31 July 2010

Review: Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Eternal Kiss of Darkness
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress World #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: July 27, 2010
Publisher: Avon
Edition: Paperback
An immortal war has been brewing in the darkness…and now one woman has stumbled into the shadows.

Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she’s only imagined in her worst nightmares.

At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master Vampire who thought he’d seen it all. Then Kira appears—this fearless, beautiful…human who braved death to rescue him. Though he burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life, yet sending her away is unthinkable.

But with danger closing in, Mencheres must choose between the woman he craves, or embracing the darkest magic to defeat an enemy bent on his eternal destruction.

We've met Mencheres previously in the Cat & Bones series and since then I've been waiting eagerly for his book.
We get to know some of his background and how much guilt he suffers because of events of his past, especially the ones related to his dead evil wife Patra. He has put a shield around himself and his emotions because the moment he cares about someone, his enemy tries his best to attack them, so when Kira risks her life to save him, he tries his best to move on, but at the end that's impossible.

Kira has suffered much in her past, and when she meets Mencheres, she thinks things are going to get even worse. Her sister is very sick and her brother is a lazy drug addict, but against all odds, Mencheres tries to help her the best he can before disappearing from her life.
When he's gone, she realizes that she wants to be with him, but her search brings susrpising results.
I loved how Kira accepted Mencheres, faults and all, and didn't judge him for the actions of his past. Their relationship evolved slowly but surely and even though they have a lot of obstacles between them, they manage to get past them to be together.

Some old characters appear in this book like Cat & Bones, and I never though I would say this about them, but they deserved to be kicked in the ass. I didn't like how they treated Mencheres and how they only wanted to believe the worst of him even after all the past times he's helped them. We also see Vlad, and after learning more about him in this book, it only made me want his story even more. He deserves a HEA!

I wished we could have had more information about the bad guy, Radje. Also, I was expecting more of him. I don't know what, but I wanted him to do more evil things or at least raise more hell than what he did.

In essence, this was a good book, with plenty of action and a great romance and although I wished we could have learn more of Mencheres past and the villian would've been more evil, it was a satisfying read at the end.

Memorable Lines:

“Why didn’t you stop those ghouls yesterday before I showed up? You –”

“Quiet,” Mencheres said instantly. Gorgon had walked away out of eyesight, but he could still hear her.

“I’ve thought it over, but it makes no sense,” Kira went on, completely ignoring his order to be quiet. For a stunned second, Mencheres didn’t know how to react. It had to be centuries at least since a human had dared to ignore his commands. “You didn’t even need to touch them to – whoa!”

He’d vaulted out of the pool to physically stop Kira from uttering more damning sentences by putting his finger to her mouth. Water dripped onto her clothes and her pale green eyes widened as he loomed over her.

“Never speak about that again,” Mencheres said, his voice soft but steely. He couldn’t mesmerize her into silence, but if need be, he would gag Kira so Gorgon didn’t find out about his thwarted plan with the ghouls yesterday.

Her heartbeat had accelerated the moment he leapt from the water, and it stayed elevated when she looked away from his face at the rest of his body. Then she gasped.

Her warm breath vibrated against the finger he still held to her lips. Kira gasped again as her gaze dragged from his shoulders to his feet and then became fixated at the point between his legs. Abruptly, Mencheres’s dark mood over her nearly spilling his secret changed to amusement when Kira didn’t seem to be able to tear her eyes away.

Previous Book:
First Drop of Crimson / Night Huntress World #1


30 July 2010

Review: Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Title: Leaving Paradise
Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Leaving Paradise #1
Genre: YA
Release Date: April 1, 2007
Publisher: Flux
Edition: Paperback
Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares — has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

After reading and loving Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction, both by Simone Elkeles, I knew I had to read Leaving Paradise.

Maggie and Caleb represent both sides of the same coin. He was driving the car that injured Maggie for which he went to juvenile jail and she got injured for which she lost all she worked so hard to gain. He's the bad guy and she's the victim.
When Caleb finally gets out of jail and comes back to Paradise, Maggie and him had to face their fears and find out who they really are.

Caleb comes back to a destroyed family. Nothing is as it was before the accident and he has to adapt quickly to the changes. I liked how he finally sees the true faces of everyone around him, even though it seemed like we really didn't know his friends at all. There has to be more about them than a selfish cheerleader, an insensitive group of guys and some bullies. Also, we don't really get to know his family and why they are the way they are, and I didn't really like that Caleb didn't care enough to face them and stop playing their charade.

