Monday 31 October 2011

RAK Roundup

And already we come to the end of yet another month, so it's time for my RAK roundup post.

Again I send out a couple of books and I hope those who recieved them will enjoy them.

I myself got three books this month!

Stella spoilt me again and send me two books!
Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews and Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong.

I already read Bayou Moon and it's awesome. I'll be reviewing it somewhere the next few weeks.

The Bookish Brunette send me Viper Moon by Lee Roland.
I'm reading this book at the moment and so far it's a really cool read.

Thanks Stella and Ashley, you are awesome!


===================
RAK:

The RAK movement (=Random Acts of Kindness): it is an initiative organized by the Ladies at the Book Soulmates where everyone posts their whislists and then other people realize one (or more) wishes of a person. Meaning that they send some books to the lucky person they picked! Doesn't it sound fabulous?

Rules:

• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.

• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)

• Create a wish list and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}

• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.

• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!

• Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

OPEN TO EVERYONE!

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.

Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!


Friday 28 October 2011

Land of Falling Stars - Book Review by Voodoo Bride + giveaway

Land of Falling Stars
by Keta Diablo

ebook

What is it about:
After her parents die in a fire, Sophia Whitfield struggles to save her beloved home, Arbor Rose. The Civil War has devastated the South, and another blue coat has come to steal her meager possessions. Before the hated enemy inflicts his destruction, she shoots him. And soon discovers the soldier is Gavin, the champion of her childhood.

Gavin's dark secret lurks in Sophia’s future. When she discovers the truth, she's torn between a burning hunger for the man she truly loves and loyalty to Jesse, their childhood friend. The despicable acts of war have changed everything Sophia and Gavin once cherished. Yet somewhere deep in their hearts, the mystical Land of Falling Stars still exists.


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
A very emotional historical erotic romance.

I loved the romantic and sexual tension between Sophia and Gavin (who is one hunky blue coat) and the scenes between the two of them are really intense and hot.

Next to a really hot romance there was lots of action as well: death threats, a perilous journey and much more. The historical background of the Civil War was intriguing and added to the overall mood of the story.

I fell in love with Gavin from the start. He's hunky, loyal and courageous. Sophia is a much more difficult person to love. From time to time I felt like kicking some sense in her and Gavin forgave her faults much too easily in my opinion. Still I rooted for both of them to find happiness together and to be able to let go of the past.

All in all a very enjoyable and steamy romance.

Why should you read it:
It's an intense and hot erotic romance


Buy this ebook:
On Kindle
On Nook

And now for a giveaway:
Keta Diablo has kindly offered one ebook copy of Land of Falling Stars to one of the readers of this blog.

If you want to be entered for this giveaway you need to:
- leave a comment telling me you want to be entered in the giveaway
- leave a way for me to contact you
- do all this before the 5th of November
- I'll pick a winner at random on November 6th.
The giveaway is international of course and you do not have to be a follower of this blog


Thursday 27 October 2011

Alien Proliferation - Early Book Review

Alien Proliferation (Katherine "Kitty" Katt #4)
by Gini Koch


What is it about:
Alien Super-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt is expecting her first baby. But the alien attacks are getting more dangerous, and now Kitty and her Alpha Centaurion husband, Jeff, have to find out who's behind the conspiracy to kill Kitty's secret agent mom and what caused Kitty's transformation into a superhuman-and they've got to do it all before the baby shower...

What did Voodoo Bride and I think of it:

Four books into the Katherine "Kitty" Katt series and Koch is still going strong.

Once more Koch delivers a wacky, action packed, delightfully fun adventure that keeps you guessing and laughing from the start.

There's quite some emotional moments in this book as well with at least two moments that had us sniffling.

Kitty's adventures have always been a bit over the top (which to me is one of the charms of this series), but in this book certain events sky-rocket totally out of there, to soar back into credible just before you feel like you're being taken on a ride. This is not meant as criticism in case you're wondering. I think it's amazing how Koch comes up with the craziest things and manages to make them totally believable and although Touched by an Alien will probably always be my favorite in this series, Alien Proliferation is a very close second.

Those who read and loved the earlier books in this series will absolutely love this book as well. For those of you who haven't started this series yet: Go get the first three books now and you'll be all up to speed for Alien Proliferation once it's released in December.

We'll impatiently be counting the days until the release of book 5: Alien Diplomacy

Why should you read it:
It's a fun, wacky and awesome adventure.


pre-order:
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Release day: December 6th 2011


Wednesday 26 October 2011

Wishlist Wednesday - The Goblin King


Today a book that's on Voodoo Bride's wishlist:

The Goblin King by Shona Husk

Cursed by a Druid millennia ago, Roan lives a bleak existence in the Shadowlands, desperately trying to retain his soul and not succumb to the goblin horde. When a beautiful human summons him to grant a wish, he sees a glimmer of hope. But will she ever agree to be his queen?

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

I think it's a horrible cover, but got wacked by Voodoo Bride when I told her. She's been drooling over it since she first saw it.
We did read the free prequel The Summons and that was a pretty cool story, so if Voodoo Bride ever does get her hands on The Goblin King (the book, not the king himself) I might even read it as well.


