Wednesday, 3 February 2016

I have a new cover!


The other day I received the final cover for Elsewhere, Book 2 and it is AWESOME! 

 Take a look at this beauty:

 

Well, what do you think? It's cool, right? :)

Kanaxa has done it yet again! She made the Sierra Fox covers, and also the first cover for this series, so she always knows exactly what I'm looking for. Sometimes better than I do. LOL. She actually came up with the very cool concept of black and white kick-ass chick, and I think she's pulled it off again, perfectly!

I love how well she captured Willow's power with a bit of vibrant colour. Unlike Lavie and Sierra she doesn't really use weapons, and I love how this cover portrays that.

Check out how good the two books look together:

 

OMG. They're both awesome! 

 I haven't got the final blurb yet, but this just about sums it up: 

Five years after the events of A Stitch on Time, Willow is all grown up and living in Wollongong. She's now a parapsychologist, and because she's a necromancer she can't get away from the odd poltergeist sighting. She might be far from Sierra's influence, but trouble still has a knack of following her around. And when she crosses paths with an old crush, life gets a lot more complicated...

Just like Lavie's story, this is a stand alone but you'll recognise a bunch of characters... especially the love interest. ;) 

 If you're interested in meeting Lavie, Willow, and all the other characters in this world, you can read Sierra's 5-book adventure. But it's not essential. 


 THE SIERRA FOX SERIES:
https://www.samhainpublishing.com/books/series/338/sierra-fox

CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this entire book posted on Wattpad, and although I have to admit that it's not as comfy as reading on my Paperwhite, I didn't mind because this story totally hooked me in. And I'm not even an NFL fan! :)

Jordan is in her last year of high school. She also happens to be the star quarterback and captain of the school football team. She's an awesome player and every player in her team respects her. Not to mention that a bunch of them are her closest friends. She just can't relate to other girls because she seems to be into stuff that other girls aren't interested in--like pigging out. LOL.

She leads a very happy life, even if her father is a star NFL player who doesn't take her interest in the sport seriously. At least her mother cares and so does her brother, who is also in a good team in college. And she's got her best friend Henry. They've been friends forever, and he's always there for her. He makes her laugh, listens and is really supportive. She loves him like a brother, because she's never been keen on any guys. Except when a new guy starts at their school. A very hot guy who also happens to be a QB and is mutually interested in her. But it doesn't take long for Henry to start acting different, and when she finally finds out why everything changes.

Now that Jordan is finally opening up and letting herself enjoy more than just sport, will she lose her best friend and her opportunity to focus on her passion after high school?

OMG. This book is SO GOOD! I enjoyed it. A lot.

It was so much fun, but also dealt with a lot of real issues that girls face on a daily basis. Jordan might be the best player on the team and has the respect of her coach and teammates, but outside of her school it's harder to get noticed for her ability. Not just her looks. I also really liked how she also overcomes labelling people because of what they do, like or wear. She's always avoided cheerleaders because of a past incident and one particular bitchy girl, but soon discovers that they're not all the same.


The romance was also very sweet. Complicated, but definitely sweet.

This is such a great story! I absolutely loved it.

I'm going to have to check out Miranda Kenneally's other books. :) 

Monday, 1 February 2016

ONLY EVER YOURS by Louise O'Neill


When women are created for the pleasure of men, beauty is the first duty of every girl. 

Freida and Isabel have been best friends their whole lives. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year at the School, they expect to be selected as companions - wives to wealthy and powerful men. 

 The alternative - life as a concubine - is too horrible to contemplate. 

But as the intensity of the final year takes hold, the pressure to be perfect mounts. Isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty - her only asset - in peril. 

And then into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. 

Freida must fight for her future - even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known...


The premise of this book is as eerily disturbing as the cover. And the reason why I'm tagging this book as horror. It might not fit into the horror genre, but the world, events, and conclusion are as terrifying as any knife-wielding maniac lurking in the shadows.

In a world where women are actually created (and not born) for only three reasons--to become companions, concubines or chastities--girls all live and attend schools where they are constantly reminded about how important their physical qualities are. Actually, not only are looks the only real value they have, but they are constantly rated against each other. And every single one of them knows that they have an expiration date.

Pathetic messages are taught in these schools. Things like 'Being pretty is all that matters', 'Personality does not matter', 'Good girls don't cry', 'I always do as I am told'... They also attend classes called Comparison Studies, Calorie Calculations, and the super creepy Organized Recreation Space. Truly awful things that are supposed to prepare them for the man-pleasing Zones they will enter after the Ceremony, where their only purpose will be to satisfy men either as wives or whores.

The competition between the girls is brutal, and of course creates a lot of bitchy friction. Behaviour that pits the girls against each other and creates a bully mentality where you either join them or become their target. freida and isabel have been best friends most of their lives, and isabel has been ranked #1 for a long time. That's given freida a few perks that the other girls haven't enjoyed. But now isabel is acting secretive and has started putting on weight, so when her ranking starts to slide and the other girls stop respecting her, freida is caught in the middle and must choose an ally.

Outwardly, freida is always willing to go with the crowd to feed the ego of her peers, but inwardly she sounds different. She doesn't agree with putting other girls down and certainly doesn't enjoy shunning others. Her mind is full of thoughts that set her apart from the other girls, but she knows that she can't express any of them. Otherwise, how will she ever become a companion? Especially now that the handsome son of a judge has taken a special interest in her...

Wow. This book is powerful. It's also infuriating. Terrifying. Bleak. Bitchy. Horrible. And amazing! It's hard to make one story so magnificent and horrid at the same time, but Louise O'Neill has definitely managed to do just that. This frightening little book reveals a morbid vision of the future, where women are nothing more than tools used to please men.

The most terrifying thing about this book might be the realisation that there are probably men in this world who would love to have a society like this one.

*shivers*
*gags*
*cringes*

Asides from the obvious theme of female control, there's also a very strong story about friendship.

freida and megan have been friends for a very long time but megan has been hiding a huge secret from her friend, one that freida mistakes for pushing her away. When in fact, it's the opposite. megan might be referred to as special by the chastities and the other girls, but she considers herself far from that. Her fate was sealed at creation and she loved her friend so much that she wanted to make sure she didn't get caught up in it. But in turn, she unknowingly pushes freida to become friends with a mean girl--megan--who ultimately manipulates freida into ruining every chance her real friend fought to get her.

The toxic environment in which these children are raised creates such a brutal arena breeding deception, betrayal, and self-acceptance seen through the eyes of false compliments. Until the narrator of this story only cares about being liked by others to the point of almost losing her mind. Not to mention what happens when a man--the only reason they were created in the first place--rejects her.

This is such a sad story. 

Only Ever Yours is a hellish one-way trip down the highway of misery. It's a screwed-up worst-case scenario of just how scary and disturbing the world can become when a woman's worth in society is purely judged on looks and her ability to please a man or give birth to one. There are a lot of powerful messages in this story about self-worth, beauty, expectations and failing to be yourself because you're encouraged not to be.

From the outside it seems as if freida ultimately betrays her best friend. But in the end, I believe she actually ends up betraying herself.

If you're looking for a HEA, don't look here. Either way, I really (really) enjoyed this book.


Only Ever Yours, August 2014, 9781848664159, Quercus

Thursday, 28 January 2016

TRULY, MADLY, DEADLY by Hannah Jayne


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My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was really excited when I found this book available on Wattpad, and decided to check it out.

The story started out interesting enough.

Sawyer's abusive boyfriend died in a car accident due to a drink driving incident. Now she's adapting to the confusion and guilt of missing him while at the same time being glad he's gone. Except, after she gets a note it becomes obvious that his death might not have been an accident. And now someone seems to be stalking her in the shadows and the body count starts to rise around her.

Okay. Sounds like a good premise, right?

Well, the story lost me somewhere along the way and I stopped caring about what was going on. Not to mention that the thriller/mystery angle just wasn't that intriguing. I was constantly bored and skimmed ahead, which didn't affect anything. Seriously, skipping a bunch of narration didn't keep me from guessing who the killer was or missing any vital info.

