Thursday 30 December 2010

Reading Pet Peeves

We all have things we do not like in books and try to avoid as much as possible, but once in a while I stumble into a reading pet peeve by accident once again.

I bought the above book as it's a historical murder mystery. I opened it to start reading to find it was written in:

Present Tense!!!

Let's state it once and for all:
Dear authors,

Please, if you're not Carolyn Crane do NOT write in present tense unless you've studied Mind Games very, very well and try to accomplish what Crane did there: Write present tense in such a way that I do not even notice it's written in present tense!

Because honestly:
Present tense sucks most of the time.
Nothing makes me lose interest as fast as present tense as (with the exception of Mind Games and Double Cross) stories in present tense create a distance for me and drag me out of the story as it just doesn't feel natural to me that a lead character is telling me about things at the moment that they are happening.

I had really wanted to read a historical murder mystery, but now I just can't get into the story and keep putting the book aside. I'm afraid this book will go onto my pile of will probably only read it if there's nothing else to read and all the shops are closed as well.

Wednesday 29 December 2010

The Unnatural Inquirer - Book Review

The Unnatural Inquirer (Nightside #8) by Simon R. Green

What is it about:
The publisher of The Unnatural Inquirer—the Nightside’s most notorious rag—has offered John Taylor one million pounds to find a man who claims to have evidence of the afterlife stored on a DVD. The Inquirer made the guy a sweet deal. Then he and the disc vanished. And if Taylor’s not careful, he may be next.

What did I think of it:
And yet again I stumble into a series somewhere along the way. Luckily this book can be read as a standalone although you do feel you're missing some background here and there. Otherwise it's a dark, gritty detective story with a film noir feel set in a strange, dangerous otherworldly city. I really liked the worldbuilding and the characters. The story could have been better, but the setting and the writing kept me entertained enough to overlook the lack of strong plot. I might pick up another book in this series if I run across it.

Why should you read it:
It's a hard boiled detective story dipped in a paranormal sauce

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Afterlife

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!

We went downstairs again, the three of us, Chaz, Isabelle and I. That was when I realized that there was something sinister in the air tonight, more than the apparitions that had visited me.
(page 93, Afterlife (The Resurrection Chronicles #1) by Merrie Destefano)

Sunday 26 December 2010

Top Pearls of 2010

2011 is almost here so I decided to make a post listing the books that I most enjoyed reading this year.

I'll start of with the five books/series that blew me away and are not just on my top list of this year, but also made it on my list of all time favourites. Suprisingly enough all 4 authors of my top 5 pearls list had their debut as published writer this year*. I certainly hope we'll hear lots more about them in years to come.

(*please do not wack me if I'm mistaken and missed out on earlier work.)

I'm not going to try to say which one of these five series/books is the best as my feelings about that change depending on wether I'm in the mood for vampires, aliens, ghosts, tarot or disillusionists.

Anyway: here they come in random order:

The Justine Jones: Disillusionist trilogy by Carolyn Crane
So far there's two book out in this series: Mind Games and Double Cross
Mind Games was unbelievably cool and Double Cross was even better. Gritty, witty and full of action and heartache. I'm looking forward to reading the last book of this trilogy in 2011.

The Katherine (Kitty) Katt series by Gini Koch
I stumbled upon this series as the cover artwork by Daniel Dos Santos drew my attention and was hooked from the start as the stories are even better than the covers. So far there's two books: Touched by an Alien and Alien Tango, but luckily there's lots more books to come. The next book Alien in the Family will be released in April 2011.

The Delphic Oracle series by Alayna Williams*
There's one book out in this series so far: Dark Oracle.
This is a book I wanted to read as soon as I heard about it, but I had to wait a couple of months before it was released. And it was so worth the wait as it was even better than I had hoped. Highly underappreciated in the book blogging community in my opinion, this book drew me in and wouldn't let me go until I finished it (not that I wanted to go I must add). I'm looking forward to Rogue Oracle, which will be released in March 2011

The Anya Kalinczyk series by Laura Bickle*
So far there's two books out in this series: Embers and Sparks.
I loved Embers, especially because of Sparky, Anya's familiar, but it was Sparks that blew me away with it's total awesomeness. It's not clear at the moment if there will be more books, but I'm really hoping there will be.

The H&W Investigations series by Jess Haines
So far there's one book out in this series: Hunted by the Others, but the next book, Taken by the Others will be released in January 2011 and there's lots more to come.
Shia dances on that thin line that makes a heroine either likeable or a total bitch. For me the scales tipped to likeable though. Add some other cool characters to that, a kick ass story and intriguing, but nasty politics and you got me hooked!

*Yup, one author is on this list twice. Alayna Williams and Laura Bickle are one and the same.

So now you know my five top pearls of 2010, but I'm not stopping there! There's two more lists I want to share with you.

The Best of the Rest:

Favourite YA read of 2010: Downsiders by Neal Shusterman
The Ebook that got me into reading ebooks: Wolf Signs by Vivian Arend
Best Zombie read of 2010: Soulless by Christopher Golden
Best SciFi read: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

Honourable Mentions:

Once Bitten, Twice Dead by Bianca D'Arc
Deadtown by Nancy Holzner
Spellbent by Lucy A. Snyder
the Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

And lastly I want to mention a book that might have made it on one of my lists if only I started reading it sooner:

Afterlife by Merrie Destefano
Reading this book at the moment and so far loving it.

Friday 24 December 2010

Just One Sip - Book Review

Just One Sip by Jennifer Ashley, Katie MacAlister and Minda Webber

What is it about:
Three romance novellas take a different look at vampire heroes.

"Viva Las Vampires" by Jennifer Ashley, features a gorgeous, sun-bronzed Viking vampire who owns a vampire-themed hotel and casino in Las Vegas and sees his one true love striding through the lobby hot to interview him for her new book on vampire culture. In this world, there are warm vamps who are immortal and cold vamps who are undead.

Katie MacAlister's "Bring Out Your Dead" is about Ysabelle, a counselor to newly made zombies, who meets Sebastian, a vampire who falls madly in love with her and must protect her from a demon.

In Minda Webber's "Lucy and the Crypt Casanova" the host of a cheesy talk show who frequently gets into trouble because of her paranormal guests finds that the police detective investigating the same incubus case as she is the long-lost vampire love of her life.

