Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Carmen Rane Hudson Guest Post



In the world of Peter Corbie’s Circle, Christian ministers, hardened cops, voodoo devotees, single moms, computer geeks, and sensitive artists band together to try to make the world a safer place. They find themselves up against murderers, sorcerers, ancient curses, deadly secrets, strange monsters and more.
I strive to make each and every book a surprise, a stand-alone story, and a new look at a multi-faceted and complex world.

The debut book is Backlash.
 In Backlash, televangelist Peter Corbie is one of the most gifted psychics on the planet, but he’s spent a lifetime hiding from his own gifts.
They’ve killed once. He’s vowed never to let it happen again. He’d hoped a lifetime of service to the church could shield him from what he believes may be a demonic power. But Peter can’t hide much longer. A deadly killer is on the loose, a killer with but one purpose: to steal extraordinary abilities from his victims even as he takes their lives. As Peter’s carefully arranged life and iron control begin to crumble, time starts running out. When the killer targets Peter, he has no choice but to turn and fight. He’s forced to grapple with his power and his faith in order to take on a merciless enemy and his murderous apprentice.



I have also written a novella called Dig My Grave. The main character in Dig My Grave hasn’t met Peter or his Circle yet…but she will!
Here’s the synopsis:
Emaline Voisine is ready to give up on life just before she gets the call that her seven year old daughter has been kidnapped by her dead ex-husband. Now she’s in a race against time, locked in a supernatural custody battle of epic proportions that forces her to rise to the challenge while facing her own shortcomings as a parent.
What’s ahead? I’m working on Quintessence. Ex-cop and Circle member Ava Stark has met the love of her life, but he’s bound by an ancient curse which she must unravel quickly. A dark fate is looming, and time is running out.


I’ve been heavily influenced by Jim Butcher, Holly Lisle, and James Patterson, so if you like their books you might like mine, too!


Backlash is available on Amazon, Nook, and PDF.

Dig My Grave is currently only available on Amazon.com.

Come join @PeterCorbie on Twitter for more news from Peter Corbie’s Circle, too! Thanks for taking a look.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Snap: The World Unfolds by Michele Drier



Synopsis:
Snap, a multinational celeb TV show and magazine, is the holy grail for Maxie Gwenoch. When she snags the job as managing editor, she's looking for fame, fortune, and Jimmy Choos. What she fins is a media empire owned by Baron Kandesky and his family. A family of vampires. They're European, urbane, wealthy, and mesmerizing. And when she meets Jean-Louis, vampire and co-worker, she's a goner. 
Maxie believes she's found her ultimate career. She doesn't realize that she's found a family feud like none other, a centuries-old rivalry between vampire families, with her as the linchpin. Bells ring with Jean-Louis, but she doesn't realize they're alarm sirens until she learns that Jean-Louis is second in command of the Kandeskys… but by then it's too late. 

Review:
This was kind of an interesting way to start a vampire book for me. I mean its kind of like People, Extra, and TMZ all rolled into one, and then add in a mob like vampire family war and you get the general idea of what the book is going to be about. I have to admit that the whole celeb media thing appealed to me, because as much as I hate to admit it, I'm the girl who looks at celebrity gossip every morning to start my day right. So I had some high hopes for how this book was going to turn out for me. 

Since my main issue with books these days is the pacing of a book, that was really the first thing I was looking at when I started reading this book. Thankfully I felt like the pacing was just right, there was action when there needed to be, romance when there should have been, and generally speaking there wasn't really any part of the book where I wanted to put the book down. 

As the main character, Maxie, well she was okay. She wasn't a bad character or anything like that, but she seemed to suffer from what a lot of authors seem to like doing to their main women characters, making her sound like a teenage girl who is convinced the world is going to end when the slightest thing goes wrong with Mr. Fantastic. I tend to hate characters like that, mainly because their whininess exists in all aspects of their life, but in this book, thankfully, Maxie was no whiny all the time, just in relation to boys. 

Now normally in books where I find a girl whining over a boy, I tend to find the boy to be a bit of a control freak, and end up hating him more than I hate the girl in the book. In this case, not only did I not hate him, but I actually enjoyed reading him a lot more than Maxie. Jean-Louis is just fun to read, he kind of pops off the page for me. 

I like the story about the vampire families at war, it's a pretty common theme in vampire books, but it is well executed in this book. And I also really liked the whole celebrity thing, I mean come on I am a girl who loves her People. Overall, I thought the book was a pretty solid effort. I hope in the next installment Maxie experiences some character growth so maybe I can like her a little bit more, but at the end of the day I really did enjoy reading the book. I think a lot you will enjoy this book as well. 



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich


Synopsis: 
Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston's North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down- and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that ore isn't always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.

Review:
I have heard a lot about Janet Evanovich's books for a long time, I even saw that movie based off one of her books. I got the feeling that from the movie her books had that whole romantic comedy feel to them, and I love a good romantic comedy so I figured it was time to give her a try. I started with Wicked Appetite mainly because it was the first book in a series and it was on sale at Barnes and Noble. So here is my take.

