Friday 28 November 2014

Lips Touch - Book Review

Lips Touch
by Laini Taylor
with illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo

What is it about:
Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls:

Goblin Fruit
In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?

Spicy Little Curses
A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.

Six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?

What did I think of it:
I really liked Taylor's world building and writing in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so when I ran into this book with three short stories by Taylor, I decided to give it a try.

The first pleasant surprise:
The illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo

At the start of each story there are several panels that depict part of the story. I really enjoyed looking at these illustrations. Di Bartolo really captured the mood of the stories in my opinion.

As for the stories itself:

Goblin Fruit tells the story of a teen who doesn't fit in, and draws the attention of goblins who want her soul. I liked how it was set up, and especially how things all played out. For such a simple set up it was a surprisingly original story.

Spicy Little Curses was more complex and exotic. It is set in colonial India, and I really liked the idea of a prim English widow being the ambassador to Hell. The setting and the mythology used all worked together to make this an enjoyable and suspenseful story.

In Hatchling Taylor used the same story telling technique that annoyed me in Daughter of Smoke and Bone: flashbacks/skipping back in time to reveal important information for the plot. I'm not a fan of this technique, but this being a novella, it didn't drag my out of the flow of the story as much as it did in Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

All in all I very much enjoyed reading these stories, and they even made me more interested in reading the next book in her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable collection of Paranormal YA stories.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday 27 November 2014

Teaser Tuesdays on a Thursday - Alice in Zombieland

As he maneuvered down the street, I twisted around to catalog the carnage we must have left in the lot. But...there were no bodies. No blood.

(page 168, Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


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!

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Archangel's Shadows - Book Review

Archangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter #7)
by Nalini Singh

What is it about:
In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot— should not—be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

What did I think of it:
I really liked the chemistry between Ash and Janvier in the novella Angels' Pawn, so I had to read this book of course.

And it didn't disappoint!

Ash and Janvier are both very intriguing characters on their own, but together they're irresistible. I read this book in almost one sitting, it was too good to put down. The mix of action and romance is done well in this book, and I was not only rooting for Ash and Janvier to overcome the obstacles between them, but also to save the day.

If there's one thing that I wasn't so happy about, it was the bits about Elena and Raphael. I know a lot is happening for them as well, and that some things are set ups for what will come next, but I wanted to focus on Ash and Janvier. I found myself getting impatient when reading the scenes about Elena, and wished those had been reserved for a separate book, or had been incorporated more into Ash and Janvier's story.

That aside, this is a wonderful addition to a great series, and you can bet I will get my trotters on the next book once it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Urban Fantasy Romance.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday 25 November 2014

The Tears of the Rose - Release Day Alert and Review

Today it's the official release day for The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy!
If you haven't preordered it yet, go out and get it fast, because it's beautiful!

To celebrate the release and to try to lure you all into buying this awesome book, here's the repost of my review:

The Tears of the Rose (The Twelve Kingdoms #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?

What did I think of it:
You might know by now that Voodoo Bride and I are big fans of Jeffe's work, so it won't come as a surprise we were very happy to get an ARC of The Tears of the Rose.

Book one in this series was about Andi, the middle sister of three. The Tears of the Rose is about Amelia, the youngest.

Now I will confess Amelia didn't really make a good impression on me in the first book. Not that she was unlikable, but she came across as a bit shallow and spoiled. Amelia being the heroine of this book I expected these flaws to be downplayed.

And that's where Jeffe proves to be an amazing writer. Instead of downplaying Amelia's flaws, they're right there for everyone to see. Amelia is spoiled, shallow and selfish at the start of this story. She might have some cause, seeing she just lost her husband, but still she's acting like a toddler who doesn't get her way at times.

Still... The way she is written made me see the good and kind person Amelia could be, if only the people around her had given her the chance to become that person. It's easy to dislike Amelia because of her spoiled attitude, but looking at how she grew up, how life has treated her, I could really understand why she became as she is. It made me root for her to open her eyes and see the world for what it really is. To change for the better.

And then a mysterious figure steps forwards who makes Ami question her world views.