What did I think of it:
I bought this book for the Katie Macalister story "Bring Out Your Dead" and that story is fun like all her Dark One stories and has a very cool zombie named William. I do think it's not a very good standalone novella though. You need to have read at least book two and three of her Dark Ones series to grasp all of this story.

Take note: "Bring Out Your Dead" has also been printed in another anthology called "My Zombie Valentine".

On to the other two stories:

"Viva Las Vampires" is quite an entertaining story. The action storyline is paper thin and it focuses more on some steamy romance and smut, but is quite enjoyable at that.

"Lucy and the Crypt Casanova" wasn't my kind of story. I do not like the 'old lovers who broke up meet again, fight and kiss and make up' kind of plots, so I didn't much like this novella.

Why should you read it:
A nice read for any Vampire Romance fan.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Grimspace - Book Review

Grimspace (Sirantha Jax #1) by Ann Aguirre

What is it about:
As the carrier of a rare gene, Sirantha Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace-a talent which makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. Then a crash landing kills everyone on board, leaving Jax in a jail cell with no memory of the crash. But her fun's not over. A group of rogue fighters frees her...for a price: her help in overthrowing the established order.

What did I think of it:
After reading Enemy Within I was in the mood for more SF so decided to give this book a try.

And I was blown away!

This story is pure awesomeness from start to finish. I fell in love with Sirantha from the start and my love only grew the further I got into the story. Add an interesting and action filled rollercoaster story set in an intriguing universe, more unforgettable characters and a writing style that's worth reading even if the story had been bad (which it so is not!) and we got a sure fire hit. Aguirre writes SciFi as it should be, where the SciFi elements actually contribute to the story instead of just functioning as a pretty backdrop. The one negative thing of this book is that I now have to try to get my hands on book 2 as I want more!

Why should you read it:
Pure SF awesomeness!!!

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Hunting Ground - Book Review

Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega #2) by Patricia Briggs

What is it about:
Mated to werewolf Charles Cornick, the son -and enforcer -of the leader of the North American werewolves, Anna Latham now knows how dangerous being a werewolf is, especially when a werewolf opposes Charles and his father is struck down. Charles's reputation makes him the prime suspect, and the penalty for the crime is execution. Now Anna and Charles must combine their talents to hunt down the real killer -or Charles will take the fall.

What did I think of it:
Yet another book I love!
It has a lot more intrigue and politics than the first book, but it's all well thought out and fits together pefectly. The action is cool and intense at times. I love the developing relationship between Charles and Anna and Anna's growth throughout the story. I did miss my favourite character though and hope he'll be back in book three. Final verdict: loved book one just a bit more than this one, but this one is certainly a keeper as well.

Why should you read it:
It's a powerful story about werewolves

Monday 20 December 2010

Early Teaser Tuesdays - Grimspace

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!

Not much time to blog today so I give you an early Teaser Tuesdays so I can post a review tomorrow.

"Tell me you did this on purpose. This is how we're getting our DNA sample, yes? Because nobody's dumb enough wind up like this accidentally."
"I'm that dumb." March glares at her.
She smirks. 'I always secretly suspected."
(page 128, Grimspace by Ann Aguirre)

Absolutely loving this book so far I must add!

Saturday 18 December 2010

Cry Wolf - Book Review

Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs

What is it about:
Anna never knew werewolves existed until the night she survived a violent attack... and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she'd learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer - and son - of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna's inner strenght and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf - a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack...

What did I think of it:
Although this is supposed to be the first book in a series I can advice you to first read the novella 'Alpha and Omega' that's part of the anthology 'On the Prowl' as it will give you the story of how Anna and Charles meet and contains valuable information about both of them.

That being said:
I love this book! This will not be a surprise to those who read my reviews of the Mercy Thompson books, but I can tell you the Alpha and Omega series has a charm all of it own that makes it stand out from other werewolf stories.

There's the characters ofcourse: Anna and Charles are both intriguing and cool characters and their interaction is very well written and believable. There are characters we also met in the Mercy Thompson series and that we get to know a bit better, like Bran.

And then there's Asil!!
Not going to tell anything so as not to give away too many spoilers, but Wow!! Asil rocks and is so cool from the first moment he's introduced till he exits the stage again, I wish he had a book all of his own. Go read Cry Wolf and see if you agree.

The story itself is great as well. There's werewolves, action, heartache, a bit of romance, intrigue, murder. You name it: this story's got it. A most satisfying read!

Why should you read it:
It's a well written, suspenseful UF about werewolves.

Thursday 16 December 2010

Sanctuary- Red Rock Pass #1&2 - Book Review by Voodoo Bride part 1

Sanctuary- Red Rock Pass #1&2 by Moira Rogers

Today Voodoo Bride will be reviewing the first story in this book:
Cry Sanctuary

What is it about:
Keith Winston has come home to Montana to find peace. Instead, the veteran warrior finds himself fighting pressure to become the alpha's right hand. His attraction to a new wolf on the run sucks him into yet another battle between his instincts and his heart.

Abigail Adler knew nothing about werewolves--until she became one. Red Rock is her only refuge, but she chafes under its rigid rules. Except when it comes to submitting to the passion Keith stirs in her body. With her sister in danger, though, they will both have to risk breaking all the rules.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:

Action, romance and a smoking hot werewolf! This is how I like my Paranormal Romances.

The Moira Rogers duo manage to create a believable and interesting setting even while the romance storyline is dominant. Talking about dominant: I really liked that both Abigail and Keith are dominant werewolves as it gave the romance and action a bit more bite to it. Too often in werewolf stories the author decides to give the hot, sexy dominant male a nice little mate who needs to be protected by a big strong man, so it was refreshing to see a dominant female werewolf and the problems she encounters because of that. I can advice anyone who loves a shifter/werewolf romance to pick up this series. I know I'll be reading the rest of this series anyway!

Why should you read it:
Hot, sexy werewolf!

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Teaser Tuesdays on Wednesday

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!

Time is flying it seems, so I'm a day behind.
Still reading:

Angry zombies are strong zombies, as I knew from experience with Abbot. I began striking wildly to keep her away from me in the close space, and I sliced through a few books and cut off one of Mona's hands before I found my bearings again and did the deed.
(page 94, Jane Slayre by Charlotte Brontë and Sherri Browning Erwin)

Monday 13 December 2010

Serial Mom - Movie Review

Serial Mom

What is it about:
A seemingly perfect housewife decides to teach some people a lesson in manners by going on a killing spree.

