Friday, 31 October 2014

NEXT OF KIN by Dan Wells


Next of KinNext of Kin by Dan Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the John Cleaver trilogy about a teenage psychopath who quiets his murderous thoughts by killing demons. So when I found out that more books were on their way and this novella ties them together... I decided to check it out ASAP.

The novella is in the POV of a different character. His name is Elijah and he's one of the 'demons'. An ancient creature that steals dead people's thoughts because his own are fading fast.

He keeps to himself and has a job, but when one particular person's memories haunt him with the love the man felt for his wife, he finds himself seeking her out. And because he's been watched by some of his kind, he puts this innocent woman in danger. Does he love her enough to save her?

I really enjoyed this story. It was great to read about a different character in this world, while getting the monster's POV. Also, it was cool to see John through someone else's eyes.

It's that time of the year...



Hope you all have an awesome day filled with spooky books and creepy movies.
 
And if you happen to cross paths with Michael Myers, just remember that this is the time of the year where he shines most. So, turn and run the other way! ;)
 
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Grab Sierra's 1st book before the end of October!


That's right. There are only a few days to go...
 
To celebrate the upcoming release of the last book in my Sierra Fox series, you can grab a FREE copy of the first book in the series from all major retailers during the month of October.
 
 
All it takes is one weak seam for everything to fall apart.
 
Sierra Fox, Book 1

In a perfect world, Sierra Fox would have stayed away from the Council she left years ago. But in this world—where spirits have the right to walk among the living—it's her job to round up troublesome spooks and bring them before that very same Council.
 
Though her desk is piled high with open cases, she can't resist an anonymous summons to a mysterious late-night meeting with a bunch of other hunters, each of whom seems to have a unique specialty. The news is dire: something is tearing at the fabric of the universe. If the hunters can't find who or why in time, something's going to give in a very messy way.
 
As current cases, family secrets, new clues and her tangled love life slowly wind themselves into an impossible knot, Sierra finds herself the target of a power-sucking duo intent on stealing her mojo. And realizing she holds the key to the last hope of sealing the widening rift.

 
Warning: Spook catching: may contain traces of ectoplasm and otherworldly nasties. Not recommended for those with allergies to ghosts, demons, and with boyfriends who think your power is theirs. While reading, avoid dark patches and stay to the light.



 
 
 
Sierra Fox, Book 5: A STITCH ON TIME
is the last book in the series.
All it takes is a little death and mayhem to make a spook catcher’s day.


Sunday, 26 October 2014

THE VINES by Christopher Rice

Spring House, New Orleans: a plantation mansion of money and influence. But something sinister lurks beneath the glamour of the old estate, awoken by blood and looking for revenge...
 
After Caitlin Chaisson tries to take her own life in her mansion's cherished gazebo, it becomes apparent that Spring House's malevolent history won't stay hidden for long. By morning her husband has vanished without a trace and his mistress has gone mad. Nova, daughter to the groundskeeper, is determined to get to the bottom of the horrors. But she soon realises that the vengeance enacted by this sinister and otherworldly force comes at a terrible price. Some secrets are better left sleeping soundly . . .
 
  THE VINES is a creepy, addictive, supernatural read for fans of Stephen King, Anne Rice and Peter Straub
 
 
As soon as I saw the cover for this book and then read the blurb, I knew it was a story I wanted to read. Especially during the month of October. :)
 
Caitlin's birthday party is winding down when she finds her husband with another woman. As much as she wants to be strong and confront the bastard, all she can do in her state of shock is watch what's going on. Until she eventually runs from the horrible images of infidelity that start a succession of bizarre events in Spring House.
 
Unable to deal with what she's seen because of the self-loathing she's lived with all of her life, Caitlin runs to the gazebo armed with a shard of glass. There, she begins to cut herself in an attempt to take her own life. Instead, she awakens something deep beneath the plantation house. Her blood stirs the thick vines beneath the land and sets her on a new path.
 
Blake used to be Caitlin's best friend until he told her about her husband's infidelity. Now he's getting on with his own life as a nurse, even if he's still haunted by the tragic loss of his first love. When he gets a call from Nova--the Spring House groundskeeper's daughter--asking him to return to the place he hasn't been to in over six months because something strange is going on, he gets sucked back into Caitlin's life. But his former friend isn't the same anymore, and it seems as if a strange plant has something to do with it.
 
Caitlin, Blake and Nova find themselves sucked into the violent history of a house that mistreated slaves and ended up being cursed because of it.
 
