Wednesday 31 October 2012

Mr. Real - Book Review

Mr. Real (Code of Shadows #1)
by Carolyn Crane

What is it about:
He finds the girl of his dreams…with the secret agent of his nightmares.

Alix Gordon is a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. What’s the fun in that? So when she stumbles across occult software that can bring any computer image to life, she conjures up lots of awesome outfits and accessories. And then, on one drunken, horny night, she conjures up Sir Kendall, the sexy TV ad spy . . . who looks exactly like Paul Reinhardt, the super-sexy martial arts teacher who kicked her out of class three years ago.

Fighter Paul Reinhardt has good reason to hate Sir Kendall, the character he brought to life to land a part in a TV ad; he’d do anything to forget him. A cross country road trip seems just the thing . . . until Paul finds himself inexplicably drawn to Minnesota and is shocked to discover Sir Kendall - in the flesh - with the girl he’d once loved from afar. He barges into Alix and Sir Kendall’s love nest, determined to stop the madness - somehow.

But is superspy Sir Kendall transforming into something more dangerous anyone can imagine? And what will Sir Kendall do when Paul and Alix finally give into their mad lust for each other?

What did I think of it:
This is an amazingly fun read!

I absolutely love Crane's Disillusionists trilogy, so when I got the offer to read and review her self-published book Mr. Real I jumped at the chance.

I love it!

Alix is such a great heroine. I fell in love with her from the start and could perfectly understand why she does the things that get her in trouble. And then there's Paul and Sir Kendall. I loved both of them and at times I was wondering which one of them I should root for. I also really wanted to drink Denali, the drink that was featured in the ad where Sir Kendall is from.

I like how Crane manages to write a humorous story, but still make it really suspenseful as well. I was snickering one moment and holding my breath the next. Crane's writing is fun, funny and intense. Once I got reading I couldn't put this book down.

I can advice this book to anyone who likes an original and quirky paranormal romance that's fast paced and funny. I myself will be trying to get my trotters on a print version of this book and will reread it often. I also hope Crane will write many more books in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and cool paranormal romance.

~Available in ebook and paperback from most online sellers~

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - Shadow Kin

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!

Even beneath the horror that washed my stomach like acid at the idea of Lucius making me drink again so soon, there was a part of me that wanted to do exactly that. The need prowled beneath my skin, barely tamed, snarling and not wanting to be so quickly denied after such a feast.
(page 40, Shadow Kin by M.J. Scott)

Monday 29 October 2012

Dark Future - Book Review

Dark Future
by K.C. Klein

What is it about:
Awakened in the middle of the night by a future version of herself, Kris Davenport is given a mission; go forward in time to save the world and his life. Of course, her future self doesn't tell her who he is, just sends her into the abyss and straight into an alien invasion.

He turns out to be ConRad Smith, the callous, untrusting Commander of Earth's army and the world's last defense. There's only one way to know for sure if this strange woman is an alien spy, slice her throat. Except, he didn't anticipate the heat he would feel as he interrogates the hot-tempered, warm-blooded woman. For a man whose sole focus has been survival, she's more temptation than he can handle. But a world on the brink of destruction leaves no room for love;and time is running out.

What did I think of it:
This book had a really intriguing set up.

The 'travel to the future to save someone' made me think of Terminator and the future world Klein created was dark and grim. So far so good.

I wish I could say this was a great read. I really do, because it has so much potential. Sadly enough that potential isn't used and the plot of this story made no sense at all to me.

The romance was a miss as well. There's absolutely no believable build-up. I really couldn't find a reason why Kris and ConRad suddenly loved each other (besides the fact another version of Kris had lived this same timeloop before and that other version also fell in love with ConRad for whatever reason).

And then there was the constant misspelling of the word soldier! I know it's not the authors fault, I myself find myself typing too fast at times and switching letters as well, but after the umpteenth solider I was ready to find the copy editor who missed these errors and slap him/her.

All in all I kept reading in hope in the end everything would make sense, but that was not to be. A shame as it could have been a great story.

Why should you read it:
The world building is really intriguing

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Friday 26 October 2012

The Succubus Gift - Excerpt

The Succubus Gift (Book 1 of the Telepathic Clans Saga)
by BR Kingsolver

What is it about:
The transition between teenager to university to graduation is difficult and confusing for everyone. As an orphan and a prodigy who entered college at sixteen, harboring secrets she dares not reveal, Brenna Morgan’s journey is more complicated than most. Then one evening she stumbles across a young man who promises to answer all her questions if she’ll trust him.

The history of the Clans, called the Sidhe by the Irish, stretches back to antiquity. The Goddess blesses Her people with 25 Telepathic Gifts. In addition to Telepathy, the Gifts include command over Air and Fire, Telekinesis and Teleportation. In over 2,500 years, She has never bestowed more than 15 Gifts on a single person.

Brenna’s life isn’t the same after she discovers her unusual and mysterious heritage. In addition to being a telepath, Brenna learns she has the Succubus Gift.

That’s just the beginning of her problems. Someone is stalking her. Then there’s the tall, dangerous woman who shadows her and hints a Goddess has linked them. And what is she going to do with a handsome, charismatic, womanizing man she knows she should avoid?

Some days a girl just wants to pull the covers over her head and stay in bed -- with a willing young man of course.

Urban Fantasy with a dash of romance. The Succubus Gift is a completely different take on the succubus myth. Beautiful women and hot men in a world with a hidden telepathic subculture.