What did I think of it:
This is a really fun movie that shouldn't be taken serious even for one minute. It's wacky, over the top and hilarious. Kathleen Turner does a great job as serial mom and while displaying a crazy murderer still manages to make you feel for her.

Why should you see it:
It's a cool and fun movie

Sunday 12 December 2010

Winner of the Zombie Anthology

The random number generator has spoken!

Winner of the Zombie Anthology is:
Michelle Greathouse

I will email you for your addy.

Saturday 11 December 2010

Bite - Book Review

Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson, Angela Knight and Vickie Taylor

What is it about:
The aptly titled Bite is a collection of five vampiric tales of supernatural seduction

I'll tackle them all one by one:

Hamilton's "The Girl Who Was Infatuated with Death" is set in time between the novels Blue Moon and Obsidian Butterfly. Vampire hunter Anita Blake, just beginning to come to grips with her recent metaphysical connection with master vampire Jean-Claude, takes a highly unusual case. A runaway teenager with bone cancer wants to become a vampire; but in order for her to change, another vampire must in essence murder a child. Blake agrees to find the rogue bloodsucker and pass judgment as only she knows how.

What did I think of it:
I wasn't impressed with this story. It's just a long conversation between two people. To do Hamilton justice I still decided to read the first book in her Anita Blake series after reading this story and I must say: Hamilton is not a writer for me.

In "One Word Answer" by Harris, everyone's favorite waitress, Sookie Stackhouse, learns that her only cousin has been murdered by one of the undead -- and the vampire Queen of Louisiana has sent her condolences in the form of an unusual gift.

What did I think of it:
I liked this story. It's simple, but clever. I do wonder however if people not familiar with the Sookie Stackhouse series would understand anything about this story.

Davidson's "Biting in Plain Sight" revisits her Undead universe with a touching love story about a benevolent vampire and her human suitor and the tragedy that brings them together.

What did I think of it:
A fun story with cool characters. A good balance between romance and action. I liked this story so much that I decided to give the Undead series a chance and I'm glad I did as it's a great series.

Knight's "Galahad" looks at Arthurian legend with a decided twist -- the knights of the Round Table are actually warrior vampires!

What did I think of it:
This is Voodoo Bride's favourite story. It's got sizzling hot romance and even a decent action storyline as well. The setting is intriguing and original. I've put Knight's books on my wishlist and intend to explore them in the future.

In Taylor's "Blood Lust," a researcher whose groundbreaking formula for synthetic blood was stolen by a maniacal vampire takes vengeance by becoming one of the undead!

What did I think of it:
I didn't much care for this story. The writing didn't appeal to me and the story just couldn't grab my attention.

So, all in all I liked 3 out of 5, not a bad score.

Why should you read this anthology:
It's a perfect way to try out new-to-you authors!

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Enemy Within - Book review

Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard

What is it about:
After a stint in an alien prison, Captain Ari Rose wonders why she even bothered to survive. Stripped of her command and banished to her father's scientific expedition to finish a Ph.D. she doesn't want, Ari never planned to languish quietly behind a desk. She wasn't built for it, either. But when pirates commandeer her father's ship, Ari once again becomes a prisoner.

As far as pirate leader Cullin is concerned, Ari's past imprisonment puts her dead center in Cullin's sights. If she hasn't been brainwashed and returned as a spy, then he's convinced she must be part of a traitorous alliance endangering billions of lives. Cullin can't afford the desire she fires within him and he'll stop at nothing, including destroying her, to uncover the truth.

What did I think of it:
I love this book. It's got everything you want from a SciFi: spaceships, intrigue, nasty aliens and firefights. Add an intense and complicated romance to this mix and you got a story that sizzles and captivates. Ari is a character that's been damaged, but luckily not broken and it makes you cheer her on and hope she will get a happy end in both love and her normal life. Some plot twist were a bit too obvious, but that didn't spoil the story for me, I must say. I can only add that I hope Burnard will write more books in this setting.

Why should you read it:
Spaceships, intrigue, nasty aliens, firefights and romance!!

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Jane Slayre

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!

Just started this one and got high hopes for it:

There was no possibility of continuing my walk that night. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour after dark, but since Mrs. Reed had picked up a scent (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, hunted early), I was send home so the others could stalk their prey.
(page 1, Jane Slayre by Charlotte Brontë and Sherri Browning Erwin)

Zombie Giveaway

This weekend it was Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas Eve) in the Netherlands and one of the presents I got was this Zombie Anthology. I already owned this anthology though and Sinterklaas was kind enough to buy me another book.

So why am I telling you this?

Sinterklaas not only bought me another book, he also kindly donated the Zombie Anthology for giveaway!!

So if you want a chance to win this book:
- Leave me a comment on this post to let me know you want to be entered in the giveaway
- Leave a way for me to contact you
- Do this before December 12th
* Open internationally and you do not have to be a follower to enter
(I like followers, but only if they actually like my blog)

Friday 3 December 2010

Ghost of a Chance - Book Review

Ghost of a Chance (Karma Marx, #1) by Kate Marsh (Katie Macalister)

What is it about:
Karma Marx exorcises haunted houses, sending troublesome poltergeists and other spirits to the ever after. But one assignment traps Karma, her foster child, her sleazy soon-to-be-ex husband, Spider, and his crooked partner under one roof. And when Spider turns up dead, it's a locked house mystery, and Karma's determined to reveal the truth, even if it means tackling all of the mansion's inhabitants-mortal and otherwise...

