Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Review: Earth Blend by Lori Pescatore

Review: Earth Blend
Series: Blend Trilogy – Book 2
Author: Lori Pescatore
No of Pages: 184
Release Date: 1 July 2011

Earth Blend is the second book in the Blend trilogy and the sequel to Human Blend. In this instalment, the mysteries of the Blends and the Earthlings are revealed. How can Julie live a normal life when she is anything but normal? Her relationship with Austin is complicated by emerging abilities in them both. Trust is hard to come by as lies and secrets hinder them at every turn. Is the past destined to repeat itself as the Earthlings once again rush to save them? The ensuing chaos breeds fatal consequences.

My Thoughts:

Earth Blend was a brilliant follow up to Human Blend

Julie and Austin are still coming to terms with Austin’s emerging powers and Julies near kidnapping. They are trying to settle in to a life not only together but come into their own as individuals. Austin is devastated to learn that his mother isn’t his biological mother and Julie is forced to watch his grief without being able to help.

Julie was once again a strong character, sometimes I would say she is too mature for her age, but that wouldn’t be fair on her, also because in actuality she is a lot older than what she looks – like 50 years older because of the slow ageing process – so with that in mind at times she can almost be immature for her true age.

Julie doesn’t really follow through with things until they come to a head and that is the only real thing I don’t like about her, she lets questions go unanswered for a while because she is constantly being distracted by Austin or work or friends, at times it made me want to shake her and tell her to focus but I love Julie in every way she is intelligent and kind hearted, she only ends up in bad situations because of bad people and not due to her own stupidity which is really refreshing.

Austin is a character I just cannot like. He is a complete whinger and so impulsive that I don’t see how anyone could love him like Julie seems to. I am shamelessly on team Eli when it comes to this love triangle. Austin causes issues for everyone around him by running off and jumping in far too soon. Instead of listening to his elders who have fought in battles and found missing people and who actually know about his powers he insists on throwing tantrums stomping his feet and insulting people before running away. The way he treated his mother was absolutely appalling, she raised him, cared for him and loved him and he just threw it back in her face because she wasn’t blood, it was absolutely despicable and it cemented my dislike for him in this novel.

Earth Blend was written differently to any other story I have read before. For the first half of the book we got the back stories of the various characters, flashes of their lives and important moments in their history that have helped lead them to where they are in the story today and the significance of each of them being there.

At first I was wary of this style for two reasons; no one I’ve read has ever done it before, and there is a potential for massive information overload.

I thought it was fantastic, it was like short stories in each characters life and it worked so much better than characters info dumping in the middle of an action scene. I devoured the first half of the book in an hour and I was amazed at how detailed yet relevant each story was. I finally knew each character and why they were the way they were, not just from Julie’s perspective but from theirs as well, I got into their heads and it was amazing.

I will admit that the dialogue was once again awkward, at first it detracted a little from the story but once I got into the rhythm of what was going on again and I was too engrossed in the story to care, it wasn’t an issue. The dialogue for me reads as though it was written on paper rather than coming from a characters mouth, like lines in a soapy with bad actors and too much Botox.

I love Pescatore’s general writing style though, it’s to the point with enough detail and flowery prose but not too much that you start to get bored. If a detail doesn’t have to be there it’s not and yet the way it’s written, giving the reader that freedom, I had a perfect picture in my head of the characters and their surroundings with no one interfering in that picture with “the vase on the table that doesn’t really matter was over there”

Earth Blend was even better than Human Blend and if that’s anything to go by, I want the rest of this series on my shelf as fast as Pescatore can write them.

Also in this series:
Human Blend

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Character Interview: Julie from the Blend Trilogy by Lori Pescatore

So today we have a very special guest, Julie - the main character from the Blend Trilogy - has kindly agreed to an interview. The wonderful Lori Pescatore conducted that interview and has let us have a look see as to what Julie had to say. 

Having a tendency to frequently talk to my own characters I can fully understand how these interviews come about...

Take it away Lori & Julie!


Lori: Hello, my name is Lori Pescatore. I am the author of Human Blend and the newly released sequel, Earth Blend. I have with me today one of the characters from the novel, Julie. Julie, thanks for stopping by.

Julie: Thanks for having me.

Lori: Julie is not your real name, correct?

Julie: Well it is now. I used to go by the name Laney.

Lori: Can you tell the readers why you changed it?

Julie: My childhood was very troublesome. I was kidnapped at a young age and raised in an organization of very bad people. After years of torture and abuse I was able to escape. I changed my identity so the men I had ran from would not be able to find me.

Lori: They did find you, though.

Julie: Yes. I am still upset with myself. So many other lives were put in danger. I was selfish when I involved other people in my new life.

Lori: You were taken because of your special abilities. Can you tell us what those abilities are?

Julie: I don't really like talking about them. I would rather just be normal.

Lori: In the beginning of Human Blend, you had no idea how or why you were able to do the special things you could do. By the end, you found out a lot more than you anticipated. How are you dealing with the new-found information?

