Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A Ghostly Grave - Tonya Kappes

Four years ago, the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home put Chicken Teater in the ground. Now undertaker Emma Lee Raines is digging him back up. The whole scene is bad for business, especially with her granny running for mayor and a big festival setting up in town. But ever since Emma Lee started seeing ghosts, Chicken's been pestering her to figure out who killed him.

With her handsome boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, busy getting new forensics on the old corpse, Emma Lee has time to look into her first suspect. Chicken's widow may be a former Miss Kentucky, but the love of his life was another beauty queen: Lady Cluckington, his prize-winning hen. Was Mrs. Teater the jealous type? Chicken seems to think so. Something's definitely rotten in Sleepy Hollow--and Emma Lee just prays it's not her luck. 

My thoughts:
I actually enjoyed this one more than book 1 (love when that happens.) It was just such an easy book to read, suddenly I was on page 150 (love that.) Just so fun to read.

Emma is still suffering from her funeral trauma (she sees ghost and have to help them.) The townies still gossip about her and thinks she is crazy. And then there are the mean gossips, ugh, hate those. Those that try to destroy her business. But Emma is cool. She helps her ghost, investigates, and tries not to throw things at certain people.

The romance with Jack is going, just not really happening. Dang that murder investigation of his getting into way. But then slow is good.

What we then have is him investigation a murder, and her investigation the same. Her grandma is up to her usual business. The gossips are around and something is going on.

Conclusion:
A fun cozy mystery.

Cover
Nice

Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: March 31st 2015 by Witness
Ghostly Southern Mysteries #2
Cozy mystery
For review


Monday, 30 March 2015

Con & Conjure - Lisa Shearin

Raine Benares is a seeker who finds lost things and people. Ever since the Saghred, a soul-stealing stone that's given her unlimited power, has bonded to her, the goblin king and the elves have wanted to possess its magic themselves. Which means a goblin thief and her ex-fiancé-an elven assassin-are after her. To survive, she'll need the help of her notorious criminal family. 

My thoughts:
It took me a while to get this book, it was always out of stock, I even ordered it once when it was in and then they cancelled on me. But then, then I got it, and started reading it the same day.

Shit is still going to hell. She still has the damn stone that will break her. People is still trying to kill or catch her.

But she does have Mychael at her side (boo! Team TAM!), but by now I do realize that will not happen, it will surely by M by her side at the end.

She still has her cool cousin :)

In this one, like I said, there is a hunt going on, for her, and a hunt for someone else. But she is good at was she does, but now, only one book left. Big things will happen and who will be left standing ..who knows.

Conclusion:
Yes I have ordered book 6, even though I am on a book ban, but who cares, I just had to have it. 

Cover
nice

Paperback, 322 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Ace
Raine Benares #5
Fantasy
Own


Sunday, 29 March 2015

Discussion Sunday: 2 Pride and Prejudice variations


For this post, C and I will be reviewing two P&P short stories. :3 



Author: P.O Dixon
Title: Almost Persuaded 
Genre: Historical Romance & PP variation
Pages: ebook
First Published: October 2013
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon Freebie)

Mary King admired George Wickham from the moment she first set eyes on him. Handsome and charismatic, he satisfied her every notion of what a consummate gentleman ought to be. She longed to garner his affection. He, on the other hand, never once looked her way. What happens when Mary becomes an heiress of ten thousand pounds? As the adage goes, be careful what you wish for. In this engaging coming of age story, will Mary learn the meaning of this sentiment the hard way?



B: :) Let’s start then
Sounds like a plan. Right then, what did you think about Mary King from Pride and Prejudice?

C:At first I liked her...but…...then she made me mad. I am glad she got her only little story though!

B:I was not a fan, she was such a silly thing. Ohhh Wickham SUDDENLY likes me, duh, you just become an heiress you stupid thing.

C:Ugh I know. I liked her friend Anne who was super sensible. I kinda wish that Mary will end up alone and Anne gets the cousin. ;)


B:Ha, you are bad! But I like that, Anne should get the nice guy, Mary can go make another mistake.

C:I hate dumb characters who can’t see that they are being used. It was SO obvious! Plus, it took him being married to Lydia for her to finally get over him. Remember that scene when she saw him with Kitty and Lydia on his arms while she was in the carriage? SHE WAS STILL IN LOVE WITH HIM AND KINDA DEFENDING HIM! UGH!

