Monday, 18 February 2013

Kilts & Kraken by Cindy Spencer Pape

Magnus, Baron Findlay, longs to bring the wonders of the steam age to his remote island home, but his hands are full fighting the vicious kraken ravaging the coast. When he's swept to sea during battle and washes up on the shore of an isle in the Hebrides, he is near death.

Struggling to establish herself as one of the first female physicians in Edinburgh, Dr. Geneva MacKay is annoyed when The Order of the Round Table sends her north to care for an injured highlander. To heal him, Geneva escorts the handsome warrior home, just in time to defend the villagers from another onslaught.

As the attacks escalate and they work together to fight off the threat, neither Geneva nor Magnus can resist the overwhelming attraction between them. But as their relationship deepens, a new threat arises-from within the village itself...

Geneva gets sent to the Isle of Mull to deal with a man that's been washed up following a kraken attack, when he awakens he wants to go home. Thinking he wants to go home to die, Geneva agrees and is shocked when he awakens enough to fight a kraken when he gets to his own shore. Calling in the help of the Order, they try to get to the bottom of the kraken attacks - all while fighting an attraction to one another.

This is the 3rd book, and yes anyone keeping track will realise I read the 4th and 5th before this one but that doesn't break up the story. Yes, it means I knew the outcomes of some of the other characters relationships but that doesn't matter 'cos in this they are only bit players.

I really like this series ..... really, really. I recommend it to anyone wanting some steampunk - very short and very light reads - wonderful.

Amazon UK: Kilts & Kraken

Cards & Caravans by Cindy Spencer Pape

Belinda Danvers isn't a witch. But that won't stop them burning her at the stake ...

Connor McKay can tell at a glance that Belinda's magickal powers are minimal at best. She can't be guilty of murdering village children. There's something suspicious about her arrest and lightning-quick sentence. Unfortunately, telling anyone how he knows would mean revealing his own powers. He's been sent by the Order of the Round Table to help and he can't just let her die.

Escaping from jail and running from vindictive villagers in her grandfather's steam-powered caravan is more excitement than Belinda's had in years. And despite the danger — or maybe because of it — she loves the time spent with her sexy rescuer. But there's more to his magick than he's letting on ...

There's something going on that's bigger than the two of them. It's time for good to make a stand.

Release Date 18th March 2013

Belinda is tried (very quickly) and found guilty of witchcraft, to be burned at the stake the following day. Luckily, Belinda's uncle knows people in the Order and contact Connor to find Belinda and help her. He breaks her out of comes up with a plan to help her - and they both fall in love with each other in the process of trying to bring down the group that are responsible for Belinda's trial.

So, I said in my review of Moonlight & Mechanicals that I thought I saw hints of who the next book was about and, boy was I ...... wrong! So totally wrong, but again there are more hints in this book about that specific couple so I'm still hoping for a book about them in the future. I liked this couple but Wink and Liam are still my favourite of the bunch (that being said, I haven't read Kilts & Krakens yet).

I wasn't entirely sure about this series at the beginning but I find myself liking it more with each book and I get so excited when I see the titles on Netgalley 'cos it means I get tot read it before it's released. I'll be reading the book I missed out next so we'll see how I feel about that couple.

Amazon UK: Cards & Caravans

Monday, 11 February 2013

Cover Reveal: Clockwork Mafia

Look at the perty! I love this cover, I'm not normally a fan of the large face thing that a lot of covers have but I like the detail and the colour in the mask so I actually really like this one.

Inventor Henrietta Mason is retiring from airships and adventuring to return home to Philadelphia. Determined to erase all trails leading to her late father's duplicity, she dismantles his lab and removes all records of the Badlands gold. While in the city, she can't resist the lure of a charity gala but winds up regretting the whole experience. Well, everything except a heart-racing dance with a certain U.S. Marshal.

His career and vengeance on the line, Carson Alexander must prove a connection between Senator Mason and the mafia. He lucked out happening across Mason's strikingly beautiful daughter, only to have her slip through his fingers. On a desperate hunt to track her down, he never expects his search to take him into the brutal Badlands.

With a mechanically enhanced enforcer after them, only Carson knows the extent of the danger they face. He'll have to win over Henrietta's trust, and her heart, before it's too late…

Sequel to Badlands.

64,000 words

I can't wait to read this book, I loved Badlands. Although, apparently the author blames little-old me saying Badlands was too short for her word count on this one. It was meant entirely in a good way 'cos it meant I was enjoying the story and it ended too soon.

Carina Press' website says it'll be out in April 2013 so at least I only have a couple months to wait.

Pre-order links:
Amazon UK: Clockwork Mafia
Amazon: Clockwork Mafia
Barnes & Noble: Clockwork Mafia

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Girls & Monsters by Anne Michaud

This dark but uplifting collection of five Young Adult novellas includes:

Death Song: Liz is in love with Jo, but the monster of the lake has other plans for them.

Black Dog: Scarlet is engaged in a struggle for her sanity, but according to the voice in her head, she may be too late.

A Blue Story: When Katherine's beloved dog goes missing, she fears her strange new neighbour might be involved.

Dust Bunnies: Christiane faces her childhood arachnophobia and ends up confronting even greater fears in this test of sisterhood.

We Left at Night: Brooke and her family must abandon their home and their lives to make it out of a disease-plagued town overrun by zombies.

Girls & Monsters is for everyone who has ever been brave enough to confront their childhood fears...and lived to tell about it.

Release Date 30th April 2013

I figure I'll do a wee review of each short story.

Death Song: Killer mermaid living in a small town's lake, she takes a tourist every year - they're bodies don't appear for a month. But then she changes her style and starts taking residents - the residents have always been out of bounds, and then she goes for Jo and Liz fights back.
I enjoyed this one. Mermaids are usually painted as "Ariel" types so I like it when authors change it up and make them evil and bloodthirsty.

Black Dog: Scarlet goes to London to try and be a new person, but the voice in her head persists in its annoying her and finally convinces her that she is actually insane.
Another good one, I liked the hints at Scarlet's past rather than a flat out long flashback. One minor thing was the author says at one point the drinking age in UK is 16, it's 18 - no bearing on the story, it just bugged me.

A Blue Story: Katherine takes a job at a pet shop then discovers how many local pets are missing - soon her dog, Sweet Sally, joins the ranks. She hunts for Sally with her new boss only to discover Sally was closer than she thought.
One of the "meh" stories of the book. I found this one a bit boring and didn't really like the main character much.

Dust Bunnies: Christiane has to go with her sister to clear out her grandmother's old house only to be confronted with her childhood monster, but she soon realises the monster might not be a monster after all.
This one hit more to home 'cos I always hated spiders (still do, a little). I liked the setting for this one and the fact that there was really a monster under her bed when she was a kid, but the best bit is when she finds out the spider's origins.

We Left At Night: Brooke sees some strange men in her garden, strange things have been happening for a while now and then the army show up at her door and tell her and her family to evacuate within the hour.
I liked the whole family-sticking-together theme in this one, also the immunity to the zombie-ism. This one has the potential to carry on given the ending.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Entangled by Nikki Jefford

Two months after dying, seventeen-year-old witch Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene's body.

Until Gray finds a way back inside her own body, she's stuck being Charlene every twenty-hour hours. Her sister has left precise instructions on how Gray should dress and behave. Looking like a prep isn't half as bad as hanging out with Charlene's snotty friends and gropey boyfriend.

The "normals" of McKinley High might be quick to write her behaviour off as post-traumatic stress, but warlock Raj McKenna is the only person who suspects Gray has returned from the dead.

Now Gray has to solve the mystery of her death and resurrection and disentangle herself from Charlene's body before she disappears for good.

Gray falls asleep one night and when she wakes up she finds out it's 2 months later, she's in her sister's body ... and oh yeah, she died! Apparently she died in her sleep but now she's back .... sort of. Every second day she's in her sister's body and her sister is nothing like her so it's not exactly ideal for Gray. She has to find a way to separate herself from her sister without losing her (after)life in the process.

I enjoyed this but, at some points, it was a bit childish and the beginning was a bit slow to kick off (boring, if you will). I'm glad I stuck with it 'cos it definitely gets a bit more story to it later on. We have psycho sisters, crazy guys who are willing to so ANYTHING for her sister and a mother who just wants both her daughters back.

I'll be reading the rest of the series to see where it goes. Although, I have to say, I only downloaded this 'cos it has a VERY pretty cover and it was free - apparently the list price is £8-odd? No way, would I say this was worth £8, it's very short.

Book Depository: Entangled
Amazon UK: Entangled

Monday, 4 February 2013

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

No one suspects what she's made of ...
After the sudden death of her father, Mila's at a new school, trying to fit in and falling for mysterious sexy Hunter. But her world slams upside down in a heartbeat when a car accident reveals a secret she never knew; a secret about herself.

Mila is devastated to learn that her memories are just chimeras, her dreams untrue. She can't even rely on her emotions to tell her who she is. So how can she grieve for her father or feel the way she does about Hunter? And why is her mom running scared?

Worse still, who are the creepy stalkers so desperate to get their hands on her ...?

28th March 2013

Mila is new to Clearwater, she and her mother moved there after her dad died in a housefire. She's just getting on with her life and trying to fit in when an accident forces reality to slam a fist to her face. She's not who she thought she was, her mother's not who she thought she was, her life is turned upside down and she and her mother are forced to flee Clearwater to look for safety. Instead they are faced with the reason they moved to Clearwater in the first place.

So the title kinda gives away the major point in this story (I think so, anyway), but if you haven't guessed it then don't highlight this next part: Mila is an android, created by the army as a perfect fighting machine.  Her mother (creator) broke her out of the facility as she felt she was too human to remain in there.
This is different from any YA I've read. It has a not-so-human protag but she's not the usual suspects (werewolf, shifter, vampire etc), she's something altogether different from other protags - and I really like her. She's adapted and evolved from her starting state and now just wants a normal life like any teenage girl.

Driza has created an interesting (and kinda scary) world - scary in the sense of "OMG, what if this is happening right now and we don't realise it?" She could be anyone and that's kinda freaky! I really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to the next book.

Also, at the time of publishing this post, the prequel - Mila 2.0: Origins: The Fire - is free on Kindle so go download it to get you started.

Book Depository: Mila 2.0
Amazon UK: Mila 2.0