Friday 30 November 2012

Ink - Very Early Book Review

Ink (The Paper Gods #1)
by Amanda Sun

What is it about:
--I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.--

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

What did I think of it:
This is a very cool read.

I loved the Japanese setting. I'm a big fan of Anime series like Azumanga Daioh, so I was really excited to read a YA book set in Japan. It gave the book a fresh feel and I loved reading about the customs and the way of life in Shizuoka.

Katie is a fun heroine, I did shake my head over some of her actions, but mostly she's likeable and resourceful. Her friends were fun as well, and my only complaint about them would be that they didn't get much screen time.

And then there is Tomohiro of course. He's mysterious and dangerous. At first I thought Katie was crazy for trying to discover his secrets, but he started to grow on me and soon I could understand why Katie was trying to get to know him.

The story itself is intriguing and full of mystery, danger and betrayal. Katie gets a lot of trouble thrown her way and she will have to figure out what is going on and who she can trust to survive.

All in all this is a surprisingly fresh and unique YA read and I very much enjoyed reading it. I will most certainly keep an eye out for book two. The trouble however with getting my hands on an Advance Reader Copy is that I'll have to wait a long time for the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and intriguing YA read set in Japan

Pre-order this book:
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Expected publication: June 25th 2013 by Harlequin Teen

Thursday 29 November 2012

Endgame - Book Review

Endgame (Sirantha Jax #6)
by Ann Aguirre

What is it about:
Regret nothing.

Sirantha Jax has the J-gene, which permits her to “jump” faster-than-light ships through grimspace. She loves nothing more than that rush, but the star roads have to wait…

Her final mission takes her to La’heng, a planet subjugated during first contact. Since then, the La’hengrin homeworld has been occupied by foreign conquerors.

All that’s about to change.

Now, as part of a grassroots resistance, Jax means to liberate the La’hengrin. But political intrigue and guerrilla warfare are new to her, and this will be the most dangerous game she’s ever played—spies and conspiracies, a war of weapons and hearts, and not everyone is guaranteed to make it out alive...

What did I think of it:
I will confess I have a love-hate relationship with Jax. This whole series has been a bumpy ride, with me loving Jax one book and loathing her in the next. Still Aguirre is such a great storyteller that even when I was loathing Jax I had to keep reading to find out what happened next.

At the end of Aftermath (book 5) I was at the point where I was seriously disliking Jax again and it was with both hope and fear that I started on Endgame, the final book in this series.

And let me say: Wow!

Not only did Aguirre manage to let me fall in love with Jax again, she delivers an action packed, tense and grim story, full of heartbreak and loss. Now the books in this series have always been grim, but this one tops them all. Still Aguirre writes in such a way that even when things are looking bad, there's always hope. Hope that things will change, that there's still a way out, a way to succeed.

It's this hope that made me want to keep reading to find out if and how Jax and her loved ones would survive the war they're thrown into.

And the ending:
Well, I can't go into it without spoiling it for those who haven't read the book yet, but I can tell you that the ending is worth it. This book is a fitting conclusion to Jax's adventures and although I'll miss reading about her (and Vel and March) I'm more than satisfied with how Aguirre ended this series.

I'll be rereading this series for sure and I'm already looking forward to the Dred Chronicles, which will be a spin-off of the Jax series.

Why should you read it:
It's an amazing, action packed SciFi adventure

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Wishlist Wednesday - Insomnia

This sounds like it might be a creepy read.

Insomnia (The Night Walkers #1)
by J.R. Johansson

It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?

Expected publication: June 8th 2013 by Flux

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - Seraphina

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!

"Nggblaah!"I said, not my most cogent explanation, but I was unaccustomed to speaking with my face covered in blood.
She stopped kicking me and closed the door.
(page 113, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman)

Monday 26 November 2012

Embrace of the Damned - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Embrace of the Damned (Brotherhood of the Damned #1)
by Anya Bast

What is it about:
A damned Viking warrior.

Centuries ago Broder Calderson committed murder. As punishment, he was given over to the dominion of Loki, the Trickster God, made part of the Brotherhood of the Damned and condemned to an immortal life of battle against the Blight, blood-drinkers from Hel.

A mysterious woman he can’t resist.
One thousand years to the day he was damned, Loki allows him a woman as reward for his good service and repentance of his crimes. Once Broder sees Jessamine Hamilton, he is overcome with need. But Jessa is no ordinary woman, and the truth of who—and what—she is could have dangerous consequences.

