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:

17 November 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (28)


Author: Nancy A. Collins
Title: Right-Hand Magic
Series: Golgotham #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: December 7th 2010
Publisher: Roc
Edition: Paperback
Blurb:

Like most Manhattanites, aspiring artist Tate can't resist a good rental deal-even if it's in the city's strangest neighborhood, Golgotham, where for centuries werewolves, centaurs, and countless other creatures have roamed the streets.

Her new landlord is a sorcerer name Hexe, who is determined to build his reputation without using dark, left-hand magic. As Tate is drawn into Hexe's fascinating world, they both find that the right hand does not always know what the left hand is doing-and avoiding darkness is no easy trick...

15 November 2010

Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook


Title: The Iron Duke
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #1
Genre: Steampunk
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Edition: Trade Paperback
Blurb:

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.


I have never read an Steampunk book and truth be told, I didn't have any plans to start, but then I read the prequel novella of this book, Here There Be Monsters. I inmediatly fell in love with the world, so The Iron Duke became one of my most wanted books.

The most impresive thing for me about The Iron Duke is the worldbuilding. We have nanoagents that now are injected into a body for healing purposes but before were used to control and suppress the emotions of the british citizens by the Horde, the Horde who used to control England, the Frenzy that makes people procreate withour their knowledge or consent, krakens that are a kind of weapon created by the Horde, zombies and more. As a result of that control, people became slaves and when they were freed by the Iron Duke much of their society changed, like not wanting to get married.
This is not an easy and quick read, but the worldbuilding doesn't overwhelm you, it just makes you love the book so much more.

Mira is a very strong and complicated character. She has been dealing with insults and assaults all her life for the way she looks. She's close to her family and values a lot her job as an Inspector. After all the things she has seen she still has compassion and cares about what happens to people.
Then we have Rhys, the Iron Duke, the one who saved them all. He's arrogant and cold. Thinks he can get whatever he wants. Doesn't much care about the rules and has an incredible amount of power. He is also the reason I didn't give this book a perfect rating. While I like an alpha hero, there were times where he went too far. Also, I wish the relationship between both of them had had a little more romance and that they had at least learn how to communicate with each other, which they didn't.

All in all, this book has the perfect blend between adventure, worlbuilding. action and romance. Even if you've never read any Steampunk, you should give this one a try. It's definitely worth it.


Memorable Lines:

“Have you received any threats?” That question would be of the utmost importance to Superintendent Hale, and everyone else Mina answered to. The Iron Duke must be kept safe.
“Yes.” A brief smile accompanied his answer.
Of course he had. “Threats from anyone who would dare act on them?”
“No.”
And if someone had, Mina suspected that she’d never have been called. A law unto himself, he’d have concealed the evidence.

Previous Book:
0.5. Here There be Monsters - Review

Next Book:
2. Heart of Steel (Nov, 2011)

Rating:


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

14 November 2010

International Contest Sunday (20)

International_Contest_Sunday



- Story On a Page is celebrating her 1st blogoversary by giving away either two $5 Amazon GCs, a book of up to $9 from the Book Dpository or a custom layout design. There will be 2 winners.
Ends on November 14th.
Enter here.

* The Bookish Type is giving away a copy of Firelight & Paranormalcy.
Ends on November 15th.
Enter here.

* Michelle Hodkin is giving away an ARC of Delirium by Lauren Oliver.
Ends on November 16th.
Enter here.

* Leah Clifford is having a contest where you can win an ARC of her book A Touch Mortal plus being put in the ackwnoledgements of her second book.
Ends on November 17th.
Enter here.

* Marieke's Musings is giving away your choice of Jackson Pearce's books.
Ends on November 17th.
Enter here.

* Sparkling Reviews is giving away a Kindle.
Ends on November 18th.
Enter here.

- Read This Book is having a huge giveaway in which you could win one of her prize packs.
Ends on November 20th.
Enter here.

- Vampire Book Club is having a 500 followers giveaway in which you could win 3 adult books.
Ends on November 22nd.
Enter here.

* Addicted 2 Novels is celebrating her blogoversary by giving away a book of up to $10 from the Book Depository.
Ends on November 25th.
Enter here.

* What's on the Bookshelf is giving away a book of up to $20 from the Book Depository.
Ends on November 26th.
Enter here.

* We adore a Happy Ending is giving away a copy of Bloodline by Kate Cary.
Ends on November 26th.
Enter here.

* The Creative Well is having a 150 followers giveaway. You could win a $10 GC.
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.

* 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.

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

- Old contest
* New contest

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

12 November 2010

Review: Blood Song by Cat Adams


Title: Blood Song
Author: Cat Adams
Series: Bloodsinger #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: June 2, 2010
Publisher: Tor
Edition: Trade Paperback
Blurb:
Bodyguard Celia Graves has definitely accepted her share of weird assignments, both human and supernatural. But her newest job takes the cake. Guarding a Prince from terrorists and religious fundamentalists is hard enough, but it seems like the entire supernatural world is after this guy too. When she is betrayed by those she is employed to help, and everything goes horribly wrong, Celia wakes to find herself transformed. Neither human nor vampire, Celia has become an Abomination—something that should not exist—and now both human and supernatural alike want her dead. With the help of a few loyal friends—a sexy mage, a powerful werewolf, and a psychic cop—Celia does her best to stay alive. On the run from her enemies, Celia must try to discover who is behind her transformation…before it’s too late.

I read this book from start to finish in one sitting. In the world this book is set in vampires are completely evil, a nice change from other urban fantasies. There are all kinds of paranormal creatures and the world knows it. The main character, Celia, is the only normal human in her group of friends and she doesn't think she really fits in with them. That is until she is attacked and becomes an abomination.

There were a lot of secondary characters, too many, if you ask me. It seemed like in every new scene a new "important" character popped up, and that made me forget who was who to the point of not caring anymore. The funny thing is that with each of them you saw a new side of Celia. I wish the authors could have used another way to give depth to the main character. Anyway, of all the side characters my favourite was Kevin, the mysterious werewolf friend of Celia. We don't see much of him, but I found him to be the most interesting character of the book.

Celia is a strong, capable person and that is showed through the novel. She deals with a lot of issues and confronts her past to a degree. The problem I had was that even though a lot of people are after her, the final battles never happen. Most of her problems are solved for her without even know it, and I really didn't like that.
Usually there is a clear love interest in urban fantasy books, but not so much with this one. That gives an element of "suspense" but I hope it's solved in the next book.

This was an enjoyable read with a very interesting worldbuilding. I just hope that the cliffhanger is explained and solved in future books and that we get to know some secondary characters better.


Memorable Lines:

"What are you doing up?" The words were directed at me. The look, however, was for Jones first, then Emma.
"I did it," Jones said. he gave Kevin a broad smile that didn't reach his eyes. "It's necessary. We have to find her sire. Doing so in daylight, when he's helpless, would be preferable, don't you think?"
"Not if it kills Celia in the process." Kevin snarled.
The smile grew, and Jones' eyes started to twinkle. "Well, you're in luck. She's not dead."

Next Books:
2. Siren Song
3. Demon Song (Mar 2011)

Rating:

11 November 2010

Giveaway: $50 CSN Stores Gift Card


Today you can win a $50 CSN Stores gift certificate that you can use in one of their 200 + stores to buy all sorts of things like a bookcase,
a suitcase, tables, lamps, desks and many other things.

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

US/Canada Only

Ends on November 25th.

Extra Entries:
+2 Old follower
+1 New follower
+1 Tweet


* Winner will be chosen through random.org



10 November 2010

Winners !!!

So, I have to announce winners for the CSN Stores GC and the copy of Play of Passion by Nalini Singh. Thanks to everyone for participating.



The winners are:

$45 CSN Stores Gift Certificate - Ioni

Play of Passion by Nalini Singh - justpeachy36

Congrats to the winners! I'll send you an email as soon as I can, but if you see this post first you can always email me at spav05(at)gmail(dot)com .
You have 48hrs to answer my email or I'll pick another winner.


Check back soon because I have a few more giveaways prepared.

Waiting on Wednesday (27)


Author: Richelle Mead
Title: Last Sacrifice
Series: Vampire Academy #6
Genre: YA
Release Date: December 7th 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Edition: Hardcover
Blurb:


Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa is next in line for the royal thrown, nothing will ever be the same between them.

09 November 2010

Interview: Elle Jasper

The first book of the series "The Dark Ink Chronicles" by Elle Jasper was released last week. Today we have her here to answer some questions about her new book.

The Dupres have been Savannah's guardians, appointed by a band of root doctors and hoodooists, for nearly two hundred years. They've all grown...complacent. Now, the Arcos brothers, who've long been entombed at Bonaventure, have been inadvertently freed by a group of teenagers horsing around in the cemetery. Determined to take revenge on the city who entombed them, the Arcos' gather strength in the city's youth. Within the moon's full cycle, the gang's quickening will be complete--they'll become vampires. Newlings, out of control and craving human blood will ravage the city. The one thing the Arcos' didn't count on was the powerful love of a sister. Riley Poe will stop at nothing to get her brother back. The one thing Riley didn't count on was the powerful love of a vampire. Eli Dupre will do anything to get her. Follow Riley, Eli, and the vampires of the Dupre House into the shadowy, underside of Savannah.


- How much research did you do before starting to write Afterlight?
Thanks for having me here! Research...the story is written in Savannah, Ga, which is my home town. I grew up here and had to do very little research on the city. I did research the Goth/Punk culture, their clothes. I seriously researched the art of tattooing. I visited a tattoo shop, took a mini-course online involving tools and products and such. And I did some research on Romanian vampires!

- How long did it take you to write it?
About three months for the first draft. Then it goes through the editing process, which I look forward to! I try to write about 10 pages a day, and the earier in the morning I start, the better! I'm totally a morning person!


- How many books are there going to be in your series?
As of right now, three. But it will depend on how well Afterlight does. It all goes by sales!


- What are you working on right now?
Right now I'm on deadline for book three, EVENTIDE. The books are a continuous series. In other words, each book starts out where the last one left off. It's really like one long, giant book broken down into three books!


- What can you tell us about Afterlight?
Oh yeah! Set in my city, Afterlight is the first book in The Dark Ink Chronicles. The story revolves around the protaganist, Riley Poe, who was a stinker of a kid. I'm talking troubled teen to the nth degree. Drugs. Sex. Gangs. Fighting. Juvy. Jail. It wasn't until an obsessed boyfriend murdered Riley's mother--whom Riley found, strangled in her bath tub--that kicked Riley into gear. Along with her brother, they were left to be raised by her mother's employers and closest friends: a Gullah root doctor and his wife who owns a potions shop on River Street. (Gullah is a culture of folk descended from the African slaves who escaped to the barrier islands off the coast of southern Georgia and South Carolina) When Riley's kid brother gets involved with a prank at Bonaventure Cemetery, and inadvertently set free an entombed pair of evil strigoi vampiric brothers, the city's youth become the target of a vampire uprising. Unbeknownst to Riley, a family of "guardians" have resided in Savannah for nearly three centuries. The Dupres, vampires theselves, made a pact with the Gullah to keep the city safe in return for "humane nourishment". Now Riley's brother is in the "quickening", soon to become a bloodsucker, and Riley must join forces with the Dupres to save him and the other teens from becoming the living dead! Riley, though, has wicked-drugging blood to a vampire, and her Gullah "grandfather" has been keeping it masked for years to keep her safe. When Riley encounters the Dupres eldest son, Eli? Sparks fly and sizzle! And so begins the first book!

- Are all your books going to have the same narrator or does each of them have their own?
The three contracted (Afterlight, Everdark, Eventide) all have the same protagonist--the heroine, Riley Poe. She is a kick-ass tattoo artist who overcame a terrible childhood (drugs, sex, gangs, fighting, jail, and her mother's murder) to become a successful business woman. She raises her younger brother, Seth, and are content. Until the vamps are set free!

- Who and what exactly are the Dupres?
The Durpres are Savannah's guardians. They are a family of vampires whose father, after being bitten and turned centuries before in France, did not want to live without his beloved family. So, he turned them all. They moved to the US to settle and try to start a new life. They encountered a culture of people (the Gullah) who were African slaves who'd migrated to the barrier islands off the coast of Savannah. Along with their African magic, they taught the Dupres how to humanely survive, and not kill. In return, the Dupres became Savannah's guardians.


- Why were the Arcos brothers entombed? And what are the differences between the Dupres and them?
The Arcos brothers were entombed because they had no intentions on becoming humane. They like the hunt, love the kill. The Gullah entombed them, physically and with magic, to keep the city safe. The Dupres like to be humane. They simply wanted to remain a family.


- What can you tell us about the heroine, Riley Poe?
Riley is amazing. She takes no crap off of anyone, yet is a very loving, caring person. After surviving her mother's murder, and a childhood of rebellion where she quit school, got into drugs and punk gangs, in and out of juvy jail, she finally got her act together with the help of her mother's employers and good friends, a pair of elderly Gullah who owns a potions shop. They helped Riley get on her feet, go to art school, open her business.


- Can you tell us a little about the world Afterlight is set in?
Afterlight is set in a world that I've grown up in. Part of it is picture-book, post-card historical Savannah. One of the original colonies, it has survived fire, wars, and was spared alot of its construction. It retains that old world feel. The other part is a world Riley was once a part of--the underground. Seedy nightclubs where anything goes. Punk. Goth. Alternative. Introduce a bad seed of vamps and it becomes a killing ground encased in Spanish moss and horse-drawn tourist carriages. :)


- What is different about the vampires in your books?
I suppose the Dupres are different in that they are a close-knit, true family. Mother. Father. Three brothers. Younger sister. While they indeed are capable of changing into hideous beasts, they do so only to protect and fight for what is theres, or to keep their loved ones, and Savannah, safe. They don't like to feed. They have morales, and they prefer to be humane. They get their nourishment from the Gullah, who has endless supply of their own Red Cross donators!


- Thanks so mcuh for being here today and good luck with Afterlight.
Thank you so much for having me here, and for your interest in Afterlight!



If you want to know more about the author you can check out her website.

08 November 2010

Review: Something Wicked by Michelle Rowen


Title: Something Wicked
Author: Michelle Rowen
Series: Living in Eden #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Edition: Paperback
Blurb:
Every woman has a sexy demon inside her just waiting to get out, but for Eden Riley it’s a little different. Her inner demon is named Darrak, and he’s been inhabiting bodies for the past 300 years. In the daytime, thanks to her special psychic energy, he’s able to take physical shape—a shape she wouldn’t mind getting her hands on, if it wasn’t a threat to her immortal soul…

Because of her possession, Eden now has uncontrollable black magic at her fingertips, and she and Darrak are trying to end the curse that binds them before the situation gets any worse. To do it, they’ll have to get tangled up with some unsavory characters from the underworld. When sparks and spells fly, they could get the distance they need…or each have their own private hell to pay.

I was really looking forward to this book, especially since I loved The Demon In Me. Darrak and Eden continue their journey to free them from the possession and they meet some interesting new characters on their way.

First of all we have Theo, Darrak's "best friend". He's an archdemon and he is really evil. The funny thing is that even though I know he is evil I like him anyway, especially since he cares a great deal about Darrak and he will do all he can to free him from his curse, no matter what.
We also have Andy, Eden's PI friend and co-business partner. There were some developments on his storyline that I wasn't expecting, and it was so funny reading his final reaction to what happened to him. I can't wait to read how everything goes for him in the next book.

And then we have Ben. If you read my review of The Demon in Me you know that I didn't like him at all. Well, that hasn't changed in his book. He keeps trying to save Eden even though she tell him repeatedly that she doesn't want him to help. He is very narrow minded and the choices he made make him a very unlikeable character. Truth be told, I don't think I'll even change my mind about him.
My favourite character without a doubt was Lucifer. It was really interesting seeing his interactions with Eden and finding out what his deal was.

Darrak suffers a little from identity crisis and that makes him do some bad stuff but at the end it only brings him closer to Eden and makes them move forward in their relationship. Sometimes I just wanted these two to start talking to each other and make some things clear, but both of them are very stubborn and don't say anything at all. While there wasn't much worldbuilding, this series doesn't really need it.

All in all, this was a great follow up to The Demon In Me that solves some issues but that mostly rises up a lot of questions and reveals long kept secrets in the characters lives, but the truth is that
I liked the previous book more. This is a light and funny paranormal romance that I enjoyed from start to finish. Now I can't wait to get my hands on the last book of the trilogy.


Memorable Lines:

“I’ll give you a call tomorrow, Eden. Promise,” Graham said before moving off into the crowd, which seemed to swallow him whole in a scattering of light and mingling bodies.
“I hate that guy,” Darrak said. “Loathe him. And I can’t believe you let him kiss you. I almost made you slap him, but luckily for him he didn’t try to slip you the tongue. It’s obvious to me that he’s only after one thing from you and –”
“He’s gay,” Eden said simply.
“Oh.” There was a pause. “I totally knew that.”

Previous Book:
1. The Demon in Me - Review

Next Book:
3. That Old Black Magic (TBD)

Rating:


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

04 November 2010

Interview: Allyson James

Today we have with us author Allyson James whose last book, Firewalker, was released this tuesday.


Janet Begay's Crossroads Hotel has attracted the supernatural ever since it opened. But a new, dark power is rising, this time inside Janet herself. Her boyfriend Mick, a sexy dragon shapeshifter the Navajo call a Firewalker, know what terrifying magic is threatening to overwhelm Janet and her Stormwalker powers. He watches over her, ready to fight for her, to do anything to keep her safe.

But then a mysterious corpse is found near the Crossroads Hotel-and Janet becomes the main suspect. Now Janet and Mick must uncover what really happened, and their investigation leads to the most perilous decision of their lives...

Hi Allyson, thanks for being here today.

Thanks so much for asking me!

- How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I spend anywhere from two to eight hours writing. It depends on how energetic I am (or how tired), or how close I am to a deadline! I try to write at least 2000 words a day. Most days I manage 2000-4000.

- Do you listen to music while you write?

Yes. I love guitarists (Marc Antoine, Jeff Golub, to name a few). I have a loop of guitar music on my iPod that drowns out noise and lets me focus on the stories.

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

I’ve love to hang out with Janet and Mick (especially the hottie Mick). I also wouldn’t mind being with the Shifters in the Shifters series I write as Jennifer Ashley (Liam and Sean).

- How many books a year do you write on average?

I average 4 to 5 full-length books and a novella or two.

- What do you do when you need to disconnect?

I build dollhouse miniatures. I love getting into the miniature worlds and making everything exactly the way I want it. I love both big, beautiful dollhouses and tiny, whimsical settings. I’ve posted many of my minis here: http://www.jennifersromances.com/Miniatures/miniatures.html

- What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a couple of things: The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (Book 3 of the Mackenzie series—historical romance I write as Jennifer Ashley). Also Book 3 of the Shifters series, tentatively titled Wild Cat. After that it’s back to the Stormwalker series—I’ve just turned in Book 3 (Shadowwalker) and need to write Book 4. Many, many things!

- I love your dragon books. Any chances there are going to be more of them? (I really want to read Axel's story, even though I know he's not a dragon).

I love the dragon stories too. Right now, my publisher has me focused on the Stormwalker books, but the future may bring more dragons. (And Axel needs a happy ending, I agree!)



- I just finished reading Stormwalker and I loved it. What can you tell us about the sequel, Firewalker?

In Firewalker Mick must face a trial by a dragon tribunal for helping Janet in Book 1. We’ll meet some new characters: the witch Cassandra, who is Janet’s new hotel manager; a Changer wolf-woman named Pamela; Colby, a well-tattooed dragon shifter; and a couple other dragons, plus we’ll learn more about Mick. Janet’s grandmother, Jamison, Maya and Nash, the mirror, and Coyote will all return with prominent roles.

- Nash Jones is a very conflicted character. Is he going to change his attitude any time soon? How is his "relationship" with Maya going?

Nash is a complicated guy, and I really like him. As the series goes on, he learns to be more accepting of magic and what he is, and he and Janet start working better together. Maya and Nash are explosive!

- I loved Mick. I loved him even more when it was revealed he was a dragon. Are we going to learn more about them?

I reveal more and more about Mick as the series goes on. You learn more about his life in Firewalker, and still more in Book 3, Shadowwalker.

- So, we know that Mick sometimes disappeared. What exactly did he do? (Apart from giving information about Janet to the other dragons).

Spoiler Alert (for those who haven’t read Stormwalker): When Mick disappears, he reports to the dragons, but he also returns and watches over Janet. She doesn’t see him, but he follows her when he can, trying to keep her safe. When he’s not doing that, he’s checking out his own lair to make sure all is well.

- I have a soft spot for Janet's father. Are we going to see more of him in future books? Also, is there a HEA for him?

Pete Begay is such a sweet guy! Yes, we will see more of him, and yep a HEA is coming up for him, but I don’t want to give too much away!

- After the events of Stormwalker, does Janet have more powers than before or are her abilities the same that when she went "visit" her mother?

Janet’s powers continue to develop and grow throughout the series. She learns some serious stuff about herself.

- Are we going to learn how Janet's grandmother shapeshifted into a crow?

Janet’s grandmother will return in Firewalker and Shadowwalker, and you’ll learn much more about her (especially in Book 3, Shadowwalker).

- We know there are many different magical creatures in Janet's world. Are we going to learn more of them in the future?

Yes! There are Changers (shapeshifters), dragons of course, Nightwalkers (vampire-ish creatures), witches, powerful mages, and others. I reveal more about them in each book, and also in the novella “Double Hexed,” which will be in the Hexed anthology next June.

- Thanks again and good luck with your next book.

Thank you so much!!



You can also read my reviews of Stormwalker and Firewalker.
If you want to know more about the author you can check out her website.

03 November 2010

Review: Firewalker by Allyson James


Title: Firewalker
Author: Allyson James
Series: Stormwalker #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Edition: Paperback
Blurb:
Janet Begay's Crossroads Hotel has attracted the supernatural ever since it opened. But a new, dark power is rising, this time inside Janet herself. Her boyfriend Mick, a sexy dragon shapeshifter the Navajo call a Firewalker, know what terrifying magic is threatening to overwhelm Janet and her Stormwalker powers. He watches over her, ready to fight for her, to do anything to keep her safe.

But then a mysterious corpse is found near the Crossroads Hotel-and Janet becomes the main suspect. Now Janet and Mick must uncover what really happened, and their investigation leads to the most perilous decision of their lives...

This book mainly deals with the consequences of what happened in Stormwalker. The dragons are not happy with Mick and when he disappears Janet will do everything she can to get him back. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I love dragons. Dragons are my favourite creatures/shapeshifters, which makes me love this series even more.

Janet has to deal with the new magic that awakened in her, especially since it wants her to do evil things. Mick watches over her and some of the issues this entails are solved in this book (like if Janet makes a wrong move Mick will kill her). In that sense, their relationship has evolved and we mostly discover the depth of Mick's feelings for Janet.

Somehow the character I loved the most in this book was Nash Jones, the sheriff. It was funny reading the interactions between him and Janet plus a new side of him is revealed. At the end of things he is Janet's friend and we discover how far he will go to help her. As for Coyote, he keeps being as mysterious and unhelpful as the last book.

I loved that we get to find out more about the dragon society and how it works. It was very interesting seeing a dragon trial. We also get to meet some new creatures/beings that I hope we get more info about in the next book.

This was a great follow up book in which you get more in depth information about the main characters, the worldbuilding is expanded and a new plot thread is opened.
After an incredible and surprising discovery at the end, now I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.


Memorable Lines:

“Jones,” he said. Dark, biting, laconic.
“Hey, Nash. It’s Janet.”
There was a long silence.
“Fu*k,” Nash Jones said, and he hung up on me.


Previous Books:
1. Stormwalker - Review

Next Book:
3. Shadow Walker (June 2011)


Rating:


Waiting on Wednesday (26)


Author: Beth Revis
Title: Across the Universe
Series: -
Genre: YA
Release Date: January 11th 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Edition: Hardcover
Blurb:

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

This is one my most wanted books of 2011. I wish I could get my hands into an advance copy. This book sounds great!

01 November 2010

Review + Giveaway: Play of Passion by Nalini Singh


Title: Play of Passion
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #9
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Edition: Paperback
Blurb:
In his position as tracker for the SnowDancer pack, it’s up to Drew Kincaid to rein in rogue changelings who have lost control of their animal halves—even if it means killing those who have gone too far. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must now wage to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite…and who threatens to enslave his wolf.

Lieutenant Indigo Riviere doesn’t easily allow skin privileges, especially of the sensual kind—and the last person she expects to find herself craving is the most wickedly playful male in the den. Everything she knows tells her to pull back before the flames burn them both to ash…but she hasn’t counted on Drew’s will.

Now, two of SnowDancer’s most stubborn wolves find themselves playing a hot, sexy game even as lethal danger stalks the very place they call home…

In the latest installment of the Psy/Changeling series we have the story of two members of the Snowdancer pack: Indigo and Andrew. Most of the book happens in the wolf pack territory and we finally get to meet most of the lieutenants and see how their hierarchy works.

As for the main couple, the thing I liked the most was how none of them were perfect, they both made mistakes. It was interesting seeing the dynamics between the two of them, especially since Indigo is a very strong dominant female and Andrew works outside the pack hierarchy plus almost nobody takes him seriously. These two make a very entertaining pair, and even though they go through some rough patches, at the end all of it was worth it.

We get some updates on other characters like Judd and Brenna (whose book is still my favourite of the whole series) and more importantly Sienna and Hawke. It was great reading the interactions between Sienna and Andrew, you can really see a new side of both characters and Andrew was really sweet. As for Hawke, I don't even know where to start with him but I think everyone who reads this book will see that his patience is at an end.

This is definitely a lighter book than the previous ones where we also find out some great new information like what happens when you finally find your mate but then you realize she/he already has a significant other.

This was a great addition to the series that gets you hooked from page one. Now I can't wait to read Hawke's book, I think almost everyone who has read this series is waiting for his book!


Memorable Lines:

"Is that leopard boy ... what's his name" - Andrew pretended to think - "that's right, Kit. Is Kit treating you right?" He murmured the question at a volume Hawke was certain to overhear, knowing full well he was throwing the cat among the pigeons.
"Drew," Sienna pulled back, fisting a hand on his chest. Her eyes sparked fire at him, and for an instant he could almost see through the dark brown of her contact lenses and to the night-sky eyes beyond. White stars on a spread of black velvet, it was said that the eyes of a cardinal Psy reflected the stark, sprawling beauty of the PsyNet.
Leaning down, he kissed her other cheek and - dropping his voice low enough that it would skate under even his alpha's acute hearing - said, "Give him hell, sweetheart. Then come tell me about it."

Previous Books:
1. Slave to Sensation
2. Visions of Heat
3. Caressed by Ice
4. Mine to Possess
5. Hostage to Pleasure
6. Branded by Fire
7. Blaze of Memory
8. Bonds of Justice - Review

Next Book:
10. Kiss of Snow (June 2011)


Rating:



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


Giveaway:

To win a copy of Play of Passion all you have to do is fill out the form.
US/Canada Only
Ends on November 8th.

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