The White Monk drew my attention from the first moment he is mentioned by the way Jeffe describes him. Her descriptions are always beautiful and vivid, but some of the descriptions of the White Monk felt like poetry.

My favorite line in the whole book is probably this:
"He laughed, raven voiced, threading his hands inside his sleeves as if he restrained himself from something." *
This is so beautiful and tells so much in just a few words. I could not just picture, but also hear and feel this scene.

I could go on for ages raving about how beautiful this book is written, but I know you want to know about the story.

It is a beautiful story!

Ami has a lot to learn, a lot to overcome on her path to find herself. Jeffe doesn't make it easy. Ami's road to happiness, to a life where she's more than the spoiled, pretty princess is long and filled with pain and heartache. I had trouble putting the book down, and kept rooting for Ami to reach her goals.

The ending...


The ending gives closure on some things, but also gives a new challenge that has to be faced, making sure I will be counting the months until the release of book three. I need to find out what happens next to Ami and her sisters!

All in all this is a wonderful Fantasy Romance filled with emotion and suspense. I felt like rereading it the moment I finished it, and you can bet I will put this ARC on my keeper shelves, just as I've already preordered the book to put next to my treasured copy of The Mark of the Tala (book one).

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful Fantasy Romance

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

*quote is from the ARC, so might be different in the final version of the book, although I hope it will not be changed.

Monday 24 November 2014

Clockwork Princess - Book Review

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)
by Cassandra Clare

What is it about:
Tessa Gray should be happy—aren't all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

What did I think of it:
Don't follow an author on Tumblr when you're not caught up with the series that author is writing. Before I started on this book I accidentally stumbled over a huge spoiler, because a question from a fan wasn't labelled with a spoiler warning.

That aside: I loved this book.

The book starts of with action, and from there it stays suspenseful and filled with action and intrigue. It finally becomes clearer who and what Tessa is, and what she can do. Other characters get more screen time as well, and I especially enjoyed the character development of Gabriel Lightwood in this book.

There are some very emotional events and scenes in this book as well, the love triangle between Tess, Will and Jem being the heart of it. And let me say it again: this love triangle is so well written. I wish more love triangles would be like this: intense, believable, and making you want to root for all the people involved.

After the action climax of this story there's a couple of chapters left to wind it down and to wrap things up. These were also very emotional and gave closure about the fate of most of the (surviving) protagonists. All in all a satisfying ending to this trilogy.

Even though in my opinion this trilogy is superior to The Mortal Instruments, I will most certainly read the remaining two books in that series. I will also get hold of The Bane Chronicles as soon as I can, because Magnus Bane is still my favorite character of both series.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Steampunk(ish), Paranormal YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Friday 21 November 2014

An Interview with Jeffe Kennedy

Next week The Tears of the Rose will release, the second book in Jeffe Kennedy's Twelve Kingdoms series. I managed to have a chat with Jeffe about The Tears of the Rose and the series in general.

Sullivan: Welcome to Pearls Cast Before A McPig. The second book in your Twelve Kingdoms series will release next week. What can you tell about this series to people who don't know it yet?

Jeffe: Hmm. It's a fantasy trilogy about three princesses, the daughters of the High King, each more beautiful than the last.
The first book, THE MARK OF THE TALA, was about the middle princess and the second one, THE TEARS OF THE ROSE, is about the youngest and most beautiful.

Sullivan: In THE MARK OF THE TALA all three sisters were introduced, and let's be honest: Ami was a bit spoiled. was it difficult to write her as the lead character in book two?

Jeffe: Yes, I worried quite a bit about whether Ami would be too unlikable for readers to stick with. But it was also important to me not to flinch away from who she was and "nice her up" before she could get there on her own

Sullivan: I can tell you, you did a great job in my opinion.

Jeffe: yay! thank you!
It helped that I felt like it wasn't entirely her fault that she was so spoiled. No one had ever expected much more of her.

Sullivan: When you started on book one, did you already have the whole story arc lined out, or did it evolve while you wrote?

