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October Releases

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Julia Rachel Barrett!


I am honored to have author and fellow Twitter friend Julia Rachel Barrett here with me today! She has given me the opportunity to interview her and she has been nice enough to have a giveaway for you guys. Barrett is an author with an incredible knack for sexy contemporary and science fiction romance. So please give a big warm welcome to Mrs. Barrett!




OBVB: Hello Julia. Welcome to Offbeat Vagabond. To start off, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
JRB: Hi!  Oh, what to tell… I’m married to the love of my life.  We have three children and an entire menagerie of pets. 

OBVB: When did your passion for writing first originate or was it something you were born with?
JRB: I have always had a passion for books.  My whole family loves books and reading.  My father taught me to read when I was eighteen months old.  I began writing poetry in grade school, books in middle school and high school.  I’m passionate about stories and storytelling.

OBVB: Do you have any favorite authors? Anyone that has inspired you?
JRB: I have so many favorites.  I guess four authors are my inspiration, Charlotte Bronte, Louisa May Alcott, James Clavell and Frank Herbert.  Every year I reread Jane Eyre, Little Women, Shogun and Dune.

OBVB: What challenges did you face when you first got published?
JRB: Let’s see… if you piled up all my rejection letters, the pile would probably be four feet high.  I have been rejected by more publishers and agents than I care to list.  E-pubs and e-publishing are made for niche writers like me.

OBVB: Do you have a routine of any kind when you write or you do it whenever you have time?
JRB: My daily routine involves exercise.  Other than that, I write when I have time.  I don’t sit still well so I must exercise a few hours a day in order to focus.  That means a long hike with my dog and some time on my elliptical.

OBVB: You write erotic paranormal, sci-fi and contemporary romance. Is there a specific one you love more? Any that is easier to write than others?
JRB: I’ve always loved science fiction and I’ll probably be writing much more in that genre, both erotic science fiction romance and straight science fiction.  I think my favorite to both read and write is romantic suspense.  I love figuring out what makes people tick, why characters do what they do, and solving a good mystery.

OBVB: You just had a new book released, The Artist, correct? Can you tell us a little bit about it?
JRB: The Artist is a short story.  It’s an erotic dream.  It’s very honest, very stream of consciousness.  Self-publishing gives me the chance to experiment with styles and lengths.  I can say for sure my readers will see more of my experiments.

OBVB: All your leading men are insanely sexy. (A) Who is your favorite leading man from your books and (B) who is your favorite leading man that is not from your books? Tell us why.
JRB: Oh my gosh, thanks!  How nice to hear that my leading men are insanely sexy!  I love all my leading men.  The sexiest?  It would have to be a toss-up between Gabriel Abbott in Beauty and the Feast and Mace Williams in Pushing Her Boundaries.  But there are two leading men who are close to my heart, Jake McKenna from Anytime Darlin’, because he is a hero through and through, and Ekkatt from Captured, because he is willing to risk everything, give up his entire life, for one human woman.
As far of heroes created by other authors, I’d have to say Jamie Fraser of Outlander tops the list.  He is the perfect romance hero, tough, tender, honest, loyal, devoted, courageous, intelligent.  Oh, and he’s Scottish!

OBVB: I read that you come from a family of cooks and that you yourself love to cook. What do you think is your best dish?
JRB: You’d have to ask my kids.  I’m guessing they’d say my sour cream blueberry pancakes, my mile high biscuits, or my wild mushroom lasagna.  

OBVB: When you are not writing and cooking, what else do you do in your spare time?
JRB: I hike, bike, garden, paint, travel.  I love to ride horses when I have an opportunity.

OBVB: I love your book covers. Did you have a say in the picking process?
JRB: Thank you.  Yes and no.  I make suggestions and I’m sent a cover.  Sometimes it reflects what I requested and envisioned, sometimes not so much.  One of the advantages of self-publishing is that I can design my own cover.  I love to work with Lex at Winterheart Designs.  She always listens to me.  The cover for Incorporeal was a birthday gift from a dear friend who is an artist.

OBVB: Last but not least, are you working on anything new as we speak? Anything to keep our eyes peeled for?
JRB: I’m working on a sequel to Incorporeal, In the Flesh.  The Guardian gets his own story.  Sometime within the next two weeks I’ll have two more stories available, You Might Just Get It and Liz and Me.  Stay tuned!

OBVB: Thank you visiting OBVB hon, hope we can do this again soon.
JRB: Thank you so much for having me.  It’s been a great pleasure.


**********************************************************
Check out my review for:
Captured


Stalk J. R. Barrett here:


**********************************************************

Giveaway Time!

Click here and here for info on books

Barret has been nice enough to give away two of her books:

*Print copy of Captured (US Only)
*PDF copy of Incorporeal (International)

So that means TWO winners! 


