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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another "13 to Life" Contest Entry Thingamajig

As stated in the title, this is another part to my entry for Shannon Delany's contest, and I don't really know what to call it. "It" is a picture taken in a setting that reminds me of small town America. Actually, I had to draw in the scene, because I live in Los Angeles County, and we don't have anything that reminds me of a small town outside of antique shops, which I hate. Anyways, I don't think they would appreciate me barging in and taking pictures with a book, although the weirdness factor might stun them into letting me. Not that that really matters xD

So, here's the picture you've all been waiting for:


 

Very realistic, isn't it. By the way, that isn't me. It's my dog, Kizzard. And, no, she isn't growing out of the book--it's growing out of her. And that's all I have to say about that.

Enough with the bad movie references (I'm not saying that the movies are bad, just my references, to clarify.), this is small town America! Why did I draw a field and a sky for the background, you ask? Ahem, because I...couldn't draw a house, or a horse, or anything else that reminded me of small town America, or anything at all. My houses and horses suck. Badly. They kind of looked like the mobile suits from Gundam. And not in a good way.

Please, boost my self-esteem and tell me it looks good. It's not really lying if you look at from an art teacher's point of view; mine always said that art is subjective, and therefore never technically bad. She said 'technically' in italics, by the way. Just like that.

So, yeah, just pretend that it's good.
>8D

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Beach Reads Challenge

BWS tips button

Jessica at A Fanatic Book Blog is hosting a nice summer challenge for light, beachy reads, as interpreted by readers, so basically whatever you usually like to read for fun in the sun. For me, that's mostly young adult and paranormal romance, since neither are generally dark or difficult reads, therefore perfect for using to avoid the sun :D
The categories are as follow:
* Tadpole - Read 4 books in this challenge.
* Minnow - Read 8 books in this challenge.
* Dolphin - Read 12 books in this challenge.
* Shark - Read 16+ books in this challenge!
Since I have absolutely no life, I've decided to go with the Shark. Well, also because it sounds cooler, and who doesn't want to sound cool? Why walk around saying, "I'm a Minnow," when you could be saying, "I'm a shark. Rawr." Really. No one wants to be a tadpole, or a minnow. I'm sure some people like dolphins, but me, I'm a shark. And a dork, which happens to be part of a whale, which should so have been a level for this.

Well, on with my choices!

1. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
2. Shadowland by Alyson Noel
3. Rogue by Rachel Vincent
4. Pride by Rachel Vincent
5. Prey by Rachel Vincent
6. Shift by Rachel Vincent
7. Bloody Good by Georgia Evans
8. Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
9. Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews (So what if it's a bit dark?)
10. The Glass Dragon by Irene Radford (A nice fantasy re-read.)
11. What's A Ghoul to Do by Victoria Laurie
12. Nightingale's Lament by Simon R. Green (Dark, but short.)
13. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Hey, I have to have something that makes me look smart!)
14. Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
15. Dead Is the New Black by Marlene Perez
16. Bitten & Smitten by Michelle Rowen

I'll add links to the reviews when they go up.

Alternatives:

1. Alpha by Rachel Vincent (If I can get it in time.)

Here's to reading as an excuse to avoid the beach! That's what Southern California's for, right? Right.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

REVIEW: Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator by Janni Nell

Book: Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator by Janni Nell
Release Date: May 26, 2010
Format: Ebook
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Allegra Fairweather, #1
Free or Purchased: Free (Thanks, Carina Press!)


Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (3 Zombies)
Bit of a slow starter, but it picked up about a quarter of the way through. I also took off a zombie because the ending seemed a bit too hurried and convenient. I really like the second half of the book, though. (Besides the ending.)

Blurb:

Allegra Fairweather here. Paranormal investigator. Got problems with specters? Shapeshifters? I'm the woman to call. Just don't call me a Ghostbuster. The last guy who did that ended up flat on his back with my boot at his throat.

With my 99.5% success rate, solving the mystery of a bleeding rose that has sprung up on the shores of Loch Furness should have been an easy gig. But already I've heard the shriek of the local banshee, discovered two bodies (and then lost two bodies), and had a near-death encounter with a three-hundred-year-old ghost. And perhaps most dangerous of all, the hot pub owner who hired me now wants to show me exactly what's under his kilt.

