Saturday 31 October 2009

Review: 22 Nights - Linda Winstead Jones

22 Nights by Linda Winstead Jones

Genre: Paranormal romance
Pages: 336

The emperor has his eyes on the lovely Belavalari as his future empress. Little does he know that Bela has spent the last five years intent on one purpose - revenge.

And when the dashing general Merin is sent to collect Bela, he's horrified to learn that she's already married - to

First I just want to take up this whole paranormal romance genre, well ok, this is fantasy, with romance. I would just rather have it called fantasy romance then. Because to call it paranormal gives it the wrong feeling, in most fantasy I haev read there is magic, sometimes hidden and sometimes not. Nothing parano0rmal about that. When it takes place in this world then yes do call it this. But here I always gets confused, is it set in our world or not. Here it is not. Therefore my little fantasy speech.

Second, this blurb is misleading and it made me not care for the second storyline. I wished she had not made it like that. There is Bela and Merin. And suddenly there is a woman called Leyla who is having sex with this guy Savvyn. Why I thought, and read past that to get back to Bela. But Leyla kept coming back and then I understood that this book is actually 2 books in one in a way. They are about the same thing though so that is what they have in common.

I wished that could have been mentioned so that I would have cared more for Leyla. As for the cover that is Bela and Merin.

But ok, the story is that the emperor wants a bride, and he sends out sentinels to get him 6 brides so he can choose. Bela, is one of them. But when general Merin arrives he gets a surprise. He sure remember the woman who jumped him and then left. But he did not know they were married. A divorce is in other so he can bring the bride to his emperor.

The second story is about Leyla, a widow who has been called forth as a bride too. A bit older, and with a younger lover who she now must leave. She sets out but it's a dangerous journey to the capital.

Bela is a bit spoiled now and again. She wants to be a warrior and she dresses and act likes a man. The she suddenly goes soft, and I don't know about that whole thing. But I still liked her. Merin too. As for the whole lovestory, well yes I knew they would be together but I don't know if I cared.

Leyla and Savvyn was different. I did not care for them at first, though I wish I had. But their lovestory was more intense, and I longed for these too. They had more obstacles to get trough and that made them real.

There was also much focus on something that I guess will happen in another series. I then hope she writes that one cos else it will be strange.

But it was a good little story. I just wish tI would have known about the two storyline plot. I did get caught by surprise about the whole sex thing with two strangers that did not seem to have anything to do with Bela and Merin. Oh and yes it was a lot of sex too. But it fitted the mood and what happened trough the book.

It is a book that I am sure lovers of romance in a little fantasy world can like. Cos there is plenty of that. Some hardships, and danger too. This is book 2 in the trilogy Emperor brides, but you can read any of them in any order really. Well perhaps not book 3, but we all know who people will fall for in the beginning with these books anyway.

Cover thoughts: Love it, those colors, yes perfect. But it looks a bit strange to the side.
Why I read it: My book
I don't know if to give it 2,5 or 3. That whole storyline caught me so unaware really and therefore my hesitation. But now you are warned.

Friday 30 October 2009

Review: Released - Kimber Chin + Birthday Wishes :D

Released by Kimber Chin

Pages: 33
Published: October 2009
Genre: Contemporary romance/suspense

Fifteen years ago, Alvar went to prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Finally released, he comes face to face with the real murderer - the only woman he has ever loved.

This was a sweet little story. Alvar comes out from prison, and he wants to move on and forget the past. But there is the question about Edenia. The woman he loved, the woman he went to jail for.

I really like the opening sentence:

The world's sexiest murderer stood in front of him, her fists clenched, brown eyes blazing. If Alvar cared at all about his life, he'd be scared.

It's an intense read. I liked the lovestory that unfolded. It was sweet, and then there was the question of murder. The danger got closer and I can't say more since it's such a short read and I would just spoil it all.

What more can I say that it was a nice short story. I never know with Kimber Chin's books, the one I read before this, I liked the most. Now I like this style again. I guess they just are getting better and better.

And now for some Birthday Wishes:


You both are great bloggers and friends. I am glad that I have met you both. I hope you both will have a wonderful birthday, but lots of presents, loved ones and cake.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Guest post and Giveaway with Lori Brighton #CLOSED#

I want to introduce you to Lori Brighton, the author of Wild Heart, which is coming out now in November 2009. Thank you  Lori so much for this lovely guest post. 

Check the details in the end of the post for the giveaway. I will draw winners next Wednesday and email Lori the winners. So remember to leave details if they are not in your profile.

*Since Blodeuedd is located in Finland, I thought it would be interesting if I discussed overseas sales and how they happen, along with comparing examples of book covers from around the world. But I quickly realized I didn’t know a thing about overseas sales. Nope, nothing at all. I asked on my author loop. Sadly, no one else seemed to understand overseas sales either. In fact many people don’t even realize they’ve sold to another country until their book pops up or a reader mentions it. So I ditched that idea, but realized there was no reason I couldn’t still talk about book covers. 

