Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Price of Redemption By Gavin R. Dobson Review

The Price Of RedemptionThe Price of Redemption
By Gavin R. Dobson

Appletree Capital Management of London has just been appointed by CSF, a large American financial group, to oversee their expansion to the international scale. Soon though things begin to become peculiar, and then deadly.

Ok so the good things first.. This novel is well written as well as it seems to be well researched (I am not a financial mogul so I cannot say one way or another as factual). It is a corporate espionage book full of the big bad big brother coming down on the independent London office trying to remain virtuous. Not a bad story line all in all, the problem I had was that it was muddled down with so many seemingly useless details I had a hard time making it through. For instance there were a good two pages where it was nothing but an itinerary; this does not make for exciting reading, though towards the end the story did pick up immensely. The other big problem I had was that the author tried to incorporate romance into the main story line. I repeat tried, it ended up falling flat, there was no real emotional connection written into that story line which is a shame considering it would have made the ending much more poignant.

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An Heiress at Heart by Jennifer Delamere Review

An Heiress at Heart
Love’s Grace Book One
By Jennifer Delamere

Lizzie Poole and her brother Tom escape to Australia after Lizzie has an indiscretion with a man who leaves her destitute in Europe. Upon arriving they are both picked out to be free workers by a man who seems all too interested in Lizzie claiming his wife Ria and she will become fast friends. Once they have made their way to their final destination Lizzie soon realizes why Edward was so fascinated by her tale, she looks exactly like his wife Ria. For the past seven years the four have become inseparable friends and after one tragic event then another it is Ria’s dying wish that Lizzie make her way back to London and take her place there to make amends for everything Ria has done to her family. Lizzie reluctantly agrees which soon leads her straight to the man she inevitably fall in love with but can never have.
 An Heiress at Heart (Love's Grace, #1)
Jennifer Delamere has brought to life a beautiful historical novel transporting the reader straight to London in the mid nineteenth century. The Author brings to life not only a beautiful cast of characters, but also the Crystal Palace and Hyde Park in such irrevocably stunning detail you can imagine every detail to the fullest extent as if you had been there yourself. This novel is thoroughly one of the best historical romances I have come across, so well researched and brought to life that it is a must read for a fan of the genre. Not only is this novel a historical romance though it is also a beautiful Christian romance, and unlike some novels it is not overly “preachy” but more subtle making it interesting to read along as each character faces a unique array of trials that they must overcome.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Warrior Reborn by Melissa Mayhue Review

Warrior Reborn
Warrior Reborn
Warrior Book Two
By Melissa Mayhue

Christiana has been gifted with visions her entire life but because of this she is held captive by her half-brother. Though life is not without hope she has foreseen a man from the future who will come to her aid in medieval Scotland, Chase Noble. Chase is a former special ops agent who has been waiting his entire life for the gift of a Fae that his father once promised him. The gift is finally finding his soul-mate.

I always enjoy a good time-travel novel when you blend the old with the new, or even vice versa. I personally think it takes a lot of talent to pull something like this off, because you must weave two completely different stories and settings into one seamless novel. Melissa Mayhue has done a remarkable job, not only did she manage to entrance the reader with the settings and characters of a time-travel novel but she also added in her own twist with an aspect of Fae being responsible and a highly influential facet. But this is only the beginning of the beauty of this novel, first and foremost it is a romance and Melissa Mayhue wrote so convincingly that the romance is palpable. If you are a fan of romance this is one worth taking the time to read, it is entertaining and beautiful. Though this is book two in the series it is a “stand-alone” novel so you can pick it up and read without feeling lost, but it will make you want more.

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Chasers by James Phelan Review

Alone Book One
By James Phelan

Jesse, Anna, Dave and Mini are all attending the Un Youth Ambassadors camp in New York, as they are on their way to see the 9/11 memorial their subway carriage is derailed by a massive explosion. The four teenagers from around the world are the only one to survive and soon crawl their way to the surface to find that all of New York City has suffered from a devastating attack. When they come across what appears to be survivors they are elated, but soon have their hopes diminished when the “survivors” soon turn on them chasing after them for their blood, for that one precious drink that will satiate their thirst.

Chasers (Alone #1) 

James Phelan brings to life an all new form of monster in this novel; he combines aspects of zombies and vampires leaving us with a horrifying image. There is not a single aspect of this novel that I disliked, the characters are relatable thrown into a situation where they are trapped and absolutely “Alone” the monsters are terrifying yet you feel for the souls who have been turned into such monstrous creatures. The only thing I didn’t get was why a group of survivors would stay in a high rise, 30 Rock, when most skyscrapers are collapsing around them, though the setting is superb for this novel as it provides ample life sustaining items for the small group. Honestly though the best part of this novel is the ending, it is amazing with not one but two spectacular twists that definitely secure your interest in the rest of this series.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind Review

Wizard’s First Rule
Sword of Truth Book One
By Terry Goodkind

In the style of all great epic fantasies we have Richard Cypher the young man who will become the Seeker of Truth, one day as he is in the woods before he yet learns of who he is he comes across Kahlan. Kahlan is not whom she appears to Richard, she is the Mother Confessor not only does she hold such a great title but she is also the last of the confessors. When you add in Zed the eccentric old man who has always been a dear friend to Richard and turns out to be a Wizard, not only do you have wonderful characters but a truly fascinating storyline as the three band together to defeat the evil Darken Rahl.

Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)

Terry Goodkind has created such and enchanting world where evil is exceptionally sadistic and the good may also come with some hint of bad. The action scenes are fluid and cohesive while the character growth and friendships emerge making this truly a wonderful book to read. Kahlen’s character was the most moving for me, she is feared by everyone around her so she has had only one friend previously, I loved the struggles this character had to overcome within this novel though each main character had an interesting story and I cannot wait to find out where their lives will lead. Not only do we travel along with the three main characters but we also are introduced to a spectacular cast, from the Mud People to the creatures who soon join their journey. When you add in the exciting end there is no wonder if you will be reading the next book soon, you will have no choice.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare Review

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
City of Bones
The Mortal Instruments Book One
By Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray and her best friend Simon head out to the all ages club, Pandemonium in New York City. On this outing Clary runs into three tattooed teenagers wielding strange weapons that murder a boy, but when his body disappears into thin air Clary’s mind soon goes from calling the police to making sure she makes it out alive. This is only the beginning of how Clary’s world is completely shattered in the blink of the eye. The next day she is being obstinate towards her mother after being unjustly grounded when a frantic phone call from her mother takes her to her ram shackled apartment to find her mother gone and a demon waiting for her. With the help of the three teen warriors known as the Shadowhunters and her best friend Simon she will do anything she can to save her mother.

I picked this book up through audible not too long ago thinking it sounded interesting and young adult romances are always a quick and fun read for me. What I had not anticipated was that this novel would blow me out of the water, Not only do you have a fascinating story line but then Cassandra Clare throws in one twist after another until you are left shocked and thoroughly anticipating the next installment of this series.  To add into the fun as you weave your way through the story line this novel has some of the best action scenes I have come across and the author is able to fully bring to life each instance almost making you flinch as you follow along. This was definitely a remarkable book though there was a moment when I cringed and the “eww” factor went up a few notches, but in the end it added to the fun of the book.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

12.21: A Novel By Dustin Thomason Review

12.21: A Novel12.21:
A Novel
By Dustin Thomason

Chel, a young Guatemalan American researcher of Maya studies, is soon called upon by Dr. Gabriel Stanton the foremost expert of the incurable prion diseases after a priceless codex is brought to America unleashing a powerful disease. The two must band together before it becomes too late and the entire population is wiped out.

I am not quite a believer of the Mayan end of the world craze that is going around lately; to me it’s another millennium scare if you were around for that one you know what I mean. But this novel is an interesting take on the idea of the world coming to an end. It reminds me of the quote from T.S. Elliot “This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.” Everyone keeps thinking something extraordinary is going to happen but what if it is the same thing we all fear, a new form of sickness that cannot be stopped. With every turn of the page you keep your fingers crossed as the story goes on that they will soon find a cure. If you are into the medical suspense/drama genre I would definitely recommend checking this one out.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry Review

Patient Zero
Joe Ledger Book One
By Jonathan Maberry

Joe Ledger has been sought out for a very interesting mission, to stop the new face of Terror. When he must kill the same terrorist twice in one week he knows there is no way he can turn down his latest assignment. What if there is more to the newest Terrorist threat than just the jihad extremist?

 Patient Zero (Joe Ledger, #1)

I am not a huge fan of zombie novels there have only been a couple so far that I actually enjoyed; most seem to be all about zombies taking over and less about an actual storyline. This take on the genre is absolutely fascinating taking into account the struggles America has been facing and twists it into something truly frightening as the war on Terror now has an all new meaning when the dead begin to come back to life after being injected with a new strain of prion disease. Since not much is known about Prion Disease it has seem to have become a favorite for zombie fiction, which is fine by me it adds an all too realistic take on life after death. Not only does Jonathan Maberry create a vivid novel that is sure to leave you with the heebie jeebies but he also incorporates a fascinating storyline between each of the taskforce members. He also creates members in the taskforce that are relatable and from a military spouse point of view absolutely realistic in the way that they interact with each other. I definitely recommend this novel, especially if you are just beginning to feel out the zombie genre. 

