Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Rain, rain, go away!

As you can probably guess, it's been raining nonstop here in Sydney. Which always sucks. It was so dark yesterday that it felt like night all day long. Now, that totally sucks! And it's not even winter yet. :/

Anyway. I spent most of yesterday napping, and reading. We've been so tired lately, and haven't had enough sleep for about a week. I think your body can take so much before it says: Okay, I'm not getting out of this bed for a while. I was glad to catch up on some sleep/rest.

Today, though, I'd like to get back on track...

I'll be working on some random tasks this week--writing a guest blog post, catching up on some reading, and brainstorming the novel I'd like to start next week. I'll squeeze in some yoga in there too. But mostly, I'd like this to be a recharge-my-batteries kinda week. At least, that's what I'm aiming for.

Well, later! :)

Monday, 30 May 2011

HEXBOUND by Chloe Neill

They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. But it turns out even a little bit of magic can turn you to the dark side. That's why Lily has to learn how to control her newly discovered abilities and quickly, on top of avoiding the snobs who think they run her school, nursing a crush on a cute sophomore with a big, werewolfy secret and fighting the good fight with her best friend Scout as they take on Chicago's nastiest nightlife - including the tainted magic users known as the Reapers.

All that's even before Lily's invited to a private meeting with Sebastian. He's hot, he's powerful and he's offering to help her harness the magic flowing through her veins in a way that no one else can. He's also a Reaper. Lily can't help but be suspicious of his offer. But she also needs his help. It seems that the line between good and evil isn't quite so clear as she thought...

This is the second book in the Dark Elite YA series.

Lily Parker attends St. Sophia's. She's also an Adept, which is a teenager with magic. Hers is called firespell and was triggered by one of the 'bad guys'. She hangs out with other kids who can perform magic, and together, go up against the Reapers. Reapers are teenagers who refuse to give up their magic when the time comes.

She happens to have a crush on one of her fellow Adepts, though he has a furry problem that poses a bunch of complications for them. Still, their romance blooms a little more. And we get another dose of cool and sarcastic conversations between Scout and Lily.

In this installment, Lily also starts to figure out that her parents probably know about what she is. While Sebastian (a Reaper) starts to make her realise that not everything is black and white.

Hexbound is an interesting addition to this series. Although, I have to admit that I didn't enjoy it as much as Firespell, it still expands on Lily's talent, her life, poses some new challenges, and still manages to be fun.

Hexbound: A Novel of the Dark Elite, March 2011, ISBN 9780575095458, Gollancz Paperback

Saturday, 28 May 2011

WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion

R is a young man with an existential crisis–he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, noidentity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.

After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and stragely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.

It's no secret that I'm a zombie fan, so I'm always on the lookout for zombie books to add to my TBR pile. And when I read about this book at The Book Smugglers, I went out of my way to buy a copy.

Wow. This is an amazing story. Not only is it a fresh approach to the zombie genre--it's told in the POV of an actual zombie--but it's amazingly heartwarming, well written, and a total page-turner. As soon as I got started, I didn't want to put it down. 

R is a zombie. He lives in a community of the Dead, and acts the same way as every other zombie. Well, until he feeds on a teenage boy's brain, and meets the human girl, Julie. After that, he becomes fascinated by her and does everything he can to protect her. Together, they decide to change the world...

I absolutely loved this book! It's an amazing ride. Sharing R's thoughts and dreams, as well as watching how he changes, is truly magical. No longer satisfied with a life that forces him to eat people, he actually does something about becoming more. Everything about this story fascinated me. It's beautiful, and memorable.

Ultimately, this book is a story about hope in a hopeless world.

OMG, this book trailer is fantastic:



WARM BODIES book trailer (Official) from Isaac Marion on Vimeo.

H&UFRC books read: 24/24

Friday, 27 May 2011

Sometimes, zombies want more than just brains...

I've been in one of those craving-zombie-books-kinda mood lately. So I couldn't put it off any longer. Yesterday, I grabbed one off my bookshelf. It's called WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion.

So far, it's an amazing take on the whole zombie apocalypse thing, and I'm loving it. It's also very well written, and in the POV of an actual zombie. His name is R, and although he can't remember his past life and can't really string a conversation together, he thinks very clearly. He also craves things other zombies don't seem to care about. And I love the way the zombies actually interact with each other. Like I said, amazing!

Also, if you have a few minutes, check out the book trailer. Wow! (I'll be posting it on my blog when I write a review.)

