Thursday, 31 July 2014

Cover Reveal: Third Life:Taken by RJ Crayton


When Kelsey Reed fled her country to escape a forced kidney transplant, she was sure she’d never return. However, when her brother-in-law shows up on her doorstep, things change. Kelsey is ecstatic to see Greg, until he does something that changes everything.

Forced to head back to the nation that tried to kill her, Kelsey will need the help of her husband Luke, and friends Susan and Rob to escape this new nightmare.


Have you read the other books in the series? 

Strong-willed Kelsey Reed must escape tonight or tomorrow her government will take her kidney and give it to someone else.

In this future forged by survivors of pandemics that wiped out 80 percent of the world's population, life is valued above all else. The government of "Life First" requires the mentally ill to be sterilized, outlaws abortions and sentences to death those who refuse to donate an organ when told.

Determined not to give up her kidney, Kelsey enlists the help of her boyfriend Luke and a dodgy doctor to escape. The trio must disable the tracking chip in her arm for her to flee undetected. If they fail, Kelsey will be stripped of everything.




Susan Harper is being held captive by her government in this romantic thriller, Second Life. As the normally feisty Susan’s hopes of freedom dwindle, a mysterious stranger sneaks into her room and promises to help her.

Susan and mystery man Rob grow close as he tries to orchestrate her escape. When the duo discovers the truth behind Susan’s captivity, they realize she is in grave danger, and they must act quickly. Susan and Rob will need more than passion for each other and their wits to succeed. They will need help from old friends, including Kelsey Reed.

In the previous book, Life First, Susan gave Kelsey a chance at a second life. But now will she get a chance at her own?



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
R.J. Crayton grew up in Illinois and now lives in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. She is the author of the Life First series of novels, which includes Life First and Second Life. Prior to writing fiction, Crayton was a journalist, writing for newspapers, including the Wichita Eagle and Kansas City Star. Crayton also worked for several trade publications, including Solid Waste Report, Education Technology News, and Campus Crime. Her first novels were published in 2013. The third novel in the Life First series, and a short story collection (Four Mothers), will be released in 2014. Crayton is a monthly contributor to the Indies Unlimited blog (http://www.indiesunlimited.com/author...) and a regular contributor to the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies blog (http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/bio/cr...). When she's not writing, Crayton spends her time being a ninja mom (stealthy and ultra cool, like moms should be) to her son and daughter. You can find out more about her at http://rjcrayton.com.

Throwback Thursday #30

This Meme is hosted by Melissa at My World in Words and Pages. Go to her blog and join us!

I blog about great looking new releases, new books sent to me for read and review, book reviews of what I've read and features about exciting new authors to try.

But what about all the books that are already on my TBR, waiting for me to read them? Don't they deserve a mention and a chance to be highlighted? Yes they do!

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where I will take the time to tell you about some of the books that have been on my shelves for a while and maybe a few of you will add them to your wishlists/tbrs. If you have read them, why not leave a comment to tell me what you thought of it-but no spoilers please! 

Five teenagers who’ve recently discovered they have magical powers and are living in the Seattle underground feel it’s their responsibility to protect unsuspecting humans from otherworldly foes. Things are going well until Johnathan, their unofficial leader and the boy sixteen year old Paige is in love with, is bitten by a changeling – the venomous saliva causing him to metamorphose into a ravening beast with each full moon. Paige vows that, no matter the cost, she will find a way to cure Johnathan of the evil that has embedded itself in his soul. 

Johnathan’s monthly transformation and daily personality roller coaster isn’t the only problem they have to deal with. The Five are also gearing up to face their toughest and most dangerous enemy yet—a powerful and ruthless Warlock who will go to any means, including high school, to build his Dark Army.








My name is Damian Valdis Vesik. I am a necromancer, an ability feared and hated as much as the powers my master and I set ourselves against. We've vanquished many evils, but now something is releasing an old darkness, forcing us to hunt an enemy beyond anything I’ve faced before. I was already busy enough with vampires, fairies, witches, Watchers, weddings, and … damn, I need a vacation. 
Zoë Merrick lived an ordinary life until the night she was brutally attacked. She narrowly escapes death, rescued by Adam Razor, an ex-soldier who offers her friendship and a place to stay. But something else is different. Zoë is unable to control an unexplainable energy coursing through her body.