The Succubus Gift - Excerpt

Chapter 1

We have been burned at the stake, locked up in asylums, drugged into a stupor. We are secretive for our own protection. - Seamus O’Donnell

She noticed the young man immediately when he walked past her, head down and in a hurry, but not only because he was so good looking. He had no thoughts, no mental activity, and that grabbed her attention in a way nothing else could have.
Following him, she stepped into a shop doorway when he stopped and looked around. She didn’t need to keep him in sight. She could feel his emotions, so strange coming from someone with no thoughts she could read, different than all the other people on the streets. Checking her mental shields to make sure they were as tight as she could make them, she followed him around a corner. He didn’t look back, seemingly not aware she was there.
Moving closer as he turned another corner into an alley, she stopped when he hesitated at the other end. He looked about before stepping out onto the street, but he never looked back. Realizing he couldn’t feel her, she closed the distance between them.
Scanning the area with her mind, she discovered two other men, farther away, who also were mentally shielded. Their emotions were completely different than his, and she shivered at the malice radiating from them. Every time the first man changed direction, the others soon followed. Although they couldn’t see each other, it was almost as though they could feel each other, just as she could feel them. Through the maze of streets in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area, they danced across the city in the summer twilight.
He walked into a bar just a block off the water. She knew it had entrances on two different streets, and rather than follow him, she walked to the corner, out into the street, and stood in front of one of the unusual old triangular houses in this part of town. From her vantage point she could see both entrances.
Coming out the other side, he walked in the opposite direction, away from the harbor. He was doubling back, hoping to lose his pursuers, but they weren’t tracking him by sight or sound. She watched a man hesitate in front of the door the young man had used to enter the bar, stop, and then turn around.
He was walking faster now and she was forced to break into a run to keep up with him. He stopped in a small park, in a dark area near a building, turning and waiting for her.
“Why are you following me?” he asked as she approached him. He was tall with brown hair and blue eyes in his early twenties.
“Those men are following you. Do they want to hurt you?” she asked, looking up at him. “They don’t feel the same as you do.” His blue eyes widened. “They’re coming. They can feel you.”
“I can’t feel you, and I doubt they can either,” he answered with a puzzled tone in his voice. “You’re an O’Neill.” He took a step toward her. “Who the hell are you?”
She felt the other men at the edge of the park. “Why are you afraid? Are they going to hurt you?”
“I don’t know. They might try,” he answered, smiling nervously.
She covered him in her shield and saw his fists clench as the other men approached. The sense of menace radiating from them increased as they drew closer, moving stealthily. In the darkness, she couldn’t see them clearly. Large men, even bigger than the young man she was following, they had a rough look. One passed within only a few feet. He turned and looked directly at them, but continued on. She could see he held a pistol close to his body.
“Holy Mary,” the young man breathed when they were well gone.
She stepped close to him, out of the shadow, and looked up at his face. It was the first time he could see her clearly. His eyes widened in shocked surprise.
“Who are you?” she asked. “What are you? Do you know what I am?”
He stared at her pale face wreathed in black hair. His mouth opened, then closed. He swallowed and shook his head.
“Please,” she said, her voice cracking, “can you help me? I’ve been alone for so long. Are there more people like us? Do you know where to find them?”
Taking a deep breath, he leaned forward and in a low voice said, “Come with me. I’ll take you to someone who can answer your questions.”
He started off, then turned back when she just stood watching him. “I know what you did to make those men miss us. Thank you. I promise no one will hurt you if you come with me.”
They set off across the city together. After several blocks he turned up a street, similar to many in the area, where all the row houses looked exactly the same. They walked to a house halfway down the street and rang the doorbell. When the door opened, he entered, pulling her after him.
“Jared, what the hell?” the man inside stepped back frowning, his eyes scanning over her, lingering on her chest. “Who’s this?”
“I’ve been playing hide-and-seek with two thugs half the afternoon,” Jared answered. “Their shields and strength were pretty much a match for mine, and I just couldn’t shake them. Then I ran across this lovely lady who graciously extended her shields to hide me from them. Where are Seamus and my mom?”
“Shielded you?” She felt him attempt to read her mind. Her blue eyes flashed and she pushed back, feeling his shields bend under the pressure she exerted. His eyes widened. “I see. Seamus is probably in his office.”
Jared took her by the arm and led her down a corridor. They took a turn, then turned again into another corridor. Bewildered, she let him guide her. She had been in dozens of Baltimore row houses and they were small, open structures. She felt like she’d fallen down the rabbit hole.
They stopped in front of a door and Jared knocked, then entered when a deep voice said, “Come in.”
Inside a spacious office, a very large man with shoulder-length gray hair and a bushy beard was seated behind a desk. A tall, thin woman with sandy colored hair in her late thirties or early forties stood just inside the other door to the room. She took a tentative step forward, the blood draining from her face, and the man sat up in his chair, eyes riveted on the face of the young woman with Jared.
The young woman wore a white tank top and hip-hugger blue jeans that outlined her wasp-waisted hourglass figure. Thick, wavy black hair cascaded to her waist, contrasting with her pale complexion and sapphire blue eyes.
“I’d like you to meet … I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name,” Jared said, turning to her with a slight smile.
“Brenna,” she said.
“Of course. This is Brenna. I had a couple of stalkers follow me tonight. She helped me get home. Brenna, this is my grandfather, Seamus, and my mother, Callie.”
“Thank you for seeing my grandson home, Miss, uh,” the man said slowly. He had a faint but distinct Irish accent.
“Morgan,” Brenna supplied.
“Miss Morgan. I didn’t know he was lost, but thank you for your help,” he said with a faint smile.
“She shielded me,” Jared said. “Covered me to invisibility without touching me.”
Seamus’ eyes narrowed at this assertion, studying her closely. “That’s very interesting.”


About the Author:
I write books combining Adult Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Science Fiction. I believe in fiction as an escape, with devastatingly beautiful women and incredibly sexy men.

In my books, you will find characters with psychic abilities, such as telekinesis and telepathy, and a completely different view of a succubus than you've ever encountered before.

I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master's in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.

I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I've skied since high school, with one broken leg and one torn ACL to show for it. I've hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel, though I haven't done enough of it. I've seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite, and someday I'd like to see Banff.

I have a very significant other, two cats and two Basset Hounds. I'm currently living in Baltimore, nine blocks from the harbor, but still own a home in New Mexico that I see too infrequently.
B.R. Kingsolver

Visit the Tour schedule page for more information about The Succubus Gift, giveaways and links to purchase the book.

The Succubus Gift and Succubus Unleashed are both available at all major eBook locations, Amazon, B&N, Apple, Sony, Kobo, etc for $2.99 (and the equivalent in pounds at Amazon UK). The Telepathic Clans, Books 1 and 2 is available at the same locations for $3.99.

For the bundle:
Amazon - B&N

Thursday 25 October 2012

The Restorer - Book Review

The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1)
by Amanda Stevens

What is it about:
My name is Amelia Gray. I'm a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I've always held fast to the rules passed down from my father.

