Thursday, 31 January 2013

Review: Divergent - Veronica Roth


In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

My thoughts:
Another book that was really hyped about. Sure it was good, but was it mind blowing in any way? Nope. The only good thing was a compelling story that I read fast.

Will I still go all snarky on it? Oh yes. No amount of good will save this book. Sure I am pissed that book 2 is borrowed since I would want to read it at once, but I have the flu and I wanna tear something apart.

The world building was not good. I need more people! This was not enough. The entire system of factions was beyond stupid. I did not fit a single one, humans are not such simple creatures. And this would stop war and shit? Ha! Humans are not that simple. So the factions and the world was a fail. Dauntless, oh do not even get me started on those idiots. Brave equals stupid it seems. And the whole system also throws away people, now how is that a better world? Why have factions at all? And of course there are divergents cos as I said, humans are not simple.

The heroine Tris is of course the savior of mankind, a weak little girl that is not in fact weak but rises to the challenge. Ok I did like her even if she was a little too good for her own good. Then there is a love interest and I am happy to see no triangle, but hey this is book 1 so that might happen still (I sure hope not).

Conclusion:
But in the end, like I said,a compelling story that made me want more. But an epic dystopian masterpiece? No. For that I need to question society, and here that was way too simple do to. Too many things not adding up, not explained. Anyway, all things said, I do want to know what happens next. But with my luck it will entirely suck as all part 2 of every freaking dystopia series I have read have done.

Cover: Boooooring

Series: Divergent #2
Genre: YA /dystopia
Pages: 487
Published: 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books
Source. Library

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund


It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

My thoughts:
When I heard about this one I knew I had to read it. A re-telling of Persuasion, and I do love that book. It did not disappoint.

This is a post-apocalyptic world, a dystopian society where The Luddites rule over the reduced and the post-reduced. Genetic experimentation went wrong and some kids were born wrong(The reduced) and after a few generations they did get birth to normal kids but they are still owned. It was a great society, ok do not get me wrong, it was a horrible society, it was just great to read about as I love when an author truly creates something good and well terrible. The world has crumbled, you can't travel across the ocean as you would get lost. Technology (high tech) is forbidden. God punished these people. As you can see, what an awesome premise. I do think it was the world I liked the most.

But ok on to the story. It followed Persuasion in some aspects (I mean after all this is a dystopian messed up society so everything can't be in there). I liked the story of how 18 year old Elliot meets her old friend Kai again. He was owned by them before he ran away. Now he has money and fame as the Posts are making names for themselves. The world is changing. Kai was a bit of an ass (as he should be), he was hurt and Elliott is trying to cope with her new responsibilities. As just as in Persuasion her sister and dad are idiots.

Conclusion:
A good dystopian book, great world, and a love story that even if not in the spotlight, surely burns inside of them.

Series: For darkness shows the stars #1
Genre: Dystopia / Jane Austen variation / YA
Pages: 402
Published: 2012 by Balzer and Bray
Source: Library

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Review: Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver


After escaping from Portland, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community. Weak and grieving for Alex, Lena fights to survive. And then she fights her oppressors.
As the viewpoint shifts between Lena's time in the Wilds and the present day, which is set in Brooklyn, Lena transforms into a warrior for the resistance. In New York City, the grass-roots movement for a Deliria-Free America (the DFA) is gathering strength, and its leader, Thomas Fineman, recruits more supporters by the day. His son Julian--as-yet uncured--heads up the DFA's youth organization. Lena is tasked with blending into the DFA's rallies; she seems to be a supporter yet she is really a spy.

My thoughts:
I really liked book 1. I read it in a sitting and I liked the world. No feelings. Awesome premise. So of course I really looked forward to book 2. Sadly it went down in a flaming piece of pooh.

What went wrong? Honestly? Everything! First of all I spent the first chapters confused. Then that was settled but it still felt messy. See the book have 2 timelines. Then, when she is in the Wilds (yawn) and Now, when she is for some reason in the Resistance. Of course these timelines never met. The whole Now was just confusing.

So then we have that out of the way, the confusing bits. Let's move on to how the book was so freaking boring, blah blah blah. I could care less about anyone in the book or anything in this world.

Ok so this point is not the thing that made the book suck but come on! Yes love triangle. A freaking love triangle in a book where love is classified as a disease. Not to mention that I never felt it.

Moving on again, Lena was boring, not a good heroine this time around. Oh and do not even get me started on how she suddenly turns into a ninja or something. The whole last part was just a fail.

Conclusion:
The only good thing I liked in the entire book was the cliffie in the end. That was actually good. Even if so obvious.

Series: Delirium #2
Genre: Dystopia / YA
Pages: 329
Published: 2010 by Hodder
Source: For review

Monday, 28 January 2013

Review: Fever- Lauren DeStefano


Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.

My thoughts:
I can't even snark that much as nothing happened in this book, and people were drugged much of it too. Hug disappointment.

But first, really..really?! She ends up in a brothel. But does she get sold to the next costumer. Oh no, of course not, instead she gets put on display. Now that is just bad business. If the girl is that damn pretty and special then sell her body. But we can't have that happen to our heroine. So do not let her end up there then. It set the tone for the book and I did not like it. This is supposed to be a horrible future and she *big eye roll*. Lame.

The other problem with the book was that I did not care. Book was tough provoking, here I did not care either way. Women dying at 20,whatever. Women sold to slavery, yawn. Yes you can see my problem. The whole book suffered for it. Nothing happened, she talked with Gabriel (did I feel they were in love..no.) Scary evil father-in law, well ok he was good, cos he was actually evil. The only good thing is the mad scientist.

Conclusion:
And how is this series gonna end. Oh I am sure she is the cure for it all. Did this book made me want to read the next? No thanks. I mean, it was still ok, cos I finished it in no time. It was simple.

Cover
Nice

Series: The Chemical Garden #2
Genre: YA/dystopia
Pages: 341
Published: 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Library

Friday, 25 January 2013

Interview and Giveaway: Jayne Fresina - The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne


On my blog today I interview Jayne Fresina and I will be giving away her new book.

Welcome!