For an author, when we receive our book cover it is one of the most important moments in our career. We get to see our hero and heroine as the reader will. I still remember the moment my editor, very excited, sent me as an email attachment the cover of my book. Honestly, I was so nervous I had to wait a good five minutes before I opened it. Finally, heart pounding, I clicked on that file. The picture burst before me…beautiful, sensual…and totally, utterly wrong. 

As are many women, I’m a dark-haired hero kind of girl. Yet, when I wrote Wild Heart, I knew Leo, my hero, had blond hair. Think Brad Pitt in the movie Legends of the Fall. So imagine my horror when I opened my book cover file and found Leo, my dear, wonderful alpha Leo, had dark hair! It gets worse. Ella, my heroine, who was supposed to have brown hair, had blonde! It was too late to change the cover. I could either leave it as it was, or I could rush through my manuscript and change the coloring in the pages. I didn’t feel right not having the picture match the descriptions and so I combed through my book and gave Leo dark hair and Ella blonde. 

Somewhat depressed, I went to my author loop to discuss my options. Guess what they said? It happens all the time. And there have been worse. Take the infamous Christina Dodd book cover of a woman with three arms. Yes, three arms. Can you find them? Ms. Dodd didn’t even realize her heroine had three arms until a reader pointed it out. But instead of being horrified, she was thrilled that her infamous cover helped her sales. 

With all these mistakes, does this mean authors have no say in their covers? Not debut authors. That’s between the editors (who will often fill out forms describing characters) and the art department. But for the most part it depends on the publisher and how established the author is. I’m sure there are many NY Times Bestselling authors who do get to fill out that infamous form describing their characters. But in the end, it will still be up to the editor and art department because they know what sells. 

If you think authors are left in the dark about many decisions, you’re right. Overseas sales are even worse since most authors don’t even realize when their book is sold in another country. It’s safe to say most authors don’t have any input in the covers overseas. Still, its fun to compare countries. Many authors will post their original covers as well as overseas covers, if you’re interested. They’re usually quite different as you can see from the examples I’ve brought with. I’m sure a person could do a study on how book covers differ country to country and what that says about each culture.

Once the artists come up with some sketch ideas for the cover, they call in the models. Yes, that man you’ve been drooling over on the cover of the book you’re reading is real. And yes, it’s probably the same male model used on that other book by another author you just read. As great as those romance covers are, they do tend to have a similar feel. My personal favorite is that all too familiar hero grasping the heroine from behind. See my cover. The truth of the matter is that to save money, publishers often reuse book covers. They might change coloring, or scenery here and there, but if you look closely, you’ll see many similarities on your favorite covers. 

If you’re interested in reading more about the book cover process, I found this wonderful article by author Stephanie Bond:

As Stephanie explains the art department knows what they’re doing. We might think those covers are redundant, we might not understand why they use a certain color, but they understand. They know what shades sell (green, for instance, is supposed to be a bad color), they know what hair color sells, what scenery sells. And those suggestive covers that define romance novels… well, I assume they wouldn’t do them if they didn’t make a lot of money. 

The good news is that lately I’ve noticed publishers are really stepping up when it comes to producing amazing book covers. Kensington, which is a smaller publisher, has produced some top notch books lately. 

*So, do book covers matter to you? Are you embarrassed by overly seductive covers? Does the hair coloring of the hero and heroine have to match the color inside the book? Leave a comment! Three people will win a signed copy of my debut book Wild Heart!

Ends: November4th


Leo Roberts is next in line for an earldom and the power and fortune that come with it, but he is uncultured, unrefined—and completely untamed…until governess Ella Finch arrives upon the scene. Can so young and inexperienced a woman tutor him in the manners and mores of his class? Leo’s mysterious past has rendered him an outsider, too wild for polite society. But he finds her innocence most intriguing…


What manner of man he may be, Ella does not know. Yet he fascinates her and she must know more. Capturing Leo’s reckless heart is about to free her in ways she never dreamed of…and his sensual touch releases the deepest yearnings of her body and soul …

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Review: The Name of The Wind - Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of The Wind
Book 1, The Kingkiller Chronicles

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 662
Published: 2007

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of Kvothe - from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But THE NAME OF THE WIND is so much more - for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe's legend
. (GoodReads)

I might be the only one since everyone keep raving about this book, but honestly I was bored, and I do not give books the chance I gave this one. I kind of felt obligated cos I told the library to buy it. So I read all 662 pages, and was not too happy about it.

I am only giving it 3 stars because yes he he can write he and told a nice story. A great author who actually can write. If it wasn't for that fact I would grade it lower.