But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman's brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I've been hired to restore. The clues to the killer--and to his other victims--lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret.

Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I've vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

What did I think of it:
This is a beautiful story.

For most parts this book reads like a good murder mystery, but the added paranormal aspects give it an extra layer.

I did think the paranormal aspects also gave the story a depressing and sad mood at times. The thought of the ghost of the dead latching on to the living because they can't let go was a very depressing and sad one for me I'll confess.

The murder mystery was really suspenseful and I loved how little clues were found and added up to close in on the killer. The use of graveyard symbolism was really interesting. I myself love old graveyards, so this part of the story really intrigued me.

The growing attraction between Amelia and Devlin was well written although frustrating at times. There was lots of pushing and pulling going on and although that was really intense and emotional at times it also made me fear for the outcome.

All in all this is a sad but also beautiful story and I will need to read the next book soon to find out what happens next.

Why should you read it:
It's a suspenseful Paranormal murder mystery

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Wishlist Wednesday - In the Shadow of Blackbirds

This sounds like it might be a really cool and creepy read.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds
by Cat Winters

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Expected publication: April 1st 2013 by Amulet Books

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - Liquid Lies

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!

Gwen's chin touched her chest and she shuddered.
"Don't," he snapped. "Don't you dare look away. They don't."
(page 108, Liquid Lies by Hanna Martine)

Monday 22 October 2012

Rogue Hunter: Inquest - Early Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Rogue Hunter: Inquest (Rogue Hunter #1)
by Kevis Hendrickson


What is it about:
Fearing retribution from ruthless gangsters over an unsettled debt, intergalactic bounty hunter Zyra Zanr ventures to a distant world to collect the reward for Boris Skringler, a notorious terrorist, who has been sentenced to death by political rivals of the InterGalactic Alliance. When she fails to secure his release, she decides to break him out of prison. Zyra soon finds herself an unwilling participant in events that lead to a climactic showdown between the most powerful worlds in the galaxy.

Torn between her desperation to rid herself of the threats to her life and her guilt in agitating the conflict between two galactic superpowers, Zyra is horrified to learn that the lives of an entire world of people hinge on her ability to return Skringler to his captors. However, her distrust of Skringler gives way to lust, unraveling her plans. Will Zyra give into her passion and allow Skringler to go free? Or will she surrender him to her enemies to stop an impending war? The fate of billions depend on whether she chooses life for a killer or the death of her lover.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This is a really nice read.

Zyra is a tough heroine and it took me a while to get a grip on her, but after that I was cheering her on. Skringler was an intriguing character as well, but his motives are much harder to grasp. I had hoped there would be more scenes between Zyra and Skringler, exploring their past and their feelings towards each other, but that was not to be.

The writing is awkward at times, but not annoyingly so. I liked the world building. It was a bit too anti male for my tastes at times, but the story did take place on a sort of Amazonian world, so that was to be expected.

The action is slow to start, but when it does it's intense and exhilarating. There's lots of things going on: a break out, political games, back stabbing and much more. At times you really have to pay attention to keep up.

Overall this is a nice SciFi adventure that ends with quite a cliffhanger that makes you wonder what will happen next. I might give other books in this series a try.

Why should you read it:
It's a SciFi adventure packed with intrigue and action.

Expected publication: December 1st 2012
Visit the author's website

Friday 19 October 2012

Stealing Breath - Excerpt

Stealing Breath
by Joanne Brothwell

What is it about:
Deep in the backwoods of North Dakota, twenty-one year old Sarah Ross is searching for a missing child when she is attacked by a glowing-eyed, transparent... creature. Sarah survives, destroying the monster by using mysterious abilities she didn’t even know she had. Bloody and bruised, Sarah flees the scene and runs directly into Evan Valente, a handsome, charismatic stranger who helps her back to safety. But what is Evan doing out in the forest at five in the morning? Turning to a healer, Sarah is shocked to learn her eyes bear the mark of the Indigo Child—an evolved human with the ability to feel the emotions of others. But her indigo aura also makes her an easy target for those who wish to consume her powerful essence. Soon, Sarah is falling deeply in love with Evan and wants nothing more than to follow her heart and trust that he is the man he says he is. But she can't ignore the lingering feeling that Evan is hiding a terrible secret. The deeper she digs, the more danger she faces, leading her on a course that will force her to face the darkest, innermost parts of her soul.