1. Who is Jayne Fresina?
JF: She is a woman who shuffles around the house in worn-out woolly socks, doesn't own a solitary t-shirt that isn't stained, talks to herself, drinks too much coffee, would work for coconut cake and foot massages, eats hot peppers straight from the jar and spends five hours a day writing to maintain a relative degree of sanity. She does not "do" housework or cook—a fact her mother-in-law will verify. As a child she performed weekly shows from a cupboard in her bedroom. One such performance was a one-woman version of "Jaws" complete with a musical interlude for ice-cream. But entertainment for her family is now limited to occasional webcam shenanigans since they are all far apart. Her sisters remain unimpressed by her writing career and only approve of her wicked stories when they can be assured the heroine is based on them. Mostly they claim to have no clue where she gets her ideas. She doesn't know either.

2.  Could you tell me about your new book, The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne?
JF: This is the sequel to The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine and follows the love story of Sophie's badly behaved friend, Ellie and James Hartley, who was once Sophie's fiance. Ellie is quite a wild character who has been engaged more times than she cares to recall, but never been in love. James is a notorious rake just beginning to realize that he won't be able to escape marriage forever. They've known one another —and sparred with one another—for seventeen years. As the book begins, Ellie and James meet up again at a turning point in their lives, when they're both coming to terms with "retirement" from their former wicked ways. But of course they both have different ideas about settling down. When James suddenly gets the idea to marry Ellie, keep her out of trouble and gallantly save the rest of the male species from her antics, she isn't going to make it easy for him - or go quietly to her fate.

3.  Ellie is not a typical woman of her time. Was she fun to write?
JF: Very! I loved her immediately when she made an appearance in Miss Sophie and couldn't wait to write her story. Nor could she wait to tell it! She wanted to make sure the details were all correct and that a certain gentleman wouldn't try to twist things around.

4. How come James is her child-hood nemesis?
JF: The Vynes and the Hartleys have been feuding for years, ever since Ellie's step-uncle had a scandalous affair with James Hartley's mother, breaking up a marriage. The two families have blamed each other for any ill that befell them ever since. Ellie and James both grew up being warned to stay away from each other. But as Ellie says, "No child of ten should be warned not to do something, for then they are most certainly obliged to do that very thing." Unfortunately she once came upon James, fast asleep under a tree, and decided to decorate his face with an ink moustache. He was unaware of it for an entire day, as no one dared tell him. James never got over the humiliation and from that point on it was war. When Ellie made her debut at the age of sixteen, she overheard James making fun of her plump, graceless figure and ridiculing her to all his friends. She made up her mind, there and then, to get her vengeance one day.

5. Tell me 3 things why James is the man to want..
JF: He is loyal, thoughtful and very determined when he makes up his mind. He is also a much nicer and more deserving person than he thinks he is - just needs someone to make him see it. Oops, that's more than three.

6. What is coming next from you?
JF: Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts With Scandal will be released in June 2013 and Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction comes out after that to complete the Sydney Dovedale series. Both Mercy and Molly appear as children in The Wicked Wedding of Ellie Vyne, so readers will get to know a little about them and how they became friends. Once this series is complete I have another in the works with the same publisher (Sourcebooks), which will be set in a slightly earlier period (1815) and follow a new cast of characters - a group of young ladies who form ”The Bookworm Belles Society.”


GIVEAWAY
1 copy of The wicked wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne

Open to US and Canada
Ends Feb 7
Just enter :)


THE WICKED WEDDING OF MISS ELLIE VYNE BY JAYNE FRESINA – IN STORES JANUARY 2013

When a Scandalous Lady…
By night Ellie Vyne fleeces unsuspecting aristocrats as the dashing Count de Bonneville. By day she avoids her sisters' matchmaking schemes and dreams up torments for her childhood nemesis—the arrogant, far-too-handsome-for-his-own-good James Hartley. Her latest prank: "winning" the Hartley diamonds in a card game from James's mistress.

Steals from a Notorious Rake… 
James finally has a lead on the thieving Count de Bonneville, tracking him to a disreputable inn. He bursts in on none other than the brazen, irritating, nearly naked Ellie Vyne. Convinced she is the count's mistress, James decides it's best to keep his enemies close. Very close. He must get those diamonds back, and seducing Ellie will be the perfect bait.

It Can Only End in a Wicked Wedding…

Praise for The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne:
“[The characters] banter and quibble with comic perfection...” —Publishers Weekly

“Readers who adore wickedly funny, fast and sassy romances will delight in Fresina’s latest. The naughty desire-in-disguise theme, coupled with sharp, hilarious repartee, steals the reader’s heart...” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Fresina brings a unique voice and perspective to the 1820s romance novel. Fans of Grace Burrowes and Amanda Quick will especially appreciate Fresina’s intriguing characters and humor.” —Booklist 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jayne Fresina sprouted up in England, the youngest in a family of four girls.  Entertained by her father’s colorful tales of growing up in the countryside, and surrounded by opinionated sisters— all with far more exciting lives than hers— she’s always had inspiration for her beleaguered heroes and unstoppable heroines. Her next novel in the Sydney Dovedale regency romance series, Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal, will be in stores in June 2013. For more information, please visit www.jaynefresina.com and check out her blog: http://jaynefresinaromanceauthor.blogspot.com/. 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Rameau Reviews: Losing it - Cora Carmack


The premise of this novel is really promising: A chance encounter that leads to a taboo relationship between a theatre student and her professor. It’s a shame that it was wasted on such a poor story about a naive little girl and a man whose only charm was his British accent.

As the title says Losing It is about Bliss Edward’s quest to lose her virginity at twenty two and before she graduates from college. She’s supposedly held on to it this far because she’s a control freak and not at all attracted to all the wannabe actors in her theatre school. The control makes her a good stage manager but it doesn’t exactly hinder her acting either, which is just a blatant contradiction. The head of the department points this out to Bliss:

”You’ve always been a bit too in your head, I suppose. Controlled. Careful. Mechanical, might be the best word for it. But in those auditions—you were living in the moment. You were feeling instead of thinking. I saw shades of emotion in you—strength and vulnerability, desire and disgust, hope and shame—that were quite simply captivating. I don’t know what you’re doing or what you’ve done, but please continue. You’re much better when you make bold choices.”

