Friday, 31 January 2014

Review: The Office of Mercy - Ariel Djanikian

In America-Five, there is no suffering, hunger, or inequality. Its citizens inhabit a high-tech Utopia established after a global catastrophe known as the Storm radically altered the planet. Twenty-four-year-old Natasha Wiley works in the Office of Mercy, tasked with humanely terminating—or sweeping”—the nomadic Storm survivors who live Outside. But after she joins a select team and ventures Outside for the first time, Natasha slowly unravels the mysteries surrounding the Storm—and the secretive elders who run America-Five.

My thoughts:
Do not go in waiting for a non stop action book where someone fights the big bad and comes out victorious, because good always wins. No, this book was different, more thinking, more slow, more grey. 

It's the perfect society, everyone is happy. The oldest people, The Alphas are over 300 years old. You can live forever as they grow new organs there. Babies are grown, not made. Sex is better had in "The Pretend". Everything is very logical, and clean. People are content.

Does this make it better, no. They live in their bubble ever since the world ended. Some people survived on the outside but those are being killed tribe by tribe. The people of america 5 are so caught up in the philosophy and logical thinking that they do think their way is right. Their way of killing the tribes because they are suffering, they are hungry, always on the move, what kind of life is that? Not to mention they die fast. I did get this whole concept, yes everything is better in the safe haven, killing others is merciful. But also truly evil, just go out and invite them in and give them meds and be happy. But that would not be logical, that would mean less for those inside. There is where the conflict is. Natasha the lead character comes in contact with the tribes after a sweep and starts to think that this does seem pretty messed up. 

I liked it because I understood their way of thinking, and I hated their way of thinking. It was an interesting world. It's not the whole oh we are right (and therefore not evil), no because they truly wanted to do good. They wanted to be merciful.

Conclusion:
A different kind of dystopia.

Cover
meh

Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Penguin Books (first published February 21st 2013)
Dystopia / post apocalyptic
For review


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway: Mia Marlowe

Today I am interviewing Mia Marlowe :)

Welcome!

1. Tell me about yourself.
Mia:  I’m a wife, mother, dog lover and word drunkard. I adore the art of telling stories, in whatever form that takes. I can’t watch a movie without ticking off plot points. It’s really irritating to anyone sitting near me. 

Oh! You mean tell you about myself as an author. Well, my work was featured in the Best/Worst of 2010 PEOPLE magazine. I’ll let you guess whether it was a best or a worst. ;-) One of my books is on display at the Museum of London Docklands next to the Johnny Depp memorabilia. My recent Plaid Tidings is up for Best Scottish Historical 2013 RTBOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Between a Rake and a Hard Place is my 24th book and I have ever so many more stories buzzing in my head!  

2. Your new book is called Between a Rake and a Hard Place. Tell me about the book too :)
Mia: Lady Serena has made a list of forbidden pleasures—sort of a Regency bucket list—of things she’d like to do before the accepts the proposal her father is certain will be forthcoming from the Duke of Kent. Sir Jonah Sharp has been tasked with making sure she’s out of the running for royal duchess, but ends up helping her tick items off her list of pleasures instead. The story starts with Lady Serena, chafing in male attire and sneaking into Boodles, an exclusively male coffee house. If you’d like to try a bit, here’s a link to an excerpt: http://miamarlowe.com/books/hard-place.php#excerpt 

3. Will there be more books in the series?
Mia: No, this is the last. The underlying premise of the books is the very real “Hymen Race Terrific.” No joke. That’s what the tabloids called it at the time. In 1818, when the succession was in doubt, 3 royal dukes went a-courting to see who could be first to present King George III with a legitimate grandchild. So, the Royal Rakes series called for 3 royal dukes, 3 eligible young ladies and 3 rakes to interfere with the royal wooing. The other titles are: Waking Up with a Rake and One Night with a Rake. I hope you’ll love them all!

4.How is it writing a book with someone else (Connie Mason)?
Mia: When it’s someone as gracious as Connie Mason, it’s wonderful. She and I first met at the 2006 RT Convention. I was totally star-struck and never dreamed I’d be collaborating with her only a few years later. Between a Rake and a Hard Place is our final book together and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been paired up with Connie.  

5. What is coming next from you?
Mia: Once Upon a Plaid (October 2014, Kensington) is a story that was inspired by my sister, who served as a gestational surrogate for a childless couple. Her experience got me thinking about how couples dealt with childlessness before IVF procedures, surrogates or even legal adoption. At the beginning of my story, Lady Katherine has abandoned Lord William, convinced she needs to seek an annulment so he’ll be free to find a wife who can give him the heir he needs. William, however, has other plans…   

Then in November 2014, I’m starting a new series with Sourcebooks called Somerfield Park. In A Rake by Any Other Name, Lord Hartley’s family insists he must marry Sophie Goodnight, a fabulous heiress, for the good of his father’s crumbling estate. Unfortunately, neither he nor Miss Goodnight are the biddable sort.  

If you’d like to be notified when my next book comes out, please sign up for my newsletter, follow my blog by email or find me on Twitter and Facebook!