“You saw that Evan guy again?” Amber asked. She sucked the last of her frothy pink drink through a straw. The mischievous look on her face was mirrored in the giddy emotions she gave off, emotions that were always especially loud when she was drinking. They resonated within me like a bouncy ball flying around in my stomach.
I downed another shot of “Sex on the Beach”, hoping it would finally be enough to filter out the emotions of everyone here. Smooth at first, then tart, the booze finally burned its way down the back of my throat. The buzz-on was almost immediate, and the effect was wonderful, the way it almost obliterated all of the sex-obsessed feelings that seemed to roll off of nearly ever patron at the bar like a hot blanket being wound around me. Sick.
We sat at a booth right next to the bar. Amber held her glass up, signaling to the bartender who nodded and began to pour. He bobbed his head to the blaring country music from the loudspeaker.
Tables ringed the bar, booths along the wall and stools on the other side. Every few feet a brightly lit neon beer sign provided a dash of garish décor. Right in the middle was the dance floor, a little postage-stamp sized circle of parquet flooring that reminded me of an interlocking puzzle. Alongside it was a raised section with a few pool tables.
“Yeah, I saw him.” I proceeded to explain his land development business to Amber and Kate, who listened with rapt expressions.
“That’s amazing. Nobody ever comes to Slave Lake. People only leave,” Amber said. Our waitress, dressed in skin-tight jeans and a too-tight tank-top, brought us another
round. Behind her, the giant flat screen on the wall lit up with random explosions of fuchsia, neon yellow and acid green, perfectly paced with the lyrics of the canned music.
Kate sat across from me on the bench seating, her copper hair shimmering pink from the neon “Budweiser” sign and the black light hanging on the wall behind her. Her teeth were glowing an unnatural white in the light, and every piece of lint on her black shirt stood out like a 3D movie.
“How interesting that you both were out in the bush that morning,” Kate said.
I nodded. “I know. Quite a coincidence.”
Amber sat beside Kate in the bench seat, facing the bar. She leaned forward in one fluid motion, her black hair sweeping the table. “Sarah. Look who just walked in.” I turned in my seat. “And he’s coming right over—”
“Mind if I join you?” asked a familiar voice, before I’d even had a chance to look.
I turned and smiled at Evan. “Sure.”
He pulled a stool up to our table, his arms rippling with the movement. His very presence seemed to heat the air around me, his cologne eclipsing the bar smell of dirty jeans, stale beer and desperation.
I glanced at Kate and Amber, who both stared at him, bright-eyed. His dark fitted jeans hugged his legs, the denim slung low across narrow hips. A black t-shirt made of a material I couldn’t identify hinted of the peaks and valleys of muscle beneath and a single silver chain with a dog-tag hung at his neck, a crest emblem engraved on it with the name Valente. This guy would look good in a burlap sack. Or nothing.
“You remember Kate and Amber from the campground?” I asked. They nodded in acknowledgement and exchanged niceties. Then Amber and Kate excused themselves and hit the dance floor. They’d been dancing together since we’d become bar age, both of them with the attitude that they weren’t about to wait around for a guy to ask.
Evan and I watched as they twirled each other around, the only people dancing in the whole bar. Then they attempted to two-step, each of them fighting to lead. Goofballs.
I turned back to Evan. “How are you?”
He flashed that thousand-watt smile. “I’m great. You?” He inched closer and the atmosphere around my head seemed charged, like a swelling electrical storm. A shiver traveled through my body.
“Fine, thanks.” I smiled.
“You look great.” He gestured to my outfit.
I looked down at my jeans and a loose white shirt and glanced back up at him, cocking my eyebrow. “Thanks?”
“What? Not used to compliments?”
“Not when I’m dressed like a slob, no, not really.”
He rolled his eyes. “You look awesome. Seriously. Want to dance?”
I stared at him, half-expecting he was kidding. But his face showed no trace of a joke. I glanced at the dance floor where Kate and Amber had begun to dance hip hop to the country beat.
I turned back to him. He held out his hand, across the table. Reluctantly, I took it and he led me to the dance floor where Amber and Kate made room for us, their expressions barely-muted surprise. People rarely danced in Slave Lake. Except for Amber and Kate, of course.
Evan placed his palm in my right hand and set his other hand on my waist. I glanced up at a set of smoldering eyes and immediately looked away, his gaze too intense. Unfortunately, by looking away, I realized that every single person in the bar was staring at us. Some people, who should have had their backs to us, had actually turned around on their stool to gawk. I felt like a fish in a fishbowl.
Evan leaned down, his breath caressing my cheek. I caught a silky coil of his scent, a rich, musky fragrance of expensive cologne, soap and his own unique smell. It was addictive. The hand on my waist snaked around to my back, pulling me closer. Heat radiated over my entire body as we began to move in slow, gentle circles. When the song came to an end, my arm fell from his shoulder. His hands didn’t move.
“One more?” he asked as the music transitioned to a faster song, modern country with a dance beat. Kate and Amber were already dancing to it in a way that looked more fitting for a city club, Amber’s arms reaching up and over her head, hips swinging. Kate had her own little groove going alongside her.
“Sure,” I said.
He smiled and set his hand back on my waist, and suddenly we were in the fastest two-step I’d ever danced in my life. We moved around the dance floor at a dizzying pace, spinning circles around Kate and Amber who were laughing out loud watching us.
He twirled me several times, only to end up back in that break-neck, two-stepping pace once again. Now I was giggling to the point of breathlessness, my head spinning from the four shots I’d just downed and my racing pulse. He spun me three more times, and when the song ended, he lowered me into a long dip.
With his arm around my back, I was gently pulled up, our bodies touching from torso all the way down, so that even the tips of our shoes connected. I looked into his face, expecting to see a grin, but was met with a burning look that made my heart stutter and my breath catch. The whiskey on his breath was all I could think of, the heat of his mouth, so close to mine.
Then a sensation folded over me. A soft lethargy, like I was levitating, weightless. My eyes closed, and explosions of purple and blue light flashed behind my eyelids. I relaxed into the feeling.
“Are you okay?” Evan asked. I opened my eyes. He peered down at me, forehead wrinkled with concern. His skin was flushed bright pink.
My lungs began to re-inflate as my entire body tingled like I’d just had the best orgasm of my life.
Had he even kissed me? I licked my lips, but there was no taste of whiskey, no evidence of his mouth on mine. Obviously I’d had one too many shots. And yet, I felt perfectly lucid, his gorgeous face crystal clear before me.
“Uh…I’m fine,” I said, my voice breathy. There had to be an explanation. Like maybe I was losing my mind. Or maybe my fainting spells were starting to happen again, ever since the stressful Skinwalker incident. Whatever it was, right now I had to make sure this perfect specimen of a man in front of me did not think I was a raving lunatic. I forced myself to speak, my mind scrambling for small-talk. “I…I had no idea you could dance like that.”
The concerned look faded, and he flashed his perfect teeth. “Thanks. You’re not too bad, yourself.”
I dropped my hand from around his shoulder and backed up. He let go of me slowly, as if with reluctance.
“Come on. I need a drink,” I said, motioning back to the bar where Amber and Kate had just sat down. We veered toward them.
Evan made eye contact with the bartender who nodded at both of us. “Scotch, on the rocks, please. What are you drinking?”
“I’ll have a Long Island Iced T—”
“Who’s he?” A guy’s voice said, close enough that I cringed from the volume. I whipped around.
Jeff Hansen. Town drunk that never seemed to do much of anything, other than sit in the bar, hit on locals and look pissed off. And boy, did he look pissed off. Emotions rolled off him like jagged pieces of glass, hurt and anger all twisted up into one gigantic ball of irritation.
“He’s cool, Jeff. He’s with me,” I said. My heart started to pound as I remembered the last time Jeff had picked a fight. He’d bitten a guy’s ear and torn part of it right off.
Jeff stared at Evan, his teeth exposed like he was snarling.
“Is he treating you right, Sarah?”
“It’s all good, Jeff,” I said.
“You think you’re pretty tough?” Jeff said through gritted teeth. He stepped forward and poked Evan in the chest. Evan was pushed slightly off-balance, and he took a step backward.
My stomach clenched. “Jeff, I said it’s cool.”
Evan straightened up. He had at least four inches on Jeff and well over thirty pounds. Jeff stepped back, and the sickly-sweet smell of weed came wafting off of his ratty jean jacket.
Evan looked down his nose at Jeff. “Back off, man.” His jaw muscles popped in and out, and his hands balled up at his sides. The only thing Jeff had going for him was a bad attitude and liquid courage.
“Shut up, asshole!” Jeff slurred, a fine mist of spittle burst from his mouth and rained all over us. Jeff turned his head and flashed a snide grin, probably to impress his buddies who watched the spectacle along the sidelines of the bar.
“Jeff, stop it!” I said. Jeff ignored me completely, staring at Evan. I reached for Evan’s hand, wound my fingers through his and tugged. “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”
Evan nodded, and we strode toward the exterior door. I glanced back to see Jeff running. He ran straight into Evan, knocking him forward.
Evan hit the crash bar of the metal door, his body weight forcing it wide open so that it squeaked when the hinges were pushed to their limit. My heart jumped into my throat as he stumbled and fell onto the cement outside. Immediately, he righted himself and jumped back to his feet.
Jeff smiled, eyes flashing. “I bet that hurt, didn’t it, tough guy?”
I ran toward Jeff. “Stop it! Just leave him alone!”
Jeff smiled at me. “Aww, you’re getting your little bi-otch to fight for you.” Then he turned back to Evan. “Tell you’re ho to shut her pie-hole, or I’ll shut it for her.”
“You’re going to wish you’d never said that,” Evan said, his voice a low, warning growl.
Jeff snorted. “You’re in my town. You’re gonna regret having a mouth.” His arms rose above his head in some kind of attempt to look intimidating, but to me he looked like a bird about to take flight.
“Stop it, Jeff.”
Stepping forward, Jeff hurtled his fist toward Evan’s face but Evan snatched his clenched fist mid-air. I lunged toward them, placing one hand on Evan and the other hand on Jeff’s jacket.
Instantly, the atmosphere around my head changed, filling with static.
The lights above the entryway flickered, humming like dying bees before building into a sizzling pulse. With a bang, the lights exploded in a rainfall of glass shards. I ducked to shield my face.
I opened my eyes and gasped. Jeff lay crumpled on the ground, his torso folded inward, his limbs pulled into a fetal position, moaning as he clutched his stomach. Then his face went slack, and his eyes rolled back into his head. Why was he on the ground? And why did he look like he’d been knocked out cold?
I glanced around, but all I could hear was the retreating sound of footsteps running outside, the parking lot no longer lit up by the overhead light.
“Evan?” I called out.


About Joanne Brothwell:
Joanne Brothwell lives in the country on the Canadian prairie where her stories are inspired by the dead things that appear at her doorstep on a daily basis. Of course, her two pets, a retired police dog with titanium fangs and a feral barn cat missing two toes, make the safety of surrounding wildlife, at best, uncertain. Nicknames are something Joanne has in abundance; most notably “Grumpy Bunny” (her husband), and “Princess with a Sailor’s Mouth” (her friends). She’s known to daydream, and ever since grade school has been accused of having a poor attention span. The truth is, Joanne has an alternate reality inside her head, where characters speak to her, sometimes so loudly (and incessantly) she just can’t hear anything else! Joanne is thrilled to see her alternate universe finally become real with the publication of her novel, Stealing Breath, and her prequel novella, Vicarious. Now, with the sequel Silencing Breath on the way, you can be rest assured you will see much more of Joanne’s writing in the future, as those characters in her head, having tasted the sweet freedom of release, simply refuse to be silenced!

Joanne's website

International giveaway alert:
Joanne is offering to one lucky blogger the chance to win a signed printed copy of Stealing Breath over at the Dark Minds blog! So run over there to enter and to visit more tour stops

Purchase Stealing Breath here
(scroll down for Kindle and Nook options)

Thursday 18 October 2012

The Raven Boys - Book Review

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater

What is it about:
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

What did I think of it:
I bought this book because of the gorgeous cover and because I loved Stiefvater's The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy.

And this is certainly a great read, but also a confusing one.

There's the four boys, and their relationship with each other. Then there's Blue, who according to the cover story should be attracted to Gansey, but according to me was attracted to one of the other boys. And lastly there's the mystery the boys are trying to unravel.

All in all there's a lot going on and I did have trouble at times to keep track of events.

I didn't always understand Blue, but she was likable enough. I really liked Gansey and Noah. Both are intriguing characters and it was fun to discover more about them as the story unfolded. I disliked Ronan from the start and felt like slapping him lots of times. The one character I didn't feel warm or cold about was Adam, who was very bland in my opinion.

I loved Stiefvater's writing, which as always is beautiful and a treat in itself. The story felt confusing at first, but farther along when some things got together it became clearer and all those things that confused me at first fell into place.

In the end I very much enjoyed this book and I will pick up the next book in this series once it releases. In the meantime I might pick up one of the other books of Stiefvater I haven't read yet.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautifully written Paranormal Young adult read.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Red-Headed Stepchild - Book Review

Red-Headed Stepchild (Sabina Kane #1)
by Jaye Wells

What is it about:
In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her---until now.

This time, it's personal.

What did I think of it:
This is a really fun read.

The fast paced story and the fun and easy writing make you fly through this book. The story was a bit predictable I will confess, but not annoyingly so.

I liked Sabina. She starts out as a bit bitchy, but throughout the story she undergoes some serious changes and she becomes someone I could relate to.

There are some really cool supporting characters as well, of which I liked Giguhl, a smart-mouthed demon, the most.

The world building was nice. The vampires are descended from Lilith, and even though that's used often before, I liked the details Wells added, like the fact that vampires are vulnerable to applewood and apples.

So if not a surprising and original read this certainly is a fun and action filled read. I very much enjoyed this book and will certainly read other books in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a fast paced and fun Urban Fantasy.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - Alien vs. Alien *

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!

Jeff flipped the lid and jumped to the side.
I had to admit, it wasn't what I'd have guessed in about a thousand years.
(page 117, Alien vs. Alien (ARC) by Gini Koch)

*teaser comes from the uncorrected proof and might be different from the finished book which will release December 4th 2012.

Monday 15 October 2012

Mark of the Sylph - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Mark of the Sylph (Demons of Infernum #2)
by Rosalie Lario

What is it about:
Half-demon Taeg is desperate to free his pregnant sister-in-law, who is spellbound to an indestructible book that will create an army of the undead. He is convinced that an ancient sword can destroy the book and the spell forever, but this relic has been hidden for a millennia by a powerful glamour. The clock begins to run out on his search when an old rival goes after the book and Teag's family in his quest for revenge.

Librarian Maya Flores has a secret: she's immune to magic and is well aware of the supernatural beings prowling the streets of New York City. Haunted by a brutal demon attack that took her family, she is on a one-woman mission to destroy the evil demons who did it-and any others who get in her way.

Maya is Taeg's best hope for uncovering the sword. Unfortunately, she wants nothing more than to kill him. As he fights for her trust and to save his family, she is forced to face the truth that not all demons are evil. And the worst part? She might be falling in love with one, too.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This is an enjoyable read as long as you're not expecting too much.

A typical Paranormal Romance this book has all the things you would expect:

- Gorgeous hero who has women fawning over him left and right: check!

- Perfect heroine who's beautiful, smart and who can handle herself in a fight: check!

- Hero and heroine not communicating so things don't get solved when they could: check!

- Villain who is background noise for most of the story and who waits too long before making his move: check!

So yes, this story isn't too original and the action storyline suffers from not enough real obstacles.

Still I enjoyed this book, because I expected these things when picking up this book. It's the perfect read for when you just want an easy Paranormal Romance and you don't care it's full of tropes that are done to death.

I don't think I'll pick up another book in this series though as the writing isn't that great and there's tons of better written PNR out there that's similar when it comes to the story.

Why should you read it:
It's an easy PNR read

This book is currently unavailable in print, but will release with an new cover on 28 March 2013
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Sunday 14 October 2012

Some DNF Books

There have been books I picked up and didn't finish.
(The so called DNF (Did Not Finish) books)
Here's three of them and my thoughts on them.

Raven's Shadow (Raven Set #1)
by Patricia Briggs

What is it about:
Seraph is a Raven mage who left behind her responsibilities for the love of the ex-soldier Tier. But when Tier disappears, Seraph must use her magic?and fulfill her ancestors? oath to protect humanity from destruction.

What did I think of it:
I read this book only for 25% and then put it down.

The story isn't bad, but it's a bit slow and stilted. The lead character Seraph didn't really interest me and neither did any of the others. They didn't feel very real to me. I wasn't invested in either the characters or the story.

A shame because I love most anything else Briggs has written.

Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters #1)
by Jessica Shirvington

What is it about:
Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…

What did I think of it:
Sometimes I read other people's reviews about a book and feel like I've read a totally different book than they did.

Embrace is such a book.

I really tried reading it, because most reviews I read were lyrical about the battle between good and evil.

I made it close to the middle of the book and all it was about to me was a girl being thorn between a nice, but dull guy and a typical bad boy. Yup, the ever returning love triangle.

OK: she supposedly was the offspring of angels, but that trope wasn't really used very well in my opinion. Maybe it changed and got really good after the point where I put the book down, but I didn't have the patience and fortitude to stomach anymore of the teen angsty love drama to find out.

Alchemystic (The Spellmason Chronicles #1)
by Anton Strout

What is it about:
Alexandra Belarus is a struggling artist living in New York City, even though her family is rich in real estate, including a towering Gothic Gramercy Park building built by her great-great-grandfather. But the truth of her bloodline is revealed when she is attacked on the street and saved by an inhumanly powerful winged figure. A figure who knows the Belarus name…

Lexi’s great-great-grandfather was a Spellmason—an artisan who could work magic on stone. But in his day, dark forces conspired against him and his, so he left a spell of protection on his family. Now that Lexi is in danger, the spell has awoken her ancestor’s most trusted and fearsome creation: a gargoyle named Stanis.

Lexi and Stanis are equally surprised to find themselves bound to each other. But as they learn to work together, they realize that only united can they save the city they both love…

What did I think of it:
This book is based on a short story Strout wrote in Spells of the City. I picked this book up because I really liked that short story and wanted more.


The gargoyle Stanis is really cool and I kind of liked the story idea, but I seriously disliked Lexi and her friends.

They were bratty and annoying and in Lexi's case even obnoxious at times. I put this book down around page 118 when I realised I really wanted to punch Lexi and her friends.

Although I will confess I'm curious about what happens to Stanis, I really don't feel like reading more about Lexi.

Why should you read these books:
All three of these books do have their moments and my dislikes might not be yours.

Friday 12 October 2012

First Grave on the Right - Book Review

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1)
by Darynda Jones

What is it about:
Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

What did I think of it:
I will confess I wasn't too sure about this series. I'm not sure why, but somehow I expected this series to be a bit dull.

Then Melliane told me I really should read it and she even ordered this book for me.

So I finally decided to give this series a try.

And I'm glad I did!

This book is a really cool read. It's funny, full of action and has a very promising romantic set up.

I will confess I'm expecting there might be a love triangle in future books, but for once I actually find I like both possible romantic interests, so I might not mind the love triangle.

I very much liked Charley. She's a sassy and kick-ass heroine and I couldn't help cheering for her even though she did act stupid at times and I couldn't get a good grip on her relationship with her family.

Her abilities as a Grim Reaper are very intriguing and I liked how Jones used Charley's abilities to set up a suspenseful story.

All in all I'm hooked and I will certainly pick up the next book in this series without being prompted to do so by others ;-)

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and suspenseful UF read

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday 11 October 2012

The Mysterious Madam Morpho - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

The Mysterious Madam Morpho (Blud #1.5)
by Delilah S. Dawson

(ebook, novella)

What is it about:
Taking place after Wicked as They Come, this original eBook features a mysterious lady and a reclusive mechanical genius who find love and danger in a traveling circus.