So, we’re told in Bliss’ narration and with the voice of an authority that she was controlled and careful, but we’re never actually shown it. Bliss is way too comfortable in her small group of friends to classify as socially awkward. She is at best a naive little girl who hasn’t fully embraced the risks and rewards of being an adult. She’s afraid and that fear is what spurs her into drinking herself silly, ignoring a lovely boy flirting with her at the bar, and falling all over a stranger with A BRITISH ACCENT. (I’m just typing as it was in the book.)

Maybe I’m being a little cruel, but from the start Garrick Taylor’s defining characteristic is his British accent, and that’s really not enough for me. I have this vague impression that Garrick had his sweet moments and that he was patient with Bliss when she was freaking out over nothing, but those possible good guy moments were overshadowed by the lack of chemistry between the couple and the sexist red flags that would have had me and any other woman with a speck common sense run away from him.

Let’s not forget the most important part, the great illicit love affair that never was. Garrick is in the know from the start. He knows he’s a teacher and he knows he lives in an area close to the school where college students might live. And yet when Bliss confesses living practically next door, he follows her and would have sex with her, if she didn’t grab the nearest flimsy excuse and run away from her apartment and the naked boy in her bed.  

That’s another thing, Kelsey, a supposed friend of Bliss’—what ever happened to her?—repeatedly calls Garrick a boy before they learn that he’s their new professor. The cover shows a boy, and I’m supposed to believe Garrick is an adult, a man? Umm, okay?

When the truth about their power dynamics comes out in chapter seven, it’s only a momentary disruption. Garrick soon decides it’s not enough to keep him away from Bliss. Neither of them really acts like they’re doing something they’re not supposed to be doing, although Bliss occasionally thinks she shouldn’t. There isn’t any of that delicious angst of a forbidden love and sexual tension building up between the main couple the blurb promises, and all the emotional stress is reserved for Bliss’ relationship with her friend Cade, who is quite unnecessarily in love with her.

It says a lot about the romance when I’m ready to cheer for two other minor characters to win the wishy-washy girl rather than the apparent love interest. In two words: It sucks. This book’s only saving grace is that it’s not romanticising an abusive psychopath—that’s because it hardly romanticises anything—but unfortunately for Carmack that’s no longer enough to inflate the rating. 

P.S. I really didn’t like how the gay character was portrayed.

1 star

Series: N/A
Pages: 204 (ebook)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Imprint: William Morrow
ISBN: 0988393506
Published: October 12th 2012
Source: Bought


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Reviews: Secret McQueen 0,5 and 2,5


They say it's impossible to find a man in New York City. Secret McQueen needs to find two in one night. Of course, it ll mean pulling off the impossible find and kill a displaced rogue vampire without disrupting the first promising date she s had in ages. As a werewolf hybrid used to walking a fine line of survival in the vampire world, though, Secret eats impossible for breakfast.

Somewhere between hello and the first round of drinks, Secret makes her move. Her target, Hollywood s biggest star, shouldn t be hard to spot. Just look for swarms of fans. Except every time her vampire liaison, Holden, helps keep her mission on track, her date runs further off the rails.

Either Holden has a hidden agenda, or he knows more than he s letting on about her quarry. One way or another, Secret is determined to get her man, and meet Mr. Right. Or die trying.

My thoughts:
As you all are aware of now I do not like writing reviews for novellas. What to say? Not to mention that most make me want more, and not in a good way. Here I did want more too cos I love the books, and 47 pages is way too little Secret.

Anyway, blind date, off to kill a Hollywood star, Holden being Holden and some ass kicking :)

I am glad though that I read this one now first, cos prequel are almost never as good as the real thing.


It's the most wonderful time of the year. The season for mistletoe, Christmas lights...and a killing spree. When Secret's friend, Detective Mercedes Castilla, asks for help to solve a series of murders longer than a string of lights, Secret resigns herself to the fact her holidays will be anything but peaceful.

It seems someone is killing New Yorkers in an unusually gruesome way, and as the bodies pile up faster than presents under the tree, the police are no closer to finding the killer than Secret is to finding the perfect present for one of her boyfriends, Lucas.

Tracking down a monster in Manhattan the week before Christmas is almost as difficult as shopping for her ever-expanding collection of loved ones. When tragedy strikes close to home, Secret must do everything in her power to put an end to the horror in time for Santa to come down the chimney.

My thoughts:
A holiday novella where Secret gets to meet Des' parents for the first time, scaaary! ;)

Some cute time between her and Des (love ya Des!). Some tension between her and Holden.

And of course the hunt for a really creepy serial killer who leaves bodyparts as a gift. Just your typical paranormal NY xmas.

Both Novellas from 2011 by Samhain Publishing
Source: Own

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Interview and Giveaway: Shona Husk - For the love of a goblin warrior


Welcome :) Today I have Shona Husk over for an interview and I will be giving away her new book.

1. Who is Shona Husk?
SH: Author, mother, civil designer, dark chocolate lover...I wear a lot of hats like most people :) 

2.  Could you tell me about your new book For the Love of the Goblin Warrior?
SH: For the Love of the Goblin Warrior is Meryn’s story. He gave into the curse and has been living as a goblin in the Shadowlands for nearly two thousand years. Now he is free and back in our world he has some decisions to make. It’s a story of redemption and healing as well as seeing how a Celtic warrior adapts to modern society and while he has help from Nadine she has her own issues to deal with—including learning the truth about her mother’s death.

3.  How did you decide that goblins were the ones to write about?
SH: I had been writing Vampires, but then I decided I wanted to write something different. Goblins were a 2am idea that took hold. I’ve always liked Beauty and the Beast, and in this case the hero was truly hideous to look at, getting the heroine to see past the exterior and into the Goblin King’s heart was a challenge. As I was writing the first book I knew what the next two were and how the trilogy would end.

4. And how did you manage to make them sexy? ;)
SH: Because the heroine finds the hero attractive, the reader can as well. It’s through her eyes we see the hero and discover there is more to him than being a goblin. I think it is also because of the heroine that the hero can see himself as more than a goblin. Certainly in For the Love of a Goblin Warrior it is Nadine that helps Meryn realize that if he wants to be human, and all that entails, he has to fight for it and become a better person, instead of half goblin. 