What did I think of it:
A nice, if somewhat shaky mystery with an intriguing setting. In this book Macalister (writing under the name Marsh) proves she doesn't need snarky characters and steamy romance to keep you reading. I really liked how she uses creatures she also uses in her Dark Ones series and expands on them in this story. I also really liked Karma and Macalister's writing style holds up perfectly when stripped of the snark, which made it a lot more serious than her Dark Ones books, but I must say I enjoyed the more serious tone. The plot was a bit wobbly at times, but all in all I really enjoyed reading this book and I hope there will be more books in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a nicely written paranormal whodunnit

Thursday 2 December 2010

A Girl's Guide to Vampires - A Book Review by Voodoo Bride

A Girl's Guide to Vampires by Katie Macalister

What is it about:
All Joy Randall wants is a little old-fashioned romance, but when she participates in a "Goddess evoking" ceremony with her friend, Roxy, Joy finds out her future true love is a man with the potential to put her immortal soul in danger. At first the ever-practical Joy is ready to dismiss her vision as a product of too much gin and too many vampire romances, but while traveling through the Czech Republic with Roxy, Joy begins to have some second thoughts about her mystery lover because she is suddenly plagued by visions of a lethally handsome stranger. Then, when she and Roxy attend a local GothFaire, Joy meets Raphael Griffin St. John, head of security, and she becomes even more bewildered because the dark and dangerous Raphael seems too close to her dreams for comfort.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
If you're looking for a light, funny, romantic and steamy read that also has some mystery going on this is the perfect book to pick up! Aside from yet again a bit of Goth bashing this book is pure fun. Joy is a cool, quirky lead character and the males (yes: plural! But don't be expecting a menage, merely a triangle or square) aren't half bad either! Macalister's vampires are original and very cool, but luckily they do comply to some universal vampire rules I think every vampire should comply to (meaning no sparkles) so I could really love them. All in all an enjoyable read and after finishing this book I ran out to buy more books in this series.

Why should you read it:
Steamy Romance and Vampires!

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Alien Tango - Book Review

Alien Tango (Katherine "Kitty" Katt #2) by Gini Koch

What is it about:
It's been five months since marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt started working with the aliens from Alpha Centauri, and she and Jeff Martini are getting closer. But when an experimental spacecraft is mysteriously returned to the Kennedy Space Center, Kitty and the rest of her team are called in to investigate. Now the team must survive murderous attacks, remove a space entity from a group of astronauts, and avoid an unhinged woman with a serious crush on Kitty's high school boyfriend. And that's all before evil masterminds decide Kitty's extermination is vital.

What did we think of it:
Both me and Voodoo Bride love this book!
It's a witty, cool thrillride of over the top wackiness mixed with suspense, romance and gators. It's got all the cool characters from the first book and adds a lot of new great characters. Koch's writingstyle is funny and very pleasant, which (combined with the awesome story) makes this a book an instant comfortread for us that will be read again and again. Although the second book in a series it can be read as a stand alone, but my advice: Read Touched by an Alien first, because once you read Alien Tango you will want to read the first book as well, so why not read it right away?!

Gini: Keep the books coming!

Why should you read it:
According to me: It's an awesome story with aliens and gators!
According to Voodoo Bride: It's got Martini!!!

Alien Tango will officially be released on december 7th, but might be available at your local bookstore earlier.

Teaser Tuesdays - Alien Tango

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!

"I hate it when you point out things like this," Martini said.
"Because you're so frequently right."
(page 162, Alien Tango by Gini Koch)

Alien Tango will officially be trleased on December 7th.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Sucks To Be Me - Book Review

Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe) by Kimberly Pauley

What is it about:
Mina Hamilton's parents want her dead. (Or undead to be precise.) They're vampires, and like it or not, Mina must decide whether to become a vampire herself. But Mina's more interested in hanging out with best friend Serena and trying to catch the eye of the too-hot-for-high-school Nathan Able than in the vampire training classes she's being forced to take. How's a girl supposed to find the perfect prom date and pass third-year French when her mom and dad are breathing down her neck—literally?

What did I think of it:
A very funny and enjoyable read. Mina is a typical teenager, but the light, humorous tone of the story makes you like her and keeps her from turning into an annoying brat. The story isn't too complicated, but that's no negative thing I think. There's tons of other interesting and cool characters too and the whole story idea is fun and original. The one negative thing I encountered was Mina's (and therefor probably the author's) negative view on Goths, which was totally uncalled for and not necessary for the story.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun YA Vampire story.

Friday 26 November 2010

Children of the Night - Book Review

Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey

What is it about:
Rock band Wanderlust is about to hit it big, guitarist Dave Kendall is sure of that. They're playing better venues, in front of bigger crowds-and the people showing up at the after parties are increasingly good-looking and cool. Some even radiate power, like "Master" Jeffries, the tall, saturnine man who seems to have some sort of weird control over Dave's fellow bandmates.
But Dave's too tired to pay much attention to Jeffries. He's tired a lot, lately, and making music isn't as much fun as it used to be. Probably he's just working-and partying-too hard.
Luckily, Dave has a friend who takes what's happening to him very seriously. Diana Tregarde is a practicing witch and a Guardian of the Earth. It's her job to keep an eye on innocents like Dave and make sure they stay out of trouble and don't become someone's lunch.
Jeffries has been on Diana's hit list since she first spotted him pursuing a young Romany. Di wasn't fast enough to stop him, but the Rom have their own protector-a dashing, charming, very attractive vampire named Andre Le Brel.
Together, the witch and the vampire face Jeffries and his evil minions in a battle for the soul of rock 'n' roll.

What did I think of it:
I think this was the first Lackey book I read that wasn't set in her Valdemar setting and it was when I read this book that I discovered that no matter what Lackey writes, (Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Edwardian Fantasy) she knows how to write a compelling and suspenseful story if she sets her mind to it. I adore Diana and I love the world Lackey creates in this book. Her vampire lore is divers and well researched I must say and one of my favourites so far. It is the second book in a series, but it can be read as a standalone just as well. I myself only figured out this actually was the second book long after I read all three books in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a very original UF story with a cool heroine.

Monday 22 November 2010

might be MIA for a few days

The move back to our house is tomorrow and there's still lots to do both there and in the temporary house.

So I will probably be offline for a couple of days!

See you all soon I hope.

Saturday 20 November 2010

Another Book I Couldn't Finish

Sometimes you read a book and it doesn't really grab you, but it's just interesting enough to keep reading to see if it will be more engrossing later on in the book and then.....

you encounter one of those annoying things that make you lose your patience and throw the book out!

In the case of www:wake it was Canada bashing.

The lead character of the book is an American teenager who moved to Canada with her parents. She kept on dishing Canadian things like Canadian literature and art. The third time this happened I put down the book and decided this wasn't a book for me.

Now either Sawyer - who's Canadian as far as I could figure out on wikipedia - is someone who doesn't like his own country, or he thinks Americans think negatively about his country. Either possibility puts me off of this book I must say.

Now don't get me wrong:
The writing was good and the story idea interesting enough to have me kept reading if not for the Canada bashing, so if you don't mind that it is probably a good book.

How about you:
Any pet peeves that make you put down a book?