Maggie retreated to her shell after the accident and didn't come out until she started interacting with Caleb. I loved seeing her evolve from being scared to facing her problems. I don't understand how she lost all her friends, I don't think teenagers are that cruel. We are also presented with the issue of her dad, but that's never resolved and I felt it wasn't necessary. Her mom is very conflicted, she doesn't know if she should cuddle her daughter or force her out of her cocoon, and that's the main thing that made her seem realistic.

The other important character in this book was Mrs. Reynolds. It's because of her that Caleb and Maggie get together and really talk, she's also the one that starts giving Maggie her confidence back and she also is one of the few people who doesn't judge Caleb for his past. I think that without her probably Caleb and Maggie would have never gotten together.

I loved the story of both the main characters and the time flew while I read this novel. The only problem I had was the ending. I really wasn't expecting that, but at least there's a sequel later this year.

Memorable Lines:

Caleb stands and paces the attic again. "Coming home has sucked. But leaving Paradise would be a copout."

"To me," I tell him "leaving Paradise means freedom. I feel locked up just living in this town where everybody reminds me what a loser I am now."

Calec crouches down, his face right in from of mine.
"You are not a loser. Hell, Maggie, you always knew what you wanted and went for it."

I tell him the honest truth. "Not anymore. When you hit me, a part of me died."

Next Book:
Return to Paradise - Leaving Paradise #2 - September 1st 2010


29 July 2010

Interview: Jenna Black

First of all, I want to thank Jenna for being here today. This interview mainly has questions about her latest released book, Glimmerglass and the next book of the series, Shadowspell.

A runaway girl discovers she has the unique power to enter the Land of Faerie and bring back magic in this fabulous start to a hot new young adult series.

Dana Hathaway doesn't know it yet, but she's in big trouble. When her mother, an alcoholic, shows up at her voice recital drunk, Dana decides she's had enough of playing the role of her mother's keeper, so she packs her bags and travels to see her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the magical world of Faerie intersect. Dana is a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds. She has always known that her father is a big-deal Fae, but what she doesn't realise is that she could be the key to his rise to power. When she arrives in Avalon, Dana finds herself a pawn in the game of magical politics. Avalon is a place where both magic and technology work, and humans and Fae coexist in something resembling peace. How can she change the winds of fate, find a boyfriend, and make new friends when she's not sure who, if anyone, can be trusted.

Read my review of the book HERE.

This interview contains a few Glimmerglass spoilers.

- Do you have a specific time & place for writing?
I have an office, which is where I do almost all my writing. My office is a converted bonus room over the garage, and it's decorated in a gothic/medieval theme that makes it a special place to be. I have a dedicated computer that I use just for writing--I've stripped off all the games and other software so there's nothing on it but Word and Wordperfect. The fewer temptations/distractions, the better.

Generally, I write in the morning and the early- to mid-afternoon. I tend to write in sixty-ninety minute bursts, fitting my promotional activities--such as wrangling my inbox, and Twitter, and Facebook, and my website--in between.

- What do you do when you need to disconnect?
That changes a lot over time. I've recently taken up knitting, which is becoming my favorite way to relax at the moment. However, I must admit that I don't "disconnect" as often as I ought to. When I worked a "normal" day job, I had hours when I was in the office at work, and hours when I wasn't, with a clear distinction between them. Now that I'm a full-time writer and work from home, anytime can be work time for me. For instance, I'm working on this interview while I'm sitting at the spa getting a pedicure. I'm pretty sure that defeats the purpose of coming to the spa in the first place, but a couple of delays have put me way behind on my work, so I had to lessen the guilt of taking the "time off" for a pedicure by getting some work done.

- Which have been your favourite books of this year?
I'm not fond of picking "favorites," especially since I'm bound to forget some of them, but a few of the ones I've really enjoyed this year are RADIANT SHADOWS by Melissa Marr, WHITE CAT by Holly Black, and LOVER MINE, by JR Ward.

- If you could hang out with one of your characters, which one would you pick?
I suppose the character from my YA books I'd most like to hang out with would be Finn. I like the strong, silent type--seeing as I'm on the quiet side myself--and I think he and I would get along well. Plus, he'd be easy on the eyes, and he has hidden depths.

- What are you working on right now?
Right now, I'm working on the third Faeriewalker book. But I rarely end up working on only one project at a time. I'm expecting to get an edit letter for DARK DESCENDANT, the first book of my new adult urban fantasy series (coming out in May of next year) any minute now. And knowing Murphy's Law, I'll probably get page proofs for SHADOWSPELL on the same day.