Tuesday 25 October 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Down These Strange Streets


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!

Elizaveta opened the conference room door and entered like the Queen Mary coming to port in a wave of herbs and menthol instead of salt water, but with the same regal dominance, a regality accompanied by enough fabric and colors to do justice to a gypsy in midwinter - and it was hotter than sin outside.
(page 393, In Red, With Pearls by Patricia Briggs - Down These Strange Streets Anthology)

Monday 24 October 2011

The Real Werewives of Vampire County - Book Review

The Real Werewives of Vampire County
by Alexandra Ivy, Angie Fox, Tami Dane and Jess Haines


What is it about:
"Where Darkness Lives" by Alexandra Ivy
No one's more surprised than Sophia when she's struck by an unfamiliar maternal urge to move near her daughters. But instead of being greeted by a welcome committee, she's targeted by kidnappers. . .and saddled with a gorgeous bodyguard on a mission to protect—and seduce. . .

"Murder on Mysteria Lane" by Angie Fox
When a werewolf trophy wife is found dead in Vampire County, Heather McPhee goes undercover to investigate. Heather's never been a mascara-and-manicures sort of girl, but she's willing to learn. Especially with sexy vampire detective Lucien Mead posing as her husband. . .

"Werewolves in Chic Clothing" by Tami Dane
Ever since Christine Price moved in with her fiancé, Jonathan, and his twelve year-old son, she's worked hard to fit in with a cadre of local women whose lives seem picture-perfect. Except no one in Jon's upscale neighborhood is quite who they appear to be. Least of all Jon. . .

"What's Yours is Mine" by Jess Haines
Still Waters is like many other exclusive gated communities—except that it's home to one of the largest werewolf packs in the state. But Tiffany Winters isn't frightened of her big, bad new neighbors. In fact, she intends to take her place among the pack. . .


What did I think of it:
Those who know me will probably be able to guess I wanted to read this book because it has a story by Jess Haines. Luckily her story wasn't the only gem in this anthology.
I will give my thoughts about each of the 4 stories.

"Where Darkness Lives" by Alexandra Ivy
I strongly disliked Sophia, the lead character. The plot was largely evolving around a romance and not liking one of the two people involved in the romance isn't a good thing I think. So this story didn't work for me. Maybe I should try something else by Ivy as the writing was decent.

"Murder on Mysteria Lane" by Angie Fox
This story was fun and enjoyable. I really liked Heather and Lucien and wouldn't mind reading other stories with the two of them in the lead. The story did feel a bit chaotic and rushed at times though. I most probably will read more by Fox in the future.

"Werewolves in Chic Clothing" by Tami Dane
A really cool story.
The atmosphere, setting and pacing of this story were all great. The characters ranged from weird to mysterious and from cooky to likeable. The story was clever and fun and if it's any indication as to the quality of other work by Dane she might become a must buy. I'm putting her upcoming book 'Blood of Eden' on my wishlist in any case.

"What's Yours is Mine" by Jess Haines
This story is very different in mood and setting (although set in the same world) as Haines H&W Investigations series. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not! I loved this snarky story which in my opinion fitted the title of the anthology the best. I could easily see this story play out in an episode of Desperate Housewives (if there were werewolves in that show). It is fun, catty, snarky and as with all good stories: much too short. I dont think I need to tell you I'll definitely read Haines upcoming books.


Conclusion: I enjoyed (if not loved) three out of the four stories and will pick up more books more by at least two of the three authors I didn't know yet, which is a great score I think.

Why should you read it:
It's got backstabbing werewives and other cool paranormal stuff.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Releases October 25th

Saturday 22 October 2011

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters - Book Review

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
by Ben H. Winters and Jane Austen


What is it about:
As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels?

What did I think of it:
You may know by now that I enjoy reading mash-ups where classic stories are given a paranormal edge by adding zombies, werewolves and what not.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is a worthy addition to my growing collection of mash-up books I think.

Winters does a great job adding tentacles, sea monsters and other fishy things to Austen's story about a mother and her three daughters. I really enjoyed the extra adventure and drama Winters contributed and I will confess I think Winters does an even better job of fitting his text to the original as Grahame-Smith did with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

What I did have trouble with is Austen's original story. I will confess the romance in this book doesn't make sense to me at all! I had two favorite characters and I really felt sorry for them by the end of the book as both were matched with people I think didn't deserve them. (And yes: I checked the original story and there it didn't make sense to me either.)

All in all a very enjoyable mash-up with a disappointing romance.

Why should you read it:
It's got tentacles and sea monsters!!


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Friday 21 October 2011

Stone Maiden - Book Review

Stone Maiden by Ann Aguirre

What is it about:
Muir is a slave, the lowest of the low. Yet hers is a magic great enough to shake the earth, great enough to topple kings from their thrones, perhaps even great enough to free the gods from their ancient prisons-if only she can free herself first.

Rodhlann is among the last of the Daiesthai, a race of inhuman sorcerers who bled the gods of their magic in order to enjoy limitless power and eternal life. But now, after untold centuries, the Daiesthai have lost the will to live. Only Rodhlann resists oblivion’s siren song. Only he dares to dream of a future for his kind. And for that crime, they will kill him if they can.