Julie: I'm dealing with it as best as I can. I can't undo how I came to be. All I can do is try and live with the facts of about who I am. I am doing my best to be as human as possible.

Lori: You have a lot of people who want to help you live your life.

Julie: I really want to be independent and make a life for myself on my own. It is not that I am ungrateful for all the wonderful people who want to help me, it is more of something I need to prove to myself. I need to prove I can take care of me.

Lori: Let's talk about Austin.

Julie:What about him?

Lori: You began a relationship with him early on despite your own desire to keep people at bay. A lot of readers feel your relationship developed too quickly given your past. How do you feel about that?

Julie: I really did not want to get involved with anyone, although my actions said otherwise. It is hard to explain. It seems the more I try and keep a distance from people, the more drawn to them I am. Does that make sense? I feel I am unable to be by myself. Maybe I am just selfish. I was able to block the trauma I went through. So much so that I missed warning signs early on of my impending trouble.

Lori: Let's talk about Eli.

Julie:What about him?

Lori: He is an Earthling, a creature created by the Earth to help protect her. He tried to protect you.

Julie: Yes, and now he is set to be punished. I'm very upset about it. I should be the one to be punished, not him.

Lori: What is your relationship with him?

Julie: I don't know what you mean.

Lori: It is a simple question. How do you feel about him?

Julie: I care about him, deeply.

Lori: Is there more to it than that?

Julie: Can we talk about something else?

Lori: Okay. What can you tell readers about Earth Blend?

Julie: It answers a lot of questions about the beginnings of my people and Eli's. I think readers will like having that background information. A lot happens in this edition. Some good, some very bad.

Lori: Thank you, Julie, for stopping by.

Julie: You are welcome. I hope the readers enjoy Earth Blend.


Thank you so much Lori and of course to the wonderful Julie for taking the time to come on StoryWings today. My review of Earth Blend will be going up tomorrow so you can see what I have to say about this series.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book Review: Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas

Review: Comfort Food
Author: Kitty Thomas
No of Pages: 186
Release Date: 21 March 2010

Emily Vargas has been taken captive. As part of his conditioning methods, her captor refuses to speak to her, knowing how much she craves human contact.

He’s far too beautiful to be a monster. Her attraction to him and his lack of violence has her walking a fine line on the edge of sanity.

Told in the first person from Emily’s perspective, Comfort Food explores what happens when all expectations of please and pain are turned upside down. As whips become comfort, and chicken soup becomes punishment.

My Thoughts:

Comfort Food was a powerful read, but it didn’t truly touch me in the ways I was expecting.

Emily is a captive of a man that has an obsession with her; he intends to make her his slave. After months of conditioning and training Emily is a shadow of her former self, but she’s not entirely sure that she truly hates what she has turned into.

Emily is a strong woman, one I admire simply because I don’t know if I could have done what she did. Instead of fighting, instead of being taken by force Emily survived and submitted to what was being done to her purely because she couldn’t stand being deprived of human contact, and because she always had a sliver of hope that she could escape.

Comfort Food is confronting in ways that it forces you to really ask yourself, what would you do? Taken captive by someone who is obviously sick do you survive by submitting or die by being stubborn. I have been thinking about this ever since I put Comfort Food down, I can think of ways that I would want to survive, but I also think that maybe I would just prefer to die. Emily’s choice was survival but her way of thinking truly makes one question the meaning of inner strength.

I was hoping for more from Comfort Food in the way of writing though. Emily was a very detached character; even though we were in her head I never really felt her fear or her pleasure. I never really felt happiness when she was in the “good cell” or the complete despair when she was in the “bad cell”. In a way it adds to the book, because it gets into your head afterward, one enters a sort of shock response when reading it and that is only lifted after the final page is turned, so in ways it’s brilliant, but in others it’s lacking because the book while staying with you, doesn’t draw you in while reading, it is easy to put down and walk away to do menial tasks and then come back to later.

I think I may have been hoping for more of a psychological thriller rather than a BDSM romance and that is my own fault, for the purposes of this being a BDSM romance though, Comfort Food is once again hard-hitting in some ways, but lacking in others. The sex scenes were written in third person, to show us Emily’s detachment from them but in doing that the true horror or even eroticism was glazed over.

Stockholm syndrome played a major part in Comfort Food, but because we were in Emily’s head and she was the sufferer that was also glazed over romanticised in some ways. I felt that it could have been better represented, Emily has a psychology degree, she saw it happening to herself and yet she couldn’t stop it, but she wasn’t fazed by that at all.

Comfort Food wasn’t as hard hitting as what it could have been, in ways it was as bland as the chicken soup Emily was forced to live on. Some aspects of this book will stay with me for a while but mostly it is just a flash in the pan.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Winner: Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany

And the winner is:



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review: Nice Girls Don't Live Forever by Molly Harper

Review: Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever
Series: Jane Jameson – Book 3
Author: Molly Harper
No of Pages: 324
Release Date: 29 December 2009


Nothing sucks the romance out of world travel like a boyfriend who may or may not have broken up with you in a hotel room in Brussels. Jane Jameson’s sexy sire Gabriel has always been unpredictable, but the seductive, anonymous notes that await him at each stop of the international vacation, coupled with his evasive behaviour over the past few months, finally push Jane onto the next flight home to Half Moon Hollow – alone, upset, and unsure whether Gabriel just ended their relationship without actually telling her.