5. Who is your favorite lost Celtic warrior so far?
SH: Ohhh, that is such a hard question. That’s like asking me to pick my favorite child. I liked them all for very different reasons. Roan was such a doomed king and yet he kept fighting. Dai was tortured and dark, and far more powerful than he realized. But Meryn has heart—he knows what love is and even though he’s been terribly wounded before he isn’t afraid to try again.

6. What is coming next from you?
SH: In July 2013, I have a new series starting with The Outcast Prince (Annwyn #1). This series is about the fairy rulers of the underworld. But between now and then I also have some novellas out, Dark Secrets (weird west with magic and guns and a hero with an unusual profession), Ruby’s Ghost which is a new adult book about a young man caught between life and death, and an erotic sci-fi romance called Lunar Exposure.

GIVEAWAY
1 copy of the goblin warrior.

1. Open worldwide!
2. Ends Feb 5th
3. Just enter :)

FOR THE LOVE OF A GOBLIN WARRIOR BY SHONA HUSK – IN STORES JANUARY 2013

In a Faraway Land...
There lived a man who was trapped—his only companions a horde of goblins consumed by their lust for gold. He thought he was lost forever, thought that no one would ever remember he'd been noble.

A Fearless Warrior…
Now he has been thrust into the human world once again, but so much has changed. How can he ever be rid of the darkness after so long in the Shadowlands?

It Starts with Dreams of a Castle...
And a woman who takes his breath away and makes him forget the pain of his past. He knows he must protecet her at all costs. And perhaps in saving her, he can finally learn to love again.

Praise for The Goblin King:
"Steamy, sensual, and dangerous...Dark and delicious." —Fresh Fiction
"Shona Husk put together an amazing story about loss, love, redemption, and discovery." —Night Owl Reviews Top Pick
"A wonderfully dark and sensual fairy tale." —Jessa Slade, author of Seduced by Shadows

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A civil designer by day and an author by night, Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Drawing on history, myth, and imagination, she writes about heroes who are armed and dangerous but have a heart of gold–sometimes literally. Look for the other books in the Shadowlands Series, The Goblin King and Kiss of the Goblin Prince, available now. In July 2013, Shona will begin another dark paranormal series with The Outcast Prince! For more information, please visit www.shonahusk.com

To purchase For the Love of a Goblin Warrior:

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Lady Scoundrels' Saturday: Battle Royale


We are back and today we are bringing you a Scoundrel review of

 Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

At first I had planned for short reviews and links to the longer but I do not want to censure thoughts in the end. Especially since Sense and Scorn are so awesome at what they do :) First up is Scorn as she brings us a synopsis.

Synopsis:
Welcome to a dystopian East Asian country (like Japan but larger) where people live happily and peacefully under the watchful eye of your average, sadistic Dictator. In order to keep things straight under control once a year a class of 15-year-old junior high kids is sent to an enclosed location. The kids are given different weapons at random, weapons as different as an Uzi is different from an ice pick or a crossbow from a fork, a day pack with a bottle of water and they are told to go and kill each other. The last survivor wins. It is called the Program. If it serves a purpose nobody knows what purpose exactly.

In order to ensure there is no cheating (you know those pesky teens, they always cheat) each of the students is fitted with a nice shiny collar which allows to track them and listen to their conversations. The collar has also an in-built explosive device. No deaths for longer than 24 hours? All participants are eliminated. More than one survivor? All the rest is eliminated as well. Trying to hide somewhere for too long or trying to run away? The same outcome – you are blown up to smithereens.

You follow 42 students – the newest batch of victims – who have to participate in the Program. Who will win this time: energetic Yukie, the class Representative, selfish and manipulative Mitsuke, acting as if she was a female Yakuza mobster, mysterious Kazuo, a boy so gifted and so calm that he is followed and admired even by thugs, Noriko, just your ordinary, averagely pretty girl, or maybe Shuya, a kind orphan boy who likes those forbidden rock and roll songs and plays the electric guitar? Or maybe somebody else? Can anybody truly be a winner in such circumstances?

What I liked:
There were many stories included in one bigger story and I found them the best part of  this book. More than dozen of students were given an opportunity to tell you about their hopes and fears. Because of that they became real, three-dimensional characters, not just a shooting range dummies. It was really the "good stuff"  for me - watching all the little petty relationships, conflicts and problems you have when you are 15 suddenly twisted horribly by the extreme fear of knowing only one person will be allowed to live and your classmates and friends have to become your deadly enemies.

Of course there was violence, quite a lot of it, but I would compare it to one of these cheesy movies of Tarantino - you are disgusted, you know it is bad but you still want to watch. Indeed it might be treated as great entertainment only by people with a tolerance for high amounts of guts-and-gore, but, as it was also a really well-done study of the psychology of extreme fear and included some insights about totalitarianism as well  somehow I managed to survive. The personal stories, often told in an almost poetic way, stop Battle Royale from spiraling into a mindless bloodbath.

What I didn’t like:
First let me tell you that the first 50-60 pages were downright boring. Then the action accelerated and here I hit another snag - Battle Royale was a lot more graphic than I'd imagined. So instead of puking up the contents of my stomach, I just skipped the paragraphs describing blood and bashed-in brains. In fact from time to time the plot was so childish that it reminded me those computer games when you kill and kill and kill and finally you forget about the reason why you keep doing it because it doesn’t matter as long as the next opponent lies, neutralized, in a puddle of blood. Frankly the detailed descriptions of different violent deaths were horribly ridiculous.

What’s more even from the first chapter the plot was rather obvious – you could guess with a high success rate who would be killed and how soon.  The style of the narrative I also found a bit uneven, or maybe it was the problem with the translation, I really can’t tell. Anyway the descriptions were very anime, which makes me think that if the writing had been really beautiful, or if any of the emotions had been deeper, I may have liked this book a lot better.

Finally the ending…I must say I was completely disappointed by it. It was a ridiculous and artificial construction of a plot-twist after a plot-twist (so you thought they were really dead?! No! They are alive! No, wait, they are going to be dead soon...or maybe not?). I was not amused.