Justus De Gradi is a man who can teach her that control. She meets him by chance - a man who's handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. He reveals that she's a Mage - an immortal made of light, not magic. Zoë must now make a choice: Rebuild her life in the human world with the man who saved her, or live with Justus and learn how to use her extraordinary gifts. Justus has sworn an oath to protect her life, but can he guard her from the one man who has a right to claim it?

Zoë learns the price of freedom...and the value of loyalty.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Book Review: Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #1)


They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South — when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.
Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.


My Review:
Gin Blanco is a deadly assassin but her latest job is a set up which leaves her out to clear her name and get revenge on her enemies.

The plot had pretty much everything that you want in your urban fantasy books. Kickass female assassin and sidekick working with an honest cop who is attracted to her but bears a grudge because of one of her murder victims. We have the added interest of the supernatural characters having added magic powers connected to the elements. I found this to be interesting and it was fun to see how the elements were used during fights to take on your enemies. There is a hint at romance, strange supporting creatures to help Gin, fights, betrayal and the evil bad guys. Pretty good mix!

Gin is a great character. She kills people for a living and she is good at it-no questions and no regrets. Yet she never comes across as an evil person and she has her own morals. She charges a lot of money for her skills but will do a free job for the community if it is a paedophile or rapist. She has a few trusted friends and associates, she hangs out in a bar for fun, has a crush on a celebrity cop on TV and is loyal to those she cares about. It makes her quite a complex character and it is fun to see her being normal one minute and dealing out death another. Fletcher and Finn are her closest friends and are both good characters. Finn is a great sidekick with his smart comments. Gin admires Donovan as an honest man trying to keep the streets safe and her attraction to him is obvious yet she infuriates me by not telling him the truth about his former partner. Jeez girl, his whole attitude will change when he learns the truth so DO IT!!!

So what did I love about the book? The beginning was brilliant and was the perfect introduction to have you rooting for a killer. The mixture of fighting and magic was nicely done and the fight scenes themselves were exciting to read. The emotions and motivations of the characters are nicely developed and you do care what happens to them. That is a massive bonus in this genre. There is a mixture of humour, intensity and romance which all work perfectly together. The bad guys are nicely written with the uber bad girl of Mab Monroe hovering in the background and I expect that we will see more of her in later books. The big finale was good and leaves enough unfinished business for me to look forward to book two.

I'm left debating about 4 or 4.5 stars for this book but either way it is a great urban fantasy read and I recommend it. For those like me who hate sex filled UF/PNR, try this one as there is only one heated scene and it fits perfectly into the plot.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Book Review: Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris (Sookie #6)

Sookie Stackhouse doesn't have that many relations, so she really hated to lose one - but of all the people to go, she didn't expect it to be her cousin Hadley, a consort of New Orleans' vampire queen - after all, Hadley was technically already dead.

But Hadley is gone, beyond recall, and she's left Sookie an inheritance, one that comes with a bit of a risk - not least because someone doesn't want Sookie digging too deep into Hadley's possessions ... or her past. Sookie's life is once again on the line, and this time the suspects range from rogue weres to her first love, the vampire Bill. Sookie's got a lot to do if she's going to keep herself alive ...


My Review: 

This review contains spoilers!

Sookie has a new man, Quinn the were-tiger but of course their date doesn't go to plan when they are attacked by young weres-who both end up dead in police custody. She also has to go to New Orleans to clean out the apartment of her dead vampire cousin Hadley, consort of Queen Sophie-Ann. The Pelts are on Sookie's case and a couple of personal tragedies are about to bring her world crashing down.

Despite not liking Jason's girlfriend, it is a sad day for Sookie and her brother when Crystal miscarries his baby. She doubts that a planned wedding between the couple is a good idea. But her heart is well and truly broken when she discovers that Bill seduced her on the orders of his Queen after Hadley told her about Sookie's gift. Poor Sookie! Her love for Bill had been her first real relationship and this news was heartbreaking for her. Bill was never the ideal boyfriend material for me but his betrayal is quite a surprise. Score one for Ms Harris because I never saw that coming. Eric's glee at forcing Bill to confess this was pretty spiteful and it is obvious that he did it to split the couple up for good as he wants Sookie for himself. Whether he gets her remains to be seen. Alcide is also in a new relationship with Maria Star which does bother Sookie a bit now that she is single and lonely.

