Tuesday 31 May 2016

Welcome To Sortilege Falls - Release Day Alert

This sounds like a cool read I must get my trotters on once my TBR pile is under control.

Welcome To Sortilege Falls
by Libby Heily

Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn't right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape's life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape's life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy's friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models' parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.

Buy from Amazon
Or try your luck on Goodreads (US only)

About Libby Heily:
I was born during a blizzard. I’m told it was pretty cool but I have no memory of that time. I grew up in two tiny towns in Virginia and spent most of my twenties moving around the US. I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Washington. I’ve settled down, for now, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I’m a writer and improviser. I studied acting in college but spent more time rewriting lines than memorizing them. My first play, Fourth Wall, was produced my junior year. Since then, I’ve written several full length plays, one acts, and screenplays. I started writing fiction in my late twenties. Now, I focus mainly on novels but still dabble in theater.

Fun facts about me: There are none. I’m sorry to disappoint you so soon. But, I do love to read, write, and run. My hubby is my favorite person on earth. Dogs are my second favorite. All dogs. Know that. I love orange juice, especially when it’s mixed with club soda. Carbonation is better than alcohol. Jaws is my favorite movie. Everything I’ve said so far is true.

Find Libby online:
Website - Facebook - Twitter

Monday 30 May 2016

Marooned - Book Review

Star Cruise: Marooned (A Sectors SF Romance #4)
by Veronica Scott

What is it about:
Meg Antille works long hours on the charter cruise ship Far Horizon so she can send credits home to her family. Working hard to earn a promotion to a better post (and better pay), Meg has no time for romance.

Former Special Forces soldier Red Thomsill only took the berth on the Far Horizon in hopes of getting to know Meg better, but so far she’s kept him at a polite distance. A scheduled stopover on the idyllic beach of a nature preserve planet may be his last chance to impress the girl.

But when one of the passengers is attacked by a wild animal it becomes clear that conditions on the lushly forested Dantaralon aren’t as advertised – the ranger station is deserted, the defensive perimeter is down...and then the Far Horizon’s shuttle abruptly leaves without any of them.

Marooned on the dangerous outback world, romance is the least of their concerns, and yet Meg and Red cannot help being drawn to each other once they see how well they work together. But can they survive long enough to see their romance through? Or will the wild alien planet defeat them, ending their romance and their lives before anything can really begin?

What did I think of it:
I will confess I judged this book by its cover. I was convinced it would be more romance than SF. The kind where the lead characters are getting intimate while the enemy is hot on their heels, but is kind enough to wait to strike until the sexy times are over.

Luckily I was wrong.

This is a SF Romance that balances the romance and the action really well. The story that develops once the lead characters are marooned is suspenseful, full of danger, and with only one moment where I wanted to kick Meg and Red for not staying focused on the task at hand. This being a novella the romance was a bit fast, but not unbelievably so.

The jungle planet they were stranded on was well described, and the alien creatures they encounter as well. All in all a very enjoyable read.

The one thing that bugged me was that one of the minor characters behaved a bit erratic. One moment she was clinging to Red so he could establish himself as protective alpha male, the next she remembered she was a snobby newly wed and was cuddling up with the hubby, acting petulant. I enjoyed the rest of the story enough that I'll just blame her behavior on the stressful situation though.

You might have noticed this is book 4 in a series, but it is perfectly readable as a standalone. From what I understand all books take place in the same universe, but each book is about a different couple. I have the first book (Wreck of the Nebula Dream) in my TBR pile. As it's described as "Titanic in Space" I think I'll have to read that one soon.

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

Buy from Amazon

Sunday 29 May 2016

TBR Orphan Update - May

I'm doing my TBR Orphan update a bit early, but I'm fairly sure I won't be reading any extra orphaned books the last few days of this month.

I read one Orphan in May:
Wicked After Midnight by Delilah s. Dawson

It's been on my shelves since December last year, because I had to read Wicked as She Wants first before I could pick this one up.

How did your challenges go?

Friday 27 May 2016

Fringe Runner - Book Review

Fringe Runner (Fringe Series, #1)
by Rachel Aukes

What is it about:
The first in a new space opera series!