Now the children’s-librarien-turned-vampire is reviving with plenty of Faux Type O, some TLC from her colourful friends and family, and her plans for a Brave New Jane. Step One: Get her newly renovated occult bookstore off the ground. Step Two: Support her best friend, Zeb, and his werewolf bride as they prepare for the impending birth of their baby…or litter. Step Three: Figure out who’s been sending her threatening letters, and how her new hostile pen pal is tied to Gabriel. Because this nice girl, surviving a broken heart is suddenly becoming a matter of life and undeath…

My Thoughts:

Jane just keeps getting better.

Jane gets off the plane after possibly, maybe being broken up with by her boyfriend Gabriel, but she’s not entirely sure if they have officially called it quits yet. What spurred her final decision was the need to get back to her shop which has been broken into and trashed, Gabriel’s lack of interest only made it that much easier. Now she has to deal with her best friend’s pregnant wife, and an extremely irritating relative of Dick and Mr Wainwrights.

Jane continues getting better and better. She swoons, and she isn’t ashamed of swooning, but she refuses to be a doormat, and actually follows through with that unlike so many women in fiction who are getting walked all over without even realising it and spouting about how they are emancipated beings and all that. Jane says no to Gabriel and although she has all of the normal reactions in crying, bingeing on junk and sappy girl movies she doesn’t go running back to Gabriel as soon as he snaps his fingers and I absolutely love it.

Dick is also only getting better as we see more of him, he is tender hearted and treats Jane like a sister, but still is able to turn around and make jokes at her expense – come to think of it, like a sister – he is also the one who really helps Jane through her breakup by identifying her male tendencies, so he takes her out to get blind drunk and in a fight which is exactly what I would do. Dick is also showing another side of himself when around Andrea and although we are seeing through Janes eyes, we can clearly see how much he loves her in his actions.

Harper’s writing is only getting funnier as far as I am concerned, I had more laugh out loud moments with this book than I had with the previous two, only not by much. Harper’s writing is consistently good, drawing you in with wit and feeding you enough drama so that you won’t let go.

I also love how Jane’s world is kept within Jane’s world, the scene has been set in Half Moon Hollow and the story stays there, Janes vacation was out of the picture and we only re-joined the story after she got back, it makes for easy reading because I already have the layout in my head rather than creating a whole new set.

Jane’s stories are comfortable and funny. I know I can dive in and be faced with life threatening situation in an easy, hilarious way. There is no heaviness that comes with this story, you go in feeling like crap and you come out happy, you go in happy and you still come out happy which is exactly why I can’t wait for the next book in this series because Jane Jameson is good for a laugh.

Also in this series:
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs
Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 23/08/2011

Currently Reading: All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris
"Eric's a priest?"
Teaser Tuesday is the brainchild of Should Be Reading

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Book Review: Accidentally Dead by Dakota Cassidy

Review: Accidentally Dead
Series: Accidental Friends – Book 2
Author: Dakota Cassidy
No of Pages: 339
Release Date: 1 July 2008


It’s a lousy first day on the job for dental assistant Nina Blackman when a patient, loopy from anesthesia, bites her. At least he was cute. But for real drama she can’t beat the next evening. Nina wakes up with a set of razor-sharp fangs, bionic vision, supersonic hearing, and a taste for blood. There must be a good explanation. There is. It’s her patient, Greg Statleon.


A visit to his Long Island castle hardly results in a cure. Greg claims there isn’t one. Unfortunately, Nina isn’t wild about her lifestyle change – or the danger that goes along with it. She’s determined to prove this infuriating vampire wrong. It’s a shame he’s so irresistible. It’s a bigger shame that he’s dead. On the other hand, they’re perfect for each other – if Nina‘s willing to commit to one man for eternity.

My Thoughts:

Accidentally Dead was very lucky it didn’t find a home on the DNF pile it started so bad.

Nina was accidentally bitten by a vampire when he went to the dentist to get his tooth fixed. After rejecting any sort of notion that she will never be human again and trying to find a way to turn back she not only has to find a possibly evil vampire who could help her, but she also needs to content with her growing feelings for her maker.

Accidentally Dead was basically a replica of The Accidental Werewolf only with vampires. Girl gets bitten by something supernatural in under far-fetched circumstances, girl rejects what she has been turned into, girl falls for supernatural that turned her and accepts her new life.

Now it’s probably lucky that I can barely remember what happened in The Accidental Werewolf  apart from the general gist of the story because I was pretty sure I liked Nina in that story. Now? Not so much. Nina was a vile potty-mouthed idiot who developed a crazy notion that Greg was evil and didn’t want to give her humanity back so he could control her for his evil plan to take over the world.

But it wasn’t really Nina or any of the other characters I had a problem with. It was the whole premise of this book and the way it was written.

