Thursday, 27 November 2014

Teaser Tuesdays on a Thursday - Alice in Zombieland


As he maneuvered down the street, I twisted around to catalog the carnage we must have left in the lot. But...there were no bodies. No blood.

(page 168, Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter)


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

===

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Archangel's Shadows - Book Review


Archangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter #7)
by Nalini Singh


What is it about:
In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot— should not—be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.


What did I think of it:
I really liked the chemistry between Ash and Janvier in the novella Angels' Pawn, so I had to read this book of course.

And it didn't disappoint!

Ash and Janvier are both very intriguing characters on their own, but together they're irresistible. I read this book in almost one sitting, it was too good to put down. The mix of action and romance is done well in this book, and I was not only rooting for Ash and Janvier to overcome the obstacles between them, but also to save the day.

If there's one thing that I wasn't so happy about, it was the bits about Elena and Raphael. I know a lot is happening for them as well, and that some things are set ups for what will come next, but I wanted to focus on Ash and Janvier. I found myself getting impatient when reading the scenes about Elena, and wished those had been reserved for a separate book, or had been incorporated more into Ash and Janvier's story.

That aside, this is a wonderful addition to a great series, and you can bet I will get my trotters on the next book once it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Urban Fantasy Romance.


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Tears of the Rose - Release Day Alert and Review

Today it's the official release day for The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy!
If you haven't preordered it yet, go out and get it fast, because it's beautiful!

To celebrate the release and to try to lure you all into buying this awesome book, here's the repost of my review:


The Tears of the Rose (The Twelve Kingdoms #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy


What is it about:
Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?


What did I think of it:
You might know by now that Voodoo Bride and I are big fans of Jeffe's work, so it won't come as a surprise we were very happy to get an ARC of The Tears of the Rose.

Book one in this series was about Andi, the middle sister of three. The Tears of the Rose is about Amelia, the youngest.

Now I will confess Amelia didn't really make a good impression on me in the first book. Not that she was unlikable, but she came across as a bit shallow and spoiled. Amelia being the heroine of this book I expected these flaws to be downplayed.

And that's where Jeffe proves to be an amazing writer. Instead of downplaying Amelia's flaws, they're right there for everyone to see. Amelia is spoiled, shallow and selfish at the start of this story. She might have some cause, seeing she just lost her husband, but still she's acting like a toddler who doesn't get her way at times.

Still... The way she is written made me see the good and kind person Amelia could be, if only the people around her had given her the chance to become that person. It's easy to dislike Amelia because of her spoiled attitude, but looking at how she grew up, how life has treated her, I could really understand why she became as she is. It made me root for her to open her eyes and see the world for what it really is. To change for the better.

And then a mysterious figure steps forwards who makes Ami question her world views.

The White Monk drew my attention from the first moment he is mentioned by the way Jeffe describes him. Her descriptions are always beautiful and vivid, but some of the descriptions of the White Monk felt like poetry.

My favorite line in the whole book is probably this:
"He laughed, raven voiced, threading his hands inside his sleeves as if he restrained himself from something." *
This is so beautiful and tells so much in just a few words. I could not just picture, but also hear and feel this scene.

I could go on for ages raving about how beautiful this book is written, but I know you want to know about the story.

It is a beautiful story!

Ami has a lot to learn, a lot to overcome on her path to find herself. Jeffe doesn't make it easy. Ami's road to happiness, to a life where she's more than the spoiled, pretty princess is long and filled with pain and heartache. I had trouble putting the book down, and kept rooting for Ami to reach her goals.

The ending...

Agh!

The ending gives closure on some things, but also gives a new challenge that has to be faced, making sure I will be counting the months until the release of book three. I need to find out what happens next to Ami and her sisters!

All in all this is a wonderful Fantasy Romance filled with emotion and suspense. I felt like rereading it the moment I finished it, and you can bet I will put this ARC on my keeper shelves, just as I've already preordered the book to put next to my treasured copy of The Mark of the Tala (book one).

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful Fantasy Romance


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


*quote is from the ARC, so might be different in the final version of the book, although I hope it will not be changed.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Clockwork Princess - Book Review


Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)
by Cassandra Clare


What is it about:
Tessa Gray should be happy—aren't all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

What did I think of it:
Don't follow an author on Tumblr when you're not caught up with the series that author is writing. Before I started on this book I accidentally stumbled over a huge spoiler, because a question from a fan wasn't labelled with a spoiler warning.

That aside: I loved this book.

The book starts of with action, and from there it stays suspenseful and filled with action and intrigue. It finally becomes clearer who and what Tessa is, and what she can do. Other characters get more screen time as well, and I especially enjoyed the character development of Gabriel Lightwood in this book.

There are some very emotional events and scenes in this book as well, the love triangle between Tess, Will and Jem being the heart of it. And let me say it again: this love triangle is so well written. I wish more love triangles would be like this: intense, believable, and making you want to root for all the people involved.

