28 December 2010

Review: Arcane Circle by Linda Robertson


Title: Arcane Circle
Author: Linda Robertson
Series: Persephone Alcmedi #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: December 28, 2010
Publisher: Pocket
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: eArc from author
Blurb:

After facing down the forces of Fairy in mortal combat, Persephone Alcmedi still must deal with the aftermath. Not only does Seph now possess deadly secrets she must hide from the arcane and mundane world alike, but the dozens of magical creatures who’ve taken up residence behind her cornfield need food and shelter, and there’s still her foster daughter Beverly’s tenth birthday party to plan.

And that’s not all. . . . Seph’s boyfriend Johnny has revealed himself as the wærewolf Domn Lup, and the ruler of the wære world is en route from Romania to make sure Johnny really is the “king” he claims to be. But Johnny’s hiding a dangerous secret: his magic is locked in his mysterious tattoos. He and Seph must find a way for him to reclaim it—fast—despite those who have no intention of letting Johnny gain his full powers. Seph knows that, in the arcane world, strength is always a necessity and power must be constantly proven, but how far is she willing to go to succeed . . . and at what cost?

I've enjoyed the previous three books of this series and that doesn't change with Arcane Circle. Seph has to deal with the aftermath of the battle fought in the previous book, like did Menessos survive? What about the Elementals that were freed? And what happens now that people know Johnny is the Domn Loup? All of this is solved, plus we finally get to meet Seph's mother and find out what she has been up to.

My favourite parts of the book were the ones where we meet the other powerful weres, they were very scary, and when we finally meet Seph's mother, she has been a huge mystery for three books and it was nice getting to meet another important and until now silent player.

While a lot of questions are answered and plot points are closed, I wish the relationships between the main characters could have been more developed, especially the one between Seph and Johnny. I love the direction Johnny's character is taking, little by little he's becoming more confident and sure of himself and I really can't wait to see the other weres acknowledge him as Domn Loup. As for Seph, she's still discovering how complicated is being the Lustrata, but she's adjusting the best she can to her situation, and that's what makes her such a good heroine.

To me, this felt like a transition book. A lot of loose ends were tied but there were almost no new plot points. I hope the next book deals more with Seph and her role as Lustrata. All in all, this was a great addition to this incredible series. I can't wait to get my hands into the next book!


Memorable Lines:

Dr. Lincoln turned to Kirk. "Would you fetch some towels from the bathroom? Wait, I-I didn't say fetch because you're a … I mean, I would've said it that way to anyone."
The handsome Asian wære smiled and replied, "That political correctness shit is for pansies who can't stomach the truth."

Previous Books:
1. Vicious Circle
2. Hallowed Circle
3. Fatal Circle - Review

Rating:


21 December 2010

Interview + Giveaway: Linda Robertson

Arcane Circle, the 4th Persephone Alcmedi books will be released on the 28th of this months. Today we have the author is here answering some questions.

After facing down the forces of Fairy in mortal combat, Persephone Alcmedi still must deal with the aftermath. Not only does Seph now possess deadly secrets she must hide from the arcane and mundane world alike, but the dozens of magical creatures who’ve taken up residence behind her cornfield need food and shelter, and there’s still her foster daughter Beverly’s tenth birthday party to plan.

And that’s not all. . . . Seph’s boyfriend Johnny has revealed himself as the wærewolf Domn Lup, and the ruler of the wære world is en route from Romania to make sure Johnny really is the “king” he claims to be. But Johnny’s hiding a dangerous secret: his magic is locked in his mysterious tattoos. He and Seph must find a way for him to reclaim it—fast—despite those who have no intention of letting Johnny gain his full powers. Seph knows that, in the arcane world, strength is always a necessity and power must be constantly proven, but how far is she willing to go to succeed . . . and at what cost?


How many hours a day do you dedicate to writing? Do you write in a specific place?

It depends on the day. If its a snow day and the boys are home from school (we just had 2 in a row...sigh) I got zero hours of writing in. When they get to ride the big yellow bus, however, I write at least 3 hours a day but usually more like 6 hours, and then I pick up an hour or two in the evening once dinner and the homework checking is complete.

Do you have any new projects in the works?
I am working on book five of the Persephone Alcmedi series. I reworked an old manuscript in between books four and five, but I'm still not sure its ready for others to see it. :-)

If you could hang out with one of your characters, which one would you pick?
Johnny. Wait, maybe Menessos. I could say Nana, but she's so much like my mom and my aunts that I feel like I hang out with her anyway.

What can you tell us about Arcane Circle?
Sometimes, searching for the past leaves a head-slap on the present.

