Monday, 28 January 2013

Black Feathers by Joseph D'Lacey

It is the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, the earth wrecked and dying.

It is the Bright Day, a time long generations hence, when a peace has descended across the world.

In each era, a child shall be chosen. Their task is to find a dark messiah known only as the Crowman. But is he our saviour - or the final incarnation of evil?

Release Date 4th April 2013

Gordon is born in October 2000, strange things happen and his parents seem to treat him different from his two sisters. As he hits teenage years, the world is crumbling - people are starving, the weather is destroying the earth, people have lost respect for the earth and take all she gives for granted. Many years in the future (you never find out how many), a girl sees the Crowman which means she has been marked as a Keeper - the Keepers tell the story of Gordon Black, a child linked to the Crowman. Both their lives are intertwined despite them being lived many years apart.

I really, really enjoyed this. The two stories are told alongside each other and we learn things from both sides about the other side. The devastation happening during Gordon's life has been passed in Megan's (the future Keeper) time and people have learned from the mistakes of the past.

There's an complete mystery surrounding the Crowman and what Gordon's connection to him is. There are bad guys after Gordon so they can stop whatever it is that is going to happen if he meets the Crowman. We don't actually know who the Crowman is - the devil? A saviour? Good or bad? Because of all this, I cannot WAIT to read the next book in this series.

I highly recommend this to any fans of horror, post-apocalyptic type books. Loved it, loved it - I want the next one already.

*impatiently awaits the 2nd book*

Book Depository: Black Feathers
Amazon UK: Black Feathers

Monday, 21 January 2013

Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll

New York jeweller Garet James has her fair share of problems: money, an elderly father, a struggling business. One day she comes across an antiques shop she'd never noticed before. The owner possesses an old silver box that's been sealed shut. Would she help an old man and open it, perhaps? She does ... and that night strange things begin to happen. It's as if her world - our world - has shifted slightly, revealing another, parallel place that co-exists without our knowledge: the world of the Fey ...

Garet learns that one of her ancestors was 'the Watchtower': an immortal chosen to stand guard over the human and the fey worlds - a role that she has, it seems, inherited from her mother. But the equilibrium between these two existences is under threat. The 16th-century magician and necromancer Dr John Dee has returned, the box has been opened and the demons of Despair and Discord released. In a race against time and impending apocalypse, it is Garet who must find Dee ... and close the box.

Garet gets some crappy news and as she's walking about in a daze, she stumbles on an antiques store. The guy in there is (surprisingly) trusting and gives her a silver box to open for him, but of course the nothing good can come of it. Garet finds herself thrust into the world of the fey and learning magic as well as falling for a guy she really shouldn't. She has to help save the world from the crap she released onto it.

I was actually surprised to find out this is written by Carol Goodman under a pen name - surprised because the one book I've read by her (Incubus), I found to be so boring and the characters were very poorly written. This book is a polar opposite - I really enjoyed all the characters and there was nothing boring about the story.

It was something kind of different from other fantasy books, and I find myself wanting to read more. I'll definitely be reading the rest of this series - really enjoyable.

Book Depository: Black Swan Rising
Amazon UK: Black Swan Rising

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Don't Read This Book: 13 Forbidden Tales From the Mad City

Down a lonely alleyway, under a starless sky, lies a city that never was, yet is: the Mad City, where nightmares walk the streets, and a good night's sleep can get you killed. Here, then, is a book from that place.
Within these recovered pages are the tales of the Awake, insomniacs who've walked those perilous streets, bringing a bit of the power of dream with them to fight back the night - always at a terrible cost.
For many, it will not end well. For a few, they might just become heroes - or at least find their way back home.
For you, a choice. Turn away. Don't read this book. And maybe you'll continue to rest easy. Or open the cover and enter a world unlike any you've ever dared to imagine!
Don't Read This Book introduces 13 forbidden tales from the Mad City and the world of the Don't Rest Your Head RPG.

Release Date 19th March 2013 (from Netgalley - Goodreads says June 2012)

Based on the RPG Don't Rest Your Head -
Don’t Rest Your Head is a sleek, dangerous little game, where your players are all insomniac protagonists with superpowers, fighting — and using — exhaustion and madness to stay alive, and awake for just one more night, in a reality gone way wrong called the Mad City. It features its own system, and is contained entirely within one book.

Having never heard of this RPG, I went into this with complete newbie eyes. The world has already been built by the game makers so the authors were just putting their own spin on it by writing stories set in or centring around the Mad City.

My opinion of the book can pretty much be summed up in 3 words - creepy, dark & creepy! All those words together equal AWESOME! The Mad City is filled with creep-tastic characters and all the authors have written brilliantly dark stories.

Definitely recommended.