B:Ok so I know the author does not have much to go with, but make the story more interesting. Do not make her so stupid! Get a drama plot why she was with Wickham. Not, that….

C:Agreed. I wish Mary was a stronger and smarter character. I totally get her being the wallflower and in love with someone and then he pays attention to her. It’s hard for her not to want his attention. But she was a total TSTL character. :( ANd I had high hopes for a fellow wallflower lmao

B:I wished for more too, and now it just fell apart for me. I was not that interested in this story. Mary was Mary, and seriously what does Austen have against peeps named Mary?!

C:Maybe she knew a Mary...who she disliked. hahaha So the ending...did you like it?

B:Eh, sure, maybe she will see reason, I still do not like her and wish that other thing.

C: She seemed to “grown up”, but I still wish Anne will get the cousin. Who knows? The author left it open-ended. Which I am not a fan of those. >__<




Author: Reina M. Williams

Title: Most Truly (Love at Pemberley #1) 
Genre: Historical Romance & PP Variation 
Pages: ebook
First Published: November 2013
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon Freebie)


Colonel James Fitzwilliam is home. The war has left him weary, battle-scarred—and a free man of fortune ready to find a wife. He travels to Pemberley, his second home. There he meets Kitty Bennet. Her unexpected charms soon have him questioning his familial duty and his expectations. A fight looms on the horizon when his aunt—Lady Catherine de Bourgh—and his parents arrive with their own plans for his future.



B:Let’s just move on to the next one shall we ;) Kitty’s story! YAY

C: So, what do you think of the match between Kitty and Fitzwilliam? I was shocked...I never read a PP that those two get together.

B: Loved it! I hate when he ends up with Georgiana, I am always all euwwww, he is your guardian, he is like your brother! Not to mention your cousin. So this was such a good fit. And I like books where Kitty grows up and becomes sensible.

C: I’ve read ones where she grows up, but this is my first one centered around HER. I am torn if I like them as a couple. I secretly want Mary and Fitzwilliam to get together. I don’t know why.

B: Really? I could not see that, he is too, no, not a good fit. I could have seen her with that new brother of his though. A nice calm fit.

C: I could see that as well. (He wasn’t mentioned in the Austen book was he? I do not remember that name). But I am not opposed to Kitty and James together. It took me by surprise I shall admit!

B: But that is good :D I like a good surprise. I went all yay, good! when I read it ;) And no, this new younger brother was not mentioned. That was the real surprise for me, he and Anne, I was all..ok.

C: That is what I thought. I did not like that couple though...I felt it was a cop-out to remove Anne as “competition” for James, so it would be easier to get past Lady Catherine for James to marry Kitty. LAME. I wanted a complete and utter blow out and fight over this coupling, because Kitty does have a bad history as being a flirt.


B: Williams writes caaaalm books. But yes a big fight wouold have been cool. All I LOVE HER!!!!!! Ha.

And the Anne thing, hey here is another brother, ugh. No, Anne seems to have some serious health issues, why do they always marry her to someone. That girl is surely dying.

C: I think she is faking it half the time. haha James even mentioned that, “I think she’s doing it for attention.” haha I had a good laugh at that. I do wanna read more books by Williams. I loved her writing style (even tho I wanted a huge verbal fight haha).

B: I think Anne has TB and someone should just have the courage to kill her off….evil *coughs*
But yes Williams has a lovely style. I read Georgiana’s book last year, and would love to read Mary’s :)


C: And you call ME evil xD I nearly choked to death on my water! If she does have TB they should do the humane thing and take her out of her misery.
But I have to read Miss Georgiana’s book. I love when they give her a HEA. SHe totally deserves it.

B: LOL. Oh I just saw that Maria Lucas got a novella too. With Denny!

C: Oooooh. That shall be interesting.
So...what did you think of the ending? I thought it was a nice throwback to Austen’s novel. I am glad Mrs Bennet got to make an appearance (she makes me laugh).


B: I liked the ending, sweet and nice. And that is why I liked the other story I read by her :) So this one was a clear favorite over that one for me.


C: It is on my TBR list now. :D
Anything else you wanna throw in?