What did I think of it:
I'm in love with this book!

The writing is beautiful, the world Aguirre creates both wonderful and cruel and the story itself is epic.

Muir's life changes forever on the day she meets Rodhlann. Her personal growth and the developing relationship between her and Rodhlann are heartbreakingly beautiful and bittersweet to read. I dare anyone to read this book and not wish Muir a well deserved happily ever after. I myself rooted for her from the start.

Muir's life isn't the only one that's changed by her meeting with Rodhlann. The two of them set things on motion that will lead to death, betrayal, violence and hope. There are several storylines in this book following not only Muir and Rodhlann, but also others as they are caught up in the changes.

Aguirre succeeds in making all the characters in this story intriguing at the least and loveable at the best and I found myself caught up in the unfolding events, unable to put down the book as I had to know where it all would lead to.

I can advice this story to anyone who loves beautifully written fantasy. This book is going on my favorites shelf and will be reread often.

Why should you read it:
It's an epic tale about destiny and believing in yourself.

Get the .PDF of Stone Maiden here for free.
Buy it for Kindle here
Buy it in print here

Thursday 20 October 2011

The Ghost in Me - Book Review

The Ghost in Me
by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger


What is it about:
If you knew a person who was willing to live through your worst nightmare, would you let her? Like any other fourteen-year-old, Myri Anna Monaco has problems she doesn't know how to deal with: a crush on her best friend's boyfriend, a mother who's dating her science teacher, and a "punishment" for a science-project-gone-wrong that lands her in the last place she wants to be--in auditions for the school play. But most girls don't have what Myri has--a ghost named Wren, who not only lives at home, but who is willing to "trade places" whenever she is needed. Although Myri is reluctant at first, Wren's offer becomes a quick and easy solution when her problems collide. However, this brief experience in ghostly possession soon takes Myri's life to new levels. How much will Myri lose to avoid the problems mounting around her? How much will Wren take to fulfill her own desires?

What did I think of it:
This book is meant for the age group 10-14, but can certainly be enjoyed by older readers as well.

The story is fun and recognisable. Ok, not the ghost part obviously, but anyone who's been young once, can relate to how Myri feels. Her fears and uncertainties are more than believable and I can understand why she makes the choices she does and I rooted for her from the start.

The writing is pleasant and the characters feel real. The obstacles Myri encounters could have been a bit more challenging in my opinion, but even without that challenge this is a very enjoyable and fun read.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun, ghostly read for age 10 and up.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Wishlist Wednesday - Sacrificial Magic

This book is the 4th book in the Downside Ghosts series and I loved the first three books. So I'm looking forward to the release of this one.

Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane

When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.

As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice.


Expected publication: March 27th 2012

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Soul Search - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Soul Search
by Amber Scott

ebook

What is it about:
Three years ago, one horrific night changed his life forever. And now the wolf soul that was invoked to save him is taking over his body, day by day.

Can he master his animal instincts in time to discover who is stealing children's souls before the delicate balance we all depend upon is shattered?

Or will he reject the one woman who can help heal his body and his soul?


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
A suspenseful and romantic story.

Scott creates a dark and dangerous world where men turn into wolves and spirits walk among us. Grant is a grim hero, but the heroine, Leigh, is more than his match and the developing relationship between them is a joy to read. The tension between them is intense and at times really hot. The action storyline is suspenseful and full of emotion as well. There are quite some twist and turns and I was on the edge of my seat, rooting for Grant and Leigh to not only find love, but to save the day and catch the bad guys.

I hope Scott will keep writing paranormal romance, because I love her settings and her characters. And I hope she writes a sequel to this story as well.

Why should you read it:
It's a paranormal romance with wolves and ghosts.


Buy Soul Search here


Monday 17 October 2011

An Interview with Karen A. Wyle, Author of Twin-Bred

Today I have a special guest: Karen A. Wyle.

Karen is the author of Twin-Bred, an original and thought provoking SciFi story. You can read my review of Twin-Bred here.

Karen was kind enough to answer some question about herself and her book.


Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I don't remember exactly when I first decided that I would be a writer. Our local paper published a poem of mine in some sort of kids'-writing column when I was in 3rd grade, but I don't know whether I submitted it -- my teacher may have done so. By age 10, I was determined to be the youngest ever published novelist. I was in the middle of writing the novel when I learned that some upstart 9-year-old in England had got there first. I was quite miffed, but finished the novel nonetheless. (It was a very strange mish-mash, as I recall. I haven't dared to look at it in quite a few years....)

Did you have to do a lot of research on twins for Twin-Bred?
I didn't do a great deal of research especially for the book. I've been interested in twins for many years, so I came to the subject with some background. I did look at some material on womb twin survivors when I first came up with the idea of Mara and Levi.

Will there be any zombies in one of your future books?
I doubt it.

(comment from Sullivan: That's not a definite no, so I'll keep hoping ;-) )


If you could start a new colony on another planet what would you name it?
I might follow the lead of the human colonists in Twin-Bred. All the human towns on Tofarn are named after science fiction writers. I did this as my own tribute to those writers and to science fiction writers in general, but I also thought it possible that humans who were realizing the dreams of science fiction writers and readers might make such a gesture. As to which one: I'd probably pick the Grand Old Man himself, and name the colony
Heinlein.