Luckily, I'm ably assisted by my very own guardian angel. I'm grateful for his help-but he's also drop-dead gorgeous. A bit distracting when I've got a mystery to solve, and the clock is ticking...



The Book
Allegra Fairweather is a paranormal investigator who has traveled to Scotland to see a paranormal rose that seems to be causing trouble in a small loch village. What else would a paranormal investigator be doing? Well, she is in Scotland, and discovers that--oh mi gosh!--her employer is HOT. I think Douglas is kind of slimy, and shorter than her! It doesn't work for him like it does for Henry from Blood Ties.

So Allegra starts investigating this whole rose thing and hears a banshee wailing, then people turn up dead, and of course she has to investigate that, too, and wow, it all ends up being part of the same dastardly scheme plotted by...Well, I can't tell you, because it would spoil the mystery.

Here's the part you won't expect--Allegra and her sexy guardian angel don't walk into the mist holding hands. You heard me. No HEA! What's up with that? I didn't even love the book, but now I have to get the next one as soon as it comes out because I have to find out if she gets the sexy angel! Ugh!

My Thoughts
Allegra was a likable, if a bit unemotional, character, and Casper was a smokin' hot sidekick, but I would've liked to see Allegra acting more competent. She talks about being able to take care of herself and being tough, but she never proves it with actions. Casper is always swooping in to rescue her, and what does she do? Get pissed that he didn't come sooner, of course. Psht.

Some of the coincidences in the story were a bit... too coincidental, and that threw me off too much to actually get involved in the plot for more than five minutes, but I really liked the characters. I don't know what it was about them, but they did their absolute best to draw me into a story that wasn't all that interesting.

In conclusion, Nell is good at characters, bad at plots, and has forced me into adding the next book to my TBR, if there is another coming. I assume that there is, though, based on the ending.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

REVIEW: Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Book: Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Release Date: April 1, 2008
Format: Mass Market
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Kate Daniels, #2
Free or Purchased: Purchased


Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (5 Zombies)
Finally, I'm back on a good streak! For a while, I didn't have any five zombie reads, but now I have two in a row, and hopefully more to come! The Kate Daniels series only seems to get better as I go, and I still have two more sitting on my shelf waiting for me, and more to come. This is one of my favorite series, recently.

Blurb:

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic goes wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate's going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale; a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta's paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more is at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest - and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can't stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city man not survive...


The Book
Kate is forced into the affairs of the Pack once more, since somebody keeps stealing their maps! Said thief seems to be able to disappear into the mist, as if he were teleporting. And, to top it all off, there's about to be a magic flare, a few days where the magic reigns stronger than any other time, and gods can be given physical form.

It only follows that Kate should get on the wrong side of one of these gods--technically, as she points out, a minor deity. Of course, Curran must now also get involved, because life is nothing without our favorite lion shape shifter. Right, guys?

So, mostly together, Kate and Curran work to solve the mystery--and to avoid solving their personal problems--and save the day. Knowing them, it's a wonder they even try to accomplish either. Their luck individually is bad enough, it doesn't take to brain cells to know that it'll just get worse when you put them together, but that's what makes this such a fun series. That, and Curran. (Did I mention that I'm a fan?)

My Thoughts 
Okay, there's not much to say about Kate, besides that she's awesome. Plain and simple, awesome. Kate is one of the coolest heroines ever. Period. I'm not sure they come cooler than Kate. She makes me reconsider my straightness, until Curran enters the story. He convinces me to re-reconsider. *drool* *swoon* *more drool* Uh, yeah, I like Curran. If only he had a surname, then he would be perfect.

I think I'm rambling. Right, then, I should just end this here, before it gets worse.


