Friday, 24 December 2010

Once In A Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber

Celeste hangs with the popular crowd at Legend's Run High and is being wooed by Nash Hunter, the football quarterback, but doesn't really feel that she belongs. She only comes in contact with the new and enigmatic student, Brandon Maddox, when she passes him in classes, the hallway, and at lunch, but she suspects there is something different about him other than that he is a Westsider and comes from the wrong side of town.

On a dare, Celeste and her friends go to a psychic's shop for a reading. When it is Celeste's turn for a fortune, the psychic grabs Celeste's hands and warns, "Beware of a kiss under the full moon." Celeste and her friends laugh and mock the fortune teller. But on her way home from their outing, Celeste is blinded by a blizzard. Disoriented, she finds herself deep in the woods bordering town. She is overcome by snowfall and unable to see anything. Above her hovers the glow of a full moon. Just then, she sees beady eyes staring back through the falling flakes. She finds herself in the midst of a pack of hungry wolves. The wolves begin to howl. She can't outrun them, and the shortest tree branch is out of reach. They slowly approach her. At the last moment, a stranger pulls her from the hungry pack. He grabs a branch and fights the pack of wolves until they retreat. In the scuffle the stranger is bitten. It is Brandon Maddox.

Celeste is enamored by her hero and can't get him out of her mind. Where Nash is a hero on the field and court, Brandon is a hero in reality. Celeste steals away from her friends to find Brandon, and they meet on a hilltop near his home. A cloudy sky lingers above them, and Celeste realizes she has fallen in love with a Westsider. But in the next few moments, Celeste will face an even bigger challenge than falling for a guy from the wrong side of town. As the two lean in to kiss, the clouds pass, exposing the glow of a full moon. Brandon feels strange and pulls away. Something is about to change-him.

Release Date 28/12/10

Nicely written wee Young Adult story. I liked Celeste but couldn't figure out why she was friends with her friends. They are very different and Celeste knows this but is still best friends with them. In real life, I'd like to think she'd have more common sense.

I really hope this is the start of a series because the book felt unfinished. It seemed to end really abruptly, without explanation. The story has definitely been left wide open so there's potential for a series here.

Wasn't too keen on her take on werewolves but I suppose that's what makes werewolf and vampire books good reads - every one is different. I'd suggest this for a light wee read, it's very short but sweet.


Book Depository: Once In A Full Moon
Amazon UK: Once in a Full Moon

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Ravenous by Ray Garton

A corpse gets up and walks out of the hospital morgue. Minutes later, a policeman is killed outside the same hospital ... and partially eaten. Something deadly has come to the coastal California town of Big Rock - something that's leaving mangled and devoured bodies in its wake.

Sheriff Arlin Hurley refused to believe the wild talk of werewolves. Then a tuft of wolf's fur was found on one of the victims. But there's more than one werewolf on the prowl. It's quickly becoming an epidemic, the curse passed on not through blood but through sex. As the sheriff and his men set out to stop the spreading terror, they'll learn that many of the old werewolf legends are myths. The reality is far worse.

One word ~ Wow! The quote on the front of the book says "Razor-sharp and gut-punch brutal", very true. A very brutal story, not to be taken on lightly as an urban fantasy book in the slightest. The werewolves in this book are your stereotypical Hollywood monsters, they'll go after anyone and eat them up.

I liked the idea of the virus being transmitted via sex instead of a bite, it leaves you trying to work out who's going to turn before the book tells you and it all becomes very convoluted as you try to figure it out and link everyone together.

Big Rock is just a little town that ends up with a big pest problem and of course no-one figures it out until it's too late. I mean, come on, who believes in werewolves?! It's not exactly the first port of call for any sheriff and Sheriff Arlin Hurley is no different, despite what the evidence is telling him.

You don't get to know characters in depth since it's told from multiple POVs but they're well written in that short space. I've never read anything by Ray Garton before but he's definitely a good storyteller and keeps you hanging on right until the last word (literally!)

Well worth a page turn if you like your horror stories.


Book Depository: Ravenous
Amazon UK: Ravenous

Sunday, 19 December 2010

My 10 Favourite Series

I wrote Top 10 up there in the post title but then thought to myself "I can't actually put them in order of most to least favourite", so I deleted the top and it is now just my 10 favourite in alphabetical order.
The lists are in reading order, I have included links to author sites and, if available, direct links from there to the individual books. Also a link to my review if I've done one.

ALPHA & OMEGA by Patricia Briggs
The first story, Alpha & Omega , is actually a short story in the anthology On The Prowl. My review of On The Prowl.
Cry Wolf. My review of Cry Wolf.
Hunting Ground. My review of Hunting Ground.
Alpha & Omega #3 is due to be published in Autumn 2011

Dark Lover
Lover Eternal
Lover Awakened
Lover Revealed
Lover Unbound
Lover Enshrined
Insider's Guide
Lover Avenged
Lover Mine

DARKEST POWERS by Kelley Armstrong
Darkest Powers website
The Summoning. My review of The Summoning.
The Awakening. My review of The Awakening.
The Reckoning. My review of The Reckoning.
And the following book is technically a new series called Darkness Rising but it's the same world as Darkest Powers and is based on the same storyline.
The Gathering is due to be released April 2011

JANE TRUE by Nicole Peeler
Tempest Rising. My review of Tempest Rising.
Tracking the Tempest. My review of Tracking the Tempest.
Tempest's Legacy. My review of Tempest's Legacy.