Wednesday 17 November 2010

The Lord-Protector's Daughter - Book Review

The Lord-Protector's Daughter (Corean Chronicles) by L. E. Modesitt (Jr)

What is it about:
The Lord-Protector’s Daughter is a standalone fantasy novel that takes place in Tempre, the capital city of Lanachrona on Corus, the world of Modesitt’s Corean Chronicles. Mykella, the eldest daughter of the Lord-Protector of Lanachrona, discovers that someone is diverting significant sums of money from her father’s treasury. One of the ancient soarers appears to Mykella, telling her that she must go to the antique stone Table in the cellars of the Palace and find her Talent in order to save her land and her world.
From there, matters become more perilous. There are attempts to remove Mykella and her sisters from Tempre by marrying them off to lords in neighboring lands, and fatal and near fatal accidents occur to members of her family and trusted retainers. While Mykella develops a solid idea of who stands behind it all, every attempted solution is used to discredit her. How can she save their father and land?

What did I think about it:
This was one of the most boring reads ever I must confess. Don't get me wrong: this book has its merits: It's nicely written and the characters and setting are intriguing. The story itself however drags endlessly, not only because there's too much telling instead of showing, but also too much showing of things that don't matter. Almost every chapter began with telling that Mykella got up, got dressed, washed up and went to breakfast. I don't need to read something like that more than twice at the most unless it's important to the plot. The cool things that do happen are over much too soon after which there's much blah inside Mykella's head again. If not for the pointless hope the story would eventually take off after an event that's named on the backcover (and which happens in one of the last couple of chapters...) I'd have tossed it away long before finishing it.

Why should you read it:
I'd advice trying one of the earlier books in these Chronicles in the hope those are more interesting.

Teaser Tuesdays - FEED (2)

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!

Not much time to read at the moment with all the moving house stuff so I'm still reading FEED.

"Hang on while I check your records," said the hotel. It fell silent. I rolled my eyes.
(page 310, FEED by Mira Grant)

Sunday 14 November 2010

*Award: Life is Good*

Meghan gave me the Life is Good award!
Thanks Meghan

This is what it is all about:

1.Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2.Answer the following 10 survey questions mentioned below.
3.Pass it on to another 15 Blogs that are fairly new and interesting to you.
4.Contact the bloggers so they know they've been chosen.

On to the questions:

1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?

Well, I'm on almost every picture I post, so I'm not anonymous and I like being recognised by people. My owner on the other hand is more of a private person and is perfectly ok with me getting all the attention.

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:

I'm never stubborn!! *cough*

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

A handsome pig with green trotters.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?

Cherry flavoured Milkshake

5.When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

Read, watch movies and play computergames

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?

Visit Paris and London

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever , the shy person, or always ditching?

Pigs don't have to go to school.
My owner tells me she thought she was the shy kid in the background, but years after leaving school she still got recognised as the 'The Cure fan'.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?

Me meeting Midas Dekkers, my favourite Dutch author. And I hope to meet other authors in the future.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

On this blog I post reviews and such, but on my other blog everything is about me!


Hey where's question number 10?!

And now for breaking the rules:
As I'm very busy at the moment I will skip rule 3 and 4!!

And just so you know:
If I'm following your blog or am a frequent commenter it means I think your blog is worth reading!

Saturday 13 November 2010

Anansi Boys - Book Review

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

What is it about:
Fat Charlie Nancy's normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn't know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.

Now brother Spider's on his doorstep -- about to make Fat Charlie's life more interesting... and a lot more dangerous.

What did I think of it:
Some of you may know that American Gods is one of my all time favourite books. So when I heard that Anansi Boys featured one of the gods from that book I just had to read it.

And Anansi Boys doesn't disappoint.

It's well written and has all the wit I've come to expect from Gaiman. Charlie is a great character and very likeable. This likeability made that I despised his brother Spider who makes Charlie's life hell and I cheered every time Charlie managed to overcome the obstacles he encounters in this story. The stories about Anansi that are told throughout the book may be old to those people already familiar with Anansi, but as I only heard of him in American Gods the stories were new to me and I was intrigued by this trickster deity.

Why should you read it:
It's well written, fun and witty!

Thursday 11 November 2010

Warrior - Book Review

Warrior by Zoë Archer

What is it about:
The vicious attack Capt. Gabriel Huntley witnesses in a dark alley sparks a chain of events that will take him to the ends of the Earth and beyond - where what is real and what is imagined become terribly confused. And frankly, Huntley couldn't be more pleased. Intrigue, danger, and a beautiful woman in distress - just what he needs. Raised thousands of miles from England, Thalia Burgess is no typical Victorian lady. A good thing, because a proper lady would have no hope of recovering the priceless magical artefact Thalia is after. Huntley's assistance might come in handy, though she has to keep him in the dark. But this distractingly handsome soldier isn't easy to deceive...

What did I think of it:
A nice, pleasant read. The writing is a bit awkward and stiff from time to time, but the no nonsense adventure story makes up for that. The characters aren't terribly original, but (again) the story and the events make up for this flaw. I would advice this book to anyone looking for a nice, uncomplicated adventure story with a romance mixed in.

Why should you read it:
It's got adventure, romance and a tiny dash of something steampunky.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Feed

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!

"What's going on out there, Chuck? No more zombies, I hope?"
"No, sir - not so far. It's the screamer."
(page 173, FEED by Mira Grant)

Monday 8 November 2010

Downsiders - Book Review

Downsiders by Neal Shusterman

What is it about:
Meticulous 14-year-old Lindsay isn't exactly thrilled about moving to the chaos that she believes is New York City. Her flighty "career college student" mom, now divorced, has dumped her on her city engineer dad, "a man who lived his life twenty minutes behind schedule and in a perpetual state of apology." Lindsay is certain that nothing better awaits her than prep school boredom and constant battles with her evil stepbrother Todd. But she is wrong. Quite by accident, Lindsay discovers an unusual boy named Talon who resides in a secret city beneath New York--a kind of underground Oz called the Downside. Talon and Lindsey are fascinated by the differences in their dual worlds and soon grow equally fascinated with each other. But when Lindsay's dad's construction project hits a snag that reveals the Downside, it is not only the blooming relationship that hangs in the balance, but the entire future of the Downside as well.

What did I think of it:
I must say that I did start this book with some reservations. Even though the story sounded intriguing I was a bit suspicious of it after reading 'Neverwhere' by Neil Gaiman and 'Mind the Gap' by C. Golden and T. Lebbon, both books that also feature a sort of hidden world below a city, but that failed to make those worlds feel real to me. I was afraid Downsiders would fail to deliver as well.