Wow. This book really hooked me in. As soon as I started reading I got so wrapped up in what was going on that I didn't want to put it down. What starts out as a story of betrayal and infidelity soon turns into something a lot messier. A tale that intertwines the lives of several characters and throws the reader headfirst into multiple points of view so that the story is shared from several angles and keeps you turning each page. Throwing you deeper into the mystery of this spooky house.
 
The Vines is a unique and creepy story with a disturbing core. It's well written and takes you deep into the lives of several characters following very different paths, but all haunted in some way. One horrifying twist is closely followed by a twisted turn, until you get so lost in what's happening to the characters that you can't wait to reach the end to see how this nightmare turns out. 
 
Great story! I enjoyed it a lot. 
 
This isn't the first Christopher Rice book I've read, and it certainly won't be the last.

 

The Vines, October 2014, ISBN  9780349402864, Piatkus

Thursday, 23 October 2014

THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

The Sleeper and the Spindle
A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.
 
On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.
Lavishly produced, packed with glorious Chris Riddell illustrations enhanced with metallic ink, this is a spectacular and magical gift.
 
 
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from Bloomsbury, and I absolutely love it!
 
When three dwarves go in search of 'the finest silks of Dorimar' to give to the queen as a wedding gift, they discover that on the other side of the mountain there is some sort of plague affecting the land. While stopping by a village inn, they are told that this sleep is sweeping across the land and is making everyone fall asleep. Some say it was caused when a witch cursed a princess. 
 
Meanwhile, the queen is about to get married but she's not excited. Actually, she's not even looking forward to it. So when the dwarves tell her what they have found out, she decides to trek across the land to rescue the sleeping princess and stop the sleeping plague.
 
The three dwarves and the queen make their way  towards the castle, and find it hidden behind overgrown thorns. Everyone they cross is asleep. No one is dead, but they are all in limbo. So when they reach the top of the tower, they think they've discovered the answer to this problem... and instead find something a lot more twisted.
 
This is another awesome Neil Gaiman book. It's short, but it packs quite a punch. It features two very familiar fairy tale characters, and then spins our familiarity with them upside down to deliver a very twisted tale of power and corruption. It also ends up being a story about facing choices.
 
The Sleeper and the Spindle was a dark and very clever reimagining of two fairy tales. I love the strength and wickedness of the females in this story, and that a prince isn't the one who takes charge. The illustrations that accompany this wonderful tale are gorgeous, and enhance it. The actual book is beautiful, a treasure that I can't wait to add to my bookshelf. 
 
Loved it!

The Sleeper and the Spindle, November 2014, ISBN  9781408859643, Bloomsbury Childrens

MADE FOR YOU by Melissa Marr


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Made for You by Melissa Marr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book listed on the library's database and it sounded intriguing. So I put it on hold and started reading it as soon as it arrived.

Eva is an average teenage girl trying to live a normal life. She has a boyfriend, a large group of friends, and a bestie. Well, she likes to think she's average but in the small town of Jessup the heritage on both sides of her family makes her royalty. So everyone's always watching what she does.

Some a lot closer than she realises.

The night she gets runover and left for dead, her life changes forever. Her face is scarred, she reconnects with her forever crush, and when someone touches her she can see their death. As if that's not macabre enough, someone is killing girls she knows. And leaving messages for her. She might not understand the messages like the killer intends, but one thing is clear: there's a killer and it's someone she knows.

Someone who won't give up until he/she gets what he/she wants: Eva.

I really enjoyed this book. It's told in the first-person POV of several characters so the readers experiences the story from several angles.

Eva is a great narrator. I liked following her struggle and recovery. I also liked that she was straightforward and told people--especially her love interest, Nate--exactly what she felt/thought. No hiding behind teenage indecision. Nate was interesting and had his own issues, while Grace was a nice and loyal friend.

The freakiest POV was the killer's. That sick fuck was seriously disturbed and hid behind religious bullshit to reason out his/her reasoning for doing horrible things and thinking disgusting thoughts.

This really turned out to be a great book with a bit of everything. It's a YA thriller with a dark, mysterious core. It's also got a nice love story, strong friendship, and a touch of the paranormal.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

I signed up!
















That's right. I've once again decided to tackle the madness that is NaNoWriMo.

I will be writing the second Sierra Fox spin-off novel. If you read the series, then you'll know exactly who the character is as soon as you see the WIP title.

If you're taking part and want to be buddies, this is me. :)
 
Happy writing!
 
I enjoy taking part in NaNoWriMo:

   http://store.samhainpublishing.com/torn-from-shadows-p-73390.html 
       
           

The Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour Is over BUT here are all the stops...



To help celebrate the upcoming release of Sierra's fifth and last book, A STITCH ON TIME, I'll be stopping by several places during this month.



October 1: Fallen Angel Reviews

http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/09/free-ebook-patch-of-darkness.html


I'll also be posting these:
October 5: A Stitch on Time Excerpt #1
  
 
                       
October 15: Wicked Little Pixie
October 18: Fang-tastic Books
October 19: The Book Nympho
 
 
I hope you stop by and find out a little more about Sierra's world...

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour: Team Tynga's Reviews

It's time for...
 
PHEf
 
Check out my Halloween Q&A!
 
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/10/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour-october.html
 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour: The Book Nympho

 Next stop:
 
http://thebooknympho.com/2014/10/q-a-with-yolanda-sfetsos-author-of-the-sierra-fox-series/
 
 It's interview time! ;)
 
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/10/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour-october.html

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour: Fang-tastic Books

Today I stopped by...
 
http://fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com.au/
 
To chat a little about my experience while writing the last book in Sierra's series.
 
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/10/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour-october.html
 

SWEET DAMAGE by Rebecca James


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After borrowing Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead from the library and really enjoying it, I decided to put this one on hold as well. As soon as it came in, I got stuck into it...

Tim Ellison has been staying with his ex after getting back from Indonesia. But her current boyfriend doesn't want him there, so Lilla pushes him to move out and even finds a place for him. All he has to do is turn up and check it out. The house is huge, the rent is cheap, and he'll be sharing with only one person: the young owner of the house.

Anna London is strange and frail. She can't leave the house and seems mentally unstable. She keeps to herself, doesn't talk much, and spends hours in the attic. None of that matters to Tim because he's got a job at his father's restaurant, goes surfing, and hangs out with Lilla. They might now be friends, but he's still hung up on her.

When strange and creepy things start happening at night, Tim starts to wonder if moving into Fairview was a good idea. He also starts to think that Anna might be going mad. But the more he gets to know his housemate, the more he likes her and starts to realise that while she's definitely got issues stemming from trauma, she's not losing her mind.

So what's going on?

This was another great thriller with a very creepy vibe. I managed to figure out one of the mysteries (Benjamin's story), but had pinned someone else as the one responsible for all the other creepiness. So that was a great surprise.

Loved this book! It's freaky, twisted, and so intriguing I couldn't put it down. Tim and Anna were great narrators. I enjoyed reading Tim's story, while Anna's slowly unfolded.

I'm looking forward to reading Rebecca James's first book. I actually own that one. I really like the way she tells a story, and that there's a certain wickedness to them. ;)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour: Sizzling Hot Books

Today I'm taking part in...
 
http://sizzlinghotbooks.com/guest-blog-yolanda-sfetsos-giveaway/
 
Where I'm reminiscing about what I used to do to celebrate Halloween in a country where it's not really celebrated.
 
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/10/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour-october.html
 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour: Wicked Little Pixie

My next stop is:
 
Wicked Little Pixie
 
Where I talk about my research into Legion and how it fits into Sierra's world.
 
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/10/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour-october.html
 

COOPER BARTHOLOMEW IS DEAD by Rebecca James


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I borrowed this book from the library, and as soon as I started I was hooked!

When Cooper Bartholomew is found dead at the bottom of a cliff, it affects a lot of people. They say he committed suicide, but Cooper's girlfriend--Libby--can't accept it. Her boyfriend was happy, he had big plans for the future, and they were very much in love with each other.

So she starts asking questions, and soon realises that there's a lot more going on. A web of lies and secrets, spanning several decades, slowly starts to surface.

This book was awesome!

I loved the writing style. It's told in the POV of four characters: Cooper, Libby, Sebastian, and Claire. Cooper is the popular, nice guy who died. Libby is his girlfriend, a nice studious girl in Uni. Sebastian is his best friend and has many secrets of his own. Claire is his bitchy ex who just can't let go. I know it sounds weird to mention them in the present tense, but this story goes from Then to Now and back again. So we actually get to meet Cooper before he died, which I thought was quite clever.

The central mystery keeps you reading, collecting all the clues until everything starts to slide into place. It's also very sad to watch Libby's heartbreak, and how the death of one person can shatter so many lives. And it's a great study of just how complicated friendship can become.

I have to admit that I actually solved part of the mystery before the end. The most twisted part. LOL. But not the whole thing. Can't say more than that because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. I will say that I really enjoyed this great story.

