Thursday 31 March 2011

Winner of The Oracle giveaway

Here's the moment 13 of you have been waiting for:
The random number generator told me who won Dark Oracle and Rogue Oracle by Alayna Williams!

The winner is:

winnie: I'll be emailing you!

Everyone else:
Thanks for your interest in Alayna's guestpost!

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Iris and Ruby - A Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Iris and Ruby by Rosie Thomas

What is it about:
Fragility and forgetfulness have left 82-year-old Iris vulnerable and in the care of her manservant, Mamdooh. Stiflingly quiet and claustrophobic, Iris's Cairo house is suddenly disturbed by the unexpected arrival of her troubled and wilful granddaughter, Ruby, who, labouring under a fraught relationship with her family, has run away from England to seek solace with the grandmother she hasn't seen for many years. An unlikely bond arises as the two women open themselves up to one another and Ruby helps Iris document her deteriorating memories of the vibrant life she enjoyed in Cairo during World War Two, a time when she lost her heart to her one true love-the enigmatic Captain Xan Molyneux-and then lost him to the ravages of the war.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
A bittersweet story about love and family.
It's well written and full of emotion and I can tell you I cry each time I read this book. The story switches back and forth between present day and World War Two. Both the story of how Iris and Ruby slowly get to know each other and the story of Iris' romance in WWII are compelling and beautiful, while intertwining with each other seemlessly. I especially love the parts of the book that are set in the past, which have a dreamlike quality to it. Part of this is because of how Iris remembers the past, but it's also because of the weird mood in Wartime Cairo: people party, love, lust and live life to the fullest while outside of Cairo the war rages on. Set against this almost mythical feeling Cairo is the Cairo of today, which is explored by Ruby, who sees the city without the coloured lenses of memory. This use of the city makes this story not just a story about people, but also makes it a homage to Cairo itself, an intriguing city that is both beautiful and sad.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful story about love.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Rot and Ruin

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!

There was a low moan, and Benny turned to see a gray-skinned man shuffling slowly around the corner of the building. He wore ancient coveralls that were stained with dark blotches and, incongruously, a garland of fresh flowers around his neck.
(page 67, Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry)

Monday 28 March 2011

Author Love - Diana Wynne Jones

This weekend the sad news reached me that Diana Wynne Jones has died on 26th March, 2011.

I dedicate my second Author Love post to this amazing author who gave me many hours of reading pleasure with just one book, but that book is the most beautiful and cool children's book I ever read.

Somewhere in the eighties I came across this book: 'De Negen Levens' (the nine lives. Original English title = Charmed Life). I was drawn to it by the beautiful cover, then I started reading it and discovered the story was even better than the pictures.

It's about Cat Chant and his sister Gwendolen, orphaned as the result of a tragic boat accident and adopted by their relative, the mysterious sorcerer Chrestomanci. Cat begins to settle in at Chrestomanci Castle, but Gwendolen hates it. No one—least of all Chrestomanci—seems to appreciate Gwendolyn's magical powers, and after weeks of playing nasty magical practical jokes on the various inhabitants of the Castle, Gwendolyn finally leaves by going into a parallel world and replacing herself in Cat's world with a double called Janet. Cat and Janet eventually find the way to set the worlds right again, with some help from unexpected quarters.

I completely fell in love with this story and the way it was written *. After borrowing the book time and time again from the library I was overjoyed when I found it at a secondhand store and finally could call it my own.

I've been rereading this book over the years at least once a year and could recite the story in my sleep, but however often I reread this book it never grows old, it never loses that magic that I encountered on my first read.

I did try reading other books in the same setting and featuring Chrestomanci, and they were nice reads, but they never got hold on me like Charmed Life did. (Part of this may be because I read them in Dutch and in the new translation which sucks *.)