A tormented man she can’t deny.

Though a future together is impossible, the warrior’s touch ignites an irresistible passion in Jessa. But every heated kiss pushes them closer to destruction. Forced to return to the brutality of his Viking past to protect her, will Broder surrender forever to his darkest impulses?

What did Voodoo bride think of it:
This is a nice paranormal romance.

Jessamine is a bit tiring at times I have to confess. At the start of the story I really liked her: she doesn't immediately swoon over the hero and is suspicious of his motives. Later on she really got on my nerves though. She just kept Broder on a leash, letting him pleasure her, but then pushing him away when he wanted more. I wanted to tell her to just make up her mind and stop playing with Broder. If I had been Broder I would have lost my patience pretty soon.

The story overall was really nice. I really liked the world building and the idea of the brotherhood. I also loved Loki, he's a very intriguing deity and I think Bast did him justice for the most part (He's cast a bit too much like a villain at times imo). There was a pretty clear case of Deus Ex Machina near the end of the story though and even though this is a story that has actual gods in it, I felt myself robbed of a normal solution.

So in the end this was a nice read, but I don't think I'll be reading more books in this series. I might pick up another book by Bast in the future though, if the premise sounds interesting.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice paranormal read with Vikings

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Friday 23 November 2012

Eve - Book Review

Eve (Eve #1)
by Anna Carey

What is it about:
The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

What did I think of it:
Sometimes I wonder if authors of Dystopian novels really think through their world building.

Seriously: with most Dystopian YA stories where teens are kept in the dark about their future I can think of at least three ways those teens could have been treated that would have easily avoided problems.

But let's be honest, if my methods were used the story wouldn't have been there, so in conclusion: I think the authors don't think their world building through, because if they did, they wouldn't be able to tell the particular story they want to tell.

Ok, now I've got that off my chest:

Eve is an enjoyable story.
I could really understand Eve's feelings and the way she acts throughout the story. Her actions may not always be smart and she may be annoying at times, but the way she is raised makes all of her actions believable.

The story itself is fun if you take the world building for granted and don't examine some things too closely. There were times that I really had trouble with this I'll confess. There's one scene where Eve and two other girls are captured and the bad guy agrees to let all three of them out of their cage at the same time because they say they have to pee. Seriously?! Big surprise: they escape!

All in all this is a nice read and I must say I enjoyed it enough to be curious about the next book, so I most probably will continue to read this trilogy.

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

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday 22 November 2012

Ten - Book Review

by Gretchen McNeil

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

What did I think of it:
Anyone else who immediately thought of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie when reading the above blurb?

I did anyway when first reading what Ten was about.

And Ten is indeed a YA retelling of that classic story. It's done pretty well too I must confess. I very much enjoyed Ten. It's really suspenseful, even though it follows the original story for most part. The ending did steer away from the original ending and I must say (although I love everything about And Then There Were None and it's far superior to Ten) the ending of Ten worked for me.

I liked Meg, although there were times I grew a bit impatient with her. I did frown over the actions of the murderer at times though. Why do murderers always have to leave clues in stories like this? If they didn't they would seriously reduce the chance of people starting to get an idea of their identity.

There's also this one major annoyance:
Nowhere in the book it is mentioned this is a retelling of And Then There Were None! Not even a mention or thank you or anything. I really think that's a miss.

Those grumblings aside I very much enjoyed this book and I most probably will read more books by McNeil.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable YA Thriller

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Wishlist Wednesday - Beta

I have a weakness for Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian tales and this one sounds like it might be very interesting.

Beta (Annex #1)
by Rachel Cohn

Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist.

Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers--soulless clones like Elysia--are immune to.

At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an under-current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care--so why are overpowering sensations clouding Elysia's mind?

If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happiness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - Embrace of the Damned

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!

Soon the demon was so much ice sliding across the floor. Jessa stared in horror at a chunk of the demon that had come to a rest at the toe of her boot, then slowly raised her gaze to Broder.
(page 75, Embrace of the Damned by Anya Bast)

Monday 19 November 2012

The Night Beat - Book Review

The Night Beat (Necropolis Enforcement Files #1)
by Gini Koch

What is it about:
The majority of Prosaic City’s residents don’t know that their town exists on top of another place -- Necropolis, City of the Undead. For the most part, the two planes of existence manage to remain separate. And when they don’t, Necropolis Enforcement has beings in place to ensure the general human population remains blithely clueless.