I'm not really a Quinn fan. It's not that there is anything wrong with him, but he just doesn't seem that interesting compared to Eric, Bill or Sam. He just seems to be there as convenient sex for Sookie while she is angry with the vampires, without adding anything to the story. She's much better suited to Eric or Sam. Bringing in the new guy when we have so many interesting alpha males who want her just didn't work for me. And the whole Hadley and Sophie-Ann's wedding thing didn't interest me much either. Too much vampire politics and not enough of our favourite characters!


The good bits include the scary change which surprised me: Arlene's new boyfriend being a member of the Fellowship. This could be a serious issue for Sookie, Sam and Jason and fascinating for us readers. I found Jason's love life, Amelia's introduction, Bill's betrayal, Eric's jealousy, psycho Sandra and all the pack problems much more interesting than the Queen's wedding. I felt there was too much focus on Sophie-Ann and Hadley and not enough of the cooler stuff.

There are lots of good bits in this book as mentioned above. I'd just prefer less of the Queen and Quinn but I know I'm not going to get that! This was where the series began to slip a bit for me and it was the introduction of the Kings and Queens and Sookie being used as a tool for them that turned me off a bit.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Book Review: Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris (Sookie #5)

Sookie's got just a month, before the next full moon, to find out who wants her brother dead - and to stop the fiend! Sookie Stackhouse enjoys her life, mostly. She's a great cocktail waitress in a fun bar; she has a love life, albeit a bit complicated, and most people have come to terms with her telepathy. The problem is, Sookie wants a quiet life - but things just seem to happen to her and her friends. Now her brother Jason's eyes are starting to change: he's about to turn into a were-panther for the first time. She can deal with that, but her normal sisterly concern turns to cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local changeling population. She afraid not just because Jason's at risk, but because his new were-brethren suspect Jason may be the shooter. Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who's behind the attacks - unless the killer decides to find her first. 

My Review:
This review contains spoilers!

A sniper is on the loose around Bon Temps, targeting weres. Heather is dead, Calvin and Sam have been shot and the were-panthers suspect that Jason is behind it, as he was turned without his consent. Sookie is trying to clear her brother's name, help Tara with her psycho vampire boyfriend Mickey and avoid the PI who is investigating Debbie's disappearance. Alcide then gets her involved in pack politics and the new pack leader Patrick is not her biggest fan. Then Sookie realises that someone is seriously trying to kill her.

Alcide really annoys me with his attitude in this book, using Sookie and getting her to take sides in the leadership contest without her knowledge. It's a mean trick from a so-called friend and gets her on Patrick's shit list immediately. I'm so glad he and Sookie are not dating! I liked Alcide at first but he is really getting on my last nerve, treating her like a toy and taking advantage of her nature. Blaming her for what happens to his father in the pack fight was spiteful and mean as she never asked to be used in the first place. When he and Bill get into a pissing contest over her, even Sookie sees red as her relationships with Sam and Eric are not their business. I liked Calvin though I don't see him as a potential partner and neither does Sookie. On the plus side is the wonderful Claudine, Sookie's new fairy godmother who has to do quite a bit of saving to stop her getting killed in a house fire. The other new character is the swashbuckling vampire Charles who is loaned to the bar while Sam is out of action by Eric. I wasn't too sure of him through the book. Pam and Bubba provide the laughs as usual.

It turns out that the sniper is a disgruntled part-were who is jealous of full weres. The attacks on Sookie, including the shooting of Sam, were carried out by a Eric's new barman on behalf of someone with a grudge against Eric, due to his interest in Sookie. Isn't it great when your friends keep getting you into trouble! Poor Sookie!

Eric is still trying to find out what happened when he was staying with Sookie but she is refusing to tell him. He suspects that they had sex and wants to remember it. Ah come on Sookie, just tell him! You two belong together-unless you follow my earlier advice and hook up with Sam!
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Monday, 28 July 2014

My Latest Musings #10 Glasgow 2014

I've decided each week to talk a bit about my previous week and what I enjoyed reading and watching, my plans for the coming week and any news I have. Hopefully that will motivate me to get things done!