But then one day I was reading a movie magazine and read something about a Movie called 'Howl's Moving Castle'. The article caught my eye because it was a movie by Hayao Miyazaki (I absolutely love his Tonari no Totoro (my neighbour Totoro)), but held it because it also named Diana Wynne Jones as the author of the book the movie was based upon.

So I went out and bought Howl's Moving Castle.
Luckily it was easy to find because of the hype around the movie.

And when reading Howl's Moving Castle I fell in love with Diana Wynne Jones' writing all over again. I can advice anyone who's only seen the movie to pick up this book as it's so much richer than the movie. It gives so much more in both emotions and story.

I now have two books by Diana Wynne Jones that I will keep on rereading for the rest of my life and I will also keep an eye out for her other books as these two give me so much joy I'm sure there are more of her books that I will love just as much as these two.

* Note to Dutch followers: Please find the old translation as the book has been translated again for a newer Dutch edition and that translation is horrible.

Saturday 26 March 2011

Alien in the Family - Early Book review *

Alien in the Family (Katherine "Kitty" Katt #3) by Gini Koch

What is it about:
Super-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt and the Alpha Centaurian she loves, Jeff Martini, should be finalizing their wedding plans. But that was before she discovers Jeff is in line to become Emperor back on his home world. Kitty knows she is everything a royal family wouldn't approve of, and is bracing herself for the worst. As it turns out, the royal family is just the beginning. Especially when extraterrestrial Amazonian terrorists are determined to start and end Kitty and Jeff's nuptial festivities with a bang.

What did me and Voodoo Bride think of it:
Yet another awesome addition to a terrific series.
Reading Alien in the Family gives you the full range of emotions from laughing out loud to sniffling softly and from grumbling in frustration to cheering on our heroes. It's a super fun, full action adventure with romance, aliens, politics and above all Kitty and Martini! All our favourite characters are present in this book and Koch even managed to add new characters and creatures who are so cool, we're hoping we'll see them return in future books. Koch's writing style is pleasant and fast and that alone would make this book a pleasure to read, so combined with the awesome story it makes this book highly rereadable and I can safely say we will indeed reread this book often.
So in short: Alien in the Family rocks!

Why should you read it:
According to me: It's a fun, action filled story
According to Voodoo Bride: It's got swoonworthy aliens, especially Martini.

* Alien in the Family will be released on April 5th 2011

Friday 25 March 2011

Zombiesque - Book Review

Zombiesque (Anthology)
edited by S. Antcazk, James Bassett and Martin H. Greenberg

What is it about:
From a tropical resort where visitors can become temporary zombies, to a newly-made zombie determined to protect those he loves, to a cheerleader who won't let death kick her off the team, to a zombie seeking revenge for the ancestors who died on an African slave ship-- Zombiesque invites readers to take a walk on the undead side in these tales from a zombie's point of view.

What did I think of it:
I love anthologies and I love zombies, so this anthology is perfect for me. There's a great mix of stories in this book: from sad to disturbing and from beautiful to horrific. But all these stories have one thing in common: they have real zombies! No lovesick teenage zombies who could just as well have been human or things like that. The zombies in this book crave brains, blood, revenge and stuff. And that's how I like to see it!

My personal favourites:
- At First Only Darkness by Nancy A. Collins
Who can resist a zombie that makes Snap. Snap. Snap. sounds?!
- Do No Harm by Tim Waggoner
A beautiful story that made me really feel for the zombies
- A Distant Sound of Hammers by S. Boyd Taylor
Both disturbing and sad

Why should you read it:
If you like zombies this anthology is a must read

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Signal to Noise - Book Review

Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman (Author) and Dave McKean (Illustrator)
Graphic Novel

What is it about:
Somewhere in London, a film director is dying of cancer. His life's crowning achievement, his greatest film, would have told the story of a European village as the last hour of 999 A.D. approached - the midnight that the villagers were convinced would bring with it Armageddon. Now that story will never be told. But he's still working it out in his head, making a film that no one will ever see.