We know that Persephone is the Lustrata. What exactly does that mean? How long has it been since there was one?
Well, everyone thinks they know. The witches have their idea. The waeres have theirs. Even the vampires have a take on that legend. Persephone's going to find out first hand and, if you keep reading, you will too. In the mythos, the last Lustrata lived a about two thousand and thirty-some years ago.

It seems like little by little Persephone has to deal with more and more problems. Is this going to escalate as more people find out she's the Lustrata? How many people know?
Oh yes. (Mwahahahahaha!) The big-wigs of the witches, waeres and vamps all know, but aren't sure what to do, if anything should be done, etc. That starts unfolding more in book five.


After the events of Fatal Circle, do the witches hold a grudge? Is persephone going to have any allies there?
Some do and some don't. To say more would point to spoilers I have planned for future books.


In Arcane Circle we finally get to meet some powerful werewolves. How do they feel about Johnny being the Domn Lup?
Alpha's don't like to share power. Some out of nowhere wannabe-rockstar suddenly appearing and claiming to be the Domn Lup and take a big piece of their pie? Yeah, they are NOT happy.


After everything we've learn about Menessos, he still feels like a big mystery. Are there going to be any surprises in that front? Can you tell us anything new about him?
Behind the vampires is a mystery that Persephone will have to unravel slowly. As for Menessos...well, he might be dead. Hee hee.

One on the things I liked the most about Fatal Circle was the introduction of the elementals. What is going to happen to them? Can you give us any kind of information about them?
They play a big role in the theme of Arcane Circle. There's a lot of construction, a lot of change going on at the farmhouse in order for Seph to keep them safely. They'll be around a while; they have much to do as her destiny unfolds.

Thanks so much for being here today, Linda.
Aww, my pleasure! Thank you for having me!

You can learn more about the author on her site.

Linda is also giving away a signed copy of Arcane Circle.
International
Ends on December 31st.
All you have to do is fill out the form.

Extra entries:
+ 1 Comment
+3 Old followers
+2 New followers
+1 Tweet
+1 Facebook/Twitter Follower
+3 Blog post




Review: Indulgence in Death by JD Robb


Title: Indulgence in Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #31
Genre: Futuristic Romance/Suspense
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Blurb:

First it was a limo driver shot through the neck with a crossbow. Then it was a high-priced escort stabbed through the heart with a bayonet.

Random hits, thrill kills, murderers with a taste for the finer things in life – and death – are making NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas angry. And an angry Eve can be just as an efficient and dangerous predator as the killer.

As time runs out on another innocent victim’s life, Eve’s investigation will take her into the rarified circle that her husband, Roarke, travels in – and into the perverted heart of madness…

I love the In Death series, I've read every single book and I never get tired of Roarke and Eve. That said, this probably was the worst book of the series. What makes me enjoy the book so much is Eve and Roarke's relationship, but there was almost no interaction between the two of them in this novel. The beginning of the book shows us part of their honeymoon, and in my opinion it was the best part of the book. After that, things go downhill.

We almost get no interaction with the other characters of the series, except a little Peabody and Morris, and while the mystery is interesting, I found myself skipping pages just to see if there was more character development. There wasn't. At points I was bored and couldn't stop checking how many pages were left.

Another thing, I know that Dallas is the main character in the series, but I wished we could be shown Roarke's world. Somehow, even though we are told time and time again that Roarke is a very busy man, now he always does consultant jobs for Dallas. I don't understand that. Also, why doesn't Eve ever help Roarke in his job?

On the positive side, Eve's character does evolve in this book, although it would have been better if the author could have shown us the final result of it (can't say more, it would be to spoilerific).

I would skip this one, you won't miss anything important. I do hope that Treachery in Death gets the series back on track.

Next Book:
32. Treachery in Death (February 22, 2011)

Rating:



19 December 2010

International Contest Sunday (22)

International_Contest_Sunday


- Mystifying Paranormal Reviews is giving away Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan.
Ends when she gets 150 followers.
Enter here.

* Something To Write About is giving away a $25 GC and a $15 GC.
Ends on December 20th.
Enter here.

* That's Swell is giving away four signed copies of Gillian Shield's books.
Ends on December 20th.
Enter here.

- Imagination in Focus is giving away a book the have reviewed on their site plus your choice of book released on 2010.
Ends on December 20th.
Enter here.

* Not Enough Bookshelves is giving away three books from her top ten couples list.
Ends on December 22nd.
Enter here.

* Flippin' Fabulous is having a holiday giveaway. You could win book from book depository.
Ends on December 23rd.
Enter here.