I can see why Evanovich is a popular writer. I think the best part of her book was how much I laughed during it. There is a lot to be said for a book that makes you laugh. I read the book over the course of the morning, and I can say I enjoy starting a morning with a lot of laughing. There were some great lines in the book, more specifically I seriously enjoy the insane lines throughout the book, and the bizarre situations. In fact I do have a favorite like, it goes something like this, "Be a man, eat your potatoes." Now I realize this doesn't sound all that funny, but the line is spoken to a monkey and involves getting flicked off. Needless to say it made me giggle.

Outside of the humor aspect of the book there really isn't a lot to say about it. Which is disappointing. The plot wasn't all the fantastic. I think the premise is fine, but it was just not fleshed out all that well. I got the feeling that this was suppose to be an urban fantasy humor book, but it was all humor no urban fantasy. Okay that's a lie, there were elements that were urban fantasy, but it was so beyond unbelievable that it just didn't work. If you showed up at work and said things like, "Hachett showed up at my house last night with a sword yelling in middle english and cut me from elbow to wrist," the people at your place of work would be like "WTF". Unless of course you are Lizzie, and then in that case your boss basically says "oh that's nice, call first next time." It just didn't work for me at all. And I think Evanovich tries to right off these reactions by continuing to mention that it takes place in Salem, which of course is known for it's weirdness, so no wonder no one is surprised by any of these crazy scenarios.

There really isn't any romance in the book, there is a lot of really funny what I assume to be flirting, but really no romance, so if that is what you are looking for go somewhere else. Almost all of the funny situations come from animals, be it the ninja cat or Carl the monkey, but really those are the best characters in the book. I think if you remove the plot and just had Carl interacting with people I still would have thought the book was funny, which doesn't say much for the book.

Overall, it was a fast and funny read. If you ask me tomorrow what happened in the book I probably won't remember. I'll remember the monkey and how the monkey can destroy a car like no other, but that will be about it. If you are looking to just escape for three hours and have a laugh or two, then this is your book.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Soul Reborn by Jean Murray


Synopsis:
The human realm, his battlefield. Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls.
Deadly secrets better left unearthed. Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way f the goddess' undead army unleashing hell on earth. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore. But Lilly has a secret- one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.

Review: 
I kind of love this book. I love all things paranormal, I just can't help myself. But I'm a history buff, it used to be my major. I was that kid who dreamed of being an Egyptologist, and I'll let my nerd colors shine through by admit my love for Stargate because of so much of the Egypt mythology being used in it. So when I opened this book and really jumped into I feel in love with the who love of all things Egypt all over again.

I will say one thing I really like is how Murray brings the Gods and Goddess into a modern time, and modern setting. I like that she acknowledges the past with its history and how it has fallen by the wayside. I also really like that she chose the main God in the story to be from the Underworld. Most people are fascinated with with all the other various Gods, and the term "underworld" just screams the makings of a villan, but Asar is so not a villan. He's a great character and it's really easy to follow his journey and really like him. Although, I have to admit when his character was introduced I wasn't sure what to think of him, although I'm pretty sure that was the point.

I love Lilly, she is really a great character. Anyone who has a good older sibling, or is a good older sibling can probably relate to her. She is a strong protector of her family, and carries a lot of burdens, a lot of which should not be carried by her. I think part of the reason why I like her so much is often time when you have a character that is so centered on protecting others, they don't really get a chance to fall in love, or rather it takes so long for them to get around to letting their guard down, and then as a reader I only get a few chapters of you know happy ending stuff. Sure she runs into problems in her new romance, but every relationship has issues, it makes her seem more real and more likable.

There were a lot of secondary characters in the book (seriously think there should be a novella devoted to Bomani, like an origin story, cause that would be awesome). Regardless there are a lot of secondary characters and each of them are pretty distinct in their own right, which I think is hard to accomplish given the amount their are of them. But they each stand on their own really well. And the villans of the story are really good. Kepi is villan you are aware of really early on in the book, imagine a mean girl, with powers, a serious God complex, and out for revenge; needless to say she keeps things interesting. By the time you are done with the book you know there is more going on than everyone is aware of, so it should be fun reading the next book and discovering more of what was going on behind the scenes.

Overall the book was really good and I loved it. I will say it's a long read. I don't know why, I'm a pretty quick reader, but this book took me longer than average to get through. That's not a bad thing though, since it kept my attention the entire time, and the pacing was really spot on. I think anyone would really enjoy this book, maybe even people who aren't necessarily fans of paranormal/fantasy but like history. Either way I would give this book a read, oh and if you are looking for romance, this book has it pleasantly placed throughout. It also has a lot of action and adventure!



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Love Chosen by Marne Ann Kirk


Synopsis:
For millennia, dragon and fae have peacefully co-existed, but the fae themselves have lived segregated and very different lives. Now a malevolence threatens to separate them all permanently. Can a Queen's guard and a rebellious outlaw join forces to defeat this common enemy? Tyler's touch sparks fierce desire, drawing Issie to him, ut she despises his way of life and al that palace society represents. If he learns she wields majic to help the less fortunate escape the kingdom, he'll charge her with treason. Her punishment - death. Issie is a sassy rebel who is constantly looking for ways to circumvent the conventions of their society. Tyler's head warns that she's a non-majical lower, beneath him. His heart sees by her inner strength and outer beauty. Only a binding love will lend them strength to save her life- their world. Can either of them be enough to trust that love?

Review: 
This is definitely a book that is more a high fantasy romance than anything else. I am a reader who can really enjoy a well written high fantasy, but often times for me they feel more stiff than anything else and aren't character driven enough for me. This book is the perfect blend of high fantasy themes, character driven plot, and exciting romance.

The book has a lot of bittersweet moments, and a lot of separation both in terms of people and the classes. I like the way that this book doesn't just revolve around a couple trying to find their way to each other, or a two people solving a problem and ending up together. Granting there is a couple involved, but the issues at play within the novel have to do with fae society as a whole. Sure there is a bad guy, the society itself is suffering from its own problems, and the bad guy just takes advantage of the situation.

Issie's particular situation is both happy and sad. She feels like she belongs where she is, she has made a good life for herself, and she seems happy on the surface. But when you dig a little deeper you see that she has a had a rough past, and was cast out by the Uppers, separated from her family and deemed to be less than she is. Even though she is happy when she ended up and the life she has now, she carries what happened with her, and sees the impact the rules their society has plays on all families.

Then you have Tyler who came from the Lowers, but is now an Upper, and how accepting his is about society status quo, he doesn't really see anything wrong with it. In the beginning it's really easy to want to smack him upside the head, because he never really looks deeper and makes a lot of assumptions about people. Thankfully he starts to open his eyes as the book goes on and realizes how things really are and that maybe a change is needed.

I was unsure of how I would feel about the dragons in the book. I like the concept of dragons, but a lot of times I don't feel like the are utilized well, they tend to overwhelm books, like the author forgets that books are primarily character driven. Thankfully Kirk has some really well established characters, and the dragon more enhance the story than try to drive it. I like the way the dragons themselves become characters in a really nice way.

Overall, I was really happy with the book, and with the ending. I am really curious to see what direction the second book takes, given the ending of the first. I like anyone who enjoys fantasy with romance will really enjoy this book. I love the fae, the society, the dragons, the whole package was just really nicely done. I would seriously recommend it to anyone looking for a good book.



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stalking Shade by L.K. Below


Synopsis:
When the leader of Lori's secret organization goes missing, her life starts to fall apart. 
Lori is a member of the Order, a secret organization with an invincible leader, or so she believes--until he disappears. Their mission is all about protecting him, the Spenta Michos, and the Order Degenerates into chaos once he's gone. 
Lori is determined to find him, with or without the support of the other members. But a madman shadows her every move, and she can barely keep herself out of the growing pile of victims. To make matters worse, she has to deal with a persistent faux-vampire who seems to think she's meant for him. 
How can she save the leader of her religion when she can barely protect herself?

Review:
The concept of this book actually kind of interesting to me. When you think about it every religion has a person that is living that is super important to people who follow the religion, but normally that person is aware of the important role that they play. But in Lori's religion/organization, the Spenta Michos is completely unaware of the people protecting and serving him. It's a little bit unorthodox and kind of a cool concept so I went with it. 

This is definitely a book that doesn't have a slow beginning. It starts off right as the action is about to pick up. The Spenta Michos is missing, and Lori is shocked, and more importantly highly motivated to get him back. Only when she attends the first meeting to discuss his new missing status it seems like not a whole lot is being done to organize the search to find him, so of course she does what any self-respecting girl does and looks to find him on her own. 

There are some interesting characters along the way that Lori has to deal with. The first one you really get introduced to is Heaven, who I could totally picture from the bits and pieces the author gives you as she pops up along the way. She's kind of that annoying girl with a ridiculous name, who kind of things the sun rises and falls with her and her alone. I love characters I'm suppose to hate, and I didn't like her right off the bat. It actually made me identify with Lori, because listening to Lori's inner monologue made me think to myself, wow I would be thinking the exact same thing if I were her. 

From the beginning of the book you get the feeling that Lori is special, like she is different from everyone else. It turns out she is, she gets visions. Only unfortunately someone else seems to think Lori is special, and seems to be after her, and not in the good way. More like the I can't wait until I kill you kind of way. I liked the story from Lori's point of view. She is easy to identify with, easy to like, and easy to follow. 

If I had one complaint about the book it would be that it felt a bit to rushed. I think that the author could do a lot more with the material if it wasn't so rushed. The bones of the book are solid, I wish the author would have just taken some more time to flesh everything out more. Other than that I think it was a really solid book, and one I enjoyed reading. It's a quick read, and I think anyone who likes Urban Fantasy will enjoy it.