Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Random Read Review - In the Window Room, by Steven J. Carroll




 

This was my Random Read pick for the month of December.  I had won this novella on Goodreads.com and I greeted the random pick with some trepidation.  Co-blogger Erin had borrowed it and didn't have great things to say, but I wanted to give this a chance, since I was lucky to win it.  Though I did read it some days ago, I have been lazy with setting up posts. I blame it on the chaotic pace of the holidays. Curious to see whether I agree with Erin's opinion?



Title: In the Window Room
Series: The Histories of Earth #1
Author: Steven J. Carroll
Published Date: August 19, 2011
Publisher: Globe Light Press
Source: Goodreads Win

In the Window Room is a story about a young girl, Delany Calbefur, who's caused some trouble one fall, while she attended the Mayfield School for Girls. And she, as a punishment then, is made to leave the dormitory, and is forced to stay by herself in an old abandoned home on the outskirts of the school grounds. This story is about the dangerous and mysterious adventures she found there.

There are many... very secret, mysterious places in our world. Yet some of which, that hold no other foreseeable worth except that they are hidden, and those, by my judgement, should remain as such. However, there are certain other places, which if one can find them, that are both mysterious and immeasurably valuable. And it is of this latter kind that our story is concerned.

More specifically, the room that Delany Calbefur found, hidden away in the undiscovered corner of an old house, one fall while she attended the Mayfield School for Girls, and the story of her adventures there is a tale that well deserves retelling. And so, within the pages of this book, I shall try my best at it.
Purchase @ Amazon / Book Depository


Monday, December 23, 2013

Netgalley Book Review - Mistress of the Solstice, by Anna Kashina




Title: Mistress of the Solstice
Author: Anna Kashina
Published Date: September 5, 2013 

Publisher:  Dragonwell Publishing
Source: Netgalley/Publisher

 
 Add to Goodreads

THE DARK ESSENCE OF RUSSIAN MYTH

As the head priestess of the ancient Solstice cult, Marya must sacrifice a virgin every year. She copes with this gruesome duty by assuming a mask of cold detachment, as her father—the evil tzar Kashchey—devours the maidens' souls to maintain his youth and power. It is his power alone that keeps Marya’s kingdom safe from all enemies—or so she was raised to believe.

When Ivan arrives on a quest to stop the virgin sacrifices, Marya throws all her magic against him. To maintain her life—and that of her father—she must destroy Ivan before he completes his quest. But can she find it in her heart to do so?

Baba Yaga, Leshy, Vodyanoi, and the ancient animal deities come alive in this beautifully crafted romantic story that will take you into the authentic world of Russian fairy tales—with a dark, sensual twist.

Purchase Links: Amazon / TheBookDepository.com

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ittie Bitties! Short Story Reviews - Absorbed & Blood Apples





It's been awhile since we have had an Itty Bittie post. I took the opportunity to review my long Amazon library list and knocked two interesting shorties that grabbed my attention.



Title: Absorbed
Author: Penelope Crowe
Publisher: Blackbird
Release Date: October 5, 2011
Source: Amazon Purchase
Purchase: Amazon - Only $0.95 as of this post! 

Add to Goodreads
A mysterious gift is left on Violet's front doorstep. Her abusive boyfriend is not happy about this at all. The gift brings out very different sides of Violet and her boyfriend, Mick, and neither of them will ever be the same.  Absorbed is a 16 page short story you do NOT want to read to the kids.


A freebie that I picked up on Amazon.com, this was a short story with a 'Twilight Zone' kind of feel.

A mysterious, and exquisitely wrapped package appears on Violet's doorstep. Inside is a gorgeous and unusual necklace. No clue as to who the sender is. The note that came with it was cryptic and of no known meaning to Violet.

But the moment Violet puts the necklace on, something in her changes. Where she was one meek and (I'm sorry to say) somewhat pathetic when it came to her abusive boyfriend Mick, now she is a pretty scary b*tch! Much to Mick's confusion, she deals with his abusive mouth in a pretty ironic way.

Enjoyed the writing style, and Victoria's character really came to life for me even though this was a pretty short little tale. Though I wish there was more page time invested into the mystery of the necklace itself, it was a pretty interesting, if dark, short story. 