This week has been a bit mixed-great because I've been watching the Commonwealth Games and cheering on all the home nations but crap because of this endless damn heatwave. I don't do well in the heat and it makes me very grumpy! I'm not sleeping and only feel like eating junk food. We did have a cooler weekend but the sun is back today which is annoying. I like the cold winter days in front of the fire, reading or watching TV! I can't stand hot summers in a house with no air conditioning!!! Grrr.

But to the Commonwealth Games. Scotland have put on a good show and I'm glad to see that England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and each Channel Island are getting good support from the crowd. I've loved the cycling, swimming, triathlon, marathon and rugby while my dad is currently doing his own commentary on the bowls-so any spelling mistakes here are his fault for putting me off! Who could fail to be inspired by the gold medal for the Power Monkey and the Big Man in the para tandem cycling or the 13 year old schoolgirl getting bronze in the pool? How about the Brits in the pool? The Welsh girl with 5 silvers and a gold in the gymnastics, the home nations in the velodrome, the judo medal haul, the list goes on. Great sight for UK sports fans seeing all the young athletes coming through.


Favourite moments? The Power Monkey and big Craig getting that second gold, The Aussie Michael Shelley winning the marathon, The Brownlee brothers dominating the triathlon, Frankie Jones getting that gymnastics gold just before she retires, Jason Kenny getting that silver against all odds in the velodrome, Ross Murdoch's expression winning his gold in the pool. So many things to enjoy!


And today I bought myself a few Commonwealth souvenirs including a big Clyde mascot to cuddle. Is he not the coolest Games mascot ever? I got a Clyde mug, Clyde pin badge and keyring, postcard, Glasgow 2014 badge and keyring, Clyde wallet. Not bad at all.


Now I can look forward to the athletics!

Book Review: Bloody Bones by Laurell K Hamilton (Anita Blake #5)

When Anita Blake's boss at Animators, Inc., informs her that she's expected to raise 300-year-old zombies from a field of jumbled bones just to settle a land dispute, she's understandably annoyed. But as soon as she arrives in Branson, Missouri, to do the deed, the job gets more interesting. A psychotic sword-wielding vampire starts committing multiple murders in the area, and Anita must call on Jean-Claude, her powerful fanged suitor, for help. As always, Anita prevails over the undead, keeping Jean-Claude at arm's length, clearing the cemetery land of an ancient enchantment, and nailing the vampiric killer in one fell swoop.

"First, there were the dead in the graveyard - two-hundred years dead. I'd been hired to raise them to settle a dispute over who owned the land they were buried in.

Then there were the three dead teenagers in the woods, slaughtered in a way I had never seen before.

And then they found the dead girl, drained of blood and left in her bed.

I knew what that meant, all right. It didn't take a degree in preternatural studies to figure out that something was very wrong in and around Branson, Missouri. My name is Anita Blake. Welcome to my life...


My Review:
Teenagers are being kidnapped and murdered by a dangerous predator. Anita and Larry need to raise a whole graveyard of corpses. A Fae is using magic illegally and causing Anita grief. If this wasn't enough, she has to call Jean Claude for help, knowing that this gives him a chance to spend time with her without Richard interfering.

This was not one of my favourite books-in fact it's the one I liked least out of the early books. I felt there were too many sub plots each fighting for attention but they are all really background to the Anita and Jean Claude love story developing. I liked the idea of these subplots if they had been a bit more fleshed out. But they feel like background to the love/lust story developing. You can see that now Anita's view of the vampire is changing, becoming more potential lover than monster.

Anita is a real asshat in this book and her attitude annoyed me at times. Getting bitchy at not being as pretty as other girls seems damn stupid for someone juggling the attentions of Jean Claude and Richard, and adopting dangerous flirtations with Edward. She is rude to everyone and acts like a real idiot at times. Concentrate on killing the monsters and less about your appearance, honey.

