Friday, 30 November 2012

Things I'm Loving #8


Because sometimes, I do things other than read....


This week I am loving...

30 Seconds To Mars....


I've been going through some of my old music collection hidden away on my laptop, and listening to all of the music I used to love when I was 16/17. I had much better taste in music  then than I do now. Anyway, I found a copy of Stronger by Kanye West as covered by 30 Seconds to Mars, and I forgot how swoon-worthy Jared Leto's voice is. In fact, how swoon-worthy he is in general. Erm...  does anyone know if he is single? 


And this has led to three days of job hunting with a 30 Seconds to Mars backing track, which was a vast improvement over my quiet sobs of continued unemployment. (erm.... that was a joke. I haven't reached the point of tears, yet.)



Anyway. Enjoy 30 Seconds to Mars' cover of Bad Romance. Yes, even with the sunglasses and hat indoors, I still totally would.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Teaser Tuesday #14



This is a post for Teaser Tuesday, which is where I randomly pick a page of the book I'm reading at the moment, and share with all you lovelies two sentences off that page, with no spoilers allowed. This is a weekly event, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. The button is supplied by the lovely Kylee of Babbling of a Bookaholic. 



 This week I'm reading First Catch Your Husband; Adventures on the Dating Front Line, by Sarah Bridge. It's a very funny autobiographical account of dating in London in your 30s. If anyone in the UK is interested in the book (which you should be), there is a competition to win a copy currently on goodreads that is running until the 22nd of December.




p. 20.
Then they say the words "My wife..." or "My girlfriend..." or "My boyfriend..." and I'll keep on chatting and laughing, but inside I'll be raging YET AGAIN, and yet the very next night I'll do it all over again, working out what to wear, how to look, feeling glad I forced myself to go to the gym that lunchtime to counteract the effects of all these fruitless nights out. So perhaps you can understand that when someone says, "Well, you've just got to get out there," I just want to shout "Oh, FUCK OFF!"


What does everyone think?  I'd love to know your thoughts. 
See you next week!

Top off Tuesday #3- Seducing Cinderella

Top off Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Amanda from On a Book Bender, Christi from Smitten with Reading and Felicia from Geeky Blogger's Book Blog. Every Tuesday, participants post their favourite book covers featuring partially dressed hunks. I heartily approve of this practice, and so am joining in!




Seducing Cinderella

Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care—Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up. Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance. Soon Reid finds him himself in the fight of his life...winning Lucie's heart before she gives it to someone else.

Mmmmm. Tattoos. Muscles. Partial nudity. Mixed martial arts fighter buffness. Lovely!

Opinions? Anyone?


Monday, 26 November 2012

The Secret Supper Club, by Dana Bate

Title: The Secret Supper Club
Author: Dana Bate
Format: Paperback
Source: Sent by Publisher
Length: 480 pages
Genre: Chicklit/ Foodporn
Add this: Goodreads
Buy this: Paperback |Ebook
Available from: 6th December 2012


Chick Lit isn't my favourite genre, by far, but I have a poorly hidden love of cookery programs, so when I read the blurb for this book, I instantly added it to my very long please-send-me-books-list that I sent to the lovely Emily at Constable and Robinson. And when it came through the post just a few days later, I squealed at the postman... and may have jumped up and down... just a tiny bit... and phoned my mum... erm... yeah, I was excited, ok?

Erm.. anyway... plot... Hannah Sugarman has what should be the whole package; she lives with her politically ambitious boyfriend in a swanky flat, she has a job at an influential think tank, and her future career in academia is almost guaranteed thanks to her parents' influence. But, all that Hannah really wants is to run a culinary empire; an idea that it seems no one supports, not even her boyfriend. So when her relationship ends after a spectacular fight, and Hannah finds herself without a boyfriend, flat or swanky furniture, she decides to hold a slightly illegal Supper Club to make some quick money. Add in a few romantic interests, as well as Hannah trying to keep the Supper Club secret from her new landlord, all on top of her dull day job, and Hannah's life has just got a lot more chaotic.