Now what was wrong? 662 pages! But I have read longer books that I loved. I think it was the setting. It is just not my kind of fantasy. I want the epic, the big wars, the quest. This book was more about the man, and I could have cared less. I have read another book like this and with that one I could not bring myself to finish book 2. With this book, well perhaps I can force myself just I am gonna force myself with that other book.

The story did not start good for me, Kvothe's childhood, and it did nothing for me. It did get a bit better when he began university and started learning things and some magic. But something was lacking for me, and I would just read Harry Potter. Truth to be told, I have trouble remembering how it ended.

I also think Kvothe was somewhat of a Mary Sue. He is like the smartest person around and learn things in a day that takes years for others. He is a natural at everything, and I am sure in the next book when he learns how to fight he will learn it in an hour. People hate him with a passion or like him.

But I do admit that Rothfuss has a way with words, he can write better than many authors out there. Others will surely love the story and find it intriguing. But it was not the fantasy for me, I go for other things.

But do not listen to me, take a look for yourself. There are different sorts of fantasy and I just go for the high, and epic fantasy.

Now for a new thing as I adore covers

What I think of the cover: Another version had a real ugly one, and this one, well too dark and brooding. Looks like some kind of murder mystery book from the Middle Ages where a monk solves crime.

Why I read it: Library book

3/5 Cos of excellent writing, even if not to my liking(if I had liked it then wow)

Sunday 25 October 2009

Review: The last Honest Woman - Nora Roberts

The last Honest Woman by Nora Roberts

Genre: Contemporary romance
Pages: 251
Published: 1988

What was she hiding? When Dylan Crosby came to grill Abigail O'Hurley Rockwell about her infamous late husband, he expected cool white mink, icy diamonds. What he got was dusty dungarees and womanly warmth. Why would socialite Abby pretend to be a hardworking country mom? Worse, why did he believe her loving lies? (Good Reads)

I put this book up on bookmooch, someone wanted it and suddenly I quickly had to read it. It wasn't anywhere near the top of my TBR pile (not even in the same house actually), but it's not like I could ever part with a book I hadn't at least tried to read.

It was an easy and sometimes sweet read. But I did get annoyed at Abby now and again. Yes she wanted to portrait her husband in a good way, and therefore she tried to lie to the writer who was writing her late husbands biography. But why keep it up when he knew she was lying and not to mention when he thought the worst of her. Some things I can understand why she wanted to keep hidden but others made no sense since they really had nothing to do with the bottom line of things.

And Dylan was kind of an ass too, he thought the worst of her, well do your background check and stop judging people from some photos from the past. he is supposed to write this great biographies but he only thinks the worst of people. How is that a good way to start?

So we have two idiots that drove me crazy now and again. And then her famous siblings showed up, it seems they have books of their own too. Not that I got that interested in reading them.

Ok I did not hate the book even if it may seem like that. It was a sweet lovestory, it's just that the man characters were real stubborn. But I read the sweet parts, and I got the true story behind her marriage. That made a good story.

And her kids were adorable, almost the best part of the book, at least the best people of the book. They made up for idiotic adults.

It was an ok book, not bad, and not good. An easy book to read, I did not have to think much and it sure took no time at all to read it.

Friday 23 October 2009

Review: The Light of Burning Shadows - Chris Evans

The Light of Burning Shadows by Chris Evans
Book 2 of The Iron Elves

Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2009
Pages: 384

Musket and cannon, bow and arrow, and magic and diplomacy vie for supremacy once again in this second epic fantasy adventure from acclaimed author Chris Evans. As the human-dominated Calahrian Empire struggles to maintain its hold on power in the face of armed rebellion from within, the Iron Elves' perilous quest to defeat the power-hungry elf witch, the Shadow Monarch, takes on greater urgency.

Recalled to duty to reform his regiment from the dregs of the Imperial Army, Konowa thwarted the plans of the Shadow Monarch at the Battle of Luuguth Jor -- ensuring that the fabled Red Star, a source of great natural energy, did not fall into Her hands. Now Konowa must cross storm-tossed seas to seek out the lost elves and the prophesied return of another Star somewhere in a desert wasteland roiling with mysterious power, infernos of swirling magic, and legends brought back to life in new and terrible ways. And the fate of every living creature will come to depend on a small band of ragged and desperate soldiers, whose very loyalty to the Empire they have sworn to serve is no longer certain. When death is but a temporary condition, a terrifying question arises: who is the true ally -- and fearsome enemy -- in a growing conflict that threatens all?
(fantastic fiction)

This book continues where book 1 left off. Konowa and The Iron Elves are destroying the Shadow Monarchs trees on islands on their way to the desert on the south. There Konowa hopes to meet up with his exiled men, the true Iron Elves and with them take up the fight to banish the Shadow Monarch. But as they come closer darkness is growing, and there are rumours about another Star falling in the desert. Everyone wants the starts power for their own purpose, and Konowa knows that he held it once and did not free his men from their terrible oath, but can he do it again?