What did I think of it:
I love this graphic novel. Gaiman writes a moving, emotionally intense story about life, death and hope. McKean's diverse and original artwork fits this story perfectly giving it an extra dimension. I read this graphic novel for the first time over 15 years ago and was blown away by it. Rereading it now after so many years it still speaks to me just as much as it did that first time. I can advice this book to anyone who loves Gaiman's writing.

Why should you read it:
It's got a beautiful story and awesome artwork.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Signal to Noise

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!

There would be thousands and thousands of us there, all laughing and shouting, all of us caught up in the joy of being human, the experience of living at that moment, knowing we'd made it this far, that maybe there was hope after all.

And I'll never see it.

(fragment from chapter 4. (Confusion), Signal to Noise (graphic novel) by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean)

Sunday 20 March 2011

Author Love - Mercedes Lackey

I've decided to do a series of posts on some of my favourite authors.
In these post I will tell about how I discovered them and why I love the books of these authors so much.

Not sure yet if I'll make it a weekly feature or if I'll post them whenever the mood strikes me.

First up:
Mercedes Lackey.

A long, long time ago (probably in 1989 or 1990) I discovered a book in my library called 'Rolans Keuze' (Rolan's choice. Original English title = Arrows of the Queen). It was the first book in a trilogy and it sounded like something I might like, so I borrowed it.

I absolutely loved it!

For those who do not know anything about Lackey's books:
Arrows of the Queen is about a young girl, Talia, who doesn't fit in the strict patriarchal society she lives in. She runs away and is found by a magical horse-like creature who brings her to the capital of the land where she lives. Once there Talia discovers she's destined to be a herald (in short: heralds are the protectors of the land) and she's enrolled in a college to be trained.

The plot may sound like it's been done time and time again, but Lackey's writing (even in translation) is wonderful, Talia is such a sweet character and the world building is so magical and yet recognisable that I do not care one bit if it's an original plot or not because all those things I just mentioned make it original and fresh.

All in all I can safely confess I was hooked from the start.

Now I must tell you that at the time I didn't really read books in English yet, so after reading 'Rolans Keuze' I kept looking for the translation of the next two book in this trilogy, but without any luck. I did start reading some roleplay books and comics in English in the next few years, but never dared make the step for my normal reading.

And then one day (must have been somewhere between 1994 and 1996) I was browsing for books in my local bookstore and spotted the complete 'Heralds of Valdemar' trilogy in the foreign language section.

Having reread 'Rolans Keuze' a gazillion times by then and still loving it as much as the first time I read it I made the decision I just had to try to read the books in English so I bought all three books in English.

I will confess I read those books with a dictionary at my side and it was slow reading at first. But it was so worth it! The books were everything I hoped they'd be.

After finishing that trilogy I immediately went out and bought the next trilogy I could find (The Last Herald Mage) and so on.

After those first difficult reads with my dictionary handy my understanding of the English language grew and it wasn't long before I could put my dictionary aside again and enjoy reading English just as much as I enjoy reading Dutch, which opened up a whole new world for me as there were (and are) so many beautiful stories out there that weren't translated to Dutch. And with my improved English I was able to make friends all over the world as I now could communicate with other English speaking and writing people online.

So Mercedes Lackey's writing is responcible for expanding my world in more ways than one. Reason enough to love her as an author, but it's not the only reason or even the most important reason. Her stories and writing are beautiful and rich and it's her books and characters that make her one of my favourite authors. Rereading one of the many books I have from Mercedes Lackey always feels like catching up with a dear friend and I'll keep on rereading until I have worn my copies of her books out at which point I'll have to go out to get new ones ;-)

Saturday 19 March 2011

Eve of Darkness - Book Review

Eve of Darkness (Marked #1) by S.J. Day

What is it about:
Cursed by God, hunted by demons, desired by Cain and Abel... All in a day's work.
For Evangeline Hollis, a long ago fling with a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks just became a disaster of biblical proportions. One night with a leather-clad man of mystery has led to a divine punishment: the Mark of Cain.