I really loved this book; it totally surpassed my expectations for it. Hannah is a really well-rounded character; she could be someone you might actually be friends with in real life, and its really easy to identify with her as well. Its also nice that she does learn and grow etc throughout the book, but not in a clich├ęd or unbelievable way. Its often a bit awkward if the writer doesn't get the swearing quite right, but Dana makes Hannah swear like a pro. One of my favourite moments (amongst many) is in the break-up scene between Hannah and Adam. He has just described her as more like a bomb than a firecracker... (which is a foolish move)

' "You want a bomb? I'll give you a bomb." I grab his water glass from across the counter and throw the water in his face. "Boom, motherfucker!" '

The descriptions of the food Hannah cooks are just amazing. It is a major book of food porn, and even better, has some of the recipes at the back of the book as well. Reading it totally brought out my inner food snob, and may have resulted in a trip to Wagamamas, just to eat something that wasn't pasta based.

Overall, a really fun read, with some really lovable characters, (and some equally moronic ones). Seeing various relationships develop was really nice, and I loved how getting on with your parents being a difficult thing was expressed. I really liked that the romance part of the book wasn't the main focus, but was tied up in the plot enough to consider it as part of the plot. There were a few brief parts that were a bit slow, but they didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of a really nice book. 

8.5 stars.
The Secret Supper Club is out on the 6th of December. You can pre-order it from amazon, using the links at the top of the page. 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Branded, by Keary Taylor

Title: Branded
Author: Keary Taylor
Format: Ebook
Length: 376 pages
Add this: Goodreads
Buy this: Ebook


Jessica likes her solitary life. By avoiding people, she can hide the fact that she has a few quirks. She is scared of angels; she counts when she is nervous; she has scars on her back in the shape of a branded X and wings. And then whenever she sleeps she dreams that she is judged by Angels, in the place of those who have died, before being branded; a traumatic experience that makes her avoid sleep for days at a time. When two men, Alex and Cole, come into her life, and the dreams begin to change, life gets even weirder for Jessica, which is really saying something.


I had heard some good things about this book, and the description sounded good... and the cover is pretty sweet, so I thought why not... and that was my big mistake.
This book had a really promising start, but it just seemed to drag on a bit. Jessica's whole tortured thing really dragged on; on one hand, she dropped lots of the kooky coping mechanisms she had as soon as her relationship with Alex started to develop, and on the other hand, her constant my-life-has-always-been-terrible thing really got on my nerves by the end of the book. There were certain aspects of the plot that I had worked out fairly early on, and was waiting for Jessica to catch up, horror-movie style.
Seriously, if you have a really bad feeling about someone creepy who has just arrived in your life, listen to it, BECAUSE THEY ARE THE BAD GUY!!!!!! Some of the plot points felt a tad contrived, such as Jessica noticing when there was a new angel on the judging panel, but not being able to remember what the old angel had looked like.

Actually the longer it takes me to write this review, the harder it is to think of why I actually did like this book. The ending wasn't very satisfying as far as I'm concerned; too much happened off page for my liking... although, maybe all the off-page stuff was being saved for the next two books, which I most likely won't read. I did like Alex, but the relationship between him and Jessica was overly PG, even if you consider this book a YA, and his constant enthusiasm was cute but tiring.

Overall, fairly underwhelmed by the book. It had lots going on, and some creative ideas, but it just didn't click for me. There were some really good scenes, such as the opening dream/judgement sequence, so its worth giving it a go, mostly because it's free. You never know, you might love it, even though I didn't. 5 stars

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Teaser Tuesday #13


This is a post for Teaser Tuesday, which is where I randomly pick a page of the book I'm reading at the moment, and share with all you lovelies two sentences off that page, with no spoilers allowed. This is a weekly event, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. The button is supplied by the lovely Kylee of Babbling of a Bookaholic. 



 This week I'm reading The Secret Supper Club, by Dana Bate. It is due to be published on the 6th of December, and is by far the best chick lit I have read this year (and I've not even finished it yet). In this part, Hannah Sugarman is at a house party, and her boyfriend, Adam, has wandered off to network (despite promising not to), or something equally douchey.


p. 45. I am now standing in the corner of the living room by myself, the only sober person among the throng of gyrating wonks, a distinction I feel compelled to eliminate. At this point, alcohol is a means for survival.


What does everyone think?  I'd love to know your thoughts. 
See you next week!

Top Off Tuesday #2 - The Mighty Storm


Top off Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Amanda from On a Book Bender, Christi from Smitten with Reading and Felicia from Geeky Blogger's Book Blog. Every Tuesday, participants post their favourite book covers featuring partially dressed hunks. I heartily approve of this practice, and so am joining in!



muscles, tats, muscles, that jawline.... nom.
The Mighty Storm, by Samantha Towle.

It's been twelve years since Tru Bennett last saw Jake Wethers, her former best friend and boy she once loved.

Jake Wethers, sexy, tattooed and deliciously bad lead singer, and brains behind The Mighty Storm, one of biggest bands in the world, left Tru with a broken heart when he moved from England to America with his family when they were both fourteen.

Sent to interview Jake for her music column by the magazine she works for, they are both unprepared for the sparks that fly the instant they reconnect. Only, there’s a complication to their instant feelings for one another – Will, Tru’s boyfriend of two years. 

Then Jake makes Tru a job offer she can't refuse - travelling the world with him and his band. But taking the job means leaving Will behind, and being on the road with the band means spending an inordinate amount of time with Jake. 

Is Tru strong enough to resist the delectable bad boy who once held her heart so completely, or will she willingly risk it all for one night with the worlds most notorious womanizer?

As usual, perverse comments are encouraged!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Sunday Showcase #10

Hello and welcome to Showcase Sunday. Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. It is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea.




Apologies for the low picture quality!

Books sent by publisher (Look, a new category!!!!)
The Secret Supper Club, by Dana Bate
Bleak Expectations, The Novel, by Mark Evans


Bought Books/Ebooks (slaps own wrist)
Temeraire, by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade, by Naomi Novik

Borrowed Books
None!


Free Ebooks
None! 

What's been going on... and plans for this coming week.... 
This week I received my first actual physical books in the post that were sent by publishers. I scared the postman with my enthusiasm when I received the package! 

And in non-blogging stuff, I have just got back from a weekend away in Kent, which was for a very very good friend's birthday. Tequila and Twilight were involved, as well as a lot of wine, shopping, takeaways, and dancing. Not necessarily in that order. 

Next week, NaNoWriMo continues, after it was neglected somewhat this week. I know that I'm not going to reach the 50,000 word target by the end of the month, but I still plan to pass 30,000, and am hoping for 40,000. *performs dramatic stretches and sharpens quill before resuming writing*. The bar on the blog (top right on the side bar) isn't a total word count, as I appear to have pages of writing dotted around in every notebook I possess, as well as in various documents on the kindle and laptop. And finally, Very very good friend, also known as the Kentish Lady, is visiting this week, (even though I just saw her today), and its the first time she'll have seen my new digs and whatnot. Excited squeal for friends!

What did everyone get their mits on this week?  Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week, and see you next weekend!!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Bewitching The Werewolf, by Caroline Hanson

Title: Bewitching the Werewolf
Author: Caroline Hanson
Format:  free ebook
Length: short story
Genre: Romance
Add this: Goodreads
Buy this: Ebook

I don't normally read short stories, but when a book starts with...

' "I don't get paid enough to deal with a werewolf that can't get laid."
My boss frowned at me. He was under the mistaken impression that I didn't have enough tact. The truth was, I had no tact.'

Seriously, how could I not read on after that? I freaking love protagonists with no tact and no shame; I want to make friends with them. (For more ballsy protagonists in a supernatural series I recommend Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson, The Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton and The Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh.)

Anyway, the girl with no tact is Megan, a super powerful witch who has been hired to help find a werewolf pack-leader's mate via magical means. And the werewolf in question is Zackary Connor, who is unlike any werewolf she has ever met; he is a well groomed business man, with looks to swoon over, and a body that inspires some unspeakable thoughts that would make any girl blush. This is where the job gets difficult for Megan; she has to find her client's soul mate whilst trying to ignore her own desire for him. Awkward!

I really liked the style of writing that the author used, and the sexual chemistry was handled really well. The characters' connection is portrayed nicely within such a short space, and I wanted to continue reading about them after the end of the story. Hanson could have easily made this into a longer novella or novel, but it works well the length that it is, and that's just my greedy opinion. There were some moments when I might have laughed, out loud, on the tube at Megan's snark and word play (which is quickly becoming a bad habit of mine).


