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March 29, 2012

Bloodrose a Nightshade Novel

sample this book
I've read the advance reviews, the blasts on Twitter and book reviews from the blogosphere so I know I have to brace myself for Bloodrose, the final book in Andrea Cremer's Nightshade Trilogy.

First of all I'd like to say that Cremer did not disappoint with her Keeper-Guardian war  after building it up for two books and two novellas. I'm glad that it didn't end with a Mexican stand-off and peace keeps nor were we spared from deaths and bloodshed. The war was everything I hoped it would be and though there were some surprising and suspicious twists and turns, the culmination of events were brilliant to say the least!

Damn it Calla. Why can't you stay away from him? From either of them?
-Calla talking to herself


I had my misgivings about Calla in Wolfsbane but here she totally redeemed herself in my eyes. I was more emphatetic towards her and really felt her confusion between Ren and Shay. She shared most of her life with Ren and her connection with the Bane Alpha was both out of habit and fondness. But Shay is the one who truly holds her heart, after saving his life from a grizzly attack, giving up her pack, and sharing a life of exile with him, she has tested their relationship and sees a real future with the Scion.

It doesn't matter that Ren and I had a past. you're my future. You're the path I chose from the moment I saved you on the mountain
-Calla to Shay

I'm still Team Ren until the end. Without giving spoilers, the ending was not what I hope it would be but it's fair and fitting nonetheless. Everyone got what they deserved and though not all of us would agree that it was a happy ending, the characters still got their HEA. 

I like stories that makes sense even if we consider it fantasy. Some authors try to wrap up the inconsistencies behind sexy scenes and hot men and honestly I find that a tad insulting to readers. Fans take notes and memorize dialogue and details that some might consider trivial. So when a smart book comes my way, I really feel appreciated as a reader and give a big round of applause for the author. I loved Nightshade and  Wolfsbane  but I never thought that I'd feel more than that for this book.There were no conflicts left unresolved and there certainly were a lot of Kleenex moments that my inner cheek felt raw from fighting back tears. 

All the anxiety of waiting was all worth it.

However, now I'm waiting for Rift, the first of two Nightshade prequels, coming out on August 2, 2012.

March 27, 2012

Guest Blogger: Under the Covers


Under the Covers 

is our guest bloggers for this month
and today they're here to share (and call dibs) on their
Book Boyfriends

Angela: With all the great heroes I’ve met in the books I’ve read, it’s hard to pick just one. But in the spirit of the upcoming release of BDB, Lover Reborn, I’ll pick Butch O’Neal, aka The Dhestroyer, Descended of Wrath son of Wrath. Who knew he was a descendent of Wrath, The Blind King? *sigh* He is every bit as big, dominant, territorial and possessive as any of the brothers. Butch is the man!


 Francesca: Mine has been John Matthew from the Black Dagger Brotherhood for a while, and I don't think I see that changing anytime soon. I've read many books after him and he still holds a very special place in my heart. He's very strong, not only on the outside but he's a rock on the inside! He's had to overcome a great disability and become a warrior, without letting his issues affect his performance. And when he loves, he gives his all. He always only had eyes for his mate, even when he was just a pre-trans who had no chance of getting with her. And he certainly knows how to push all my buttons. The man turns me on and can make me cry. He's tough and yet sweet. A loyal friend and a true warrior. He can seriously make me melt and wish we were locked away in a training room together with nothing but blue mats around *wink*


Suzanne: Well this is a hard question not because I can't think of anyone, but because I can think of waaay too many, I mean just one? Okay, so my ultimate book boyfriend: Wrath from Black Dagger Brotherhood. The Blind King just does it for me. The long black hair and big ripped body, how's a girl to resist? But that isn't all; his tough but fair attitude, his sense of justice and his love and tenderness towards his shellan, he has the whole package!


 Annie: My book boyfriend is Rhage from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. No surprise there, huh? For someone as arrogant and as deadly as he is, you wouldn’t expect the kind of tenderness he shows in his book. Within Rhage, this vampire warrior cursed with a beast, who rolls with other alpha warriors that don’t take shit from anyone, are these humanlike emotions that make him vulnerable. I love that! Plus, Hollywood has some serious stamina ;P


Thanks for having us!
underthecoversbookblog.blogspot.com
Under the Covers
is run by four brilliant ladies who
“met” online through Goodreads and decided to share their
passion of books with fellow book lovers.

The contributors are Suzanne (England), Ann (Canada),
Francesca (New York) and Angela (California).

Thank you ladies for sharing your passion for the Brothers
 with us which is very timely because today is the release of Tohr's story
and the latest Black Dagger Brotherhood novel, Lover Reborn.

Don't worry,
we here at Talk Supe are not your competition,
we know that Book Boyfriend territory is sacred. ;)


March 26, 2012

The Unofficial Black Dagger Brotherhood Blog Hop



The Unofficial Black Dagger Brotherhood Hop starts tomorrow hosted by us, 
Talk Supe and our friends from Under the Covers.

And to guide you hoppers, below is the schedule of events so you know which ones to check out on each of the hop dates.


March 27
Talk Supe - Guest Blog Under the Covers & Giveaway
Under the Covers - Giveaway
Offbeat Vagabond - Giveaway
Black Ravens Erotic Cafe - Giveaway
Black Ravens Review - Giveaway
Dark Divas Review - Giveaway
AJ's Reading Nook - Giveaway
Reading Diva - Giveaway
Literal Addiction - Giveaway
Reading Addicted - Review & Giveaway
Read Our Lips! Book Review Blog - Lover Avenged Review & Giveaway
Autumn's Tales
LilyElement Book & Beauty Reviews - Review and Giveaway
Sarah Gilman Books
Guilty Pleasures - Fantasy Cast and Giveaway
My Secret Romance - Giveaway
CS Maxwell ~ Where's My Muse?
Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy - Giveaway
Tea and Book - Giveaway
Madame D's Boudoir - Giveaway


March 28
Better Read Than Dead
Red Headed Bookworm - Fantasy Cast

March 29
Book Lovin Mamas - Lover Unleashed review
Cocktails and Books - Lover Reborn review
Lisa's Loves Books Of Course - Giveaway


March 30
Readers Roundtable Outerlimits - Giveaway


March 31
Wickedly Bookish - Lover Dismayed: One Fangirl's Lament of Longing
SalaciousReads - Giveaway


April 1


April 2
Riverina Romantics - Lover Unleashed Giveaway and Review


April 3
Redheads Review it Better


The Rival by Roland Yeomans

Series: The Legend of Victor Standish
Format: Digital copy from the author
Release Date: March 12, 2012
Purchase Link: Amazon

THE RIVAL, a stand-alone Victor Standish urban fantasy.

Victor Standish. Some call him the young Indiana Jones of New Orleans. Others call him the teen Ulysses of the French Quarter. The undead and worse spit his name as if it were a curse. Their cornered victims breathe the name as if it were a prayer.

The challenges are unique:
Keeping the younger version of his adopted father, Samuel McCord from meeting the eerie Empress of the Jade Mask to prevent Victor’s never being born. To keep the young Edgar Allan Poe from sweeping Alice off her feet and into the poet’s arms.
The undead Abigail Adams, the revenant Empress Theodora, the all too alive President Andrew Jackson, and the voodoo demigods of Legba and Erzulie provide near-impossible odds.

You won't soon forget this stand-alone chapter in the ongoing LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH. 

Before I get on with my review for this book, once again let me GUSH about the cover. Don't you justlove the burlesque/steampunk feel of this?! LOVE IT!
Hey, I'm Victor Standish. I'll get it done. I've tackled worse problems.
So this book is a stand alone novel with Victor Standish right smack in the middle of trouble, or "adventure" as Mr. Yeomans fondly refers to it, which you'll find amusing and challenging to keep up with. Seriously, the Kardashians pale in comparison with Victor Standish. 

In The Rival, Victor and Alice time traveled to 1834 New Orleans thanks to DayStar aka Lucifer (or the guy believes he's IT):

But this New Orleans was of another more savage, ruthless time. here the law was mostly non-existent. And when it was around, it was corrupt.

Even with The Butterfly Effect as a reminder, Victor and Alice still found it hard to stay out of trouble. They found themselves embroiled in a menage a trois, revenant business, and probably the biggest revelation in Victor's life: the identity of his biological father. Finally he had the answer to the mystery and in 1834 New Orleans, Victor made it his mission to aid his father. I find the process of Victor's conception interesting...

I learned about revenants (the reality behind the myth of vampires.) I learned about the ShadowLands that blossomed like some flower from Hell each twilight

I enjoy Victor's world, the kid is devious and has a quick wit. Alice, his girlfriend, is too hormonal for a ghoul and when these two squabble, I can't help but laugh at the absurdity of it. His mother is the Angel of Death and his real name is Ulysses, his chariot is anchored to Chiron, the centaur. Victor is gangsta and runs with the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Marie Leveau, fought with President John Adams and his wife Abigail, and a slew of other [in]famous figures that became part of his bizarro world. 

I am Victor Standish, and I do not lie.

I've always been a fan of RYeoman's imagination be it in his blog posts or in his VS books. I find it fascinating that he managed to find the right words to transcribe this chaos that's Victor's world and not get lost in the process. To describe The Rival as action-packed is an understatement. I felt like I ran a marathon after this book because I could hardly keep up with the sequence of events. There's no lack of interesting twists that I'm sure you'll be begging Victor and Alice to slow down so you could take a breather. 

Sfumato!


Girl Crush Mondays: The Crawleys

The Crawleys
Mary, Edith and Sybil

If you're historical fiction junkies like us, we're pretty sure you've heard about the phenomenal show

Downton Abbey

which swept England, the US and Australia with their fabulous costumes, aristocratic etiquette and personal intrigues. Don't you just love Maggie Smith's comebacks?!

Set in the early 20th century encompassing until shortly after the first World War,
we follow the tumultuous lives of these sisters as they try to navigate the world of nobility and follow its strict archaic rules in an ever changing world. 

But aside from the aesthetics, the portrayal of the classes and the drama that accompanies it will certainly tug at you. And though Lord Gratham and his household do their best to lead honorable lives as their class dictates, they are still fallible. It's when they fall a step from grace that makes them even more endearing and human to us.  



Lady Sybil Crawley
The youngest of Lord Gratham's three daughters, Sybil is the most free spirited and rebellious of the lot. She studied as a nurse and cared for the wounded soldiers of WWI despite objections from her family. She also expressed interest in politics, equality among the classes, women's suffrage, fell in love and married their chauffeur, Tom Branson. As you know, marrying behind your class is serious taboo but Sybil remained steadfast and fought for her family's blessing.

Lady Edith Crawley
The middle child which has deep seated insecurities for her sister Mary. Fearing that she'll end up a spinster after Mary sabotaged a previous planned proposal from Sir Anthony Strallan. She also developed feelings for Mary's previous fiance Patrick Crawley but that relationship was once again nipped in the bud. Perhaps the lowest point was when she got involved with a married farmer, Mr. Drake. Edith's story line is not as colorful as Sybil's nor as intriguing as Mary's however her resilience and grace is admirable. I hope she meets someone special in Season 3. 

Lady Mary Crawley
The resident Femme Fatale, Mary's romantic  entanglements will make your head spin. From Patrick Crawley who died in the Titanic; to the Turkish Ambassador's son, the handsome Mr. Kemal Pamuk who died a happy man in Mary's bed; to her cousin and future heir of her father, Matthew Crawley; and a brief business engagement to newspaper magnate Sir Richard Carlisle.

She'll probably got under your skin in Season 1 but her honesty and loyalty surely won you over in Season 2. Good thing the cat-and-mouse chase between Mary and Matthew has finally come to a close and hopefully we'll see a wedding next season.

Matthew Crawley is so dreamy don't you think?
Le Sigh...

Too bad we have to wait a little bit for season 3, Shirley Maclaine and the wedding (?) but we here in Talk Supe got too nostalgic and decided to take a trip and make believe we're in Downton Abbey. 

You probably know that we took a little trip to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, last week.
It might not be Highclere Castle in Newbury but it's the closest thing we have stateside.

Fortunately we remembered to raise our pinky during high tea and what fork to use during meals. 

But we still gaggled like commoners while doing it.
:D

Writer Wrangler: Roland Yeomans

Roland Yeomans
author of


to name a few.

This edition of Writer Wrangler is a little different because it'll be a tad personal.

We meet a lot of full-time and part-time authors and when we do get a chance to talk to them, we usually ask about their pen life. We seldom ask them about their personal lives and if we do, we keep it to a minimum. 

We've been following Writing in Crosshairs, Roland Yeomans' blog, and we got to know him a little better. His books are full of imaginative adventure but Mr. Yeomans' is a modern superhero in real life. He helps save lives by being a blood courier.

So my curiosity got the best of me so I asked him to write a post about his full time job.

Hi, Braine:

When you hear terrible thunder overhead and look out to see blinding rain, fog, or snow ... say a prayer for the rare blood courier driving out in that weather. Ill patients need blood every day. And the need cannot be ignored.

I have driven 400 miles in one day delivering blood to various rural hospitals. Whew! There are many jobs in America, but there are few noble ones. I am lucky enough to have a noble one.

Don't hospitals carry their own supply? Yes and no. Like banks get their money from the mint, hospitals get their blood supply from blood centers. Red blood cells expire in 42 days, the viable oxygen decreasing with each day. Infants therefore need blood that is no older than 6 days and 0- (a rare blood type.) There is another blood product called platelets (they control bleeding.) Cancer and surgery patients need those blood products. And when they need them, they need them as quickly as possible. No waiting for better weather.

Then, there is the need to pick up samples of individual's blood from rural hospitals to bring to our lab. 


Major Cross-match: Recipient serum is tested against donor packed cells to determine if the recipient has preformed antibodies against any antigens on the donor's cells. This is the required cross-match prior to release of a unit of packed cells. Minor Cross-match: Recipient red cells are tested against donor serum to detect donor antibodies directed against a patient's antigens. This is no longer required. It is assumed that the small amount of donor serum and antibodies left in a unit of packed cells will be diluted in a recipient.

Of course there is more to what I do. My official title is Product Management technician, and I handle the blood from the drawing from a donor, to the filtering, to the QC of the blood, to all the 1001 forms of official paperwork to be completed.

I hope this helps in some small way. 


Thanks for being my friend, 
Roland




Thank you Roland, for granting our request and for the Talk Supe plugs in your blog. 


If you want to know more about Roland, visit his blog
and Amazon for his book list.  

March 25, 2012

Grave Sight and Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

Preview Grave Sight and Grave Surprise
Series: Harper Connelly Series 1 & 2
Format: Paperback
Release Date:
Purchase Link: Amazon
Harper Connelly Mysteries QuartetAnother acclaimed paranormal mystery series by the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels that inspired HBO’s True Blood.

These four novels introduce a “winning heroine”* who uses psychic skills to help law enforcement provide justice for the dead.

“A series that just might surpass all <Harris’s> others in popularity.”—*BooklistGrave SightGrave SurpriseAn Ice Cold GraveGrave Secret

So Sookie Stackhouse is one kick butt heroine, an average girl who gets the hottest Vampires and Weres plus she can read minds and most of us love her! So with this, I decided to introduce myself to Harper Connelly and see if she's as entertaining as her "sister" Sookie.

Harper was struck by lightning when she was 15 and since then has developed psychic abilities like Sookie. But instead of read people's minds, she can track people who died and see their deaths.
"It's like  buzzing. A humming. In my bones, in my brain. It almost hurts. The closer I get, the more intense it gets. And when I'm close, When I'm in the body's presence, I see the death."
Like Sookie, Harper is very close to her [step]brother Tolliver and together they rent her abilities to the authorities and families of the deceased/missing to help solve crimes and bring closure. Harper too has gone through some challenging experiences from childhood to her teens, barely keeping it together so Social Services won't look their way and keep her and her siblings apart. Her youngest sister went missing and it's Harper's mission to find out what happened to her.

With that said, I struggled with Grave Sight, CHarris is a wonderful writer but Harper is a hard nut to crack. She's cold and I can almost see the walls she put up to turn off other people and readers too! Her defense mechanism is down pat that we can hardly see her world through her eyes and just stay focused on her work and what's happening around her.

Good thing this was rectified in Grave Surprise and finally we are given Harper's history. What her life really was before she got her ability. How she's coping with the loss of her sisters and how she and Tolliver struggled to move on with their lives, making the most out of her abilities.

In Book 2, Harper is once again in the middle of a murder investigation, this time she's in my home state, Tennessee, and she finally found the body of Tabitha Morgenstern, the 11yo who went missing months back that she wasn't able to retrieve. Here that case finally had some closure but not without serious complications for her and Tolliver.

Grave Surprise is where we also witness Harper and Tolliver try to build a relationship with their two younger sisters but it still has that sense of alienation and awkwardness.

At this point, Sookie is still a more developed character than Harper. However this series is interesting in its own way and much of it is credited to CHarris' fantastic writing. And like most series, Book 1 is a little slow but it's starting to get some traction in book 2 which I hope will continue to do so as I move forward with the series.


March 24, 2012

Soul Screamers Volume 1

preview this book
You're a bean sidhe, Kaylee. The death premonitions are normal. They are part of who you are. - Nash Hudson

Banshees! I've only read one Banshee story so far and it's by Indie author Veronica Breville (A Banshee's Tale 2011) and boy did I have fun with this book.

First off this includes the prequel and the first two novels in the series so my appetite for the series is satiated for now. I love the story and the concept and I can just imagine Kaylee's piercing screams to herald one's death and Nash loving the sound of it like he's being lulled or something. Sounds fascinating and ridiculous at the same time.

If you've read our Gush and Gripe for February, you might recall my annoyance with YA books being compared to Twilight. This series was what I was actually talking about. If you've read or are familiar with this series and Meyer's saga, you'd know that there's no basis for comparison between Soul Screamers and Twilight aside from being YA reads.

First of all, there are no Vampires or Werewolves in sight! The closest to it are hellions and reapers and a lot of death. Second, Kaylee is a strong heroine who is willful but altruistic. She has misgivings about her father abandoning her but she cares about her Uncle who took her in. And if she does act a little erratic, being committed to the loony bin and seeing things will do that to anybody. Added to the fact that you can't help but scream at the top of your lungs when anyone is about to die.

Next, Kaylee is not caught in any love triangle and though her relationship with Nash seemed easy (meaning they just conveniently fell in love with each other), it was due mainly to the fact that they're both bean sidhe. There's no sulking nor falling in desperate despair here though several people died as they have apparently been harvested by a corrupt reaper or sold their soul to a hellion.

There might be petting (alert to the teens out there!) but it's always nipped in the bud by the tenacious reaper, Tod. And though are several character stereotypes, the bully, the Queen Bee, the Jock, etc. I still find the main characters fresh. Probably because they are Banshees and we need a new breed of Supes to read about right?

So tell me how do you justify comparing this to Twilight?


March 23, 2012

To Kill a Warlock a Dulcie O'Neil Novel

preview the book
I've been wanting to read H.P. Mallory since I got my Fire. So big thanks to Amber I of Awesomesauce Book Club for lending me this title!

If you're curious, I'd compare Dulcie O'Neil to Rachel Morgan (The Hollows). Dulcie is a fairy working for the Association for Netherworld Creatures or A.N.C. She's a law enforcer by day and a romance writer by night. She's good at what she does although a little bit clumsy and the men surrounding her are gorgeous aside from being supernatural beings.

To Kill a Warlock is just a cauldron of laughter. If you read the preview, Dulcie just had a spell cast on her which left her looking like an ugly ogre (as if a regular one isn't enough). This led to an action filled chain of events that got Dulcie involved with vampires, Loki, corruption in the ANC and a myriad of other things.

The story was very enjoyable and the side events in Dulcie's life are regular albeit supernatural in nature. She's got a bit of a hang up with her jack of an ex which resulted to physical insecurities. She's contemplating on getting some work done on her ears to make them look more human and "normal". I also liked the part where publishers were rejecting her historical romance story about a pirate and a vixen but suggested she writes about vampires instead. The rejection letters were hilarious and made me wonder if there's some truth in those letters.

I was rooting for a character but without revealing any spoilers, I was a little disappointed when he became a villain. I was thinking that he's my next book boyfriend but his badass act didn't raise him to V'Lane status in my book.

H.P. Mallory is relentless which is no wonder why she is THE Indie Author to beat or at least other self published authors aspire to. Can't wait to start book two... time to send a request to Amber I.



March 22, 2012

The Alchemy of Forever an Incarnation Novel

read first seven chapters
This book reminds me of Alyson Noel's Immortals Series meets The Skeleton Key (2005) minus the crystals and voodoo. Seraphina Ames was turned into an Immortal by Cyrus during the mid 14th century and has since then been snatching bodies every ten years. Fast forward to modern day and it's that time when Seraphina needs to steal and inhabit another body but she's getting tired of the routine and have decided that it's time to end her 600 year old life. But something came up and she found herself inhabiting a 16 year-old Kailey Morgan's body. But Cyrus managed to catch up with her and the chess game started.

This was an easy read at 250 pages and was a good reading palate cleanser. I'm a little wary about this series because although it started real good, it's so easy for AWilliams to go in the other direction and make this predictable. 

The premise is intriguing enough but I'm hoping that after living 600 years with the same person, Seraphina has gained some useful wisdom and use it to her advantage. So far her way of thinking fits the body she's currently inhabiting, that of a 16yo kid. And though this book aims to reach the 14yo age bracket and up, I hope AWilliams will take into consideration the real age of her heroine and not just let her become this bumbling teenager who knows nothing of the world.

Cyrus is a good villain, he's a sociopath so I'd like to know what else he's got under his sleeves to keep Seraphina by his side. I also like that the setting is in San Francisco, CA and the East Bay. I used to live in the area and I actually have a perfect visual in my head when AWilliams was talking about Jack London Square in Oakland, the Golden Gate Bridge and all the other awesome places in NorCal. 

I enjoyed the book but probably it's one of those reads that is a little too young for me so I'll take this review with a grain of salt if I were you. But if you're in the mid-teen age range, I'm pretty sure you'll find this enjoyable.

March 21, 2012

Writer Wrangler: Andrew Newbound



Andrew Newbound

author of
Book 1 of the Tari Harris Elven Chronicles.
Andrew is here to share a page or two from Tari's journal.
Read on, it's funny and for a change, a 19 yo is acting like her age.
Lovesick and boy crazy.

Tari Harris Journal entry

Monday

What did I do to deserve this? Firstly…I’m not human. How am I supposed to react to news like that? And what the hell is an Elven? Am I a freak, or worse…some kind of monster?

Why me? I’m eighteen. I should be thinking about uni…boys…clothes…getting drunk. But now all I can think about is how to tell my friends that I’m not like them…I’m not even the same species. Jeez, how weird does that sound. Will they still want anything to do with me when they find out?

I can probably rely on Daniel. He’s too obsessed with getting inside my knickers to be put off by the small matter of needle sharp teeth or fingernails that could tear through metal…even if they are painted pink. But what about Leigh? She’s always been a little stand-offish around me - perhaps it’s because I haven’t thrown myself at her brother - but when she finds out that I’m not like her…what will she say, or do? This isn’t fair. This isn’t what I want.


Tuesday

Shit! It gets worse. Yesterday I find out I’m not human. Today, I’m some kind of grand prize for vampires. They’ve been looking for me since I was born and this island I used to call home feels more like a prison. This can’t be happening…can it?

I told Daniel…I thought he was going to collapse, but he didn’t. He was quite sweet actually…said he wanted to protect me. So glad I could count on him. I guess I always knew how he felt about me but now he’s proven it and I’m glad. I need a friend…somebody who won’t judge me…or run a mile when my teeth turn into knitting needles. Daniel still wants to get into my knickers though...perhaps I should be flattered. But how can I consider having sex when all I can think about is avoiding love bites from vampires. Shit!



Wednesday

Feeling really, really weird. Finrod brought someone new to the island…he’s called Lyra…for me. Not in that way, at least I don’t think so (now that would be weird). But he keeps looking at me like he knows all my secrets and when I look into his eyes… Daniel would throw a strop if he knew what I was thinking. Maybe it’s something to do with Lyra being Elven too. I don’t even know him, yet it feels like we’re connected. Strange!!

I don’t want any of this. Lyra is so smug…so over confident. I don’t care that he’s blond and tall and you should see all his muscles. Can a man be beautiful? I guess he can because Lyra is. But he acts like he’s in charge of everything, including me, and he’s NOT! No wonder Daniel hates him. Poor Daniel! He sees Lyra as a threat…maybe he is. I dunno…it’s so confusing. I wish things would just go back to how they were.



Thursday

Can’t believe they had a fight. Daniel has bruises everywhere and he won’t tell me a thing. I hope they weren’t fighting over me, but Leigh says they were. Lyra acts like nothing has happened but he’s hurt my best friend…how could he do that to me?


He acts like I should be falling all over him but he’s going to have to be a lot more…human…before I ever think about going anywhere near him. Right now, it’s dream on Lyra. At least Daniel tries to understand me. And he’s really suffering – I can see the hurt and confusion on his eyes. Poor Daniel. Perhaps I’ve been too distant with him. Maybe I should spend a little more time with him…I know that’s what he wants.



Friday

Shit, shit, SHIT!! What an idiot I am. Spent too much time fretting over who I like more…Lyra or Daniel? (Last night, it was definitely Daniel!!) But that doesn’t matter now. It NEVER mattered. How can it…now that the vampires are here. Can’t believe this is my life! 



About Andrew Newbound 

He began life as a trainee music journalist, reviewing for the likes of R.E.M, Def Leppard, Texas and countless others. After that, he found his way in to advertising, writing junk mail, billboards, radio ads and video scripts.

Eventually he fulfilled his lifelong ambition and became a published author when his debut book, Demon Strike came out in 2010. Since then he has written several more books and the Elven Chronicles is his brand new series. 

You can stalk him on:
follow @ElvenChronicles or @AndrewNewbound

March 20, 2012

Vampire Nemesis a Tari Harris Elven Chronicles Novel

read an excerpt
Elves and Vampires at odds with each other, the latter using the former to breed for their race. Tari Harris is the last of her kind and the Vampire King, Nolic, is after her to breed more of his offspring the Procreatti.
"When the moon shines I change.... my teeth grow, my skin toughens, my arms and legs..." - Tari
I like an author who is not afraid to gut his cast of characters down to size, have people go through a series of unfortunate events, make unusual villains and turn the heroes against each other. I appreciate curve balls, torturous head trips and cliff hanger endings. And that's exactly what Andrew Newbound gave me, thank you very much!

Tim O'Rourke was right in saying that ANewbound's story is a fresh mix of sorts. Sure we have read a lot of Vampire stories and their creation myths ranges from being made to Fallen Angels and a slew of other origins. Vampire Nemesis is old and new at the same time. I guess the originality would stem from the flow of the story rather than its history.

Tari Harris is conflicted in so many levels which gives this book different shades of dark flavor. Things just started happening one after the other, she barely has time to cope with a major revelation  before another life changing event happens. Being the last of her kind, a female Elf, doesn't help things either. She's a major commodity in her world and everyone wants a piece of her. What's heartbreaking is the collateral damage to the changes: her adoptive parents, normalcy, her bestfriend and a number of other things that one usually takes for granted.

The usual love triangle has interesting angles. It's not one of those tug-of-wars YET but I can tell in the succeeding books that Tari's choice will be a painful one to make. The leading men, her bestfriend Daniel and the Elven warrior Lyra, just made introductions but I can tell, moving forward in the series, that their respective character developments will put Tari's knickers in a bunch.

The conflict was pretty interesting, uncanny alliances were made, loyalties got tested and questioned and a battle of wills ensued between the characters. The resolution part was the cliff hanger, it's one of those what-in-the-world book endings that will make you cry in despair or will totally love the torture if you're like me. Tee-hee-hee-hee!

NOTE: Vampire Nemesis is our current giveaway, click the picture on the right pane of this page for more information.

March 19, 2012

Girl Crush Mondays: Katniss Everdeen

KATNISS EVERDEEN
District 12

How can one not help but admire Katniss?
First of all she's an ordinary teenager who's mission for the day is to hunt game
usually with her bestie, Gale Hawthorne, by her side and find a way to feed her family. 

But come Reaping day, her sister, Primrose Everdeen, was drawn to represent the
coal mining district for the annual Hunger Games. Naturally Katniss was distraught and volunteered to take her sister's place.

If the Capitol knew what they were in for, they wouldn't have let Katniss join in the first place. The Mockingjay's call was something the Capitol wasn't able to silence and it led to a firestorm that none of them were able to quench.


Katniss' life might be fictional and her troubles exaggerated but the way she faced her fears and relied on her skills and the will to live is inspiring. Her love for her sister and  mother and even her noble concern for her friends. fellow competitors, and the district will make you want to be her. Or at least a version of her.

We all have our favorite moments in the Hunger Games trilogy and each of us has a reason why we love it and made us cry. 
We already got our tickets to see the movie which opens on the 23rd so we'll keep you posted after.

Vampire Nemesis Giveaway




On the eve of her nineteenth birthday, Tari Harris discovers that everything she has grown up to believe in is a lie. And to make matters worse, she finds out she isn’t even human.

As the last female Elven, Tari carries the hopes of an entire species in her genes. They need her to survive. But so do the Elvens’ bitter enemies – Vampires.

Can she embrace her new identity and learn how to harness the incredible power of moonlight? Will Daniel, her human lover, ever surrender Tari to a fair-haired Elven stranger? And will she live to accept her destiny, or fall prey to a cruel vampire Hunter sent to murder the people she loves and steal her away? 


Early Review

This was an exciting and enthralling tale that took a new approach to Vampires. The writing was fresh and pulled you into the story from the very start. Newbound has mixed fantasy and vampires in a very unique way and I haven't read a vampire tale like this before. I found the characters to be ones that I could relate to and believe in. The book has two great leads within Tari and Daniel and they really fire of one another which makes their relationship very interesting. There are some great twists in this book which I didn't see coming and the end was a real cliffhanger!! The book has so much action, mystery ans suspense that I honestly found this book hard to put down. This is a fantastic book that kept me captivated from beginning to end and is a must read for all those that want a vampire tale that takes a whole new look at the genre. Loved it! 

- Tim O'Rourke author of the bestselling Kiera Hudson Series



This is an Ebook via Amazon

contest is open Internationally

Giveaway is from MARCH 19-22

Winner will be announced on March 22 and will be notified via email.

If you can't see the rafflecopter form, click READ MORE


March 18, 2012

Review: Firelight by Kristen Callihan

Series: Darkest London 1
Format: Digital ARC
Read an Excerpt
Release Date: January 21, 2012
Publisher: Forever
Source: NetGalley c/o Forever
Genre: Paranormal - Steampunk
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .

Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.
The prologue instantly captured by imagination. It took me back 20 years where I would gorge on swooning heroines and swash buckling heroes featured in those cheesy historical romances. I would stay up late at night with Julie Garwood, Katherine Woodwiss and Judith Macnaught as my bedside companions. Needless to say I was already loving the story.

A very good variation from the classic Beauty and the Beast complete with the magical rose, three sisters and a witch of sorts. Although the "supernatural" elements are hardly present, it's nonetheless implied. Miranda Rose Ellis was sold by her father to Lord Benjamin Aldo Fitzwilliam Wallace Archer, Fifth Baron Archer of Umberslade, to save the former from further financial ruin. Archer is rich and charming but he hides behind a mask which adds to the mystery.
"I think you got the short end of the stick in this venture"
He threw his head back and laughed. "And you are quite wrong."
Miri is your quintessential Victorian rebel. Stubborn, unconventional and a firestarter, which she is both literally and figuratively. She is loyal to a fault and a bit of a tomboy which makes her even more endearing to Archer. The mask wearing Archer holds a lot of secrets, not just the face behind the mask but his personal dealings as well. He is the current suspect in a string of murders happening in his circle and Miri is determined to get to the bottom of the story.

I fell in love with the lovebirds' story and here I thought that the historical romance genre is dead, KCallihan might just revive it singlehandedly with this series. I also love the myth she employed as well as picking Beauty and the Beast as the base for her story. Like I previously mentioned, the supernatural elements are not as prominent as my usual reads but I hardly noticed it. This is more like a love story and Miri and Archer's special powers just added fiery color to the background. Callihan focused on the attraction and their love-hate relationship than their powers which worked well for me.

I just found it hard to follow some of the events because it would shift from one scene to another without breaks or much preamble. I'm not sure if this has been corrected in the final book because the one I have is an ARC but I'm hoping that it has been rectified. 

Here are some snippets that might help me convince you that Firelight is a must-read if you're a sucker for these types of romances:

"because everyday that I am with you, I am more convinced that God made you just for me. For in ninety years on this earth, no one has made me feel the way you do, as if every day is an adventure. You make me laugh. And i never laugh. I go around smiling like a witless fool. So yes, I kept it from you, because I am so desperately in love with you that the knowledge that you might love me too was irresistible. And I was afraid it would turn to dust should I take off that mask." - Archer


"It didn't matter that I hadn't seen your face. I knew --- I knew I would love you until I died." - Miri

"I need to hear your voice every day or I despair. You are the balance of my sould I canot lose you Ben. I would not live through it." - Miri



Overbite an Insatiable Novel

excerpt, deleted scenes, videos, etc.
That's it?! Just like that no more Lucien?! After getting us invested in this guy, cheering for this magnetic vampire, he becomes a martyr and sacrifices himself?!

COME ON!

Our librarian was right in saying that this was a good series. And I have to agree with her, it was a rough start for me in Insatiable but Overbite quickly got me glued to Meena Harper's adventure and the couch in one afternoon.

I had such high hopes that Lucien and Meena will get through the good vs. evil bit, find a loophole or gray area somewhere and ride towards the sunset together. Lucien is so conflicted not just because of his love for Meena but to prove that modern vampires have gone through a character revamp and they're not these evil fiends anymore. Meena for her part chose to work for the Palatine to help Lucien change the Vatican's stand on vampires and be more subjective with their agenda. Same goal different means.

Overbite highlighted Meena and Lucien's struggle to suppress their love for each other and convince those people close to them that the stereotype vampire doesn't apply to Lucien. Of course throughout the whole novel Alaric Wulf is still making a play for Meena Harper but obviously MCabot is pushing the forbidden love between the psychic and the vampire. So when Lucien made the ultimate sacrifice and Meena sought comfort with Alaric, it has REBOUND written all over it.

Honestly I found Insatiable funnier and I liked that soap-opera feel. The cheesy-ness, corny lines and scenes played out by these gorgeous characters are just LOL worthy. In Overbite, things just got more serious and definitely tragic. Lucien failed to completely win Meena over and the way things played out, I really don't see her with Alaric.

Overall I still can't believe that the story ended just like that. Surely there has to be a third book in the works because (1) Alaric got the short end of the stick because we all know that Meena is far from over Lucien; (2) Meena is not the type who'd settle; (3) again, Lucien's existence can't just end like that!

March 17, 2012

Insatiable

excerpts, deleted scenes, videos, etc.
If you are like me and unfamiliar with the series, Insatiable is a grown up series written by Meg Cabot about a woman named Meena Harper who can see the details of your death. Meena is one of the writers for the soap opera, Insatiable, and the book starts when Meena's life starts imitating art. Vampires ceased to be gothic creatures created by Bram Stoker rather they have invaded New York City and Meena has been seduced and wants to be the Prince of Darkness', Lucien Antonescu, consort.

I struggled with the first 150 pages as MCabot builds the world of her characters for us. But when Meena, Lucien and Alaric's world collided, I found it hard to put down the book. What's even more surprising is I thought that this book is a serious story but as I read each chapter and the situation gets more and more ridiculous, I realized that Insatiable is indeed a book version of a classic American soap opera!

Although this is essentially a vampire book, MCabot's take on it was done with humor and a tad of sexy. Lucien lives up to the modern allure of romanticized vampires, tall, dark, muscled, polished and everything you want and need your vampire to be. Plus the fact that he is smart and The Prince of Darkness did nothing but add to his magnetic persona. I can't blame Meena for falling madly in love with him but at the same time, I also admire the lass' fortitude and still managed to use her brains instead of her heart in the end. I'd like to see how Lucies will continue to seduce our pixie-haired heroine in Overbite.

Alaric's character is interesting too. He is a Paladine, Vatican's private army against vampires, and like Lucien, he's sexy, rich, sophisticated and a fearsome warrior. I find it funny that he can also be spoiled and would pout on the absence of first class amenities that he has gotten used to. But like Lucien, he wasn't able to resist Meena and was quickly taken by her.

And the unlikely femme fatale, Meena Harper. I could easily relate to her and her gripes about her ex-boss Shoshana and how the latter would always manage to one-up our hard working heroine by using her beauty and connections. I was really cheering for her because from her POV, it's a classic story of how the underdog became victorious and now she finds herself not only caught in a love triangle between two super hot men, a brain-vs-heart type tug of war, but also her psychic curse became a gift that could help save lives.

In addition to these, even the side characters have storylines like Meena's brother, Jon, her bestfriend Leisha and Adam, her Romanian vampire neighbors, the Count and Countess Emil and Mary Lou Atonescu. Entertainment to the hilt!

These are my highlights and though some of the lines and situations are cheesy and tittering on the side of overkill, I truly enjoyed it. It is a soap opera after all.

March 13, 2012

The Rival a Stand Alone Victor Standish Novel


THE RIVAL, a stand-alone Victor Standish urban fantasy.


Victor Standish. Some call him the young Indiana Jones of New Orleans. Others call him the teen Ulysses of the French Quarter. The undead and worse spit his name as if it were a curse. Their cornered victims breathe the name as if it were a prayer.


Victor says, “I’m no hero, certainly no saint. I’m just me.”


Alice Wentworth, the Victorian ghoul of his heart, raises an eyebrow. “Sometimes that is entirely too much.” She hugs his arm, murmuring, “Sometimes it is just right.”


Discover Victor’s childhood crucible of zombies and betrayal in Detroit that forged him into the legend he is. Watch Alice and Victor go to the New Orleans of 1834 to save the Crescent City of the present.


The challenges are unique:
Keeping the younger version of his adopted father, Samuel McCord from meeting the eerie Empress of the Jade Mask to prevent Victor’s never being born. To keep the young Edgar Allan Poe from sweeping Alice off her feet and into the poet’s arms.



The undead Abigail Adams, the revenant Empress Theodora, the all too alive President Andrew Jackson, and the voodoo demigods of Legba and Erzulie provide near-impossible odds. Victor laughs, “Impossible just gives birth to legends.”


Read this stand-alone chapter in the ongoing LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH.

Early praise for the urban/historical fantasy, THE RIVAL:
“Holy action! THE RIVAL dives right into the adventure straight off the bat and doesn’t stop ‘til the finish. Great voice, fun humor laced throughout, combined with lovely emotion. Wonderful themes presented and tied in nicely at the end. Roland Yeomans is definitely an author to watch!”—Morgan Shamy

I'm having a cover-love moment here. Did a sneak peek and I'm loving it so far, Mr. Shamy wasn't exaggerating when he said Holy action!, because that's what Victor's world is like. Non.Stop.Action. 

If you love Sherrilyn Kenyon's Nick Gaultier, you'll be enamored with Victor Standish! Victor has a dry sense of humor that comes from not taking the trials of life seriously no matter how extreme the circumstances are. And I love that attitude whether in real life or make believe. I love his acid comebacks and how much he loves Alice Wentworth, his Victorian ghoul girlfriend. The prologue alone with hints of Homer and his opus, The Odyssey, will keep you glued.

The Rival is available in Amazon so go get your copies!

Spell Bound and Infamous on Sale Today

Don't you just love the Hex Hall covers?
It reflects Sophie's journey and how her experiences changed her. 
 
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident. 
Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
I have a lot of questions from Demonglass that needs to be answered. Obviously Sophie managed to escape but what of her father, James, and the Prodigium Council? I hope those evil sisters, Lara and Elizabeth Casnoff get their comeuppance. And Archer and Cal, who will win Sophie's heart? What happened to Jenna? So many frickin questions! Hahahahaha! 

I guess we'll have our answers soon.  
read an excerpt
My little love muffin Nick Gaultier is back!
I love the series especially since I'm following

This is Nick before Katrina, before Ambrose, before he turned dark and severed alliance with Acheron and became Artemis' love slave.

Meet the teenage Nick Gaultier and now
book three comes out today.

Go to school. Get good grades. Stay out of trouble. That’s the mandate for most kids. But Nick Gautier isn’t the average teenager. He’s a boy with a destiny not even he fully understands. And his first mandate is to stay alive while everyone, even his own father, tries to kill him. 

He’s learned to annihilate zombies and raise the dead, divination and clairvoyance, so why is learning to drive such a difficulty? But that isn’t the primary skill he has to master. Survival is.

And in order to survive, his next lesson makes all the others pale in comparison. He is on the brink of becoming either the greatest hero mankind has ever known.

Or he’ll be the one who ends the world. With enemies new and old gathering forces, he will have to call on every part of himself to fight or he’ll lose everyone he cares about.

Even himself.

Fantastic YA books so better get yourself a copy.