Thursday, 28 February 2013

Cover Reveal - Embracing the Flames (Born in Flames Trilogy) by Candace Knoebel


Let me know what you think! Personally I love the cover and I can't wait to get to the first book on my TBR pile :) Leave a comment.

Check out the first book here:

 
 


First Book - Born in Flames

Description
Red mirrored scales race up my arms as the haze of pain blurs my vision. My bones crack, breaking to realign. I scream. It is then that the realization of my unavoidable fate sinks in; I am of a dying race. I am dragon. 

Aurora Megalos, orphaned and teetering on the edge of adulthood, thought finding her past would curb the sting of being an outcast. Having no memories of the time before she awoke on her foster mother’s doorstep, she yearns for the emptiness inside her to be filled. With her fellow orphaned best friend, Fenn, by her side, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain. But something powerful stirred within her that she couldn’t explain. Something wanted out.

In the dark of night, a crazed Seer, dubbed Mr.Creepy, erases everything she’s ever known with an impending prophecy. She now faces two paths. Return to her true home to protect a dying race against a growing evil, or stay hidden in the safety of our realm with a shot at a true love. With a vengeful Arch Enemy stopping at nothing to see her dead, she’s running out of time; a decision must be made. What would you choose?


Look out for my review!

Review ~ Entangled (Spellbound #1) - Nikki Jefford

Entangled (Spellbound #1)eARC received via Netgalley for an honest review

Description
Two months after dying, seventeen-year-old witch Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene’s body.

Until Gray finds a way back inside her own body, she’s stuck being Charlene every twenty-hour hours. Her sister has left precise instructions on how Gray should dress and behave. Looking like a prep isn’t half as bad as hanging out with Charlene’s snotty friends and gropey boyfriend.

The “normals” of McKinley High might be quick to write her behavior off as post-traumatic stress, but warlock Raj McKenna is the only person who suspects Gray has returned from the dead.

Now Gray has to solve the mystery of her death and resurrection and disentangle herself from Charlene’s body before she disappears for good.

My Opinion
It has taken me a while to get round to reading this book as I wasn't sure what to expect, however I started it yesterday and couldn't put it down. Entangled was an interesting read with some interesting characters who were easy to relate to and engage with.

Although the book started off pretty slowly I stuck with it an was glad I did. The storyline intrigued me and although magic isn't normally a genre I enjoy this book seemed different. The spells used were kept simple and the magic was kept to a minimum which is why I think I enjoyed it. As well as this I like Gray's character, especially when she got angry. It was great and sometimes funny to read. 

There were a few things I disliked though. Sometime I felt there needed slightly more description during the action sequences, especially towards the end as it seemed a little rushed, so I could imagine things better. There were quite a few vague moments where it was a bit dull to read as the writing lacked detail or explanation and a few times I found myself questioning how something happened while hoping for an answer that either didn't arrive or only half-hearted. I would have also liked more detail in the romances but made this develops in the sequel.

I think because the book was jumping from one character to another the author missed out quite a bit of detail. We got snippets of lives but never the full story and I would have liked to have read about them more, especially Charlene's life.

Overall though this was a quick, easy and enjoyable read that I would recommend to magic and supernatural lovers.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Review ~ Double Crossed: A Spies and Theives Story (Heist Society #2.5) - Ally Carter

Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story (Gallagher Girls, #5.5; Heist Society, #2.5)

  • eARC received from Netgalley in return for an honest review
  • Published 22nd Jan 2013


Description
Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?

W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?

There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.

Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.

When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help?

The worlds of Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls collide in Ally Carter’s fast-paced, high-stakes and tantalizing new story. Get a behind the scenes glimpse as Ally delivers an irresistible thriller that is full of her signature style and savvy twists.

My Opinion
This was a great novella that was filled with loads of action despite the number of pages. I loved the description and the stroyline was quick, simple to understand and get lost in. I wish there was more! 
The novella had was a great cross over between Gallagher Girls and Heist Society which I loved and even though I have only read the Gallagher Girls series it didn't effect the reading experience. I will definitely be checking out Heist Society sooner than I expected though (they've been on my wish list for a while).