KITTY NORVILLE by Carrie Vaughn
Kitty and the Midnight Hour
Kitty Goes to Washington
Kitty Takes a Holiday
Kitty and the Silver Bullet
Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand
Kitty Raises Hell
Kitty's House of Horrors
Kitty Goes to War

MERCY THOMPSON by Patricia Briggs
Moon Called
Blood Bound
Iron Kissed
Bone Crossed
Silver Borne
River Marked is due to be released March 2011

Glass Houses
The Dead Girls' Dance
Midnight Alley
Feast of Fools
Lord of Misrule
Carpe Corpus
Fade Out
Kiss of Death
Ghost Town. My review of Ghost Town.
Bite Club is due to be released April 2011

OTHERWORLD by Kelley Armstrong
Dime Store Magic
Industrial Magic
No Humans Involved
Personal Demon
Living with the Dead
Waking the Witch. My review of Waking the Witch.
Spell Bound is due to be released July/August 2011
Men of the Otherworld is an anthology of shorts all written from the male's perspective.
Tales of the Otherworld is another anthology of shorts. If I remember correctly, Tales and Men were both written to raise money for charity.
Angelic is a novella written for Subterranean Press and was a very limited run. It is no longer available to buy (except from unscrupulous folks on ebay) but is available in audio book format.
Counterfeit Magic is also a novella from Subterranean Press. Just been released so I'm not sure about available copies. However, knowing the want of Kelley fans out there, it is probably no longer available in print.

SHIFTERS by Rachel Vincent
Alpha. My review of Alpha.
Unfortunately, this great series is now finished.

Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Dead and Gone
Dead in the Family

Friday, 17 December 2010

Tempest's Legacy by Nicole Peeler

Release date: 01/01/2011
After a peaceful hiatus at home in Rockabill, Jane True thinks that her worst problem is that she still throws like a girl - at least while throwing fireballs. Her peace of mind ends, however, when Anyan arrives one night with terrible news . . . news that will rock Jane's world to its very core.

After demanding to help investigate a series of gruesome attacks on females -- supernatural, halfling, and human -- Jane quickly finds herself forced to confront her darkest nightmares as well as her deepest desires.

And she's not sure which she finds more frightening.

Amazing third Jane True book from Nicole Peeler. Jane True really comes into her own in this and we get to see her getting stronger and realising her full potential. She gets news of her mum and works through her feelings for Anyan while trying to further the investigations into the 'clinics' found in Tracking the Tempest.

Nicole has a great writing style. She keeps you on the edge of your seat and begging for more and sticks in a whole heaping of funny as well. It's not often an author can have me laughing out loud but Nicole manages to do it regularly. Which, when I'm reading the book at work, makes me come across as a wee bit crazy!

Fantastic story written by a fantastic author and I cannot wait for the next installment, Eye of the Tempest. And here (since I just found it after posting this one) is the review for Tempest Rising, just in case you want to read this one first. The reading order is Tempest Rising, Tracking the Tempest then Tempest's Legacy.


Book Depository: Tempest's Legacy
Amazon UK: Tempest's Legacy

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Maneater: a werewolf's tale by Thomas Emson

She's not sweet. She's not nice.

She doesn't fight evil. She doesn't protect the weak. She doesn't serve humanity. She doesn't work in an office by day and have a secret identity by night. She doesn't have friends and family who know nothing about her but when they find out they love her anyway. She's not cool. She's not clever. She's not kind to animals. She won't help children, the elderly, and those less fortunate than herself.

In fact, she doesn't care. But if you hurt her, she will kill you. Actually, she'll do worse than that -

Meet Laura. She'll eat you alive.

So even just going by the blurb you can tell this chick ain't gonna be painted as a lovely family woman who had some terrible accident and got turned into a werewolf. She's a bitch. Literally! She has few friends and no family.

I loved this book ... well ..... I would have if it didn't have so many spelling errors and typos in it. That really puts me off! So as it is I liked it very much.

Unfortunately, with this blurb, there's not a whole lot for me to say without giving anything away. Let's just say it doesn't fall in line with the more recent werewolf books. It's kind of confusing to read purely because it's told from everyone's point of view. There's no outright narrator in this and sometimes it takes a few sentences to even work out who you're currently reading.

Definitely a must read for all werewolf fans. It's Thomas Emson's first English novel but I'm going to be on the lookout for more.


Book Depository: Maneater
Amazon UK: Maneater

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Chill Factor by Rachel Caine


Weather Warden extraordinaire Joanne Baldwin, who protects the human race from monster storms, was killed, reborn as a Djinn, and then restored to her original form. She's been through a lot - and stuck her neck out many times - to save innocent lives. Now she is rolling the dice to stop an infinitely powerful, deeply disturbed kid from destroying the world ...

A teenager has holed up in style at a Las Vegas hotel with the most powerful Djinn in the world, planning who knows what kind of mischief. The Wardens' senior leadership is dead, Djinn are disappearing, and a secret society wants to help Joanne destroy the teenager, even if doing so kills her again. But everybody in Vegas has a game going, and Joanne has to learn the rules fast because the stakes have never been higher - and all hell is about to break loose ...

Book three in the Weather Warden series takes off where book two ended, David and Jo are chasing Kevin and Jonathan while trying to avoid getting killed by them. This book gives is a little Jo background story and also (surprisingly) makes you see Marion Bearheart in a different light. Jo learns some things she doesn't want to believe but has to cope with it.

I love Rachel Caine's writing, I'm a huge fan of her Morganville books as well as Weather Warden. Unfortunately I came into the Weather Warden series sorta late so I have some catching up to do but it's fast becoming one of favourite series. And I highly recommend it to all Rachel Caine fans and any urban fantasy fans wanting a wee change from vamps and weres (not that there's anything wrong with them but a little deviation never hurts).

Great read with at least gasp-out-loud moment that had me hurting!


Book Depository: Chill Factor
Amazon UK: Chill Factor

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Ghost of Vampire Present by Seleste deLaney

Jocelyn has finally found her knight in shining armor in Chad, and ghosts are the last thing on her mind. Even when one shows up in her bedroom on Christmas Eve, Jocelyn's a bit more concerned about the other guests on the agenda. She'd prefer to never see another vampire, and the ghost tells her to expect not one, but three.