Jeffe: I'm really bad at pre-plotting, so mostly it evolved as I went.
I did have "sketches" of the next two books after I finished book one, with a general idea of how things would go. But when I started book one, I didn't know how it would end. Or that it would end the way it did, though after a time I suspected...

Sullivan: Do you use writing diaries or schedules to keep track of events?

Jeffe: Events in the stories? Not so much. I keep spreadsheets with the chapters, to track their length and the beats like the Act climaxes. Sometimes I note the major events of the chapter. I sometimes keep a big story board, but I don't do that for every book. It seems to vary for each story and I'm not sure why.

Sullivan: Could people read these books as standalones? Not that I understand why someone would: They're so good you need to read them all, I think..

Jeffe: Aww - that's lovely of you to say. I've seen several readers comment that they started with book 2 and felt fine about it. They understood what was going on and thought it read fine as a standalone. Of course, they also said they planned to go back and read book 1... so you might have a point!

Sullivan: About the three sisters: What struck me was how real their relationship felt. You really got the sibling rivalry and hierarchy. How did you decide to write them that way?

Jeffe: It's a misnomer to say I "decide" things. Really I just follow the story. When I started the first book, I wrote it around a dream I had. I was trapped in a castle and some kind of monster was outside hunting me. People kept going out to kill it and ended up getting killed instead. My sister (in the dream - I don't have one in real life) was telling me that she'd protect me and she and her husband wouldn't let the monster have me.

So I knew that my heroine would have a sister. Also, I wanted to write about the classical fairy tale structure with the three princesses. I'd always been fascinated by those stories and wondered what that would be like. How did the eldest feel about the youngest being the most beautiful? How did the middle princess feel about being the one who barely got any story time?

Sullivan: Evil question: Do you have a favorite among the three sisters? And which one was the hardest to write?

Jeffe: Ha! Like children, they're each my favorites, for different reasons and at different times. Each represents a different face of myself. Amelia took a lot of thought to write, because I wanted to handle the redemption of the unlikable heroine in the best way I could. But the most difficult to write was Ursula. I didn't expect that going in. She was really difficult to bring around, very hardheaded. And Ursula's book, THE TALON OF THE HAWK, finally finished at 131,000 words - much longer than the other two.

Sullivan: Any chance there will be more than three books in this series? Any extra stories in this world you want to tell?

Jeffe: Oh yes! I just put together a proposal for my publisher to do three more books! Book four would be Dafne's book and I have a juicy story for her. I really hope I get to write it because it's starting to tug at me. I'm really interested in what I came up with for books five and six, too. Then I have a concept for a third set of three. That would be ideal, if I got to do all nine.

Sullivan: I will send positive vibes to help make it happen. That would be so awesome.

Jeffe: All vibes are welcome - thank you!!

Sullivan: Last question: Any chance there will be a pig in the next book(s)?

Jeffe: Ha! I should have seen that one coming. THE TALON OF THE HAWK does not have pigs, though there IS a boar.
There are, however, zombies!
Just for you.

Sullivan: Yay!

Jeffe: Okay, not just for you, because the story needed it, but I knew you'd be happy

Sullivan: You made my day! :-D

Jeffe: hee, I thought that would!
Slow zombies though. and kind of horrifying

Sullivan: Slow zombies are the best!

Jeffe: I think so! after all, they ARE dead.

Sullivan: So everyone: buy these books. Not just for the zombies, but because the books are absolutely awesome.


The Tears of the Rose (The Twelve Kingdoms #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy

Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday 20 November 2014

On McPig's Radar - Unworthy

This sounds like it might be a very cool intriguing read.

by Joanne Armstrong

“What about the Sickness?” I ask more calmly, turning back to the wide ocean and squinting, as though I can see particles of disease like pollen in the air. “Is it still out there?”
He rubs his chin thoughtfully. “Now that is a more interesting question.” It’s clear he doesn’t know the answer, but looks at me speculatively. “If you assumed it was still out there, circulating, what would you do?”
“I suppose I would do everything I could to prepare myself to fight it.”
He nods thoughtfully. “Preparation is always a good thing.”
We stand for a moment in silence, looking out to sea. I’m imagining a black cloud approaching, like a swarm of locusts, and wondering how I would prepare myself to fight a disease.