However there is enough decent writing to keep me interested in the series and see what happens. Despite the love story dominating the book, I am still interested to see how the whole thing pans out and who she goes for. (OK I have read on in the series and know what happens but I'm just getting round to these reviews now so I'm writing as if I don't know!) These early books are good urban fantasy adventures where vampires are dangerous predators and werewolves are hot tempered and violent. This is why I like the series so far.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Stacking the Shelves #42


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
                
This has been a hellish week thanks to the damn heatwave that won't go away. I don't do well in extreme heat-I barely eat, don't sleep, get heat rashes(which are driving me mental this morning) and I get nausea and bad stomachs. So with the weather mostly being sunny through June and July and to continue into August, I'm miserable right now. I just want it to be the cold winter days where I curl up in front of a big fire with a book!!! My dad doesn't like it much either. So we're both suffering and are very lethargic so the house clearing is on hold until the weather finally breaks. Summer...bah Humbug!

FREE DOWNLOADS:
 

BOUGHT PAPERBACKS:
 


Friday, 25 July 2014

Book Review: The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K Hamilton(Anita Blake #4)

In Laurell K. Hamilton's New York Times bestselling novels, Vampire Hunter and zombie animator Anita Blake is an expert at sniffing out the bad from the good. But she's about to learn that nothing is ever as it seems-especially in matters of the not-so-human heart...

Dating a werewolf with self-esteem issues is stressing Anita out. Especially when something-or someone-starts taking out the city's shapeshifters.


My Review: 
Anita is dating Richard but Jean Claude is determined to stick his nose in and demand equal dating time as his love rival which infuriates Richard. Now Pack Leader Marcus demands Anita's help with some supernatural murders and a jealous vampire wants to kill Anita to get her away from Jean Claude. Enter Edward who is happy to kill any monster available...

I do enjoy when Edward comes to town. He is such a dangerous, menacing guy and I love him. Maybe Anita should just let him kill Jean Claude and Marcus to make her life a bit easier. I'm so sick of Jean Claude right about now, acting like a whiny brat all the time. I do know what happens next in the love triangle as I've read books 5 and 6 previously but I won't spoil it for anyone. Richard is decent but his refusal to tell Anita anything gets on my nerves sometimes. He is a werewolf who doesn't really want to kill people but is part of a pack with two twisted, evil leaders yet he is on at Anita constantly about her use of violence. Gretchen is an evil bitch who wants Jean Claude for herself and will happily kill Anita to get him so I got annoyed at Jean Claude refusing to deal instantly with her. If he loves Anita as he claims to, why does he keep letting his pet monsters hurt her? He's become a real asshat.

In this book we see that the monsters aren't always the monsters if you get my drift. The humans, especially the cops, are really obnoxious and evil. I liked the missing shapeshifter story which brings Anita into conflict with Richard's pack as she won't bow down to Marcus, the pack leader. We also get the interesting sidestory about the missing wererat.

The whole ending of this book was tense and exciting, and very enjoyable. I'm not going to spoil it with two many details and give away the plot but it is an action packed urban fantasy read. It would have rated four stars if it wasn't for my annoyance with Jean Claude and the usual bugbear about the endless descriptions of weapons and clothing. Swoosh off! 3.5 stars probably.
star rating photo: 35 star rating 3-5-stars.jpg

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Throwback Thursday #29

This Meme is hosted by Melissa at My World in Words and Pages. Go to her blog and join us!

I blog about great looking new releases, new books sent to me for read and review, book reviews of what I've read and features about exciting new authors to try.

But what about all the books that are already on my TBR, waiting for me to read them? Don't they deserve a mention and a chance to be highlighted? Yes they do!

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where I will take the time to tell you about some of the books that have been on my shelves for a while and maybe a few of you will add them to your wishlists/tbrs. If you have read them, why not leave a comment to tell me what you thought of it-but no spoilers please! 

Everything changed when Raven, a natural born conduit, accidentally walks in on a slave auction. She only wants a night out with her friends before her next case as a paranormal liaison with the police. Instead, she ends up in possession of a shifter and his guardian. When your touch can kill, living with two touchy-feely shifters is a disaster waiting to happen.

To make matters worse, a vicious killer is on the loose. As mutilated bodies turn up, she can't help fear that her new acquisitions are keeping secrets from her. The strain of keeping everyone alive, not to mention catching the killer, pushes her tenuous control of her gift and her emotions to their limits. If they hope to survive, they must work together as a pack or risk becoming hunted themselves.


When archaeologist Zoe Miller's cousin is abducted by a vicious Russian kidnapper, she must come to grips with a haunting secret. Unknown to even her closest friends, Zoe is not entirely human. She's a werewolf and a daughter of the "Fangborn," a hidden race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles.