* Kelsey Sutton is giving away a secondhand book from her list.
Ends on December 24th.
Enter here.

- Avery's Books is giving away a$15 Amazon gift card.
Ends on December 24th.
Enter here.

* Hojas en Blanco is giving away 2 prize packs witch 3 ARC's each.
Ends on December 25th.
Enter here.

* My World ... in words and pages is giving away the first two books of the Evie Scelan series by Margaret Ronald.
Ends on December 28th.
Enter here.

- The Bibliophilic Book Blog is giving away 2 books of up to $30 from the Book Depository to 2 winners.
Ends on December 31st.
Enter here.

* Bon Bons and Reveries is giving away any book she has reviewed on her blog.
Ends on January 1st.
Enter here.

* Kimberly Franklin is giving away a copy of Twenty Boy Summer & Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler to a winner.
Ends on January 1st.
Enter here.

- Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm is giving away 3 YA book releases of your choice from 2011.
Ends on January 1st.
Enter here.

- Romance Book Junkies is giving away a mystery prize.
Ends on January 1st.
Enter here.

- My Love Affair With Books is giving away eith a $10 Amazon GC or a pre-order of a book from the list.
Ends on January 1st.
Enter here.

* Miss Page Turner's City of Books is giving away a pre-order from her list.
Ends on January 3rd.
Enter here.

* Midnight Fume is giving away three books from her list.
Ends on January 9th.
Enter here.

* Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books is giving away a book of choice of up to $10 form the Book Depository.
Ends on January 13th.
Enter here.

* Splash Of Our Worlds is giving away a book from her list.
Ends on January 15th.
Enter here.

* Story Wings is celebrating her blogoversary by giving away a book of your choice to multiple winners.
Ends on January 20th.
Enter here.

- Old contest
* New contest

Do you want me to put your international contest on my post? Contact me with the details.

16 December 2010

Review: Death's Mistress by Karen Chance


Title: Death's Mistress
Author: Karen Chance
Series: Dorina Basarab #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: January 5, 2010
Publisher: Onyx
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Bought
Blurb:

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir-half-human, half-vampire. Back home in Brooklyn after the demise of her insane Uncle Dracula, Dory's hoping her life is about to calm down. But soon Dory realizes someone is killing vampire Senate members, and if she can't stop the murderer, her friends may be next...

Midnight's Daughter was one of my favourite books I've read this year, so I was a little nervous about the follow up, but I'm happy to say that it was even better! Dorina is back and trouble keeps finding her, as usual. She's still as strong as usual and follows nobody's rules but her own. She has to deal with the vampires once again and that includes her father, Mircea.

Her relationship with him keeps being difficult and complicated but we also see a new side of Mircea. There are things that Dorina always asumed were the truth, but it turns out that she doesn't really know her father much, although the same could be said about him. I loved seeing their relationship evolve, especially when Mircea started trusting Dory.

The other important vampire in the books is Louise-Cesare, Dory's romantic interest. These two have been dancing around each other for quite a while and now they have to figure out where each other fits in their lives. I loved these two characters, especially when they were together, and even though they have plenty of difficulties, they keep fighting for what they want: each other. Also, we find out some ugly things from Louise-Cesare's past and we finally get a resolution on the Christine front.

Other characters in this book are Radu, Dory's uncle and Ray, a vampire that was at the wrong place at the wrong time (although he has plenty to account for). Both of them provide comic relief when the plot gets too dark. They're definitely on my top list of favourite characters.

With a perfect blend of action, mystery and romance, this was without a doubt one of my favourite books of the year. Too bad we have to wait so long for the next one!

Memorable Lines:

"As you're constantly reminding me, I'm family. Tell me and maybe I can help. Or does the family thing only work when you want something?"

Mircea took a deep breath, which he didn't need, to show me how much of a pain I was being. "It's about his family, Dorina, and is not my story to tell. Now, have you seen him?"

"I haven't heard from him in a month," I said flatly, suddenly tiring of the game. Most vampire clans unlucky enough to end up with a dhampir quickly bury the problem—six feet under. I supposed I should be happy that Mircea had taken a somewhat more enlightened view. But as far as my status as family was concerned, it was and always would be second-class.


