Monday, 31 January 2011

Hey, it's Monday...

...and I'm feeling good. Wonder how long that will last? lol.

No, seriously, I'm all ready to get stuck into the third/final draft of The Hidden #6. Of course, there'll be editing in the future, but all I want to do right now is make it as shiny as I can before submitting it to my awesome editor.

The first thing I did was change the font from Courier (which I like to use for first and second drafts, for some bizarre reason) to Times, which actually means that the total page count went down from 366 to 272. The word count--82,936--didn't change, of course. But it just means that the 37pg/day-for-10-days goal I set over the weekend is a little off now.

Oh well, it doesn't matter. Better to get as many pages revised as I can every day. Maybe I'll finish it in less than two weeks. *grin* We'll see.

Also, my daughter goes back to school today... which means that I get a whole bunch of hours back to myself. So my goals become a lot more doable. Still, you know what the funny thing is? After having her home for over 6 weeks, I'm actually gonna miss her. Strange, isn't it?

Well. I need to get going now. Hope you all have a wonderful & productive week!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Weekly Reading Challenge Update:

Books Read So Far in 2011: 11/100

THE LILY BARD MYSTERIES #4: Shakespeare's Trollop by Charlaine Harris

Lily Bard just wanted to start life over - but life had different ideas. A thrilling crime series from an international bestseller!

This omnibus contains the titles SHAKESPEARE'S LANDLORD, SHAKESPEARE'S CHAMPION, SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS, SHAKESPEARE'S TROLLOP and SHAKESPEARE'S COUNSELOR.

Lily Bard is starting over again. She's disguised herself as much as she can, cutting her hair short and wearing baggy clothes and she's moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas, where, working as a cleaning lady, she can sweep away the secrets of her dark, violent past.

But Shakespeare is not the peaceful little community Lily had hoped for and her idea of just fading into the background looks like it's doomed right from the beginning, when she discovers the dead body of her landlord...

Before long, everyone is going to know Lily Bard's name.

This is the fourth book in The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus, and I once again really enjoyed it. This series is very cool. I really like Lily. She's not your conventional heroine and doesn't hide her flaws, or sugarcoats how she really feels. Although, I have to say that there's been a huge change in her attitude towards other people since the first book... which is awesome. Character growth is always an awesome thing. :)

Deedra Dean enjoys the company of men. A lot of different men. She lives in the apartment block next to Lily's house, and Lily's been cleaning for her for several years now. So when Lily stumbles on Deedra's naked corpse abandoned inside her car, she's not as surprised as she should be. A woman who spread herself around to so many was bound to eventually get herself in trouble, right?

That's exactly what everyone assumes, including Lily. But while helping Deedra's mother clean out the apartment, and then later saving an old man (she doesn't particularly like) from dying inside his burning house, Lily slowly starts to uncover some peculiar family ties leading to a secret that changes everything she's assumed about the murdered woman.

In this installment, Lily also finds herself tempted by another. Having a long distance relationship with Jack--since he lives somewhere else and is constantly travelling for work--is starting to shake the happiness she feels the few times they are together.

Shakespeare's Trollop is another little gem of a mystery. I love that Lily's the kind of person who prefers to blend into the background but finds herself caught in the middle of everything, every single time. She's quite good at sorting through the evidence and facts, solving most of the crimes she witnesses before anyone else has all the pieces put together.

I'm loving this series. And now that I only have one book left in this omnibus, I'm both excited and sad. Excited because I know it's the last in the series and I can't wait to see how Lily's adventures are going to end, but sad because it'll be over.

The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus, January 2011, ISBN 9780575096448, Gollancz Paperback

M&SRC books read: 5/12

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Is it really the weekend, already?

Yep, it is. Wow, this week has really flown. Especially the last two days.

I haven't had a chance to drop in and blog properly because I got caught up in edits/revisions for one of my upcoming novellas for ImaJinn Books.

That's right. Very soon, there'll be a bunch of free novellas available for download at ImaJinn, and I'll have two available: a story about a gargoyle, and a prequel novella for The Hidden series. Very exciting! And I'll keep you posted as more info becomes available.