After the action climax of this story there's a couple of chapters left to wind it down and to wrap things up. These were also very emotional and gave closure about the fate of most of the (surviving) protagonists. All in all a satisfying ending to this trilogy.

Even though in my opinion this trilogy is superior to The Mortal Instruments, I will most certainly read the remaining two books in that series. I will also get hold of The Bane Chronicles as soon as I can, because Magnus Bane is still my favorite character of both series.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Steampunk(ish), Paranormal YA read.


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Friday, 21 November 2014

An Interview with Jeffe Kennedy

Next week The Tears of the Rose will release, the second book in Jeffe Kennedy's Twelve Kingdoms series. I managed to have a chat with Jeffe about The Tears of the Rose and the series in general.



Sullivan: Welcome to Pearls Cast Before A McPig. The second book in your Twelve Kingdoms series will release next week. What can you tell about this series to people who don't know it yet?

Jeffe: Hmm. It's a fantasy trilogy about three princesses, the daughters of the High King, each more beautiful than the last.
The first book, THE MARK OF THE TALA, was about the middle princess and the second one, THE TEARS OF THE ROSE, is about the youngest and most beautiful.

Sullivan: In THE MARK OF THE TALA all three sisters were introduced, and let's be honest: Ami was a bit spoiled. was it difficult to write her as the lead character in book two?

Jeffe: Yes, I worried quite a bit about whether Ami would be too unlikable for readers to stick with. But it was also important to me not to flinch away from who she was and "nice her up" before she could get there on her own

Sullivan: I can tell you, you did a great job in my opinion.

Jeffe: yay! thank you!
It helped that I felt like it wasn't entirely her fault that she was so spoiled. No one had ever expected much more of her.

Sullivan: When you started on book one, did you already have the whole story arc lined out, or did it evolve while you wrote?

Jeffe: I'm really bad at pre-plotting, so mostly it evolved as I went.
I did have "sketches" of the next two books after I finished book one, with a general idea of how things would go. But when I started book one, I didn't know how it would end. Or that it would end the way it did, though after a time I suspected...

Sullivan: Do you use writing diaries or schedules to keep track of events?

Jeffe: Events in the stories? Not so much. I keep spreadsheets with the chapters, to track their length and the beats like the Act climaxes. Sometimes I note the major events of the chapter. I sometimes keep a big story board, but I don't do that for every book. It seems to vary for each story and I'm not sure why.

Sullivan: Could people read these books as standalones? Not that I understand why someone would: They're so good you need to read them all, I think..

Jeffe: Aww - that's lovely of you to say. I've seen several readers comment that they started with book 2 and felt fine about it. They understood what was going on and thought it read fine as a standalone. Of course, they also said they planned to go back and read book 1... so you might have a point!

Sullivan: About the three sisters: What struck me was how real their relationship felt. You really got the sibling rivalry and hierarchy. How did you decide to write them that way?

Jeffe: It's a misnomer to say I "decide" things. Really I just follow the story. When I started the first book, I wrote it around a dream I had. I was trapped in a castle and some kind of monster was outside hunting me. People kept going out to kill it and ended up getting killed instead. My sister (in the dream - I don't have one in real life) was telling me that she'd protect me and she and her husband wouldn't let the monster have me.

So I knew that my heroine would have a sister. Also, I wanted to write about the classical fairy tale structure with the three princesses. I'd always been fascinated by those stories and wondered what that would be like. How did the eldest feel about the youngest being the most beautiful? How did the middle princess feel about being the one who barely got any story time?

Sullivan: Evil question: Do you have a favorite among the three sisters? And which one was the hardest to write?

Jeffe: Ha! Like children, they're each my favorites, for different reasons and at different times. Each represents a different face of myself. Amelia took a lot of thought to write, because I wanted to handle the redemption of the unlikable heroine in the best way I could. But the most difficult to write was Ursula. I didn't expect that going in. She was really difficult to bring around, very hardheaded. And Ursula's book, THE TALON OF THE HAWK, finally finished at 131,000 words - much longer than the other two.

Sullivan: Any chance there will be more than three books in this series? Any extra stories in this world you want to tell?

Jeffe: Oh yes! I just put together a proposal for my publisher to do three more books! Book four would be Dafne's book and I have a juicy story for her. I really hope I get to write it because it's starting to tug at me. I'm really interested in what I came up with for books five and six, too. Then I have a concept for a third set of three. That would be ideal, if I got to do all nine.

Sullivan: I will send positive vibes to help make it happen. That would be so awesome.

Jeffe: All vibes are welcome - thank you!!

Sullivan: Last question: Any chance there will be a pig in the next book(s)?

Jeffe: Ha! I should have seen that one coming. THE TALON OF THE HAWK does not have pigs, though there IS a boar.
There are, however, zombies!
Just for you.

Sullivan: Yay!

Jeffe: Okay, not just for you, because the story needed it, but I knew you'd be happy

Sullivan: You made my day! :-D

Jeffe: hee, I thought that would!
Slow zombies though. and kind of horrifying

Sullivan: Slow zombies are the best!