- Why did you decide to write a YA book?
I didn't exactly decide to write a YA book--it just sort of happened that way. I came up with the idea of the city of Avalon as the one place the mortal world and Faerie intersect. At first, my plan was to write a paranormal romance series set in this world, but when I sat down to brainstorm plot ideas, nothing really leapt out at me. I then decided the world might be better suited to an urban fantasy story, but again, when I was in the brainstorming phase, I couldn't come up with anything I was truly excited to write about. Then the idea of writing about a teen girl running away from her alcoholic mother came to me, and suddenly the plot ideas came fast and furious. Something about Dana's character really leapt out at me and made me excited to write her story. And that's how I ended up writing YA.

- When is going to be the release date of Shadowspell?
SHADOWSPELL goes on sale on January 4, 2011.

- What can you tell us about it?
Dana gets a new adversary in the Erlking, who is the leader of the Wild Hunt (at least, of my version of the Wild Hunt). There's a lot of different mythology surrounding the Wild Hunt, which is sometimes associated with Faerie and sometimes not, but as with most of the mythology I have used for this series, I have taken a lot of liberties. My Wild Hunt is a group of supernatural huntsmen who work as the Faerie Queens' assassins. The Erlking and his Hunt may have come to Avalon to kill Dana, but it seems he might want something else entirely from Dana. And Dana's father may know more about the Erlking's goals than he's telling.

- Is Dana going to warm up to her father?
Yes and no. Their relationship is never going to be an easy one, because they came from such different worlds and have such different world views. Add the fact that she now has to deal with a parent who actually wields his parental authority, and they're bound to butt heads.

- One of my favourite characters was Keane. Are we going to find out more about him in the future?
Keane plays an important role in SHADOWSPELL, so yes, you'll definitely learn more about him.

- Also, is there a possible love triangle between Dana, Ethan and Keane?
It's possible. You never know. ;-)

- Are Dana's powers going to be explored in the next book?
Dana's attempts to learn about and control her magic--while keeping her abilities secret from everyone--is one of the major plot elements in SHADOWSPELL.

You can learn more about the author in her website: http://www.jennablack.com

28 July 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

Author: C.E. Murphy
Title: Truthseeker
Series: Worldwaker Duology #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: August 31st 2010.
Edition: Paperback

Though gifted with an uncanny intuition that allows her to discern when someone is lying, Lara Jansen is sure there’s nothing particularly special about her. All that changes when a handsome but mysterious man enters her quiet Boston tailor shop and reveals himself to be a prince of Faerie. What’s more, Dafydd ap Caerwynn claims that Lara is a truthseeker, a person with the rare talent of being able to tell truth from falsehood. Dafydd begs Lara to help clear his name by solving his brother’s murder, of which Dafydd himself is the only suspect.

Acting against her practical nature, Lara agrees to step through a window into another world. Now caught between bitterly opposed Seelie forces and Dafydd’s secrets, which are as perilous as he is irresistible, Lara finds that her abilities are increasing in unexpected and uncontrollable ways. With the fate of two worlds at stake and a malevolent entity wielding the darkest of magic, Lara and Dafydd will risk everything on a love that may be their salvation—or the most treacherous illusion of all.

Author: Andrea Cremer
Title: Nightshade
Series: Nightshade #1
Genre: YA
Release Date: October 19th 2010.
Edition: Hardback

While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.

27 July 2010

Review: Fatal Circle by Linda Robertson

Title: Fatal Circle
Author: Linda Robertson
Series: Persephone Alcmedi #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Edition: Paperback
There was a time when Persephone Alcmedi thought her life was hard to manage, what with wondering how to make sure she took adequate care of both her grandmother and her foster daughter, Beverley, whether she’d end up in the unwanted position of high priestess of a coven, and whether her wærewolf lover, Johnny, would resist the groupies who hang around his band Lycanthropia.

But that was before the fairies started demanding that Seph’s frightening, unpredictable ally—the ancient vampire Menessos— be destroyed . . . or the world will suffer. Seph and Menessos are magically bonded, but that’s a secret she dares not reveal to her fellow witches lest they be forced to reject her and forbid her use of magic. And, despite the strain this casts on her relationship with Johnny, as a showdown with the fairies nears, she and Menessos badly need the wærewolves as allies.

Life, death, and love are all on the line, but when destiny is calling, it doesn’t help to turn away. With the individual threads of their fates twisted inextricably together, can Seph, Johnny, and Menessos keep the world safe from fairy vengeance?

After the events of the previous book, Seph has to deal with the consequences of her actions, especially since they could start a war with the fairies and a lot of people now know that she's the Lustrata.