Zoe's attempt to rescue her cousin leads her on a quest for artifacts—including Pandora's Box, an object of world-ending power. With the fate of humanity in the balance, Zoe will be forced to renew family ties and pit her own supernatural abilities against a dark and nefarious fo.

At once captivation, deftly worded, and character-rich Seven Kinds of Hell expands vampire legend and werewolf noir in both intensity and charismatic bite.


The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.

But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Book Review: Circus of the Damned by Laurell K Hamilton(Anita Blake #3)

'Most women complain that there are no single, straight, men left. I'd just like to meet one that's human.'

I'm Anita Blake, expert on creatures of the night. I've dined with shapeshifters, danced with werewolves, and been wooed - but not won - by Jean-Claude, the Master Vampire of the City.

And now a darkly dangerous vampire named Alejandro has hit town. He too wants me for his human servant. A war of the undead has begun. Over me. 



I would be flattered if my life weren't at stake.


My Review: 
A pack of vampires are attacking people related to anti-vampire groups and Anita reluctantly has to go and ask Jean-Claude for answers while all he wants is to make her his human servant. Edward is on the trail of Jean-Claude as are the anti-vampire groups and two other masters and again Anita is up to her eyes in a lot of dangerous people and monsters who are all threatening her. Same old day for a vampire hunter...
 
As usual I love Anita, her smart mouth getting her into trouble every two minutes, getting attacked by all kinds of monsters. I do like Edward-the sense of danger that radiates off him makes him a fascinating character. We also meet potential love interest Richard, who seems like the really nice guy that Anita needs in her life when all the monsters get too much. Even the cops are good supporting characters. In this book, Anita faces a vampire who wants her as his human servant and her way to safety could be to give in to Jean Claude's demands and let him protect her. But he is any less of a monster and will she lose her humanity if she gives in? Might this other vampire be the way to escape Jean Claude?

It is an action packed book and I really enjoyed it as the plot moved to lots of different locations with new dangers. The Circus was interesting and it's not a place that sounds very safe for the human paying guests to visit! I did like the final showdown scenes but I won't spoil it by saying anything about it.

My big bugbear was the moronic behaviour of Jean-Claude, setting up Anita to get hurt in that fight at the Circus with Marguerite. It was stupid and childish and was the first time that his character really pissed me off. The continual bullying of Anita to force her to become his servant does get wearing after a while though. He is a sulky child, pouting when he doesn't get what he wants. Part of me wanted him to get staked in this book for being a fanged asshat.

The books also continue to be over descriptive about Anita's guns and clothes with lots of free publicity for a certain footwear brand! Anita likes to pick fights over stupid things which can be a bit annoying but it's a minor issue for me.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Book Review: The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K Hamilton(Anita Blake #2)

Harold Gaynor offers Anita Blake a million dollars to raise a 300-year-old zombie. Knowing it means a human sacrifice will be necessary, Anita turns him down. But when dead bodies start turning up, she realizes that someone else has raised Harold's zombie--and that the zombie is a killer. Anita pits her power against the zombie and the voodoo priestess who controls it.

In The Laughing Corpse Anita will learn that there are some secrets better left buried-and some people better off dead...


My Review:
Anita is having another bad week. A rich man wants her to raise a zombie using human sacrifice but she refuses and this response does not go down well. She upsets a voodoo Queen who decides to have her killed by zombies. A fellow animator is murdered and what he raised is murdering innocent people all over town. Plus Jean-Claude is still trying to make her his human servant. Just another typical week for Anita...
 
What I like about Anita is that she isn't perfect. She kills vampires but she is scared of them. She screams and panics when under attack by zombies as any normal person would be. She hates the dark because she knows what lurks out there. She jogs so she can run faster and longer if she is being chased. She vomits at gory crime scenes. I like the vulnerability and realism of her character. She has morals and a determination to stick to those values, standing up to scary creatures even as she shakes with fear doing it. She will not blindly go into any human servant deal until she knows exactly what she is signing up to, however much pressure she is put under. You like her and could be her friend if she doesn't bring home the monsters with her. Got to feel for all her neighbours!