P.S.:  ALL COMMENTS ARE REALLY SUPER GREATLY APPRECIATED :D THANKS FOR THE COMMENT LOVE!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Playlists for "13 to Life" Contest

Playlist # 1 is for Jessica's dreams.
http://www.playlist.com/playlist/20173561867

Playlist #2 is for Jess and Pietr's first kiss.
http://www.playlist.com/playlist/20173631755

Playlist #3 is for pgs. 235-248.
http://www.playlist.com/playlist/20173731083

Playlist #4 is for Jessica and Pietr's first meeting.
http://www.playlist.com/playlist/20173770507

Playlist #5 is for pgs. 267-275.
http://www.playlist.com/playlist/20173780491

These are for Shannon Delany's contest @ http://ht.ly/22Waa

REVIEW: 13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Book: 13 to Life by Shannon Delany
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult
Series: 13 to Life, #1
Free or Purchased: Purchased


Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (5 Zombies)
The best YA novel I've read in years! I can't wait to get my hands on the next one as soon as possible! Here's to hoping that my blog gets popular enough for me to get my hands on an ARC eventually! *wishful thinking*

Blurb:

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide--secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.


The Book
Jessica Gillmansen is a fairly normal, if a touch geeky, high school student, except that her mother recently died in a car accident, and she's being forced to show the new kid arround--along with the gaggle of adolescent females who seem to have permanently attached themselves to Pietr at the hip. She, unlike Pietr's flock, doesn't like his mysteriousness, or the way he doesn't seem to care about much of anything, or the spelling of his name, for that matter!

Jessie is crushing on Derek, the star football player, but his girlfriend, cheerleader Jenny, is a bit of an obstacle. Not that Jessica's anywhere near his league. Strangely enough, though, Pietr seems to like her. And she kind of likes him back--as does one of her closest friends!

Encouraging Pietr to go out with Sarah is difficult and painful for Jessie, but she's dead set on putting her friends first, especially after all that Sarah's been through recently. Even if Pietr doesn't actually want to go out with Sarah. But they can always break up, right?

My Thoughts  
Jessie was a fabulous heroine, very realistic in her actions and motivations, and Pietr was the perfect hero to accompany her. Both characters were funny and easy to like, and left me wanting to read more. In fact, I stayed up till four in the morning to read this book, after buying it in the middle of dinner. Yes, I saw a B&N across the street at dinner, got up, and bought 13 to Life because the Twitter party reminded me that it had just come out that day XD My friends were confused.

A lot of YA recently just comes off to me as cheap Twilight reproductions (not that Twilight was all that great the first time around), but 13 to Life was very original, and full of interesting, surprising, twists and turns--rare in the genre.

One pet peeve that I have about YA books is that, most of the time, I sit there wondering what possessed the main character to remain friends with their closest companions (Haven from Evermore*, not to name names). Seriously, some of these backstabbing creeps are just too stupid/mean/stereotypical to even imagine talking to of your own free will! Get better friends, people! But, unlike some characters *ahem, Haven, ahem* Amy is a nice, down-to-earth friend who's there for Jessie when she needs her. Nothing like, well, Haven.

*Nothing against Evermore, it's a good series, I just don't like Ever's friends.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sorry

I have to pack and take care of some crap for leaving Texas, so there won't be any real posts until Thursday or Friday.

Cade

Monday, June 21, 2010

REVIEW: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Book: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
Release Date: July 29, 2008
Format: Mass Market
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Alpha & Omega, #1
Free or Purchased: Purchased


Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)
This would have been an easy five zombies if not for the fact that, at the beginning of this book, I had to Google it to make sure it was, in fact, the first in the series. It was really confusing for me to start with a beginning that felt like it should have been the end of the previous book, what with Anna's old alpha dead and Charles shot. Just weird. But the rest of the book was really good!

Blurb:
Anna never knew werewolves existed until the night she survived a violent attack…and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. But Anna is that rarest kind of werewolf: an Omega. And one of the most powerful werewolves in the country will recognize her value as a pack member—and as his mate.

The Book
Anna Latham is used to being an abused submissive wolf, but Charles Cornick, the Marrok's son, says that she's actually a rare Omega wolf, outside of the pack structure completely. She has all of the strength and protectiveness of an alpha wolf, without the violent temper. Instead, she exerts a calming influence on other wolves--as long as Anna has the calm to share.

Charles Cornick has resigned himself to the fact that he'll never find a mate, but when he finds Anna in Chicago and rescues her from her pack, his wolf decides that they are, in fact, mates. The only problem is that, while Charles' and Anna's wolves have accepted each other, their human halves haven't, so they can't cement their mating bond.

But, with a rogue wolf or two, and maybe some complicated conspiracies, they just don't have the time to get to know each other well enough for their human sides to accept the mating, especially with Anna's mental wounds and Charles' physical ones. Or do they?

My Thoughts
I loved Anna and Charles, maybe not as much as Mercy Thompson, but still a lot! And seeing stuff from Bran's point-of-view was awesome. (I have a secret fangirl crush on Bran XD) It was pretty nice to finally see how the werewolves, who are very prominent in the Mercy series, think and feel, etc. I'd wondered about their relationships with their wolves, or if they were just part of them, that sort of thing, and all of that was explained in Cry Wolf.

I've never seen a character in Urban Fantasy actually take the time to heal a bad wound, but Charles was injured throughout the entire book, and there was no magic or super-duper metabolism man to fix him in thirty seconds. I LOVED IT! Brava, Briggs, for your realistic healing time!

If anyone's read the prequel in On The Prowl, does that make the beginning seem less awkward? Should I have read it first?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

REVIEW: Midnight's Daughter by Karen Chance

Book: Midnight's Daughter by Karen Chance
Release Date: October 7, 2008
Format: Mass Market
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Dorina Basarab, #1
Free or Purchased: Purchased


Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucket (2 Zombies)
I read this book fully expecting it to be fairly mediocre, and it lived up to my expectations. This being said, the first book in Karen Chance's Cassie Palmer series is probably one of the worst books I've ever read, but the series overall is in my top ten. At least the end of this left me wanting to read more, even if I the rest of the book didn't thrill me; Touch the Dark (Cassie, #1) almost made me give up on the series, but so many of my friends liked it, so I ordered the second book, which I loved. I'm sure that this series will be the same.

Blurb:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen chance has written a paranormal—with bite.

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Unlike most dhampirs, though, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity. Now Dory’s vampire father has come to her for help— again. Her Uncle Dracula (yes, the Dracula), cruelest among vampires, has escaped his prison. And her father wants Dory to work with gorgeous master vampire Louis-Cesare to put him back there.

Although Dory prefers to work alone, Dracula is the only thing that truly scares her—and when she has to face him, she’ll take all the help she can get…


The Book
Basically, Dorina gets blackmailed by Daddy Dearest, aka Mircea (recognize him from the Cassie series?), into hunting her crazy uncle, Dracula. He sends Louis-Cesare, another familiar character, with her as a nice little sidekick, and everyone is pissed off.

To make things more fun, they blow stuff up. Yay. Trouble, blood, and guts ensue. Fae are encountered. Everyone is more pissed off, if that's possible. Less fun planning takes up more pages than statistically possible, leaving out anything that might be interesting.

People have sex, other people die, and the book ends. Blech.

My Thoughts
Obviously, I didn't like Midnight's Daughter very much, but I'm still going to pick up Death's Mistress when I go out to Barnes & Noble on Tuesday to pick up a copy of 13 To Life  if I have any money left over. (This is why I get so excited when authors/publishers give me books for free! I'm BROKE!)

I'll just save my words for the second book, which I know I'll like, though I doubt anything can beat Cassie.



Also, if anyone has any requests for books they'd like to see reviewed, I'll try to get my hands on copies of those. I'm always open to recommendations of books you liked or want to see read about before picking them up. Your comments are definitely appreciated--sometimes I feel like I'm writing this blog for no one to read! Speak up, please!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rachel Vincent in Chicago

She will be touring with four bestselling authors on June 25, 26, & 27, and will visit selected Walmart, Kmart and Meijer locations to promote My Soul To Keep. If you're in the area, it would be a great opportunity!

Friday, June 25:

10am-12pm
Kmart Tinley Park, IL
16300 Harlem
Tinley Park, IL 60477

6pm-8pm
Walmart Joliet, IL
2424 W. Jefferson
St, Joliet, IL, 60436

Saturday, June 26th:

10am-12pm
Kmart Naperville, IL
1199 E. Ogden Ave.
Naperville, IL 60563

2pm-4pm
Kmart Bloomingdale, IL
156 South Gary Ave
Bloomingdale, IL 60108

6pm-8pm
Walmart Gurnee, IL
6590 Grand Ave
Gurnee, IL 60031

Sunday, June 27th:

10am-12pm
Kmart Racine, WI
2211 South Green Bay
Racine, WI 53406

2pm-4pm
Kmart Brookfield, WI
18200 W Bluemound Rd
Brookfield, WI 53045


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vacation

I'm on vacation in Oklahoma until Saturday, so forgive me if my posts come late or not at all, because I don't know how much time I'll have on the computer, if any at all, and my reading time will also be less than usual, so no books to review. Sorry, to anyone who actually reads this.

