Wednesday 31 December 2014

Books Read in 2014...

HIDDEN (Firelight #3): Sophie Jordan

GENERATION V (Generation V #1): ML Brennan

QUICKSILVER (Ultraviolet #2): RJ Anderson

TRUTH (XVI #2): Julia Karr

BITTER SPIRITS (Roaring Twenties #1): Jenn Bennett

GONE GIRL: Gillian Flynn

VENGEANCE (Fracture #2): Megan Miranda

DOLL BONES: Holly Black

SANDMAN: The Dream Hunter: Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell

THE TWIN'S DAUGHTER: Lauren Baratz-Logsted

DEADLY STORM (Derrick Storm #1): Richard Castle

AGE OF DESIRE: P. Craig Russell & Timothy Bradstreet (Clive Barker)

WRITTEN IN RED (The Others #1): Anne Bishop

HEAT WAVE (Nikki Heat #1): Richard Castle

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #116: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #117: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #118: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #119: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #120: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #121: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #122: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
DEAD AND BURIED (The Murder Notebooks #4): Anne Cassidy



BLOOD ORANGES: Kathleen Tierney

MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD (Midnight, Texas #1): Charlaine Harris

WOLF STRAP: Naomi Clark

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: Tomorrow's Avengers: Brian Michael Bendis

CURED (Stung #2): Bethany Wiggins


FAIRIES IN MY FIREPLACE (Monster Haven #3): RL Naquin

WHAT ZOEY DOESN'T KNOW (Monster Haven Short Story #3.5): RL Naquin

TAKE BACK THE SKIES (Take Back the Skies #1): Lucy Saxon

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #123: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #124: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #125: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #126: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

MURDER OF CROWS (The Others #2): Anne Bishop

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (Free Comic Book Day): Brian Michael

ROCKET RACCOON (Free Comic Book Day): Joe Caramagna



GALILEE: Clive Barker

CHASING STARS (After Eden #2): Helen Douglas

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #127: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

APPLE AND RAIN: Sarah Crossan

TO HAVE: Alessandra Torre

TOP SECRET TWENTY-ONE (Stephanie Plum #21): Janet Evanovich

PROS AND CONS (Fox & O'Hare #0.5): Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg


Mr. MERCEDES: Stephen King

EASY (Contours of the Heart #1): Tammara Webber

A STITCH ON TIME (Sierra Fox #5): Yolanda Sfetsos

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #128: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn



THE SILKWORM (Cormoran Strike #2): Robert Galbraith

VISIONS (Cainsville #2): Kelley Armstrong

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #129: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

THE WALKING DEAD Issue #130: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn


WICKEDLY MAGICAL (Baba Yaga #0.5): Deborah Blake

CAPTURED (Fallen Siren #0.5): SJ Harper

HEIR OF FIRE (Throne of Glass #3): Sarah J Maas 
THE GRAVEYARD BOOK (Graphic Novel, Vol. 1): Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell & More 

ETCHED IN SILVER (Otherworld #0.5): Yasmine Galenorn

SAY HER NAME: James Dawson
THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE (The Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5): Sarah J Maas
THE ASSASSIN AND THE HEALER: (The Throne of Glass #0.2): Sarah J Maas
THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT: (The Throne of Glass #0.3): Sarah J Maas
THE ASSASSIN AND THE CAPTAIN (The Throne of Glass short story): Sarah J Maas
THE ASSASSIN AND THE PRINCESS (The Throne of Glass short story): Sarah J Maas 
THE WITCH OF DUVA (The Grisha #0.5): Leigh Bardugo
MAD MAUDLIN: Marie Brennan
THE TOO-CLEVER FOX: (The Grisha #2.5): Leigh Bardugo
LITTLE KNIFE: (The Grisha #2.6): Leigh Bardugo
HEIR TO THE EMPIRE (The Thrawn Trilogy #1): Timothy Zahn
*HEIR TO THE EMPIRE (The Thrawn Trilogy Graphic Novel #1): Mike Baron, Olivier Vatine, Fred Blanchard, Isabelle Rabarot, Mathieu Lauffray
SAM'S STORY (Morganville Vampires Extras): Rachel Caine