B: I love PP variations!!!!! I cannot get enough. The end, now I should go back to cleaning, blergh.

C: Back to homework for me. Boo. Good job! I sneaked in some cookies for this review *hands over plate*

B: Awww you know me so well *eats them all!!*

C: :D







Saturday, 28 March 2015

Bite me your Grace and #FitReaders: Weekly Check-In March 27 2015


Sat,
Sun
Mon 30 min walk, 30 min walk, 4 km bike
Tue 1 hour yoga, 4 km bike, 30 min walk
Wed 1 h zumba, 4 km bike
Thu, 4 km bike
Fri, 4 km bike, 30 min walk
Sat, 1,15 h walk

Bad week. Fever on Saturday, tired on Sunday. Better, tired again,  And so it goes on. It's my sinuses, damn sinuses! I have had issues since Sep when I cleaned out this moldy storage area. It comes and goes.



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

England's "vampire craze" causes much vexation for the Lord Vampire of London, Ian Ashton. To save his reputation, Ian enlists aspiring authoress Angelica Winthrop without realizing she has hidden plans of her own.

Angelica Winthrop's life goal is to ruin her reputation, avoid marriage, and become a gothic authoress like her idol, Mary Shelley. To find inspiration for her new story, she breaks into the home of Ian Ashton, Duke of Burnrath, not knowing she will be coming up against the Lord Vampire of London. Romance sparks and reputations are at stake. But who knows the real difference between fact and fiction? 

My thoughts:
I do not know why, but I can still read historical paranormal romance. Huh. Maybe it's the fact that it's historical so they do not jump each other on p 2 and they did not feel insta love either. Must be.

Story: Angela wants to be ruined so she can focus on her writing.

Ian is a Duke who is trying to look normal, which is not easy since he is a vampire and there is a rumour out there that he is a vampire! Not good, there are hunters afoot.

They meet, he sees a way out of his strangeness, she not so much. They argue, and in the end they will fall in love cos that is what lovers do. 

Fun, cute. 

Cover 
He looks weird

ebook, 352 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Scandals with Bite #1
Historical romance
Own


Friday, 27 March 2015

Harrison squared - Daryl Gregory

From award winning author Daryl Gregory comes a thrilling and colorful Lovecraftian adventure of a teenage boy searching for his mother, and the macabre creatures he encounters.

Harrison Harrison—H2 to his mom—is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanished. One of the “sensitives” who are attuned to the supernatural world, Harrison and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place for a boy like him: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town perched on rocks above the Atlantic, where strange things go on by night, monsters lurk under the waves, and creepy teachers run the local high school. 

On Harrison’s first day at school, his mother, a marine biologist, disappears at sea. Harrison must attempt to solve the mystery of her accident, which puts him in conflict with a strange church, a knife­wielding killer, and the Deep Ones, fish­-human hybrids that live in the bay. It will take all his resources—and an unusual host of allies—to defeat the danger and find his mother. 

My thoughts:
I read this one in a night. I was all put it down and do something else, but no I could not put it down and do something else!! I HAD to finish it. The perfect read it in a night book.

Harrison comes with his mum to this strange town. The kids are kind of Stepford-esque. The school is weird. There is a church in town and something strange about that too. Everyone is just...strange. Very nice and spooky premise.

Harrison's mum disappears and he wants to find her. He refuses to believe she is dead, and more strange thing will now happen as he goes on a hunt for answers.

What on earth is going on in this town? Something that is not normal that is for sure. And what about those dreams of his, about something gigantic hiding in the sea? There is where the whole Lovecraftian thing comes in, and yes I love that.

I wanted to know what would happen, what actually was going on, and if we would see one of the Old ones. The ending was, an ending. But there were still loose ends so pleeease write more, I need more. It still works like this too, but hey if a book is good, then of course I want more. What happens after this book you know.

Conclusion:
I think it was called YA and not YA. But either way, I do recommend it. Great book, great story. A book you can't put down.