One thing I will be able to do, though, is respond to questions and comments if anyone has them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

REVIEW: Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione

Book: Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione
Release Date: April 1, 2009
Format: Mass Market
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Demonica, #3
Free or Purchased: Purchased


Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)
Definitely my favorite Demonica so far, lost a zombie for a little bit of absurdity at the end. I loved that, for once, it wasn't the girl who was always in trouble and being all needy and crap.

Blurb:
FORBIDDEN TEMPTATIONS

Serena Kelley is an archaeologist and treasure hunter-and a woman with a secret. Since she was seven, she's been the keeper of a powerful charm that grants her health and immortality . . . as long as she stays a virgin. But Serena isn't all that innocent. And when a dangerously handsome stranger brings her to the brink of ecstasy, she wonders if she's finally met the one man she cannot resist.

FATAL DESIRES

Wraith is a Seminus demon with a death wish. But when an old enemy poisons him, he must find Serena and persuade her to give him the only known antidote in the universe-her charm. Yet, as she begins to surrender to his seductions and Wraith senses the cure is within his grasp, he realizes a horrible truth: He's falling for the woman whose life he must take in order to save his own.


The Book
Wraith, the semi-suicidal and fully insane seminus demon that we've all hated loved since Book 1, finally gets his own book! Yay! It turns out that he isn't invincible, after all. On one of his reckless missions to... kill things, Wraith is poisoned by an assassin. When he wakes up two weeks later, his brothers tell him that he only has days to live.

Reaver, that fallen angel that's always so sexy, lets something slip about a charmed human girl who could transfer her invincibility charm to Wraith via sex. The catch? Serena, the charmed human, was bitten by a bitten by a demon and given an incurable disease, so if she relinquishes her charm, she'll die in a matter of hours.

Wraith follows Serena to Egypt and the go searching for ancient artifacts together, which is the only logical thing to do while in Egypt (The Mummy, anyone?). But there are lots of bad guys chasing them, hellbent on instigating the apocalypse.

Of course, this is a Paranormal ROMANCE, so Wraith has to fall in love with Serena. He can't kill her if he loves her, right? But what if Wraith and Serena's lives aren't the only ones hanging in the balance?

My Thoughts
Wraith is pretty darn awesome, not to mention selfish, stupid, and crazy, and MUCH better than Shade. Dunno about Eidolon, who was also damned awesome, but they probably tie. Love those demon boys!

I've read a lot of PNR, and my biggest problem with it is that there isn't a lot of plot in most of the books because, well, they're too busy sucking on genitals and all that fun stuff. Demonica isn't one of those series. I love the plot lines, the characters don't have sex 846385937 times a day, and it's not only about two people.

Passion Unleashed was also darker than the other books in the series, which, in my book, is a great thing. I'm all into that dark UF type stuff, especially recently. This is to be expected in any book concerning the apocalypse/Armageddon/the end of the world, but I was impressed by the lack of light-and-fluffy involved.

In conclusion, go out and buy the book, comment on this post, spread the word, etc. Thanks :D

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

REVIEW: Blood Price by Tanya Huff

Book: Blood Price by Tanya Huff
Release Date: May 7, 1991
Format: Mass Market
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Vicki Nelson, #1
Free or Purchased: Purchased


Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (3 Zombies)
A bit slow, but, since it's the first book in a series and I've heard good things about the author, I'm going to buy the second book eventually. Not in a big hurry, though. Did like the characters, just boring first half.


Blurb:
It began with blood and death amid the streets of late-night Toronto. Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto's homicide detail, now a private investigator, witnessed the first attack by the force of dark magic that would soon wreak its reign of terror on the unsuspecting city. And as death followed unspeakable death, Vicki became more and more deeply enmeshed in an investigation which would see her renewing her stormy relationship with her former police partner, Mike Celluci, even as she teamed up with writer Henry Fitzroy, in a desperate attempt to track down the source of the seemingly unstoppable attacks. For Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII, had knowledge of realms beyond the mortal acquired over the centuries during which he'd mastered his own insatiable needs - the life-from-death cravings of a vampire.

Henry Fitzroy had long since learned to survive without killing, learned the skills needed to blend in with the human race. But unless he, Vicki, and Mike could find the key to conquering the magic-raised menace stalking the streets of Toronto, Fitzroy's true identity might soon be exposed and his life might prove forfeit to the uncontrollable fears of humankind. And without Henry Fitzroy, mere mortals like Vicki and Mike would not long survive against the ancient force of chaos that had been loosed on their world.


The Book
Vicki Nelson is an ex-cop with eye problems and a lot of anger to go with them. After quitting the force, she hasn't had much contact with the police, including her mostly ex-boyfriend, Mike Celluci. All of this changes, however, when she witnesses the murder of a college boy on the subway and Mike heads the investigation.

Vampire Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of a king, has just realized that, being quite lonely, he wants to make a child vampire. Also, he's having trouble concealing his vampiric nature, after centuries of fitting in easily. Plus, there's something that sounds an awful lot like a vampire raising the public's awareness of the supernatural, which is at the bottom of Henry's list of good things. Not knowing how many other vampires are in the area or whether or not they care, Henry is going to have to take care of this problem all by his lonesome.

Together, Vicki and Henry, with a little help from Mike, must figure out what is tearing out humans' throats with its bare teeth, and then stop it without anyone finding out that humans aren't alone. That is, if Vicki and Mike can even reconcile this new world view with what they've always known to be true, and if Henry can keep it together long enough not to implicate himself in the gruesome murders.


My Thoughts
Besides the slow start, Vicki was at times too stubborn to live, as is Mike. Henry, the crazy vampire, seems to be the only reasonable character in the entire book! Stupidity and hard-headedness aside, most of the characters were quite likable and interesting.

I also didn't like that the bad guy was revealed early on in the book, effectively eliminating any chance for the reader to use their brain and solve a mystery, which is always fun. I know a lot of people who aren't bothered by things like this at all, though, so I'm just weird about stuff like that.

Plus, Vicki is 5'10" and Henry is, well, shorter. Kinda awkward, especially since she seems to think he's very attractive. I loved Henry, don't get me wrong, and it's nice to see some historically accurate vampires once in a while, but Vicki didn't have to be a giant, did she? I only know a few women that tall, and they're considered too tall.

The second half of the book really picked up speed, though, and I got over my fear of shorter men and enjoyed the story. Wish I had enough spare cash to buy the second book right now, but I have a lot of books higher up on my wishlist then this one :( Oh, well, I'll get to it eventually and you can expect a review of it, too!

Monday, June 14, 2010

REVIEW: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Book: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
Release Date: February 5, 2009
Format: Mass Market
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Mercedes Thompson, #4
Free or Purchased: Purchased


Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)
Minus one zombie because of believability. Some parts of the book were just too coincidental for me to believe. Especially in concern with a certain ghost in Spokane. Nuh-uh. That just ain't happening, no matter how far you stretch.

Blurb:
Marsilia, the local vampire queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan. Now, she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack-and her relationship with its sexy Alpha-it's not Mercy's blood Marsilia is after...


The Book
In the second book, Blood Bound, Mercy makes choices that, if found out, would put her on Marsilia's hit list for good. Bone Crossed is about the results of Marsilia's knowledge of these events. Sometimes not so believable responses.


Mercy's love life is much calmer in this book than the previous three since she's finally picked a mate, but her social life is just as hectic as ever. Adam doesn't help when he decides to take her into the pack without consulting his werewolves. Some wolves will surprise you with their extreme animosity over this decision, which everyone should have seen coming from a mile away, but apparently didn't. Again with the believability.


An old college friend is asking for help with her literally haunted house, Stefan's loyalty is kicking his ass, and the pack is pissed off, but none of this can stop Mercy from having a good time getting eaten by multiple vampires and falling deeper in love with a sexy werewolf.


My Thoughts
Besides the believability issues, it was a very good book, just like the first three, but better. Book Three is still my favorite, but I'm really looking forward to reading Silver Borne! Have any of you guys read the most recent Mercy book? Any thoughts? I don't really have much to say about this one, so I'll just leave it at this. Gotta get back to my reading :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In My Mailbox

Weekly meme from The Story Siren.