I don’t really want to know what Cassidy’s word document looked like but it must have looked like an ode to Christmas with all of the red and green lighting up the page. Words like “hawt” “dayum” and “gawd” marred every page. Swear words were as frequent as the word “the” and yet halfway through everyone decided to change their vocabularies (especially Nina) to incorporate words like “Flip-off” and “B-word”. If you’re going to swear, at least be consistent with it.

The whole premise of Accidentally Dead though goes against not only normal vampire lore, but the books actual lore. Greg’s tooth was hurting, but no one ever finds out why he can’t heal himself or why there are no late night dentists closer than an hour away from his home. Then we also go back to stupid Twilight vampire logic that one bite makes a vampire, which is wrong on so many levels, because how would normal not blood baggie drinking evil vampires feed without turning everyone they feed from? I’m pretty sure we didn’t have packaged blood from willing donors five hundred years ago.

Then we have the stupidity of the 500 year old dusting which states that if you don’t mate with another vampire before you turn five hundred you die – this rule by the way has been around since before the beginning of time according to vampires. So of course Greg who has never turned another vampire must either mate with an evil chick no one likes or Nina who he turned a few weeks ago and barely knows, or die. I really want to see this relationship 100 years down the track.

Like I said, it’s not so much the characters themselves I have a problem with (they can’t help how they’re written) but the plot driving the story is pathetic. I don’t mind swearing, I do mind the butchering of the English language and I am surprised I finished this book, although it may come down to a mild case of OCD, but I will definitely not be continuing on with this series.

Others in this series:
The Accidental Werewolf
The Accidental Human
Accidentally Demonic
Accidentally Catty

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday 56: 19/8/2011

The Mark of the Vampire Queen by Joey W. Hill
Page 56, 5th Sentence

Jacob maneuvered them to the cornerm caught Gideon by the scruff and slung him against the emergency exit.

If girls were as interested in guys fighting as guys watching girl fights...this would be one I would want to watch...I'd probably need a fan too, because these boys are hot! But I'd be happy to play nurse to their injuries once they were done...


* 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, August 18, 2011

Giveaway: Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany ARC

So as you may have read yesterday, I really enjoyed Bargains and Betrayals and today I am giving away an ARC to one lucky winner!

Locked away at Pecan Place, Jessie finds her situation to be even more dangerous than she feared. While she struggles to maintain her sanity and discover answers about the group that seems less and less like any legitimate government agency, Pietr fights to keep their relationship alive. But very aware that his mother’s time is running out, Pietr makes a deal he doesn’t dare tell Jessie about. Because the deal Pietr’s made could mean the death of far more than the tenuous relationship with the girl he loves.

- Must be a follower to enter
- Open Internationally
- Contest closes 26 August 2011
- To enter please leave a valid email address in the comments - if I have to track you down, you won't get the prize.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review: Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany

Review: Bargains and Betrayals
Series: 13 to Life – Book 3
Author: Shannon Delany
No of Pages: 303
Release Date: 16 August 2011

Locked away at Pecan Place, Jessie finds her situation to be even more dangerous than she feared. While she struggles to maintain her sanity and discover answers about the group that seems less and less like any legitimate government agency, Pietr fights to keep their relationship alive. But very aware that his mother’s time is running out, Pietr makes a deal he doesn’t dare tell Jessie about. Because the deal Pietr’s made could mean the death of far more than the tenuous relationship with the girl he loves.

My Thoughts:

Bargains and Betrayals was definitely an improvement on Secrets and Shadows.

Jessie is locked away at Pecan Place, an institute for the mentally unstable, and she quickly learns that Pecan Place is hiding some pretty big secrets when it comes to what they are doing to their patients.

Jessie matured between Secrets and Shadows and Bargains and Betrayals and although it was only minor it was definitely an improvement, yes she was still pining after Pietr but at least she has a real reason to this time. By the end of Bargains and Betrayals Jessie was actually a likeable character again, putting others with bigger problems before herself and stopping to think about her actions before running after Pietr every ten seconds.

Pietr was still a little annoying being his typical I am seventeen therefore I am a grown-up and can make huge decisions for myself. Uh yeah buddy, no you can’t. Pietr was still irrational and mildly irritating in this book but we didn’t see that much of him compared to the previous two books.

For the first time in this series, the POV was spilt between Jessie and Alexi and I absolutely loved it. Reading from Alexi’s POV was absolutely fascinating and definitely kept the book going, we had a mature outsiders impression of the situation, sure Alexi decided to become a drunk about halfway through for a little while, but his blackouts were reverted back to Jessie’s mind so it didn’t impact too much.

Alexi is a very interesting character, having done everything he can for his family and still being shunned, watching his inner turmoil as he continues fighting for those he loves is amazing. He left the love of his life for his family and it’s only after Cat becomes human again that she really starts to bond with him.

Bargains and Betrayals was definitely much better than the previous two books, I will admit that I was reluctant to pick it up after finishing Secrets and Shadows and it was only because I had a review copy that I read it at all, but I devoured it quickly and it was on my mind from the moment I put it down right up until I dived back in once again.