Previous Books:
1. Midnight's Daughter - Review

Rating:


15 December 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (31)


Title: Shadowspell
Author: Jenna Black
Series: Faeriewalker #2
Genre: YA
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Edition: Paperback
Blurb:
On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

14 December 2010

Review: Day of the Dragon by Rebecca York


Title: Day of the Dragon
Author: Rebecca York
Series: -
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 7, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:

The search for clues to an ancient civilization sends Ramsey to an archaeology conference in Las Vegas where he meets Dr. Madison Dartmoor. Her current dig in Italy has put her in mortal danger, and when Ramsey saves her from thugs bent on stealing a copy of a startling artifact, the two of them team up to unearth the secrets of an ancient civilization. As their relationship heats up, Ramsey guards his own secrets that may tear him and Madison apart or save their lives.

Apparently this book was the first one of a new series by the author, but the truth is that the hero is first seen in the last book of her Moon series, Dragon Moon. You could follow the story pretty well, the only problem was that, while you get some background on the hero, I felt like a lot of his story was missing and that made me not like Ramsey much.

The heroine, Madison, is written as clever and strong, but her actions say otherwise. I think she makes pretty dumb mistakes and she's also very naive. There's a part in the book where she is arguing with the hero and the next thing you know she forgets all about it and goes and hugs him. While I understand that declaring their feelings for each other is big thing, I just couldn't understand why she let the subject drop and then went on as if everything was fine.
The romance between the two of them felt rushed and not at all believable. The truth is that I didn't see the love they had for one another. Their relationship was very cold, in my opinion.

I knew who the bad guy was since the beginning, so there wasn't a lot of mystery in that department. The only thing that was interesting were the parts that dealt with the dragons' history, but at the end there wasn't much information on them.

In short, it took me three times to finish the book and in my opinion it wasn't that good. For me, there were some scenes that were unnecesary and the romance between the main characters felt cold and rushed. Maybe you'll enjoy it more if you've read the author's Moon series.


Next Book:
2. Shattered Destiny

Rating:


10 December 2010

Review: Cross Your Heart by Michele Bardsley


Title: Cross Your Heart
Author: Michele Bardsley
Series: Broken Heart Vampires #7
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:

After the death of
her husband-and her dreams of motherhood-Elizabeth Bretton returned to the
family estate in Broken Heart, Oklahoma. Little did she know she would also give
up her life as the Silverstone heiress.

But escaping the past isn't that easy-especially with a vengeful ghost trying
to kill her, a 150-year-old mystery to solve, and an outrageously hot
were-jaguar named "Tez" trying to get into her boudoir...

I've enjoyed the last six books of the Broken Heart series and Cross Your Heart it's not an exception. The main character, Elizabeth, is a very solitary vampire, but all of it changes when Tez, a really handsome shifter, saves her from an attack from a ghost. From there, things start getting complicated for her, and she has to discover why she is the target.

The thing that I liked from the ghost story line the most is that it resolves a mystery that started in book one, but if this is the first book of the series you read, you'll probably won't find as interesting. There are some surprises in the book, but most of the time I saw them coming.

The relationship between Elizabeth and Tez felt rushed. I would have prefered they developed their relationship more slowly, or that they at least talk more to each other, instead of always being up to something. We don't learn much about Tez, and that's one of the reasons I didn't like the book as much as the others.

We also get some updates on the others citizes of Broken Heart although they don't meddle as much in this novel because the heroine is a bit of a loner.

This was a funny and light read, just as the rest of the books in this series. Personally I didn't find it as good as previous ones, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

Memorable Lines:

"I refuse to discuss my lingerie with you. And I do not appreciate your assumption that you're going to see me in my undergarments. Ever." I paused and tried to gather my wits. And tone down my ... well, lust.

He grinned at me, and my stomach took a peculiar dive.

"I love that mouth of yours, princess. Go on," he dared me. "Talk pretty to me."

Previous Books:

1. I'm The Vampire, That's Why
2. Don't Talk Back To Your Vampire
3. Because Your Vampire Said So
4. Wait Until Your Vampire Gets Home
5. Over my Dead Body
6. Come Hell or High Water

Next Book:
8. Must Love Lycans (September 2011)

Rating:

08 December 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (30)


Title: Arcane Circle
Author: Linda Robertson
Series: Persephone Alcmedi #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: December 28, 2010
Publisher: Pocket
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Blurb:

After an epic battle on the shores of Lake Erie, Persephone must now help her werewolf lover Johnny regain the magical powers locked within his mysterious tattoos. Complications keep his memory from opening wide and a name—Arcanum—is their only lead. With the Romanian lords of all Werewolves—the Zvonul—en route, Johnny becomes desperate for his magic to be unlocked. Meanwhile, the Witch Elders Council believes Seph is responsible for the death of their leader, and as if that isn’t enough, the house is being remodeled and Seph has promised her foster daughter Beverley a grand birthday party!