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Post From Author Tracey Sinclair

An Angel on My Shoulder
I’m not a religious person: I wasn’t brought up going to church or Sunday school, and I went to a working class comprehensive school where my RE tried to make the lessons trendy by explaining the underlying religious themes of Star Wars. Consequently, most of my (admittedly very thin) knowledge of the Bible comes from studying literature: so it was in a sense fitting that when I decided to make one of the characters in my novel Dark Dates an angel, I should turn to literature and popular entertainment for my inspiration. So for this guest post, I thought I’d talk about my favourite angels… did I include yours?
Castiel, Supernatural
No surprise to anyone that knows me: until its rapid drop off in quality in Season 7, I was a huge Supernatural fan and I loved the whole angel story arc. Misha Collins’ Castiel is of course a joy (I think my favourite line, ever, is when he’s phoning Dean and going ‘the little voice tells me I’m out of minutes’) but the supporting cast of celestials were great, from Robert Wisdom’s menacing Uriel to Sebastian Roche’s delightfully louche Balthazar. Not to mention Richard Speight Jr’s fantastic take on Gabriel…
Xas, The Vintner’s Luck
The idea for this hypnotic novel came to author Elizabeth Knox in a fever, and it shows: there’s something of the dream state in this lush, lovely tale of an angel who falls in love with a human in early 19th century France. (This was also made into a film, which I admit I haven’t seen yet, and a sequel that is sitting on my to-read shelf, because I’m scared I won’t love either as much as I adore this book…)
The Angels, Wings of Desire/City of Angels
While the Berlin-set original German film is beautiful and moving, it’s not without flaws – it’s overlong and a little ponderous, but worth watching for its lush imagery and romantic themes. The Hollywood remake transferred the action to the US (and, inexplicably, gave it an unhappy ending, in a reversal of the usual rules of American remakes) and while it was a fairly bland romance, it used the same idea of the angels – still, silent, standing in their black coats on top of buildings as they watch the humans below them – to beautiful effect, and both can be seen to be obvious influences to shows like Supernatural.
O’Reilly and Jackson, A Life Less Ordinary
Danny Boyle’s little-loved comedy is rightly regarded as a bit of a misfire, but who wouldn’t love Delroy Lindo and Holly Hunter as a pair of deadpan angels? Owing much to the classics A Matter of Life and Death and Heaven Can Wait, the idea of angels as administrators or put-upon public servants is one that recurs through film and literature – Jim Butcher used it well recently in the Dresden Files – and it never gets old for me.
Clarence, It’s a Wonderful Life
‘Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings’ – come on, who doesn’t sniffle a little at that? Henry Travers’ bumbling, good natured angel Clarence helps Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey realise just how important he has been in the lives of those around him in the ultimate feelgood Christmas movie. Excuse me, I have something in my eye…

BIO: Tracey Sinclair works as freelance copywriter, editor and legal directories consultant.  A diverse and slightly wandering career has included writing factsheets for small businesses, creating web content for law firms, subtitling film and TV and editing one of the UK’s largest legal directories. A keen blogger, she regularly writes for online theatre site Exeunt and science fiction site Unleash the Fanboy and her blog Body of a Geek Goddess was shortlisted in the Cosmopolitan Blogger Awards 2011. Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies and her short play Bystanders was premiered in 2011 as part of the CP Players New Writing Season at Baron’s Court Theatre, London. She has published two small press books (Doll and No Love is This, both Kennedy & Boyd) and is now dipping a toe in the digital self-publishing world with her new urban fantasy novel, Dark Dates.
BLURB: All Cassandra Bick wants is to be left to get on with doing her job. But when you’re a Sensitive whose business is running a dating agency for vampires, life is never going to be straightforward – especially when there’s a supernatural war brewing in London, a sexy new bloodsucker in town and your mysterious, homicidal and vampire hating ex-lover chooses this moment to reappear in your life…

Witty, sharp and entertaining, Dark Dates is a heady mix of vampires, witches and werewolves – with the occasional angel thrown in – and introduces Cassandra Bick, a likeable heroine destined to join the ranks of fantasy’s feistiest females.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Interview with Tracey Sinclair

Thank you so much for joining me!
Q: How did you come up with the idea of a vampire dating service?
A: I was trying to write a short story for a friend and originally the idea came from a ‘culture clash’ between the old images of vampire seduction in books like Dracula, and our ‘fast food’ culture – so it started off specifically being a speed dating event and grew from there.

Q: Have you ever taken part of a dating service?
A: No, I’m too much of a wimp!

Q: The two male heart throbs in this novel sound absolutely yummy! Was any aspect of the based off of a real person?
A: Haha, I wish! No, I based them more on my own personal fantasies and I used bits and pieces from other characters I like, and put them together in hopefully original ways.

Q: Other than Cassandra who was your favorite character to construct?
A: I had fun with all of them because they are so different, but I do have a soft spot for Medea, Cass’s assistant, simply because I think she is so much more than she seems.

Q:  What scene in the novel did you have the most fun writing?
A: Probably the first scene with Cain and Cass – it’s quite a tense, sexy scene and it was one I wrote very early in the process (I make a lot of notes and write character scenes before I start working) and I felt this summed up so much of the characters in  one short scene.

Q: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
A: Just keep at it, keep writing. I think lots of people want to ‘write a book’ but think that their first book will get published and make them a fortune but that’s simply not the case 99% of the time – you may end up chucking your first book in a drawer for years! So be patient and keep at it. I got my first short story published when I was 17, but I was 35 before my first novel was published. I’d also say make the work as good as you can and then let it go – if you keep polishing it until it’s absolutely perfect, no one will ever see it.

Q: What made you decide to self-publish this novel?
A: Having already published two books traditionally (albeit in different genres) I did originally consider the traditional print route but was struggling to find a publisher and everything seemed to take so long. So I thought, what the hell, get it out there, see what people think, rather than spending months waiting for an agent or publisher to get back to me… and so far the reaction has been great, I’m really thrilled.

Q: Can you give us any hints as to what may be in store in the next novel?
A: It’s going to be a little steamier as the love triangle becomes more complicated, and everyone will be dealing with the repercussions of the events in Dark Dates. There will also be more about Medea and Katie’s relationship when some very unwelcome visitors from their past make an appearance…

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dark Dates by Tracey Sinclair Review

Dark Dates (Cassandra Bick Chronicles 1)Dark Dates
Cassandra Bick Chronicles Book One
By Tracey Sinclair

In modern day London a vampire has to keep up with the times, and this is exactly what Cassandra Bick caters to with her dating service for vampires. Though he own dating life has been nothing but heart ache being a Sensitive, yes with a capitol S, she has found a talent for introducing people who will soon hit it off and this ability comes in handy when matching a vampire with their willing donor. But as her business grows she soon comes to the attention of people who don’t appreciate what she has to offer.

This is truly a unique idea for a novel; I mean a dating service for vampires? I loved the main character as she is snarky and bad ass reminding me of Anita Blake before she got all “promiscuous.” The author does a wonderful job in creating several lovable characters such as the Wiccan that Cassandra employs who soon turns into one of her biggest allies. With hunky men and juicy love scenes this is a fun paranormal romance novel. And, if a vampire dating service isn’t enough to lure you into reading this book Tracey Sinclair also provides several twists and surprises that are definitely worth checking out.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Burner By M.C. Mars Review

By M.C. Mars

Jason Teal dropped out in his last semester of college where he was studying to become an astrophysicist, to pursue his dream in the music industry. As the years go by his dream is still strong but he is no closer to fulfilling it, he works in an elevator where he plays his music for the patrons he must escort to and from their destinations. One day one of these patrons makes him an offer he cannot refuse, taking him down into the rabbit hole with one strange “test” after another until Jason’s entire reality has been altered.


Wow, this novel is completely intoxicating. We start off with Jason Teal hip hop deejay and music producer who seems to be obsessed with his brother’s work. His brother was famous for his street graffiti and in a way it sees Jason is trying to live up to his brother and when he fails he then becomes obsessed. This is only one of the story lines within this novel there is so much that happens and each test that Jason must endure weaves another stranger and mind altering scene then the previous one. What is remarkable about this is not just the series of events that take place but how the author takes you by the hand and makes sure you do not miss a single beat, if he didn’t this novel would surely fail but since he has it makes it thoroughly fascinating. If you are a fan of psychological thrillers this is a must read instead of this novel leaving you wondering “what the heck just happened” it leaves you exhaling audibly and a simple “Wow!”

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Cursed Nile by S.W. Lothian Review

The Cursed Nile (The Quest Series - Book 2)The Cursed Nile
The Quest Series Book Two
By S.W. Lothian

During a festival celebrating the Nile God, Hapi, the waters from the Nile disappears and no one Hapi has inexplicably disappeared. The alliance of the Gods in Egypt is desperate to find out what has happened to Hapi so they again call on JJ, Linc, and Rani three teenagers from the future to return to Ancient Egypt and get to the bottom of what is going on.

I loved the first novel in this series, The Golden Scarab, and this book is no exception. The author does a remarkable job in not only bringing to life the present day for these kids, but also for creating Ancient Egypt so vividly and comprehensively that even if you barely know anything about the Egyptian Gods you are able to follow right along. The history behind the novel is intriguing in and of itself, by S.W. Lothian has taken it to a whole new level with this series. The storyline so far has been for the middle grade level but it is so much fun that anyone can appreciate it. I would definitely recommend this for anyone whether you are a child or just a child at heart.

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Necromancer By C. Bryan Brown Review

By C. Bryan Brown

Torrin McGlynne is what some might consider a “Dirty” cop, he steals from the drug dealers, murders, and thieves to secure his twin daughters future in the world. Soon Torrin finds himself in a world that is unlike his everyday normal existence when his investigation leads him straight into a magic wielding villain unlike any other.

The first half of this book starts off a bit differently than you would expect, the main character starts off by killing not only a drug dealer but his daughter who bears witness to his crimes. When I picked up this novel I thought it would be full of paranormal activity, but the magic is subtle until about sixty percent through the novel when the real fun begins. The one question that this novel left me with was, “Who are the good guys?” We start off with Torrin the one, who begins the novel by murdering a little girl, then you have the partner who seems to be the only upstanding person in this book and he soon becomes a victim to the ways of the magical world. I always thought a novel needed a hero and a villain but C. Bryan Brown managed to write an entire novel where you have no clue who to actually root for, it was interesting to read though it leaves you feeling a bit lackluster when you are done.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Robopocalypse By Daniel H. Wilson Review

By Daniel H. Wilson

This is the account of the Robot War, after a soldier comes across a “ROB” with the events leading up to and during the war stored within its memory. It started off slowly a few incidents here and there of robots acting oddly but this was only the beginning of what the robots are capable of as soon they begin to make their own concentration camps for humans, though humans still fight back they seem to be on the losing end. But what “Rob” never counted on was the fact that humans created robots.


My mother is always telling me “I brought you into this world, I can take you right back out.” Usually when I have done something to really drive her crazy, though I know this is a hollow threat, this novel reminds me of that saying. This is a thoroughly action packed novel and the author truly makes the robots creepier and creepier as the story goes along. In the end you are rooting for the robots to get their butts kicked. The story I loved the most was between Takeo Nomura and his robot, it is a beautiful story yet sad in the beginning as his coworkers played an evil trick on him, it almost made me cry. This is only the tip of the book there is no way I could do this novel justice with its many intertwining stories, it is first and foremost a war and that in itself is worth reading but the author brings to life a future world and characters who reside there that is absolutely fascinating.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Interview with Hannah Kollef and Kat Finnegan

Hey guys thank you so much for allowing me to delve deeper into both of your stories. First I want to say how sorry I am to hear about your father Kat and I wish you luck in the future!
Kat: Thank you. God knows I’m going to need it. 

Q: How did the two of you begin working together?
Hannah: Kat, do you want to…?
Kat: No, you go ahead.
Hannah: Okay. Well, you know how people don’t actually get trapped in elevators unless they’re in the middle of a really clich├ęd television show? Turns out that happens in real life too. I’d gone into the city for an interview, and Kat and I were the only ones in the elevator. I think we were at the fiftieth floor when it jolted to a halt. Sound right?
Kat: Ugh, yes.
Hannah: So there we were, trapped in an elevator. At that point there had been a lot of weird things in NYC– the draining of the central park reservoir, that weird sludge that kept appearing all over the city—that I was a little freaked out. I was sitting there trying not to hyperventilate when I hear Kat mutter something about fairy tale characters. I catch a couple phrases: “god-damned frog,” “freaking fey,” and “Jim is never going to let me hear the end of this.” Of course I had to ask, and since it was a really, really long wait, Kat ended up telling me the whole story. Enough had happened at that point that I believed her when she told me that magic was back. The rest, as they say, is history.
Kat: It was kind of a relief, actually. That was a pretty stressful point, y’know? It was good to get off my chest. After that, we kept in contact. Sometimes emailing Hannah was the last connection I had to a normal life.

Q: Hannah, What was it like working with Kat? Is she super critical of your work?
A: Kat is a pain in the­—Ow. Kat, stop kicking me. Okay, fine. Kat is a lovely person and is absolutely not a stubborn jackass with problems communicating.

Q: I have to ask after what has happened will either of you ever eat frog legs?
Hannah: Nope. Hearing that slimy description was pretty unappetizing.
Kat: Are you kidding me? That’s all I would eat if I could. Vicious little suckers. I think I have a permanent grudge against frogs now, and frankly I’m okay with that.

Q: Kat what was it like when you found out that fairy tales were real and how did you break this news to Hannah?
Kat: At that point, my dad had already gone missing, I’d been attacked by a vicious demon dog, and shown a vision of drowning in the middle of French class. I was shocked, sure, but it wasn’t as far fetched as you might think. Now, Hank’s little revelation took a bit more getting used to.
As for Hannah, I didn’t bother trying to break it ‘gently.’ There was no time. 

Q: Hannah, what was your initial reaction when you found out?
Hannah: Basically, “Whaaaaat?” And then, “THAT IS SO COOL.” Then Kat told me her story, and I realized how much trouble the world was in. That’s when I knew I had to write it all down.

Q: What was the hardest part in collaborating on this novel?
Hannah: Well, communicating with someone who is on a global quest while trying to survive the effects the fey are having on the world is a pretty big challenge.
Kat: Sounds about right. It’s hard to keep up with email when you’re surrounded by magic and things that want to kill you.

Q: Kat, with so many years between my siblings and I, I have no idea what it would be like to be a twin. What is the best and worst thing about your relationship with Roger?
A: The best thing is that you’re never really alone. I mean, duh, you are, but for the most part you know that there will always be your twin if everything else is gone. The worst is that no one can make you feel as alone as a twin when they turn their back on you. I know that contradicts itself, but it’s true.

Q: Hannah, what kept you motivated when you were writing this novel?
A: The story. I knew that Kat was out there, doing all these incredible things; if I couldn’t write it, then what kind of coward did that make me? Besides, the world needed to know. Maybe my book would soften the blow of a global reimagining. Probably not, but I had to try.   

 Q: Kat, how do you think Hannah did in her telling of your story?
Kat: I’m not going to answer this question.
Hannah: Hey!
Kat: You don’t need the ego stroke. Or maybe it would be an ego blow.
Hannah: Jerk.

Q: Can you guys give us all a hint as to what will be in store next?
Kat: At this point? You should all probably say goodbye to your loved ones.
Hannah: That is incredibly depressing, Kat. You’re going to fix this. I—we—have faith in you. As for the books, I can tell you right now that Path of Needles was just the tip of the iceberg. Have you finished it? Do you know what’s happening to the world? It’s going to get worse before it gets better. And, uh, if 
you live in New York City I’d suggest you move. Quickly.
In the style of Steven Moffat, I’ll leave you with three hints:
Flame. Bird. Coffin.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Path of Needles Chapter Eight Excerpt

From Path of Needles, Chapter 8: Big Eyes, Big Teeth

I knew it was a dream before I saw the eyes in the trees.
“This is creepy,” I said, the words echoing into the empty clearing. That’s where I wasa clearing in the middle of the forest, the day fading to dusk above me as the trees rustled wickedly in the wind. And they were wicked, those trees. I knew it like I knew I was dreaming, like I knew that this dream was different, and somehow that awful Clara’s fault.
It helped that the trees were glaring at me. Each trunk boasted, I kid you not, glowing red eyes, some slanted into glares, others wide and staring. Knowing it was a dream, I wasn’t as afraid as I think I should have been. After all, they were creepy, but it was just a dream, right? Couldn’t actually hurt me.
I shifted and something shifted with me. I looked down to see a basket hanging off my right arm. It was a cute little thing, all wicker and covered in checked gingham cloth. The wind rustled, and I realized I was wearing a long cloak over my jeans and shirt. It was a deep, virulent red.
“Great,” I said out loud. “Little Red Riding Hood. Really original, subconscious,” I muttered, pulling the hood up over my hair with my free arm.
The same dream-logic that told me to keep the cape pushed me towards the trees despite their wicked eyes. I bit my lip and started forward, because it was a dream and what else could I do? The eyes on the trees watched me as I stepped onto the path. I tripped and stumbled, falling to my knees and throwing a hand out to stop my fall.
“Ouch!” I pulled my hand back, cradling it to my chest as I hastily stood. Blood trickled out from a dozen tiny pinpricks. I reached down and found a jagged edge on the hem of my cloak, then ripped off a long swath of cloth and wrapped it clumsily around my hand. That done, I looked to see what had cut me.
The path was carpeted with shiny, silver needles.
“I think I’ve read this version,” I muttered to myself. I kicked vindictively at the stupid sharp things before setting forth once more. “This dream sucks.”
I kept walking. The metallic crunch of needles under my feet and the creaking of branches in the wind were the only noises. Every once in a while I glanced up at the thin crack in the trees overhead. As I walked the sky shifted colors from the dark purples of dusk to the deeper blues and blacks of night. For some reason I could see in the dark, though there were no stars or moonlight to light my way.
Eventuallyand it could have been hours, days, or seconds, considering it was stupid dreamtimeI saw a light up ahead. As I got closer I saw that it came from a candle burning in the window of a small, thatched cottage. Despite knowing exactly which fairy tale I’d found myself in, I couldn’t fight my feet as they took me to the front door.
I raised a fist and knocked three times.
“Come in,” called a warm, familiar voice. A man’s voice. My heart sped up.
The door swung silently forward under my outstretched hand. Trembling, I stepped over the threshold. As I did so, the dream shifted once more, taking me from the fairy-tale forest to my apartment’s kitchen.
Light streamed through the open window, the breeze gently teasing our yellow curtains. City noises filtered faintly through the air. This was the kitchen of my memoriesmessy, filled with a few dirty dishes and takeaway boxes, but mine. I stepped inside, shaking needles onto the old linoleum as I breathed in the coffee-and-city smell of home.
“There you are, Kit-Kat,” my father said from behind me. My heart clenched. He hadn’t called me that since I was very small.
I turned around slowly, knowing that the door to the forest would be gone. My father stood in the kitchen doorway. He leaned against the doorframe, dressed in a posh suit, his hair tied back into a slick ponytail. It was exactly as he’d looked when I left home the night before.
“Hello, darling,” he said, and smiled.
“Well?” he continued, his voice so warm and familiar that my eyes began to water. “How do I look?” He did a little twirl on the heels of his dress shoes.
“Great, Dad,” I said, my voice shaking slightly. I clutched the basket closer to my chest as he stepped forward, still smiling at me, the right corner of his mouth just a little higher than the left. “You going to the premier tonight?” I heard myself asking, even as my legs began to tremble beneath me. He stepped forward again.
“No. Thought I’d stay in tonight. Maybe we can pick up a Chinese, watch some telly. Just like old times.”
I closed my eyes tightly as he spoke, the colloquialisms that were as familiar to me as my last name stabbing painfully into my chest. It’s a dream, I chanted to myself. A dream, a dream, a dream…
When I opened my eyes, he was standing right in front of me. This close, I could see that his teeth were yellow, his skin grey and unhealthy, eyes shocky and wide.
“I’m not going to say it,” I said, my breath coming in tiny gasps as I realized exactly what part of the story we had reached.
My father laughed, his strange skin crinkling at the edges as he did so. “Oh, come on, it’s all a bit of fun. Don’t you like my big eyes? My nasty teeth?” He grinned wide, showing off yellow teeth that had been filed down to sharp points meant for tearing.
I shook my head. “No,” I whispered, and took a step back.
“That’s too bad, Kit-Kat,” he said again, stepping forward until I was pressed against the kitchen table. “I guess we’ll just have to skip to the end.”
He pulled his hands out of his pockets and I screamed as I saw they were claws. I screamed again when he reached for me, snarling.  Fur rippled from beneath his skin, spreading up his limbs to burst out of the skin on his face. My father collapsed on the ground like shreds of leather and a snarling wolf in a tattered suit launched itself at me.
Just before the claws reached my throat, I felt a familiar jolt, like I was being yanked out of the apartment and up through the ceiling. As I was pulled from the dream into the black, I heard the howling wolf behind me, his cries chasing me even as I escaped.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes An Anthology Review

Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
Two and Twenty Dark Tales:
Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
An Anthology

Usually I like to write a synopsis for every story within an anthology, but in this case the novel is compiled of twenty short stories so my lazy bone kicked in and I figured I would just review the entirety. On the bright side however not reviewing each separate story means no spoiler alerts because you will still have to read the book to find out exactly what I mean.

Some of these stories are a hit while others are a miss, but when you have twenty stories and twenty authors, let’s face it that is to be expected. I want to start with my favorite story which was the re-telling of Wee Willie Winkie by Leigh Fallon, it is one of the shorter stories but by far the creepiest in the bunch. Most of the stories have a great aspect to them and they are certainly entertaining, some however where completely off the mark when it came to the Nursery Rhyme they were supposed to be re-telling not just incorporating them into their own story. The biggest problem I had with this novel was that I personally didn’t find it age appropriate, it is supposed to be a young adult novel but some of the stories are far too graphic. Now how I determine this is based on my family, I am very close to my sixteen year old sister, my thirteen year old niece, and my ten year old niece, so when reading a young adult novel I always think to myself one or all of them will love this novel or “There is no way in Hell I would let them read this!” In this case it was the latter, for instance I don’t find references to sexual abuse and rape to be appropriate for a young adult novel. I am twenty-something and I myself have a hard time swallowing anything that even alludes to such horrible acts. There are thankfully only two who add this into their stories so if you can skip those this would be a fantastic novel, otherwise reader discretion is advised.  

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Path of Needles by Hannah Kollef Review

Path of Needles
Paths Book One
By Hannah Kollef

Seventeen year old Kat Finnegan is not your average teenager, she has grown up in a world full of art and culture in New York, goes to a private school, and has a twin brother. If this was not enough to make her interesting her father soon goes missing and she is pulled into a world that she always thought of as a Fairy Tale.
 Path of Needles
This novel is a young adult urban fantasy, whew what a mouthful, and is so much fun to read. Hannah Kollef has taken a classic tale in its original form and weaved a magnificent story in a modern setting. To further capture your attention in this novel and to guarantee you will continue on with the story the twin brother and sister are called “The Truth” and “The Lie” in the fey kingdom and their coming is referred to as the “Lost Prophecy” this is just the beginning of the story! I loved the characters and not only does Hannah Kollef suck you in with the main story she also fills the story full of emotional side stories that certainly keep you entertained as you go along, such as the sense of loss you feel over Kat’s father going missing. This is worth the read and I cannot wait for the next book to come out!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hammered by Kevin Hearne Review

Iron Druid Chronicles Book Three
By Kevin Hearne

The best thing that anyone has ever heard about Thor, the Norse God of Thunder, is that he is a douche. Not only is Thor a complete jerk to put it mildly, he is a bully and takes pleasure at other peoples pain. Now after centuries of this, it is about to bite him in the butt. Atticus, the last remaining druid, along with a werewolf, a vampire, a sorcerer, another thunder God, and a team of frost giants they will travel to Asgard and exact revenge on Thor.
 Hammered (Iron Druid Chronicles, #3)
One of the best things about this series is how outrageously funny it is, such as having a beer with Jesus as he makes fish and chips appear on everyone’s plates. This book goes into more details into some of the side characters that have been in and out of the other two novels and if you find yourself on team Thor at the beginning when you hear each of their stories you are ready for the biggest butt kicking you will ever come across. This novel is much more emotional than the others, I did not cry thank goodness but came very close. But this quick witted man’s man is definitely becoming one of my favorite characters.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

The Next Few Days...

So you may have noticed I have been reviewing nothing but mainstream the past few days... Well that is because they are all "Stock." I haven't been able to read lately, I lost my glasses a couple of months ago during our move from Germany back to the US. I have been pushing through it until the migraines became too much and finally broke down and went into the doctor. Now I am patiently waiting for my new glasses to come in so I can get back to work! They should be here in the next few days, It hurts to even watch tv! Ugh lesson learned never go without your glasses!!! 

Sad but True!! 

Anyways, I hope everyone is having a GREAT Day! 

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Review

Beautiful Creatures
Caster Chronicles Book One
By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

It started with a dream, he was desperate to save this girl he didn’t know Ethan had no idea what the dream meant until Lena showed up at school and everything fell into place. This was the girl from his dreams and for some reason he has such a strong connection with her they can even hear each other’s thoughts, but Lena warns him away from her. She only has five months until a terrible curse that has plagued her family will consume her too.
Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1) 
I didn’t know what to expect when I started this novel but it turned out to be such an interesting and original story. Not your typical paranormal young adult romance that has been circulated among the masses recently. The authors of this novel did such a wonderful job in creating a hauntingly beautiful romance full of past lives ghosts and “witches” they manage to encompass all of the best aspects of the fantasy genre. The authors also did a magnificent job in capturing the small southern town mentality it reminded me of some of the places I have lived before.  All in all this is a well written and beautiful book I hope book two proves to be just as entertaining.

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