Monday, February 28, 2011

Book Review: Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Review: Guilty Pleasures
Series: Anita Blake – Book 1
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
No of Pages: 266
Release Date: 1 October 1993

In the novel that introduces Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, the monster she’s sworn to kill becomes the man she can’t live without...

My Thoughts:

I can’t believe I waited this long to start this series. It is awesome!

Anita Blake is a necromancer, which basically means that she can raise the dead, making zombies. With vampires out in public, Anita doesn’t have to hide her powers because seriously what’s more scary, a vampire or a chick that can make zombies? Anyway Anita makes her living by raising the dead for legal reasons, sometimes poor Auntie Mabel dies without leaving her fortune to anyone, so Anita is there to raise them long enough to make out their final will.

Anita is approached by Jean-Claude, a vampire that she has a somewhat awkward relationship with. Anita seems to have an unusual attraction for Jean-Claude, and he tries everything within his power to get her to let down her guard against him. Anita kills vampires, she doesn’t hook-up with them, even if they make her forget what she was doing, and always manage to illicit a reaction from her.

Anita is one of the best Urban Fantasy heroines I have read about. Not only doe she talk tough but she can actually back up her claim. She is known throughout the vampire community as the executioner because she isn’t afraid to get hurt if means she will get her kill. Anita has a platoon of weapons including – but not limited to – holy water, guns, stakes and knives. She gets jealous of Edward, an ally and fellow vampire hunter, because he apparently has a bazooka and a flame thrower.

Anita refuses to cower behind others and that is what made me instantly fall in love with her. People cower behind her, even men. Anita is smart, brave and extremely cool in her mannerisms and techniques and she stays true to what she makes out to be and lives up to that hype.

Although Anita tries to convince herself that she hates him, I loved Jean-Claude. He is so suave and confident, even when Anita humiliates and mocks him he never seems to lose his edge over others. Feared and respected Jean-Claude is the third most powerful vampire in the city and he makes sure people know it without being too over-confident and annoying. It is a trait that can only be respected because he doesn’t really have to do anything for others to cower at the mention of his name, yet Anita is the only person he sees regularly that isn’t scared of him. It keeps him grounded and likable.

Guilty Pleasures is definitely one of the stronger books in this genre and I urge anyone and everyone who has ever had a fascination with vampires to read this book.

Also in this series:
The Killing Dance
Burnt Offerings
Blue Moon
Obsidian Butterfly
Narcissus in Chains
Cerulean Sins
Incubus Dreams
Danse Macabre
The Harlequin
Blood Noir
Skin Trade
Hit List

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Two Cents: When People Look Like Idiots...

I recently had a conversation with a person who is a complete turkey.

We were discussing Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian which was sitting on my desk. The conversation went something like this:

*Reading the back cover* Her: Oh, this is like a complete rip-off of True Blood

Me: No it’s not.

Her: yes it is with the vampire war and everything.

Me: No its not, it is a little similar to another series I have read by JR Ward but I don’t find any similarities to True Blood. True Blood is a lot lighter and not as commitment based, it also incorporates other species and there isn’t a war in the first couple of books anyway.

Her: well I suppose it’s just how you see it...but from what I’ve read of true blood (the first 3 chapters) it’s pretty much the same thing.

Now if she had come up to me after reading the first book in its entirety and said that...I may have put some stock in her argument. But she’s watched the first couple of seasons of True Blood and read a bit of the first book. The series is way different to the book and the book is way different to Midnight Breeds.

This lady is also known for not taking being told she’s wrong very well. So she hasn’t been talking to me lately, but I stand by my statement of the books being completely different and after having read the entire Sookie Stackhouse series and nearly finishing Kiss of Midnight I think I would know what I’m talking about.

The vampire genre is a very hard one to write now because nearly everything has been done and authors need to try to make their story stand out in some way yes there are things that are similar between the stories like fangs and in the newer novels mates and the characters getting hot and heavy but just because a book has a vampire in it doesn’t mean it’s the same as Twilight or True Blood.

Although I congratulate Charlaine Harris immensely for her achievements in the writing and more recently entertainment world. It almost makes me feel sorry for other writers in the genre because everything will automatically get dumped under the one category if it has any aspect of her story like a vampire, a werewolf or a war. That is not her fault of course but I still feel bad for other writers who will in the future inevitably be compared to True Blood or Twilight just because the stories contain a vampire even if they are completely different. It’s already in the advertising of books “If you liked Twilight then you’ll love this!”

It also makes me feel sorry for the arrogant people out there that group these fantastic novels all under the one umbrella and foolishly pass most of them by. I’m sorry but that’s like saying to a tech-head that all phones are the same which from experience (because I have made that statement to one as a joke) is like ripping out their heart or putting an iPhone 4 in a blender.

And for the record, the book that comes to mind who's advertising is "If you liked Twilight then you'll love this"? If I Stay by Gayle Forman of all things. No vampires, no werewolves, just two teens falling in love was the only linking aspect.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday 56: 25/2/2011

Tempest's Legacy by Nicole Peeler
Page 56, 5th Sentence

"We can't jump to conclusions. We can't make assumptions. This is huge and we need more pieces of the puzzle"

Don't you just hate it when you know who's killing people but you just need that pesky thing...what is it?...oh yes..proof.


* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Freda's Voice.
*Post a link along with your post back to Freda's Voice.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Review: Blood Prophecy by Stefan Petrucha

Review: Blood Prophecy
Author: Stefan Petrucha
No of Pages: 352
Release Date: 26 October 2010

Man and monster are in his blood...

His name is Jeremiah Fall. A soldier of fortune, he has been fighting his own war for 150 years—ever since the beast in him was born.

Desperate to restore his lost humanity, Fall crosses the sands of Egypt, discovers a lost city off the coast of France, and finally arrives at the birthplace of all mankind. Shunning daylight and feeding only when he must, he battles the monster who transformed him forever. He can share his deepest secret with no one . . . not even the beautiful woman he starts to love, the only human who grasps the mysteries of an ebony stone as old as creation itself.

Across the world, across time, Fall seeks the stone's secret. But has he found a cure for himself or unleashed a final curse on all mankind?

My Thoughts:

Blood Prophecy to a while to get going, but once it did it became very interesting.

Jeremiah Fall has gone from a hard working Purist to a bear-fighting, vampiric army of one. Blood Prophecy is the tale of how he finds his roots and reconciles his two-selves. Jeremiah travels from America to Egypt in his search for the Stone. A legend he heard from the tribe of Abenaki’s living near his settlement.

Jeremiah is an interesting character. He was raised a Purist which is a very strict form of Christian. Purists aren’t allowed to smile and must work hard every day for their salvation. Once Jeremiah is attacked and turned into a vampire he struggles with his Purist mentality, as he learns about other civilisations, other beliefs and battles with the beast inside himself that constantly telling him to kill.

Blood Prophecy is written differently to many vampire novels that I have read so far. Petrucha doesn’t delve deep into the mentality of Jeremiah; he also doesn’t waste time with descriptions and needless filler. We are constantly given more parts of the story, more threads to unravel the mystery and are time jumping like there is no tomorrow, which if Jeremiah fails there won’t be.

We travel from the year 1644 to the year 1799 in a matter of chapters with only a few details in between. There isn’t a lot of travel; there isn’t a lot of dialogue, just searching and discovery. It was a refreshing novel to read provided one is in the mentality to read it. I will admit that with the lack of secondary character development and the constant search for the stone had me falling asleep at times if I just wasn’t in the mood.

Blood Prophecy is about the journey rather than the characters and considering how interesting and fast paced that journey was, it became the main pull for continuing the story. Will he get there in time? Will he become human again if he succeeds? Will the evil Bandite worshipers win and release their god, ultimately destroying the world?

Blood Prophecy had many religious elements to it, but these elements were historical rather than evangelistic. Petrucha took different translations of the book of Genesis and combined them all into one story; he pinpointed the Garden of Eden in Egypt and the roots of many old nursery rhymes and created Blood Prophecy from it.

Blood Prophecy was very interesting and piqued my curiosity with the historical and paranormal elements surrounding it. Watching Jeremiah struggle with who he was and continue to fight what he seemed destined to be was intriguing and had me turning pages very quickly towards the end.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Book Review: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

Review: Bloodfever
Series: Fever – Book 2
Author: Karen Marie Moning
No of Pages: 337
Release Date: 16 October 2007

MacKayla Lane’s ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland’s shores and was plunged into a world of deadly sorcery and ancient secrets.

In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh – a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over both the worlds of Fae and of Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she cannot trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and irresistible men: V’lane, the insatiable Fae who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman, and the ever-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of the humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them...

My Thoughts:

Back into the world of MacKayla Lane and this story just keeps getting better.

Mac is still seeking revenge for her sister, refusing to quit until the man that murdered her is dead. She is also coming into her powers now as she discovers what else she can do. With her spear at her side and Barrons mostly at her back she feels pretty safe within the walls of Barrons Books and Baubles.

Mac is just getting better as she continues in her search for OOPs (Objects of Power) and as she tries to develop her own budding powers as a sidhe-seer. Part of her is still that girly, pink loving, southern belle but a new side to Mac is now emerging, the blood thirsty battle hungry Mac that enjoys getting into fights and - shock horror! – Not accessorising properly. What I love about Mac is that she takes everything in her stride yet can still feel. She isn’t made of stone but she doesn’t fall into a ball of crying nerves every time something new is thrown at her. Mac is real, well as real as whatever she is can get.

Barrons is still mysterious, but he is getting more and more likeable as this series progresses. We still know absolutely nothing about him but I can safely discern that he does have some sort of growing affection for Mac. Barrons is the kind of character that you really can’t trust, but you know who will back you up – when he has a use for you. I am still very uneasy about his character and plans for Mac, but he does occasionally flash his manly, protective, alpha side which does give cause for great speculation on where their story is going to go.

The thing I love most about Bloodfever, and now that I think about it Darkfever as well, is that the story doesn’t have to be running at 100 miles an hour just to keep you interested, about one hundred and fifty pages in I was wondering what had actually happened so far, and then I realised so much. Deals with Fae, deadly auctions and more insight into Mac’s past and her powers. But I didn’t need to be kept on edge all the time to be coming back for more.

Bloodfever is by no means boring, it is interesting, engaging and won’t let you go. But it also moves at a normal pace which is something I am not used to and I think needs great talent to achieve. I want to know what happens to Mac, but I don’t feel like I am going to die if I don’t find out straight away because I want to know how she gets there. I want to discover the Fae with her and her powers but I don’t want to rush and that’s what this series gives me.

Bloodfever is a great instalment to this intriguing series and I can’t wait to get my hands on Faefever.

Also in this series:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Guest Post: Laura Kreitzer - Phantom Universe & Human Trafficking

Hello Literary-Folk!

My name is Laura Kreitzer, and I’m the author of the Timeless Series and the Summer Chronicles. This week I would like to alert everyone on a colossal crisis that’s gone unnoticed in the world: human trafficking. That’s why I’ve asked hundreds of blogs to be involved with spreading the word on this issue that’s become close to my heart.

As an author, and someone whose life is put in the spotlight, I keep most people at a distance. Only a handful of my friends know the whole me and the events from my past. But this week I’d like to share with you a part of myself that the outside world doesn’t see (and a part of me I don’t like to share). I was emotionally abused for five years by someone I thought loved me, my mind beaten into submission. Though the turmoil I went through doesn’t penetrate as deep as someone forced into slavery on the worldwide market for human trafficking, I can sadly relate in some ways: imprisoned, my life dictated down to what I wore, ate, where I went, whom I spoke to, where I worked, when I slept, bending to his every whim. He did not sway, even when I cried through some of the more traumatic things he had me do. I was a slave in my own home. In my desperation for freedom, I held out a gun and asked him to just end my suffering. I was desperate.

I can’t even imagine how many women (and men) in the world are in a similar situation. What’s even worse, I had it mild compared to the children that are sold for labor or sex. Surprisingly, the good ol’ U.S.A. is reported to be the host to two million slaves. Did you know this? Because I certainly did not; not until I was preparing to write my newest novel: Phantom Universe. The main character, Summer Waverly, was stolen as a child and sold as a slave to the captain of a modern-day pirate ship. From a loved child who only knew “time-out” as punishment, to being whipped into silence was something I knew nothing about. So I researched deeply into human trafficking and the psychological effects of torture of various types that one would endure in these circumstances. I felt shaken at my findings and knew I had to tell Summer’s story. (Read a sneak peek here.)

A storm began to brew in my mind; transforming, morphing, twisting, and expanding into this massive, black cloud. I had to bring this tragic atrocity to the forefront. My own emotional experiences, mixed with the research I did on human trafficking, made me feel an intense connection with Summer, and to all women who’ve been through this kind of brutality. The cloud ruptured and rained all over my computer one day. It took one month to write Phantom Universe, the first in the Summer Chronicles. I was so consumed by the story that I wrote nearly nonstop, only breaking for necessary tasks like eating, showering, and occasionally—very occasionally—sleeping.

Though the book I’ve written would be classified as Science Fiction, or as I’d like to call it, Dystopian, the emotions and psychological aspects are not Science Fiction—they're real. Reviewers have said many amazing things about Summer, this character who is so real in my mind and who I cried along with as the words poured from my soul onto my screen.
“I admired Summer's strength and ability to adapt,” says CiCi’s Theories. “I felt tied to her emotions,” Jennifer Murgia, author or Angel Star admits. And Tahlia Newland, author of Lethal Inheritance, remarks, “Summer is strong and smart in mind [. . .]”
Through her overwhelmingly horrendous past, Summer goes on more than just a physical journey in Phantom Universe, she goes on a psychological one as well; growing beyond her mute state to persevere and survive in a new world beyond the whip she’s so frightened of.

Now that the release date is here, I’m excited and terrified to share this story with everyone. I’m emotionally tied in every way to the words I’ve written, because they’re more than words. More than just a story on a page. Beyond the fictional aspects, there’s a real issue that needs to be addressed: human trafficking must be stopped. We shouldn’t sit idly by while this continues to plague us. Our world’s children—our nation’s children—are being affected. It’s time we take action!

Earlier this month Phantom Universe hit Barnes and Noble’s top 100 Best Selling list. I’ve decided to donate 10% of my sales from Phantom Universe, until the end of February, to the DNA Foundation.
“DNA hopes to help abolish modern day slavery, deter perpetrators, and free the many innocent and exploited victims. We are committed to forcing sex slavery out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

Freedom is a basic human right and slavery is one of the greatest threats to that freedom. No one has the right to enslave another person.”

—From DNA Foundation’s Website
I ask that you spread the word to everyone you know. Look around on the DNA Foundation website and find a way to get involved in ending human trafficking. Take action today. Everyone has a voice—you have a voice. Will you have the courage to use it?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Book Review: A Ghostly Menage by Eve Langlais

Review: A Ghostly Ménage
Author: Eve Langlais
No of Pages: 59
Release Date: 15 October 2010

Forget ghosts who rattle chains, try living with ones that like to grope.

Jenna, desperate for change, buys a repossessed home on a whim. The townsfolk claim it's haunted, but Jenna's pretty sure all it needs is some filler to stop the drafts. But before long, even she has to admit, there's more going on here than the vagaries of an old house. And whatever it is keeps making her panties damp and her dreams hot.

Derrick and Mark, werewolf twins, are stuck in their house as disembodied spirits all because of an evil witch. When their fated mate suddenly becomes the new owner, they end up taking haunting to a whole new erotic level.

Can Jenna save the alpha brothers and if she does, can she handle a forever after with not one, but two men?

My Thoughts:

A Ghostly Ménage was just another exhibit of Eve Langlais’ fantastic writing.

Jenna wants to get away. From the city, from her cheating boyfriend, and from her two “best friends” who slept with him. On a whim she buys a house in a town with a population of nine thousand and moves. Perhaps she should have checked the house out first...Bumps in the night, doors opening for her and if her pyjamas aren’t thick enough to keep spectral hands from exploring she wakes up with a need only a man should be able to fulfil.

Jenna convinces herself that she is imagining things; her beautiful old house has some creaks and drafts. She reads too much and her wishful thinking is starting to get the better of her. But when she puts the physical occurrences out of her mind, the dreams start. Hot men ravishing her, taking her to heights she had never felt before. After waking up extremely hot and bothered more than a few times, Jenna starts to wish that she hadn’t sworn herself off men forever.

A Ghostly Ménage wasn’t just about the extremely hot sex though – and boy was it hot – it was also quite a fun detective story. The suspense Langlais created as Jenna was on the verge of finding out who her ghostly lovers are was very well done as well as the feeling of dread one feels as Jenna invites the proverbial wolf to dinner in the form of evil witch Clarissa.

With the element of an awesome story on top of really hot sex Langlais still managed to fit in some superb characters. Jenna was an intelligent female lead, reacting realistically to each odd situation she was put into by her “housemates”, and yet still keeping a sense of calm and enough common sense to realise that although it was farfetched, something was happening right in front of her that she had to acknowledge.

Derrick and Mark are two hot alpha males and two very cheeky ones as well. They also have personalities that are at times so different and at other times so similar. Both caring, both fierce and both at times kind of quiet. Being twins you can’t really tell them apart but I am going to play favourites and say that I liked Derrick’s fierce pushy nature a little more than Mark’s shier one.

A Ghostly Ménage was yet another reinforcement to me that Eve Langlais has a gift for both words and hot stories. A Ghostly Ménage was a mixture of hot sex, multi-dimensional characters an extremely interesting plot.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Review: Blood Bound
Series: Mercy Thompson – Book 2
Author: Patricia Briggs
No of Pages: 292
Release Date: 30 January 2007

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen...

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places – and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favour. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary – and neither is the demon inside of him...

My Thoughts:

Mrs. Briggs you have won me over with this novel.

Blood Bound picks up about 6 months after Moon Called finished and opens up on Mercy receiving an early morning phone call. Stefan the vampire needs her to come with him on an errand to check out a rogue vampire who may have some extra powers, supplied by a demon. Mercy has to be in coyote form though, so she can hear without being seen.

Blood Bound was very fast paced and now that the ground work was laid with the characters and Tri-City area set down in the first book, we had a lot more time for action in this one. Maybe it was the added element of vampires that did it for me or maybe it was just that this series is turning into something awesome, but I literally couldn’t put it down. Which is saying something since Moon Called put me to sleep.

Mercy has turned into a very intriguing character. She can fight when she needs to but she knows when to keep her mouth shut and just listen to what is going on around her. She has a nice attitude when it comes to everyone but Adam. I love their tension and I love her beat up old car that she deliberately leaves in the way of his perfect view.

Blood Bound wasn’t just character driven though. It was also an interesting mystery driven by who this rogue was and what he wanted. Where he would strike next and who would be in trouble. It kept me on the edge of my seat, just waiting for the next twist to arise. Briggs brought in so many different characters to help with the telling of Blood Bound, witnesses, families, leads but she didn’t bog us down with any of their back story or repetitive problems. We got on with the mystery, unravelling the whodunit which is what kept me so on edge.

I will admit that I was hesitant about reading Blood Bound. After the train-wreck that was Moon Called and the mildly redeeming qualities of Cry Wolf it took me a while to step back into the world of Mercedes Thompson. But boy am I glad that I did.

Unfortunately one can’t skip Moon Called because there is too much detail about the characters and the world but don’t let that stop you from diving into Blood Bound because this is where the series truly comes alive.

Also in this series:
Moon Called
Iron Bound
Bone Crossed
Silver Borne
River Marked

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Two Cents: The depressing side of Blogging

Have you noticed that although Blogging gives you the chance to discover new books and new people and be generally happy about reading, that sometimes you feel sad?

I do.


Because my TBR pile is currently standing at 51, my Shelfari TBR pile is currently standing at 1,043, my (fairly new) amazon wishlist is standing at 30 and then there are all the books out there that I still haven't gotten around to adding to these various lists yet.

There are just too many that I want to read and more and more are being published everyday. If my wish were to come true and I were to become immortal I would never finish, if they never printed another book again (that tore my heart open just saying that) I would never be finished. If I quit my job tomorrow and never worked another day in my life I still would not get all the books read that I want to read.

It therefore saddens me when I read books that drag, or that I don't like because I think that it was almost a waste. Time I could have spent reading something that I loved.

This is just my personal rant about feelings that have been building up for some time now, I love reading and I will never stop, but I'm sad because of all the wonderful books that I will never get to.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Book Review: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Review: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
No of Pages: 170
Release Date: 2 September 2008

The thing is, you can get used to anything. You think you can’t, you want to die, but you don’t. You won’t. You just are.

This is Alice.
She was taken by Ray five years ago.
She thought she knew how her story would end.
She was wrong.

My Thoughts:

I expected Living Dead Girl to horrify me, sicken me and make me feel all sorts of thing for this poor stolen little girl. But I didn’t.

Alice wasn’t always called Alice. There was a time when she was part of a family, had friends and a future. But when Ray kidnapped her from a school trip when she was ten, everything changed.

While being in a traumatic situation, Alice is not likeable or even relatable as a character. I wanted to feel sorry for her and I did at times when she was starving or being abused but it wasn’t enough to make me feel anything more than a passing thought of something being mildly wrong. It may have been the writing or it may have been Alice or it might just be me, but there were times when I couldn’t feel sorry for her.

Alice wished her situation on other little girls in hope of freeing herself. She was supposedly broken and yet she could still fight back in her small ways. Stealing food and coming up with escape plans. She hated herself so much and yet she still wanted this done to a child in hopes of her dying or being free, it made me really dislike her as a character but it also made me feel like she was contradicting herself. She talks about how she used to be selfish and yet she still is. She talks about how shes given up and yet she still fights. She talks about how bad it is to live like this and yet she wants it done to someone else.

Ray threatens Alice with killing her parents if she ever tries to leave him. Beats her if she doesn’t comply with his wishes and starves her so that she will only ever way one hundred pounds or less. He makes her feel bad for growing up and beats her whenever he feels like it. He rapes her because he can and because he thinks he loves her and he makes her tell him all the time about how she will always be his little girl. Ray is a despicable person, and yet I don’t hate him. He just wasn’t around enough for me to hate him. Everything he did to Alice was diluted by constant repetition or complete glossing over of details.

Living Dead Girl sounds fantastic in theory but the writing takes a lot away from it. The short chapters and fragmented sentences don’t drive points home like they are meant to. Too many details are glossed over in the treatment of Alice to the point where there is almost nothing to visualise and the constant repetition of how each day was the same became tedious.

I was expecting a lot more from Living Dead Girl than what I got. I read it in a couple of hours but it didn’t affect me in anyway.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday 56: 11/2/2011

Awakened by PC Cast & Kristin Cast
Page 56, 5th Sentence

"I'm sorry to say it, but there's nothing we can or can't do to change that."

You'd be surprised at how many times this phrase comes up in this series, well...I guess if you'd read it you wouldn't.


* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Freda's Voice.
*Post a link along with your post back to Freda's Voice.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Review: A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

Review: A Blue So Dark
Author: Holly Schindler
No of Pages: 266
Release Date: 1 May 2010

All I see are murky depths that could swallow me whole.

Mom knew that the mermaids – hand carved from driftwood by the owner of a souvenir shop – were all I wanted to take home from Florida. As she bought them, she looked down at me, her eyes not just glittering but snapping with fire like two Fourth of July sparklers. She ran her finger down the length of my nose, almost like you’d stroke a favourite pet, and said to the salesman, “We’re just alike, me and Aura.”

And you know, back then, the idea of that didn’t scare the absolute hell out of me.

My Thoughts:

A Blue So Dark is a perfect example of how stupid some teenagers can be.

Aura is caring for her mother who has schizophrenia, whilst also trying to juggle school a job and trying to get her mother to work on time. Aura’s mum begged her to not make her take any pills and Aura kept that promise to her at the cost of her mother’s sanity.

Aura killed the entire story for me. She refused to get help for her mother even though she watched her spiral out of control. Aura seemed to start to lose her own sanity for a while too as she convinced herself that she could handle it. But when Aura tried to convince herself that her art was the thing sending her family crazy that’s when I completely rolled my eyes.

Aura is the embodiment of why teenagers should not be left to deal with things on their own, because they are too immature. Her mother would have been well if only Aura had said something, if she had done her research on schizophrenia instead of the many artists who suffer from mental illness. She almost had me convinced that my writing was sending me crazy (until I realised I would be crazy anyway).

A Blue So Dark contained beautiful writing especially when it came to the poems she wrote through Aura. They truly portrayed some of the feelings Aura was going through and helped you get more into her head. They for me were extremely inspiring and helped me with some of my own writing.

Schindler’s writing alone that kept me going and the question of would Aura let her mother die or get her help? Because that is what it was coming down to.

I can understand that anyone in that situation would have a hard time. Aura’s father walked out because he couldn’t deal with the stress of living with a schizophrenic. But the way Aura handled everything was just so wrong and so childish.

A Blue So Dark would have been interesting if it didn’t have Aura in it. A Blue So Dark for me set a bad example as to how to handle mental illness in a family. Aura’s mother, Grace, was shunned by her husband and abandoned, left in the care of her sixteen year old daughter who just couldn’t handle the responsibility and thrown out by her own mother when she was young and she had realised what she would become.

A Blue So Dark just wasn’t for me. It was a good premise but the characters, especially Aura, completely killed it for me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's Finally Here!

I ordered this on the 2nd of January this is the 9th of February. I have never had to wait so long for a book before!

Obviously there was a backlog of mail from Christmas but I'm so excited that Tempests Legacy is here! I have been waiting in anticipation since finishing Tracking the Tempest!

Can't wait to start reading it XD

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 8/2/2011

Currently Reading: Awakened by PC Cast & Kristin Cast

He had done it so coldly, with an absolute lack of any feeling except, perhaps, annoyance at being detained for the short time it had taken him to overpower and destroy her.

Teaser Tuesday is the brainchild of Should Be Reading

Monday, February 7, 2011

Book Review: Born Into Fire by Tarah Scott & KyAnn Waters

Review: Born Into Fire
Series: Shadow Elements – Book 1
Author: Tarah Scott & KyAnn Waters
No of Pages: 138
Release Date: 22 November 2010

Ryalda, the Element heroes of old, leak from the void and bring with them beauty, desire...and destruction.

Change is hard, but the unexpected metamorphosis into fire goes beyond any change Kenna Lang could ever have imagined. When she discovers her ancestors are actually ancient beings who exist in a void beyond our universe and the dragons of her childhood dreams are real, life as she knows it is over.

Erion, an Air Element, answers the call of Kenna’s emerging fire to discover a woman on the cusp of transformation. He’s drawn to her, the need to mate overwhelming. However, Erion killed once before by having sex in element form, and has sworn not to merge with another Element. But the discovery that a male Fire Element is intent upon enslaving Kenna’s soul forces Erion to get involved. He will save her. But he aches to do more than protect her. He wants to touch her -- to pleasure her, but he can't risk bonding his Element to hers.

Erion is unprepared for the emotions Kenna awakens in him -- or the lengths to which she will go to save him.

My Thoughts:

Born Into Fire was very hard to follow, but made for a very interesting story.

Kenna is a glass worker, a budding artist who is trying to break into the creative world. She has what seems to be a unique but unrealised ability when she works glass, being able to create life-like colours and shapes.

Kenna is being pursued by a seemingly interested buyer in the form of Hadyn. He seems a little odd and a little too eager to get close to her, but she forgets all of that when she bumps into Eric whilst shopping for supplies. They share an instant connection and he seems familiar, like he is from a dream.

Kenna made for an interesting but shallow character, trying to be a strong presence but not quite getting there. Her work and the insight gathered from the art of glass blowing was what made her interesting, even though we really didn’t get to see much of how she worked.

Eric or Erion as he is referred to mainly is an Air Element. He commands the winds and the air around him when he transforms into air. Erion is somewhat of a mate to Kenna, drawn to her and the heat of her Fire Element. Erion is interesting, he is perfect in many ways, his quiet, protective nature being the main draw point and yet he can be so infuriating in others. In trying to protect Kenna from himself he runs, leaving her confused and vulnerable.

Born Into Fire has an amazing storyline, the idea of people turning into elements when they reach a certain point in their lives is definitely something I haven’t come across before. But it was very hard to understand until right at the end of Born Into Fire exactly what Erion and Kenna were. The descriptions for me were completely overlooked, and what details were given was choppy and under-developed. It was very hard for me to form a picture in my head of what was actually going on.

Born Into Fire also had a lot of sex-breaks. Yes it is an erotic novel, and yes those sex breaks were extremely hot, but Kenna and Erion seemed to be getting down and doing the dirty at really odd times, like right in the middle of a battle with an evil Fire Element, or in the middle of Kenna blowing molten glass. Sure their sex produced more power but sometimes it almost seemed uncalled for and extremely repetitive in their actions and feelings.

Born Into Fire was a very interesting read for me, and although it was hard to follow at first, now that I am up to speed on who and what everybody is, I am eagerly awaiting the next instalment in the Shadow Elements series.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Two Cents: Do you ever forget why you bought a book?

I was looking through some of my growing TBR pile the other day and there were a few books that I was completely baffled as to why I originally bought them. Most of the time I can remember the thought process into buying each of my books. Whether it be blogasphere hype or long standing interest or for book clubs but there are a few admittedly that I look at and think:

"What on earth possesed me to buy this?!"

Naturally as I sit down to write this post I am completely blank about which book it was but there are a definite few that I seemed to have bought blindly, ones that even now I'm not interested in and can't even remember a time when I was.

Does this ever happen to you? Do you seemingly get caught up in a spending spree and come away with books that you had never really contemplating buying before you went in?

Hopefully it was a sign that these select few were sent to me and that they will be quite entertaining to read but even so, it's going to take an odd day for me to actually pull them out of my wall and start on them...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Book Review: Snowballs In Hell by Eve Langlais

Review: Snowballs In Hell
Series: Lucifer’s Daughter – Book 2
Author: Eve Langlais
No of Pages: 67
Release Date: 14 January 2011

Hi, I’m Muriel, misbegotten daughter of Satan, and once again my life is in turmoil. The cowled one who tortured me left a curse on my mind, one that makes me afraid. Completely unacceptable, but in order to remove it, I have to do something even worse—betray my beloved by bringing another man into our bed.

As if having to participate in a threesome isn’t traumatizing enough, Hell has frozen over, and as much as I think Hades looks pretty in a blanket of white, the repercussions are severe. It’s a good thing this princess of Hell has two lovers determined to charge my magic in pleasurable ways.

I'll admit, it's not easy having nympho magic, but I’m prepared to suck it up—and swallow—for the sake of saving the world.

My Thoughts:

This series is only getting better, and while I still like Lucifer’s Daughter a little better, Snowballs In Hell makes for a very strong sequel.

After her encounter with “The Master” in the finale of Lucifer’s Daughter a curse has been placed on Muriel to feel fear, not something that this princess of hell is used to. Terrifying nightmares have her screaming herself awake every night and whenever she is confronted with a figure in a hood she passes out.

After speaking with the Mages of Hell Muriel discovers that she must bring a third into her bed to help give her enough power to break the crippling spell on her mind. But Muriel can’t stand to break her conceptions of a proper relationship which should only consist of a man and a woman. She loves Auric and can’t bear to give herself to another man, let alone his best friend.

Auric however wants David – the shape shifter – to join them if it will help his soul mate and he does everything in his power to ensure that he sees that, including going on a sudden mission and leaving David as her bodyguard.

Muriel is only so strong, and it seems that her Nympho-magic is stronger.

Once again I loved Muriel; she is everything I want in a female lead. She is strong, and can back up her tough words with some serious action. She is also a little bit selfish which is true of every woman. She wants her man all to herself and doesn’t want to share. She also has her values – absolutely hated by her father of course – that to have a proper loving relationship shouldn’t include another man. But when it comes down to the crunch Muriel can also, eventually, see what is best. Even if that includes her making the sacrifice of having two men pleasure instead of one...poor her.

Auric once again was not my favourite of characters, a little too overprotective and hard headed. One just can’t connect with him because he refuses to share his feelings. Only once do we get an insight to him throughout the whole story that he may actually be normal and not want to share Muriel but after that he goes back to being just a man who is there for Muriel to bed.

David I could actually connect with, but he seemed to have a character change halfway through. Going from cute and shy to domineering and stubborn, it didn’t ruin his character, but I just liked him before the change.

The only real disappointment that came with Snowballs In Hell was the complete lack of sexual adventure. For being the Devil’s daughter Muriel is actually quite vanilla when it comes to the bedroom. Although hot the sex is quite repetitive and mundane.

Snowballs In Hell was a fantastic follow up to Lucifer’s Daughter and while not quite as witty is proving to be a superb set-up for a third instalment in this fantastic series.

Also in this Series:
Lucifer's Daughter

Friday, February 4, 2011

StoryWings Blogaversary/Christmas Giveaway Winners!!!!

I have now tallied all the entries in the StoryWings Blogaversary/Christmas Giveaway and have some winners for you!

Grand Prize winner:   KACIE M!  

Second Place:   KAI A.

Third Place:   HOLLIE.


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