Saturday, March 31, 2012

Crystal Shade by István Szabó & Orlanda Szabó

Seven year old Grace always dreamt of becoming a guardian angel; like those who guarded and guided her people and prepared to bravely fight in a dreaded mythical event, the Crystal Shade – which never came. It's not like Grace ever wanted to see Demons. Or wants to know what evil and darkness is – things that no one ever faced on her world and as the legends says, the Crystal Shade carries within –, nor does she want to die to be reborn as a guardian. But she thinks the mysterious life of angels is so noble, a fable that it sounds exciting – until it actually happens.

This was such an interesting story concept for me, I remember when I received the book for review, and I remember thinking to myself how is a story being told by a seven year old going to work. I mean even in the YA genre seven is a little young, I wondered if I was going to be able to identify with the character, and for me as a reader I need to be able to identify with the characters in the book. But the book is really so much more than I thought it was going to be. 

To begin with I have to say that the writing was very captivating, as well as very vivid in its descriptions. I could easily take the descriptions of things from within the book and then imagine it in my head. The writing was really well done but the only down side to the writing in the book was how it was paced. There were definitely times when I wanted the book to pick up a little bit more because felt like the book was lagging a bit. 

As for the little girl, who I was concerned about her age and my ability to connect with her, it really wasn't that hard to connect with her. She was a well written character, and it was a really interesting concept to read about. It's interesting to think about all the things that children want to be when they grow up, and I don't think I have ever heard a child wish to be an angel so it was certainly unique to have a child who really wants to be an angel. 

I'm not sure that Grace knew what exactly being an angel entailed, but while she learning about how to be an angel you start to get a clearer picture that not everything is happy, there is clearly something going on that is not all good. So over the course of time you get to see not just the good side of being an angel but you also get to hear about the darkness of the Crystal Shade. The entire tone of the book changes, which is kind of an interesting twist to the book. 

Overall, I would say that the book is a pretty good book. I think it has an interesting concept and had a good tone to the book. My only major complaint was that I wish the book hadn't lagged so much, that maybe it was faster paced. But other than that I think the book was pretty good and you might be interesting in giving it a try if you like angel books.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Matter of Perception by Tahlia Newland

Julia meets a descendant of the gods and faces having her memory wiped, but if he really wants her, she might end up with a god of her own. Ellen is given a choice, death or a half life amongst murderous sirens, but is there a possibility she hasn’t considered? Damien faces Eleanor in a battle of light in a desperate attempt to avoid his mistress’s punishment for a spell gone wrong, and a hole in the pavement becomes Norris’s passport to a longed for future. Nona faces death in an ancient temple but dreams of a modern cancer patient. Will either of them escape their fate? Finally, Sally discovers a pair of rose coloured glasses and a man that may or may not be a wizard.

This is a collection of short stories, which I have to admit isn't always my cup of tea, but this was actually a collection I enjoyed. Normally the short stories I do read have the same characters from series I like or involve the same group of people; this collection of short stories was a really interesting concept in that they all have to do with all the different ways to perceive the fantasy genre. One of the biggest problems I have with collections of short stories is that they are not always cohesive, but this collection does not suffer from that problem at all. 

I think I should start with the story I liked the least, which would have to be The Bone Yard, and that largely because I am on of those people who don't like stories that freak me out or scare me. But if you are one of those people who love the kind of horror/fantasy with a twist genre, then this story is so for you. 

Now there was a huge range of stories in this collection, and I think my favorite was the story Not Me, it can't be which was really sad but also a really touching tale. The characters were really vivid and it was so easy to identify with and really feel for. This story was for sure my favorite of all of them because of the characters. 

I thought the really fun story within the collection was Rose Coloured Glasses which is such an enjoyable read. This great pair of glasses allow for this girl to see people in a new light, and it is such a cool idea. 

I thought the writing in all of the stories was really well done and really enjoyable. So if you are someone who enjoys short stories, this is a really good collection of stories. I really did enjoy them all.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn

A sizzlingly sexy urban fantasy sure to feed the hunger of ravenous, vampire-loving fans. Kismet Knight, a brainy Denver-based psychologist with a stalled career and a nonexistent love life, is about to have her world rocked. Not only does her newest patient, Midnight, long to become a vampire, but the teenager insists that a coven of the undead hangs out at a local goth club. The always-rational Kismet dismisses Midnight's claims as the delusions of an attention-starved girl--until bodies start turning up drained of blood and the hottest self-proclaimed vampire ever to walk the face of the earth enters her office.  What's real? What's not? As inexplicable events and romantic opportunities pile up, along with the corpses, Kismet finds herself in a whirlwind of passion, mystery, and danger. But this tough and funny heroine--who doesn't do damsel in distress--is about to turn the vampire-meets-girl convention on its head.

And back to vampires I go, I was actually pretty excited about this book. It has a really cool premise. The idea of a psychologist who is catering to the vampires of the world is really a fun look at the vampire universe. I mean really when you think about it, what would you do if you were told there were vampires, you most likely wouldn't believe it, so it was fun looking at it through the eyes of someone who is trained to diagnose mental illnesses. 

One of my biggest complaints with the book had to do with the continued references to Twilight. Actually the first alluding to Twilight was actually kind of amusing, because it had to do with Kismet (the psychologist) asking the "vampire wannabe" what vampires are like, and she asked if they are really sparkly. But the Twilight references go even more with blatantly referring to the book over and over again, and even refers to the movie, or rather the actors by name. It just kind of felt to much. 