Thrust into a world where sinners are drafted into service to kill demons, Eve's learning curve is short. A longtime agnostic, she begrudgingly maneuvers through a celestial bureaucracy where she is a valuable but ill-treated pawn. She's also become the latest point of contention in the oldest case of sibling rivalry in history...

But she'll worry about all that later. Right now she's more concerned with learning to kill while staying alive. And saving the soul she'd never believed she had.

What did I think of it:
A nice, but capricious read. After reading the first couple of chapters I began to think I had stumbled upon a book that's more smut than story, but then suddenly after those chapters there was hardly any smut at all for the remainder of the book. The story itself was interesting enough to keep reading until the end of the book, but not interesting enough to make me hunger for the next book. World building, characterisation and writing were all decent and especially the demons were intriguing. The idea of sinners being marked and then given a chance to redeem themselves was very original I must say. All in all a nice read, but I won't be reading anymore books in this series.

Why should you read it:
This book has cool demons and an original setting.

Friday 18 March 2011

A Wild Light - Book Review

A Wild Light (Hunter Kiss #3) by Marjorie M. Liu

What is it about:
For too long Maxine Kiss has felt an inexplicable darkness inside her-a force she channels into hunting the demons bent on destroying the human race. But when she finds herself covered in blood and crouched beside her grandfather's dead body with no memory of what happened, Maxine begins to fear that the darkness has finally consumed her.

What did I think of it:
I am so in love with this series!
The books just keep getting better and better. This one is my favourite so far. It's emotionally intense, suspenseful and totally awesome. Liu continues to amaze me with her world building, writing and characterisation. I must say this book had me worried about Maxine and her boys (Grant included) and I couldn't put the book down until I finished it. I'm now eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series and will be rereading the excisting books as Liu got me totally addicted.

Why should you read it:
It's a totally awesome and intense UF read.

Thursday 17 March 2011

Two of Swords - Guestpost by Alayna Williams + giveaway

Today I bring you a guest post by the amazing Alayna Williams!
Some of you might know her book Dark Oracle was on my list of favourite Pearls of 2010 and so far Rogue Oracle, her second book in the Delphic Oracle series, is on top of my favourites list of 2011. Not only does she write awesome books both as Alayna Williams and Laura Bickle, she's an awesome person as well.

As part of her Bewitching Book Blog Tour she'll tell you all about the tarot card Two of Swords and she's got a really cool giveaway for readers of my blog as well.


Image of Two of Swords from the Hanson-Roberts Tarot.

Two of Swords: The Balance
by Alayna Williams

I use Tarot cards a good deal in my writing, to give me ideas about creating characters and develop plot points. Sometimes, I pick cards on purpose that catch my eye, but more often, I deal them out at random. I let my imagination roam over the pictures to generate situations and connections among characters

One of the cards that's intrigued me most over time is the Two of Swords. It shows a seated woman wearing a blindfold. She balances two swords over her shoulders. At her back is the ocean and a crescent moon. It's a very mysterious card, one that takes on a different meaning with each reading.

The suit of Swords is tied to the element of Air: communication, mental faculties, logic, and messages. In numerology, the number two is about love and harmony - and it's ruled by the intuitive power of the moon. The Two of Swords usually signifies compromise, withdrawal, denial...and sometimes a stalemate. The woman is holding the swords to shield herself, and she is blindfolded against considering options. The ocean, representing the vastness of emotions, is at her back...and she's trying her hardest to put her head down ignore it. The moon has risen, and the moon-driven tide's going to rise and engulf her unless she rouses herself and takes action.

The concept of the card reminds me of the myth of Eros, who is often depicted as wearing a blindfold. Eros was the son of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. But even that was up for dispute...some scholars believe he was a primeval force that came directly from Chaos: love, passion for life.