Cover
Too yellow

Paperback, 272 pages
Expected publication: March 27th 2015 by Titan Books
Fiction, paranormal, YA
For review


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Voyage of the Basilisk - Marie Brennan

Devoted readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoirs, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, may believe themselves already acquainted with the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, but the true story of that illuminating, harrowing, and scandalous journey has never been revealed—until now. Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found. From feathered serpents sunning themselves in the ruins of a fallen civilization to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics, these creatures are a source of both endless fascination and frequent peril. Accompanying her is not only her young son, Jake, but a chivalrous foreign archaeologist whose interests converge with Isabella’s in ways both professional and personal.

Science is, of course, the primary objective of the voyage, but Isabella’s life is rarely so simple. She must cope with storms, shipwrecks, intrigue, and warfare, even as she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.

My thoughts:
Like I said before, this series is so delightful!

It's written as a memoir by a famous dragon naturalist. There are also a few drawings (lovely ones by the way.) The whole book just reads perfectly.

Isabella is in society's eyes truly scandalous. I love her. She does her own thing. She loves dragons and she loves studying them. Because what are dragons really? How are the different species connected? Were they tame in the old days when the Draconeans ruled? So many questions she wants the answers for, and hey so many questions I want too. A natural history of dragons, awesome. And even if she is not a historian I love the bits of the Draconeans, the old ruins and legends.

In this book she travels to many places in her world to learn about dragons. the feathered ones, the sea ones, and more. And of course she gets in a bit of trouble because a sea journey is never easy. The book kept me hooked to the end and it was with a sigh I finished it since I wanted more. But alas, not even a blurb for book 4 yet.

Conclusion:
Beautiful artwork, fascinating personalities and a story that pulls you in. I do recommend this great series.

cover
Nice

Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: March 27th 2015 by Titan Books
Memoir by Lady Trent #3
Fantasy
For review


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Dark Detectives - ed by Stephen Jones

Eighteen stories of supernatural detective fiction, featuring sleuths who investigate fantastic and horrific cases, protecting the world from the forces of darkness. Each writer offers a tale of a great fictional detective, including Neil Gaiman’s Lawrence Talbot, Clive Barker’s Harry D’Amour, and the eight-part “Seven Stars” adventure by Kim Newman (Anno Dracula).

My thoughts:
Ok,  short words about every story...longer than that and it would be looooong.

In Egypt's land by Kim Newman
Just a short intro. Will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Our lady of death by Peter Tremayne
A ghost is haunting an inn. I liked this one as it was set long ago in Ireland, it had a nice smart heroine too.

The mummy's heart by Kim Newman
The ruby from the first story is now in England and causing deaths.

The horse of the invisible by William Hope Hodgson
A horse is haunting a woman. I still wonder what was real and not.

The magician and the matinee idol by Kim Newman
Ruby 3. 2 new peeps, 25 years later, 20s. Meh

The adventure of the crawler by Basil Cooper
Not one of my favorite detectives. I wanted more action.

The trouble with Barryman by Kim Newman
Ruby 4. 20 years later. I really hope they solve this in the end.

Rouse him not by John Thunston
I liked this one. Short and nice.

De Marigny's clock by Brian Lumley.
Those robber's sure made a mistake.

The Biafran bank manager by Kim Newman
Ruby 5. This almost seemed like the end, but more is coming it seems.

Someone is dead by R.Chetwynd-Hayes
A haunting. I liked the idea of time.slips.

Vultures gather Reuben Calloway by Roderick Shea
Totally creepy ending.

Last Souls by Cliver Barker
A bit too short

Mimsy by Kim Newman
Ruby 6. And it continues. My fav of the Newman's so far. And it's still not finished.

The man who shot the man who shot Liberty Valence by Jay Russell
Eh, wanted more.

The dog story by Kim Newman
Part 7. Ohh the future now, things are coming crashing down.

Bay Wolf by Neil Gaiman
But it was in prose! Eh

The duel of the Seven by Kim Newman
And it ends. With a bang, this should have been a book.

Conclusion:
Some I enjoyed a lot, some I did not care for as much. Some were good, some ok, some weird, some brilliant. Just like every anthology. A good mix of things.

A detective here, a detective there, and lots of paranormal happenings. I read it over a weekend, but it would work better with maybe a story per day. Before bedtime ;) 

Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Titan Books (first published June 1999)
Paranormal mystery
For review


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The God Collector - Catherine Butzen

Their love is ancient history if they can’t catch the thief out to kill them.

