A Note:

6/2/13

I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles.

https://twitter.com/Book_Faery

And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3322973-tori-book-faery

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)

xoxo
Tori

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Giveaway: Black Howl by Christina Henry

The wonderful people at Penguin are offering an e-book copy of BLACK HOWL by Christina Henry to one lucky blog follower.

Know what that means?? It's open INTERNATIONALLY!




Something is wrong with the souls of Chicago's dead. Ghosts are walking the streets, and Agent of Death Madeline Black's exasperating boss wants her to figure out why. And while work is bad enough, Maddy has a plethora of personal problems too. Now that Gabriel has been assigned as her thrall, their relationship has hit an impasse. At least her sleazy ex-fiance Nathaniel is out of the picture--or so she thinks...






Open internationally!
Please provide the email address you would like the e-book to be delivered to while entering the rafflecopter giveaway below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2nd Blogoversary Giveaway Bonanza Flirtanza Zimbawanza PART 3

This is it, folks, the final giveaway! Please make sure you have entered the following before it's too late:


Today's Giveaway:




This one is going to be packed with  YA  novels, only.

All Bonanza Flirtanza Zimbawanza Blogoversary Giveaways end March 4th.
All winners will be contacted via email when the giveaway ends.

Open to US residents only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Alice's Review: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Released: 25th May 2010
Paperback: 306 pages
Price: AU$16.99
Publisher: Atom Books
Source: Book Depository
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Action
Series: Chronicles of Nick
Series Order:
1. Inifnity
2. Invincible
3. Infamous (13th March 2012)
Summary:
Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is renowned. But his whole world is suddenly turned upside down on the night his best friends try to kill him.  Saved by a mysterious warrior, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters - immortal vampire-slayers who risk everything to save humanity - and he quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one that's filled with all kinds of evil. Nick knows he's in real danger and he soon has a lot more to deal with than starting high school - all without getting grounded, suspended...or killed.
My Rating:
There are spoilers but they will have warnings before them in red.
My Opinion: 
Okay so I'd seen this a few years before in Kmart but didn't buy it because I hadn't read the DH (Dark-Hunter) books and had no idea why I would want to read this book. Then, last year I started the DH books and they soon became one of my favourite series! And then I remembered that Infinity book I'd seen but hadn't bought but now needed to read. So I went online and bought it (for a great bargain too - $4.50!) and impatiently waited for it to arrive. Which it did two days ago. I may have finished it within hours.

Anyways, enough back story. Let's get to the review. You guys don't necessarily have to read Kenyon's DH books but they provide a lot of context - and you will also LOVE them. So get on in there and read a couple before you try out this book because I know I would've been really confused if I hadn't read the DHs before it. I think I prefer CoN to DH because I really love Nick. I feel so bad for him but I also want to kick him in the arse a lot of the time, so getting to read about him and knowing his thoughts and feeling was awesome.

This starts off with Nick as a fourteen year old going to an exclusive high school as a scholarship kid. He and his mum aren't well off and he gets a hard time because of it, which then leads to him getting suspended for punching a kid and then getting into a bad sitch in the evening. When he tries to get out of it, his so called 'friends' decide to beat him up and then shoot him - but luckily he is saved by Kyrian, who is a DH. I won't explain the entire plot because this is a must-read book and I don't want to spoil anything for you!

This is a really funny book. I laughed a lot in this and absolutely loved it. I thought Nick was a bit too mouthy sometimes and wanted to punch him for some of the things he said and I also thought he sounded a bit too mature for a fourteen year old.  But hey, he'd grown up really well with his mum (I love Cherise, she is one of the nicest characters in the DH books and is so lovely to read about) so maybe his childhood accounted for him being mature. What I found super annoying was him falling for every hot girl he saw! Sheesh, Nick, horny much?

*Spoilers in next paragraphs* 

There were times when the book kind of dragged for me, but only because I couldn't wait to get to the more exciting parts. What boggled my mind was the appearance of 'Ambrose', who is revealed to be the present Nick trying to reverse his fate! At first I was confused but when it was explained, Ambrose made me so proud because of his efforts to change his future. He really warmed my heart and that scene in the car with Cherise made me burst into tears.

As I was reading this, I realised something: there was a plot hole. In one of the DH books (in Tabitha and Val's book) Nick ends up sleeping with Simi and tells Tabby that he'd never met her before because Ash never allowed her near him since he knew what a womaniser Nick was and Ash didn't want Sim to have 'carnal knowledge'. But Nick has met her because Simi appears in this book! Maybe I'm missing something, please correct me if I'm wrong!

*End of spoilers*

My verdict: This is a book I will reread many times and each time I will enjoy it just as much as I did the first time. For those of you who are Nick lovers, CoN is a perfect book series because it features Nick and provides so much more insight to his history and personality!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: Mari Freeman



Hey Tori,

Thanks for letting me hang with you guys here at Book Faery! I’m excited about Author’s After Dark and I’m even more excited it’s in New Orleans this year. I’m a huge fan of the city. I’ve been numerous times over the years, even considered living the winter in the Quarter once. I couldn’t make it happen financially at the time, but may still try again at some point.

The food there is the best. I mean, even the smallest hole in the wall places have grub to make you want to slap your momma!

A must experience for every foodie who visits is the Central Grocery, home of the muffuletta. This puppy is the granddaddy of sandwiches. A huge, round loaf of soft Italian bread is sliced horizontally and piled with salami, ham, and provolone, which are in turn topped with a wickedly spicy melange of chopped green and black olives fragrant with anchovies and garlic.