An elusive woman arrives at Criminy’s doorstep with a steamer trunk, begging for a position in the caravan to perform her unique new act. She opens her trunk to reveal a menagerie of brilliantly colored butterflies. The woman, who calls herself Madam Morpho, is on the run from a dark past in London, where she was forced to leave her equipment behind and abscond with only her tiny performers. Playing a hunch, Criminy hires Madam Morpho on the spot. Taking her down to meet Mr. Murdoch, the reclusive talented engineer who keeps the carnival’s clockworks running, Criminy instructs them to work together to design and build a groundbreaking new circus for the butterflies. Amid the magical ambiance of the circus and the hint of danger from Madam Morpho’s pursuers, she and Mr. Murdoch soon find that their scientific collaboration has produced chemistry of a more romantic kind.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I really enjoyed this story.

The first chapter was from Criminy and Letitia's point of view, but after that it changes to Imogen's (Madam Morpho) point of view.

I liked Imogen from the start, even though it is clear she has many secrets. I wanted to learn more about her and what had happened to her.

Mr Murdoch was very intriguing as well. He's a complicated character with some secrets of his own. Being a recluse he hides away in his caravan surrounded by the most amazing and cool inventions and contraptions.

Mr. Murdoch is introduced with a gorgeous beard and that made me pause. I know just what happens to most beards in romantic stories. And this story wasn't much different: the beard doesn't make it to the end of the story! It's a good thing I've learned not to get too attached to beards in stories like this.

That point aside, I very much enjoyed the developing romance between Imogen and Mr. Murdoch. It was sweet and heartwarming. I do think it went a bit fast at the beginning, especially because Mr. Murdoch has been a recluse for many years, but this is a novella after all, so I can forgive this speedy start to an otherwise well timed romance.

The action and suspense storyline fit in well with the romance and all in all this was a very satisfying novella that makes me hungry for more tales set in the grim fairytale world that is Sang.

Why should you read it:
It's a sweet and magical romance

Buy The Mysterious Madam Morpho here

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Three Card Monte - Book Review

Three Card Monte (The Martian Alliance #2)
by Gini Koch

(ebook, novella)

What is it about:
A risky gamble turns deadly when the galaxy's most feared terrorist arrives to up the ante.

When their favorite bookie pulls up stakes from Roulette and moves to Polliworld, the crew of the Hummingbird go to find out why, and hopefully get a cut of the action, but they end up caught in a high stakes game of chance that could destroy them.

What did I think of it:
Gini Koch manages to deliver a fun story full of action, deception and misdirection.

The Hummingbird and her crew manage to get themselves in hot water without even trying, but luckily they are a creative bunch and especially Dee Dee always has a plan at hand to save the day.

I really like the world building Gini does for this series and fell in love with Polliworld. I hope the Hummingbird will have reason to visit this planet more often.

The cast of characters is diverse and all of the crew from the Hummingbird are interesting and it was great to get to know some of them a bit better in this story. So far my absolute favorite besides Dee Dee (the lead character) is Bullfrog, and yes: his name really fits him.

I very much enjoyed this story and I'm looking forward to the next adventure of Dee Dee and her friends. I can advise this story to anyone who loves SciFi with a healthy dose of humor and mayhem.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and fast SciFi adventure

Buy Three Card Monte here

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - Red-Headed Stepchild

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!

And now I had some freaking red-eyed owl following me around - not to mention a demon roommate sent by some weirdo mage stalker. In other words, I had a plate full of crap to worry about.
(page 55, Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells)

Monday 8 October 2012

Glitch - Book Review

Glitch (Glitch #1)
by Heather Anastasiu

What is it about:
In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

What did I think of it:
This was a fun read.

I liked the idea of everyone being controlled by a computer chip. I did think that Anastasiu didn't really think the effects such chip would have on society through though. I for one think that without feeling emotions people would steer away from family units and develop another, more effective society. But I'm probably overthinking things here as usual, so the sake of the story I once more took things for granted.

I also had difficulties believing that Zoe would keep her secret safe even when she was being controlled by the chip, logic tells me she would most probably have turned herself in, but maybe she was glitching so bad that she wasn't entirely under the chips control.

The story was pretty cool. There was lots of action and suspense. The first part of the story was the best in my opinion, I really liked discovering how the society worked and reading about those who tried to fight it. Then something happened that led the story away from the resistance against the status quo and it became more of a story about self discovery and.... a love triangle!

And a lopsided love triangle it was.

From the start one of the boys is cast as a bit of a creep and it made me feel very annoyed at Zoe for even feeling bad when she didn't do what he wanted. All in all it felt like the love triangle was only there to set certain other things in motion.

Luckily the story finally got back on track and the action and suspense that followed the whole triangle mess certainly made up for it.

The book ends with a cliffhanger and even with the love triangle stuff I enjoyed it enough to want to read the next book to know what happens next.

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

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Saturday 6 October 2012

Platinum - Cover Reveal

Today we bring you something very special!

Pearls Cast Before A McPig (and Voodoo Bride in particular) is proud to be able to be the first to show you the amazing cover of Platinum, the second book in Jeffe Kennedy's Facets of Passion series:

(click on the picture for a better view)

Here’s the official description:

Althea Grant is doing fine. Sure, her Charleston gallery is suffering from the bad economy, and her artistic aspirations have gone nowhere. But she’s happy enough. When rugged metal sculptor Steel rides up on his motorcycle looking to rent studio space, his infusion of cash is more than welcome. But his art is raw, visceral, sexual—and completely inappropriate for her pastel world of watercolor landscapes.

Steel, fascinated by Althea’s rare albino coloring, sees in her the key to his next piece: a metal satyr that can be used for bondage games. Moving into her gallery basement is the first step; seducing the coolly polite lady into modeling for him is the second.

As Steel peels away her careful manners and tasteful outfits, Althea begins to realize her life isn’t just fine at all—it’s as pale and washed-out as the watercolor paintings she’s failing to sell. Can she transform her life and accept her most secret desires?

Isn't that cover just gorgeous!
And the story sounds like it will be hot and delicious.

Keep an eye on Jeffe's website for more info on Platinum, which is scheduled to release on February 25th 2013 at Carina Press.


Wondering what the Facets of Passion series is about?