Theodora Speer loves her job at the Columbian Exposition Museum designing murals, but a sense of movement—in her art and in her life—eludes her. She meets the museum’s enigmatic donor Seth Adler while working on a new exhibit: a strange cache of shabtis, or clay funerary figurines, accompanying a prize mummy, and something sparks.

Seth Adler’s interest in the Egyptian artifacts and in Theo goes deeper than patronage, but he can’t tell her that. A series of robberies has everyone on edge and when the Columbian is hit, Theo and Seth are implicated. Someone thinks there was more to the ancient Egyptian funeral rites than meets the eye and wants the mummy and his grave goods.

Seth and Theo are forced on the run, and it may be too much movement for strict realist Theo to keep up with. But the man—and the mummy—are more than she realized. And if she can’t reconcile the past and the present, she and Seth may have no future. 

My thoughts:
I think the thing I liked the best in this one was the whole mythological aspect. Lots of potential there. The whole thing of how, and Gods and I just can't mention it in more detail cos spoilers darling. But that was fascinating.

I also liked to hear about Theo's work, who know painting at a museum could sound so fun. I'd totally take her job, but sadly I draw like a 5 year old.

The whole intrigue part was good too. Why was stuff stolen? (again spoilers). And then the hunt to find answers.

But there was one part that I actually thought could have been done better. I never felt the romance. Did they fall for each other? Eh, did not feel it. Hey even raw passion would have worked then. But I did feel like they had a lack of chemistry.

Still, the mythology part...I liked that. I would read more of that. But then I like myths and Gods. 

Cover
Ok, but red dress? She wore this nice white one

ebook, 296 pages
Published March 10th 2015 by Samhain Publishing
Romance/mystery/fantasy/paranormal
For review


Monday, 23 March 2015

The Fall of Fair Isle - Rowena Cory Daniells

A complete trilogy on one volume, this is the story of the The Last T'En, a majestic epic fantasy from the best selling author of The Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin and The Outcast Chronicles.

600 years have passed since the events of The Outcast Chronicles occurred and much T'En knowledge has been lost, hidden or cloaked by lies. 

This is the story of Imoshen, named for her ancestor, Imoshen the First. The last pure T'En woman, she is a throwback to the mystics who settled Fair Isle. 

When the Ghebite invader, General Tulkhan, conquers her island she is torn between her duty to smooth the transition of power and her betrothal to Reothe, last throwback T'En male who leads the rebellion against Tulkhan. 

My thoughts:
This was 3 books in one, luckily I had a fever this weekend so I did nothing else than read ;)

In a way I should have reviewed them one and one, but I did read it like one huge book, so...but remember, this is of all 3 books then.

600 years ago the T´En left their home and came to Fair Isle (that is another trilogy and you do not have to read that one before to understand this trilogy.) They blended with the population and lived there peacefully. Well sort of, after a while, and after the T'En powers died out, and full blooded t'en could not marry and have kids. So, yeah.

Anyway, story! Barbarians come, plunder and kill. Imoshen is a true T'En, a throwback of her bloodline. And the only one left of the royal family. Tulkhan the barbarian warlord fancies her, and it's a way to survive and save her people so she uses that knowledge. The road is long, there are rebellions, betrayal, a fine line to walk, and the whole them and us thing. 

Fair Isle was a nice place where women had power. Tulkhan's society was not. Women had no souls, were owned by their males, and could not even look a male in the eye. So yes that whole cultural thing was a clash of titans. And I did agree with Imoshen when she called him a barbarian, I mean no souls! Damn church of his. Women were less than cows.

The story, well 3 books, lots happen...

Imoshen and Tulkan. Sigh, still on p 800 he was still all I do not trust her. But then why would he. It's just, she trusted him! And she came to love him, whole he constantly thought she was betraying him. Stupid male. So this is not a romance. It's a fantasy book where love is a chess game. He trust her first at the end, she was told to get preggers by him and secure the island.

Read it as an omnibus or in 3 parts. It works either way :) You get political intrigue, sieges, betrayal and magic.

Cover
Tulkhan looks like a troll

Paperback, 847 pages
Published March 10th 2015 by Solaris
The Fall of Fair Isle #1-3
Fantasy
For review


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Carole Reviews: Born of Persuasion - Jessica Dotta


Author: Jessica Dotta
Title: Born of Persuasion (Price of Privilege #1) 
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Mystery, & Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: 2013
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)


The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.