Book Depository: Don't Read This Book
Amazon UK: Don't Read This Book

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Platinum by Jeffe Kennedy

Althea Grant's Charleston gallery might be suffering from the bad economy, and her artistic aspirations have gone nowhere, but she's doing just fine, thank you. When bad-boy sculptor Steel rides up on his motorcycle looking to rent studio space, his infusion of cash is more than welcome. But his art is raw, visceral, sexual — and completely inappropriate for her pastel world of watercolour landscapes.

Steel, fascinated by Althea's rare albino colouring, sees in her the key to his next piece: a metal satyr designed for bondage games. Moving into her gallery basement is the first step; seducing the cool Southern belle into modelling for him is the second.

As Steel peels away her careful manners and tasteful outfits, Althea begins to realise her life isn't just fine at all — it's as pale and washed-out as the watercolour paintings she's failing to sell. Can she transform her life and accept her most secret desires?

Release Date 25th February 2013

Steel rents Althea's basement to complete a commissioned piece - the complete opposite of Althea, she can't understand her attraction to him but he sucks her in with his dirty talk and sexy looks. He opens her up - sexually and artistically - in a way she never imagined but is exactly what she needs.

First thing I have to get off my chest is that name - Steel? Seriously?

And now onto the good bit. I really enjoyed this, at first I suspected it was going to have the whole misunderstanding thing in it that makes them fall out but then they realise it's a misunderstanding - thankfully it didn't. It was really a sweet story about Steel (snort) helping Althea realise that she doesn't like her life, she's just sort of landed in it, and helping her change herself and her life to make her happy. And if this realisation involves a little bondage? All the better.

Amazon UK: Platinum

Monday, 14 January 2013

Children of No One by Nicole Cushing

Sadism, nihilism, poverty, wealth, screams, whimpers, sanity and madness collide in Nowhere, Indiana

For Thomas Krieg, Nowhere is a miles-long, pitch-black underground maze in which he's imprisoned dozens of boys for the past ten years - all in the name of art.

For two brothers, Nowhere is the only place they clearly remember living. A world unto itself, in which they must stay alert to stay alive. A world from which the only escape is death.

But for an English occultist known only as Mr. No One, Nowhere is much more...and much less: the perfect place in which to perform a ritual to unleash the grandest of eldritch deities, the God of Nothingness, the Great Dark Mouth.

Release Date 26th March 2013

Krieg is an artist who has made a massive underground labyrinth in which he has trapped several young boys. They have been raised in this maze and believe in angels, the angels feed them, the angels tell them when they deliver the food and ring a bell to let them know where the food is but the walls of the labyrinth move daily so getting to the food isn't as easy as it seems. The whole thing is made as an art-piece.

This (very) short story is extremely creepy and disturbing but also very moreish. I loved the whole psychological side of it - when told from the boys' POV, it is scary and weird but when told from the artist or observer POV, they make it all seem so normal. Which really just serves to make it even creepier.

Advertised as a novella, I feel it's more short story. I read it on my to-work commute so not a lot of reading at all, but what was there was BRILLIANT.

So I can't find this on any bookselling website that I frequent but here is a link that'll take you to the Publisher website - Children of No One

Sunday, 13 January 2013

How Beauty Saved The Beast by Jax Garren

Jolie Benoit left her old life behind to become an agent of the Underlight. Training under Sergeant Wesley Haukon, she's honing her combat skills, all the while coping with the intense sexual attraction she feels for Hauk. She keeps their friendship casual, but when his high school sweetheart transfers into their division, Jolie finds herself grappling with jealousy.

The Underlight gave Hauk a purpose, but he can't escape his past completely. The physical and emotional scars from the fire that killed seven fellow Army Rangers will mark him forever. Jolie sends his protective instincts into overdrive, but he's convinced he'll never be worthy of her love.

Hauk is determined to keep Jolie from harm. But when the Order of Ananke ambushes them with a new weapon that neutralises Hauk, making him vulnerable, it's Jolie who must tap into her hidden strengths to rescue him — or risk losing him forever ...

Release Date 11th February 2013

Hauk and Jolie are getting closer ... as friends, Hauk's training Jolie for when she goes out on missions with the Underlight. They both like each other but refuse to admit it or believe the other one feels the same way then Hauk's ex comes onto the scene and ruins everything. They discover the Order of Ananke has a secret that stops Hauk's rages in their tracks ... but they don't know why (or how) they have it. Or why they've been watching Hauk and why they want him ...

I really enjoyed the first in this series so I was looking forward to reading this one. I loved it! Even though it did fall into that annoyingly popular trope of they-both-have-feelings-for-each-other-but-won't-talk-about-it that I'm really starting to hate. Why don't people in these books just talk to one another?! Or read basic body language?! Or even just realise that someone kissing you and meaning it, isn't just doing it from pity or because they're thinking of someone else?!

But, the annoyance of that wasn't enough to put me off. I will be reading the rest of this series and I'm certain I will enjoy it!

Amazon UK: How Beauty Saved the Beast (Tales of the Underlight)

Friday, 11 January 2013

Dark Secrets by Shona Husk

Six years ago, Haidyn Mast left his home and his betrothed Anisa to follow his magical calling. Too weak to join the Arcane Guild and too ashamed to return home, he has made a life as a prostitute — to all outward appearances. In truth, he sells his mind but not his body, using magic to let his clients experience their most secret fantasies while his hands stay clean. Even the Lawman, the arbiter of justice in Reseda, is one of his clients, but Haidyn would rather not know the extent of that man's depravity.

Though successful, Haidyn is shunned as a whore and his lack of formal training is causing his power to grow out of control. He's ready to retire and leave the city, but when he sees his Anisa standing at Lawman's side, he knows he must rescue her from the abusive enforcer. Risking his life and his sanity, he devises a plan, knowing that failure will mean death for him, and a lifetime of torment for her ...

Release Date 18th February 2013

Haidyn knows the Lawman's depravity so he's horrified to find out his new wife is Haidyn's first (and only) love, Anisa. He can't keep away from her but his insistence on talking to her costs him and his lust house employees freedom at the hands of the Lawman. Haidyn vows to have revenge on the Lawman and free Anisa from his vile hands, but will Anisa agree?

I enjoyed Dark Vow so I was pleased to see a sequel. I can't seem to find a name for the series so I don't know if they're all going to be centred around the Arcane or not. I like the world that Husk has created and, although Arcane seems to be the most exciting trade, I'd quite like to see stories about some of the other unions. That aside, I did enjoy Dark Secrets perhaps a little more than Dark Vow, I can only hope that further books hold true to this.

Amazon UK: Dark Secrets

Midnight Moon by Marilee Brothers

The Trimarks are planning an invasion. And the only thing standing in their way is Allie and the moonstone.

All Allie wants is a normal life - friends, boys, school dances. Right. Like that's going to happen.

In two weeks, during the summer solstice, Allie's going to face the biggest challenge of her life, fighting against time to save the world from a Trimark invasion. You'd think the world of weird might leave her alone to plan how she's going to survive. But nothing in Allie's world is simple or easy, especially when she's attacked by Trimarks trying to steal the moonstone. Then Sammie disappears into the faery world of Boundless, and Allie must follow and bring her home, only to find the fairy queen, Luminata, isn't about to let Allie leave. So, what's a girl with magical powers supposed to do?

Fortunately, she has a team to help her, a team with special talents of their own.

Allie has a very short period of time to come up with a plan to stop the Trimarks from invading earth and unleashing their evil. She also has boyfriend blues with Junior and old feelings for Beck ...... definitely the least of her troubles. As if coming up with a plan wasn't bad enough she gets tricked by Luminata into going to Boundless but comes up with a plan with Luminata's mother to help her get out of her deal, but she also loses Sammie to her faery family. She needs a miracle to happen before the summer solstice.

This is the fifth book (and I believe the last?) in the Unbidden Magic series and, despite it's rocky start with me, I love it. I really enjoyed this series - the characters and the world that Brothers created is fantastic. Allie's mum started off annoying but has became a great character for some light relief, and thankfully the whole everyone-falling-in-love-with-Allie thing didn't last and by the end of this book, everyone is happy with who they're with.

Highly recommended YA series from me, don't miss it.

Book Depository: Midnight Moon
Amazon UK: Midnight Moon

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Irish Kisses by Ella Grey

Abby Smith and Seth O'Connor might live in the same city but their paths have never crossed. It takes a murder to bring them together and fate to keep them there.
Abby has been thrown off the biggest case of the century because it suddenly got too personal. Her best friend and fellow lawyer Dawn Philips is brutally murdered and the witnesses are running scared. Then a man, saying that he was hired by Dawn before her murder, gives her a folder. There's a witness, the only problem is she's in Ireland.

Seth O'Connor never expected to meet a woman like Abby on the plane to the country of his birth. A passionate encounter between them leaves him wanting more. Then he ends up saving her life and realises that he can't say goodbye to the beautiful redhead and he doesn't want to either.

Abby's best friend was murdered while investigating a big crime boss and when Abby gets thrown off the case by her boss, she hates to think of her murderer getting away. So when a PI gives her information on the case, she jumps on a plane to Ireland, where she meets sexy cop, Seth. They have a hot quickie in the toilets and then Abby goes her separate way in the morning when the plane lands but when the same crime boss sends someone after her and Seth saves her life, she realises she's not entirely safe. Seth stays with her to help her with the case but also to get to know her better - more sexiness ensues.

I liked both leads in this, but then I do have a soft spot for strong leading women and Abby was just that. She knew what she wanted and she wasn't scared to get it - in this case, Seth. I usually hate insta-love in books but the whole point in this series is cupid inflicting insta-love on people so I can agree with it here.

This is the 6th in the Cupid's Conquests series from Evernight Publishing and as fun as the story was, the editing in this story was so bad that it completely threw me off. It kept pulling me out of the story - which I can't stand. And I do realise the editing isn't all the author's fault but some blame has to fall on their heads.

Evernight Publishing: Irish Kisses
Amazon UK: Irish Kisses

Cover News ~ Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

So while I'm still not a fan of the new UK covers, this is quite pretty and the colour seems fitting with the Frost in the title.

YA Author Signing in Your Hometown? Here's Your Chance

Have you ever wished that a big YA book tour would make a stop in your hometown? Well, here's your chance for that wish to come true! YA2U is a program that features five award-winning and best-selling authors who are holding a contest to see what city they should visit in an exclusive tour stop!

The authors are collecting votes from January 1 to February 15, and any city in the continental US or any Canadian city that has an international airport can win an exclusive visit from all five authors, including an author panel and book signing! Entering is super easy--and if you help spread the word about the contest, you can also enter win a signed copy of all of their books (TEN signed books in total!) - and the book contest is open internationally!

The authors in the program are:

And they want to have an event in your home town! To participate, just got to the YA2U site and let them know what city you want them to come to. And while you're there, help spread the word about the contest and you can be entered to win all of their books - that's TEN signed books in total! 

Here's why the YA2U Team should come to MY hometown! 
I'd LOVE for an author tour to come to my hometown but I live in a small coastal town in the West of Scotland called Irvine so the chances of this happening if left up to chance, are very slim - here's a little history about Irvine.
It's been about since mid 12th century and there is a LOT of history in this town. If you're the same as my friend and love castles - Irvine has 3 (mostly ruins now but that's what happens). Plus Scotland isn't exactly huge so any others are usually easily within travel distance.
Now on the off chance that people want my small hometown to win but we have no international airport? No worries, we're a short 30 minutes travel from Glasgow which is a major Scottish city, again with LOADS of history but it's lucky enough to also have a lot of stuff to do for any downtime.

Why should the YA2U Team come to your hometown? Why not join in the fun today and share with others about this program and your hometown. The more votes your town gets, the closer you are to having your very own personal tour stop! Vote for YOUR town here!

And if you help spread the word, you can also participate in the book giveaway. Tell them that you learned about YA2U from me and we both get extra entries in the contest! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A Trace of Moonlight by Allison Pang

Drinking from the waters of lethe and offering herself up as Faerie's sacrificial Tithe ... these just might be the least of Abby Sinclair's problems.

Abby's pact with a daemon — whether or not she remembers making it — is binding, so she'd better count herself lucky that (in the words of a daemon who knows better) there's nearly always a loophole. But her friends' reckless attempts to free her, well intentioned though they may be, set off a disastrous chain of events. In no time at all, Abby turns her incubus lover mortal, then gets herself killed, cursed, and married to an elven prince whose mother wants her dead. On top of everything else, she's lost the Key to the Crossroads to her mortal enemy, who promptly uses his restored power to wreak havoc on the Otherworld and put its very existence in jeopardy. Only one person can make things right again, but to find her, Abby must place her trust in allies of mixed loyalties, and conquer her nightmares once and for all.

So after becoming the Tithe, Abby has no memory. As she floats around thinking she has a perfectly happy life, she stumbles on Taliver & Moira discussing her and realises life isn't as she thinks it is. She accidentally turns Ion mortal, becomes handfasted to Taliver (not accidentally but not planned either), gets killed and comes back to life (thanks to Phineas). She has to save the Barras as well as the Key and also Ion - so all in a days work then?

OK, so it took me a long time to get into this book and the only reason I can come up with is that, at the beginning, it wasn't really Abby but a very twittery little child-person. As soon as she became herself again, I didn't want to put it down (stupid need to sleep made me put it down though ~ grrr) - and Pang didn't disappoint. This is full of the usual humour and sexiness that we've come to expect from the previous books.

Sadly the last book in the series, as announced by Pang on her blog, but it seems like the story has been ended nicely. There's no cliff hanger ending or anything so I can't help but wonder is Pang had planned this from the beginning, and if that's the case - it's a good and bad thing. Bad that the series is finished but good if the series got its planned ending.

If you haven't read this series, I suggest giving it a read. Great world building with some great characters (Phin being my favourite).

Book Depository: A Trace of Moonlight
Amazon UK: A Trace of Moonlight