Check back on the 21st of December to read my interview with the author and enter the great giveaway!

07 December 2010

Review: You Dropped A Blonde On Me by Dakota Cassidy


Title: You Dropped A Blonde On Me
Author: Dakota Cassidy
Series: Ex Trophy Wives #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 7, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Edition: Trade Paperback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:

She was the perfect party-planning, haute-to-the max trophy wife. Now Maxine Cambridge is broke, unemployable and living with her mother and teenage son in a retirement village, with her self-esteem kicked to the curb.

Until her geeky former classmate Campbell Barker returns, all grown-up- and off-the-scale smokin' hot. Campbell refuses to believe Max isn't that smart, funny girl he's crushed on since high school. The more Max tries to show him he's wrong, the more she rediscovers her long-retired mojo. Now, she's ready to throw down some payback on her ex-life and fight for what she deserves...

At the beginning of this book we have Max, who after a really messy almost divorce is trying to pick up the pieces of her life. She has a lot of support from her mother, her son, her best friend Len, who also happens to be the sister of the woman Max's ex is now engaged to and Campbell, a really nice guy who is trying to show Max what being in a relationship really means. By the way, in this book support
most of the time means a good kick in the ass.

Max grows a lot through the book, from an emotionally injured woman to one that knows exactly what she wants and isn't afraid of going after it. Reading about her journey was so much fun, from the discovery of Walmart to her job as a bingo dealer, the book got better as you read.

One of my favourite characters was Max's son. He didn't agree to what his father was doing and wasn't afraid to call him on it. Another big favourite was Len. She has her own love story in this book, but to tell you the truth, I wish the author could have given her a full novel. Her interactions with Adam, her love interest, were very interesting, and sometimes I just didn't want her to stop narrating.

All in all, this was a great beginning of a funny new series full of snark and accidental love. I'll definitely check the second book out!


Memorable Lines:

"Omigod, Ma! Looook!" she squealed, ignoring the inquiring stay-at-home moms turning toward her in clusters of frayed ponytails. "I found tampons. They're the good ones, too. The ones for heavy-flow days. Two boxes for five dollars!" She grinned, pride beaming on her face as she waved the boxes at her mother. They qualified as a necessity, and better still,they fit into her budget. Two boxes of tampons would last her at least four months.
Oh, happy period.


Next Book:
2. Burning Down the Spouse (July 5, 2011)

Rating:


06 December 2010

Interview: Christina Henry

Today Christina Henry is here with us to talk about her debut novel Black Wings, that was released last week.

As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It's a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package.

Maddy's position may come with magical powers and an impressive wingspan, but it doesn't pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with.

Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy's building. It's probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos.

Powers that place her directly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell...


How long did it take you to write the book?

I spent about six months in early 2008 picking at the first 60 pages of Black Wings, writing a little bit at a time when I felt like it. Then I decided to really buckle down and get the manuscript done. Once I decided that it took about 5 ½ weeks to write the rest.

How would you define Black Wings?

I would define it as an urban fantasy with a little bit of humor, a little bit of mystery, a little bit of romance and a lot of action. I think (I hope!) it’s different from most UF’s in that it doesn’t prominently feature vampires or werewolves.

Maddy Black is an Agent of death. It’s an inherited job with no pay. She’s broke, she’s stressed and she’s got to rent the apartment in her building if she wants to have some income. She takes on a new tenant who winds up bringing a whole host of new supernatural problems with him. She’s also got a very mouthy gargoyle with a bad popcorn habit who loves to express his opinion on everything.

Maddy is an Agent of death. What exactly does that mean?

Being an Agent of Death means you’re responsible for the transition a soul makes from life to death. It is basically a crummy, unpaid job that you inherit from your parent or your closest blood relative when they die. Maddy’s mom died when she was 14 and she’s been doing this ever since. She escorts souls after they’re dead to a place called the Door, where they get some kind of choice, but don’t ask what the choice is – Maddy’s not allowed to know!

Why did you decided to make the job of Agent of death permanent?

I didn’t want it to be something Maddy could wriggle out of. I don’t think it’s a job that anyone would volunteer for so I wanted her to be locked in to a set of responsibilities. Then when all the monsters start showing up she’s got to do her job and deal with this new set of stressors – just like everyone else who has to juggle their work life and home life and so on. Even though she has a supernatural job I wanted her to be relatable.

The agents get an envelope every week with the souls they have to escort. Has anyone ever tried to save the person's life instead of letting him die? What would be the consequences if something like that did happen?