With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly. 



How on Earth was this a Christian Fiction novel? It was SOOOO dark and a wee bit depressing, because Julia has a lot of bad things happening to her. And how on Earth do I stumble upon these CFs once in a while and not realize that they are CFs? Why do I keep reading when I learning that fact? Okay...I have found a couple good ones in my life, but overall I cannot stand them. They normally end with a character finding God and all is fixed. However, I must pat this book on the back, because this was not the case. Which thank goodness, because there was too much at play in this novel for a simple "I found God" to fix it. Especially with a psycho named Mr. Macy running around. 0.o 


I really wished I could say I liked this book. It sounds SO good in the summary, but alas....this almost ended up as a DNF which is rare with me, because I am a creature of torture and I cannot stop myself from reading even the most horrible of books. Oh you can bet I skimmed and skipped like a crazy kid, but I have the hardest time giving up on a book. Again, I must obviously like torturing myself.

The characters...meh. I did like Mr. Macy oddly, because he is a psycho and so complex that I had no idea what he is playing at. 

Julia...grow a back-bone. And why the Hell did you think marrying Mr. Macy was a good idea. Really? *sighs*

Edward...you confuse me.

Elizabeth...you are to blame for everything pretty much. You need a punch in the face.

Henry...you are little better then Elizabeth.

The only real redeeming part of the book was the last 75%-98% of the book. It was great and I was enthralled! However the beginning and middle lost me...and the last 2% annoyed me. This is part of a series. Nothing was really resolved and nothing really gained. Edward and Julia are back at square one and have no idea what to do. It was a huge cliff-hanger (but a calm one...hard to explain) and I did not like it. Why? Why drag this story on more then it has to? WHY?!!!! UGH!

I shall stop my rambling now.

This was...a total let down. Yes, a small section of the book was enthralling and I am so glad that when the character "found God" nothing was really solved, but the rest...meh. I recommend this if you want a book full of idiots or are looking for an Amazon freebie. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 1 star.  

Favorite Character(s): Mr. Macy & Churchill (the only one making sense in anything) 

Not-so Favorite Character(s):  Everyone else pretty much




Saturday, 21 March 2015

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-In March 20 2015

Sun, 1.50 h walk
Mon, 8 km bike, 45 zumba toning, 30 min walk
Tue 1 hour walk, 4 km bike, 1 hour yoga
Wed 45 min walk, 4 km bike
Thu 30 min walk, 4 km bike
Fri  30 min walk, 4 km bike

I had a setback this week (it did not help that zumba classes got cancelled). But I was all, why bother? I am still on the same weight. Hey I weighed less when I did not exercise this much.

And then the battery died on my fitbit, sigh. But actually that was kind of a relief, cos I am obsessed with my 10 000 steps.



Yes no DNFS, so here is a pic of Luci instead




Friday, 20 March 2015

Bayou Blues - Sierra Dean

When your sister has saved the world, you have a lot to live up to.

Genie McQueen thought she’d seen it all after helping her big sister Secret stop the Apocalypse. The dead walked, New York City burned, and things nearly went to hell in a hand basket. After it was all over, the world knew about vampires and werewolves, and Genie’s life would never be the same.

But now, three years later, someone doesn’t want werewolves or any supernatural creatures to live alongside humans. A new anti-werewolf church with a charismatic leader and a cult-like following has declared open season on Genie’s whole species. When a member of her pack is kidnapped, she decides it’s time to stop going with the flow and to step up and fight for her people.

Tagging along for the ride is a handsome troublemaker, Wilder Shaw, a pack outsider who just wants to save his brother, but will leave Genie’s head spinning in the process.

Equally troubling are the ghosts of her past she can’t quite shake, the nightmarish figures who haunt her even when she’s wide awake, and a dark magic inside her she hasn’t yet learned to tame. 

Things are about to get messy in the bayou. 

My thoughts:
First, oh those churches and sects. Here we have another crazy one that is all, death to all things supernatural! But hey people kill people everyday, but weres are just rabid animals so death to them all. See this is why we can't have nice things.

As you can see the baddies made me really upset. I am still all grrrrrr. But that is great. You need a good I hate you baddie, that you still can like while you hate him. And by like do I not mean LIKE, no I hated them, him. But emotions are good.

Genie then. She had some growing to do. Step by step and she shows her worth. I was a bit unsure about her first, she seemed so young and unprepared. But there is nothing like a crazy church leader to bring out the wolf in a woman.

We have action, baddies (well he needs mentioning again), and hints of romance.

I did not like her boyfriend, oh he was all wrong for her. Dump him! And go with the wolf instead. But then, there is that whole mate thing...who will that be?

Conclusion:
Interesting start to this series. 

Cover
I do like it, but, hm, maybe how she as before?

Kindle Edition, 247 pages
Published March 20th 2015 by Sierra Dean
Genie McQueen #1
Urban fantasy
For review


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Author Post and Giveaway: Sierra Dean



Today's author post is from Sierra Dean.
Welcome!

Howl at the Moon vs Blood Sucking Fiends – Which monsters have more fun

Howl at the Moon vs Blood Sucking Fiends – Which monsters have more fun

I’m told vampires are so over, as far as fiction goes.

But I’m pretty sure people have been saying vampires are “so over” since Dracula came out. The reality of it is, there will always be vampires in fiction, because they’re fun to read, they’re fun to write and people love them. They’re dark, they’re mysterious, they’re cool and aloof, and they’re just the tiniest bit better than everyone around them. I mean, who wouldn’t cultivate an attitude of total confidence after living two hundred years. Vampires are awesome.

Werewolves are a different story. Shifters are usually broody and gruff. The men are alphas, the women are just as strong as their men. They’re usually bossy, stern and keep to themselves (and their packs, of course) But when they shift, it’s a different story. They’re literal animals, in touch with their wild side, connected to nature and the outdoors. They’re rough and tumble and a little alien. 

So which monsters rules supreme?

My love for both vamps and weres was what led me to write the Secret McQueen books in the first place. I liked the idea of the two separate creatures but wondered, “What would happen if someone was both?” And thus, Secret was born. She was from both worlds but part of neither (until she was suddenly in charge of both), and that made her fascinating to me. What strengths would she have, what weaknesses? There was so much to draw from. In the Secret books I tried to focus equally on both parts of her heritage, but the vampire half often got more focus.

With the Genie McQueen books, things are different. Genie is all werewolf, and in spite of her abilities as a natural witch, she has nothing getting in the way of her werewolf skills. It’s different than it was writing with Secret, because I don’t need to worry about balancing powers, I just have to let Genie be Genie. She’s familiar with being a wolf, she accepts the nature of the pack and the wild part of herself in a way Secret never did, so it’s a whole different ballgame this time around.

If I hat to pick, I don’t know if I could. Writing with more focus on the werewolves has been fun. I like delving deeper into their royalty system and seeing how the dynamics between different pack members plays out. The power struggles will become Shakespearean down the line, and it’s a lot of fun to lay the groundwork for that. 

At the same time, writing Secret was a joy, because she was so unique and I could make up all the rules for her without any canon to worry about. 

Ultimately, they’re both great. I’m not done with vampires. They still exist in the Genie world, and we’ll see them in future books. But between werewolves, witches and the other creepy crawlies in Genie’s universe, I think I’ve got plenty of other things to keep me busy in the meantime.

Thanks!

Giveaway
1 ebook copy of one of Sierra's books (not Bayou Blues)

Check out her books in the link. She has YA, UF and contemporary (I say give Secret a try if you have not, or any of the other books really :)



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2. Ends March 28th
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PS. If your email is not in your profile, then leave it here, or twitter name, or anything cos else I will not be able to reach you.






Wednesday, 18 March 2015

One night in London - Caroline Linden

A bargain that was all business . . . and pure passion.

Neither wealth nor beauty will help Lady Francesca Gordon win custody of her young niece Georgina, saving the girl from a cruel stepmother; she needs London’s top solicitor for that. But when Edward de Lacey, son of the powerful Duke of Durham, hires away the one man who can do the job, Francesca decides Edward himself must champion her case . . . if only she can melt the dashing lord’s stony heart.