What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I hope to start on the sequel to Twin-Bred later this fall, so that'll be more science fiction. I have a sci fi story in rough draft that may be the starting point for a collection of linked stories. My other rough draft is general fiction, if a book taking place in the afterlife fits in that category. (It is not religious fiction. It focuses on family dynamics and the confronting of unfinished business; I created an afterlife with features that assist in the latter.)

I'd love to do historical fiction, but the amount of research involved is intimidating. It may happen.


-----

Thank you, Karen for answering these questions.
I'm looking forward to your next book.

Buy Twin-Bred at Smashwords
Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Barnes & Noble


-----

What is Twin-Bred about:
In Twin-Bred, the human colony on Tofarn and the indigenous Tofa have great difficulty communicating with and basically comprehending each other. Scientist Mara Cadell, who lost a fraternal twin in utero, proposes that host mothers of either or both species carry twins, one human and one Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species. Mara has secretly kept her own twin, Levi, alive in her mind as a companion and collaborator.

Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project – but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?...


Sunday 16 October 2011

Mark of the Rose - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Mark of the Rose (Tudor Vampire Chronicles #3)
by Kate Pearce


What is it about:
After hearing that Vampires have returned to the court of Henry VIII, Rhys Williams must form an unwanted alliance with Verity Llewellyn, a lady-in-waiting to the new queen. His childhood companion has grown into a clever and beautiful woman, but she is completely untried as a Vampire hunter.

The revelation that the queen is pregnant only makes the situation all the more dangerous. Who is systematically draining her blood and how, without being noticed? As Rhys and Verity work together to untangle the mystery, the battle to save the queen and the heir to the throne heats up—as does the uncontrollable passion between them.


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This book starts with a new story line and has another hero and heroine than the first two books.

I will confess this is my favorite book in this series so far.

It's intriguing, suspenseful and best of all: the romance between Rhys and Verity is very enjoyable and isn't as angsty as the romance was in the previous books. I only now realised how the angst in the first two books influenced my overall enjoyment of the books. In Mark of the Rose I didn't have to worry so much about the romance and this made me lose myself in the rest of the story more easily.

The setting and world building are wonderful and I really loved the action storyline, which is full of intrigue and action. Some plot turns were a bit obvious in my opinion, but not so much as to annoy me.

I'm looking forward to the next book which has the conclusion of this storyline and I think I'll even reread the first two books now that I know how the romance plays out and I can concentrate on the rest of the story more easily.

Why should you read it:
Tudor vampires and vampire hunters!


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Friday 14 October 2011

Ghost of a Smile - Book Review

Ghost Of A Smile (Ghostfinders #2)
by Simon R. Green


What is it about:
The Ghost Finders answer a distress call from the private research center of one of the biggest drug companies in the world, where a team of police enforcement agents have vanished. They have no idea what they're facing-except a deadline that threatens to remove the entire building from existence if they fail to get to the bottom of the mystery.

What did I think of it:
The first book in this series was a nice read, but lacked feeling. As this sometimes can happen with first books in a series I decided to give book 2, Ghost of a Smile, a chance.

First thing that I ran across: It felt very formulaic.

It started with a first chapter in which our heroes through wit manage to stop a haunting, just like in book 1. In chapter two they are send on their 'real' investigation, just like in book 1. I will confess that alone almost made me put down the book, but I tried to ignore this and soldiered on.

Sadly enough the book did have the same flaws as book 1: the problems the characters run into are too huge for me to be believable, screaming 'DOOM' and 'The end of the world is nigh'. Maybe other people like this, but I like a bit of subtlety. I disliked it especially as the story is intriguing and could so easily have done without the added 'end of the world' threat. And I got really annoyed by the characters who kept snarking at each other. Even when cornered and while they should pay attention to what was coming at them, they had time for snarky conversations. Lucky for them the monsters were kind enough to wait till they stopped griping at each other.

All in all I was disappointed by this book and I will not pick up the next book in this series.

Why should you read it:
If you like snarky ghosthunters and end of the world scenarios you might like this book.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide








Thursday 13 October 2011

Twin-Bred - Book Review

Twin-Bred by Karen A. Wyle

What is it about:
In Twin-Bred, the human colony on Tofarn and the indigenous Tofa have great difficulty communicating with and basically comprehending each other. Scientist Mara Cadell, who lost a fraternal twin in utero, proposes that host mothers of either or both species carry twins, one human and one Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species. Mara has secretly kept her own twin, Levi, alive in her mind as a companion and collaborator.

Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project – but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?...


What did I think of it:
An original and beautifully written SciFi story.

Twin-Bred is written in a calm, narritive, almost detached tone of voice which fits this story about a scientific experiment really well. The story is really intriguing and I couldn't stop reading as I wanted to find out where this experiment would lead and what would happen to the human and Tofa children who were brought in to the world. Would they really be able to make a difference?

The Tofa are interesting and well worked out aliens. Wyle really succeeded in making them likeable, but at the same time mysterious and a bit creepy. As the story focuses on the humans and the Twin-Bred children, the 'real' Tofa stay mysterious, their actions strange and seemingly dual in nature and they act as a possible threat throughout the experiment.