*To enter, just leave a comment with the name of the book you want and your email address

*Winner will be chosen randomly by random.org
*Contest ends September 6
*Please be 18 or older

Indie Book Review: Captured by Julia Rachel Barrett

Author: Julia Rachel Barrett
Format: PDF
Release Date: January 6, 2010
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Genre: Science Fiction/Paranormal Romance/Erotic













Buy here:


Synopsis from Goodreads

Mari never expects to find herself in a cage in a cargo hold on a spaceship. She quickly learns from her captors she's headed to the meat market. When they try to return her to hypersleep, she resists. After allowing her to stay awake, Mari realizes her survival depends on connecting with the male in charge, Ekkatt. She must make him see her as a sentient being or she will end up as dinner. Ekkatt has never spoken to any human. They are valued for one thing, the money they bring at auction. The Attun race is vegetarian, but other species prize human flesh and bring in good money. Then the female with red hair speaks to him and forces him to admit she has a name. Mari throws Ekkatt's entire life into question, the biggest question...can he watch her sold to the highest bidder?



     Thanks to the lovely author J. R. Barrett, I have had the opportunity to review some of her books. First down is Captured, an erotic science fiction romance. I must say, I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I was definitely enthralled by page 1. 

      I love the story Barrett has given us, it is quite an amazing concept. Mari, along with various other human women, is abducted from Earth and is going to be sold on another planet. They are considered nothing more than animals, so they are either sold as sex slaves or…entrees. I really didn’t expect it to be that dark, but it made me more intrigued. But Mari, being the strong woman she is, didn’t stay down like the rest of the “herd” and that makes Ekkatt curious.  

     Ekkatt is an alien, a humanoid, whose job is to travel to Earth and bring back the “food”, but he quickly learns that she is way more than that. While it is against the rules, he talks to the human and finds out that she is not the brainless animal he has been taught she would be. He finds out that she and the others are rational thinkers and he is now determined to escape with her even though it will cost them their lives.

     I loved this book. I would gladly read it many times over. It was full of adventure and kept me on my toes. I really couldn’t put it down. The world (well worlds) Barrett has created were just brilliant. Even if you aren’t a fan of science fiction, there is still much to appreciate in the book. I love what Ekkatt and Mari learn from each other especially the sex.  Barrett definitely knows how to write some sexy scenes. But I loved that neither of them complained about their situation. They know their lives are on the line and they were each other’s equals. Ekkatt never saw Mari as some weakling human, never thought “Hey I should have left her behind to save my own skin”. And Mari never saw Ekkatt as a monster; she understood why he did what he did.

     The only complaint I have is that I wish there was a little more conflict between Ekkatt and those he was running from. I mean we get one main villain, but I would have loved if him and Ekkatt had a brawl of some kind. The guy got what he deserved and I was happy, but still. I also would have liked more to the ending. I mean I love where they end up, but just a few more pages where we get a sense of the place and the people. Maybe a little something about Ekkatt’s estranged “family”. I know, a little too Hollywood, but I couldn’t help it. Still, it was a great ending.

     I highly recommend this book to SFR lovers and if SFR isn't for you, still read it just because it is a great read. It is sexy and fun. It is a great story, full of great characters, adventure, and survival. Barrett has created some amazing worlds that I hope you all will enjoy reading about. Make sure this is on your TBR list.


Rating:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Review: The Host (The Host #1) by Stephenie Meyer

Author: Stephenie Meyer
Series: The Host
Number in Series: 1
Format: Audiobook
Time: 23 hrs. and 5 mins.
Narrator: Kate Reading
Release Date: May 6, 2008 (audiobook: May 9, 2008)
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Genre: Science Fiction/Paranormal Romance/Fantasy










Buy here:

Synopsis from Indie Bound

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves-Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.



     Sometime in the future, humans will be taken over by aliens, but not the way they do in the movies. Their “spirits” would take over the mind of a human. They would have complete control over their minds and bodies. Or so they thought. When an alien who has lived on eight different planets inside of various animals and plants invades a human named Melanie, things get a little sticky. Melanie was on the verge of death and when her body was taken by the spirit known as Wanderer, Melanie has no intention of giving up that easily. Wanderer (soon nicknamed Wanda) finds out that what she knows of humans isn’t what she has been taught. Wanda also teaches the humans that not all aliens are untrustworthy. 

     Ok, this was pretty hard for me to rate. I finished this 2 weeks ago actually and have been contemplating what to give it. Now Meyer isn’t my favorite author and everyone knows that Twilight is pretty far down on the totem pole for me. And by far down I mean it didn’t even make it. But I must admit this surprised me.  It had its share of problems for sure, but that doesn’t take away from some of the shining gems buried in this verbose book. 

    One thing that I loved was Wanda herself. She may have been very very timid, but she would bend over backwards for friends and enemies alike. I was so amazed of how Wanda and Melanie were two completely different personalities, but their emotions became so evenly matched. But I think if this book followed Melanie more and not Wanda, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this much. I found her a little confusing at times, but as the story develops, Melanie and Wanda’s relationship was much better. 

    I love that this wasn’t a romance, but the romance involved was interesting and complex. Since Melanie won’t give up her mind completely to Wanda, instead of fighting, Melanie shares her thoughts and emotions with Wanda. Wanda soon falls for Jarod, Melanie’s love, and she soon loves Jamie, Melanie’s younger brother like her own brother. But then another man named Ian makes it known his feelings for Wanda, Melanie doesn’t like it of course and Wanda is confused over it all. I for one preferred Ian over Jarod because he didn’t treat Wanda badly because of what she was, he accepted her. Jarod thought her a monster and knocked the crap out of her even though she wore the body of the woman he loves. It took him forever to trust her and that was only after she risked her life for him and the others. Not to mention I found him just boring, he didn’t have much personality, he was just cruel most of the book.

   If it weren’t for how long and dragged on this book was, I might have liked it more. I know that makes me sound lazy, but there are just things we didn’t necessarily need. The book took so long to get to the point. The first half of this was nothing but paranoia from the humans and them being cautious around Wanda, which I understand, but we could have cut down on that a bit. I am also still not a fan and I still wonder why this is a theme with Meyer, but teenage chick with older guy? I mean this is said to be a book for adults, but after reading it, I am not too sure. I liked the ending, it was a good ending, just not sure what to make of Wanda now especially where Ian is concerned. Sorry just too close for me. I won’t spoil this, but you’ll know when you get there.

     Overall, this was good. It did drag a bit and got sort of boring in parts, but the emotional aspect of the book made it better. I really loved seeing all the relationships and feelings progress from the characters. The dialogue was so-so, some a bit dreary. But I liked the storyline and the premise was something that people could relate to. It was put together well all things considered. I like that this isn’t simply a sci-fi book, it is about humanity and being from different worlds and still learning from each other. It is all about trust and acceptance. I am actually looking forward to the sequel.
     

Rating:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Book Review: Lord of the Vampires (Royal House of Shadows #1) by Gena Showalter

Author: Gena Showalter
Series: Royal House of Shadows
Number in Series: 1
Format: PDF
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy











Buy here:


Synopsis from Goodreads

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden.


To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. 

Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…

Nicolai the Vampire was renowned for his virility, but in a twist of fate "The Dark Seducer" had become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remained was a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who could help him.

In her dreams, a wanton vampire called to Jane Parker, drawing her to his dark sexuality and his magical realm.

But for a human, all was not a fairy tale in Delfina. Jane was the key to Nicolai's memory…but exploiting her meant dooming the only mortal he craved.


    
    After a horrible attack on his castle, Prince Nicolai’s parents are killed. That is not before Nicolai’s powerful mother uses her dying breath to send him and his siblings away from the house for their safety. Problem is, they were split up. And to make things worse, Nicolai has ended up on the sex slave market and has been bought up by Princess Odette. Her and her sister Laila are ugly and cruel witches who have taken Nicolai’s memory and more. 

    So, of course, Nicolai becomes desperate. So he sends a special book to someone who can help him, a woman named Jane who knows more about the paranormal than most. Jane falls asleep and is immediately taken to a different world. She is not herself; she has in fact been spelled by Nicolai to look like the Princess Odette who Nicolai has recently killed. He wants to use Jane and just get the hell out of there, but after seeing her, that changes. He fell for her hard and lucky for them both, they both have skills and strength to escape not only the castle, but vengeful sister Laila. 

     Wow, the mixed reviews this has been getting. I will say first and foremost, I love Showalter. One of the best in Paranormal Romance (I beg anyone to argue that). So with that being said, this wasn’t my favorite from her. Oh my goodness, my heart skipped a beat when I wrote that. But good news I did enjoy it. 

     Nicolai was a manwhore. Definitely has the hit it and quit it mentality. So when he first met Jane, he had every intention of using her just so he can leave. But that changed quickly when he needs to save Jane. I love how he protects Jane and through that, he finds out he is more than a vampire. He has a very special and convenient power. I loved Jane, she was super smart and if not for her, Nicolai probably would have died. She thought outside the box and used her brains. Also a plus, she use to work for the government and her branch experimented with vampires and teleportation. The woman was a genius. Nicolai was smart too, but he was more animal than anything. I love how possessive he was, but sometimes his dialogue was a bit to Tarzan for me.

     I did like the plot, but there were holes that I wish were addressed. I mean I do understand this is a debut and that this story will be spread across three more books, but there were some things I would have liked some more explanations on. For instance, bit by bit, Nicolai gains his memory back, but we aren’t told 100% how. Also there was the incident with Jane. She gets the book from Nicolai and it is addressed to her, but she doesn’t know how he knows her and vice versa. Then there is the how of how she got there. From my understanding, there was history there and he knew her before, so his powers were blocked, but we don’t know when exactly it happened. Did it happen after her car accident when she was in the hospital? I mean, did he have some access to her spirit? That would have been a nice fact, but we still don’t know the how.

     Nonetheless, Lord of the Vampires was a good read. It was a good debut to this great collaboration (on to book 2 Lord of Rage by Jill Monroe as we speak), so big thanks to Netgalley for this and book 2. This is written by Showalter, so it is still worth reading in my opinion. This is quite a ride and it is very very sexy. I just think the plot needed to be cleaned up a bit and it needed to be more complete.


Rating:


*This belongs to the following challenge*

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Liebster Blog Award!!!


     Woohoo! Thanks to my new blogging mate at FictionFool, I have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award. This is an award to give recognition to bloggers with less than 200 followers. This is a very new award to me, I have never heard of it. So courtesy of FictionFool, this is what she found:

Some time (in the recent past), somewhere (rumor has it that it might be Germany), someone (I'm guessing he/she was named Liebster) decided to do something nice for a whole lot of bloggers and started the Liebster Blog Award.

It’s an award you receive, but it is also an award that you give

      So to follow the rules and to spread the love, here are the five blogs I would love to nominate for this award. Big thanks to FictionFool and congratulations to all the nominees :)

1. TalkSupe

2. The Bookoholic Zone

3. Paperback Daydreamer

4. Books, Cats, Movies, and Coffee

5. Mark of the Stars


To the blogs above, here is what you guys have to do:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

Book Review: Blood Law (Alexandra Sabian #1) by Jeannie Holmes

Author: Jeannie Holmes
Series: Alexandra Sabian
Number in Series: 1
Format: Epub
Release Date: July 6, 2010
Publisher: Dell
Genre: Urban Fantasy















Buy here:


Synopsis from Goodreads

To stop a vampire killer, she’ll have to slay her own demons first.

A provocative and savvy vampire, Alexandra Sabian moves to the sleepy hamlet of Jefferson, Mississippi—population 6,000, half vampires—to escape the demons lurking in her past. As an enforcer for the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigations (FBPI), Alex must maintain the uneasy peace between her kind and humans, including Jefferson’s bigoted sheriff, who’d be happy to see all vampires banished from town. Then really dead vamps start turning up—beheaded, crucified, and defanged, the same gruesome manner in which Alex’s father was murdered decades ago. For Alex, the professional has become way too personal.



Things get even more complicated when the FBPI sends in some unnervingly sexy backup: Alex’s onetime mentor, lover, and fiancé, Varik Baudelaire. Still stinging from the betrayal that ended their short-lived engagement, Alex is determined not to give in to the temptation that soon threatens to short-circuit her investigation. But as the vamp body count grows and the public panic level rises, Varik may be Alex’s only hope to stop a relentless killer who’s got his own score to settle and his own bloody past to put right.


     Blood Law is about a world, our world, which is aware of the existence of vampires. Now like humans, vampires need their own policing. This is where Alexandra Sabian comes in. She is an FBPI (Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation) agent. She works along with humans to in vampire related murders. But this investigation hits close to home with Alex when the murdered vampires hold a strange resemblance to the way Alex’s father was murdered. It has been about 40 years since his death and his murderer was never found, so Alex is more determined than ever.

     I really enjoyed this book. The plot was pretty good. It sort of reminded me of the second season of True Blood, just from the cops’ point of view. I love how the story builds up. From the first chapter, it is dark and gruesome. Alex finding out that the man possibly responsible for her father’s death might be in Jefferson, sends her into a world spin. Not only does she have to put up with a town that is split on vampires, including the town sheriff who might know more about the crimes than he is letting on. Alex also must face the reinforcements, her ex-fiancée Varik. Things between them ended brutally and he was supposed to be retired, so seeing him is a big shock. 

     Like plenty of other reviews I have seen, I too couldn’t believe this was Holmes first book. This is just so intricate and layered, I couldn’t believe it. The way she writes almost reminds me of J.R. Ward’s or Adrian Phoenix’s style. We get everyone’s point of view, from the main characters to the villains and those in between. I love that. I like that we can follow what everyone is doing and trying to get an understanding as to why they are doing it. 

    The characters in the book were all incredible. Alex was a great heroine. She actually reminded me a lot of old Anita Blake. She is tough, takes no bullshit, and she will find her man no matter what while still trying to rescue those close to her.  I love Varik, he and Alex may be in a six year patch, but he never gives up on her no matter how piss she is. I love finding books where the characters already have a history, it is rare and it adds more depth to them. Love others characters like Alex’s brother, Stephen, who hates Varik’s guts because of what he did. Then there is Tasha, she is Alex’s partner whose loyalty is really tested in this book. She definitely has some demons to face and Holmes wrote it in a way that she will have an even bigger part in things to come I believe. I truly can’t wait.

     The only thing I liked and disliked about this book was the actual vampire aspect of the book. Weird, I know, but let me explain myself. I love that the world knows about the vampires and they are fitting in well with society. But in effect, the vampires are quite humanized. I mean, I love they aren’t the dark and cold beings we are used to seeing, but they have powers. Problem is if they use them, they will be punished for it. This couldn’t be truer for Alex who can sometimes see and feel the last few moments of someone’s life (and she can see ghosts). But I think because she has to try and keep her vampire self in check, she can’t do more with them. But I believe that we will see more of her powers in play. 

    Like I said, this is an amazing debut by Holmes. Again, can’t believe this is the lady’s first book. This was a page turner for me. The twists and surprises will leave you in a state of awe. There are two characters in particular (neither are the actual killer who is very disturbed) who do and hide things that I would not have seen coming. I recommend this even if you aren’t a fan of Urban Fantasy. It is still a great Thriller.


Rating: 



*This belongs to the following challenges*
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge 2011
Parajunkee's View Vampire Challenge 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review: Blood Awakening (The Blood Curse #2) by Tessa Dawn

Author: Tessa Dawn
Series: The Blood Curse
Number in Series: 2
Format: Ebook (Kindle)
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Publisher: Ghost Pines Publishing
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy/Horror/Paranormal Romance













Buy here:


Synopsis from Goodreads

A dangerous game of life, blood, and survival... Marquis Silivasi is a loner, an ancient vampire known to be merciless, harsh, and unforgiving. He has lived to see his dark twin sacrificed, his parents hunted, and the one soul he was sworn to protect destroyed by his enemy. When a mysterious female with a secret past shows up in Dark Moon Vale, her presence sets off a strange set of events: It is as if she has awakened the sleeping soul of the valley...and the Curse of Marquis's birth.Bound to each other by primeval law, the two must forge their way through an ever growing maze of danger, deception, and destiny. They must find salvation in a world without mercy, where survival demands a chilling BLOOD AWAKENING.



     My favorite of the brothers, Marquis, gets a story. He is…difficult. Intense and maybe a little cruel, but being alone for about 1500 years, losing his twin and sister-in-law in such devastating ways and witnessing the death of his parents would do that to anyone.  In Blood Awakening though, that all will change or so we think. Still in mourning for his dead brother, Shelby, his anguish causes a little catastrophe. But it also brings life to a woman named Ciopori that has been buried alive under the brothers’ very noses. Apparently, she is part goddess and is the long-lost sister of the original vampire, Jadon. She is now awake and it is apparent she and Marquis are destined to be together. Thing is, destiny might have other plans for Marquis and he is beginning to think he is meant to live in turmoil forever.     

    Wow, I mean WOOOOW! How Tessa Dawn comes up with this genius is a mystery to me. I was so excited for Marquis’s story because he is a favorite and this confirmed it. His aggression is actually heartbreaking. I know that sounds weird, but once you get into his story, it will make sense (I hope). We know of how he feels about losing those he loves and I was actually on the verge of crying sometimes because of all he has endured. Him finding Ciopori has truly been a godsend. But we get a curveball, a big curveball. I won’t spoil it, but I was hurling curses. Not a bad thing necessarily, but given the sort of woman Marquis deserves, you feel for him even more when things go into play.

    Besides Marquis, we get more of the other brothers, specifically their lord, Napoleon. In Blood Destiny, I thought he was as a lord should be, cold and standoffish. But when Ciopori wakes, we find that she was buried along with her sister, Vanya, and Napoloeon has fallen hard for her, literally. Seeing a 2000 year old vampire lord with powers too unbelievable to comprehend, trip and stutter over a woman like a teenage boy was priceless. He was actually less scary that way, but don’t let that fool you, he is still plenty scary. We also meet more villains who pretty much top every monster list I can think of. Valentine’s brother Salvatore wants revenge for his brother because he knows he is dead and he knows Marquis did it. So he goes out of his way to really grab Marquis’s attention.  