Another one of the issues I had with the book was the inner monologue of Kismet, the main character. I understood that she is a psychologist, and that she is trained to diagnose people who have mental illness, but she looks for it everywhere. In every single conversation she has with another person, she diagnoses them after like 3 lines of dialogue. Well maybe not diagnoses them, but goes over every possible diagnoses and then changes the prospective diagnosis based one how they reply to her. It just didn't feel right or organic. There was even this part where Kismet is pretty much attacked and her response to the attack was purely clinical, it really just felt wrong. 

I guess the main thing that I did enjoy about the book was kind of how the entire thing almost worked like a perspective of how society has become so involved with vampires in a pop culture sense. Especially in the beginning of the book when Kismet is really looking at the phenomenon in a purely analytical way, which I enjoyed reading. 

Overall, I think the book had a really unique way of being told/concept. But I don't think it was executed as well as it could have been. I kind of think when you include so many references to other books or pop culture it really kills the shelf life of a book. But on the plus side the writing was pretty okay, so if you want to try an unique take on the vampire phenomenon then this might be the book for you.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Death Sword by Pamela Turner

The only thing more dangerous than an angel of death is one obsessed with vengeance. Karla Black has always known she’s different from other people. She learns just how different after she's fatally stabbed and brought back to life as a half-human angel of death. 
With newfound power comes a newfound boss. 
Samael despises her. He considers Karla impure and resents her relationship with her partner Xariel…who also happens to be Samael's ex-lover. When he takes that hatred to a higher level, Karla vows vengeance - a task easier said than done. 
With the loss of their angelic powers, Karla and Xariel face a dilemma – how will they defeat an unstoppable Samael, whose poisoned rapier can kill human and angel alike? 
If Karla doesn’t awaken to her true identity, both heaven and earth are in danger of annihilation.

It's funny a couple of months ago I hadn't read any books about angels, but yet they were a topic that was very intriguing to me. But then I happen to mention on twitter that I was looking for books to review that involved angels, and so far I have had a ton of books submitted for review, and Death Sword was one of them. But the thing I really like about this particular part of the urban fantasy genre is that there are so many unique takes on how to write angels. 

So this book ha to do with angels of death, which I think may be the first book about angels of death I have read, although I did read a book about two brothers who were grim reapers. That being said I really enjoyed how the whole thing worked. It was a pretty unique take on angels, and they were super interesting to read. I like how serious the angels take their work. 

I have to say that this book started off pretty strong from the very beginning of the book, and also managed to keep up the plot in terms of suspense until the end of the book. I think the writing was pretty good, and I love a book that keeps me wanting to turn the page. 

I really enjoyed the characters. I thought the author did a really good job of putting together an interesting group of people. And you also get pretty invested in the characters, and it's easy to start pulling for them. 

I think the story was pretty good, although I think there could have been more done during the editing process. I think it could have used maybe one more pass to make the content just a little more polished. But honestly even without it the book was pretty good as it is. 

So I think if you enjoy books about angels, or even if you just are looking for an urban fantasy book to try, this one is pretty good.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Makers of Light by Lynna Merrill

Spring is coming to Mierenthia, yet coldness is still keeping a tight grip upon the world. 
Reinstalled as a mentor but considering himself to be the attempted murderer of his father-figure Maxim, Dominick preaches the Master's wisdom but his heart is no longer in it. One morning he loses control and does what he thinks will condemn him forever. Instead, he is awarded with a task much harder, and much more important, than that of any other mentor. 
Merley is now walking on the path of artificery, that of working with metal through magic. Yet, at certain moments she abhors metal and the tools and fire that mold it in ways that no Ber should. 
Linden and Rianor continue to search for the secrets of science and Ber magic. They are almost convinced that the two are one and the same, when suddenly fire and magic fail even in Qynnsent. This forces them to doubt their choices. They must now decide what life truly is, as well as which lives are worth saving and which ones can, or should, be sacrificed.

So this is book two in the series, I reviewed the first book in the series The Seekers of Fire a few months back, and enjoyed it. To be honest first and foremost, if you are going to read The Makers of Light then you they you really should read The Seekers of Fire before hand, because this book really doesn't stand on it's own to well. I think you would appreciate it a lot more with at least a working knowledge of the people and the world the series takes place in. 

As with the first book the writer does a good job with creating a world and characters that you can enjoy and get wrapped up in. I think on of the things that made me like the book was that I recognized the people within it and everyone I already liked or enjoyed was there with me and along for the ride. 

Also another thing that went along with the first book was that the author was really good at bringing social issues into the book. She takes a look at a lot of different issues, but I really do enjoy her use of science throughout the book, and how it almost becomes like a religion to the people. 

I think there are a lot of things I could talk about that go on in this book, but I really think it would end up being like a huge spoiler for the first book. If I could on'y say one thing about this book is that the writer does a really fantastic job of continuing the series on. One of the most annoying things when I start reading a series is when the tone of the next book changes or I feel like the characters I fell in love with suddenly change, so this book being so on par with the last book makes this book all the more better. 

Overall, I think this book deserves the same good rating as the previous one got. Again I think anyone who like epic fantasy would enjoy this book. I also think if you read the first one the you really have to read the second one. I really do enjoy her writing style, and I always love when a woman writes epic fantasy. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

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.

I seriously enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I was looking for a series that had to do with elemental magic, so I picked up this book after noticing a lot of my friends had either read this book or were in the process of reading the book. Which is pretty surprising since the series is up to book 6 with a book 7 release this year. 

The elements the author chose for this book were pretty interesting, and not the standard I was used to. She used Stone, Ice, Air, and Fire. What was interesting me was the way that she used the elements. Sure fire was pretty much what you would expect it to be, you could even say Ice was what you could guess. But the depth of the Air users and the things they could do with something some simple as Air was really interesting and intriguing. I also like the different jobs that people who were elementals had, take Air for instance, you could be a healer or work in the beauty profession, or you could do some seriously messed up stuff to other people with the same element. 

I also really enjoyed Gin. She is seriously my kind of girl. She tells it like it is, and the banter between her and Finn is seriously my kind of banter. The two of them "bicker" in the friendliest of ways, without holding anything back. And sometimes I would think I can't believe they just said that to each other, and then I realize I talk like that with some of my friends; either way the chemistry (friend wise) between them was awesome and so easy to read. 

I thought over all the pace of the book was really good. I think the opening was great to. It had a great unique opening, that made you shake your head and think "if this is what happened in the first couple of pages I can only imagine what is going to come next". The action is also really well written. It is easy to follow while still being intriguing and leaving the reader want to know what is going to happen next. 

I also really liked the whole Donovan and Gin thing, and the fact they really are the opposite of each other in every way, but yet they have this pull to each other. I really want to see how the two of them play out in the coming books. 

Overall, I loved the book. I thought the action was great. I so want to know what is going to happen next (in fact I already ordered the next two books). So chances are you are going to see lots more of Gin being reviewed on the site in the coming weeks. I think anyone who likes urban fantasy is going to enjoy this book, it is seriously a great ride all the way through. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Acid Jazz Singer by Nya Rawlyns

Her name was RayLee. They called her the Acid Jazz Singer, her sultry voice mesmerizing human and demon alike. She’d been running for three years from her maker and only Travis McKenzie stood between her and the darkness that had become her life.
Travis hunted the hit squads of demons and paid lip service to the Sheriff of the city. The half-blood had gifts, of the magic, shifting kind—and something more. It made him a stone cold killer and the only thing that mattered in his life was safeguarding the woman he was falling in love with.
Vladimira was the oldest of her kind, an enforcer—a gun for hire to the highest bidder. Vamp, human, demon. It didn’t matter. It was all about the job … until the stakes changed and she found a reason to care.

I am not sure what I expected from this book. Truth be told I thought it was going to push my mainstream limits when I read the synopsis. Although I have read a couple of books with transvestites in it, they normally aren't the main characters. But regardless I decided to give it a try. 

The biggest plus for this book is that is truly a unique book. The characters are very unique and not the character you will kind in your everyday urban fantasy book. But it doesn't make the book any less urban fantasy. I have to give the author props on creating a very unique world that doesn't stick to any formula. 

One of the things I had a problem with was even when I was wrapped up in wanting to see where the book was going to go next I would stumble across a paragraph or in some cases that was just confusing, and I would need to reread a couple of times to make sure I got everything down before I could move on to the next page. It got kind of annoying when I had to do it more than a couple of times. 

One of the stronger points for the novel is the characters, even though they aren't necessarily the most traditional of characters. Travis is probably the easiest of all of them to identify with, but that is probably helped along by the fact that he was the narrator for the book. The author did a really good job fleshing out Travis as a character, and making it easier for the reader to identify with him as well as want to know what was going to happen next in his life. 

The author in general is good at the action scenes as well as creating some vivid descriptions, which is always a good thing to have in a book. 

That being said this book just wasn't my kind of book. There were parts that were interesting to me, and I could appreciate certain elements of the book even if they didn't appeal to me. But overall, it really wasn't for me. I am going to give it a rating of "So-So" but if you are in the market for a truly unique take on urban fantasy then I think you should check out this book, it might be just what you are looking for. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Sable City by M. Edward McNally

The Trade Houses of the Miilark Islands control the shipping lanes linking four diverse continents across the blue vastness of the Interminable Ocean. The Houses are represented abroad by the Guilders; men and women skilled in business and burglary, salesmanship and swordplay, merchandising and musketry. Tilda Lanai has trained for years to take her place among them, but now the House she is to serve is imperiled by the sudden death of the House Lord. Scenting blood in the water, rival Houses begin to circle. The desperate search for an exiled heir takes Tilda across a war-torn continent and to the gates of the Sable City, where centuries ago dark magic almost destroyed the world. Along with a sinister sorceress, a broken-hearted samurai, and a miscreant mercenary long on charm but lousy with a crossbow, Tilda must brave the demon-infested ruins to find the heir who may yet save her House.
I'm surprised to say I haven't read many epic fantasy books as of late, somehow I seem to have been thrown a lot of YA books my way (both in work and in reviewing), which is odd for me since YA does not tend to be a genre I normally enjoy. So it was kind of nice to find an epic fantasy book come up on the review list, I very much so have missed reading them. Well that and my husband will listen to me talk about epic fantasy books I like a lot more than YA books I like ;) 

Anyways, before I started reading a lot of epic fantasy for reviews, I had this preconceived notion that a lot of the stories take place with male leads. And while there are a lot more male leads in epic versus say urban fantasy, there are still plenty of epic with a strong female lead. And this book was one of those such books. The lead in this case is Tilda, she really is kind of an awesome character. She is strong and can certainly hold her own against pretty much anyone. In fact I have to mention of all of the women characters I have read I don't know that all of them have had the command that she does over so many weapons. 

I think that in general the writer did a really good job of putting together a world and a situation that captivates the reader. The plot is quick moving and kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. I thought the the author did a really good job at world building. I think that is one of the harder parts for epic fantasy because they literally get to create a world completely from scratch, however they want to make it to fit their imagination. I think the author did a pretty good job with world building. I think the thing I enjoy most about the book though the author's ability to mesh together elements of different genres and put together a cohesive and enjoyable read. 

There is certainly a lot to be said about the book itself, but it's kind of hard to do it without revealing a lot of spoilers. That being said the book is really a good read. I do have to mention the book is a bit on the longer side of books, so this is probably going to be a book that you get invested in as well as maybe take a couple of days to read the book. But in general I think the book is a pretty good one and anyone who likes epic fantasy but is looking for an epic fantasy with a bit of a twist, you should check out this book. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Amador Lockdown by Coral Russell

Something has moved into the Amador Hotel. Hector, Marcos, Bev, and Tony of the Paranormal Posse are called in to either debunk the haunting or get rid of whatever is causing the problems. With the surprise arrival of Hector's son, he tries to keep his professional and personal lives separate, but whatever is haunting the Amador Hotel has other plans.
From the synopsis I immediate thought of all of those tv shows that deal with people hunting down ghosts. There is  certainly an audience for people who enjoy ghost hunting. I think people in general like the idea of people from the past sticking around, it's kind of a fun thing to think about and certainly can have plenty of uses in a book. 

That being said I am not a person who likes to be scared, so that was really my only concern when I was reading this book. However the book really isn't scary, more like suspenseful, which is something I really enjoy. Also the book isn't all that long so you don't have a lot of time to be scared. I also think the books length worked in its favor because it kept the suspenseful parts were I think more effective due to the length of the book. 

I have to say I am also impressed by the authors characters they created, they all have a pretty good rhythm to them and are pretty interesting. It impresses me because the books length could be a hinderance when trying to create fully fleshed out characters, but this author did not really have an issue at all with that. 

I think the biggest strength of this book is that it pulls you in. You want to know what happens next. I think the author did a good job with keeping the reader guessing about what was going to happen next, and then being able to hold on to that power until the very end. 

I also liked that the book felt more like watching an episode of a tv show, or a movie. I think the book used pretty good imagery and it made it all the more easy to picture what was going on in the book in my head. Which I enjoy. 

Overall, I think the book is pretty well written and it is a pretty enjoyable to read. I like that it took place in a hotel, I think it's a fun setting for a book. I think anyone who enjoys watching ghost hunter shows, or if you are at all interested in checking out something like that, then this is most certainly your book. 

Accidentally In Love with... a God? Book Hop

Title:  Accidentally in Love With…a God? (Accidentally Yours Series, Book 1)
Author:  Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Publisher:  Self/Indie
Length:  88,000 Words
Sub-Genres:  Contemporary, Paranormal



Twenty-two-year-old Emma Keane has a secret friend. He’s powerful, mysterious, and devastatingly handsome. In her dreams, anyway.
In real life, he’s an enigma. Maybe just a teensie jealous. Definitely overbearing. He’s also a voice only she can hear.
So who or what is he? He won’t say. But if she wants to be free, to be normal, Emma will have to trek to the jungles once ruled by the Mayans and find the forgotten ruin holding the answers.
However, the ruthless deity she’s about to unknowingly unleash on the modern world might not be so easily extracted from her life. Bottom line, he’s got enemies, and now, so does she.



Chapter 1 - Present Day
Wasn’t dating supposed to be fun? Because this was anything but. At any moment, a man I’d never met—approximately six-foot-three, brown hair, and soul-piercing blue eyes, according to his online profile—would walk through the door of the Conga Lounge, give his name to the hostess, and scream hysterically at the sight of me. Okay. He wouldn’t scream. Aloud, anyway. Not that I was heinous, but anyone who looked closely enough might notice I was…different.
I eyeballed the door, contemplating making a mad dash before he arrived.
No, you can do this, I thought while staring at the condensation channeling down my glass of water, my leg bouncing under the table. Why had my date picked a corny theme-bar that looked like Gilligan’s Island threw up? What sort of man goes novelty on the first date? Bad sign. Bad sign.
At least the other patrons—seated around the faux-torch lit room, leisurely sipping Bahama Mama’s and Mai Tai’s—were oblivious to my impending meltdown.
I felt the gentle whoosh of summer evening air as the door swung open and the noise from the traffic-packed New York street poured in. A tall man with sun-kissed skin, broad shoulders, and tousled brown hair floated in—yes, floated—as if he’d ridden in on a cloud straight from Hot-Man Land. He wore a black polished-cotton shirt, which hugged his well-constructed chest, and low slung jeans that molded to his lean physique. He wasn’t just good looking, he was Milan runway edible. 
“Oh, sweet Virgin of Guadalupe, please be Jake,” I muttered under my breath.
Like a cliché from a movie, our eyes met from across the room, and his face lit up with a dimple-framed smile. My heart nearly stopped. “Thank you, Virgin,” I said, releasing my breath.
He strutted across the restaurant, a magnet for every female in the room.
“Emma?” he said in a deep slow-churned voice then smiled and held out his hand. I stood up in a daze, mentally pinching myself. 
“You are Emma, right? Curly, shoulder-length, red hair, five-three. Several crazed female stalkers for best friends?”  
Oh, no. What had my roommates done? Since the whole online-blind-date thing was their idea, they assured me they’d carefully “screened” the guy. But I thought they were just joking about breaking into his apartment and rummaging through his underwear drawer. And dammit, they hadn’t even bothered to dish. Tighty whities or boxers?
I looked down at his outstretched hand. Oh, shoot. Shake hands. “Sorry, it’s just—I wasn’t expecting someone so…” I swallowed and placed my palm in his. It was warm and inviting, just like his eyes. “Um…so tall.”
“And I wasn’t expecting a woman so…” He paused to look me over like a dog eyeing a giant juicy steak.  “…adorable.”
“Adorable?” said the deep male voice inside my head. “What kind of moron compliments a woman with the word ‘adorable’? Does he think you’re a goddamned puppy?”
Couldn’t I have one, just one lousy day without the voice? My blood began to boil instantly, but I resisted the urge to snap back with something lame like, “Well, maybe Jake senses I want to lick him from head to toe. Maybe even have a go at his leg.” But then I thought better of myself. Because tonight, I was on a mission, and nothing would stop me from climbing my own mental Mt. Everest: convince myself that I, Emma Keane, could feel attraction for a real live man with ten fingers, ten toes, arms and legs, and the other necessary dangly bits needed to make a relationship normal. All I needed was the right man.
The catch?
The other person I needed to prove this to wasn’t exactly a person. Okay—truth be told, he was a mysterious voice only I could hear. Yes. A luscious, deep velvety voice so seductive that it could turn me into a quivering mindless puddle of need with one little sigh. Sound crazy? That wasn’t the half of it. But it was why I had to do this. If I wanted a shot at normal, I had to take this first step.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Familiar Tangle with Hell by Sapphire Phelan

Tina and Charun thought it was all over and that their life would be normal—well, as normal as it could be for an immortal Witch and her demon Familiar. Except there was another prophesy, one that laid claim that if Lucifer snatches Tina and mates with her before the last chime before midnight of the new year and gets her pregnant with his son, that the real Armageddon would begin, spelling the end of life as they knew it. 

When Tina is stolen away, Charun, along with Jacokb the archangel, must race against time into the bowels of Hell to rescue her. But with demons, Lucifer, and a cute demon bunny with fangs out of a Monty Python nightmare, out to stop them and Heaven not lending a hand, will Tina become the mother of the Antichrist and the start of a new Hell on Earth?

After a much needed vacation, this is my first review back. The book to me seemed interesting right off the bat because of the cover. I mean here you have this girl looking like she standing right in the middle of hell and who is next to her? A bunny? I knew there had to be some kind of explanation and I was more than ready to read the book to find out. 

To start off this book is most definitely an erotic novel. There are some pretty explicit sex scenes, so if that is not your cup of tea, then I would not recommend this book. However if it is your cup of tea then this book might in fact be the book for you. The books sex scenes are well written and if you are a person who enjoys erotica I am pretty sure this would be a book you would enjoy. 

I was also a little bit excited about the biblical origins of this story. The books plot is definitely based in religion as well as having a lot to do with demons. I have recently enjoyed reading books about angels, which have almost always incorporated some level of demons in them. I do enjoy books about demons, and this book was a pretty interesting combination of different ideas into one really enjoyable plot. 

I thought the chemistry was really good and well written between Charun and Tina. And if you are thinking like I was how are a bunny and a witch going to get down and dirty, I suggest you read the book to find out, because it works. 

The only downsides to this book were that there were parts within the book that lagged. It was never a really bad thing though, the parts that did lag picked up quickly enough for it not to be a huge problem for the reader. I also did notice a couple of editing issues, but they were very minimal and I don't think the average reader would find them annoying enough to matter within the story itself. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. It was a really fun read, and a good way to start after my temporary hiatus from book reading. I think people who enjoy paranormal romance and erotic will enjoy this book. I don't think who have issues with reading graphic sex scenes would enjoy this book, but if you do then this is definitely a book you should check out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ash Krafton Guest Post

Today I have the pleasure of being joined by Ash Krafton, the author of Bleeding Hearts, which is going to be reviewed in May on this site. But to get your fix now check out this guest post, and go to the bottom of the post to WIN YOUR OWN COPY of Bleeding Hearts! 

Ancient Egypt: The Origin of the Vampire?

BLEEDING HEARTS: BOOK ONE OF THE VAMPIRE contains one of my very guilty pleasures. And I'm not talking vampires.

Not exclusively, anyways.

I've always had a keen interest in ancient civilization. Rome and Greece, Persia, the Vikings and their promise of Valhalla…

Top of the list, though, has always been Egypt. I have an absolute obsession with Egypt—the pyramids, the inventions, the mummies…*sigh* I love mummies.

So it's no surprise that Egypt had sneaked its way into the heart of my story, eventually becoming the essence of the world of the Demivampire. In Bleeding Hearts, Marek, a Demivampire, has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt. In fact, our heroine Sophie first meets him in a museum exhibit of an Old Kingdom temple. (The scene was inspired by a visit to the Penn Museum of Archeology andAnthropology)

Ancient Egyptians worshipped many gods, each of whom had many qualities. People related to their strengths and flaws, and devoted themselves to the divinity of the gods. As a Christian, I believe we are made in God's image—and that reflection of Divinity within myself endears me to God. I suppose the Egyptians felt the same way, since their gods were depicted with human bodies. The animal heads were indicative of their divine aspect.

Horus is the son of Osirus and Isis and is one of my favorites. Horus is depicted as having the head of a falcon, usually a peregrine. Very appropriate for the God of the Sky.

In my research, I came across the description of Horus' eyes. That caught my interest, because the power of a demivamp had a great deal to do eyes and their color. The ancients said that, as God of the Sky, one eye of Horus was the sun and the other was the moon.

Hmm…sun and moon…vamps and werewolves…of course!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nightfall by Norah Wilson

Aiden Afflack (a vampire) is as charming, sexy and easy-going as he is gorgeous. Unless you happen to be a rogue vampire, in which case he’s apt to be the last thing you see. Sam Shea is a wildly successful nature photographer whose prescient dreams lead her to some of the world’s most turbulent, awe-inspiring weather phenomena. 
When their paths cross and Aiden discovers that his proximity to Sam warps her psychic power, causing her to hone in on vampire violence instead of violent weather, he knows he’s found a priceless tool in his fight to rid the world of rogues. 
Sam has a deep-rooted aversion to having her powers exploited, but once her eyes have been opened to the lives she can help save, she can’t withhold her cooperation. But she can deny Aiden the other thing he wants from her, which makes her unique among women. And absolutely irresistible to Aiden!

I reviewed a book by Norah Wilson, not to long ago, it's actually the first book in this series. It was called The Merzetti Effect, and it was a really cool way of looking into how vampires really exist, as well as a really sweet love story. At the end of the book we are briefly introduced to Aiden, he's going to take care of a problem for the main characters of the last book. 

So when this book start, it starts right off with him taking care of the favor as he promised. Making sure the police chief of St. Cloud takes a hike after being a wife beater and general bad guy. Of course it's not as simple as that, there is a photographer who just happened to be watching the outside of the house that night, and stumbles upon Aiden. And then again in the park where she is certain he is attacking another man. Turns out the two of them make a pretty good team. 

I have to say I love the writing in Norah WIlson's books. I really enjoyed the first book, so I was completely expecting to enjoy this book as well. Her writing keeps me interested not only in the characters but also in the plot. The writing is smart and paced really well. There was seldom a moment in either of her two books that I have read where I wanted to put it down, in fact it was normally the opposite, I had to know what was going to happen next. 

I found the characters to be really interesting and likable. I really enjoyed the characters in her previous book, so I don't know what I was expecting from this book. I think the one thing that I was really happy about is how different these characters were from the ones in the first book. I think if they had been similar I wouldn't have been able to enjoy them as much as I did. I like that Aiden is a strong vampire, with a moral compass, that he is out to make sure that innocent people don't get hurt by rogue vampires. But what I really like was that Sam is a pretty unique character from what we saw in the first book. She has a psychic power, whereas in the last book Ainsley was strong but had no really active powers. So in this book you have not just one supernatural being with Aiden, but also with Sam. I think that it really helps propel this book. 

The two main characters, Aiden and Sam are great to watch together. In fact I think they are way more interesting when they are together then when they are apart, they compliment each other really well. They have great chemistry together on top of that, which lets face it is a big part of what makes a paranormal romance good. 

The only real complaint I could have about this book was really not a bad thing. There was not as much sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next as their was in the first book. But that being said it was still well paced, and a pretty good book in it's own right. 

Overall, I really did enjoy reading this book. I think the series is a really good one, and one that I think most paranormal romance readers will really enjoy. While as of right now, my favorite book in the series is the first one, this book is a worthy follow up and I am very interested in what is going to happen next in the series, who the author decides to write about next. I also believe one of the reason I enjoy this series so much is because I think it appeals to both the paranormal romance fan in me as well as the urban fantasy fan as well. So I think you should give this series a try!  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bonded with Love by Tiffany Heiser

Never in a trillion years did Rena think vampires existed...or that she has enemies among them. When Rena Vesten heads to her first day of senior year she hopes for something incredible to happen. But she doesn't expect the dark-haired, blue-eyed man of her dreams-literally-to suddenly appear as the new student at school. The gorgeous mystery guy, Cryder, has more secrets than his inexplicable presence in her dreams. Soon Rena's world takes a turn into the supernatural when she finds out Cryder is a vampire king with a deadly rebellion on his hands, and a destiny irrevocably linked to Rena's... ...'till death to them part.

So as I have said in previous reviews I really enjoy a good vampire book. But again, like I have said in previous reviews I am not always the biggest fans of YA books. It's not that I don't like Young Adult books in general, its that really they always end up either hit or miss for me. I was not particularly taken by this book. 

The first issue I had with this book was largely editorial. I felt like the book needed a lot more editing, and sometimes it made it rather confusing for me as a reader. I am one of those readers that picks up on a lot of the details mentioned in a book, and when a book switches the details within itself, it gets confusing for me. It makes me want to reread and make sure I thought I knew what I knew was right, and I hate rereading a book when I am in the middle of it. So for that reason this book for me had some problems. 

I also felt like I didn't connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to. I felt like I got easily annoyed with some of them. I think the largest problem for me, was I particularly don't like when a character, the lead character seems to be, for lack of a better term, walked all over. In this case the main character Rena, was not very assertive, and seemed to allow other people to treat her kind of condescendingly. Now I don't expect Rena to be this perfect entity or anything, or even some super woman, but I do like for a character to stand on their own two feet as well as show some growth within the course of the book, and I'm not entirely convinced that that happened with her. 

I also kind of thought that plot drag out way longer than it needed to be. It's not that the plot should have made the story shorter, but the action/pace within the book did not really support the plot, and therefore there was a lot of times where I was starting to get bored when I was reading the book. I am a reader that needs to constantly be engaged in what I am reading. I read at least a book a day, so when I come across a book that doesn't have me completely engaged it does sometimes make me want to move on to the next book in my list.

I also want to point out that while pacing was a big issue for me, I am primarily an adult book reader, and the pacing in an adult book versus a book that is marketing to Young Adults is often a little bit slower, allowing for a little more downtime, and a little more teen angst. So that might have been when my issue was coming from. 

Overall, I didn't really enjoy the book, but I also didn't hate the book. I think it needs to go through a couple of round of edits, but if that were to happen I could easily see how people who like to read Young Adults might enjoy it, so their could certainly be an audience for this book. That being said if you are a reader who really only enjoys reading adult books, then this is probably not the book for you. 

New Blood by Donna Ansari

Emma Hammond is a normal young woman living in New York City whose life changes forever when one misstep brings her very close to death. Luckily, Alex Thompson, a handsome stranger (who also happens to be a vampire), jumps in to save her, turning Emma into a vampire. She quickly discovers the numerous advantages (no more allergies, glasses, or acne) and slight drawbacks (wanting to eat her boyfriend) of joining the ranks of the creatures of the night. But Emma soon finds out her new undead life isn't all it's cracked up to be when she gets pulled in to an age-old dispute between two feuding vampire clans.

I love a good vampire book, they are what got me into the genre in the first place. So when I get a vampire book, I get excited in general, they always seem to enhance my love for the genre. I think part of the reason why I enjoyed this is because it is not just a straight up vampire action packed story, it's one that has more than that, it has a little bit of humor in it, and I love when there is humor in a book. 

I want to start off by saying to book has a great pace to it. From beginning to end I was interested in what was going on within it's pages. Not only that but I didn't really find a lot of lag time or places where I felt anything was lacking. I appreciate books that keep me involved and invested in them from beginning to end. I also thought the writing was pretty good as well. It's hard enough to write a book that fits the parameters of a paranormal book, what with all the world building that has to be explained to the reader. But when an author can do that and add a bit of humor into the story, I find it only enhances the books appeal. 

Emma is someone who I think anyone can relate to. We have all pretty much had those moments in life when things are just so routine, and you are just praying for a little bit of excitement to come your way. Although I'm not sure Emma would have ever wished for the kind of excitement she found, but either way it definitely changed her routine and opened herself up to a world that certainly changed her life. 

Emma is a great character, and I think mainly the reason why she is such a great character is because she is able to grow so much over the course of the book. She starts out one way and then by the end of the book she has grown as a person while still maintaining the fundamentals of who she was to begin with. In some ways she reminds me of one of my friends, with the way she responds to some people, she has a great quick wit, one that I think I would enjoy. 

I thought overall the plot really got super exciting in the last half of the book, and it was from that moment that I literally couldn't put the book down. I love a book where I can't see what is going to happen next, and I get so wrapped up in what might happen next, that I can't help myself but to start guessing. Sometimes I felt like I had things figured out and then I curve ball would come my way and I would find out I was wrong. 

Overall, this was a really fun read for me, from beginning to end. I think the humor really helped "sell" the book for me. I think without it, the book would not have worked nearly as well. If I had to complain about one thing is that I wish that there was more between Emma and Alex. It's not that there wasn't an attempt, just something about it didn't feel as organic as it could have. For that reason the book gets a "good" rating. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a little humor in their books, but especially for those of us who are partial to vampire books! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Zombies! by Ivan Turner

Set in New York, this ten part serialization takes the reader through the introduction of the zombie plague.  Unlike other zombie tales, the discovery of the plague does not lead to instant armageddon.  Society panics, accepts, and adjusts as the zombies become a part of reality and people must deal with them as part of their lives.  The series follows a set of very different characters as they try to deal with the supernatural versus the utterly mundane.

I haven't read a lot of zombie books, in fact one of the first zombie books was from just a few days ago, it was call Atticus of the Undead and you should check it out. I really enjoyed the very few books I have read about zombies, so I figured this book would be another good zombie book. Although this book is not presented like a normal book. This book is broken down into what Turner refers to as episodes, and can all be purchased separated, as far as I can tell you can't buy the whole collection in one big piece. 

I think that one thing that helps this book along, is that it is broken down into episodes. Each episode is fleshed out well on it's own, like a bunch of novellas all about the same general story. This is helpful because each episode is well paced, so you never get bored when reading one of the episodes. It also helps with the overall series, because one of the biggest problems with works like novellas is you don't have enough time to really "world build", but in this series each episode in a way builds on each other. So the world is really well developed as well as being well paced. 

The writing within the book was really well done. The writing was really well done, and I really enjoyed the overall series/book from the beginning to the end. Turner has a really gift at keeping things light at the right moment, intense at the right moment, and all while capturing the readers attention. Nothing with his writing ever feels dumbed down, in fact the writing itself is really smart, so it genuine is a quality read. 

The characters are really well fleshed out and it's easy to connect to them. Even though these people are all in a wildly different situation then we are, it doesn't mean that we don't have things in common with them. People want to find love and companionship, some of us have a past that we need to work through. 

I really like the general way of how the zombies are presented in this book. That they become a part of society. I don't think zombies are really ever well accepted in most pop culture books, shows, or movies. But I like the premise that society tries to accept them, but the again of course even that is a hard thing for some people to come to grips with so it's interesting to see all the different ways people react to the issue at hand, and the different roles that everyone place. 

Over all, I think this is a pretty interesting, and unique was of writing. And it's a pretty good book/series. Although I feel like I should mention because I am doing a review of all 10 episodes at once, it does not mean that you should try to read the whole thing all at once. It's a pretty hefty amount of pages to read. So this is more of a long term read, but I think that makes it all the more fun. So for those of you who like zombies, I would say give this series a shot! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Blind Sight Comparison

A blind girl drawing is abnormal even on the magical island of Edaion where leaves brush themselves into piles in the middle of the night. As an immigrant, Leocardo is not biased by accepted rules of magic and determines that Odette’s drawings are premonitions. Aniela grew up with magic and knows premonitions are impossible. She determines Odette is a medium channeling voiceless spirits. 
As I have mentioned in the past couple of days I was super excited about reading a story told from two different characters perspectives. My only real concern was that the book was written by two separate people. I wondered if two people could write characters similar enough to be identifiable in both. In both books there are characters that are in both books, so for me it was super important that the characters in both books stayed true to who they were in each of the books respectively. I have to say that I was impressed at the ability for the two authors to create a world that was so cohesive and characters that worked in both books. 

That being said comparing the two of the books, I have to say I enjoyed the pace of Leocardo's story more than Aniela's. Leocardo's felt like it had a better pace to it from the beginning whereas Aniela's started off a little bit on the slow side. I also think that maybe you should read Leocardo's story before Aniela's because there were some instances where I think I would have had more information if I had chosen to read Leo's first and not Aniela's. 

I liked both stories in their own right though. I think what I like the best is that they are both good on their own and then together it comes together so well. When you have already read one of the books and then move on the next, you start to have these "Oh that's how that happened" moments, or you have an "Ah ha" moment. It's really fun to find those moments and think back to the first book and think to yourself, "I totally get it now". That being said you don't necessarily need those "ah ha" moments and you can read the books on their own if that is your choosing. But you can also read them both without the worry that they get super repetitive or aren't fun rides in their own right, because they are both fun reads. 

You can tell the difference in writing styles, but it's not a bad thing. It doesn't detract from anything actually. I think it is part of what helps with keeping them each fresh in their own right. Both books leave you wanting to know what is going to happen next in the series, which is a strong indication of them both being good. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Painted Jezebel by Jolie Pethtel

Publicist Finn Mackenzie has always been lucky, until an ill-fated affair with a vindictive writer leaves him one chance for redemption: a spectacular public appearance by the elusive best-selling romance author, Jezebel Jinx.
Unfortunately, the cute but kooky writer refuses to cooperate. Jezebel believes she’s cursed with bad luck. Riddled with anxieties, she never leaves her home— until the gorgeous, albeit desperate Finn whisks her away to a writer’s conference, against her will.
After the initial shock wears off, Jezebel’s dormant hormones kick into high gear around the hunky Finn.
When his ex turns up murdered and Jezebel is the prime suspect, ill-planned sexcapades are the least of their worries.

I haven't read a lot of straight up romance books, in fact probably less than five. Most of them have some kind of paranormal element in them, but I was interested in this book largely because of the main character. I don't think i have really read any books where the main character is a writer. I find that interesting because I also write books, and I think it would be difficult for me to write a book about a writer, and make it not the most boring book on the planet. So hats off to Jolie for writing a book about a writer than was not boring at all. 

This book is more of a novella than a book, so I felt like there were some moments when I was reading when things felt rushed, and I don't like the feeling of being rushed when I am reading a book. The beginning of the book I thought out pretty strong. And lets face it a strong beginning is the most important thing when it comes to a book, it gets you into the book and make you want to keep going. If the beginning is slow, I sometimes have to convince myself to keep reading. 

I think the chemistry between Finn and Jezebel was pretty good. Which since this is a straight up romance book is something pretty important to have. I felt like even though the chemistry was there, there were moments that just didn't feel all that organic. Finn was protesting even thinking about Jezebel in any kind of romantic sense, and then all of sudden they were making out, and then he was back to being all "this is never going to happen". It just kind of through off the flow of the character in general. 

I think Constance, was probably written the best. She really did come off as one of those people that everyone hates. She was seriously a well written mean girl. And the fact that she had a prior relationship with Finn just made it all the more intriguing and made you hate Constance all the more. 

Jezebel is also a good character, she's well written. She has a serious amount of issues, from anxiety, not not leaving her house, allergies, and just a general panic of anything that isn't her house. But it's alluded from early on that there was a reason for all of the issues she was experiencing. And then you find out what happened in her past, and you feel so bad for it. It was a terrible situation, and if something like that had happened to me, I don't think I would have reacted any differently than Jezebel did, I would have locked myself up in my house and never left either. 

Overall the book was a good read. It really is a book for those of you who enjoy romance. I know a lot of the people that read this blog are interested in both romance and paranormal romance, but there is no paranormal in this book. That being said, it's a romance that has humor as well as a mystery, so when you add all those elements to the equation and it makes the book pretty good.