There is a good balance between her complicated relationship with Jean Claude and her investigative work. There are good characters who all have different relationships with Anita which are interesting to explore. The book is gory and had the added interest of exploring voodoo.

Another enjoyable read.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Book Review: Eve of Darkness by SJ Day (Marked #1)


Cursed by God, hunted by demons, desired by Cain and Abel... All in a day's work.

For Evangeline Hollis, a long ago fling with a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks just became a disaster of biblical proportions. One night with a leather-clad man of mystery has led to a divine punishment: the Mark of Cain.

Thrust into a world where sinners are drafted into service to kill demons, Eve’s learning curve is short. A longtime agnostic, she begrudgingly maneuvers through a celestial bureaucracy where she is a valuable but ill-treated pawn. She’s also become the latest point of contention in the oldest case of sibling rivalry in history...

But she’ll worry about all that later. Right now she’s more concerned with learning to kill while staying alive. And saving the soul she’d never believed she had.


My Review: 
Eve has a fling with an archangel, causing her to be cursed to chase demons as punishment for her crime. Now she has to find a way to stay alive and save her soul while avoiding further temptation.

I had really looked forward to reading this book...in fact I was so excited by the sound of it that I bought the whole trilogy in the shop. And they have great covers! What could possibly go wrong? Em, I opened the book. Boy was I wishing I hadn't.

This is not the urban/dark fantasy book that I was expecting. It wasn't even a good dark biblical/mythology book. It was a very poorly written sexathon. Seriously, how many times does the pointless slut of a heroine have sex? Page after page of the terrible 'Anita Blake' soft porn that made me give up THAT serious around book 10. The fact that Eve was punished in the first place for sex with the wrong guy doesn't seem to have taught her any damn sense.

So our wonderful oversexed heroine is trying not to be tempted again by the one she got in trouble with, Cain, while trying not to get involved with Abel. Just as irresistable as Anita as well I see! Ooh how exciting this love triangle was to prove! Not. Lets face it, the characters were idiots that I didn't give a damn about, the plot was wafer thin and what sounded like an interesting concept was not developed into a good book. After abandoning book one, I traded the whole series for something better.  

star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

Monday, 21 July 2014

Book Review-The Alchemyst by Michael Scott


Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on 28 September 1330. Nearly seven hundred years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty and Nicholas Flamel lives. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects - the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. And that's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

My Review: 
There is a reason that I am wary of books that are proclaimed as 'The New Harry Potter'. It is because Harry Potter was so unique in its characters, mythology and world-building that nothing will ever match it for me.  So I was already a bit wary of this one and I ended up pretty disappointed overall.

Firstly the characters. Flamel is the adult book hero with his magic and experience but he just lacked the warmth and charisma of a Dumbledore type figure. He was ok but at times he was a bit dull. I wanted to hear more about his adventures in his long life as those small bits were really enjoyable. For the most part though, it was him telling the kids what to do but not always explaining everything that an adult in this situation would do. His wife Perenelle was a much better character. She was feisty, funny and charming but spends the whole book being held hostage by the bad guys so we don't see as much of her as I'd like. Sophie and Josh were not great lead characters. Josh is a highly immature, obnoxious, rude little git with no appreciation for the people who are keeping them safe and I just didn't like him at all. Sophie was a nicer character but she just didn't have any real depth to her and she was also very immature in her actions. 

It was a decent plot which is why I so much wanted to like the book more than I did. The first 100 pages were not really grabbing me. The magical fight in the bookshop was a bit lame and boring. I wanted MORE action, bangs, flames, whooshing magic...not a couple of bits of light and rotten smells. The story lacked that build up of tension just before a fight or an escape which I love in a good book. In this one however, they just move from one situation to another without that drama and fear. After page 100 it did improve and there were a couple of good action sequences but then it all slowed down again to let Josh be a baby for a while AGAIN. 

The author's writing style gave me a few issues. I felt it didn't quite flow as much as I'd have liked. I HATED the fact that every time the author mentioned the bad guy, he called him Dr John Dee. The chapter would start with Dr John Dee sitting in his chair then Dr John Dee would talk to someone then Dr John Dee would walk around then Dr John Dee would sit down again. GRRR! OK we get his name! He was introduced right at the start as our bad guy so you don't need his full name every single time we see him! That really got on my nerves! Just refer to him as John or Dee for goodness sake. I felt as if I was reading one of those learn to read books where Kathy and Mark go to the shops and Kathy and Mark say hello to the dog. Very annoying.