And I was so wrong!!

This book is brilliant!! I love it with a passion! The whole Downside world, the characters, the use of language: they're all absolutely amazing. The Downside and it's inhabitants feel so real I would almost keep an eye out for people watching me from a drainpipe from now on. The book is so well written I felt myself pacing myself in my reading to enjoy not just the story, but also the flow of writing. At the end of the book I felt so connected to several of the characters I wanted there to be more and I will most certainly read more books by Shusterman besides rereading this one regularly from now on.

Why should you read it:
It's a brilliant YA read!

* I won this book at Shredded Cheddar and want to say a big THANKS to Enbrethiliel for recommending this book!

Saturday 6 November 2010

I got tagged

I got tagged by Nina

Rules of the game:
1) Accept the tag and link to the tagger at the beginning of your post.
2) Answer the questions honestly in your post by listing four things.
(3) Pass on the love by picking four other people to tag and listing them at the bottom of your post. Notify them that you tagged them.)

4 Things That Are In My Handbag:
I do not have a handbag, but I'll name 4 things I always take with me

- a cellphone with camera
- a pen
- a notebook
- a book

4 Favourite Things In My Bedroom:
In the middle of a renovation so the bedroom is a bit empty at the moment, but these are a must:

- my green security blanket
- lots of books
- a purple desk lamp
- lots of books (yes, even more)

4 Things On My Desk:

- a computer
- lots of pens
- a scanner
- notepads

4 Things I've Always Wanted To Do (but haven't yet):

- Visit Highgate Cemetery in London
- Go to Paris
- Visit Egypt
- Write and publish a book about zombies

4 Things I Enjoy Very Much At The Moment:

- Reading
- Playing Plants vs Zombies
- Blogging
- Chocolate

4 Songs I Can't Get Out Of My Head:
I do not want to be reminded about those horrible songs that get stuck in my head so I'm listing songs I really like right now.

- Addicted by Blutengel
- How Soon Is Now by The Smiths
- I Don't Wanna Grow Up by Tom Waits
- Der Wachter by Tanzwut

4 Things You Don't Know About Me:

- I'm afraid of spiders
- I do not like books with menages in them
(ok, some of you may know that already)
- When not blogging I fight crime as Doctor Swineberg!!
(ok, that might be a lie)
- I'm bad at thinking up facts about me that people dont know yet

Anyone who thinks they can do this meme better than me can consider themselves tagged

Friday 5 November 2010

The Iron Duke - Book Review

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

What is it about:
After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power — and fear — of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans — and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

What did I think about it:
For a story that is promoted on the back of the book with the description 'zombie-infested wastelands' it had very few zombies I must say. Do I hold that against it?

Absolutely not!!

I loved this book! The world Brook created is wonderfully gritty, grim and fascinating. She knows just how to make a world truely Steampunk, instead of it just having a few steampunky details. And it's not just the setting I fell in love with: her characters and the story are amazing as well. The story breathes the same grim and gritty atmosphere as the world where it takes place and even the romance was affected by it, which made it stand out from other romances in my opinion. It did have the over-used 'I love you, but as I'm a macho guy I'm not going to say it or even explain my actions, so you will misunderstand me' moment, but as it was used to keep an action storyline going in the right direction I won't hold that against Brook much.

My final verdict:
Great storytelling and superior worldbuilding. Keep the books coming in this series and I'll be reading them even when there's only a few zombies in them.

Why should you read it:
It's got Steampunk, (Ex)Pirates, Mercenaries and other cool stuff!

This review is entered in vvB32 Reads Iron Seas Challenge
(And I won this book at the same challenge as well :-D )

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Wolf Tracks - A Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Wolf Tracks by Vivian Arend
(ebook, novella)

What is it about:
TJ Lynus is a legend in Granite Lake, both for his easygoing demeanor—and his clumsiness. His carefree acceptance of his lot vanishes, though, when his position as best man brings him face to face with someone he didn’t expect. His mate. His very human mate. Suddenly, one thing is crystal clear: if he intends to claim her, his usual laid-back attitude isn’t going to cut it.

After fulfilling her maid-of-honor duties, Pam Quinn has just enough time for a Yukon wilderness trip before returning south. The instant attraction between her and TJ tempts her to indulge in some Northern Delight, but when he drops the F-bomb—“forever”—she has second thoughts. In her world, true love is a fairytale that seldom, if ever, comes true.

Okay, so maybe staging a kidnapping wasn’t TJ’s best idea, but at least Pam has the good humour to agree to his deal. He’ll give her all the northern exposure she can stand—and she won’t break his kneecaps.

Now to convince her that fairytales can remake her world—and that forever is worth fighting for.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
Just as all the other three Granite Lake Wolves novellas this story was fun, romantic and hot. It's the most fluffy of the four as it focuses mainly on the romance where the other stories have a bit of an action storyline going as well, but I can't say it bothered me and I really enjoyed this latest addition to this series. I do think if you aren't familiar with this series you can better read Wolf Signs first though as it will introduce you to TJ and it will make you love him even more than you will by reading this story on it's own. I do hope Arend will continue to write new stories in this series.

Why should you read it:
Clumsy sidekick finally gets the chance to show he's just as cool and sexy as the other wolves!

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Downsiders (2)

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!

I'm still reading Downsiders. apart from having little time to read, I think this book is so beautifully written it deserves to be savoured.

A single sentence was engraved on the wall of the Brass Junction:


(page 116, Downsiders by Neal Shusterman)

Sunday 31 October 2010

Reading Outside the Comfort Zone

Once in a while I try to read something that falls outside my normal reading comfort zone. Sometimes I discover something that expands my comfort zone and sometimes I pick something that just falls way too far outside my comfort zone

To Serve and Submit by Susan Wright is one of those book that fall way outside of it.

Don't get me wrong: the book is well written, the story original, but the lead character is a submissive and a large part of the story is focused on that.

I couldn't deal with it!

Someone who submits totally to another person and doesn't stand up and fight for herself is not someone I can relate to. I wanted to kick both the lead character and the guy she submits to for acting like they did. I wasn't even able to finish the book as it all bothered me too much.

How about you?
What kind of book or theme is way out of your comfort zone?

Friday 29 October 2010

Lots of Winners!

All three giveaways have ended and winners have been picked by the random and fickle number generator!