In a way this story reminded me of Čapek's 'War with the Newts', not surprising as both stories shine a light on how humans treat each other and where we go wrong. But where Čapek's view is a grim one, Wyle still leaves some hope that we as a species might one day see the light.

All in all a beautiful, thought provoking tale.
I will keep an eye out for Wyle's next book.

Why should you read it:
It's an original and beautiful SciFi read.


Buy this ebook at Smashwords
Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Barnes & Noble


Keep an eye on this blog for an interview with Karen A. Wyle somewhere next week.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Book Lovers and Wishlist Wednesday

Some of you may have noticed the Book Lovers Inc 1000 followers celebration button on the right.

Yup! Book Lovers Inc has over a 1000 followers and if you ever visited Book Lovers Inc you'd understand why it's such a popular blog.

This week there's a huge celebration with lots of cool giveaways, so head over there to join the festivities and keep an eye out for a guestpost by non other than me! I'll be showing my bookshelves and telling a bit about them as well.

And now for a book that I'd love to add to those bookshelves once it's released in 2012:


Wicked as They Come by Delilah S Dawson

Tish Everett has just left an abusive relationship to find herself and take care of her dying grandmother. When she inadvertently steals an antique locket from an estate sale, she wakes up naked in a strange land and assumes she's having the most realistic dream of her life. Instead she meets the man whose portrait haunted her from inside the locket-- magician, carnival ringmaster, and blood-drinker Criminy Stain.

When the locket is stolen, Tish must choose between her supposed destiny with Criminy in the steampunk Victorian world of Sang and a normal life and family in her own world, where she's the only thing keeping her grandmother alive.


(The first in a three-book paranormal romance series, Simon & Schuster, Spring 2012)


Tuesday 11 October 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Stone Maiden


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!

Yet another book by Ann Aguirre, her writing is just so beautiful.

She wanted to fall at his feet and plead for forgiveness, but her will had hardened until she could not make her knees respond. His livid features burned beneath her eyelids, the icy shine of his eyes and pale skin pulled tightly over his sculpted bones.
(page 119, Stone Maiden by Ann Aguirre)

Monday 10 October 2011

Black Night - Book Review

Black Night (Madeline Black #2)
by Christina Henry


What is it about:
Madeline Black is an Agent of death, meaning she escorts the souls of people who have died to the afterlife. Of course, not everyone is happy to see her...

If obstinate dead people were all that Maddy had to worry about, life would be much easier. But the best-laid plans of Agents and fallen angels often go awry. Deaths are occurring contrary to the natural order, Maddy's being stalked by foes inside and outside of her family, and her two loves-her bodyguard, Gabriel, and her doughnut-loving gargoyle, Beezle-have disappeared. But because Maddy is Lucifer's granddaughter, things are expected of her, things like delicate diplomatic missions to other realms.


What did I think of it:
The first book in this series had some flaws in my opinion, but was interesting enough that I wanted to give this book a try to see if things get better.

Well...

The things that bothered me in book one are still present in book two.

There's just too much thrown at Madeline at once which makes the story cluttered and chaotic at times. I'd have liked it better if some storylines had been left out and used for a future book. There are also some inconsistencies in the world building, which started in book one, but still aren't explained in this book. Add to that that out of all the characters my favorite was a character who is supposed to be a not so nice person. So there I was rooting (once again) for a character who was doomed to fail from the start. Now I know this last point isn't the author's fault, but on top of the other things that already bugged me, it was the thing that made me decide I'm not going to continue reading this series. A shame, as the writing is decent and the characters interesting.

Why should you read it:
It's nicely written UF with fallen angels and a gargoyle.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Saturday 8 October 2011

Bound to the Prince - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Bound to the Prince by Deborah Court
ebook

What is it about:
Once a proud warrior, elven prince Elathan was living in exile, fallen from grace and separated from his own people. He wanted the mortal woman the moment he saw her standing on Blackfriars Bridge, staring down into the darkness with unbearable pain in her eyes. This strangely compelling female also happened to have luscious curves that made his body ache with desire.
Naturally, he decided to hunt the woman down, drag her to his lair and command her to become his slave of pleasure. But would her frail human body survive a night of untamed passion in the arms of a Fae?

After a devastating breakup with her fiancé, Igraine Chandler was spending her honeymoon in England all by herself, her life utterly bereft of meaning. For who could ever love a plain, slightly overweight nurse from New Jersey with nothing left but a broken heart and her lost dreams of a home and a family?
But she never imagined that she would soon set out into a world beyond her wildest dreams, and help a prince reclaim his throne …


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

Elathan is a tortured, bitter (and super sexy) Alpha hero who goes for what he wants and in this case it's Igraine, a human woman who's been hurt, but not broken.

There's an instant attraction between the two, although the fact that Igraine is completely at Elathan's mercy makes their relationship a skewed one at first. Readers who do not like forced seduction might want to stay clear of this book. That being said: for me the seduction and romance totally worked. It was tense, hot and extremely satisfying. I loved how Igraine stood her ground and slowly, but surely turned the tables on her overbearing prince.