    We get a little of all the brothers and even another favorite, Braden. Braden is a newly turned vampire (the first male to go from human to vampire) and he is a teenager, so things are…interesting. Braden seems to be going through a bad (well, worse) Kevin Federline meets The Situation phase. It is bad, but I couldn’t stop laughing. But despite Braden’s confusion, we find out that he is quite brilliant. I won’t say much, but because of Braden, he indirectly saves Marquis’s life. Ciopori was a great lead female. She is exactly who I imagined Marquis to be with; regal and ladylike. We don’t necessarily find out how is it that they seem to know each other through their dreams or why, but it worked. But things that happen with Kristina, however, were just ridiculous. She was tough and defensive. She has lots of growing up to do. She was the kind of female you would find on Maury, I know there will be more of her and I can’t wait. I love where things ended with her and I think there is a possibility she might be Nachari’s mate (so damn lucky!)

     The plot was amazing. I couldn’t predict how any of this was going to go. I loved the good vs. evil standoff. After Salvatore makes the mistake of messing with Marquis and what’s his. The stuff that Marquis and his brothers’ pull off were amazing. The fact that they are vampires and can do the things they do will astound you.  But I believe given what Nachari has done might play a big role in his story. He has stolen a book from Salvatore, not just any book, the book full of the black magic that makes Salvatore an even bigger monster than he is. Again, there are things in this book that will make people uncomfortable.  There are bad guys, than there are these guys. There aren’t really enough words in the dictionary to describe just how nasty and ruthless they are. There are likable villains and these are not it. 

    Buy this book! I can’t say it enough; Tessa Dawn is a force to be reckoned with. The ending of this book was quite the shocker. Since we know what is at stake for the brothers when they don’t make their sacrifices, what Marquis did brought me to tears. We feel his frustration, his hatred and he is very justified because he doesn’t understand why they are still being punished. Just like Blood Destiny, Blood Awakening will keep you on the edge of your seat. This was such an incredible sequel and this is one of my absolutely favorite series. Man I can talk about this all freaking day.


Rating:
+1




*This book belongs to the following challenges*
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge 2011
Parajunkee's View Vampire Challenge 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chapter Review: Pinky Promise ? (Ch. 2) by Natalie Valdes

Author: Natalie Valdes
Format: Ebook (PDF)
Release Date: September 2011
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal Romance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Read here:


Synopsis from Goodreads

A Supernatural Young Adult Romance:

Do you believe in heaven or hell? Angels or Demons? Ghosts, or even second chances at life?

Losing someone is one of the hardest things imaginable, for Jaylynn-first it was her father-and then it was him. The one that had been her first love, the one that had given her the highest hopes towards a wonderful future together, forever.

He, who had promised her he would never leave her just as her father had. Jace, the war hero.

High School senior, Jaylynn doesn't know how to cope with this new loss, and when Jagger-a boy that reminds her entirely too much of Jace enters her world- trouble will brew as secrets and mysteries are unraveled.

This book will be posted as a blog story on my blog by chapter two weeks at a time, in September the full edition will be available for order.


     Chapter 2 of Pinky Promise gives us a glimpse of Jaylynn's anger. The new guy, Jagger, is too nice and is all too familiar and Jaylynn hates it. She wants to be left alone, but he is conveniently and suspiciously everywhere she is. And all Jaylynn wants is to be left the hell alone.

     I am way too anxious to find out what will happen next. Jaylynn's hate and suspicions toward Jagger are both wrong and right, She is wrong because she doesn't know him, but already hates him. She is right because she is in agony from her loss and being approached by a cute guy in school would just make her feel guilty. I think that would make anyone upset. Like I said, I love that we can relate to her and how she feels. I too am very intrigued by Jagger and how he is so much like Jace, down to how she likes her sandwiches. I have a feeling about him, but we will know soon for sure. I am loving the fact that this is a YA book with a teen lead who has a right to be angry and dramatic. A lot of the times, they are all up in the air for nothing. Nonetheless, Valdes has once again left on the edge of my seat, I am dying to to know what his secret is. It is killing me. Valdes, come on, give me a bone. Please make sure you are checking this out. You too will be hooked.


Check out my review for Chapter 1 here:
    

Stalk Natalie Valdes here:

Book Review: Black Heart Loa (Hoodoo #2) by Adrian Phoenix

Author: Adrian Phoenix
Series: Hoodoo
Number in Series; 2
Format: Ebook (Nook)
Release Date : June 28, 2011
Publisher: Pocket
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance














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Synopsis from Goodreads


“An eye for an eye is never enough.”
 
Kallie Rivière, a Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a bent for trouble, learned the meaning of those ominous words when hoodoo bogeyman Doctor Heron targeted her family for revenge. Now, while searching for her still-missing bayou pirate cousin, Kallie finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris gris, which means that working magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice. The wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as an unnatural storm—the deadliest in a century—is born. As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the disturbing randomness, only to learn a deeply unsettling truth: the culprit may be herself. To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Vallin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger . . . and finds a loup garou designed to steal her heart—literally.


      Black Heart Loa picks up immediately after Black Dust Mambo. Kallie is on the search for her cousin, Jackson, who has been kidnapped. It is up to her to find out by who and why. She has a feeling it is connected to Doctor Heron, but there is a lot more going on than anyone knows. While being robbed by two idiot robbers named Cash and Kerry, they find out that Jackson is in bigger trouble than they thought and they are running out of time. The hoodoos quickly try a spell to help get rid of the robbers. But it backfires, as a matter of fact, all magic is backfiring and it is because of Kallie. Magic backfiring wouldn’t be so bad if not for the magic holding hurricanes at bay might be the reason one is set to destroy Louisiana and it all might be because of Kallie’s loa.

     Now everyone knows of my love for Black Dust Mambo. I am such a huge fan of Adrian Phoenix, so I had very high expectations for Black Heart Loa. And well, my expectations were met and more. All my favorite characters were back and we have a few new ones I am very interested in. We get a backstory of Jackson’s past that had me In tears and find out Jackson is way more than just a pirating human.

     This book was full of action. So much is going on, it is impossible to be bored with this. Kallie and Belladonna (the world’s greatest best friend, by the way) are trying to find Jackson who has had a spell put on him to turn him into a zombie. Kallie is battling with a badass hoodoo spirit named Baron who has accidentally taken over Cash body, but Kallie’s loa might be more powerful than the Baron himself. Layne (and Augustine) are fighting to get rid of an unwanted to spirit trying to overtake them. Kallie needs to figure out why the loa was put in her body and where her mother stashed her soul and now Kallie is being chased down by a sexy demon wolf who may want to kill her or sleep with her. Phew!

    What is so great about this series is that there is so much to grab you. Phoenix talent for storytelling is incredibly rich. And with all I just mentioned, that is just the surface. There was one chapter in this book where we meet a new woman who has her eyes set on Kallie and her family. We don’t know what her agenda is or why she wants her, but I know this will only get juicier. 

    The characters, of course, are too fantastic! Layne is out to get vengeance for his best friend Gage, who died at the beginning of Black Dust Mambo. He gets knocked out and was unconscious for a lot of the book. But when he wakes up, he was as charming as ever. We get a little of Dallas as well. He is still in the hospital and not even having his throat slit in half stops him from being a perv. Kallie is such an amazing heroine; she does everything she can to save her friends and family. Doesn’t wait for others to take up the slack. I love that. But my favorite is Belladonna. This book can get intense, but even in scary moments, Belladonna will put a smile on your face. Like I said, she is the greatest best friend ever. If you were in trouble, she would be the best person to have by your side. The chemistry between these characters is just brilliant. They are so well-balanced especially between Kallie and Belladonna.

    You must, MUST, start this series. It will never let up and puts you through the ringer. We get quite a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. And we finally get a sex scene between Kallie and Layne (which lasted several hours). But the love story still isn’t quite 100% between them. Given what they have gone through, I understand, but I love the simmer. I can’t wait until the connection gets deeper because it is there. Like I said, you won’t get bored with this and you will be on the edge of your seat from page 1. Definitely on my top list for this year. Thank you again Ms. Phoenix.
     

Rating:




*This book belongs to the following challenge*

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Review: Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate

Author: Lauren Kate
Series: Fallen
Number in Series: 1
Format: Audiobook
Time: 10 hrs. and 56 mins.
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Release Date: December 8, 2009 (audiobook: December 8, 2009)
Publisher: Listen Library
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Young Adult/Urban Fantasy/Horror









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Synopsis from Goodreads

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.



     Fallen is about a young girl named Lucinda “Luce” Price. She has a past, a past she can’t quite remember.  She was involved in the death of a young guy named Trevor. She can’t remember what happened. All she remembers are the shadows that were there. The shadows have been following her all her life. So Luce’s parents send her to a reform school. At this school, Sword & Cross, she uncovers secrets she never imagined and a lot of them are connected to her.

     Now like lots of other people, the cover is what really got me on wanting to read this book. It is beautiful and dark. Problem is, what’s inside is not as dark as the cover would lead you to believe. The shadows in the book weren’t even the main antagonist. The actual antagonist was someone you would not have seen coming, which was great, but disappointed me a bit where others were concerned.

     The characters weren’t bad. The main character Luce wasn’t a favorite for me. It wasn’t that she was awful or anything, she was just selfish. There was a point in the book where someone died trying to save her, but instead of mourning his death at his funeral, she is worried about her love life. At least she actually pointed it out, but doesn’t erase the other times she did it. Daniel the main guy in the story, wants nothing to do with her, but for some reason, he and Luce are connected. I liked this part of the story, but there is much more to it than what we are given, so it felt unfinished.

     Cam is the other guy who is after Luce and he actually likes her, but she leads him on throughout the book. The whole time she is with him, she is thinking about Daniel, the guy that doesn’t like her.  Arian was a good character. She brought some spunk to the story, but my favorite was Penny. She sort of reminded me of Velma from Scooby Doo. She was smart and knew everything about everyone and if she didn’t, she would find out soon enough.  

    It took until about halfway until this book actually got into the plot. The first half was of Luce getting adjusted to the school, worrying about boys, and trying to ignore the shadows. But even when we get to the second half and find out what truly is going on; it still didn’t make much sense to me. I don’t want to give anything away, but there is a war going on and in the book they say there is never a winner. They can’t kill each other. Okay…then why try? And I am still not a 100% onboard with how it ties in with the love story. I like the idea behind the love story, but we weren’t given enough backstory on how it truly works.  But I think that is something that will be slowly revealed in the next book.  Daniel has a huge story and we were just given a glimpse of it. There is much more there.

    Overall, this wasn’t bad, but it needed more. I got the audiobook version to this, but I know the book is about 450 pages. But a lot of that didn’t add much to the story when you get down to it. But this is a debut, so I am taking it as a way of us just getting our feet wet. I hope I will be able to dive into the next one. Without the paranormal aspect of this book, most of it felt like reading a teenage girl’s diary; crushes, school, pretty girl in school who is trying to take your crush.  I am definitely going to start Torment (book 2) very soon. This was a good debut, but it didn’t knock me out of my chair.


Rating:




*This book belongs to the following challenge*
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson #1) by Patricia Briggs

Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercedes Thompson
Number in Series: 1
Format: Audiobook
Time: 9 hrs. and 14 mins.
Narrator: Lorelei King
Release Date: January 31, 2006 (audiobook: September 1, 2009)
Publisher: Penguin Group
Genre: Urban Fantasy














Buy here:


Synopsis from Goodreads

Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they'll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I'm not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too.

Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.

But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself ... and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.



     In a world full of vampires, werewolves, and faeries, Mercy (Mercedes) Thompson stands alone.  She is what is called a skinwalker, she can change into a coyote at will. She is a mechanic and due to her job, she has plenty of friends in all sorts of interesting and paranormal circles. One day she is approached by a boy named Mac who is a werewolf, but doesn’t want to be a werewolf. So she helps him by taking him to the alpha, Adam. If anyone can help, it is him. But helping him comes with a price when she finds out the boy is in trouble and that trouble is led right to Adam’s doorstep and big problems including the kidnapping of his daughter, Jesse. Mercy has to go through her past and visit old friends to help and soon finds out the trouble might be closer to her than she thinks.

     FINALLY! I have finally started one of the most talked about Urban Fantasy series out there. I was very curious about Mercy and even more curious about this Adam guy that has been mentioned everywhere. Well, I can gladly say I see why this series is so talked about. We are given so much; I didn’t want it to end. I got the audiobook version, read by Lorelei King, who was incredible. I applaud the woman for the accents she took on. She sounded very authentic. I am definitely going to look out for more narrations by her. Nonetheless, I have listened to this twice already and it was just as exciting the second time around.

    Mercy is an amazing heroine. She has a great sense of humor and she is tough as nails. Doesn’t take crap from anyone even if they are faster and stronger than her. Adam is definitely my new book boyfriend. His sense of humor was a tad bit dark and he was a bit uptight, but I loved that he always watches over his own and is tough as hell. The man nearly had his ribs torn out of his body and he still kept kicking some ass. Werewolf or not, that is pretty incredible. I also loved the friendship between Mercy and Adam’s daughter, Jesse. They were really fun together. I loved how they were always talking about pranking Jesse’s dad. This book was actually full of very strong characters. I like that Briggs gives us a sense of everyone even the side characters. I can’t wait for more.

     I love the world that is set for us. This is a world where the Fae are actually known to humans. Everyone else is worried about coming out to the world which is part of the storyline in the book. But a bigger part of the story is that certain werewolves don’t like their “monster” and someone has actually created a drug that works on werewolves to stop the change. I really enjoyed the plot in this and seeing who was really behind it all. Moon Called is so complicated without being overwhelming. Not to mention, it is action packed. Like I said, Mercy is amazing. You will be rooting for her throughout the book.

    I am glad I finally got on the Mercy wagon and I sure as hell am not going to fall off anytime soon. Moon Called is an amazing Urban Fantasy book. There is a little romance, but it is far from the focus of it all. But I am looking forward to see the progression of that. I love Mercy and Adam together and I really want to see what is to come of Samuel, someone from Mercy’s past who is helping track down the killers/kidnappers. But if you are looking for an action packed book that is difficult to put down, then look no further.


Rating:





*This book belongs to the following challenge*
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge 2011