I really liked book 1, A Darkness Forged in Fire. It was good, and then suddenly it was so good that I did not want to put it down. Not the same feeling here because all books are different, but this was still great epic fantasy, and after reading this I do want to read book 3 that is out sometime 2010.

A negative thing about this book is that he did not move forward the possible relationship between Visyana and Konowa. Are there to be more books? Because then he movie it slow, as it was now they did not even say a word to each other. That was a tad bit slow since there obviously is something there.

The other negative part for me was that this was mostly about Allwyn, yes he was crucial to the book as he can see their fallen comrades and talk to them, he has a tree for a leg and he can handle the dark magic the best. It was his story in a way, still I missed Konowa.

But don't get me wrong, this was still good fantasy. The battle continues and I am really starting to like the different soldiers, while not so much others. Here we learnt more and got to see more of everyone, and of course big epic fight in the end when the star has come. The Empire wants it, the desert wants it, mysterious powers wants it, the Shadow Monarch wants it, yes it's not an easy battle and he manages to surprise me in the end.

Good old fantasy, with a big slice of military, I do like it. I will always like fantasy the best because it has this way of capture me the most. It's the excellent world building, the thought behind the political unrest and so forth. Oh and gotta have a nice map too, I want to see where I am going. This book has all those things, and I hope book 3 keeps up the good pace.

"They might be doomed, damned, and buggered for all eternity, but that didn't mean they couldn't sparkle like a diamond in the sun and grin like a skull in the moonlight on their way to oblivion."

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen

Published: 2009
Genre: Classic regency romance/zombie mayhem
Pages: 320

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." 

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton - and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. 

What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers - and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.
(fantastic fiction)

Oh, how can I even describe this book. It was madness, and I loved it! It followed Austen's story, everything happened and most of the time with her exact words. But then there were the differences, like Lizzy polishing her katana, and killing zombies on her way to Meryton. It was completely different and at the same time just the same.

Some might see it as blasphemy but I am sure Austen could have seen the fun in this. All those zombies, and I liked the Bennet girls more than ever. Now they all very warriors, sure silly still but they had something. Even if I have started to get annoyed by Lizzy lately, she is very prejudiced. But everyone was cool, and her mother was still crazy about wanting them all to get married, Mr Collins was still an ass, Darcy was still Darcy, and Lady de Bourgh, well she was a great fighter with an army of ninjas. Bit of a difference there, and I did enjoy her a lot.

The author was not afraid to make changes, some differences in how they act, things that happen and so forth. There are plenty of zombies out there, while some things stay the same, some things will change. And it is still the same story about Mrs Bennet wanting them to get married, Jane falling for Bingley, Lizzy thinking Darcy is proud and Lydia running away with Wickham.

This book also had the greatest line that had me giggling.

"Your balls, Mr Darcy?"
He reached out and closed her hand around them, and offered: "My balls belong to you Miss Bennet."

Now that is just great, and I love that he made that innuendo. Of course I cut out the first part about her holding ammunition because this way it's so much better. So no sex or anything like that, this is a Pride and Prejudice book after all, the closest they get is that wet shirt scene which sadly was not here ( yes I know, I have watched that BBC series too much). Though there was talk about some wet pants.

And of course there is a lot of zombie killing, and guts and more. The zombies have plagued the country for 50 years but the British stand tall and stay and fight. While continuing on like before.

Do read this one, if only for the fun of it. It's a funny twist to a great novel, and I sat there smiling as I read it. I liked this novel. Because how would the classic regency novel look if it was filled with brain loving zombies who wanted flesh. All while life goes on with balls, tea, and modesty.

Monday 19 October 2009

Review: Happy Hour at Casa Dracula - Marta Acosta

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta
Book 1, Casa Dracula series

Genre: Paranormal romance
Pages: 320

Latina Ivy League grad Milagro de Los Santos can't find her place in the world or a man to go with it. Then one night, at a book party for her pretentious ex-boyfriend, she meets an oddly attractive man. After she is bitten while kissing him, she falls ill and is squirreled away to his family's estate to recover. Vampires don't exist in this day and age -- or do they? As Milagro falls for a fabulously inappropriate man, she finds herself caught between a family who has accepted her as one of their own and a shady organization that refuses to let the undead live and love in peace.

This was a fun book, it was like paranormal chic-lit in a way. Just because the funny way it was written and it didn't take everything so serious and tried to explain that it's so real. A reason why I ended up choosing this cover for my review cos it more says fun than the other one that says paranormal.

I do expect a smile on my face when the main character is a graduate from F.U. Lol, yes. It might not have been laughing out loud. But it was a sweet book that made you smile and a giggle here and there.