Here's the info on Sapphire, the first book in this series:

Sapphire by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
A successful executive, M. Taylor Hamilton is on track with her ten-year plan. Too bad her personal life consists of hitting the gym and grocery shopping. Enter the seductive Adam Kirliss. They may have a working relationship, but everything changes at an office party when he handcuffs her to the rail of a yacht.

Taylor writes off the adventure as too much champagne, but when Adam challenges her to a date, she agrees to meet up with him. And follow his rules. They share a night of exquisite intimacy, brimming with both pain and pleasure. But afterward, fearful of losing her heart, Taylor pulls back emotionally.

Adam is determined to prove that she longs for the loss of control he can give her—and the passionate release it provides. How can he make her see that he wants her, and not just her body?


Read Voodoo Bride's review of Sapphire here

Buy Sapphire at Carina Press

Many thanks to Jeffe for letting us be the ones to reveal Platinum's cover :)

Friday 5 October 2012

Three Card Monte - Release Day Interview with Gini Koch

Todayis the release day of Three Card Monte by Gini Koch!
Three Card Monte is the second book in The Martian Alliance series.

Find out what Three Card Monte is all about in this short interview:

Welcome back at Pearl Cast Before a McPig, Gini.
What can we expect from Three Card Monte?

The crew of the Hummingbird is at it again, this time getting caught in between a rock and a hard place, which, for their world, means in between the Diamante Families and the Polliworld Underground. And that’s all before the most feared terrorist in the galaxy makes an appearance.

So, action, adventure, humor and romance. Or, as we call it, my standard mix.

Will it feature the same characters as The Royal Scam?
Yes, absolutely, and a few more besides. But this series will be following DeeDee, Roy, and the rest of the crew of the Hummingbird, so they’ll always be in each installment.

Is this book readable as a stand alone, or do people have to read The Royal Scam first?
As with all my series, I do my best to have each one stand alone. That said, I think if someone hasn’t yet read The Royal Scam that they should, simply because I think they’ll enjoy it. But someone brand new could pick up Three Card Monte and not be lost about what’s going on at all.

Is this another short story or more of a novella?
This one’s novella length. Not promising, but I’m figuring that the rest of the installments in this series will be novella, versus novelette, length. In part because of the tales I’m telling, and in part because I tend to be longwinded. ;-D It’s true though -- the shorter the story, the harder it is to write.

Can we expect more books in this series?
Yes, absolutely. Right now I have the next three mapped out (as much as I map), so I definitely plan for the crew’s adventures to continue on and on.

Are there any pigs or zombies in this book?
Sadly, no. For zombies and potential pigs, I refer you to The Night Beat and my Necropolis Enforcement Files series. Zombies a-plenty there, and I could easily see a pig or pig-like creature appearing in the next book.


Three Card Monte (The Martian Alliance #2)
by Gini Koch

A risky gamble turns deadly when the galaxy's most feared terrorist arrives to up the ante.

When their favorite bookie pulls up stakes from Roulette and moves to Polliworld, the crew of the Hummingbird go to find out why, and hopefully get a cut of the action, but they end up caught in a high stakes game of chance that could destroy them.

Buy Three Card Monte here

Thursday 4 October 2012

Insurgent - Book Review

Insurgent (Divergent #2)
by Veronica Roth

What is it about:
One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

What did I think of it:
This book was even more suspenseful and intense than Divergent.

I loved the main story and almost couldn't put the book down. There's so much happening in this book, so much intrigue, lies, secrets and distrust. You keep guessing what's going to happen and who will betray whom next. At times I was chilled by how people reacted to the things that are happening and at the naive way some of them looked at the world.

I had some difficulties with Tris and Four. Egh... They were acting so teen angsty and sulky towards each other at times. I would almost rather have had a love triangle than this sappy nonsense to keep the romance 'interesting'. I really think they should have communicated more and wanted to slap some sense into them.

The world building still didn't make sense to me and some things happened that made me frown even more, but once again I decided to take it for granted for the sake of the story. It seems book three might give me more insight in the inner workings of the setting though.

In the end I very much enjoyed this book. It's an entertaining and gripping story and I look forward to reading the next and final book in this trilogy, but I'll have to wait until fall 2013.

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

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Wednesday 3 October 2012

The Hallowed Ones - Book Review

The Hallowed Ones
by Laura Bickle

What is it about:
Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

What did I think of it:
Ever had that feeling when you read a book and you love it so much that part of you wants to share it with the whole world, while another part of you wants to jealously guard it and keep it all to yourself?

That's how I feel about The Hallowed Ones!

(And to those who do not know that feeling (which is probably all of you): Yes, I'm weird like that.)

I fell in love with Katie from the start. She's a thinker, who doesn't take what others tell her for granted and who wants to explore things before making a decision. Living in a community where it's expected that you take the things your elders tell you for granted is difficult for Katie. That's why she's looking forward to her Rumspringa, to see the outside world and to be able to decide for herself if her place is really among the Amish or if she belongs somewhere else.

Then bad things happen and it looks like Katie's future might be decided for her.

There is so much to this story I could just ramble on all day. It's as much a creepy, suspenseful horror-thriller as it is a story about strength and faith. Who can Katie trust? Who can she confide in? What will she have to do to survive the horrors that plague the outside and that threaten her community?

There's a constant threat hanging over the story which slowly begins to escalate until it's not just a threat anymore and Katie will have to fight for her survival.

I also loved the setting. The Amish community Katie lives in was described very well and used to its full advantage for this story. I especially loved reading about the Hexenmeister, a mysterious and intriguing figure, who paints so called hexes to protect houses and families from all kind of things.

The climax of this story was just totally amazing and the ending makes me hungry for the next book to see what will happen next (and I can tell you: that is bound to be a lot!). So I can safely say I will be reading the next book as soon as it's released and I'll be rereading The Hallowed Ones in the meantime.

Why should you read it:
It's a totally amazing YA horror-thriller

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Tuesday 2 October 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - Embrace

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 spun to face him, desperate to prove to myself that this was all some sick joke. Droplets of water fell from the tips of his hair and pooled in the crease of his lips. He looked amazing, which just made everything worse.
(page 61, Embrace by Jessica Shirvington)