Seph has matured a lot since the first book. In this one we see her make some tough choices as well as sacrifice herself for what she thinks is best, for what she believes in. One of the best things of this series is the relationship between Seph and Nana, her grandmother. We don't see her much in this book, but she rocks the scenes she is in. I love reading her sarcastic remarks!

This is a Menessos oriented book. That doesn't mean we don't see Johnny, but he's not as much in it as the previous books. Menessos was a big mystery until this book. Before we only saw him as a really good manipulator, with very powerful skills and powers, and at the end, he couldn't be trusted. But in this book most of that changes. Seph learns to trust him at least a little and we also learn much more about his past and his abilities. I loved seeing how the vampire world worked and learning everyone's position in it.

Johnny has a lot to overcome in this book. We know he's loyal to Seph, but he has to adapt to the vampire lifestyle as well as steping up for the werewolves. It was really fun seeing him and Menessos trying to work with each other.

The bad guys this time are the faeries. They are going to kill as many of Menessos/Seph's allies as they have to until they get what they want. I was expecting more of them. I don't know, I guess I just wanted them to do more damage at the end (although they do kill some important people).
Another of the things I loved was the explanations about the elementals (you're going to have to read the book if you want to know).

All in all, it was a satisfying entry to the series, with a great balance between action and character development.

Memorable Lines:

"Now you should go," I said. We'd already established that both of us knew the bond between us had inverted and I was the master. He had to obey. Or so I hoped. It was my strong suspicion that he wasn't going to prove an obedient servant.

"Hold on, Red." Johnny jerked the pull chain on the overhead light. It was a harsh hundred watts. "I want the vampire to explain how he got past the wards."

Good question.

Menessos stood. Directing his reply to me, he said, "Perhaps the details are not meant for your lover's ears?"

"Perhaps you're wrong." Johnny was obviously not going to back down, even for someone who'd kicked his ass a few weeks ago.

"It's a magical secret, and should be hers to share. Or not."

"Oh." I realized Menessos meant his binding to me superseded the wards I'd created. "That."

"What?" Johnny asked.

Knowing he needed to feel he was one up on Menessos and to be shown that I trusted him, I said, "The binding allows him access." While that was true, it wasn't the full answer. I hadn't yet explained to Johnny that Menessos was bound to me, and not the other way around.

"Figures." Johnny pointed at the stairs. "But now you can go."

Previous Books:
Vicious Circle - Persephone Alcmedi #1
Hallowed Circle - Persephone Alcmedi #2

Next Book:
Arcane Circle - Persephone Alcmedi #4 - December 28th 2010.


26 July 2010

Review: Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Storm Glass
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Glass #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: July 17th, 2009
Edition: Paperback
Untrained. Untested. Unleashed.

With her unique magical abilities, Opal has always felt unsure of her place at Sitia's magic academy. But when the Stormdancer clan needs help, Opal's knowledge makes her the perfect choice -until the mission goes awry.

Pulling her powers in unfamiliar directions, Opal finds herself tapping into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. Now Opal must deal with plotters out to destroy the Stormdancer clan, as well as a traitor in their midst. With danger and deception rising around her, will Opal's untested abilities destroy her - or save them all?

After finishing the awesome Study series, someone on the blog told me that the author was writing a series about a secondary character, Opal. You don't really need to read the Study series to follow this one, but I think readers would enjoy it more if they had.

4 years after the events of Magic Study, Opal Cowen is a last year student at the Magician's Guild. She worries that her only magical ability is trapping magic inside crystals, but that's exactly why she gets chosen to help the Stormdancer clan. As events unfold, Opal goes from being insecure and don't knowing where she belongs to accepting responsabilities, trusting herself more and figuring out a lot of her problems.

Sometimes I liked her more than Yelena because she's more vulnerable, but other times I just wanted to tell her to snap out of her funk and start doing something useful. I loved the relationship she has with her family and how she still mourns her sister from time to time.

We get to know better some characters like Zitora, the little we get to know about her is very interesting, especially the question of what happenend to her sister; and Leif (I loved seeing him interact with Mara, Opal's older siste). We also get introduced to Kade, a really powerful stormdancer and Opal's love interest, Ulrick, a fellow glassmaker who's also Opal's love interest, although there's something about him I've never really liked, and Pazia, a very powerful magician that hates Opal and her fame.

Yelena, Janco, Ari and some other characters make a reappearance in this book, and I have to say the more I read about Janco, the more I love him. I was hoping we would get to see Valek, but at the end he doesn't show up.