Edward has reason to be guarded, though. London’s tabloids have just exposed a secret that could ruin his entire family. When Francesca offers a unique chance to undo the damage, Edward is forced to agree to a partnership . . . and now, each moment together feeds the flames of his scandalous longing for the passionate widow. But when Georgina disappears, fate will test them both . . . and leave their love hanging in the balance.

Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Avon
The Truth About the Duke #1
Historical romance
Own

My thoughts:
How did I do those really short reviews now again...

Hero: I liked Edward, he wanted the best for his family.

Heroine: And I also liked Fran, she also wanted the best for her family but also saw reason.

Story: He needs a lawyer, she needs a lawyer. They strike a deal. They start to fall in love. There is lots of passion.

Conclusion:
Interesting to see if they get what they want, and if they get each other (duh). Of course they get each other. Too bad though that I never got to see the whole Duke thing resolved.


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Memoir of Lady Trent 1, 2 - Marie Brennan

You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

My thoughts:
I honestly did not know what to expect from this one. It sounded intriguing but how would it be?

Oh it was lovely, absolutely lovely. Set in a world akin to our own, except they have dragons. But I liked how it could be our world, our countries, and at the same time not. I liked how she was sent to have her season and get a man. I liked how she, Isabella, was fascinated by dragons. She wanted to learn, but she was a woman. A naturalist, no, not a woman's job. And I liked how she wanted a man for his library...good girl ;)

After getting married there is the real adventure. Where she gets to see dragons in the wild, and tell her tale. Because this is a memoir, and yes I could totally believe some woman 200 years ago wrote it. But as we do not have dragons, alas, it was only a fantasy novel.

The closeness to our world never gets to close. Cos that is a pet peeve of mine, why invent but do not go further? Here only the names of people are similar (like oh she is English, he is Russian), and certain other things. But it still is totally her world, her creation, and it was a lovely and fun creation.

I do look forward to reading more of Isabellas's adventures. 


Paperback, 335 pages
Published February 14th 2014 by Titan Books (first published February 5th 2013)
Memoir by Lady Trent #1
Fantasy
Library

Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, in which she lost her husband, the widowed Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the savage, war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics.

The expedition is not an easy one. Accompanied by both an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, palace intrigues, gossip, and other hazards in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell – where her courage, resourcefulness, and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before. 

My thoughs:
Just as good as book 1 if not better :)

3 years has gone by since book 1. Isabella still wants to study dragons. She is dealing with the aftermath from book 1; the loss of Jacob, and the birth of her son. But that is not what this book is about.

Nope, Isabella goes on another adventure with Wilkins and a runaway heiress. There will be dragons, studies and scandals brewing.

I so like Isabella, she loves her dragons and I like discovering things about, well this world's dragons, and I like how the book is written and I can't wait to read book 3 :) 

I am recommending this series.

Paperback, 345 pages
Published June 20th 2014 by Titan Books
Memoir by Lady Trent #2
Fantasy
Library


Monday, 16 March 2015

Heart of Brass - Kate Cross

Arden, undercover for The Wardens of the Realm who protect 1898 steampunk England, has the status, wealth, and independence of a countess - and can see the final moments of a murder victim’s life. Her husband Lucas vanishes until she spots him one night. The Company wiped his memory, sent him to kill her, but he cannot. Yet if he does not, someone will — and kill him.

My thoughts:
I was disappointed. See I recently finished a trilogy by this author and that trilogy was awesome, I could not put it down and it made me want more by her. Sure this is another pen-name, but it did feel like a totally different author too.

It was steampunk, but a few gadgets does not steampunk make. I always want more.

Lucas was gone 7 years and suddenly lots had changed for women...yeah, more time needed there. Or at least tell us things that led to that. They had a female PM, well, then at least there had to be women in parliament when he went away..right?

Arden waited for him all that time and refused to believe he was dead. She never looked at another man. Of course Lucas had no memory so he was free to spread out. I did not like that. 7 years for a woman in her early 20s is a lot. And everyone said he was dead but whatever. She had an "intuition. "

He tries to kill her, she is a bit tstl.

But it was good. But not good enough to make me want to read more. No, I can say this was the end of this series for me. Sometimes those books that are good, are just not good enough to tempt me with more. 
 
Cover
good

Paperback, 371 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Signet Eclipse
Clockwork Agents #1
Steampunk romance
Own


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