In ancient Greece, Eros was not the chubby cherub we know today. He was a handsome man who carried a bow and arrow - whoever he shot fell hopelessly in love. The idea of the blindfold - which came later - signified the idea that love is blind. Love can make us powerless and make no rational sense. We love whomever we first lay eyes upon after we are struck by the magic arrow.

With that idea in mind, I consider the woman in the Two of Swords. She's blindfolded herself to avoid considering her emotions - the ocean behind her. But all's not lost. She can still hear the ocean. And the lesson of the card is to listen to intuition, to love. She must consider these with as much weight as the tangible, rational swords on her shoulders.

Not that she should cast them away...the swords are sharp, useful weapons. But she needs to remove her blindfold, face the tide. When she listens to her intuition and her intellect, the Two of Swords becomes a balanced force to be reckoned with.


Then you really should pick up Rogue Oracle (and Dark Oracle as well if you haven't read it yet).

This is what Rogue Oracle is about:
The more you know about the future, the more there may be to fear.

Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around - and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn't need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.

Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia, are disappearing. There are no bodies, and no clues to their whereabouts. Harry suspects a conspiracy to sell arms to the highest bidder. The cards - and Tara's increasingly ominous dreams - suggest something darker. Even as Tara sorts through her feelings for Harry and her fractured relationships with the mysterious order known as Delphi's Daughters, a killer is growing more ruthless by the day. And a nightmare that began decades ago in Chernobyl will reach a terrifying endgame that not even Tara could have foreseen…

ROGUE ORACLE is available at and Barnes & Noble among others.

Read my review of Dark Oracle here and my review of Rogue Oracle here

And now for the really cool giveaway I told you about at the start of this post!

Alayna Williams has been so generous to offer not just Rogue Oracle, but both Dark Oracle and Rogue Oracle as a set to one reader of my blog.

Yes, you read that correctly:
You could be so lucky to win both books of the Delphic Oracle series!

So leave a comment about Alayna's guestpost or tell why you want to win these awesome books and cross your trotters or fingers ;-)

Some rules for the giveaway:
- This giveaway is International
- Leave a comment before March 31
- Leave a way for me to contact you
- You don't need to be a follower to enter
- Winner will be picked at random on March 31 and announced that same day or the day after.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Rogue Oracle

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 rereading this one as it's awesome!
Haven't read Rogue Oracle yet?
Check back on Thursday for a guestpost by Alayna Williams.
It's going to be really cool I can promise you!

"The more I learn about how you think, the more I wonder..." He shook his head. "It's like the rest of us see light in the visible spectrum, and you see infrared and ultraviolet."
(page 33, Rogue Oracle by Alayna Williams)

Monday 14 March 2011

We're Stylish Bloggers

Voodoo Bride and me got awarded with the Stylish Blogger Award by Kerry Schafer!

Thanks Kerry:
We both feel quite honoured by this!

Here's the rules connected to this award:

1. Thank the Stylish Blogger Award giver and link back to their blog.

Already done!

2. Share seven little known things about ourselves.

- Voodoo Bride actually never got to be a real bride. There was some kind of tragedy at her wedding day that resulted in her being left at the altar, but as she refuses to discuss the details, that's about all I can tell you (except that I'm pretty sure there was voodoo involved).

- My big dream is to be my owner's muse and inspire her to write a story full of zombie mayhem. (Ok, maybe that's not a little known thing, but it's an important one I think.)

- Even though I tried real hard to convert my owner, she's fond of bacon and sometimes even eats it while I'm with her!

- I myself only eat animals if they're made out of chocolate or marzipan.

- Voodoo Bride's favourite movie is Titanic. Not because of the lovestory, (she can't stand Leonardo) but because of the real stories that are told: Mr and Mrs Straus who stay together even though Mrs Straus could have gotten a seat on a lifeboat, Mr Guggenheimer who accepts his faith by dressing his best and refusing a lifebelt, etc.. Next to having watched the movie a gazillion times (and crying at it every time) she has lots of books about the Titanic disaster.