After the colonization of Mars and Europa, it took us fewer than five generations to reach beyond our solar system and discover new planets capable of supporting human life. Too far away to be governed under Earth law, the Collective was formed. Several hundred years later, the Collective has expanded to a thriving system of six inhabited worlds, but power struggles are common, and a seemingly inevitable interplanetary war looms on the horizon. It’s nearly impossible for the working class to make ends meet.

Aramis Reyne is one of the working class. An old space captain hounded by arthritis and war memories, he struggles to make enough credits to feed his crew and keep his ship flying by running mail and supplies to the farthest, most dangerous reaches of the Collective known as the fringe. When he’s offered a no-questions-asked contract to pick up a package, he jumps at the opportunity. But, he quickly learns that he should’ve asked questions…and that there are far worse things in the Collective than being broke.

What did I think of it:
If you haven't noticed I love Rachel Aukes' Deadland Saga, I haven't been singing its praises loud enough. So when I was asked to read and review her new book Fringe Runner, I jumped at the chance.

And Fringe Runner is a great read!

Obviously the Deadland Saga is better in my opinion (Zombies!), but Fringe Runner is a seriously cool SF adventure.

Reyne is a cool lead character. He's not a virile cocky alpha dude, but instead an older seasoned captain, struggling with age and his past. His crew is very interesting as well. My favorite was Throttle, the pilot and Reyne's adopted daughter. All of them get caught up in events that might destroy the life they have, and even kill them if they can't figure out what's going on.

I was hooked from the start. Aukes knows how to write a compelling story. There is lots of action, conspiracies, and dangerous situations. I liked getting to know Reyne and his past, and was rooting for him and his crew to come out of their predicament alive.

The world building is well done without unnecessary info dumps and while some things stay vague, there's enough explanation to be able to picture the planets and people Reyne and his crew encounter.

Some of the major story lines got their solution in this book, making sure you aren't left totally frustrated when finishing the book, but there's enough still unresolved to make you eager for the next book.

All in all I very much enjoyed this book and will be keeping an eye out for the next.

Why should you read it:
It's an action-packed SF adventure.

Find buy links here

Thursday 26 May 2016

Leaders: a Twin-Bred novel - Release Day Alert

You might remember my reviews of Twin-Bred and Reach, the first two books in the Twin-Bred series. They are both beautiful and thought-provoking. So I'm happy to tell you the third book is out today!

And for those who haven't started this series yet, you can now get all three books in a boxed set.

Beware: the blurb of Leaders might contain spoilers if you haven't read the previous books.

Leaders: a Twin-Bred novel
by Karen A. Wyle

They fled Tofarn and found a new home. Should they care what happens to the old?

The Twin-Bred are finally ready to welcome visitors to New Landing, the planet on which they settled after their exodus from Tofarn. They have invited Lan-sol, child of the only Tofa Twin-Bred still on Tofarn, to cross the galaxy through the same wormhole that channels communications between the two planets. But suddenly, all communication becomes impossible.

Lan-sol must decide whether to venture into the now-silent unknown. And the Twin-Bred must ask themselves whether the fate of those they left behind is important enough to justify a return to the planet they once called home.

Find Karen A. Wyle on Amazon

Buy Leaders for Kindle here and the paperback here
Buy the boxed set for Kindle here

More information about the series, and buy links can be found here

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Strike - Book Review

Strike (Hit #2)
by Delilah S. Dawson

What is it about:
The hit list was just the beginning.

Time to strike back.

After faking her own death to escape her term as an indentured assassin for Valor Savings Bank, Patsy is on the run with her boyfriend, Wyatt. All she wants to do is go home, but that’s never going to happen—not as long as Valor’s out to get her and the people she loves.

Left with no good choices, Patsy’s only option is to meet with a mysterious group that calls itself the Citizens for Freedom.

Led by the charismatic Leon Crane, the CFF seem like just what Patsy has been looking for. Leon promises that if she joins, she’ll finally get revenge on Valor for everything they’ve done to her—and for everything they’ve made her do.

