Friday, 27 March 2015

Pride Mates - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Pride Mates (Shifters Unbound #1)
by Jennifer Ashley

What is it about:
Collared and controlled, Shifters are outcast from humanity, forced to live in Shiftertowns. But waiting within are passions that no Collar can contain.

Like most Shifters, Liam Morrissey has learned that trusting humans leads to no good. But when a beautiful attorney enters Shiftertown alone, Liam's alpha nature leaves him no choice but to offer his protection.

Tasked with defending a Shifter accused of murder, attorney Kim Fraser is completely out of her depth in the mysterious world of Shifters. To prove her client's innocence, Kim will need the help of someone on the inside, even though relying on Liam goes against everything society says about Shifters.

And when an un-Collared Shifter threatens both Kim and Liam, the young attorney will have to learn to trust her unlikely protector and face the passion she feels for a man who can't be tamed.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This is a nice read.

I will confess I read this right after I read a book that totally blew me away, so that might be why this was just a nice read for me.

I must say I didn't feel the attraction between Kim and Liam. There was a spark missing for me. It made it hard to lose myself in the romance. The action part of the story was a bit wobbly in its setup as well I thought.

Still I really liked the writing and the story overall was nice enough to keep me entertained. I'm not sure if I would pick up another book in this series though. The next book is about one of the side characters from this book, and I can't say I thought he was interesting enough to want to read his story.

I might try something else by Jennifer Ashley if I run into it though.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable Paranormal Romance

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Thursday, 26 March 2015

On McPig's Wishlist - Toads and Diamands

An original sounding retelling of one of my favorite fairytales. It's not available anymore on bookdepository though, so chances of me getting my trotters on this book are low.

Toads and Diamonds
by Heather Tomlinson

Diribani has come to the village well to get water for her family's scant meal of curry and rice. She never expected to meet a goddess there. Yet she is granted a remarkable gift: Flowers and precious jewels drop from her lips whenever she speaks.

It seems only right to Tana that the goddess judged her kind, lovely stepsister worthy of such riches. And when she encounters the goddess, she is not surprised to find herself speaking snakes and toads as a reward.

Blessings and curses are never so clear as they might seem, however. Diribani’s newfound wealth brings her a prince—and an attempt on her life. Tana is chased out of the village because the province's governor fears snakes, yet thousands are dying of a plague spread by rats. As the sisters' fates hang in the balance, each struggles to understand her gift. Will it bring her wisdom, good fortune, love . . . or death?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Dark Alchemy - Book Review

Dark Alchemy
by Laura Bickle

What is it about:
Geologist Petra Dee arrives in Wyoming looking for clues to her father's disappearance years before. What she finds instead is Temperance, a dying Western town with a gold rush past and a meth-infested present. But under the town's dust and quiet, an old power is shifting.

When bodies start turning up - desiccated and twisted skeletons that Petra can't scientifically explain - her investigations land her in the middle of a covert war between the town's most powerful interests. Petra's father wasn't the only one searching for the alchemical secrets of Temperance, and those still looking are now ready to kill.

Armed with nothing but shaky alliances, a pair of antique guns, and a relic she doesn't understand, the only thing Petra knows for sure is that she and her coyote sidekick are going to have to move fast, or die next.

What did I think of it:
I'm a big fan of Laura Bickle, so I was very excited when I got the opportunity to read an ARC of Dark Alchemy.

And this book is so good!

Petra is someone who's had some hard blows dealt to her by life, and hopes to find some peace in Temperance. Looking for her father is part of trying to get her life back under control.

Instead of finding peace she's thrown into chaos though.

I loved Petra. She's a survivor. She also is someone who cares about others more than herself, and that makes her a bit rash at times. Throwing herself in danger to help others. She even befriends a coyote, who soon becomes her sidekick, helping her in ways that go beyond the loyalty of an ordinary pet.

And then there's Gabe.

Gabe is one of those people who Petra tries to help, but he's not as human as Petra thinks he is. He is mysterious, a bit creepy, and more than intriguing. Some parts of this story are told through his eyes, making you understand a little of what he is and what he feels. I absolutely loved Gabe from the start.

I loved the mood of this book. It's dark and intense, as is the story. I was totally engrossed in it and had a hard time putting it down. I wanted to keep reading and find out if Petra would conquer the ghost of her past, and would uncover the secrets of Temperance.

This book made me fear for the lives of my favorite characters, it gave me chills, and it made me cry. It's a very intense and beautiful read.

This is most probably a standalone, but I hope Laura Bickle will write more books set in this world, because I want more.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautifully dark read.

Find buy links here

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Shiny Things - Guest Post by Laura Bickle

Birds love shiny things.

Crows and ravens, especially. There was a recent story in the news about a little girl who had been feeding crows, and the crows began bringing her gifts: bits of wire, broken earrings, screws, buttons, and little glass gems. These must have been very precious to the crows, but they were willing to make offerings to the little girl who kept them well fed.

Ravens retrieve a lot of unusual stuff in my new book, DARK ALCHEMY. As the familiars for a group of undead cowboys, the Hanged Men, they act as spies, retrieving shiny bits of information for their keepers. They hoard a great deal of useful clues about the goings-on around the ranch: the location of buried bodies, the paths that trespassers take, and portents of supernatural danger. They guard the Alchemical Tree of Life, the Lunaria. In the evenings, when they come home to roost, the tree is covered in chattering black leaves.

And the ravens of the Hanged Men are also special in another way – they are part of the Hanged Men. Gabriel, their leader, can parse of bits of his body and consciousness into a bird. That bird can then escape danger, winging up into the blue sky. He’ll be without a hand or a foot until the raven comes back, but he can partition his consciousness into dozens of birds…all of them searching for precious bits of intelligence about the lost secrets of alchemy that are buried in this land.

A bird is never what he seems. His black eyes take in the world beneath him, searching for shiny things. What he finds may be as useless as a bottle cap, or it might be the key to unlocking the secret of eternal life.


Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.

Her most recent book is DARK ALCHEMY, described as “Stephen King’s The Gunslinger meets Breaking Bad.” The latest updates on her work are available at

Dark Alchemy releases today!
Find buy links and read more about Dark Alchemy here

Monday, 23 March 2015

Under Nameless Stars - Book Review

Under Nameless Stars (Zenn Scarlett #2)
by Christian Schoon

What is it about:
Zenn Scarlett’s novice year of exoveterinarian training on Mars isn’t quite going to plan…

After barely surviving a plot to destroy her school and its menagerie of alien patients, could things at the Ciscan cloister get any worse? Yes. Yes they could: Zenn’s absent father Warra Scarlett has suddenly ceased all communication with her. Desperate to learn what’s become of him, Zenn stows away aboard the Helen of Troy, a starliner powered by one of the immense, dimension-jumping beasts known as Indra.

With her is Liam Tucker, a towner boy who is either very fond of her, very dangerous to her, or both. On the verge of learning the truth about her dad, Zenn’s quest suddenly catapults her and Liam thousands of light years beyond known space, and into the dark heart of a monstrous conspiracy. Braving a gauntlet of lethal environments and unearthly life forms, her courage and exovet skills will now be tested as never before.

With the fate of entire worlds hanging in the balance, Zenn is racing headlong into trouble… again.

What did I think of it:
After reading Stone in the Sky I was in the mood for more Science Fiction, and remembered I had Under Nameless Stars, the sequel to Zenn Scarlett, somewhere in my TBR pile.

And this is a very entertaining read.

There are lots of new cool alien species in this book, and although I missed my favorite character from the first book, I fell in love with some of the new characters. I liked the world building and the overall plot as well.

The action seemed a bit unbalanced I will confess. The first part of the book is slow, with Zenn making friends, talking to people and trying to stay out of trouble. Then the action kicks in and you get danger, piled on top of intrigue, on top of danger.

I also wondered why Liam was added to the story. He is placed firmly on the backseat and didn't really seem necessary for the plot. Not that I minded, because I didn't much like him.

Those things aside this is a fun and entertaining read, and I very much enjoyed it. I will keep an eye out for other books by Schoon.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable YA SciFi read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Friday, 20 March 2015

Tempest Rising - Book Review

Tempest Rising (Jane True #1)
by Nicole Peeler

What is it about:
Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn't quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.

Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures alternatively terrifying, beautiful, and deadly- all of which perfectly describe her new "friend," Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.

It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never-ever rub the genie's lamp.

What did I think of it:
This is a very entertaining read.

Jane is a fun lead character, and I enjoyed discovering the existence of all the magical creatures through her eyes. The book was less snarky than I feared it would be. Jane does have some snarky conversations with herself, but it was fun instead of overdone as in some books that are being called snarky by other reviewers.

The mystery storyline that pushes Jane into the supernatural world felt a bit wobbly, and seemed to be added more to make sure Jane gets introduced to her heritage and the other magical creatures, than that it was actually a solid storyline. I didn't mind though, the story was entertaining and fun even without a decent mystery.

The ending leaves open enough things to make me wonder what will be next for Jane. I already have the second book, so I will pick it up soon.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun Paranormal read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, 19 March 2015

On McPig's Wishlist - The Creative Fire

This sounds so intriguing!

The Creative Fire (Ruby's Song #1)
by Brenda Cooper

Nothing can match the power of a single voice...

Ruby Martin expects to spend her days repairing robots while avoiding the dangerous peacekeeping forces that roam the corridors of the generation ship The Creative Fire. The social structure of the ship is rigidly divided, with Ruby and her friends on the bottom. Then a ship-wide accident gives Ruby a chance to fight for the freedom she craves. Her enemies are numerous, well armed, and knowledgeable. Her weapons are a fabulous voice, a quick mind, and a deep stubbornness. Complicating it all-an unreliable A.I. and an enigmatic man she met - and kissed - exactly once-who may hold the key to her success. If Ruby can't transform from a rebellious teen to the leader of a revolution, she and all her friends will lose all say in their future.

Like the historical Evita PerĂ³n, Ruby rises from the dregs of society to hold incredible popularity and power. Her story is about love and lust and need and a thirst for knowledge and influence so deep that it burns.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery