Thursday 31 October 2019

First and Last Lines - Suspicious Minds

I looked at the first and last line of the book I just started to see what's in store.

First Line:
The man drove an immaculate black car along a flat Indiana road, slowing when he came to a chain-link gate with a RESTRICTED AREA sign.

This first line is great for setting the mood and place. We know it's in Indiana, but somewhere with limited access. It also tells us the man has a really cool car.

Last Line:
No one and nothing could stop her.

Oh, this tells me that someone is unstoppable. It also hints there is more to come for this character. I'm eager to read this book to find out why she is unstoppable.

buy from bookdepository

First and Last Lines is based on an idea by invaluable

Wednesday 30 October 2019

The Bone Houses - Book Review

The Bone Houses
by Emily Lloyd-Jones

What is it about:
Seventeen-year-old Aderyn ("Ryn") only cares about two things: her family, and her family's graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don't always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as "bone houses," and legend says that they're the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

What did I think of it:
Walking corpses and a gravedigger who has to deal with them?! You bet I got my greedy trotters on this book.

And what an awesome read.

The small town of Colbren stands on the edge of a forest where the dead don't rest easy. I loved the worldbuilding and the atmosphere of this book, it clearly has its roots in Irish folklore, but the story is set in a Fantasy world as far as I could tell.

I loved Aderyn and her family, especially her younger sister. I was soon totally engrossed in the story and I was rooting for Aderyn, her family, and Ellis. As Aderyn and Ellis go in search of the source of the restless dead things get really spooky and creepy. Slowly you get more information about what happened to make the dead walk, and why they suddenly turned more aggressive.

All in all a wonderful standalone story that is the perfect read for this time of year. You bet I'm going to investigate what else Lloyd-Jones has written.

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

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - SLAY

I log in and my pulse races as I watch my logo appear in brilliant green all caps against a black background. SLAY, it says on the screen inside my goggles.

(page 22, SLAY by Brittney Morris)

buy from bookdepository


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 sh"are 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 28 October 2019

The Blacksmith Queen - Book Review

The Blacksmith Queen (The Scarred Earth Saga #1)
by G.A. Aiken

What is it about:

The Old King Is Dead

With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals.

Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amichai. Not the most socially adept group, but soldiers have never bothered Keeley, and rough, gruff Caid, actually seems to respect her. A good thing because the fierce warrior will be by her side for a much longer ride than any prophesy ever envisioned …

What did I think of it:
I won this book in a giveaway, and even though this is normally more of a book for Voodoo Bride or Olivia, I decided to give it a try.

And this is a fun read!

Even with some serious things going on, this book is very entertaining and funny. The characters are larger than life, but that just makes it more fun. There isn't a dull moment in the book. I liked getting to know Keeley and her family, and the Amichai.

The book is the first in a series, and even though it doesn't end on a total cliffhanger, there are enough things still unresolved that I'm eager to discover what will be next. I'm suspecting the next book will have a different lead character, but if it is who I think it is, I'm very curious to see how her story will go.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and enjoyable Fantasy read.

buy from bookdepository

Friday 25 October 2019

Jaffle Inc - Book Review

Jaffle Inc
by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

What is it about:
Alice works for Jaffle Tech incorporated, the world’s biggest technology company and the creator of the Jaffle Port, the brain implant that gives users direct access to global communications, social networks and every knowledge source on the planet.
Alice is on Jaffle Standard, the free service offered to all people. All she has to do in return is let Jaffle use a bit of her brain’s processing power. Maybe it’s being used to control satellites. Maybe it’s being used to further space exploration. Maybe it’s helping control self-driving cars on the freeway. Her brain is helping Jaffle help the world. And Jaffle are only using the bits of her brain she doesn’t need…

But when a kind deed goes wrong, Alice gains unauthorised access to her entire brain and discovers what she has been missing out on her entire life: music, art, laughter, love…

Now that she has discovered what her mind is truly capable of, how long will the company bosses let her keep it?

What did I think of it:
When you pick up a book by Heide Goody and Iain Grant you know you're in for a laugh.

Jaffle Inc is both very humorous and a critical look at how easily we give away our rights. Alice is the perfect worker at Jaffle Inc until the moment she accidentally gets her brain reset and she starts to experience things she has never experienced before. As she explores her new found emotions and senses she ends up in lots of hilarious situations. Soon she is on a crusade for those less fortunate and this leads to more chaos.

I loved following her antics and discovering more about the scary world she lives in. There were some really cool other characters as well. I especially liked her selfish landlord, who gets drawn into her adventures whether he wants to or not. I rooted for Alice to succeed in her plans and couldn't put the book down until I finished it. Goody and Grant did a great job at balancing the hilarious nonsense with the more serious subjects, making this a funny and a suspenseful read.

All in all a very entertaining read. I'll be keeping an eye out for what's next for Goody and Grant.

Why should you read it:
It's a funny near future adventure

buy from Amazon

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Doll Bones - Book Review

Doll Bones
by Holly Black, with illustrations by Eliza Wheeler

What is it about:
Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing... and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice.

But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity...

What did I think of it:
Yes, I know. I still haven't read the last book in the Modern Faerie Tales trilogy. But once again an author was unjustly hated on by people, so I bought one of her books as my way to support her. And the beautiful cover illustration drew me into picking it up right away.

In my opinion this story is less spooky tale than it is a story about friendship and growing up.

Zach is at that awkward age where you still want to play with your toys, but the outside world is starting to try to push you into growing up. When his father throws his toys out he is convinced he has to stop playing. His two best friends Poppy and Alice want his help with dealing with a haunted doll however.

The journey they make is one that is wonderful, and full of danger and adventure, as well as being a journey both in the physical and psychological sense. I rooted for them to find a way to conclude their adventure in a way that would make it possible for them to move forward together while still holding on to the good things of their childhood.

The haunted doll is a beautiful paranormal touch to this otherwise contemporary tale of friendship and finding your place. A lot of the things the three of them struggle with were familiar and reminded me of myself when I was that age. This book is definitely a keeper.

Why should you read it:
It's a touching story about friendship and growing up with a hint of the Paranormal

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - Gideon the Ninth

As they went through, exclaiming at the smell, the pale twin paused. She did not follow them. She looked straight into the darkness instead, the deep shadows around the stairwell.

(page 100, Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir)

buy from bookdepository


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 sh"are 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 21 October 2019

The Near Witch - Book Review

The Near Witch
by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

What did I think of it:
This is one of those books I put on my wishlist when it first released in 2011. Then when I finally wanted to buy it, it was out of print. So when it was rereleased this year I decided I wouldn't miss out again and got hold of it.

And this book is so good!

Schwab is a master at creating the perfect atmosphere for a spooky story. I could easily picture the moors and the small town of Near. I was drawn in by the writing and the story right from the start.

Lexi is a strong and wonderful heroine, I was totally rooting for her to solve the disappearances and to live her life as she wanted, instead of having to conform to what people expected. I also loved her mother. She seemed like a submissive person, but under her meek exterior she hid a spine of steel.

Once I started on this book I couldn't put it down and read into the night to finish it. What a wonderful and gripping read. My edition included a prequel novella at the end of the book, but I will confess I didn't read it. Some things don't have to be explained, but can stay as mysterious as they are.

You bet I'll get my trotters on all of Schwab's books in time.

Why should you read it:
It's an atmospheric and beautiful YA read.

buy from bookdepository or Amazon

Friday 18 October 2019

Gamechanger - Book Review

by L.X. Beckett

What is it about:
First there was the Setback. Then came the Clawback. Now humanity thrives.

Rubi Whiting is a member of the Bounceback Generation. The first to be raised free of the troubles of the late twenty-first century. Now she works as a public defender to help troubled individuals with anti-social behavior. That’s how she met Luciano Pox.

Luce is a firebrand and has made a name for himself as a naysayer. But there’s more to him than being a lightning rod for controversy. Rubi has to find out why the governments of the world want to bring Luce into custody, and why Luce is hell bent on stopping the recovery of the planet.

What did I think of it:
This book takes you on a wild emotional ride while challenging your views on what humanity actually is.

The prologue of this book alone was so gripping that I wouldn't have minded if that particular story had been continued, but then the story switched to 40 years later and it drew me in all over again.

The future Beckett describes isn't a happy one. Large parts of earth have been destroyed and to spare resources and space people spend most of their time online in a virtual world. You can get strikes and strokes for your behavior and a good social standing is everything if you don't want to watch a gazilion ads before you're allowed to do anything.

I must say parts of this world felt frighteningly close.

Where a Black Mirror episode would turn this bleak world even bleaker by the end of the episode, Beckett gives hope in their story. Ruby for one believes humanity can be and do better. Her work on Luce's case lands her in hot water though, and soon she is discovering things, and following leads that show her things she never knew about.

Next to Ruby there are several other viewpoint characters, all with their own agenda and emotions. As the story unfolds their paths intertwine and some of them need to make difficult decisions, or decide what they stand for. I had my favorites of course, Ruby and Gimlet Barnes (her online rival) contending for the number one spot.

This isn't a fast read. The switching viewpoints, the complex world, and the interlinking events make that you really need to pay attention to everything that's going on, but it's so worth it to take the time to let this story get hold of you. It's thought provoking, emotional, and beautiful.

All in all an amazing read. You bet I'll be keeping an eye out for more books by Beckett.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful and emotional SF read.

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 17 October 2019

Brimstone and Marmalade - Halloween Read

Brimstone and Marmalade
by Aaron Corwin

What is it about:
All Mathilde wanted for her birthday was a pony. Instead, she got a demon. Sometimes growing up means learning that what you think you want is not always what you need.

What did I think of it:
This is a fun and bittersweet short story about a girl who gets a demon for her birthday instead of a pony. If you're looking for a Halloween read that's not about the horror and gore, but about growing up and friendship, this is the read for you.

buy from Amazon

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Blood Doctrine - Book Review

Blood Doctrine: Re Education is in Order (Blood Saga #1)
by Maquel A. Jacob

What is it about:
The new generation of vampires has their elders disgusted with their ignorance and lack of social grace. Re-education is in order so they ship the blood thirsty ingrates to boarding school in hopes they catch some common sense. And the young ones don’t like one bit.

Chase Ambrook deems himself a social butterfly living the carefree life. Princess Adelia only sees humans as playthings for her sadistic games. Falson Sapienti spends his days engaging in carnal escapades.

War is coming.

As successors to take over their covens they must buck up and act responsible for once in their lives. Losing the battle means extinction but it may be too much of a burden for this group of spoiled blood suckers.

What did I think of it:
I picked up this book at Worldcon, wanting to try a new to me author.

And this book is... weird.

Parts of it were very entertaining, some disturbing, and others just plain weird.

I liked the overall worldbuilding, and the start of this book was very entertaining, but the behavior of the main characters really put me off of them. They each have a servant/bodyguard and at least two seem to think it's perfectly normal to demand a sexual relationship with that servant whether they want to or not.

I don't like relationships where one of the two parties has no way to refuse and stays in this position with no promise of a change in the lopsided state of the relationship. So with no one to really root for I did wonder at times if I should keep reading.

I was curious enough how things would turn out and if the main characters would grow up, so that kept me reading until a new development drove the story into the bizarre. From there on out I kind of stayed in WTF mode until the end.

All in all this book had promise, but certain aspects and events made it not the right book for me. I might investigate what other books Jacob has written and if they're more to my taste.

Why should you read it:
It's an interesting take on vampires.

Buy from Bookdepository or Amazon

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - The Bone Houses

It was said that in these fruitful times, the people of Colbren grew forgetful. With full bellies and heavy purses, they did not think to send the yearly offerings into the forest.

(page 40, The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones)

buy from bookdepository


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 sh"are 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 14 October 2019

Bachelors of Bond Street - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Bachelors of Bond Street
by Janna MacGregor, Shana Galen, and Minerva Spencer

What is it about:
An all-new anthology featuring novellas from acclaimed Regency historical authors Janna MacGregor, Shana Galen, and Minerva Spencer. Bond Street is famous for its elite clubs, fashionable shops and successful businesses. Now meet the bachelors who've made Bond Street their domain. Are these gentlemen as lucky in love as they are in business?

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
Love by the Letters
This was a nice story, but as with MacGregor's other story I read it missed real obstacles to the HEA. Still a very enjoyable romance.

How to Brew a Perfect Kiss
Thomas was a secondary character in another book by Galen and I loved him. So seeing him getting his own romance was so good. Raeni is a wonderful heroine, proud, strong and fierce, but willing to accept help when needed. This romance is a delight to read.