The story actually moves this time around, it moves quite a bit to be honest, we are still lacking many answers but they are more answers to questions like how can people get away with these evils things they are doing. I think Delany may have shorn off a few plot points a little too abruptly, it was almost like she didn’t want to continue having that bad guy as a problem, so she just killed them, every time a character got too in the way she killed them off which was a little weird, but I suppose you can’t have all these characters antagonising the mains when the mains have making out and devoting themselves to each other to do.

I am interested in this series, and this book has definitely redeemed some of the series more horrible qualities but I am not sure if I will be continuing on. Considering there is another book whose release date hasn’t been announced yet and this series general lack of memorability I will probably end up just as confused as I was when I picked up Secrets and Shadows a year after 13 to Life.

Others in this series:
13 to Life
Secrets and Shadows

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 16/08/2011

Currently Reading: Nice Girls Don't Live Forever by Molly Harper
"I think we made the smell angry."
Teaser Tuesday is the brainchild of Should Be Reading

Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Review: Bloody Jack by L. A. Meyer

Review: Bloody Jack
Series: Bloody Jack – Book 1
Author: L. A. Meyer
No of Pages: 290
Release Date: 1 June 2004


Life as a ship’s boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and daring sailor as the crew hunts murderous pirates on the high seas.

There’s just one problem: Jacky is a girl...

My Thoughts:

Bloody Jack has potential to rival Captain Jack Sparrow, she is that good.

Jacky wasn’t always called Jacky; she was once called Mary, living on the streets of London after That Dark Day when her parents and sister were claimed by the plague. The first part of our story details some of Mary’s adventures on the streets of London, begging, stealing and reading for pennies but when the boy who has been her gangs leader for four years dies she decides it’s time to move on with her life, and pursue her dream of sailing on the water. Because as Jacky says doesn’t matter if you die by hanging or die by drowning, you’re still dead, so she may as well give sailing a go.

I absolutely loved Jacky in every way, her scallywag nature, her adventurous mind and her caring heart. In many situations that most people would have stood back and saved their own necks, Jacky stepped forward and did what was right. Sure Jacky also causes quite a bit of trouble as she gets older, but all of it is good natured and well meaning.

What I loved most about Bloody Jack though – apart from Jacky of course – was the writing. It’s the sort that isn’t overly detailed but one still has the perfect picture of what is going on. The writing flows and reads fairly quickly. I also loved the style of Jacky’s language as she recounted her days in London and on the Dolphin. She literally wrote how she spoke with all of the:

“Methinks meself to bes a proper lady what gets married to some handsome man some day, or so methinks in me dreams and such, I knows I’m not a proper lady, but hopefully someone will takes me good-natured heart and all.”

One would think that may get a little annoying but it was so well done that it only added to the picture being painted. Jacky was no lady, and she never pretended to be, but she did have dreams and those dreams were quite big.

Bloody Jack was also split into five parts which I absolutely loved as well. We weren’t overloaded with plotlines, because Jacky can only do one thing at a time and have one thing on her mind at one time. Five different plotlines weren’t played out through the story but as each part came to a close so that part of the story was over and the next part began. It was marvellous to read because it let me keep track of everything that was going on and fit perfectly with the story.

Add into the masterful writing the plot and you have a perfect piece. Nothing about Jacky’s adventure was ever dull, but you still got time to breathe. Jacky got all the important information across without dumping it on us and still made room for witty remarks and engaging monologue.

I cannot fault Bloody Jack in anyway, the storyline was brilliant, the characters were flawless and Jacky is so loveable that I absolutely cannot wait to revisit her world as soon as possible.

Others in this series:
Curse of the Blue Tattoo
Under the Jolly Roger
In the Belly of the Bloodhound
Mississippi Jack
My Bonny Light Horseman
Rapture of the Deep
The Wake of the Lorei

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bookie Brunch: Winners! 7/8/2011

So as you know I hosted the Bookie Brunch last week and we were discussing Hardcovers and Paperbacks.

I was also holding a giveaway for everyone who commented meaningfully on the post so now we inevitably have winners from that giveaway!

And they are....

Jo from Fluidity of Time 

A Backwards Story

They have both been notified by email and have 48 hours to respond, if not, prizes are lost (sorry)...


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review: Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Review: Wizard’s First Rule
Series: Sword of Truth – Book 1
Author: Terry Goodkind
No of Pages: 764
Release Date: 1 January 1995

One man, Richard Cypher, holds the key to the fate of three nations, to the fate of humanity. But until he learns the Wizard’s First Rule his chances of succeeding in his task are slim. And his biggest problem is admitting magic exists at all…

A novel of incomparable scope and brimming with atmospheric detail: this is a world where heart hounds stalk the magical boundaries between countries, and worlds, for unwary human prey, blood-sucking flies hunt on behalf of their underworld masters, and where artists can draw more than just your likeness.

There is nowhere to hide, nowhere is safe. Here magic makes love twice as sweet, and betrayal and loss twice as bitter.