Milagro is a spicy Latina that got into a great uni and felt a bit out of place there with all those blonde wasps. One of her secret weapons are her boobs, they are great now and again when you are late with rent and need some sympathy. She is a writer who writes about zombies and gore, and she sure does not believe in anything paranormal. But then she meets a guy who sweeps her off her feet, there is some kissing involved and soon she is going crazy from hearing rats in the walls and gets really ill. In sweeps attractive guy and takes her away to a country estate, but there is also the matter of her ex who wants to stake her.

Oswald, well I liked him, I disliked him, I liked, and yes then I disliked him in the end. He was a roller coaster, and the writer made me feel like Milagro. Could she like and trust him or? There were others I liked instead, I did keep changing my mind and some things just worked out for the best in the end.

As for side character, slimy creep wasp Ex, a good evil person who I wanted to kick in the ass. Edna, oh I loved her. Oswalds grandmother who has a lot of class, and dislikes Milagro, or perhaps just really likes her. And more, who I sure want to know more about later on.

Are they vampires or not is the question here, and I did wonder. It's a different sort of vampire tale, some bites yes, but so much else too. Culture and social classes clash when Milagro shows up, and with her bantering with Edna, there we got the smiles. Romance, yes, and more is to come.

A fun vampire tale with a funny twist. I will keep an eye out for book 2 and 3 because I do want to know what will happen, and if there is that HEA we all love. A recommendation for paranormal lovers out there.

Friday 16 October 2009

Review: Poison Study - Maria V Snyder

Poison Study by Maria V.Snyder

Genre: YA fantasy
Published: 2005
Pages: 440

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered a reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust, and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. 

As Yelena tries to escape her dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and she develops magical powers she can't control. Her life’s at stake again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear.

Oh I loved this book. It is already on my keeper shelf. Why did I not read this one before, and why did I not buy the rest at once when I started reading this one. As it is now, 2 weeks for more. How will I make it?

First up, it's YA, well I have read adult fantasy with less violence, and with a younger hero/heroine. So in the end, sure ok YA, but this one can be read by all. Especially when considering her torture flashbacks, and the rape.

Yelena has been in a filthy dungeon for a year, then she is brought up for her execution. As a murdered she is given a chance. Death or become the Commanders food-taster. With a slime chance of survival she chooses the latter, and the Commanders right hand man Valek introduces her to the world of poison. But first he poisons her so she has to stay at the castle. That chance for escape is fading away, and the family of the man she liked wants revenge.

I really liked Yelena, she had a strength that even years of torture and darkness in a prison cell could not take away from her. She had doubts, and was human. She also discovers a secret about herself, magic, and that is outlawed and will get her killed for sure. Then there is the other person in this book, Valek, mysterious, dark and he had me at once. Even when he poisoned her. Because he sees through her, even when everyone else calls her murderer and would rather spit at her.

This is true fantasy with intrigues and magic. There is a hint of romance, and I do prefer the real fantasy so that works fine with me. I can live on that little hope of love and feel for them, because I love to read about magic, war and political intrigues, that is what fantasy is all about. And of course I wonder if we will be given a HEA in the third book. I sure hope so, after the dust has settled, she has found her power, and life, then I do want her to have love too.

Snyder has created an interesting world, I always like a world I would want to live in or not. as it is now, I would not like Ixia. It's so strict, everyone wears the color of the profession they have and it's hard to travel between cities. Everyone has to be accounted for and no one can just take off. In the south there is Sithia, where magic flows, and they seem exotic, but would I want to live there, I don't know yet. But I appreciate her work and the political system she has built.

There is also darkness, the glimpses of the horrible things she has suffered through and the doubts she has and ghosts she has from her past. There is also the uncertainty of her future, but she is strong and determined to built a future for herself.

A lovely world, intrigues, magic, power and some great characters makes this book a keeper for me. The style is easy and flows. I kept turning the page to see what happens next, and it's a sure recommendation for fantasy fans. But if you do want that romance, well perhaps in later books. If you want pure fantasy this is teh book for you, and I did find myself enthralled by her storytelling.

So now I am waiting to get my hands on book 2 to find out more about Yelena, and Valek of course. On a sidenote, I love this cover, it was attracted me to the book in the first place. Too bad I then got the green cover with her face on it- But hey don't judge a book by it's cover (even if this one delivered when it was great.)

Thursday 15 October 2009

Review: The Darcy Connection - Elizabeth Ashton

The Darcy Connection by Elizabeth Ashton

Genre: Historical romance
Published: 2008
Pages: 304

In The Darcy Connection, Mr. Collins of Pride and Prejudice is now the Bishop of Ripon, living with his wife, Charlotte, and their two daughters, who have reached marriageable age. The elder, another Charlotte, is extraordinarily beautiful, and her parents hope her looks and connections will ensure a brilliant marriage. Her sister, Eliza, while not as handsome, possesses a lively intelligence that, in Mr. Collins's opinion, is too like her godmother, Mrs. Darcy.