Book Spotlight - Khantara: Volume 1 by Michelle Franklin

Khantara: Vol 1Khantara: Volume 1

Description
Khantara is a Haanta conqueror, meant to wage war and rule over the enemy nation of Thellis, but after vanquishing Thellis and occupying a construction of a Haanta outpost, he meets Anelta, a woman enslaved by her own people bearing a brand of servitude on her neck. Khantara contrives to save her from a cruel home and bring her to the refuge his people can provide, but how can he do so successfully when the eyes of Thellis are upon him?

Genre: Epic fantasy romance

Buy Links: Amazon, Smashwords

About the Author
Michelle Franklin is a small woman of moderate consequence who writes many, many books about giants, romance, and chocolate.

Follow Here: WebsiteTwitterFacebook

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Review ~ MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza

MILA 2.0 (MILA 2.0, #1)
  • Expected Publication: 28th March 2013
  • eARC received through Netgalley for an honest review


Description

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.


Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.



My Opinion
I was really excited to receive a copy of this book via Netgalley, not only had the cover intrigued me but it sounded like it would be fast paced, action packed and full of tense, exciting moments. However these moments kind of never arrived. Although I did enjoy this book and I read most of it in one sitting there were quite a few flaws that left me struggling to get through parts.

I liked the concept of androids as it is not something I have come across a lot and that fact that Mila is struggling to cope with the fact she isn't human was developed well. I liked how the book started off. By placing Mila in high school and describing her to be slightly unstable due to a death in the family really worked for me and it created a sense of suspicion and intrigue about what was really going on. As well as this the fact that normal high school issues were brought into the equation only added to make the lies more believable. 

When Hunter was introduced I thought I was really going to like this book as I wasn't expecting there to be any romance which made it a nice surprise. Sadly though, this is the point things started to go down hill for me. After Hunter's brief introduction Mila is quickly thrown into a new world where she finds out the truth. This leads to Hunter being cut out of the book rather dramatically and abruptly which left me disappointed. I found that most of the book was like this actually. 

The writing was quite jumpy and disjointed with Mila's internal monologue becoming increasingly annoying and this only became worse when her android functions got reactivated. This writing style was most evident in the build up, during and post action sequence. Instead of describing what was happening the author would use phrases like "target immobilised" or "threat detected" which led the writing to become irritating to read as it didn't give much of a picture to base visualisations on. I know it fit in well with the military side but for me it lessened the flow of the writing, leading my attention to slip.

There were only a few relationships that I like in this book, one being Mila and her mum. It was believable and one of the few that I could sympathise and connect with. The rest of the time though I found the characters to be very distant, especially when Mila went into full android mode, and not very well developed. We were given little information on each and besides Mila and Mum, practically all of the characters I could relate to at the start were cut out and never to be heard from again.

Finally, the ending of this book seemed to fit with the rest of the writing. It was predictable and abrupt. Yes it leaves you on a cliff hanger and draws you into wanting to read the next book, especially with the promise of more romance however I hated the way it ended. I was watching the page count go down and questioning how the author could give the reader any kind of resolve and satisfaction in the space she had left to which the simple answer is, she didn't. The writing just cuts off at the start of a new scene and left me thinking "was that it? How can you leave a book like that?!"

Overall I liked the concept and ideas in this book. There were moments I enjoyed and a few relationships that I was able to connect with but on the whole this book was pretty disappointing due to the disjointed writing, lack of interesting character (all had been cut) and constant internal monologues. Although it ends on a cliff hanger I am not sure whether it is enough to entice me into getting the sequel, especially if the writing stays as it is but it might be of interest to sci-fi fans.





Teaser Tuesday (8)



This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
To participate you:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser comes from...


Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1)Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon



"We approached the tall riveted doors and attempted to open them, but they were locked. Eleanor and I looked at each other, confused. I jiggled the handle a few times and pounded on the door in frustration, but it was no use."


Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback

Monday, 25 February 2013

Guest Post - John Vamvas and Olga Montes Authors of WHEREWOLVES

Today I am pleased to welcome John and Olga, authors of WHEREWOLVES to Lost to Books so everyone please give them a warm welcome.


A NOTE FROM THE WRITERS 

The core idea and title for WHEREWOLVES came to us over ten years ago. As lifelong horror film fans, it was especially the likes of George Romero’s realistic treatment of the horror-thriller “Martin” that left a lasting impression on us. We knew that if and when we wrote WHEREWOLVES, it could only happen if the story were realistic; that the events could actually happen. Life went on but we continued to gather and store bits and pieces of real-life stories and events. We were especially marked when a young Canadian soldier, who, knowing we were writers, pulled us aside in a department store. He divulged he was certain his food had been tainted by the military to make him and his unit exceedingly aggressive during a peacekeeping mission overseas. Back many months, the young man felt betrayed, violated, still traumatized by what had happened there, “They did shit to me, bro. All kinds of shit. They made me do things that I can’t ever repeat. You gotta write something about this. But don’t tell them it was me”. Whether what he was telling us was truth or imagined, this encounter gave us the edge for WHEREWOLVES.

WHEREWOLVES is not so much a horror story as it is a social commentary. The story is a reflection on how ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’. It looks at parents who serve their country, but at great cost to their kids. Teachers who mean well but are riddled with their own monsters. Political events that have skewed our views of the world. Peer pressure, greed, insecurity, desensitization, ... it goes on. Despite their lack of likability, we hope our characters' humanity shines through, thus distorting the reader’s concept of good and bad, black and white, right and wrong. To us, the horror of the story is not the monsters but how monstrously we are capable of treating one another. 

About WHEREWOLVES
by John Vamvas and Olga Montes

Genre(s): YA, Horror, Thriller

Description
A group of high school seniors and their teacher, The Sarge, go on a survival training weekend and must
face their biggest enemy: themselves. A growl they hear and one by one they disappear. What is out
there? Can it really be werewolves?

A fresh take on bullying told using a fun, rapid-fire style; with edgy, layered characters and a plot twist
with as much depth as impact.

Thought provoking. Intense. Action packed.

Based on the screenplay, WHEREWOLVES, by John Vamvas and Olga Montes.

"SPARKLING DIALOGUE... THE WRITING IS SENSATIONAL." Emmy and Peabody Award winning writer, William Mastrosimone

"KEPT ME ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT. GETS YOUR PULSE POUNDING." Award winning investigative journalist, Victor Malarek, CTV, W-5

Link to cover images, author bios, book excerpt, and synopsis: 

Buy from Amazon

John VamvasAbout the Authors
Together for over 20 years, John and Olga started as an acting team but soon began to write their own scripts for lack of finding two-person plays they could tour across North America. They wrote and toured four full-length critically acclaimed plays to packed houses across Canada and the United States, including, Bad Boy, which they performed Off-Off-Broadway at New York’s Creative Place Theatre in the heart of Times Square.

Olga MontesIn 2001, they were approached to star in and rewrite the short film, Things Never Said in Playa Perdida. Playa won the audience award at the New York Short Film Festival in 2002 and tied first place at the Festivalisimo festival in Montreal.
WHEREWOLVES was written as a screenplay in 2010. Thanks to suggestions from fans on sites such as werewolfcafe.com, they wrote the novel to get the story out while they wait for it to hit the screens.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Book Spotlight - Lime by Melda Beaty

LimeLime

Description
Lime centers on the life of Lime Prince, a green-eyed international supermodel of mixed Jamaican-Ethiopian heritage who lands the cover of Vogue and becomes the new face of haute couture. Though she takes the New York fashion world by storm, her sordid, violent past comes back to haunt her.

Lime traces back to her painful coming of age in England and America while trying to break into modeling. As a child, Lime is abused and abandoned by her Ethiopian mother and forced to live with her Ethiopian grandparents, but finally rescued by her half-Jamaican father. She finds a modeling agent who siphons off her profits and is later coerced into a sex scandal by her ex-husband, a Jamaican trumpet player.