Jeffe: I think so! after all, they ARE dead.

Sullivan: So everyone: buy these books. Not just for the zombies, but because the books are absolutely awesome.

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


The Tears of the Rose (The Twelve Kingdoms #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy


Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, 20 November 2014

On McPig's Radar - Unworthy

This sounds like it might be a very cool intriguing read.


Unworthy
by Joanne Armstrong


“What about the Sickness?” I ask more calmly, turning back to the wide ocean and squinting, as though I can see particles of disease like pollen in the air. “Is it still out there?”
He rubs his chin thoughtfully. “Now that is a more interesting question.” It’s clear he doesn’t know the answer, but looks at me speculatively. “If you assumed it was still out there, circulating, what would you do?”
“I suppose I would do everything I could to prepare myself to fight it.”
He nods thoughtfully. “Preparation is always a good thing.”
We stand for a moment in silence, looking out to sea. I’m imagining a black cloud approaching, like a swarm of locusts, and wondering how I would prepare myself to fight a disease.


Nearly two hundred years after a killer disease swept the planet, an island nation continues its isolated survival due to the ruthless dedication of the military. The laws and culture of the country are based on the survival of the fittest, distrust of disease, and tight control of the general population.
Marked at birth as “Unworthy” to be raised, a young woman questions the necessity for the cruel practice, so many years after the Isolation was declared. She embarks on a journey which will uncover truths about her past and about her society which she could never have imagined.

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

Buy as ebook here

Buy in print:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Using mythology for your story - A Guest Post by Amity Hope

Malice Banner

Using mythology for your story by Amity Hope:

I’ve always been a huge fan of paranormal/urban fantasy. It’s my favorite genre to read as well as to write.

When I came up with the idea for Malice, I knew I wanted to go with a completely original storyline. My main characters are primarily magic users. However, I wanted to give them a little more backstory than simply referring to them as witches.

A little bit of research led me to the Lamia and Striga, two Latin words for “witch”. Striga seemed to have a bit more of a negative connotation than Lamia. That’s how I decided that Lamia would essentially be the “good” magic users and Striga would be the “bad” magic users.

In another series I wrote, Tainted Legacy and Pure Redemption, I researched Nephilim lore. It gave me a solid backstory for my books. I enjoyed doing the research for this series. I was able to find a lot of useful information. I was then able to take that information and expand upon it.

I have another series planned for this spring that will heavily pull from Greek mythology. I’ve had fun researching that as well. What I like most is that mythology and lore can give you a nice starting point for your story, a solid foundation. You can incorporate the mythology into the storyline and essentially the characters’ backgrounds, but it also gives you the flexibility to take off with it, to really make their world something unique and original.

MaliceMalice by Amity Hope

*First book in a trilogy. Young Adult Romance/Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Malice is currently on 99 cents on Amazon. Pick up your copy today at the link below!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Malice-Amity-Hope-ebook/dp/B00OPEYU9O/ref=la_B008LXO5G8_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413899757&sr=1-12

Samara Cavanaugh has grown up in a world filled with magic users. She’s used to bizarre and peculiar. But when a stranger checks in at The Bella Luna, the bed and breakfast her family owns, the strange occurrences in Granite Falls escalate. 
Many people are leery of Levi, their new guest. He claims to be in town doing research but Samara’s friends aren’t so sure that his claim is as innocuous as it appears to be. When two of her classmates disappear, her friends seem convinced Levi had a hand in it.
Those closest to her have been keeping secrets from her. Those secrets put everyone close to her in danger.
Suddenly, her unrequited crush on her best friend, Tristan becomes the least of her troubles.

About the Author:

unnamed

Amity lives in beautiful northern Minnesota with her two sons, two cats and their Rottweiler. She has a degree in elementary education andunnamed workedunnamed in that field for ten years before deciding to self-publish. Her first self-published novel, Twisted, was listed by Amazon as a Top 100 Kids & Teens Kindle Book of 2012.

If she’s not writing, or spending time with her boys, she’s most likely reading.

 

Facebook

Website

 

The Giveaway:

Kindle copies of Malice by Amity Hope

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule: 

November 17th
Elizabeth Delana Rosa – guest post
NaYa Books and More – promo post
YaReads – Interview
November 18th
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! – Review
A Writer’s Tales  - guest post
Reader Girls  - guest post
November 19th
Just One More Chapter  - Review
All my Book finds  - Review
Pearls Cast Before A McPig – guest post
November 20th
Friends With Characters – promo post
Suzy Turner, YA Author  - guest post
November 21st
Book Talk Reviews – promo post
ReadWriteLove28 – interview
Cassandra M’s Place – Top Ten Post
November 22nd
Just One More Chapter – Interview
For the Love  - promo post
Bookworm in Barrie – promo post
November 23rd
Mythical Books  - guest post
Lisa Loves Literature – promo post
Book Lovers Life – promo post