more. So it was a good thing that Moning leaves a tiny clue that is really nothing. She makes me want more. 

And again I feel that this book is not straight up UF, sure there is really no romance around but I will still call it UPR. Because there is really not that much ass-kicking around either. It is an interesting mix all together. 

Conclusion:
It is a Dublin I would not want to visit, but a Dublin that is great to read about. Dark, twisted, scary and no idea of whom to trust.

Cover:
I like the landscape

Monday, 24 October 2011

Guestpost and giveaway: Linda Poitevin - Sins of the Angels

Linda Poitevin is on my blog today with a guest blog and there is also a chance to win her new book Sins of the Angels.




Six reasons I write in a coffee shop

Believe it or not, my favorite place to write is my local coffee shop. While I can do many things from my home office (currently a corner of my dining room), getting deep into the creative mindset I need for the world-building behind The Grigori Legacy series isn’t one of them. You’d think that a public place would provide too many distractions, but in truth, it’s just the opposite. Here’s why:

1. There is no Internet connection and hence, no avoidance of work through Twitter, Facebook or (ahem) “research.”

2. I can’t see the piles of laundry, crumbs on the counter, dust-puppies running across the floor, overgrown garden, stack of bills to be paid, or any of the many, many other excuses for avoiding work (and trust me, when I hit a snag in writing, just about any excuse to wander away from my computer will do!).

3. No one there wants to know what’s for dinner, if I’ve seen his/her [insert misplaced item here], when I’m going to get groceries, or if I can drive him/her to the bus stop. In fact, if I have my iPod and my earbuds, no one speaks to me at all. This kind of anonymity when you’re a mother is a special bliss. J

4. There are no cats trying to climb onto my shoulder, sit on my keyboard, nuzzle my chin, or chew on the pencil with which I’m writing. Nor am I left dusting off my lap, computer, and desk after such a visit.

5. There are no dogs pacing the floor with squeaky toys (ee-eee, ee-eee, ee-eee), trying to talk me into a walk, chasing the above-mentioned cats, or hopefully dropping balls onto my desk (he’s a very tall dog). 

6. I’m less inclined to snack. At the coffee shop, I can’t just wander over to the fridge or cupboard whenever I like, and having to pay for every bite makes me a lot more discerning about how many bites I really need. Plus, fewer trips away from the computer makes for more words on the computer.

How about you? Are you able to work from home on whatever it is you do, or are you as easily distractible as I am? Any secrets you can share to lessen those distractions? 


Thank you Linda :)



GIVEAWAY:
Open to US &Canada and International winners

2 copies of Sins of the Angels

If you are located in the US or Canada you can choose between a print or a e-copy.

If you are International then you can either win a e-copy from netgalley, or tell me if you want to put your name down for a print copy. Linda will be picking 3 international winners to win print copies at the end of her blog tour.

1. Ends Nov 3rd

2. Just go ahead and enter :)
You can also answer Linda's question of course


The rest of the Blog Tour:
Tuesday, October 25                    Supernatural Snark
Wednesday, October 26              Fiction Vixen
Thursday, October 27                   Yummy Men & Kick-Ass
                                                                     Chicks
Friday, October 28                        Vampire Book Club
Monday, October 31                     The Book Pushers
Wednesday, November 2            Brooke Reviews
Thursday, November 3                 Magical Urban Fantasy
                                                                     Reviews
Monday, November 7                   I Smell Sheep
Tuesday, November 8                  Rabid Reads
Wednesday, November 9            Bitten Books

Thursday, November 10              A Tale of Many Reviews
Friday, November 11     Canadian Remembrance Day
                                                                  (no tour stop)
Saturday, November 12               Book Chick City



Linda's Webpage

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Reviews: Smokin' Seventeen and Lenore

Series: Stephanie Plum #17
Genre: Mystery/chick-lit/romance
Pages: 308
Published: June 2011
Publisher: Bantam
Source: library

Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.

Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.

With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.

My Thoughts:
I am not going to say much because by now I am mostly annoyed at myself that I keep on reading these books. The theme is always the same. 

Grandma Mazur shows her gun, Lola eats and flirts, a car explodes, Steph can't catch her bad guys, and she thinks about Morelli and Ranger and how she can't make her mind up. Yes, I get it! And that is what happened here. She got it on with both of them and nothing was resolved at all. Sighs. 

Still the moment I saw it at the library I got it and read it the next day. I am a sucker for punishment it seems. Because they are funny, sadly not laugh out loud funny any more. But still smiling funny. 

But what I have to say it, make your mind up! Just choose a damn guy. And as for the plot, so easy to figure out.  Arghhhh, she is never going to choose is she? Why can't some authors end a series on top instead of dragging it out until it bleeds and screams? 

But in the end, better than book 16.