There's lots of really steamy scenes as the story focuses on the romance between Elathan and Igraine, but there's a smaller action storyline as well that I really enjoyed. Court plans on making this a trilogy (the next book will feature another smoking hot Elf in search of his lady love as I understand it) and I will most certainly pick up the next book as I want more Alpha Elven warriors.

Why should you read it:
It's a hot, erotic and romantic read


Buy this ebook here

Friday 7 October 2011

Aliens in the Mail


Yesterday there was a package for me.
It had Gini Koch's Alien Collective logo on it.

And just look what was inside.
An Advance Reader Copy of Alien Proliferation!
Alien Proliferation is the 4th book in Gini's Katherine (Kitty) Katt series (which is a really awesome series, I can tell you) and it will officially be released on December 6th.
I started reading right away!

Thanks Gini!
You're awesome!


Keep an eye out for the review.




Thursday 6 October 2011

Enclave - Book Review

Enclave (Razorland #1)
by Ann Aguirre


What is it about:
In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.


What did I think of it:
Being a sucker for stories set in a post-apocalyptic world I just had to read this book.

And let me tell you: Enclave totally blew me away!

Let me start with the setting:
Aguirre creates a realistic, gritty, grim and even barbaric world and describes this in such colorful detail I could easily picture it. The Enclave in which Deuce lives and the tunnels around it feel real and alive. I was impressed by how Aguirre described this strange and yet familiar world and succeeded in letting me see it through Deuce's eyes.

As for the characters:
Deuce is a difficult person to love at first, but as she learns and grows I started to grow to like her until I found myself rooting for her. Fade on the other hand is someone I connected with and rooted for from the start and often I found myself agreeing with him when he and Deuce collided with each other.

The story:
Absolutely awesome!
It has everything I love: suspense, kick-ass action, terrifying monsters, betrayal, hope and even love. It's gritty, dark and full of emotion. I like how Aguirre doesn't pull any punches and shows the gruesome reality of a world in ruins and what mankind can turn into when the worst comes to the worst.

So nothing negative to say?
The critical reader might find some small inconsistencies, like Deuce using the word window and then later on in the story she suddenly doesn't know what a window is, but it's nothing major and it certainly didn't diminish my enjoyment of this book.

I will most certainly read the next book in this series 'Outpost', which is expected to be released in September 2012.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome post-apocalyptic Young Adult story.


Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Ardeur - Winner


And the winner of an ebook copy of Ardeur is:

latishajean

Congrats!
I'll send your addy on to Danielle so she can send you your prize.


West with the Wind - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

West with the Wind by Cindi Myers
ebook

What is it about:
More than gold awaits two lovers at the end of the trail.

Mariah Tate and her dog, Worthy, persuade veteran guide Campbell Jefferson to let them join his expedition headed to California. Camp can't say no to the beautiful widow, but his need to protect her soon clashes with her need to keep secrets. Mariah left more than bad memories behind in Pennsylvania and her growing attraction to the stoic but surprisingly sensitive Camp forces her to face up to the consequences of the choices she's made. Camp doesn't know what Mariah's hiding, but he's determined not to let the only woman who ever made him want to settle down get away. He pursues her across the prairies, through stampedes, Indian raids, desert drought and mountain snows. In the gold camps of California, Camp will discover Mariah's secret, and prove the love she wants most isn't out of reach.


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
A delightful Historical Romance full of adventure.

I loved both the exciting journey to California and the romance between Mariah and Camp.

The romance is bittersweet and I liked how there's a slow build up which made it feel all the more real and intense. There's the occasional moment where you want to bang Camp's and Mariah's heads together, but mostly I really enjoyed the romantic storyline and I really wanted for Camp and Mariah to work things out between them.

As for the journey:
There's adventure, heartache and disaster along the way to the West and Myers must have done a lot of research to be able to describe the perilous journey in such vivid detail. There's one part of the story that had me raising my eyebrows in disbelieve, I will confess, and that disappointed me as for the largest part this story was so very well researched and believable, but I decided not to let this spoil the book for me as all in all the story is compelling and enjoyable.

Why should you read it:
I can advice this story to anyone who loves Historical Romances that have lots of adventure.


Buy this ebook from Musa here

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Enclave


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 already finished this one, but just had to share a bit.
(review will follow soon.)

"You know you are. You actually believe I let my last partner die because I didn't agree with him. Yet here you are. Alone. With me." His black eyes gleamed wickedly.
(page 48, Enclave by Ann Aguirre)

Monday 3 October 2011

The Royal Scam - Book Review

The Martian Alliance 1: The Royal Scam
by Gini Koch

ebook, short story

What is it about:
Things aren’t what they seem to be when Princess Olivia of Andromeda jumps aboard a spaceship to escape a loveless marriage.

Join the crew of the Hummingbird as they take on the rich, famous and sleazy of the galaxy. They're also on a long-term secret mission, so it's a good thing they're the best con artists, spacers, and roughnecks in the Milky Way, because they need all their skills to pull off this particular Royal Scam.


What did I think of it:
A more than promising start of a new SciFi series.