I was really disappointed in this story. The characters weren't engaging, their names were annoying, her family situation didn't feel realistic... In the end, it just didn't work for me. :/

Also, I know others said this before but I need to mention it because I totally agree: this book didn't need a new love interest. I think it could have been a lot stronger if Sawyer was purely dealing with the loss of her abusive boyfriend and not falling for someone else. But, that's just my opinion.

I love reading thrillers--both adult and YA--and feel like this one just didn't cut it. There are just too many flaws.

Good try, because it hooked me in at the beginning, but not enough to keep me glued to the page.

Monday, 25 January 2016

BOY 23 by Jim Carrington


Boy 23
Boy 23 isn't in My Place any more. He can't see The Screen, he can't hear The Voice. Boy 23 is alone.

 One dark night, Boy 23 is thrown in the back of the van and driven out of My Place – the only home he has ever known. He is abandoned in a forest with a rucksack containing the bare essentials for survival. Before the van drives away, a voice tells him he must run as far as he can. His life depends on it. Boy 23 has never known another human. Boy 23 has never even been outside. So who is he? Why do people want to kill him? And more to the point, who is the voice that wants to save him? 


I received this book from Bloomsbury Australia and didn't know a thing about it. But I liked the cover right away, and decided to look it up on Goodreads. There seemed to be a mixed reaction, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Still, I was intrigued enough to give it a go.

After reading a few chapters, I was hooked. You get thrown right into the middle of the story in a way that keeps you glued to the pages until you find out more.

Jesper--aka Boy 23--has lived his whole life in My Place. A room where his only companion is a bird and The Voice. Throughout his life he was set tasks, learned how to solve complicated problems, watched videos on a screen to enhance his learning, and was kept fed and clothed. He even knows the basics about how to survive in the wild.

So when The Voice drops him off in the middle of nowhere with a backpack full of supplies, tells him to head north-west, and stay away from other humans... he does as instructed. Jesper trusts The Voice because he's never given him reason not to. Even though he has a lot of questions and the landscape around him is mostly fallen buildings and empty villages, he enjoys the freedom and isolation.

His only connection to The Voice is a handheld device (a scroll) which he eventually loses after he's rundown. When Jesper wakes up in an orphanage run by priests preaching religion and making kids work for their keep, all he wants to do is escape. Not to mention that he can't understand their language (most people speak German) and he's constantly getting bullied. It's during one of these incidents that the priest in charge finds out a fascinating secret about Jesper and is suddenly very interested in parading him around.

While most kids choose to keep their distance, there is one girl called Carina who is willing to speak and befriend him. And it's with Carina and a helpful hand from The Voice that Jesper might find his freedom, get some answers and find out what really happened in this broken world.

O. M. G. This book was such an awesome surprise! Like I mentioned above, I didn't know what to expect when I set on this journey, but I found myself on a cat and mouse chase that took me over a desolate version of Europe and slowly revealed the many reasons why everything was now devastated.

This action adventure story is told in the alternating POVs of Jesper (Boy 23), Carina (an orphan with a heart-breaking story) and Blake (an official with a personal interest in the situation). Each one has their own secrets and the longer we spend with each character the more we realise just how scary, dangerous and controlled the world they live in happens to be. There are some very cool revelations and secrets that only enhance the experience.

Boy 23 is an amazing and very clever YA dystopian/sci-fi thriller. As soon as you strap in, this story hooks you in and doesn't let go while the characters try to escape one terrible situation after another. As soon as I started all I wanted to do was keep reading to find out more. It really is a thrill ride that kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.

I loved it! Can't wait to find out what happens next to Jesper and Carina...

Thank you Bloomsbury, for sending me such a fantastic book. :)


Boy 23, January 2016, 9781408822777, Bloomsbury Childrens

Friday, 22 January 2016

EVERYTHING BUT THE TRUTH by Mandy Hubbard

Everything but the Truth
Enjoy Everything but the Truth and the other standalone titles in Bloomsbury's contemporary If Only romance line centered around an impossible problem: you always want what you can't have!
 
Holly Mathews' mom is the new manager of a ritzy retirement home, and they just moved in, which means Holly's neighbors are all super-rich retirees. Still, it's not a total bust, because gorgeous, notorious Hollywood playboy Malik Buchannan is the grandson of one of the residents. Just one problem: when they meet, Malik assumes Holly's there to visit her own rich relative. She doesn't correct him, and it probably doesn't matter, because their flirtation could never turn into more than a superficial fling . . . right? But the longer Holly lives in Malik's privileged world, the deeper she falls for him and the more difficult it becomes to tell the truth . . . because coming clean might mean losing Malik forever.
 
For anyone who has dreamed of their own Cinderella story, this title in the If Only romance line is about how when it comes to true love, the best person to be is yourself!
 
 
The If Only books are YA contemporary (clean) romance stories that remind me a lot of some of the books I used to read when I was a teenager. So I always love receiving a new one--Thanks Bloomsbury!--and giving them a go. I take each one as it comes because some haven't worked for me. But when they do, I adore them. 
 
This one falls in the Totally Worked For Me category. ;)
 
Holiday Mathews and her mother have recently moved into a very posh retirement home in Seattle called Sunrise House. This is where the wealthy go to retire, and she just happens to live there too. Her mother is the new leasing manager and while she goes about doing her business and proving her worth, Holly visits with some of the residents and does odd jobs for them. It's a great gig because not only does she actually enjoy talking to them, but at the same time she's making tips on the side to put away for college.
 
After the summer is over, she'll be going off to Washington State University so every bit of money she can put away helps. The day she crosses paths with the gorgeous Malik Buchannan, she can't believe her luck. Meeting a guy her age is almost impossible at Sunrise House. And when she runs into him again and he mistakenly assumes she's there to visit her wealthy grandmother, she doesn't correct him. Lying by omission doesn't seem too bad since she's going off to college anyway, but when the super hot rich guy she assumed was just a playboy turns out to be someone with real depth, she knows she's headed for trouble.
 
Yet, the deeper she gets, the less chance there is of her revealing who she really is without ruining the relationship they're quickly developing...
 
This turned out to be such a fun and super fast read. I seriously raced through it in under twenty-four hours because I loved Holly's--or is that Lucy's ;)--voice. Her interest in antiques was awesome, and I love how it fit into the story. I was also very caught up in Holly and Malik's ordeal. They're a great couple who might come from opposite financial backgrounds but are so much alike.
 
I loved the way their story developed, but have to admit that I kept waiting for everything to fall apart as soon as the truth was revealed! So the tension level got pretty high, especially during some of the hijinks and close calls.
 
Everything But the Truth is a wonderful story with a lot of depth. Sure, it's a romance at heart but there's so much more to this story. It explores a very close relationship between a mother and daughter who get along so well she can open up about anything. It's also about the strong friendship between two best friends who are soon going off to different colleges and feel like they might be losing touch with each other. And ultimately, it's about a very intelligent and nice girl who is willing to go above and beyond to help the elderly residents.
 
I enjoyed this book SO much! Can't wait to check out more. :) 
 
Everything But the Truth, January 2016, 9781619636590, Bloomsbury Childrens USA

Thursday, 21 January 2016

CLANCY OF THE UNDERTOW by Christopher Currie


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book that keeps popping up on my Goodreads timeline, so when I saw it at the library the other day my daughter borrowed it for me.

As soon as I started yesterday afternoon, I found myself sucked right into this story.

Clancy lives in a town called Barwen. She works at the cosmetic stall inside the local shopping centre. She's part of a family that doesn't seem to spend much time together. She loves going to Nature Club and even makes a new friend. She also has a crush on a girl with a boyfriend. So, yeah, there's also that. She's gay and is afraid of anyone finding out.

Her father works for the council and one night is involved in an accident that puts too much attention on their family. Without knowing the facts, the locals start pointing fingers and judging. Clancy keeps going about her business and even seems to get the attention of her crush. But when she makes a move, everything falls apart.

Summarising the plot of this book really doesn't do it justice. There's a lot going on with family, friendship and finding yourself enough to know where you belong. Clancy was a realistic, likeable character who makes some stupid choices when she follows her heart instead of her head. But at the core she's a good person who sticks by the people she cares about.

I loved the family dynamics and how tragedy changes their homelife.

This is such an awesome book. And I especially enjoyed getting all of the Aussie references. :)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

101 PIECES OF ME by Veronica Bennett


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The other day when we stopped by the local library so my daughter could pick up a few books she'd reserved, I noticed this book in the YA section. The cover caught my eye because it's so pretty and elegant. As soon as I read the blurb, I was intrigued. So I asked her to borrow it for me. :)

Sarah Freebody lives in a Welsh town and is very interested in movies. One day when she's filmed during the May Day parade, she catches the eye of a famous director and he wants her in one of his movies. She's offered a job as an actress and travels to the studio to get started. Suddenly she's become Clara Hope, and is thrust into the life of living in hotel rooms, acting alongside some well-known actors, make-up, fashion, parties, and falling in love with the older man who gives her so much attention.

But things aren't always what they seem, and she soon finds herself in an awful situation that turns her life upside down. It also forces her to re-evaluate her life and make a choice about where she wants to go. She knows she can no longer trust who she thought she could, and instead realises that the one person she thought was vain and obnoxious is the one who cared about her the most all along.

I LOVED this book! It's seriously addictive.

Sarah/Clara was such an awesome narrator as she takes us through the turn of events that turned her from a young naïve girl enamoured with silent movies, into a woman who learns the hard way that sometimes what you think you want the most doesn't turn out the way you thought it would. This is ultimately a story of disillusionment. But it's also one about personal growth and growing up.

The 1920's setting during the silent film era was fascinating. I loved being swept into the past and looking at the world through the eyes of a girl who was strong and independent in a world which didn't give girls/women the credit they deserved. Yet at the same time, so many of them did as they desired. I also really enjoyed the way the industry was portrayed. I guess some things never change. LOL.

This little book is a fast, interesting read that hooked me in right away. It's intriguing and filled with great characters. It also takes several unexpected turns that all lead to a very satisfying end. Loved it!

*thumb up*

Monday, 18 January 2016

TRICKY TWENTY-TWO by Janet Evanovich

26034837
Something big is brewing in Trenton, New Jersey, and it could blow at any minute...

Stephanie Plum might not be the world's greatest bounty hunter, but she knows when she's being played. Ken Globovic (aka Gobbles), unofficial student leader, has been arrested for beating up the dean of students at Kiltman College. Gobbles has missed his court date and gone into hiding. People have seen him on campus, but no one will talk. Things just aren't adding up, and Stephanie can't shake the feeling that something funny is going on at the college.

As much as people love Gobbles, they hate Doug Linken. When Linken is gunned down in his backyard, the list of possible murder suspects is long. The only people who care about finding Linken's killer are Trenton cop Joe Morelli, who has been assigned the case, security expert Ranger, who was hired to protect Linken, and Stephanie, who has her eye on a cash prize and hopefully has some tricks up her sleeve...


As you probably already know, the Stephanie Plum series is one of my favourites. I absolutely love catching up with Steph, Lula, Grandma Mazur, Morelli, Ranger and all the other awesome characters in Trenton.
 
So I was looking forward to getting stuck into it...
 
Stephanie isn't having a good day, and it gets worse when Morelli dumps her. Apparently, between being a cop and her constant calamity it's causing him some serious stomach problems and he needs some time to figure things out. At least she's got Ranger to fall back on. He's got a security job lined up for her, she's always got a constant bunch of FTAs to chase around, and there's also her friends and family.
 
Now Stephanie and Lula are on the case to find a missing frat boy because he beat up the dean at Kiltman College. But there's a lot more going on and they find themselves caught up with the crazy Zeta fraternity, a situation that might be linked to the current murders of two men, and an eccentric biologist who might be creating diseased fleas he intends to use against the college.
 
With so much going on--and Morelli showing up all the time--Stephanie starts to wonder if maybe she should give up the bounty hunter life and start looking for another job...
 
Tricky Twenty-Two is a super fun, fast read and a great addition to this awesome series! I love how Janet Evanovich effortlessly weaves a tale of intrigue, hilarity and danger while presenting a murder mystery that keeps the reader guessing. No matter what happens to Stephanie, she's got a knack for bouncing back and in this book she shows just how strong she can really be. She might need more help than most, but sometimes she can save herself just fine.
 
I loved this book and laughed out loud so many times. 
 
Can't wait for the next one!

Tricky Twenty-Two, November 2015, ISBN 9781472201652, Headline Review

Friday, 15 January 2016

HELL OR A RIDE Excerpt


Razor-sharp claws slashed across my face before I could duck out of the way, knocking the headlamp off my head. The bulb landed with a splash in a nearby puddle, reflecting an arc of light around the storm-drain.
 
“Shit,” I hissed, clenching my teeth against the sudden sting.
 
I’d been bitten, scratched, beaten, possessed, used as a host and screwed over by the demonic enough times to know it was better to ignore the throbbing pain in my cheek. Actually, having several strands of hair yanked from my scalp by the thick leather strap of the headlamp had hurt more.
 
The adjy demon flashed a macabre smile.
 
A swift kick to the creature’s abdomen propelled it back, giving me enough room to swing my axe and chop its head off. The body twitched and collapsed beside the head a moment later, causing a flurry of rats to scatter.
 
I could handle rats, but these demons had to go.
 
Just like with the pain, I didn’t waste my time with premature celebrations because there was another one behind me.
 
I straightened, sucked in a breath and regained my balance. But not before my left ankle twisted after my boots sloshed in the water pooled around my feet.
 
Crap.
 
Unbalanced or not, I swiped the axe across the second adjy’s throat.
 
A single, precise strike with just the right amount of force was enough to send its ugly melon rolling off the uneven shoulders. It landed with a bigger splash than the headlamp, or the demon before it. The decapitated body doubled over and flopped beside the head, spraying an arc of water all over my legs. Why did the rain decide to get heavier now?
 
Even this deep inside the storm-drain, I could hear the downpour echoing around the hollow brick walls. Gushing water wasn’t a surprise in this location, but the puddles were starting to resemble a stream.
 
My aunt used to say that when rain fell this hard, the gods and goddesses were angry. She’d also claimed Divinities had plenty to be mad about, since we didn’t respect them or take good care of our patch.
 
But I wasn’t going to think about her now. Not when the hole in my heart seemed to get bigger rather than smaller. People always said that time healed the loss of a loved one, but I was submerged and couldn’t reach the surface. I knew help was there if I needed it—from my friends, professionals and even magic—but carrying this pain reminded me of her existence. I never wanted to forget about Sally, the woman who’d raised me when my parents died.
 
The same woman who’d sacrificed her life so others wouldn’t have to.
 
It wasn’t fair that she’d died and was no longer here. The least I could do was make sure she wasn’t forgotten, and the pain helped to keep her memory alive.
 
I shook the thoughts away because I wasn’t done.
 
The gleaming puddle of light was dimming by the second, but I hoped it would hold long enough for me to see what I was doing. Killing the demonic and severing their limbs was just the first step of many.
 
“You can’t defeat us that easily, bitch,” both severed heads called in unison. They rolled near each other—ear over ear. Strands of gray, ropy hair dipped in and out of the puddles as they approached their discarded shoulders.
 
These creatures were weak and relatively easy to defeat, but they sure talked trash.
 
“Oh no you don’t.” I kicked one head and watched it rebound off the walls before landing nearby.
 
My ankle ached after holding my weight for five seconds too many.
 
“You fucking bitch,” the other one said when its friend’s head lay unconscious a few feet away.
 
It never ceased to amaze me how easily demons of every tongue and creed managed to get the knack for cursing. But I ignored what it said. No way in Hades was I going to let these demons reconnect with their bodies. Given the chance, these creatures would do just that.
 
While these pests weren’t a direct threat to people because they hunted vermin, they were a serious threat to the sentry demons who lived here—which they enjoyed devouring. I’d already stepped on several discarded bones, and had even grabbed a handful because they could fetch a pretty penny. As much as I disliked the thought of female sentry demons being eaten, I didn’t believe in wasting any demonic pieces. Some parts could be used for medicinal purposes or ritualistic practices, as decorative pieces, not to mention for enhancing sexual exploits.
 
Today, I was here to nab adjy heads and hands—one lot for a high-paying customer whom I’d supplied with plenty of demonic parts in the past. The other lot of limbs, I would keep. I didn’t make a habit of asking any of my regulars why they wanted particular bits and pieces, but I’d supplied Adela Gomory with enough body parts to know she was creating another sculpture. She specialized in taxidermy with a slant towards the bizarre.
 
As long as she didn’t reanimate whatever bastardized invention she was creating, it was none of my business what she did. I simply supplied the pieces, received payment and used the money to add to my own collection of obscure demonology texts, parapsychology volumes—as much occult paraphernalia as I could get my hands on. And that wasn’t limited to books.
 
This was the glamorous life of a demon hunter—living in the shadows, taking out the garbage while getting paid for the remains. Of course, in some cases I didn’t receive a dime, but there were always exceptions to every rule.
 
Hunching down near the closest discarded body, I severed both sets of hands and dumped them inside one of the many compartments within my trusty backpack.
 
I stood and headed for the unconscious head, but in my haze didn’t notice the other one rolling towards me until the mouth was clamped over my jeans. Damn, this was my best pair.
 
“Don’t be stupid, let go.”
 
“Or what, you’ll cut my head off?” the demon mumbled, without dislodging its sharp teeth from the denim. A millimeter more and those canines would graze skin. I wouldn’t turn into a demon from a bite, or become a host, but I could end up with a nasty infection.
 
“Very funny,” I scoffed, keeping my leg steady. Everyone thinks they’re a comedian nowadays.
 
I leaned over to yank the demonic head away but its sharp teeth pierced my skin.
 
“Ouch!” I smacked the wooden end of my axe on top of its cranium and the demon’s eyes rolled back. The head slid off my leg. I wasn’t in the mood for mucking around. I just wanted to shove the pieces I needed into my pack and get the hell out of here, so I could go home and fool myself into thinking I could catch a few hours of decent sleep.
 
Still cursing the puddles, I wrapped my fingers around the ropy strands of hair and shoved one head, then the other, into the same compartment as the hands. I had no idea why she wanted this particular head, but Adela had been adamant about acquiring one of Duke Aim’s demoniacs.
 
A cold sensation rippled down my spine, because this was the second legion from Aim’s territory to sneak into this patch during the last month. These two adjy weren’t the first I’d killed, but were probably the last because only a handful had snuck in. Still, with only one of the twenty-six legions already obliterated, if these idiots didn’t stop slipping in, the Patch Watchdog would send my inter-patch traveler friend to destroy their home. If any demonic territories became intent on spilling violence against other patches, the Watchdog—led by Burr Okell—would make sure they were erased from existence.
 
Why was Aim letting them run riot like this?
 
Not my problem.
 
 
 
 
 
  
This is a SIERRA FOX spin-off novel...
SIERRA FOX STORIES
     
   

DEAR ROCKSTAR by Emme Rollins

18113029
Dear Rockstar by Emme Rollins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know, sometimes I fall into a restless mood when it comes to reading and although I have SO MANY books on my TBR pile that I want to read, I end up wandering aimlessly through my bookshelves and Kindle trying to figure out what to read next. It's kinda crazy, but it happens.

Anyway, I found this on my Kindle and decided to give it a go. It's actually a book that I downloaded from Amazon a few years back because it was available for free. And it was set in the 80's. I'm a total sucker for the 1980's, so of course I wanted to check it out! ;)

Sara failed to complete high school because some awful family stuff happened during her senior year. So now she's attending an academy full of other people who flunked out of high school in hopes of finally graduating. Luckily she's got her best friend Aimee by her side--who has her own set of problems. Oh, and Sara is totally obsessed with a rock star called Tyler Vincent. She's been in love with him since she was fourteen, and while other girls usually move on from their teen idol crushes, she's pretty much still his biggest fan. She knows everything about him and wants desperately to meet him.

However, the day she meets the gorgeous Dale Diamond, all of her priorities are turned upside down and the man she built up to be her saviour because so much of her home life has been nothing short of torture, takes a backseat. All she can think about is Dale, and he just happens to look like Tyler and is even a musician who enters his band into the MTV Battle-of-the-Bands.

Only problem is that they've both got some pretty dark secrets. Secrets that might tear them apart...

I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! Sure, there were a few teeny-tiny inconsistencies that showed up along the way, but it was still a solid book. I especially liked the setting--of course I did, since I grew up in the 80's--and even the complications these characters faced.

That's the thing about stories set in the 1980's... They're technically considered 'historical' fiction because we're talking late 20th century, but so much of what happened back then is mirrored in today's society. This story proves it.

The whole fantasy of falling for a rock star was also very well done. I loved how Sara's obsession wasn't really with the actual Tyler Vincent, but with the perfect man she'd created in her mind while trying to escape the horrors of her real life. It's something we've all been guilty of doing at some stage in our teenage years, isn't it?

Yeah, I really enjoyed this story. Not only is it a nice nostalgic trip into the world of music that was the 80's, but it also portrays some very complicated people dealing with real life issues. Oh, and how can I forget the love story at the centre of everything? Sara and Dale are just perfect together. Not just because their mutual passion for each other burns off the pages, but also because they're just as broken.

Great book!




Thursday, 14 January 2016

GLASS SWORD by Victoria Aveyard

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Mare's blood is red - the colour of common folk - but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by the Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red and Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?
 
 
It was so exciting to receive this ARC late last year, and I couldn't wait to get stuck into it because I enjoyed the first book so much. So I waited until 2015 ended before getting started on this book.

Mare Barrow might have escaped the clutches of the new Silver King and his power-hungry mother, but it doesn't mean she's entirely free. Rescued by what's left of the Scarlet Guard, they barely manage to get away alive and then she finds herself on an island that seems to offer freedom but is just another type of prison. Not even reuniting with her family and finding out the brother she thought was dead is actually just like her--a Red blood with Silver powers--is enough to keep her in the one spot.

Along with her closest allies, and the prince/friend who betrayed her, she heads off on the dangerous mission of tracking down all the other people with powers like hers in an attempt to round them up before the king kills them. Besides, they could come in handy against the crazy Maven.

But things rarely go as planned, and Mare finds out the hard way just how badly they can turn out...

Well, that was disappointing. Everything that I loved so much about Red Queen seemed to be missing from the second instalment.

It starts out well enough: action-packed, a few twists and turns, her reuniting with her family. But as a whole it just wasn't... exciting. There were too many moments where it felt like Mare kept recycling her thoughts, continually thinking about Maven even though he obviously didn't deserve a moment's thought. She doubted herself all the time. She doubted everyone around her. Which wouldn't have been a problem if it didn't dominate her every action and made her come across quite selfish.

I found it really hard to get swept away in her narrative, which is something I had no trouble with during the first book. Did I mention that I loved the first one? I did. I guess that's why I had such high hopes for this one. To be honest, at times this actually felt like it was part of a different world. I realise that everything was opening up to reveal more, but it wasn't enough. I found myself skimming forward too many times.
And I have to be honest, but I didn't like that ending. At all. O.o

Glass Sword is a well written addition to the futuristic, fantasy world of the Silvers and Reds. It's action-packed in places, sad in others, bleak all the way through, and offers a few unexpected things along the way. Unfortunately, it just didn't work for me.
 
 
Glass Sword, February 2016, ISBN 781409159353, Orion

 
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