Victoria Wolfe is more than just a policewoman. She’s an undercover werewolf assigned by Necropolis Enforcement to work Prosaic City Police’s Night Beat. Victoria’s comfortable working the shift where all the weird comes out to play, especially since her partner is also her perfect man. Or would be, if Victoria could ever work up the nerve to tell him she isn’t like other girls.

It’s hard enough being a werewolf in disguise, but when a creature from the Depths of Hell shows up in an alley preferred by junkies, bums, and hookers, it’s going to take more than just Victoria’s special gun and werewolf skills to subdue the ancient Sumerian demon. Especially when the demon is merely the start of what appears to be a major takeover attempt by the Prince of Darkness.

Soon all of Necropolis Enforcement’s Undead Brigade is involved in the fight to stop the Prince’s Major Minions from taking over Prosaic City and the rest of the human plane. But it’s Victoria who has to face the Adversary and figure out what intricate plan Lucifer has up his wings before everyone she cares about is destroyed.

In other words, it’s just another day on the Night Beat.

What did I think of it:
Gini Koch did it again!

She delivers a fun story, full of intrigue, action and wacky situations. The Night Beat has the same kind of humor that makes Koch's Katherine "Kitty" Katt series so much fun to read, but Victoria is in no way a Kitty clone: she sure manages to stand on her own.

The world building is both fun and interesting. I love how Koch made famous people throughout history and literature show up up among the citizens of Necropolis. Some, like H.P. Lovecraft, I recognized immediately, with others it took me a while. It kept me guessing who Victoria might run into next.

The story is complex and keeps you guessing as well. There are some twists and turns and the bad guys sure know how to use misdirection to throw the heroes off track. I had to keep paying attention to understand what was going on.

All in all this is a very enjoyable read and I look forward to the next book in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun Paranormal read and it has H.P.Lovecraft as a minor character!

Buy The Night Beat ebook here
Buy the Paperback here

Friday 16 November 2012

I'll Be Slaying You - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

I'll Be Slaying You (Night Watch #2)
by Cynthia Eden

What is it about:
Dee Daniels is on a mission to eliminate the monsters and assorted supernaturals who prey on the innocents of Baton Rouge. Lately there's a new face in town, Simon Chase, a sexy shadow with a haunted past who knows a secret that will change Dee's life, if she can live long enough to uncover it.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This was a very enjoyable read.

I loved Eden's writing, which is fun and engaging and the story had me hooked from the start. It is fast paced and full of action and with lots of intrigue and suspense.

Dee is a complex character, who starts out a bit too hard boiled for my tastes, but learning about her past made me understand why she is as she is. Luckily she undergoes some changes throughout the story that made her more likeable.

I very much enjoyed the romance between Dee and Simon. The build up was done very nicely, with them first being attracted to each other physically and with a growing emotional attachment. The secrets Simon keeps from Dee added to the romantic tension.

Although this book is part of a series it is perfectly readable as a standalone. I hadn't read the first book in this series, but never felt I missed out on anything. As I understand it each book has another couple as the lead characters.

I most certainly will read other books by Eden. Next up is 'Midnight's Master' which is already in my tbr-pile.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and fast paced Paranormal Romance.

Buy this book here

Thursday 15 November 2012

A Soldier's Duty - Book Review

A Soldier's Duty (Theirs Not to Reason Why #1)
by Jean Johnson

What is it about:
Ia is a precog, tormented by visions of the future where her home galaxy has been devastated. To prevent this vision from coming true, Ia enlists in the Terran United Planets military with a plan to become a soldier who will inspire generations for the next three hundred years-a soldier history will call Bloody Mary.

What did I think of it:
I'm in two minds about this book.

On the one hand it is a very interesting read. It follows Ia as she starts her military career and I very much enjoyed the view into the hard world of the Terran United Planets military. I also really liked the writing, the world building and the view of the future Johnson paints in this book.

What I did miss in this book is emotion. Ia is completely focused on the future and on nothing else. I would have wanted to learn more about her inner turmoil. What does she feel? Where does she find the strength to do what she does? Does she ever have doubts? That sort of thing. But apart from a few small moments Ia is like this super being who just keeps going and manages to overcome every obstacle without any problems.

This made that I had no connection with Ia, and apart from finding the setting and everything very interesting there was nothing else that made me want to keep reading. I wasn't invested in the story enough to care where it would lead to.