Nearly two hundred years after a killer disease swept the planet, an island nation continues its isolated survival due to the ruthless dedication of the military. The laws and culture of the country are based on the survival of the fittest, distrust of disease, and tight control of the general population.
Marked at birth as “Unworthy” to be raised, a young woman questions the necessity for the cruel practice, so many years after the Isolation was declared. She embarks on a journey which will uncover truths about her past and about her society which she could never have imagined.


Buy as ebook here

Buy in print:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Using mythology for your story - A Guest Post by Amity Hope

Malice Banner

Using mythology for your story by Amity Hope:

I’ve always been a huge fan of paranormal/urban fantasy. It’s my favorite genre to read as well as to write.

When I came up with the idea for Malice, I knew I wanted to go with a completely original storyline. My main characters are primarily magic users. However, I wanted to give them a little more backstory than simply referring to them as witches.

A little bit of research led me to the Lamia and Striga, two Latin words for “witch”. Striga seemed to have a bit more of a negative connotation than Lamia. That’s how I decided that Lamia would essentially be the “good” magic users and Striga would be the “bad” magic users.

In another series I wrote, Tainted Legacy and Pure Redemption, I researched Nephilim lore. It gave me a solid backstory for my books. I enjoyed doing the research for this series. I was able to find a lot of useful information. I was then able to take that information and expand upon it.

I have another series planned for this spring that will heavily pull from Greek mythology. I’ve had fun researching that as well. What I like most is that mythology and lore can give you a nice starting point for your story, a solid foundation. You can incorporate the mythology into the storyline and essentially the characters’ backgrounds, but it also gives you the flexibility to take off with it, to really make their world something unique and original.

MaliceMalice by Amity Hope

*First book in a trilogy. Young Adult Romance/Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Malice is currently on 99 cents on Amazon. Pick up your copy today at the link below!


Samara Cavanaugh has grown up in a world filled with magic users. She’s used to bizarre and peculiar. But when a stranger checks in at The Bella Luna, the bed and breakfast her family owns, the strange occurrences in Granite Falls escalate. 
Many people are leery of Levi, their new guest. He claims to be in town doing research but Samara’s friends aren’t so sure that his claim is as innocuous as it appears to be. When two of her classmates disappear, her friends seem convinced Levi had a hand in it.
Those closest to her have been keeping secrets from her. Those secrets put everyone close to her in danger.
Suddenly, her unrequited crush on her best friend, Tristan becomes the least of her troubles.

About the Author:


Amity lives in beautiful northern Minnesota with her two sons, two cats and their Rottweiler. She has a degree in elementary education andunnamed workedunnamed in that field for ten years before deciding to self-publish. Her first self-published novel, Twisted, was listed by Amazon as a Top 100 Kids & Teens Kindle Book of 2012.

If she’s not writing, or spending time with her boys, she’s most likely reading.





The Giveaway:

Kindle copies of Malice by Amity Hope

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour Schedule: 

November 17th
Elizabeth Delana Rosa – guest post
NaYa Books and More – promo post
YaReads – Interview
November 18th
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! – Review
A Writer’s Tales  - guest post
Reader Girls  - guest post
November 19th
Just One More Chapter  - Review
All my Book finds  - Review
Pearls Cast Before A McPig – guest post
November 20th
Friends With Characters – promo post
Suzy Turner, YA Author  - guest post
November 21st
Book Talk Reviews – promo post
ReadWriteLove28 – interview
Cassandra M’s Place – Top Ten Post
November 22nd
Just One More Chapter – Interview
For the Love  - promo post
Bookworm in Barrie – promo post
November 23rd
Mythical Books  - guest post
Lisa Loves Literature – promo post
Book Lovers Life – promo post

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - Copperhead

From a distance she saw someone running. The trolley jerked under her feet, and through the tears standing in her eyes she saw a slight black-clad figure leap over a fence, running towards the man.