Amidst the nonstop pressure of the fashion world and the painful memories of her upbringing, her one solace is her witty, no-nonsense best friend AJ. Yet AJ too becomes the victim of an atrocious act of violence committed by her ultra-possessive boyfriend. To respond to her friend’s victimization, Lime organizes an unprecedented national crusade to bring public attention to the innumerable acts of violence committed against women.

Genre:  Contemporary Women's Fiction

Buy Links: http://www.amazon.com/Melda-Beaty/e/B008W1SQQY 

About the Author

Author, playwright, college English assistant professor, and educational consultant, Melda Beaty is the “one to watch,” in her industry. Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Melda resides in Chicago, Illinois with her three gifted and beautiful daughters.

Melda is a passionate author/editor of a diverse and cathartic compilation of non-fiction writings by black women from across the United States. My Soul to His Spirit: Soulful Expressions from Black Daughters to Their Fathers won the 2006 National Fresh Voices Award. She published articles on minority student recruitment and retention in Black Issues in Higher Education, Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education, In Search of Fatherhood Forum and Proud Parent Journal. Melda’s prolific writing style led to an invitation to pen several short stories and poems for the Educational Testing Service for the California Achievement Test. Her debut novel, Lime, is being hailed as America’s Next Top Model meets Burning Bed. Her current play, Front Porch Society, delves into the complex lives of four elderly black women in rural Mississippi Delta on the eve of the 2008 presidential election. The play was read at Chicago Dramatists Theatre in 2011.

Melda earned a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a M.A. in Writing at Illinois State University. She is also a writing and college consultant for Chicago Public Schools. Her business, College Bound Consulting, provides workshops on college personal statements, essay writing, college awareness and planning, and curriculum development.

In her spare time, Melda enjoys cardio and strength training, bike riding, swimming, live theater, concerts, reading, and listening to NPR.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Devil's Due - Rachel Caine

Devil's Due (Red Letter Days, #2)eARC provided through netgalley for an honest review


Description

The psychic world will never be the same again...

Lucia Garza is trapped in a supernatural power struggle. To save a friend she adreed to work for sinister psychic organisation The Cross Society. But after a death threat that almost succeeds, she's starting to think they want her out of the way. Forever.

Worse, as Lucia uncovers the society's most dangerous secrets, she discovers that she's being used as a pawn between two warring paranormal factions. Caught in a battle no-one can win, Lucia's only choice could be to go against long told prophecy to destroy both the Cross Socitey and its sworn enemies. But what are the consequences of defying destiny?

My Opinion


In terms of action and pace this book definitely lived up to the first installment Devil's Bargain. As the plot moved on the narrative got increasingly darker with the paranormal element coming into play more, which I loved. It kept me in constant suspense of what was going to unfold next or what Jazz and Lucia were going to be forced to do.

I liked the initial idea of everyone being played by the two companies and the fact that certain people's choices have more of an effect on the world.  As well as this the explanation behind the paranormal aspect controlling everything was kept brief and simple so I found the book easy to understand.  I really enjoyed the darker path the book took and the action was described brilliantly.

The only thing I wasn't so keen in with this book was the fact that throughout both novels we are told that Lucia has big secrets that would mean death if revealed and that she is dangerous and well connected from her former jobs. However besides a few shootings and fights there is anything that immediately made me think she was dangerous and been through a lot. Also I never found out what her big secrets were, the book kind of hints that they are going to be revealed but in the end leaves you hanging and left me a bit dissatisfied as it was written from her POV.

Overall this book was a fast paced, dark and engaging read that I had trouble putting down. For me it wasn't as good as Devil's Bargain but it's definitely worth a read.



Book Spotlight - The Japanese Dancer by Kevin Chapman

The Japanese Dancer



Description
Marisa Garcia begins married life in Medellin, Colombia with a drunken cop who calls her frigid. She turns to a handsome young physician for help and becomes his lover. When she winds up pregnant, her lover  bandons her and her husband savagely beats her. As her daughter becomes a toddler, Marisa receives an invitation to a friend’s wedding gala in Japan. A nasty surprise awaits—her friend trades her for freedom from a debt to the Yakuza, which Marisa will be forced to pay by working as a dancer in the teatros—the sex clubs. Twelve hours a day she bares her body to strangers and must allow numerous men to violate her if she wants to survive. Halfway around the world, her family is threatened if she doesn’t cooperate. How did her life spiral to this depth and what hope does she have she can ever escape?

Buy Links: AmazonSmashwords


About the Author
Kevin hails from Barrow-in-Furness, a shipbuilding and engineering town on the edge of the Lake District in the Northwest of England.
After completing an apprenticeship in Vickers Armstrong he started his life of travel that extends from India in the east to North and South America in the west. He is currently employed as a Project QA/QC Manager for a major Engineering and Construction company in Colombia.
Married twice, he has a daughter and son in England with their respective families and two sons living at home with his wife Marbella in Houston, Texas.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days #1) - Rachel Caine

Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days, #1)
Description
Jazz Callender is an ex-cop struggling to prove her partner's innocence after he is sent to prison for murder, and she's willing to take whatever help comes along ... but she's about to make a bargain with the devil. Approached by a mysterious, attractive stranger with a check and a business offer, she finds herself plunged deep into a world where nothing is as it seems - not James Borden, Attorney At Law, who fascinates her even as she doubts his honesty; not Lucia Garza, her beautiful, brilliant new partner with hidden depths and secrets; not The Cross Society, who seems to be able to know more about the cases she's being sent to investigate than Jazz does herself. With each new revelation, Jazz and Lucia uncover a world of psychic predictions and unseen forces, and find themselves playing not just for keeps, but for souls. With lives at stake, Jazz finds that every choice she makes is dangerous ... even the one to fall in love.


My Opinion

I received the sequel Devil's Dues via Netgalley earlier this month so I purchased this after finding out it was the first in the series. 

This book was an interesting read. Detective novels aren't usually my thing but this had a paranormal aspect that gave it an interesting twist. To begin with the book was slightly confusing but this kept me hooked as I wanted to find out what was happening and who was behind everything. I really liked the action in this book, the fights, stake outs and general P.I work were described well and made the book an exciting read. As well as this I love Jazz, she had a hard, cold nature but also showed a vulnerable side. She knew how to handle herself and was a great, strong female lead.

The relationships and characters were developed well and became increasingly more obvious as the book went on. Although I wouldn't class the book as a romance as this was more of an undercurrent it added a extra layer to the book that made it harder to put down.

Overall this was an interesting read that became clearer as I read on. It's full of action and great female leads and would strongly recommend reading it to anyone who loves paranormal/mystery/detectives/female leads in a novel.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Book Spotlight - Gunnedah Hero by Clancy Tucker

Gunnedah Hero

Description
Fourteen-year-old Gunnedah ‘Gunnie’ Danson has a 500-word assignment on drought. His late
grandfather has left him a box containing a manuscript. It’s been written by Gunnie’s
great-great-grandfather, Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson after his journey up the long paddock
during a harsh drought as a fourteen-year-old drover in 1910. At the back of the manuscript
is an envelope. It’s NOT to be opened until Gunnie has read the entire story.

Gunnie spends the weekend at Wiralee Station; a cattle station that’s been in the family since 1848. There, he reads the awesome manuscript and learns of Smokey’s adventurous journey. Gunnie overhears several secretive conversations. His snobby Aunty Kate wants to divorce his uncle and sell Wiralee Station. He finishes the manuscript and opens the mysterious envelope. Will it legally prevent his aunt from selling Wiralee Station?




About the Author
Clancy Tucker writes young adult fiction for reluctant readers but has also achieved success as a poet and photographer. Clancy has lived in four countries, speaks three languages, has photography accepted and published in books in the USA (Innocent Dreams, Endless Journeys & A Trip Down Memory Lane), used as covers for magazines (‘The Australian Writer’ - 2008 & ‘Victorian Writer - 2008), has work registered with the International Library of Photography, published in literary magazines and he’s written
more than 140 short stories.

Clancy’s been short-listed, ‘Commended’ and ‘Highly Commended’ in writing contests: 2006, 2007& 2011 National Literary Awards, Raspberry & Vine (twice), Positive words, Australian Writers On-Line, Shaggy Sheep Tale, The Cancer Council Arts Awards (2005 & 2008), The Dusty Swag Awards (2010) and had ten short stories published in literary magazines (Page Seventeen, Branching Out & Positive Words),
newspapers (The Standard, Mountain Views & The Advocate), written articles for Kid Magazine in the USA and won a poetry prize to name a life-size statue designed by renowned Belgian sculptor, Bruno Torfs.

In 2010, Clancy was awarded a two-week mentorship by the National Education & Employment Foundation. He is a full time writer but has been a speechwriter, public servant, farmer and small business operator. Clancy teaches students in the University of the Third Age (U3A), worked with street kids and draws on life’s experiences to write entertaining stories for kids. ‘Gunnedah Hero’ has been published as a paperback and also in eBook format via www.morrispublishingaustralia.com This book has won two
awards in the National Literary Awards: ‘Highly Commended’ in the FAW Jim Hamilton Award – 2007 and ‘Commended’ in the Christina Stead Award – 2011. It also has a seal of approval from  IndiePENdendents.org – having been passed by three peer judges.

Clancy is about to publish his next book, ‘Pa Joe’s Place’. It is the powerful story about Boo, a seven-year-old girl he met in 1973 in Thailand. The sequel to ‘Gunnedah Hero’ will be published soon after – ‘A Drover’s Blanket’. His website is quite fascinating: www.clancytucker.com.au Clancy also writes a daily blog which includes top guests from around the world: human rights lawyers, authors, illustrators, senior diplomats, young adults and many more: www.clancytucker.blogspot.com.au Check it out.




Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Teaser Tuesday (7)



This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
To participate you:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser comes from...

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa



"One hand gripped his sword; the other arm was wrapped around his ribs. He shook the snow from his hair and raised his weapon. "We can continue now, if you like'"


Amazon Paperback
Amazon Kindle

Monday, 18 February 2013

Days of Love and Blood - R.S Carter

Days of Love and Blood
Description
A post-apocalyptic zombie book for women.

Without the zombies.

Worse than zombies.
The Demon Virus spreads worldwide in a matter of days leaving nothing but a few uninfected people in its path along with disease-riddled survivors who possess homicidal tendencies.

Carson drives across the country, back to her parents’ farm, with her son Ronan to begin a new life in a post-apocalyptic world. There she discovers more uninfected people like herself and attempts to build new relationships after the devastating loss of her husband.

Two men distract Carson from her grief, each possessing different characteristics that she found, loved and needed in her husband. Cooper has a bad attitude but gives Carson the space she needs with his self-sufficient, independent ways. Ben panders after her but exhibits a kindness she appreciates. Neither of them embody all of which she lost in her husband’s death.

The need for human interaction intertwines with the daily struggle of tribulation, remorse and adjustment, revolving around the constant battles between the uninfected and the last remaining homicidal maniacs.Days of Love and Blood is a story which examines the bonds created between people in times of change with an unexpected shocking end that will have you questioning your own threshold for pain.



My Opinion
I wasn't sure to expect from this book as I'm not really too keen on zombies, however the fact that this is a zombie book aimed at women intrigued me into how the author could differ the plot and adapt it to suit the audience. I must admit that R.S Carter did surprise me with this novel and it definitely achieved what it stated.

I liked how the book wasn't focused on the zombie apocalypse but rather it was in the background and more of the driving force for Carson's actions. I've read a few zombie books that go into huge amounts of detail about how they were created and about a small group trying to survive. Although this book was about surviving the story was based more around Carson's desire to protect her son rather than the zombies. Carter gave enough information for the reader to understand what had happened to the human race but it wasn't the main focus and overpowering. As well as this Carson's emotions where developed incredibly well throughout.


I liked the way every chapter started with a flashback of Carson's previous life with her deceased husband. It gave extra insight into the story and helped engage the reader even more. At times though a few did confuse me. Some seemed slightly random and didn't give as much detail as I would have liked so I could make sense out of what was happening.

This book keeps you on your toes with many twists, especially at the end. I didn't think the story would take the path it did and I'm really not sure what to make of the last few chapters. The book had hinted at things all the way through but the ending did become darker than the rest of the book and although I normally like dark novels it became a bit to graphic for my tastes as I wasn't too keen on the subject matter. As well as this the ending was slightly predictable as I find the same kind of things happen in the end of zombie novels, however it did tie everything up and didn't feel rushed so left the reader with a sense of resolve.

Overall this succeeded in being a zombie book for women. It was nice to read a book from this genre where the zombies weren't the main focus and the characters were developed well. I wasn't too keen on the last few chapters but that purely down to personal tastes in subject and would recommend this book as it is an interesting read. I would not recommend it to a younger audience though due to the language and some content.




Sunday, 17 February 2013

Avenger's Angel - Heather Killough-Walden

Description
The first in Heather Killough-Walden's fantastic new paranormal series, the Lost Angels, features Uriel, the Angel of Vengeance Four thousand years ago, four archangels were cast down to Earth in human form. God's favourites, they came to find their mates, the other half of their souls made only for them, without whom they will ever be complete. Uriel, Gabriel, Azrael and Michael, however, were not alone. They were followed by another, determined to find the archesses for himself, and whose power cannot be underestimated. But after centuries of fruitless searching, the archangels -- and their enemy -- have all but given up hope. Until one day beautiful and gifted Eleanore Granger crosses paths with Uriel, the Angel of Vengeance. And as a storm rages, outside forces conspire together, initiating an age old battle of good versus evil to win the first archess.


My Opinion
I really don't know what to make of this book; there were parts I loved and other parts that I really wasn't sure about. I initially bought this book as I am going through an angel faze, however I didn't expect this book to merge with vampires too. I think that is the bit I am least keen on, I wasn't sure it fitted or was needed.

However this book did keep me hooked and was an interesting read. The start engaged me and I liked how the romance between Uriel and Ellie developed. There were funny moments that were balanced well with the serious side. The soul mate thing isn't really a new concept so the main theme in the book wasn't that original but I still found it hard to put down, I guess I'm just a sucker for romance novel. 

I liked how the storyline developed towards the ending, however for me there wasn't enough description which confused me, as up until that point the author had been describing stuff in great amounts of detail that brought the world to life. As the book got closer towards the ending it seemed to get more jumpy and fragmented. It felt slightly rushed and although the final page satisfied me as a reader the build up to it did not. For me that part of the book was quite an anticlimax, it could have developed well if there was more description.

Overall this book is probably one of the ones that has split my opinion the most, hence the confusing review. I loved the romance but the ending felt rushed and the mix of angels and vampires left me questioning whether it was necessary. In the end though I think I mostly enjoyed this book as I wasn't able to put it down.

Book Spotlight - Irina's Eye by H. W. Freedman

Irina's EyeIrina's Eye


Description
Sex Energy, Spirituality, Theatre, Love

Vaclav and Irina (both 15) attempt to escape from behind the Iron Curtain. When Irina is shot Vaclav feels compelled to search for truth.

"Bohemian border with Bavaria, West Germany, 1948-- He should have known. If only he had trusted his intuition. That was the problem, telling the difference between intuition and fear, and he was not about to give into fear. There was no time; they had to flee and it had to be in that moment or they might never have another opportunity. They ran into the night." -- Vaclav and Irina, both age fifteen, flee from behind the Iron Curtain. Irina is shot in the back and falls. He goes to help her but as he takes her in his arms another bullet enters her head and at that moment she orders him "Go!". He puts her down gently and runs. He reaches West Germany, then he travels to Rome and to New York in his quest for enlightenment and freedom from the guilt that haunts him for his soulmate Irina's fate.

Buy Links: Amazon Kindle


About the Author
I am a playwright, theatre director, screenwriter and author.

My plays have been produced in NYC, including Off-Broadway, London, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and in Italian at the Spoleto La Mama Fringe Festival, Italy, and in Rome Italy.

My feature length screenplay, Broken Thread, was produced by Deepak Nayar (Buena Vista Social Club, Bend it Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice).

My plays and screenplays have won awards internationally.

Irina's Eye was self-published in 2012 in paperback and in 2011 as an E-Book. You can find the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, Nook, and iBooks.

The first draft of Irina's Eye was a semi-finalist in the 2006 William Faulkner unpublished novel competition.

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Saturday, 16 February 2013

Book Spotlight - Eugene Uttley

The Boon: Thoughts of a Schizophrenic in Remission

Description
Accompany Eugene Uttley on a mythological "hero's journey" to another world and back again, and join
him as he articulates the prize that he won there -- The Ultimate Boon.

Through his struggles in coping with schizophrenia, Uttley has come to know what he wants. Now he
just needs to figure out how to get it.

This experimental open letter includes original and appropriated prose, poetry, song, prayer... memoir,
travelogue, sketches of Uttley's present-day life, and literary exegesis. Its many sources and topics are
ranging, but circle always back to the overarching theme of recovery from mental illness through better
knowledge of self and becoming more whole, a complex process both mental and spiritual, which entails
increasing awareness of connectedness to the greater whole, the infinite.

Buy Links: Amazon , SmashWords

About the Author

Eugene Uttley is a lifelong reader and author (diapers and a typewriter). In addition to working on literary fiction, he is currently doing free reviews of memoir and narrative & experimental non-fiction. He has a BA in English and half-an-MA in Literature. He’s a sometime composition TA and ESL instructor and now a student again, of accounting. The author of two books on coping with schizophrenia (as he does), he’s a fan (but not follower) of Carl Jung. Some authors who are dear, dear to him are Haruki Murakami, Charles Portis, Kingsley & Martin Amis, J.P. Donleavy, D.F. Wallace, Thomas Pynchon, Augusten Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Alan Watts.

To contact him (with a review request or for any reason at all, really) please use mruttleysz[at]gmail[dot]com. For more on his work in re schizophrenia, including an excerpt, see his Authors Den page

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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Book Spotlight - The Last Prospector by Cairn Rodrigues

The Last ProspectorThe Last Prospector

Description
Questions surround the Prospector with every step he takes. Why did the shadowy Boss sire the first Prospector a thousand years ago? What nameless treasure has the unbroken line of brothers been searching for? And how many years must he spend looking? He knows that he is the last Prospector, the last man to be handed the title and mission of the Brotherhood. He is destined to find that treasure, but what happens when he does? Solstice is abundant with natural wonders, it’s a place where magicks are mundane and the improbable is likely. Once it was the playground of warring twin goddesses and now powerful factions make the rules amid the rumors of a prophecy child being born. Ancient enemies begin a fresh rise to dominance and dreamers wake up all across the land as everyone tries to claim the orphan child. A scared nomad boy leaves his family to keep the baby safe, Tonyo knows that the goddesses gave him special gifts but he doesn’t know why. Together, Prospector and Tonyo travel the tiers, taking the first steps of an epic journey that is the final War between the Twins. A victor must be decided this time. The Last Prospector is the first book of the Song of Solstice series. Explore the tiers of Solstice and meet the travellers whose roads all intersect as they fulfill their missions. Enjoy the natural wonders like the light stealers that glow at night in a multitude of shapes and colors. Have some ale and stay to sup, because in Solstice travellers are always welcome.

Buy Link: Amazon


About the Author
Cairn Rodrigues was born in 1964 and is a native of Sacramento, California. She attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and went on to become chef and owner of the CafĂ© 455 in Sacramento. Now retired from professional cooking, Cairn has channeled her lifetime love of fantasy and science fiction in all mediums into writing the fantasy book series The Song of Solstice. She also authors two blogs, The Light Stealers Song about the experiences of writing and self publishing, and Spoon!, a collection of essays about all things food. Cairn and her husband have two grown children and live in West Sacramento with a big, red dog. 

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