Monday, 30 April 2012

Review: Second Grave on the Left - Darynda Jones


If you hang around with dead people, life can deliver a whole world of trouble. Take it from Charley Davidson, part-time P.I. and full-time Grim Reaper. The deceased find her very sparkly. Demons find her irresistible. And one entity in particular wants to seduce her in every way possible… When Charley and Cookie, her best friend slash receptionist, have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally.) has left his corporeal body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. 

Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Can she keep those she loves out of harm’s way? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel her as she does?

Series: Charley Davidson #2, Genre: Paranormal thriller /urban fantasy romance, Pages: 326, Published: 2011 by St.Martin's Press, Source: Own

My thoughts:
First, honestly, Reyes *wipes away a bit of drool*. He is just hot as hell ;) Is just that sexy cos he is all mysterious and all, or is it cos of his origin? What can I say, he is the ultimate bad boy. 

Right, I was supposed to say something about this book. Well Reyes is missing, his body that is, he still visits Charley in his other form and she wants to find him. The second part of the story is her trying to find a missing woman and that lands her in trouble again. People are gunning for her, but what else is new. She is as kick-ass and smart-mouthed as she was in book 1. 

Romance, eh, not so much, sexual tension? Yes lots of it. Reyes tries to protect her so there aren't really any make-out sessions. More longing in this one. Not that that matter cos it's still awesome. Reyes is a guy that was meant to be lusted after. Not to mention he is freaky too. Darn it, there I went talking about Reyes again. I do try writing a review without mentioned Reyes' name every second but it's pretty hard. I just keep... 

Ok, I had to restrain myself there. Back to business. The book was fun, I like the mix that it is, what it is? Hm, paranormal romance mixed with urban fantasy mixed with thriller and throw in a lot of humour. I really can't put a lable on it. It's amusing, that's what it is. 

Conclusion:
I want book 3! Cos there was a cliffie. Not a OMG I falling of the cliff!!! More a shit, look there, someone is about to fall of that cliff.

Cover:
Cool, but still meh

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Flash Fiction Friday, done on Saturday + info

Every Monday Dottie over at Tink's Place posts a picture and then on Friday (Flash Fiction Friday) we post a story to go along with the picture. The story has to be about 350 words, give or take. 

(pic has been removed: broken glass
Long lost hope by Blodeuedd


She could see the pods through her broken window. They were scattered all over the land, and everyone who went near one was never seen again. At first the army had try to destroy the pods, but nothing had worked. And the pods had exploded in light and millions upon millions of people had simply vanished. It was said that where there were few people no pods could be found. A lot had tried to escape but it seemed that the pods just reacted with the same light when too many people gathered. So now those who were left travelled in small groups and managed to survive. There was even a safe distance you could keep without the pods killing you. The tricky part was knowing when one showed up.

Lissa had been on the run for years. At first she had travelled with her family but her father was killed by looters, her brother by a pod hidden from view and her mother had died from a fever last year. She was the only one left now, in a dark broken world. She tried her best to avoid other humans and the pods but it was hard, she was tired and hungry all the time. She hated running from looters and creepy gangs. Most days she just wanted to lie down and cry, but she kept on running. She still remembered her mother’s voice.
“Promise to never stop.”
And she had kept that promise. With a  sigh she took the window in her hand and dragged it back in. She would try to put it up to keep the warmth inside. One got handy when you were the only person around to do anything. A little digging around the house produced a hammer and nails and she set to work. Always keeping an eye on the pods. They never moved so that was not a problem, but she always expected them to open, for the evil inside to come out and finish the slaughter they had started.
“Hello?”
She dropped the hammer and cursed. She should have been quiet and run instead she spun around and came eye to eye with a boy her own age. She looked at the hammer but then a young girl peaked out from behind him and softly he said.”It’s just us, Sara saw you earlier.” With a trembling hand he gave her a jar of pickles and she decided that for once, for once she would give another human being a chance.

..................
Sci-fi time :)



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Friday, 27 April 2012

Review: Vampire, Interrupted - Lynsay Sands


After seven hundred years of life, Marguerite Argeneau finally has a career. Well, the start of one, anyway. She's training to be a private investigator, and her first assignment is to find an immortal's mother. It seemed simple enough, until Marguerite wakes up one evening to find herself at the wrong end of a sword. Now she realizes she's in way over her head.

Julius Notte wants to protect Marguerite, and not because someone just tried to take her head off. She doesn't know it yet, but she's his lifemate and he's determined to woo her. It's been over five hundred years since he last courted a woman, but surely the techniques haven't changed. Now if only he can keep her alive—so to speak—so they can have that happily-ever-after.

Series: Argeneau #9, Genre: Paranormal romance, Published: April 2012 (2008) by Gollancz, Source: For review

My thoughts:
I wanted to read Marguerite's book ever since I met her. After 700 years of misery she deserved to find her life-mate and have her HEA. And now I finally got to see her find it and it was fun.

What Sands does best is making the books light, all while making them exciting and passionate. In this one Marguerite is trying to find a woman and someone does not want that do happen. Even as someone is trying to kill her there is still that lightness over the book and I like that. I also like that the books feel safe, and I always enjoy them. You can't go wrong with the Argenau vampire books.

Marguerite is a 700 old immortal who was turned by her Immortal Atlantis husband and he was a creep. She has taken care of her children and nieces and nephews. She loves her family and I always did like her. The hero is Julius Notte, an Immortal who does not want his son to find his mother. Some things are better left unsaid. At first it did annoy me, but trust me, he did all the right things. And these two are meant to be. As always there is a struggle cos poor Marguerite does not want anyone controlling her. But what would a book be without a bit of struggle.

The book was all that I wanted it to be, and it was actually more. I was so surprised at something and I went omg. The other big thing is that for the first time I also felt sorry for Marguerite's dead husband Jean Claude, and that was something I never thought would happen. This book was all surprises. 

Conclusion:
Light and passionate. Lynsay Sands books are perfect when you just want to relax and be swept away. I read it in no time at all and as there is a big family tree there is always more to look forward to.


Thursday, 26 April 2012

WOT Challenge:The Dragon Reborn - Robert Jordan



The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Rand Al'Thor is the Dragon Reborn-- able to touch the One Power, but unable to control it. Rand knows only that he must face the Dark One in a battle to the death. Ahead of him lies the next great test for...

The Dragon Reborn.

Series: The Wheel of Time #3, Genre: fantasy, Pages: 674, Published: 1991 by TOR

Here we go:
Honestly, it's too hard to write a review of a book that I have read many times, of a series that I have read many times. I am so used to the books, the characters are old friends. I can't present them properly... 

But ok, Rand, poor Rand he is so crazy. When exactly did I start to fall for him before? Cos no he is just insane the poor boy as he flees from everyone. 

Then we have Mat, I never really liked Mat but this time around it's different. I like him, and that glimmer of mischief in his eyes. Of course that happened in this book as in previous books he has been insane like Rand. 

Then we have Perrin, the first time around I never liked him, I wonder why cos there is nothing wrong with Perrin. He talks to wolves and here he finds he true love. 

The women, no honestly I just can't like them any time around. Egwene, Elayne and Nynavene get intro trouble, tug on their braids and think about men. They are just no fun, or is it that Tar Valon is boring? Might be. Oh and speaking about Tar Valon. Ever since someone mentioned it on a forum all I see when I look at a map of the city is a certain female....just go look (I blame a certain forum for getting that idea into my head.)

Luckily no Seanchan or many White Cloaks as you know, I hate those bastards. 

The Aiel show up, always did like them. 

Dark friends and evil beings are hunting our lead characters and even though I have read this book before I could not put it down at times.

PS. It seemed people though that Rand is a dragon last time, no no, he is just called THE Dragon. There are no dragons.

And what do I have to finish with..
Recommended!!!

The place where I snark about the cover:
HAHA. Honestly what are they wearing? And look at Rand lol


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Review: Fate's Edge - Ilona Andrews

Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge, and she's determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But when her brother gets into hot water, the former thief takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack of all trades... 

Kaldar Mar-a gambler, lawyer, thief, and spy-expects his latest assignment tracking down a stolen item to be a piece of cake, until Audrey shows up. But when the item falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job, he's going to need Audrey's help.

Series: The Edge #3, Genre: Rural urban fantasy romance, Pages: 372, Published: 2011 by ACE, Source: My own

My thoughts:
Did I ever like book 2 or 3 as much as book 1? Well..no, but they were still good. There was just something about book 1, it was so new and fresh. I also must confess that I do not remember Kaldar from book 2..was he there? I did remember his cousin Gaston, the frog guy, but not Kaldar. Sorry Kaldar.

Anyway in this book Kaldar, who I could not remember is working for the Mirror in the Weird. While in The Broken Audrey Callahan tries to go legit. Not easy with a family like hers. Their roads will cross, and after some fighting they will fall in love (what else would you expect).All while running around in the Broken and in the Edge. Ok first if you are new to this. The Broken is where we non magic peeps live. The Weird is the alternate earth that instead of going all technology went the way of magic and is pretty old school. The Edge are those areas in between where people with magic live. They are mostly trash, cast out off The Weird, looked down upon. Some goes to the Broken but most stay as they have too much magic to make it out alive. I know the Weird people are such asses, but still I like their world of magic and castles. And do not mess with the Edgers, cos they will cut you down, and then steal your shoes. The world is really cool.

I did not always feel the passion brewing, I can't say why. It was more that it had to happen.

What I did like was that George and Jack were in it, the kids from book 1. Kids in books are not always that a good idea, but here it works well and I hope they will grow up and have stories of their own one day. Necromancer George and changeling Jack. They made it more fun somehow cos Audrey was pretty serious and Kaldar focused.

I wonder what book 4 is about.....Kaldar's brother? Oh, another one I forgot about? Sheesh, I fear those brothers are forgettable.

Conclusion:
I enjoyed it. I still wish it was as awesome as book 1, but hey you can't have it all.


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Review: Kindling the Moon - Jenn Bennett


Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . . 

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.

Series: Arcadia Bell #1, Genre: Urban fantasy, Pages: 358, Published: 2011 by Pocket, Source: My own

My thoughts:
I saw what people on my friend's list on GR thought and there were 4 and 5s all around. I did like the book, but I just did not fall for it as much as I wanted. I think I was caught up in the hype again and felt a bit let down.

Arcadia was cool, she is a wizard, she owns a bar, her parents are serial killers..wait what? Yes they were framed and she is hiding. The world she lived on was cool. No one knows about magic except those working with it, the demons you can conjure up and Earthbounds. Now these I liked. Demons put in human form, they mated and tadaa, lots of offspring 400 years later.

The love interest that shows up is Lon Butler (one of those with demon genes, oh yes). They have a few issues at start but we all know they will end up falling. Even if he is 40, so old ;)

The book was good, I liked it. But I fear there is a ghost over this review, the ghost of wanting to like it more. And expectations that did not turn out are just the worst. 

Conclusion:
What saves it for me is in the end her past and future. There is something about her. And I am curious.

Cover: I would prefer to see her head

Monday, 23 April 2012

Review: Among Thieves - Douglas Hulick


Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors-a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.

Series: Tales of the Kin #1, Genre: Fantasy, Pages: 414, Published: 2011 by ROC, Source: My own




I am going to do a 3 reasons review cos my thoughts on this book are divided. The first 200 pages are a 2, the last 200 pages a 3. So I will only grade it for those good 200 pages.

1.) Reasons you chose this book
Honestly, it was fantasy and I wanted to read it.

2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book
I disliked the book cos the first 200 pages were boring. I thought about giving up as I really did not care about anything happening. But at the same time I did not want to give up cos I truly hate giving up. But it was still sort of ok.

I liked the book cos of the second half of the book. There was excitement, chases, people trying to kill him, Drothe trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Big revelations about the Empire and me wondering what was hidden in the past. It got me interested, it made me like this book.

3.) Reasons you are recommending this book
Now I am torn again. I liked it and I thought it was ok. Which side should I listen to? It was not as the first part was bad, it was just not as interesting to me as the rest was. But I would still recommend it cos of the second half.

As for the grade, that is all cos of the second half as I liked that part and there was nothing wrong with it at all.


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Flash Fiction Friday on Saturday (yes I am late again)

Every Monday Dottie over at Tink's Place posts a picture and then on Friday (Flash Fiction Friday) we post a story to go along with the picture. The story has to be about 350 words, give or take. 

(pic has been removed: woman in storm)
The Wedding Day
by Blodeuedd



Even the flowers tried to keep Lorina there as she ran out in the garden. The leaves blew around her and kissed her skin, butterflies landed in her hair, but she continued to run and would not stop. This was her wedding day; the dress lay in a heap on the floor in her tower. Her maidens had screamed after her as she ran out in her shift. But they did not try to stop her, because in the end they did not want to be here either.

She was to be given in marriage to the youngest prince of Rhone. Her country’s neighbor, the one you had to please. But she did not care for pleasing as her nerves took over. Other princesses suffered the same fate, but they did not marry a beast. She stopped and just stood there crying. The youngest prince of Rhone was cursed it said. He was more man than, the sources said he looked like a bull of some sort and, no, how could she marry that?!

“Lorina,” she closed her eyes as she heard her father’s voice. “You are shaming us.”
She dried her tears and picked a flower. “I was just getting flowers for my hair father.” She picked a few more and hurried past her. Her maidens did not look at her when she returned, instead they finished dressing her. A lamb to slaughter.

The wedding vows were not even said by him, instead his brother said them in his place and she thought she was about to faint. What were they giving her to? After the feast that followed they brought her to his chambers and her maidens cried as they undressed her.
“It will be fine,” she tried saying but they would not stop. She was calm now; it was like she had escaped into herself. But when she was lying alone in the bed she started to shiver and as the door open she saw a silhouette in the moonlight and she closed her eyes. She heard him come closer and she tried erasing the horns from her memory. The she felt a hand brush hers and a soft voice spoke.
“Do not fear me.”
She shook her head.
“Please.” His plea was heartbreaking and she opened her eyes.
“How?” This was not the man she had seen. No, this was the most beautiful man she had ever seen.
“I am cursed during the day,” he said with such sadness that she reached out and touched his skin. Now he was crying too and her heart opened for the first time in weeks.
“It will be fine”, she whispered and took him in her arms.

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I am stuck with fairy-tales it seems :)

Other participants:

Friday, 20 April 2012

Review: Alien Diplomacy - Gini Koch

Being newlyweds and new parents is challenging enough. But Jeff and Kitty Martini are also giving up their roles as super-being exterminators and Commanders in Centaurion Division while mastering the political landscape as the new heads of Centaurion's Diplomatic Corps. Enter a shadowy assassination plot and a new set of anti-alien conspirators, and nothing will ever be the same.

Series: Katherine "Kitty" Katt #5, Genre: Sciene Fiction UF romance, humor Pages: 425, Published: April 3, 2012 by DAW, Source: Bookshelf

My thoughts:
The book is as crazy as ever. What more can you expect from this series. There are conspiracies, strange taxi drivers, and all while trying to find a nice dress for the President's Ball.

The last review I did I made a bit differently and honestly after 5 books it's hard to say something new. I mean Kitty is cool, though I did feel at one time that she should have know better. I mean I knew better and all thanks to my Kitty schooling. But other than that she was on top of things.

Martini was actually a bit less jealous than usual, made me a bit sad, I like jealous Martini, cos I am weird like that. Mr White, aww, hihi, I do love him. I fear Christopher's dad is taking spot 2 of my fav Kitty men. Then comes Reader and sadly Christopher is now on spot 4 cos he found a girl.

The poofs are adorable as ever, honestly, please get me one!

How Koch makes these plots are beyond me. Things are coming at me from every corner, I can't figure out the baddies (well one), or who to trust, and what on earth is going on.

And last, there is an excerpt from book 6 at the back and let me tell you, it is pure evil! The way it ends in the middle of something juicy makes me want to get book 6 at once. I think it will be a amazing one.

Conclusion:
I do recommend this fun series. READ BOOK 1!

Cover:
I kind of love it and do not love it at the same time cos Kitty's neck and arms are so thin, she looks a bit anorexic. 


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Review: The disappearance of Georgiana Darcy - Regina Jeffers

A Pride and prejudice mystery
SHACKLED IN THE DUNGEON of a macabre castle with no recollection of her past, a young woman finds herself falling in love with her captor—the estate’s master. Trusting him before she regains her memory and unravels the castle’s wicked truths would be a catastrophe.

Far away at Pemberley, the Darcys happily gather to celebrate the marriage of Kitty Bennet. But a dark cloud sweeps through the festivities: Georgiana has disappeared without a trace. Upon receiving word of his sister’s likely demise, Darcy and his wife, Elizabeth, set off across the English countryside, seeking answers in the unfamiliar and menacing Scottish moors.

How can Darcy keep his sister safe from the most sinister threat she has ever faced when he doesn’t even know if she’s alive? True to Austen’s style and rife with malicious villains, dramatic revelations and heroic gestures, this suspense-packed mystery places Darcy and Elizabeth in the most harrowing situation they have ever faced— finding Georgiana before it’s too late.

Genre: Pride and prejudice variation /sequel, Pages: 336, Published: April 17 2012 by Ulysses Press, Source: For review

My thoughts:
This was certainly different from other variations that I have read. It was darker and you know what, it kind of made me not want to visit Scotland ;)

Lizzy and Darcy are happy. Kitty is getting married. Mary is married, the Bingley's are happy and Wickham and Lydia, well you know about them. Here I do feel sorry for Lydia, sure she is a silly idiotic thing but not even she deserves him. Everything is fine except for something that the characters find out later on in the book. Something the reader sees glimpses of. Georgiana is missing, she went to Scotland to put the house in order for when her husband joined her. Yes she married Colonel Fitzwilliam. She has been missing for quite a while and that is what this book is about. Where is she? What happened? We do get to see her but what on earth is truly going on? It was hard to wrap my head around it and it all seems like a bad fever dream. Because Scotland is scary.

I did like how Jeffers managed that, she took dark things and twisted them around. She made me ask myself if I truly knew what happened to Georgiana. It is quite the mystery and it gets solved in the end, and then truly sinister things comes to light.

Conclusion:
It was a different sort of variation. A mystery with all of our favorite Pride and Prejudice characters. And a castle straight out of nightmares.

Cover:
Nice

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Review: An artificial night - Seanan McGuire


October "Toby" Daye is a changeling-half human and half fae-and the only one who has earned knighthood. Now she must take on a nightmarish new challenge. Someone is stealing the children of the fae as well as mortal children, and all signs point to Blind Michael. Toby has no choice but to track the villain down-even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael's realm, home of the Wild Hunt-and no road may be taken more than once. If Toby cannot escape with the children, she will fall prey to the Wild Hunt and Blind Michael's inescapable power.

Series: October Daye #3, Genre: urban fantasy, Pages: 368, Published: 2010 by DAW, Source: Bookshelf

My thoughts:
This world just keeps getting cooler, though it did make me think too. All the fairies are so Celtic and created there. But how about the kitsune..are the Japanese fairies created by old ones back there or is the whole fairy world just Celtic? It does make me wonder. Perhaps we will find out one day.

Toby is searching for missing kids in this one as Blind Michael and the Wild Hunt is on the move. I also learn a bit more about fairie and the first ones and the more I know, the more I want to know even more. The world is good, the fairies wicked and good. And Toby is always in the danger of loosing her life. The poor woman takes on jobs too big for her.

Tybalt is back and as I love cats I love him, he is the king of cats after all. But he is a bit shifty. As for other love interest, there is always Connor, whose wife (she is one crazy woman) wants to Kill Toby. Poor Toby again as she can't even have her old friends back.

The story throws a few twists and turns and it's a hard book to put down. 

I accidentally read a spoiler for book 4 ;) Nothing that said something, just what would happen and that made me go omg. I want that book. I am always on the look for more answers when it comes to this series. So now I can't wait to read book 4.

Conclusion:
A cool UF series that I recommend.

Cover:
Works

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Review: If I Fall - Kate Noble

After a duke's betrayal, the resilient Sarah Forrester reinvents herself as the Golden Lady: society's leading light, the beautiful and witty life of the party. It's all a façade of course-one that protects her from another intimate disloyalty. When her old friend, Lieutenant Jackson Fletcher, returns to London, he is determined to rediscover the true and trusting Sarah he once knew. It'll take more than a kiss and a promise. It might even call for an innocent and necessary deception.

Then Jackson is enlisted to help capture the lead suspect in a murder— a man who happens to be Sarah's most ardent suitor. Jack must continue the deception, and weathering this newest and gravest betrayal will be Sarah's ultimate test. But as Jack's passion for her grows, he must also reveal his own secrets. And as the killer turns his attention to his pursuers, more than love and trust is put at risk.

Series: The Blue Raven #4
Genre: Historical romance
Pages: 352
Published: April 2012 by Berkley
Source: Won


My thoughts:
This is the 4th book but yes it could also be read as a stand alone. The first 2 takes place a few years before book 3 and this one, and book 3, well in that one we see Jason fall in love and that is how this book starts. Jason leaves Sarah on their engagement party. If I had not read book 3 I am sure I would have been very unhappy with him, but he was in love, and Sarah, wanted stability only.

The Sarah that used to be is transformed after The Event into the darling of the Ton, cos else she is just The Girl who lost a Duke. She becomes more snobbish and knows how to cut someone. But she is not unlikable as you see that it's only a facade she puts up to deal with all the whispers and of course she was sad too since she thought they would have been happy.

In comes Jackson Fletcher, an old friend who does not like the new Sarah. He wants the old Sarah back, I do like that they have history, and that he is not fooled by a pretty face. But for these two to actually fall in love takes time, a lot of time. I can't say anything more, but they do avoid each other or argue a lot. But he falls, and she needs to let go.

And of course there is Blue Raven business going on (he is a spy), there is danger, a sinister plot and Sarah and Jackson is in the middle of it all. We also meet Marcus and Philippa (book 1) again as Philippa is the one who makes Sarah into the Golden lady. And it's always fun to meet up with old couples.

Conclusion:
It was what I wanted it to be. I also found myself interested in reading a book about her sister, I think it could be fun.

Cover:
Lovely!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Review: The Blood King - Gail Z.Martin


In The Blood King, sequel to The Summoner, Tris Drayke races against time to gain the skills he needs to challenge his half-brother Jared for the throne of Margolan and defeat the dark mage Arontala before the Obsidian King can be loosed from the abyss. Pursued by assassins and caught in a dangerous web of intrigue, Tris’ greatest danger is his own magic. The fate of his kingdom, his lady and his soul hang in the balance. 

As Margolan plunges into darkness under the yoke of a tyrant, Tris leads an unlikely insurrection, knowing that if he fails, death will be the least of his worries. Betrayed by the living, Tris finds staunch allies among the dead and undead. As the truce unravels between mortals and vampires, angry ghosts demand their revenge, and the Sisterhood of mages lacks the power to intervene. The battle for the throne of Margolan and the freedom of the Winter Kingdoms rests on Tris Drayke’s magic—and his ability to control the powerful forces aligning against Jared and Arontala. Like a storm on the horizon, war is coming—but can Tris control what has been put into motion, or will his battle for the crown bring a greater darkness?

Series: Chronicles of the Necromancer #2, Genre: Fantasy, Pages: 615, Published: 2008 by Solaris, Source: My own

My thoughts:
I must say that I got confused at the end, not a bad confusion, just surprised because the story ended. Yes the quest was over, the good guys won. But this is a 4 book series? So I quickly did some research and it seems that book 3 is about one of the side characters. Go figure. Though I do not complain, a fantasy "series" that deals with the main issue in 2 books is something I like.

Tris needs to learn about his powers in this book, so that he can fight his evil brother Jared and his mage. And Jared, oh he is bad! He is a psychopath and that poor country under his rule! And of course the evil mage is insane too. So the baddies are really good at being bad, and that is the way is should be. To hate them with a passion. While the good guys are really good. Young Tris trying to cope with being a summoner, Kiera a warrior princess, the healer Carina, the bard Carroway, and Vahanian the mercenery. There are even vampires in this world. But they are good, sure they are undead but the stay close to their families afterwards. Just like the ghosts in this world. Some just linger on.

As the quest ends in this book there are lots of action to be had. A kingdom needs to be saved after all and a throne conquered. All while a few side characters fall in love.

Conclusion:
I enjoyed the story (even if I felt that confusion cos I thought it continued, lol ;) But I was happy to see it wrapped up and I will read the next book as it is about Vahanian who is a merc, smuggler, you name it. I am sure lots will happen there too.

Cover:
Bit creepy

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Flash Fiction Friday on Saturday

Every Monday Dottie over at Tink's Place posts a picture and then on Friday (Flash Fiction Friday) we post a story to go along with the picture. The story has to be about 350 words, give or take.


(pic has been removed: lady and swan)
A river song
by Blodeuedd

Kitsaine’s mother was always sad and cried. Once she had asked why and her mother had only looked longingly at the river and said nothing. When she grew older she asked her relatives but they told her that her mother surely only missed her people. It was said that one day her father just came home with her, a beautiful young woman with skin so white, with golden hair, dressed only in her father’s cloak. Her mother was loyal and hardworking, but loving? Towards her only child yes, but towards the man she married? No, she never even looked him in the eye. When Kitsaine was even older she heard her mother beg her father to let her go home and the next thing she heard was a faint scream as he hit her.

When Kitsaine turned 15 her father started to look for suitors, he did not have to look long as she was fair to look at. But to be some simple farmer’s wife? To toil away and break your back and give birth to 10 children? But that was not to be her fate as the Lord’s youngest son came to ask for her hand. This was unheard of, but he was only a 7th son, and the Lord was poor as dirt. No better than a poor farmer her father used to tell her. But with her beauty maybe the coming generation would do better and it was decided. And so she was married and forgot about her mother’s troubles, until that day she walked by the river and heard the seabirds lament their sorrow. For a moment she thought she was going insane, her body was already bruised and broken as her new husband was no catch so who would blame her if her mind went too? A week later she walked by the same path and heard the birds tell her to find her mother’s skin and then she knew. She told the servant with her that she was going to her parents and the servant followed. There she went straight to her father and asked him the truth. A truth in a lie, she told him that a magician had come by and told her husband how much a skin was worth. Her father had money signs in his eyes and went to catch the skin at once. Kitsaine just smiled and told him that she would get him the money soon. Then when he was walking out she took the big copper pan and hit him over the head. By now the servant was screaming but Kitsaine just gave her a look at went to get her mother. Her mother who cried from joy when she saw her beloved skin. The skin she wore as the bird she was. The skin she had taken off to play in the water as a woman. The skin Kitsaine’s father had stolen and by doing that bound the poor river girl to him.

Kitsaine stood by the river with her mother by her side. The bird looked up and she thought she saw a smile. Then she took off her dress and waded in. She was scared and the water was cold but soon two birds flew away along the riverbed.





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Honestly what kind of bird is that? ;) Anyway I was inspired by old tales again


Friday, 13 April 2012

Review: One Hot Cowboy Wedding - Carolyn Brown


The will said Ace would keep the ranch if he had a wife and stayed married for a year. Jasmine was just helping him out until Ace's kisses left her longing for a true cowboy husband. It was supposed to be a secret wedding followed by a quiet divorce. But when they won a contest in the little wedding chapel, the secret marriage is exposed to the national media and all hell breaks lose..

Series: Spikes and Spurs #4, Genre: Contemporary romance / western, Pages: 384, Published: April 3rd 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca, Source: for review

My thoughts:
There is nothing like a Brown book to make me think I was born in the wrong country. I want a cowboy in jeans and a hat, and throw in a relative or something too with lots of good sayings. Now that would make the gravy on the chicken..wait, oh I suck at these, lol.

I knew Ace from before (he loves his women), and Jasmine who owns the café. They are friends and that is it. But Ace needs a wife and Jasmine is a good friend. But of course we all know what will happen. Feelings, passion and happily ever after. I like how she still manages to make it believable even if much time does not pass. Because they have known each other for a while before, and throwing them in a room together makes things explode. But they still think about things, what they want, and if they want what they might find. So that is what the book is about. Could this be more than a fake wedding?

And as always there are all the people from before showing up here and there, old and new friends that I am happy to meet again. I can feel the hot Texas sun on my skin and the dirt under my feet. There is passion and laughter and all tied together with a lightness and ease.

Conclusion:
Brown never disappoints, I get what I came for. A light fun cowboy romance that will make you want a cowboy of your own.

Cover
Cute

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Review: The House at Tyneford - Natasha Solomons


It's the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay, where servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn. But war is coming, and the world is changing. When the master of Tyneford's young son, Kit, returns home, he and Elise strike up an unlikely friendship that will transform Tyneford-and Elise-forever.

Genre: Historical fiction, Pages: 368, Published: December 2011 by Plume, Source: For review

My thoughts:
The book was both heartbreaking, breathtaking and lovely at the same time. You know it will be sad when the heroine is a Jew during WWII but I still cling to hope, it could happen. The ending itself is bittersweet and fitting and could have made me cry.

The story is about Elise who becomes a maid in England just before the start of the war. Her mother is a famous opera singer, her father an obscure novelist. She is not fit for service really, but does her best. her luck is the household she ends up in, good Mr Rivers who took a chance on her. Friends she meets and then there is Kit. It is a new era, but there are still things you just do not do, and a servant and the young master of the house is one of those things that can't be. Here comes the romance and friendship. But over all this is the shadow of war and him being young we all know what that means.

The war is looked at from the sidelines. A shortage of things, German planes in the sky, the army taking over more and more land for their own purpose. The house becoming more and more empty as men leave for war and women for factories. In that the book is rather silent in a way, it does not scream and shout that the war is here. Instead it breaks your heart a piece at a time. And my heart did feel like it was breaking a few times. There is this balance between happiness and hope. A balance that makes it impossible for me to put the book down. I just wanted to read, I just needed to know. Would everyone be happy in the end?

It was a truly lovely book that I just fell for more and more for while reading. And I still think about it while writing this.

Conclusion:
Downton Abbey is popular at the moment so fans of that should definitely give it a go. Along with the rest of you. Because it is a book for everyone. I do recommend it. 

Cover:
Fitting

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Book Tour: The Dragon's Harp - Rachel Pruitt



Welcome to the Book tour stop for The Dragon's Harp by Rachel Pruitt. And today's reviewer is Anachronist. 

Review: The Dragon’s Harp by Rachel Pruitt (Era of Dragon’s: The Lost Tales of Gwenhwyfar series #01)

Synopsis:

The novel is set in northern Wales during the 5th century CE and its narration follows the coming of age of a young Ordovici princess of Dinas Emrys, Gwenhwyfar. It is the first person narration – elderly Gwen tells the story of her life to a serving girl. Yes, she is the future wife of Arthur and Merlin/Emrys is actually her uncle but she is also a small, unruly, stubborn girl, much loved and surrounded by her family. She grows up in very uncertain times so soon enough must face harsh reality of war, plunder, murders, rape and betrayal. Will she find her inner strength to fight for her integrity and for those she loves? Will she dare to develop her unusual gifts to oppose dark, greedy druids and witches? Will Merlin, forever busy abroad, allegedly tutoring an important young princeling in the South, finally find time to help her?

What I liked:

Firstly and foremostly I loved the fact that the author really, truly did her homework concerning the period she wrote about. Mind you she did it with passion and it was felt. The narration rang true, the life of little Gwenhwyfar seemed as historically correct as it was only possible - I couldn’t help smiling e.g. when I stumbled on the Chi Ro symbol early Christians used most likely instead of a crucifix or a cross. 5th century Wales is presented as a real place, without idealizing the living conditions or problems its inhabitants faced. I am a sucker for good historical fiction, firmly based on the remnants and relicts from the appropriate era and here it was clear Ms Pruitt is a real history junkie who digs deep and is creative with her findings! It was a pleasure!

I liked the red dragon, called Cymry (guess why such name was given to it ;p) which I suppose is a nice symbol of the magical aspect of the book. It wasn’t overdone but impressive enough, more like a natural magic than something flashy and loud. Bad druids and good druids seemed a very sensible idea –after all nobody said Julius Caesar, who gave them a very bad opinion in bulk writing his memoirs, was the most objective source of knowledge. They were his enemies and he was clearly afraid of them.

I liked how Celtic women were made almost as powerful as their husbands if not actually more dangerous than any warrior. Gwen, just a child and then a teen, is presented as a kick-ass princess, not some whimpering bimbo or a shallow twit whose flirtatious was led to the destruction of Camelot.; her Grandma, Rhiannon, is actually even better! Also Sari, a slave girl from an Arabic country turned a Celtic seer, and Hrwych, Gwen’s nurse and friend, were a very nice addition!

Now something about the baddies: they were really good as well, both men and women who, in the end, happened to be one big ‘loving’ family! The main villain, Maelgwyn, Gwen’s other uncle, is handsome and rotten to the core – what a bliss!! – but his daughter is actually even better (or rather worse) a piece of art, nothing less, and of course as cute as a button! I am looking forward to meeting them again! Mind you it is a novel written clearly with a more mature audience in mind – not a fairy tale for children. There is one especially disturbing scene of an attempted rape (the victim being a minor) and then the would-be rapist is punished in a really ugly, brutal way – consider yourself warned.

Finally the cover art is lovely! Those red curls and this dagger!

What I didn’t like:

At first I couldn’t relate to Gwen. Not really. Only later, when she stopped behaving like a spoiled brat I warmed to her a bit. I think Lleu, her father’s ward and her main squeeze in this part, was a far more interesting, although secondary character. Well, it might change. I started reading this novel not being aware that it is a beginning of a series – there will be four more books or so I found out! Now I want more! Is there any justice? None!

Final verdict:

A charming story, very unlike any novel based on Arthurian cycle I’ve read so far. I only hope it will be as original and entertaining till the very end. Writing all five parts on the same high level – that’s a real challenge! I recommend it to readers who like  Arthurian cycle stories but told in a more contemporary and historical way, without completely inadequate knights in shining armours and damsels in distress and a heavy dress (thus the distress I suppose).



Rachael Pruitt's Website: http://www.rachaelpruitt.com
Rachael Pruitt on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EraOfDragons
Twitter Event Hashtag: DragonsHarpVirtualBookTour



SYNOPSIS
ENTER THE WORLD OF THE DRAGON’S HARP ARTHURIAN HISTORICAL FANTASY FOR THE 21st CENTURY Before Gwenhwyfar became Queen - before Arthur met Merlin - a tribal Welsh princess met a young Heatherlands Mage. Together, they will create a legend. Inside a mist of beauty and brutality waits the Arthurian legend as you’ve never heard it before. Enter the world of THE DRAGON'S HARP, a realm of blood lust and vengeance, of spellbinding magic from the beginning of time. The realm of Princess Gwenhwyfar: a young girl torn between magic and desire, born with magical powers she can either wield to save her people from destruction - or deny to save her soul. IN AN ERA OF DRAGONS A YOUNG GIRL COMES OF AGE First in a five book series of historical fantasy, Rachael Pruitt’s unique take on a beloved legend reintroduces the mythic characters of Gwenhwyfar, Merlin, and Vortigern against the gritty backdrop of sixth century Wales, where scenes of shape-shifting and heartbreaking romance vie with torture, murder, and battle in a dragon-haunted land. ERA OF DRAGONS: THE LOST TALES OF GWENHWYFAR: BOOK ONE JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD OF THE DRAGON'S HARP YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!


ABOUT RACHEL PRUITT
My name is Rachael Pruitt and I’m a writer, storyteller, and teacher with a lifelong fascination for Celtic mythology and the Arthurian legend.

My new novel, The Dragon’s Harp, tells the story of the coming of age of the famous Queen Gwenhwyfar (the Welsh spelling for Guinevere) in a dark and frightening time. Merlin is her Uncle and, although she is a tribal Celtic princess who possesses both power and magic, she is in great danger from both the human and supernatural realms.

Dragon’s Harp is just the beginning! I have plans for four more books about Gwenhwyfar and Merlin’s lives. The books are called Era of Dragons: The Lost Tales of Gwenhwyfar.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Review: Run rabbit Run - Kate Johnson


Sophie’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday. Sophie Green’s an ex-spy, or trying to be. You wouldn’t believe the trouble she’s in. An MI5 officer has been shot with her gun, her fingerprints all over his office. And no, she didn’t kill him. But she has gone on the run. 

Now Sophie’s desperately seeking whoever’s trying to frame and kill her. She’s being forced to work with the least trustworthy man in Europe, MI5 is following her every move, and she’s had to leave the tall, blond, god of a man she loves behind. 

Luke Sharpe works for MI6. Or did, until his girlfriend became a murder suspect. Doing nothing wasn’t an option, so he started investigating. Who cares if it is means jeopardising his career? Sophie’s everything he used to say he never wanted. Young, irresponsible, bright and mad. Now she’s just everything – and she has to live. 

She will live, won’t she?

Series: Sophie Green #5, Pages: 350, Genre: Romantic Suspense, Published: April 7 2012 by Choc Lit, Source: For review

My thoughts:
There are books before this one, but this book it the first book relased by Choc lit, and I decided to give it a go (ok I might have missed the part of a series thing ;) But it still worked great as a stand alone, you did not need to know Sophie from before and this was certainly a new adventure for her. 

The book starts with a bang, Sophie in the run. And the book never slows down, Sophie keeps on running from the MI5 while trying to figure out who is after her. I kept on wondering if she would manage this cos in the end I could not know (there could always be another book). Suspense and action is certainly found, together with a chilling intrigue. Who can be trusted? Who framed Sophie? Who is the man she meets on the run? Because of the non-stop thrill-ride you never get bored. 

Sophie as a heroine is different. She thinks too fast, she is not patient, she loves pink and Buffy. She is human, not some suave spook (thinking of James Bond here). For that I like her. Luke her boyfriend is nice too, but he is the true James Bond type. Privilegied, smooth, but totally smitten by his some what trashy girlfriend. Sadly as she is on the run they do not have much time together. But we do get to see his POV a few times as he misses her and tries to clear her name. 

Conclusion:
It's a book that takes hold of you and never lets go, and you know what, it would make one cool movie.

Cover:
Works

Monday, 9 April 2012

Reviews: For I have Sinned - Darynda Jones + 8 - Michael Mullin

For I have Sinned by Darynda Jones
A Charley Davidson short story

Darynda Jones revisits the sexy, suspenseful world of supernatural shenanigans she created in her Grave series with For I Have Sinned.  In this Charley Davidson story, Charley helps a woman find out how she died and gives her the closure she needs to pass through to the other side.

Series: Charley Davidson #1,5, Genre: PNR/UF, Pages: 32, Published 2011 by St:Martin's Press, Source: My own


My thoughts:
This was a short story taking place after the first book, so if you haven't read that one you might be lost, or not.

As I never know how to review these I will just make it short: A woman falls down in Charley's flat. Why is she dead? Charley finds out and the woman finds peace. A nice short novella between me having read book 1 and waiting to get a hold of book 2.

We also see a glimpse as Reyes and that just makes me want to read book 2 even more. I need to know. I want more.

--------------------------------------------------------------
8: The Previously Untold Story of the Previously Unknown 8th Dwarf by Michael Mullin

Written in verse, this is the previously untold story of the previously unknown 8th dwarf, named Creepy. He is banished to the basement for being different and, well, weird. Yet he plays a vital - and of course previously unknown - role in the popular tale of Snow White – whose title character is an intruder Creepy refers to as "the Maid".


Pages: 7, Genre: Fairy-tale, Published: 2010

My thoughts:
Now this was a fun and weird short story. The 8 dwarf who the other dwarves found creepy and locked in the basement. The ones who yes is actually really creepy and who watched Snow White show up. A Snow White who sure is a bit of an idiot. Who falls for the same stunt over and over?

Fun and short is the word.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Flash FictionFriday on Saturday

Every Monday Dottie over at Tink's Place posts a picture and then on Friday (Flash Fiction Friday) we post a story to go along with the picture. The story has to be about 350 words, give or take.



Easter
by Blodeuedd

One had to die this Easter and it would not be him.  He had hunted the bastard for years now, following the scent all over the world. From mansions to tiny houses where they left boots outside to welcome the evil creature. Not knowing what they were letting in. Tancred lived at the edge of society; humans would never know he was real, or that anything was real. But the furry shit had been sighted one time too many and if it happened again all hell would break loose. Humans were not ready, so not ready. They were monkeys still in his eyes. But he had a job to finish. With a sigh he jumped over the hedge and stared at a little girl clapping her hands in joy when she found a present. No, he was not here. He had moved on and so would Tancred. That was the story; he was always one step behind.

When he had first been given the assignments he had thought it was a joke. He was used to assassinating goblins and bridge trolls, but the Easter Bunny? But then when you went dark you went dark, and the Easter bunny had been a very bad bunny. More than one corps had been left behind with a present of chocolate eggs next to it. Humans called the serial murderer the Easter Bunny. Tancred laughed when he first saw the headline; those darn idiots were spot on and did not even know it.

But he was patient and he moved and sniffed around. The trail was back. He took out his sword and jumped over a fence. There! The Easter Bunny was looking around with suspicion but relaxed and took out his little basket with candy. The eyes glowed red in the dark and the little fangs glistened with blood.
Now I have you, Tancred thought quickly shot a dart at the bunny, but the bunny staggered around and Tancred swore. So he came out and with one sweep the head was down. The Bunny was dead.

A scream echoed in the village and he swore. He looked at the little girl and with a stroke of his sword she was dead too. No witnesses. Lights were being turned on and he took the dead bunny, made sure the blood was gone and left the little girl dead next to the chocolate eggs. The serial killer struck again. He did feel bad, but then again, she was just another ape.


_:::::::::::::::::::::::

I am evil I know. Good is evil too

And someone new joined in :D Yay! Welcome Carole Rae



GO ENTER :D

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Stalking the Others by Jess Haines

Stalking the Others

by Jess Haines

Giveaway ends June 22, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
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