My Thoughts:

Wizard’s First Rule was epic, in more ways than just the page count.

Richard’s life is turned upside down after his father’s death and his encounter with a strange woman in the woods. Lifelong friends reveal lies that have been told to him since birth and a journey ensues to stop a madman from taking over the world as Richard knows it.

Where do I even start with Goodkind's tale of epic adventure... Wizard’s First Rule felt like three or four books in one, journeys to the mudflats, secret dwellings, dragons lairs and kingdoms surrounded Richards journey, all accompanied by beautiful scenery and a plethora of interesting and well developed characters.

Richard is a charming character. He is kind-hearted good willed and genuinely sweet. Kahlan is a strong stubborn woman who is the most powerful confessor in history and one of the highest ranking officials in Midland. And Zedd is not only comic relief but a powerful First Wizard who helps keep Richard safe and out of trouble by supplying information.

Wizard’s First Rule is a magical tale filled with dragons, epic journeys and quests as well as little spin off stories that Richard encounters along the way. Wizard’s First Rule is never dull even though it is meticulously detailed. I had a perfect picture in my head the entire time because of the scenery and detail being layered around the story.

One doesn’t want for anything with Wizard’s First Rule; it has romance, torture, action, adventure and a lot of logic thrown into the mix. The romance forming between Richard and Kahlan was sweet, it wasn’t lustful or committing it was a companionship that had an underlying tone of passion.

Sure Wizard’s First Rule was a little formulaic you could tell where we were going to end up but I loved the journey that we took to get there. The winding pathways that Richards’s character takes in this book though keeps it interesting. Was I expecting him to be captured by a Mord-Sith (BDSM evil chick who tortures people using their own power against them and breaks their will.)? No. Those kinds of off shoots really kept me going in this, it was the massive twists an plot forks that keep Wizard’s First Rule interesting.

I absolutely cannot wait to dive back into Richard’s story in Stone of Tears to revisit the world Goodkind has created and find out what further adventure’s Richard will encounter.

Others in this series:
Stone of Tears
Blood of the Fold
Temple of the Winds
Soul of the Fire
Faith of the Fallen
The Pillars of Creation
Naked Empire
The Omen Machine

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday 56: 12/8/2011

Earth Blend by Lori Pescatore
Page 56, 5th Sentence

She got ready for the day.

Always a good way to start the day...getting ready for it.


* 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.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book Review: Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper

Review: Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men
Series: Jane Jameson – Book 2
Author: Molly Harper
No of Pages: 376
Release Date: 25 August 2009


Once a devoted children’s librarian, Jane Jameson now works at a run-down occult bookstore. Once a regular gal, she’s now a vampire. And instead of a bride, she’s an eternal bridesmaid – which leads her to question where exactly her relationship with her irresistible sexy sire, Gabriel, is headed. Mercurial, enigmatic, apparently commitment-phobic vampires are nothing if not hard to read. While Jane is trying to master undead dating, she is also donning the ugliest bridesmaid’s dress in history at her best friend Zeb’s Titanic-themed wedding. Between a freaked-out groom-to-be, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and Zeb’s mother, hell bent on seeing Jane walk the aisle with Zeb, Jane’s got the feeling she’s just rearranging the proverbial deck chairs.

Meanwhile, Half Moon Hollow’s own Black Widow, Jane’s Grandma Ruthie, has met her match in her latest fiancĂ©. He smells like bad cheese and has a suspicious history of dead spouses. But Jane’s bitting her tongue. After all, would a nice girl really think she has a future with a vampire?

My Thoughts:

Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men was a hilarious follow up to Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs.

Jane is helping out with Zeb and Jolene’s upcoming wedding preparations, not only does she have to wear the ugliest dress in history to comply with the don’t outshine the bride on her wedding day rule, but she also has to attempt to keep the peace between Jolene’s family and Zeb’s mother.

Jane was once again side-splittingly funny. Her antics in Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men were hilarious, from her nail-polish concoctions to her pot-pie hoards. I was a bit disappointed in her when she nearly gave up on the book store though, and loudly expressed my relief when she went back again.

Gabriel was in a way, a disappointment for me. He was a typical male. Solving problems with sex and being all-round distant, he was keeping secrets and being a little rude. Then turning around and telling Jane that he loves her. It was almost like a normal relationship, and in a way it infuriated me because there was no stability in that relationship. I want to read about people that don’t have to worry about whether or not the guy is going to call back, and yet at the same time I’m thanking Harper for writing the romance this way because it shows us that vampires have normal uncertain relationships as well.

Dick once again played a huge part in the way of comic relief, he also provided Jane with a sense of stability in her life through his friendship and I’m glad Jane recognized that instead of taking advantage of it.

Although Jane’s world is full of vampires, werewolves and ghosts who have as normal a dating scene as what the living seem to, her life is still surprisingly normal. Jane goes about her everyday life which really hasn’t changed that much, as she pointed out when she spent a whole night watching DVDs on her couch with no one to talk to. She still has money woes occasionally and family issues with her insanely meddlesome family and absolutely psychotic sister she has a boyfriend who she wants to trust but can’t quite seem to because of his weird absences and of course her friend who is normal most of the time, but sometimes has lapses in judgement like any normal male.