I felt as if I was ploughing through this book more than reading it so it obviously was not going to grab me and pull me in. I took ages to finish it, with a sense of relief, and decided not to read the rest of the series.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Sunday, 20 July 2014

New Release: Matt Archer Redemption by Kendra C Highley (Matt Archer #5)


“There’s more to me than you know…”

When Matt Archer’s sister, Mamie, said those words to him three years ago, he had no idea how prophetic they were, or what this would mean for his family.

Now, he knows. And it changes everything, bringing the war right to Matt’s doorstep.

In the epic conclusion to the Matt Archer series, the endgame is near. Betrayed by an enemy, the wielders have been called off the hunt by their own government, despite increasing reports of paranormal activity—and deaths—worldwide. Matt is forced to sit on the sidelines, knowing that proving monsters exist means revealing who—and what—he is. Soon the world will know his name…which will only make his job harder.

Matt’s only hope resides with a man he barely knows—his father. If Erik Archer can put together the final puzzle before the monsters do, maybe they’ll have a chance. Maybe.

Mystery, tragedy and the power of family combine as Matt races to win the war and save the people he loves. There’s just one thing he’s afraid of…

It might already be too late.


Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica. 

http://kendrachighley.com/ 
https://twitter.com/KendraHighley 
https://www.facebook.com/kchighley 
http://www.pinterest.com/kchighley/ 
http://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraHighley 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450754.Kendra_C_Highley 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Stacking the Shelves #41


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
               
No STS last week as I had no books at all to report but I do have a couple this week. I've spent the week clearing through all the things my mum was been hoarding for years. I've never seen so many towels, plates and cups! We're donating everything to a local charity shop that my mum supported. When we went to deliver the clothes, an idiot woman reversed out of a nearby garage, missed my dad by inches and crashed into our car, destroying the bumper. 'Oh I didn't see you' she says, pulling out her chequebook and offering us money not to report it. Typical rich idiot who thinks they can wave money at you and make it go away. I nearly went for her throat! I was ill the whole afternoon thinking how my dad could have been hurt. Then we had the potato incident. Oh that was good. Back in February we bought a big bag of potatoes for my mum to make soup with. Just after that she started chemo and wasn't well enough to make it so we left the bag on a chair in the kitchen and some old clothes for use in the garden got thrown on top of them. So during our July heatwave this week we noticed a horrible smell in the kitchen and saw a big puddle of what looked like tar dripping down. Yes it was the fermented potatoes and the SMELL!!! UGH! Our eyes were watering and we were gagging as we cleaned up the mess and got rid of the buggers! It was an interesting week...!
 
FREE DOWNLOAD:

BOOKCROSSING:
 
 
BOUGHT:
I bought this gorgeous hat with attached scarf and mitts on Amazon. Very warm and very cute!




 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

My Latest Musings #9


I've decided each week to talk a bit about my previous week and what I enjoyed reading and watching, my plans for the coming week and any news I have. Hopefully that will motivate me to get things done!

So it has been a week since I posted my last blog message. As most of you know, my mum died three weeks ago and I was not motivated to do very much. Over the last ten days my dad and I have had to tackle all the legal stuff, clear out our house of everything she hoarded for years(how many plates and cups do we need???) and deal with financial issues. I have had very little time on the computer to check emails and do essential stuff never mind trying to blog etc. 

However, we are slowly getting there. Today the kitchen was finished and it looks a lot tidier. That was three days of hellish work thanks to a bag of potatoes fermenting under a pile of old clothes on a chair that we had forgotten about. We started to notice a rank awful smell and then I saw a puddle of what looked like black tar on the floor under the chair. I had a sniff at it and it nearly blew my head off! Jeez it was awful! The two of us were gagging as we cleaned it up and scrubbed the floor. It was the excuse we needed to get the kitchen fully tidied and deep cleaned. So I suppose it was worth it!


We still have a lot to get through but I hope to be online more in the next week or two. There was no Stacking the Shelves this week as I didn't download or buy any books. Not sure if there will be one this week. Anyway, hope to see you guys soon!