So in the end this was an interesting read, but I had hoped for more. I don't think I'll read the next book in this series, instead I think I will give Johnson's Sons of Destiny series a try.

Why should you read it:
It's an interesting SciFi read.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Wishlist Wednesday - Scent of Magic

I loved Touch of Power, the first book in this series, so I'm really looking forward to the release of Scent of Magic next month.

Scent of Magic (Healer #2)
by Maria V. Snyder

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again.

Expected publication: December 18th 2012 by Harlequin MIRA.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - Ink

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!

The pen was hot in my hand and I gripped it tighter, watching the pages of my notebook flutter in the wind, watching the snails leave glittering trails across the page...
Watching as they turned and came toward me, mouths full of sharp, jagged teeth I didn't know snails had, teeth that I hadn't drawn.
(page 39, Ink by Amanda Sun)*

*Taken from the Advance Uncorrected Proof, so text may be different from the final version that will release July 2013

Monday 12 November 2012

Shadow Kin - Book Review

Shadow Kin (The Half-Light City #1)
by M.J. Scott

What is it about:
Welcome to the Half-Light City.

Imagine a city divided. On one side, the Night World, ruled by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages. A city held together by nothing more than a treaty-and even then, just barely...

I was born of a Fae mother, but I had no place amongst her kind. They called me "soulless." An abomination. Perhaps they're right...I'm a wraith, a shadow who slips between worlds. I was given into the service of a Blood Lord who raised me to be his most feared assassin. Still, I'm nothing more than a slave to my master, and to the need that only he can fulfill...

Then he orders me to kill Simon DuCaine, a powerful sunmage. In the blaze of his magic, my own disappears. Instead of seeking revenge, Simon shows me mercy. He wants to free me. But that's one thing my master and his kind will never allow.

And even if I thought I could trust Simon, stepping from the shadow into the light isn't as simple as it sounds...

What did I think of it:
This was an enjoyable read.

I will confess I was a bit thrown off when I discovered this story was written from both Lily and Simon's point of view. I had expected the book to be entirely from Lily's point of view and because the first switch was only indicated by a sun symbol I was pulled out of the story brutally by this unexpected switch in narrative.

After that I had no trouble with the switching point of views except that I didn't really like Simon's narrative. I really liked Lily, but Simon was too much of a Beta hero in my opinion. For a so called powerful sunmage he was naive and gullible. I liked his older brother Guy a lot more and thought Lily would have been better off with him than with Simon.

That point of critique aside I enjoyed the story. It was suspenseful, full of action, intrigue and betrayal. The world building was also pretty cool, a mix of Fantasy and Steampunk.

All in all I liked this story and might give the next book in this series a try.

Why should you read it:
It's an enjoyable Fantasy read.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Friday 9 November 2012

A Luring Murder - Book Review

A Luring Murder
by Stacy Verdick Case

What is it about:
St. Paul, Minnesota Homicide Detective Catherine O’Brien and her loving husband Gavin are vacationing on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. When a local is murdered Catherine is tapped to help the small town Sheriff until the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrives to take over the investigation.

Catherine is surprised when her partner Louise and Diggs the forensic pathologist, whose crush on Louise is only dwarfed by his own genius, shows up to assist instead of the BCA.

Before long Catherine and Louise discover this sleepy little town has a dark side hidden beneath its placid lake charms. Somewhere in the tangle of cheating and deception is a motive for murder.

What did I think of it:
I loved A Grand Murder, the first book in this series. At the end of that book our heroine Catherine is going on a (well deserved) vacation.

Verdick Case hadn't planned on writing a story that takes place during that vacation, but when it turned out many fans of A Grand Murder wanted to know what happens on that vacation, she decided to give them what they wanted and A Luring Murder was born.

And I can tell you I'm glad Verdick Case wrote this book because it is so much fun!

I love Catherine. she's grumpy, tough and says things most people only think. Still Verdick Case manages to make her a very likeable character who you want to root for. I also loved the banter between Catherine and her partner Louise and the interaction between Catherine and her husband.

The murder mystery is very cool as well. There's a good build up in the investigation, with clues being found, suspicions being raised and more death to add to the mystery.

The setting of a little lake side town really works well in this story and adds to the atmosphere. I could picture the town and its inhabitants with ease.