But Patsy knows the CFF has a few secrets of their own. One thing is certain: they’ll do absolutely anything to complete their mission, no matter who’s standing in their way. Even if it’s Patsy herself.

What did I think of it:
I loved Hit, the first book in this series, so when the awesome Jeffe managed to get a signed copy of Strike for me I was over the moon. And I dove right in to read it of course.

This book is even better than the first.

Patsy and Wyatt join a group that fights against Valor, but soon they find that this might have landed them out of the frying pan, but into the fire.

Where in Hit the interaction was mainly between Patsy and Wyatt, here there are more people Patsy has to deal with. New characters get introduced. some are cool, some creepy, and others I wasn't sure about. Patsy and Wyatt will have to figure out who to trust and how to deal with those that might have bad intentions.

There's lots of action and Patsy has to stay sharp to survive, and to keep those important to her alive as well. She has to think on her feet, and at times she is forced to pick the lesser of two evils instead of being a hero and save the day.

I was on the edge of my seat and was rooting for Patsy to come out on top of the situation.

The ending is satisfying, but also makes me eager to find out what will happen next. I do hope there will be more books in this series, because I am hooked.

Why should you read it:
It's an action-packed gritty YA read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Teaser Tuesdays - Marooned

"The forest grows fast," Red said. "Probably not more than a few months. I wonder why we weren't warned, though."
"Warned?" Callina Bettis picked up on his remark. "Are we in some kind of danger?"

(page 18, Star Cruise: Marooned by Veronica Scott)

Buy from Amazon


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 23 May 2016

The Pages of the Mind - Early Book Review

The Pages of the Mind (The Twelve Kingdoms #4/The Uncharted Realms #1)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
An Orphan's Throne

Magic has broken free over the Twelve Kingdoms. The population is beset by shapeshifters and portents, landscapes that migrate, uncanny allies who are not quite human…and enemies eager to take advantage of the chaos.

Dafne Mailloux is no adventurer--she's a librarian. But the High Queen trusts Dafne's ability with languages, her way of winnowing the useful facts from a dusty scroll, and even more important, the subtlety and guile that three decades under the thumb of a tyrant taught her.

Dafne never thought to need those skills again. But she accepts her duty. Until her journey drops her into the arms of a barbarian king. He speaks no tongue she knows but that of power, yet he recognizes his captive as a valuable pawn. Dafne must submit to a wedding of alliance, becoming a prisoner-queen in a court she does not understand. If she is to save herself and her country, she will have to learn to read the heart of a wild stranger. And there are more secrets written there than even Dafne could suspect...

What did I think of it:
Am I biased because there's a lake in this book that's named after me?

Maybe a little, but only in so much that I made soft squee sounds when coming across references about that lake and the kingdom that lake is in. (Hey: when someone names a lake after you, you're allowed to squee!)

But even if there wasn't a lake named after yours truly, this is yet another story to fall in love with.

Dafne has been supporting and helping others for a long time. Her own dreams have faded, and she has almost made peace with the fact that she will always be the bridesmaid and never the bride, so to speak. Then she is send on a diplomatic quest, and she is pushed into more adventure than she could ever have dreamed of.

I have liked Dafne since she was first introduced in The Mark of the Tala. She's practical, kind, loyal, and a book nerd. She might not know how to handle a blade, but she does know how to handle delicate negotiations - words are her weapon - but when she ends upon an island where no one speaks the same language as she, that makes it a bit difficult to communicate.

But Dafne is no damsel in distress. She rises to the challenge and adapts.

I loved this story and the romance at the heart of it. King Nakoa is intriguing, charismatic, and knows what he wants. The romance between Dafne and Nakoa is delicious and hot. It was so good to read how they try to communicate and get to know each other.

The world building is once again wonderful. I love the exotic island Dafne ends up on and the secrets the island slowly reveals.

The romance and main storyline are resolved in this book (very satisfactory I might add), but there's enough revealed about the world that there is plenty of room for many more stories to come. I can only hope Jeffe will keep writing them.

I already pre-ordered the next book which will release in December.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful and delicious Fantasy Romance read.

find buy links here

Friday 20 May 2016

On McPig's Wishlist - Zom-B Clans

I really want to continue reading this series, but the cheaper paperback version of Zom-B Clans won't release until January 2017. I will probably cave and get the more expensive one soon.

Zom-B Clans (Zom-B #8)
by Darren Shan

B's first mission with the Angels --sentient, do-gooder zombies-- went horribly wrong when vicious members of the Ku Klux Klan attacked New Kirkham, a stronghold of precious human survivors. B is not about to let the racist thugs persecute innocent people, but while saving the town, one of B's oldest friends is kidnapped by the Klan.

The Angels are prepared to do what it takes to save him, but B will have to make some very hard decisions about loyalties--to old friends, to the Angels, and to new families and old.

Thursday 19 May 2016

The Crown of the Queen - Early Book Review

The Crown of the Queen - A Twelve Kingdoms Novella
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Dafne Mailloux, librarian and temporary babysitter to the heirs to the High Throne of the Twelve – now Thirteen – Kingdoms, finds it difficult to leave the paradise of Annfwn behind. Particularly that trove of rare books in temptingly unfamiliar languages. But duty calls, and hers is to the crown. It’s not like her heart belongs elsewhere. But how can she crown a queen who hesitates to take the throne?

What did I think of it:
Voodoo Bride and I are big fans of Jeffe Kennedy, so we were very happy to get a review copy of this novella.

And this is a great novella.

It serves as a bridge between The Talon of the Hawk and the upcoming The Pages of the Mind, filling in details of some events too big to put as an epilogue in the first of those two books, and with not enough impact on the second to start The Pages of the Mind with.

Still there are things happening that fans of the series want to know about. This novella gives us the events surrounding the coronation of Ursula, and gives us a glimpse into Dafne's mind. There are answers to questions readers of The Talon of the Hawk might have had, and exciting glimpses of what might come next.

Having read all the books and novellas in this series, I am not the best person to tell you if this can be read as a standalone, but honestly: Don't! Just read all the books. They're so good!!

All in all this is a delightful novella, that gave me extra information and fluff about lead characters from previous books, and that makes me eager to read The Pages of the Mind to find out what will happen next for Dafne.

Luckily I also got an ARC of The Pages of the Mind :-D

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


This novella will be part of a duology called For Crown and Kingdom, which will also contain a novella by Grace Draven called The Undying King

For Crown and Kingdom will release on May 31, 2016 and will be available in digital format and print.

Buy links will be added to the bookpage once available:

Wednesday 18 May 2016

The Grind - Release Day Blitz

The Grind (Book #2 in the Vert series)
By Kristen Kehoe
Book Two - High Resolution

Hunter Jackson was on top of the world when that phone call came.
His third X Games title still fresh, a female in his lap, and sponsors ready to offer him any deal he wanted--the kid from California had made it big. And then his phone rang. And it kept ringing. And that news that no one wants was waiting for him on the other line. "It's Mom," his sister said. And like that, his world changed. Months later, Hunter isn't skating--he's at home, taking care of his mom, and keeping the rest of his family together, flipping houses to pay for the medical bills that just keep piling up. In need of a new foreman, Hunter gets a shock when Isabel Rojas shows up to his job site, more gorgeous than any woman he can ever remember, and a mouth that whips of Spanish insults with deadly precision.

Isa comes from a house full of dominant men ready to tell her what to do—she loves them, but she refuses to be the woman who takes orders from a man for the rest of her life. She’s determined to be independent: her own apartment, her own job, her own person. In a family as large and committed to each other as hers, this is not an easy task. Two years of community college, an AA in construction management, and halfway through her apprenticeship as an electrician, Isa knows what she wants, and she’s on a mission to claim it.

When she shows up on Hunter Jackson’s job site, she has a chip on her shoulder, and an already formed opinion about the kind of man he is: rich, entitled, careless. The kind who broke her sister’s heart years ago—the kind Isa swore she would never let into her own life.

But plans don’t always work the way we want.

Assumptions can be wrong, people can change, and hearts don’t always listen to logic.




I am the youngest of three daughters and I think this is the reason I enjoy writing about love so much.
I come from a family of high school sweethearts, save myself (thank God), and I have watched how finding love, the real kind, can make a person stronger. My parents have inspired me every day because they found each other at eighteen, got married at nineteen, and never looked back. Now, 35 years later they are still going strong and it makes me realize that love really does aide us in all things.
I write young and new adult books because I think it's the time period in our lives that is the most difficult and I enjoy love stories because we all need hope. Reading about love gives me hope, so I hope my writings about love do the same for any reader who happens to glance at the pages.
I have a daughter, a Great Dane, and a beautiful husband. I love books, coffee, and my family...and shoes. Just saying.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Teaser Tuesdays - Strike

I used to own chickens myself, and can only agree with this week's teaser :-p

I'm awakened the next morning by an actual, literal rooster. It seriously won't shut up. And it's not nearly as adorable and homey as it seems in the movies. Roosters are dicks.

(page 92, Strike by Delilah S. Dawson)

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 16 May 2016

Sunstone - Comic Book Review

Sunstone (Sunstone #1/#4)
by Stjepan Šejić

What is it about:
Two women deal with modern themes of sex, relationships, and fetishism in this erotic romantic comedy. So beware all who enter, because, to quote a few hundred thousand readers on DeviantArt: "I'm not into BDSM...but this story...I get it."

What did I think of it:
Looking at the artwork it's clear that Šejić has also worked on Witchblade for Top Cow. Sunstone has the same typical color scheme and style as Witchblade and other big name comics.

Not that this is a bad thing: it's very prettily drawn and although the coloring could have been a bit less glossy in my opinion, it's a standard most comic book readers seem to enjoy.

It's the story however that makes this comic series stand above the rest though.

Lisa and Ally meet online, and when they get to know and like each other they decide to meet, as they both are into BDSM and are looking for someone to share this interest with. Together they indulge in their passion, and become friends with benefits, or is it maybe more than that?

There's a lot of skimpily dressed women in this comic as you might have guessed, and a lot about BDSM and exploring your sexuality. Still Šejić keeps this series from becoming tawdry, letting sensual scenes between Lisa and Ally fade to black before they become too explicit.

And the story: I loved how much playfulness, humor and warmth there is in this story. At one point Lisa describes BDSM people as sexual nerds, and although I dare say this isn't true for all BDSM people, it sure is true for Lisa and Ally, making this a fun and lighthearted story. Not to say there aren't darker and more distressing moments, but the overall tone keeps this story from diving into darkness.

As this story is told by Lisa after the facts, you already get glimpses of the final outcome, but volume 4 ends at quite the cliffhanger. I borrowed these comics from a friend and you can be sure I'll be investigating if she's planning on getting the next volume once it releases, otherwise I might be tempted to buy it myself. (I might have to do that anyway, because there's only so many times you can borrow the same book from a friend before they get annoyed.)

Why should you read it:
It's a prettily drawn, beautiful BDSM Romance

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Friday 13 May 2016

Hopeful Monsters - Book Review

Hopeful Monsters
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
A woman faces a terrible disease… and the monster within.

What did I think of it:
I was lucky enough to receive both a digital copy of this short story as the audio book for review.

This story is different from most of Jeffe's other work. There's no romance, instead it's a disturbing, unsettling story where reality and dreams mix. It made me think about life and how we perceive it. It has a haunting quality that makes that it keeps lingering in your head long after finishing it.

The writing is as with all of Jeffe's stories vivid and beautiful. She is great at setting the right mood, no matter if she's writing Fantasy, Romance, BDSM Romance, or a short work like this.

The audio version is narrated by Jeffe Kennedy herself, just as with her short story Birdwoman. I think she does a great job at narrating: she has a very pleasant voice to listen to, and the story being her own makes that she knows just how to tell it.

All in all I can advice this story to fans of Jeffe's writing, and to those who are looking for a short, disturbing, but beautiful read.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful, unsettling read.

Find buy links here

Thursday 12 May 2016

On McPig's Wishlist - Shades of Treason

I have The Shadow Reader in my TBR pile, so should probably read that first before buying more books by the same author, but this does sound interesting.

Shades of Treason (Anomaly #1)
by Sandy Williams

Ash would have given her life to save her teammates.
Instead, they gave their lives to save hers.

Lieutenant Ramie Ashdyn is an anomaly, a person whose genetic makeup makes her stronger and smarter than the average human. She’s pledged her life to protect the Coalition, an alliance of thirteen planetary systems, but when a top secret operation turns bloody, she’s charged with treason and the brutal executions of her teammates.

The Coalition needs the information Ash’s team stole on their last mission, so they send in Commander Rhys “Rest in Peace” Rykus to get it. He’s the man who’s responsible for turning Ash into an elite soldier… and he’s a man who isn’t, never was, and never will be in love with the woman he trained. Or so he tells himself.

Ash wants nothing more than to clear her name and be the woman her former instructor wants her to be, but the enemy who killed her teammates did more than frame her for treason and murder: they telepathically silenced her mind, preventing her from saying anything that might point to the truth about what happened.

Now Ash is trapped and set to be executed, the truth dying with her. Unless she can prove her innocence. But taking that path could destroy the Coalition she’s sworn to preserve and protect...

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Wicked After Midnight - Book Review

Wicked After Midnight (Blud #3)
by Delilah S. Dawson

What is it about:
Life as a contortionist in Criminy’s Clockwork Caravan should be the height of exotic adventure, but for Demi Ward, it’s total dullsville. Until her best friend, Cherie, is stolen by slavers outside of Paris, and Demi is determined to find her.

On the run from his own past, Vale Hildebrand, a dashing rogue of a highwayman, hides Demi from the slavers…but why? He pledges to help her explore the glittering cabarets of Paris to find her friend, but much to Vale’s frustration, Demi soon attracts a host of wealthy admirers. The pleasures of music, blood, and absinthe could turn anyone’s head, and it would be all too easy to accept Cherie’s disappearance as inevitable—but with Vale’s ferocious will and Demi’s drive to find her friend, they soon have a lead on a depraved society of Parisian notables with a taste for beautiful lost girls. Can Demi wind her way through the seedy underbelly of Paris and save her best friend before she, too, is lost?

What did I think of it:
Now that I got myself to read Casper's story in Wicked As She Wants and actually enjoying it (even though I still didn't like him) I could finally pick up Wicked After Midnight. (Yes, I know I often read out of order, but if I have the books I want to read in order.)

And this is a great read!

I liked both Demi and Vale, so I was soon rooting for both of them. They make a great pair, and I loved seeing them fall for each other. Demi is a very stubborn and difficult person at times. There were moments I wanted to scream some sense into her, but it never came to a point that she got annoying.

The worldbuilding and storytelling was awesome. I loved the mood and atmosphere of the Steampunkish cabaret Dawson created. I'd almost be tempted to visit a cabaret sometimes, although I'd surely be disappointed there wouldn't be any supernatural creatures ;-)

Next to our heroine and hero there were some really cool other characters as well. I loved how some o them got their own complete side story in this book.

Overall this is a wonderful read. My favorite book is still Wicked as They Come, but this one is a close second. Thanks to a mention in Wicked After Midnight that made me very curious, I'll be reading The Three Lives of Lydia next, as soon as my copy of Carniepunk arrives.

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

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Teaser Tuesdays - Earth

I could taste the dry earth in my mouth; I breathed it into myself, becoming the earth, returning to it. My heartbeat slowed and reality changed in one fluid wave of the ocean.

(page 91, Earth by Shauna Granger)

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 9 May 2016

Smoke and Mirrors - Book Review

Smoke and Mirrors (Blackhollow Academy, #1)
by Jess Haines

What is it about:
A girl who uses her illusions to fool the world into thinking she's just like all the other magi.

A dragon who sees through her lies.

Together they just might survive a world that wants to control or destroy them both.

Kimberly may wield ultimate cosmic power, but even a mage has to pay the rent. No one will hire her for her magic talents until she's got the credentials, so she’s stuck in a crappy rent controlled apartment with her mother, yearning for treats she can't afford at her part time job in a café, counting down the days until she graduates the secret Blackhollow Academy school for magi. Only then will she have the certificate she needs to land her dream job in a coven.

The problem? She needs a familiar to graduate.

As an illusionist, she doesn't have the ability to summon or create a familiar of her own. Her only option is to convince a supernatural creature to let her bind it instead. Since having a powerful Other at her beck and call would guarantee her a place in a coven after she graduates—and legendary treasure hoards are an added bonus—she thinks binding a dragon as her familiar will solve all her problems...

Because sometimes a girl needs a dragon, not a knight....

What did I think of it:
I love Haines' H&W Investigations series, so when I was offered a review copy of this book I jumped at the chance.

And this is such a fun read!

Kimberly is in a difficult situation, but is doing her best to survive. She has a strong moral compass to guide her through. I liked Kimberly and wanted her to succeed. She contacts Cormac, who can help her find the familiar she's looking for. Cormac was a really cool and great character as well.

I loved reading about the two of them getting to know each other, Kimberly learning more about the other magical creatures they encounter, and about Kimberly's adventures in general.

(For fans of the H&W Investigations series there are a few cameos, btw.)

There were a few moments where I wanted to slap Kimberly. First when it was apparent she never watched any teen movie where a popular guy asks out an outcast girl, and a second time when she does something so stupidly dangerous, she might as well have gone skinny dipping in a lake full of alligators.

Those two events aside, I very much enjoyed this book, and I'll get my trotters on the print version as soon as it's on bookdepository. And I'll be keeping an eye out for more.

Why should you read it:
It's a really fun YA/NA Paranormal read.

Buy from Amazon here

Friday 6 May 2016

More Quick Book Reviews

And here are some more quick reviews of books I read a while ago, but never got round to reviewing.

Home Improvement: Undead Edition
A really fun anthology. My favorite stories were those by Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Stacia Kane and Suzanne McLeod.

Blood Before Sunrise (Shaede Assassin #2) by Amanda Bonilla
I really tried to like this book, but I just couldn't connect with the lead characters. I won't read other books in this series.

Dime Store Magic (Otherworld #3) by Kelley Armstrong
A really enjoyable read. Not my favorite of Armstrong's books, but a gripping read nonetheless. I should read the next book in this series one of these days.

Code Name Cassandra (1-800-Where-R-You #2) by Meg Cabot
A light and fun read. There's a mysterious disappearance to solve, Feds to fool, unruly kids to wrangle, but Jess can handle it.

Thursday 5 May 2016

On McPig's Wishlist - Lady of Devices

Lady of Devices (Magnificent Devices #1)
by Shelley Adina

London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world. At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband.

Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices...

When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his... if they can both stay alive long enough to see that sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals...

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Quick Book Reviews

I read these books quite a while ago, but at the time of reading I had events and stuff going on at my blog that made me keep postponing writing a review about these books. I decided to give you a quick overview of my thoughts.

Eye of Heaven (Dirk & Steele #5) by Marjorie M. Liu
Not my favorite book in the series, but certainly a really good and suspenseful story.
I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a well written en entertaining PNR read.

Bloodstone (Deadtown #3) by Nancy Holzner
I love this series and really should catch up on it. Bloodstone is an action-packed read that I very much enjoyed. The zombies in this series are different, but fun.

Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts #4) by Stacia Kane
Somehow I did review book 5, but skipped my review of 4.
This series awesome! Go read it! I myself am hoping there will be a book 6.
I must warn you that not everyone likes the heroine, because she's an addict.

The Mortal Bone (Hunter Kiss #4) by Marjorie M. Liu
Another awesome book in an awesome series. I love Maxine and her demons. I need to read book 5 one of these days.

Why should you read them:
All four of these books are very enjoyable reads, and part of cool series.

Tuesday 3 May 2016

TBR Orphans Update - April

Time to look at my TBR Orphans Challenge.

For those of you with a keen eye: Yup. I didn't read any orphaned books in March. In April I tried to read two, but one of them was a DNF, so one and a half orphan read in April.

True Blood was the DNF and had been in my TBR pile since July 2015.
Wicked as She Wants has been on my shelves since May 2013, because I was afraid to start on it, as I didn't like the male lead when he had a supporting role in Wicked as They Come.

How did your challenges go?

Monday 2 May 2016

Geektastic - Book Review

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd
by Holly Black, (Editor), Cecil Castellucci (Editor), M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Greg Leitich Smith , David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Tracy Lynn, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfeld, Lisa Yee, Sara Zarr, Hope Larson (Illustrator) and Bryan Lee O'Malley (Illustrator)

What is it about:
Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside) and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.

With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!

What did I think of it:
When I saw this anthology I just had to get it. Being a geek myself, I was very curious about these stories.

As this is an anthology I'll give my thoughts about each story. There's also some comics between the stories, but these were all one page and entertaining filler.

Once You're a Jedi, You're a Jedi All the Way by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
At a gaming convention a Jedi and a Klingon wake up next to each other. Can two people from different fandoms be friends or is this a recipe for disaster? This was a really fun read. I very much enjoyed the humor and the story. I could relate with the Jedi the most, but the Klingon was a cool character as well.

One of Us by Tracy Lynn
A cheerleader wants to learn about geeky things to understand her boyfriend better.
Another fun story. The geeks (and cheerleader) in this story were a bit stereotypical, but I liked how the cheerleader and one of the geeks got more character as the story progressed.

Definitional Chaos by Scott Westerfeld
A gamer guy and his ex have to take a journey together.
This story didn't work for me at all. I didn't like either character and DNFed.

I Never by Cassandra Clare
A girl goes to a get-together to meet the guy she fell in love with online.
I very much enjoyed this story. It's both sad and sweet and touches on the problems you can encounter when people take on a different persona online.

The King of Pelinesse by M.T. Anderson
A boy goes to meet the author of his favorite Fantasy serial.
I didn't like this story. There are other reasons for wanting to meet the author than you think at first, and I didn't like some things that were implied.

The Wrath of Dawn by Cynthia and Greg Leitcich Smith
A girl is set up with a blind date by her stepsister for a Buffy Singalong.
This is a nice story. It's about feeling left out and overlooked. Very recognizable for more than just geeks.

The Quiz Bowl Antichrist by David Levithan
A group of teens is competing with other students to win the Quiz Bowl.
Another really nice story. I liked the lead character. He's struggling with who he is and where he belongs.

The Quiet Knight by Garth Nix
A teenage boy tries to find happiness in Live Action Roleplay.
I loved this story. I could really understand how the lead character feels, and I rooted for him to find a place and people to belong.

Everyone But You by Lisa Yee
A peppy girl has to move from Ohio to Hawaii.
Another really cool story. I loved reading how Felicity struggles to belong, and how she slowly starts to realize that being popular isn't the same as being happy.

Secret Identity by Kelly Link
A girl confesses to someone about a meeting in a hotel.
Both the way this was written and the story itself didn't work for me. I DNFed.

Freak the Geek by John Green
Two girls are singled out as freaks because of being geeky.
This is more about friendship and identity than the actual bullying. I enjoyed it.

The Truth About Dino Girl by Barry Lyga
A girl who's obsessed by another girl learns the truth.
Started out fun, but finally turned into something I really didn't like.

This is My Audition Monologue by Sara Zarr
See title or what it is about.
Didn't work for me because of the way it was told and because of the story.

The Stars at the Finish Line by Wendy Mass
A boy and a girl compete in being the best.
I loved this story, it's very sweet. I could really understand the boy's motivation and feelings.

It's Just a Jump to the Left by Libba Bray
Two young girls grow up in different ways.
This story was sad and I could really relate to the lead character. It's about that awkward time when you're partly still a child, but are also growing into adulthood and how you handle all the feelings that come with it.

Overall this is a really good anthology with lots of stories I could relate to. I can advice this to anyone who considers him/herself a geek.

Why should you read it:
It's a great anthology about being a geek.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery