Sunday, 30 September 2012

BONE SHOP by T.A. Pratt

Crime boss. Sorcerer. Badass. Eventually.
 
A prequel novel about sorcerer Marla Mason, heroine of a series of novels by T.A. Pratt published by Bantam Spectra from 2007-2009, including Blood Engines, Poison Sleep, Dead Reign, and Spell Games.
Bone Shop explores Marla's early days in the city of Felport and her rise to power. Originally serialized online from June-October 2009, available as an e-book for the first time.


After reading Blood Engines last week, I was looking forward to getting stuck into more Marla Mason stories. I've already ordered the paperbacks of the next three books, but found this prequel for free at the author's website and got hooked right away.

This is an excellent origin story.

It starts when Marla is sixteen and has recently arrived in the city of Felport after escaping a rough childhood. In this city she meets Jenny and they become friends, which soon leads her to the seemingly pervy Artie. But Artie isn't what he seems, and before long Marla gets swept away in a hidden world of magic, sorcerers, and mayhem. It also covers her rise to the top and why she seems so detached when it comes to relationships. Oh, and we find out why she was so close to Lao Tsung, which was very cool!

I found her love story with Daniel touching, and heartbreaking. Not to mention how cool it was to read about when she found the cloak (or did the cloak find her?) and first discovered what it could do when she met a young boy called Rondeau.

Yeah, this is an excellent short novel that just makes me want to read more and more Marla stories. She's an interesting and mysterious character, so it was awesome to read about some of the things that shape the tough woman she becomes.

I loved it!

BTW, if you're interested in checking it out, you can HERE.

Friday, 28 September 2012

THE LOST ART OF WORLD DOMINATION by Derek Landy

A shot of Skulduggery action for free. It isn't easy to take over the world. First you need the scheme. Then you need the muscle. Then you need to come up with a system for ruling six billion people and keeping them fron revolting. It takes a certain kind of man to take over the world. Scaramouch Van Dreg, however, is not that man. But he has one thing going for him. He has his arch enemy, Skulduggery Pleasant, chained in his dungeon, and the only person who is coming to save him is the skeleton detective's 13 year old sidekick. What could possibly go wrong?
 
 
This is a series that I've really fallen behind on, but my daughter's up to the latest book and she keeps telling me to catch up. LOL. So I decided to get back into it with this in-between-the-novels short story.

Scaramouch Van Dreg has Skulduggery Pleasant just where he wants him--chained up inside a dungeon. He's convinced he's the baddest of Pleasant's archenemies, but as he soon finds out... he's way off.

OMG. This shortie was a lot of fun! Really funny. Oh, and every time I read the name Scaramouch, I expected him to do the Fandango. ;)

HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET by Lily Blake

Seeking a fresh start, newly divorced Sarah and her daughter Elissa find the house of their dreams in a small, upscale, rural town. But when startling and unexplainable events begin to happen, Sarah and Elissa learn the town is in the shadows of a chilling secret.
 
Years earlier, in the house next door, a daughter killed her parents in their beds and disappeared - leaving only a brother, Ryan, as the sole survivor.
 
Against Sarah's wishes, Elissa begins a relationship with the reclusive Ryan - and the closer they get, the deeper they're all pulled into a mystery more dangerous than they ever imagined.


A few months ago, I really enjoyed reading Lily Blake's Snow White & The Huntsman so I was looking forward to getting stuck into this book.

Elissa Cassidy and her mother Sarah have moved to a new place away from the pressures of the city. Their new house is pretty big for the two of them and the only reason they can afford it is because the house across the way has a horrible history attached to it. The teenage girl who lived there was brain damaged and killed her parents. No one knows exactly what happened to Carrie Anne that night, but her disappearance has become a local urban legend.

Now, Carrie Anne's brother Ryan lives in the house all by himself and is ostracized from the community because of his family's dark legacy.

Elissa doesn't like the way the stuck up neighbours dismiss the poor guy because of something he had no control over. Especially when she finally meets him the night the 'cool kids' turn out to be anything but. In spite of her mother's objections she slowly develops a friendship with Ryan, who seems rather shy and sweet. Even if he does act a little strange sometimes and confuses the hell out of Elissa with his mood swings.

As Elissa and Ryan get closer, she starts to uncover the awful and very dark secret at the heart of the Jacobsen house. Something that will change her life forever...

I was hooked instantly, so engrossed that I didn't want to put it down. It's very well written, the characters are interesting, and it's got quite a few messed up surprises. But what I enjoyed the most was the heart of the story--the troubled relationship between mother and daughter.

Elissa's a strong and stubborn teenager determined not to be prejudice and very much determined to be rebellious, which gets her into a whole lot of trouble. She's also still suffering from the effects of her father walking out on them and never looking back. Sarah's a mother struggling with finding herself while also raising a daughter after making a bunch of mistakes along the way. They both want the same thing but neither seems to know how to get there, and I enjoyed their separate journeys coming together in their darkest hour.

House at the End of the Street is a super creepy story with a killer twist. It's quite the page-turner and keeps the reader guessing. It's a great thriller, sprinkled with a good dose of horror-filled tension.

I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to see the movie!

The House at the End of the Street, October 2012, ISBN 9781907411991, Atom

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The internet's finally back!!

OMG. I can't believe it's back.
 
We've had a HUGE problem with our internet connection since early last Friday morning. We woke up, hubby noticed it wasn't working and it didn't come back until yesterday. That's 6 DAYS! Yep, 6 days without home internet access is enough to piss anyone off. Severely. :/
 
I have to say that the worst thing about it was the awful experience we had with our internet provider. In case you're wondering, we're with Telstra and their customer service is shockingly bad. I mean, I called them on the Friday morning, when the problem first happened, and got no answers. They even promised to call me back and didn't even log that on their system. On that day we ended up calling about 4 times and eventually found out there was an outage in our area. No one had answers about anything, though.
 
Then on Saturday night I found out the outage had been fixed--because I was complaining about the probs we were having on Twitter and someone decided to respond--but surprise, surprise our internet still wasn't back. By this stage, we were feeling like Loki's pic. It wasn't until Sunday that they FINALLY organised for a technician to come over--on Tuesday. Fast forward to Tuesday--which BTW was our 13th Wedding Anniversary--and the technician comes over and still can't fix the problem. So he had to organise for someone else to check it out at street level, or whatever.
 
He said this would take another 2 days!
 
By this stage I'd given up all hope of getting any sort of connection back by the weekend because it was very obvious that this company has no fucking idea about what they're doing. But when hubby got home from work last night and took a look at the modem--ta-da, it was miraculously working.

Once again, another WTF? moment.
 
So, the internet is back. Finally.
 
And what did I learn from this experience? Well, a few things:
 
  • Telstra is hopeless and has no sense of customer service,
  • Trying to get any answers proved that outsourcing call centres overseas does NOT work,
  • Telstra is hopeless and doesn't care about its customers,
  • No one should mess with our internet connection EVER, and
  • Our smartphones--Samsung Galaxy Note (mine), Samsung Galaxy S3 (hubby)--are lifesavers.
 
I'm terribly disappointed with the way we were treated by Telstra/BigPond. No one had answers, they didn't want to accept responsibility, and just didn't seem to care. I know we're just one customer out of millions, but I think every single account deserves care and attention when something goes wrong. The error was on their end yet the only advice they had was "reboot your modem". The problem had nothing to do with the modem and everything to do with whatever the hell happened in our area last Friday.
 
Although the internet's back and I've spent most of today trying to catch up on things, I'm still very angry about the shitty experience. We plan to let them know.

But anyway. Enough about the horrid ordeal.

Other things have happened too...

My daughter got home from her school camp in the snow last Friday night. She arrived exhausted and sick--both of the homesick variety and the physical kind. It took her several days to recover from the sheer exhaustion and she's feeling a lot better now. I'm glad she's got this week and next week off school. Think she needs the time to take a breather.

It's good to have her home. We really missed her.