Second Chance for Love

I'm normally not a fan of second chance romances, but Minerva Spencer made it work and how!

I loved Oona from the start. She made mistakes in the past and is down on her luck, but she doesn't give up. I wasn't sure at first what to think of Juss, but he goes through a wonderful transformation and I soon was totally hooked on this couple and their sizzling romance. Totally my favorite of the three.

Why should you read it:
It's a delightful Historical Romance Anthology.

buy from Amazon

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - Terminal Alliance

I had a bad cold, so that's why I haven't been posting. I'll try to get back into the normal swing of things soon.

"Her first words to our crèche were 'Humans, cease all fear and confusion immediately!' Because a meter-tall alien squid waving her limbs and shouting at you through the translator is so reassuring in your first moments as a sentient being."

(page 24, Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines)

buy from bookdepository


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 sh"are 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 2 October 2019

The Making of a God - short fiction

So... I couldn't sleep last night because of a cold and decided to recreate the legend I thought up together with Mr QWillems years ago. This is original fiction, written by me. Idea by me and Mr QWillems.

It was in the days that Gods walked among mortals that the evil God Tekori the Destroyer escaped his prison deep inside mount Ahnh and brought death and destruction to the people of Na-Ot.

The Gods took pity on the people of Na-Ot, and in their wisdom sent the Mighty Krimkropog, God of many forms, to battle Tekori. They met on the shores of Ja-Uih, and for days the water boiled and the sky glowed purple as Krimkropog and Tekori fought.

For Tekori was a sly and treacherous God, and skilled at fighting. But Krimkropog, God of many forms, was no fool, like Fjit, God of forgotten moments, nor was he naive, like Derxi, God of spring and blossoms. Krimkropog used his many forms to fight the evil Tekori, each form more than a match for the Destroyers tricks.

Finally, after five days and five nights of battle Krimkropog was victorious. The sea ran red with the destroyers blood. But it had cost Krimkropog almost everything to defeat the evildoer. Down to the last of his many forms the Mighty Krimkropog scurried homeward to find rest and to recover from the fight.


Grandpa Crooked Stick was an early riser. As soon as he walked outside to check his garden his rooster knew it was time to greet the day with a morning call.

Grandpa's morning walk always started with checking the chicken coop to see if no foxes had tried to steal a hen during the night. Then he made his way through his garden to check how his plants were coming along.

He always saved his dahlias and prize-winning tomatoes for last, waiting until the sky had lightened enough to see his most precious plants in all their glory.

None of the other villagers managed to get such a pretty bloom out of their dahlias or such plump and perfect tomatoes. Many had asked what his secret was, but Grandpa Crooked Stick just smiled and gave the person who asked a friendly pat on the back.

That paricular morning Grandpa lingered after his rounds.The annual harvest festival was coming up and he wanted to be sure that his dahlias and tomatoes were coming along as they should. Nothing worse than an unexpected disaster, like mold or beetles, mere days before the competition. His prize-winning tomatoes wouldn't lose because he hadn't been paying attention and let vermin get to them.

As he was straightening a few plants he saw a mouse running through his garden. No way was a mouse ruining his chances at the festival. Grandpa Crooked Stick lifted the walking cane that earned him his nickname and dealt with the pest decisively.


And thus the Mighty Krimkropog, God of many forms, was slain by a being mightier than him, and all the Gods shuddered in fear.

If someone could best Krimkropog, no God was safe from destruction.

Many days and nights the Gods debated what could be done about this new threat. Finally it was decided to send an envoy to bring gifts of magic and wonder, and to ask Krimkropog's destroyer to join the Gods and take Krimkropog's place among them. For what better way than to escape destruction by this mighty being than befriending him and giving him the honor he clearly deserved.

When this new God agreed and brought with him beauty and fruits there was much rejoicing, and once again there was peace.


And that is the story of how Grandpa Crooked Stick became the God of dahlias and prize-winning tomatoes.

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - Gamechanger

So, now they walked-man, dog, and ghost-along the well-lit promenades leading to Onodaga Lake. The night air was cool and moist.

(page 262, Gamechanger by L.X. Beckett)

buy from bookdepository


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 sh"are 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!