Final verdict:
Personally I liked this novel despite its many flaws but in my view it is not perfect and certainly not for everybody. Still cult novels (yes, it is one of them) are so hard to resist so how to tell whether or not it is your next best thing? Well, if you salivate at the mere thought of a book which combines Manga and Anime poesy, Hunger Games-style action, Lord of the Flies political undercurrents and an amount of atrocities straight from Quentin Tarantino movies this might be a perfect read for you. Do not read it if you are feeling nauseous even after my quite innocuous synopsis. Helpful? I hope so.

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

And now on to what Sense has to say



What can I say about this black and red covered brick that hasn’t been said already? 

Not much. Nothing at all.

The translation sucks. It’s uneven, sloppy, and it’s painful to read at times. It’s the reason I kept putting this book down and reading something else instead. It’s not, however, enough to hide the great story underneath. 

The beginning of the novel is bogged down by long infodumbs explaining the game, the government’s approach, and pointing out most if not all of the 42 players. That’s a lot of names and factoids for a reader to remember and I wish the author had just picked a handful of core characters to properly introduce before hitting the “start game” button. Takami doesn’t have any trouble introducing new characters later in the book while detailing the progress of the killing game, and I don’t understand why he couldn’t have used that same tactic from the start. And that’s what I loved most about this book. As bloody and gory as it is, it also gives voices and personalities to even the most obnoxious characters. They were the best part of this book.

The heroes and heroine, however, were not. Noriko redeemed herself somewhat towards the end, but in doing so she took away Shuya’s last chance to morph into an interesting character. Of the three, both in the book and the film, most interesting was Shogo. You can guess how I felt about that moment on the mountain top, if you’ve read the book.

There are two endings for this story, the first on the island and the second off the island. I would’ve loved had the first been the final ending, but I can understand why the second one exists. The confrontation with the government representative was necessary because of the world Takami created and because of the message he wanted to convey at the end. 

I could have preferred had it been done without the lyrics, though.

.........................

And now on to Sensitivity (and I still claim I should be called Silly cos I have been harsh lately haha)




As ebooks always have funky pages I can't say for how long the book was REALLY boring, 60 pages perhaps. So very boring. If this had not been a Scoundrel book then I would have given up long before. So I read, but then I started to grow tired by it all again. It was not that it was bad, it as just long, and I read fantasy books longer than this. But it was slow and boring at times, and at other times it was really good

By page 300 or so I started to skim, and skimming on an e-reader takes time, so I still read most of it.

Why did it not work: A very SLOW beginning. The flashbacks, come on, flashbacks all the time, while I was all just kill each other and put me out of my misery. Also, what was up with the constant "who do you have a crush on?" Really, people are running around chopping each other to pieces and still everyone seems to take time and talk about crushes. I would be hiding and not talking..oh and checking so no one comes near. Stupid teens.

The violence was not that violent actually. I mean yes it was violent, but I would not say it was that graphic. Also it was interesting to compare with the Hunger Games. Yup she def took a few things from this one. And The Hunger games is a 8 year old girl's bday party compared to this book. Sure it's an adult book but you catch my drift. Games to the death should be bloody and freaking horrible.

I also did not like that there was no point to the Games. Other than a fucked up society. And the end, I did not like the end. I want conclusions. Not something that leaves me hanging. I hate that shit.

Good at times, boring at times. It gets an ok grade for me for that. Still an interesting insight into a society that is just all kinds of messed up.

The END

Friday, 18 January 2013

Rameau Reviews: In His Eyes - Emmie Dark


This is a well written Harlequin romance, but it just didn’t enthrall me as I expected it would. 

Zoe Waters returns to Tangawarra to bury her grandfather and sell the family vineyard after a decade’s absence. She’s basically been on the run from rumours and her past ever since she left and it’s a high time she reconciled with things she couldn’t change. Part of that is facing an old neighbour and lover, Hugh Lawson, who wants to expand his business and buy Zoe’s family legacy. Neither of them expects to regress back to their teens at the sight of each other but that’s exactly what happens. 

It made sense for Zoe to act the way she did, to resort to her old tools for coping, but it didn’t make it any more enjoyable to read. I’m tired of reading about adults acting like teens and teens acting like adults. Where are the adults who act like adults? Teens acting like teens should stay in YA and in minor roles in romance novels written for adults. 

The plot and the tangled history were quite straightforward, predictable and pleasant to read. Just as Zoe’s characterisation and actions made sense, so did Hugh’s although I never really connected with him either. Dark writes well—competent is the word I want to use—but it lacks the spark that elevates a story above all others in my eyes. I wouldn’t mind reading more from her in the future, I just doubt she’ll ever make it on my list of favourite authors.

3 stars



Series: N/A
Pages: 288 (paperback)
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Superromance
ISBN: 1459235398
Published: August 1st 2012
Source: Bought

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Review: A Memory of Light - Robert Jordan


In the Field of Merrilor the rulers of the nations gather to join behind Rand al’Thor, or to stop him from his plan to break the seals on the Dark One’s prison – which may be a sign of his madness, or the last hope of humankind. Egwene, the Amyrlin Seat, leans toward the former.

In Andor, the Trollocs seize Caemlyn.

In the wolf dream, Perrin Aybara battles Slayer.

Approaching Ebou Dar, Mat Cauthon plans to visit his wife Tuon, now Fortuona, Empress of the Seanchan.

All humanity is in peril – and the outcome will be decided in Shayol Ghul itself. The Wheel is turning, and the Age is coming to its end. The Last Battle will determine the fate of the world . . .

My thoughts:
Once upon a time long long ago a young girl newly addicted to fantasy went looking for more to read. And so she found The Wheel of Time and fell happily in love. Fast forward almost 17 years and I finally got the last book. In the mean time the author passed away and my heart was broken until I heard that Brandon Sanderson would finish it from Jordan's notes.

Honestly what can I say. For the first 300 pages I was all I have it! I have it!!! I did not stop to eat or even pee. I just read on. I read on while bf was looking for books at the library (as we had just been by the post office to get my book). I was a zombie that did not want to stop. Had I not had a job I would have read all night long. Now sadly that did not work :(

900 pages of battles, of death, destruction, heart ache, surprises. I can't say anything because that would spoil it all. A thrilling conclusion.

But I can say that I hate the effing Seanchan. Haha, what else is new. They are just a messed up slave society.

Rand, aww, I remember why I had a character crush on him in the first place. Some characters disappointed me, some made me happy, some made me sad.

And the end then. I feel very conflicted about the end. It was the end I had seen. I am happy about the end, but at the same time the end made me want more. It felt like there could be more. Maybe I am just sad that it's the end. I have spent too many years in this world. Oh I want to re-read book 1 again :D

Conclusion:
It was a great finish to this series, I will miss it and of course I recommend this series to all. Even if some of those middle books move slowly ;) But the thing is that when I read them the first time around I devoured them all.

Cover:
Really? I know that he got an older look in his eyes after he accepted his faith but this guy looks like 40

Series: The Wheel of Time #14
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 909
Published: January 2013 by TOR
Source: Own

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Review: Feed - Mira Grant


The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will get out, even if it kills them.

My thoughts:
I did want more, this is after all Seanan McGuire we are talking about, but then nothing compare to her October books. I love those.

The book was well written, it threw a few punches that made me sit up but for me, yeah, me and thrillers are not exactly a couple. And that is what it was. Lots of politics as they were covering a candidate running for office, political conspiracies and newstalk. Eh, not my cup of tea, and it made some parts of this book frankly a bit boring.

It was still a good book, a book I enjoyed and still finished in a day. But you know not a book that I need to buy book 2 of. I still want to read book 2 and see what happens, but not a buying urge. Here I go again complaining about a book that still was good, yes please do not get me wrong. The book was good! It was just dry at times.

I do not have much more to say. Cool characters, a bit of info dumping (but then we are dealing with zombies and I do want things explained so it was all good).

And I did not see that end coming...

Conclusion:
I just wanted more of...something.

Cover:
Meh

Series: Newsflesh trilogy #1
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic /political thriller /zombies
Pages: 571
Published: 2010 by Orbit
Source. Library


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Review: Blooded and Full Blooded - Amanda Carlson


Jessica McClain was born the only female in an all male race. The only problem is-she's no wolf. Called a curse, a witch and the Daughter of Evil by the superstitious wolves, Jessica decides to fight for her freedom, at age nineteen, the only way she can-in the ring. 
When she's brutally attacked right after her fight, is it enough to finally earn her freedom off Compound, or will she be forced to endure the hatred even longer . . . 

My thoughts:
I usually do not care that much for novellas, because they always make me want more. And not in a good way. Instead it's in the too short! I need more! way. But here it worked, I felt that this could stand on its own and it did make me want more. This time in a good way.

It starts with a fight. Jessica is fighting for her life, she is human, he is a wolf. I felt so sorry for her as everyone (well almost) hates her and see her as the bringer of doom. So they bully and fight her. And she wants to get away.

It was an action filled novella that brought all the players to the table and I swear, I need so see some of these idiots die slowly and painfully.

Conclusion:
More please 

Series: Jessica McClain #0,5
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: 66

After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamoring to take a bite out of her and her new Pack must rise up and protect her.

But not everyone is on board. The werewolf Rights of Laws is missing text and the superstitious werewolves think that Jessica means an end to their race. It doesn’t help when Jessica begins to realize she’s more. She can change partway and hold her form, and speak directly to her wolf. But the biggest complication by far is that her alpha father can't control her like he can the rest of his wolves.

When a mercenary who’s been hired by the vampires shows up to extract information about the newly turned werewolf only days after her change, they find themselves smack in the middle of a war and there's no choice but to run together. When it’s up to Jessica to negotiate her release against her father’s direct orders, she chooses to take an offer for help instead. In exchange, Jessica must now swear an oath she may end up repaying with her life.

My thoughts:
 The prequel promised something good and that it was. A heroine who is the only female werewolf in the world. There just are no females. Which means a lot of men hate her, and fear her. What a premise of a story, I like it.

Jessica is a PI (yes you know that happens a lot in UF), she did used to be a cop too, but got an a_hole after her. I so hated that guy. So now she solves crime and hides away from weres and the supernatural community. Because she is something that should not be. She is kick-ass, cool, but yes always trying to keep under the radar. Which is not easy.

In this book she transforms, yes she can actually become a wolf. Not good, the men will hate her more. People are after her, the pack is unhappy, the cops shows up and it's just none stop action.

There is also a bit of passion. I will not say more but it sure turned things around at one point. Lips sealed.

Conclusion:
I wonder what she will bring to the world, what is going on? The end was a bit of a cliffie and yes I want more. It was a very good start and I could not put it down.

cover
nice
Series: Jessica McClain #1
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: 322
Published: 2012 by Orbit
Source: My own

Monday, 14 January 2013

Review: The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne - Jayne Fresina


By night Ellie Vyne fleeces unsuspecting aristocrats as the dashing Count de Bonneville. By day she avoids her sisters' matchmaking attempts and dreams up inventive insults to hurl at her childhood nemesis, the arrogant, far-too-handsome-for-his-own-good, James Hartley.

James finally has a lead on the villainous, thieving Count, tracking him to a shady inn. He bursts in on none other than "that Vyne woman" . . . in a shocking state of dishabille. Convinced she is the Count's mistress, James decides it's best to keep your enemies close. Very close. In fact, seducing Ellie will be the perfect bait . . .

My thoughts:
 I had forgotten that the hero was in book 1 (yes me and my memory), but forgetting did make it better in a way cos I got to know him again. This was my first impression. Since in book 1 he wanted to marry someone else. Yes you can see why it's good to start on a fresh page ;)

Right then, Ellie is, well she is a lot! She is not one of those usual women of the Ton. She is so much more. She has a reputation of broken engagements and the scandal is that a duke died in her bed. She is also masquerading as a French Count and gains money that way. She is a handful and I liked her.

James and Ellie, well the families are bitter enemies, he called her Ellie Phant once and yes she does not like him. He is a rake, but a rake that has grown old and realised that it does not work as well anymore. In comes Ellie, that menace and he does not know what to do about her. A fun couple to read about.

Conclusion:
The book was light, romantic, a bit funny and it made me want more. More will come in form of another menace. Poor ton ;)

Series: Sydney Dovendale #2
Genre: Historical romance
Pages: 402
Published: Jan 1st 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: For review

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Review: Towers of Midnight - Robert Jordan


Perrin Aybara is now hunted by specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while, an unseen foe is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck. To prevail, he must seek answers in Tel’aran’rhiod and find a way—at long last—to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it forever.

Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The creatures beyond the stone gateways—the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn—have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other men’s lives. He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. The time is coming when he will again have to dance with the Snakes and the Foxes, playing a game that cannot be won. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost.

My thoughts:
First just let me say how much I hate the Seanchan, and they are not even the bad guys, well ok they are bad, but not THE bad guys. Here we get insight into what might happen if the world comes out ok after the last battle. And I will only say that I hope everyone last Seanchan ends up in a Trollock pot and get eaten. There is no hope for this world and the Seanchan is so ruthless in that their way is the only way.

Yup hating the Seanchan.

Find myself understanding *coughs* sort of, Galad. Kind of even like that idiot.

Elayne is a complete moron. The babies must have addled her brain.

How did Egwene become so wise so fast? Please.

Lan is riding to his doom, go Lan!

Mat wants to save Moiriane. One would think he could go to his wife and get that idiot to see some sense first. Grr Seanchan scum.

Rand is all peaceful..freaky.

Perrin is cool. Faile is meh.

Berelain finds her true love, why is everyone really pretty or handsome in this book?

Finding more LOTR parallels.

And everyone is moving towards the Last Battle...does that mean the final book is 900 pages of battle!? o_O

Conclusion:
YAY I can't wait for the last book. Yes I am harsh at times but I love this series.

Covers: 
These UK ones are dull

Hopefully I will manage to give you a review of book 14 soon if the postal Gods will smile upon me

And this concludes my WOT re-reading challenge, yay

Series: The wheel of time #13
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 843
Published: 2010 by Orbit
Source. Own

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Review: For the Love of a Goblin Warrior - Shona Husk


Centuries ago, Meryn was thought to be utterly lost--all traces of his soul given up to the ravening goblin horde. But with the curse that enslaved him now broken, he must once again learn to walk in the realm of men.

Nurse Nadine Gilbert likes working the night shift to avoid her disturbing dreams, but her mysterious new patient looks hauntingly familiar. Meryn knows he doesn't deserve a second chance, but Nadine brings out his long-buried human side. Telling her the truth about his violent past could destroy their fragile trust. Could she ever believe in the love of a Goblin Warrior?

My thoughts:
This book felt light and easy, even with the darkness in it. It was a romance about two people being saved by each other.

Meryn used to be a Goblin who stole gold and killed. Now he is back int he real world, 2000 years later. He is lost, but he is smart. He mourns in family, and the darkness of the Goblin hangs over him. But he is a nice guy, a man who just want to live again..if there was something to live for.

Nadine is a nurse who have nightmares (yes goblins there too). He father is in jail for killing her mother and she has blocked that out. She may go on about her life, but there is something there. Something sad. Then Nadine and Meryn meet. Something pulls them together. They are meant to be. But first they have things to go through. He needs to let go of his past and she needs to deal with her past. Not to mention that you know the whole Goblin thing is gonna pop up and mess things up.

Conclusion:
A good romance, 2 people just meant to be. Throw in a little paranormal and there you have it.

Cover
Nice

Series: Shadowlands #3
Genre: Paranormal romance
Pages: 352
Published: January 1st 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source. For review

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Interview and Giveaway: Jeanette Murray - The officer breaks the rules


Today I have Jeanette Murray over for an interview and I will be giving away a copy of her new book :)

Welcome!

1. Tell me 3 fun facts about yourself… :)
1. I can quote almost the entire movie First Wives Club by heart. “Goodbye love…hello Pop-Tarts.”
2. The idea of a fresh, clean spiral-bound notebook makes me smile.
3. I have only managed to teach my dog one trick in 5 years. He does it well…but he’s a one-trick puppy.

2. Could you tell me about your new book The Officer breaks the rules?
Madison has been half in love with Jeremy, her brother’s best friend, since the day they met. But she was only sixteen and he was a shiny new Lt. in the Marine Corps. Fast forward several years, Madison is now in the Navy as a nurse and is stationed by both her brother and Jeremy. She still wants him, but he’s keeping his distance. You don’t mess around with your best friend’s sister. It’s awkward and besides, she’s in the Navy. A dual military relationship isn’t for him. Madison’s determined to show him they’re right for each other and they can get through it, if he’d stop being so ridiculous about it!

3. Could you tell me why everyone will fall in love with Jeremy?
Jeremy’s got a lot of baggage from his childhood, but he thinks he has it all figured out. Spoiler alert…no. But he has a code of honor that he sticks to doggedly, even when it means he is denying himself something he really, really…really wants. Of course, that’s Madison’s job…to help him redefine his code.

4. What would you personally think about Jeremy’s code? If it was about you?
I sort of see the point in it. Your best friend’s sister makes things squeamish. You can’t talk about your love life with your friend, because, well, ew. And your best friend knows everything about you, even the less stellar parts (because everyone’s got secrets, no matter how dark). Will you be judged more harshly? Held to a higher standard? Or expected more of it? And if it doesn’t work out, then what? More awkwardness. But when it’s serious, and real, then it works anyway.

5. Madison knows who she wants. Was she fun to write?
Madison is a combination of a few friends in my life, which made her a blast. I kept picturing a lot of my girl friends saying things she would say, which kept things interesting.

6. What is coming next from you?
My first book of a different series (contemporary western romance series) just hit bookshelves last month. That one is titled  Taking the Reins. And then of course, you can expect Dwayne’s story to hit bookshelves this summer in The Officer and the Secret.

Thanks for having me!

Giveaway
1 copy of The Officer

1. Open to US and Canada
2 Ends Jan 23rd
3. Just enter :)

Have fun!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Review: No such thing as immortality - Sarah Tranter


A vampire does not have to feel any emotion not of his choosing. And Nathaniel Gray has spent two hundred years choosing not to feel. But when he accidentally runs Rowan Locke off the road, he is inexplicably flooded with everything she’s feeling, and that’s rage, and lots of it.

He is consumed with the need to protect Rowan at all costs, including from himself. To Nate what is happening is unthinkable, and is pretty much as unbelievable as the existence of faeries.

But you see, there is no such thing as … immortality.

My thoughts:
Maybe English vampire books just have another feel to them, or maybe it was because Nathaniel totally pulled off Mr Darcy ;) Either was it was a good vampire novel that felt fresh in an era when that's hard.

These vampires survive on pig's blood and do not feel. Because when you are that old feelings will just drag you down. In comes Nathaniel, our 200 old vampire (an Earl too btw). He tries his best to be modern but has trouble with it. Instead he tends to go a bit Mr Darcy, which was totally adorable and made me giggle. He is truly the perfect gentleman.

Rowan, the heroine, says what she feels and when they meet, and crash. Something happens. These two are meant to be and to see him try to court her, yes adorable. There could have been a bit of a stalker warning because of how he wanted to protect her, but when you realize all the facts in the end it makes sense. Some are just meant to be. And to feel after having not feel for 200 years, well it gets a bit intense.

Something else is also at play in this book. I can't say too much, but yes all is not as it should be.

Conclusion:
A delightful novel.


Genre: Women's fiction / paranormal romance
Pages: 356
Published: Jan 7th 2013 by Choc Lit
Source. For review

Monday, 7 January 2013

Interview and Giveaway - Elisabeth Staab and Prince of Power


Today I have Elizabeth Staab over for an interview. And at the end there is a giveaway of her new book, Prince of Power.

Welcome!

1. Tell me 3 fun facts about yourself…
Let’s see… I collect weird stuff: coffee mugs, purple office supplies, red kitchen gadgets. I am a total caffeine addict, I especially love Earl Grey tea and flavored coffees. I am equally addicted to iTunes. I love all types of music, I used to sing and also DJ electronica, with a preference for lyric-heavy progressive house (which is probably why my first novel, King of Darkness, starts out at a rave).

2. Could you tell me about your new book Prince of Power?
In King of Darkness we met Anton, a member of the evil wizard race who was tasked with finding and kidnapping the vampire king’s sister. Tyra is a vampire hybrid who spends her nights fighting evil and her days helping those less fortunate, and in the course of tracking her, Anton falls in love. So Prince of Power is Anton and Tyra’s story; How he saves her, how they both want revenge on Anton’s father but fight over how that should be achieved, and how a vampire and an enemy of their race navigate falling in love.

3. What was your inspiration behind this series?
The inspiration for the Chronicles of Yavn came very much from out of left field. It’s funny because I’d sworn off even reading romance novels about fifteen years earlier after a painful incident that occurred in a library while I was reading a stack of romance books. I thought I didn’t even like romance anymore because all I could remember of romance were those old-school bodice-rippers. I needed stories that were funny, uplifting, and most of all, two people falling in love on equal grounds.

A gifted Kindle, a free download of Kiss of Midnight, and a lot of time to read after my youngest kid was born changed everything. After enjoying Lara Adrian’s series someone suggested J.R. Ward, and it was Ward’s BDB series that made me go “This is romance? This, I f*cking love.” I looked and couldn’t find anything else that scratched the same itch, and finally my husband put the brakes on my new ebook habit. I started to play with the idea of my own vampire story. I loved the idea of a hero that was a little unexpected. Young. Tortured. Unsure. Kind of a beta/alpha hybrid. Someone who got dropped in the deep end and nobody believed in him, maybe he didn’t believe in himself. Thad from King of Darkness came to me one night while I was rocking my newborn to sleep. He was standing in the middle of a warehouse party, looking determined but confused. I started figuring him out, threw in a fated-mates scenario with a very unwilling fated mate, and went forward.

4. Tell me a few fun (and hot) facts about Anton?
We learn in Prince of Power that Anton is actually practically a virgin when he meets Tyra. His lack of experience makes him a thoughtful, attentive lover. Speaking of hot, he has the ability to elevate his body temperature above what is normal for most humans. This makes for some inventive outdoor lovemaking even when the weather is chilly.

5.Who was more difficult to write, Anton or Tyra. Or someone else?
Hmm. I think I wrestled with both Anton and Tyra at various times in the course of writing Prince of Power. That I was playing a little with slightly non-traditional hero/heroine roles made them fun to write, but also challenging. For Tyra, part of her journey was learning to open up, and Anton helps her become more emotionally available. In the beginning, though, getting to know her was difficult even for me as the author. She was this awesome, badass fighter, but she was also closed-up and stubborn! For any difficulties though, they were fantastic to write. By the time I’d finished their story I was so in love.

5. What is coming next from you?
I’m working on book three of the Chronicles of Yavn right now, Hunter by Night, which is Lee and Alexia’s story. Lee is a human-loathing, centuries-old B.A.M.F. and his story is turning out to be very exciting. Alexia is the only human who currently lives at the vampire estate, of course.

Thanks!

Giveaway
1 copy of Prince of Power

1. US and Canada
2. Ends Jan 20th
3. Just go ahead and enter :)

Good luck!

PRINCE OF POWER BY ELISABETH STAAB
Wizards and vampires have been mortal enemies since the beginning. Now Anton, son of the Wizard Master, has one last chance to steal the unique powers of the vampire king's beautiful sister, Tyra...and then kill her. But when he meets Tyra face-to-face, everything changes...

Tyra will stop at nothing to defeat the wizards, until Anton saves her life and she suddenly sees an opportunity she never could have imagined...

As the sparks ignite between them, together they could bring an end to the war that's decimating their people, but only if they can find a way to trust each other...
About the Author
Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in an imaginary world. She believes that all kinds of safe and sane love should be celebrated but she adores the fantasy-filled realm of paranormal romance the best. She lives in Northern Virginia with her family and one big scaredy cat, where she loves to spend time with good friends, go dancing, and sing off-key in her kitchen (when she isn't making characters fall in love, that is).

Links:


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