Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Paradox: The Angels are Here

Paradox: The Angels Are Here (Paradox, #1)Paradox: The Angels Are Here by Patti Roberts

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thanks for Patti Roberts allowing me the chance to read her book.  I normally would be SO against the idea of quoting the blurb in my review... but in the end, there was just too much going on and too many questions for me to even explain to someone in my own words what "happened".

"A journey crossing Two Worlds. One Ancient - One New."
Okay- to expand upon this, there is the "ancient" story that lays the "good vs. evil" groundwork and starts to explain about this very novel concept of angels.  There is also the story of a young girl struggling with her family and death.

"How do the heartbreaking visions experienced by a little girl fit into this Ancient World of Angels, Myth &; Legend?"
This question remains after reading this book- how does the little girl fit in to a legendary ancient struggle?

"Where lives are bound by blood - and nothing is as it seems. In a World where there are more questions than answers. This journey will leave you wanting and have you asking... Who, When, Where?"
This little blurb above described the book fairly accurately for me.  I was left with more questions than answers- had no clue what was going on at time... I would even go beyond "Who, When, Where?" with also- What did I get myself into agreeing to read this book, How am I going to finish it, and finally WHY am I reading this book?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Straight to Hell

Straight to Hell (Lilith Straight #1)Straight to Hell by Michelle Scott

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this book through the R2R program.  Thank you to Michelle Scott for giving us the opportunity to read and review her novel.  I actually gave this book 2½ ♥'s, but as GoodReads does not allow for ½♥'s, I rounded up to 3.

I was really looking forward to this book, I had previously fallen in love with the Georgina Kincaid succubus series and was hoping to find another series along a similar theme to enjoy.  The writing itself (sentence structure, grammar, formatting) is suburb; this must be the best example of technical writing skill and formatting I've seen in a smaller-scale author.  The characters, however, were not endearing or appealing.  There are a few things in particular that really prevented enjoying this book:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2)Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"We aim to please, Miss Stelle."  ...and boy does this book ever do so!  If you've read the first book and enjoyed it, most likely you were among many that had to have this book almost immediately!  Nothing else would do!  I tried... oh, how I tried to find something else to appease me.  I had book reviews to work on, personal "issues"... but the red room beckoned to me.  "Read," it said, "you know you MUST know what happens..."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey: Twilight Fan Fiction Controversy

  Recently, a simple question on a GoodReads review of Fifty Shades Freed lead to a multiple-comment controversy on fan fiction, copyright laws, and Twilight. The original question raised was simply if they had read the book, especially as it is not due for release until tomorrow. (I've been waiting for this newest book with baited breath for weeks!) The reviewer in question, it turns out, read the original conception of this book (Master of the Universe) while it was still free and available on a Twilight Fan Fiction site.

  Here is the "meat" of the issue. The reviewer's standpoint claimed that since it was originally written as Twilight Fan Fiction that Fifty Shades is a derivative work. Many of us ("us" being fans of Fifty Shades) attempted to change their mind, to no avail. Their standpoint, however, made me want to learn more about this controversy and see if I could find concrete arguments against their claims.  As EL James' Fifty Shades Trilogy has been published, it is a moot point.  As a fan of the series, I still would like to have an educated response to the "naysayers".

  In order to fully explore this, let me first define Fan Fiction:    

Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Fan Fiction: stories involving popular fictional characters that are written by fans and often posted on the Internet —called also fan fic,

Urban Dictionary:
 1. fanfiction 913 up, 97 down n.
A piece of fiction within a fandom utilizing characters and situations from a pre-existing work including (but not limited to) books, television programs, films, and comic strips.
Typically separated into het, slash, and general genres. Often used to play out "Alternative Universe" scenarios and/or various romantic pairings not found in the original work.
Distributed via mailing lists, blogs, and zines. Heavily archived online.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Demon Made Me Do It

A Demon Made Me Do It (Demonblood #1)A Demon Made Me Do It by Penelope King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 "I'm pretty sure he won't buy my 'a-demon-made-me-do-it' excuse, but I'm half-tempted to say it anyway."

Thanks to Penelope King for providing this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. 

This urban fantasy revolves around Liora Greyson, half-human/half-demon.  She's trying to get through high school without her secret getting out, but being a half demon doesn't exactly make her Ms. Popular.  The delicate balance between her two worlds are thrown off kilter once she meets the elusive Kieron Ambrose.  Can she let go of her past and accept her future, or will her pain and anger seal her fate?

What I Thought
This is a witty, engaging YA novel.  I almost don't want to label it YA, because I think some may dismiss it as too innocent or tame to read.  It does not necessarily contain the graphic description of a bodice-ripper novel; but I it has just enough romance without being sappy and enough spice to steam reading glasses with the possibilities.  The "dual" nature of the heroine was clever and made me feel for both aspects of her nature.  I felt badly for her demon side, while still seeing the innocence of the human aspect. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Last Breath (The Morganville Vampires, #11)Last Breath by Rachel Caine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this particular case, I don't want to give an overview.  At this point, you either have read the Morganville Vampires series, or you haven't... so you should know what's going "on" with Morganville, Texas, a town (yeah, Texas!) run by vampires.

This is a YA novel, but there are allusions to steamy bedroom behavior, while not graphically described.  If you are not a "fan" usually of YA, you may still consider giving this series a chance.  The main character is young- but she is in college.  Throughout the series, there is romance and "deflowering". 

This is the latest book in the series, and it does not disappoint.  I was a little worried- I mean, with everything that has already happened in the other books... exactly how many hi jinx can Claire and her friends at the Glass House have with the vampires?  Plenty more it turns out!  But in this one... OK ...just one or two spoilers maybe, there is more than just the "founder" vampires! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Turning The Pages Blog Giveaway!

Turning the Pages Blog is Having a Giveaway! That's right- a chance to win FREE eBooks! Contest is running from January 11th-January 25th AND... It's an International Giveaway! There will be 2 lucky winners of either

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Graceling by Kristen Cashore

Monday, January 9, 2012

Amaranth (The Resistance Trilogy #1)

Amaranth (The Resistance Trilogy, #1)Amaranth by Rachael Wade

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Amaranth (The Resistance Trilogy #1)

Camille has finally taken a step toward breaking away from her abusive relationship and dysfunctional family.  A trip to Paris, where she has always longed to go, research for a book she longs to write (but has not even told her best about), and a "special" coat she spent way too much on, but it makes her feel happy and in control.  It's here in Paris that she has a chance encounter with Gavin Devereaux.  He somehow can tell she's searching for something and recommends that she move to Paris.  This is too much of a leap for Camille, and while she is drawn to Gavin, she wanders through Paris on her own without ever contacting him again.  She is, however, inspired by his suggestion...

A year and a half later, Camille is now living in Southern Louisiana.  She has "improved" her life by leaving Seattle, is attending a university, and working at a local bookstore; at the same time, she has just traded one abusive relationship for another. The Hoodoo influences in the area have lead her to attempt to work spells and rituals herself to banish her newest, and worst, abuser yet.  But nothing seems to work!  She is still trying to rid herself of Andrew when her best friend finally visits for the first time from Seattle, and Gavin appears at the local bookstore.  Still drawn to him, but without Paris to distract her, will she find what she has looked for in his arms?  Despite what she may, or may not have been looking for, she finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed: Amaranth, an exile world for vampires.  Soon she must decide what path to follow and what price she is willing to pay.  For all paths require a sacrifice.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ghost Story (#13 of the Dresden Files)

Ghost Story (The Dresden Files,  #13)Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved it, as I love all the Dresden Files.  I have to admit, I was worried after the ending of the last book... seriously worried.  There was still the tongue in cheek humor that I love from the series, and of coarse the main character, Harry.  Even as a ghost, he still packs a punch and cracks me up.  I didn't see the ending coming, I should have, but maybe I chose not to see it.

If you are a fan of the series, this is a must read.  If Harry Dresden just does not do it for you, then find another book to read.

Bound By Blood

Bound by Blood (The Garner Witch #1)Bound by Blood by P.A. Lupton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brianna is a strong, intuitive FBI agent with empathic gifts. She transfers to Denver and immediately dives into her newest case, all involving deaths of girls that look remarkably like herself. The trail leads her to to the successful and attractive Nathan, the primary "person of interest" in her case. From the moment she meets him, she feels a strange pull daring Brianna to risk everything: her career at the FBI, the truth of her family and the key to unlocking herself....

This is a fantastic beginning to the Garner Witch series. It is a happy combination of urban fantasy, paranormal romance and even a detective story to boot! The heroine, Brianna is a strong, sassy, modern woman - the kind you would expect having chosen law enforcement for their profession. Her gifts are unique, and grow in depth and detail. You can tell P.A. Lupton did her homework for all the research that must have been done to complete this novel. The "mythology" of the book is well thought out and has a unique spin, setting it apart from the herd of your average witch or vampire paranormal romance. The plot was well thought out with a few twists and turns; it kept me guessing until just before the revelation.

Want to be a Guest Blogger?

Do you have something to add, something to say?  Are you an author that wants to offer an interview or promote a new book?  Leave a comment below, or search for me on GoodReads!  I already have at least two interviews planned, and would love to include more!

Blood Warrior

Blood Warrior (The Alexa Montgomery Saga #1)Blood Warrior by H.D. Gordon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Overall Premise
Alexa is most definitely not your average teenager.  Instead of dates, dresses and friends, she has "practice" with her Mother and often ends up with black eyes.  Instead of riding the bus to school, she and her younger sister must run miles each day to get there and home.  The "hot bad boy" happens to be her best and only friend, while most others shun her.  She has so much anger, and her protective instincts flare when her younger sister is grabbed by a popular jock that she nearly snaps and floors the guy.  Somehow, that's the least of her worries.

Expecting her Mother to come down on her and insist on more "practice", she is greeted instead by an enigmatic stroll in the forest.  Suddenly, her Mother and her younger sister seem different, as if they are sharing a secret against her.  Only more questions are raised when her Mother gives her a gift- a sword...

Who and what is Alexa?  Why does she always feel such anger?  She finds out the answers in the worst possible of ways, and begins her journey into the unknown...

Assume the Position (Darker Side of Blue)

Assume the Position (Darker side of Blue)Assume the Position by T.C. Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It' so hot that it's become HAWT!  I think I have to fan myself after I've read it... maybe go looking into some silk rope....  I'm also going to be blushing furiously the next time I get pulled over.  I'll never look at police officers the same way!

It's a novella about Alex, a police officer with a "sexual" scar from his past, and a young women with trust issues, no family, and few friends.  They meet when she gets pulled over by Alex while on her way to a date she has zero interest in.  It's mainly just a favor for her one friend... and boy, oh boy, do sparks fly from the first moment they meet!

A Touch of Greek

A Touch of Greek (Out of Olympus #1)A Touch of Greek by Tina Folsom

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The philandering ways of Triton, Poseidon's son, have lead him to a punishment among the mortals.  He must find a female to love him for his kindness, his generosity, all the qualities that he lacks.  He quickly meets Sophie and attempts to seduce her- so sure that he will succeed. Until she refuses him... a god (though she does not know it.)  He soon finds that no other woman holds such sway over his carnal nature and despite her initial refusal, that he cannot get her out of his mind...

Raphael (Vampires In America)

Raphael (Vampires in America, #1)Raphael by D.B. Reynolds

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay- The review says 4 stars, but I would actually give it 3¾♥'s.

This is an action packed, mystery meets vampires meets romance novel.  It's the first in the Vampires in America series.  Cyn is a former would-be cop turned private investigator, although she does has enough money that she does not need to work.  She's a no strings attached kind of gal- rocky relationship at best with her half sister and a f-buddy as her bedroom "fix".  She lives in LA, but it's a darker LA with vampires...  The vamps are not mainstream, not out in the media proclaiming their status, but none the less- they are there and people are mostly aware of it but choose to ignore it.  But Cyn doesn't have that luxury- she's the "go-to-girl" when vamps need a human investigator. 

A weak female vampire get kidnapped, and Cyn is brought onto the case by Raphael, the vampire Lord of Western America.  She must find the kidnapped vampire while trying to maintain her professional distance and poise against the powerfully attractive and sensual Raphael....

The Ylem

The Ylem (The Ylem Trilogy, #1)The Ylem by Tatiana Vila

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First of all, thanks to Tatiana Vila for allowing the R2R group to review her book! 

Overall Impressions

I really, really enjoyed this book, far more than I even expected to!  It's a good thing I still have some credit on my gift cards so I can buy the next book!  The fact that it is a YA should not scare off any prospective readers.  I did not find the characters to be overly whiny or acting too young (a problem I have found in other YA books.)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Adventures in Funeral Crashing

Adventures in Funeral Crashing (Funeral Crashing #1)Adventures in Funeral Crashing by Milda Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to the R2R program to give me an opportunity to read and review this book!

This is a fantastic, witty YA mystery with romantic, and almost Scooby-Doo-like elements. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

The premise:

Kait is your average social pariah at school, even the "nerds" would be demoted by asking her out. Her mother passed away from cancer, and ever since then one of her coping mechanisms has been to continue to attend funerals.... for people that she has never met. It comes from a good, innocent place, but she is essentially a funeral crasher. Before her mother had gotten sick, she had the normal "average" teenage life. But once her mother became sick, and her best friend, Airel, suddenly fled to the popular crowd ... Kait had been given the short end of the stick in terms of death and friendship.


Airel (The Airel Saga, #1)Airel by Aaron Patterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, I want to thank Aaron Patterson for allowing R2R the opportunity to read and review his book. Secondly, I want to apologize for how long it took me to finish the book- had a rough month- cars becoming FUBAR, getting sick...

Airel is a YA story about your average brunette teenager. She's refreshing because she's not a blonde, bimbo cheerleader but rather an easy to identify with character (regardless of reader's age.) She has a random encounter (with an embarrassing latte spill on her part) with the newest student. His near movie-star looks have the female population of the school pining for him, and she dismisses any possibility of snaring his interest.

Despite an odd sickness that seems to grab her at the worst times, and prompts ridicule from her classmates, Michael Alexander still seems to be making a point to say hello and pop up at odd times with her best friend's latest crush. All four end up at a movie together, and Airel witnesses something that both shocks her, and further sets in motion a terrible chain of events that she finds started thousands of year before she was born....

Symphony of Blood

Symphony of Blood, A Hank Mondale Supernatural CaseSymphony of Blood, A Hank Mondale Supernatural Case by Adam Pepper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hank Mondale, a down-on-his luck private investigator, has dug himself a substantial hole between his alcoholism and gambling addiction. He can't pay his kleptomaniac secretary, is about to get evicted from his office building, not to mention the hired muscle breathing down his neck from his overdue losses on basketball games.

A new case seems to practically fall into his lap at just the right time, backed by a secretive wealthy client. Hank is not about to blow his chance to pay off his debts with one job, and agrees to meet with the client to find out more details. Once he realizes it's a very rich real estate mogul and his spoiled, drugged-out daughter with wild claims, he tries to back out. But he instead finds himself on a case that seems to tie-in with several missing persons and two odd homicides....


Bridger (Bridger, #1)Bridger by Megan Curd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some background (very little to no spoilers):

Ashlyn is your average high school student living in Ohio. She has a crazy "bestie" friend and another great guy friend that loves her, although she does not reciprocate the feelings. Approaching Christmas, all was well, she was planning a trip to visit Ireland with her father...

And then the book starts with the death of her father. The callousness of the paramedics, and her grief cause her to do a seemingly impossible act - throwing the paramedic against the car like she was an action hero. This was just the tip of the iceberg for unusual things that seemed to begin happening... Her "Memaw", which had during her previous 16 years seemed to treat her with a cold distance, suddenly seems to be trying to reach out to her, to talk to her. Determined to make the most out of her trip to Ireland, she talks her mother into letting her go with her crazy "bestie" that Memaw does not seem to like at all...

The Next Thing I Knew

The Next Thing I Knew (Heavenly, #1)The Next Thing I Knew by John Corwin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS* I have to admit, the book ended in a far different place than the initial blurb. The Next Thing I Knew is a YA book, but does involve many adults themes. Betrayal, Murder, Death... Everyone has suddenly died as the book begins, but the journey only starts there. Once Lucy and others find themselves as ghosts, they begin to search for missing family and friends, learn to "live" without their usual physical forms, and search for the reason everyone was dead. Lucy learns about herself, blossoming into a true leader while finding her way in this new "world." From there... it takes an entirely different direction than I anticipated.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fifty Shades of wonderful, emotional sexy roller coaster.  There are not words enough to express how much I love this book.  Fifty Shades was recommended by a friend, and completely different than my usual genre choice and "comfort zone" in reading.

I am so glad I listened to her recommendation and gave it a chance.  For anyone wary of the genre and subject matter, I still urge you to give it a read.  The BDSM, while an important aspect of the story, is not abusive.  This is, at it's heart, a romance with some seriously kinky, steamy sex. 

This is a Blog in Process...

Please keep your hands and feet at your sides at all times and tray tables in their full, upright position.