- My favourite computer game is Left 4 Dead, a game where you fight zombies. Voodoo Bride's favourite computer game is The Sims 2, a game where you can create families and run their lives.

- Our favourite Holiday is Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas Eve) which is on the 5th of December. Sinterklaas and his helpers bring presents to everyone of that day, much like Santa Claus does at Christmas. I think they're cousins or something.

3. Pass the award on to other bloggers

I'm giving this award to:
Becky from Bibliognome
I just love the name of Becky's blog!

Enbrethiliel from Shredded Cheddar
Another blog name I love!

Both ladies also have really interesting blog content, so check their blogs out!

And lastly:
All the ladies of Word Whores
Even though the bacon frotting is giving me nightmares, you are all classy whores to me ;-)

4. Alert the bloggers to the fact that they’ve been awarded.
I'm on it!

Sunday 13 March 2011

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

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

Today Voodoo Bride will be reviewing the second story in this book:
Sanctuary Lost

What is it about:
If there’s one thing that Brynn Adler hates, it’s feeling helpless and vulnerable in unfamiliar territory. Three weeks ago, life tossed her into just such a world. A world of werewolves she never knew existed—until she found out her sister was one of them.

The pack seems determined to hurry her back to the normal world of humans. But after everything she’s witnessed, she’s not sure she wants to go—especially if it means leaving not only her sister behind, but the one man who makes her forget her life is falling apart.

Now all she has to do is convince him to agree to a plan to force the pack to let her stay.

Joe Mitchell has been battling his protective instincts since he rescued Brynn from her kidnapper. Getting involved with her is a bad idea for a lot of reasons. She’s on shaky emotional ground, and a supernatural war is no place for a human woman. He’s not about to let her make a hasty decision, one that will only bring her pain and regret.

Now all he has to do is let her go.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
After reading the first story in this series I was quite confident I would like this story and indeed the Moira Rogers duo didn't disappoint.

I think I might even love this story a bit more than the first. There was more balance between the romance storyline and the overall storyline and I really liked that. The romance is hot, steamy and intense and the action storyline is kick-ass and intense as well. Brynn and Joe are both a bit dense at times, but that's written into the story in such a way you can understand why and relate to them. There's a new character introduced who clearly will get her own story and who helps expand on the world building, but all this is done in a way that it fits into the story, so it doesn't feel forced.

So a great sequel that convinced me to keep reading this series.

Why should you read it:
It's got cool action, steamy romance and hot, sexy werewolves!

Read Voodoo Bride's review of Cry Sanctuary here
Both stories are also available separately as ebooks

Saturday 12 March 2011

Darkness Calls - Book Review

Darkness Calls (Hunter Kiss #2) by Marjorie M. Liu

What is it about:
Demon hunter Maxine Kiss, inked with living tattoos, is on a mission to rescue the man she loves from a bloodthirsty army. To save him, Maxine has only one choice: to lose control-and release her own powers of darkness.

What did I think of it:
This series just keeps getting better and better! I absolutely love this book. The story is dark, exciting, intriguing and full of kick-ass action. There's plenty of character growth and world building as well, all mixed together into an awesome story. Maxine and her demon pals shine, but the other characters are just as cool and interesting I can tell you. Liu's writing is excellent and combined with the cool story it makes this book a keeper and an instant favourite for my reread shelves. Now excuse me while I'm off to start reading book 3 in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome and kick-ass UF read.