Oh, and I reached the end of Sierra Fox #3 on Monday. The final stats were: 95,123w/243pgs. So the third draft is now done. There's just one thing left for me to do, and that's read it on my phone to make sure there are no last-minute typos. Plus I need to write a synopsis. Okay, that's two things. But I don't think I'll be tackling them this week.

I also have a new Samsung laptop. It's awesome. Shiny, too. But I'll talk more about that another day, because I think this catch-up post is long enough. ;)

See ya later!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

BLOOD ENGINES by T.A. Pratt

Meet Marla Mason–smart, saucy, slightly wicked witch of the East Coast.…
Sorcerer Marla Mason, small-time guardian of the city of Felport, has a big problem. A rival is preparing a powerful spell that could end Marla’s life–and, even worse, wreck her city. Marla’s only chance of survival is to boost her powers with the Cornerstone, a magical artifact hidden somewhere in San Francisco. But when she arrives there, Marla finds that the quest isn’t going to be quite as cut-and-dried as she expected…and that some of the people she needs to talk to are dead. It seems that San Francisco’s top sorcerers are having troubles of their own–a mysterious assailant has the city’s magical community in a panic, and the local talent is being (gruesomely) picked off one by one.

With her partner-in-crime, Rondeau, Marla is soon racing against time through San Francisco’s alien streets, dodging poisonous frogs, murderous hummingbirds, cannibals, and a nasty vibe from the local witchery, who suspect that Marla herself may be behind the recent murders. And if Marla doesn’t figure out who is killing the city’s finest in time, she’ll be in danger of becoming a magical statistic herself...
 
 
The other day while looking through my PDFs, I found this book. I remember getting this copy a while ago and now that I have my Samsung Galaxy Note, I decided to check it out... and I was hooked instantly.

Marla Mason is a kick-ass sorcerer who runs the city of Felport. But someone wants her dead and the only way she can save herself is by going to San Francisco to find the Cornerstone, which is the only thing that will strengthen her counter spell.

So she finds herself in a place she doesn't even like. Luckily her assistant Rondeau knows all about San Fran.

However, as soon as they get there, Marla starts making enemies. And before too long finds herself trying to save a city that isn't hers from an Aztec threat, because it's also the only way she can save her own life...

I absolutely LOVED this book. It's action-packed, filled with weird and wonderful sorcery, ancient scary threats, a unique magic world, and awesome characters. It was wicked fun!

Marla's an intriguing heroine with an attitude, and I loved her. The secondary characters were also very cool.

Can't wait to read more of Marla's books!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Revision...

Yep. I've been working on the third draft of Sierra Fox #3 this week. That's why I haven't blogged. I just haven't had the time to do it. O_o
 
So, today I decided to squeeze in a blog post before getting stuck into the revision. Once I get started, I get lost in it and only take breaks to check on Twitter, eat, etc.
 
At the moment I've hit page 101/240, which means I'm a little behind on my personal daily goals. I seem to be doing that a lot lately, lol. This year has been a bit of a bitch, I tell ya. ;) Anyway, the goal today is to get as close as I can to page 200. Fingers crossed.
 
My daughter is actually away on a school camp at the moment, so that means I have a lot more time to devote to this revision. But I have to tell you, it's SO strange not having her home. It feels like something's missing. Even the kitty seems upset. I just hope she's having an awesome time in the snow. We don't get snow here in Sydney, so you gotta go out of your way to see it.
 
That's pretty much all that's been going on. Well, except for hubby and I going on a few dinner dates. Which is super cool. Spending time with him always is. 
 
Okay, I have to get to work now. 
 
Have a great day! 
 

Friday, 14 September 2012

Why so serious?

Yeah, that's the question I'd love to ask Loki. He looks so serious in this picture, doesn't he? Maybe it's because my daughter forced him to pose with a Care Bear. ;) LMAO.
 
Anyway, TGIF!

This has been one strange week. Now that I think about it, 2012 has been a very strange and kinda bittersweet year so far. There have been some good things, some awesome things, and some not-so-great stuff too. It's also been a mixed bag of something-something as far as my writing goes. O_o
 
Like I mentioned the other day, this week was all about taking it easy and catching up on some smaller jobs I had listed on my current to-do list. I did get most things done, but there's one pesky thing I haven't tackled yet and keep procrastinating on: my newsletter. I've been meaning to send one out for ages, but something always comes up. And even this week, when I had the time, I just couldn't go back there. Strange, huh?
 
I think I just need to overhaul it. Get excited about it again. Maybe it's just the lack of writing news and being in a state of limbo that keeps me from sending anything out. Not sure yet, but I'll get there. Someday soon. But it won't be next week. Next week, I'm going to tackle the third/final draft of Sierra Fox #3. The story's written, revised, and very close to done... but I need to add/tweak a few final things before I can really call it done. I would love to have it done & done by the end of this month, so I can concentrate on planning for the fourth (and penultimate) book in the series.
 
Can't remember if I mentioned it here yet, but I would love to write the first draft of SF#4 during NaNoWriMo. :D Fingers crossed.
 
Well, I'm really looking forward to another weekend with hubby, daughter & kitty. We've gotta buy a few last minute things for my daughter (she's going on a school camp next week, and the school keeps adding stuff to what they need) but I'm determined to have a great few days!
 
Have a great weekend...

Thursday, 13 September 2012

IN THE DEAD: Volume 1 by Jesse Petersen

When the Zombie Apocalypse began in Seattle and spread within days to almost the entire western half the country, the survivors had to figure out how to deal with the plague and live one day at a time. These are their stories.

If you liked Jesse Petersen's zombie comedies
Married With Zombies, Flip This Zombie and Eat Slay Love, these nine stories are set in the same world, but from the perspective of other survivors.


This is a spin-off anthology of short stories set in the same (zombie-infested) world as the Living with the Dead Trilogy, so I was eager to read it...

These are the stories:

BONEWRECKER 2: Zander is so busy playing his brand new game that the zombie apocalypse hits and he doesn't even realise it. Actually, the only reason he notices is because he can't log online to play against other gamers. LMAO. I love the concept!
 
Yeah, this was a fun, little story about a trio of unlikely survivors trying to get out of their apartment block before the bad things that happens to most characters in zombie games and movies, doesn't happen to them. Cool.


COMPANY'S HERE: Wow. This was an interesting and heartbreaking story about a couple who are on the run from real life problems and are living in a holiday cottage by the sea. Except, the day someone decides to drop in, it happens to be a zombie.

I really enjoyed Nadia and Randy's story, even though it's very sad. :(


THE TREEHOUSE: Brings two unlikely companions together and on the road, travelling through the US. Though when Robin and Carl find a feral child, they pick up another travelling companion.

PROPERTY LINES: OMG. This story cracked me up! Two neighbours who are constantly fighting over their property lines wind up having to work together in order to survive the sudden zombie apocalypse. This was a good one.

'TIL DEATH: This turned out to be a really cute story.

I CALL IT LOST WAGES: What a clever title! Two unlikely companions are travelling the country in search of a safe place to live, instead they wind up finding a bunch of kids with no real instincts in survival.

THEY'RE THE LIONS NOW: This one's a bit of a futuristic tale because it actually takes place after the Outbreak has been contained and a pair of zombies are the latest exhibit in the zoo. Two brothers go along to check them out, and instead wind up running for their lives.

What I loved about this story was the human stupidity of it all. It's just like humans to think they can spend a fortune acquiring two zombies to make money off them, and not think there'll ever be any danger of infection. Unbelievably stupid, yet I could see it happening. People can be so stupid, sometimes.

MR. McGYVER: Nice story about two very young, but brave sisters surviving in the new landscape of a post-apocalyptic world. The day they cross paths with 'Mr. McGyver', their life changes a lot more than they thought it would.

REALITY BITES: This is an effed up story about a zombie-style reality show. It captures all the worst bits of reality TV, that's for sure. :/


Overall, they were a great bunch of short stories. Some were better than others, but they were all a lot of fun and expanded on the frightening zombie world that Jesse Petersen introduced us to in the Living with the Dead Trilogy.

Though I have to admit that there was one thing missing... no, two things: Sarah and David. ;)

(It did have a few typos here and there, but it certainly didn't distract me from any of the stories.)  

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

THE EDGE OF NOWHERE by Elizabeth George

The first novel in Elizabeth George's Young Adult series. This genre-bending work combines Elizabeth's flair for mystery and suspense with the paranormal.
 
Becca King and her mother are on the run from her stepfather who has used Becca's talent for hearing 'whispers' to make a large and illegal sum of money. Now their options for safety are running out. In the town of Langley on Whidbey Island, Becca finds refuge in the home of her mother's childhood friend while her mother continues on to Canada in search of safety.
 
But on her first day in town Becca meets sixteen years old Derric Nyombe Matheson a Ugandan orphan who was adopted as a ten-year-old by the town's Deputy Sheriff. Derric has a secret that no one on Whidbey Island knows. Derric and Becca form an un-severable bond. Becca is convinced that she's the only person who can truly help him, and just maybe Derric can convince Becca that life is too short to live on the run.
 
 
When I received this book for review, I hadn't heard of it. I knew nothing about it, but the blurb sounded interesting so I decided to read the Prologue. Before I realised it, I'd reached the end of Chapter Two, and was totally intrigued. Plus I couldn't wait to keep reading. 
 
Becca King--this isn't her real name--is on the run from her stepfather. A man who has been using her unusual gift, of being able to hear other people's whispers, to his business advantage. But when she hears that he murdered his business partner, her mother finally decides to do something about keeping her daughter safe. The idea is to get her daughter to Whidbey Island, so Becca can stay with an old childhood friend of hers before she can find another, safer place for them both to live and never be found.
 
It sounds simple enough, but things start going wrong for Becca as soon as she gets on the ferry and she makes an instant enemy. Then she finds out that something awful happened to the woman who was supposed to help her. So her first night turns into a total nightmare, and she has nowhere to go. However, when she runs into Seth, a guy who points her in the right direction, she meets a woman called Debbie, which leads her to a place to live as well as someone who helps her enrol into school.

She also meets Derric, an all round good guy and athlete who happens to have an instant connection with her. However, the day Derric's involved in an accident in Saratoga Woods everything turns upside down because Becca is the one who finds him and places an anonymous call to 911 on the cell phone her mother left her. Derric ends up in a coma and since his adoptive father is the Deputy Sheriff, a serious investigation begins. One that puts Seth and Becca in the thick of suspicion...

The story is told in the POV of Becca, Seth, and Seth's ex-girlfriend, Hayley. Everyone seems to have a deep, dark secret on this island, which makes it very easy for the characters to start doubting each other. I loved how most of them misunderstood each other and allowed their personal insecurities to cloud their vision, as well as project things that weren't really there in others. I also really felt for Becca, as she tries her hardest to keep her head down and remain anonymous but instead gets herself into deeper trouble without intention.

The Edge of Nowhere is an absolute page-turner. An interesting and well written story about a young girl who suffers greatly with the troubling gift--or curse--she inherited, of being able to hear other people's thoughts. It's also a very emotional story, where every single character has a purpose and you feel their emotional scars and pain. Not to mention the mystery at the heart of it all, as everyone struggles to find out what really happened to Derric. Or the paranomal touch to everything.

I really enjoyed this excellent story, and the ending was... wow! What's going to happen next? Can't wait to find out.

 The Edge of Nowhere, September 2012, ISBN 9781444719949, H&S Fiction 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Sunny Spring

I love this picture of Loki. I took it several weeks ago, and I love the look on his face. What a cutie! ;)

So. Another weekend is over. Boo! We had two awesome days. Got out for a little while on Saturday, went for some nice, long walks both days, hung out, ate some yummy meals, and even slept in yesterday. Yeah, it was a great weekend. Of course, not long enough because there were other things we wanted to do but didn't.
 
Maybe next weekend.
 
I originally planned to spend this week working on the third (and final) draft of Sierra Fox #3, but changed my mind. Last week was pretty packed with things to do, so I decided to take a break this week. I'll be working on a variety of smaller things I have on my to-do list, as well as catching up on some reading, and spending time getting to know my Galaxy Note better. LOL. Nothing too involved.
 
But next week, it's time to finish that book! :) And to be honest, it's probably a better time to do it. My daughter goes away on a school camp next week--from Wednesday to Friday--so I'll have some extra time to myself while hubby's at work. Time that I can easily use on Sierra & Co. It'll also help keep me focused on work, rather than how much I'll miss my daughter while she's gone. This is her first camp. Actually, her first time away (overnight) from home. :/
 
After that, she has two weeks off. Yeah, school holidays are once again around the corner. They sure come fast, don't they?
 
Well, that's about it for now. I'm hoping that this beautiful spring weather continues all week. It's been a lovely start to the new season, which makes me very happy. :D
 
Have a good one!

Friday, 7 September 2012

TGIF!

This has been a really strange week, so I'm kinda glad it's slowly coming to an end.
 
I spent the beginning of the week finishing up the print galley for SPLIT AT THE SEAMS. I got to the end on Monday afternoon, but didn't send my corrections sheet back until Tuesday. I like to go through it one last time before sending it off. After all, this was my last chance to change anything that was wrong/bugging me. ;)
 
I'm rather happy with it now. I'm also really looking forward to seeing the finished print books. The first two books in Sierra's series are both out in print next year. Awesome!

The next two days were filled with real life stuff. I had my daughter home with me for a few days, and yesterday we had new carpet installed in our block. So, busy-busy, and I didn't really achieve much. Though I did add a bunch of important character info to my Sierra Fox Series Bible.
 
And today, well, my daughter might be back at school but I don't think I'll get much done. I do want to take a few notes about the third/fourth Sierra books... but other than that, not much else planned.
 
As you can probably tell, I've been reading a bunch of short stories and novellas during the last week. Since I got my (awesome) Samsung Galaxy Note last week, I can't stop checking it out. It's fantastic! I absolutely love it. And after I got my hands on the Android Kindle app, I've been reading short stories and anthologies on it. It's so darn cool. And it's come in handy because I'm in between books at the moment and haven't decided what to get stuck into next, which makes shorties that much more appealing. LOL.
 
Well, I gotta go. It's almost lunchtime and I've got a Charmed episode to watch.
 
Have a great weekend!
 
 
*In case you were wondering, today's pic is of one of my daughter's Bitty Buttons dolls. Very cute book worm, huh? ;)

DEATH'S AVATAR by S.M. Reine

For five years, Elise Kavanagh and James Faulkner have policed relations between Heaven, Hell, and Earth with blood and blade. They're notorious as heroes and killers--the greatest demon hunting team in history. But they're getting tired of fighting.

Now a Goddess of Death is driving the world toward destruction. When her doomsday clock reaches twelve, the barriers between Hell and Earth will be ripped away and bring humanity to extinction.

The clock just struck nine. The world is running out of time.


I've got the first book in this series on my Kindle, but decided it would be awesome to start the series by reading the prequel novella. And I'm glad I did.

Elise and James are a tough demon hunting team, but they're starting to get a little tired of all the constant fighting. However, when the doomsday clock starts ticking, they have to fight against a multitude of demons, as well as time. Otherwise, the world as we know it will pretty much come to an end...

Wow. This was an excellent introduction to Elise, James, and the dangerous world they live in. It's also a great addition to the urban fantasy genre. I loved the concept, characters, story... all of it! It was action-packed, violent, interesting and a lot of fun.

Looking forward to reading Death's Hand.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

THE BOY IN THE LOT by Ronald Malfi

Fear lives in Stillwater.

Eleven-year-old Mark Davis wasn’t happy at all that his family was moving to the small town of Stillwater. He worried that he’d miss his old friends and not be able to make new ones. But he’ll soon learn that was the least of his worries. Something deadly is waiting to welcome him to town.

Enjoy this chilling, short companion piece to Ronald Malfi’s new novel to get just a hint of the terrors that await you—and the residents of Stillwater—in The Narrows!
 
 
 
I just finished reading this shortie on my Samsung Galaxy Note. It's another freebie from Samhain.

Mark doesn't want to move away from his friends, but his father got a new job in another state and he's got no other choice but to accept it. But when his parents stop for the night in a crappy motel, something really horrible is waiting for him outside...

This was another well written short story, with that old-style horror feeling.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

BLOODED: A Jessica McClain Novella by Amanda Carlson

Jessica McClain was born the only female in an all male race. The only problem is-she's no wolf. Called a curse, a witch and the Daughter of Evil by the superstitious wolves, Jessica decides to fight for her freedom, at age nineteen, the only way she can-in the ring.



When she's brutally attacked right after her fight, is it enough to finally earn her freedom off Compound, or will she be forced to endure the hatred even longer . . .


I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the Jessica McClain series, but I wanted to read the prequel first. And, wow, what an introduction to this character.
 
The story starts with Jessica fighting a man who is way bigger and stronger than her. He also happens to be a werewolf, and although he's beating the crap out of her, she still doesn't give up. She's a bit of a smartass and refuses to stay down. So I pretty much liked her right away.
 
When her father stops the potentially lethal fight, the story really opens up. It turns out that Jessica lives in a compound filled with wolves, and her father's their leader. Still, that hasn't stopped most of the wolves from hating, baiting, and attacking her any chance they get. She also has a twin brother. She seems to be an anomaly--the only female born in a male race. And most of them hate her for it, and believe she's evil.
 
All she wants to do is leave the compound with her father's blessing, but he doesn't want to let her go. And if he doesn't, he might end up losing her anyway...
 
This was an excellent prequel novella. It packs quite a punch. There's so much action, but we still get to find out a lot about Jessica, her family, and the dangerous world she lives in. The men who hate her are shockingly brutal and violent. While the few who care about her are gentle and honest.
 
Yeah, I'm already a fan and can't wait to get my hands on the first book! 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

PAINLESS (A Theo Kane Story) by Naomi Clark

Theo Kane is a professional thief with an unique talent - she doesn't feel pain. Usually that's enough to give her the edge she needs to get any job done. But her latest job has her out of her depth and fighting for her life. Caught between two dangerous - and angry - crime bosses, Theo is racing against time to save her skin. Just because she doesn't feel pain, doesn't mean she can't be hurt.
 
 
This is another story I read on my Samsung Galaxy Note, and it was an excellent one! I was hooked into this world from the very beginning and liked Theo instantly.

The story starts with a bang, or should I say a smack? Seriously, Theo might not be able to feel pain but her body is still hurt by whatever injury is inflicted on her. And there are quite a few bashings. The poor girl doesn't get a break, after she's tricked several times in one week.

I loved the concept of the Launen and the ghetto they live in. The Launen are "telepaths, empaths, and other freaks..." which was intriguing. I thought this was a great self-contained short story and would totally love to read a longer piece featuring Theo Kane. :)

THE NIGHT EVERYTHING CHANGED by Kristopher Rufty

No one would ever forget the night the carnival came to town.

Vincent Carlson used to have a good life. He lived on a small farm in Doverton, Wisconsin, with his loving teenage daughter, Leanne. His biggest worries were tending his corn crop and being a good dad to Leanne. But that was before the seedy little carnival came to town, bringing with them the tiny humanoid creatures called “Haunchies”. For Vincent Carlson—and the whole town of Doverton—that was the night everything changed.
 
 
Since I got my Samsung Galaxy Note last week, and added the Android Kindle app, I've been loading a bunch of my shorter stories and anthologies to it. And it's quite handy.

This is the latest story I read, which was a freebie from Samhain. It's quite a creepy tale about a man who is waiting for his teenage daughter to come home from the carnival, and instead finds his house invaded by some very scary, little guys.

It's a shortie, but very well written. The tension was pretty thick too, and it's darn spooky at times. I also liked the old-style horror feeling it had to it.

AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES, Volume 1 by Rhiannon Frater

THE FIRST DAYS: AS THE WORLD DIES introduced Jenni and Katie and their harrowing journey to the makeshift fort in the Texas Hill Country.
But theirs is not the only tale to be told.

In the first volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.

Deep in the Texas Hill Country, a man and his little dog takes refuge in a bed and breakfast located in the hills above a doomed town where an infested rescue center might unleash the hungry undead…

On a deserted highway slicing through the desolation of West Texas, a woman struggles to survive as she faces the horrifying aftermath of the rise of the zombies…

And finally, discover what happens on the first day to Katie’s beloved wife, Lydia, as the world dies…
 
 
I've read the AS THE WORLD DIES TRILOGY and absolutely loved it. I bought the two short story collections set in the same world--for my Kindle--because I wanted to know more about some of the supporting characters. I also wanted to try out my new Samsung Galaxy Note. :)

This is the first Volume:

The Broken Heart: The title of this story pretty much sums up how sad this tale is. I mean, it's about Lydia--Katie's wife--so right away we know that it's not going to end well. Still, it was nice to see them interacting together, and to finally see how/what happened to her that horrible morning shortly after Katie left to go to work.

Very sad, but also very well written.


Dangerous Highways: Yeah, another story where the title is perfect! This one's about Monica--Juan's cousin--and how she gets away from the undead. When the truck she's driving runs out of petrol, she has to siphon some, and in the process comes face to face with just how dangerous and insane the world has become. It's not just the zombies that are a real threat...

I enjoyed it!


The Vacation of the Undead: This happens to be the longest story in the collection, and centers around Eric and his dog Pepe. The weekend he decides to go away with his girlfriend and intends to pop the question, also happens to be when the world goes to hell.

I loved this story because it gave me an insight into not just what Eric went through after the zombies started to appear, but it also showed a different angle and shed some light on the fact that this was happening all over the world. I also got a kick out of finding out just how Stacey and Eric meet, because in the trilogy they're pretty tight from the beginning. Oh, and Pepe. He's such a cutie!

This was an excellent, and very tense story. I was on the edge of my seat most of the way. (It did have a few typos here and there, but it certainly didn't distract me from the story.)

I love me some zombies!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Hey, it's spring, right??

<---Isn't she cute? This is a Lego Girl that my daughter made not long ago. I love it. So darn cute.
 
OMG. Can you believe it's September already? Well, it is. And I have to admit that I'm excited because it means that we've officially left winter behind. Yay. Bring on spring, I say. ;)
 
As you can tell, I haven't blogged for a while because I spent every available moment I've had during the last week on the print galley for SatS. I actually finished reading it a few hours ago. Phew. And I'm not done yet. I'm going to put the corrections sheet aside until tomorrow morning. I like to have a little extra time to go through it, to make sure no other changes need to be added because once I send this off, there's no going back. LOL.
 
I was disappointed about some of the things I found during the proofread. Things I wish hadn't been missed, but at least I found them now. I'm still very excited about this story and the series, and can't wait to see these books in print. Awesome!
 
So, did you have a good weekend? We did. It was so much fun that I had trouble sleeping last night. Maybe--possibly--because I didn't want Monday to come just yet. Still, we started the week off pretty well, with a yoga workout.
 
That's it for today, I guess. Going to take it easy for the next hour, before it's time to pick my daughter up from school. See ya tomorrow!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

SUPERNATURALLY by Kiersten White

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be...kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.
 
 
I absolutely loved the first book in this series, so I was very excited about this one.

Evie is finally living her dream--an ordinary life. While her boyfriend, Lend, is attending college, she's going to high school and working in a diner frequented by an array of paranormal creatures. But living a normal life isn't exactly how she imagined it. She spends most of her week looking forward to the weekend so she can be with Lend, and school can sure be boring.

However, when paranormal trouble finds her and Raquel re-appears in her life asking her to help out the IPCA on a few missions, she agrees. Even if Lend doesn't like it, or her new partner--the mysterious and very cheeky Jack. Now she's keeping secrets from her boyfriend, avoiding her vampire roommate, and getting herself into all sorts of trouble.

All Evie's ever wanted was to belong, to know of her origins... but sometimes, finding out the truth can be worse than not knowing.

This was another awesome book, and an excellent sequel. I still love Evie's voice, and still think Lend and her are perfect together. I can't wait to see how this trilogy ends...

 
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