The scene where Megan gets rid of Zack'd headache was the highlight of the book for me , and is definitely a scene to look forward to. But my absolute favourite part is this extract.... "And then he kissed me. Softly, like a friendly, nice-to-meet-you-can-I-strip-your-clothes-off-and-bury-myself-inside-you-kind of kiss."


7.5 stars. And its free, so everyone can (and should) enjoy it.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Top off Tuesday #1: Tightly Wound


Top off Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Amanda from On a Book Bender, Christi from Smitten with Reading and Felicia from Geeky Blogger's Book Blog. Every Tuesday, participants post their favourite book covers featuring partially dressed hunks. I heartily approve of this practice, and so am joining in!




Tightly Wound (SEALS, Inc. #4), by Mia Dymond

Claire Steele has spent her whole life dodging shadows. Psychic since birth, she uses her talent to chase the evil lurking in the recesses of her mind.

For years, Lt. Malcolm "Shadow" Windsor has walked the fragile boundary of friendship, silently waiting for Claire to acknowledge her love for him. An ex-Navy SEAL and expert tracker, he knows patience is the key to her surrender. Until sinister forces threaten to eliminate her.

Caught between love and death, Claire and Shadow must combine both talent and skill to survive.

Pervy comments are encouraged...

Teaser Tuesday #12


This is a post for Teaser Tuesday, which is where I randomly pick a page of the book I'm reading at the moment, and share with all you lovelies two sentences off that page, with no spoilers allowed. This is a weekly event, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. The button is supplied by the lovely Kylee of Babbling of a Bookaholic. 






 This week I'm reading Branded by Keary Taylor, which is book one in the Fall of Angels Series. 


p. 155.
"It made me feel almost normal, like I actually fit into the world. It almost made me forget that I had a pair of wings embedded into the skin on my back and an X branded into the back of my neck."


Has anyone read any books from this series?  I'd love to know your thoughts. 
See you next week!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Things I'm Loving #7

Because sometimes, I do things other than read....


This week I am loving...

Mr Distinctly Average's Return to YouTube Video Making

So Mr. DA is a friend of a friend, who told me he made videos a few months ago, showed me one of them, and I thought they were pretty cool. His general ramblings and sense of humour provide me with the occasional giggle. Anyway, he hadn't made any new vids for a while, so when he told me that he was gonna make a big and spectacular return to the internets, I kinda nodded and smiled, and made appropriate noises, mostly because I didn't quite believe him... BUT, I am now totally ready to eat my words, or my hat, or something, because new videos appeared!

So, yeah... Here's his latest video.

And as a bonus, he has made me feel much better about not being able to play Assassin's Creed III, because of the general disappointment and bitterness vibes he expresses in the video. Although I still miss the (virtual) murderous rampages that I would go on in Assassins Creed II, complete with repeated shouting of variations of "Die, BITCH, DIE!!".

Ok, socially inappropriate promotion of a video made by a guy I barely know over... I'm off to get a cup of tea, and lament mournfully at the lack of xbox gaming in my life.



Sunday Showcase #9


Hello and welcome to Showcase Sunday. Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. It is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea.

Bought Books/Ebooks
The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire, by Abigail Gibbs

Borrowed Books
None

Free Ebooks... I may have gotten slightly carried away here
Bah, Humbug, by Heather Horrocks
Never Buried, by Edie Claire
In the Garden of Temptation, by Cynthia Wicklund
All I want for Christmas is you, by Lisa Mondello
Dane, by Liliana Hart
Betwitching the Werewolf, by Caroline Hanson
Uptown Girl, by Olivia Goldsmith
Flings and Arrows, by Debbie Viggiano
The Boat Builder's Bed, by Kris Pearson
She's Gotta Be Mine, by Jasmine Haynes and Jennifer Skully
A Dark Kiss of Rapture, by Sylvia Day
Devilish, by Maureen Johnson
Short Fuses, by Stephen Leather
Submission, by Ella Argent
Her Heart for the Asking, by Lisa Mondello
Lord Fool to the Rescue, by L. L. Muir
The Seventh Sister, by Z. L. Arkadie
Marked, by Elisabeth Naughton
Samson's Lovely Mortal, by Tina Folsom
Runaway Heart, by Claudy Conn and Karen Babcock
Another Second Chance, by Troy Lewis

What's been going on... and plans for this coming week.... 
So I am in and all settled in my new house in London! I'm living with one of my besties and her Grandmother (whose house it is), and so far I'm loving it. Overall its been a great week catching up with friends who (in some cases) I've not seen for months, and filling the time in between with job applications, NaNoWriMo and lots of blogging and reading and maybe just a tiny bit of shopping. This week coming looks to be much of the same (yay), with another super lovely friend having her birthday bash next weekend for me to look forward to.