Koch's writing is breezy, funny and witty as always and in this short story full of action, intrigue and cool aliens she shows once more she's a master at storytelling and world building. Although a perfect stand alone as well, this story is full of promise as to the upcoming stories in this series and I can't wait to learn more about all the cool characters that are introduced in this story.

As always with books by Gini Koch there's only one negative thing to say: I finished it much too fast and now I'll have to wait again for my next fix ;-)

Why should you read it:
Con Artists in Space!


Buy this story from Musa here

Sunday 2 October 2011

Caressed by Moonlight - Guestpost by Amanda J. Green

Today I have Amanda J. Green as my guest.

Amanda wrote the Historical Paranormal Romance 'Caressed by Moonlight'.
Read Voodoo Bride's review of this book here.

Amanda, welcome to Pearls Cast Before A McPig

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

Hello, and thank you for having me today.
As some of you know, I am on a blog tour for my current release, Caressed by Moonlight.

Victoria Kingston has to make some decisions. Being a woman in early 1800s London is nowhere near easy. Penniless and orphaned, left to care for her young sister, she must rely on the twisted generosity of her spinster Aunt. There is no love lost between Victoria and her Aunt, who makes it clear that she does not want Victoria around. Her Aunt gives Victoria an ultimatum; she must marry within the month or forfeit custody of her sister. With the help of her friend, Victoria sets about to find a man.

Dorian Vlakhos is nothing Victoria was looking for but everything she needed. He is dark, tall, and is well versed in the art of seduction. But he is no ordinary man; he is a vampire king, who came to London with the hopes of saving his people from the witches that hunt them. Dorian is not interested in marriage but very interested in getting Victoria in his bed for a few nights of pleasure. But once he learns of her troubles, he can’t help up ask for her hand, so that she may keep her sister.

Neither was searching for love but fate had other plans for them. Thrust together they are thrown into a world of darkness where betrayal and death are waiting for them to fall into their trap.


Now, I would like to share an excerpt with you:

***

Dorian leaned against the doors, his dark eyes following her about the room. She plucked a book from its resting place and began to thumb through it, a bright smile lighting up her beautiful face. So he waited for her to notice him. It did not take long.
She turned and the smile instantly vanished.
“Prince Dorian,” she gasped, her voice would have been inaudible if he were human. She cleared her throat and snapped the book shut once she conquered her surprise. “I had no idea you were coming to this party. When did you arrive?”
“A few moments ago,” he said as he pushed his large form away from the doors.
“Why didn't you continue on with the others?”
“They don't interest me.”
“I don't think we–”
“Lord Rogers,” he continued, his voice turning hard. “Is he a friend of yours?”
Victoria's grip on the book tightened as he drew nearer.
“Yes, and I don't see how that is any business of yours.”
“I beg to differ. Since you are fixed on marrying, I hope you find a man of whom you will quickly tire.”
“Who informed you of my desire for a husband?”
Dorian shrugged. “What young lady doesn’t want a husband? Besides, I have heard rumors that you are prowling around.” He smiled
Her eyes narrowed.
“I do wish you luck. The sooner you become tired of your marriage bed the sooner you will come to mine. Rogers, from what I know of him, is a great and upstanding gentleman. He is perfect for a nice girl, such as you, to marry. But he is also the kind of man that a woman would become bored with easily. Have you tried to have a conversation with the man? He talks mostly of the weather and his fine horses.”
“He is not my only suitor. I have a long list full of others.”
“If the rest are anything like him, I promise you will come happily to my bed.”
“Is that a fact?” she said, her chin stubbornly tilted up.
“That,” he smiled, “is a fact and I'm willing to wait.”
“I will never come skipping to your bed.”
“I have all the time in the world,” he assured her with a shrug. “I can wait.”
“I think it’s time we rejoin the group,” she said.
“Why? They don't know I have arrived and your friends know where to find you.”
“It is hardly decent for us to be alone.”
“Well,” he crossed the room with measured strides, “look around you, kitten,” he said spreading his arms wide, “there is no one here to see us. We are completely alone.”
They now stood an embrace apart. Victoria clutched the book even tighter, her knuckles turning white. She began to chew on her bottom lip nervously and grimaced as a bead of blood welled.
Dorian gazed at the tempting, crimson droplet that colored her luscious lips. He immediately closed the space between them and slowly slid his hand over the delicate flesh of her throat and cupped the back of her neck…


***

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt and thank you again for having me on your site. I wish everyone happy reading!

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

*

Thank you Amanda for sharing this excerpt with our readers. Voodoo Bride and me already read Caressed by Moonlight and we can tell everyone it's a beautiful read.


Caressed by Moonlight - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Caressed by Moonlight (Rulers of Darkness #1)
by Amanda J. Greene

ebook

What is it about:
Dorian Vlakhos is no ordinary aristocrat. He is a vampire king, who will do anything to save his clan from complete annihilation, before an ancient curse can claim his immortal life.

Penniless and orphaned, Victoria Kingston has nothing to bring to a marriage, yet she must shackle an unsuspecting gentleman into marriage by the end of the month or forfeit her rights as guardian of her younger sister. With the help of her dearest friend, Victoria begins her hunt, and vows to stay far away from the dark, mysterious, Prince Vlakhos.