When the one from her past shows up even though he's supposed to be dead, she decides she's dreaming and suffers through the night. By the time dawn breaks, she's not so sure anymore.

But if it's not a dream that means her nightmare is far from over.

Sequel to Of Course I Try in which Jocelyn has her own twisted Christmas Carol.

I liked this more than Of Course I Try purely because I like Chad more. Yes, I'm fickle that way but I don't care. He's better looking and not as jerky as Max, I know I may be quick to judge since we've only had 2 shorts so far but I'm basing it on what we've learned so far and how they've both come across and I'm totally Team Chad.

I can't wait to read a full length Blood Kissed novel (hint, hint).


Amazon UK: The Ghost of Vampire Present

Heart of the Wolf by D.B. Reynolds

Kathryn Avinger is a werewolf, daughter of the North American Alpha. Young, beautiful and obedient to her Alpha’s will, Kathryn was married off ten years ago to a much older and wealthy human, finding herself neatly trapped in an abusive prison of money and privilege.

Renjiro Roesner is a powerful and charismatic wolf, an enforcer for Kathryn’s father … and, once upon a time, Kathryn’s promised husband. Returning from a mission to find Kathryn married and gone, Renjiro left the country, bitter and betrayed. But when someone tries to murder Kathryn at her husband’s funeral, Renjiro comes home to protect the only woman he ever loved.

Racing against time, their long-simmering passion flaring hotter than ever, Renjiro is determined that this time Kathryn will be his. But first, he’ll have to keep her alive long enough to claim her.

Short but sweet (and sexy) story. Even at only 89 pages long, you still love Ren and Kathryn. Ren has that sexy-hot dominant male thing going on that I love!

Since it's a short story, I can't really comment on the pacing or such but I read it in the hour before I went to work and didn't want to put it down.

Great story and only cost, like, a quid so well worth it. Get it from Bookstrand and don't be put off with the checkout process. It's all very confusing and a bit too long for my liking. I like click and enter your details and you're done.


Amazon UK: Heart of the Wolf

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

'Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas

From the keeper of Santa’s naughty list, delightful little Elves eager to please, and the sensual love of a toy soldier—the holidays are filled with orgasmic cheer. Where wishes come true, Frosty is itching for a melt-down, fairies and angels are randy to grant your every wish, ‘tis the season to be oh, so jolly-filled.

Unwrap your darkest desires…for this is Christmas, and it will never be the same.

I was planning on doing a general review of the book as a whole but I decided to do a mini review of each tale.

Santas's Naughty List by Stacey Espino
I admit it was a bit weird to read an erotic story starring Santa but it was hot. And don't worry, Santa's not the sex interest.

My Boys by Amarinda Jones
More elves here as well as angels. A worrying thought for me was that this story, as well as the above, had a female lead who got very turned on by intruders. I hope it's not a trend! Fun sex scenes though. *fans self* Very fun.

A Christmas Curse by Ericka Scott
As good as the previous two stories were, I was glad to finally read one that had a proper story attached to it. Otherwise I feel like I'm just reading porn!

The Little Red Ribbon by A.D. Blackburn
Nice story and a likeable male lead. Although, again, I felt like I was just reading porn.

Once Upon a Christmas Spanking by Rachel Clark
A very enjoyable BDSM based tale. Focusing on how a couple can be together and not let each other know what they want in the bedroom.

Yes Alana, There is a Santa Claus by Seleste deLaney
Nice story with a likeable leading lady. My only problem with this story is that I know the author personally, and consider her a friend (even if we live in different countries) so I couldn't help but picture her in the lead role. Which isn't a bad thing! Don't get me wrong, Sel's hawt as fuck but it's just weird picturing your friend having sex!

Carly's Delights by Lauren Pilla
What a kewl take on elves. Very cute story ~ well, cute and sexy ;)

Kingdom of Sweets by Gigi Brevard
A bit of a weird take on Nutcrackers, I'll never look at one the same way again.

Holly's Clause by Kerri Nelson
A demonic twist on a slightly porn-ish storyline. I do not mean that in a bad way but in a delivery man "I have a big package for you" way.

Hard for the Holidays by Skylar Sinclair
A few spelling errors in this one, instant turn off for a reader like me. Not too sure how I feel about an erotic story about Santa! It all seemed so .... wrong, lol.

The Christmas Fae by Emma Shortt
A sweet story about the cutest sounding fairy ever. I had the hugest crush on her after reading this one.

Jack Frost by Misty Burke
A hot little take on Jack Frost.

A Christmas Wish for Laura by Shannan Albright
Another nice (and sexy) take on Jack Frost

So all in all 'Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas is the perfect book for making you hot on those cold winter nights. There's a bit of something for everyone in here ranging from oooh-hooo-mamma sex to grab-the-headboard sex.

Just became available in print form today as well, direct from Evernight Publishing.

Amazon UK: 'Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas

Monday, 6 December 2010

Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris

When she was 15, Harper Connelly was struck by lightning. She's left with headaches and episodes of muscle weakness. Sometimes her right hand shakes.

And she can find dead people.

It's taken a few years, but Harper's made a success of her life. She's making a living, using her talent to help people, and she's got a boyfriend - her stepbrother Tolliver. Then Tolliver's father arrives, seeking forgiveness, and the police get information that Harper's sister Cameron, missing for so many years, has been spotted. So Harper's life is becoming a little complicated, but she doesn't expect these complications to include Tolliver getting shot, or seeing a policeman die taking a bullet for her.

Harper can find dead people - but now it's clear someone wants her dead ...

The fourth Harper Connelly book sees Harper and Tolliver deal with the fallout of An Ice Cold Grave's events and also coming out officially as a couple to friends and family. They're still trying to see more of their sisters and are still hoping to set up a home nearby so they can be more involved in their lives.

Charlaine Harris has a real nice writing style, not all her chapters end on cliff hangers but I can't seem to help myself from page turning (even if I've told myself I'm going to bed after this chapter!). Her characters are normal and relatable which helps to like them and follow their lives.

With Harper and Tolliver being back in Dallas, old friends and family emerge and, of course, thoughts about Cameron. Harper has always been convinced that Cameron is dead and she'd one day find her but an anonymous tip about a sighting in Texarkana still gets her hopes up about the possibility of her being alive.

We get a bit more insight into what happened before, during and after Cameron's disappearance and see some more of what Harper and Tolliver's childhood years were like.

The major letdown with this book, for me, was the ending. It seemed rushed and kind of thrown together. Also it felt very much like the whole story is being wrapped up and I'm wondering if this is, in fact, the last in the series.


Book Depository: Grave Secret
Amazon UK: Grave Secret

Tracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler

Jane True has almost come to terms with her supernatural heritage ... almost.

Valentine's day is fast approaching, however, and Ryu - Jane's bloodsucker boyfriend - can't let the day go by without getting all gratuitous. This time his shenanigans involve a last-minute ticket to Boston and a hefty dose of interference in her life.

And when Ryu's best laid plans inevitably go awry, Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings. All evidence points towards a being of tremendous power ... who, much to Jane's surprise, may just turn out to be another halfling.

I can't think of a word that would accurately describe how much I love Jane True and the world and characters that Nicole Peeler has created.

Jane is just beginning her training since learning of her Selkie heritage, and her relationship with Ryu is still in the beginning stage. This book sees her struggling to keep her new life and her old life seperate and also puts her relationship with Ryu to the test.

I'm glad we get to see more of Anyan in this book, I really like the Barghest and hope he continues to pop up in future books. And Jane and Ryu's relationship? *fans self* HAWT!! I want me one of those, for xmas maybe? Please?

Seriously, I can't give this series enough praise. The characters, the world, the pacing and the story are all fantastic.


Book Depository: Tracking The Tempest
Amazon UK: Tracking the Tempest

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

When Claire is ordered to repair the systems that protect Morganville, it's not just cutting into her study time, it's a life-threatening problem. If there's one thing this vampire-infested town is serious about, it's security.

But achieving the impossible only brings a whole new set of problems, and the upgrades have unexpected consequences: people inside the town are slowly beginning to forget who they are, even the vampires. Soon, the town's little memory problem has turned into a full-on epidemic. Now Claire needs to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment - before she forgets how to save Morganville...

This is the latest installment in the Morganville series and Rachel Caine still manages to keep the reader gripped. Even after 9 books, the story keeps flowing and keeps you hooked until the very last page where, upon finishing it, you cannot wait for the next book.

Claire has more responsibility in this book, she must fix the computer that controls a lot of Morganville after Ada was destroyed. But, in typical Morganville fashion, nothing goes according to plan. Myrnin is his usual (slightly schizophrenic) self and this does nothing to help the cause. Claire has grown a lot since Glass Houses and she's now in a serious relationship with Shane. She's matured quickly and I really like her and the group dynamics of the Glass house members.

As usual with the Morganville books, I didn't want to put it down and I'm eagerly awaiting the next book.


Book Depository: Ghost Town
Amazon UK: Ghost Town

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Must Be Love by Cathy Woodman

It must be love. What other reason could there be for city vet Maz's contentment with her new country life? The vet's practice where she's partner with her best friend Emma is thriving, and so is her relationship with the gorgeous Alex Fox-Gifford.

But then circumstances force Emma to take a break from the practice, and Maz's life suddenly spirals out of control. What with working all hours trying to keep things going, fending off insults from Alex's parents, keeping one eye on the lusty locum - who's causing havoc amongst the village girls - and dealing with Emma's precarious mental state, it won't take much to upset the apple cart. So when she gets some unwelcome news, only time will tell whether Maz and Alex's love can withstand the fallout.

I picked this up since I enjoyed the first book, Trust me, I'm a Vet, which surprised me 'cos (as I said in the review) it's not the type of book I normally enjoy. I like strong heroines which you don't normally find in chick lit books. I think my main reason for enjoying these books is the setting, it reminds me of my time at work.

Maz's relationship with Alex is continuing and, much to his parents annoyance, seems to be getting stronger. Maz is fully immersed in her partnership with Emma until Emma seems to lose interest. Then the faecal matter really hit the fan!

I really didn't like Emma in this book, she comes across as a bit of a bitch. I know she has bad news in this book but she's still bitchy. I like how Alex and Emma's relationship is coming on and, since the author used to be a vet, the hassles of being a vet on call and trying to be keep a relationship going are a big story point.

A very light hearted, quick read with some ups and downs and the normal sads and happies. Worth a quick perusal, especially if (like me) you can appreciate the setting of it.


Book Depository: Must Be Love
Amazon UK: Must Be Love

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Trust me, I'm a Vet by Cathy Woodman

City vet Maz Harwood has learned the hard way that love and work don't mix. So when an old friend asks her to look after her Devonshire practice for six months, Maz decided running away is her only option.

But country life is tricker than she feared. It's bad enough she has to deal with comatose hamsters, bowel-troubled dogs and precious prize-winning cats, without having to contend with disgruntled competition and a stubborn neighbour who's threatening to sue over an overzealous fur cut!

Worse still, she discovers Otter House Veterinary Clinic needs mending as much as her broken heart. Thank goodness there's an unsuitable distraction, even if he is the competition's deliciously dashing son ...

Not normally the type of books I would read but the word vet made me pick it up. As a qualified Veterinary Nurse, I'm normally a bit wary of books featuring animals but I discovered that the author is a fully qualified small animals Vet so it eased me.

Maz is a likeable character and you feel for her and understand her need to move. I like the sound of Talyton, the town the book is set in. It's quiet and small but has the typical small town feel that books and films like to give them. Everyone knows everyone and what's going on everywhere.

A nice change of pace for me and nice little return to the world of Vet practice, even if it's fake! Typical little chick lit book with romance and such, an easy read.


Book depository: Trust Me, I'm A Vet
Amazon UK: Trust Me, I'm a Vet

The Bad Dog's Diary by Martin Howard

This extraordinary diary lifts the dustbin lid on a year in the life of Blake - a very bad boy indeed - and spreads its contents all over the kitchen floor. A maverick hound with an eye for the bitches and a flair for strategy, Blake is on a mission to become the Top Dog of his neighbourhood while avoiding any hint of obedience to the owner. Day by day he gives us insight into the canine world from a self-professed "dog's dog", including what it means to be pack leader, living with the threat of castration, what dogs really think about tinned food, the joys of leg humping, and, of course, the political and social injustices of the traditional human-dog relationship. Backed up by a host of friends, including Scottie, a geriatric, sex-mad Westie and Constable, a dim-witted, best-of-breed TV personality, Blake's plans take unexpected turns as the year progresses.

A dog who will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever found a favourite shoe in slobbery tatters or fended off complaints from their neighbours, Blake is hilarious, wise and often touching. He delves deeply into questions of loyalty, love, war and scooting and along the way shows us exactly why there will always be a place in the human world for dogs.

This is a hilarious outlook on the world from a dog's point of view. The author has done a great job at getting into a dog's mind and there's some hilarious insights into what dogs must think of our everyday activites.

Blake makes some interesting observations about his owner, like "he started some playful wrestling with Samantha, during which their clothes fell off. Me, Ella and Coleridge joined in the fight, but they seemed to lose all their enthusiasm when we did." which had me giggling for quite some time.

I read this book in public which could have given me a name for being insane, since it constantly had me smiling and laughing out loud. A nice quick read that was a great pick me up and a nice filler while waiting for my wishlist books to arrive. And it has a sequel which I'm looking forward to reading.


Book Depository: The Bad Dog's Diary
Amazon UK: The Bad Dog's Diary

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Can happiness cure migraines?

I don't mean tra-la-la happiness but that feeling of sheer contentment.

I used to get a lot of migraines, not as many as to say it was a major problem in my life but I probably got about 2-3 a week. I used to refill my prescription fairly regularly and I recently realised I've probably only filled it a couple of times in as many years. The only thing that's changed in that 2 year period is; I met Gary.

This is not meant to sound like a "my life is excellent and I'm so happy" piece of crap because my life is far from it. I don't enjoy my job, constantly wish I hadn't made the decision that screwed up my life a few years back and, like everyone else in the world, am constantly struggling with money. But I am lucky enough to have met a man that I have loads in common with and instantly clicked with.

The best decision of my life so far was joining the website that I met Gary through and then following through from that and meeting in real life.

So yeah, does happiness cure migraines?

I think it does. Even if it's just all in my head!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

Twenty-seven-year-old Josey is sure of three things:
winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favoutire season;
she's a sorry excuse for a Southern Belle;
and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet.

For a while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother's house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night . . .

Until she finds her closet harbouring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tender-hearted woman who is one part nemesis - and two parts fairy godmother . . .

This book has been on my shelf for ages. I originally picked it up because of the cover, it's sparkly and I'm a bit like a magpie that way. An author I follow on Twitter mentioned it last week and I remembered it was there so decided to read it.

I couldn't get into it at the beginning and by the time I realised I was getting really into it, I noticed it was nearly finished.

Josey still lives with her mother and feels guilty about her childhood so feels she must stay with her mother to make up for it. She takes her mother out and about and runs all her errands for her. Then Della Lee Baker shows up in her closet and things begin to change. She makes new friends and slowly begins to enjoy her life.

I loved Josey from the beginning. In fact, I loved all the characters I was meant to. Sarah Addison Allen does a very good job at writing people and the storyline was fun too. It's written from different character's POV, not just Josey's, which gives it a nice change of pace.

Well worth a read and I'm keeping an eye out for her other book.


Book Depository: The Sugar Queen
Amazon UK: The Sugar Queen

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Whip It by Shauna Cross

Meet Bliss Cavendar, an indie-rock-loving misfit stuck in the tiny town of Bodeen, Texas. Her pageant-addicted mother expects her to compete for the coveted Miss Bluebonnet crown, but Bliss would rather feast on roaches than be subjected to such rhinestone tyranny.
Bliss's escape? Roller Derby.
When she discovers a league in nearby Austin, Bliss embarks on an epic journey full of hilarious tattooed girls, delicious boys in bands, and a few not-so-awesome realities even the most hard-core derby chick has to learn.

My friend recommended this book because she knows I loved the movie. I normally like to hold off on watching a book-to-film adaptation until after I've read the book but, in this case, I didn't know there was a book until my friend told me about it.

What's not to love about this book? Roller derby. Cool chicks in funky outfits. And awesome writing.

Bliss finds out about Roller Derby by chance and drags her friend, Pash, along. She instantly falls in love with the sport and decides to try out. What follows is a coming of age story about first loves, first kisses and contact sport.

I love Bliss. She's spunky and smart. Pash is a great friend but can be a tad annoying at times. The reader instantly has the same feelings as Bliss towards her mother, she's annoying and trying to relive her youth through her kids.

The movie is actually fairly true to the book. Any changes are small and kind of inconsequential. My main problem was how short this book was, it took me no time at all to finish it. I'd actually love to read more about Bliss and the Roller Derby league.


Book Depository: Whip It
Amazon UK: Whip It

Friday, 12 November 2010

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

At the age of four, Bryn watched a rabid werewolf brutally murder her parents. She was rescued and taken in by the mysterious Callum, the alpha of his pack. Now fifteen, Bryn's been a human among werewolves, adhering to pack rule.

But the pack's been keeping a secret, and when Bryn goes exploring against Callum's orders, she finds Chase, a newly turned teen Were locked in a cage. Bryn needs answers, and she needs Chase to get them. Suddenly, it's Bryn and Chase against the werewolf world, whatever the consequences.

This is the first book I've read by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and the first I've actually heard of her. I picked it up on a whim because it was on a deal with another book I wanted to read, and I wasn't disappointed.

This was a different take on werewolf packs and with the added difference of a human in the mix. I instantly liked Bryn 'cos she can kick ass and stands up for herself against the pack alpha, who I also liked straight away.

The attraction between Chase and Bryn is instantaneous and inexplicable. Bryn's friendships are believable as are her relationships with her 'family'. The pacing is very good and keeps you in the story.

A must read and the sequel is on my wishlist already.


Book Depository: Raised By Wolves
Amazon UK: Raised by Wolves

Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Meeting

So I wrote this wee story years ago, and I do mean years ago! I think I wrote it when I was in secondary school so definitely over 10 years. Since I'm sort of considering trying to pick up one of my old story ideas, I thought I'd post this one here first.

Feel free to rip it apart!

Andrea sat in the café sipping her coffee waiting for her friend to show up, Sharon was always late. Andrea had chosen Inverness as their weekend break this time; she loved it in the Highlands. She spent all year working in an office in Glasgow and loved her weekends away with her old friend from secondary school, it was the only time they got to spend together since Sharon moved down to England with her husband. Every year in September they went away for a long weekend, alternating each year as to who got to choose the destination. Sharon normally chose somewhere in England and Andrea normally chose Scotland.
Andrea looked at her watch, half an hour had passed. She caught the waitress’s eye and waved her over.
“Can I have another coffee please? White, no sugar.”
“Sure, can I get you anything else while you’re waiting?”
“I suppose I could have a slice of that Carrot cake since you asked.”
The waitress laughed, “I’ll bring it right over.”
Andrea sighed and stretched over the table to look out at the road again, checking for Sharon’s car. Just as she was about to lean back, she spotted her white Ford Fiesta pull in to the car park. She shook her head laughing as Sharon got out the car looking harassed.
Sharon came through the door and paused, looking for Andrea. Andrea waved to catch her attention and Sharon headed in her direction.
“I’m so sorry I’m late. There were roadworks.."She waved her arm about in the air “I don’t know…somewhere. Then I took a wrong turning and it took me ages to get back on the right road again. Anyway, I made it finally.” Sharon said as she hugged Andrea, “So how are you?”
Just then the waitress came back with Andrea’s coffee and carrot cake, she looked at Sharon, “Can I get you anything?”
“That looks good; I’ll have the same, only I’ll have 2 sugars in my coffee, thanks”
The waitress nodded and went to get Sharon’s order.
“So,” Sharon said “How are things? How’s Paul?”
Andrea sighed, “Paul and I have broken up.”
“When? Last time I spoke to you, you were doing great.”
“That was over a month ago. I found out he’s been seeing a woman from his work.”
“Oh hon, I’m sorry” Sharon took Andrea’s hand.
Andrea shook her head, “Don’t be, I’d known for ages there was something going on with him but I just couldn’t figure out what. I saw him three weeks ago out at dinner with her when he was supposed to be working.”
“Well, I never liked him anyway.” Sharon replied with a small smile on her face.
“Yes you did. You loved him.”
“No, I only put up with him for you. I despised the man” She said jokingly.
The waitress set Sharon’s order on the table.
Sharon looked up and smiled, “Thanks.” The waitress smiled and left.
“So, what are we up to this weekend?”
“Well,” Andrea started “we’re going to this gorgeous B&B first to drop off our stuff. Then I have a weekend of sweaty, hard work planned.”
Sharon groaned “Why do we have to go on activity weekends with you? My weekends are nice and relaxing.”
“That’s ‘cos you’re nice and boring. You know this is how I relax.”
“Funny way to relax if you ask me.”
“Stop whining, it’ll be fun. Besides, it’s probably the only exercise you get since we left school.”
Sharon looked at her out the side of her eyes and drank her coffee.
They both sat in silence while they ate their cakes. It may seem strange to people that two old friends who only see one another once a year wouldn’t be talking non stop, but that was why Andrea and Sharon were such good friends. They didn’t have to talk to one another all the time; they just enjoyed each others company.
Sharon stood up, “I have to go to the bathroom, and I’ve been in that car for hours.”
Andrea watched as she walked to the bathroom, noticing the stares she was getting from the few men in the café. It didn’t matter what age they were, Sharon had always been noticed wherever they went. That’s why she’d gotten married so young, she and Alex had started going out in secondary school. She hadn’t noticed him of course, but he’d been trying to ask her out for months, he finally plucked up the courage to ask Andrea if she would ask her. They’d been together ever since.
Andrea turned back to her coffee and took a drink. Just then the door opened and a man came in. He sat at the table next to Andrea and ordered a drink. Andrea couldn’t help but stare at him; he had jet black hair and gorgeous dark green eyes. He was athletically built but not too muscular. He must have felt her eyes on him and turned to look at her. Andrea turned away quickly, embarrassed that she’d been caught staring.
“I’m Derek.”
Andrea turned; the man was looking at her. “I’m Andrea. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stare.”
“It’s okay, I’m used to it.” He flicked his eyes up in a pointing gesture.
Andrea followed his gaze and realised that every other person in the café was staring at him in an odd confusion. The ones that noticed Andrea staring looked away but the others just kept on staring.
“Why are they all staring at you like that?” Andrea asked
“Most people do, it’s as if they all get this feeling they know me and they’re all trying to place me in their heads. So you don’t sound like you come from around here.”
“I live in Glasgow. I’m here for the weekend with my friend. How about you? You don’t seem to belong here either.”
“I’m just passing through on my way between jobs. I’m heading to Inverness.”
“That’s where we’re going. I love it there.”
“I’ve been a few times, it’s nice.” He drank his coffee in one quick gulp. “Well, I’d better be going, no rest for the wicked.”
“Tell me about it.”
“It was nice meeting you Andrea; maybe I’ll see you in Inverness.”
“Yeah, ‘bye.”
He put money on the table and left.
Sharon came back to the table, “Who was the hunk?”
“I don’t know. Derek something.” Andrea said, distracted. She had a feeling she’d met him before, and would probably be seeing him again.

Derek pulled two watches from his pocket and looked at the faces. He didn’t get this new technology thing; still the watches were more reliable that the old egg timers. He’d never get used to all the changes in the world; he still refused to give up his horse. He put the watches with Andrea and Sharon’s name on them back in his pocket and mounted his horse. Andrea was going to regret booking an activity holiday this year. He tapped his horse on her side, she walked forward before they both disappeared into the mist.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Falling for the fallen . . .

For Nora Grey, romance was never part of the plan. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgement.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora isn't sure if she can trust him. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and to know more about her than her closest friends. And when she tries to seek answers, she discovers she is right in the middle of a centuries-old battle between the immortal and the fallen ... and it's time to take sides.

What a debut from Becca Fitzpatrick! This book was fantastic.

Nora and Vee are best friends with a connection going back to childhood and when Nora has to pair up with Patch in Biology she finds herself attracted to him but doesn't know why.

I liked Nora straight away but I don't know exactly why, she has a bad history and a mother that works away a lot. I think I like her because she's quite mature for her age (especially when you compare her to her best friend, Vee) and I always like YA books that have characters that aren't whingy, immature kids. Yes, this has one particular character that's like that but she's not a main character so I'm fine with that.
Patch is great, the typical bad boy with a history no-one knows about, along with where he comes from or where he lives etc. I had no idea what to expect from Patch, he constantly goes from the hero to the bad guy to the hero to the bad guy etc etc.

The pacing is great and makes this a very quick read. I read it while I was working and (as always happens with great books) I resented customers for making me put my book down!
I cannot wait to read the sequel, Crescendo. Which is out now by the way.


Book Depository: Hush Hush
Amazon UK: Hush, Hush

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Books vs films/TV

Since I read Alpha and it gave me a huge lump in my throat, I realised I can cry over books a lot easier than films or TV.

I mean, films and TV programmes can sometimes give me a lump in my throat but I've never watched any that actually caused me to cry. But I have actually shed tears over books and the only reason I didn't cry over Alpha was because I had to put it down after reading a particular scene. I think because it was a scene that I can't even comprehend having to cope with myself.

I used to think I was weird when people said they cried over certain films or programmes but I hadn't. Even though films can give me a lump in my throat, it's generally only films about animals. For example, Marley and Me. But I think it's because I can use my own imagination with a book and that makes it worse.

What about you? Does anyone else cry more over books than films or is it vice versa?

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Alpha by Rachel Vincent


Everything is about to change for werecat Faythe when her father is ousted from the council that controls their secret world. And a shocking tragedy jeopardises her future as Alpha of her pride.

Now a rebel on the run, Faythe's biggest fight lies ahead. Old allies from the supernatural world are ready to stnad by her side. And weretoms Marc and Jace would give their very souls in the duel for Faythe's heart ...

Yet as their enemies draw near Faythe knows that she - and she alone - can lead the pride into what may be their final battle.

I can say one word to sum up this fantastic finale to the Shifters series and that word is ..... WOW!!!!
I'm so sad to see the series ending but what an ending!!
Faythe has had a lot to deal with and she and her pridemates have still not really avenged Ethan's death so they're still looking for payback for that. As well as all the other crap that's happened to Faythe and her pride throughout the series.

One thing I love about Faythe is she can kick ass with the best of them but Rachel doesn't write her as "my heroine is the best and always comes out on top". She doesn't always come out on top, she does lose on occasion and she can screw up, which I love.

There's not a lot I can say about Alpha without giving too much away and I hate reading spoilers. I read one about Alpha that made me sad but luckily it didn't ruin the book for me, and the particular scene that got spoiled for me was just as heartfelt and meaningful for me evern though I knew it was coming.

All in all, Shifters is a great series by a great author and Alpha is an awesome ending to that series. A must read.


Book Depository: Alpha
Amazon UK: Alpha

Friday, 29 October 2010

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, Chloe happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be 'cursed'?) friends are now running for their lives from the evil corporation that created them.

As if that's not enough, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she's leaning towards the werewolf ...

Definitely not normal.

A brilliant last book in the Darkest Powers trilogy. It answers all the questions we had regarding the first two books but left some of the bigger questions open for the Darkness Rising trilogy which starts with The Gathering, released in April 2011.

It's the pacing, again, that make this such a great read. Unputdownable (yes that really is a word!) and not one to read if you're hoping to go out at some point.

Again, this book picks up exactly where the last one finished and we get to see how the group are coping in safety after being rescued by an old friend.
It's great to read about the friendships becoming stronger as they are put through tougher challenges, constantly questioning who they can trust. Especially great (for me at least) is getting more in depth with Chloe, Derek and Simon. I won't ruin it but she ends up with the right guy!

If you've read the first two then you should definitely pick up this one and finish the series the way Kelley intended it to be finished.


Book Depository: The Reckoning
Amazon UK: The Reckoning

Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Chloe Saunders used to be a normal teenage girl - or so she thought. Then she learned the shocking truth - she is a walking science experiment. Genetically altered at birth by a sinister team of scientists known as the Edison Group, Chloe is an aberration - a powerful Necromancer who can see ghosts and even raise the dead, often with terrifying consequences. Even worse, her growing powers have made her a threat to the surviving members of the Edison Group, who have decided it's time to end their experiment - permanently ...

Now Chloe is running for her life with three other supernatural teenagers - a charming sorcerer, a troubled werewolf and temperamental young witch. Together they have a chance for freedom - but can Chloe trust her new friends?