The pace, as usual with this author, run along perfectly and the only problem I had with the plot was that I was expecting more from the villian and at the end it left a lot of questions unanswered. Apart from that, this was a great beginning, with a lot of new characters introduced, that explores more deeply the territory of Sitia and gives us a peek at the clans that we didn't know.

Memorable Lines:

Why me? I was still learning. “You need to send a master glassmaker. My father—”

“Is in Booruby with all the other experts, which is a seven-day ride away from them. And besides…” Master Jewelrose paused. “The problem might not be with the glass. Perhaps the old glassmaker used magic when he crafted the orbs. Perhaps magic similar to yours.”

My heart melted as if thrown into a kiln. Events had become too hot too quick and the results could have cracks. I had worked with glass since I could remember, yet there was still so much to learn. “When…when do we leave?”

“Today,” Zitora said.

Alarm must have shown on my face.

“Time is of the essence, child.” Master Bloodgood’s expression saddened. “When an orb shatters, it kills a Stormdancer.”

Next Book:
Sea Glass - Glass #2


25 July 2010

International Contest Sunday (14)

The Hiding Spot is giving away a copy of Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George.
Ends on July 25th.
Enter here.

* YzhaBella's Bookshelf is giving away a copy of Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill.
Ends July 26th.
Enter here.

* Novel Thoughts is giving away an ARC of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.
Ends on July 30th.
Enter here.

- The Hiding Spot is giving away an Arc of The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by Robin Benway.
Ends on July 30th.
Enter here.

- P. J. Hoover is giving away an ARC of Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl.
Ends on July 30th.
Enter here.

* P. J. Hoover is giving away an ARC of Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman.
Ends on July 30th.
Enter here.

- Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf is celebrating her blogoversary and it's giving away 4 prizes, each of them a different amount of money you can spend on books.
Ends on July 30th.
Enter here.

- Tynga's Reviews is having a 900 followers giveaway. You could win an ARc of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare & a copy of Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost.
Ends on July 30th.
Enter here.

* Good Golly Miss Holly is having The All In giveaway. There will be 20 winners and each will win a book from her list.
Ends on July 31st.
Enter here.

* Red House Books is having a blogoversary mega contest. 2 winners could win $15 to spend on The Book Depository.
Ends on July 31st.
Enter here.

- Queen of Happy Endings is giving away a choice of 3 books, including Linger.
Ends on July 31st.
Enter here.

- Karen's Addictions is having a 100 followers contest. You could win a book of up to $15.
Ends on July 31st.
Enter here.

- Stories & Sweeties is having a book birthday bash & a 200 followers giveaway. There will be 4 winnes and each will get a different book fron the list.
Ends on July 31st.
Enter here.

* Writing From The Tub is giving away an ARC of Torment by Lauren Kate.
Ends on August 1st.
Enter here.

- Magic Bean Review is giving away a copy of No and Me by Delphine de Vigan.
Ends on August 1st.
Enter here.

- Ellz Readz is having a blogoversary contest. 2 winners will win a book up to $15 from the Book Depository.
Ends on August 2nd.
Enter here.

- Maybe Tomorrow? is having a Women of the Otherworld July giveaway. You could win Waking the Witch or swag.
Ends on August 3rd.
Enter here.

- Pure Imagination is having a Summer Celebration giveaway. You could win 5 books, including Shadow Hills & Linger.
Ends on August 6th.
Enter here.

* Carol's Prints is giving away 7 ARC's, including Matched by Ally Condie, Firelight by Sophia Jordan and Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers.
Ends on August 9th.
Enter here.

* My Neurotic Book Affair is celebrating her 67 + followers giving away a pre-oreder of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.
Ends on August 12th.
Enter here.

- Book Reviews from Inside an Igloo is giving away a book from the Book Depository who cost $20 maximum.
Ends on August 14th.
Enter here.

- Book Obsession is having a paranormal pre-order contest. One winner will get 3 pre-orders from her list.
Ends on August 18th.
Enter here.

* She Reads and Reads is having a blogiversary giveaway. 2 winners could win a book under $15 from the Book Depository that she has mentioned in her blog.
Ends on August 25th.
Enter here.

* Girls Without a Bookshelf is giving away 7 sequels to 7 of her favourite books.
Ends on August 31st.
Enter here.

- Old contest
* New contest

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

24 July 2010

ARC Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Iron Fey #2
Genre: YA
Release Date: August 1, 2010
Edition: Paperback
Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

The story begins a little after the events of the previous book, The Iron King. After everything Meghan has been through, she though that when she arrived at the Winter Court she would have Ash's support, but she couldn't have been more wrong.