Agents can’t mess with the order of the universe. If someone is supposed to die an Agent can’t stop it, no matter how tragic or horrible that death might be. Their job is to help the soul pass over from life to death. An Agent can, however, intervene in a death that is NOT meant to be – but there aren’t too many of those, and usually they don’t find out until it’s too late.

Can you explain a little how the Agents hierarchy works?

It’s a lot like a big faceless corporate insurance agency. There are cubicles and paperwork and layers upon layers of supervisors. I thought it would be funny if death were a giant bureaucracy.


Gabriel is a very mysterious character at the beginning. What can you tell us about him?

When he shows up at Maddy’s house he’s definitely got an agenda of his own and that agenda involves Maddy. There’s a lot she doesn’t know about herself and her family history and Gabriel knows more than she does.

Why did you pick a gargoyle as Maddy's best friend?

Since Beezle is a home guardian he’s pretty much always around, unlike a roommate or relative who might possibly have a life of one’s own. Beezle’s life is Maddy’s life – he delights in sticking his beak in her business – and everyone else’s business for that matter. This keeps him readily on hand for whatever I might need – a quick bit of dialogue or a little comic relief.

What kind of creatures can we expect in Black Wings?

Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but there are definitely angels and demons – and no vampires or werewolves to speak of!

What are you working on right now? Have you finished the second book?

I have finished writing the second book of the Madeline Black series, Black Night and am starting work on the third. It’s been so much fun exploring this character further and opening up the world more. I’m pretty excited to see what happens next for Maddy!

Thanks so much for being here today!

Thank you for having me here!


You can check out my review of Black Wings here.
You can also find more info about the author on her site.

Winner ... at last

Hey everyone. Sorry it took me so long in posting the winner, there were more than 500 entries and I had to check every one of them! Between that and being sick for most of the last week, I didn't have a lot of time.

Anyway, the winner of the $50 CSN Stores GC is ...

Linda !

Thanks to everyone who participated!

By the way, check back later today when I'll post the interview with Christina Henry that was supposed to go up last friday.

01 December 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (29)


Author: Stephanie Perkins
Title: Anna and the Frech Kiss
Genre: YA
Release Date: December 2nd 2010
Publisher: Dutton
Edition: Hardcover
Blurb:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

30 November 2010

International Contest Sunday (21)

International_Contest_Sunday


* Mystifying Paranormal Reviews is giving away Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan.
Ends when she gets 150 followers.
Enter here.

-
The Creative Well is having a 150 followers giveaway. You could win a $10 GC.
Ends on November 30th.
Enter here.

* Queen of Happy Endings is giving away one of the book from her list.
Ends on November 30th.
Enter here.

* The Eclectic Book Reader is giving away a book from her list.
Ends on November 30th.
Enter here.

- Beyond Words is having a 100 followers contest. You could win at least 3 book pre-orders.
Ends on December 2nd.
Enter here.

- The Alliterate Allomorph is giving away a few Amazon gift cards and a surpise greek prize.
Ends on December 2nd.
Enter here.

* Books Love Me! is giving a book of your choice to 4 winners.
Ends on December 8th.
Enter here.

* Creative Blossoms is giving away 2 books from her list to one winner and 1 other book to abother winner.
Ends on December 10th.
Enter here.

- My Love Affair With Books is celebrating her birthday by giving away books. 2 winners could win a book from her list.
Ends on December 14th.
Enter here.

- Rabid Reads is celebrating her 150 followers by giving away a book by Kelley Armstrong or Rachel Vincent.
Ends on December 15th.
Enter here.

* Sparkling Reviews is giving away 2 sets of the complete Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.
Ends on December 18th.
Enter here.

* Imagination in Focus is giving away a book the have reviewed on their site plus your choice of book released on 2010.
Ends on December 20th.
Enter here.

- Avery's Books is giving away a$15 Amazon gift card.
Ends on December 24th.
Enter here.

* The Bibliophilic Book Blog is giving away 2 books of up to $30 from the Book Depository to 2 winners.
Ends on December 31st.
Enter here.

* Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm is giving away 3 YA book releases of your choice from 2011.
Ends on January 1st.
Enter here.

* Romance Book Junkies is giving away a mystery prize.
Ends on January 1st.
Enter here.

* My Love Affair With Books is giving away eith a $10 Amazon GC or a pre-order of a book from the list.
Ends on January 1st.
Enter here.

- Old contest
* New contest

Do you want me to put your international contest on my post? Contact me with the details.