 
Title: Blood Apples
Series: Grimm Diaries Prequel #6
Author: Cameron Jace
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Source: Amazon Purchase
Purchase: Amazon - Collection is FREE for a limited time!
In this short diary, Prince Charming tells how Snow White was really killed -- or was she? -- and how he came to meet Rapunzel's and Jack the Beanstalk. Is it true that he really knows who wrote the original fairy tales and handed them over to the Brothers Grimm? And more importantly, Prince Charming explains why apples are red.



As of this dated post, the prequel series was FREE on Amazon.com. Click the Purchase link above. Please make sure you verify the price before purchasing it, as it could be a limited time Free promotion.

After reading 'Mary Mary Quite Contrary' I did state that I was done with the series. So maybe the folks that may keep up with my reviews may ask why did I choose to continue after all?

Well... I had downloaded this installment to my Kindle, and since I know that they are quick reads I thought I would give it a go. But alas.... I was disappointed. This story did not, in fact, redeem the short series after all for me.

Told from Prince Charming's POV, this story jumped all over the place. I found myself thinking, as I read the Prince's thoughts, that he may be in need of some medication to help him focus. He made me dizzy. He jumped from one subject to the other at lightning speed.

Characters like Jack (as in Jack and the Beanstalk) made this a little more focused and slightly more interesting, but this story just incorporated way too much, too fast, with not enough page time for me to fully appreciate and absorb the sequence of events.

Gorgeous eye-popping covers, but its contents just didn't appeal. Though this series as a whole has so much potential and imagination, the tone of it continues to throw me off, and unfortunately, also turn me off.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway - Aurora Sky & Northern Bites, by Nikki Jefford


Displaying VampireHunterTourBanner2.png 

The second I saw that Xpresso Book Tours was hosting a blog tour for both novels, I didn't need to read any further. I was lucky enough to have read Aurora Sky before and really enjoyed the story. Being able to continue the series and read Northern Bites as part of another tour was a complete bonus.

You can read my review for Aurora Sky HERE. It was rated a 4 star, but it was a weak 4 star for me because I struggled with the beginning of this story.

Northern Bites, on the other hand, is definitely not a weak 4.



Displaying Aurora2cover.jpg
Title: Northern Bites
Series: Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #2
Author: Nikki Jefford
Release Date: July 27, 2013
Genre:
New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Add to Goodreads

Love bites.
Probation sucks.

Thanks to Dante’s recklessness, Aurora is now partners with Valerie: the redheaded, backstabbing vixen.

Dante is in full flirt mode. Fane’s tactics are more ruthless. Something carnal has awakened in Aurora and neither boy is helping tame her cravings.

When a member of the unit’s team is found dead, Aurora and Valerie are sent after a vampire in Sitka, but Aurora suspects the killer’s much closer to home.

Purchase: Amazon /Barnes&Noble  

Follow the tour HERE!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book Review - Don't Bite the Bridesmaid, by Tiffany Allee



Title: Don't Bite the Bridesmaid
Author: Tiffany Allee
Published Date: May 27, 2013
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing
Source: Netgalley/Publisher

 
 Add to Goodreads


Alice Shepard needs one thing: a date for her sister's wedding. And not just any date. A hunk who will make her fiancĂ© rue the day he left her for her best friend. Her drop-dead gorgeous neighbor fits the bill—even if he is a bit quirky and never comes out during the day—and Alice has downed just enough appletinis to ask him. But she makes it quite clear that there will be no funny business.

Spending a week on a cruise ship full of humans while sleeping close to his sexy next-door neighbor sounds like a helluva bad idea to vampire Noah Thorpe. But his friends need time to get him out of a shotgun wedding—a vampire bonding that will tie his fate to a female vampire he's never met. And Alice's offer comes at just the right time.

What could possibly go wrong?
Purchase Links: Amazon / B & N

Monday, December 9, 2013

Illustrated Map Reveal - Immagica, by K. A. Last


We have a pretty unique treat today, care of Xpresso Book Tours, as well as a Giveaway for you to enter. Check out Immagica's book blurb below. Sounds like it will be a pretty magical story.


Title: Immagica
Author: K. A. Last
Published Date: January 31, 2014
Genres:
YA Fantasy/Adventure
Map Illustration: Lawrence Mann

Immagica
Where anything is possible.
Enter at your own risk.
The night before her fifteenth birthday, Rosaline Clayton uncovers a deep family secret. She receives an amulet from her deranged father, and he tells her she must find the book in order to save him. Rosaline is used to her dad not making any sense, so she dismisses their conversation as another of his crazy rants.
When Rosaline’s brother, Elliot, drags her to their Nana’s attic to explore, they find the old leather-bound book tucked away in a chest. It sucks them into its pages, transporting them to a magical world. Along the way Rosaline and Elliot are separated, and the only thing she wants is to find her brother and go home.
The creatures of Immagica have other ideas. After years of war their land lies in ruin. Using the amulet’s power, they want Rosaline to defeat the dragon and restore Immagica to its former glory. But Rosaline is bound to Immagica in ways she doesn’t understand, and when she discovers the truth about her family, she must follow her heart to save them all.

Illustrated Map!




Giveaway!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



AUTHOR BIO
K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. She now resides in a peaceful leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, and a rabbit named Twitch.

Links:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Blog Tour Book Review - Night Chill, by Jeff Gunhus


Displaying NightChillTourBanner.jpg 

One look at the book cover, and that alone was enough to make me salivate for this book.  But even I didn't realize how disturbing this novel was actually going to be.  You like a novel that makes you bite your nails until you bleed? This is it.


Displaying NCCover.jpgTitle: Night Chill
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Published Date: May 31, 2013
Genres: Adult, Supernatural, Thriller 

 
 Add to Goodreads

From the author of Jack Templar Monster Hunter comes a supernatural thriller for adult audiences. Jack Tremont moves his family to the quiet mountains of Western Maryland hoping to leave behind a troubled past and restart his life. Instead, he finds himself caught up in a nightmare when his daughter Sarah is targeted by Nate Huckley, a mysterious and horrifying stranger driven by a dark power that will stop at nothing to possess Sarah. When Sarah goes missing, suspicion falls on Jack and he must uncover the secrets of the small mountain town of Prescott City and face the evil secret hidden there. As he digs further, he learns the conspiracy reaches more deeply than he could have imagined. Finally, he will have to face the question, What is a father willing to do to save his child? The answer? Anything. Anything at all.

Purchase @ Amazon
 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cover Reveal - Donners of the Dead, by Karina Halle


A cover reveal today for Donners of the Dead, by Karina Halle. Cover designed by  Naj Qamber Designs, which I am happy to reveal care of Xpresso Book Tours
 
Check out the book info below check out this gorgeous cover!

Book & Author Info:

Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle
Publication date: February 24, 2014
Genres: Horror, Romance



Synopsis:***A Standalone Horror Romance coming February 2014***

Jake McGraw was unlike anyone I’d ever known. He was brash, rude, unapologetic and arrogant; chauvinistic, close-minded, and terribly stubborn. He was built like a tree, tall with a hard chest and wide shoulders and hands that looked like they could wrestle a bear. He was a cigar-chomping, scruffy-faced, beast of a man. I was pretty sure I hated him. And I know he hated me. But among the flesh-eating monsters in these snow-capped mountains, he was the only thing keeping me alive.

The year is 1851 and pioneers in search of California gold are still afraid to travel on the same route as the tragic Donner party did years before. When the last wagon train to go into the Sierra Nevada mountains fails to arrive at their destination, Eve Smith, an 18-year old half-native girl with immense tracking skills is brought along with the search party, headed by an enigmatic former Texas Ranger, Jake McGraw.

What they find deep in the dangerous snow-covered terrain is a terrifying consequence of cannibalism, giving new meaning to the term “monster.” While the search party is slowly picked off, one by one, Eve must learn to trust Jake, who harbors more than a few secrets of his own, in order to survive and prevent the monstrosities from reaching civilization.
 Sounds like an exciting and creepy adventure!


The blood red skies look ominous in this cover. 
AUTHOR BIO:
The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/
interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she's preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.

Author Links:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Random Reads - December Pick!




Random Reads is hosted by I'm Loving Books, and for a reader that has a list that is way too long, this meme is perfect. It helps me to pick out a novel in the list that may be sitting there forgotten for a long while.

This meme is pretty simple. The idea is to pick one random book (or more if you are ambitious) out of your Goodreads To-Read list (or any other list you maintain using Random.org) to read within the month.
 
My November Random Read was Deal with a Demon, by Celeste Easton. I actually didn't finish it in November. I was a day late. A lot of personal changes happened this past month, and I didn't have as much reading time as I would have liked, but I got it in for December 1st. You can read the review here.  It was intensely hot, and I really enjoyed it!

This month I did something a little different. Even though I have over a thousand books on my To read list, I only submitted 1-500 in the Random # generator, because I would like to hit the earlier books. And what is in store for me for December?




In the Window Room is a story about a young girl, Delany Calbefur, who's caused some trouble one fall, while she attended the Mayfield School for Girls. And she, as a punishment then, is made to leave the dormitory, and is forced to stay by herself in an old abandoned home on the outskirts of the school grounds. This story is about the dangerous and mysterious adventures she found there.

There are many... very secret, mysterious places in our world. Yet some of which, that hold no other foreseeable worth except that they are hidden, and those, by my judgement, should remain as such. However, there are certain other places, which if one can find them, that are both mysterious and immeasurably valuable. And it is of this latter kind that our story is concerned.

More specifically, the room that Delany Calbefur found, hidden away in the undiscovered corner of an old house, one fall while she attended the Mayfield School for Girls, and the story of her adventures there is a tale that well deserves retelling. And so, within the pages of this book, I shall try my best at it.

 I have to be honest. I am not sure if I am looking forward to this one. I won a copy on Goodreads.com for a giveaway, and the blurb sounds interesting. But Erin (co-blogger) read this sometime ago, and she did not enjoy it at all. At least it's a short novel!

If you are participating in the meme, definitely leave your link and November Pick in the comments.

Happy reading everyone!






Random Read Review - Deal with a Demon, by Celeste Easton


 

This was my Random Read pick for the month of November, and I am actually a day late with my review, even though I really tried to finish this one in time. I didn't have a lot of reading time this month, unfortunately. But what a delicious novel!!!




17729650Title: Deal with a Demon
Author: Celeste Easton
Published Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Montlake Romance 

Source: Goodreads Win

After her parents’ brutal murder, Nic Wright shut herself off from the world, barricading her heart against everyone but her brother, Drew. So when he goes missing, dragged into Hell by soul-thirsty demons, Nic doesn’t think twice about going in after him. Because Drew may be a junkie, but he’s all she’s got. And she’ll be damned if she’s letting him go without a fight.

Which is exactly what Arden of the Asmodai, sexy, arrogant prince of the Nine Hells, and Nic’s guide, is counting on. Half mortal, Arden’s only shot at becoming a full demon is to deliver a willing human to the Fourth Level of Hell. And Nic, desperate to find her brother, will do nicely. But Arden didn’t count on Nic’s powerful will...or the ferocity of his desire for her. Now, as they descend into a Hell beyond Nic’s wildest dreams—and her worst nightmares—Arden will take any risk and tell any lie necessary to keep her safe. To possess her. Forever...
Purchase @ Amazon / Book Depository

Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Review - The Bones of Others, by Vickie McKeehan




17303397Title: The Bones of Others
Author: Vickie McKeehan
Published Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Beachdevils Press
 
Source: Giveaway Win

Some monsters live in your head. Not this one.

Brutalized as a young girl by a vile sexual predator, Skye Cree is a survivor. Guided by the visions of her mystical spirit guide to the whereabouts of abducted girls, she uses her unique abilities to turn her horrifying past into a positive force for justice. Fighting the demons that have haunted her for years, she trusts only in herself—until she falls hard for a man for the first time in her life. Now, discovering her abductor is back with a vengeance, she becomes locked in a deadly race against time to stop the horrors of an evil human-trafficking ring that threatens to tear her world, and her newfound love apart.
Purchase @ Amazon

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Giveaway Winner! - Murmur of the Lonely Brook


One of my favorite things, besides being able to give away a book to a lucky reader, is to announce the lucky winner(s)!!


Congratulations to 

Nicole H.!

You won a paperback copy of Murmur of the Lonely Brook. Hope you enjoy this novel.

16005514

Thank you to all who entered, and keep checking back for more opportunities to win more goodies.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thriller Book Review - The Romanov Cross, by Robert Masello




Title: The Romanov Cross
Author: Robert Masello
Published Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Bantam
Source: Netgalley

 Add to Goodreads

Nearly one hundred years ago, a desperate young woman crawled ashore on a desolate arctic island, carrying a terrible secret and a mysterious, emerald-encrusted cross. A century later, acts of man, nature, and history converge on that same forbidding shore with a power sufficient to shatter civilization as we know it.

Army epidemiologist Frank Slater is facing a court-martial, but after his punishment is mysteriously lifted, Slater is offered a job no one else wants—to travel to a small island off the coast of Alaska and investigate a potentially lethal phenomenon: The permafrost has begun to melt, exposing bodies from a colony that was wiped out by the dreaded Spanish flu of 1918. Frank must determine if the thawed remains still carry the deadly virus in their frozen flesh and, if so, ensure that it doesn’t come back to life.

Frank and his handpicked team arrive by helicopter, loaded down with high-tech tools, prepared to exhume history. The colony, it transpires, was once settled by a sect devoted to the mad Russian monk Rasputin, but there is even more hiding in the past than Frank’s team is aware of. Any hope of success hinges on their willingness to accept the fact that even their cutting-edge science has its limits—and that the ancient wisdom of the Inuit people who once inhabited this eerie land is as essential as any serum. By the time Frank discovers that his mission has been compromised—crashed by a gang of reckless treasure hunters—he will be in a brutal race against time. With a young, strong-willed Inuit woman by his side, Frank must put a deadly genie back in the bottle before all of humanity pays the price.

The Romanov Cross is at once an alternate take on one of history’s most profound mysteries, a love story as unlikely as it is inevitable, and a thriller of heart-stopping, supernatural suspense. With his signature blend of fascinating history and fantastic imagination, critically acclaimed author Robert Masello has once again crafted a terrifying story of past events coming back to haunt the present day . . . and of dark deeds aching to be unearthed.
Purchase Links: Amazon / The Book Depository

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cover Reveal - Pretty When She Dies, by Rhiannon Frater


Pretty When She Dies, by Rhiannon Frater, has a new cover designed by Phatpuppy Art, which I am happy to reveal care of Xpresso Book Tours
Check out the book info below check out the new and improved cover!

Book & Author Info:

Pretty When She Dies by Rhiannon Frater
(Pretty When She Dies #1)
Published by: Permuted Press
Publication date: Late November, 2013 (reissue)
Genres: Adult, Horror, 
Paranormal

Synopsis:
Amaliya wakes under the forest floor, disoriented, famished and confused. She digs out of the shallow grave and realizes she is hungry…

… in a new, horrific, unimaginable way…

Sating her great hunger, she discovers that she is now a vampire, the bloodthirsty creature of legend. She has no choice but to flee from her old life and travels across Texas. Her new hunger spurs her to leave a wake of death and blood behind her as she struggles with her new nature.

All the while, her creator is watching. He is ancient, he is powerful, and what’s worse is that he’s a necromancer. He has the power to force the dead to do his bidding. Amaliya realizes she is but a pawn in a twisted game, and her only hope for survival is to seek out one of her own kind.
But if Amaliya finds another vampire, will it mean her salvation… or her death?
 Sounds creepy!
 

Cover:

Displaying Pretty When She Dies.jpg

Simple, and bloody.  And I love the intensity in her eyes.


Displaying Rhiannon.jpgAUTHOR BIO
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to rhiannonfrater@gmail.com.

Author Links:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Belated Thriller Book Review - Birdman, by Mo Hayder


Well, the move is done, and my Internet connection is up and running. So Monday's post comes a day late, but I finally got it up.  And it couldn't have been on a better book. This novel was EXCELLENT!


Title: Birdman 
Author: Mo Hayder
Published Date: October 10, 2000

Publisher: Dell
Source: Friend Lend 


 Add to Goodreads

Greenwich, south-east London. The Met's crack murder squad, AMIP, is called out by nervous CID detectives to a grim discovery. Five bodies, all young women, all ritualistically murdered and dumped on wasteland near the Dome. As each post-mortem reveals a singular, horrific signature linking the victims, officers realize that they are on the trail of that most dangerous offender: a sexual serial killer.

Detective Inspector Jack Caffery - young, driven, unshockable - finds himself facing both hostility within the force and echoes of his past in this, his first case with AMIP. Haunted by the memory of a death long ago, he employs every weapon forensic science can offer for he knows it is only a matter of time before this chaotic, sadistic killer strikes again.
Purchase Links: Amazon / The Book Depository

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