In London, Charlotte's beauty wins her many admirers, despite her small fortune. But Eliza's wit and attempts to interfere in what she considers an unsuitable marriage for her sister infuriate her family and Charlotte's suitor -- until Eliza herself meets her match.(fantastic fiction)

This was, well it was a nice read now and again. But mostly I just now and then saw characters I knew, there was the "Mr Wickham" "Mr Darcy" "Lizzy" "Jane" and "Mr Collins. She could have tried more to give them voices of their own and not mould them after Austen figures. Just because it's an Austen sequel does not mean every character have to be the same.

This story is about Mr Collins and Charlotte's daughters, Charlotte and Eliza (that is Jane and Lizzy). Eliza is in love with a neighbour and Charlotte is stunning and will therefore surely catch a good husband so she is sent away to town. And Eliza too because she should get away from the man. And here the story unfolds. Sure some things they do are not like in P&P but I still feel like the characters are borrowed and while reading it I said out loud to my friend who was driving, - Ok "Mr Wickham" just came in and so on.

Still it was a nice story. One sister is careful with her feelings, she is called ice-cold, while Eliza is witty and just like Lizzy. Even her dad says so. There will be guys, everyone likes the ice-cold Charlotte, while Eliza is called provincial (oh yes by our "Mr Darcy"). But of course we all know how that will end. Charlotte was more of a surprised in her love affairs. The author got me there, and I saw something of her mother in her too.

I can't say if Austen fans will enjoy it, I mean it was a short read, romance, some troubles, regency England. I enjoyed that even if there could have been more of things and things could have been better. If I compare it to the only other sequel I have read, Mr Darcy Vampyre, well the latter one is way much better, oh and funnier. But other than that is was funny to read it, and especially because it was Mr Collins daughter I was reading about. Now that was funny.

The author does try to be Austen like, but now, it does not work. She should have found her own voice instead of mimicking. But like I have said before, nice enough, and it took now time at all to read it.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Review: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance

The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance

Pages: 521
Published: 2009

24 new short stories from the hottest names
Fall in love with someone out of this world.

If love transcends all boundaries then paranormal romance is its logical conclusion. From the biggest names around, here are 24 tales to take you to another time and place.

Let Alyssa Day, Anna Windsor,  Anya Bast, Jean Johnson, CT Adams and Cathy Clamp, Holly Lisle, Mary Jo Putney, Eve Silver, Dina James, Catherine Mulvany, Lori Devoti, Sara Mackenzie, Lynda Hilburn, Michelle Rowen, Rachel Caine, Meljean Brook, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Cheyenne McCray, Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Kelley Armstrong, Maria V. Snyder, Carrie Vaughn, Allyson James Marland show you powers beyond your wildest imaginings.

Within these pages mythical beasts, magical creatures of all shapes and sizes, heart-stoppingly handsome ghosts, angels, and mortals with extra-sensitive sensory perception play out the themes of extraordinary desires.

Ok how to review this, I will not talk about all those stories. So a few short lines about those I really enjoyed.

The Temptation of Robin Green by Carrie Vaughn
I did not like it at first, which is bad since it's so short, but then I liked it. A story about a zoo with paranormal beings, and it was the selkie that got me. One hot hot scene too.

Light through Fog by Holly Lisle
This was a sort of ghost story but at the same time not. And it was heartbreaking, a wonderful little story she brought to life.

Grace of Small Things by Ilona Andrews
I guess it was set in that world she writes about, with magic clans and such, not sure. Anyway clans, a hunt, and I found myself liking this little story.

Once a Demon by Dina James
I think this was my fav, what a bittersweet story, heart wrenching about a demon and love.

The lighthouse keeper and his wife by Sara Mckenzie
Neptune, the sea, a lighthouse, lost love, a good history that evolved.

The Princess and the peas by Alyssa Day
Oh I liked this one, set in a lost country long ago, with fae and magic. Even though I imagined another thing happening and was a bit disappointed when it didn't.

At second Bite by Michelle Rowan
This was my second fav. A girl, vampires, soulmates, and it was funny. I loved her style, I really can see myself reading more Rowan.

The Dream Catcher by Allyson James
A strange world, repressed passion and a truly hunky guy. I liked what she begun.

So some I liked, some I have forgotten, some were ok. These were the good ones. Though the Jeanine Frost was kind nice too. Still I am not a short story girl, I want more, a beginning, an end, more! I need a long story.

Saturday 10 October 2009

Review: Moon Called - Patricia Briggs

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Mercedes Thompson, Book 1

Pages: 304
Published: 2006
Genre: urban fantasy

Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they'll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I'm not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too.

Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.  She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.