I look forward to reading more books written by this author.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

It's Release Day!


The last book in my Sierra Fox urban fantasy series is out today!
 
All it takes is a little death and mayhem to make a spook catcher’s day.
 
Sierra Fox, Book 5
 
Sierra Fox has finally inherited her grandmother’s power to destroy demons, but what good is it when her werewolf boyfriend still lies in a coma? Worse, the decision she’s about to make could save him—but ruin their relationship.
 
If that’s not enough bad stuff on her plate, she’s got a soul to save—the soul of her closest friend, killed by the Lamia that got away.
 
Another untasty side dish: The Obscurus refuse to give up their relentless pursuit, and they’ve upped the ante. Mace is dead set on blowing up the Spook Catcher Council Tower, and the blowback will have devastating effects on Sydney and for Sierra. At least these demon-obsessed freaks aren’t counting on Sierra having a Goddess and a trusty demonic conduit as backup.
 
All of this leads to a one-way ride into the abandoned part of town, where the Obscurus plan to summon Legion. With her demon hunter friend by her side, Sierra prepares for the final battle…because even she knows this will be The End. 
 
 
Product Warnings
Phantasms, wraiths, orbs, demons, all guaranteed to ruin any spook catcher’s day. But you can always count on werewolves, land spirits, and a Goddess. Beware of explosions, demonic obsessions, and the battle that will tip the scales and change Sydney forever.
 
 
 
 
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:
 
 
NOW HAPPENING:
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/10/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour-october.html
 
 

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour: Manga Maniac Cafe


My next stop is at...
 
Check out the Top 5 Things I Learned from Sierra.
 
 
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/10/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour-october.html
 

CONJURED by Sarah Beth Durst

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Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name-but no memories of her past. She's been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access-and there is nothing they won't say-or do-to her to get her to remember.
 
At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things-things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed-and she's lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her-but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.


I received this book from Bloomsbury Australia last week and didn't know anything about it. After reading the blurb, I was intrigued. Not to mention that the cover is super freaky. The heart with all those pins reminds me of Pinhead from Hellraiser. Or a pin cushion. Even a voodoo doll.
 
After reading the book, the image makes a lot of sense.
 
Eve has a hard time remembering things. Her mind is empty and she has no memory of her past. She also doesn't recognise herself in the mirror. Everything around her is foreign and new, just like her reflection. So when she moves into a strange house with one of the Para-WitSec agents, she doesn't know what to expect. Aunt Nicki doesn't sugarcoat things and barely seems to tolerate her, but Malcolm is the understanding agent who seems to care enough about her to explain things. Even if he has to do it a thousand times because she keeps forgetting.
 
Eve also loses time. She has magic inside her, and every time she uses it, she passes out. She relives pieces of her fragmented memories, but when she wakes up, she forgets about her waking life.
 
As hard as it is to pass out and lose hours, days, and sometimes weeks, Eve gets on with her controlled life by taking a summer job at the local library. The library director might not like her, but Eve loves being around books, and when she meets Zach--the friendly boy who doesn't lie, talks too much, and isn't afraid to say what he really wants--she looks forward to going to work. After sharing her magic with him during their first kiss, she knows they've got an unbreakable connection.
 
But the agency keeps tabs on her no matter where she is, and Aidan, Victoria, and Topher might be like her in the magical sense, but they're dangerous and have an agenda of their own. Everyone wants her to remember. It's important, because there's a killer out there who has killed many kids from other worlds, and wants to find her. Plus he's killing again.
 
The only person who can lead the authorities to him is Eve, but she can't be trusted to remember anything. It's not until Eve decides to take control of her own life and her own visions, that she stumbles into the multiverse truth, and finally remembers just who and what she really is. But at what price?
 
This book was... amazing. I have to admit that I love characters with amnesia problems. So it wasn't hard to get into this book. Eve's fractured mind makes her vulnerable, so it would be easy to get as impatient with her as the characters do, but I didn't. Not at all. Actually, my impatience and frustration was with the others. I hated how everyone seemed to be keeping secrets from her and wouldn't share any light on anything. As important as they thought it was for Eve to remember things on her own, I felt they could've shared some vital facts along the way.
 
In the end, I loved her journey.
 
Conjured is an intriguing, imaginative, and super creepy book with a conclusion that will leave you breathless. I loved how everything unfolded. I loved Eve and Zach's connection. I enjoyed the touch of magic to this story. I even loved when everything tipped over from a familiar world and into a very dark, alien place featuring a nightmarish carnival setting.