Giveaway
1 copy of Between a rake and a hard place

1. US and Canada
2. Ends Feb 8th
3. Just enter :)

*New rules. If your account leads to google+ then please leave your email or twitter name or you will not be entered. I am tired of being led to a google+ account and finding no contact info. Get back to me withing 48 hours

BETWEEN A RAKE AND A HARD PLACE BY CONNIE MASON AND MIA MARLOWE – IN STORES JANUARY 2014 

Lady Serena's List of Forbidden Pleasures
Attend an exclusively male club.
Smoke a cigar.
Have a fortune told by gypsies.
Dance the scandalous waltz.

Sir Jonah Sharp thinks Lady Serena Osbourne will be just like any other debutante, and seducing her will be one of the easiest services he's ever done for the Crown. Then he catches her wearing trousers and a mustache in his gentleman's club and she demands he teach her to smoke a cigar. But what will truly be Jonah's undoing is finding out he's an item on her list too, which makes him determined to bring her all the forbidden pleasures she can handle.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS 
Mia Marlowe is the award winning historical romance author of the Touch of Seduction Series and various Rock*It Reads. She lives in Boston. Connie Mason is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels. She was named Storyteller of the Year in 1990 and received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews in 1994. She currently lives in Florida. Together, Mia and Connie have written Sins of the Highlander, Lord of Fire and Ice, Lord of Devil Isle and the other books in the Royal Rakes Series: Waking Up with a Rake and One Night with a Rake. For more information, please visit http://www.miamarlowe.com.


To Purchase Between a Rake and a Hard Place:



Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Review: The Cowboy's mail-order Bride - Carolyn Brown

With a bundle of letters in a boot box, Emily Cooper doesn't know what to expect when she arrives on Clarice Barton's Ravenna, Texas, ranch. Clarice is stunned to meet the great granddaughter of a man she hadn't heard from in decades and insists that Emily stay on the ranch to tell her all about him.

Greg Adams isn't thrilled with the idea of a strange, if beautiful, woman in his grandmother's company. But when this stubborn cowboy sets out to uncover her lies, he finds the truth staring him in the face: it's not an explanation he wants, it's just her.

My thoughts:
Awww cuteness promised and delivered. She has not failed me so far.

Emily is a true rancher and loves everything about the life. She is a country girl to the bone. She just lost her grandfather and has delivered some old love letters to an old flame of his. In comes Greg, the old "girlfriend's" grandson. A hunky cowboy who loves his farm and who first mistrusts Emily. She does come out of nowhere, but she shows her worth, friendship blossoms, and then romance.

And no book is complete without two meddling old women, haha, yes I loved them. They also had some plans in motion and it was just hilarious.

Conclusion:
The romance was sweet and these two sure fell for each other. No over done drama either, just two people falling in love.

cover
cute

Mass Market, 384 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Cowboys & Brides #3
Contemporary romance
For review


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Review: Drakenfeld - Mark Charan Newton

The monarchies of the Royal Vispasian Union have been bound together for two hundred years by laws maintained and enforced by the powerful Sun Chamber. As a result, nations have flourished but corruption, deprivation and murder will always find a way to thrive.

Receiving news of his father’s death Sun Chamber Officer Lucan Drakenfeld is recalled home to the ancient city of Tryum and rapidly embroiled in a mystifying case. The King’s sister has been found brutally murdered – her beaten and bloody body discovered in a locked temple. With rumours of dark spirits and political assassination, Drakenfeld has his work cut out for him trying to separate superstition from certainty. His determination to find the killer quickly makes him a target as the underworld gangs of Tryum focus on this new threat to their power.

Embarking on the biggest and most complex investigation of his career, Drakenfeld soon realises the evidence is leading him towards a motive that could ultimately bring darkness to the whole continent. The fate of the nations is in his hands.

My thoughts:
I must begin by saying that I did try to read another fantasy series by him and did not like that one at all. But I still gave this one a go and I am glad I did. It was different and really good.

It's basically a murder mystery. Our lead detective is Lucan Drakenfeld, the genre is fantasy and the world is very Roman.

Right another cop story for me, and yet another fantasy book that mainly takes place in a big city. No running around on an adventure here. No, Lucan comes to his home town, says farewell to his dead father and begins to investigate the murder of the King's sister. He and his assistant goes from clue to clue, sees what the city is really about and moves from the highest to the lowest social circles. The whole mystery sure had me wondering and there were just so many suspects. But it all came together beautifully and I would love to read more about Drakenfeld to see what comes next for him. And for the whole empire.

I also liked the whole "Roman" style. Rome conquering other nations, and the whole style of living too. But it still felt fantasy and not just like I fell into another Rome dimension. He made it his.

Conclusion:
A cool book and I would love to read more. Well written too.

Cover
meh

Hardcover, 429 pages
Published October 10th 2013 by Pan Macmillan / Tor UK
Drakenfeld #1
Fantasy
Library


Monday, 27 January 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway: Shona Husk

Today I am interviewing Shona Husk and giving away her new book Lord of the Hunt.