Harper’s writing is consistently good in Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men, not only was it absolutely hilarious, but it also flowed and drew one in to the point that you didn’t want to come back out, I want to go and live with Jane her world is so vivid. I want to work in her shop and talk with her and her friends.

Harper turned what could have been a boring or even absurd situation with Zeb’s wedding and turned it into something engaging and witty. I absolutely cannot wait to start Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever.

Also in this series:
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs
Nice Girls Don't Live Forever
Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbours

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 9/8/2011

Currently Reading: Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany
"I don't want any complaining from you."
Teaser Tuesday is the brainchild of Should Be Reading

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bookie Brunch: Hardcovers or Paperbacks?

Welcome to Bookie Brunch

Founder: Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
Come join the discussion!
*Every Sunday*

Today’s host: StoryWings (@storywings)
Next week’s host: vvb32 reads (@vvb32reads)
This week’s discussion open through: 10 August 2011

Your host this week:

My guests this week:

The question under discussion: Do you prefer hardcovers or paperbacks and why?
Related topics to consider: Would you consider buying a book that wasn't in your preferred format (hardcover vs. paperback) - if so, what would be your reason for doing so?
Question suggested by: This Miss Loves to Read 

Amanda says: I am definitely a paperback person, I love the look, I love the feel and I love the price. I love that my bookshelf is pretty much ordered chaos, stacks here and there triple stacking where possible and no books looking the same. Because of my rag tag collection of paperbacks I can always tell exactly where what I'm looking for is. 
I really don't like hardcover books, they are awkward, bulky and being a person who reads in bed...have a tendancy of giving out black eyes if dropped on your head. Many times I have fallen asleep reading and if it was a hardcover book it would fall and the corner would leave me looking as if I'd had a fight with a door. So in addition to looks and feels I find paperbacks to be a much safer option as well.

I only ever buy hardbacks if I can't get a copy of the paperback, which is very rare. I did get over excited for the release of Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead and I bought a hardcover copy just so I could have it straight away from Book Depository, completely forgetting that we would have had the paperback copy in stores on the release date anyway because Australia is a paperback nation, it's hard to find hardcover books in retail stores unless they are specialty stores. 
I hated the fact that I had the rest of the series in paperback and that one copy in hardcover so much that I searched everywhere I could for months to get a paperback edition because we had sold out after Last Sacrifice was released and no one restocked. I finally found a copy in a department store hidden up on the top shelf away from the rest of the series! So now I have three copies of the same book...
Yiota says: Definetelly hardbacks! There is no special reason for it. Mostly appearence. I like when the books feel huge and heavy. And that's a hardback quality. And when i read a hardback i take out the cover page. They look so classy and old with their black, grey, etc covers and the simple lettering on it. I wish i had a library full of hardbacks in their simple colors.

I'm always buying books in NOT my preffered format. There are 4 main reasons for that: 

  1. I live in Greece and i'm not really recieving all those books you guys get at US and UK as ARCs. So imagine that you have to buy that amount of books (not all of them but most). Paperbacks are 99% of the times cheaper and with the money of a hardback version i can buy 2 books which is better since i will have more to read. 
  2. Sometimes i just can't resist some covers. So i will just buy the cover i like more no matter the version of the book.
  3. There are times i can't wait for a book and the paperback version comes out way earlier than the hardback (or the opposite). So i'm buying the earlier released version.
  4. And lastly, when i'm not really sure about the content of the book or how much i will like it, i prefer to buy the cheaper copy no matter the edition. So i won't feel bad i spent all of my money on something i didn't like at the end.
Pepca says: I do not really have a preference for either of the two formats. I buy both paperbacks and hardcovers. Paperbacks are lighter and take up less space than hardcovers. Hardcovers are bulkier and sturdier, and they stand and look better on the shelves. Hardcovers do not get damaged as easily as paperbacks, but paperbacks are more comfortable for transporting and handling.

I will not lie, it mostly depends on the price which format I buy. Usually paperbacks are cheaper, but sometimes there are better deals on hardcovers, so I generally buy the one that is cheaper, since I have to be careful with money. However, I make an exception occasionally. If there is a book I really cannot wait to read, I buy it in the first format available (as a rule it is a hardcover). Also, I like to buy the books that belong to a particular series all in the same format/edition.

Tina says: Wow this is suprisingly a hard question for me becuase I love both. For my shelves I love hardback books because they look so pretty displayed and the binding keeps longer and protects the pages inside. For reading, I prefer paperbacks. I love the feel of breaking a spine on my book and devouring its contents...but I read hardbacks as well. There is a paperback Im dying to get my hands on and thats the UK edition of The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan...however Im to cheap to pay the shipping.

Ruby says: I go back and forth on this dilemma. Hardcovers are, well, hardy. They last longer, and they protect the pages better. On the other hand, they’re also heavier. On the other other hand, hardcovers look best on the shelves. Go on, try to deny that that matters to you. On the fourth hand (hey, this is my paragraph—I can have as many hands as I want), the question of “paperbacks” isn’t that simple, either. Paperback is a term that encompasses mass market (or pocket) paperbacks and trade paperbacks. Mass markets are cheaper not just because they’re smaller, but also because they’re printed on lower quality paper. Their spines crack more easily. Trade paperbacks (although this is not always the case) are made with better paper, and the height to width ratio makes the spines less likely to crack, and they stay open more easily. Despite the fact that I’ve made mass markets sound like they’re the literary equivalent of really crappy Kleenex, I really like them. For one thing, I can fit two MMs in my purse of the moment, no problem. They’re great for travel, and for reading around water (i.e., the beach or the bathtub). Furthermore, most Romance and Urban Fantasy is published in mass market. 

If you put a gun to my head and insisted I pick a favorite, I’d have to pick trade paperback. It gives you the best of both worlds: they’re lighter than hardcovers, but better quality and longer-lasting than mass markets. They also fall in the median of the price range (though buying online means that hardcovers are relatively inexpensive—you don’t see that kind of discount on mass markets or trade paperbacks). Since I read everywhere ,weight is also a consideration for me. Even when I’ve just started a book, I’ve usually got another one on me, and the weight of two hardcovers in my purse would end with me resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Not to say that would stop me.

You’re invited! Visitors: Please share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section, so they can be included in the discussion. This is an active discussion though Wednesday, so feel free to stop by again later on.

Now that I have told you the story of my craziness with the buying of the many copies of Spirit Bound, I have two hardcover copies of this book to giveaway to two lucky winners. If you would like to be entered to win a copy of this book please leave a note in the comments with your email address - only thoughtful comments will be considered, winner picked at random. If host and guests agree that a specific visitor comment is substantial, outstanding, or in some other way has particular merit, they can override pick at their discretion.
Giveaway Brought by Amanda (StoryWings)

* About Bookie Brunch

Bookie Brunch is a weekly meet-up, held every Sunday, where book bloggers can have a cup of tea and chat about a particular bookie question of interest. The discussion is open from Sunday through Wednesday, and you’re welcome to drop by any time to add your opinion or read what other people have to say. This discussion is open as well to general readers or bloggers in a different field, authors, publishers and publicists.

Courtesy guidelines: Thank you for coming! All thoughtful comments will be considered and probably get a response from fellow bloggers. In fact, you’re encouraged to talk about it and share viewpoints or include links to relevant materials. We’d like everyone to have a nice time. Differing viewpoints are just fine, even if strongly expressed, but inflammatory or off-topic comments will be removed.

* Find Bookie Brunch

Today’s host: StoryWings (@storywings)
Next week’s host: vvb32 reads (@vvb32reads)

* Contact Bookie Brunch

Be a guest at an upcoming brunch: @StoryWings
Bring goodies for a giveaway: @StoryWings
Suggest a question: @LiederMadchen
Browse Bookie Brunch discussions Archive: The Fluidity of Time

What do you think? You’re invited to join the discussion below!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book Review: Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton

Review: Circus of the Damned
Series: Anita Blake – Book 3
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
No of Pages: 329
Release Date: 24 September 2002

When a powerful centuries-old vampire hits Anita Blake’s town, a battle of the undead ensues.

My Thoughts:

Mrs Hamilton, you have done it again.

Once again I was absolutely enthralled by the continuation of this series. Anita is once again thrown into the deep end by her vampire connections. Some very shifty characters come to town to challenge Jean-Claude and the limits of Anita’s loyalty are tested.

Anita was once again a magnificent heroine. She always thinks with her head and never gets too flustered by her situation. Anita continues to be one of my favourite characters ever purely because her morals and values aren’t compromised by vampires. She doesn’t start out as a “normal person” who inevitably falls for the incredible charms of the nearest vampire, she keeps fighting them and no matter how much attention she is paid by them, she never gives in.

I am a little worried though by her new acceptance of werewolves though, she went from hating them at the start of the book to being mildly tolerant, I suppose it’s understandable given the fact that she was surrounded by vampires so by comparison the werewolf looks pretty good, but I hope she continues sticking to her convictions.

I love how this series isn’t overly romantic, Anita didn’t show her loyalty to Jean-Claude because she loves him or lusts after him, she stays loyal because she is a good person (well as good as a necromancer can be), and tries to help the right people out. She doesn’t help Jena-Claude because she wants to sleep with him, and her helping him doesn’t lead to it either, she does it because she wants to and because she considers him somewhat a friend.

This series is only getting better; there is a decent amount of mystery mixed in with absolutely phenomenal ideas. Maybe I just haven’t been around long enough, but a million year old vampire? That is just cool.

Anita continues to be a strong heroine who keeps me coming back for more, she doesn’t fall for the charms of man but rather makes her own decisions about what she wants, she is a fighter yet still knows when to back down, but most of all, when she realises a mistake, she tries to rectify it rather than covering it up or hoping it will go away.

I absolutely cannot wait to get to the next book in this series, The Lunatic Café.

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


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