(page 116, Copperhead by Tina Connolly)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


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!

Monday 17 November 2014

Clockwork Prince - Book Review

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
by Cassandra Clare

What is it about:
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

What did I think of it:
I very much enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, so ordered the other two books not long after finishing Clockwork Angel. When Clockwork Prince arrived, I immediately started on it.

And this book is so cool.

The story is both entertaining and suspenseful. Some things I could easily figure out, but there were enough things and events that had me wondering where the story would lead to.

I love most of the characters. The love triangle between Will, Tessa and Jem is a really interesting one. For once I'm not annoyed or fearing I'm rooting for the wrong guy. I'm actually enjoying the complicated relationship Tessa has with both boys, and I'm wondering how this will end.

Of the other characters I'm still very much a fan of both Magnus and Henry. I like how Henry is not an Alpha male, but how he lets himself be led by his wife without it making him a weak personality. He's fun, intelligent and quirky. Some new characters were introduced as well, who gave extra dimension to the Shadowhunters as well as the story.

This book ends with a lot of story lines resolved, so you don't feel frustrated by the ending, but there were enough things still left open to make me eager to read the next book. And I can tell you Clockwork Princess was indeed the book I picked up right after finishing this one.

Why should you read it:
It's a very entertaining and cool Steampunkish Paranormal YA read

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Friday 14 November 2014

Unspeakable - Early Book Review

Unspeakable (Freedom #1)
by Michelle K. Pickett

What is it about:
“Breathe. No one will break me. I’m strong. Breathe. Just breathe.”

On the outside, Willow appears to have it all. She’s beautiful, smart, from an influential family, and she dates the most popular guy in school—Jaden. But she would walk away from it all in a second. Willow is tormented by lies and suffocating guilt, not the hearts and flowers people believe her life is full of.

She carries a dark secret. Plagued by nightmares and pain, the secret dominates her life. If she hadn’t walked away. If she had just…but she didn’t. And now she has to live with her choice. But when someone uncovers her family’s past, they use it against her, crushing her spirit little by little. She tells herself she just has to make it to graduation. Then she can leave Middleton, and her secret, far behind.

When Brody transfers to Cassidy High, he turns Willow’s life upside down. He shows her what it feels like to live again, really live. And suddenly, she isn’t satisfied with just surviving until graduation. She wants a normal life—with Brody—and he wants her. But the closer they become, the more it threatens to unravel the secret she’s worked so hard to hide.

Willow finds true love with Brody. Will she let his love save her, or walk away from him to keep her secret safe?

What did I think of it:
I loved PODs by Michelle K. Pickett, so when I got the opportunity to read an ARC of Unspeakable I jumped at the chance.

This being a contemporary YA instead of Post apocalyptic YA, it's quite a different read though. And it's hard to write a review that will do this book justice.

This story is filled with hurt, secrets, and desperation.

Did I enjoy reading this book: No
Do I think it's good: Yes

There are some fun things in this book, like Willow's t-shirt slogans, or her interaction with her two best friends. The scenes between her and Brody are sometimes really sweet as well. But mostly this book depressed me. Willow's problems are many and they're serious problems. I think the fact she hasn't totally caved under the pressure is a testimony to her inner strength, but at the same time it shows how she's powerless to change her life to the better.

What I really liked about this story is that although Brody might be the person who makes Willow want to change her life, he's not the knight in shining armor who solves all her problems for her. This story does show that love might give you the strength you need to take action, it doesn't magically make your trouble disappear. It still takes courage and work.

One thing that nagged me was that Willow was at times slut shaming other girls. When it was a girl making out with a boy who had a girlfriend, I could forgive willow, especially as she not only blamed the girl, but also the boy. But in the case of her slut shaming a girl for wearing revealing clothes, I was very much annoyed at her.

All in all this is story that will appeal to people who enjoy reading Contemporary YA. I myself will stick to Pickett's Post Apocalyptic and Paranormal books from now on.