An ebook copy of Keta Diablo's Where the Rain is Made has been won by Nina.
Nina: I will send your email addy to Keta and she will send the ebook to you.

An ebook copy of Wolf Signs by Vivian Arend has been won by Alice Audrey.
Alice: I will send your email addy to Vivian and she will send the ebook to you.

And lastly:
Blameless by Gail Carriger has been won by Titania86.
Titania: I will send you and email to get your snailmail addy.

Congrats to all three of you!!

Thursday 28 October 2010

Renovation stress once more

The coming month I'll be busy with repainting, redecorating and recarpeting our house after it has just been renovated, so it might be that I will have less time to read and therefor review books.

Don't fear though: I'll try to keep posting as often as I can so you won't be without me completely and at the end of November I will be posting regularly again.

Don't forget to enter my giveaways while you still can: tomorrow I will draw the winners.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Bespelling Jane Austen - Book Review (part2)

Bespelling Jane Austen by Mary Balogh, Colleen Gleason, Susan Krinard and Janet Mullany

What is it about:
What if Austen had believed in reincarnation and vampires? Join four bestselling romance authors as they channel the wit and wisdom of Jane Austen.

Today I will review the last two stories in this anthology.
Find the first part of this book review here.

Blood and Prejudice by Susan Krinard
Set in the business world of contemporary New York City, Liz Bennett joins Mr. Darcy in his hunt for a vampire cure.

What did I think of it:
Krinard really tries to do a good job, the writing is very good, the vampire angle cool, but she shows a bit too much respect for Austen's story by sticking too close to the original. And let me be honest (with the fear of getting clobbered), Pride and Prejudice just isn't that interesting if you do not add some serious zombie mayhem to the story. Nice job all in all, but it falls flat for me.


Little to Hex Her by Janet Mullany
Present-day Washington, D.C., is full of curious creatures in Janet Mullany's story, wherein Emma is a witch with a wizard boyfriend and a paranormal dating service to run.

What did I think of it:
I didn't expect to like this one as I think the Emma story and the paranormal dating agency thing have both been over used, but I ended up really liking it. It was a funny and breezy read. Mullany does a nice job in bringing Emma into the 21st century and her writing style is so pleasant I will gladly try something else she has written.


Why should you read this book:
If you like Jane Austen and/or Supernatural stories I think you'll like this anthology as well.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Downsiders

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!

She tried to shake off the shivers, telling herself that she had no reason to be concerned... until she noticed the dusty footprints on the hardwood floor.
(page 52, Downsiders by Neal Shusterman)

Monday 25 October 2010

Little Women and Werewolves - Book Review

Little Women and Werewolves by Louisa May Alcott and Porter Grand

What is it about:
Little Women is a timeless classic. But Louisa May Alcott’s first draft—before her editor sunk his teeth into it—was even better. Now the original text has at last been exhumed. In this uncensored version, the March girls learn some biting lessons, transforming from wild girls into little women—just as their friends and neighbors transform into vicious, bloodthirsty werewolves!

Here are tomboy Jo, quiet Beth, ladylike Amy, and good-hearted Meg, plus lovable neighbor Laurie Laurence, now doomed to prowl the night on all fours, maiming and devouring the locals. As the Civil War rages, the girls learn the value of being kind, the merits of patience and grace, and the benefits of knowing a werewolf who can disembowel your teacher.

By turns heartwarming and blood-curdling, this rejuvenated classic will be cherished and treasured by those who love a lesson in virtue almost as much as they enjoy a good old-fashioned dismemberment.

What did I think of it:
I really liked this book. I originally read Little Women in Dutch so don't know if Grand stuck to the original text or not, but it was a great read and the added werewolf stuff flowed right into the rest of the story. I really liked how Grand used the werewolves to add extra tension to exsisting storylines, making them better in my opinion. Had Jo been my favourite character when first reading the original Little Women, I now can safely say she's been dethroned in this book and her place has been taken by Mr. Laurence. I can recommend this book to anyone who likes Alcott's classic, but always thought it lacked some werewolves!

Why should you read it:
It's a classic that has now got werewolves!!

Sunday 24 October 2010


The random number generator has spoken and picked two winners for me:

Winner of a signed copy of 'She Smells the Dead' is:
Demented Wench

And the winner of the bookmark giveaway is:


I have contacted the winners and am waiting for them to get back to me.
Thanks to everyone who entered.

Didn't win?
There's still time to sign up for one of the other giveaways.
Links are in the sidebar on the right.

And don't forget to check out my interview with Jess Haines!

Saturday 23 October 2010

Interview with author Jess Haines

Those who read my review of ’Hunted by the Others’ will know I loved that book and should have gone out to buy it themselves by now ;-)
And when I recently read 'Spark of Temptation' and also loved that story I wanted to know more about this series and about Jess Haines, the mastermind who wrote it. She kindly agreed to an interview.

Hi Jess!
Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview and welcome to Pearls Cast Before a McPig.

My first question is probably asked before, but as I haven’t run across it I will ask it anyway:

How did you get the idea for this series?

Hey, no worries. I can’t remember if it’s been asked before, so it’s all good!

Many moons ago, I used to roleplay on AOL (“Gasp!” I hear you say. “The horror! Say it ain’t so!”). In the late 90’s, I went to the movies and sat down to watch something involving lots of violence. A preview for Blade hit the screen—and I knew I had to have a vampire hunter character of my very own! I would love her and hug her and squeeze her and call her… Shiarra Waynest.

The Shia of today and the Shia of yesteryear are very different in terms of personality. However, I gave a wink and a nod to her bad ol’ self in the belt with the trio of stakes, and kept her physical looks pretty much the same as they were way back when.

The series itself crept up on me. I wrote the first book, HUNTED BY THE OTHERS, purely for shits and giggles, setting aside my Oh-So-Serious High Fantasy™ back in late 2007/early 2008. I needed a palate cleanser after getting far too involved in the writerly woes that come with taking yourself too seriously. I started writing the second book, TAKEN BY THE OTHERS, almost as soon as I finished HUNTED. My friend Binah pushed and poked and prodded at me to seek publication when she read HUNTED, so… here I am!

Phew, I’m glad you had friend like Binah to push you into publishing, I must confess.

Are any of the characters based on yourself or people you know?