This is the second book in Kelley's Darkest Powers trilogy. Kelley has a talent for pacing her books just right. There's a lot of excitement happening but she doesn't overload one chapter with loads of stuff then make the next several chapters boring. She paces it just right to keep the reader hooked and that's exactly what happens to me with every one of her books. Whenever I try to put them down for a break, something exciting happens that makes me keep reading and before you know it, it's stupid o'clock in the morning and the book's now finished.

The Awakening picks up where The Summoning left off. We find out more about the group of people behind this and the teens find out more about their parents. I actually felt more empathy for Tori in this book, and anyone that's read Kelley's adult Women of the Otherworld series may see some similarities to another young witch.

A must read for any Kelley fan and any YA fan.


Book Depository: The Awakening
Amazon UK: The Awakening

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

All Chloe Saunders wants is a life like any normal teenager - the chance to get through school, make friends, and maybe meet a boy. But when she starts seeing ghosts, she knows that normal life will never be normal again.

Soon the ghosts are everywhere, demanding her attention. When Chloe finally breaks down, she's admitted to a group home for disturbed kids. At first Lyle House seems okay, but as she gets to know the other patients - charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a 'thing' for fire - Chloe begins to realise that something strange and sinister binds them all together, and it isn't your usual 'problem kid' behaviour.

And they're about to discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home, either ...

So this is actually a re-read and I'm slightly biased since I love Kelley Armstrong's writing. This is the first in her YA trilogy, Darkest Powers. We meet Chloe and the other Lyle House inmates and we learn why they're all there.

The friendships that are made are interesting. Right off, you're routing for the underdog since they're all kind of underdogs and, as is usual for me with Kelley's books, you get sucked in and don't want to put the books down. Luckily, since it's a YA it's a nice quick read and easily done in one sitting.

The story is a nice intro to the trilogy and by the end you're dying to read the next book.

Rating 5/5

Book Depository: The Summoning
Amazon UK: The Summoning

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Dru knows that The Real World - peopled with ghosts, suckers and zombies - is a frightening place. She's ready to kill first and ask questions later, so it's going to take her a while to work out just who she can trust.

Dru Anderson has been 'strange' for as long as she can remember, travelling from town to town with her father to hunt down things that go bump in the night. It's a weird life, but a good one - until in an icy, broken-down town, a hungry zombie bursts through her kitchen door. Dru is going to have to use every inch of her wit and training. Can she stay alive long enough to fall for one - or both - of the guys hungry for her affections?

I'm a fan of Lilith Saintcrow's Dante Valentine series so I was keen to try her YA series. I can happily say I wasn't disappointed, I enjoyed the first in the series and I believe I have the 2nd already waiting on my shelf.

Dru is a likeable character, although her and her father sort of struck a Supernatural similarity for me. I found myself connecting with Dru, there was something familiar about her uncomfortableness around people.

I'm finding myself with a little crush on Graves, I seem to be developing a lot of new literary crushes lately. Probably due to all the new series I've been reading, good for my bookshelf but unfortunately very bad for my bank account.

If you're a fan of Lilith Saintcrow's other books then you should enjoy this one too. Her writing is well paced and keeps you hooked.

Rating: 4/5

Book Depository: Strange Angels
Amazon UK: Strange Angels

Monday, 18 October 2010

Blood & Ice by Robert Masello

When journalist Michael Wilde is commissioned to write a feature about a remote research station deep in the frozen beauty of Antarctica he is prepared for some extraordinary sights. But on a diving expedition in the polar sea he comes across something so extraordinary as to be almost unbelievable - a man and woman chained together, deep in the ice. The doomed lovers are brought to the surface but as the ice begins to thaw the scientists discover the unusual contents of the bottles buried beside the pair, and realise that they are all in terrible danger ...

The blurb to this book instantly caught my attention. It's a rare occurrence for me to pick up a book that I've never heard of by an author I've never heard of. But I'm glad I did, this book is a different twist on the whole vampire myth. It looks at it from a purely scientific point of view.

The story spans from 19th century London to modern day America and follows both the doomed lovers and Michael Wilde. There's a lot going on in this story so there's definitely enough for everyone. The author obviously done a lot of research to make his story believable, either that or he's an avid climber and polar explorer.

As much as I loved this book, it took me a while to read since I tend to do most of my reading at work and it's only certain authors or a really exciting book that keeps me reading once I get home. Unfortunately this story just didn't have that grip factor for me. It's definitely a great read though and I'd recommend it. I'm going to be on the lookout for more books by this author.


Book Depository: Blood & Ice
Amazon UK: Blood and Ice

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn't quite fit in with so-called normal society.
During her nightly swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half human.
Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures that are terrifying, beautiful and deadly - all of which perfectly describe her new 'friend' Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.
It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick, spirits bag your groceries and whatever you do, never - ever - rub the genie's lamp.

I'd only heard of this book through the Falcata Times book review blog. It was the second book in the Jane True series that was reviewed there but the cover image instantly caught my eye and when I saw the first one in Forbidden Planet the other week, I snatched it up.

Never having read anything by the author before, I didn't know what to expect. Nicole Peeler is a fantastic author. Her characters are fabulous and really come to life on the page. I loved Jane almost instantly.

The storyline was well paced, not too slow but not too much happening all at once either. The humour was subtle as well. I'm not a fan of overdone humour or humour that's not actually funny, Ms Peeler done a good job.

I could easily see myself being friends with Jane, she's quirky and very likeable, as are her friends, Tracy and Grizzie. Ryu is HOT! I may have a crush on him *blush*

All in all, a very well written story that grabs you and holds you 'til the end. I'm glad I picked it up and can't wait until I can buy the next one.


Oh yeah, and the cover also gave me a tattoo idea so HUGE bonus there!

Book Depository: Tempest Rising
Amazon UK: Tempest Rising