Thursday 10 March 2011

Love Lust - A Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Love Lust by Amber Scott

What is it about:
Liv Starr craves...and dreads love. Her succubus hunger demands more than human lust for satiation, requiring love, as well. But long-term lust will enslave a human, annihilating who they are, condemning Liv to a perpetual cycle of loss. Meeting—needing—Justin Sharpe puts far more than her heart at risk. Her very existence, too.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I adore this novella. It's hot, steamy and romantic. Be adviced it's an erotic story, so not for younger readers or those who do not want some smutty goodness in their romances. It's a fast, enjoyable read that leaves you hungry for more. Luckily the world building and background of Liv are done very well for such a short story (120 pages) and they leave plenty of options for much more stories with other characters who are mentioned in this story, so that's what I'm hoping for.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable steamy romance with a succubus!

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Daughter of Hounds - Book Review

Daughter Of Hounds by Caitlin R. Kiernan

What is it about:
They're known as the Children of the Cuckoo. Stolen from their cribs and raised by ghouls, the changelings serve the creatures who rule the world Below and despise the world Above. Any human contact is strictly forbidden and punishment is swift and severe for those who disobey.
Eight years ago, Emmie Silvey was born on Halloween while a full moon rose in the sky. Raised in Providence by her widower father, she's a strange, yellow-eyed girl, plagued with visions of impossible worlds and fabulous beings. Now her path is about to intersect with one of the changelings, a violent young woman named Soldier who's quickly slipping from the favor of her ghoul masters.

Emmie's and Soldier's fates are inextricably linked, and together they must face the monsters and unearthly forces that have shaped their lives... and threaten their futures.

What did I think of it:
A weird, but utterly awesome book. This story reads like a dream or hallucination from time to time, but the writing, characters and world building are so cool it sucked me right into it's madness (which still makes a lot of sense though). And I fell completely in love with Soldier and with the ghouls, which are Lovecraftian ghouls btw. The story is multi-layered and complex, but all layers fit perfectly together in the end. There seem to be two books that precede this one, but I didn't feel like missing out on the story by not having read the other books, so this book is readable as a stand alone. I sure will pick up other books by Kiernan when I get the chance.

Why should you read it:
It's a weird, but cool read, especially for fans of Lovecraftian mythology.

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Darkness Calls

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!

Grant grabbed Mary's arm, but not before she smiled fiercely and laughed.
"Gabriel's hounds will kill you," she said, and looked from me to the priest.
(page 28, Darkness Calls (Hunter Kiss #2) by Marjorie M. Liu)

Monday 7 March 2011

Wanderlust - Book Review

Wanderlust (Sirantha Jax #2) by Ann Aguirre

What is it about:
Broke and unemployed, "Jumper" Sirantha Jax accepts a diplomatic mission for the government— only to find herself up against Syndicate criminals, man-eating aliens, and her own grimspaceweakened body.

What did I think of it:
I loved Grimspace, the first book in this series. This book however frustrated me beyond reason. Where I loved Jax before now she acts in ways that made me want to kick her senseless. The writing, the other characters (especially Vel), the setting and the story are all still just as awesome as in Grimspace, it's just Jax I couldn't stand in this book. Weirdly enough I only just noticed these books are written in present tense when Jax started to frustrate me, so that's saying something about Aguirre's writing skills, which are superior in my opinion. I will certainly try book 3 in this series if only to see if Aguirre manages to make me love Jax again.

Why should you read it:
It's a well written SciFi story with lots of action and cool characters.

Sunday 6 March 2011

Vicious Circle - Book Review

Vicious Circle (Persephone Alcmedi #1) by Linda Robertson

What is it about:
Being a witch doesn't pay the bills, but Persephone Alcmedi gets by between reading Tarot cards, writing her syndicated newspaper column, and kenneling werewolves in the basement when the moon is full — even if witches aren't supposed to mingle with wolves. She really reaches the end of her leash, though, when her grandmother gets kicked out of the nursing home and Seph finds herself in the doghouse about some things she's written. Then her werewolf friend Lorrie is murdered...and the high priestess of an important coven offers Seph big money to destroy the killer, a powerful vampire named Goliath Kline. Seph is a tough girl, but this time she bites off more than she can chew. She needs a little help from her friends — werewolf friends. One of those friends, Johnny, the motorcycle-riding lead singer for the techno-metal-Goth band Lycanthropia, has a crush on her. And while Seph has always been on edge around this 6'2" leather-clad hunk, she's starting to realize that although their attraction may be dangerous, nothing could be as lethal as the showdown that awaits them.