Don’t let the anchovies scare you! It all blends perfectly. But go with a friend or just order the quarter or half round. This thing is the size of a hubcap. If you want one to take home, no problem, they pack it up nice. I usually visit the Grocery on my way out of town and bring back a whole sandwich for sharing. Smells great on the plane too. If you really want to try one and can’t make it to New Orleans this year, they ship now!

It’s no wonder that I have a series call Hot, Hard… that is based in New Orleans. You can get a good feel for the underbelly Voodoo vibe of the Big Easy culture in these books. Hot, Hard and Howling is book one and Hot, Hard and Hexing is book two. I’m busy working on the third now. But, to get you in the mood for Bourbon Street, here’s a little taste of Hexing:
 

Sonja felt Ray’s magical energy floating into the room. He was dreaming, and since her abilities were stronger now than they’d ever been, she could pick it up. Her body responded as much as her mind to the silkiness of his energy as it danced around her. It did feel very real, her attraction to him. Her desire to be with him.

She got up and walked to the doorway. He’d taken his shirt off and was sleeping in just his jeans. He was lying on his back with his bare feet crossed at the ankles and his hands crossed behind his head. He had a small grin on his face. He looked so calm and happy, as if he were lying on the bank of a lake, peacefully watching the clouds or something. She had to fight the urge to slip into his mind.

But not the urge to slip into the bed.

She eased onto the bed, sat beside him and gently brushed her hand over his chest, tracing the hair trail that led down to the top of his jeans. It was soft, and his skin so warm. The strong scent of overly perfumed soap that she knew to be Cindy’s somehow even seemed appealing on him.

She looked back to his face to see that his eyes had opened, but he’d not moved.

She lifted her hand and balled her fist. The impulse to run was strong but she wanted to stay. Sonja felt her heart rate climb through the roof. She may have even been shaking. She hadn’t the foggiest clue how to proceed. She’d actually never seduced a man in her life.

He wasn’t going to help, either. The grin was gone, replaced with a smoldering look that threatened to melt her. She swallowed hard, worried he would reject her in real life. In those visions, she had been unmarked and self-confidant. Neither of which was true right now.

One thing she
did know was that she wanted to experience this with him when she was aware. She wanted to feel like she felt in those fantasies. And the only way that was going to happen was if she reached out and became the confident lover she became in the visions.

She reached back toward his chest, her hand trembling. He intercepted it in a tender grip. “No fears here.” He sat up slowly and kissed her knuckles.

She shook her head and ran her fingers through his hair. She’d wanted to do that back in the cabin, when his face was covered in beard and mustache and his locks were curly and wild. He was handsome then and he was handsome now. She leaned forward and let her lips press to his, just a touch, a tease. She felt him lean into her but he didn’t take command of the kiss. He was letting her lead.

So she did. Led him slowly back down to the bed, opened her mouth and pressed her tongue to his, exploring. She dug her fingers into the back of his neck, holding him close. His hands cupped her face, tilting her head until it was comfortable for both of them. She moaned at the velvety-smooth feel of his tongue mingling with hers.

Her body was on fire from that one kiss. His magic started to build around him with his arousal. Sonja pulled back, breaking the kiss, breathless and wanting. If he was going to shy away from the scars, she wanted to know before they went much further. Now or never. She sat up and started to untie the belt of the robe, glancing back at him. Ray was neither withdrawing nor advancing. He’d found a natural pose, leaning on one elbow. God, he was a sexy beast—and he was looking at her as if she were a goddess.



Maybe it’s not the French Quarter that the scene got you in the mood for. So, we’ll stop right there. Hehehe. You’ll have to get the book to read the really good parts! There are Voodoo queens, gargoyles and gremlins running around in this story too.

I really hope to see you all in New Orleans at Author’s After Dark. It’s a great con and a great place to hang out.

Cheers,
~Mari
@marifreeman

Buy link for the books mentioned:





It's giveaway time!
 
If you would like to win an ebook copy of any backlist title, please leave a comment providing your email address and which title you would like. Open internationally.
Check out Mari's backlist here.



Monday, February 20, 2012

Cover Wars: Gilt VS Cold Kiss

Cover Wars
(inspired by Kate's Throwdown Thursday at The Neverending Shelf)

Cover Wars is a weekly post occurring every Monday at Book Faery.
Two covers will have a "face off," and it will be up to the readers to
decide who is the victor and who is the loser.  This is a great way for
readers to have their voice be heard, while also promoting new/old books
in the process.



Last week we had a showdown between The Immortal Rules and Vampire Shift.

The Winner:
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa!



Gilt VS Cold Kiss



Vote for your favorite cover in the comments below!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2nd Blogoversary Giveaway Bonanza Flirtanza Zimbawanza PART 2

Please make sure you have entered the following before it's too late:



Today's Giveaway:

One book of your choice from Book Depot, max $10

All Bonanza Flirtanza Zimbawanza Blogoversary Giveaways end March 4th.
All winners will be contacted via email when the giveaway ends.

Open to EVERYONE*
*assuming Book Depot actually ships to your country. If it doesn't, sorry, not much I can do.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay tuned for the final giveaway next Sunday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: Leanna R Hieber



Lord Denbury, the hero of DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, first in the Magic Most Foul saga, a paranormal tale set in 1880 New York City told through the diary entries of a spirited heroine, Miss Natalie Stewart, offers us an insight into himself and his character.

Character Name: Jonathon Whitby, Lord Denbury
Character Appearance: Oh, I don't want to be immodest, but my darling heroine, Miss Natalie Stewart, has such lavish things to say about me. It brings color to my cheeks, so I'll just let you read the description from her diary, where she happened upon my portrait:

"I’d never seen anything so beautiful in all my life. His eyes were impossibly real. Bright, shocking blue, they burned with cerulean light. They cried out from the canvas, desperate for more show of life than brushstrokes, as if a mere two dimensions were an insult. He was tall and sure, broad-shouldered and fit, his hands clasped behind his back. Jet black hair was neat around his ears, with gentle curls. He looked firm, authoritative, master of his domain. The masculine lines of his face were beautifully
composed, as one would expect of a dark seraphim. His lips were set in a stern expression of young defiance, his perfect nostrils flared."

Goodness my heroine does have a way with words... Thank goodness I find her as equally captivating!

What is your favorite novel?: Oh, I do love a rollicking adventure novel. I am quite a fan of those Musketeer books. I never thought I'd find myself in some dark, strange adventure myself, but here I am. I wouldn't mind a good swordfight now and then.

What is one thing you wouldn't be caught dead doing?: Gambling and whoring like my uncles and extended family. I take my title seriously, but I'd never squander it, I was raised better than that, raised to be a true gentleman.

What do you want to be when you grow up?: I am eighteen years old, an adult, thank you very much, and I've already been in training to be a doctor. I'd like to do some good in this world and nothing fascinates me so much as modern advances in medicine.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?: Out of this damned curse I've been put in, having resumed my own physician's practice and treating my lovely Miss Stewart to a fine life in a gorgeous home either here in New York City where we are presently, or back in my home in England, where I could provide her with anything her heart desires. (But only after we've traveled the globe and satiated our curiosity for all the world has to offer.) Oh, and I'd marry her along the way, of course.

What is your least favorite food?: Anything with a head on it. If my food stares back at me, it's unsettling. (I have learned my authoress is a vegetarian, she might be on to something...)

What is your biggest pet peeve?: People who are not made accountable for their actions.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?: Other than reversing the curse that imprisoned me in a painting? Well, I think I'd like invisibility. So I could infiltrate the operations of my kidnappers and possessors and find out exactly how to stop them from ever harming another person again.


Thank you kindly for your interest, Ms. Faery of books, and for those reading, thank you, do follow my authoress Ms. Hieber http://leannareneehieber.com and twittering http://twitter.com/leannarenee and on that peculiar book of faces: http://facebook.com/lrhieber - Cheers!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: Jess Haines



Shiarra Waynest Talks About Valentine’s Day
By Jess Haines


Hello there! Jess Haines here. I’m the author of the urban fantasy H&W Investigations series (HUNTED BY THE OTHERS, TAKEN BY THE OTHERS, DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS). I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to some of the cast—Shiarra Waynest, the lead character, Sara, her business partner, Chaz, her on-and-(at the moment, very)off werewolf boyfriend, Arnold, a mage who lends Shia a hand, and Alec Royce, a vampire she meets in the course of her adventures.

Shiarra is going to tell you a little bit about her plans for Valentine’s Day. Over to you, Shia!

____________________

Shiarra: Valentine’s Day sucks.

Chaz: Did you get those flowers?

Shiarra: Screw you.

Chaz: …how about the chocolates?

Shiarra: Go piss up a tree.

Royce: Such language, Ms. Waynest.

Sara: She’s got good reason to be upset.

Shiarra: How about we don’t talk about that? Ever.

Chaz: How many times do I have to say I’m sorry?

Shiarra: Always once more.

Arnold: I could cast a spell—

Sara: Honey. No. Just… no.

Royce: Ms. Halloway has the right of it. I wouldn’t get involved, spark.

Arnold: The vampire is talking again. Make it stop.

Shiarra: Yeah, you know, I’m already not the best person to be discussing this topic with, but I think having him here makes it worse.

Royce: And why is that? As I’ve said any number of times before, I’m not about to hurt you. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Chaz: You stay the hell away from her.

Shiarra: Chaz, shut up. Royce… ugh.

Royce: You have but to say the word, and I will make your dreams—every dark, depraved, delicious wish—come true.

Sara: Barf bag. Now.

Shiarra: I… it… I…

Arnold: Are you allowed to say that here?

Shiarra: I feel unclean.

Chaz: If you ask nicely, I’ll make the scary man go away.

Royce: Just try it, dog.

Shiarra: Both of you. Shut. Up.

Sara: Not that I’m saying you’re one of them, but I’ve heard some people are really into that vampire thing.

Shiarra: SARA.

Sara: What? I’m just saying!

Royce: She’s right.

Chaz: What about the werewolf thing? We’re fuzzy. We’re cuddly.

Shiarra: You’re also lying scumbags.

Arnold: Hey, how about magi? We’ve got the magic stick!

Sara: Hey, hey, hey! This is a public forum! Kids could be reading this! Also, ew. Don’t call it that.

Arnold: What? It’s a wand. Made of wood. That does magic.

Sara: …oh. That magic stick.

Royce: What were you thinking, Ms. Halloway?

Sara: So not going there with you.

Arnold: I can make it romantic. I can tie a red ribbon around it or something. I was thinking of conjuring up something girls would like. Ribbons and lace and flowers and crap. That’s romantic, right?

Sara: How about you just stick to roses and chocolate? Or maybe some jewelry?

Arnold: Boring. I’ll get you the Firefly/Serenity boxed set instead. We can watch it on my big screen.

Shiarra: Hey, Arnold?

Arnold: Hmm?

Shiarra: Free hint: girls aren’t into that stuff.

Sara: Speak for yourself.

Shiarra: Seriously? You’ve gone to the geek side?

Chaz: I don’t know how you did it, man.

Arnold: Oh, I’ve got my ways. It’s all in how you cast your mojo. Spirit fingers, baby. Wiggle ‘em just right, and—BAM! She’s yours.

Chaz: Really?

Shiarra: Stop looking at me like that.

Sara: That’s not quite how it happened, but if it makes you happy…

Royce: I say one evocative thing, and the rest of you look at me like I’ve dragged a dead body into the room with me. The mage says something more suggestive than me, and gets a pass. Someone explain this to me.

Sara: You’ve got fangs. You scare people.

Shiarra: Plus, you’re a big perv.

Chaz: Heh.

Royce: Fine. Sometimes seduction takes time. I just thought you might appreciate spending the holiday with someone.

Chaz: You. Fang-boy. Shut it.

Royce: Think about it. Wine. Chocolate. Roses. Satin sheets…

Shiarra: For the first time in my life, I think I might actually want to spend Valentine’s Day alone.

____________________

Erm. Can’t you just feel the romance in the air?

You can learn more about Shiarra and the rest of her friends in HUNTED BY THE OTHERS!


Visit me on the web:
www.JessHaines.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jess-Haines-HW-Investigations/199575306328?ref=search&sid=100000426805820.1600836246..1
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Jess_Haines
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jesshaines
Fan Forum: http://jesshaines.freeforums.org/

Thanks again for having me and the gang over, Tori!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cover Wars: The Immortal Rules vs Vampire Shift

Cover Wars
(inspired by Kate's Throwdown Thursday at The Neverending Shelf)

Cover Wars is a weekly post occurring every Monday at Book Faery.
Two covers will have a "face off," and it will be up to the readers to
decide who is the victor and who is the loser.  This is a great way for
readers to have their voice be heard, while also promoting new/old books
in the process.



Last time we had a showdown between The Mephisto Covenant and Entasy.

The Winner:
We had a tie! If I were to be tie-breaker, I'd go with Mephisto, but probably mostly because I've read it, and really enjoyed it! 


The Immortal Rules VS Vampire Shift



Vote for your favorite crying vampire in the comments below! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2nd Blogoversary Giveaway Bonanza Flirtanza Zimbawanza PART 1

Okay sorry I got carried away with the -anza title.

BUT THAT IS BESIDES THE POINT.

The point is that on Feb 11th, 2010, I posted my first book review ever on Book Faery! I also realized that I never celebrated the 1 year anniversary of this blog's birth, so we're going to party in style, my friends.

Now please pay attention--particularly the auto-enter, grabby-hand, I-never-read-the-blog-posts giveaway enterers--to these next three lines... which I will make in huge bolded red font so you don't accidentally miss it, or anything:

2 US-only mystery box winners;

1 International winner;

One giveaway per week.

Make sure you enter the right one! I hate emailing a winner, only to realize he/she did not read all the contest rules--particularly WHERE the giveaway's open to. Don't make me a sad panda, please.

Giveaways will be today, next Sunday (Feb 19) and the following Sunday (Feb 26). Unfortunately, I can't spend too much money on this because I am $3,600 poorer after buying science and math textbooks and paying for this semester's college tuition... boo hiss!



Today's Giveaway:



This one is going to be packed with  ADULT  novels, only. If you want YA books, stay tuned for another Sunday's giveaway :)

All Bonanza Flirtanza Zimbawanza Blogoversary Giveaways end March 4th.
All winners will be contacted via email when the giveaway ends.

Open to US residents only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Stay tuned for next weekend's giveaway opportunity!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sh*t Book Bloggers Say

And what we've got to say is pretty damn awesome!! :D This is all meant in good fun (and boy, did I have a lot of fun recording my parts bwahaha) and I hope you all enjoy~





Participating blogs: 

Book Dragon Review - Scars on the Face of God by C.G. Bauer

Released: November 1, 2009
Paperback: 266 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Drollerie Press
Source: Author
Genre: Horror
Series: N/A
Buy: Amazon




Add this book to your Goodreads shelf


Hex signs protect every barn and outbuilding. The local tannery spews its poison on the land and in the river. And babies disappear at birth. An orphan and one-time felon who earned his nickname "from the sound a crowbar makes when it hits a man's head," Johannes "Wump" Hozer is now the custodian of Our Lady of the Innocents parish in Three Bridges, PA. Wump is old and tired. He's fought all his life against the tannery's waste, against God, and against the blind eyes of his good neighbors. Nowadays he tries to ignore the old priest's exploits with the young women of the parish and the strangeness surrounding the local orphanage, and does what good he can for his wife, the church, the sisters who run the orphanage, and the poor orphans themselves. 

Then childhood memories and strange presentments begin to plague Wump when a brick wall unearthed at the site of a new restaurant collapses, and raw sewage carries hundreds of baby bones into the pit left behind. Looks like the devil's made Three Bridges his playground, and Wump needs to find out why; the babies keep screaming and he has to make it stop.

My Rating:
My Opinion:

This is one strange book.  Book Dragon has not yet figured out exactly what the hell possessed her to agree to read it—but that didn’t stop her.

Mr. Bauer has created a strange and compelling tale about The Devil’s Bible (this is an actual religious relic with a very interesting history).  The story pulls no punches in the way it addresses environmental, political, and religious bullshit. The story is told from the viewpoint of a man nicknamed Wump who has a very down-to-earth, easygoing voice.  For the first few pages, I found it difficult to get into the story because at first that “voice” comes across as gratingly uneducated and perhaps a bit too blunt.  Also, having a character named Heinie in the opening pages made it very difficult to take this book seriously at the outset. My inner five-year-old is still giggling.

I’m glad I stuck with it, though.  Once you get past the prologue, the language smooths out and becomes more "adult". The story may seem to plod along at times, but the mystery of why so many people in Schuetten/Three Bridges were getting sick with leukemia, being born with mental and physical disorders, and where all the bones of dead babies in the sewer systems had come from, was sufficient to propel me through to the end.

There are some points about this book which may be found offensive. Personally, Book Dragon doesn’t mind.  The good guys win out.  Evil is soundly (and quite painfully – yeeowch!) trounced. 

It’s hard to pinpoint who the audience for this might be.  My tastes are very eclectic, and I know I occasionally enjoy books that others would find distasteful to the extreme.  This, I believe, falls into that category.

If you are sensitive to any of the topics I mentioned above, you will probably not like this, but if you like horror novels—truly gritty, dark, and occasionally disgusting (both in the literal and figurative sense) horror novels—then you will probably enjoy this. I’d have to say that the closest comparison I can think of are Stephen King’s Bachman Books. If you’ve read the collection I’m referring to, think the bluntness of the story Rage. The styles and content are very different, as is the narrative voice, but in terms of the “tone” and frank language of the piece, it’s the best comparison I can come up with.

That in mind, this book is very well written, the story engaging, and—while at times predictable—is quite entertaining. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Bauer’s work in the future.


Series Order:
1. N/A

Friday, February 10, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: LA Witt



Authors After Dark is coming up in August in the lovely city of New Orleans, and I get to go! Yes, I’m excited. After three years on Okinawa, I’m ready for Louisiana’s humidity. Bring it on, NOLA.
 
I’ve never been there, though, so I can’t say much about it. Ask me again in September, and I’ll probably have all kinds of pictures and stories and such. At this point? NOLA is rather Greek to me. 

However, one of my characters has an odd fascination with certain aspects of New Orleans culture. So, I’m going to turn this blog over to Liam, the main character of my Riptide Publishing release from 2011 (and an upcoming not-yet-titled sequel), a vampire/cyberpunk novella called A Chip In His Shoulder.  He’s a vampire, he’s an assassin, he’s got more cyberpunk mods than you can imagine, and he has a bit of an attitude problem. Liam, take it away.

Liam: Thank you. Now be a dear and go get me some—you know what? Just be a dear and get the hell out of here. You’ve done enough damage. 

All right, now that she’s gone. *cracks knuckles* Seriously, you people have no idea what I put up with from her. She says I have an attitude problem. Hello? Who wouldn’t?  I live in a place called the Gutter—and I assure you, it lives down to its name—and my creator thinks it’s funny when I take a bullet.  Funny! Yeah, I’ll show her funny. At least my wounds heal before they kill me. She wouldn’t be so lucky.

Anyhow. New Orleans. For those of us in the death business, there are few things more fascinating than unique funerals, and New Orleans has no shortage of them. I don’t usually attend the funerals of my marks, but a friend of mine took someone out in NOLA, and out of sheer curiosity, stuck around for the funeral. Who knew such a thing as a jazz funeral existed? I may have to volunteer for a job down there just so I can see the resulting social affair. Apparently the funeral procession is led by a jazz band playing somber, solemn pieces. Then after the burial, they switch to loud, upbeat music. Celebrating the life of the deceased, I’m told. Me, I’d be celebrating another job well done and well paid. But hey, a celebration is a celebration, and if there’s death involved, I’m there.

I understand they have some unique traditions relating to their crypts and mausoleums as well. Re-interring family members after a year and a day, for example. Considering the rest of the country keeps death and the deceased at arm’s length, I admit I’m intrigued by a place that’s not so distant from their dead.  

So, in spite of the oppressive heat even when the sun goes down, I for one am looking forward to this jolly little jaunt to New Orleans. They have a fascinating funeral culture. I make my living providing guests of honor for their funerals.

And who knows? Maybe my creator can be the subject of one of their fun—

Crap, here she comes. I’m outta here…

See everyone in New Orleans!





Connect with LA:
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: Rosalie Lario



I’ve been to New Orleans three times in my life, each time during Mardis Gras, and I have to say I instantly fell in love with the city. Abundant in people and excitement, with stores in the French Quarter open all hours of the day. Beads, liquor, Mardis Gras-themed loot. It was all there, and it was fabulous.

There’s such beauty and history in NOLA that the city seems to have a life of its own, and that’s something I’ve seen in very few places I’ve been to (NYC is one of them, though the vibe is totally different; Key West is another).

My time in NOLA was spent wandering the streets, visiting French Quarter bars and restaurants, and watching the Mardis Gras madness of floats and half naked people parading down the streets. But I always wondered what it would be like to go back during a less...uh, colorful time. This year I get my wish, as I’ll be attending the Authors After Dark Conference in August. While there, I plan to do some local ghost and cemetery tours, visit a few museums, and of course, bar hop!

For those of you who haven’t been to NOLA but wonder what it’s like, trust me, it’s worth a visit.

Which brings me to the first novel in my Demons of Infernum paranormal romance series, Blood of the Demon. Part of this story takes place in New Orleans (during Mardis Gras, no less), so I’d love to give you the take from my hero Keegan’s perspective.

Keegan is an interdimensional bounty hunter who has been given the task of keeping psychometrist Brynn Meyers from the clutches of an evil demon named Mammon (who happens to be Keegan’s father, though Brynn doesn’t know it). Brynn has the ability to read an ancient spellbook that can be used to resurrect the dead. Mammon wants to capture Brynn and force her to create a zombie army, which he’ll use to take over the world. After Mammon’s men discover Brynn and Keegan in New York City, they are forced to flee. The two end up in New Orleans...and as they’ll soon discover, it’s Mardis Gras time.

Please enjoy this blurb and excerpt, and one person who responds to the following question will win an e-copy of Blood of the Demon:

Have you ever been to NOLA? (If you have and have a great story, do share!)








Keegan lives to exact revenge on the evil demon who sired and abused him. When his father devises a plan to bring on the apocalypse, he and his three half-brothers, interdimensional bounty hunters for the Elden Council, are charged with capturing and delivering their father for punishment.Art gallery owner Brynn Meyers has no idea that her ability to read memories embedded in objects and drain people of their life force means she has demon ancestry. Unfortunately for Brynn, she's also the key to raising an ancient zombie army, which puts her on every demon's Most Wanted List.And no one wants her more than Keegan's father.Keegan must protect Brynn from his father by any means necessary, but he'll have to learn to harness the other half of his genetics-the far deadlier, uncontrollable half-when he starts to fall for the one woman standing between him and the vengeance he so desperately seeks. The one woman he'll never be able to resist.



Brynn hugged her coat to her as they stepped into the frigid cold. The smell of stale beer and piss stained the air around them. Drunken revelers wearing masks and beads careened past them, laughing riotously as they zoomed down the street carrying beer cups.

“I didn’t realize it was Mardis Gras until we got here,” she said.

“Mardis Gras?” He frowned, unfamiliar with the phrase. “What’s that?”

With an exasperated shake of her head, she said, “How is it that you seem so normal, yet you know nothing about popular culture?”

“We learn as much as we can before visiting other worlds, but our timelines are usually pretty short.”

“Sometimes you amaze me.”

She explained the history behind the celebration while he watched the throngs of people walking past, some barely dressed.

“I’m afraid some of these people are going to freeze to death,” he told her.

Brynn followed his gaze to a thin woman wearing nothing more than a mask, pasties, a thong, and what looked like her weight in beads. She laughed. “Most of them have probably had so much liquor they barely even notice.”

Surely, a dangerous state for beings as fragile as humans. He saw something ahead and grabbed her hand. “Come on.”

Fighting to pull her through the crowd, he led her to a booth where a man sold masks and beads. Keegan picked an elaborate purple and gold full-face mask with feathers on one side. “This one suits you.”

“It’s pretty.” She put it on and he moved behind her to tie the strings in the back. “If I’m wearing one, you need one, too.”

Keegan shrugged, then chose a black and gold jester mask that he figured was masculine enough. He squatted, waiting impatiently while Brynn tied it behind his head. Her intoxicating scent closed in on him, overwhelming even the foul stench of the streets.

Too close. She stood far too close for comfort.

As soon as she finished tying the knot, he pulled away and turned to face her.

“That looks great on you,” she said.

Laughing, he paid the man at the booth. He led her away from the huge, swaying mass of people on one end of the street. When they approached another crowd pocket, he grabbed her hand, and this time he didn’t let go. He told himself it made sense, given the amount of people on the street. But he didn’t try to fool himself—touching her felt good. Her cool hand warmed in his, and he envisioned what it would feel like for her soft fingers to caress other parts of his body.

Cursing inwardly, he forced himself to think about something else. He scanned the crowd, searching for any signs of danger, but found nothing.


Rosalie Lario practiced real estate law for several years before finally admitting to herself that negotiating contracts wasn’t nearly as fun as dreaming up stories. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son in their home state of Florida, as well as searching out things that go bump in the night.
Follow her on: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tori's Review: Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione


Released:
December 1, 2011
Paperback: 448 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 
Source: Bought 
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Lords of Deliverance 
Buy: Amazon



Add this book to your Goodreads shelf


Sexy, powerful, and immortal, Limos is on a crash course with destiny. She’s been marked as Satan’s bride and her jealous fiancĂ© wants her all to himself. The only way this Horseman can keep herself—and everyone else—safe is to keep her distance. But not even Limos can save herself from the secrets she’s kept . . . or resist the seductive allure of one very brave human.

Arik Wagner knows the saying “love hurts” better than most, yet he never thought stealing a kiss from Limos would land him in Hell. Literally. It takes all his military training to survive the demon torture, but once he’s topside, Arik realizes that the agony has just begun. With the Apocalypse looming and Satan demanding his bride, will Arik and Limos surrender to the desire smoldering between them? Or will giving in to their passion unleash hell on earth?

My Rating:
 
My Opinion:
What a book. Larissa knows how to weave such intricate details and conflict into a book without bogging me down with too many details. I absolutely loved the complexity of IMMORTAL RIDER and thought that only someone with incredible writing skills could pull this sort of book off without failing miserably in the process.

Limos: She's spunky and has lying issues. It was interesting following her journey of overcoming her addiction to lies. Part of me felt that she was forgiven a bit too quickly, and sometimes I found her to be somewhat wishy-washy (said wishy-washyness DOES reinforce the fact that she wanted to be normal, though). I would have enjoyed more of a focus on her particular abilities as Famine. Perhaps even seeing her reaction when visiting a scene that compels her to visit an area, like we saw with Ares. Overall, I enjoyed her character, and felt that she was more interesting than Cara and Regan.

Arik: I appreciated his loyalty and how defensive he got, despite how ambivalent he felt about Limos at times. I felt like he got over some of his issues a bit too quickly, especially considering what he went through for a month, and would have appreciated more of a transition from scarred to healed. I also could not understand, at times, how he could so easily forgive Limos.

Than: What a sexy beast. I enjoyed his scene time in IMMORTAL RIDER, and cannot wait for his book. The clarification regarding what will actually break Than's seal was appreciated, since I could not, for the life of me, figure out how he was ever going to get a HEA in his book. Sneaky. Very sneaky.

Regan: Eh, I'm feeling ambivalent about her. We'll see if she grows on me more in the next book.

I was looking for more of a focus on the resolution of the betrothal between Limos and Satan. I wouldn't necessarily say that what happened was a cop-out (it was anything but), however, I felt that with all the emphasis placed on such a predicament, the resolution was too brief for my liking.

Another thing that I wish received more attention was the couple time in this book. The other characters, including Ares and Than, got some page time--which isn't bad since I enjoyed the teaser for Than's story--but I wanted Limos/Arik's relationship to be developed further. Like some other reviewers, I felt it somewhat rushed and sometimes forced.

Overall, IMMORTAL RIDER felt like the complete opposite of its predecessor, ETERNAL RIDER. While Ares' book focused more on the romance, Limos' book was action-packed and a setup for what will happen next in the series.

The novel started off strong, and while I was absorbed in the story from first page to last, I felt that the romance waned the further I progressed. As a paranormal romance, I expected more romance, but I am, by no means, complaining about the lack of it this time around. Sometimes less is more, and I definitely appreciated not getting clubbed over the head by "I love yous" and corny love scenes (even though I wish there was still more development of the relationship overall).

Like I said in ETERNAL RIDER, I suggest you read the Demonica series before beginning the LoD series. There is a lot of worldbuilding and characters you would miss out on, which, in turn, would affect your overall experience while reading this novel. Do yourself a favor and start from the beginning.


Series Order:
1. Eternal Rider (Tori's Review)
2. Immortal Rider
3. Lethal Rider (Tori's Review)
4. Rogue Rider (coming soon)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tori's Review: Lothaire by Kresley Cole


Released:
January 10, 2012
Hardcover: 506 pages
Price: $25.00
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Source: Bought 
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Immortals After Dark 
Buy: Amazon


Add this book to your Goodreads shelf


ALL FEAR THE ENEMY OF OLD

Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown. But bloodlust and torture have left him on the brink of madness—until he finds Elizabeth Peirce, the key to his victory. He captures the unique young mortal, intending to offer up her very soul in exchange for power, yet Elizabeth soothes his tormented mind and awakens within him emotions Lothaire believed he could no longer experience.

A DEADLY FORCE DWELLS WITHIN HER

Growing up in desperate poverty, Ellie Peirce yearned for a better life, never imagining she’d be convicted of murder—or that an evil immortal would abduct her from death row. But Lothaire is no savior, as he himself plans to sacrifice Ellie in one month’s time. And yet the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with wealth and sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, Ellie surrenders her body to the wicked vampire, while vowing to protect her heart.

CENTURIES OF COLD INDIFFERENCE SHATTERED

Elizabeth tempts Lothaire beyond reason, as only his fated mate could. As the month draws to a close, he must choose between a millennia-old blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will Lothaire succumb to the miseries of his past . . . or risk everything for a future with her?


My Rating:
 

My Opinion:
I have no words to describe how fucking amazing LOTHAIRE was, so I'm not even going to bother trying to write a "real" review. If you've read any of the IAD books, you know how kickass Lothaire (as a character) is, and if you haven't read his book yet, I genuinely don't know what could be stopping you... aside from my advice to NOT read this book if you haven't read the previous ones in the series, that is.

If you haven't read any of Kresley's Immortals After Dark books, then you are seriously missing out on one AMAZING paranormal romance series. All of Kresley's characters are three dimensional and funny to boot. Every single time I read another IAD book, I feel like I am being reunited with a bunch of old friends. No other book or series has had that effect on me. Ever.

LOTHAIRE gets two thumbs up and a highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended from me. I don't dare say anything more, since I don't want to spoil it, and since there really isn't much for me to say without beginning the fangirl squealing. Read it, people!


Series Order:
1. The Warlord Wants Forever
2. A Hunger Like No Other
3. No Rest for the Wicked
4. Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night
5. Dark Needs at Night's Edge
6. Dark Desires After Dusk
7. Kiss of a Demon King
8. Deep Kiss of Winter (Tori's Review)
9. Pleasure of a Dark Prince
10. Demon from the Dark (Tori's Review)
11. Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Tori's Review)
12. Lothaire

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tori's Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton


Released:
January 24, 2012
Hardcover: 384 pages
Price: $17.99
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Source: Publisher 
Genre: YA 
Series: Everneath 
Buy: Amazon


Add this book to your Goodreads shelf


Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

My Rating:


My Opinion:
Ultra sexy cover, fairly sexy book. EVERNEATH's cover fits the story perfectly and grants the reader a taste of what the book is about--which is why I think that while the cover is beautiful, it truly wins points for being relevant to the story. Kudos to the art department.

Speaking of the story itself, I read it in two days during my winter break, and while I did enjoy it, I was not completely blown away like some other readers. The writing was good, the main characters were well developed, and I found myself generally engaged from first page to last with a few lulls, since this story is not an action story.

I thought that, out of all the paranormal YAs out there, EVERNEATH was the best I've read in a while when it came to creativity--especially when one realizes that Ashton morphed the Persephone/Hades myth in such a remarkable way. 

Despite all that worked (and there was quite a bit that did), what bothered me the most were the secondary characters. Why have Nikki's family play any role if they were not going to have their issues resolved? Her father frustrated me. I wanted to see more of her sweet little brother. I wanted more of a resolution with Nikki's family, since they did play a somewhat significant role in the book.

The romance between Nikki and Jack was beautiful, albeit shaky. I found it to be believable when they finally did start to interact, however, I'm somewhat hesitant to fully believe in the bond they shared. Part of me wants to, but another, more realistic part of me wants to say that a high school boy--especially someone depicted as a playboy--would not stay so... umm, how do I say this without getting too spoilery? ...well, stay the way he was. Although another part of me realizes that there ARE some guys out there who would react the way Jack did.

While it has been a few weeks since reading EVERNEATH, I forgot the character names fairly quickly, reaffirming that while I did enjoy the story, it did not resonate with me for very long. Nevertheless, I am anticipating the second book in this series, and I would like to see how the characters cope after such a cliffhangery ending. I would also love to see more of the world that Cole was trying to convince Nikki to join.

Would I recommend EVERNEATH? Yes, but I would say borrow it from a friend or the library, as opposed to buying it (unless you want that beautiful cover gracing your bookshelf).


Series Order:
1. Everneath

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tori's Review: Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione


Released:
April 1, 2011 
Paperback: 432 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 
Source: Bought 
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Lords of Deliverance 
Buy: Amazon



Add this book to your Goodreads shelf


They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.

Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can't-or won't-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman's safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara's life.


My Rating:



My Opinion:
I am a rabid fan of Larissa Ione's characters and worlds. Her writing has the uncanny ability to engross me within a matter of pages, and then I am doomed to remain glued to the book until I finish... and when I do finish, I'm upset, because I want to read more, but there's no more left. It's really a nasty cycle, and it happens every. single. time; ETERNAL RIDER was no exception.

When I first read the teaser at the end of SIN UNDONE, I was literally foaming at the mouth, dying to read what I knew would be an awesome HOTA series. I even pre-ordered this book the second after I shut Sin's book because I was that excited for it. And come on, Ares? I love the god of war, and while the Ares in this book was not the Greek god, he was still pretty cool.

It took a while for ETERNAL RIDER to gain momentum. I'd say about the first third/fourth of the book is dedicated to world building, and thus, was fairly slow to draw the reader in. One of my friends (who did not read the Demonica books first) thought that it was incredibly difficult to get into the storyline, and I can see why she had trouble with Ares' book. Once you adjust to the world, however, it's just like any of the Demonica books--you're doomed to keep reading until the very end... assuming you're a fan of Larissa's books to begin with. If not, then I don't know how you'll react ;)

All of the Horsemen were awesome, and I grew fond of them fairly quickly. Pestilence's character was reviling, and I loved that Larissa was not timid about making him a truly monstrous character. He had my skin crawling at some points, and I was freaking out during one scene with Cara and Ares.

Speaking of Cara: her character threw me off. I enjoyed her at the start and found her attitude around Ares amusing. Definitely got a kick out of her throwing Ares off his game because he needed someone like that...but then at some point later in the story, that feisty attitude got kind of boring for me and I grew tired of her character/her interactions with Ares. I have no explanation whatsoever for why I suddenly disengaged with the couple, but I did.

That is not to say that I grew tired of the story or any of the other characters. Quite the contrary, actually. Thanatos and Limos are two of my favorites, and I highly anticipate both of their stories (I'm in the process of reading Limos' book now, actually, and I am loving every minute of it). It was nice reacquainting myself with the Demonica characters also, though I did feel somewhat distant from them this time around. Guess that just comes with the territory.

All in all, while ETERNAL RIDER had a slow start, it finished strong and is another amazing book by the incredibly talented Larissa Ione. I highly suggest checking this series out--after you acquaint yourself with the Demonica series, that is. You won't regret it.


Series Order:
1. Eternal Rider
2. Immortal Rider (Tori's Review)
3. Lethal Rider (Tori's Review)
4. Rogue Rider (coming soon)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012 Classics Reading Challenge: February

February's Reading List Suggestions:
  1. Dracula by Bram Stoker (free ebook link)
  2. Paradise Lost by John Milton (free ebook link)

Remember:
1) You DO NOT have to read these particular books if you don't want to! If there is another classic you've been dying to read, then read it.

2) You're more than welcome to re-read a classic if you want to. Please be sure to write a new review if you decide to do so, don't regurgitate and link to an old one.



Feel free to post any and all reviews you write in the month of February on this post. Let's share the bookish love :)

Good luck!