LUNCH DATE (Morganville Vampires Extras): Rachel Caine
MYRNIN'S TALE (Morganville Vampires Extras): Rachel Caine
AMELIE'S STORY (Morganville Vampires Extras): Rachel Caine
THE GRAVEYARD BOOK (Graphic Novel, Vol. 2): Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell & More
THE GOETIA: The Lesser Key of Solomon the King: Aleister Crowley & S.L. MacGregor Mathers  
DARK FORCE RISING (The Thrawn Trilogy #2): Timothy Zahn
*DARK FORCE RISING  (The Thrawn Trilogy Graphic Novel #2): Mike Baron, Michael A Stackpole, Kevin Nowlan, Terry Dodson
SELFIES: Lavie Tidhar 
BRISK MONEY (LA Trilogy #0.5): Adam Christopher
 SWINGERS: Robert Reed
CEMETERY GIRL: The Pretenders (Cemetery Girl Trilogy #1): Charlaine Harris & Christopher Golden
THIS IS NOT A TEST: Courtney Summers
THE FARM (The Farm #1): Emily McKay
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (Volume 1: Cosmic Avengers): Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven, Sara Pichelli
CONJURED: Sarah Beth Durst
SWEET DAMAGE: Rebecca James
*/**RAGS & BONES (New Twists on Timeless Tales Anthology): Edited by Melissa Marr & Tim Pratt    
MADE FOR YOU: Melissa Marr  
THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE: Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell 
THE VINES: Christopher Rice
NEXT OF KIN (A John Cleaver Novella): Dan Wells
BIRD BOX: Josh Malerman
THE 100 SOCIETY: Carla Spradbery
HANSEL & GRETEL: Neil Gaiman & Lorenzo Mattotti
ELEANOR & PARK: Rainbow Rowell
REVIVAL: Stephen King
THE WALKING DEAD Issue #131: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
THE WALKING DEAD Issue #132: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
THE WALKING DEAD Issue #133: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
THE 99th BRIDE: Catherine F King
HORRORSTÖR: Grady Hendrix
THE LAST COMMAND (The Thrawn Trilogy #3): Timothy Zahn
*THE LAST COMMAND (The Thrawn Trilogy Graphic Novel #3): Mike Baron, Eric Shanower & Edvin Biuković
DEAD BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni LP Kelner
PORPHYRIA'S LOVER: Robert Browning
ANYWAY: ANGIE (A Bone Street Rumba Short Story):
SKIN LIKE PORCELAIN DEATH (A Bone Street Rumba Short Story):
THE WALKING DEAD Issue #134: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
THE WALKING DEAD Issue #135: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
2014 Reading Challenge
Books Read in 2014: 137/100
:: Re-read
*Some skimming involved

Sunday 28 December 2014

DEAD BY NOT FORGOTTEN edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni LP Kelner

A fantastic new anthology of tales told in the Sookie Stackhouse universe, to unite all fans of paranormal romance everywhere!
Charlaine Harris' smash-hit Sookie Stackhouse series may have reached its conclusion, but the world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, lives on in this all-new collection of 15 stories. Written by a killer line up of authors, including New York Times bestseller Seanan McGuire New York Times bestseller MaryJanice Davidson An introduction by Charlaine Harris herself! 

 DEAD BUT NOT FORGOTTEN puts your favourite characters, written by some of your favourite authors, centre stage.

I loved the Sookie Stackhouse series, so when I heard about this anthology I was definitely interested in checking it out...
"Nobody’s Business” by Rachel Caine (featuring Kevin Pryor & Kenya Jones)

Interesting story about Kevin and Kenya--cops who are partners, and have a bit of a thing going. Well, not initially because there are several obstacles in their way. But this gives us a glimpse into their connection, work ethic, and we get to visit a different vampire club.

It's full of action, has a police chase, creepy vampires, an even creepier human, is well written and very entertaining.

Rachel Caine sure knows how to write a story!
Tyger, Tyger” by Christopher Golden (featuring Quinn)

Quinn the weretiger was one of my favourite characters in this series. I enjoyed reading about his time with Sookie and felt sad when they broke up. But the reason was his family, and this story once again shows how much his mother and sister mean to him. Not to mention his girlfriend and son.

When Quinn gets the runaround from the nursing home his mother is staying in, he decides to drop in. And what he finds leads to his imprisonment and making the hardest decision of his life.

I loved this story! The humans and their despicable ambitions bring the beast out of Quinn. Great story.
The Real Santa Claus” by Leigh Perry (featuring Diantha)

I loved this story! Not just because I always liked and was curious about Diantha and her uncle, Mr. Cataliades, but also because we catch a glimpse of Sookie & Sam several years after the series is over.

Also, it's a fun Christmas tale that's full of mischief and mystery. Perfect for this time of year. 

Taproot” by Jeffrey J. Mariotte (featuring Andy Bellefleur)

Now this was a story I wasn't sure I would enjoy. Andy Bellefleur isn't the most exciting character in the Sookieverse, and I'd never read anything from this author. But... I loved it!

This actually takes part shortly after Lafayette is murdered and dumped in Andy's car. Some reality TV show people take over Merlotte's, but Sam can't remember signing a contract. 

As it turns out, the one girl who broke Andy's heart back on high school is one of the crew, and she might be back to hurt him a little bit more... 

Knit a Sweater Out of Sky” by Seanan McGuire (featuring Amelia)

Well, this turned out to be a fun but dangerous witchy tale! 

It all starts in Amelia and Bob's apartment. Amelia is testing her ability by growing a cherry tree, and the results lead to pie. LOL. But when she goes to the river with the intention of summoning a breeze, something much worse happens because Bob and her aren't the only witches testing the weather.

I really enjoyed this story. I always liked Amelia. 

Love Story” by Jeanne C. Stein (featuring Adele Hale Stackhouse)

A quick glimpse into what happened between Adele and Fintan. Was written in diary format and didn't really bring anything new to the table. Well written, though. 

The Million-Dollar Hunt” by Jonathan Maberry (featuring Mustapha Khan)

I struggled with this one. I love the way the story is told, but just couldn't get into it. 

Borderline Dead” by Nicole Peeler (featuring Desiree Dumas)

Well written, sassy and fun. Though I barely remember this character from the series. LOL. 

Extreme Makeover Vamp Edition” by Leigh Evans (featuring Bev & Todd)

I skimmed most of this one. Just wasn't feelin' these characters, or their underwhelming tale.  

Don’t Be Cruel” by Bill Crider (featuring Bubba)

I honestly thought I would like this story because I've always liked Bubba, but I found it hard to get into. In the end, it lagged and went far too long. 

Though it was good to see Bubba have a good time, I wish I could say I enjoyed it. :( 

What a Dream I Had” by Nancy Holder (featuring Alcide Herveaux)

Alcide has always been one of my favourite characters, so I was excited about this story.

It focused on his first love, which is when his girl trouble began. It was prom night and he's hoping to have a nice night with his date during an after party for two. But what they find inside the trailer changes their lives forever.

This turned out to be a weird little tale of woe. Poor Alcide. :( 

Another Dead Fairy” by Miranda James (featuring Claude & Claudine Crane)

This was an excellent story! A lovely surprise, since the fairy twins usually annoyed me, LOL. 

Claude is performing at Hooligans when his cousin Seamus dies. It doesn't take long for Claude and Claudine to realise that Seamus was murdered on the couch in the male dressing room--and probably while doing the deed. ;)

What follows is an intriguing murder mystery as they try to figure out which female stripper us responsible.

I loved it! Very well written, paced very well, and had a just conclusion. This is how a tight and tidy short story is written. 

The Bat-Signal” by Suzanne McLeod (featuring Luna)

Interesting story featuring Luna the batshifter, Hunter and Remy. 

“The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars” by Dana Cameron (featuring Pam Ravenscroft)

This was a good one! Enjoyed the glimpse into Pam's past, and how it blended with her present. 

Widower’s Walk” by MaryJanice Davidson (featuring Eric Northman

This melancholy tale was too slow for me. It featured Eric 201 years after the series is over. So there's no Sookie or Sam, just their descendants. This was just okay for me.

The Dead But Not Forgotten anthology is a nice blend of short stories guaranteed to satisfy any Sookieverse fan. I enjoyed some stories more than others, but overall it's a great book. Every author featured in this anthology did a great job at keeping the atmosphere, mood and characterisation familiar.

It's a great addition to your Sookie Stackhouse collection. :)
Dead But Not Forgotten, November 2014, ISBN 9781473208155, Gollancz

Saturday 27 December 2014

THE LAST COMMAND by Timothy Zahn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I've finally finished reading The Thrawn Trilogy. I managed to complete the challenge my husband set for me. Yay.

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping. I actually loved the first book, enjoyed the second, and by this one I admit I just wanted it to be over.

There was a lot going on and some of it--the smuggler Karrde storyline comes to mind--felt like filler. Also, one thing that really bugged me was how easily Leia left her newborn twins behind. Seriously. Mothers don't do that easily, not with newborns. I realise that she's a politician and cares about her family and friends, but still... she actually left them behind on another planet! Um, no. o_O

I was however really happy when Leia & Mara were narrating the story. I reckon if it was just their POV with a bit of Luke thrown in, I might have liked it more.

Also, was it just me or was Thrawn super boring towards the end? And that Jedi clone, ugh.

Yeah. This book was just okay for me. I really wanted to love it but just couldn't. :/

Thursday 25 December 2014

Happy Holidays


Have an awesome, super fun and safe festive season. :)

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Mind Meld at SF Signal

Today, I'm over at SF Signal.

I'm taking part in their awesome Mind Meld feature.

The topic happens to be about TV shows in 2014. So stop by and check out which genre show really caught my eye this year.

HORRORSTOR by Grady Hendrix

HorrorstörHorrorstör by Grady Hendrix
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've wanted to read this book since the moment I found out about it. When I found out my local library had it, I put it on hold. And it arrived this week, so I couldn't wait to get stuck into this story.

Orsk is a furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. It's actually a lower-budget version of Ikea. One morning, when the employees arrive for their shift they find a bunch of broken items. And the escalator is running the wrong way.

Something is definitely going on, but all Amy cares about is avoiding her manager, Basil. Except, all she does is grab his attention. When he asks her and another employee, Ruth Anne, to work the dusk-till-dawn shift with him to see if they can figure out what's going on, she accepts. After all, she needs the money.

What seems to be an easy shift soon becomes a nightmarish situation when they find out that the store isn't being vandalized, but haunted.

Soon, the monotonous tale of retail employees trying to survive another day while hoping for a better tomorrow, becomes a seriously twisted horror story.

This was a lot of fun! While it's spooky and even gruesome, I really got lost in the characters and their struggles to stand out. Not to mention that it was also funny. And a clever portrayal of consumerism.

I also love that it's designed to look like an Ikea catalogue--which I always love perusing. ;) But there are a few differences. Check out the frames on the wall, and then the back, for some freaky clues about the story.

I really enjoyed this book! So much that I read it in only a few sittings. It was an easy, breezy read and it's so cleverly packaged I'm pretty sure I'll be getting myself a copy. This is a book that you have to get in this original format.

Very cool. :)

View all my reviews

Tuesday 23 December 2014

I've been a terrible blogger this year

I really have. :/
I think it's because of Twitter. Yeah, let's blame Twitter. LOL. I usually post there throughout the day and before I realise it, another day is done and I still haven't blogged.
Really need to change that, because I actually like to blog. It's time that gets in the way. Where can I buy some?
Well, last week I had a to-do list all ready to go and ended up not doing much because I wasn't feeling well. I somehow hurt my jaw and just didn't feel like doing much but sitting around or napping. It sucked, but the doctor prescribed some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory tablets that really helped.
I feel like I've got a lot more energy than I had this time last week, so that's a good thing.
At the beginning of the month I tackled the LAVIE second draft. In case you've forgotten, this is a Sierra Fox spin-off story featuring the demon hunter Lavie Grye. It's a road trip story that takes her from Sydney to Victoria, and I was glad to get it done. But instead of taking one week, which is what I usually take for a story that size (at the time it was in the early 70k region), it took me two.
The problem was that after writing the first draft I decided that there were a bunch of things I was going to change. The direction and main plot was the same, but I wanted to enhance it with some demonic myth and occult references. Not to mention that I wanted to make sure I caught the essence of the places they stop. It was pretty much Lavie and Saul driving down a highway without much feel of the scenery. Well, that's all changed now.
And that means that I ended up rewriting a lot, cutting even more, and doing a bunch more research than I expected. BUT, it was all worth it. Actually, I opened up the doc this morning to deal with the last bits on my Additions List and ended up adding another 1,027 words.
Final second draft word count: 80,561.
That makes me happy for several reasons:
1). I've passed the 80k mark, which I was aiming for,
2). The second draft is completely done before the end of 2014,
3). I'm MUCH happier with the story now,
4). There's only one more draft to go!
Now I just need to settle on a title. I have a few possibilities, but haven't decided yet...
Oh, and did I mention that my daughter's on school holidays now? Yeah, she doesn't go back until the end of January, so sticking to goals is going to be a lot harder. LOL.
That's it for now, I suppose. I just wanted to post an update because I've been so terrible about updating here. I must organise myself a lot better next year. Even if I end up blogging once/twice a week, it'll be a lot better than just posting book reviews.
Well, see ya!

Thursday 18 December 2014


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I heard about this book on Twitter. Someone mentioned that it was written by the female cenobite, so of course I had to check it out. ;)

Michael Friday is one sick puppy. After a car accident that kills his wife--which he causes because he finds out she is cheating on him--he survives, and months of rehabilitation later he goes home. But his life is not a comfortable place to be. He's constantly bored and spends too much time alone. He becomes addicted to trashy TV even though he despises it. And it's not until he has a very vivid dream about a dead girl that he realises what it is that's missing from his life.

So he starts on a horrible and disgusting path of chasing the high he can only capture while killing someone. But that isn't enough, and when he spots the beautiful Doctor Elene Sheppard, he decides he's going to create a serial killer persona. One that will get her attention, and because he's focusing on what he teaches--art history--she might just need his help to solve the case...

OMG. This book. It's one of those books that is so well written I was hooked from the first word. It's a story that made me squirm many times, to the point where I actually felt dirty just by reading it. The subject matter is one that we're all familiar with--serial killers--and while I've read many books from the POV of one, this guy's sexually depraved fantasies and actions were very disturbing.

He makes no apologies for his immoral thoughts or desires. He's one-track minded and obsessed with getting what he wants. While I'd like to admire his determination, the subject of his obsession deterred me from doing so.

If you like reading wicked stories dripping with raw descriptions, or are just curious about this book, go ahead and read it. But if you're squeamish, stay away from it. Luckily, I've been reading and enjoying horror for many years, so I could keep what I was reading at a distance.

I have to admire Barbie Wilde for writing such an intense thriller, starring a very awful person. I'm not sure if it was because of the brain damage he got from the accident, or just because he's one sick puppy... but Michael is despicable. I'm glad he's a fictional character.

Having said that, this was a great book! The fact that the author hooked me in and kept me intrigued all the way through--no matter how uncomfortable I got--says just how good a writer Barbie is!

Monday 1 December 2014

REMEMBER ME THIS WAY by Sabine Durrant

'Everyone keeps telling me I have to move on. And so here I am, walking down the road where he died, trying to remember him the right way.'
A year after her husband Zach's death, Lizzie goes to lay flowers where his fatal accident took place. 
As she makes her way along the motorway, she thinks about their life together. She wonders whether she has changed since Zach died. She wonders if she will ever feel whole again. 
 At last she reaches the spot. And there, tied to a tree, is a bunch of lilies. The flowers are addressed to her husband. Someone has been there before her. Lizzie loved Zach. She really did. But she's starting to realise she didn't really know him. Or what he was capable of . . .

I didn't know anything about this book when I received it, and after not particularly enjoying the author's first book, I wasn't sure what to expect. But then I started reading, and before I realised it I'd read three chapters. I was hooked!

It's been a year since Lizzie lost her husband. He was involved in a car accident and she's finally decided to visit the spot where he crashed, as well as the house he kept by the sea. A place where Zach used to go to paint. But when she leaves flowers, she notices someone else has left a bunch before her. Along with a note featuring a name she doesn't recognise. And at his holiday house, she finds out that he did actually read the letter she wrote and sent him telling him she wanted a separation.
Then she finds the lonely painting that makes her believe Zach might not be dead after all.
There are other things, like phone calls. Hearing his favourite song played outside her bedroom window. Her lost lipstick suddenly appearing. Zach's pens disappearing. A dead bird thrown through the window. She feels like he's one step behind, watching her. And one step ahead, anticipating her next move.
Lizzie is so consumed with the possibility of him being alive that she starts to uncover some awful truths about him.
Everything he told her about his past is a lie. His possessive nature had nothing to do with a violent, unstable childhood and everything to do with Zach being a sociopath. A person who was as possessed with her as she was obsessed with him. 
The appearance of a strange young girl called Onnie, someone Zach supposedly tutored but never told Lizzie about, throws her already unstable life into chaos.
The story is told in the alternating POV of Lizzie--in the present--and Zach--in the past. We get to experience how she stumbles on his many deceptions, and the carefully constructed patchwork of lies he's left littered in his past. It's also interesting to delve into Zach's messed up way of thinking. He's very aware of how much he lies, manipulates and even hurts the people around him, but always blames the other person. It's never his fault, it's always someone else's fault.
Remember Me This Way is a compelling, page-turner that keeps you guessing until the end. Once Lizzie uncovers the first lie, the dominoes start to fall and reveal that her husband was a very messed up individual. He was a man who made up scenarios because of his blinding jealousy, and she's a woman who is determined to please others. Zach is like a disease that keeps infecting her even after his death, and what she goes through in order to purge his aftereffects is chilling, creepy, and leaves you on the edge of your seat.
This was one very intense and screwed-up psychological thriller. I couldn't put it down!

Also, my theory turned out to be right. I just never imagined it would, not after I found out what Zach's connection to this particular character was. O_o

Remember Me This Way, December 2014, ISBN  9781444762457, Mulholland Books
Favorites More