Why should you read it:
It's an intense Contemporary YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday 13 November 2014

On McPig's wishlist - Blackbird

Even though this sounds like a really intriguing story, the fact that it's written in second person scares me a bit. Not many authors can actually do second person credit. So it might be a while before I get this book off my wishlist and in my bookcase.

Blackbird (Blackbird Duology #1)
by Anna Carey

This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

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Wednesday 12 November 2014

Circ - Book Review

by Simon Fairbanks, Maria Mankin, Yasmin Ali, Jason Holloway, Livia Akstein Vioto, Luke Beddow, Danielle Bentley, William Thirsk-Gaskill, Sue Barsby and Giselle Thompson
Edited by Iain Grant

What is it about:
Razvan Popescu lives in a flat overlooking the seaside town of Skegness. He keeps himself to himself and few know the man at all. Even fewer know his past, which he has tried to leave behind in the Romanian woods. But when a tattooed man is found murdered on the beach, it is clear that some of that past has followed him to this tacky seaside town. As battle erupts within the criminal fraternity, dark forces gather around the town and Popescu’s acquaintances find themselves dragged into a world of violence, fire and fairy tales. One thing is certain: the circus has come to town.

Ten To One is a novel writing project in which ten authors write a novel together, seeking the approval of a judging panel and a public vote to keep their character in the story.

What did I think of it:
When I was asked if I wanted to read and review this book, I said yes, because it sounded like an intriguing concept. This book is written by ten authors. Along the way authors and their characters could get voted out of the story, just like happens in some reality shows. So when I picked this book up I expected to read a curiosity to be honest.

To my surprise I was treated to a gripping and powerful story about mistakes, regret and redemption.

Had I planned to see if I could figure out why some characters where voted out of the story, soon I was too involved in the events to do that. Yes, characters died, or disappeared from the story, but in such a natural way that I didn't even notice they had been removed, or if I did, I had the feeling there was no other way this story could have gone.

I had my favorite characters of course. Mungo Joey, a washed-up clown, was my absolute favorite, and I kept rooting for him, hoping he would get through this story alive. This being a book where not all characters make it to the end, I will let you find out for yourself if my hopes were in vain or not.

All in all I really enjoyed this book, and only after I finished it, was I able to backtrack and analyse which characters had been eliminated, and guess about the reasons why. I think these ten authors did a great job in making this story a great one. It might have been written as a sort of competition, but when you read it, you sure won't care about that. It's an intriguing, suspenseful, and beautiful story.

If the Ten To One initiative continues, I will most certainly give the next project a try. I will also investigate the authors who worked on this book, to see what else they have written.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and suspenseful read.

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Tuesday 11 November 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - The Neptune Project

I'm not sure how smart it was to buy a book that takes place largely underwater, when I do have a fear of drowning and almost start hyperventilating during underwater scenes in movies. We will see if I manage to get through this.

:Can I even talk to him now? How long can I breathe at the surface?: I don't want to say good-bye to Cam if it's going to be like my nightmare where I became a monster that's half fish and half human.

(page 69, The Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke)

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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!

Monday 10 November 2014

Universal Alien Blog Tour - Jeff and Kitty's Top 10 Vacation Spots

I'm happy to announce that today I'm hosting a tour stop for Gini Koch's Universal Alien Blog tour!

Universal Alien, book 10 in the Katherine "Kitty" Katt series will release next month. All books in this series have been awesome, but fans of the series all have their favorite book, character, or event. I for example still think the first book in this series is the best, if only because it made me fall head over heels for this series. When I picked up Touched By An Alien I didn't expect to love it as much as I do, and I certainly hadn't expected so many awesome books would follow after that first one.

Talking about favorites:
To celebrate the upcoming release this blog tour is all about top 10's!
Today will feature Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini’s Top Ten Fave Vacation Spots, but be sure to keep an eye on Gini's blog for more tour stops and top 10's.

And don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway!

Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini’s Top Ten Fave Vacation Spots

10. Alternate realities. Okay, that’s in Kitty’s Top 10. Jeff’s not so excited about this one.

9. Anywhere that gets us away from Washington, D.C. Because most places are cool, fun, and have cool people in them.

8. Disneyland. If we have to explain that, we don’t necessarily want to hang with you.

7. Europe. Yes, all of it.

6. Chicago, great food and great people.

5. Australia. Yes, all of it.

4. New York City, ‘cause it’s cool and fun and never sleeps.

3. Paris, France, despite all the stuff that’s happened there.

2. Las Vegas, because that’s where our daughter was conceived, and it’s also cool and fun and never sleeps.

1. Cabo. If you have to ask why, you haven’t read the books about us, have you?

About Universal Alien:
Being the wife of the Vice President isn’t easy. Especially when your talents lie in kicking butt and rocking out…
Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini find out just how easy it is for the wife of the Vice President of the United States to unintentionally insult an ally. Now they have to smooth things over with the Australian Prime Minister, pronto, or risk creating an international incident the worldwide anti-alien coalitions will be able to use to force Jeff to resign and the A-Cs to leave the planet.
But before Kitty can make things worse, a cosmic congruence and a little help from some powerful beings shoves her into another world -- one where she’s been married to Charles Reynolds for years and aliens don’t exist. She’s also landed in the middle of a huge conspiracy and is marked for death…but at least that’s business as usual.
Kitty’s not the only one confused, because the Kitty from that world has taken her place in this one. Now Alpha Team and the Diplomatic Corps have to make sure that no one spots that there’s been a switch, while keeping World War III from happening. And they have to do so while keeping this new Kitty in line, because she has views about what to do and how to it, and time is running out.
Can both Kittys save their respective days before it’s too late to go home to the universes they belong to? Or will one Kitty decide to keep the other’s life…forever?

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About Gini Koch:
Gini Koch writes the fast, fresh and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series for DAW Books, the Necropolis Enforcement Files series, and the Martian Alliance Chronicles series. Alien in the House, Book 7 in her long-running Alien series, won the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award as the Best Futuristic Romance of 2013. As G.J. Koch she writes the Alexander Outland series and she’s made the most of multiple personality disorder by writing under a variety of other pen names as well, including Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch. Currently, Gini has stories featured in the Unidentified Funny Objects 3, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens, and Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets anthologies, and, writing as J.C. Koch, in Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters, The Madness of Cthulhu, Vol. 1, and A Darke Phantastique anthologies. She will also have a story in the first book in an X-Files anthology series coming out in 2015. Gini can be reached via her website:


Gini is offering one winner the choice of one of any of the first 9 books in the Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt Series (Touched by an Alien, Alien Tango, Alien in the Family, Alien Proliferation, Alien Diplomacy, Alien vs. Alien, Alien in the House, Alien Research, or Alien Collective), signed and personalized. Open internationally.

The winner is Missy Katano

- The winner has been contacted by email
- Pearls Cast Before A McPig & Gini Koch are not responsible for any prizes getting lost in the mail.

Friday 7 November 2014

Clockwork Angel - Book Review

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
by Cassandra Clare

What is it about:
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...

What did I think of it:
I'm really enjoying the Mortal Instruments series, so decided to give this prequel series a try as well.

And this first book is awesome!

I will confess I think I like this series even better than the Mortal Instruments series. The story is suspenseful, full of mystery, and has really intriguing events and characters.

I will confess Clare still manages to make some things predictable, especially with her use of names, but I didn't mind. The lead characters were a bit too trusting and gullible at times as well, but maybe I'm just a jaded piggy.

There's an obvious love triangle forming, but to my surprise I actually got into it, and I'm curious how it will play out. I like both Will and Jem, so I might not even be let down by the outcome.

The other characters are really interesting as well. I especially liked Henry, the husband of the leader of the London Shadowhunter Institute. And Magnus Bane is in this series as well! I'm thinking of buying The Bane Chronicles, because Magnus is a very cool and fun character.

All in all I loved this book and I will certainly read the rest of the trilogy. In fact I ordered the other two books soon after finishing this one, if only to console myself because I won't be able to attend a signing of Cassandra Clare this weekend as I hoped: She'll be in Belgium instead of the Netherlands and that's too far away for me.

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

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