What did I think of it:
This is a great read. The world building is very original and the characters really cool. I can't even begin to pick a favourite character as they're all awesome (bad guys included). The story is interesting and able to stand on it's own, but also gives plenty of intriguing story hooks for future books. Persephone might be a witch, but she's so human in how she thinks and acts that she feels like she might be your next door neighbour (well, if your next door neighbour had a kennel for werewolves). I like how she's not some superhero character, but an almost normal person who's forced into action by the things coming her way. I'm already looking forward to reading more in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool UF story with witches, werewolves and vampires.

Friday 4 March 2011

Love & Rockets - Book Review

Love and Rockets edited by Martin H. Greenberg, Kerrie Hughes (Anthology)

What is it about:
Space...the final frontier. Or is it? Many say there's no frontier more forbidding than a romantic relationship between a man and a woman. But what if one's a human, and the other's an alien? Here is an original collection of space opera stories where authors take love (unrequited or not), on a spaceship, space station, or planetary colony, and add enough drama, confusion and mayhem to ensure that the path to true love-or short-term infatuation-is seldom free of obstacles.

What did I think of it:
I must say I'm getting all happy when I spot an anthology by Greenberg as I've read several of those now that had a great selection of short stories. And as this anthology also had a short story by Anita Ensal (one of Gini Koch's pen names) I just had to get this book.

And let me tell you this anthology didn't disappoint me!
It's filled with cool, fun, intriguing, romantic SciFi stories. Even with the theme Love & Rockets, the stories are very diverse. Some were perfect just as they are, others made me wish there was lots more to read and some fell short in my opinion, but overall this anthology is a really cool read.

My favourites:
Wanted by Anita Ensal
An Offer You Couldn't Refuse by Sylvia Kelso and Lillian Steward Carl
Dance of Life by Jody Lynn Nye

Why should you read it:
It's a great mix of SciFi Romance stories


Thursday 3 March 2011

Once Upon A Time In Space - A Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Once Upon A Time In Space by Heather Massey

What is it about:
In the sea of stars, an epic love story is about to begin...
Earth is dying. Nick Venture, the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus, embarks on a dangerous mission to find a new planet and save humanity. This places him on a collision course with Raquel Donovan, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.
Raquel lives for one purpose: revenge against a horrible demon from her past. When an attempt to hijack Nick’s starship backfires, Raquel becomes his protector in order to avoid capture by the tyrannical Space Defense Corps. Nick and Raquel are irresistibly drawn to one another despite the forbidden nature of their attraction. But the conflicted pirate’s deepest secret could tear the couple apart even as humanity’s time runs out…

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
A very tasty SciFi romance with just the right mix of adventure and romance. Massey creates a believable future that is gritty and bleak, but also gives it colour by writing a story that's full of action, hardship, heroics and hope. I really liked the cast of minor characters who made the story come further alive. My favourite has to be Twitch, Nick's pilot and practically his second in command. The romance between Nick and Raquel is steamy, intense and skirting the edges of frustrating, but that makes the good parts all the more satisfying. All in all a great read.

Why should you read it:
It's an action packed, steamy SciFi romance with Space Pirates!

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Jess Haines Extended the Deadline!!

I really shouldn't be telling you this, but Jess Haines extended the Deadline of her really cool giveaway! (Yes, that's an ARC of her next H&W Investigations book!)

Click here to find out more.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Vicious Circle

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!

Vivian hit the desktop. Her glare blazed. "Don't you dare quote the Rede to me as if I don't know it! You have no right to quote that to me, hypocrite."
(page25, Vicious Circle by Linda Robertson)