Meghan grows up a lot in this book. At the beginning she's alone and scared, but later she decides to go after the bad guys, with or without help. I liked seeing her taking charge and making tough choices, which made me like her even more than before. The love triangle between Meghan, Ash and Puck gets more screen time in this book. Ash acts a lot more like the Winter Prince, and we discover how deadly he can be while Puck keeps being one of the sources of humor in the story. I honestly don't know how Meghan is going to choose between them, I love them both!

We also get to see some characters from the previous book like Grimalkin, who's as mysterious as ever, Ironhorse, who may or may not be a bad guy or Mab & Oberon, as powerful and lethal as usual.

I loved the descriptions of the forest and the different places and beings, especially the iron fey, who have some different and at the same time similar characteristics as the Winter and Summer fey.

This book has non-stop action, a very conflicting romance and a heroine that you love the more you read about her. There are some plot points that are left unresolved, but I hope we'll find the asnwers in the next book. Sometimes sequels don't live up to the expectations of the first book, but that's not the case with this one. I think I enjoyed it even more and now all I want is the next and final book of this trilogy.

Next Book:
The Iron Queen - Iron Fey #3 - February 2011

Rating: 1/2

23 July 2010

Review: Stormwalker by Allyson James

Title: Stormwalker
Author: Allyson James
Series: Stormwalker #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Edition: Paperback
Half-Navajo Janet Begay comes to Magellan to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the police chief's daughter. But the people of Magellan sense that Janet is not what she seems, and they're right.

Janet possesses extraordinary power which is tied to the storms that waft across the desert. The only person who can control her when she's caught in the storm's evocative power is Mick, a dark-haired, blue-eyed biker Janet can't seem to touch with her powers. He can weild fire and not get burned, and Janet's never sure where he goes when they're not together.

Together they investigate mysterious disappearances, which Janet fears are tied to her mother's people, the mythical gods from below the earth. They are helped along the way by Coyote and Crow, but these shapeshifting gods have their own agendas.

I've been a fan of this author since I read her dragon books when they went out a couple of years ago. When I heard she was going to release a book with the main character being able to manipulate storms, I immediately put the book on my pre-order list.

I liked Janet instanty. She's a strong, complicated character who is trying to face her fears once and for all. She feels like she doesn't belong anywhere, so she buys a hotel in Magellan and hires a handful of interesting people to restore it, all because she wants to have a place she can call home.

Her relationship with Mick, the book's love interest, is complicated and carries a lot of history. She hasn't seen him in 5 years and at the moment she needs him the most, he reappears in her life. That's bound to make suspicious a lot of people, including Janet (and that's one of the things I liked the most about her, how she doesn't lie to herself).
Mick is a very likeable character: he takes care of Janet, he's powerful and a bit cocky. But he's keeping a lot of secrets, and while a lot of people may think that being mysterious is sexy, in this case I just wanted to kick him in the ass so he would start talking.

There are other interesting characters like the sheriff Nash Jones. He's a jerk. More important than that, I loved that he was a jerk. I guess he must have redeemable characteristics somewhere, but I didn't see them. There's also Coyote, who thinks he's smarter than anyone else and it seems like all he can think about is sex.

One of my favourite scenes was the one when Janet goes back home and finally talks alone with her dad. The conversation they had almost put tears in my eyes. Loved Janet's grandmother, by the way. She reminded me of another grandmother I love, the one of the World of the Lupi series by Eileen Wilks.

I love the world Allyson created, especially since it has my favourite creature in it (can't tell you which one, although I really want to talk about it. It would be a big spoiler!). I read this book in one sitting and after reading it I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was one of the best books I've read this summer!

Memorable Lines:

“Should I consider myself under arrest?” I asked.

Nash slammed the door and put on his seat belt. “Being taken in for questioning.”

“My bike?”

“Deputies are impounding it. It’s evidence.”

“Damn you, Jones, I didn’t run into that truck.”

“Save it.” He put the SUV in gear and pulled out past the flipped pickup as the deputies lifted my Harley and tossed carelessly it into the back of their truck.

Next Book:
Firewalker - Stormwalker #2 - November 2nd 2010.

Rating: 1/2

22 July 2010

Interview: Kelly Meding

Next week one of my most anticipated novels of the summer comes out. As Lie The Dead by Kelly Meding follows up the events of the previous book, Three Days To Dead.

Evangeline Stone, a rogue bounty hunter, never asked for a world divided between darkness and light…

…or the power to die and live again in someone else's borrowed body. After a murder plot meant to take her out leaves an entire race of shapeshifters nearly extinct, Evy is gnawed by guilt. So when one of the few survivors of the slaughter enlists her aid, she feels duty-bound to help—even though protecting a frail, pregnant shifter is the last thing Evy needs, especially with the world going to hell around her.

Amid weres, Halfies, gremlins, vamps—and increasingly outgunned humans—a war for supremacy is brewing. With shifters demanding justice, her superiors desperate to control her, and an assassin on her trail, Evy discovers a horrifying conspiracy. And she may be the only person in the world who can stop it—unless, of course, her own side gets her first.

Kelly was nice enough to agree to do an interview for this blog. I want to thank her for her time and answering all my questions!

Warning - If you haven't read Three Days to Dead yet, you may read spoilers in the interview.

- Hi Kelly, thanks so much for being here today.

Thank you for having me!

- Do you have a specific time & place for writing?

Not at all. The closest I come to either is my laptop/desk, where I do the majority of my writing. Sitting down at my desk gives me a feeling of "time to work now." But I do write whenever I can squeeze out a few minutes, whether it's on my lunch break, in a car (as the passenger), or in a waiting room. My Day Job work schedule changes day to day, so I don't have any sort of real schedule to work around there. If I go in at night, I write in the morning, and vice versa.

- What do you do when you need to disconnect?

Pick up a book and read. Veg out in front of the television, usually with the Food Network or HGTV. Sometimes I'll go on YouTube and watch videos of old shows, or fan vids of favorite shows. I also like to cook, so puttering around in the kitchen is a great way to relax (unless I'm hosting Thanksgiving, because that's a completely different kind of stress).

- Which have been your favourite books of this year?

I haven't read as many this year as I should have, for a variety of reasons. But I enjoyed TALK ME DOWN, by Victoria Dahl. It's contemporary romance and just very witty and funny. I also loved THE DARKEST PASSION by Gena Showalter, which is book five in her Lords of the Underworld series (very, very sexy and great world-building). I'm also reading an ARC of a book by debut author Kevin Hearne, who I think will be someone to watch next year.

- If you could hang out with one of your characters, which one would you pick?

I think I'd pick Tybalt Monahan, a Hunter from Gina Kismet's Triad. He's introduced at the end of THREE DAYS TO DEAD, and is featured in a short story I posted on Suvudu.com last fall. He becomes a larger character in later books, and his backstory is really a lot of fun. He's much like Evy in many ways, and yet still very different. But I think he'd be fun to hang out with.

- What are you working on right now?

Right now I'm working on Dreg City #4, which is odd to think about sometimes, because #2 hasn't released yet. But there it is. Lot of big twists and turns ahead for Evy and her friends.

- What can you tell us about your next book, As Lie The Dead?

It definitely ups the stakes for everyone in Evy's orbit. We get to meet the survivors of the Owlkin massacre, as well as get a peek into the inner workings of the were society. Lots more backstory on Wyatt Truman, and his beginnings with the Triads. Evy has to really look at herself and her ingrained beliefs and decide if the world is quite as black and white as she once believed it to be. Plus gremlins, explosions, a rooftop greenhouse, betrayal, smoke inhalation, and skeletons coming out of the closet….

- Is Evy going to start to have problems the longer she stays in Chalice's body?

That depends on what you mean by problems. But yes, being in Chalice's body will continue to create challenges for Evy, both physical and emotional. One particular challenge shows up in AS LIE THE DEAD. Her new body, with its healing ability, teleporting powers, and emotional imbalance, is a huge obstacle for Evy in and of itself, and I plan to use that to its fullest potential (*insert evil laughter*).

- What can you tell us about the Owlkins?

Not too much that you won't find out in AS LIE THE DEAD. They are a Clan of shapeshifters who shift into various birds-of-prey, including eagles, falcons, osprey, kestrels, hawks, and different kinds of owls. They are also nearly extinct now. They are extremely family oriented and Clan loyal, which is why they chose to inhabit a single apartment complex (insert nesting jokes here). One little tidbit I'll share is that they are one of the oldest existing Clans, and there is a very good reason why they chose, many centuries ago, to live peacefully among humans.

- Are we going to find out what happened with the hybrids?

Oh yes. They'll be mentioned in AS LIE THE DEAD, and we'll hear much more about them in Dreg City #3. The hybrids were such a fun idea, creatively, that I definitely wanted to address their existence in a big way.

- One of my favourite characters is Rufus. Are we going to see more of him?

Yay! I'm so glad you like Rufus. I'm fond of him, as well. Yes, his participation in the slaughter of the Owlkins is a huge part of AS LIE THE DEAD, and he'll be called to pay the price for that. You'll have to wait and see if Evy can save his life.

- Are all the books going to be from Evy's point of view?

As of right now, yes. I've toyed with the idea of a Wyatt-centric book, but that's just dreaming right now. Dreg City is very much Evy's story, so it's likely the series will continue from her Point of View. However, I've been lucky enough to expand the scope of the series a bit through short fiction. I published two short stories on Suvudu.com last fall—one from Hunter Tybalt Monahan's perspective, and another from the perspective of Ash Bedford, one of Evy's dead Triad partners. I hope to do more stories centering around different characters, whether I post them online or sell them to anthologies. Dreg City is just full of fun characters with their own stories to tell.

- Thanks again and good luck with As Lie The Dead.

Thank you so much for having me!

You can learn more about Kelly and her books at her site: http://www.kellymeding.com/

21 July 2010

Giveaway: $50 CSN Stores Gift Certificate

Today I have a great giveaway for you.

CSN , that has more than 200 stores, is offering a $50 gift certificate for one lucky winner, so he/she can buy anything they want from their site: desks, bookcases, table lamps, bikes and many other things.

The only thing you have to do is fill out the FORM.

US/Canada Only

Ends on July 28th.

* Winner will be chosen through random.org

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Author: Kelly Gay
Title: The Darkest Edge of Dawn
Series: Charlie Madigan #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: August 31st 2010.
Edition: Paperback

It takes a strong woman to keep the peace in a city of endless night. . . .

Deep beneath Underground, a cunning bid for power and revenge has begun—one that threatens to make Atlanta the new battleground in the ultimate confrontation between good and evil. The powers of hellish Charbydon have the upper hand after plunging the city into primordial night. And under the cover of darkness, a serial killer targets the most powerful Elysians in the city, the angelic Adonai. For Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner Hank, tracking deadly predators is all in a day’s work . . . but this case will test the limits of their strength and friendship as it draws them into a deadly world of power plays, ancient myths, explosive secrets, and a race against time that risks all that Charlie holds dear.

Author: Cassandra Clare
Title: Clockwork Angel
Series: Infernal Devices #1
Genre: YA
Release Date: August 31st 2010.
Edition: Hardback

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

20 July 2010

Review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Title: Rules of Attraction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry #2
Genre: YA
Release Date: April 13, 2010
Edition: Hardback
When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

Simone Elkeles is becoming, without a doubt, one of my favourite YA authors. Afer finishing the first book of the trilogy, which I loved, I couldn't wait to get my hands into this one, and I devoured it in one sitting.

Carlos is a lot like his brother Alex. He's arrogant, prideful, tries to protect his family at all costs and he doesn't believe he belongs or is worthy of Kiara. I loved seeing his interactions with Alex, especially when they were talking about "their" girls. It was also funny and a little heartbreaking seeing him deal with Kiara's family, especially her dad, because Carlos grew up without paternal guidance.

Kiara is shy, responsible and loves her family. She's also a car lover, hikes almost everyday, has a funny & competitive side and when she gets nervous she stutters. As the story moved forward, you could see sparks flying between Carlos and Kiara. I loved how at some point or another, they had to risk their pride, heart & soul to one another, as well as seeing their protective instincts.

One of my favourite things was the relationship between Carlos and Kiara's best friend. It was fun seeing the progression from hate to an amicable truce. I also loved how Carlos deals with Kiara's ex. He completely had it coming!

I don't usually talk much about covers but this one is based on one of my favourite scenes of the whole book. It's so romantic and exciting that I've re-read the scene a few times.
The plot moved along nicely, and even though I've never been a huge fan of books that switched narrators from chapter to chapter, this 2 books of the trilogy are an exception. The author makes it work wonderfully and I love seeing the point of view of both main characters.
I can't wait to read Luis' book and see how the trilogy ends! Seeing as how I loved this book even more than the previous one, my expectations for the next book are really high.

Memorable Lines:

“I can’t be normal with you,” I tell her.

She turns to me, confused. “What are you talking about?”

“This morning in front of Michael you asked me to be normal.” I take a deep breath and tell her what I should have said after the game. Instead of lettin’ her ignore me when I finally got home, I should have told her the truth. “I can’t. When Tuck told me you’d dated Michael, all these visions of you with another guy drove me nuts. I don’t want you with another guy.”

“I don’t want to be with another guy. I want to be with you. Now pick a movie before I say something you don’t want to hear.” She waves me over. “Pick one.”

Next Book:
Untitled Perfect Chemistry #3 (Luis' Book) - 2011