1. Tell me about yourself.
Shona: I’m now a full time author (yay!). I love dark chocolate, and cooking especially with chocolate, to counteract the chocolate I also like running and swimming :). My to be read pile is constantly shifting and never shrinking (I promise at the start of every year to reduce the size yet somehow the size never changes). 

2. Your new book is called Lord of the Hunt. Tell me about the book too :)
Shona: Lord of the Hunt is Verden’s story. He is the Lord of the Hunt and answers only to the King, making him the second most powerful man in Annwyn. To get there he played hard and took down the old Hunter…however now he’s been there for a few centuries he’s finding the view isn’t as grand as he should but he can’t quite figure out what is missing as no fairy would be stupid enough to gamble with their heart and fall in love. 

Then Taryn shows up seeking a pardon for her father and what starts out as protecting her from the viciousness of Court becomes something much more dangerous. 

Taryn was a great heroine to write. She starts out as a fish out of water and ends up with great personal power—something she doesn’t want, unlike every other fairy. That’s about all I can say without giving away spoilers.  

3. Will there be more books in the series?
Shona: The Changeling Soldier is a novella that will be out mid-year, and book three in the series, To Love a King, will be out in October. The Changeling Soldier is a romance between a fairy on her way home before the power shift and a man just learning about his fairy heritage. There are some tough choices to be made before they can be together.

To Love a King is Felan’s story! (I know some people have been waiting for this). To claim the throne of Annwyn and save two worlds he’ll first have to win Jacquie’s heart, again. Hopefully they can get their relationship right the second time around ;)

4. Is there a genre you have not tried but would like to explore?
Shona: Last year I started writing sci-fi romance, which is a lot of fun and something that I really wanted to try. If I had a great idea I wouldn’t hesitate to try something new—at the moment I’m not planning on trying a new genre. However I often experiment with different things as it’s fun for me, but it also helps me grow as a writer. 

5.  What is coming next from you?
Shona: I have a busy couple of months coming up. Temptation on a Bottle will be out soon, and then over the next few months I have a couple of erotic sci-fi romances coming out with Ellora’s Cave: Lunar Reunion and Lunar Dancer (set in the same world as Lunar Exposure). And mid 2014 The Changeling Soldier (an Annwyn novella will be out).

Thanks!

Giveaway
1 copy of Lord of the Hunt

1. Open to everyone in the world
2. Ends Feb 8
3. Just enter :) Ask questions of you want too :)

But. New rules. If your account leads to google+ then please leave your email or twitter name or you will not be entered. I am tired of being led to a google+ account and finding no contact info

LORD OF THE HUNT BY SHONA HUSK – IN STORES JANUARY 2014 

She Wasn’t Cut Out for His World...
The realm of the fairies might be unbelievably beautiful, but its people are notoriously treacherous. Raised among mortals, Taryn hoped to avoid her fairy heritage her whole life. But now she must cross over to Annwyn and appeal to the King to pardon her exiled parents, or they're sure to die. And to get to the King, she'll first have to face the Lord of the Hunt...

He Can't Imagine Life Without Her...
Verden, Lord of the Hunt, is sworn to serve to King. But the moment he sees Taryn, the attraction is instant and devastating. How can he not help the beautiful, brave young woman who refuses to bend to the will of the court? Yet the power in Annwyn is shifting, its magic failing. No matter how much he may love Taryn, the Hunter knows that abandoning his duty could bring down the mortal world forever...

Praise for the works of Shona Husk:
“Romantic and intriguing.” —Publishers Weekly
“Enthralling.” —Booklist
“A great fairy-tale feel...dark, fresh, and tantalizing.” —Anna's Book Blog

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
Three time ARRA finalist Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back. Drawing on history and myth, she writes about heroes who are armed and dangerous but have a heart of gold—sometimes literally. She is the author of the Shadowlands Series and the Annwyn Series. You can find out more information about Shona and her edgy romances at http://www.shonahusk.com/ or follow her on Twitter, @ShonaHusk.

To Purchase Lord of the Hunt:


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Carole Reviews: Where the Wildflowers grow - Vera Jane Cook

Author: Vera Jane Cook
Title: Where the Wildflowers Grow
Genre: Fiction, Drama
Pages: ebook
First Published: March 8th, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my unbiased and honest opinion

"Sexual confusion and dysfunction cause the unraveling of the perfect American family in small town Georgia in 1960.


Rose Cassidy's fantasy life is a haunting reminder that she's living a lie. So when she has the opportunity to act on those fantasies, she dives in without any thought to consequences.

Rose's husband, Ryan, has fantasies of his own, and his actions cause unimaginable hurt [pain] to the very children he tries so hard to protect.

When the happiness each member of the Cassidy family seeks so desperately to find is shattered by shame, guilt, and ultimately murder, they must each face the truth that lies deep within their souls."


Like earlier stated I was given this book by the author/publisher to give my unbiased and honest opinion. 

SO MUCH DRAMA! JUST SO MUCH! It felt like I was watching a soap opera, but on paper and I was reading...not watching. That Cassidy family sure had issues. I felt bad for the cop, Jeff, who had to deal with them and hide many of their secrets due to loyalty he had for Ryan. Jeff was a good guy, even though I had to shake my head at him a few times when loyalty for the family took over and the law was ignored. Especially when it came to something Rose did....sorry, but I would have ratted her out if I was a cop. 

Kuddos to the author for keeping me on my toes. I pretty much guessed a lot of the things that were going to happen for the first half of the book, but then things exploded and I was utterly on the edge of my seat. I had no idea how everything was going to end. I was a little mad that certain people got a HEA that really had no right to one, but what can you do? Some of those certain people DID redeem themselves in a way, but still....>.> 

There was so much going on and I'm afraid I have to be closed-mouthed so I don't give away any major spoilers. I spoiled it all for boyfriend, but it's not like he's going to read this anytime soon. This book was a chick lit in some senses. If this was to be a movie it would be on Oxygen or whatever.

In the end, this was an interesting book. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I needed to know what was going to happen next. The Cassidy family is a messed up family to all extremes. The only "normal" one was Lily, but she had major issues too....I'm glad she made up with her mom though, it was utterly stupid for her to shut her out like she did. Can't say why, but it was a dumb reason. Meh. ANYWAYS! I would recommend this those that like dramas and people stories. Out of five stars I shall stamp this with 4 stars. Mainly because some of the ending made me mad and I didn't like a lot of the characters. haha

Favorite Character(s): Jeff and Daisy 
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Ryan (>.>) I was pretty much neutral towards everyone else in the book. 



Saturday, 25 January 2014

Novella review: Forsworn - Brian McClellan

Erika ja Leora is a powder mage in northern Kez, a place where that particular sorcery is punishable by death. She is only protected by her family name and her position as heir to a duchy.

When she decides to help a young commoner—a powder mage marked for death, fugitive from the law—she puts her life and family reputation at risk and sets off to deliver her new ward to the safety of Adro while playing cat and mouse with the king’s own mage hunters and their captain, Duke Nikslaus.

Occurs 35 years before the events in Promise of Blood.

My thoughts:
Some novellas and short stories are just that, short. Then there are those that are just perfect like they are, and this one was :)

I think there is a fine line when writing novellas. Most often I get that feeling I want more, and not in a good way, they are just too short. I can't say how McClellan managed to make it so good but he did. This was an episode in Erika's life and yes of course I want more. But this story was perfect like it was. I just want more by the author instead.

Ok yes yes I should stop talking about novellas, but you guys know me ;)

Erika is a powdermage in a country where that is bad, but she is also a grand daughter of a Duke so that saved her. As lucky is not the person on the run she finds and decides to help. There is danger before them.

And I liked meeting Erika as I knew from the book who she was. The little I knew also seemed interesting so this was fun to read. Now I kind of also want to see what she said when she meets a certain person for the first time.

As it does take place before Promise of Blood you can read it before, or read it after. Just read it. The end.

Cover Snark
It kind of looks like some old painting. I can't say it's truly fitting, but it's ok 

Kindle Edition, 64 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Brian McClellan
Fantasy
For review


Friday, 24 January 2014

Review: River Road - Jayne Ann Krentz

It’s been thirteen years since Lucy Sheridan was in Summer River. The last time she visited her aunt Sara there, as a teenager, she’d been sent home suddenly after being dragged out of a wild party—by the guy she had a crush on, just to make it more embarrassing. Obviously Mason Fletcher—only a few years older but somehow a lot more of a grown-up—was the overprotective type who thought he had to come to her rescue.

Now, returning after her aunt’s fatal car accident, Lucy is learning there was more to the story than she realized at the time. Mason had saved her from a very nasty crime that night—and soon afterward, Tristan, the cold-blooded rich kid who’d targeted her, disappeared mysteriously, his body never found.

A lot has changed in thirteen years. But Mason is still a protector at heart, a serious (and seriously attractive) man. And when he and Lucy make a shocking discovery inside Sara’s house, and some of Tristan’s old friends start acting suspicious, Mason’s quietly fierce instincts kick into gear. He saved Lucy once, and he’ll save her again. But this time, she insists on playing a role in her own rescue . . .

My thoughts:
This was my first Krentz book (but I have read some of her historicals long ago). I liked this tale of murder and suspense, because a good book keeps me guessing and this one certainly had. I really should stick with one suspect and not change my mind all the time, that way I would be right once in a while ;)

The books begins in the past when a dark act is stopped. And then it's 13 years later and Lucy returns to Summer River. Her aunt has been killed in a car accident..or has she? Lucy also inherited some shares in a company and they sure want those back. The events from 13 years ago comes back to haunt her and throws shadows on everything. Something is rotten in the city of Summer River.

Lucy can take care of herself and sure she does poke around where she shouldn't. But she is not stupid about it. She does have help whether she wants it or not. Mason Fletcher, the same guy who saved her those years ago. He does like playing the hero, and their romance takes some time to develop cos yes they both have some issues. But they can both  laugh about it and they do seem like a good fit.

Conclusion:
The suspense is always there and the closer they get the more dangerous it becomes. I do like a good hunt for a killer.

Cover
Could be much better

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Putnam Adult
Romantic suspense
For review


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Review: The Enchantment Emporium - Tanya Huff

The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast. Alysha Gale is tired of having all her aunts try to run her life. So when her Gran leaves her a ""junk"" shop in Calgary, Alysha jumps at the chance. It isn't until she gets there that she realizes her customers are fey. And no one told her there's trouble brewing in Calgary-trouble so big that even calling in the family may not save the day...

My thoughts:
First I must say that the family breeding program was pretty messed up. It was a keep in the family policy, but because there were so many girls then some got to breed outside the family. If the guy was accepted. But to be honest it never truly bothered me, Allie was not chosen by a cousin so I was a bit, ok, I can deal.

Allie left her family to start over in Calgary and take over her gran's weird shop. And of course things goes wrong at once. She meets a Fae, she sees...things I shall not mention but oh my. She meets someone who interests her. And as things starts to go down hill more of the family shows up to help her or just hang out. Calgary is the place to be.

The Gale family sure was an interesting bunch of people, I wonder how their powers came to be. Then I get to see that there is a lot of other beings out there too, and then there is Under the Hill.

The book gets its conclusion here. The next book is about Allie's cousin. I did like that because I knew where I left Allie at least then. It all come together.

I do hope book 3 is about her brother though, I want to know what happens to him, but no blurb on that book yet.

Conclusion:
Powers, beings, some ass-kicking and family issues.

cover
Maybe I am in the mood today but this cover actually works (or maybe cos I saw an older cover that was really bleh)

Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 17th 2014 by Titan Books (first published January 1st 2009)
Gale Women #1
Urban Fantasy for review


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Review: The Innocent Mage - Karen Miller

Enter the kingdom of Lur, where to use magic unlawfully means death. The Doranen have ruled Lur with magic since arriving as refugees centuries ago. Theirs was a desperate flight to escape the wrath of a powerful mage who started a bitter war in their homeland. To keep Lur safe, the native Olken inhabitants agreed to abandon their own magic. Magic is now forbidden them, and any who break this law are executed. 

Asher left his coastal village to make his fortune. Employed in the royal stables, he soon finds himself befriended by Prince Gar and given more money and power than he'd ever dreamed possible. But the Olken have a secret; a prophecy. The Innocent Mage will save Lur from destruction and members of The Circle have dedicated themselves to preserving Olken magic until this day arrives. Unbeknownst to Asher, he has been watched closely. As the Final Days approach, his life takes a new and unexpected turn ...

My thoughts:
I like Karen Miller's fantasy worlds, they are kind of old school in the best possible way. And I want more.

The world was interesting, too late I found out that there was a prequel written later about how those with magic got to Lur. (I need that book!). Now 600 years later those with magic rule and the ones they conquered are the fishermen, peasants and merchants. I liked the world and the magic and most of all the secrets and the world they left behind.

Our lead character is Asher, who does not know that others have plans for him. He is also really outspoken and his tongue does land him in trouble and gives him a new life too. Asher was cool, but guard that tongue!

Then we have Prince Gar, who just wants to be like the rest of his people. Danthe the bookseller who has secrets. And lots more who bring intrigues and danger.

conclusion:
I kind of knew from page 1 that it would be good and so it was. I could not put it down and now I am really sad that I do not have book 2 ready. So go read it.

Cover Snark
You know what, I will never say no to hooded mages, assassins, or thieves...only if they are really badly drawn 

Mass Market Paperback, 642 pages
Published September 2007 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2005)
The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker, #1)
Fantasy
own


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review: Lord of the Hunt - Shona Husk

She Wasn't Cut Out for His World...
The realm of the fairies might be unbelievably beautiful, but its people are notoriously treacherous. Raised among mortals, Taryn hoped to avoid her fairy heritage her whole life. But now she must cross over to Annwyn and appeal to the King to pardon her exiled parents, or they're sure to die. And to get to the King, she'll first have to face the Lord of the Hunt...

He Can't Imagine Life Without Her...
Verden, Lord of the Hunt, is sworn to serve to King. But the moment he sees Taryn, the attraction is instant and devastating. How can he not help the beautiful, brave young woman who refuses to bend to the will of the court? Yet the power in Annwyn is shifting, its magic failing. No matter how much he may love Taryn, the Hunter knows that abandoning his duty could bring down the mortal world forever...

My thoughts:
Verden is Lord of the Hunt, poor thing, I did feel sorry for him later on in the book when I realized that he is not truly free in a way. He does his job and guards Annwyn and looks after the mortal world.

Taryn is a fairy who grew up in the mortal world. Now she is a court to plead for her parent's life and she will do anything to get what they want---To be back. She had a great spirit and I liked her.

These two should not fall in love, he has his duties and she should focus on her quest at hand. Later on you will see why they should have let it be as things evolve. But passion can't be stopped.

I look forward to the next book when the prince finds love :D

Conclusion:
Passion, court intrigues and two lovers caught up in the middle of it all.

cover
eh

Mass Market Paperback, 303 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Court of Annwyn #2
Paranormal romance
for review


Monday, 20 January 2014

Review: The Silversmith's Wife - Sophia Tobin

The year is 1792 and it's winter in Berkeley Square. As the city sleeps, the night-watchman keeps a cautious eye over the streets, and another eye in the back doors of the great and the good. Then one fateful night he comes across the body of Pierre Renard, the eponymous silversmith, lying dead, his throat cut and his valuables missing. It could be common theft, committed by one of the many villains who stalk the square, but as news of the murder spreads, it soon becomes clear that Renard had more than a few enemies, all with their own secrets to hide. At the centre of this web is Mary, the silversmith's wife. Ostensibly theirs was an excellent pairing, but behind closed doors their relationship was a dark and at times sadistic one and when we meet her, Mary is withdrawn and weak, haunted by her past and near-mad with guilt. Will she attain the redemption she seeks and what, exactly, does she need redemption for…? 

Rich, intricate and beautifully told, this is a story of murder, love and buried secrets.

My thoughts:
I always do like historical mysteries and this one had me guessing. Because at times it pointed towards someone, and then someone else and then I wondered again. In the end I always suspect everyone.

The book starts with a murder. Pierre Renard, a silvesmith, that was not that liked it seems in the end. He leaves behind his wife Mary, she was a wreck of nerves and had not been treated right by him.

At the beginning of every chapter we also get a page from his diary and see what really was going on with him and how much he hated his wife. Yeah, I really did not like hím.

Other Povs are Digby who found the body and investigates who did it. Then there are Mary's sister, the people who worked for Renard, his best friend and new people that comes into the story. Another POV are the Chishesters who commissioned some work from him and they deal with their own issues and his death of course. It all comes together in a fine woven plot.

Conclusion:
Good characters, a nice plot and nicely done murder plot. I enjoyed it.

Cover
Ok

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published January 16th 2014 by Simon & Schuster UK
Historical mystery
For review


Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Sunday Post


This is just a little Sunday Post :)


If you haven't already, then check out #BookBlogWalkers


Sometimes it's hard, time you know, but at least I always bike to work. Not even the cold weather can stop me now. So join in.



And last a little shout out for myself. I am in the finals in a short story contest :)

You can vote on facebook at the voting page . Remember to press vote and submit at the bottom (if anything goes wrong just tell who you wanna vote for here.)

Or tweet them @StartPublishing . You need to state author name and title of the story (mine is New Earth by Linda Akerman hint hint)

So vote for me, vote for anyone :)

Here are the stories, easier to read them on this page.


What else, check out my interviews with Dora Levy Mossanen and  Tammy Falkner and enter to win the books :)

And enjoy the week!







Saturday, 18 January 2014

Carole reviews: Olivia, Mourning - Yael Politis

Author: Yael Politis
Title: Olivia, Mourning (Olivia #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Drama, Adventure, 
Pages: ebook
First Published: November 27th, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my unbiased and honest opinion

"Newly orphaned and forced to live with her brother and the overbearing woman who will soon be his wife, Olivia Killion is determined to gain her independence by inheriting 80 acres of farmland in far off Michigan. Her father’s will bequeathed the land to whichever of his offspring would put in a crop and stake a claim to it. Olivia insists, “I’m sprung off him just as much as Avis or Tobey.”

The problem: she’s seventeen, female, and it’s 1841.
She has a friend who would make a perfect partner for this endeavor. Mourning Free knows how to run a farm, having worked many years for local farmers. More importantly, Olivia has complete trust in him and no fear of a romantic entanglement developing between them. Mourning will put in the crop for her and she will then help him buy land of his own.
The problem: Mourning is black, the orphaned son of runaway slaves, and reluctant to travel and work with a white girl. He especially fears the private agents from the south who patrol the free states, hunting fugitive slaves.
Olivia believes she and Mourning can make their partnership work and they set off together. All goes well, despite the drudgery of survival in an isolated log cabin. Incapable of acknowledging her feelings for Mourning, Olivia thinks her biggest problem is her unrequited romantic interest in their young, single neighbor. Then she is betrayed and violated and her world falls apart.
Strong-willed, vulnerable, and compassionate, Olivia is a compelling protagonist on a journey to find a way to do the right thing in a world in which so much is wrong."



Like earlier stated I was given this book by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion. 

At this point I am speechless....I...huh....its a good speechless, but I'm trouble forming words at the moment....


Well, lets begin with the beginning and middle. Very calm and very well written. I'm so glad someone decided to showcase Michigan in the 1800s. Not a common place for a setting. I'm from Michigan (as you may or may not know) and when this was presented to me I had no choice but to sign on and give this a read. But yes...the beginning was sad, but Olivia was ready for the new start. The hero's call for the adventure, one might say. The middle was very well described and at one point I told Boyfriend, "I'm so glad we were not farmer's in the 1800s...I think I would have jumped into the river..." then I went on a ten minute rant about what life was like as a farmer starting out. Not fun. Not fun at all. I would have given up after the first day. However, kuddos for Olivia sticking it out! The only compliant I have is that after a while I was concern nothing was going to happen. Yes, it was still intriguing...but I started skimming. This did not last long, however.


The middle to the end. OH MY GOODNESS! I did not expect ANY of that to happen. Holy bananas. The author certainly did throw me twist and loop. Poor Olivia and poor Mourning. Jeez. I can not tell you all what happened, because it ruins the whole book. Just wow. The ending did leave off with a decent sized cliff-hanger. GAH! I must know! I must read the second book of this series!!!! I especially can't wait for the third one that seems to follow Mourning's story after the huge drama that takes place. Hmmmmm.


Another compliant that I had was Mourning at the beginning. Okay. I get it...he's son of former slaves and he's black. Tough times and he's use to whites hating on him. Even though the whites of the village accepted him as a free man of color. Some still judged him. I really, truly get it. Fine, great. But why the Hell was he treating Olivia like crap at some points? He pretty much was edgy for a while thinking Olivia was just some white girl who hated him. WHY WOULD YOU EVER THINK THAT MAN?! Daft idiot. They had known each other for years and she never once judged him because of the color of his skin. Hell, he was the first person she thought of when she decided she wanted to go to Michigan and start a farm. There were other options of men for her to pick (all of them white) and she went to him. GAH. I just wanted to smack his thick skull.


Well, this was a really good book. It truly was. Yael Politis truly captured the time period. She didn't even shy away from the major issues of the time: women's place in the world, farmer's struggle, bad people, and the slave issue/blacks place in the world. She took them all head on and made the world real. Major kuddos to her for that. It was a fun adventure, even though I was scared nothing was going to happen for a while and Mourning made me angry for a little bit. I can't wait to get my hands on the second book. There are so many unanswered questions! DARN THE CLIFFHANGER! *shakes fist* But it was done soooooo well. I recommend this to those that love Historical Fiction. You'll get a kick out of this. MMmmmmm, I shall stamp this....with 5 stars. It's more like 4.5, but I don't give decimals.


Favorite Character(s): Olivia, Mourning (after he got over his thing...), Ms Place, Tobey (for some reason I liked him), Mabel (she entertained me for some reason), Jeremy (hoping he gets a nice HEA), and the oxen.

Not-so Favorite Character(s): The two baddies (names will not be given, because its a big spoiler)


Friday, 17 January 2014

Author Interview and giveaway: Dora Levy Mossanen

Today's interview is with Dora Levy Mossanen.
Welcome!

1. Tell me about yourself.
Dora—I was born in Israel and moved to Iran with my family when I was nine. Although I didn't know it at the time, I joined a culture and a community rich in legend, mythology, folklore, and superstition. What I did find out very early on was that I had an invaluable source of knowledge and history right next to me—my late grandfather, a renowned historian, whose books are being taught in universities around the world. At the time, I spoke only Hebrew, but I learned Farsi in less than a year, wanting to understand my grandfather, who spoke of Mahaleh, the Jewish Quarter, being the shah's dentist, and the dangers of being Jewish in a Moslem country.

In 1979, not long after I had started my own family, all of our lives were turned upside down by the Islamic Revolution. I was forced to leave Iran for America, where I was followed by the same set of expectations…to cook, clean, to raise my children. So, I embarked on finding the proper school for my kids, the proper orthodontist, and the best Iranian market with the most tender beef shank, the purest turmeric and most aromatic saffron, and the freshest mint. Once my wifely responsibilities were taken care of, I went ahead and rebelled. I went back to school! Got a bachelor's degree in literature, then a master degree in professional writing. And after three novels that take place in past historical eras, I garnered the courage to write Scent of Butterflies, a contemporary story that mirrors a historical time I’ve personally experienced.


2. Your new book is called Scent of Butterflies. Tell me about the book  :)

Dora—Ah! How I love this title: Scent of Butterflies, which reveals so much about my protagonist, Soraya, about her heightened sense of smell, about her obsession with butterflies as she lures them to her gardens in Bel Air, traps and studies them, analyzing their different scents in ways only Soraya can do. It’s important to know that Soraya, who feels betrayed by her best friend, Parvaneh, which means butterfly in Farsi, is beginning to fail to distinguish between her friend, Parvaneh, and the hordes of colorful butterflies she taps. This is the story of a revolution, of obsession and loyalty and revenge. But above all, it is the story of a love so deep, it will forever change everyone involved.

3. What inspired you to write this book?
Dora—A certain tumultuous period of my life. But that’s probably too simple an answer. I started writing Scent of Butterflies more than twenty years ago—yes you read right—when my personal life was going though an upheaval. Betrayal. Separation. Cultural shock. What else shall I say? And being a novelist with the power to change history, I found solace in writing, found pleasure in creating characters such as the incomparable Soraya, who loves so intensely she has no qualms destroying her best friend, Butterfly, the woman she believes has stolen her love. In addition, the political background of the Islamic Revolution, which I personally experienced, plays an important role in Scent of Butterflies, affording the reader an intimate look at the politics of the time and the events that led to the 1979 Islamic Revolution and its affect on Iranians.

4. Why is Soraya the character to read about? 
Dora—Soraya is an exceptional woman, who refuses to be bound by the suffocating mores of her culture, a woman who will dare commit acts we might wish to commit if we find ourselves in the same situation, but can’t imagine doing. She loves fiercely and passionately, and I lived my life vicariously through her for many years. I was sorry to say goodbye when the book was finished. I hope you feel the same way.


5. What is coming next from you?
Dora—My next novel takes place in the past again, this time in Iran during World War II. It’s the story of a dentist who introduces Novocain to the country. But his success and fame proves to be a curse. The powerful Director General, who has become dependent on the doctor to take care of his rotting teeth, refuses to allow the doctor to travel out of the country to have his daughter’s eyes checked. Until… Well, until the Director General’s beautiful wife and the kind eunuch, Tulip, step in. Stay tuned.

Thanks!

Giveaway:
1 copy of Scent of Butterflies

1. US and Canada only
2. Ends Jan 25th
3. Just enter :)




Thursday, 16 January 2014

Review: Scent of Butterflies - Dora Levy Mossanen

Such audacity she has, Soraya, a woman who dares to break free of the diamond-studded leash of her culture. A woman who refuses to accept the devastating betrayal her husband has perpetrated. A woman who refuses to forgive her best friend.

Soraya turns her back on Iran, fleeing to America to plot her intricate revenge. The Shah has fallen, her country is in turmoil, her marriage has crumbled, and she is unraveling. The cruel and intimate blow her husband has dealt her awakens an obsessive streak that explodes in the heated world of Los Angeles.

Yet the secret Soraya discovers proves far more devastating than anything she had imagined, unleashing a whirlwind of unexpected events that will leave the reader breathless.

My thoughts:
There is something about the way this book is written, I have come across books like this before and I have always enjoyed them. But to explain what it is in the writing I like, that I just can't. It is jumpy and one would think that would be bad, but cos of the way it's written it works. It's like I am always in her mind, being sad, confused, angry, thinking about certain events in her life, missing her husband, hearing his voice. It is the writing that makes it excellent.

Soraya, there was this one event where I was all noo! But at the same time I was all yes! And yes won. Feelings are complex, I can't say much more about it. But I enjoyed reading about her life after she left with a broke heart, and I enjoyed the flashbacks cos it was so alien. How after the revolution they went from dancing and wearing makeup to being scared. Because the morality police looked through windows and if they saw you in the street and a single strand of hair was shown they were there with razor blades. But she loved her country, the scents, the food, the life. 

Conclusion:
An interesting book about love, life and revenge. I want to see if her other books are written with the same style.

Cover
Ok


Paperback, 282 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Fiction
for review


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Author Interview and giveaway: Tammy Falkner

Welcome Tammy Falkner to my blog today :)

1. Tell me about yourself.
Tammy: I am a mom of two boys, married for 20 years, and I am not quite 40 yet! I’m holding on to 39 for as long as I possibly can!

2. Your new book is called The Magic Between us. Tell me about the book too :)
Tammy: The Magic Between us is the third book in my faerie series and it’s the story of Marcus Thorne and his lifelong love, Cecelia Hewitt. Marcus is half-human and has to leave the fae world to go take over his family obligations, leaving Cecelia behind. Six months later, he’s realized he can’t live without her and just happens to see her, and knows he must win her back. Cecelia has some secrets of her own, and some issues at home with an alcoholic father, and she can’t call upon Marcus since he left her when she needed him most.

3. Will there be more books in the series?
Tammy: No, this is the third and final book in this series.

4. Tell me 3 hot things about Marcus? ;)
Tammy: He’s loyal to his family and friends. He is magical. He is my first virgin hero!

5. What is coming next from you?
Tammy: Up next is the fourth book in my New Adult Series, called the Reed Brothers!

Thanks so much for having me!

Giveaway
1 copy of The magic between us

1. US and Canada only
2. Ends Jan 25th
3. Just enter

THE MAGIC BETWEEN US BY TAMMY FALKNER – IN STORES JANUARY 2014

When These Worlds Collide…
Cecelia Hewitt has lived her whole life in the land of the fae, and she dreams of a future with her childhood sweetheart, Marcus Thorne. When Marcus is called upon to dwell in the human world, it means leaving Cecelia behind and breaking both their hearts...

More Than Sparks May Fly…
Marcus was groomed for leadership in the land of the fae, but now that he has found his human parents, he will inherit his father's title and position in the British ton—and he will marry a human. As love and passion continue to burn between Cecelia and Marcus, the question remains: Can two people fated for different worlds find one to share?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As half of the Lydia Dare writing team, Tammy Falkner has co-written ten books, including A Certain Wolfish Charm and In the Heat of the Bite. A huge fan of Regency England, her regency paranormal series combines the magical elements of both mystical faeries and the glittering regency ton and includes A Lady and Her Magic and The Magic of “I Do.” Tammy lives on a farm in rural North Carolina with her husband and a house full of boys, a few dogs, and a cat or two. Visit her website, www.tammyfalkner.com, for more information about all of her books!

To Purchase The Magic Between Us:




Contributors

Copyright © 2008-2016 Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell All Rights Reserved. Proudly powered by Blogger

  © Blogger template Starry by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008 Modified by Lea

Back to TOP