So I can advice this book to anyone who loves a fun and suspenseful murder mystery. I will certainly keep an eye out for the next Catherine O’Brien book, be it planned or written because Catherine's fans demand a certain story to be told.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun Murder Mystery

Buy the ebook here*
*Free for all of November 2012!

Thursday 8 November 2012

The Kingdom - Book Review/Rant

The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen #2)
by Amanda Stevens

What is it about:
Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town.

…My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I've been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I'm coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I've discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

What did I think about it:
Warning: spoilers about the romance

If this had been a standalone novel I would have loved it.

The story is intriguing and creepy. There's a sense of secrecy and danger throughout and the main plot is very well thought out. On it's own this would have been a perfect ghostly read with just some minor flaws.

But.... this is book two in a trilogy and looking at it like that I find one major flaw that annoyed me.

In The Restorer there's a romance between Amelia and Devlin. Because he's haunted Amelia decides to take her distance from him. So of course not even two chapters into The Kingdom a new love interest is introduced. Now nothing is wrong with that (apart from the fact that I liked Devlin a lot more than this Thane), but it turns out that this romance is needed to carry a large part of the plot for this mystery. And then in the end things are nicely wrapped up and Amelia and her love interest part ways so Amelia is all set to reunite with Devlin for book three.

Seriously? After all the tension and everything between Amelia and Devlin I'm forced to invest in yet another romantic storyline, just to have the new love interest kicked out at the end of the book so we can go back to the romance between Amelia and Devlin? Talk about convenient.

I really think this book would have worked better as a standalone or maybe as a start of the trilogy instead of the middle book.

Apart from the romance that bugged me there was also a minor plotline that really felt unnecessary in my opinion and that dragged out the ending of the book.

Don't get me wrong: I really enjoyed this book even with those two annoyances and I will certainly read book three to see if Amelia will indeed reunite with Devlin in the end.

Why should you read it:
It's an intriguing and ghostly Paranormal read.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Five - Excerpt

Five (Elemental Enmity #1)
by Christie Rich

Rayla Tate’s life is about to turn vertical…again. As if it wasn’t bad enough her mother disappeared under questionable circumstances leaving Rayla to be raised by her aunt in a horrendously small town. Her overprotective guardian is determined to ruin Rayla’s life. She refuses to let Rayla out of her sight or out of the state. Provincial living might be what her aunt demands of her purposely sheltered niece; but, Rayla has other ideas. In a desperate attempt to follow her dreams she flees the safety of her home and runs away to college with her best friend toward a bright future in the art world.

However, excitement over her newfound freedom turns into terror when she is chased by a mysterious stranger on her way to school. When his motorcycle suddenly morphs into a fire-breathing pegasus, Rayla questions her sanity. Worse, the man riding next to her stirs a burning desire in her soul she has never known or could have ever imagined. Using all the will she owns, she manages to resist the compulsion she feels; yet, as he disappears into the night, she is certain he hasn't gone far.

Rayla quickly dismisses the encounter to her overactive imagination. She is determined to settle into her new life, yet the images and feelings of that night still haunt her. To make matters worse, her aunt seems to be in on the act, insisting that Rayla will soon be hunted by a pack of fae lords for a power over the elements she never knew she possessed—a power that could change the world. Quicker than she ever thought possible, she finds herself surrounded by stunning men that all seem determined to win her heart. Why does she feel drawn to each one of them? More importantly, what dark power do they hold over her? Rayla must quickly learn to fend off these beautiful and seductive pursuers using whatever means necessary or find herself lost to the fae world forever.


Excerpt from Five (Elemental Enmity Book I) by Christie Rich

The view of the sunset reminded me of my favorite bluff back home. Nothing but sky was visible in the horizon. I might as well have been standing on the edge of the world gazing at the gilded gates of heaven.
“I will never tire of seeing that,” a melodic voice erupted behind me.
If I had gotten a bit more air, I would have landed on Mars. “Zach.” I put a hand against my pounding heart. “You scared me.” I hadn’t even heard him come up to me.
“I noticed.” He smirked. “I was trying my best not to disturb you. You looked so peaceful, but I am a selfish man.” He chuckled, moving closer.
My attraction to him was hard enough to handle when he had all his clothes on. My pulse raced with his approach for an entirely different reason. He had the sort of flawless body that belonged on the airbrushed pages of a magazine. His skin glowed golden in the blazing sunset that brought out rusty hues in his dark hair. My fingers itched to trace every angle of his sculpted abdomen and chest.
“Leave it to you to make this thing look good,” he said, running a finger under the strap on my shoulder. “By rights, it should be burned. Are you going to tell me why you insisted on wearing it?”
He traced my collarbone. “Really?” In one fluid motion, I was in his arms, and he was carrying me deeper into the water.
I hoped he couldn’t feel the thud of my heart beating against his chest. “What do you think you’re doing?” I asked more calmly than I felt.
“Changing your mind,” he said just as evenly.
I could see where he was going with this, and over the edge of a cliff wasn’t my idea of fun. “Don’t.”
He grinned. “Tell me.”
I stiffened in his arms. “If you do this, I will leave—without you.” His exaggerated exhale tickled my neck, sending goose-bumps down my body.
“Don’t you ever relax?”
I gritted my teeth, hating what I had become in the past few weeks. If he had tried this back home, I would have protested, giggled, and screamed but loved every minute of his antics.
Things were different now. I was on edge constantly. “I’m so not okay with heights. Let me down.”
The set of his jaw didn’t give me any comfort. He walked up a ramp between the two converging rivers that made the waterfall. On sure feet, he stepped to the edge. I honestly didn’t know how he was still standing with the water blasting against his knees. He leaned into my ear. “Tell me.”
I clung to his neck like grime to a barn cat. “I don’t want to.”
He looked over the edge and back at me. The humor in his gaze died. He sighed, stepping back a few paces. My heart found its way back into my chest. He carried me to a lounge chair, setting me down gently.
“You can’t possibly think that thing is pretty,” he commented after a while.
“Pretty isn’t everything,” I said.
He raised his brows, tucking his strong chin inward in mockery then looked at me sidelong. “It helps.” He smiled teasingly.
I shot him a dirty look before giving him my back. He placed a timid hand on my shoulder.
“Come, now. It can’t possibly be as bad as all that.”
Why couldn’t he just let it go? I wasn’t all up in his business, why did he feel the need to be in mine. “Drop it already.”
Zach sat beside me, coaxing my chin upward. His voice was soft. “Aren’t you having fun, lass?”
I wouldn’t look him in the eye. If I did he would see every insecurity I had. “I was before you decided to go all Tarzan on me.”
He thumped his chest, doing a great imitation of the call. I tried to smile, but I didn’t think it helped.
“You weren’t like this the other day.” He turned away as if in thought, glancing at me hastily. “Don’t you like swimming?”
The other day I didn’t have four terrifying men after me. I would have liked to give him an easy out, but I didn’t want to lie. “I usually love it.”
Cassie had an indoor pool back home. On the rare occasion I actually got to stay the night at her house, we would spend hours in the water. She taught me how to float first. I had progressively gotten better. I was an adequate swimmer now. The one thing I didn’t like was the high-dive.
He frowned. “Is it me?” His brows furrowed as though he was really worried. “Have I done something to offend you?”
I closed my eyes, inhaling sharply. “I’m sorry. I’ve had fun today, really. I just have other things on my mind right now.”
He grinned, tucking my hair behind my ear. “I’m a great listener.”
I didn’t like being such a disappointment, but I couldn’t snap myself out of it. I could just imagine how fast he’d be gone if I did tell him everything that was wrong with me at the moment. “I’d rather not talk about it right now.”
He knelt in front of me and took my hands in his. “You can’t expect me to not be curious.”
“It’s a free country,” I said. “Be curious all you like.” I was pushing him away when normally I would have been doing everything in my power to keep him interested in me.
The sun had made its final descent. The haze of twilight settled all around us with the stars spotting the barely glowing sky. In a few minutes, I would be able to relax a little.
Zach tugged my hand. “Do you wish to go join the others?” He sounded dejected.
Why was I acting like this? I needed to snap out of it. My mood wasn’t his fault. “If you don’t mind, I’d rather stay here for a while.”
He nodded then moved to a lounge chair opposite me, wasting no time in getting comfortable. “Why don’t you tell me of your home?”
The subject seemed safe enough. “Have you ever been to eastern Utah?”
He made an odd sound, sort of a half concealed groan. “It has been many years.”
He wasn’t old enough for it to have been that long ago. I leaned back and put my arms behind my head preparing to give him details.
“I see,” he said in a sympathetic tone, his eyes soft with compassion.
I followed his gaze down to my exposed torso. How could I have been so stupid? The bottom half of my scar poked out from beneath the fringe. I bolted up, pulling awkwardly at the fabric.
He shook his head. “Everyone has imperfections, Rayla.” In an instant he moved to the edge of my chair. Calloused fingers caressed my shoulder before skimming down my arm. “Some are just more visible than others.”
I turned away. Then I got mad. “Really, where’s yours?”
His face crinkled thoughtfully. His eyes held haunted shadows. “You’d be surprised.”
I gave him a look. “Enlighten me.”
“There are certain things I want to change so badly about myself that it consumes my life.” Unless he was a fantastic actor, he was being sincere.
He grimaced, only slightly, but it was enough to make me wonder. “I would rather not get into that with you yet.”
I cocked my jaw, clicking my tongue. “It’s okay for me, but not for you, huh?”
He leveled his gaze to mine seriously. “If a scar is all you have to hide, you should be thankful.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
He shoved a hand through his hair. “Only that there are worse things to bear than a scar.”
The truth burned me like a solar flare. I should have been able to put on a pretty bikini without so much as a second thought, but I wasn’t there yet. I hoped I would be some day. I felt ridiculous being so shallow. “You didn’t answer my question,” I said after a moment of hesitation.
The lines of his face turned hard. “I know.”
“There you are,” Natalie yelled, cresting the hill in a sprint with Sam close behind her. “Help me, Rayla!” She crouched down between my chair and the stacked rock wall.
“They can’t save you,” Sam said coldly, standing by my feet. “You will pay.”
I turned back, whispering, “What did you do?”
She smiled proudly. “Put ice in his trunks.”
Zach narrowed his eyes at Natalie. His jaw tightened. “You deserve anything you get.” He grabbed my hand, pulling me to my feet.
Sam swept the chair sideways. Natalie squealed, trying to out-maneuver him. She didn’t make it.
Attempting to wrench away from him, she said desperately, “You can put ice in my suit. Rayla, do you have a drink?”
Sam smiled wickedly. He looked over at the edge of the falls. Did all male minds work the same? “I have something better in mind.”
She put her hands on his cheeks. “Please, Sam. I’m sorry. I won’t do anything like that again.”
He grabbed her wrists, pushing her into the river. She kicked at him and squealed the entire way.
“Not after this,” he said, grinning. Without another word, he pinned her arms to her sides in a bear hug. She smiled at him. I couldn’t see his expression, but her eyes flew wide just before he shouted, “Geronimo.”
Her “No” was squelched when they hit the water. Zach grinned down at me. My smile shriveled.
“Don’t even think about it,” I said when he came closer. Natalie’s laugh rang clear from below.
“Not that I don’t find the idea tempting once more, but I think I will pursue your affections another way.”


About Christie Rich
I grew up daydreaming about fairytales, and my love for discovering new worlds has never died. I am not one of those writers who always knew I would write. I thought that was what other people did until one day a few years ago, I took a challenge from a friend and typed my first words. My journey has been wonderful, and I cannot imagine a day where I would ever give up writing now. My love for reading is what fueled my imagination in the first place and still does. When I am not writing or reading, I am enjoying family time with my husband and two children. We live in a quiet community under the Wellsville mountains in Utah, and I am so thankful for the rich life I have been blessed with.

Author website

Check the Tour Schedule for more information on Five, giveaways and the buy links.

Five (Book 1 in the Elemental Emnity Series) is free on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble, so go grab your copy and enter one of the giveaways for your chance to win Book 2 & 3!

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - The Night Beat

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!

"Bad night, Vic?" Clyde asked, as he slowly lowered the weapon he'd had trained on the door.
"You tell me, you're the one sporting the Duster."
(page 198, The Night Beat by Gini Koch)

Monday 5 November 2012

Settling - Book Review

Settling (Solid #2)
by Shelley Workinger

What is it about:
At the beginning of the summer, Clio Kaid was one of a hundred teens brought to a secret Army installation. But it was no ordinary camp and they weren’t ordinary kids…

Picking up where “Solid” left off, Clio and her friends realize that they aren’t ready to go home; they’re determined to stay on campus and continue their journey of self- discovery. But someone doesn’t feel the same way and will do anything to drive them away – even kill.

Friendships will be tested, abilities will evolve, and more secrets will come out as the teens race to stop the killer before he sets his sights on one of them…

What did I think of it:
Although still a nice read I didn't like this book as much as I did the first book in this series.

Even though there's a murder and everything it felt as if nothing happened in this book. It's very static, apart from lots of teenage drama about romance and friendship.