Anyway, the top half of the week was spent filling out forms for my latest Damnation Books contracts, and then I spent the last few days working on the gargoyle novella and got it done just before lunchtime yesterday. Phew. It was harder work than usual (but you all know I actually enjoy working on edits) because my daughter's still home, but she understands enough about my writing now to give me the time when I need it. I think we'll pop into one of the local parks for a while this morning, as a Thank You. :)

Did I mention that she goes back to school next week? She's not very excited about it, and I can't blame her. After being away for a little over 6 weeks, who'd want to go back, right? But I think we need to get ourselves into that whole school-routine thing again. Plus, it'll give me back the extra writing time I need. Always thinking like a writer, huh? ;)

Well, that's it for today. Just wanted to stop by before the week completely slipped away from me.

Speak to you later!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

ROSEBUSH by Michele Jaffe

A dark, sexy psychological thriller from a fantastic new voice in YA fiction.

Jane is found, near death, in a rosebush - a victim of hit and run. But as she s convalescing she realizes that her friends stories and her memories of what happened that night aren t adding up.

And now the only thing she does know is that one of her friends isn t so friendly.

One of them tried to kill her.

Sometimes the truth is a very thorny thing...

When I received an ARC for this book, I have to admit that I was intrigued. I mean, how could I not want to know what happens to this poor girl who ends up left for dead in a rosebush? Of course I wanted to know what happened, and get to know this character...

Jane Freeman is just like every other popular teenage girl in high school. She has two very close friends--Kate and Langley--a gorgeous boyfriend--David--as well a friend who shares her interest in photography--Scott. She loves taking pictures and going out with her friends, but not all is as rosy as it appears on the outside. Especially not when she wakes up in the hospital after being run down by a car and left for dead.

She can't move or remember anything about the party she attended, or how she ended up in the rosebush. 
 
Whoever did this to her is still taunting her, and is very determined to make sure that she winds up dead, or at least insane with paranoia. Mostly by playing psychological games that wind up making her come across nuts to her family, friends, and the doctors.
 
Yet, as the layers start peeling back and Jane finds herself suspecting every single one of her friends, the story delves into a past riddled with complicated friendships, sadness and uncertainty. As she slowly realises just how high the price for popularity is, her relationship with her mother deteriorates further.
 
If only she could remember what happened that night... but soon she realises that there's a reason she can't remember anything. The truth is too horrible to admit to anyone, let alone herself.

Rosebush is an excellent, and very clever book. As soon as I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. And when I did, I kept thinking about it, my fingers itching to get back to it. Every time something new was revealed from Jane's past, I started to formulate who might be responsible for her attempted murder, but every time I got it wrong, lol. This book is so full of twists and turns, and red herrings. An awesome way to make you certain you know exactly what's going on, but you wind up just as confused about everything as Jane.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers that'll keep you guessing, you'll love this one. I know I did!

Rosebush, March 2011, ISBN 9781907410383, Atom Paperback

M&SRC books read: 4/12

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

THE LILY BARD MYSTERIES #3: Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris

Lily Bard just wanted to start life over - but life had different ideas. A thrilling crime series from an international bestseller!

This omnibus contains the titles SHAKESPEARE'S LANDLORD, SHAKESPEARE'S CHAMPION, SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS, SHAKESPEARE'S TROLLOP and SHAKESPEARE'S COUNSELOR.

Lily Bard is starting over again. She's disguised herself as much as she can, cutting her hair short and wearing baggy clothes and she's moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas, where, working as a cleaning lady, she can sweep away the secrets of her dark, violent past.

But Shakespeare is not the peaceful little community Lily had hoped for and her idea of just fading into the background looks like it's doomed right from the beginning, when she discovers the dead body of her landlord...

Before long, everyone is going to know Lily Bard's name.

This is the third book in The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus, and I'm really enjoying this series. I have to admit that I'm a little sad, because I only have two more books left to read. :(

Lily Bard is a very tough cleaning lady. She lifts weights, knows how to fight, and can take care of herself just fine. She likes to keep to herself and is really looking forward to spending Christmas with her new beau, Jack Leeds. She's also decided to expand on her business. There's not much she's afraid of and certainly doesn't shy away from telling it how it is. But there is one thing that can weaken her: going back to Bartley, to visit her family.

That's exactly what happens in this excellent installment of this very clever series.

Lily's younger sister, Varena, is getting married and she's agreed to go to the wedding. So she drives out there with new clothes, knowing she's going to be one of the bridesmaids, and just wanting it to be over. Everyone in the small town she grew up in knows what happened to her in the past, and most look at her in a way that reminds her. Still, the town's grown a bit and new residents have settled in. All people that she winds up meeting during one of the many social functions leading up to the wedding.

Of course, this is Lily. So, just because she's not in Shakespeare, it doesn't mean that crime doesn't follow her. Now, she finds herself in the middle of a double-murder, soon followed by another, and it all seems to relate back to the missing child's case that Jack is also in this town investigating at the same time.

Shakespeare's Christmas takes a different approach to Lily's usual story. The murder-mystery doesn't slam you in the face as soon as you start reading, but slowly develops and shocks you when it does turn up. Almost as much as the horrible things Lily and Jack slowly uncover, while trying to keep her sister's upcoming wedding unblemished. It was an interesting glimpse into Lily's past, and meeting her family and past friends was a nice, personal touch too.

Once again, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next two...

The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus, January 2011, ISBN 9780575096448, Gollancz Paperback

M&SRC books read: 3/12

Monday, 24 January 2011

Hiya!

Welcome to a new week!

This one's going to be a broken-up one. Yay. Hubby goes to work today and tomorrow, has Wednesday off (it's Australia Day, here in Oz), then goes back to finish the work-week with Thursday and Friday. Phew. After that, the weekend rolls around, and my daughter goes back to school next Monday.

That's also when I plan to throw myself into the third/final draft of The Hidden #6. So I've got to prepare myself for that this week, which means reading up on a few last-minute things, as well as taking several notes of things to add/change that have come to my mind since getting the second draft done.

OMG, on Saturday, I finished reading DELIRIUM. And it was absolutely amazing! I absolutely adored every minute of it. This is a book that I highly recommend. :)

I don't actually have a to-do list ready for this week, but I have several things racing around inside my head that need doing. But first, I gotta head out for my daily walk. Catch'a tomorrow!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Weekly Reading Challenge Update:

Yeah, I've decided to update this Reading Challenge once a week. :)

Books Read So Far in 2011: 8/100

Saturday, 22 January 2011

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver

There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.

Then, at last, they found the cure.

Now, everything is different. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable...

As soon as I heard about this book, I was intrigued. Especially since I loved Lauren Oliver's first book, BEFORE I FALL, so much. Anyway, as soon as I received my copy, I couldn't help but pick it up and get stuck into it.

Lena lives in Portland, a place that is bordered by tall electrified fences to protect people from the Wilds--the outside world. It's also a place where love is forbidden. Well, it's considered a disease, the root of all evil. So, when someone turns 18 they all get a procedure done to cure them and ensure that they don't run the risk of getting this horrible disease that'll eventually kill them. Instead, they're evaluated, get on with their studies, marry the person they've been matched with at the end of their education, and enjoy a calm existence of sameness, during the extent of their lives. Never once loving.

She's the same as every other person her age: she's just about ready to graduate, enjoys spending time with her best friend Hana, does everything she's supposed to, never strays from her duties, and can't wait to be cured. However, the day of her evaluation, she finds herself stumbling on her answers, saying all the wrong things even though she's rehearsed them a thousand times with her Aunt Carol. Still more confusing, something happens that disrupts it, and in the process she notices a very handsome boy looking at her. And all of a sudden seems to be everywhere she goes.

His name is Alex, and the more time she spends with him, the more she starts to realise that what she's always been taught, and all the rules and regulations she believed were for the community's own good and safety might actually be a way of controlling them. Of keeping them in line by using fear. Before long, she's horrified to realise that she's done the very thing which caused her mother to kill herself--she's fallen in love.

Delirium is an amazing, thrilling, and beautifully written book set in a very vivid dystopian society. It's an edge-of-the-seat ride. One that tells Lena's story from the heart. In fact, it's so intimate that I felt everything she did, every step of the way. It was exhilarating, scary, horrifying, beautiful, melancholy, exciting, sad... there was a bit of everything, as Lena's perception of the world and those around her is slowly altered by her experiences with Alex. And the heartbreaking love story between her and Alex is deep, and beautiful. Even tragic.

This is a book that will stay with me for a long while to come, and I expect one that I will no doubt pick up and read again one day in the future. Genius, pure genius! It has a special place on my keeper self.

Delirium, February 2011, ISBN 9780340980927, H&S Fiction

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

THE LILY BARD MYSTERIES #2: Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris

Lily Bard just wanted to start life over - but life had different ideas. A thrilling crime series from an international bestseller!

This omnibus contains the titles SHAKESPEARE'S LANDLORD, SHAKESPEARE'S CHAMPION, SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS, SHAKESPEARE'S TROLLOP and SHAKESPEARE'S COUNSELOR.

Lily Bard is starting over again. She's disguised herself as much as she can, cutting her hair short and wearing baggy clothes and she's moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas, where, working as a cleaning lady, she can sweep away the secrets of her dark, violent past.

But Shakespeare is not the peaceful little community Lily had hoped for and her idea of just fading into the background looks like it's doomed right from the beginning, when she discovers the dead body of her landlord...

Before long, everyone is going to know Lily Bard's name.

This is the second book in The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus, and I enjoyed it as much as the first one. It starts off with a pretty macabre murder, and things only get more dire from that point.

Lily Bard is a maid. She cleans the houses of a lot of the families around the small town of Shakespeare. She's content with her job, enjoys keeping other people's homes tidy and making money for herself. But more importantly, it's a job she can do on her own, without having to work with or for anyone. Her personal life isn't so tidy, though.

She's been seeing Marshall, the gym owner, but things aren't going so well so she distances herself from him. Then there's her good friend, Claude, who also happens to be the Chief of Police. She appreciates that he helped her when she was recovering after being attacked, and really enjoys his company, but isn't interested in anything more. He is, which makes things a little more difficult than they need to be. Then there's the mysterious new guy in town--the one with the dark ponytail. He appears to be everywhere she goes, and she can't help but wonder where she knows him from. Or ignore that she's attracted to him.

The mystery in this installment involved the death of a fellow gym member, who was killed in the gym. Lily happened to be the one to find him, but this time she wasn't alone. Though, he's not the only one turning up dead. Before too long, Lily once again finds herself in the middle of one dangerous situation after another. As it's clear that a lot of racial tension is growing within Shakespeare and a lot of people are going to get hurt, unless the small group is captured.

Shakespeare's Champion is another interesting mystery book that hooked me from the very beginning. I really wanted to know what was going on in Shakepeare, and couldn't wait for Lily to solve it. She once again goes about her seemingly average life filled with average tasks, but kept me engrossed in the story anyway. There were several unpredictable things that 'blow up', and a lot that I didn't expect, but Lily stays strong and determined through everything that life throws her way. And she keeps picking up the scars to prove every one of her battles, too.

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the other three...

The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus, January 2011, ISBN 9780575096448, Gollancz Paperback

M&SRC books read: 2/12

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Books, Reading & Challenges!

This year, I've decided to sign up for a few reading challenges. I mean, I love to read and will more than likely end up reading books in the following genres anyway. So, why not? ;)

Firstly, I've decided to take part in the Goodreads 2011 Reading Challenge and have challenged myself to read 100 books this year. (Yeah, I started with a 52-book goal but changed my mind.)

Then, I've also decided to sign up for this one:

 
It's no secret that I love Stephen King and pretty much own every single book he's ever published--some in multiple formats, lol. I've read a lot of them, but I also haven't read many more. So, I'm aiming for the 6 book goal. For now.
 
Also, I'm signing up for this one:


 
The challenge here, is to read 12 mystery & suspense books. I've got quite a few of those on my TBR pile too. Besides, I love a good mystery book/series.
 
 
How could I not sign up for this challenge? The aim is to read 24 horror & urban fantasy books. UF books happen to be my most fave, and I have a whole bunch of them waiting to be read. 
 
So... bring on the challenges! *grin*

Monday, 17 January 2011

It finally feels like summer

So, how was your weekend? I had another awesome one. I really enjoy the weekends.

As I mentioned the other day, my novel SHADE OF GREY is up for BOOK OF THE WEEK at LASR because of the awesome review I got from them. Yay, thanks LASR! :) It's so exciting.

I've fallen behind on the votes and there's probably no way I'm going to win, but if you have a spare sec, there's still a little time left to vote. Thanks!

I'm just excited about even making it on the list. Awesome!

Well, it's the start of another week.

Since I finished the second draft of The Hidden #6 on Saturday--yes, I did go back and rewrote the Epilogue from scratch--that novel will sit aside for a few weeks. I need a little distance from it, and total concentration to tackle the final draft. So... on Monday the 31st of January, when my daughter goes back to school, that will be my first task to get totally engrossed in. I'm actually looking forward to it.

During the next few weeks I've got several, smaller, admin/planning-type stuff that I'd like to cross off my to-do list. I've started by organising my ePublisher files so they're all nice and neat and only contain what needs to be there. They were just getting too messy.

That's it for now. Have an awesome, fantastic week! 

Sunday, 16 January 2011

FLIP THIS ZOMBIE by Jesse Petersen

The Zombie Apocalypse has been good to Sarah and David. Their marriage is better than ever. They communicate well, share responsibilities, and now, they're starting a business. ZombieBusters-for all your zombie extermination needs.

There are lots of zombies and that means lots of customers...Except one of them doesn't want the zombies dead, he wants them alive and ready for experimentation. Mad scientists make for difficult clients and this time, Sarah and David might have bitten off more than they can chew.

This is the second book in the Living With The Dead series by Jesse Petersen. After enjoying the hell out of the first one, I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into this one. Pun intended.

Three months have passed since the world died and zombies have been shambling around trying to eat anyone they can get their hands on, as well as infecting them. Sarah and David have a business called Zombiebuster Extermination, Inc. That's right, they drive around the Badlands killing zombies, and then get payment for it. Not in the way of money, of course, since the new currency is medical supplies, guns, ammo, canned food, that type of thing.

In between killing zombies and collecting their heads to prove they've killed them, they stop into one of the camps around Arizona. Here, at the former stadium, they meet up with other survivors as well as check the notice board to see if anyone needs to hire them. That's when they stumble on an odd note. Someone wants their help, but it doesn't sound like their usual gig. Heading out into the middle of the desert, they meet Dr. Barnes, a scientist who wants them to capture undead zombies and deliver them to his secret underground lab still squirming. *insert evil laugh here*

After accepting, Sarah and David are thrown into one difficult capture after another, and meet The Kid. A helpful but annoying loudmouthed kid who tags along with them for a while, after blackmailing them. And the scientist even manages to cause a wedge between their much stronger relationship. Dr. Barnes just has too many secrets, and things that don't add up. Things that David suspects from the beginning. But Sarah wants to believe that someone can help make the world a safer place someday--by finding a cure for the zombies--so much that she puts everything on the line.

Oh, and then there's the matter of the bionic zombies to deal with.

I had a total blast with this book! I enjoyed it as much as the first one, and love Sarah's wit. She cracks me up. This is an amazing zombie book and series. It's also awesome to see Sarah and David's relationship get stronger with every hurdle they face. The longer they're out there battling the zombies, the closer and better their marriage gets. I can't wait to see if they actually do make it to the legendary Midwest Wall. :)

H&UFRC books read: 5/24

Friday, 14 January 2011

THE LILY BARD MYSTERIES #1: Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

Lily Bard just wanted to start life over - but life had different ideas. A thrilling crime series from an international bestseller!

This omnibus contains the titles SHAKESPEARE'S LANDLORD, SHAKESPEARE'S CHAMPION, SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS, SHAKESPEARE'S TROLLOP and SHAKESPEARE'S COUNSELOR.

Lily Bard is starting over again. She's disguised herself as much as she can, cutting her hair short and wearing baggy clothes and she's moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas, where, working as a cleaning lady, she can sweep away the secrets of her dark, violent past.

But Shakespeare is not the peaceful little community Lily had hoped for and her idea of just fading into the background looks like it's doomed right from the beginning, when she discovers the dead body of her landlord...

Before long, everyone is going to know Lily Bard's name.

I suppose it was just a matter of time. This is the only series by Charlaine Harris that I had yet to sample, and now I have. And I wasn't disappointed!

Lily Bard is a woman who likes to spend time alone, but is rarely lonely. She lives in the small town of Shakespeare and has been there for four years now. She's a cleaner, with a full workload. She enjoys going for walks at night and keeps fit by going to the gym regularly. She lifts weights, and is total kick-ass when it comes to self defense. But she wasn't always like that.

In the past--a past she's tried very hard to escape, but will never forget--she was just another average girl working in an office, with a boyfriend, and a family who cared about her. Yet one night, that all changed and her average life was stolen away from her. Her life has never been the same. Some experiences are so violent and horrifying that they never fade and reshape our lives. That's exactly what happened to Lily.

The night she's out strolling and witnesses someone carting something suspicious in her garbage-can cart, she finds the body of Pardon Albee dumped in the nearby park. This changes her life again. All of a sudden, she becomes involved with the investigation, and her secrets begin to surface. Someone's leaving her little clues about the past, while she's trying to enjoy getting to know the gym's owner a little better.

Shakespeare's Landlord is an interesting mystery book that kept me guessing to the end. It's also the story of a very strong and brave woman who finds herself trying to figure out who murdered the nosey landlord and why. She knows it was someone in the building near her house, but who? I also liked Lily as a narrator. She made everyday routines interesting to read, and sure is tough. She's not afraid to fight back, or shies away from a little violence, and always speaks her mind. I loved that!

Looking forward to reading the other four installments, which are all included in this heftly omnibus. :)

The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus, January 2011, ISBN 9780575096448, Gollancz Paperback

M&SRC books read: 1/12

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

GREYWALKER by Kat Richardson

Harper Blaine was your average small-time P.I. until a two-bit perp's savage assault left her dead for two minutes. When she comes to in the hospital, she sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring.

But Harper's not crazy. Her "death" has made her a Greywalker- able to move between the human world and the mysterious cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift is about to drag her into that strange new realm-whether she likes it or not.

I have to admit, that being on an awesome reading ride totally rocks! And this book is yet another awesome UF addition, to the many I've read during the last month. Yay.

Harper Blaine is a PI from Seattle, and her story starts out with a very violent scene. Someone she caught out committing fraud--for a client--drops into her office, and instead of being apologetic he actually beats the hell out of her. So badly that she actually dies for a few minutes. And when she wakes up again in the hospital, she can suddenly see things that aren't supposed to be there.

Regardless, she recovers enough to get back to work and gets involved in a few cases. A missing person, and a missing item. Both seem normal enough, until she starts to dig deeper and finds herself lost in this new world she's tapped into. With the help of a few new friends, she slowly starts to understand that she's a Greywalker and can actually walk in the Grey, where the supernatural beings exist. She might start to grasp what's going on, but she doesn't like it. She fights it every step of the way but luckily for her, the married couple--Mara and Ben Danziger--stick by her.

I loved this book! I thought Harper's stubborn ways and capability to keep going no matter what happened to her were a streak that made me enjoy her story that much more. Also, the characters in this book were as fascinating as the creatures. I especially liked the mysterious and very helpful, Quinton, as well as the very interesting, Will. Oh, and Chaos was so cute.

This was also a very original take on the paranormal. It was cool learning the ropes with Harper. Excellent book. Actually, I just ordered the next book, POLTERGEIST. :)

H&UFRC books read: 4/24

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A KISS BEFORE THE APOCALYPSE by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Boston P.I. Remy Chandler has many talents. He can will himself invisible, he can speak and understand any foreign language (including the language of animals), and if he listens carefully, he can hear thoughts.

Unusual, to say the least - for an ordinary man. But Remy is no ordinary man - he's an angel. Generations ago, he chose to renounce heaven and live on Earth. He's found a place among us ordinary humans; friendship, a job he's good at - and love.

Now he is being drawn into a case with strong ties to his angelic past. The Angel of Death has gone missing - and Remy's former colleagues have come to him for help. But what at first seems to be about tracing a missing person turns out to involve much more - a conspiracy that has as its goal the destruction of the human race.

And only Remy Chandler, formerly known as the angel Remiel, can stop it.

Wow, just wow! This is one seriously awesome book. I enjoyed it heaps.

Remy Chandler is a PI from Boston, but he used to be so much more. He used to be known as Remiel, one of the Seraphim. Now, he's decided to take on the guise of a human, living among them. Of course, he's still kept a few of his angelic traits--he can make himself invisible, speak with animals, and sense preternatural things a normal human can't. I especially enjoyed reading his conversations with his lovely labrador, Marlowe. 

His latest case, which first appears to be a standard wife-suspects-her-husband of cheating situation, turns out to be the beginning of the Apocalypse. See, the couple he's just found cheating in a motel wind up dead. Well, at least they should be dead. But they're not. Actually, all around the world people are dying, but their souls aren't leaving their bodies.

Soon, Remy figures out that the Angel of Death has stopped doing his job. And instead, every dead person and animal in the world is left undying. Their souls begging for release. Yet, there are forces that don't want the Death Angel to do his job, and instead are trying to entice him to break the seals and bring the wrath of the Four Horsemen onto the world.

As Remy digs deeper into what's going on, he finds himself in the middle of an angelic situation that's darker than anything a demon would conjure.

This is such an awesome idea, and so well told that it's addictive. I found every single moment of this book to be not just entertaining, but amazing. It drew me in so deeply that I could hardly put it down. Remy's an awesome narrator with a very long history, and his dog Marlowe is a gorgeous animal. Not to mention all of the other weird and wonderful creatures introduced in this very excellent world. Oh, and the story between Remy and his wife was absolutely heart-breaking. :(

Yep, this one's going straight to my keeper shelf. Actually, I've just ordered the second book in the series, and pre-ordered the third. Can't wait to find out what else Remy and Marlowe get up to in future books...

H&UFRC books read: 3/24

Friday, 7 January 2011

HUNTED BY THE OTHERS by Jess Haines

Shiarra Waynest’s detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm — if it doesn’t kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York’s most powerful vampires.

As soon as Shiarra meets scary, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend–a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing–and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren’t always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil–whether she likes it or not…

I just finished reading this book this morning, and I had a lot of fun with it! It's another great urban fantasy story, but this time it features a human heroine who's a little reluctant to be part of the supernatural world. Even if she keeps getting dragged into it.

This book's packed with a heap of good stuff--vampires, werewolves, magi, unsolved murders, family matters, problems of the heart, action, and an addictive story with a unique flavour that'll keep you interested until the very end.

Enjoyed it so much that I've already got the next one in the series waiting on my Kindle. :)

H&UFRC books read: 2/24

Monday, 3 January 2011

JUST ANOTHER JUDGEMENT DAY by Simon R. Green

God’s own enforcer, the righteous engine of destruction known as the Walking Man, has come to the Nightside. His sole purpose is the elimination of the wicked and the guilty, which means no one will be left in the Nightside once he gets started. So the Authorities have hired P.I. John Taylor to stop him. Legend has it that he can’t be killed. Taylor is very much hoping that the legend isn’t true.

There's no better way to start the year than to catch up with some old friends. ;) And dropping into the Nightside is always interesting. John Taylor gets himself into the usual trouble, but is always smart enough to find a way out of it... even if it means endangering his own life.

I had a great time with the ninth book in this dark series, and I really love these characters.

H&UFRC books read: 1/24

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Books Read in 2010...

MAGIC IN THE SHADOWS (Allie Beckstrom #3): Devon Monk

FLOOD: Stephen Baxter

I CAN SEE YOU: Karen Rose

THE COLD KISS OF DEATH (Spellcrackers.com #2): Suzanne McLeod

THE UNDROWNED CHILD: Michelle Lovric

ARK: Stephen Baxter

THE DIGITAL PLAGUE (Avery Cates #2): Jeff Somers

THE RUNAWAY: Angela McAllister

WAKE (WWW #1): Robert J Sawyer

MR SHIVERS: Robert Jackson Bennett

THE LEVELS: Sean Cregan

NIGHTFALL: Stephen Leather

HORNS: Joe Hill

DONNY'S DAY: Brandon Berntson

SEPULCHRAL EARTH The Long Road: Tim Marquitz

ROSEMARY & RUE (October Daye #1): Seanan McGuire

BLUE BLOODS (Blue Bloods #1): Melissa de la Cruz

MASQUERADE (Blue Bloods #2): Melissa de la Cruz

ZOMBIE An Anthology of the Undead: Edited by Christopher Golden

A MATTER OF BLOOD: Sarah Pinborough

THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON: Sarah Addison Allen

THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES: Carrie Ryan

TWILIGHT The Graphic Novel, Volume 1: Stephenie Meyer & Young Kim

REVELATIONS (Blue Bloods #3): Melissa de la Cruz

KITTY’S HOUSE OF HORRORS (Kitty Norville #7): Carrie Vaughn

BEFORE I FALL: Lauren Oliver

MR MONSTER: Dan Wells

THE LIGHTNING THIEF (Percy Jackson & the Olympians #1): Rick Riordan

RETRIBUTION (Anna Strong, Vampire #5): Jeanne C. Stein

SPEAK OF THE DEVIL (Morgan Kingsley #4): Jenna Black

KNIFE: RJ Anderson

HEIST SOCIETY: Ally Carter

ANGELS’ BLOOD (Guild Hunter #1): Nalini Singh

ARCHANGEL’S KISS (Guild Hunter #2): Nalini Singh

SCARRED: Julia Hoban

TALL, DARK & HUNGRY: Lynsay Sands

DEAD IN THE FAMILY: Charlaine Harris

THE SHORT SECOND LIFE OF BREE TANNER (An Eclipse Novella): Stephenie Meyer

ASH: Malinda Lo

WINTERCRAFT: Jenna Burtenshaw

WHITE CAT (The Curse Workers #1): Holly Black

FIRESPELL (Dark Elite #1): Chloe Neill

I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU (The Gallagher Girls #1): Ally Carter

REBEL: RJ Anderson

SIZZLING SIXTEEN: Janet Evanovich

CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO SPY (The Gallagher Girls #2): Ally Carter

THE SCENT OF RAIN AND LIGHTNING: Nancy Pickard

THEODORE BOONE: John Grisham

FEED (Newsflesh #1): Mira Grant

DON’T JUDGE A GIRL BY HER COVER (The Gallagher Girls #3): Ally Carter

THE ETERNAL PRISON (Avery Cates #3): Jeff Somers

MY NAME IS MEMORY: Ann Brashares

BLUE DIABLO (Corine Solomon #1): Ann Aguirre

ONLY THE GOOD SPY YOUNG (The Gallagher Girls #4): Ally Carter

HELL FIRE (Corine Solomon #2): Ann Aguirre

SISTERS RED: Jackson Pearce

WICKED APPETITE: Janet Evanovich

PLAYING WITH FIRE (Silver Dragons #1): Katie MacAlister

CROSSING OVER: Anna Kendall

MONSTER HIGH: Lisi Harrison

LOVESICK (Ghostgirl #3): Tonya Hurley

DEXTER IS DELICIOUS (Dexter #5): Jeff Lindsay

DEATH MOST DEFINITE (Death Works #1): Trent Jamieson

BY MIDNIGHT (A Ravenwood Mystery): Mia James

EMBRACE: Jessica Shirvington

TEMPEST RISING (Jane True #1): Nicole Peeler

WINTERGIRLS: Laurie Halse Anderson

TRACKING THE TEMPEST (Jane True #2): Nicole Peeler

KISS OF DEATH (The Morganville Vampires #8): Rachel Caine

WHITE CROW: Marcus Sedgwick

NIGHTSHADE (Witches War #1): Andrea Cremer

REVOLVER: Marcus Sedgwick

MY SWORDHAND IS SINGING: Marcus Sedgwick

STOLEN: Lucy Christopher

NEVER LET ME GO: Kazuo Ishiguro

MANAGING DEATH (Death Works #2): Trent Jamieson

THE KISS OF DEATH: Marcus Sedgwick

REAL MURDERS (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #1, Omnibus 1): Charlaine Harris

A BONE TO PICK (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #2, Omnibus 1): Charlaine Harris

THREE BEDROOMS, ONE CORPSE (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #3, Omnibus 1): Charlaine Harris

THE JULIUS HOUSE (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #4, Omnibus 1): Charlaine Harris

THE BODY FINDER: Kimberly Derting

DANIEL X The Manga Vol. 1: James Patterson

MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES (Living With The Dead #1): Jesse Petersen

AFTERLIGHT (The Dark Ink Chronicles #1): Elle Jasper

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS (PLL #1): Sara Shepard

TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN (Alien #1): Gini Koch

DEADTOWN (Deadtown #1): Nancy Holzner

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Wishing you all a...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 
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