What did everyone get their mits on this week?  Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week, and see you next weekend!!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Books are like Poker. Every writer has their tells.

Have you ever read several books by the same author, and read a bit where you thought that was such a typical thing for Author X to say?? I do it all the time, and have come to think of them as a writer's tell, like in poker. So if you read a book without looking at who wrote it, you could maybe tell if you have read one of their books before. I'm not talking about books in the same series covering the same characters, but stand-alone books, or separate series. A few examples maybe....

J.D Robb- AKA Nora Roberts.
Nora Roberts has a big ol' soft spot for Irish characters. Irish names, Irish characters, Irish settings, she loves them all. Roarke, from the In Death series, is Irish and is as sexy as hell. She has also penned numerous series and trilogies with an Irish focus, including Irish Dreams, The O'Hurleys and The Donovan Legacy.



Louise Bagshawe
Louise Bagshawe writes standalone romance books, full of throbbing cocks. And yet, this is not her tell.... anyone who has read any of her books knows that she has an obsession with describing clothes and makeup. You will know at all times exactly what her protagonist is wearing, and just how hot they look in that outfit.



Stephenie Meyer
Steph is another one who cant but seem to help squeezing in similar details into her books. Her heroes always seem to be honourable men who won't take advantage of the female protagonist, while her female protagonists are super-self-sacrificing to the point of becoming annoying.



P. C. Cast.
Amazingly enough, P. C. Cast has two tells! one big, and one small.
Small tell... In her goddess summoning series, it seems that the mothers' of the gods and demi-gods getting involved in their child's business is the main cause of mystical stuff happening to the mortal characters. Meddling mothers! Who'd have them!

Big tell... everything is very spiritual. There is a lot of ritual going on. Plus, women are amazing, empowered beings who kick ass, usually because they are inspired by the various goddesses and the whole spirituality of the thing. This crops up throughout both The House of Night Series and The Goddess Summoning Series.



These are just four that I have come up with off the top of my head. Do you have any favourite authors that have quirks that shine through in all of their books? Or can you think of an author that holds a completely unique voice in each of their books? Let me know what you think!!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Boat Builder's Bed, by Kris Pearson

Title: The Boat Builder's Bed
Author: Kris Pearson
Format: Ebook
Genre: Romance
Add this: Goodreads
Buy this: Ebook

I have a confession to make. I downloaded this book because I totally thought it was steamy book porn, with maybe a hint of plot. Turns out, its actually a pretty nice contemporary romance, with actual plot and character motives and all that proper writer jazz thrown in, along with a fairly sizeable amount of steam. Not proper book porn at all though.

Sophie Calhoun is trying to open her own interior design business, Subtle, to help her get on her feet. Once she makes enough money, her daughter Camille will finally be able to live with her again. She just needs to get one big commission to get her business the kick-start it needs. So when Rafe Blackhawk Severino, swoops into her life, hiring her to finish his new build mega-mansion, its a dream come true. But there are complications, of course. Rafe happens to be her old boss's ex-husband, and an absolute hunk who just happens to be a millionaire who builds and sells jumbo yachts for a living. And the sexual chemistry between the two of them is undeniable, even though Sophie wants to keep their relationship strictly professional. Knowing that Rafe was unwanted by his parents, and raised by his grandmother, she keeps Camille's existence a secret, afraid that Rafe will judge her, and fire her.


The story is kind of nice, and the millionaire part allows for some fancy bits to be added in, and adds another contrast between Rafe and Sophie. Plus, there is a motorbike. Nothing like a Ducati to up the sexiness of a scene.

The sexual chemistry between Sophie and Rafe is off the charts, but the sex scenes aren't the best. Don't get me wrong, they aren't the worst I have read... but some of the phrases used just made me laugh...
Describing an orgasm... "Like a dewy crimson rose unfurling its petals and then folding them closed, again and again, around a glorious golden intruder." 
Erm... Yeah.. That's nice, dear.
 But their relationship in general makes up for it. I would say that this book is not for anyone who Doesn't want kids, because you'll hate yourself by the end of the book, and you won't agree with most of the forces that motivate the characters. Seriously, both Sophie and Rafe are incredibly broody characters, which I've not really come across (to this degree) before in a book.  Some of the elements of the story get a bit repetitive after a few chapters, such as Sophie's internal anguish about not telling Rafe about Camille.

The end of the book is fairly predictable, but ticks all the boxes for a standard HEA, where everything is resolved and all super nice etc. Nice easy read, with a few unintentionally funny moments. Plus, it was free, so there's an extra half a point there. 6 stars. 

Things I'm Loving #6


Because sometimes, I do things other than read....


This week I am loving...


Overhearing people saying nice things about me.

I am absolutely terrible at taking compliments. I usually find a way to discount that person's opinion, or find flaw with their motives. Compliments from strangers are easier to accept than from people close to me, because (in my mind) strangers generally feel no obligation to be nice to other strangers, and therefore they must mean the compliment.

But yes, overhearing people paying you a compliment. That's the bee's knees and whatnot that makes my ego swell to the point its so large I can barely fit through doors. Especially when it is something really unexpected that they say, from someone really unexpected.

Ok, and now onto something else that is, hopefully, a little less self involved.... ooh, look! A puppy!!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

What Kills Me, by Wynne Channing

Title: What Kills Me
Author: Wynne Channing
Format: Ebook
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Add this: Goodreads
Buy this: Paperback |Ebook

A few months ago it seemed like reviews of this book was all over the blogosphere, and everyone loved it. So I was super intrigued, and when I got my kindle last week it was the first ebook I downloaded.

What Kills Me is seriously fantastic. Off the top of my head it is definitely the best YA book I have read this year, and I can not wait for the sequel, which Wynne Channing has assured me (via the power that is twitter) is currently in the works. Seriously, I was reading this on the underground and missed my stop because I was so involved in the story (despite my concerted efforts to occasionally check what stop I was at).

On a summer trip to Italy with a language school, 17 year old Axelia (Zee) thinks that a summer romance might be nice, especially when she meets the mysterious and ridiculously good-looking Paolo. Instead, she gets attacked by a vampire, falls into a well of ancient vampire blood, and dies, reborn again as a vampire. Not your usual summer fling by any means. Unfortunately, her change into a vampire is highly irregular, even amongst the blood-sucking undead, and that makes Zee a target for assassination by the monarchy (them being the Vampire bosses, led by The Empress, who needs a slap). Zee has to adapt to being a new vampire whilst on the run, but luckily she meets Lucas, and finds in him a begrudging ally. So now all she needs to do is convince everyone that she is not the vampire girl that prophesy has decreed will take down the entire vampire race... Which should be easy, right?


I really love the characters in this book. The dynamic between Zee and Lucas feels really authentic, and they both stand up on their own as well. I love that Zee says "Seriously?" just as much as I do (and this makes me wonder if Wynne Channing is a Grey's Anatomy fan, which is another thing that uses the "Seriously?" to great effect). Zee notices the oddest little things in her descriptions of her surroundings and the people she meets, which is really nice as it makes Zee's voice more unique. She describes one person's eyebrows as being like tadpoles, which I thought was such an a-typical thing to point out. Channing's fight scenes are also fantastically graphic, and varied. I find that its often easy for numerous fights in one book to all have repeating elements, but Channing really mixes it up. One guy gets sliced in half by a car door being thrown at him frisbee style. I mean, seriously! That is pretty awesome. 

The whole book is written really nicely. Channing has this really graphic style that paints the most beautiful picture of the characters surroundings, and makes it so effortless to imagine it all, and yet this doesn't detract from the pace of the book either. Being an avid reader of books featuring vampires, it was nice to see a mix of some fairly standard vampire tropes (like the dies in sunlight thing) along with some elements that are clearly just applicable to the vampires of Zee's world. I thought the monarchy, and the blood being supplied by the monarchy were really interesting concepts, and I hope that these are looked at in more depth in the sequel. 

Overall, a 9, and I'm reserving an excited squeal for the sequel. Bargain at 77 pence on the Amazon store for the ebook, and it's now also available in actual book form for all you page-strokers out there.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Teaser Tuesday #11


This is a post for Teaser Tuesday, which is where I randomly pick a page of the book I'm reading at the moment, and share with all you lovelies two sentences off that page, with no spoilers allowed. This is a weekly event, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. The button is supplied by the lovely Kylee of Babbling of a Bookaholic. 





 This week I'm reading What Kills Me, by Wynne Channing. Back in September at least three of my favourite bloggers reviewed this, and everyone seemed to love it, so it was quickly added  to my to-read list. (and I finally have a Kindle to read it on!)


69%

As the vampire began to lift his weapon, Lucas pulled the sword from his body and beheaded him. The head bounced and rolled under the wreckage, and the headless body fell into a sitting position, propped against the car.



Has anyone read this book? Its a bargain in the Amazon Kindle store for only 77p, and is now also available in paperback. As usual,  I'd love to know your thoughts. 
See you next week!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Review: The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy, by Elizabeth Aston

Title: The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy
Author: Elizabeth Aston
Format: Paperback
Length: 368 pages
Genre: Austen Fan Fiction
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Buy this: Paperback

I love books that should be terrible. Like this one. They are my guilty pleasure. Mediocre sappy romance austen-eque fan fiction makes me feel all gooey and simultaneously gives me the LOLs. This book, is in my top 5 secret guilty pleasures, even though I know it is totally ridiculous.... Ok, AGES ago I reviewed Mr. Darcy's Daughters, by Elizabeth Aston, which is the first in Elizabeth Aston's follow up on Pride and Prejudice. Alethea was introduced as the youngest of Mr and Mrs Darcy's five daughters, and she was given a fairly secondary role in the book, and she still managed to get into a fair amount of trouble.

There is a fairly sizeable leap between the two books, but Aston uses flashbacks and the internal angst/monologue of past memories to fill the reader in pretty well, without having to sit through the Looonng version. So Alethea married a man whilst she was on the rebound from her first love (who embarrassed her socially after they hopped on the good foot and did the bad thing). Husband is a jerk, and kills her spirit through continued mental and physical abuse. (This is not just bad, but terrible, as Alethea is usually full of not just any spirit, but the True Darcy Spirit). So the reader begins the book with Alethea running away from her husband in the middle of the night with her old maid Figgins (who made an appearance in the first book too), whilst both dressed as men. The plan is to go to Venice, where her favourite sister, Camilla, is living with Wytton, her new husband, because it will be harder for douchebag-hubby to track her down and drag her home again.

Naturally her plan to be reunited with her sister goes all tits up, and chaos ensues, where every plot line ever gets squished into the book. There is the whole cross dressing thing, and snowstorms/treacherous alps crossings, a creepy sodomite, people getting mugged, a far fetched yacht trip and international chases... Seriously, there is so much going on, and it is all fantastically ridiculous, but I think that is why I love this book. I also remember having a big ol' literary crush on the love interest, Titus, when I first read it (although this was a fair few years ago now), and I doubt I would kick him out of bed for eating crackers. Titus even gets a storyline of his own for Alethea to distract him from. I was just glad that he realised straight away that she wasn't a man, because else the romantic relationship between the two of them would be just awkward. "I'm a girl..." "Are you? That's a shame, as I preferred it when you were a vaguely effeminate man-child."

Alethea is my favourite of the Darcy girls, because she manages to get into such scrapes. It really helps to have read Mr. Darcy's daughters first, because then its much easier for the reader to empathise with Alethea, having seen how fantastic she was before various men cocked up her life. A nice bit of Austen-inspired, drama filled romance, with lots of goo and fluff. 7 stars!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Showcase Sunday #8


Hello and welcome to Showcase Sunday. Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. It is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea.

Bought Books/Ebooks- (I am currently in the middle of a buying ban, but my lovely friend Anna gave me an Amazon voucher for my birthday...)

What kills me, by Wynne Channing
Blood and Snow Volumes 1-4 Boxset: Blood and Snow, Revenant in Training, The Vampire Christopher, Blood Soaked Promises, by RaShelle Workman
High Heels Mysteries Boxed Set Vol. 1, by Gemma Halliday


Borrowed Books
Marked, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Betrayed, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Chosen, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Untamed, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Hunted, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Free Ebooks- Yes, I finally have a Kindle (Thankyoooo M&D)
Branded, by Keary Taylor
The Faery Hunt, by Alexia Purdy
A Touch of Ice, An Everly Gray Adventure, by L. J. Charles
Demon in the Sack, by Space Johnson
The Girl Born of Smoke, by Jessica Billings
The Prophecy, (Bakkian Chronicles, Book 1), by Jeffrey Poole
Jenny Pox, by J. L. Bryan
Savage Winter, by Rachel Van Dyken
For Queen and Country, by Michelle Kopra
Darkness Falls, by Jessica Sorensen
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
Allan Quartermain, by H. Rider Haggard



What's been going on... and plans for this coming week.... 


Halloween described beautifully here
I've not done a Showcase for a few weeks now as I have been super busy with work and trying to move house, so this is a few weeks worth of book loot. NaNoWriMo has officially started earlier this week, and I'm trying to get as much done as possible, although the dreaded job search is taking priority at the moment. And in a farewell to my hometown, I went out for Halloween and got absolutely Hammerlammered, and probably ended up looking like a right pillock, but I don't do it very often, so never mind.

What did everyone get their mits on this week? Anyone else go out for Halloween? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week, and see you next weekend!!

The Vampire Diaries Books 3-4 (The Fury and The Reunion), by L. J. Smith



Title: The Fury; The Reunion
Author: L. J. Smith
Format: Paperback
Length: very short and very short
Genre: teen vampire angst
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So I have already reviewed the first two books in The Vampire Diaries Series, and hath proclaimed them to be disappointing, and yet here I am, having read the next TWO books in the series as well. Not just that, but I read them all in the same week. These books are addictive. Rubbish, but addictive. I think I kept reading them because as the books went on there were more similarities to the TV series, and so I wanted to see how the original storyline progressed compared to the tv series version. OK, there must be something good about it, because I couldn't seem to stop reading it. (Complete breakdown of my opinion there.)


Ok, so the third book is THE FURY, which needs to be in capitals, because it is all about the Big Bad Evil that has come to Elena's hometown. This is the same Big Bad that managed to kill Elena at the end of the second book, and she is Furious (get the title linking in there...). Oh, look, there are spoilers in this review, I'll pretend to be sorry now, before relentlessly continuing with the spoilers. *apologetic face*.

So Elena is now all La Vampira, and awakening to find she needs to rush to the aid of her maker, Damon, who is being attacked by her boyfriend, Stefan. OOOOHHHHH, balls, thats a big problem caused by all the trampy blood sharing with various men (see book 2). And then there is a whole load of stuff going down with the love triangle, and picking sides turmoil and whatnot. So, then there is the whole thing about all of the bad and murderous things happening in the first and second books that had ALL been blamed upon Damon, actually not ALL being done by Damon, just to confuse everyone. And then we find out who The Big Bad is, and why she is doing all of the evil/tormenting people type activities... here's a clue... she is totes psycho. The trio defeat her (naturally) but using a big ol' sacrificial twist that did technically end the series of books until the fans demanded more. Boo, I currently have a dislike for the sacrificial heroines of the story. But I am selfish, and demand a high proportion of Happily Ever Afters...


The Reunion, the fourth book, is written from Bonnie's perspective (Elena's best friend who is also a witch). So people start being attacked and murdered AGAIN, and Elena contacts Bonnie from beyond the grave to warn her about all of the danger, in an ominous warning. Apparently, The Super Big Bad is coming, and he completely outshines The Big Bad of book 3 in his fiendishness, and general creepiness. I mean, seriously, he is greasy and unkempt, and wears a mac. Creeptastic yuk. Stefan and Damon make a reappearance, there is some steamy flirting going on between Bonnie and Damon, and there are some naked (platonic) hugs and crying at one point... So, all in all, there are definitely some plot twists and turns that add interest to the story, but push the boundaries of believability. (Did I just mention believability in a review of a book about vampires? Of course.... because vampires are totally real....?)

So overall... Damon hits his sexy stride in these two books, and this cements my Team Damon Status. Elena develops as a character in the third book, which fixes one of the problems that I had with the first two books. The books are quick easy reads with interesting enough stories, and some fairly good characters, even though the writing is still pretty dire. Both get a 5 star rating.