Absolutely! But you will never drag past my lips which characters or who they are based on. *g*

I must say I love Arnold, he’s a very recognisable character for me. What I was wondering is if you yourself are a roleplayer and if so, what kind of rpg’s you’ve played. (I myself have played quite a few, but Vampire the Masquerade is my favourite)

Arnold is quite possibly my favorite character. I have a hard time choosing between him and the vampire, Royce. (Shia? Who’s that?! Pfft.)

I am indeed a roleplayer. I haven’t had much time to sit down to do tabletop games in a while, but I was a fan of AD&D (3.5 edition, don’t give me none o’ that 4E). I played Vampire: the Masquerade, Werewolf: the Apocalypse, Mage: the Ascension, etc, etc, back in the 90’s/very early 00’s. I’ve done online RPGs as well; most notably, EverQuest and World of Warcraft. Oh, and we cannot forget Munchkin! Someone pass me my Dues Ex Machinegun and Freudian Slippers.

Wow! That’s an impressive list. If you were a pig I’d fall in love with you.
Let me follow this question with two questions to satisfy the roleplay geek in me.

What kind of clan would Royce be if he was a Vampire the Masquerade vampire?

Ventrue. He’s too much of a domineering, controlling snob not to be. *g*

What kind of character would Shiarra pick if she was forced to play (Advanced) Dungeons and Dragons? And how about Arnold: what character does he like to play?

Poor Shia! She’d be so at sea. I imagine for the race she’d stick with human (‘cause, ya know, that’s familiar and all). As for class? I can’t see her as anything but a warrior—at least the first time or two. I’m sure she’d eventually become brave enough to try an elvish ranger or a human paladin, but I doubt she’d ever get creative enough to try being a wizard or dwarf.

As for Arnold, his favorite character to play is his half-elven bard, Dorian Silvertongue the Goblinslayer of Thoracin. (Don’t ask.)

Any chance we might run into other were-creatures than werewolves in future books? (like were boars for example. I think everyone would love to read about were boars, I know I would ;-) )

*wary look* Have you been sneaking peeks into my third book, DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS? Naughty!

I wouldn‘t dare! *tries to hold back excited squeal*

Speaking about creatures: Will there be any other new creatures we’ve not heard about yet in future books?

I’m not quite done exploring overdone fantasy tropes. *g* I don’t expect to throw in any brand spankin’ new fantasy critters into the H&W series, but if I ever tear my Far Too Serious™ high fantasy manuscript from the clutches of the dust bunnies under my bed, you might!

If faced with a zombie what would Shiarra do? And any chance btw she will be faced by one or more zombies?

I imagine it would go something like this:

SHIA: Ew, what’s the smell?

ZOMBIE: …Braaaaaiiiiinnnnssss….

SHIA: Uh, ew? EW!

ZOMBIE: *shuffleshuffle*

SHIA: Oh, sick. Did a piece of you just fall off?? *sprays Lysol* Get away! Shoo! I am so serious. Don’t you touch me!

ZOMBIE: *shuffleshuffle*



As for whether she’ll actually encounter one, well… that depends! I’ve plotted out a number of books, but I’ve only been contracted for three in this series—so far. If it turns out there will be more, than yes, you can expect them in book five. *g*

*plots to hypnotise people into buying Jess' books to increase chances there being a book five*

How many books are you planning in this series?

I’ve plotted nine total for the series. Whether that many get published, well… we’ll see!

Any chance we’ll get another short (or longer) story featuring Arnold and Sara or other supporting characters?

I would love (LOVE) to do another one featuring those two! The novella in NOCTURNAL was the setup for something bigger involving Arnold and Sara. Not sure if they’ll get their own novel, but they will be involved in some issues that strongly impact the aforementioned book five.

I’ve been tossing around some ideas for stuff to work on as soon as I get my current projects off my plate. With four novel manuscripts and a novella in progress, I probably shouldn’t go off onto another tangent just now. *g*

And my last question: Any other projects you’re working on?

Absolutely! Ever hear of a TV series called The Real Housewives of New Jersey/New York/Orange County, etc, etc, etc? Get this—I’ve got a novella coming out sometime next year in an anthology called THE REAL WEREWIVES OF VAMPIRE COUNTY.

The hilarity. We haz it.

I am also hard at work on a paranormal romance that features characters mentioned briefly in book two, TAKEN BY THE OTHERS. It’s a co-written novel featuring characters from my work and from a friend’s. It’s an unlikely pairing—a werewolf named Christoph from a pack that has a tendency to hunt down and eat vampires, and a mute vamp named Mouse (who makes her first appearance as one of Royce’s house guards in TAKEN). Christoph and his packmate Ashi make some spectacularly stupid mistakes that land them in Royce’s hands. Wackiness ensues. Said wackiness includes a fashion makeover from the gayest vampire in all the land, an angry French chef, werewolves in fetish collars, an epic battle over ice cream, a naked Highlander, and a bit of male strip-dancing.

As you might have gathered, this isn’t your typical romance.

The PNR manuscript is written but undergoing some heavy editing and such before I pass it on to my agent or to Kensington, so no promises that it will ever see the light of day.

I must say it sounds like a blast, so I’ll be hoping it will get published. Thanks so much for dropping by and answering my questions.

Thanks very much for having me over!


Hunted by the Others and Nocturnal (which features the Novella 'Spark of Temptation) are both out and are waiting for you to buy them.
Go on, don't wait: I want book five!!!
Taken by the Others will be released in January 2011
Deceived by the Others will be released in July 2011

And now to tease all those who still haven’t read any of Jess’ books into buying them I will leave you all with the start of chapter 10 of ‘Hunted by the Others’, which features Shia and Arnold:


“Don’t touch anything while we’re inside without asking first,” Arnold said before we walked through the doors. ”Some of the stuff in here is dying to get out and might try to attach itself to you.”
Oh great. Sentient artifacts, just the sort of thing to make my day.
He led the way inside. The walls here were of red sandstone marked with runes similar to the ones on the doors. Every few feet there were arches with burning torches for light. The flickering lights drew my attention to the runes that moved and swirled in a way that was making me feel dizzy. I had the sick feeling we left New York behind the minute we walked through those arches.
“What did you need exactly anyway? Vero didn’t tell me what to give you.”
I sighed hoping I wouldn’t sound too ridiculous and unprofessional. “I was hoping you might be able to tell me. I was hired to find a statuette in the possession of a vampire.”
He snorted laughter, drawing my attention sharply to him and off the weird walls. “Oh, that. I’ve got just the thing.”