I also didn't feel as connected to Clio and her friends as I did in the first book. Clio for example was acting bratty and was so full of self pity I wanted to scream at her.

All in all it felt like this book was trying too hard to set up events for the next book instead of being able to stand on its own. A shame, because I really like the set up and the writing.

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

Buy it here

Friday 2 November 2012

Liquid Lies - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Liquid Lies (The Elementals #1)
by Hanna Martine

What is it about:
Magic is corporate America's best-kept secret, and Gwen Carroway is the best at selling it...

With her ability to pick up any language in an instant, Gwen Carroway is taking her family business global. As dutiful future leader of water elementals, she'll do anything to protect her people's secrets and bloodlines--including enter an arranged marriage. Inside, however, she yearns for the forbidden.

Reed is a mercenary addicted to the money and adrenaline rush of his work. After he inadvertently saves Gwen's life, he ignites her taboo desire for men without magic--and with bodies of gods. Just as things heat up, Reed discovers that Gwen is exactly who he's been hired to kidnap. He resolves to put work before lust, yet her luscious beauty and fiery spirit unravel him...

But there is a terrible truth behind Gwen's family business--and now, caught between the kinsmen she no longer trusts and an enemy bent on vengeance, the only ally she has is her abductor...

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This book is the perfect example why an author should take care not to make a secondary character more interesting than one of the lead characters.

Don't get me wrong: this is a very nice Paranormal Romance, but the hero, Reed, wasn't half as interesting as Xavier, one of the other male characters (and one of the 'bad guys' of course). I kept wishing this story had been about Xavier instead of Reed.

Reed was ok, but I didn't feel he and Gwen made a great match, even though he was bald and sounded like the perfect hero when it comes to looks. This might have been because I was too focused on Xavier, but overall the romance felt a bit off to me.

Apart from that the story was pretty good and after I got over my disappointment that Xavier wasn't a love interest I really got into it. It's suspenseful, gritty and with a nice romantic storyline. I was surprised by some of the grittier details of this story, I will confess I hadn't expected those in a PNR, but they made the story more intense.

All in all this was an enjoyable read and because most of my problems were not with the story, but with the romantic lead, I think I might try the next book in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a nice Paranormal Romance

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday 1 November 2012

Vigilare: Hellhound - Book Review

Vigilare: Hell Hound (Vigilare, #2)
by Brooklyn James

What is it about:
A red hue emerges, where once it was only emerald green!

Now accepting of her position, Vigilare is propelled into a twist on Greek Mythology's Cerberus―Hell Hound―a rival Vigilare with fire capabilities. ETNA harbored her blood. Have they created a monster they cannot control? Along with her motley crew, the dashing Detective Tony Gronkowski, wily hematologist Dr. Godfrey and suspicious Emily Truly, Vigilare comes face to face with her past in the form of the hellish one.

As the city of New Orleans and its Gambini mafia family are under siege with Vigilare drones, the power hungry Emily wastes no time in solidifying her place in the ranks when she exposes Vigilare to the menacing Hell Hound. Newcomer, Maxim Kiesel, the steel blue-eyed prodigy graced with icy powers may very well be the antidote, or the ultimate traitor.

Will Vigilare give up her role, sacrificing her immortality to stop Hell Hound? The second in a trilogy, Vigilare: Hell Hound―when power is given, the true testament of one's character will rise.

What did I think of it:
A very intriguing read.

Just as the first book in this trilogy this book explores the fine line that lies between good and evil. Are you still a good guy when you kill someone even if he's done very bad things? Is it evil to want revenge? What does it take to turn someone from good to evil?

This book was less violent than the first one, but just as dualistic and it made me think about my own world views. The story was really interesting and full of action, mystery and deceit.

I did have some trouble with some of the characters. Most of them had world views I couldn't share and that made me dislike and distrust them. I really liked Tony though and Vigilare is a very intriguing character as well. Her growth and change throughout the story was interesting to read.

All in all this is a cool and intriguing read. I'm curious how this trilogy will end, so I will most probably pick up the last book to satisfy my curiosity.

Why should you read it:
It's an intriguing read about good and evil.

Buy this book here

Showing Our RAK

We recieved an October RAK from Michelle!
Eternal Rider has been on Voodoo Bride's wishlist for a while so she's very happy with it.

Thanks Michelle!

We also send out a RAK of our own and hope the receiver is happy with our choice.


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?


• 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 :)


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

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