After meeting the beautifully innocent Miss Kingston, Dorian had to have her. He would do absolutely anything to make Victoria his. One sweet stolen kiss would bring them together while a force, more powerful than any vampire would bind them for all eternity. But treachery, war, and death rule Dorian’s dark world and Victoria would be fortunate to survive.


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
Caressed by Moonlight mixes Historical Romance and Paranormal Romance and does it well.

It has all the charms of a good Regency Romance and all the excitement of a Paranormal Romance. The courtship that is usually the main part of a Regency Romance is sped up a bit to give room to the paranormal action storyline, but this is certainly not a bad thing as both the romance and the action are fun to read and they blend well together.

The world building is done really well without intruding on the story too much and the writing is decent (there are some minor editing oversights, but not so much as to annoy).

The romance is intense and the characters are well worked out: Victoria is someone you feel for and who you want to see happy while Dorian is so intriguing that I fell in love with him from the start.

I do hope there will be many more books in this series, because reading this one made me hungry for more.

Why should you read it:
It's a really exciting historical vampire romance


Buy it here




Saturday 1 October 2011

We Have A Winner

We have a winner for the Embers/Sparks giveaway!

M.A.D.

She has already been contacted and a copy of Laura Bickle's Embers will make its way to M.A.D. soon.


Musa Publishing Opens its Electronic Doors


Today is the launch day of Musa Publishing!
I must say I'm really excited about it, especially as Musa contracted one of my favorite authors.

Read the Press Release about the launch below and keep an eye out the coming week for the reviews of two of the titles mentioned in this release.

Hint: one of them will be about a scam ;-)


Ebooks,Penumbra eMag, and so much More
Musa Publishing Opens its Electronic Doors


After months of editing, designing, contracting, and formatting Musa Publishing launches on October 1, 2011. The E-publisher opens with a large catalogue including Penumbra Speculative Fiction eMag, new works by three bestselling authors, and the full backlist of Aurora Regency, featuring traditional Regency romances and historical fiction.


Penumbra eMag

Penumbra's inaugural issue is a collection of speculative fiction stories that encompass the arts--the arts we love and revere. Some of these stories deal with the arts we're familiar with. Some create arts we haven't thought of and some resurrect arts buried in the depths of the past. And yet, all of these offerings celebrate the creative process, which makes them a fitting theme to launch Penumbra--an enterprise that will showcase the creative work of speculative fiction authors each month with a new collection of works within the genre.


New Works by:

Gini Koch
The Martian Alliance 1: The Royal Scam


Things aren’t what they seem to be when Princess Olivia of Andromeda jumps aboard a spaceship to escape a loveless marriage.

Join the crew of the Hummingbird as they take on the rich, famous and sleazy of the galaxy. They're also on a long-term secret mission, so it's a good thing they're the best con artists, spacers, and roughnecks in the Milky Way, because they need all their skills to pull off this particular Royal Scam.



Cindi Myers
West with the Wind


More than gold awaits two lovers at the end of the trail.

Mariah Tate and her dog, Worthy, persuade veteran guide Campbell Jefferson to let them join his expedition headed to California. Camp can't say no to the beautiful widow, but his need to protect her soon clashes with her need to keep secrets. Mariah left more than bad memories behind in Pennsylvania and her growing attraction to the stoic but surprisingly sensitive Camp forces her to face up to the consequences of the choices she's made. Camp doesn't know what Mariah's hiding, but he's determined not to let the only woman who ever made him want to settle down get away. He pursues her across the prairies, through stampedes, Indian raids, desert drought and mountain snows. In the gold camps of California, Camp will discover Mariah's secret, and prove the love she wants most isn't out of reach.



And the return to writing after five years for USA Today Bestselling Author:

Sharon De Vita
The Estrogen Posse


"The Estrogen Posse is a hoot! I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down! For every woman who needs a pick me up, this is the book for you!"
Janet Evanovich, NYT bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum mystery series

Once upon a time Ellie Briotti had a quiet life as a suburban housewife.
Until…she confronts her wealthy husband Nicky about doing the pecker polka with another woman, and Nicky tosses Ellie out of his life like some misbehaved household pet.
Until…Gram Crackers, her dotty mother begins passing out house keys to homeless bums.
Until…Joey, her eleven-year old son starts on a new career path: breaking and entering.
Until…Rina, her best friend, a single, successful, entrepreneur learns she's about to become a mother.
Until…Candi, Nicky's 22-year-old mistress turns up murdered with traces of furniture polish on her bare backside!
A rip-roaring ribald mystery about a woman’s journey to discover what she really wants in life. Now, if Ellie can keep her son from becoming a second-story man, while trying to hide everything from the gorgeous cop who’s started sniffing around, Ellie might be able to get a new life.
That is—if she doesn’t go to jail for murder first!



Aurora Regency

Musa has acquired Aurora Regency and Aurora Regency Historicals. Within the next month over forty books in this line will be available to Regency and Historical Romance buffs to enjoy.

Stop by www.MusaPublishing.com check out the books already for sale as well as those coming soon. Over the next few weeks, Musa will offer literature geared for every reader's tastes. Musa aims to offer well writing, interesting stories, all at a price that doesn’t bite into your check book.