------------------------------------


Lenore: Noogies #1 by Roman Dirge
Graphic Novel
112 pages, published 1999

A collection of the first four issues of the popular Lenore comic book series. Lenore: Noogies is a romp into the dark, surreal world of a little dead girl. Featuring stories about limbless cannibals, clock monsters, cursed vampire dolls, taxidermied friends and obssesed would be lover and more fuzzy animal mutilations than should be legal. Lenore is one of the funniest, darkest comic books on the marketplace today.

I loved it! It was cute and creepy and utterly amazing. The style was weird and what more can I say, just read it. So freaking cute! 

Best series about a little dead girl ever, a girl who tortures animals. Yes like I said creepy ;)  I am so glad that I found one more at the library.


Lenore: Wedgies #2
112 pages, published 2000

Wedgies is the second collection of the popular Lenore comic book series. Written and Illustrated by Roman Dirge, Wedgies follows the adventures od a cute little dead girl. Lenore tackles bunny impersonations, tea parties from the dark side, an encounter with the "toof hairy" and tons of bad stuff that might give you cooties.
This volume collects issues 5-8 of the Lenore series and also contains a brand new, never before seen, color Lenore story.

Best comic I have ever read :) Who thought a creepy, cute little dead girl would be so fun to read about. A girl who accidentally kills her kitties. 

If I were to recommend a comic then yes it would be this one. Creepy and cute is just a perfect match. Oh and do not forget funny too, because that is sure is. Very amusing in a morbid way.


Saturday, 22 October 2011

Review: The Viscount and the Witch - Michael J.Sullivan

The Riyria Chronicles Short
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 5400 words
Published: October 2011
Source: Free on author's page, but you can buy it too

Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone first installment of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. 

My thoughts:
I do not have to say it again, but short stories are so hard to review and mostly they just leave me, wanting more. Then there are the good ones. This one left me satisfied but also wanting more. In a good way. I was happy with the story I got but I also really need more since it was so good. 

What I liked the most was the dry humor, or perhaps he was just series when he said those things ;) Oh just read it and see. A fun fantasy story, a perfect story to read while waiting for more, or as I did, in preparation to read book 1. And omg I want my pre-order book to arrive now! 

If this is his style then yes I do recommend it to other readers.

I also felt that you do not have to read this book before reading book 1, since this one was written after book 1 was already written. But it is a good place to start if you want to know his style.

Though I must say, doesn't it sound like a HR book ;)

Rating:
More please.



Friday, 21 October 2011

Review: Cold Fire - Kate Elliott

Series: Spiritwalker #2
Genre: Steampunk /Alternate history/romance
Pages: 640
Published: Sep 2011
Publisher: orbit
Source: Bought

Only one thing is certain: when Hallows' Night comes, the Wild Hunt will ride - and it feeds on mortal blood. 

Cat and her cousin Bee are caught in a maze of intrigue, treachery, and magic. Everyone seems to want something from them: the Cold Mages are trying to take them prisoner, and the warlord who wants to conquer all of Europa seems sure they have a special destiny to aid him whether they want to or not. Worse, hidden powers deep in the spirit world are rising, and they are the most dangerous of all. Cat must seek allies and figure out who she can trust in order to save the ones she loves. For if she doesn't, everything will be lost.

My thoughts:
It was not as good as book 1 and it took a while for me to get into the book. I really can't put my finger on it. maybe it was how sudden we were thrown into book 2 from book 1. It felt like I turned a page and then it continued, which can be a good thing but not since it was months since i read it. Perhaps it was the flow of direction, sometimes it seemed to flow to fast, in too many currents and I could not catch the right stream. Which led me to feel confused and unfocused. Whatever it was it went away, but it did come again here and there. 

Don't get me wrong, yes it took me a while, but then I started to enjoy the book. But I do feel that it lost something that made book 1 so great. But still good enough for me to want book 3.

The story takes a turn and instead of Europe it takes place in the Caribbean. Where kingdoms rule and these people are not afraid of progress, so here it is more steampunk (not that we see much), but Europe is just ice and magic. Here we have zombies, Cat being lost, we finally learn who her dad is, we meet the general again who wants to conquer Europe, can Cat escape her marriage, does she want to? And Bea learn about the path of dragons. I can't say much, since everything is more or less a spoiler. But yes I was happy about the turn of events, some things made me wonder, and some made me want to kick a certain person.

It was a good book, it held my attention (after the first part), and the world is just fantastic. A true creation in its fullest. 

And I must mention that I love Rory! I sure do.

Conclusion:
I would recommend it, because it is for everyone. Whether you like steampunk, fantasy or paranormal, and there is romance to be had too.