But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself... and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.
(Good reads)

Another book that was good on my long, long bustrip on Friday. I could not stop reading. By the way, will be visiting all your blogs on Monday when I am back home. Today a little post since I have had time to read a lot.

I really liked this book and I am so glad I got it. I want more. I need to know what will happen to Mercedes, and especially when it comes to Adam and Sam.

Mercedes is a mechanic, and not afraid to get dirty under a car. The thing with her is that she is a shapeshifter and can shift into a coyote. By being apart of this world she knows about all the other things out there, the Fae, the werewolves, witches and vampires. She also knows this because she is friends with a Fae and a vampire. Not to mention that a hunky angry alpha werewolf lives next to her. But they do not exactly see eye to eye and she knows her place since a coyote is way under a were.

But then things happen and suddenly her world is a lot more dangerous.

I love her, she is kickass, cool, speaks her mind, and yes I liked her at once. Then there is the big bad alpha Adam, what can I say vampires don't hold anything on werewolves. Weres are such alphas and I don't think I I can go back to those tiny vamps.

This book has a lot of action, and a fair share of bloodshed. There is also a prospect of romance and tensions run high. I just loved that, this one car scene, well I will stay tuned to the next one to see how it turns out. Who gets who.

She is great with myths and I can see she has put some though into the whole thing, and I appreciate that. Making up their own is fun but I also like when an author take existing things and make them her own.

This is recommended to all urban fantasy fans out there, I think most have already read Briggs and I might be coming in a bit late, but better late then never.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Review: The end of Mr Y - Scarlett Thomas

The end of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas

Pages: 416
Published: 2006
Genre: Contemporary Fiction Mystery sci-fi perhaps

A cursed book. A missing professor. Some nefarious men in gray suits. And a dreamworld called the Troposphere? 

Ariel Manto has a fascination with nineteenth-century scientists—especially Thomas Lumas and The End of Mr. Y, a book no one alive has read. When she mysteriously uncovers a copy at a used bookstore, Ariel is launched into an adventure of science and faith, consciousness and death, space and time, and everything in between. 

Seeking answers, Ariel follows in Mr. Y’s footsteps: She swallows a tincture, stares into a black dot, and is transported into the Troposphere—a wonderland where she can travel through time and space using the thoughts of others. There she begins to understand all the mysteries surrounding the book, herself, and the universe. Or is it all just a hallucination? (Goodreads)

How to start? This was one of the most confusing books I have ever read, it was also one of the best books I have read this year. It was amazing in this crazy madness kind of way. It will be hard to review it because it was messy, great and so strange.

Ariel is a woman fascinated by a lot of things. She writes articles for a paper and then she meets Professor Burlem, and agrees to write her Phd under him. But then he disappears and she is left alone with her studies. One day she finds one of the most rare books in the world, a book that those few who has read it, has died. They say the book is curse. But she can't believe her luck and even though she has really no money and is living on noodles she buys it. And here the story starts, a strange story that will take her back in time, and transport her to a strange world of dreams. What is real and what is not? The more she learns about the character Mr Y, and follow in his footstep, the darker it gets.

This book is filled with physics, she is fascinated with it and she talks about it with the professor, she uses it in her PhD, she talks about it with her friend Wolfgang, with her colleagues, of whom one is an ex Catholic priest named Adam (love interest).

I loved the physics, to read about Schrödingers cat, multiuniverses, quarks, Big Bang. It's not hardcore physics because even she says she needs to know more, it's popular science and it's all truly interested. It makes me want to know more about all these things. I do have a lot of knowledge to thank all the sci-fi I have watched, but you don't need to know it all to keep up. She explains it all very good, and all this physics mixed with some philosophy in a way. It makes a very amazing read.

Among all this physics are some sordid sex scenes, oh yes I did not see those coming, they sure took me by surprise. But thinking about it it makes sense. They display her confused and dark state of mind. She is a relationship with a married man and it takes a darker turn so a few scenes are there in here. It shows the spiral down.

This book gives you a lot to think about, it has some fascinated stuff in it, and the ending. I think the author is an genius for creating this world and these thoughts about it. And it all makes sense too, why could it not be like that.

It's an hard to explain kind of book. It's hard to keep out the spoilers, it's a book that needs to be read to understand. And don't let all that physics scare you, I was unsure and I was sucked into this book because the author is a great storyteller. If she writes all her books like this I will keep an lookout for more. They are worth a try to see if the style is for you.

A recommended read, a book that shows that there can be more between heaven and earth that we could ever imagine. Everything is possible, everything has happened and at the same time not. Read it and find out what really happened.

Sunday 4 October 2009

Review: Breach of Trust - Kimber Chin

Breach of Trust by Kimber Chin

Published: 2008
Pages: 258
Genre: Contemporary romance

When a business secret is shared, can love survive?

When You Play With The Best…
For years, Anne James has played a dangerous game, secretly manipulating venture capitalist Philippe Lamont into financing her clients. She knew there would be a price to pay for her arrogance. That price, she thought, was three months of negotiated torture as his sexy Girl Friday.

…The Stakes Are High
Anne was wrong. In Philippe’s fast paced world of start up investing, the lines between business and personal blur. One misstep, one misplaced confidence, and Anne could lose her heart, her business, and her life.

This is my third story by Kimber Chin, and I enjoyed this one the most. Why, well hard to say, this one was really all business and even if I did not get everything she made me feel like I did understand.

Anne James is the grey mouse that does not want to be in the spotlight. She has been writing business plans for her clients for years and the guy she got to finance is Phillipe Lamont. He has been trying to find out who the mastermind behind those plans are for as long a time but her clients has kept quiet. Then one talks and his eyes are on her. Nobody has ever looked her over, and they have thought she was just an accountant. Well they were wrong and he wants a bit of revenge. He persuades her to work for him for 3 months, and soon they both understand that a simple revenge is never easy as feelings start to play. And everyone is not happy to see her step out on the scene.

The chemistry between those two, oh my, it was electric. And I liked that she had the power too sometimes. First I did not like that he talked about her as a sparrow, but then I grew to like it, because he meant it in a good way. And she was a brown little thing, but there is so much more beneath the surface and he saw it. And this coming from a playboy who chases blonde big breasted women. Anne was sure different from them. She was smart and a force to be reckoned with. She on the other hand knew about his playboy life and she also did not want to let anyone in. But this is a romance so things will happen and I was happy.

This book deals with a lot of business dealings, and the author is a part of that world so she knows what she is talking about, I do not know anything about venture capitalists and things like that. But she does not have it at an impossible level. She knows how to make the reader comfortable but still getting in all the crucial things and it has therefore a different tone than your average romance novel. It feels refreshing.

I have liked each story more than the other, so either she is getting better or I am falling for the style. It's a good thing. There is still things that can be made different in romance, and I also liked the bit of suspense in this one, I can't say anything but there is a sort of mystery that needs to be solved so everyone can be happy. And there is some darkness there too since everyone does not stand quietly and watch Phillipe and Anne.

Of course there are negative things too, she is a bit of a control freak and a bit cold, he rushes to an answer and does not think about with his heart, oh and that he liked the pretty blondes. He is also used to having all the power. But everything can't go smoothly now can they, there needs to be some clashes and these two can clash. They are also very good for each other and I like them as a couple.

It's was interesting read, some good characters, and a good couple. Though there was a confusing part, he spoke some French words now and again, and one I did not get. But that didn't matter in the end.

 This copy was a gift from the author, no obligations

Thursday 1 October 2009

Review: From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris

From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
Book 8

Published: 2008
Pages: 368
Genre Urban fantasy mystery romance

After the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the manmade explosion at the vampire summit, everyone--human and otherwise--is stressed, including Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who is trying to cope with the fact that her boyfriend Quinn has gone missing.

It's clear that things are changing--whether the weres and vamps of her corner of Louisiana like it or not. And Sookie--Friend to the Pack and blood-bonded to Eric Northman, leader of the local vampire community--is caught up in the changes.

In the ensuing battles, Sookie faces danger, death, and once more, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood finished flowing, her world will be forever altered.

I choose this cover because I really don't like those other, they are kind of ugly to me and I would not pick up the books. Well, the style is not for me, this one on the other hand I like. I am glad others love them though.

Where to start, this one was confusing. A bunch of things were going on and it didn't follow the normal pattern. One mystery to solve and working towards that to the end. Here the obstacle was quickly overcome, very fast and then a number of more things happened. How can I then explain it then when I have already forgotten most of the book?

Things are happening in her state, relative, or was that the last book? Weres, fighting, I honestly can't say, it felt like a big mess, and I finished and started it this week. This one, ok, but it will not go down as a memorable book. On the contrary, I will have forgotten most of it by next week.

And I do think she is taking in too many paranormal beings and things. And then with Sookie's new status. Felt a bit, I don't know. Perhaps she has a bigger idea with it.

By now it must feel like I hated the book, I didn't, I felt the same thing I have felt for awhile now, they are ok, and I don't have much to say about them. I will not go screaming for the next and I fear that I feel like she is loosing her touch. Book 4, wonderful, mm, shower scene, but after that everything is one big blur, she seem to be getting worse. Not bad, just lingering on the big scope I have for ok (it's a big one, I am very harsh.)

And how many more books will there be? How long can she go on and stretch it out? There comes a point when a series needs to have an end. But perhaps they will get better again, more fun, more Eric, because I know more things are coming, big war surely. Since the FOTS are bad and people are not that understanding.

I am sadly loosing interest, but if my friend keeps buying them I will keep reading.

Borrowed from a friend


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