Wednesday, January 29, 2014

mini Book Review ~ Poison Dance

Poison Dance (Midnight Thief # 0.5)

by Livia Blackburne
published by Lion's Quill Press
genre: Fantasy, novella

*e-copy received from author in exchange for honest review.

Summary (Goodreads):James is skilled, efficient, and deadly, a hired blade navigating the shifting alliances of a deteriorating Assassin’s Guild. Then he meets Thalia, an alluring but troubled dancing girl who offers him a way out—if he’ll help her kill a powerful nobleman. With the Guild falling apart, it just might be worth the risk. But when you live, breathe, and love in a world that’s forever flirting with death, the slightest misstep can be poison. Poison dance is approximately 14,000 words, or 54 printed pages.

My Thoughts: This is a nice set up for Midnight Thief. You not only get to know the characters and world that the story takes place in, you get a glimpse of the author's writing style.
I enjoyed both. I liked James and his crew. Even though they were assassins you still got a sense that they (especially James) were still the good guys compared to the rest of the guild and the people they worked for. I also thought Thalia was an interesting character and was surprised how much you got from her considering the short length of this story.
Overall, this story showed how the world of Midnight Thief came to be. You get to know some characters and the world that they live in. I really enjoyed the story, world and the authors writing. I will definitely be reading Midnight Thief when it comes out.

Rating: 4

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Release ~ week of 1/27/2014

**All links go to Goodreads

A Case of Possession by KJ Charles (#2 Charm of Magpies)
At the River's Edge by Mariah Stewart (#7 Chesapeake Diaries)
Baby Momma by Ni'chelle Genovese (#3 Baby Momma)
Beware of Boys by Kelli London (#4 Charly's Epic Fiascos)
Beyond Belief by Helen Smith (#4 Emily Castles Mystery)
Breach Zone by Myke Cole (#3 Shadow Ops)
Breakaway by Jeff Hirsch (#2 39 Clues: Unstoppable)
Breath of Yesterday by Emily Bold (#2 Curse)
Burn for Me by Cynthia Eden (#1 Phoenix Fire)
Cider Brook by Carla Neggers (#3 Swift River Valley)
Crimson Veil by Yasmine Galenorn (#15 Sisters of the Moon/Otherworld)
Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy (#1 Divided We Fall Trilogy)
Double Dip by Gretchen Archer (#2 Davis Way Mysteries)
Dream of the Blue Turtle by Debbie Dadey (#7 Mermaid Tales)
Forever by Karen Ann Hopkins (#3 Temptation)
From Texas with Love by Dan Gutman (#4 Genius Files)
Gizmo by Ellen Miles (#32 Puppy Place)
Going Twice by Sharon Sala (#2 Forces of Nature)
Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd (#2 The Madman's Daughter)
Highlander Mine by Juliette Miller (#3 Clan Mackenzie)
Home to Seaview by Key Sherryl Woods (#2 Seaview Key)
Infinite by Jodi Meadows (#3 Newsoul)
Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi (#3 Under the Never Sky)
Known Devil by Justin Gustainis (#3 Occult Crimes Unit)
Lines of Departure by Marko Kloos (#2 Terms of Enlistment)
Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle by Jarrett  Krosoczka (#10 Lunch Lady)
Magic Possessed by Jaime Rush (#2 Hidden)
Marshmallow Mystery by Helen Perelman (#12 Candy Fairies)
Marty McGuire Has Too Many Pets! by Kate Messner (#3 Marty McGuire)
Moriarty Returns a Letter by Michael Robertson (#4 Baker Street Letters)
My Sweetest Escape by Chelsea M. Cameron (#2 My Favorite Mistake)
Nothing Sweeter by Laura Drake (#2 Sweet on a Cowboy)
Push the Envelope by Rochelle Paige (#1 Blythe College)
Reaper's Legacy by Joanna Wylde (#2 Reapers MC)
Red Rising by Pierce Brown (#1 Red Rising)
Resurrection by Wolf Haas (#3 Brenner)
Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare (#1 Castles Ever After)
Secret by Brigid Kemmerer (#4 Elemental)
Seeking Her by Cora Carmack (#3.5 Losing It)
Shoreline Drive by Lily Everett (#2 Sanctuary Island)
Slow Seduction by Cecilia Tan (#2 Struck by Lightning)
Someone Like You by Addison Moore (#2 Someone to Love)
Spell Robbers by Matthew J. Kirby (#1 Quantum League)
Texas Hold 'Em by Christie Craig (#3 Hotter in Texas)
That Touch of Magic by Lucy March (#2 Nodaway Falls)
The Arnifour Affair by Gregory Harris (#1 Colin Pendragon Mystery)
The Bride Says No by Cathy Maxwell (#1 Brides of Wishmore)
The Cowboy of Valentine Valley by Emma Cane (#4 Valentine Valley)
The Fast and the Frozen by Geronimo Stilton (#4 Geronimo Stilton Cavemice)
The Paris Plot by Tracy Grant (#3.6 Charles and Melanie Fraser)
The Queen's Choice by Cayla Kluver (#1 Heirs of Chrior)
The Rain Dragon Rescue by Suzanne Selfors (#3 Imaginary Veterinary)
The Silence of the Library by Miranda James (#5 Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
The Unbound by Victoria Schwab (#2 The Archived)
Tiger Shrimp Tango by Tim Dorsey (#17 Serge Storms)
Tigerclaw's Fury by Erin Hunter (#5 Warriors: Novella)
Time of Attack by Marc Cameron (#4 Jerico Quinn)
Timestorm by Julie Cross (#3 Tempest)
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan (#1 Uninvited)
Up From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (#7 Night Huntress)
Wakeworld by Kerry Schafer (#2 The Between)
Who's Wife Extraordinaire Now by Kiki Swinson (#4 Wife Extraordinaire)
Why Earls Fall in Love by Manda Collins (#2 Wicked Widows)
Wicked After Midnight by Delilah S Dawson (#3 Blud)
Wulfe Untamed by Pamela Palmer (#8 Feral Warriors)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Review ~ The Dark-Hunters, Vol. 1

The Dark-Hunters, Vol. 1 (Dark Hunter Manga #1)

by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Joshua Hale Fialkov
art by Claudia Campos, Bill Tortolini
genre, Manga, graphic novel, Fantasy, PNR,

Summary (Goodreads): In the war against vampires, mankind has only one hope: The Dark-Hunters. Ancient warriors who died of brutal betrayal, the Dark-Hunters have sworn themselves into the service of the goddess Artemis to protect us.
It's a pact with pretty good perks. Immortality, power, psychic abilities, wealth and a cool wardrobe. But it comes with a few drawbacks: fatal sun poisoning and a new, irreparable dental problem. But aside from the fangs and nocturnal lifestyle, it's not so bad.
Until Kyrian meets the most frightening thing imaginable. An accountant who's being hunted by one of the most lethal vampires out there. If Amanda Devereaux goes down, so does he and no offense, he doesn't want to die (hence the whole immortality thing). And he doesn't want humanity dead either which is a good thing for us since he and Amanda are all that stands between us and oblivion. Lets hope they win.
From the wild imagination of Sherrilyn Kenyon comes the humorous and suspenseful manga debut of the #1 internationally bestselling Dark-Hunter series. The world of manga will never be the same again.

My Thoughts: I'll start by saying this is the first time I have read anything in the manga style. It did not take me as long as I thought it would to get used to the right to left reading.
This is one of my favorite series and it was nice to revisit some of the older characters. I did find that this was more dialogue heavy than other graphic novels I have been reading. It read very close to the actual novel (which is split into the first 2 volumes).
The only problem I really had were some drawings of Amanda. Unlike the rest of the characters, at times she felt like a very flat character. Without all the dialogue it would have been hard to read what her character was feeling/thinking.
Overall, I missed having some of the full color pics but it was still well done and  I will be reading volume 2.

Rating: 4

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review ~ Dark Witch

Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy #1)

by Nora Roberts
published by Berkley
genre: Adult, PNR, Fantasy, Romance

Summary (Goodreads):With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.
County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.

When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…

My Thoughts: I was glad when I saw that Nora Roberts was releasing another paranormal series. She is one of the few contemporary romance authors I'll read but I enjoy these types of stories more. Another plus is the setting. I love books set in Ireland.
Part of me wished that we had spent more time with the original children of the Dark Witch. I was more engrossed in their story than the current day story at times.
The only real downfall for me was Iona. For some reason, I just didn't like her. Every other character including Boyle, I loved but just couldn't get behind her. I didn't hate her, just didn't care most of the time. This didn't stop me liking her story and rooting for her to come out on top against the big bad.
Overall, this book had what you would expect including the obligatory bump in the road for the main couple before they get their HEA. With the Good vs Evil, romance, great setting and characters to come I'm looking forward to the next two books.

Rating: 4

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday ~ Stolen Songbird

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.
Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)

by Danielle L Jensen
published by Strange Chemistry
expected release date: April 1, 2014
genre: YA, Fantasy, romance

Summary (Goodreads): For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

**Always love finding new fantasy and will admit the cover grabbed me right away on this one.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Releases ~ week of 1/20/2014

A Galactic Easter! by Ray O'Ryan (#7 Galaxy Zack)
A Little Too Hot by Lisa Desrochers (#3 A Little Too Far)
A Well-Tempered Heart by Jan-Philipp Sendker (#2 Art of Hearing Heartbeats)
Avalon by Mindee Arnett (#1 Avalon)
Bad Wolf by Nele Neuhaus (#2 Bodenstein & Kirchhoff)
Be Mine Forever by Marina Adair (#4 St. Helena Vineyard)
Betting on You by Sydney Landon (#4.5 Danver's)
Blood on Copperhead Trail by Paula Graves (#4 Bitterwood P.D.)
Cherished by Kelly Elliott (#4 Wanted)
Dark Bites by Sherrilyn Kenyon (#24.5 Dark Hunters)
Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells (#1 The Prospero's War)
Evertrue by Brodi Ashton (#3 Everneath)
Forever by Opal Carew (#6 His to Possess)
Gold Web by Vicki Delany (#4 Klondike Mystery)
Halo: Mortal Dictata by Karen Traviss (#3 Kilo-5 Trilogy)
Happy Medium by Meg Benjamin (#3 Medium Trilogy)
Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd (#16 Ian Rutledge)
Lantern Lake by Lily Everett (#3 Billionaire Bachelors)
Love on Mimosa Lane by Anna DeStefano (#3 Seasons of the Heart)
Loving Cara by Kristen Proby (#1 Love Under the Big Sky)
Once Upon a Valentine by Allison Leigh (#11 Hunt for Cinderella)
Pandemic by Scott Sigler (#3 Infected)
Savor by Monica Murphy (#3 Billionaire Bachelors Club)
Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron (#1 Quilts of Love)
She's All Tied Up by Cathryn Cade (#2 Club 3)
That Old Black Magic by Mary Jane Clark (#4 Piper Donovan /Wedding Cake Mystery)
The Cowboy's Reunited Family by Brenda Minton (#7 Cooper Creek)
The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin (#9 Tales of the City)
The Doctor's Former Fiancee by Caro Carson (#2 Doctors MacDowell)
The Forest Ranger's Return by Leigh Bale (#6 Forest Ranger's)
The Great Jackalope Stampede by Ann Charles (#3 Claire Morgan)
The Tie-Dyed Bunny by Wanda Coven (#10 Heidi Heckelbeck)
The Ways of Evil Men by Leighton Gage (#7 Chief Inspector Mario Silva)
The Witch is Back by Brittany Geragotelis (#3 Life's a Witch)
Undercover Captor by Cynthia Eden (#1 Shadow Agents: Guts and Glory)
Unexpected Father by Carolyne Aarsen (#2 Hartley Creek)
When the Rogue Returns by Sabrina Jeffries (#2 The Duke's Men)
With Autumn's Return by Amanda Cabot (#3 Westward Winds)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review ~ Fables; Storybook Love

Fables: Storybook Love (Volume 3)

by Bill Willingham
illustrated by Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha
published by Vertigo
genre: Graphic Novel, Adult, Fairy Tales, Fantasy

Summary (Goodreads): In the Fables' world, there isn't a lot of happily-ever-after to go around. As refugees from the lands of make-believe, the Fables have been driven from their storybook realms and forced to blend in with our gritty, mundane reality.

But that doesn't mean they don't have any room for romance—or the pain, betrayal and jealous rage that go along with it. In fact, love may be blooming between two of the most hard-bitten, no-nonsense Fables around. But are they destined for happiness— or a quick and untimely death?

My Thoughts: I liked the graphics more than the stories in this volume. The stories did not seem to go together. We had a story about Jack in old days with a magical bag and a deal with death that was interesting but didn't factor into the rest of the volume.
The stories of smalltown and snow/wolf were also interesting but didn't seem to go together either.
Overall, this felt more like a transition volume. There was a lot of moving characters around and also moving their stories forward. I'm hoping that the stories in this volume make more sense and play bigger roles in other stories going forward.

Rating: 4

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday ~ Dorothy Must Die

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.
Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)

by Danielle Paige
published by Harper Teen
genre: YA, fantasy, retelling,
expected release date: April 1, 2014

Summary (Goodreads): I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

**I'm always interested in retellings and this sounds like it could be a good one.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Releases ~ week of 1/13/2014

*All links go to Goodreads

A Dark and Stormy Knit by Anne Canadeo (#6 Black Sheep Knitting Mystery)
A Kiss of Lies by Bronwen Evans (#1 Disgraced Lords)
A Little Bit of Hot by Elle Kennedy (#9.5 Out of Uniform)
Bonfire Beach by Lily Everett (#1 Billionaire Bachelors)
Dawn of Swords by David Dalglish (#1 Breaking World)
Drew + Fable Forever by Monica Murphy (#3.5 Drew + Fable)
Ex-Purgatory by Peter Clines (#4 Ex-Heroes)
Forever Wicked by Shayla Black (#7.6 Wicked Lovers)
Going Rogue by Robin Benway (#2 AKA - Also Known As)
Gooney Bird and All Her Charms by Lois Lowry (#6 Gooney Bird)
He Drank, and Saw the Spider by Alex Bledsoe (#5 Eddie LaCrosse Mystery)
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (#2 Miss Peregrine)
Lead Me On by Lexxie Couper (#6 Heart of Fame)
Stormbringer by Shannon Delany (#2 Weather Witch)
The Blood Promise by Mark Pryor (#3 Hugo Marston)
The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher (#2 Inn at Eagle Hill)
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley (#6 Flavia de Luce Mystery)
The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley (#1 Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne)
The Polaris Protocol by Brad Taylor (#5 Pike Logan)
White Trash Love Song by Teresa Mummert (#3 White Trash Trilogy)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Review ~ Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle
by Jim Butcher
illustrated by Ardian Syaf
genre: Adult, graphic novel, fantasy,

Summary (Goodreads): When the supernatural world spins out of control, when the police can’t handle what goes bump in the night, when monsters come screaming out of nightmares and into the mean streets, there’s just one man to call: Harry Dresden, the only professional wizard in the Chicago phone book. A police consultant and private investigator, Dresden has to walk the dangerous line between the world of night and the light of day.

Now Harry Dresden is investigating a brutal mauling at the Lincoln Park Zoo that has left a security guard dead and many questions unanswered. As an investigator of the supernatural, he senses that there’s more to this case than a simple animal attack, and as Dresden searches for clues to figure out who is really behind the crime, he finds himself next on the victim list, and being hunted by creatures that won’t leave much more than a stain if they catch him.

Written exclusively for comics by Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle is a brand-new story that’s sure to enchant readers with a blend of gripping mystery and fantastic adventure.

My Thoughts: This is a prequel to the Dresden File series of books. Jim Butcher says in the intro that when he is writing the books he pictures them in graphic form. It was interesting to see the story the way he does.
The characters were pretty close to what you expect if you know the series. The only one that was off for me was Karen Murphy, not sure quite what was wrong but she didn't look right to me.
This is a nice intro to the world and some of the main characters along with a new story for people familiar with the series.

Rating: 4

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Blog Update ~ Arctic Mess

I'm sure you're all aware of the cold and snow that has come down from the North Pole and crippled many places including Michigan where I am. I've been dealing with frozen pipes and no water for three days now hoping the plumber actually makes it here soon.
The kids are finally going back to school and hopefully I can get everything back in order. I'm going to try and get another post up this week but if not everything should be on schedule for next week.

Happy Reading and Stay Warm!

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 Wrap Up Post

I have been setting a reading goal on Goodreads for the past several years of 150. I usually come close but not this year. I ended the year with only 90 books read. I will say while my numbers were down, due to several reading slumps, the majority of my books were 3.5 ratings and above. I was putting a lot of books down and starting new ones instead of forcing myself to read something I wasn't enjoying.

Stats for 2013
First Book Read: The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan
Last Book Read: The Problem Child by Michael Buckley (book)
                           Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher (graphic novel)
Longest Book: Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Here's a list of all my 4.5-5 star reads this year.

The only challenge I've signed up for so far in 2014 is the Goodreads challenge. Signed up for 150 again. Hoping to either finally beat it or get much closer than this year.

Have a Great and Happy Reading Year in 2014!