Cover Thoughts: pretty


----------------

My flash fiction for this week

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Author Guestblog and Giveaway: Mary Lydon Simonsen - Mr Darcy's Bite

More Austen goodness coming up now, I have Mary Lydon Simonsen over for a guestpost and you can win her new book Mr Darcy's Bite.


Hi Linda. Thank you for having me at Book Girl. You asked that I write about superstition in Regency England and how I came to write a paranormal variation.

If someone had asked me if I would ever write a werewolf story, I would have shook my head and laughed. Even though my daughter reads every werewolf and vampire novel out there, I simply had no interest in either subject. However, two years ago, a story appeared on A Happy Assembly, a Jane Austen fan fiction site, where Mr. Darcy was a werewolf. I was really pulled in by the sinister atmosphere the author had created. With Halloween approaching, I decided to write a short story, “Mr. Darcy on the Eve of All Saints’ Day.” The story got so many hits and comments that I expanded it until it was the length of a novel, and much to my surprise, I had a good time doing it.

You asked about superstition in Regency England. Did people of that era believe in werewolves? Possibly. But they weren’t a real threat as wolves had been eradicated from England by the time of Alfred the Great (circa 900 A.D.). By early 19th century, old-growth forests had disappeared from the British Isles because of the need for fuel and housing as well as for the ships of the ever-expanding British Navy. (They needed those tall trees for their masts.) As a result, there was no place for a pack of wolves to hide from a population bent on their destruction. Although these creatures of the night would not have been seen looping about the English countryside, in the great forests of the Continent, there was still a belief that a man/beast existed, and such tales were told throughout Europe.

Even though there were no wolves or werewolves in England, that didn’t mean that an author with a good imagination couldn’t reintroduce them into the wild. In Mr. Darcy’s Bite, I do just that. As with wolves, who are hunt in packs, werewolves congregate near each other for protection. For the same reason, they usually marry another werewolf, and Darcy was preparing to do just that when he met Elizabeth Bennet. However, after the Meryton assembly, all thoughts of marrying another went out the window. But can Lizzy love a man who was also part beast? After his first transformation, Darcy wonders what Elizabeth will think about his dual nature and what information she would need to know before making her decision.

The question Darcy feared most was that Elizabeth would want a detailed description of his transformation. She would be repulsed by a vision of a man dropping to his knees as his arms became legs, followed quickly by the thickening of his neck, an emerging muzzle, and the change in his teeth that were designed to tear an animal apart. The metamorphosis was completed when his hair became fur. She would want to know all of that, and his stomach churned at the idea of speaking of such things to the woman he loved.

I hope you will want to read Mr. Darcy’s Bite to find out Elizabeth’s answer to Darcy’s second proposal. (You can probably guess.) Please keep in mind that this is primarily a love story.

So tell me, what would you do if you knew Mr. Darcy was a werewolf and he proposed marriage to you? I’d love to know. Thanks for stopping by.


Giveaway:
1 copy of Mr Darcy's Bite

1. Open to US and Canada
2. Ends October 27
3. Go ahead and enter :) As easy as that.
But be free to answer Mary's question if you want to :D


OUT NOW - Mr Darcy's Bite
In this fresh, original paranormal Jane Austen sequel by bestselling author Mary Lydon Simonson explores Mr. Darcy as the leader of a secret world of werewolves threatened with extinction.

Elizabeth comes to realize that she loves him in both his incarnations, and all his servants protect his secret. But then Elizabeth must confront a shocking danger to her beloved with every full moon, when Darcy is alone and exposed to those who hate wolves...



Mary's webpage 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Review: The Darkest Night - Gena Showalter +guestblogging

Series: Lords of the Underworld #1
Genre: Paranormal romance
Pages: 374
Published: 2008
Publisher: HQN
Source: Bought

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member -- a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger than calms their torments . . . and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction -- and a soul-shattering test of love . 

My thoughts:
Poor little, D at Paperback DayDreamer forced me to read this book, aye she said she would kick my ass if I did not do it before the end of October. And I being a scared little rabbit did as she told me.

Ok in reality it was more that she read the series and every time I commented how I meant to start it..again and again. Then finally she asked me and I confessed to needing that kick in the butt to get started ;)

And I am happy to finally have started this series because Maddox was a hottie. He is the kind of man that in reality I would knee him in the groin and tell him that he is not the boss of me. But in the books, all the mine mine mine, just makes me melt. He is truly alpha, a bit of a cave man, tormented by the demon inside him, and come on what more can a girl ask for?!

The heroine, oh whatever, who cares about the heroine when I have a alpha caveman, demoninfested hottie to read about ;) A guy who dies every night and is tormented in hell. But yeah yeah, good heroine, they sparked.

The concept of the series was good too. Pandora's box was open and now they house the demons inside and it is pure hell. They are also people after them and have been for a long time. But of course all these men will find their sweethearts and live happily ever after.

I should say something about what happened, Maddox meets Ashlyn, it does not take long for him to want her, trouble with his brothers, trouble with bad guys, the Gods are up to no good, and Ashlyn and Maddox has some hot passion before them. There you go, and I must say that the last 100 pages were thrilling.

Conclusion:
I hope the rest are as alpha, cos you know I love that. I would read more.

Rating:
Good

Cover:
ok

------------------------------

And I am over at Cookies, books and bikes today and talking about the best romance books I have read since I started blogging 
Come say hi :D


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Guest post and giveaway: Abigail Reynolds - Mr-Darcy's Undoing

Today I have Abigail Reynolds over for a guest post and she talks about Mr Darcy ;) There is also a giveaway at the end.


Why women love Mr. Darcy 

There’s no lack of reasons to love Mr. Darcy.  He’s handsome, wealthy, generous, honest to a fault, and he owns a beautiful estate.  What’s not to like?  But that doesn’t explain why generations of women have considered Mr. Darcy the perfect romantic hero.  There are other handsome, wealthy , honest and generous men in the world.  Why does this one man in particular hold such a fascination for women? To my mind it comes down to two things: his devotion to Elizabeth and his taste in choosing her.

Mr. Darcy is devoted to Elizabeth Bennet.  Once he falls in love with her, nothing can change  his affections – not her angry refusal of his proposal, not her family’s low connections, not his family’s disapprobation.  He loves her and he’ll always love her, no matter what.  That is the essence of Mr. Darcy.

Mr. Darcy’s  loyalty and devotion aren’t limited to Elizabeth Bennet, which tells us that it is part of his character.  He’s devoted to his sister, his family, his friend Mr. Bingley’s happiness, his tenants’ well-being and his estate.  Jane Austen tells us that he gives offense wherever he goes, and there’s some evidence of that in his close friendship with Mr. Bingley whose good natured acceptance is well-known.  It’s an odd friendship from Darcy’s point of view, since Bingley wouldn’t be considered a particularly appropriate  candidate for a social connection.  Darcy is well above him in social station.  That always makes me wonder how many of Darcy’s social equals don’t care to spend time with him because of his tendency to give offense.  But what few friends Darcy makes, he keeps close to his heart, and we know the same will be true for his love for Elizabeth.  

Mr. Darcy doesn’t hold anything  back.  Disguise of every sort is his abhorrence.  Now, that can be a problem, since  his life would probably be easier if he’d learn to tell a few white lies, but in terms of his love for Elizabeth, it makes him more admirable.  We don’t worry about Darcy wondering if he could have done better for himself, or whether he has a hidden cruel streak or some grave character flaw.  If he did, he wouldn’t be able to hide it because he’s such a terrible liar.  We can trust his devotion for the same reason.  


Darcy’s choice of Elizabeth Bennet tells us a great deal about him.  In the normal course of affairs, we would expect a man of his stature to choose a fashionably languid lady with no opinions of her own.  Not Mr. Darcy, though – he chooses an unfashionably pert and energetic country girl.  Most importantly, he doesn’t fall in love with her for her beauty or her wit.   Austen tells us, “Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes.” [italics are mine].  Note that it isn’t actually her fine eyes or the beautiful expression in them, but that they render her face uncommonly intelligent.  What a dream man!  In a world where women are constantly pressured to measure up to unattainable beauty and told in many subtle ways that their appearance is the most important measure of their worth to men, here we find the exception to the rule.  Mr. Darcy loves Elizabeth because she’s smart!  It’s the fantasy of every girl who feels she doesn’t measure up in one way or another to cultural expectations – that there’s a man out there who will value her primarily for her mind.  

Mr. Darcy is a true dream man.  He loves Elizabeth for her intelligence rather than her beauty, he is truly devoted to her, and she can trust him to be honest and loyal.  It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s rich and handsome,  but it’s in the nature of his love for Elizabeth that Mr. Darcy proves himself a most extraordinary man.  


Thank you Abigail :=)

GIVEAWAY
1 copy of Mr. Darcy's Undoing

1. Open to US and Canada
2. Ends October 27
3. Just enter :)
Or tell me why you think Mr. Darcy is so loved



OUT NOW  Mr. Darcy's Undoing
A passionate new Pride and Prejudice variation explores the unthinkable-Elizabeth accepts the proposal of a childhood friend before she meets Darcy again. When their paths cross, the devastated Mr. Darcy must decide how far he'll go to win the woman he loves. How can a man who prides himself on his honor ask the woman he loves to do something scandalous? And how can Elizabeth accept a loveless marriage when Mr. Darcy holds the key to her heart? As they confront family opposition and the ill-will of scandal-mongers, will Elizabeth prove to be Mr. Darcy's undoing?



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