29 November 2010

Review: Healer's Choice by Jory Strong


Title: Healer's Choice
Author: Jory Strong
Series: Ghostland World #3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Edition: Trade Paperback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:

Born into a world of violence and paid-for sex, Rebekka longs for a family of her own and dreams of freeing those trapped in the shapeshifter brothels of the red zone. A witch's prophecy claims she'll one day use her gift to heal the Weres made outcast by their mixed human-animal forms.

But Rebekka knows that everything comes at a cost. A plea to save five children sends her into the arms of Aryck, a Jaguar enforcer-and into territory controlled by pure Weres. It's a place where humans and outcasts aren't welcomed, where plague threatens and the fate of the Weres hangs in the balance. And where the choices Rebekka and Aryck make are paid for with their hearts...if not their souls.


I had a lot of trouble getting into this book. It may be because I didn't read the previous two books of this series, but I think this could be read as a stand alone.
The world the author has created is complicated and harsh. There were a lot of rules that I really didn't understand, creatures and magical beings that aren't really explained, aside from the Weres who are the main focus of this novel, and the abilities of the heroine are not explored until the very end of the book, instead we are told that she is scared of them and that she can do all these incredible things, but we don't really see them, she just keeps doing what she knows how to do. She never steps out of her comfort zone, at least for most of the book.

As for the main characters, Rebekka is a strong although predictable character. She had a difficult childhood and her life didn't really get better as she got older. The thing I liked the most about her was that, even though she was afraid, she fought for what she believed in. I got the sense that some important events happened in the previous book that affected her, but they were never explained in this book, which confused me.
Then there's Aryck, the jaguar were. He is without a doubt an alpha male, but sometimes I wished he would have stood up to his father. I know that this is going to sound contradictory, but what I liked most about him was that he wasn't perfect. He made mistakes but he also tried to fix them.

There were some parts of the book, like Melina's who was the female jaguar that wanted Aryck, that I think were unnecesary. There also were parts narrated by a character named Radek that while they gave some depth to the story, bored me.
In my opinion, the best things of the book were the interactions between the tiger cub Caius and the tiger were Canino and the relationship between Rebekka and Aryck.

This was a promising book but there were times where I skimmed some pages, especially when a character I didn't care about narrated the story. The romance between the main characters is very hot and I loved seeing how they got together in the end. I may read the next book of the series, but it all depends on what the story is about and who is the hero/heroine.


Memorable Lines:

A small hand holding a bouquet of purple flowers appeared in front of Rebekka's face, jerking her from her thoughts. She turned her head slightly and saw the Tiger cub standing on the other side of the log she sat on.
"For making me better," Caius said.
Rebekka took the flowers, holding them close to her nose and inhaling. "Thank you."

Previous Books:
1. Ghostland
2. Spider-Touched

Next Book:
3.5. Angel-Claimed - Primal Anthology (Feb 2011)

Rating:

23 November 2010

Review: Black Wings by Christina Henry


Title: Black Wings
Author: Christina Henry
Series: Madeline Black #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: November 30, 2010
Publisher: Ace
Edition: Paperback
Blurb:
As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It's a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package.

Maddy's position may come with magical abilities and an impressive windspan, but it doesn't pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with.

Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy's building. It's probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in, demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos.

Powers that place her dicectly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell...

Maddy is the lead character of the book. She's strong and brave but has some issues with being trapped doing the same job for the rest of her life: the job of guiding souls to the afterlife. But one day things get worse, something attacks her and her friend and suddenly her life is in chaos. It turns out that someone has been keeping secrets from her about her past, and she's not too happy about it.

It was refreshing having an agent of death as a main character. It was very interesting seeing the duties she has, but I wish more could have been shown about her job and how it works. The new powers that she develops give her a touch of vulnerability, that's added to the one she feels everytime she's near Gabriel, her tenant. He is mysterious at first but when everything is revealed he becomes a little too complacent and obedient, and even though it's explained why, I wish he could have had more of a mind of his own.

Personally, I think the best two characters of the book were Beezle, Maddy's best friend gargoyle who is funny, sweet and cares a great deal about her, and then there's J.B., Maddy's boss, very handsome but an enormous jerk. I'm sure he has hidden depths and I really want to know what they are.

The worldbuilding was very interesting. I guess it's because I love reading about that type of creature (I would be more precise, but then I would be spoiling you). The bad guys were really kick-ass and I liked that Maddy wasn't the most powerful person and that most of the time she was walking on eggshells.

This was one of my favourite urban fantasies of the year. It was dark and intense but it also had some touches of humour.
The book was very addicting and the plot was fast paced. I guess the worst thing is that I have to wait a whole year until the next one!