This week's books:

  • Body & Soul by Jordan Castillo Price (ebook)
  • Hellblazer: Original Sins by Jamie Delano (comic)
  • Bloody Good by Georgia Evans
  • Kitty Takes A Holiday by Carrie Vaughn
  • Guards by Ken Bruen
  • Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
  • Broken by Kelley Armstrong
  • Burning Water by Mercedes Lackey
  • Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy
  • Dante's Girl by Natasha Rhodes
Currently Reading:  Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs. Anyone else read it? Thoughts?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

Hop over to Crazy For Books and participate in the weekly Book Blogger Hop meme to find new blogs that you may have missed otherwise, or to get more readers for your own book related blog. Either way, it's a win for books!

Please follow/comment on any blog that you like, it means a lot to the blogger to know that someone out there is actually READING their crap, and it helps keep the blog active! Thanks :)

2010 Debut Author Challenge

A nice little challenge from The Story Siren :)

The goal is to read at least 12 YA books from authors debuting to the genre this year, but, being me, I have decided to try for 13. No tristadecaphobics here! (Links go to Goodreads pages.)

1. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves (CURRENTLY READING)
2. Sea by Heidi R. Kling
3. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
4. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
5. Wereling by Steve Feasey
6. Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
7. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
8. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
9. 13 to Life by Shannon Delany (My Review)
10. Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn
11. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
12. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
13. Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton (My Review)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Character Love

Weekly Meme from The Introverted Reader.

The character I'll be spotlighting this week, my first go at this meme, is Finn Mac Cumhaill from Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton.

Finn is The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight goblins and destined to die young. His great chivalry and compassion keep him from getting close to people because he doesn't want to leave any broken hearts behind when he dies.

But, despite Finn's constant efforts to stay aloof, neither readers nor characters can resist loving this lonely little warrior. Throughout the course of their adventures together, Finn is dragged, kicking and screaming, into the hearts of his companions, Teagan and Aiden, and everyone involved is all the happier for it.

Tyger Tyger comes out on November 15, 2010, so look for it in your local bookstore around that time. It is definitely worth reading!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

REVIEW: Chill Factor by Rachel Caine


Book: Chill Factor by Rachel Caine
Release Date:
Format: Paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Weather Warden, #3
Free or Purchased: Purchased


Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)
Another action packed adventure in the world of Joanne Baldwin, the third Weather Warden installment doesn't fail to excite. In fact, I think the biggest problem I had with Chill Factor was that the fast-paced, never-ending action was, well... never-ending. While it was definitely an awesome book, the reader doesn't really get a break between disasters, which may be just what the more visually-oriented book-lovers amongst us are looking for. As always, this sort of thing is very objective. I could've done with a few more quiet moments, but maybe someone else would've liked fewer.

Blurb:

Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin has protected the human race from monster storms, been killed, reborn as a Djinn, and then restored to her original form. Now she's throwing the dice to stop an infinitely powerful, deeply disturbed kid--who is holed up in a Vegas hotel--from bringing on a new ice age.


The Book
Joanne has defeated her nemesis from the second book, Yvette Prentiss--sort of--and now moves on to nemesis number 2: Kevin Prentiss, Yvette's stepson. She would really love to negotiate with him or fight or draw pictures with sidewalk chalk, but Joanne, and every other living Warden, are blocked from entering Los Vegas. What? No gambling?! You heard me.

But is Kevin really the one Joanne needs to be watching out for, or is it the secret society that are trying to 'rescue her' from Kevin and Jonathan? Or maybe the Wardens themselves? Throughout the course of the book, Joanne is constantly tugged between the three mostly opposing sides (sometimes their goals are similar), without a clue who to trust.

Add in a few desperate iffrits and some really messed up flashbacks, and that's Chill Factor in a nutshell, though this is a book that cannot be summarized well without having read it yourself, so you should probably head out and pick up a copy right now, 'cause the Wardens are seriously hot stuff!

My Thoughts
As previously mentioned, I could have used some down-time to breath through Joanne's many perilous situations, any there were many of them, but it was still a really good book. None of the action scenes seemed unnecessary, or anything, it just needed some added conversations or thinking or something, maybe another fifty or so pages; nothing too drastic.

While Joanne majorly developed as a character, with flashbacks from her past fleshing out some of her fears and her reasoning, surprisingly, her love-interest, David, didn't get much airtime in this book. He was a bigger force in the first book, not so big in the second, and this was kind of a middle ground. I love me some David, though, so that was moderately disappointing until I got too wrapped up in the story to be worried about him. Lewis and Jonathan were more prominent than previously, which I liked.

Overall, I think that Chill Factor is stronger than the second book, but Ill Wind will eternally hold my heart. You can't beat the first Weather Warden book, which is completely devoid of First Book Syndrome, and one of the most amazing books ever. If you're in the mood for a movie-like Urban Fantasy with a hint of romance, this is your series!


This summer, go see Rachel Caine on the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

REVIEW: PsyCop: Partners by Jordan Castillo Price


Book: PsyCop: Partners by Jordan Castillo Price
Release Date: September 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Mystery, Gay
Series: PsyCop, #1-2
Free or Purchased: Purchased


Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)
Following the theme of genres that I don't read often, PsyCop is about two gay cops and their adventures in what I would assume is the future. I liked the plot, even if the books were a bit short for my taste, as well as most of the characters. The reason it lost the one zombie is that Vic and Jacob were just suddenly in a relationship. There was no 'oh, should we date?' or anything, just sex and then dating, all in the first twenty pages. But after I got over that, it was a great two books, with a really neat cover!

Blurb: (Yes, i is all one big, long, mushed-up paragraph. This is not my fault.)

Featuring two PsyCop novels, Among the Living and Criss Cross, this volume will leave you on the edge of you seat, wanting more! In Among the Living, Victor is a PsyCop, also known as a member of the Paranormal Investigation team. He's not popular with the living, as most people consider him a little odd, but the ghosts of violent crimes can't wait to tell him all about their deaths. His new case pairs him with Jacob, a non-psychic who works in sex crimes. Victor and Jacob have a history, and as they and work together to solve a set of serial crimes, they begin to explore the possibilities of a future. The case is like nothing they've ever experienced, and soon Victor finds that he's the only one who can solve the crime, and save Jacob's life. If he's not too late. In Criss Cross, Vic figures life is pretty good. He's got his lover, Jacob. He's got some time off to go fishing, and his new partner in the Paranormal Investigation Team buys the coffee. Naturally, nothing that good can last. When Vic starts to see ghosts everywhere, things go very wrong, resulting in a trip to his doctor, who says he's got problems. Vic's friends tell Jacob he has to leave for Vic to get better, sex is starting to get dangerous, and Vic's abilities are getting out of hand. Can he and Jacob figure out what's happening in time to save Vic from becoming a pawn in a dangerous game? 


The Book
Victor Bayne is the psychic member of a PsyCop unit, a team with a psychic and a non-psychic to balance each other out. He is a level-five medium, and hears the dead, even sees them every once in a while, but they can get quite bothersome. So what does Vic do? Self-medicate, obviously. A new drug has been developed to keep the ghosties away, at least for a short time, and Vic uses it religiously, claiming that it has nothing to do with the high that comes along with silence of the voices.

At his partner, Maurice's, retirement party, Vic meets Jacob Marks and promptly does him in the bathroom. Very exciting. Then they find out that they'll be working together on a case, and as they do, they grow closer and closer until Vic starts to think that he's falling in love.

Will Vic's be able to save Jacob--not to mention himself--from the paranormal creatures that have made Chicago their newest haunt, or will the beasties get them both? You'll love finding out! 

My Thoughts
Victor was a really nice hero, not the KILLMAIMDESTROY macho man that I've been seeing a lot of recently, and he was very refreshing. I also liked Jacob, and his goatee. Very smexy. And, unlike some couples I've read about, they clicked. I wasn't sitting there going "These two shouldn't be together!!! *HEAD, WALL. WALL, HEAD*"

The mysteries were both pretty fabulous, but seemed to wrap up too suddenly at the end of the books. I don't know if this is because of a word limit imposed by the publisher/editor, or just the author's personal preference, but I would have liked them to go on longer.

I'm looking forward to reading about Vic and Jacob's development as a couple in the next books, and to seeing some of the other character's I've come to love!