I seriously loved this book! Yeah, this story featured a lot of my favourite creepy things. It's also a great book to read during the spooky month of October!

Conjured, October 2014, ISBN  9780802737496, Walker Childrens

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour: All Things Urban Fantasy

Here's my first stop:
 
All Things Urban Fantasy
 
I'm chatting about how I feel now that the series is over and even think back to where it all began...
 
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/10/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour-october.html
 

Saturday, 11 October 2014

THE FARM by Emily McKay


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I've had my eye on for a while. So when I found out it was at the library, I borrowed it. And I wasn't disappointed.

Lily and Mel are twins who live on a Farm. A place that used to be a school and is now more like a livestock farm filled with teens. Life is harsh inside, but it's brutal outside. Creatures called Ticks roam the outside and will kill anyone they can get their hands on. Still, Lily is sick and tired of the place, and since her sister and her are almost eighteen, she hatches a plan to escape

All she wants to do is keep Mel safe. Mel is autistic and can't take care of herself. So Lily is determined to get her to Canada, where she thinks they might find safety. However, the day a guy from her past arrives, all of her plans are thrown into chaos.

Things aren't as straightforward as Lily thought, and Carter soon makes her realise that if she and Mel are going to survive, she'll have to trust him. And a vampire. But Carter has always come across as an arrogant player who knows how to get his way, and even now he's keeping secrets from her.

Wow. I loved this near-future, post-apocalyptic story where blood is currency, teenagers are blood prisoners, and the world has been ravaged by grotesque creatures intent on eating the living.

Lily is a strong character driven by her need to protect her sister. Mel is a seemingly detached teen who sees and feels the world differently. Carter is a hero at heart, but driven by his desire to make the world a better place. Together, they're just what the world needs to find balance. But with an unstable landscape, a Dean intent on getting his way, and a hidden vampire agenda... it's going to be one hell of a fight.

I enjoyed every minute of it. There's a bit of everything in this great book.

Can't wait to read more stories set in this dangerous world!

Friday, 10 October 2014

EXCERPT #3: A STITCH ON TIME



Danger at the Spook Catcher Council...


“Stay where you are, I’m going to check this out.” As soon as Gareth took the first step, the exterior partitions uprooted, ripping free of the bolts securing the base to the carpeted floor.

The walls advanced like one long snake, heading for Gareth. The top smacked him in the back as he tried to get away, pushing him to his hands and knees. Miraculously, he held onto the gun and managed to crawl towards Henry’s shattered office.

The office dividers whipped into the air several times before smashing onto the floor right behind him. The sound was loud, and reverberated beneath my feet.

Gareth rolled over, crab-walking beneath the monstrosity that was about to squash him if I didn’t do something.

My feet were rooted to the carpet, but I couldn’t just stand by and watch this happen. If these office partitions were being controlled by a poltergeist, wraith or something stronger—even demonic—maybe my dark patch would help.

Gareth stopped long enough to aim his gun at the invisible foe. “Sierra, get out of here!” He fired a few shots and the sound echoed inside the cavernous office, the bullets ricocheting off the other wall panels. When he cried out, I knew one had struck him, and that forced me into motion.

Instead of running away from the trouble, I ran towards it. Glass crunched beneath my boots. Screws, bolts and pieces of plastic became obstacles, but the debris wasn’t enough to slow me down.

“Sierra, no!”

I ignored Gareth and ducked underneath the partition—which was still whipping its long frame in the air like a viper ready to strike—seconds before it made one final attempt at Gareth’s life.

When the construct pummeled downward towards its target, I stepped between attacker and victim. “Stop,” I yelled, raising my left palm in front of me. The tattoo on the back of my hand shimmered and the spiraling momentum screeched to a halt.



A STITCH ON TIME will be available on October 14, 2014:

Thursday, 9 October 2014

THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love zombie books and since it's October, I want to read as many creepy/spooky/horror books as I can.

So I started with this one.

On the day the apocalypse strikes, Sloane Price is about to end her life. She's had enough of her abusive father, and can't stand to go on without the sister who abandoned her. But as the dead rise, she runs from home and ends up joining a handful of survivors.

They barricade themselves inside the local high school, while the dead thump at the doors.

Sloane doesn't care whether she lives or dies, but does care about the others. As they co-exist in the tense environment they're forced into, another threat enters their domain and tears apart their sense of safety.

Wow. This book is AMAZING. So intense! Like any good zombie book worth reading, the real threat comes from the living. And not just from others, because Sloane is a threat to herself. She doesn't care if she lives or dies, thinks of herself as broken beyond repair, and is haunted by her sister's abandonment.

She's barely living, but as the story goes on starts to learn more about herself. It's strange to believe that the zombie apocalypse actually turned out to be her gateway to freedom.

I also loved the very complicated relationships between all the kids--the resentment, anger, lies and guilt that keeps everyone at arm's length. And how she finds closure from her sad and tormented family life in the creepiest--yet probably best--screwed up way.

Like I said, excellent story.

Loved it!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

EXCERPT #2: A STITCH ON TIME



A haunted house from Sierra's past...

Thanks to a lot of speeding—so much for not wanting to get any bad attention on the road—and several shortcuts, I reached my house in less than ten minutes. Oren was already waiting on the front porch. I waved and he waved back, but didn’t make a move to approach.

“I’ll see you later,” Willow said as she climbed out of the car. “Be careful.”

“Don’t forget to tell Oren what happened.”

“Yeah, yeah—”

“Willow, I’m serious. Tell him, he needs to know.” We were keeping tabs on her ability while documenting any changes. This was our first cause for alarm in months.

I waited until she reached the porch and Oren led her into safety, then I sped off. Even in automatic mode, I managed to reach the large two-story weatherboard house in five minutes, trying to ignore the influx of memories. I’d spent an entire night in this horrid place with a girl who ended up hating me afterwards. Even though I’d managed to keep a malicious spirit from hurting us both, Jackie made my life a living hell all through school.

Since that fateful night, I’d visited this address a handful of times to catch a variety of disturbances. It was a hotspot for chaotic spook activity, but this case should have been a routine catching.

I parked the car across the street and ran out, glad to feel the weight of my Smith & Wesson 642 revolver secured in my utility belt. If the spook that dared to hurt Ebony—or anyone else—was still there, I wasn’t going to waste time banishing them. They were going straight to oblivion via salt and holy water tipped bullets. I didn’t bother locking the Fairlane or checking both sides of the road before crossing, didn’t stop until I’d climbed the front steps and charged inside.

The afternoon sun on my black sweater had me sweating, which was made worse by the unnatural heat wafting down the staircase. It almost knocked the breath out of me. Heat didn’t accompany hauntings, but I knew what did—demons.

Roe and Ebony knew this as well as I did, so why hadn’t they gotten the hell out before attempting anything? I continued past the narrow entryway and into the vast foyer.

The last time I’d stepped into this house, it had been neglected, falling apart and contained a spirit intent on haunting the place. A real estate agent hired me to remove the pesky ghost, which turned out to be a former neighborhood man desperate to immortalize himself in the bad history of this address. He’d been easy to remove, which was why I’d thought this location would be a perfect place for training. Especially since it was now someone’s home, and judging by the impressive furnishings, that someone had good taste.

Crying filled my ears, and for a second I thought it was a ghost. My hand automatically went to my gun, until I spotted Jana and Claire huddled together, sobbing uncontrollably. They’d both acted the same way last week when we’d lost Juliet to phantasms. Roe stood to the side, watching a masculine shape kneel on the glossy wooden floor. It took me a few seconds to register it was Conrad Hicks, the vampire hunter. What was he doing here?

“Roe…” I closed the distance between us, not taking my eyes off Conrad.



A STITCH ON TIME will be available on October 14, 2014:

http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/10/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour-october.html
 

CEMETERY GIRL: The Pretenders by Charlaine Harris & Christopher Golden


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and got stuck into it as soon as I got home. I'm a huge Charlaine Harris fan, so I was looking forward to reading this graphic novel.

When a young girl is dumped in the cemetery and left for dead, she eventually wakes up and is sure she was dead for a while. She doesn't remember how she got there, why she was dumped, or even who she is. So she decides to hide in the cemetery and builds a life for herself by hiding in a mausoleum and stealing food from wherever she can. Except there are two people who catch on and are willing to help her--the groundskeeper, and an elderly lady. Kelner and Lucinda help keep Calexa--she names herself using names from the headstones around her--safe, fed and clothed.

However, the night a bunch of teenagers enter the cemetery and commit a savage act against an innocent girl, Calexa gets caught up in the middle. The spirit of the dead girl haunts her until she finally decides to help...

I loved this! Not only was the story interesting, but the artwork is beautiful. I also really like Calexa and feel so bad about what happened to her. I can't wait to find out more, and really enjoyed her interactions with Kelner and Lucinda.

Great story!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

EXCERPT #1: A STITCH ON TIME



The fifth book in my Sierra Fox series will be released next week. Here's where it all starts...
 
I slammed my foot on the brake pedal, almost missing the red light. The vehicle behind me screeched to a halt and honked their horn.

“You want to what?” The last thing I needed at the moment was to cause an accident, or to get a red-light camera fine, but my sister had caught me off guard.

“Sierra, what the hell?”

“Sorry.” I hadn’t meant to overreact, but my focus was elsewhere. Since Willow officially finished classes the week before, she was helping manage the office. We were making a quick stop before heading to the Blue Mountains—to deal with what was weighing heavy on my mind. My good friend and fellow spook catcher, Ebony Aikan was exclusively working with Roe Spooker’s new operation, so I appreciated my sister’s help. Though she’d soon have to focus on exclusively studying for her HSC—Higher School Certificate—exams.

“Well, what do you think?”

I swiveled in the driver’s seat. “I’m not really in the mood for parties.”

She lowered her gaze and nodded. “Okay, I get it.”

It wasn’t Willow’s fault that my head was in the clouds, but I wasn’t in a festive mood. All I could think about was the decision I couldn’t put off any longer—dealing with Papan’s comatose condition. This was the fourth day and he was still unconscious. Still, it wasn’t fair to put her life on hold as well.

I sighed. “Tell me more about this party idea.”

“I want to have a Halloween-themed birthday party,” Willow answered with a sheepish grin and a shrug. The way she shifted moods so quickly always surprised me. “No big deal. Everyone dresses up and we all have an awesome time. After all, it be will my eighteenth, and shortly after my HSC is done.”

“I don’t know…” I bit my lip. “I really don’t have time to plan any parties right now.” I could understand why she wanted this—she was a teenager. But I certainly wasn’t in a partying mood. Not when my boyfriend was close to dying and the Obscurus were probably preparing their latest strike.

"You don’t have to worry about planning anything.” Willow’s blue eyes were shiny with mischief, and I could tell she’d been planning this for a while. “I just need your permission to invite everyone to your place.” She swiped a long lock of mahogany hair from her forehead but it sprang back.

“Will—”

“Come on, Sierra, please. I’ll do everything! I’ll even pay for it. Ebony and Michael already said they’ll help.”

“It’s not about the money,” I said. Then, after a beat, I added, “You’ve spoken to Ebony about this?”

“I didn’t want to bother you… So much has happened lately and you’ve been driving yourself ragged with all the extra work. You need to relax, and I think a party’s just what you need.” She sounded so positive, but I could see a twinge of sadness in her eyes. She’d been there when Papan was taken and attacked. “Besides, it’s still weeks away so everything will be fine by then.”

I grunted. A house full of teenagers certainly didn’t sound relaxing, but this wasn’t about me. This was about my half-sister wanting to celebrate the victories instead of concentrating on the negatives. She’d already lost so much during her young life. Not to mention that her father and his business had been tainted by being regarded as an accessory to murder.

She was right about my work, though. In an attempt to keep my mind off the many problems plaguing me—and to begrudgingly take a break from sitting at Papan’s bedside—I’d been catching nonstop. Saul suggested I go home and get some rest, but when sleep lasted only a handful of hours and I couldn’t stop thinking about Papan lying helpless in a clinic bed, I dealt with my outstanding cases. If I kept up this pace, I’d soon have nothing left to do. Or would finally have to give Roe an answer about whether I was going to accept his offer of a business partnership.

Nope, not ready to deal with that yet.

Not until Papan is awake.

“The light’s green,” Willow said.

I sighed and accelerated, crossing the busy intersection before anyone else beeped. I was getting a lot of disgruntled horn blasting, hand gestures and screaming from other motorists lately, and was starting to wonder if driving while my mind was elsewhere was a good idea. I needed a driver.

Yeah, like that’s ever going to happen.

“Well, what do you think?” Willow’s stare felt like a heavy, unmoving weight. “Michael’s really excited about it because it’s his birthday too.”

“You’ve also spoken to Michael about this?” I gave her a sidelong glance, while merging into the left lane. I was surprised she hadn’t just decided to go ahead and tell everyone but me until the actual day. Teenagers could be so strange.

“We’ve talked and texted a few times. How else is he going to help? I already told you he would.” She sighed. “Are you even listening to me?”

Michael the pooka could shift into an adorable black Australian Kelpie and we’d helped him out a jam last weekend. He’d told me he would reach out to my sister but I hadn’t thought it would be this quickly. I assumed a missing kid would need time to assimilate back into his family life after being gone for weeks. One of his parents being a pooka probably made them both more understanding.

“When did you get his number?”

Willow looked away and color rose along her cheeks. “We exchanged numbers when I found out he was a guy and not a dog.”

“Right, of course.” I gripped the steering wheel a little tighter. Her phone was an extension of her, so it made sense. “What about Jamie and Ronnie?” She kept dodging my questions about her poltergeist boyfriend and best friend.

“They obviously can’t come,” she said with a scowl. “Not that they’d be invited.”

“Is there something going on between you and them?” I quickly glanced at her but she was staring straight ahead.

“I don’t want to talk about…” When her voice trailed off and was followed by a thump, I turned to find her slumped against the seat. Her body limp, arms at her sides and only held in place by the seatbelt. Her eyes were closed, lips already turning blue.

“Oh shit.” I indicated, cut in front of the car on my left and sped across to the farthest lane. I eased my foot off the accelerator, hit the brake and shifted to park. I snapped off my seatbelt and leaned over the seat, carefully pressing the back of my hand against Willow’s cheek. Her skin was cold and she wasn’t breathing. This hadn’t happened in several months, and the cause made my skin prickle with dread. Whenever someone my sister cared about died, she did too. “Will, wake up. Come on.”

As much as I knew her death would be temporary, it still turned my blood cold.

Her eyes snapped open and she sucked in a sharp breath seconds before the sparkle of lights began whirling around her. The seatbelt kept her body from flying upwards but not her long hair. For just a split second, I caught a glimpse of a face, but it flashed out as quickly as the radiance.
 
 
A STITCH ON TIME will be available on October 14, 2014:
 
 
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/10/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour-october.html

DARK FORCE RISING by Timothy Zahn


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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, I absolutely loved the first book in The Thrawn Trilogy, so I was looking forward to reading this one. But I have to admit that the second book in the trilogy just didn't have the same impact. Well, until the last 100 pages, which is when everything started feeling awesome again.

There were too many situations that just didn't feel right. Especially the whole Leia drags Chewie and C-3PO to enemy territory and puts her unborn babies in danger. Something about this scenario seemed completely out of character. Sure, she's always been stubborn and determined, but this... I don't know. Even Han and Lando's side quest seemed a little contrived.

I sometimes felt like some of these subplots were conveniently added so there was enough story for a trilogy. This book could've been a lot shorter for more impact.

The one character that I'm utterly fascinated by is Mara Jade. She initially comes across like a cold-hearted bitch, but there's so much more to her. I looked forward to her bits, and loved her interaction with Luke. These two have the makings of an awesome power couple!

Tell you who I'm getting sick of: Thrawn. He's such a smug bastard. He's so damn annoying! Who the hell is feeding him all the info?

Anyway, although I didn't enjoy it as much as the first and some moments made me cringe, I'm looking forward to finding out how it all ends.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

ICYMI: I have a new cover!


Yesterday, Smart Girls love SciFi posted this awesome cover:

 
Well, what do you think?
 
I absolutely love it.
 
Kanaxa has once again made an awesome cover that perfectly captures the feel of DASH. In case you're wondering, that's Walsh on the cover and he happens to be an AI/android.
 
If you've read CLASH, then you've already met him. ;)
 
 And here's the blurb:
 
She escaped the arena of death, but trusting him might be the death of her.

Recast, Book 4 

Taylor may be the Clash Arena’s most dominant—and only—female gladiator, but today she just can’t catch a break. After winning yet another brutal fight, with the arena inexplicably falling down around her ears, she jumps at the chance to escape the prison of her subterranean pit. 

Instead, she finds herself knocked unconscious more times than she can count, and pursued over the edge of a sea cliff by an AI enforcer she can’t shake off her heels.  

Walsh has been living a double life, masquerading as a tyrant’s enforcer while hiding his true agenda. When the despicable arena falls, there’s only one thing on his mind—saving the savage blonde who doesn’t trust him as far as she can throw him. Which is a considerable distance.  

Once he convinces her he’s not out to kill her but help her survive, they form an uneasy alliance. But Taylor senses he’s keeping a secret, not just from her, but about her. And the truth will show them exactly what it is to be human.
  

Warning: This book contains a kick-ass gladiator who takes no crap, an AI who puts it all on the line, a band of misfits who aren’t as merry as they seem, cute tadpoles with sharp teeth, and grip-you-by-the-hair kisses. Strap in, interstellar turbulence is a bitch.


DASH release date: May 26th 2015.

THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE RECAST SERIES:
https://www.samhainpublishing.com/books/series/171/recast
 
 

 


 


 
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