Memorable Lines:

J.B. & Maddy
He looked up at me, sparks in his eyes. "I think we're finished here."
"Not by a long shot," I said, and turned to leave.
"And next time you come in to work, be sure to dress a little more professionally," he added as I slammed the door shut.
"You're lucky I remembered to take my apron off," I muttered, and headed back to my desk to finish filling out the forms.

Next Book:
2. Black Night (Autumm 2011)

Rating:



* I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.

22 November 2010

Review: No Place To Run by Maya Banks


Title: No Place To Run
Author: Maya Banks
Series: KGI #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: December 7, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Edition: Paperback
Blurb:

The last person Sam Kelly expected to save was Sophie Lundgren. Once they shared a brief, intense affair while Sam was undercover and then she vanished. She's spent the last few months on the run, knowing that any mistake would cost her both her life and that of their unborn child. Now she's resurfaced with a warning for Sam: this time, he's the one in danger.

The first thing I want to say is that the title fits the story perfectly. Sophie is a scared woman running for her life and she knows that the only person that can help her is Sam, the father of her baby. Sophie has kept a lot of secrets and most of them are dangerous ones, but the thing is, so has Sam. These two have some serious trust issues, especially on Sam's part. There's always something happening in this book, and while I loved the action and suspense I also wish Sam & Sophie could have had some down time so they could at least clear up the air.

For most of the book Sophie doesn't think she belongs there, with Sam and all his family. All she has ever wanted is a family, but she believes that Sam will never completely trust her. Sam messes up real bad in that aspect, so bad that I wanted to hit him upside the head. He's suspicious for most of the book and while he has good reasons I wanted him to trust her a little more, especially at the end.

The character that surprised me the most was Garrett. In The Darkest Hour we saw him as the sweet, protective brother who was always trying to take care of Rachel, the heroine in that book. Well, in this novel he's completely different. He doesn't really like Sophie and doesn't try to hide it. He is disrespectful towards her, mostly at the beginning and he's also constantly suspicious, always thinking the worst. That surprised me but it also was an interesting change. It made him feel more real, a man with different dephs. I really can't wait to read his book.

There was a lot of action and suspense and that's one of the things I loved the most about the book. Apart from that, the author made me care for her characters, especially for Sophie and her struggles, which made me enjoy the book so much more. This series just keeps getting better and now I can't wait to read Garrett's book!


Memorable Lines:

"Sam?"
His name came out breathless. A little hesitant. A little nervous. But there was no fear in her voice.
"Let me see her, Soph. I want to see my daughter. One moment where it's just us. No distractions. No danger. Just you and me and our child."

Previous Book:
1. The Darkest Hour - Review

Next Book:
3. Hidden Away (March 1, 2011)

Rating:



* I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.

19 November 2010

Blog Hop (3)

Blog hop is a meme hosted by Crazy for Books and it runs from Friday to Monday.

Book Blogger Hop

Enter your link and hop over other blogs!

To answer this week's question "what are we most thankful for and what are our holiday traditions" I'll say that I'm thankful for my family and friends and my favourite holiday tradition has always been lighting candles where we are eating, putting ribbons of 4 different colors under them and then when we are finished, cutting them in peaces and giving them so you have good luck. We usually only do this on Christmas.

18 November 2010

Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter


Title: Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #1
Genre: YA
Release Date: February 9, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion
Edition: Hardback
Blurb:
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster's art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.


I was looking for a light read and this book was the perfect match. Kat is a very conflicted character. At first all she wanted was to have a normal life, but as the novel progresses she realizes that she misses parts of being a thief, especially since she isn't seeing her family anymore. Her relationship with her dad is different from other YA's. They are close and her dad taught her how to be a thief.

The crew is formed by 5 other teens but the most important of all of them is Hale. He is a very rich kid that steals for fun. He has had a tough life, especially since his parents practically abandoned him but he found a new family with a bunch of thieves. He's mysterious at times, but mostly he has Kat's back at all times. I wish we could have learn more about his past and how he became a thief and I could say the same thing of the other characters. A little background would have been great.

Anyway, this was a very light, quick and easy read, perfect if what you want is something different from a paranormal. This is mostly an adventure book; sometimes it reminded me of the movie Oceans' 11. All in all, this was a very entertaining and enjoyable read.



Memorable Lines:

"Why'd you do it, Hale?"
"You don't belong in that place."
"Why'd you do it?" she asked again, her patience wearing thin. "I'm not joking, Hale."
"Neither am I, Kat."

Next Book:
2. Uncommon Criminals (June 21, 2011)

Rating: