Friday, 21 April 2017

Dandelions - Early Book Review


Dandelions: An Ash & Ruin Companion Novel
by Shauna Granger


What is it about:
At fifteen years old, Gwen’s world has ended. Not because she’s gone through a break-up. Not because her parents are ruining her life with a lame curfew. Not because her grades are struggling. Not in the way a fifteen-year-old’s life usually ends.

At fifteen years old, Gwen has burned the dead bodies of both her parents and fortified her home against the plague-spreading monsters who killed them, waiting for her sister, Maggie, to make her way back home in the apocalyptic landscape that is the world now.

At fifteen years old, Gwen’s world has ended, but she’s not giving up. She’s not giving up on life, her home, or her sister. Because all you have left when the world ends is hope, so that’s what she’s got, a BB gun and hope.

Hopefully it’ll be enough.


What did I think of it:
I love Granger's Ash & Ruin trilogy with a passion! So much so that I even ordered a t-shirt of the series at Redbubble.

So I was over the moon when I got an early copy of Dandelions which is a Companion novel to the trilogy.

And this book is so good!

I love post apocalyptic fiction and this book gave me everything I love about the genre: people trying to survive in a world gone bad, evil critters, devastation, human nature at its best and worst, etc...

Gwen is a great heroine. She's on her own, trying her best to survive and to keep hope that things will get better. She's smart and resourceful, but when others show up, she has some important choices to make. What is the right thing to do? And is the right thing the smart thing to do?

I love the setting, which is basically the deserted neighborhood Gwen lives in, but Granger manages to make the most of it, using both setting and atmosphere to drag you into this suspenseful and emotional story about survival and hope.

I was hooked form the start and had to read on to learn more about Gwen, her choices, and the people who invade her territory.

All in all this is a wonderful and awesome post apocalyptic story and I can only hope Granger will write more books set in this world.

You bet I'll be stalking bookdepository so I can get my grabby trotters on the print version as soon as it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome post apocalyptic YA read.


Expected release date: April 25, 2017

Find buy links here

Thursday, 20 April 2017

On McPig's Wishlist - The Shift of the Tide

I love Jeffe's books, so I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in her Uncharted Realms series, but even if that was not the case this cover is too gorgeous to resist.


The Shift of the Tide (Uncharted Realms #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy


Free from the hand of a tyrant, the Twelve Kingdoms have thrown all that touch them into chaos. New allies appear--and enemies encroach--from all sides. To survive, they must adapt to this new reality without a moment of doubt...

Growing up in a country where magic was common as dust, Zynda never had to worry about her enchantments upsetting the balance of nature. But the land beyond the borders of the thirteenth kingdom calls to her. It may be foreign and ugly, but the strangeness is laced with an excitement she has never known. Outside her homeland, Zynda's shapeshifting and sorcery are a potent advantage to nations grasping for dominance--and the thrill of power lures her even as she recognizes the threat she poses to these magic-buffeted realms.

A ruthless enemy stalks them, promising destruction if she does not fight with all her strength--but if she upsets the equilibrium of the land, all will pay, the common people most of all. And a man of this outside world fascinates her, a mossback with no scrap of magic in him. He knows nothing of the fears and temptations pulling at her. But in his steady embrace she learns she must choose well--for the consequences may reach farther than she ever imagined…


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Expected release date: August 15, 2017

pre-order links will be added to the website

And keep an eye out for The Shift of the Tide on Jeffe's Amazon Page as well:


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Charisma - Book Review


Charisma
by Jeanne Ryan


What is it about:
A chance at the ultimate makeover means deadly consequences in this Sarah Dessen-meets-Robin Cook thriller

Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until she’s offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. She’s charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it's too late.


What did I think of it:
I very much enjoyed Nerve by Ryan, so decided to give Charisma a try as well.

And this is a nice read.

I didn't like it as much as Nerve, but it was entertaining. I did think the teens in this book were all very stupid, but that seems to be the case with more teens in YA.

There's teen angsting, love triangly troubles, risk taking, and more.

I will confess I didn't like Aislyn and the boys she surrounds herself with. It's probably the reason why I thought this story was just nice, and why I wasn't really invested in what was going on.

Still enjoyable enough to finish it, but if this was the first book by Ryan i read, I probably wouldn't have read more.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice YA read.


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Wytchcraft


It was raining the first night I met Owen. His hair was dark with rain and plastered to his head, water rushing off his jacket to make puddles around his boots as the door closed behind him, the bells jingling his arrival.

(Page 39, Wytchcraft by Shauna Granger)

Buy from bookdepository

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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!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Orphans and Other Things


As you may have gathered from my post last week, I've been playing Mass Effect Andromeda these last weeks, and I'm seriously addicted.

Before I dashed off to explore new galaxies I did manage to read three orphans in March (pictured above). Which was much needed, because I totally skipped over all my orphaned books in the first two month of this year.

Now that I beat Mass Effect Andromeda (and did some extra playthroughs) I'm trying to return to my normal reading and reviewing schedule.

What to expect:

I'll be reviewing Mass Effect Andromeda soon, and I also ordered a Mass Effect novel, so I'll be reading and reviewing that as well of course.

I will also try to read another book by Kelsey Sutton , who'll be at the convention I'm visiting next month.

I also plan to read more by Kresley Cole, who was supposed to be at the convention as well, but cancelled because of health reasons, I recently learned. I might have to see if there are interesting books by other authors who are coming that I can try as well.

And there are still tons of books in my TBR pile that scream for attention, so stay tuned.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

What's McPig Up to?


I've been pretty occupied with my newest addiction:
Mass Effect Andromeda

I hope to be able to catch up on some reading soon.


Friday, 7 April 2017

World of Ash - Book Review (repost)


World of Ash
by Shauna Granger


What is it about:
There are two inherent truths in the world: life as we know it is over, and monsters are real.

The Pestas came in the night, spreading their pox, a deadly plague that decimated the population. Kat, one of the unlucky few who survived, is determined to get to her last living relative and find shelter from the pox that continues to devastate the world. When it mutates and becomes airborne, Kat is desperate to avoid people because staying alone might be her only chance to stay alive.

That is, until she meets Dylan. Dylan, with his easy smile and dark, curly hair, has nowhere to go and no one to live for. He convinces Kat there can be safety in numbers, that they can watch out for each other. So the unlikely couple set off together through the barren wasteland to find a new life – if they can survive the roaming Pestas, bands of wild, gun-toting children, and piles of burning, pox-ridden bodies.


What did I think of it:
As you know I got a weakness for post apocalyptic stories, so when I heard about this book I had to read it.

And this is such a cool read!

The mood of this story is dark and grim and even though it's written in present tense I was hooked from the start. I barely noticed the present tense, I was that involved in what was going on.

Kat is a character I can relate to. She's cautious and a bit cynical. It's clear from some flashbacks that this isn't who she used to be before the plague though. And then there's Dylan. He's the opposite of Kat in a lot of ways and the interaction between the two of them is cool to read.

There's lots of suspenseful situations and I couldn't stop reading. When one dangerous situation was resolved, the next crisis popped up, keeping me on the edge of my seat. I only stopped reading when I had to and finished it in a day.

I'm very glad that this isn't a standalone, and that Granger is working on a sequel, because I need more!

Why should you read it:
It's a cool and grim Post Apocalyptic read.


Buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Demon Prince - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


The Demon Prince (Ars Numina #2)
by Ann Aguirre


What is it about:
Charming. Irreverent. Haunted.
Alastor Vega is the sole challenger in a brutal battle for succession. Against all odds, he must stop his power-mad brother, Tycho, before he destroys the Numina. Though he never wanted to rule, he must claim the throne and liberate his people, or the consequences will be calamitous. Yet only the surprising support of a beautiful Animari doctor gives him the fortitude to fight.

Focused. Analytical. Solitary.
Dr. Sheyla Halek has always been more interested in research than personal contact, but family ties—and the needs of her pride—keep her in Ash Valley, deferring her dreams. Brusque and abrasive at the best of times, she never expected to bond with anyone, let alone Golgoth royalty. Strangely, Alastor seems to need her as no one has before, and not only for her medical skills.

Their attraction is forbidden, likely doomed beyond the wildness of wartime, but these fires burn too hot and sweet to be contained…


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
*warning: spoiler about the romance*

I really liked Alastor in the first book of this series, so I was happy to see this book was about him.

The story and romance started out enjoyable, and at first I had the feeling I might like this book even more than The Leopard King. But then the romance took a turn towards a menage...

For people who don't think three is a crowd, this is probably a really great romance with some steamy scenes, but for me the romance part of this book was not what I wanted when I started on it. To be honest: I think Alastor didn't need Sheyla. I might have liked the romance better if it had been between him and the third party in this menage. What was glimpsed of their relationship it would have been a tenser and more satisfying story.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not slamming menages and/or threesomes, but I personally like my romances one on one. I tried reading romances with more than two people involved, and it just isn't my cup of tea. I hadn't expected one in this book, so it took me by surprise.

That aside, the world and the series story arc were intriguing enough to keep me reading until the end. Some things happen that make me curious what will happen to other characters and with the world overall. Most probably I'll be reading the next book, although I might bail out if this menage thing keeps turning up with the upcoming romances.

Why should you read it:
It's a PNR with cool worldbuilding and an enjoyable overall storyline



Buy from Amazon

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Charisma


I catch a look from Shane nearby. Did he hear what we were talking about? I shovel faster.

(page 51, Charisma by Jeanne Ryan)

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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!

Monday, 3 April 2017

The Captive Shifter - Spotlight

Today I have Veronica Scott dropping by with information about her new book - The Captive Shifter - and and excerpt



Thank you for having me as your guest! I'm thrilled to talk about my new fantasy romance The Captive Shifter, due out April 3rd, and share my beautiful cover from Fiona Jayde, the blurb and an excerpt with your readers!

The story:
Concealing her own considerable magical powers, Caitlyn enters the service of the northern Witch Queen masquerading as a simple healer. Under order from her goddess, she’s search ing for a magical gem stolen long ago from her own people, believed to be hidden in the massive castle. The task is daunting but Caitlyn is sure she can locate the gem and escape, bringing the prize back to the temple where it belongs. Until she meets the captive shifter and her loyalties become dangerously divided.

In payment for her past services to his people, Kyler the leopard shifter has entered into a life of servitude far from his forest home, allowing the Witch Queen to tap his magic to power her ever darker spells. Factions at Court are threatening to turn the Queen to the Shadow. Her increasing demands for magic will cut short his nearly immortal lifespan. Kyler’s resigned to his fate until the day he crosses paths with the new arrival, whose secrets and magic entice and attract both man and leopard. Has he met his mate at last?
The Queen will never willingly release him from captivity. Caitlyn’s goddess refuses to grant her any delay in accomplishing her own task. Can they locate the magical gem, fight the Shadow and win free of the Witch Queen to earn the right to be together?



The excerpt:
Caitlyn let the caravan master do the arguing on her behalf, although she wanted to reach through the bars of the city gate, grab the officious man standing in her way and shake him. Such a simple request—open the gate, glance at her papers and let her go on my way.  It lacked but half an hour till sunset and the captain of the guard at the ancient city’s portal wasn’t inclined to allow a long caravan to pass so late in the day.

Lazy bastard. She eyed him, tempted to use some of her magic to influence him but inner caution held her back. This was the city of witches and magic. She needed to go slowly displaying her abilities. Calm down, breathe. None of this will go as I hope if I let myself show anger. Caitlyn sucked in a deep breath of the damp air and stood straighter, adjusting her hood to keep the autumn drizzle off her face.

“Camp on the meadow across the river,” the captain said from the other side of the gate, addressing the caravan master. “Return in the morning.”

Glancing at Caitlyn, the old man shook his head. “I’ve told you, one of my passengers is an applicant, identified by the queen’s Searchers. She must be at the palace tonight, for the welcoming ceremony. She can’t wait until morning or risk losing her place in this year’s Trial.”

As she edged closer to the arched entryway to get out of the increasing rain, impatience burned along Caitlyn’s nerves. Why did a petty tyrant have to be her final obstacle after the long journey?  The caravan master was right; she did have to be at the palace tonight. After three weeks of slow travel from her home in the South it was especially galling to be so close to missing the deadline. To literally stand on the threshold of her destination and be refused entry was unbelievably frustrating. All right, honeyed words first, then there’s nothing for it but to unleash a taste of magic on him. Pasting a smile on her lips, she stepped forward, allowing her cape to fall open, deliberately swaying her hips a bit. “Please, captain, I’m sure the Witch Queen would appreciate your extra efforts to let me arrive on time. The Searchers told me every woman with power is greatly needed this year,” Caitlyn said, in an effort to cajole him. “How about permitting me past the gate by myself tonight? Admit the entire caravan tomorrow?”

Grinning like a cat toying with a mouse, the officer shook his head emphatically, shaking a finger at her. “Against the rules. We do the entire group or none. Now come back in the morning!”

The caravan master took her elbow, probably to escort her to the waiting wagons. Caitlyn jerked her arm free, ready to summon energy to bespell the officer into giving her entry. Folly to risk using power so soon in this place but he left her no choice. She pushed aside the next worry, about finding her way through the unknown city to the castle.

A new voice entered the conversation. “Is there a problem here?”

Behind the blustering captain, the other soldiers had snapped to respectful attention and were saluting two newcomers. The first gentleman walked forward into the torchlight at the gate proper. He was older than she, dressed in black and burgundy garments projecting a subtle message of wealth and power. Attractive, if one was looking for a bedmate, which she wasn’t. As the second man came into the light Caitlyn took a step back, blinking.

She’d never seen his like before. A shapeshifter? Why would such a rare creature of magic be here?  The power surrounding him was palpable to one with her gifts, yet didn’t flare in her second sight as it should. As if the magic was restrained but how could such a thing be possible? Dressed in a uniform similar to the officious gatekeeper’s, this man was clearly a warrior – muscular, handsome, high cheekbones, piercing green eyes, long, unbound sandy blond hair. But why would a shapeshifter be in this dank, gray city? His people ran in the massive forests of the North, where their kind ruled and humans walked at their peril. A city, much less a Court with all its ritual and routine, would be the last place to find such a wild and free spirit.

He returned her gaze with open appreciation. Caitlyn lowered her eyes first.


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Book’s Availability:
The book will be available on all major ebook retail sites as of April 3rd and the buy links will be added to this post on my blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/cover-reveal-the-captive-shifter/



Author Bio and Links:
Best Selling Science Fiction, Fantasy & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veronica-Scott/177217415659637?ref=hl