So. What else is new? Well, it's Friday and for some bizarre reason, I'm in a good mood. We'll see how long that lasts, lol. Although, I have to admit that I've been a fan of Fridays for many years. I used to love them when I was working full time, and still do. There's just something about the end of the week. Yeah.

It's been a strange and busy week, but it's winding down now. I don't want to throw myself into anything too involved today. I'd just like to cruise the Internet for a bit, brainstorm the novel I'd like to start next week, or the week after, and keep reading this excellent book.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

HOUNDED by Kevin Hearne

Atticus O’Sullivan has been running for two thousand years and he’s a bit tired of it. After he stole a magical sword from the Tuatha Dé Danann (those who became the Sidhe or the Fae) in a first century battle, some of them were furious and gave chase, and some were secretly amused that a Druid had the cheek to defy them. As the centuries passed and Atticus remained an annoyingly long-lived fugitive, those who were furious only grew more so, while others began to aid him in secret.

Now he’s living in Tempe, Arizona, the very last of the Druids, far from where the Fae can easily find him. It’s a place where many paranormals have decided to hide from the troubles of the Old World—from an Icelandic vampire holding a grudge against Thor to a coven of Polish witches who ran from the German Blitzkrieg.

Unfortunately, the very angry Celtic god who wants that sword has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power, plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good, old-fashioned luck of the Irish to kick some arse and deliver himself from evil.

You can read the first six chapters of HOUNDED for free right here.

Firstly, I just want to mention how much I love this cover! It's awesome. And the next two covers are super awesome too.

Okay. Now that I got that out of the way...

After reading--and really enjoying--the prequel short story for this series, I couldn't wait to get started on the first book. Wow, it definitely lived up to my expectations. And more.

Atticus looks like your average 21-year-old Irish lad, but he's actually over two thousand years old and is living in Arizona. He's also a Druid with some awesome and very powerful tattoos, an amazing amulet with some very interesting benefits, an occult bookstore, and a knack for getting into trouble. Actually, he's been running since he took the very powerful sword, Fragarach.

Now, his greatest enemy has found him and he'll use whatever--and whoever--he can in order to get to the sword. In the process, he sends some very nasty supernatural creatures after Atticus, and even involves the human police. But lucky for Atticus, he happens to have a few Goddesses on his side... or does he?

This book was a fantastic action-packed ride filled with danger, some very scary characters, and others that are so interesting I can't wait to read more about them. It's also a very unique story, which casts an array of Goddesses, Gods, and monsters into our world. I loved that facet of this book, and look forward to seeing what other adventures await this very cool Druid.

Oh, and did I mention Granuaile? No, I don't think I did... but you'll be pleasantly surprised to see what mysteries she holds. ;) And Oberon, the adorable Irish wolfhound, is an excellent addition to this book. I found his humour and wit hilarious!

This is an awesome addition to the growing world of urban fantasy, and just another reason why I adore this genre!

I've already pre-ordered the next two books in the series:
 

H&UFRC books read: 23/24

It's cold outside!

After enjoying some mild and very sunny days lately, a sudden change in the weather is a rude shock! Yesterday, out of nowhere, a lovely morning turned into a yucky afternoon. And this morning, it's super cold and windy. At least it's not raining anymore. :/

I feel bad for my daughter, because today she's taking part in the Girls Paul Kelly Cup (AFL/Auskick) and has to be outside all day. Her team made it to the regional finals, which is super cool since the boy's team didn't, lol. I hope they do well! I also hope she stays warm. Oh, and that the rain waits until tonight...

So, what's new with all of you this week?

I managed to finish the novella revision I've been working on and even emailed it in. Now all I can do is wait and keep my fingers crossed. :) Also, I can move onto something else. Though today I think I'll just sort out a few bits & pieces, and catch up on reading. I'm really enjoying an awesome book at the moment, and I have about 100 pages left to read. Can't wait!

Before I go, did you guys read this? OMG, I can't believe the moron who predicted the Rapture is still insisting that it's going to happen. Now he's changed the date to October 21. Seriously, what's he got against the 21st of the month? This old guy is seriously disturbed. It would've been better for him to go into hiding after the non-event on Saturday. LMAO.

Oh well. Looks like we'll be having another good laugh on Twitter in October, at his expense. ;)

See ya!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Good morning!

In spite of a very late night--hubby and I got caught up in watching Q&A because it turned out to be a very interesting episode--and feeling like crap when I opened my eyes at 5AM this morning, I now feel refreshed.

Why? Well, I just finished a yoga workout. For some reason, as hard as the workout is, I always feel more energetic after it. It's awesome. :)

I got off to an early start in my latest revision, too. I got halfway through the novella yesterday and reached page 64/114 first thing this morning. If I keep going at this pace, I should be done by this afternoon. Which means I might just be able to email this in sometime tomorrow. I'm hoping.

So far, everything I added late last week fits very well with the story. There was only one section that didn't make any sense, because I actually made the addition in the wrong place. O_o That's why I'm glad I decided to add things first, and then read the whole thing later. Phew!

Oh, I've got a few new reviews to share:




Thanks so much to all the wonderful reviewers above! I really appreciate each of you taking the time to read my stories. :)

Well, that's it for today. I'm hoping to have another productive day, and will keep working on this revision until I get to the end of it. Have a nice day!

Monday, 23 May 2011

New Week, New Goal...

Hey! How's everyone doing today?

Can you believe we made it past 6pm, Saturday night? ;) Seriously, the idiot who stirred up so much crap about the world ending this past weekend should go into hiding. What a tool!

Oh well. It made for some very entertaining and funny tweets. lol. :D

What have you got planned for this week? I'm going to lose myself in the revision I mentioned last week. It's for a novella with 114 pages. I made a bunch of changes to it last week and now want to read it from beginning-to-end, to make sure the additions fit flawlessly with the rest of the story.

I'd love to get it done by midweek. Fingers crossed.

Asides from that, I want to put together some sort of writing plan for June. I think I know what I want to work on, but there are a few other things I'd like to tackle, too.

Well, I hope you all have a great week! I'm going to try and pop in as much as I can from now on. Since I started changing my website, I haven't blogged as often as I wanted to... but now that everything's just the way I want it, I'd like to get back into the swing of things.

See ya later!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

RIP Randy "Macho Man" Savage


Thanks for the many--wrestling--childhood memories...

Saturday, 21 May 2011

WILD GHOST CHASE by Ericka Scott

Two reality-show ghost-busting teams versus one haunted house.

The first team to successfully exorcise the spirits wins the renewal of their television contract. It sounds like a pretty straight-forward competition, but something or someone at Harrington House has another agenda.

Over the course of a weekend, the two teams with their respective technical advisers, a supposedly impartial network executive, and the beautiful owner of Harrington House find it isn’t just the ghosts who are running amok. A killer is on the loose and if they don’t work together, they could all become permanent residents.

"A scary, thrilling ride through a haunted house story with a twist. It's a page-turner!"
--Yolanda Sfetsos

I've been looking forward to reading this story since I first heard Ericka Scott chatting about the idea she had on her blog a few years ago. And I'm very lucky to have gotten to read an advance copy of it, because it was quite a scary ride!

Malcolm and Monica McFee might be twins, but they're very different. For starters, Monica is a skeptic born into a psychically-gifted family. Malcolm has no choice but to believe because of what he can see around him. Still, they both work together on a show called Happily Ever Afterlife.

However, their next assignment includes teaming up with their biggest competition--the rival show, Bump in the Night. The two teams will have to spend a weekend at the Harrington House in Crescent Cove, and the losing team gets voted off the air. So, the twins and their cameraman head out to the house and meet up with Irene Hopkins and Enigma Mysterio.

From the moment the teams arrive, strange things start to happen. Those who are sensitive to ghosts start to see them, those who aren't are taken advantage of, and someone is playing all of them. Yet, there's something really dark lurking in the Harrington House, something that won't stop until it's satisfied...

Told primarily in the POV of Malcom and Monica as they each go through their very different paths, it also provides insight to several other characters. Essential pieces that take us to different parts of the haunted house and what each character is going through. Also, the terror continues until the very end.

Wild Ghost Chase has a bit of everything. It's an engrossing, thrilling story that keeps you guessing every step of the way. Just when you think you know what's going on, you eventually figure out that you're completely wrong. There's also one spooky situation after another, some which are downright frightening and gave me goosebumps. But at the same time, there are also several tender moments to smooth out the horrifying events underlining the narrative.

I really enjoyed this book. If you like stories about haunted houses with an edge of horror, you'll love it. If you like a good mystery that'll keep you guessing, you'll love it. If you like to be teased with a touch of romance, you'll definitely love this book. Either way, if those three things don't get you, the suspense will!


Wild Ghost Chase is now available from L&L Dreamspell, Kindle, and All Romance eBooks. It will also be available in print very soon.


M&SRC books read: 15/12

Friday, 20 May 2011

THE AURORA TEAGARDEN MYSTERIES #8: Poppy Done to Death by Charlaine Harris

A mystery series from the No. 1 bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels.
Lawrenceton, Georgia, was once a small town; now many people see it only as a growing suburb of Atlanta - but it's still a small town at heart, where people wander in and out of each other's homes, and everybody knows everybody's business. Librarian Aurora Teagarden - Roe to her friends - grew up there, and she should know. She's always been interested in the darker side of human nature, ever since her True Crime book club led to a real murder...
This omnibus edition contains the last four novels: Dead Over Heals (book 5); A Fool and his Honey (book 6); Last Scene Alive (book 7 ); Poppy Done to Death (book 8).

**This review will contain spoilers***

This is the last book in this omnibus, which also means it's the last book in the series. :(

Roe and her stepsisters-in-law were supposed to meet at an Uppity Women meeting because one of them--Poppy--was going to be inducted, but she never showed up. And since Roe can't seem to stay away from trouble, as soon as they get to Poppy's house and Poppy doesn't answer the door, the tiny librarian goes inside the house and finds her dead.

The family is devastated, and try to deal with the loss, but the mystery of Poppy's death makes it hard. Poppy Queensland and her husband, John David, didn't exactly have a conventional marriage. They both strayed, and as Roe finds herself falling deeper into the investigation, she begins to find a lot of distasteful details about Poppy's infidelities, as well as hidden secrets...

There are too many things for Roe to deal with in this book, and the 'situations' don't stop coming. Especially when her teenage half-brother pops in unannounced to stay with her. It's no wonder she feels exhausted all the time... or is there another reason for that? ;)

With Thanksgiving around the corner, and meeting her beau's mother, things never slow down. Her relationship with Robin seems to go through a few ups-and-downs too.

Poppy Done To Death is a wonderful end to this fantastic series. It features a murder-mystery with a lot of twists and turns, plenty of hidden secrets, personal agendas, as well as a larger-than-usual array of potential killers. I also enjoyed the personal growth and changes Roe is forced to adapt to. Not to mention the wonderful--and unexpected--surprise at the end of the book. I loved that her happily ever after ends with the writer, Robin Crusoe. I liked him--and thought he was perfect for her--from the very beginning.

This series has a lot of happy times, unexpected events, intriguing mysteries, memorable characters, sad times, and an unforgettable heroine. I'm going to miss you, Aurora.

The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Omnibus 2, April 2011, ISBN 9780575096509, Gollancz Paperback
M&SRC books read: 14/12

Another Friday...

And this week feels like it's gone a little faster than usual. Not sure why, but it sure sped by. Yikes!

Is it just me, or do the weeks seem to be moving a little faster than usual? And according to Twitter, the world is going to end on Saturday. Uh. WTF? Seriously? Where's this information coming from?

Either way, I'm not ready for the end of the world just yet, lol. There's so much to do, so many stories still left to write, and too many books to read. And I won't even get started on the movies and shows I want to watch... or the time I want to spend with hubby, daughter and kitty. ;)

So. What have I been doing the last few days? Well, I'm getting stuck into some revision. I've got to do this in stages, though. First, I want to go through and address some issues, which means I'm going back and forwards in the story and adding/deleting stuff. Then, after I finish doing that, I'll be reading the novella from start-to-finish again. Just to make sure that everything I added fits in with the rest of the story and makes sense. Phew.

Sounds like a bit of work, but it'll be worth it. :)

I'm also reading the last book in The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries Omnibus. :( I'm kinda taking my time, because this is the last one in the series, and I'm going to miss Roe and her finding-dead-bodies antics.

Well, gotta go. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Check it out!

As you can probably tell, I've once again changed my website template.

After all of the problems I had with Blogger last week, the template I had refused to go back to normal... at the same time, I decided that having a 3-column template made everything a little too cluttered. I had too many pics. So, I decided to change it back to a 2-column template. Of course, that led to other problems. O_o

I found a whole bunch of possible templates, but when it came to customising them... Ugh! Let's just say that I spent most of yesterday changing one after another. If you popped in, you probably noticed. lol. But finally, I found THIS template. Not only is it lovely, but it's exactly what I was looking for. I'm very excited about the way it looks, and how much easier it's going to be to maintain. Unless Blogger decides to die on me during maintenance again. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

Anyway.

Now, it's mostly done. I even finished off My Books page this morning. I've been wanting to change it from just 'cover pics' to 'cover pics with blurbs & links' for a while now. And I think it finally looks the way I imagined it would. :) The only thing I have left to add are the Free eBooks, and now that I've discovered Google Docs, I'll be able to add them real soon.

Oh, and I need to add my domain name. One thing at a time, though.

What do you think? Do you like the new layout? :)

Did I mention that I got the final round of edits for PROMISE done? Well, I did, and I can't wait to share it with the world on June 7! Awesome.

Well, since we're already halfway into this week, I guess I'll keep tackling the smaller projects on my to-do list and hopefully get stuck into some more revision next week. I'd also like to get back to blogging during the week.

Have a nice day!

Monday, 16 May 2011

THE MAGE IN BLACK by Jaye Wells

Sabina Kane doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, leader of the vampire race, wants her dead. So when she arrives in New York to meet her mage relatives, the reunion puts the fun in dysfunctional. Not only is mage culture completely bizarre, but everyone seems to think she’s some kind of ‘Chosen’ who’ll unite the dark races. Sabina doesn’t care who chose her, she’s not into destiny.
But the mages aren’t Sabina’s only problem. In New York’s Black Light District, she has run-ins with fighting demons, hostile werewolves and an opportunistic old flame. Sabina thought she’d take a bite out of the Big Apple – but it looks like it wants to bite back.

After reading the first book in this series and absolutely loving it, I couldn't wait to get back into Sabina's world. And it didn't disappoint.

The story starts right after the events of the first book, while Sabina, Adam and Giguhl are heading to New York so she can be introduced to her mage side. But trouble always finds Sabina, which leads to a very explosive scene in a petrol station. From then on, things go from bad to worse. With the exception of meeting the twin sister she'd never met, and Adam's aunt, who turns out to be very helpful with her magic.

Oh, and then there's Slade, and the werewolves, and Demon Fight Club... all awesome stuff that kept me glued to this very awesome and fast-paced book. I love this series and can't wait to receive my copy of the third book. 

H&UFRC books read: 22/24

Friday, 13 May 2011

Guest Interview: Madeleine Roux

Today, I'm very excited to have a guest interview with Madeleine Roux, the author of Allison Hewitt Is Trapped. I loved this book so much, I just had to know more about her. ;)

Hi Madeleine, and thanks so much for taking the time out to answer some of my questions.

1). I'm a huge zombie fan, so I was very excited about reading your book. What inspired you to start the blog that turned into this excellent book?

Initially it was an experiment. I'm also a huge fan of zombies, and I wanted to see if I could delve into the genre and put my own spin on it, using the blog format to give it a present, modern and urgent feeling. I also love where you can have your cake and eat it, too – there's action and adventure but you don't have to check your brain at the door. So my inspiration came from a few places – one to experiment with the blog/interactive format and another to give readers an adventure that didn't insult their intelligence.

2). What are some of your favourite zombie books and movies in this genre?

World War Z is a classic. I absolutely love the oral history approach that Brooks took. It really fit the genre in an unexpected way. Shaun of the Dead is another favorite. Anything that mixes horror and comedy that fluidly is bound to be genius. The Walking Dead, the graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, is another major influence. I love that he's brutal to his characters. He created a bleak, unforgiving world with characters that you really want to see survive.

3). Allison is a very strong character who was willing to do whatever she had to in order to survive, is that how you always envisioned her? Or did she evolve into the strong person she became while you were writing the book?

I think writing a strong character can be touchy, because everyone has a totally different perception of what that means. It was important to create a well-rounded heroine, a character that has flaws and moments where they stumble, but who has the grit and intelligence to rise above those mistakes and carry on. She definitely grew as I wrote the book and changed in ways I didn't expect. For example, I initially thought the romance subplot would take a much larger role, then I realized that she wouldn't put a budding relationship ahead of finding her mother, so the romance had to take a backseat to that priority. I think too often we see female characters do stupid, downright reckless things for romance, things that no rational person would consider. Allison cares more about her mother than her new boyfriend (however lovely he is). It's basic, but that's the sort of simple choice that makes you sympathize and understand her. It might be more titillating for her to give up the search to stay and cuddle with Collin, but then you wouldn't like her as much.

4). I enjoyed Allison Hewitt's story so much, please tell me there will be more stories set in this world, because I can't wait! Will there be more stories set in this zombie-infested world?

The sequel, Sadie Walker Is Stranded, is set in the same world, just a few months later after humanity has started rebuilding and fighting back. You'll get to discover a new band of survivors and experience a different era of the infestation.

5). Also, will we ever find out what happened to her mother?

We won't, no, that's up to the reader's imagination. We will get a bit of a follow-up on Collin and Allison, as seen through a new character's eyes.

6). Did you always want to be a writer?

Absolutely! I come from a creative family, and I always knew I'd end up in an artistic field. There's nothing more satisfying than creating a new world or a new character and having someone become invested in that journey.

7). Where can we find you online?

I've got a website at www.madeleine-roux.com, where you can get connected to my Twitter and Facebook fan pages.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. I also look forward to reading more of your books.

Thanks! It's been a real pleasure answering your questions!

Madeleine Roux works in a college bookstore in Beloit, Wisconsin. Allison Hewitt is Trapped is her first novel. She received her BA in Creative Writing and Acting from Beloit College in 2008. In the spring of 2009, Madeleine completed an Honours Term at Beloit College.

Shortly after, she began the experimental fiction blog Allison Hewitt Is Trapped, which quickly spread throughout the blogosphere, bringing a unique serial fiction experience to readers. Born in Minnesota, she now lives and works in Wisconsin where she enjoys the local beer and preparing for the eventual and inevitable zombie apocalypse.


You can read my review of Allison Hewitt Is Trapped here. It's a truly amazing book. Also, if you're a zombie fan like me, you can't miss it!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

THE AURORA TEAGARDEN MYSTERIES #7: Last Scene Alive by Charlaine Harris

A mystery series from the No. 1 bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels.

Lawrenceton, Georgia, was once a small town; now many people see it only as a growing suburb of Atlanta - but it's still a small town at heart, where people wander in and out of each other's homes, and everybody knows everybody's business. Librarian Aurora Teagarden - Roe to her friends - grew up there, and she should know. She's always been interested in the darker side of human nature, ever since her True Crime book club led to a real murder...

This omnibus edition contains the last four novels: Dead Over Heals (book 5); A Fool and his Honey (book 6); Last Scene Alive (book 7 ); Poppy Done to Death (book 8).

**This review will contain spoilers relating to Book #6: A Fool and His Honey***

This series just gets better and better, with each new installment. :)

Roe's had a really tough year. She's been gripped with grief and loneliness after losing her husband, Martin, to a heart attack. The home he purchased for her as a gift--because she instantly fell in love with it--now feels empty and cold. The life she enjoyed is nothing but a struggle now, and everyone keeps bugging her about the movie people who are taking Lawrenceton by storm.

Of course, Roe doesn't want anything to do with it because the movie is actually based on real life events, things that happened to Roe. And the book it's based on happened to be written by an old friend of hers, Robin Crusoe. Robin's return to town brings with it a new lease of life for Roe, a welcome distraction, and a new murder-mystery...

I liked the character of Robin Crusoe way back in the first book, so seeing him back in Roe's life was great. I was very glad to see him again. The chemistry between them is just too strong to keep them apart.

Last Scene Alive is another excellent addition to this already awesome series. I love spending time with Roe, and joining her while she tried to get over the death of her husband and find her way back to her own life was heartwarming. Although, it's not easy and leads to some unexpected dangers along the way.

I loved it, and now I only have one more book left to read. :(

The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Omnibus 2, April 2011, ISBN 9780575096509, Gollancz Paperback

M&SRC books read: 13/12

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

CLAN RATHSKELLER by Kevin Hearne

This is a free short story that takes place ten months before the events of "Hounded", the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, coming 2011 from Del Rey.

This short story is a prequel to HOUNDED, so I was very interested in checking it out. And it didn't disappoint, because for being such a short story it packs quite a powerful punch.

Atticus and Oberon are wandering around Tempe Marketplace when they both notice something is wrong. And what first appears to be an odd situation with a bunch of Santa's elves, soon becomes something very dark and dangerous.

I think it's a great introduction to Atticus (which I'm already intrigued about), Oberon (an awesomely interesting Irish wolfhound), and several other races in this world. It's very well written and drew me right into the heart of the story. It's also action-packed, and now I can't wait to read the first book in this series. Loved it!

H&UFRC books read: 21/24

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Happy New Week!

Well, it's already Tuesday, but it's still pretty new, right? ;)

So. Y'know how I was complaining about the shitty weather last week? On Sunday, the sun finally returned and the temperature was actually quite warm. It was lovely, and we decided to go for a really nice, long walk before the weather decided to change again. Luckily, it stayed all day...

Yet, I can't bring myself to fully trust the weather. I keep waiting for the clouds to close in again and the rain to return. I had good reason to. As soon as I woke up on Monday: bleak sky + rain = another crappy day in Sydney. WTF's going on with this weather? I'm so over it, already. Bring back the sun and let it stay.

Anyway. The weather's not going to stop me from attacking my to-do list. As I mentioned on Saturday, I finished another story. This time it was a novella, just under 35k-long. I also worked on the synopsis yesterday and got it all finished today. I just submitted it. Now, all I can do is keep my fingers crossed.

Of course, there are still a bunch of other things I've got to do and I think I'll be getting another round of edits sometime this week. It's always busy-busy around here, huh? How have you guys been lately?

Have a great week!

DIE FOR ME by Amy Plum

My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.

Suddenly, my sister, Georgia and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.

Mysterious, sexy and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies. . .immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

I was really looking forward to reading this book, and I absolutely love the cover. It's beautiful.

Kate and Georgia have recently moved in with their grandparents in Paris, after their parents died. Both of them are suffering from grief, but deal with it in different ways. While Georgia steps out almost every night with her new friends, Kate chooses to stay inside. All she does is read, and suffer through the ongoing grief. However, one day, she finally decides to step out and spends time at a cafe while reading her favourite books. That's when she meets the mysterious Vincent.

She's instantly drawn to him, and when he approaches her she can't believe it. Still, Vincent's got too many secrets and he's not exactly human. When Kate witnesses exactly what he and his kindred are firsthand, she gets caught up in their dangerous, immortal world...

Kate is very likeable, and her personal strength shines through--even while she's confused, concerned about what's going on, and still missing her parents. 

Die For Me is a very well-written story, with a lush and very scenic Paris. I really enjoyed the location and felt that it added to the overall story a lot. The other characters are also interesting, as well as the concept. Although I have to admit that for some reason, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

Still, it's worth checking out, and it fits nicely in the YA paranormal genre.

Die for Me, May 2011, ISBN 9781907411021, Atom Paperback

Monday, 2 May 2011

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: The Official Illustrated Guide

At long last, the pieces come together. . .in this definitive guide to the international bestselling Twilight Saga.

This must-have edition is the definitive encyclopedic reference to the Twilight Saga and provides readers with everything they need to further explore the unforgettable world Stephenie Meyer created in TWILIGHT, NEW MOON, ECLIPSE, and BREAKING DAWN.

Featuring almost 100 colour pages, The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide includes exclusive new material, character profiles, genealogical charts, maps, extensive cross-references and much more, this comprehensive companion guide is essential for every Twilight Saga fan.

When I received a copy of this in the mail, I have to admit that I was very excited! :) I read the Twilight Saga a few years ago... Okay, maybe I totally consumed the four books, because I got so swept away by the characters, world, and story.

The first thing I need to mention about this Guide is how beautiful it is. It's in hardback and the cover matches the other books. I do like the symbolism in each one of the Saga's installments, and this one is very fitting. The last few pieces of the puzzle. ;)

As soon as I opened the book, the first thing I had to do was go through every single page until I got to the end. All I wanted to do was look at the pretty pictures, skim the contents, and smile at some of the very interesting explanations/additions which were made here. Then, I went back and actually started reading. The very long interview between Shannon Hale and Stephenie Meyer is filled with authorly insights, which I really enjoyed.

There are so many things to read, I know this isn't the type of book where you read it once and file it away. It's the type of reference book you want to look at several times, to refresh your memory, find inspiration, or just re-read certain passages. I love just how much information there is--about the races, covens, tribes, different characters, a timeline, plot points, playlists, and even cars! 

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide is a stunning addition to any Twilight fan's bookshelf. It's visually beautiful, packed full of info, and is very well made. A lot of care went into putting this Guide together, and it shows. It reminds us why we fell in love with the story in the first place, and why these books and characters have become a part of so many people's lives. I loved it, and will continue to love it.

This is a keeper!

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, April 2011, ISBN 9781905654437, Hardback

 
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